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Bring it on 2016!

31 Dec

If you asked me a year ago if I thought I’d be where I am today, I probably would have laughed at you. If you told me I’d be making plans and designs for a fabulous couple’s wedding cake, I never would have believed you. If you told me I’d make a beer bucket cake using modeling chocolate and isomalt, once again, I’d think you were out of your mind!

…But I did ALL of that!!

2015 was the year I rediscovered how much I truly enjoy the art of baking. Cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, you name it! 2015 was also the year I got to marry the love of my life, go on an AMAZING honeymoon and share all my experiences with my biggest fan, my husband.

Here’s a little collection of my favorite highlights from 2015:

Don’t let me fool you, there were many ovens slammed, spatulas thrown and fondant crumbled, but I learned A LOT:

  • Maracons will decide when they want to be perfected. If it’s raining, they may decide that they don’t want to rise. If it’s sunny, they may decide to be hollow inside. I’ll get there, I will be in charge of the maracons in 2016!
  • FunFetti is my FAVORITE
  • Cheesecake is my nemesis
  • Isomalt is SO MUCH FUN! Tricky, but fun to experiment with!
  • Snowmen are not as easy as they look
  • Be CrEaTiVe
  • Vodka is a bakers best friend… when painting a cake of course!

Get ready 2016, I’m coming for you!

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I hope you’re all hungry!

Best Day (Weekend) of My Life

17 Nov

A month ago today I married my best friend! It’s still a bit strange to call myself Mrs. Pfeifer, let alone someone’s wife! It’s been such a wonderful ride and while I’m thrilled that the planning was done, I’m loving reliving the weekend though all the photos

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Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I thought: “oh wouldn’t it be fun to bake a cake for the rehearsal dinner!!” Thankfully I didn’t decide to make my own wedding cake, someone would’ve had to pick me up off the floor, but I did bake for the rehearsal dinner. Truthfully, it was probably the best thing for me. It kept me pre-occupied and calm, so it didn’t hit me that I was getting married and walking down with isle with 135 people staring at me until roughly mid-morning on the day of. That’s when the water works started and I realized just how important pockets in your wedding dress really are! 

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Leading up to it, no one knew I was baking, but my Instagram (@KristinsCravings) should definitely have been a give away! I was making gum paste flowers, funfetti and chocolate cakes, and learning how to paint cakes. Needless to say, I’m sure people had an idea, but no one except Rob (my now husband, who probably thinks I’m a little crazy, but is now stuck with me!!) knew for sure.

I had SO much fun making this cake and I learned so much from it! It was my first time painting a cake and making gum paste flowers. There were many long nights within the week of the wedding, but I wouldn’t change it for a thing!

  

ALSO, Madison Lee’s CAKES did an absolutely fantastic job on our wedding cake! It came out more beautiful than I could have imagined. Thank you!!!

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Kristin

 

Everyone Needs a Little Fun!

25 Aug

Funfetti Cupcakes!

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What better excuse to bake than a BIRTHDAY! Somehow I think I missed the funfetti train growing up. Either that, or I was so consumed with eating all of the chocolate around me, that I shooed away anything “not chocolate”. Well, that was a fail on my part. I have recently discovered how fantastic this flavor really is as my wedding planning adventures have taken off this year. My fiance, Rob and I recently took part in our wedding cake tasting, which in my opinion, is the best part of the wedding planning! We are using Madison Lee’s Cakes as our baker and they have made the whole process very fun! We tasted 3 flavors:

  1. Almond sponge cake with mocha buttercream and chocolate ganache filling
  2. Rich chocolate cake with high quality chocolate ganache filling
  3. Funfetti: Sweet white cake with colorful bits throughout and buttercream filling

Being the chocolate lover I truly am at heart, Rob and I chose chocolate and funfetti for our flavors!

To make a long story short… I was talking with some coworkers about our picks and one in-particular professed his love for funfetti and it just so happened his birthday was the following week. Funfetti Birthday Cupcakes it is!!

For my first attempt, they turned out festive and fantastic! To quote my coworker, John: “that’s the best cupcake ever” and they were totally easy to make at home from scratch, no box necessary!

Cupcakes

One of my go-to blogs for anything “sweet, savory, sinful” is Brown Eyed Baker which is where I found this delicious recipe:

FUNFETTI CUPCAKES (FROM SCRATCH!)

  • Yield: 24 Cupcakes
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 – 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 Hour

A homemade version of funfetti cupcakes – buttery vanilla cupcakes loaded with sprinkles and topped with vanilla buttercream frosting

Ingredients
Vanilla Cupcakes
1 3/4 Cups of Cake Flour (2 Tbsp of Cornstarch for every 1 cup of All-Purpose Flour)
1 1/4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 Cups of Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1 Cup of Unsalted Butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 Eggs
1 Cup of Whole Milk
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup of Rainbow Sprinkles (or more depending on flavor preference)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
2 Cups of Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
5 Cups of Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract
Funfetti or Rainbow Sprinkles, for decorating

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Directions
Make The Cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line two cupcake trays (each with 12 slots) with paper lines and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, sift and add both flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix together on low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer on low, add the butter cubes, a few at a time, continue until all the butter has been added and the mixture resembles coarse sand.

3. Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions (make sure to get the bottom of the bowl as well!). Slowly pour in the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, until the batter is smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure all has bee incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the sprinkles.

4. Fill the liners two-thirds full (about 1/4 cup of batter) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the centers are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove them and place them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Make The Frosting:
1.  Using the wire whisk attachment of your standing mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl once or twice.

2. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add in the vanilla, mixing until incorporated.

3. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.

4. Frost the cupcakes as desired and garnish with additional sprinkles. The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

ENJOY!
Kristin

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