Friday, July 15, 2011

Super Mario Cake Pops

My friend has two boys, and they are loving Super Mario these days. I decided to make some cake pops shaped like the Super Mario mushrooms. If you have never made cake pops they are pretty easy, the hard part is shopping for the things needed to make them. Here's what you will need:

Cake - cooked not iced. Can be any flavor.
Icing - buttercream works best, any flavor
Candy melts, also know as molding wafers these are a chocolate based product
About 1 tbsp shortening
Lolly Pop Sticks
Something to hold up the cake pops while they are drying, I use a piece of florist foam.

Take your cake and crumble it up into a bowl. Use your hands and really break in down. Add the icing. A good ratio for me is for every 4 cups of crumbled cake add 1/4 cup of the icing. Combine the cake and icing, mixing until all the cake is coated. Don't use too much icing. The finished product is really sweet, use just enough icing to bind the cake.

Next start making balls. I use a small ice cream scoop to keep my balls all the same size. Put the finished balls in the freezer to firm up, for about 10-15 minutes, don't freeze them!

While the balls are in the freezer start melting your wafers. Find a small pot and a heat proof bowl to fit over the pot. A small pot and bowl works best you want the melted chocolate in the bowl to be deep enough to dip. If you use a large bowl you would have to melt a lot more chocolate. The bowl needs to be able to sit over the pot without touching the bottom. Put about 1/2 cup of water into the pot, and bring it too a boil. Add the wafers to the bowl. Use about 2 cups to start, you can always add more. Set the bowl over the pot. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 tbsp of shortening to the wafers, this will give the wafer more fluidity and make it easier to coat the balls. I used white wafers in my first bowl.

When the chocolate is melted turn the heat to the lowest setting, and get your balls out of the freezer. To give the balls a mushroom shape I squished the bottoms of the balls by wrapping my thumb and pointer finger around the ball, then I push the top of the ball down, with my other hand to give it a mushroom shape.

Once you have shaped all the balls into mushrooms get your florist foam and sticks ready. Take a stick and dip the tip of it into the melted chocolate, then insert the chocolate covered tip into the bottom of the mushroom ball. Stick the stick with the ball on top into the florist foam, the chocolate inside the ball will set, making the pop more stable when we dip it in the chocolate later. Once you have stuck all your balls onto the sticks its time to start dipping.

Take a pop and dip it into the chocolate, you want to work quickly. Twirl the pop in the chocolate until it is coated. Now the next part takes some patience. Lift the pop out of the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. You will need to tap the stick on the edge of the bowl while twirling until the chocolate sets up a bit. If you don't do this step the chocolate will drip down the stick and make a big mess. Adjusting the temperature of the melting chocolate in the bowl will help with this step. Move it off the element if it gets to runny, them move it back on when it starts hardening up. When all the excess chocolate had dripped off set  the stick in the florist foam to dry completely.

To get the green and red mushroom tops melt red and green wafers and dip just the mushroom tops into the colored melted chocolate, let it harden, then using a paint brush and the melted white wafers paint on some spots.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Easy DIY Party Decorations

I am not a fan of crepe paper streamers or balloons. I hate the sound of popping balloons, and streamers are just plain boring. I came across these super cute DIY party decorations on Martha Stewart's website. They are cheap and easy to make at home. 

You will need 4 things: curling ribbon, colored paper, glue or tape and a round paper punch. I used green curling ribbon, purple and green paper, double sided tape and a 1" circle paper punch.

Start by measuring your ribbon. Figure out where you want the decorations to hang, and cut the ribbon to the size you need. Next start punching circles. I needed 12 circles per ribbon, and you will need 2 circles for each spot, so I need to punch 24 circles for each ribbon. the number of circles you need will depend on the length of you ribbon, the size of your punch and how closely you want your circle spaced. Next I applied double sides tape to 12 of the circles, attached them to my ribbon then topped them with the remaining 12 circles. Repeat until you have enough ribbons to decorate your space!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Princess Party - Green and Purple

Having two girls I have seen my fair share of princess parties. I've planned them, and attended them, and I'm still planning them and attending them! I decided I was sick of the traditional pink princess party, I wanted to do something a little different. So I decided to take a nice royal color, purple and pair it with green, a more punk rock princess party palette.

I started with the favor bags. I picked out some purple gable boxes. I paired them with some green ribbon and paper. Next I made some cool hanging decorations for over the table, again just simple ribbon and paper. For the table setting I picked up a purple table cloth, and green plates and napkins. I made some cute napkin rings with a cute crown princess stamp, a circle punch, paper and ribbon.

For the cake I wanted a really ruffled look. I took a leaf tip and did wiggling lines down the side and top of the cake all in purple. Next I baked some sugar cookies and cut them using a crown cutter. When they were cool, I topped them with colored white chocolate.Finally I picked up some green and purple candy to go in the favor boxes.

Here is a couple of photos, I will post the recipes and more photos and instructions over the next couple of weeks.