Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rolling mill, take one.

I've been playing around to get a feel for the textures I can get on metal with the rolling mill, and I finally put some of the pieces together to create a finished pair of earrings. 

The little discs were rolled with steel wool (I love the texture, but the mess was almost not worth it...almost) and the larger discs were rolled with a paper towel. I cleaned and polished the pieces, then them with a hard boiled egg.  I'm happy with the result--hopefully I will get more of the rolling mill pieces finished this week while we are on Spring Break.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Faux cupcakes

My sister's birthday was last week, and she came through town yesterday.  All of the siblings pulled together for a gift, and Sara and I planned dinner out to celebrate.  That left just one item on the to-do list....what to do for dessert? 

After considering cake and cupcakes, I decided to go with an old standby favorite:  Rice Krispie treats.  Ben and I decided to make them in cupcake form, since we were taking them to a restaurant and needed to have something portable. 

 But isn't everything better with frosting?  And we needed a little bit of personalization, so I made some chocolate "32s" to put in some of them. 

These were way better than any cupcake I've ever had...but I don't care much about the cake portion of a cupcake, so keep that in mind.  Frosting.  On top of a Rice Krispie treat.  Awesome.

Happy Birthday, Susan! 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cupcakes in a Jar. Or, How to Ship a Cupcake

Someone (it was my mother) told me that anything can be shipped.  I didn't really believe that...I mean, yes, it's probably technically true, but that doesn't automatically mean it's a good idea.  I have seen these things to send individual cupcakes:

Cup A Cake Individual Cupcake Carrier - Dark Blue

But the empty space between the frosting and the top of the container made me think the cupcakes wouldn't arrive in one non-messy piece.  So I did some surfing on the web to find some other options, and I finally decided to send cupcakes in a jar and let go of my ideas of how a proper cupcake should be presented. 

Instead of making cupcakes in wrappers and a pan, I lined up glass canning jars up on a cookie sheet and filled them about halfway.  Don't do this.  It was too much batter--they baked completely over the top of every jar and I had to throw the cake away, wash all of the jars and start over.  So I tried again, filling them about a third of the way. 

I wanted to add ganache to help kind of seal the cupcakes into the jars, so I used this recipe that I made for the neighbor trays at Christmas.  Once the cake was completely cool, I added the frosting and ganache to the jars, then put them in the freezer.  I had a couple of taste testers try them out to make sure they were ok (you know I really hate the mint stuff, so I wasn't going to do it) and that functionally, they weren't too awkward.  You have to eat these with a spoon, but it's nice because you can get a little bit from each layer of the jar in each bite. *I looked for wide mouth mason jars but found none--I think those would be even better.*

I used a giant circular scrapbooking punch and some ribbon to add a little bit of color to the lids, then wrapped the jars in plenty of bubble wrap and boxed them up.

They weren't going too far, so I didn't feel the need to overnight them and just went with UPS ground shipping.  This particular shipment went to my Grandma, who shares my love of frosting and is recovering from a recent medical procedure.  She sent me an email (she's a very hip Grandma--she's on Facebook too)  to let me know she got them and it sounds like they arrived in good shape.  Success!