Friday, March 29, 2013

Recipe...Coconut Poppy Seed Cake

This recipe is a simple one that's great for potlucks, family gatherings, or any time you need an easy dessert!
I got it from my friend Shelly years ago, and I'm sure she won't care if I pass it on (right Shel?)...hehe!
Because recipes are meant to be shared!
I've never been a huge fan of "top secret" recipes.
Now that's no fun, is it?
This recipe is great because I love coconut.  It also has poppy seeds in it which give it a nice little "pop" when you bite into it.
Disclaimer:  If you have to take a drug test in the near future for a physical or a potential job, you may not want to eat this cake, LOL!  It's FILLED with poppy seeds!  Ha! we go...

Coconut Poppy Seed Cake

1 pkg. (18-1/4 oz) white cake mix
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. coconut extract
3 1/2 cupcs cold milk
2 pkgs. (3.4 oz. each) instant coconut cream pudding mix
1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/3 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Prepare cake according to package directions, adding poppy seeds and coconut extract to batter.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.  In a mixing bowl, beat milk and pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes.  Spread over the cake.  Spread with whipped topping.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Yield 20-24 servings.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!
This is a great addition to your Easter dinner, a springtime brunch or any potluck!
Hope you like it!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

RECIPE SHARE DAY...Attempting something new...let me know! "Easter/Resurrection Cookies"

Ok...we're trying something new! I am "attempting" to do a "Link-Up"...but I'm not sure if it is working correctly yet, so you readers will have to attempt it and let me know! I'm going to share an Easter recipe today with you and I'd like you do do the same! Your recipe can be anything that you and your family enjoy making and eating for Easter. It can be a dessert or something you enjoy making for Easter dinner. Just use the "inlinkz" icon to link-up your recipe! If the "Link-Up" icon is not working correctly, leave me a message in the comment section and I will attempt to correct it. So without further we go! Our first "Link-Up".

Today I am sharing... "Easter Cookies" (also known as Resurrection Cookies)
A friend gave me this recipe and I can't remember I apologize in advance for not being able to give credit where credit is due. These are a great project do do with your children to teach them the true meaning of Easter!
You will need:
1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
Ziploc bags
wooden spoon
Preheat oven to 300 degrees-this is very important to do first.
Place pecans in Ziploc bag and let the children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
 So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loved us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 an John 3:1-3.
Fold in the broken pecans. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheets. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door, and TURN OFF THE OVEN!
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66. GO TO BED!
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie! Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are HOLLOW! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty! Read Matthew 28:1-9.
Let me know if you try the recipe and how it turns out! Also "Link-Up" and leave your favorite Easter recipe! And like I said, if the inlinkz icon is not working, leave me a comment and I'll work on getting it corrected! Thanks for sharing!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Baby Love!

 I "LOVE" doing baby cookies!
So when I got the request for these baby shower cookies, I jumped at it!
 I love it when a customer give me "free reign" over the order and there are no "specific" guidelines.  With this order, my instructions were, "just a general baby theme in pastels".
Yay!  I get to play!
 I love doing specific themes too, don't get me wrong...but when given the chance to just "get creative" on my's really fun!
I decided to just dig out all of my baby cookie cutters and "have at it"!
I did some pink and blue baby bottles first.
 Second, I moved on to the rubber duckies.
I LOVE baby duckies!
I added a little flower to their wings just to "jazz things up" a bit.
 The baby carriages were fun.
They were a little tricky though.
I had never attempted this cookie design before.
But I think they turned out ok.
Once again, I added a little flower to the side of the carriage, as I did with the duckies.
I love doing onesies for baby occasions!
They're so cute!
 Next came the baby footprints.
These are the cookies I felt least inspired on.
I just wasn't sure how to get creative with them.
I ended up adding a little flower on the top right to match the duckies and carriages.
Funny thing was, I got more compliments on these than any other baby cookie!  Ha!
So much for my lack of inspiration, LOL!
Halfway through this order, I was thinking it would be nice to include a special cookie for the guest of honor...the mom-to-be!
I decided to do a silhouette of an expectant mommy!
It really wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be and I was pretty happy with how it turned out for a first attempt.
My icing was a little thicker than it should have been, hence the bumpiness in the silhouette.
But hey, live and learn, right? ;)
I am excited to give these to my client for the shower!
I hope the guests enjoy eating them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Luck 'O The Irish To Ya!

 Although St. Patty's Day doesn't bring in many orders, I still like to bake for ALL of the holidays!
 I had a little extra dough from another project, and so I baked  up some minis.
I didn't go all out decorating them.
Since these were just for my family, I went with a simple dusting of sanding sugar.
It probably seems crazy, even though I LOVE to decorate whole family (me included) actually prefer them plain, with no icing...and just a dusting of sugar.
Although not as "fancy"...there is nothing like the taste of a simple sugar covered sugar cookie!
My oldest son nearly took down the whole platter in one sitting while doing his homework!
We hope you had a very Happy St. Patty's Day!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

 March is Dr. Seuss' birth month!
So in celebration, I decided to join the ranks of my other baking friends, and create some Dr. Seuss inspired cookies.
Please be kind and remember, I am an amateur baker...haha!
"Thing 1 and Thing 2" were a lot of fun to create!
 And we can't neglect "The Cat In The Hat"!
 "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish"...
 Normally I "flood" the entire cookie with icing before piping the design.
But with these, I left them "naked" (bare cookie) and just piped the design right on without flooding.
 The icing surface isn't the smoothest...I purposely left it a little thicker so it would be easier to work with.  When piping intricate designs, a thicker icing is easier to control.
 I think they turned out half decent for a first attempt at Dr. Seuss!
They were a perfect addition to our Dr. Seuss unit in my daycare & preschool.
My kiddos really enjoyed them!
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sweet & Salty...

 I started my "confection journey" by chance.
I had always wanted to take cake decorating classes.
So I signed up for the Wilton Basics at our local craft store.
I started making a few cakes...practicing, reading blogs, checking out baking Facebook pages...
And then...
 I discovered the art of decorated cookies!
And so I started practicing and fell in love with the art of cookie decorating.
When I decided to "name myself"...
I thought, "Do I incorporate the word cake or cookie?"
I didn't want to be "locked in" to any one type of dessert, treat, or confection!
So...I came up with "Sweet Ivy Confections".
I figured by calling it "confections"...I was free to do cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, cake truffles, cookies, cookie pops, candy, or ANY OTHER treat or dessert I wanted!  Ha!
Today's post is not only a "sweet treat"...but also salty!
My youngest son was complaining  wanting a sweet bedtime snack and yet nothing sounded good to him.  You know how that goes...when there's NOTHING in the house to eat...
Me: "How about Oreos?"
Him: No.
Me: "How about some sherbert?"
Him: No.
...and so on...
So...I found that I had some extra chocolate in the frig from my last cake pop order, so I dipped these pretzel braids halfway into the chocolate and gave them some springtime sprinkles.
The kid was happy.