04.15.13 010I am loving this huge crowd (even if it looks like I just woke up…).

I rattled off question after question, drilling the kids rapidly. What is the process of measuring flour? What happens when you over mix cake batter? How do you check if the muffins in the oven are done?

Matching bullet for bullet, my students fired back accurate and detailed answers, proving that they have indeed learned a thing or two through these cooking classes. They still cannot get the concepts of fractions through their heads but they sure can bake up some lean, mean banana crumb muffin machines.

So proud.

04.15.13 016G, a new student herself, even brought her boyfriend to class!

04.15.13 011Hmmm.

04.15.13 013NOM.

04.15.13 003Girlzz.

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Funfetti fun-ness with dulce de leche for extra sass.

The kids were skeptical when I unveiled the “Fun” Cake recipe, whose name derives directly from my inability to translate “funfetti” into Paraguayan Spanish. I reassured them that anything in honor of a birthday and containing entire packets of sprinkles was definitely something they would enjoy. Suspiciously, they mixed and poured and buttered and refused to comprehend that half of 1/2 is 1/4 (I give up trying to teach fractions…).

Tara turned ten on Tuesday (woot, alliteration). While many children in the United States usher in a decade of existence with multitudes of electronic gadgets, a scoop of sprinkles, wilted cupcake liners, and a squashed teddy bear with obnoxious pink hearts on its fur are the stuff birthday dreams are made of here.

With seven other siblings at home and pennies feeling the pinch, I am not sure how birthdays are celebrated in this family, if at all. But at the very least, this sweet girl, who dubbed herself “Princess of Princesses” for the day, had an afternoon of sparkly candles and a crown made of a bulletin board border, ringing in year ten with giggles, sugary delights, and yes, lots of fun.

And an off-key serenade:

Making a wedding cake is no joke. I volunteered to craft one for S and C’s nuptials, and although the dessert itself was small, the process was certainly no minor ordeal. After several days of drawing up plans, making a schedule, and shopping for supplies, the real fun began. And by fun, I mean, a whirlwind of concocting obscene amounts of chocolate frosting (and getting it everywhere), sawing wooden dowels with a bread knife, and even DIY-ing a cake stand. Fortunately, mayhem was kind to me this time, and I came out more or less unscathed (but covered in sugar) and with a first wedding cake milestone under my belt!

JB handmade the amazing cake toppers!

Shew! Mission accomplished.

Cookies n’ Cream Cake

February 4, 2012

I do NOT promise health food with this one.

This humidity makes it insanely difficult to do things like bake cakes and frost them. The cookies n’ cream icing I tried to quickly smooth on the cake kept trying to slide off the edges because it was so hot in my kitchen. With over an hour left until the start of J’s party, I had no choice but to keep the finished product in the freezer.

Which actually turned out to be a pretty great move.  For a pool party on a blazing day, an “ice cream” cake was the perfect touch. Kids and adults gobbled it up, and though personally, I thought it was way too sweet, some even attempted to put birthday cake requests for celebrations not happening until November. I’ll call that a win.

Cookies n’ Cream Cake

[Adapted from How Sweet It Is]

1 cup of butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
20 Oreos, crushed

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time and beat until well mixed. Add vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients.

Add crushed Oreos* to the batter. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350, and 10-15 more minutes at 320. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

*I wouldn’t recommend crushing Oreos with your bare hands unless you never want to eat them again. Ahem. Let’s just say it took some heavy duty hand soap and several washings to get the grease off. Ew. The best method is putting the cookies in a large ziploc bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.

Cookies n’ Cream Frosting

1 cup butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
3 teaspoons of vanilla
5-6 tablespoons of whole milk
10 Oreos, crushed

Cream butter until smooth. Gradually add 3 cups powdered sugar and mix. Add vanilla. Add milk by tablespoon, increasing amount as needed. Alternately add sugar and milk until the frosting attains desired consistency. Fold in crushed Oreos.