Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mummy Cookies

The same day we make our pumpkin cake, Cady and I tackled a sugar cookie recipe I've been dying to try.  According to Pinterest, they're the softest sugar cookies you can make!  Last year, Cady made mummy cookies and loved them so much, we made them again.  They're just too cute!  We were definitely in the Halloween spirit that day.

Sugar Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 1/2 cups flour

In mixer, cream butter and sugar, and then add eggs and vanilla. Add sour cream. Combine salt, soda, and flour, and add to mixture.
  Roll out on floured surface to about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes.  Cookies will not look done, but baking them "just a little bit longer" will make them crunchy and hard.  If they have been browned anywhere, they've been cooked too long.  Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/3 cup milk

In a mixing bowl, cream butter. Beat in sugar and vanilla until crumbly. Gradually add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add desired food coloring.

To make the mummy faces, spread white frosting generously over the cookie, leaving the knife lines for the wrappings.  Use two sliced almonds for the eyes, dotting with black gel icing and drawing a slit for the mouth. 

We actually used a different recipe for the frosting, but this is the recipe with the cookies from the original recipe, found here.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin Cake, Charlie Brown!

To celebrate the month of October, fall, and Halloween, Cady and I decided to make The Great Pumpkin Cake that I found on Pinterest months ago.  Unfortunately, the link from the photo didn't actually have a recipe, so we just decided to make whatever cake and frosting we wanted and only use the shape idea.

From her Betty Crocker Cook Book, we made Black Midnight Cake for the two bundt cakes.

Black Midnight Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour bundt pan.  Beat all ingredients 30 seconds on low speed, scraping bowl constantly.  Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into pan.  Bake for 42 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan before flipping onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

This makes one cake, and to make the pumpkin, you need two.  Double the recipe, or make separate batches (which guarantees equal cakes).

White Mountain Frosting: 

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sugar, corn syrup, and water in 1-quart sauce pan.  Cover and heat to rolling boil over medium heat.  Uncover and cook, without stirring, to 242 degrees on candy thermometer or until small amount dropped into very cold water forms a ball that flattens when removed from water.  To get an accurate temperature reading, it may be necessary to tilt the saucepan slightly.  It takes 4 to 8 minutes for syrup to reach 242 degrees.

While mixture boils, beat egg whites in medium bowl just until stiff peaks form.  Pour hot syrup very slowly in thin stream into egg whites, beating constantly on medium speed.  Add vanilla.  Beat on high speed about 10 minutes until stiff peaks form.

We doubled the recipe and used a 2-quart sauce pan to make enough to cover our whole cake.  (And I wouldn't actually use this frosting recipe again.)

To assemble the cake, place one of the bundt cakes upside down on cake stand.  Put a toilet paper roll in the center of the cake to keep the two cakes together and lined up.  Remove the toilet paper roll and fill center with balls of tin foil and/or plastic wrap.  Be sure to keep it lower than the top of the cake, to create the effect of a real pumpkin.  Frost cake, being careful to keep the shape of the bundt cake's ridges. 

We used a real pumpkin stem for our stem, but I've seen it with a fondant stem and leaves.  We also used the spatula to create the lines for the ridges, since ours weren't very visible.