Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mini Cupcake Fun!

Here are my latest "little" additions to my etsy shop!

Big Crumbs = Big Money

I just signed up for this money making opportunity just by shopping online! No catch, no!

Living in Hawaii means limited shopping...and lots of online shopping!

So by going through BIG CRUMBS...I can earn money by doing my usual online shopping!

Click on th BIG CRUMBS picture to the right to sign up under me to start earning money and getting great deals!!!

Or click here and sign up under me! Just click on the red JOIN MY FAMILY button to get started!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Cupcake Cuppy Designs!

Here are just a few of the latest designs for Cupcake Cuppies!
Come check out all these and more in my online shop!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cupcake Cuppies

Here are my newest CUPCAKE CUPPIES now available in my online craft store!

New Craft Items

Here are the newest items added to my online craft store!
Check them out!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Etsy! Online Craft Shop

I just wanted to add a quick post to let you all know about my new Etsy Craft Store Online. When my husband was deployed for most of last year to Iraq, once the kids went to bed at night, I started making some craft items to pass the long lonely evening hours.

If you get a chance, stop in and see what I've listed! Tell your friends! Check in often as I am still adding items (I'm still figuring out everything) and will also add seasonal items as well!

Have a great week!

My Online Craft Shop

Monday, May 12, 2008

TWD #4 Florida Pie (Key Lime Pie + Coconut)

This week's Tuesdays With Dorie was one I really wanted to try. I had never made Key Lime Pie before...OR meringue! And although I'm not a HUGE fan of limes, I DO LOVE COCONUT! I really wanted to use a coconut from our coconut tree in the backyard, but since my husband is on the Big Island on a field trip with our daughter this week, I had no one to fetch one, crack it open, etc.... (and I wasn't up for that myself!)

So, I used store bought coconut...and regular ol' limes! I don't think I even saw Key Limes in the commissary anyways.

I followed the recipe pretty much to a T! It was late Monday, and I just wanted to get it done and see if I could actually succeed! Pies are something I don't mess around with too often.

All went pretty darn well, and I have to say that this yummy little pie was just that...YUMMY! The lime taste was definately Dominant, but I think the coconut was a nice compliment! I'd definately make this again sometime. I even had a moment where I had to giggle because as I was eating my little slice, I had to remind myself: "I made this!!!!"


Here is the recipe:


1 9-inch graham cracker crust fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, seperated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1/4 cup of sugar

Getting Ready:Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment of a silicone mat.Put the cream and 1 cup of the coconut in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the cream is reduced by half and the mixture is slightly thickened. Scrape the coconut cream into a bowl and set it aside while you prepare the lime filling.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl beat the egg yolks at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the condensed milk. Still on low, add half of the lime juice. When it is incorporated, add the reaming juice, again mixing until it is blended.

Spread the coconut cream in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and pour over the lime filling.Bake the pie for 12 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes, then freeze the pie for at least 1 hour.

To Finish the Pie with Meringue:
Put the 4 egg whites and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the whites are hot to the touch. Transfer the whites to a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer in a large bowl, and beat the whites at high speed until they reach room temperature and hold firm peaks.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining 1/2 cup coconut into the meringue.Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, and run the pie under the broiler until the top of the meringue is golden brown. (Or, if you've got a blowtorch, you can use it to brown the meringue.) Return the pie to the freezer for another 30 minutes or for up to 3 hours before serving.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pink Sugared Cuppies

Here are some cute little white cake cuppies I did with pink buttercream icing sprinkled with light pink sugar!
A quick last minute order for a special little lady!
Happy Birthday Paige!

Monday, May 5, 2008

TWD #3 Peanut Butter Torte (a.k.a. Gourmet Chocolate Peanut Butter Cuppies)

This week I really was excited to try this recipe out. It was a Peanut Butter Torte and was chosen by Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food. However, I knew I was going to have to change how I made it because I knew from the ingredients that it was going to be delicious, so to prevent me from eating on it all week, I was going to have to make mini versions of it so I could send them to work with my husband for the Marines.
First of all, let me start by saying that after reading through what some of you had said about the fat content and how salty it was, I decided to do what I could to "lighten" it up a little. I used REDUCED FAT OREOS, FAT FREE CREAM CHEESE & LIGHTLY SALTED PEANUTS & REGULAR SKIPPY PEANUT BUTTER (I would have liked to have used a reduced fat version, but had just bought a new jar of regular on my last trip to the commissary)
So not that my alterations made my version of this fabulous dessert any less 'healthy' because I think it would still rack up the Weight Watcher points.
My first mistake, even though I knew that this recipe normally called for the use of a springform pan, was attempting to make them in cupcake tins. I greased the tins, and then decided to use cupcake liners halfway through. Well, I wished I would have used the liners for all of them, because when it came to pry out the 6 I made WITHOUT the liners, they would NOT come out. At least not in one piece...not even in a number of pieces that they could have been recognizable in!! So those went back into the bowl of filling. Which, I just as well admit, was without the yummy chocolate chip, peanut, spice mixture! Don't ask me what I was thinking, but I left it sitting on the counter. But rest assure, I added it later...
I was, however, very excited that my first ever attempt at ganache was VERY successful! A great victory after the many whoopsies I had early on in this adventure!
Agh! So, after making only 6 successful regular cupcake sized tortes, in liners, I still had TONS of filling left. I thought I'd attempt to make minis. And after making all the previous errors, I knew to definately use little liners, and I dumped in the spice mix into the leftover filling (oh, what a wonderful difference that made!)
I made 24 adorable minis and still had 2+ cups left of the filling. Which I must say makes for a great cookie dip if you have any Oreos left over! But, again, also deadly, because you can't just dip ONE!
My husband loved them, as did I, and he said they were: "Like, really good Peanut Butter Cups!!!"
These are something I will definately be making again....but I probably should wait a while! That's how good they are!!! I would recommend making them in mini cupcake tins like this, because they are so rich, that a bite is all you need to satisfy any chocolate or peanut butter craving!

Peanut Butter Torte
1 ¼ c. finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping)
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ c. mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped semi sweet chocolate)
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
2 ½ c. heavy cream
1 ¼ c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ c salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy)
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

Getting ready: center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch Springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Toss ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Put the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in another small bowl and stir with a fork just until crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan (they should go up about 2 inches on the sides). Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in ¼ cup of the confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Crape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Wipe out (do not wash) the bowl, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, or continue with the hand mixer, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, ¼ cup of the chopped peanuts and the milk.
Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about one quarter of the whipped cream, just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.
Scrape the mouse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.

To Finish The Torte:
put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.
Bring the remaining ½ cup cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and , working with a a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and glossy.
Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining ½ cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.
When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the Springform pan; it’s easiest to warm the pan with a hairdryer, and then remove the sides, but you can also wrap a kitchen towel damped with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cutest Little Brownie Bites

I've had a brownie mix in my pantry for months now and thought today would be the perfect day to bake them up. We are having some friends of ours over tonight and they have two little I thought my kids and I would have fun putting these things together.

My son, Trevor, helped me with the brownies...
We made an 8x8 pan of brownies and once they cooled, I cut them into 16 little bite size (or a little bigger than bite size) pieces and set them on a plate.

Then I recruited my daughter, McKenzie, to help me make some really fun chocolate transfers! I have never really done this before, but man can you let your imagination run wild when you make these! You can pretty much make anything your heart desires! She and I definately had way too much fun with these. We started out making flowers, then she made a star, some smilies, and I attempted to spell out "Pam". My first one was perfect, and then i realized that I would be reversing them onto the brownies once they were set, so I had to redo the name backwards....not so great! And of course, there had to be a palm tree, which my daughter thought it would be neat to stand up in the buttercream icing!