Monday, December 8, 2014

Wilton Gingerbread Cookie Kit

These cookies were fun to decorate and I recommend them for anyone to do this holiday season!
The kit comes with eight BIG cookies and all the royal icing, candies and red and green fondant to easily decorate each one, and then some!
Here's the set I did yesterday:


Friday, November 21, 2014

NEW HOLIDAY PROJECT CLASSES



--CHECK YOUR LOCAL MICHAELS STORE CALENDAR AT MICHAELS.COM/CLASSES

ADULT CLASSES
Dear Santa Cupcakes

 Learn how to decorate Christmas cupcakes
that will impress Santa himself! You’ll use easy buttercream
icing techniques such as pull-out fur, zigzags and printing to
make festive cupcakes for your celebrations. Recommended
for all skill levels.



New! Penguin Pals Christmas Cookies

 Learn how to decorate cookie penguins
dressed in a variety of colorful styles! You’ll use easy
decorating techniques such as zigzags, bows and rosettes to
create amazing clothes and details. Recommended for all skill
levels.
 Completed Project: Students will complete penguin cookies
based on class inspiration.


KIDS CLASSES


New! Stylin’ Snowmen Cookies!

 Let Wilton show you how to dress up fun
snowman cookies in winter’s coolest clothes! Learn how to
ice the cookies, decorate icing details and add fun trims in
fondant and candy. Recommended for kids ages 8-12.
 Completed Project: Students will purchase the Snowman
Cookie Decorating Kit that includes 5 cookies. Using kit
contents students will complete decorated cookies

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Give the Gift of Class!!



Classes can be purchased online at Michaels.com/classes.  They make a great gift for your friends and family for the Holidays!

Course 1- Building Buttercream Skills

These are the NEW Wilton Courses 1-3, which I recommend to you even if you have taken all four courses already.  There is a lot of new information and techniques, and it would be so good to see you again!!


 Course 2- Flowers and Cake Design

Course 3--Fondant and Gumpaste

...and don't forget
 

There are a lot of new one-time project classes as well, Holiday themed cookie and cupcake classes


Remember that giving the “Gift of Class” is always a great Holiday gift idea, and you can buy the classes  and give them to friends and family for Christmas—they can take them whenever they choose.

Also, if the schedule doesn’t work with yours, and you can find 3 friends/family to take the class with you, you can pretty much schedule a class to fit your calendar!  Give me a call about this.

Check for classes either on the Wilton.com site, or the Michaels site you can sign up online or at the store—gift classes should be registered for at the store, but if you are giving a gift outside your local area, you can buy gift cards and send them.

Hope to see many of you soon!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Not Cake Today...French Macarons!

I decided it was time to finally make some macarons in my new oven--other things have been turning out ok, so I'm taking the risk!

Success! This is a Vanilla-Orange Macaron
I used a nice moist Madagascar Vanilla bean from My Spice Sage which, at the time of this posting is giving away 6 free Madagascar Vanilla Beans with your $20+ purchase.  I don't work for these nice folks, but I really do recommend them for your spice needs.  I've only had happy experiences with them! I scraped out all the seeds and rubbed them into the sugar before mixing it with the egg whites. The rest of the bean I chopped into 2" pieces and buried in a little more sugar in a jar for something else later, thinking vanilla sugar might be good in my coffee, too.

The recipe I used for the Macarons is from Bravetart , one of my favorite baking blogs, so check it out there.  She gives the best explanations and made it possible for my macaron perfection!!

The key, in brief, is whipping the egg whites to the right stiff/fluffyness, then knocking out just the right amount of air when you fold in the dry ingredients.  Deflation is what you are looking for, but not too far. I was able to put the whole batch in a very large disposable Wilton pastry bag, and added a coupler and #12 tip because the bag had already been used for a large 2D tip, so the end was cut pretty big. It worked just right.  I used two parchment covered cookie sheets and a 275°F oven for 19 min.  Some of the macarons in the center of the pans were slightly less don that the ones around the edges, but I used them anyway.  The domes were smooth and had that heavenly delicate meringue 'crisp'ness, and they all had the required "feet" the little sort of crumbly look around the bottoms that are signature for macarons.

You can find a recipe for French Buttercream here on Joe Pastry
 I used 1 1/2 tsp Watkins Orange Extract instead of the called for vanilla extract.

I gave the  last bite of the first one to Fred (I had to taste it first!) and he hit it on the nail when he said that with their rich delicacy you only need one (but I knew that I was glad I hadn't made them sooner because I'd be about 600 lbs by now!!)

I've boxed them up and they're in the fridge waiting for tomorrow.
 
YUM!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wilton Student Resource Center





You've just finished a Wilton Method of Cake Decorating Course...now what?  Well, you can take the next course, usually it's coming up the next week on the same day and time as the one you just finished.
in the meantime, you can go check out the Wilton Student Resource Center for more ideas and tips on how to improve your new skills.

There are several new project classes available, too.  Check with your local Michaels class calendar to see when they are available!


Crazy for Cupcakes


Spectacular Fondant Cupcakes



Stringwork--Advanced Class


  Go Wild! Animal Cookies

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July Project Classes!!




Adult classes

You can sign up online through Michaels.com for any of these classes

--Stringwork—Advanced technique

 Michaels, Dayville, CT

  • ·       Friday, July 11, 1-3pm

  • ·       Saturday,  July 26, 10-12noon

Michaels, Lisbon, CT
·       Tuesday, July 22, 6-8pm

*******************************************************************************
Go Wild! Animal Cookies

Michael’s—Lisbon, CT

  • ·       Sunday, July 27 3:30-5:30

Michaels—Dayville, CT

  • ·       Thursday, July 31 10-12noon


*******************************************************************************
Crazy for Cupcakes

Basic introduction to the Wilton Method of Cake Decorating

Michaels—Dayville. CT

  • Thursday, July 31 12:30-2:30pm


Michaels—Lisbon, CT

  • ·       Sunday, July 27, 1-3pm

*******************************************************************************

Spectacular Fondant Cupcakes
Michaels—Lisbon, CT

  • ·       Wednesday, July 30, 6-8pm


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Wedding Cake!

Here is today's cake--a Wedding Cake for Tori from work.  It's vanilla cake with Buttercream. 4 layer, 10", 2 layer 8" and 2 layer 6".


Monday, May 19, 2014

Course 1 Kit on Sale!

The NEW Course 1--Building Buttercream Skills-- is up and running, and the new kit is on sale this Friday, May 23 only, for $19.85.  Register for the next class for only $20.

In June, we're also introducing a new two-class version of Course 1--three hours each class on Two consecutive Saturday mornings--In  the Lisbon Michaels it's` June 21 & 28, 10 am -1pm--A good quick way to start the classes in time to sign up for the NEW Courses 2 & 3 which will begin in July. The new kit that's on sale and the new book are both available at the store now.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Classes for Wilton!

Course 1 has had a great overhaul, with new techniques, and new trendy colors and ideas!  Even if you've taken all the classes, you might enjoy a retake, bring a friend, and pick up some new ideas and skills in the new Course1: Building Buttercream Skills

Courses 2 & 3 are underway as well, with new fresh techniques and ideas, new flowers and returns of some classics!  Classes will be starting in July!

 The gum paste and fondant flowers are gone, and it's all Royal Icing, including some new, and some returning classics.














Gum Paste and Fondant is refreshed with painting on Fondant and more exciting ideas!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Certifiable!!

Today is a fabulous day! I received my Certification in the mail!
Unfortunately, my scanning printer isn't hooked up yet, so I took a pic with my phone.


I just came back from my 17 day vacation --a cruise in the Western Caribbean and ten days with my fab granddaughters and family,
and then home to fun mail!  Of course, there's also the grey parts of the clouds with all those silver linings--I'm stuck in my new apartment, because somehow I lost my keys this morning while unloading the luggage from the car, Fred's gone off for the day and I can't leave the building for fear of getting locked out all together!!  On the silver lining side--I unpacked all the suitcases, put everything away and have a little blog time!  So, it's never all bad! LOL

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Classes coming!

Wilton is refurbishing and refreshing all the classes, starting with Course 1--Building Buttercream Skills, which will begin in May 2014. My first class starts, in Lisbon (Michaels) on Sunday, May 4, from 10:30-12:30 and the classes are only $20 now! If you take the New Crazy for Cupcakes stand-alone class for $10, you get a $10 coupon off the Building Buttercream Skills! The Crazy for Cupcakes class is a good basic introduction to cake decorating with the Wilton Method and is designed to show you some skills, and get you excited to start Cake Decorating! Here are some examples I did for the class yesterday:


One other new thing is that Wilton is Certifying instructors again!  I'm one of the first (since I jumped right into the exam in as soon as they put it online!) I'll post my certificate when it comes in the mail! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hand-Painting Your Decos

Handpainting cakes is the latest trend that I'm in love with.   The images below are lovely hand-painted cakes by Jamie Hoffman of Yuma Couture Cakes in Yuma, AZ  (Thanks to Jamie for permission to post her pics!)





Tuscan cake















Tuscan cake--detail




You can paint on Fondant or a layer of royal icing, or wafer paper--though fondant is the easiest way to get a good result. Regular icing gel color is mixed with a small amount alcohol--vodka, gin, everclear, or lemon extract (83% alcohol)--which allows it to be transparent, like watercolor, and dry very fast so your fondant doesn't get gooey. A little water doesn't hurt either. If you want a more opaque color, or a softer shade, adding a little "White White Icing Color" by Wilton will do the trick. Luster dusts, or petal dusts can also be made into "paint" by adding alcohol. I usually use a clean soda bottle cap as my little paint pot. Large amounts will dry too fast.

Hearts and Kisses

Happy February!  Hearts are the thing for Valentine cakes and cookies.  Smocked or quilted fondant, and royal icing or gum paste flowers are made for decorating Valentine cakes.

There are plenty of cookie cutters to make fondant hearts, they come in assorted sizes, serrated or straight edges, wonky or traditional.  Use a smaller cutter to cut out a heart-shaped hole in a larger cutout, inlay different colored small ones into the larger holes for a different look.

Quilting designs can be made with the pointy-edged rolling cutters, and the smocked look can me made with the back of a knife or the edge of a spatula to make ribbing, then pinch with a flat ended tweezer in offset evenly spaced spots covering them with little royal icing stitches,

All the flowers you learn in the Wilton Classes are usable for any of your Valentine decorating needs!