Sweet Treats: Berries & Cream

Sweet Treats

{vespertine} – bag full of peonies

Dahlia – Sweet Escape – Butterfly Teacup – Blue

Dahlia – Sweet Escape – Butterfly Teacup – Yellow

Dahlia – Berries & Cream – Waffles 4

Dahlia – Berries & Cream – Swiss Roll 3

Dahlia – Berries & Cream – Berry Cupcake 15

Dahlia – Berries & Cream – Vanilla Cupcake 13

Dahlia – Berries & Cream – Berry Sandwich 12

Dahlia – Bare – Marble Table

Dahlia – Bare – Tufted Chair – Cream

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Interactive Baking

Baking Cookies

I received a subscriber notecard from Astralia about interactive baking. Of course I had to see this for myself. The slurl brought me to an event that was new to me, Crystal Heart. I’m no sure how long it has been around. Lately, I have not been going to a lot of events. This place had many of my favorite designers. Anyways, back to the interactive baking. I made my purchase and teleported home with my goodies.

Baking Cookies

Back home I unpacked the everything and started placing it all out in the kitchen. This set contains a toaster oven, mixing tools, cookie sheet with cookie cutter, the all important recipe book, and the finished dessert tray full of decorated cookies. This cute set is for role playing baking. Those with toddlers would have a great time baking cookies with them. To work this set you place your items where you want them. Then touch the recipe book for step 1: cookie cutting. Step 2 is fresh baked cookies that have steam coming up from them. Step 3 has them placed on the dessert tray. Each step disappears and appears as you go through them.

Baking Cookies Tray

This is the first time I have seen this from Astralia, but apparently there are a few other recipes at the store. I went there soon after I was done baking and found a bbq set and one more that has breakfast/lemon cake/and steak all in one recipe set. I am probably going to go back and get the set with the cake. This is pretty ingenious of Astralia. The set was fun to set out and the items look great. I would love to see the recipe book turn pages as you move to the next step. One could hold it or set it on a cookbook stand.

Happy Baking!

Mason Jar Desserts – The Perfectly Easy Dish

Mason Jar Desserts ChicChica

Most people are entertaining in some way during the summer months. Friends come over for pool parties, birthday parties, Independence Day, Labor Day, and just to enjoy your company. Activities tend to be outside in the warmer weather. The food tends to be quick to prepare and easy to eat. Enter mason jar desserts.

On the world wide web you will find dozens of recipes for mason jar desserts. Tinyme has links to a few good looking ones. Here is a rainbow one like my ChicChica dessert on Just Easy Recipes. I can’t wait to actually try one of these recipes.

Betty Crocker has a similar recipe for a rainbow cake. After you have prepared your cakes you can then cut the circle layers out. Just use a round cutter slightly smaller than the mason jar. Perhaps a cookie cutter or a cup will work.

Rainbow Layer Cake by Betty Crocker

Ingredients

Cake

2 boxes Betty Crocker Super Moist vanilla cake mix
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
6 eggs
2 packages Betty Crocker classic gel food colors

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup shortening
1 cup butter, softened
1 bag (2lb) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Directions
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among 6 small bowls, about 1 1/3 cups each.
3. Using food colors, tint batter in 1 bowl blue, 1 bowl red, 1 bowl green, 1 bowl yellow, 1 bowl orange (using red and yellow) and 1 bowl purple (using blue and red).
4. Refrigerate 3 colors of batter until ready to bake. Pour remaining 3 colors of batter into cake pans.
5. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center and begins to pull away from side of pan. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling racks; cool completely.
6. Wash cake pans. Bake and cool remaining 3 cake layers as directed.
7. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light yellow. On low speed, gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until frosting is smooth. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
8. Trim rounded tops off cakes to level, if needed. On serving plate, place purple cake layer. Spread with frosting to within 1/4 inch of edge. Repeat with blue, green, yellow, orange and red cake layers. Spread light coat of frosting on top and side of cake to seal in crumbs, then frost with remaining frosting.

Expert Tips
-Cake batter is stable enough to wait in the fridge till the first three layers are baked. Be sure to rinse the pans in cool water and dry them well before scraping the rest of the batters into the pans. If you only have two 8-inch pans, it’s okay to bake the layers in three batches.

-Use a kitchen scale to weigh out the batter for each layer, so they bake up evenly.

-Make this a party cake and switch up the colored layers as requested by the birthday girl or boy.

-For guaranteed easy unmolding, line each pan with baking parchment. Set one of the pans on the paper and trace a circle around the base with the tip of a sharp paring knife to create a round that fits inside the pan; repeat to make enough for all the layers.

-Using half shortening and half butter for the buttercream frosting ensures that it will stay firm enough at room temperature. Make it ahead and chill it for a while to firm it up before assembling the layers.

-For a deeper red color, add a teaspoon or two of unsweetened baking cocoa to the red batter

-If you only have two 8-inch cake pans, bake the cakes in three batches instead.