Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

I love birthdays. My family is huge on birthdays.
Especially big ones.
Today, I am 21 years old!
This will be a pretty short post, but I had to share the beautiful birthday cake my family always makes :) Ever since I was little, probably 5 or 6, I've asked for lemon clam linguine for dinner and angel food cake for dessert.
For my first birthday, though, my mom chose green jello.
That's my cousin Nick in the bottom picture

Here's the angel food cake! It's from a box, with classic buttercream (plus a tsp of almond), and bittersweet chocolate drizzle. 

I had an incredible time with my parents, and now I'm celebrating my birthday night with Chris and his boys. 
And then tomorrow, it'll be time to play with my big present!!!
FANCY SHMANCY CAMERA!!!! YESSSSS! I came thisclose to crying when I opened it.
More birthday fun to be added!
Have a wonderful weekend :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad!

March is the awesomest month ever!
SO many of my friends and family have birthdays this month. In my immediate family alone, 3 of the 4 of us (yes, we count the dog) have late March birthdays. Archie's on the 20th, my dad is the 28th, and mine is the 31st.
I'm home for the first half of my birthday weekend, then the second half will be with my honey :)
I'll be adding more pictures later, but I left my camera chord at school, so I can't attach the ones I took ahead of time of this masterpiece.

My dad loves golf. He's been playing it forever, and as soon as I saw this cake idea on Love and Olive Oil, I knew I had to make it for his birthday. I ordered this cute golf-themed chocolate mold two weeks ago, and it turned out perfectly!
Super Chocolate Cake
Courtesy of Whisk Kid
I doubled the recipe to make two layers, which I then split into 4. 
Flour- 2 2/3 c
Unsweetened cocoa powder- 3/4 c
Baking soda- 3 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks), room temp
Brown sugar- 3 c
Eggs- 4, room temp
Vanilla- 2 tsp
Sour cream- 1 1/3 c, room temp
Hot coffee- 1 1/3 c
1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, ~5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.
3. Alternate dry ingredients with sour cream. Gently stir in hot coffee, and pour into two 9-inch cake pans that have been greased and floured. 
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for ~35 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean.

A little frosting anecdote...
My plan was to make two batches of Italian Meringue Buttercream. The first batch turned out great! The second, not so much.... Fortunately, I had all the ingredients I needed for marshmallow buttercream! So it's IMBC on the outside, Marshmallow on the inside, then I had to use some store-bought vanilla frosting for the little tufts of green grass. 
Here's the Marshmallow Buttercream frosting recipe :)

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
Courtesy of Baked Bree
Unsalted butter- 1 c, room temp
Marshmallow fluff- 1 (7 oz) jar
Powdered sugar- 2 c
Vanilla- 1 tsp
1. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add marshmallow fluff and beat for 2 minutes.
2. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add vanilla and beat for 1 minute.

~Wrap the cake layers in saran wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). This will make slicing much easier.
~Slice each cake layer in half, resulting in 4 slices.
~Place a generous amount of marshmallow buttercream in between each slice. Stack carefully!
~For the "hole," place one shot glass upside down on the top layer of the cake, use a knife to draw an outline. Take the shot glass off the cake, and dig a little hole in the top. Put the shot glass back on while frosting.
~Frost with a crumb coat of IMBC, and put in fridge to harden, ~15 minutes.
~Frost with another layer of IMBC. BE PATIENT! If you want it to be super smooth, you're gonna have to be willing to spend a solid chunk of time on this step.
~The green grass is actually a lot easier than you may think. All you need is a grass tip from Wilton.
~For the golf ball and tee, use a chocolate mold. Melt a handful of white chocolate candy melts, and pour  ~2 spoonfuls into each golf ball mold (it's a good idea to make an extra just in case). Let harden, then poke the edges with a knife until it pops out. Frost the flat side with some extra frosting, and stick 'em together.
Serve with ice cream if you like :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Archie!

Tomorrow is my puppy dog's birthday.
Okay, he's not exactly a puppy anymore. He's turning... 11. *sobs*

But you wouldn't know it to look at him- he's still such a hyper pup! And he's so cute. I just can't help calling him my puppy.
Archie's been my dog since he was a "wee pup" as my dad called him. He was the size of his shoe! I was terrified of dogs until we got him, and my brilliant theory worked- for 10 years I begged my parents to get me a doggie, and my argument was that once I understood dogs, I wouldn't be afraid of them. Genius.

I'm still not a huge fan of big dogs, and it doesn't help that I am seriously allergic to the ones that shed, which is almost all of them. Archie's a cockapoo, so he's "hypoallergenic." Yeah, you read that right. A hypoallergenic dog. Like a pillowcase. But fuzzy and adorable!

Anyways, I'm going home next week to celebrate the big birthday month- me, my dad, and my dog have birthdays in March! When I get there, I'll make these nomlicious pupcakes for him. They're from Brown Eyed Baker, and the last time I made them, he loved them! They're actually really delicious, not just for doggies!
Here's the recipe :)
Arf arf!

Apple Cheddar Pupcakes
Courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 12 regular-sized pupcakes, or 24 mini
Flour- 1 1/2 c
Rolled oats- 1/4 c
Baking powder- 2 tsp
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Applesauce- 1/2 c
Water- 1/2 c
Vegetable oil- 1/4 c
Honey- 2 tbsp
Eggs- 2
Apple- 1, peeled, cored, minced
Cheddar cheese- 1 c, grated
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk applesauce, water, oil, honey, and the eggs. Add to dry flour mixture, then add apple and cheese. Don't over-blend!
3. Grease and flour cupcake pans (or use liners). Spoon batter into tins, fill almost full. Bake at 400 degrees F at 15-20 minutes or until the tester comes out clean. Let cool in tins for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.
Let your doggie pig out! But make sure you chunk it into small pieces, cuz if your dog is like mine, he/she will scarf it down.

Happy Birthday, Archie dog!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Oreos!

I'm here, I'm here!
It's been a crazy couple of weeks at school leading up to Spring Break, and now Cat and I are in MEXICO! Woohoo! I can't exactly bake anything here, HOWEVER: Oreo's 100th Birthday is March 6th, and I couldn't let it pass without a post.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OREOS! To celebrate, they have come up with an incredible new special edition Oreo... Birthday Cake Oreos. Oreos + Birthday Cake filling = Happy Kelly. Bonus- they made my room smell like Lucky Charms!

                                                       IT'S NOM TIME!!!!
I love Oreos.
Not sure if I've made that clear in the past, but I do. If I could marry them, I would.
I had to stop eating them when I was put on my chocolate ban, but now I can and my love for them never lessened.
These pictures are major throwbacks. As in sophomore year of high school throwbacks. As in six years ago... Old.

This was in the early days of my baking! No judging please :)
I planned on making this cake with the amazing birthday Oreos, but ran out of time. That last week before Spring Break is always B-A-N-A-N-A-S (that song is how I learned to spell bananas. No big deal.) So these pictures will have to do.
I've been using this recipe for years, just like the Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. I think the Oreo Cake is from
Here it is!
Chocolate-Covered Oreo Cake
Devil's food cake mix~ 1 pkg
Cream cheese~ 1 (8 oz) pkg, softened
Sugar~ 1/2 c
Cool Whip~ 1 (8 oz) tub
Oreos!~ 12, coarsely crushed
BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate~ 4 squares
Unsalted butter~ 1/4 c (1/2 stick, cut up)
1. Prep two 9-inch round cake pans.
2. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions. Cool 5 minutes, then remove from pans. Cool completely.
3. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl on medium speed. Gently stir in Cool Whip and Oreos.
4. Microwave chocolate and butter in small microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until the butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 minutes.

Place one cake layer, top-side down, on serving plate. Spread cream cheese mixture *it will more likely go like this: spoon some, eat some, spoon some, eat some, etc.* onto the first layer. Cover with remaining cake layer, then spread melted chocolate and butter on the top. Voila!
Store in the refrigerator.

For fun, here are some links to other great Oreo recipes!
Courtesy of Bake at 350

Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

Courtesy of Love from the Oven
Have a wonderful birthday celebration!

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