Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Baby Shower & My Favorite Frosting Recipe

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It must be that time of year, adorable baby shower time! This time It's a Girl    The theme colors were purple and white. I love doing treats in my favorite color, purple. For this particular order, my wonderful boyfriend helped to put together an adorable set of cupcake toppers. I even got him to whip out the glue and sticks and actually assemble, hehe. I'm spoiled and he's THE best! 

For these cupcakes, we went with a classic vanilla bean cupcake with my favorite cream cheese frosting. And speaking of my favorite cream cheese frosting, I realized that I have never shared it with you guys. So guess what that means?! Sharing is caring, recipe below.

Cream Cheese Frosting, adapted from Glorious Treats

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Butter, cold but slightly softened
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Butter Vanilla Emulsion
4-5 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted

(1) Place softened butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Whip together until fully incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute.

(2) Add vanilla extract and 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined. Slowly add additional powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.

I prefer a thicker frosting for best piping results, but everybody sings to their own tune in this category. I have found that the butter vanilla emulsion really adds that extra richness and really makes the whole kitchen smell amazing as the mixer whips up the frosting. It really hits your nose and just makes you want to dive in the mixing bowl, yummy! Give this recipe a try and I swear, you will never use another frosting recipe again.

Happy Baking!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Austin Bakes for West

Whenever tragedy hits close to home, it always makes you think twice. When people you know are closely affected by the accident and you see their tears of sorrow fall from their eyes, you see things in a different light. And then you wonder how you can help. Recently, in the small town of West, TX a fertilizer plant exploded and hundreds were injured and many killed. Knowing friends of mine had lost close friends due to the explosion, made we want to help. 

When I saw that there were going to be 8 bake sales going on around the Austin area to raise proceeds for West, I knew I had to contribute. The big day was Saturday, May 04, 2013, and it sure did sneak up on me fast.

I volunteered to bake for 3 of the locations around town and to table the bake sale in Round Rock. When I originally signed up to volunteer, I think I was overly ambitious... I ended up not sleeping the night leading up to the sale because I was still buried in un-decorated cookies. I was stuffing cookies into bags just as the sun was beginning to rise. I even woke up the bf at 7AM so that he could help. I never knew that stuffing 80 favor bags with cookies would take so long! I was definitely running on adrenaline that morning as I tabled the Round Rock bake sale.

But in the end, I am glad that I was able to contribute to a great cause. We raised over $18,000 and that is a great feeling! I totally went home and crashed after the bake sale was over and slept like a baby through the whole night.

I ended up meeting some great local bloggers and bakers, and even got a membership to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance. Losing one night of sleep is nothing compared to knowing that you were able to contribute to a great cause and getting to meet some awesome fellow bakers. You rock Austin!

Donation: 20 mini loafs of Banana Bread, 8 dozen mini Cupcakes, 80 bags of Sugar Cookies

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