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Valentine’s Petit Fours {A Tutorial}

17 Feb

Valentine’s day isn’t over around here! I recently had the opportunity to make an order of petit fours for a special Valentine’s surprise from a wife to her husband, who happens to be a fan of petit fours. Go figure right? Men can be surprising.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to try my first tutorial! So… here it goes.

Of course the first step is to prepare your cake batter. If you’re not much of a “from scratch” cake baker, no worries, you can always use a box mix! For some projects, box cake doesn’t work well because of its light and airy consistency, but since we’re going to be freezing the cake, the texture of a box mix cake doesn’t make too much of a difference. Side note: when I first started baking, sometimes I would use an “altered” box mix in a pinch. Add strawberries, and lemon juice, or some peaches, (you get the picture) and adjust the liquids from there. Creates a totally new flavor without worrying about trying a whole new recipe! But anyway, I digress…

Next, pour your batter into your prepared cake pan. I always make sure to use parchment paper on the bottom to make the rest of the project (and my life!) easier. Now, this is where your batter matters. Know your recipe to know how “full” to make your pan.

After the cake has baked and cooled, stick it (still in the pan) into the freezer for about… 15 minutes or so (very scientific I know). Once you take it out, it will be ready to “pop” out of the pan onto a cutting board or a cooling rack (my preference). Use something you’ll be able to put back in the freezer after you’ve cut your cake pieces though.

Then use a ruler to cut each piece of cake the same size. I generally use an 8×11 inch cake pan and then use the ruler every 2 inches. I just line the ruler up and slide the knife along the side. I end up with an inch of extra cake on one side, but it’s easier that way then trying to do all that math!

Once finished cutting the 2 inch squares, I take the knife and slice each one in half across the middle to make room for the filling. You could tort the cake before you cut all the little pieces, but that would be too easy. 🙂

Next, I squeezed a dollop of homemade strawberry filling onto the bottom half of each petit four and stacked the top back on. Then place them back on the cooling rack and back into the freezer while you get prepared.

Now comes the fun part! I chose to cover my petit fours in butter cream fondant because well.. because I did. You could easily elect to cover them in poured candy melts, pourable fondant, etc. Rolled fondant just works for me. The recipe is butter cream like, so it tastes much better than traditional fondant or anything you’d buy at the store. If you are interested in the poured method, there is a great tutorial HERE.

Gather up a ball of whatever color of fondant you are wanting to use. I did white, red, and pink for my final product. Using the 2 inch size method, it takes approximately a bouncy ball sized amount of fondant for each petit four (there I go getting all scientific again!)

Next you’ll roll it out and cover one square at a time. Fondant takes some practice and… finesse, so don’t get discouraged and keeping playing with it. You may want to make a bit extra if it’s your first time to account for a whoops or two.

After you manage to get the petit four covered in fondant, decorate to your hearts desire! I did a combination of fondant roses, fondant hearts, and the word LOVE. All pictured below.

Fondant Roses

If you’re interested in learing how to make a fondant rose, there is a tutorial HERE.

I just used a clover flower cutter (from a Wilton flower making kit) but you could also use a small heart cutter if you like for the white hearts. I put a dollop of royal icing onto the petit four to act as glue for the fondant heart.

I’m using a #2 Wilton tip for all of the piping. You can use whatever size you are comfortable with!

These were so much fun to create. The possibilities are endless!

If you give this a try, comment here with a link for me to see how yours turned out!

Happy Baking!

Valentine’s Cookie Bouquet

11 Feb

Valentine’s day is fast approaching, and so to commemorate the occasion, I had to create some special Valentine’s day treats! I’ve been wanting to do a Valentine’s cookie bouquet for quite some time and just haven’t been able to find the time. While I didn’t get this one done in time to create a flyer for Valentine’s Day present ideas, I still thought it turned out quite well and will be more than ready for next year!

A combination of X’s and O’s and hearts seemed the perfect match to me. 

This will be the perfect thing for me to add to my display as the the business of the month at the bank this month!

For some reason I always struggle with creative ideas for how to decorate XOXO cookies. There must be some subliminal mind block against hugs and kisses in my brain… Nah… that’s not it! Anyway, I went with the outlining approach. I’ll try to branch out more next time!

The heart cookies were the most fun because I got to experiment with a new technique that I learned from Sweet Sugar Belle! Adding lace to the cookies was as easy as she described it to be and I really enjoyed it. I’ll most definitely be using this technique on future projects!

I really enjoyed making these. I hope you enjoyed checking them out!

Bylina Anniversary Cake

20 Sep

It’s a true testament to how “blog-ddicted” (that’s blog addicted, and yes it’s a word. Look it up. But only in the special dictionary I hand wrote it in at my house) i’ve become by the fact that it’s only been a little over a week since i’ve posted and i’ve felt deprived and like i’ve been neglecting my blog. But the good news is that i’ve got a new project to share!

I was honored to be asked to do an anniversary cake for my dear friend and ex-boss Ed Bylina. He and Genie have been married 18 years now and they wanted to celebrate in a very special way! What better way than cake? Well there isn’t one of course…

Genie wanted a cake that was chocolate with some chocolate. Oh and add in some more chocolate. You get my drift. So I went with a devil’s food cake (my favorite chocolate cake recipe) with fudge filling, dirty iced in chocolate buttercream, and covered in chocolate fondant. Can it get any more chocolate than that???

The gumpaste flowers were almost as much fun as the piping. I wanted to do something three dimensional and classy, so the ivory flowers seemed like a great fit. Once I got them done I figured why not paint them with red accent? So…. that’s what I did. I personally think it turned out great with red tips.

So… needless to say i’m really pumped to do my next cake, just waiting for that exciting event to come up! 

How Cute Are These?

29 Jul

My love for weddings and all things cute comes out in these fun and sophisticated cookies for wedding receptions and rehersal dinners. These already seem to be a big hit, so i’m excited to share!

Monogram Wedding Cookies