Google+ Sugar Swings! Serve Some: September 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

icky cupcake candies and something for you too...! (updated with winner!)

 halloween candies

....icky and creepy...right??!

...so since i have have little kiddos (7 year old boy and 4 year old boy/girl twins)....the spooky and gross halloween candies have been calling to be made this year....most of these are made from candy and candy melts (or wafers) that i had already and are pretty simple to make....

...some are molded from silicon ice cube tray molds that i have been getting for cheap at five below...it's great because they change their seasonal stuff all the time and always have a new ice cube tray to match the season...(i'm sure other dollar stores may have similar too)....i got a tiki one over the summer and need to find a reason to use it!....

....the bugs are from the infamous Hello, Cupcake! book (did you know there is a 3rd coming out in 1/2012??)...these are made from skittles and candy melt (so very easy and these were a huge icky hit!)....

....the other candies are vampire bunnies, skulls, jack o lanterns, vampire teeth (all made from ice cube tray molds and candy melts), eye balls 2 ways (1 from peppermint malt balls [got these at Target], m and ms, and candy melt [in black for the pupil and red to make them bloodshot]....the other is made from a white candy melt disc, a mini m and m, and candy melt in black and red as well, witch fingers (made from these really disgusting looking candy apple flavored licorice and topped with some red candy melt, and some vampire jack o lanterns (ok that one's a stretch!)...made from a pumpkin shaped york peppermint patty with googley eyes (made from black and white candy melt) and candy melt accents.....


.....and you get a bunch of semi-homemade halloween candies that you can use to top cupcakes, cakes....or whatever witches brew you concoct (such as these cupcakes which are just topped with a whole lotta them!...or you can just eat them on the go...if you get the craving for a centipede or a gross witch finger....

icky halloween cupcakes

AND.....

.....i'm celebrating because in 2 days i'll be officially done with my doctor of pharmacy degree (woohoo!) and also because i want everyone to make some gross stuff this halloween....i put together a "halloween treat care package" to GIVE AWAY and spread the love!....

.....it has a bunch of my favs----vampire teeth silicon mold, regular sized and mini halloween cupcake liners, assorted halloween cookie cutters, candy melts (in white and assorted colors), caramel apple sugar babies, peppermint malt balls, some food colours (from the sugarcraft supply shop Motek Sugarcraft) and if you don't feel like making your own....that's fine too---i'm including some assorted halloween gumballs you can use too...!

DSCN2989

....as my daughter would say...."that's a lot!"

....i can tell your creative juices are already flowing....you *need* to make some icky halloween stuff right...right?.....ok.. enter to win by leaving me a comment on what you are going to make with these goodies....you can also enter more by 1) following the blog 2) liking sugarswings on FB and 3) following sugarswings on twitter (leave a comment for each time to enter and if you already do those things...just leave comments as well...)...and that's it (continental US only)...i'll either use random.org or have one of the kiddos pick a number....please remember to leave a way to contact you if you win.....this will run until Saturday Oct 8th at midnight EST so i can get the stuff into the mail before halloween...!

....thanks and have an awesomely awesome day!

AND YAY the winner is: 


Dawn said...
Congratulations to you!
I would make the eyeballs - my son (and his friends) would get a kick out of those!


Congrats Dawn and can't wait to see some eyeballs!!!  Thanks to everyone who played along :)


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Sunday, September 25, 2011

halloween whoopie pies (and Rutgers ones too!)....!

halloween whoopie pies

...yeah i know....more whoopie pies!....i've made them a few times already....some made with fall flavors....some made like the sun and planets....and some good old chocolate with buttercream....but these are super quick and made from a modified box cake mix....and the design is baked into the whoopie pie (not iced on top)....!

...start with your fav box mix then add 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil....and mix...i added the mix to a zip lock bag, snip off one end.. and pipe the pies onto parchment....(this lets me control the size of the circles better)....


...i had some left over vanilla cake mix (already mixed and frozen) so i thawed it and tinted some orange and left some un-tinted...add that to a zip lock bag and snip a small edge off to "pipe" on the halloween designs (or whatever design you want!).....you can leave 1/2 of them without a design since they will be the bottom of the pies....

whoopie pies

.....then bake @350 for about 8-10 minutes....(ignore the weird color and date stamped onto the pics--it must be the camera and not the photographer... :)


.....then slather your favorite filling (cream cheese frosting, buttercream frosting, etc) in between....and you get some really cool whoopie pies for halloween.....!

halloween whoopie pies

...and since we have been season ticket holders for the past few years....also made RU whoopie pies for the Rutgers football game this past saturday.....!...go RU!


....just used the same technique....pipe some red tinted cake batter onto unbaked whoopie pies...then bake as usual....


....did some red ones too......

Rutgers whoopie pies

.....and you get some really cool and tasty whoopie pies for halloween (or a football game!)

....a couple of tips...
  1. bake them a little extra if you are not sure...i took some out too soon and they were not firm enough when i tried to pick them up and they cracked a bit (not sturdy enough)...
  2. also for the tinted cake batter---you should really go with a whoopie pie batter (i just used a regular cake mix batter that i already had mixed and you know how some cake mixes get a little sticky on top after you bake the cupcakes (like it's really moist)?...well that's how some of the tops of the whoopie pies were...and when i picked it up the tops to add the filling, the tops stuck to my hand and peeled off (you can see it in the white one below)....
  3. go with a homemade whoopie pie recipe...i usually use this one...and it's simple and comes out great every time...but i wanted to try this cake mix one--and although it worked...the homemade kind is much better....
DSCN2945

.....regardless they were yummy and the kids loved the designs....and did i mention the design is baked into the pies...!?!...you can do this for whatever occasion you like....halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, valentines day, 4th of july, pretty much any....wouldn't wedding whoopie pies with the couples initials be cool?...(and it's actually pretty simple to do)....!

....anyway hope you like them, and thanks for stopping by!!---still working on the posts for those fall flavored ghost cupcakes....what would you like to see first chocolate & beet, ube, or avocado...??

Sunday, September 18, 2011

ghost cupcakes in fall flavors...!

ghost cupcakes

....so i guess i'm jumping ahead like all the retail stores and posting halloween treats already....well if you can't beat 'em...join 'em....right?....

....the weather is getting a little crisp here on the east coast....so you can't help but start thinking about fall and all the flavors that go along with it....i've been a pinning nut on pinterest lately (me on pinterest!)...and have been meaning to do some different fall flavor cupcakes that i have found around the blogosphere....and although i love all the traditional fall flavors....like pumpkin, apple, carrot, etc...i wanted to try different ones as well.....

....these little guys are:

ghost cupcakes in fall flavors

....and the colors are pretty much all from the veggie/fruit and/or spices used....i love the way the colors came out.....don't the colors work well for fall....and for halloween...?

....i may do some "how to" posts on some of the flavors because they are a little uncommon...but in general they are a little denser than regular boxed cake cupcakes....but very moist, and very tasty.....

...in case you are interested though...the recipes are linked for chocolate and red beet, avocado, butternut squash, and ube...(the maple cinnamon is just some left over boxed vanilla cake mix...about 3-4 cups....with about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon added).....

fall flavor cupcakes

...so you can really taste the flavor of the cupcake...just topped them with some good old cool whip...and then decided they looked like ghosts....so why not add some eyes and a mouth.....(made with some black candy melts)......

ghist cupcakes

....and you get some little spooky ghost cupcakes in some unusual fall flavors for this halloween....!

ghost cupcakes

.....oh and if you make these....i found it's better to not say what the flavors are....i took them to a family party and just said there were a bunch of flavors....then asked what kind they thought they were....some guessed wrong...but a couple guessed right....but 1 or 2 did say they would have never tried a "beet cupcake" or "avocado cupcake" had they known the flavors ahead of time....!...but it's always good to try new things right...?...except weird animal parts like gizzards and tripe and eye of newt or any of the plethora of dishes andrew zimmern seems to enjoy....no thanks, will stick to lots of sugary sweets instead...!

...thanks for stopping by and have an awesome week!







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Friday, September 9, 2011

triple cantaloupe cupcakes.....!

cantaloupe cupcakes

...so these are triple cantaloupe cupcakes...meaning cantaloupe cupcakes with cantaloupe and cool whip filling....topped with cantaloupe buttercream......woohoo!



.....and noooooo...!!!!.....summer can't be almost over.....!....no no no....not ready yet....this summer went by even faster than last summer when i complained about the same here.....

cantaloupe cupcakes

....so melons always remind me of summer....and since i already attempted watermelon cupcakes....decided to cantaloupe it up.....and cantaloupe is tough because the flavor is so subtle...especially in baked stuff....like you don't really see cantaloupe pudding...or cantaloupe cookies....or cantaloupe brownies.....or ....you get the picture.....so i was trying to figure out how to concentrate the flavor....there are some recipes out there...but i kinda just winged it....

....start with a really ripe cantaloupe....cut it up and food process the heck out of it.....


.....then add the puree plus about 1 tablespoon of sugar to a saucepan and heat until it thickens and reduces....then strain to get the solids out....and you get a kinda thick puree.....


...add about 1 cup of puree to about 3 cups of cake batter (just used a boxed vanilla cake mix).....this made about 6 cupcakes as i didn't want to make a huge batch of these.....



....then bake @350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.....in the meantime....add some of the puree (about 2 tablespoonfuls) to about 1 cup of cool whip.....


....and using the cone method...described here.....take out some of the cupcake (to make room for filling)....and fill with the cool whip mixture.....



....the buttercream is my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe....add about 2 cups of buttercream to about 1/2 cup of concentrated cantaloupe puree....add some extra powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want for piping.....

..these are piped with a wilton 1M tip in roses (my fav!)....and then topped with some regular sugar tinted orange with some regular liquid food coloring....(btw-which is a great way to get your own home made colored sugar crystals!)......

cantaloupe cupcakes

....and you get some end of summer cantaloupe cupcakes with cantaloupe filling and cantaloupe buttercream.....and you most certainly get cantaloupe flavor in these...the cool whip filling is nice and light and goes really well with the cake and buttercream flavors.....so if you dig cantaloupe then these are most definitely for you.....(and now i am done with typing "cantaloupe" for like the next 20 years....!)

cantaloupe cupcakes

...and on a totally other note....let alone the summer flying by....i can hardly fathom 10 years have gone by since September 11, 2001.

...i so understand how people remember exactly where they where when JFK was shot or other huge moments in history....because i remember the moment i found out the World Trade Center was hit by hijacked planes....

....i was working in nj (about 30 miles from NYC) at the time...any other normal tuesday workday...the day was a perfect day...such a very perfect simpson's sky day....i remember i had on a black sweater and plaid skirt that day (have never worn that same combo again)....a little before 9 am my husband called me and said something hit the world trade center...maybe a small plane but no one was sure....i remember he was amazed by the amount of paper showering from the sky....he was working on-site at Deutsche Bank which was across the street from the WTC ...he called again after the 2nd plane hit and sounded freaked out and said his building was rocked and there was fire falling down, that another plane hit the WTC, this was not an accident and something was going on...he was going to figure out what to do and get out of there.....we couldn't get pictures on the internet at work as it was jammed and phone lines where hit or miss....he called again and got my cell voicemail...when i listened to it he said he was standing outside of the WTC which was on fire....and that he was going to try to get back to nj...as i was listening to his voicemail, i was in our cafeteria which had tv's broad casting the live news and i saw the first WTC collapse....i didn't really know what to do...i walked out of the caf and ran into a friend....she asked about john....and i told her he was somewhere outside around the WTC....she hugged me and said i'm sure he's fine.....

....and thankfully he was...he made it inside the basement of the federal reserve bank (where he worked) which had 12 inch concrete walls before the collapse of the first tower.....he finally got a text to me saying he was ok and safe....but there was a good couple of hours that i had no idea.....he made it home around 6 pm that nite.....

....this story is nothing compared to the thousands of people who have a very different story and ending to tell....i will always remember 9/11/01....that's just a given...it's hard to watch all the remembrance stories going on....i don't want to watch but i can't not....it's too close to home....i work in nyc now and it's truly an amazing place....it's so great to see the new tower climbing in the sky downtown but it will never replace the twin towers we lost, the skyline and the country will never be the same.....but it needs to go up...it just does....

...anyway...thanks for listening to my catharsis....life is great and precious no matter what....it most definitely throws you some curve balls.....some you hit out of the park and some you won't but regardless you have to play to stay in the game.....and maybe making or eating a cupcake will help just a little on one of those curve ball days....


filled cantaloupe cupcake