Monday, August 27, 2012

Time For Ice Cream Cake...Again!

As you may or may not remember from last year's post on my baby's birthday...he's not a fan of traditional "cake".  Yes...I know what you're thinking.  How can the son of a baker not like cake?  Well...he doesn't...and that is that, LOL! Try as I may to get him to like sculpted cakes, cupcakes, cake truffles, cake pops...he just doesn't like cake.
What he DOES ICE CREAM "cake".
And so that has become the new tradition on his birthday.
I don't do a traditional ice cream "cake" with cake in it...because as I said...he doesn't like cake.
I do an Oreo cookie crust, chocolate ice cream, fudge center, more Oreos, vanilla ice cream, and then a buttercream design.
This is what he likes.
I learned last year...that no matter how solid frozen your ice cream cake is never frozen as solid as Dairy Queen's and you should NOT attempt to remove it from the pan to decorate it.
It spells disaster.
So this year, I just left it in the pan and decorated it in there.
He is on a Disney Cars kick right that is the theme we did.
I am not encouraging my boys to grow up too fast.
Yes, he turned 12...but if the boy likes Disney movies still...I'm all for it!
We celebrated with Geeg and Papa.
We went to Craig's Cruisers to "play" for a while.
Had dinner at Texas Roadhouse.
Then came home for cake and pressies.
It was a nice celebration.
I love you Natee!
Happy birthday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

1000+ Facebook Fans Celebration Giveaway!

 Once upon a time...
I had a longing to learn to decorate cakes and cookies.
I finally did something about it.
Two summers ago, I took a Wilton Cake Decorating Basics class at a local craft store.
I was hooked.
 And although I do enjoy cake decorating...
COOKIES have really become my thing lately.
I do some cakes...but consider myself a real amateur.
They generally turn out good...but cookies have been my passion lately.
Cookies and cake pops are a lot of fun.
When I started my "Sweet Ivy Confections" Facebook page a little over a year ago, I never dreamed that I'd gain over 1000+ fans!
To say thank-you, for all of your love, encouragement, support, advice, and orders...
I did a little giveaway!
 Carla R. was our winner!
She was contacted via Facebook and has picked up her cookies.
I really enjoy doing floral cookies.
I will admit, the weather (humidity) gave me some fits.
Any baker will tell you...humidity is our worst nightmare when it comes to royal icing.
So, these cookies and I had words...we had "bubbles", and some "separating".
But all in all...I think they turned out ok.
Our winner was delighted...and that's enough for me!
Thank-you all so much for continuing to encourage and support me on this journey.
Your kindness means so much as I continue to learn and gain new skills!
God bless!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Baby Blues...

 I was so excited to be able to do another set of baby cookies!
One of my daycare families just had a baby boy and I was delighted to start this platter, as it seems all I ever get to make are baby girl cookies!  Not that there's anything wrong with baby girl cookies, but these were my FIRST boy cookies!
 I love yellow with both pink and I knew I wanted to add yellow to the blue color scheme.
 When a new baby is born to a family that already has children, all of the attention is placed on the new baby.  I like to include the older children in some with this gift, I included personalized cookies for the two older sisters.
 I can't wait to snuggle this new baby!
He will be joining my daycare soon!
 I don't have a whole lot of baby shaped cookie cutters, so I did a lot of lettering/words.
 I can always use more practice on my piping skills anyway.
 I always like to call these kind of cookies "filler" for my platters.
All done!
I hope they enjoy them!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sweet Swirls...and a few "odds & ends"...

 I'm not sure if I told you...
But my hubby surprised me and ordered me a KopyKake!
For those not familiar with this tool...
It is a projector for cake and cookie decorators to aid in copying images to their work.
 Many people ask if this is "cheating".
And I will answer a BIG...RESOUNDING...
 The KopyKake is a tool that helps you mass produce identical images.
When you are "drawing"/piping is very difficult to get every image on a cookie or cake to turn out the same.
The KopyKake aids decorators in mass producing the EXACT same image over and over again.
 And again...for those who asked about cheating?
The KopyKake is NOT an easy "trace and copy" machine.
It takes A LOT of practice!
There is much skill in learning how to use this machine!
I have only sat down twice to use mine and I can already tell...
It's going to be a long time before I become skilled with it!
Anyway...I did these top four pictures (the sweet swirls) with the KopyKake.
I looked up some clip-art damask images and projected them onto the cookies to practice.
And let me say...
This is gonna take some time to learn how to master!
 After I got done playing with the KopyKake...I had some leftover cookies and icing and just decided to "play".
 I was tired when I did they're a little shaky.
My favorite was the round white polka-dot one.
I LOVE polka dots.
I think I foresee many more polka-dots in my future!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cake Truffles

 We had a family cookout this week and I needed a quick dessert.
I love whipping up a batch of cake truffles for events.
They are so much fun.
You can dress them up or down with assorted sprinkles or drizzles of chocolate.
I did these in white and yellow cake and then dipped them in white chocolate.
I used a variety of sprinkles and colored sugar crystals.
Cake truffles are always loads of bite-sized fun!

Gluten Free Goodness

 My sister is gluten free.
And having a baking obsession, I have always felt bad that she can't partake in the goodies I make when I bring them to family functions.

 I have always wanted to make her a special gluten free dessert.
Yet I was always afraid to try.
I had heard so many horror stories of cookies gone bad.
 Well, I did my homework and researched quite a few recipes online.
I finally decided on one.
 A lot of them had a list of ingredients a mile long.
So naturally, I went for the easiest/shortest recipe I could find.

They turned out pretty good I think!
I must say, the dough was very...different/odd to work with.
Very sticky.
And once baked, these cookies are a very...crumbly/flaky cookie.
Yet I persued.
And with a lot of care...I was able to get them all decorated with no major crumbling!
I have never eaten gluten I didn't know what to expect.
I tasted one and thought they tasted pretty good...a little dry...but good.
She said they were good!
So who am I to question that!

Firefighter/Rescue Cookies

 We got good news a couple weeks ago!
My cousin told us her hubby had just been promoted at work!
 J is a paramedic/firefighter in Illinois where they live.
And so...
 Naturally I went into cookie mode!
 I couldn't wait to try a firefighter/rescue theme!
 This was a first for me.
 But I think they turned out really cute!
 The kids went crazy over them!
I can't wait until my next project!