Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peppermint Meringues & Buttercream Roses

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Below is my favorite part...the leftover sandwich!

thanksgiving sammy (1)

thanksgiving sammy (2)

So if you know me at all, you know I am completely obsessed with Christmas. I've been listening to Christmas music since the first week of November, I already have the majority of my shopping done and wrapped, and Jeff and I had the house decorated the day before Thanksgiving. I think I may have scared people.

Last Christmas, I picked up a copy of Martha Stewart Living. It was dangerous. I love wrapping gifts almost as much as baking, and I got the bright idea from Martha that I should make all of my own gift tags using her paper cutters from Michaels. And as always when I do a craft, $50 dollars and 4 hours later it was a disaster and a mess. Thanks Martha.

This year, I stupidly picked up the Christmas issue again. Apparently Martha thought it was a GREAT idea to string spice drops on a needle and thread. In a previous life, I think I lived in Sugar Plum Land, so anything that would help transport me to that world always gets me. $3 dollars and an hour later I was up to my elbows in stickiness and annoyed. Thanks again Martha.

Anyways, the point I am trying to get to is that good did come out of this year's Christmas issue. On the back, there was a recipe for peppermint meringues with a chocolate ganache. They looked so beautiful!!! One evening later, success! The recipe is on the very last page of December's issue, however it is almost identical to the Peppermint Meringues with Chocolate Filling recipe on her website.

Check out the link below, and also my new fancy watermark Jeff made me! Don't forget to check out what he's been up to at Jeff Porter Design !

peppermint meringues (7)

peppermint meringues (6)

peppermint meringues (2)

Next up, buttercream roses. I've been watching videos on YouTube on how to make them for the past few weeks. The equipment needed to make them was cheap, so I finally got up the courage to give them a shot.

A co-worker's birthday was today, so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to give them a shot. Even if they didn't come out perfect, the 5 others that I work with never complain about being my guinea pigs.

I made my usual chocolate sour cream cupcakes from cupcakes! cookbook. These always taste absolutely amazing but for the life of me, they sink in the middle and separate from the liner every time. But, I have an easy fix for that...coring them and filling the center with ganache. Heh heh.

I made a Swiss buttercream (warm 3 egg whites and 3/4 cup sugar in a double boiler until the sugar has dissolved, whip to a stiff peak in the stand mixer, then add in 2, yes 2, sticks of butter one tablespoon at a time, then add vanilla extract) so the frosting would have stability.

I started by trying to pipe the frosting on the cupcakes with a purple swirl like in the meringues. That didn't work out, the color didn't take to the frosting like it did to the meringue, and it looked like a streaky mess. So I scraped the frosting off and tried tinting the whole batch of frosting purple. For some reason it wouldn't take, so hence the dull shade of purple.

I covered up the mess the best I could by smoothing a layer of frosting on the cupcake. Next up....the roses...palms I go...

Buttercream Roses 5

The end result, not to bad. The hardest part was trying to transfer the rose to the cupcake. I need to work on my aim! But here they are, in all their depressing gray-purple glory. Not too shabby for a first try if you ask me!

Buttercream Roses 1

Buttercream Roses 2

Buttercream Roses 4

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