Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yee Haw!!

Hi friends!  I can't believe how terrible I've been at keeping up with the blog... starting a new job is so time consuming, lol.  I have to tell you, I am loving the new position and am officially out of training so things should be calming down.

This past weekend I had the blessing of being asked to bake cupcakes for a very special birthday boy.  Larry and his wife, Karen, are friends of Rob's parents and Karen organized a surprise 70th birthday party for Larry this past Sunday.  Larry is very into the Old West and so the party was all in a western theme.  I met with Karen months ago to talk about her cupcake order.  She needed approximately 150 cupcakes and really gave me free range on what to do with them.  I visited an AMAZING not-so-little cake shop in Columbus {The Cake Craft Co.} and was able to find some chocolate molds to use for topping the cupcakes.
I really wish they had had a gun mold since Larry likes to go to the shooting range, but the only ones they had were a good 5-6 inches long and that would be difficult to put on a cupcake!!!  This turned out to be a nice variety though, and I also left some cupcakes plain with just sprinkles to break things up a bit.  

To make the chocolates, I just use Wilton Candy Melts.  I think they are by far the best, and they come in a HUGE variety of colors so you don't have to worry about coloring anything.  The Cake Craft Co. also has all different flavors of extracts, I think I will be playing with them in my chocolates and frostings in the future.  Anyway, back to the chocolates.  For the details I melt just a few chips in a bowl and use a small paintbrush to paint the details I want to stand out {in this case it was the yellow stars on the cowboy hats, and the brown horses on the green candies}.  then I melt larger batches of candy melts right in disposable piping bags in 20 second increments until they are all melted and then just pipe the chocolate into the molds.  After the molds have been filled, tap the mold on the table a few times to level the chocolate out and also to get rid of any bubbles.  I find it best to under-fill each mold just slightly, this ensures that there is no chocolate spilling over the edge and makes your candies have smooth edges.  Once all that is done, just stick the mold in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes and you are ready to pop the chocolates out.  *TIP: make sure the candies are completely cooled through or you may end up popping out only parts of your chocolates instead of one whole glossy piece.  {And while we're giving tips, I think it's best to wear gloves if you're going to be handling the chocolates a lot... believe me I wash my hands CONSTANTLY while I am baking, but the gloves will keep the chocolate nice and glossy and prevent fingerprinting - no matter how clean your hands are, a fingerprint is not so appetizing.}

One last thing I added was a ring of red frosting around the hats to look like a hat band, I think this really made a difference.  You can see I used white chocolate candies on the chocolate frosting and regular chocolate candies on the vanilla frosting.  I think the white hats and boots are a little "Annie Get Your Gun" but the contrast is way better than putting brown candies on brown frosting, and I think it gives it a nice variety.
Here's a shot of the table covered with cupcakes...
And can we just take a minute to say how cute those cowboy boots are with the flowers in them?  What a great idea.  I seriously had the best time at this party.  Larry was overwhelmed by everyone that came out to celebrate him, and he was totally surprised.  I have to say though, I think my favorite part was watching Karen watch Larry.  They are so in love, it makes my heart melt.  I hope Rob and I are as happy as they are in 40 years.

Here are a few more pictures from the party, enjoy and have a great week.  We'll be back in a few days for Fab Find FRIDAY!  Until then, have a yummy day!

We're a little bit country!

My genius idea: using a plastic tablecloth for easy clean-up!

Larry with his cake (check out that candle!!)

*NOTE: only the cupcakes were made by Bonbon.          

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