baking, blogging, chocolate, crafts, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day Treats

valentines day cakes

Pictured above: Raspberry-filled golden butter heart cakes. ( Not iced…yet)

Golden Butter Cake:

 

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Baking Spray

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.  Pour into your heart pans which have been sprayed with baking spray.  Bake at 325° until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 21 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a wire rack over waxed paper and hit the hearts with a spoon to loosen the cakes to fall out.

Raspberry Filling:

Combine raspberries, sugar, 3/4 cup water, and lemon juice in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Pour mixture back into the saucepan.  Mix remaining water and cornstarch together in a bowl until dissolved; add to raspberry mixture. Bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool filling in refrigerator, at least 30 minutes.

OR… here’s a HACK: Get a can of raspberry pit filling in your grocery store. ( It’s easier and no one will know!)

I then used a small heart cookie cutter to cut a hole into each cake and fill it with the fruit filling. Then I placed the heart I cut out back inside.

Go to my Facebook page tomorrow and see the finished cake!

 

valentines day cookies

Another treat that you can make that is much easier than the cakes, are sugar cookie hearts.  It’s your simple sugar cookie recipe and then frosting is a cinch!  Frosting hack: Get a tub of vanilla or white icing and melt it in the microwave. You don’t want it to be soupy. Melt it at 21 seconds, check and then add 5 seconds until you get a good consistency.  Then I scoop it into a pastry bag and design the cookies. I have heart sprinkles and place those on the cookies.  Oh, how did I get pink cookies? Simply, separate the dough and with half the dough I add some pink or red food coloring and mix.

Check my Facebook page tomorrow for how I created the DIY bags to put these lovely cookies in.

 

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baking, blogging, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Let’s Party!

pita chips

Homemade Pita Chips – Part 1:

There’s nothing quite like making your own chips! First off, it’s healthier. Secondly, it’s fun! With the AFC/NFC Championships this today and then the Superbowl in 2 weeks, it’s a great time to start thinking about snacks for your football parties!

First you need to buy pita bread. You can buy whichever you prefer.

Secondly you will need to cut each pita into wedges OR if you don’t want to be that creative, you can just cut the pita bread into pieces.

Next, Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Then you need to place the chips in a large plastic bag so you can coat each pita slice/piece with olive oil. I use grilling/Sautéing Olive Oil.  There’s real no “exact” measurement of how much, since I just eyeball it into the bag, seal it shut and then massage the chips on the counter ( the pita bread gets a spa treatment!) until I see that each piece is coated. If I have to add a little more oil, I do. BUT you don’t want to soak the bread, just coat it.

Then I place them on the baking sheet and sprinkle my spices. I make a mixture of Garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Salt and Pepper.    I make sure BOTH sides get coated with the spices. If you want them plain, then you skip this step and follow the next one.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy and browned. Cool completely.

Part2: Then I like to serve mine with salsa and melted cheese. OR you can Serve them with your favorite dips or eat them plain! The choice is yours and it’s endless!

pita recipe

Happy Snacking!

 

 

baking, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Start the Year Off With A Healthy Snack

happy new year

Happy New Year!

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to try to get back into the swing of things and also try to start eating healthy.  Here’s a great recipe just for that: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips!  There’s nothing better to snack on plus the hint of sweetness makes you trick your body into thinking it’s eating unhealthy when you’re not!

Ingredients
4 Apples, cored and sliced thick ( you can use Macintosh or Honey Crisp.)
A large plastic bag
Cinnamon Sugar
Cooking Spray

Instructions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Add the sliced apples to a large plastic bag; then coat the apples with the cinnamon sugar. You will need just as much of the cinnamon sugar according to your taste.  Just don’t over power them – then you won’t taste the apples at all!

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and line the apples flat on the pan. You may need to use two pans so that they are not overlapping. You want each apple chip to bake accordingly.

Bake 2-3 hours until the chips are dry yet still soft. This calls for you to check them often. I set the timer for an hour and then I check them, turn them over, and set the timer for another hour.  The most I have baked them was 3 hours; the least amount was 2.5

Allow to cool completely before placing them in an air tight container for up to 4 days unless you eat them all before then!

Happy Snacking!

apple crisp

baking, chocolate, Christmas, cookies, decor, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

The Making of Christmas Part 2

The first thing I made was the Santa Snack Mix.  If you follow me on Facebook, Clever Cakes then you saw the special syrup I made to pour on top of it before I baked it at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

cookies christmas

I made over 300 cookies this year, and sometimes it’s impossible to get pictures of every one of them! But here’s a sample of the types of cookies I made.  I give them out as gifts but I also need them for my family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  Don’t worry, all these recipes will be in my recipe book which will be released late January 2019!

christmas cake

Then I made the Christmas Tree Cake. Thank goodness for pans that are already in the shape! It cuts the process in half!  I made a Golden Butter Cake and then I topped it with vanilla icing that was made green.  Of course, no cake would be complete without little decorations!

nephew

This year my nephew who is almost 3, got his first baking set and we learned how to bake cookies. Those are the ones he baked with his Auntie’s help!

tree

I wish you all a Very Merry and Bright Christmas!!!

 

 

baking, Christmas, crafts, decor, DIY, fashion, Uncategorized

The Making Of Christmas Part 1

Here are 3 DIY crafts that I have done for this Christmas. The first one is a present /cookie platter topper.  I make little toppers that really give a personal splash to each gift that I give.  This year I made little gingerbread boys using felt and I stuffed them with cotton. 

little gingerbread boy

He really will become the “star” of the show.  People are excited when they see him! Sometimes I make a little loop for people to be able to place him on the tree, but this year, I decided to just make them as mini-stuffed animals.  Oh, I I stuff them with cotton balls.  Yep, I break up the balls and stuff them inside.

santa workshop.jpg

This year I created Santa’s Workshop.  I usually have a small tree and a village around it, but my nephew still loves to touch things, so I thought, hey, if he is going to touch it might as well be a mini village made out of cookies, icing and sprinkles!

reindeer

Finally, I made 3 special reindeer headbands. One for me, one for my nephew and one for my little cousin.  My nephew will decide who will wear what, but to make these are simple: 1) dollar store sells a set of 3 headbands 2) go to the craft store to get the little decorations for the headbands and also some thick brown felt.  ( if not, foam works too!) 3) Use the glue gun and glue them together. Do not let the little ones touch the glue gun – it really can burn them!   They are dried and ready to be worn in 10 minutes!

Next blog post I will cover some of the cookies and treats that I made for the big holiday!!

baking, business, crafts, decor, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Igloo Kits For Gifts

Here are the instructions how to make a cute igloo kit for a gift for just about anyone- especially someone who has kids!

Here are all the tools you will need to make an igloo kit besides the little boxes to put the sugar cubes and the chocolate penguins in.  The sugar cubes make a BIG mess when taking them out, so that is what the paper plate is for. As you could see the plate has sugar on it!

The little saying I have on it is:

Here in these boxes / Are a very special treat! / Get the chocolate penguins / And put them in their seat!  ( Use the icing to glue together the sugar cubes to make an igloo!)

igloo kit

The finished product is this above! You get ribbon and bakery elastic to tie the saying to the package. You place a spoonful of icing in the tiny cup.  The smaller box has the penguins and the larger box has about 25 sugar cubes.

Happy Igloo Building!