Monday, May 23, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes Part 2!

No picture this time. LoL. The cupcakes are still cooling and my phone is in my room.

Sorry for no update for a while. There hasn't been anything really interesting to write about. I've been working on an invitation for my mom's close friend's daughter's baby shower in July (not a paper craft, though. Digital art if anything. I don't have time to cut out little sea creatures for 50+ invitations.) I'll show a preview in another post. The wording isn't done yet, but the design is. I also have to get started on 35 favors for our family reunion next month and a little omiyage-type gift for some friends that I'm going to go karaoke with when I head to Oahu for the reunion. Then once the reunion trip is over, then it's time to work on the favors, decorations, and centerpieces for the baby shower. Busy summer!

Anyway, the purpose of this post! Sorry, I get distracted easily. I attempted the red velvet cupcake recipe that I posted about before for the second time today. This time I added in a small container of sour cream because the last time it was a little too dry for my tastes after the cupcakes had cooled and had been sitting for a little while. (I know I said in the initial post that they weren't dry, but after tasting a few of them, I realized that they were a little dry. Not cool.) OMG. The sour cream made all the difference. Although the cupcakes were not as chocolate-y this time, they were super duper soft and light. There was a distinct tanginess because of the sour cream and the buttermilk, but my mom said that she preferred this recipe. I think I do too. Maybe in a few weeks after we've eaten all of these I'll attempt it again with a little less sour cream. Who knows?

Why all this cupcake baking? My mom and I have tentatively decided to do the Ben Franklin Crafts Thanksgiving Craft Fair in November. We did the fair last year and sold cookies, party mix, and chichi mochi, but this year we want to attempt cupcakes. No one around here sells them so I want to. I'm working on the standards first (vanilla, (which I haven't posted about but will once I make them again) red velvet, chocolate (which is the next on my list)) and then over the summer I'll start experimenting with other flavors. I want to try strawberry, peanut butter, and possibly nutella. A friend asked me to attempt this cherry cola cupcake she had on the mainland, but I'm not sure I'm that adventurous and don't know if there's really a market for something like that. I think I may also do cake pops for the fair, depending on whether or not I can get the candy melts online for a reasonable price.

Okie dokie. Time for me to jet. I'm going to go watch some Glee. Mentally preparing myself for the season finale tomorrow. Once it's over, what am I going to look forward to every week?!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lei Workshop at Hilo Ben Franklin Crafts!

I know this is last minute, but if anyone in Hilo is interested, Ben Franklin is having free lei workshops this month! All you have to do is buy the supplies for the workshop. No additional fees for the class. Please pass this on to anyone you think may be interested!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cake Pops!



This post was actually supposed to come before the cupcake post, but I forgot to upload these pictures from my phone. 
A couple of weeks ago I made cake pops for my neighbors' twins' first birthday party. I was originally planning to make the cake from scratch but then the two older kids wanted to "help" so I ended up using box cake mix because if I needed to make more I could always crack open another box. They got to decorate after I dipped the cake pops. 
I think I ended up making a little over 100 cake pops and about 10 cake balls (for some reason they just would not stay on the stick.) The white ones are vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and vanilla chocolate and the chocolate ones are...well...all milk chocolate. I figured by keeping like flavors together it would make things easier. 

One big suggestion if you're going to be making cake pops...make sure you have all your supplies well in advance. If I had actually thought ahead for once, I would have realized that ordering the lollipop sticks, bags to wrap the pops in, and the chocolate online would have been a lot cheaper. I ended up spending almost $40 on just those things alone! It didn't help that the party was Easter weekend and of course the $3 melting chocolate was all gone so I had to buy the $7 melting chocolate instead. But oh well. Such is life. 

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below!!

~Jeni

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes!

I've been searching for a good red velvet cupcake recipe for a while now and happened to come across this recipe on a blog called Cupcakes. At first I thought it was too good to be true because the comments below the post made the cake sound super yummy, but then I decided to try it. Of course, I don't have buttermilk at my house, or even butter for that matter, so I headed to Safeway (even if I knew the price was going to more than likely be more expensive than other places...) and picked up the necessary additional ingredients.  Stuff like cocoa powder and red food coloring (I mean, come on! Two bottles of food coloring?!) are stuff I really do need to start keeping around.
Anyway, after putting out everything that needed to be brought to room temperature, I went to go watch the end of Rachael Ray and the whole hour of Jeopardy and then I went to bake. The recipe was super simple, but a little time consuming. By the time I took the last pan of cupcakes out it was almost 7 o'clock! And Glee was going to come on at 7! I needed to clean up fast!! The humbug part was getting all the red off of everything. Let's face it, I'm not the neatest person when I bake...or when I do anything for that matter...and I ended up getting batter everywhere. Don't ask me how.
I did, however, sneak a cupcake with me into my room when I finally went to go watch Glee. The cake was super soft and fluffy. Much better than some of the other recipes I had tried. It wasn't an overwhelming cocoa flavor. And, the best part, was that it wasn't oily!
Because I'm giving some of the cupcakes away, I didn't want to use cream cheese frosting because you're supposed to refrigerate it, so I decided to use buttercream instead. I got the recipe from the same site and made it this morning. It was really good! Made way more than  I thought it was going to, but since I'm going to make another batch of cupcakes probably this week or next week, I figure I may be able to use it.

Just a couple of last things about this recipe:
*You don't need to use 2 bottles of food coloring like it calls for. I used about one and 1/3 because that's how much was left in the open bottle in the cabinet and it made the cake a super pretty red color. (Although it showed up darker in the pictures...)
*Use a rounded teaspoon of baking powder instead of a level one. This may have made all the difference.

If you're looking for a great red velvet cake recipe, check this one out. I think it's one of my new go-to recipes. <3

See you later!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hello!

I've been thinking about starting this blog for a while now but just never got around to it. I guess the first post is always the hardest. I never know what to write about, especially since my friends told me that I basically need to introduce myself. Hmmm...

My name is Jen. I live in Hilo, Hawaii and work at Ben Franklin Crafts. University of Hawaii at Hilo graduate (2 times, once with a BA in English and another with a BA in Communication.) But I'm not going to be posting too much personal stuff on here so that's pretty much all you need to know.

But I am going to be posting a lot of other stuff. I have a lot of different interests and a lot of different things that I tend to stick my fingers into so there may be a lot of random posts. :D Here's some of the stuff that I may be posting about:

*Crafting (mainly whatever I end up with when I'm experimenting with different things. I'm not an expert at anything by any means, so don't expect anything spectacular. Let's just say I have unusual tastes. LoL)
*Nail Art (my newest interest. I'm currently in the process of playing around with acrylic and learning to make Fimo canes.)
*Baking (I love to make cupcakes and cake pops. And that's pretty much all I can make. Oh, and cookies too.)

Hope you have an awesome night and I'll see you all soon! Thanks for coming to visit!