Thursday, February 7, 2013

A day in my life being a mom...... when a kid needs treats for school activities

Today I needed to be a mom rather than work on business projects.

Today is day 3 of feeling pretty good with limited pain unlike the last month where my pain was really bad.  The break is kinda nice and I hope it lasts! 

But before I did anything I delivered a bag of Taste of the Wild (grain free) dog food and some canned dog food as well to donate to the Uffda Fund that our vet runs. They take animals that are homeless or where owners can't care for them anymore and find new homes for them.     If you don't know what your feeding your dog, please check out the dog food advisor and see how your dog food rates. It's really important to change food and feed a 3-5 star food.  Feed the best quality that you can afford.   The site doesn't rate each food on their personal opinions but instead each food is rated based on it's guaranteed analysis and it's ingredient list.   I just wanted to mention that quickly......  Then off to the drug store to pick up a refill for my meds before I began my day and got busy.  

The other day Kylie told me that SADD (students against destructive decisions) were doing concessions for the ballgame tonight and she needed to bring a pan of bars....  Well I knew right away what I wanted to bake for this event, but I needed a few things.   The day before yesterday I got what I thought I needed..... But I realized yesterday that I didn't have a key thing for this project to take shape.   So I ended up going back to Devils Lake last night to get a coupler for the large frosting tip, only to find they didn't carry the larger one!  Ugggg why sell it then!   So I settled for buying a frosting tool instead hoping it would work and I could pull off the design in my head.

After using this tool today, I know I want to get another one!  Both will be clearly labeled of course and stored in their own containers.  But I want another one of these to use for soap and top some cupcake soaps with some whipped soap!  How fun would that be!  It's simple to use and comes with several tips but the larger metal wilton tips also fit it as well.  That gives it a few more uses.

Fast forward to this morning.... I thought I really needed 2 days to pull off the design I wanted to do so I went on pinterest to look for ideas.

This was the first idea that I saw, but I'm not to overly fond of oreo's myself....   But I am going to tuck this idea away for another day.

Next I saw this idea.

Oh my what's not to like about that!   And rolo's.... yummy good!   Don't you just want to sink your teeth into that?

So I went to the grocery store armed with my shopping list with back up plan B and C if necessary.  Since plan A will have to wait until I have at least two days to accomplish it.    Since I live in a tiny town you just never know what the grocery store will carry sometimes or more often than not, what it doesn't carry.  I wasn't sure if they had a larger package of rolo's or not.   Well they didn't so I ended up picking up a package of mini reeces peanut butter cups to top them with instead. 

I began my baking.......  Well I learned not to overfill my cupcakes because some got to high and weren't so nicely shaped.  But have no fear those will be be frosted for the kids and hubby to enjoy.   

For the cake part I cheated and I used a boxed cake mix.  That made my life a tad easier!   So if you want to make your own, just use your favorite cake recipe or a box mix.  I just made the cake mix as directed on the package and didn't add anything additional to it.

While my cupcakes were baking I happened to come across this idea.

So I went with the concept and did my own thing a little....... 

Once they have fully cooled, and this is important then you can mix up this next part.   I went with the recipe on the top part for the caramel buttercream frosting that was on the rolo cupcake recipe.

4 sticks real butter, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup caramel syrup
1 1/2 pounds confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted

I  creamed the butter in a mixing bowl.   Then I added the vanilla and the salt and continued to cream it for a bit more.  

Instead of 1/3 cup of the caramel syrup I used a 1/2 cup of it.  I used the smuckers brand one.   If you spray your measuring cup with a bit of non-stick cooking spray the caramel syrup will slide right out when you pour it.    I didn't measure the powdered sugar, but just added enough until the frosting was a nice thick consistency and would pipe nicely.   But you can measure if you want to.  If you use additional caramel sauce like I did you may need more than that 1 1/2 pounds of powdered sugar. 

I used that Wilton frosting tool shown above and used the tip that was like the top left corner with the pink frosting.  I wanted the grooves in the frosting for the chocolate syrup to get hung up on. Oh yeah!  Yummo.....

Next for the ganache that gets drizzled over the top. 

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla

I did mine in the microwave.  But I heated the whipping cream in a 4 cup glass pyrex measuring up for 30 seconds at a time until it was hot.  It didn't take long, this may vary depending on your microwave.  I have a pretty big one.    I used a whisk between to stir it well, I didn't want hot spots in this.  

Once it was hot, I removed it from the microwave oven and mixed in my bittersweet chocolate.   Stir with a whisk and let it sit for a few minutes until the chocolate melted.   I ended up buying unsweetened chocolate in the squares since my grocery store didn't have the bittersweet so I just used that and just added a bit of sugar to compensate.  I read on line where you add 1 tablespoon sugar for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate to make bittersweet chocolate.  I did add a tad more than that but not much. You don't want this to be a sweet chocolate with all the sweetness from the rest of the frosting and the cake.  Followed by adding the honey, corn syrup and vanilla.   Also spray your measuring spoon with non-stick cooking spray to make it easier to get the honey and corn syrup out of it.   I did use a regular hand whisk to mix it all up and it made a great ganache.  I drizzled this over the top of the cupcakes using a regular table teaspoon. 

I ended up going back up to the store again because I saw the idea of putting a cut up chunk of snickers on the top so I got 2 bags of mini snickers. I didn't even use one bag but I didn't want to run out.  I think a whole mini-snickers would have been to much and the half was just perfect!   I cut them on the bias as well and I think that added to how they looked.

This is what mine looked like!   The ones I made with the reject cupcakes that were less than perfect I did add a drizzle of the caramel syrup onto of the chocolate ganache.  Not much, just a drizzle!  Topped with my snickers.  The kids and hubby are going to be happy tonight with their dessert after dinner.  The hubby and I are going to eat a RAW meal tonight so I guess that almost defeats the purpose of doing that when you eat something like this after it!   Oh well we don't often have dessert or sweets around.   

I had 27 to send up so I hope they sell well for them!

I also happened to have this cupcake stand that I bought to display bath bombs at the local farmers market but I never used it for that.  So I brought it up from the basement so Kylie could use it to display them for the sale.   That would make them look even better.

I found this image online of the wire rack that I have.   I think they will look fabulous and inviting!

So instead of Plan A I went with Plan D and I was really happy with the outcome! 

When you go somewhere where there are baked goods to choose from for dessert or a snack do you have a favorite that catches your eye first?  

Editing On 2-8-2013 to add that they ALL sold and sold rather quickly.  Someone commented saying how nice the stand was and it made them look even better.  Others thought they were store bought cupcakes, but wondered where they were purchased.  Now that's a nice compliment to get!    One guy bought four for himself, saying they were rather small.  *cough*cough* they were your standard sized cupcake piled high with frosting!  While one of Kylie's classmates really thought I needed to make treats for their class at least once a week.  I got a laugh out of that one!   But I was so pleased to find out how quickly they sold and the compliments received.   I didn't want the same boring pan of brownies that are always present at these events.  I wanted something with a little class and I nailed it.   That was my goal to have something that looked like it came from a nice bakery somewhere fancy in my little small town.   So if you make these yourself I hope yours come out as nice as mine, and they are very simple to make as well.  ~enjoy~   

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