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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blogging, crafts, decor, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day DIY

There’s a lot of fun stuff you can do out there for Valentine’s Day! Really, the sky is the limit.  I will show you a few DIY gifts you can do that will cost you under $20 to make.

baby plate

Here is a plate you can make for grandma or auntie!  You need a paint marker and then match the color with some paint for glass.  Put the paint in the bottom of your baby’s feet and do one foot at a time.   I would do the feet prints first, and then write the L O E after they are dried.

These are great “goody bags” for any party or for your kids to give out stuff at school to their teachers.  The bags were from Michael’s Crafts, but I have seen some bags just like this a lot of different places, so look around.  Then I take paper arrows ( you can make them as well with construction paper) and write the person’s name on them.  I found these cute felt hearts at Target and tied it to the back of the bag. Then I glued the arrow to the heart. Simple equals Tasteful.

painting samples

You know those color painting cards you get in Home Depot or Lowe’s?  Well, You can use them for your gift tags! All you need is a heart hole puncher, ribbon and a pair of scissors.  These are free, BTW, so the only cost will be the hold puncher and ribbon.

Coming up on the blog on Tuesday, I will have all the recipes you will want to sink your teeth into for Valentine’s Day!  YUM!

blogging, crafts, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day DIY

Don’t look now, but Valentine’s Day is approaching! It’s only 3 weeks away! This can be a really fun day for everyone – and that includes little kids! I used to be a preschool teacher and I loved doing crafts with my class.  This day was really fun!

Here’s a quick little DIY project that you can do with your class or at home.

tic tac toe

This can work in a few ways:

First off, you will need to cut out a heart and draw the Tic Tac Toe board on the heart. Next, you will have to make the hearts.  You can either get these puffy hearts at the craft store and use those, or you can make your own.

You will have to cut out 20 small hearts; 10 in red and 10 in pink.  Then you will need to glue HALF the heart together and leave an open side. Once it dries, you can rip apart some cotton balls and stuff them into the hearts.  You will only need to use 1-2 cotton balls per heart.

Next you will need to glue the heart shut.  Once it dries you can now go ahead and play Tic Tac Toe!

 

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, 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!!