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Summer may be wrapping up for some but it’s still hot as blazes here in Austin, so enjoy these refreshing beach/summer-themed treats and projects!

By the way, we now have an “as seen on” graphic those featured can place on their blogs! It’s on our About Us page.

 

Whether it’s this week, next, or just after Labour Day, kids in North America are heading back to school! Here are some fun goodies to inspire you for back to school treats of your own.

First up, two book-themed cakes by Sprinkle Bakes: a gorgeous one called Words Take Flight and then a Birthday Trip To Narnia with the White Witch plus a recipe for Microwave Turkish Delight.

The Decorated Cookie Blog also takes a confectionery trip through literature with Harry Potter Painted Marshmallows and applies the same technique to some First Day of School Marshmallow Pops.

Hungry Happenings did some experiments to find a non-corn-syrup-based modelling chocolate recipe and discovered that, when combined with some fruit leather, she’d made tasty and adorable little books. Check out her recipe and tutorial here. She’s also got a round-up of some of her other school-themed treats here, some of which I think I’ve featured here before.

For a tutorial on making little monogrammed fondant books, check out this post by A Baked Creation.

The Sugar Turntable shows you how to make Chalkboard Cookies (via CraftGossip).

If your favourite student is into puzzles and you dig a bit of a baking challenge, go for this Rubik’s Cube Battenburg Cake by S’tasty.

It’s not just kids going back to school. If you happen to know a grown-up heading off to train for cop duty, you’ll definitely want to make these Police Academy Themed Cupcakes by Bake Happy. Even if you don’t, check out the creative use of parts of cutter shapes and texture pins.

 

Today on Quick Bites, lots of fun with cupcakes!

Making Cupcakes

Amazing Cupcakes

 

It’s a safe bet if you read this blog with any regularity that you either bake or want to. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the time will come when you need to ship something, present something, or dress something up. You could spend a fortune on pre-made items, or you could read the following bits of awesome advice on DIY constructions, presentations, and shipments:

What are your favourite DIY tips to facilitate your baking presentations?

And remember: if you like it when people go to great lengths to give you free stuff others charge for, especially those printables, it encourages them to keep doing it if you post a comment of thanks when you use them!

 

Been too busy to post for a bit, but enjoy these lovely works of confectionery art while I start sorting through my massive pile of links to share!

 

Give a hoot about these…okay no. No more bad owl puns in this post, I promise. Just awesome confection tutorials!

 

Still recovering from gummy class and Day of Sharing so apologies for the lack of posts. Here are some cool things I’ve found recently:

 

Today on Quick Bites, peach recipes!

Got another peach recipe? Post it in the comments! Meanwhile, pardon me while I go out back and water my old show cake.

 

In case you haven’t heard, there’s some kind of movie coming out today. Something about a hirsute boy wizard with a thing for ceramics and fermented dairy products. Wait, I’m confused…

In other words, today’s Quick Bites are all about the butterbeer, snitches, chocolate frogs, and other Potter goodies!

Late addition! I spied Bake at 350’s very own Butterbeer Cookies and since she passed on Sugarcrafter’s link above, wanted to make sure to include her own awesome cookies as well!

 

Our lovely and talented baker members have graciously shared the following recipes for food they donated to our annual Day of Sharing last weekend:


BANANA CAKE
CAPITAL CONFECTIONERS DOS 2011
CHRISTINE CANTRELL (based on Earlene Moore’s recipe)

1 Duncan Heinz banana cake mix
10 oz sour cream
3 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil (Canola )
2 teaspoons banana extract (Silver Cloud)
1 -2 TBSP banana icing fruit ( Albert User Banana Compound)
¼ cup Home Brew ( simple syrup + vodka + vanilla extract – see Earlene’s website for Home Brew recipe) or omit alcohol and just use equivalent of simple syrup or water

Mix all ingredients in Kitchenaid 30 seconds to combine, then beat medium speed for 3 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 325 about 50-60 minutes depending on size of pan.



COCONUT RASPBERRY BARS
By Christine Cantrell

Note: any fruit preserve would work well in this recipe. I like to use the fruit filling that you buy in 2lb tubes (All in One Bakery / Country Kitchen Sweetart).

Note: instead of making the cookie dough in this recipe, buying Pillsbury sugar cookie dough in rolls at the grocery store work very well.

Note: If you put the finished bars in the fridge or freezer to firm up before cutting into squares they will cut much cleaner.

Preheat: 350
Pan: 9 x 13 size

Dough:
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking powder

2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, DIVIDED
½ cup chopped nuts
1 12oz jar raspberry preserves
1 cup white chocolate chips

Method:
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder, gradually add this to creamed mixture.
Stir in 1 ¼ cups of coconut and all the nuts.

Assembly:
Press ¾ of the dough into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Spread with preserves. Sprinkle with white chocolate chips and remaining coconut. Crumble remaining dough over the tip; press lightly.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares.



STUFFED FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
From Christine Cantrell

Ingredients:

12 slices raisin bread ( or cinnamon swirl if you do not prefer raisins)
8 oz cream cheese
1 dozen eggs
2 cups milk
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup sugar
maple syrup (optional)

Method:

1.Cut bread slices into cubes.
2. Cover bottom of 9 x 13 dish with half the bread
3.Dot bread with cream cheese then cover with remaining bread.
4.In a separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar until well blended.
5.Pour egg mixture over bread and cream cheese.
6.Cover and refrigerate overnight.
7.Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until set.
8.Serve with warm maple syrup or without depending on taste.



Sausage Balls by Paula Deen
(Kyla Myers provided the link)



Also from Kyla Myers, her husband Chip’s Macaron recipe:

Hazelnut Chocolate Macaroons
from Macaroons: 30 Recipes for Perfect Bite-size Treats

1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup finely ground hazelnuts, plus 1tblsp chopped, to decorate
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 extra large egg whites
1/4 cup superfine sugar
generous 1/2 cup hazelnut chocolate spread

Place the ground almonds, ground hazelnuts, and confectioners sugar in a
food processor and process for 15 seconds. Sift the mixture into a bowl.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whip until holding soft peaks.
Gradually beat in the superfine sugar to make a firm, glossy meringue.

Using a spatula, fold the almond mixture into the meringue one-third at a
time. When all the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, continue to
cut and fold the mixture until it forms a shiny batter with a thick,
robbonlike consistency.

Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch/12-cm plain tip.
Pipe 32 small circles onto the prepared baking sheets. Tap the baking sheets
firmly onto a work surface to remove the air bubbles. Sprinkle over the
chopped hazelnuts. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the
oven to 35kF/160C.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Carefully
peel the macaroons off the parchment paper and cool completely.

Sandwich pairs of macaroons together with the hazelnut and chocolate spread.



Leslie Shkolnik brought some Homemade Samoas and provided the recipe from the Toffee Cheese Cake she brought last year:

Toffee Cheese Cake

Crust:
9 oz Plain chocolate wafer cookies (Nabisco Famous preferred) or graham crackers
1T + 1 tsp. Sugar
5 T Warm melted butter

Filling:
10 oz Toffee candy bars, chilled (Heath bar and/or SKOR)
24 oz Cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup + 2T Sugar
¾ cup Whipping cream
½ cup Sour Cream
1T Vanilla
2T Lemon Juice
4 Eggs

Lightly coat 8-inch springform pan with softened butter. Set pan aside.

Insert metal blade into processor. Break up cookies and process with 1 Tablespoon plus 1 tsp. sugar until fine. Add melted butter, process until mixture is moist. If mixture is not sticking, add a little more butter. Press the mixture evenly onto bottom and sides of spring form pan. (Don’t wash processor container yet.) Freeze 10 minutes. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes and cool to room temperature before filling.

Return processor container and blade to base. Break up candy bars and pulse until coarsely chopped. Set chopped candy aside in large mixing bowl. Or candy can be broken up by hand for bigger pieces. I usually use mini heath bars and cut them into larger pieces with kitchen shears. Rinse out processor container.

Cut cream cheese into chunks and place in processor with 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar, whipping cream, source cream, vanilla and lemon juice. Process, pushing mixture down onto blades, until pureed mixture moves in a whirlpool.

Lightly beat eggs in measuring cup. With motor running, quickly pour beaten eggs through food chute, then immediately stop processing. Sweep container side with spatula to dislodge any small chunks of cream cheese, and pulse into batter once or twice.

Pour cheesecake batter into bowl and mix thoroughly with candy. Ladle batter into crust and bake at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes or until center of cake is just set (up to 15 minutes longer.) Carefully remove cake from oven, cool to room temperature on wire rack, then refrigerate 4 hours or overnight before slicing. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Los Angeles Times
Thursday, August 1988