Saturday, October 29, 2011

Black Diamond Pumpkin

My mom said that this pumpkin looks very Martha Stewart, and I have to agree. It is rather pretty isn't it? It's really easy to make too. Simply paint the pumpkin black, then top it with shiny gray-black and then gold diamonds.  You can also add dots around the edges with 3d fabric paint like I did, but that's just because I add it to everything.  Here are the details:

I used a silvery color by Ceramcoat (there is no name on the label) and Folkart's Sequin Black mixed together for the base (Hobby Lobby doesn't sell metallic dark gray, just silver and black). The silver I used is the best silver I have come across (most don't have good coverage) and I use it for everything silver. For the diamonds I used Folkart's Pure Gold.

I really like the fabric paint on the pumpkin. It finishes the edges and hides and painting mistakes on the edges.  Plus it looks pretty (which is always a plus). It is a dark metallic gray, to dark to be silver, and to light to be black (I just love metallic dark gray).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Temple Cookies

My sister got recently baptized and in celebration I made Salt Lake Temple Cookies.  We don't actually live near that particular temple, but it is the most recognizable.

Anyway, I used Bake at 350's yummy almond roll out sugar cookies.  It's a great recipe, and they don't use five cups of flour like most sugar cookie recipes.  Plus they taste delicious.  Here is how I frosted them:

You will need:
  • very light gray icing
  • white icing
  • sky blue icing
  • several small piping tips (I used #2 wilton)
  • piping pags
  1. print out a tiny picture of the temple and cut the outline  
  2. lay it on the cookie and pipe the temple edges and turrets (in gray icing)
  3. let it dry a bit and
  4. fill the temple (in white icing)
  5. let it dry a bit and fill in the sky
  6. add Moroni while the blue us still wet
  7. pipe the Temple's details
  8. eat the cookies
Here are more specific piping directions and a closeup on the details:

Most of the temples each had their own design, until I found one that I liked.  I made the rest like that. WARNING: These take forever to pipe! The details take 5 minutes per cookie!

It was worth it. We had a great time eating these at the barbecue that followed the baptism.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lemon Cake

For me, Fall is dessert time. I think up 100 crazy dessert ideas, then make only a portion of them (which is still a large number).  This cake is actually vanilla, with lemon curd filling and lemon frosting. This recipe is the original, with no changes (other that the time the lemon curd is supposed to chill). I got the recipe from (as usual) by Anela. Anyway, this cake is super moist and the filling is an amazing lemon curd (I like slowly licking it off a spoon while reading a good book) but, I would use a different frosting unless you like it really sweet.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
  4. To make filling: In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).
  5. Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  6. To make frosting: In large bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Beat in milk, and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
  7. To assemble: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread with half of the lemon filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Add third layer, and spread with remaining half of the lemon filling. Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake until serving time. 
Your cakes will bake flat if you use this method (which is way cheaper that buying Wiltons  fancy cake wrap things) so that no trimming the top is necessary. Just use an regular (old) towel.
     This recipe got me addicted to lemon curd. I don't even know if its real lemon curd, because its called lemon filling, but it's delicious whatever the name. I've adapted the original quote to: When life gives you lemons make lemon curd (or frosting, or cake). But what my brother says is clever: "When life gives you lemons make orange juice and have everybody wonder how you did it."
    I suggest that you use as different lemon frosting, unless you have a hankering for really sweet frosting. And it's not quite lemony enough. I added extra lemon juice to fix that problem, and my frosting completely fell of the sides of the cake.  It was really weird (so please excuse the bad frosting job).  We have a family cake platter (it is shared between my aunt, and grandma's family's,) so right now it's at my grandma's house.  My parents were not willing to drive all the way there just to borrow it when I randomly decide to make a cake.  I ended up using an overturned crystal bowl as my cake stand, which as you can see, was barely big enough. 
    Have your cake and eat it too! 

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Pumpkin Meringues

    I love meringues. They are one of my very favorite desserts. They are so light and airy, and are easy to make.  If you like the centers less chewy, you turn off the oven and leave them in overnight. I have made these pumkin meringues twice now. You could set some meringue aside, die it green, and pipe in the vines (the fondant vines don't stay on very well) but I thought, why waste my time when I have fondant?

    Now, I set up an awesome Halloween style "set" to take pictures of these in, but the lighting was horrible, and I was to lazy to set it up again the next day.  Here is the recipe (adapted from Holly Wilkins on

    • 1/2 cup egg whites
    • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup white sugar
    1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
    2. In a large glass or metal bowl, use an electric mixer to whip egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla. Continue whipping until the whites hold soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar so that it does not sink to the bottom, and continue whipping until the mixture holds stiff shiny peaks.
    3. Place a large star tip (the size you use to make swirls in cupcakes) into a pastry bag, and fill the bag half way with the meringue. To pipe the pumpkins, squeeze out large meringue stars onto one of the prepared cookie sheets.
         4.  Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the caps are dry enough to easily remove from the    cookie sheets.   Form a twisty vine and leaf for each pumpkin from green fondant.

    Look! They're moldy now! (me and my brother had some fun with the halloween effects on Picnik.)

    Have fun! Maddie