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Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine Teddy Marshmallow Pops

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Give something sweet to your someone sweet. Made out of marshmallows, fruit chew candy and some sprinkles for decorating, these cute little teddies are so easy to make!


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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homemade Lolli-Pop Tarts

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As you all know, here at Dollhouse we love everything miniature, so I decided to make homemade mini Pop Tarts. And because everything tastes better on a stick, I created these adorable Lolli-Pop Tarts! You can make these with store bought pie crust and jelly, or make your own pastry and filling from scratch.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Food Network "Cupcake Wars" Series Premiere WIN Recap & Recipes

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As many of you know, after a nationwide search for the country's top bakers, I was chosen to compete on the season 1 series premiere of the Food Network show "Cupcake Wars", in June 2010. And guess what?  I WON! And, I was chosen to come back and compete for the title of "best of the best" on a special Cupcake Wars Champions episode, in season 2 !

Click here for the complete recap of my feature in Season 2: Battle of the Champions episode, complete with photos, recipes and behind the scenes info.





If you missed it, watch me WIN the series premiere episode of Cupcake Wars below!
Cupcake Wars: Series Premiere Highlights ("Seaworld Birthday Bash")!




And then, watch me compete in the season 2 special,


FOOD NETWORK: Cupcake Wars - Season 1 recap
This was my first Food Network appearance, and the first time seeing myself on television... it is sooo surreal! The whole process was so exciting/nerve racking/exhausting, but so incredibly worth it!

After applying, I got a call back and headed in for my on camera interview...



... then after I waited for what seemed like an eternity, I got THE call... They told me I was chosen to compete on CUPCAKE WARS! 

Me and my assistant, Jordan, and I right before "the war"... so nervous!

The theme of the episode was a "Seaworld Birthday Bash", so to get inspiration for our challenge, we were taken to Seaworld San Diego right before the "battle" began. 

Here we are filming the opening of the show... me being distracted by EVERYTHING in sight...
 
I got to swim with dolphins, pet penguins, and get up close with baby seals... It was the most incredible experience of my life!

See me on the far right!?
 

Me kissing a dolphin!

Then, we headed back to the kitchen and the competition began...


ROUND 1: Taste Challenge
Round 1 was the "Taste Challenge" and the secret ingredients we had to incorporate into our cupcakes were... SEAWEED AND SEA SALT!

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the salty ingredients, was to contrast them with some sweet. I added toasted sesame seeds and tahini (a ground sesame paste), along with flakes of dried seaweed and a sprinkling of sea salt to my basic vanilla cupcake batter to create a nutty, salty cupcake. I then topped it with a sweet honey cream cheese frosting... the nutty sesame cupcake paired with the perfect, sweet honey cream cheese frosting made the cupcakes taste like one of those sesame honey candies. They were sooo good! You couldn't even taste the seaweed, it simply gave a nice salty bite to the sweet nutty cupcakes, instead of the fishy flavor I was dreading.


I replicated the cupcake when I got home for my friends and family to try, and it is officially my mom's new, all time favorite cupcake! Skip the seaweed and you have a fabulous sesame honey cupcake!

Here is my assistant Jordan and I getting started on the round 1 cupcakes. See the judges deliberating in the background?!
 

My seaweed cupcakes right out of the oven, rushing back to the station to let them cool!


ROUND 2: 50% Taste & 50% Presentation


Round 2 was 50% based on taste, and 50% based on presentation. We had to come up with 3 additional cupcake flavors and must incorporate the colors: black & white into one of our cupcakes. I used the inspiration from our trip to Sea World to come up with the flavors and decorations in this round.


Round 2 Cupcakes
Cupcake 1: Mocha fudge cupcake
Cupcake 2: Churro cupcake
Cupcake 3: Pina Colada cupcake (not shown)


Naturally I used that famous black&white color pattern to create little Orcha whales out of fondant to top my mocha fudge cupcake.

I made a churro cupcake to represent my favorite Seaworld treat, decorated with graham cracker "sand", edible pearls and starfish.

And lastly, sticking with the Seaworld theme, I also made a pina colada cupcake to capture the tropical feeling of Seaworld, decorated to look like an underwater coral reef.

Working on my fondant whale decorations.

Getting the cupcakes on the judging plates with only a few seconds to spare!


Round 3: 1,000 cupcakes display
The judges loved my cupcakes and I made it to round 3, where I had to bake 1,000 cupcakes and created the winning display! 

A rough sketch of my display idea.

Frantically putting all the cupcakes on my display with only a few minutes left on the clock!

My finished 1,000 cupcakes & display up for judging!


"Mini cupcakes are the signature treat of Dollhouse Bake Shoppe, but there's nothing miniature about their flavor. This young entrepreneur is exploding into the cupcake scene... It was sink or swim for Lindsay Morton in the debut "SeaWorld Birthday Bash" episode of Cupcake Wars. Did she float to the top of the competition? The judges voted yes." -Food Network

The judges loved my cupcakes and display and I took home first place in the series premiere episode!
 
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Me and my winning cupcakes & display at the SeaWorld Birthday Bash event! (See the whale in the background on the left?)

Thank everyone who tuned in and cheered me on. I appreciate all of the support and sweet emails so much!



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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Candy Cupid's Arrows

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These cute little arrows are so simple to make and perfect for bagging up and giving away as Valentine's! At first I was going to dip the pretzel part in pink candy melts to match the gummies, but I ended up opting for a simpler version that kids can get in on the action with! I didn't think of creating cupids bow until after I came up with the idea for these took the photos...maybe next year I'll create a whole cupid candy pop tutorial,  bows and arrows included!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

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New Years is right around the corner, and what better way to ring in the New Year than with some bubbly... in your cupcake! A sophisticated, adult flavor, incorporated into a nostalgic childhood treat.


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Mounds Candy Bar Penguin Pops

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This just might be my favorite holiday no-bake holiday pop so far. For Hanukkah I showed you how to make marshmallow dreidel pops and for Christmas I introduced my Snickers reindeer pops... and now for a versatile pop you can customize for any winter holiday!

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Eggnog Cupcakes

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Eggnog... you either love it or hate. Me? I LOVE IT! It is probably for the best that the grocery stores only carries it once a year. Naturally, I had to put it in a cupcake. Fluffy eggnog cupcakes topped with a rich eggnog cream cheese frosting, and a touch of nutmeg.


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White Chocolate Marshmallow Dreidel Pops

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What's better than a spinning dreidel? A spinning dreidel made of white chocolate and marshmallows, of course!

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Snickers Candy Bar Reindeer Pops

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I am so excited to share my candy bar pops with you. These little reindeer are sooo cute and all you need is some fun sized Snickers bars, candy noses, melted chocolate, and pretzel twists! I came up with my reindeer and penguin candy bar pops last Winter in an attempt to create a no-bake, quick, simple alternative to cake pops. When I came up with the idea of using fun sized candy bars for the body of my, I couldn't believe I didn't think of this before! My candy bar pops are so easy to make and they are a real crowd pleaser around the holidays. Bring them to school or work as individual gifts, or wrap them up as party favors at a Christmas party. Even create a whole edible scene as a festive centerpiece! Hope you like them as much as I do :)

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Holiday Cocoa Stirrer

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Take any ordinary hot cocoa or coffee to the next level with these fun cocoa stirrers! Simply stir your hot beverage with the homemade stirrer, and let the creamy chocolate, marshmallows and peppermint melt right in for a peppermint hot chocolate or peppermint mocha. Wrap them up in a clear plastic bag with ribbon, and place them inside a festive mug with a packet of hot cocoa for a fun Holiday gift!



You will need
  • Candy canes
  • Melted chocolate chips or candy melts of your choice (Dark, semi-sweet, milk, white, red...)
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Fun holiday themed sprinkles

Directions

Melt chocolate according to package. Break off curved part of candy cane so it is just a rod (or leave it on). Holding the unbroken edge of the candy cane, dip and roll in melted chocolate so it covers the candy cane completely, leaving about 1" uncovered for a handle. While chocolate is still wet, stick mini marshmallows all around the candy cane and let dry. Take the remaining chocolate and drizzle over the marshmallow, adding sprinkles or colored sugars to the chocolate drizzle white it is still wet.

Stir into your favorite hot cocoa or coffee and enjoy!



Give it a try and post a photo of your creation on our Facebook page, or email me at LindsayAnn@dollhousebakeshoppe.com      



   

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to the "Dollhouse Bake Shoppe Blog" via RSS or emailAnd don't forget to visit our online shop for everything you need to bake & decorate like a pro, right in your own kitchen!

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Gingerbread Cupcakes {Small Batch - Yield: 8}

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Everyone loves a warm slice of gingerbread or a a crunchy gingerbread cookie... but how could I not combine the soft fluffiness of a cupcake with the warm spices and real molasses of a classic gingerbread. Topped off with a smooth cream cheese frosting, and you have a delicious twist on a traditional holiday classic.


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Cupcake Menorah

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This festive cupcake menorah is great as a Hanukkah centerpiece or holiday party. The best part is, it is made of cupcakes so everyone can easily take their own little candle cupcake at the end of the night!




You will need
  • 8 mini cupcakes and 1 standard size cupcake (baked and frosted - click here for some of my recipes)
  • Festive Hanukkah sprinkles
  • 9 pretzel sticks
  • White chocolate or candy melts
  • Yellow gummy or fruit chew candy
Directions

Roll tops of frosted cupcakes in a bowl of festive Hanukkah sprinkles.

Melt bag of white chocolate chips or candy melts according to package. Holding one end of the pretzlle,  dip 9 pretzel sticks into melted chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip back into bowl. Set on wax paper to dry. (It is ok if they are not perfect, the extra chocolate will look like the melted wax from the candle!)

Cut flame shapes out of yellow candy, I used "Sour Patch Kids", but yellow gum drops, gummy bears, or Starburst candies would also work. Attach flame with melted chocolate and stick 1 candle into each cupcake.



Place the large cupcake in the center with 4 minis on each side and you have a beautiful cupcake Menorah!

Happy Hanukkah,

Give them a try, and be sure to share a picture on our Facebook wall, or email a photo to MyCreation@dollhousebakeshoppe.com to have your recreation featured in our Fan Photo album!

If you enjoyed this post I'd love for you to share it using the share buttons below, or spread the word on your blog/website by posting one of the photos above with a link back to this page for the complete post. Thanks so much. Enjoy!
  

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Be the first to see my all-new dessert recipes, festive treat tutorials, baking tips and more, sent straight to your inbox or favorite reader.

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Christmas Tree Cupcakes

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There are tons of variations of a Christmas tree cupcake out there. But instead of just swirling some green icing on top of my cupcake and decorating it with sprinkles, I wanted something bigger! The Christmas tree is the most important part of Christmas for me. It gets me in the holiday spirit with its festive lights and fresh woodsy scent... And most importantly, it is a place for presents family & friends to gather together and rejoice. Naturally, I wanted to bring the Christmas spirit in the form of a cupcakes and create a whole little Christmas scene! Kids will love adding their favorite sprinkles and candies to decorate their own edible Christmas tree. You can use my cupcake and frosting recipes below of use a boxed mix and canned frosting.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Frosty Cupcakes

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It's December, and 75 degrees here in LA! So to make it feel a little more like winter, I created these little "Frosty the Snowman" cupcakes! They are so simple to make and just ADORABLE!



For each snowman you will need:

  • 1 standard size cupcake and 1 mini size cupcake covered in coconut flakes (Try our Chocolate Coconut Cupcake Recipe)
  • 1 toothpick or pretzel stick
  • Chocolate candy disk ("cocoa candy melts", Oreo cookie half, or flattened tootsie roll) for brim of hat
  • "Rolo's" candy for top of hat
  • Black Rainbow Candy Coated Chips
  • 1 orange gum drop
  • 1 Strip of fruit roll (I found some great striped sour gummy strips at the grocery store, but any fruit roll up/fruit by the foot/fruit leather will work)
  • 2-3 Mini M&M's or small candy pieces


Assemble:

Frost the cupcakes and roll in coconut shreds. Flip the cupcakes on their side and stack the mini cupcake on top of the standard size cupcake, using the toothpick or pretzel stick to secure them together (You can leave this part out and keep the cupcakes facing up if preferred).

For the hat, flip the caramel candy upside down and attach it on top of candy disk with a dot of frosting. Place on Frosty's head.

Attach chocolate chips or candy pieces with frosting, for eyes and mouth.

Cut off a piece of the gum drop and roll it between your fingers to create a carrot shape and attach with frosting for the nose.

Wrap the fruit roll strip around Frosty's neck. Cut slits at each end to create fringe on the scarf.

Attach candy buttons with frosting.

Enjoy!

Give them a try, and be sure to share a picture on our Facebook page, or email a photo to MyCreation@dollhousebakeshoppe.com!






If you enjoyed this post, follow us via RSS or email. And don't forget to visit our online shop for everything you need to bake & decorate like a pro, right in your own home!

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Jelly Donut Cupcakes

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At Hanukkah, Jews observe the custom of eating fried foods, like Sufganiyot (jelly donuts), in commemoration of the miracle associated with the Temple oil. This baked version is a non-fried alternative, and just as much fun to eat as they are to make! 

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A Dollhouse Bake Shoppe Christmas

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My tree is up, and how could I resist adorning it with...CUPCAKE ORNAMENTS!


So excited about bringing my two favorite things together: Christmas+Cupcakes!

If anyone else has decorated a cupcake Christmas tree, send over a photo! I would love to see all of your festive ideas.

Happy Holidays!






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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Preparing & Filling Pans

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Make sure to always prepare your baking pans before you begin. Some batter like cakes and cupcakes must be baked right away. If the batter sits for too long before baking, you increase the chance of your baked goods coming out flat and dense. Other baked goods like Chocolate Chip Cookies, require no pan preparation, and it is best to let the dough sit, for the best flavor.
 
  • Cookies: When rolling cookie dough, dust your surface with powdered sugar instead of flour to improve flavor and prevent the cookies from becoming dry. It is not necessary to grease pan when baking most cookies, but the cookie sheet can always be lined with a piece of parchment paper to ensure easy removal. Always cool sheets in between batches. When you throw another batch of cookie dough on a hot pan and right back in the oven, this causes them to burn on the bottom. You can use an upside down cake pan as an extra baking sheet; or, run cool water on the back of a hot cookie sheet, or even place the pan in the freezer for a minute if you’re in a hurry. 
 
  • Cupcakes: For best results, use paper, foil or silicone baking cups/cupcake liners for easy removal from pan. You can also try baking your cupcakes in ice
    cream cones for a fun alternative! If you don't have baking cups, grease or spray bottom and sides of cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray




  • Cakes, brownies, bars and breads: Use nonstick spray or grease pan with butter or shortening and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of flour (sprinkle with cocoa powder for chocolate cake so it is not speckled with white from the four.) You can also use parchment paper (greased on both sides) cut to fit the inside of the bottom of the pan, so the cake comes right out upon removal. To create a pan for your baked goods in any shape or size, without having to buy a specialty pan, simply use my original DIY disposable pan method below.
*To make homemade pan grease: Combine equal parts shortening, oil, and flour. This is used as a substitute to greasing the pans then dusting them with flour. Keep unused portion in an airtight container and refrigerate.


DIY Disposable Foil Pan (in any shape & size!):



You will need
  • foil
  • stapler
  • ruler/measuring tape (optional)
  • baking pan or cookie sheet for baking on

Directions

Simply fold a long piece of foil into one long strip about 2-4 inches high. Bend it into a circle, loaf shape or any shape/size you desire, stapling shape in place. For a heart shape, fold the foil in half to create the bottom point of the heart. Overlap the top ends of the foil strip and fold them together creating the top fold in the heart. Staple to hold the ends together and shape heart with your hands until you have a nice rounded heart. 


Once you have your desired size/shape pan, take another piece of foil and place it under your foil shape. Fold the foil up the sides of your foil shape so the batter cannot leak out of the bottom. You now have a custom shaped pan for your cake, cheesecake, bread, or brownies, that you can easily pull/rip away once baked and cooled!


Frost Decorate and enjoy! (Click here for the red velvet cheesecake cake recipe, shown in the photo below.) 
    Gadget Corner
  • Cheesecakes: Grease or spray bottom and sides of a springform pan with nonstick cooking spray so the cheesecake doesn't creep up the sides during baking, and then fall and sink in the center. To create a pan for your cheesecake without having to buy a springform pan, simply use my original DIY disposable pan method below.

DIY Disposable Parchment Paper Cheesecake Pan

You will need
  • parchment paper
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • ruler/measuring tape OR round container the size you want your pan (optional)
  • baking pan or cookie sheet for baking on

Directions

Cut a piece of parchment paper from the roll, (about 18 inches long for a 5 inch pan, shorter for smaller pans).

Fold it in half, lengthwise. This will help strengthen the sides of your parchment pan.

Fold it in half again, lengthwise, creating a strip about 4 inches tall.

Wrap your parchment strip around an item that is the size you would like your pan to be. In this case I wanted a 5 inch pan, which happened to be the same size as the oatmeal container I had. Cans of corn, beans, soup, etc. also work, to create mini 3-4 inch parchment pans. Or you can just eyeball it and use a ruler to create a ring in your desired size. Staple the sides together, making sure there is a row of at least 3 staples where the parchment is connected (a staple on top, bottom, and in the middle).

Line the bottom of a cake pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper, and place your parchment ring on top, in the center.

Voila! There you have your mini parchment cheesecake pan! Press in crust, fill and bake.


Peel away parchment ring (being careful of staples). 


Decorate your completely cooled cheesecake. (Click here for my pumpkin spice cheesecake pictured below)



Cake Baking Times & Batter/Frosting Amounts

  Pan Size    (2" deep)Cups Batter
needed
Approx. Baking Time (min.)Baking
Temperature
Cups
of frosting per layer
   Approx. Servings

One 4" round One 6" round
One 8" round
One 9" round



1
2
3 1/2 - 4
5 1/2 - 6




18-22
25-30
30-35
30-35




350°
350°
350°
350°




1/2
1
1 1/2
1 1/2 - 2




1-2
4-6
8-10
10-12









Give them a try, and be sure to share a picture on our Facebook wall, or email a photo to MyCreation@dollhousebakeshoppe.com to have your recreation featured in our Fan Photo album!

If you enjoyed this post I'd love for you to share it using the share buttons below, or spread the word on your blog/website by posting one of the photos above with a link back to this page for the complete post. Thanks so much. Enjoy!
  

 Subscribe and never miss a post!   
Be the first to see my all-new dessert recipes, festive treat tutorials, baking tips and more, sent straight to your inbox or favorite reader.

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