Styled Eats

Cookie Spoons DIY

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My friend Andrea came up with these wonderful pot de creme and cookie spoons for our Craft Night and we asked here to share how she did it. She developed a special recipe for this so that the cookie would stay crisp and would actually be functional when you dipped it in your pot de creme but would also taste delicious. Find all the directions below.

Materials Needed: 1 Batch of Andrea’s Special Gingersnap Recipe, Parchment paper, Rolling Pin, Spoon Cookie Cutter,

Step 1: Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it is very thin, about 1/16″ thick. Then place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until chilled.
Step 2: Using the spoon cookie cutter cut out the gingersnap dough and remove excess. Transfer to a baking sheet making sure the spoons are chilled and flat.
Step 3: Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should be crisp not bendy.

Andrea packaged the Pot de Creme in Weck Jars and then served envelopes of cookies spoons in clear cupcake boxes with the napkins folded at the bottom.

All photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day.

Donut Tree

I first saw a donut tree at my friend’s Halloween party almost 10 years ago (hi Emily!) But I think it works great for a party any time of the year. It is a simple concept but makes a really great surprise or visual when you are having an outdoor party. Am I the only one that would like to live in a world where donuts grow on trees? Right before the party starts tie a bunch of donuts to a tree at varying heights (depending on the heights of your guests.)  We pre-tied ours in the box so set up went extra quick. You can either make it a “bobbing for donuts” type game where guests can’t use their hands or it can be just a funny way to serve donuts. And now, on to the pictures of backlit donuts.

Photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day

Styled Eats: How to Frost a Perfectly Smooth Cake

This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels, the perfect special ingredient for all of your family’s favorite treats!

Mastering a perfectly smooth cake has been on my list of things to master since as long as I can remember. My mom would make these amazing cakes for our birthdays and I’ve been trying to get my skills up to par for my kids. It was so great to spend an afternoon with pastry chef Hope Waggoner and have her break down the steps. I’ve tried so many times to get a perfectly smooth cake but have never gotten it just right. I know a lot of people can do amazing things with fondant but I don’t love how it tastes. A nice buttercream on the other hand, I’m in love with the stuff. Find the simple steps below to frosting a perfectly smooth cake.

Click through for step by step instructions.

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Styled Eats: How to Perfectly Frost a Scallop Cake

This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels, the perfect special ingredient for all of your family’s favorite treats!

Today is the second post in our “how to frost a cake” series. I asked pastry chef Hope Waggoner to us some tricks on how to frost a scallop cake. When I was a little girl I was always planning parties (even then!) and I remember my mom helping me bake miniature cakes for a tea party. This little girly cake would fit in perfect at a tea party or shower. Before frosting the scallops the cake needs to have it’s crumb coat and have set in the fridge. (Follow steps 1-4 on this post.) I like that you don’t need anything fancy to make this cake, just a pastry bag and a good ol’ butter knife.

Materials Needed: All you really need to frost this cake is: A large Offset Spatula for the first layer of frosting, a heavy duty pastry bag with large tip, and a knife.

Step 1: Follow steps 1-4 over here until the cake has it’s basic layer of crumb coat and has chilled. The cake should be cold and the frosting should be room temperature.
Step 2:  Fill a large pastry bag with icing and create a row of straight dots going from top to bottom.
Step 3: Gently spread each dot with a knife, cleaning the knife on a rag as necessary to make sure the scallops are even.
Step 4: Create another row of dots where the frosting ends and spread each dot with a knife. Repeat over and over until the whole cake is finished. (Pro tip: It’s easy to remove a mistake with a knife and begin a row again.)
Step 5: When the scallops end add a final row of dots to “seal” the seam for a finished look.

A special thanks to Michelle for letting us borrow her beautiful kitchen, to Hope for her expertise, and to little A for modeling.

Photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day

Styled Eats: How to Perfectly Frost a Messy Cake

This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels, the perfect special ingredient for all of your family’s favorite treats!

Frosting cakes is one of those things that I would love to get better at. My mom would always decorate amazing cakes for our birthdays when I was a little girl and I loved them but I didn’t really inherit that cake-frosting-gene. When I am frosting a cake I usually choose a simple idea in my head how I want it to look but it it never quite seems right. I decided this year I wanted to try to get better at frosting cakes so I asked the talented pastry chef Hope Waggoner to give some easy tips on how to make cakes look perfectly frosted (ps: check out Hope’s awesome tattoo, so perfect-right?) Today’s post is on how to get that perfectly frosted and delicious messy look. Have you ever tried to frost a cake like this? It is harder than you think if you don’t know how. Today Hope is unveiling all the tricks on how to get it perfect.

Materials Needed: You can stock up on lots of cake decorating supplies but if you are going to put together a simple cake decorating kit all you really need to frost this cake is: A large Offset Spatula and a heavy duty pastry bag with large tip.

Step 1: Bake your cakes using your favorite recipe. (This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe.)
Step 2: After the cakes are baked and have cooled down, put them in saran wrap and put them in the freezer for a few hours. Cooling the cake will make the crumbs way more manageable. (As long as the cakes are wrapped, freezing it will not make a difference in the taste.)
Step 2: Remove the cakes from the freezer and trim off the top with a serrated bread knife (if needed) to create a perfectly flat layer. I prefer tall cakes which means I usually make 3-4 layers and sometimes I cut those in half to create even more layers.
Step 3: Put down the first layer of cake and taking a pastry bag of frosting create a nice even layer of frosting. Take an offset  spatula and spread out the frosting about 1″ before the edge. Repeat until all the layers are in place.
Step 4: Create a crumb layer. This layer will seal in all the crumbs before you are ready to decorate your cake. Using the large offset spatula tarting at the top of the cake and then working down the sides, create a thin and smooth layer of frosting over the entire cake. Put it in the refrigerator until the frosting sets. (About 30-60 minutes.)

Step 5: Now it’s time to frost! For best results it’s important to work with cold cake and room temperature frosting. To create that perfectly messy frosting look pile on a very very thick layer of frosting with your offset spatula. The secret to get it right is there must be a deep layer of frosting to create the texture and swirls that make it look so good. Once your thick layer of frosting is on, take the back of a spoon and begin making swirls and crests in the thick layer of frosting. Continue until the whole cake looks swoop-y and delicious.