Monday, December 9, 2013

A Christmas Cake and Other Christmas Goodies

We attended our first Christmas party food fest of the season this past weekend. You know, the parties dinners that you attend and eat and eat and eat?

Yes. We did that.

The appetizer bar grabbed hold of me and would not let go. I had so much smoked salmon, shrimp and uh, yes, uh chicken tenders that I had no room left for my dinner.

I  know, I know "chicken tenders" are a kid kinda thing but believe me people, these are the best chicken tenders I have ever eaten - in my life. I only get them once a year so I sorta have to make up for lost time.

Know what I mean?

I was only able to eat one small bite of my filet. The hubster tackled about a third of his prime rib.

We brought home an entire pound of beef. We did. I weighed it. Right at one pound.

I am making veggie beef soup now.

That's not so important when there is a Christmas cake happening!

I had visions of this cake for several weeks before December even got here.

I finally had to just do it.

I covered it with vanilla buttercream. Then I covered it again with sparkle sugar. I wanted it to look like the glistening snow with the sun is shinning on it.

I made the star flower out of fondant with a bit of tylose powder mixed in. I used three start cutters in various sizes. Once I cut them out I set each start in a former cup to dry. I attached them together using gum glue. I painted it with gold luster dust with a small amount of vodka mixed in to make an edible paint. I dusted the star flower with some non-toxic disco dust.

I cut three various sizes of Christmas trees out of fondant for the side of the cake. I let them dry for several days. I used a silicone mold to make the stars. I decorated each tree individually using luster dusts, pearl dusts, sparkle sugar, sugar pearls and disco dust.

I cut a few snowflakes out of fondant and placed them randomly on the cake.

It was very time consuming. So time consuming, it was craziness at it finest.

To make the snow on top, I used a big round tip.

This was the original design. The snow didn't cover the top of the cake. I added some yellow sparkle sugar to create a sun ray effect coming from the star flower.

I didn't like the snow or the yellow sparkle sugar so I took it off and redesigned the top.

I liked it better with the snow falling over the sides of the cake.

What do you think? Which top do you prefer?

I also made sugar cookies.

My royal icing skills could definitely improve. I am working on it.

Don't laugh.

The cookies are probably more time consuming than the cake being each one is decorated individually with several layers.

Anyone who can do this kind of stuff for hours and hours must be crazy, right!?

That would be me.

I made these peppermint icing shots and dipped them in peppermint candy melts. I made my regular buttercream recipe and made it really stiff. Instead of fresh cream, I used evaporated milk as the liquid so they would be more shelf stable and wouldn't need constant refrigeration.

Then I proceeded to roll, what seemed like, a million little one inch balls. I don't see this project again in my future. "Dipping" is a challenge all it's own.

These homemade vanilla marshmallows look really cool floating around in a cup of hot chocolate. Or it looks even cooler when you pop one, right after the other, into your mouth.

It is difficult to stop eating fresh marshmallows

These cookies are my "Happy Birthday Jesus" sugar cookies.  They are princess flavored and topped with buttercream icing and sparkle sugar. The candle is made with fondant using a silicone mold.

Then there are the cupcakes! These babies are dark chocolate cake with crushed candy canes in the batter. I covered them with ganache and added an extra large swirl of peppermint buttercream.

Chocolate ganache drippies? Of course.

There is just something about chocolate ganache drippies, don't you think? It somehow takes a "ho-hum" dessert up to the next level of simply luxurious.

I may have a slight obsession with chocolate ganache drippies. I wouldn't tell that just "anyone" so keep it to yourself.

The last Christmas goodie is this dark chocolate candy cane cake. It is covered with dark chocolate ganache.

There are no drippies. Can you believe that? Instead, there is a royal icing poinsettia, chocolate holly leaves and red fondant berries.

I love Christmas baking. I bet you didn't know that did you? Heck, I love all baking.

That soup? Yes, it was great. I have never have veggie soup with filet and prime rib before. It was a high dollar soup - no kidding.

You want to know a secret? My go-to spice for veggie/beef soup is "Kickin' Chicken" by Weber." It definitely brings an ordinary soup up to the next level.

Maybe one day I will share my simple soup recipe with you.

I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season this year. I sure am. I am still a bit sad because Thanksgiving was late and there is one week less to enjoy the season.

Since no one is allowed to mess with the calendar "it is what it is." I am trying to squeeze in all of the Christmas bliss that I possibly can into these few weeks.

I hope you are loving the season as much as I am!

Are you doing any special Christmas baking this year?

Or for those of you who don't bake….any special sweets purchases?

Love, Love


  1. I love the chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream! I think your royal icing looks great especially on those red white blue trees. I might make some Oreo peppermint popcorn this year. It is really really yummy but addictive also. Katie M.

  2. Katie, you may have to give me the recipe for your "oreo peppermint popcorn." I have never heard of that! Sounds really good!

  3. Disco dust is inedible plastic craft glitter and is not for use on food.

    To keep something edible, edible glitter made from gum arabic, sanding sugar, or gelatin should be used.