Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Cake

       Happy Valentine's Day! The day of love and mushy goodness ;) My Valentine bought me one of those really pretty dipped roses from the jewelry store. It has a golden stem and the petals are a blush pink at the tips which fade into a creamy white at the bottom. I love it. He also bought me the entire collection of the James Bond movies on bluray, which translates into having 23 pre-planned dates. So basically, I got extremely spoiled this year! Which is why I have mixed feelings about what I got/made him. See the above picture? That's his present. I know it's the thought that counts, but I still feel a tad guilty not spending more. But that's not the point of Valentine's Day, comparing gift prices. It's about showing how much you care for each other. So when I made this, I was giving him my time, just like he's giving me his time with our future dates. (May I also point out his birthday is in five days and that's where I decided to spend my money this year instead of splitting it between Valentine's and birthday. What's a poor college girl to do?)

*Update* Since I wrote this post I discovered I won a Valentine's Day Writing Contest on campus and received a bit of extra money, yay! So I also bought Up to go with the cake. No more mixed feelings about only having a cake. =)

Valentine's Day Cake
Today I'm sharing more of an idea for a cake than an actual recipe, but that's okay. 

--Using a chocolate cake mix (shhhhh) make two 4" layers of cake. Or use one 8" pan, but you'll have to cut the layers in half later. 

--Buy a tub of buttercream frosting from your local grocery store (you can make it on your own too if you want). Mine was about a pound. Reserve about 1/2 to 3/4 cup to dye red for piping around your cake at the end. 

--While your cake is cooling, crush 2/3 of a box of Oreos in your frosting. I used a food processor to chop up most of them, but I did a few by hand to give the frosting extra chunkiness. It just made it harder to spread later.

--Using a serrated knife, level out your cake layers. I then took out an 8" cake board, put a little glob of frosting in its middle, then placed the first layer of cake in the center of the board. 

--Spread frosting over the top of the first layer, not doing the sides yet. Then place the second layer on top of the frosted first. Frost the whole thing.

--Dye the frosting you reserved earlier red and put it in a piping bag, using whatever size tip you want, and pipe the frosting around the top and bottom edges of the cake.

--Using crafting wire, poke in the little wires with sparkly hearts taped to them on the top of the cake for decoration.

--Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Baking!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cinnamon S'more Party Mix

I heart snickerdoodle cookies. I love how they are so unpretentious and simple but so satisfying with just the right amount of sweetness. I also fancy a perfectly toasted brown, gooey marshmallow smashed between a hunk of chocolate and crunchy graham crackers. I am not a fan of the caloric havoc these treats bring about, so how do I get those flavors without the fat?

You know the cereal nearly everyone passes up because it’s boring and bland. But look at that picture up there; does it look boring and bland to you? Absolutely not! That’s because Chex happens to be the perfect little vessel to carry whatever flavor you desire, transforming into a new delicious mix each time you add a different topping.
I know you’re sitting there, one eyebrow cocked up in suspicion, wondering how in the world some rice cereal could possibly taste like a snickerdoodle and a s’more. Well, ok, obviously it doesn’t taste EXACTLY like either one, but it tastes remarkably similar and equally delicious. A handful will not be enough I’m telling you.
Go ahead, whip up a batch and try to prove me wrong. I’ll wait.
Cinnamon S'more Party Mix
Adapted from Chex
1/4 c melted butter
2 c chcolate Chex
2 c cinnamon Chex
4 c popcorn
1/4 sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c chocolate chips
1/2 c mini marshmallows
Mix the Chex and popcorn together in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a microwave safe dish for about 30-40 seconds. Pour the butter over the mix and stir together until evenly coated. Microwave the mix for 2 minutes, stiring after 1 minute.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and spinkle half over the mix and stir. Sprinkle the rest over the mix and stir again. Microwave for another minute. Remove from the microwave and add the chocolate chips and marshmallows and stir.
Pour the mix onto wax paper or paper towels to cool. Store in an air tight container if you are not going to eat it right away.
Enjoy life homemade!