This is just a reminder that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! Are you ready? If not … don’t panic … I thought that I would do a little recap of a few quick Valentine’s Day ideas.
Treats for the young and old …
A few ideas that can be made in a big batch, divided up and packaged for individual treats …
I would like to say “THANK YOU” to everyone who voted for me in the Celebrations Cupcake Crown contest!
Lambs are so fluffy on the outside … but these lambs are fluffy marshmallows on the inside. Yes, I am still obsessed with jumbo marshmallows. It is hard to tell from the photo, but the lamb on the left is made with a jumbo marshmallow and the lamb on the right is made with a traditional large marshmallow.
As I am writing this, I just thought … why didn’t I make a black sheep? Use dark chocolate and black nonpareils, that would be so cute and yummy!
This is what you will need … jumbo or large marshmallows, lollipop sticks, melted white chocolate/candy melts, white nonpareils, black gummy type candies, black sugar pearls, pink for the nose (I used melted candy melts, but a pink candy or sprinkle would work too) …
The coated sunflower seeds are in this photo because I thought that I would use the white ones for ears, but I didn’t like it after I did it. Black sunflower seeds would have been great … wish I had some! So, I made due with what I had.
First, insert the stick into the marshmallow … cover the marshmallow with melted white chocolate … tap off excess chocolate … then sprinkle the nonpareils all over the melted chocolate …
Let it dry …
While the marshmallows are drying, starting making the heads … slice off some of the flat side of the gumdrop … this can be used for ears or feet … I did use the sugar pearls for the tail, ears and feet on the smaller marshmallow …
Attach the head, ears and feet with a little melted white chocolate … add eyes and nose … be creative … this is my first lamb face … but I couldn’t decide if it looked more like a dog or lamb …
St. Patrick’s Day is Thursday, March 17. Here is an easy NO BAKE CUPCAKE that you can whip up very quickly. First of all, have you seen these gigantic marshmallows? I found them at Target and have become obsessed with them. I have so many ideas for these wonderful marshmallows. These are made by Kraft, but I’ve seen other brands. There are even some that are flavored. This idea can be adapted to fit any occasion. Make it even easier by using pre-made decorations.
This is what you will need to make the cupcakes and shamrocks… Jumbo marshmallows, melted chocolate (see how to melt at top of page), cupcake papers, frosting (oops…forgot the photos), nonpareils or colored sanding sugar. I am showing 3 sizes(miniature, large and jumbo) of marshmallows so that you can compare them.
Put the nonpareils or sugar in a shallow bowl/plate and pour the melted chocolate in a squeeze bottle. Pipe the shamrocks right on the nonpareils (3 hearts and a stem). Pop them in the freezer for few minutes. You have made chocolate shamrocks!
Let’s make the “no-bake cupcakes”…
Melt the chocolate in a deep container. Insert a sucker stick (skewer or fork or whatever you have on hand) into the flat side of the marshmallow. Submerge the marshmallow into the melted chocolate…
Tap off excess chocolate and place the marshmallow in a cupcake paper. Use a spoon to help get the marshmallow off the stick and make sure that all of the marshmallow is covered by chocolate. Pop them in the freezer for about 5 minutes or 15 minutes in the fridge.
It is time to add the frosting! I have included a few icing recipes or use ready made. Put your decorating tip (I used #1M or #2110) in your pastry bag and fill with frosting. If you don’t have a bag or tip, use a Ziploc bag and snip a corner (about 1/4″) off. Pipe a swirl on top (start on the outer edge and work toward the center).
Now decorate with sprinkles, shamrocks or both…
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!
Here are some icing recipes that I use most frequently on cupcakes and cakes…
Super Easy Buttercream
In a mixing bowl combine 1 pound powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 5 tablespoon softened butter. Beat until smooth (remember to scrape the bowl).
My Favorite Decorator Icing
1 cup butter*
1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons meringue powder (optional, but helps give a light crust)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2-3 ounces heavy cream
In a large mixer bowl with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, meringue powder and 1/2 of the cream. Add salt, flavorings and enough cream to make the consistency you desire. Beat at medium speed until icing is fluffy.
*You may substitute vegetable shortening (Crisco) for part or all of the butter, but it will result in a different texture and taste.
Cream Cheese Icing (softer consistency)
In a mixing bowl, combine 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese*, 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 pound powdered sugar. Beat until creamy.
* You may substitute neufchâtel (light) cream cheese.