Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Game of Thrones - Lyanna Stark Blue Winter Rose Cupcakes & Shade of the Evening Tea


Winter is coming back July 16th peeps! Meaning the Season 7 start of Game of Thrones - the long running HBO series based on the Songs of Fire and Ice books by George R.R. Martin.  

So in anticipation - more Game of Thrones cupcakes!


And I think you really have to be a book and series fan to get these.  They are support for Team Stark aka The Starks of Winterfell - the original family and cast from the beginning that have been separated since the first season.  They can never fully get back together since some have already been killed off the show.  That's just how the books go and you can't get attached to any one character - we all learned that early on! BUT I am still routing for the Starks!

House Stark clockwise - Catelyn and Ned Stark (mom and dad), Jon Snow (a "bastard of Ned's), Robb Stark (oldest), Rickon (youngest), Bran Stark, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark

These cupcakes are actually for Ned's sister Lyanna Stark who died mysteriously earlier before the books and series even start but we get clues to what's happened and why along the way via flashbacks.  Not to give any spoilers but we know she plays a big part for one of the kids which they seemed to reveal at the end of Season 6.  

One of the things the books go into more detail about is her love of and association with blue winter roses that grow only in the North so I wanted to make my version of them - in cupcake form of course!

The pale blue color is all natural and comes from dried butterfly pea flowers.  Steep them in some milk and you get a really pretty pastel blue color.  (This is my fav way to tint stuff blue these days!)


My go to method for piping roses or flowers are with some Russian piping tips I got awhile back.  To add a little contrasting color - grey - which also happens to be the go to color of House Stark - add some to the middle of the blue icing. 


Wrap the icing up in some plastic wrap, cut the end off, then insert into a piping bag with the tip and pipe to get some 2 toned easy roses.


If you steep the dried flowers in some water for awhile you also get some neat darker blue/aqua tea which I thought would be cool to go along with the blue rose cupcakes.  

Actually in the books they talk about a drink called Shade of the Evening - which is said to be very blue and if you drink enough can give magical powers.  It's often drunk by warlocks and said to turn their lips blue.  I love these books and the detail within!


The frosting color came out very light to almost gray which seemed perfect for the Winterfell clan since their sigil is a grey direwolf (basically giant wolves) and works well since they are from the North which is cold and wintery most of the time.


Oh and the cupcake flavor is lemon which is one of Sansa Stark's favorite flavs since she apparently loves lemon cakes.  Don't judge that I know so much minutia about GoT - I've read the books a bunch of times since we are still waiting for the next book - Winds of Winter, waiting since 2011! 
(Come of George!)


One of the catch phrases of the Stark's is that "Winter is coming" meaning that a very long and cold winter like no other is around the corner.  They've been saying it since Season 1, but it looks like in Season 7 they are right and Winter - and the anticipated clash of Winter and Fire may finally be happening - at least that's what I hope!

And speaking of fire and ice - I added a little "fire" inside some of the Lyanna Stark winter themed cupcakes.  The HBO show has bypassed the book now and last season they did some revealing about Jon Snow's real parents.  Again don't want to spoil anything but let's just say the Starks of the North are very wintery and another prominent family - House Targaryen - are more hot and fiery.  One of the main characters Daenerys Targaryen is marching back to Westeros with her dragons.  Her brother Rhaegar died before the books start (like Lyanna) and there *might* be something about he and Lyanna that gets revealed this season so I thought these cupcakes kinda summed that up.


Or you can just go with the plain lemon cupcake - either way these are Game of Throny and fun!


And Winter is almost here! Only 7 more sleeps - I can't wait!

Winter is Here

Anyway, if you don't watch or haven't read the books this is all probably meaningless to you - but I hope you at least like the cupcakes! I used a different frosting - a flour frosting which was so light and fluffy and a homemade lemon cupcake.  I think all the Stark's would approve!

Are you as excited for the return of GoT as me? If yes leave me a comment with your fav GoT clan or character! There's so many to choose from!


Game of Thrones - Blue Rose Cupcakes 

Ingredients

Flour Frosting adapted from Serious Eats
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup butter softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried butterfly pea flowers
  • Black food colorant (optional)
Lemon Cupcakes adapted from Life, Love and Sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup  milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • Mix of red/orange/yellow candy coated sunflower seeds and sprinkles for inside cupcakes (optional)
Instructions

Frosting:
  1. Steep milk and dried flowers over low heat until milk is tinted light blue.  Remove from heat and remove flowers.
  2. In a new sauce pan, whisk together flour and sugar. Whisk in tinted milk. Place saucepan over low heat and bring to a boil, whisking continuously, then cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Pour the pudding onto a clean heatproof plate or shallow container. Immediately cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly against the mixture's surface.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle, or in a mixing bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the butter until smooth and fluffy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the cooled flour mixture one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and salt and beat until frosting looks thick, smooth, and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Remove about 3/4 cup and tint with drop of black food color to get gray color.
  5. Spread blue icing 1/2 inch thick into rectangle shape on plastic wrap.  Spread a line of gray icing down center.  Wrap up icing into a log and snip the end off.  Insert into piping bag with the Russian flower piping tip.  Pipe flowers onto cupcakes.  Here is a great video tutorial.
Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F 
  2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. 
  3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, lemon extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  5. Slowly add the water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. 
  6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Once cooled remove some of the middle of the cupcakes and fill with red/orange/yellow candies (optional).
  8. Pipe roses with blue/gray frosting.
Other Game of Thrones Treats you may like if you're obsessed like me!

Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Energy Balls

Game of Thrones food


Game of Thrones food


Game of Thrones food


Game of Thrones food


Game of Thrones food


Friday, June 2, 2017

Rainbow Frosted Mini Donuts - vegan, raw, natural colors & no refined sugars


Happy National Doughnut Day! 

Get out there and get your freebie OR make your own! 

And I know you're thinking - no sugar - what the what??!! That cannot be a real doughnut.  But these are definitely sweet - just no refined sugars and you can feel less guilty for eating a bunch.


AND my obsession with natural colorants continues as these have no artificial colors or flavors added.


The base is all raw (Don't think like raw meat, but not baked) made from dates, coconut, pumpkin seeds, and coconut oil.


And the donut "glaze" is made from cashews, coconut oil, and a little maple syrup for sweetness.


The colors come from some of my favs these days for naturally coloring sweets:


And sprinkle them with fun and good stuff like edible dried lavender, freeze dried strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, unsweetened coconut, candied ginger, nuts, turmeric, hibiscus powders - pretty much whatever you have you can add on top.


I love a pretty frosted doughnut and these mini healthy versions are perfect for my night time sweet tooth! 


Healthy eating and exercising was my 2017 new years resolution - not a diet but a real change in lifestyle and eating habits.  I still indulge and enjoy myself just in moderation - especially as I try to set an example for my 3 kiddos.  It seems today more than ever every one of us has to be accountable for their own actions and set an example for the next generations - you can't assume leaders or other role models will make the right choices.  

Thank you for swinging by and do something nice for someone today!

Rainbow Frosted Mini Raw Doughnuts

Ingredients and Instructions:

Doughnuts

1 cup mejool dates
1/4 flaked unsweetened coconut
1/8 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 teaspoons of coconut oil 
  1. Add ingredients to food processor and pulse until all is chopped into very small pieces and pasty.
  2. Scoop about 2 tablespoonfuls and add to mini donut pan (or shape into mini donuts)
  3. Refrigerate 15 minutes then remove from pan.
Frosting

2 cups raw cashews (soak over night in water)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (melted)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Add cashews to high speed blender and blend until mixture is thick and creamy and no large pieces (you may need to use a spatula to move cashews around until all are blended well).
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixture resembles icing.   
  3. Add mixture to smaller bowls and tint with natural colorants (about 1 teaspoon of powder for each cup of frosting - or more depending on how dark you want the color - the color does darken a bit as they set) like carrot powder, turmeric powder, freeze dried raspberry, freeze dried blueberry, matcha, hibiscus powder, blue spirulina powder, or beet powder.  
  4. Sprinkle frosted "donuts" with edible dried lavender, freeze dried strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, unsweetened coconut, candied ginger, nuts, turmeric, hibiscus powders.
Prep time: 60 minutes Yield: about 20-24 doughnuts.  Stores 1-2 days at room temperature (or 2 weeks refrigerated - you can also freeze them to last longer)

If you want some regular donut recipes and treats - you may also like these!














Sunday, May 21, 2017

Disney Tsum Tsum Pretzel Snacks


Since I love all things cute and tiny - I am a huge fan of Tsum Tsums!

What's a Tsum Tsum you ask? They are cute plush versions of your favorite Disney characters that can be stacked.  They were originally created for Disney Japan since Japan loves all that is cute and tiny as well - but the craze has caught on all over the world.  The name comes from a Japanese term for stack and you pronounce it "soom soom" 


Aren't they the cutest? I am trying to get my kids to collect but they are not as interested as I would have been at that age! My daughter also has this super cute Tsum Tsum t-shirt...


So I was inspired to make them in pretzel snack form!


They actually came together pretty quickly since the base is a square pretzel topped with discs of candy melt circles.  Details are added with other candies, sprinkles, more melted candy melt, and edible food writers.


You can mix and match your favorite characters.  They pretty much all come in Tsum Tsum form these days and not just plushies either - there are plastic or vinyl figures, games, and all kinds of other trinkets, clothes, and stuff plastered with Tsumy cuteness.


My favs are still Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Daisy


But Pooh and his friends come in a close 2nd!


Do you love Tsum Tsums? Which are your favs?? 

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Disney Tsum Tsum Pretzel Snacks
Ingredients
  • Pretzel squares
  • Various color candy melt wafers (plus extra for melting to attach to pretzel and adding details)
  • Various candy and sprinkles (m and m's, candy coated sunflower seeds, heart shaped sprinkles, various colors of non-pariels)
  • Black edible food marker
Instructions:
  1. Melt wafers in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip an end and attach wafer to pretzel square.  Eeyore is made with purple disc and part cream colored disc.
  2. Use more melted candy in coordinated colors to attach other candy/sprinkles as the detail.  Follow pictures for directions.
  3. Add additional detail with edible food writers.
Prep time: 45 minutes Yield: about 24 pretzel snacks

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Lavender and Rose Sandwich Cookies


Sometimes you just have to make yourself some pretty cookies.  With Mother's Day coming up I whipped up some quick and easy rose and lavender sandwich cookies - just for me!

I work outside of the house full time and have 3 kiddos (a 12 almost 13 year old and 10 year old twins) so as with most moms - I rarely get to do stuff just for me.  As I get older, I'm finding that I need to make more time for that- to take more time to smell the roses - OR lavender!

Both are 2 of my favs so I decided to make some pretty sandwich cookies.


I had a little leftover sugar cookie dough so baked up a bunch of small round cookies.


Also had some leftover buttercream so flavored 1/2 with rose water and 1/2 with dried lavender.


Tint them with food gels to get rose and lavender colors (if you don't like dyes you can skip that step of course - or you can try natural colors like a little beet powder)


Add a dollop of flavored buttercream and top with another cookie!


See - pretty little sandwich cookies (which make me so happy!)


They would work great for Mother's Day or a baby shower too.  The hubby and I are getting away next weekend - we had this planned from awhile ago and I realized this week that I will be away from the kids on Mother's Day this year (insert sad crying emoji!).  You have to have some grown up alone time too right? But I'm trying not to feel too guilty for not seeing the kiddos this Sunday. Eating a bunch of these sandwich cookies may help me out of that feeling!

Sandwich Cookies with Lavender and Rose buttercream filling

Ingredients
  • 1/2  roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough (or use your favorite home made recipe)
  • 2 cups of buttercream icing
  • 1 teaspoon of rose water (add a little at a time until you get the rose flavor you like - it can get intense if you add too much)
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered dried lavender (add a little at a time until you get the rose flavor you like - it can get intense if you add too much)
  • rose and lavender colored food gel
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll dough into half in balls and place on baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 7 minutes or until edges of cookies are just golden.  Let cool.
  4. Separate buttercream into 2 bowls.  
  5. Add rose water and rose colored gel to one and mix well.
  6. Add lavender and lavender colored gel to the other and mix well.
  7. Add dollop of buttercream to one cookie then place another on top.  Press until buttercream just comes to edges of cookies. 
  8. Garnish with dried lavender or edible rose petals 
Prep time: 35 minutes Yield: about 20 sandwich cookies


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Potted Plant Cake Bites (Baby Groot, Harry Potter Mandrakes, and Little Shop of Horrors Audrey II


Is everyone excited for Guadian's of the Galaxy Volume 2?? It opens on May 5th and its one we've definitely been waiting for since Vol 1.  Hoping the story and the soundtrack are as excellent as the first! 

So in prep I made some Baby Groot cake bites.  My kiddo reminded me that in Vol 2 Baby Groot has grown a bit and no longer needs his pot - but way too cute not to keep him in the pot for now.  


And since I was "planting" I thought there should also be some mandrakes - you know those potted plants that when you pull them out of the dirt will scream - and can be deadly! Make sure you wear your earmuffs if taking Herbology with Professor Sprout!


And one of the other "famous" potted plants is the blood craving plant Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.  She starts out so little and cute until Seymour finds out she needs human blood to thrive - not so cute anymore!


My green thumb for growing real plants is pretty bad but this kind of planting I can handle!

Pots are made using a plastic candy mold (cordial cup but you can use any cup shaped mold you have) and candy melts.  Fill with cake bite mixture and top with crushed chocolate cookies or "edible moss".  I have a post on edible moss you can find here.  


Baby Groot is definitely my fav - as he seems like he's dancing away in his little cup.


And those mandrakes are most definitely super annoying!

video

Have a great week all!

Baby Groot, Harry Potter Mandrake, and Little Shop of Horrors Audrey II Cake Bites

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of candy melts/wafers in (use whatever color you prefer) for flower pots
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips or candy melts/wafers
  • 1/4 cup red candy melts/wafers
  • 10 Square pretzels and 10 pretzel sticks
  • 10 Teddy Graham graham crackers
  • Green leaf sprinkles 
  • 10 black and 10 green jelly beans
  • 1 cup of chocolate cake bite mixture (about 1 cup of crumbled cake mixed with 1 tablespoon of frosting)
  • 1/2 cup of crushed chocolate wafer cookies
Instructions
  1. Melt each candy wafers in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals in microwave.  Coat mold on the outside to create pot shape (you may need to let candy harden and repeat to get a thick enough wall to your pot).  Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until candy is hardened.  Pop shape out of mold.
  2. Add cake bite mix to each pot to fill almost to the top.  Sprinkle with crushed cookie as dirt.
  3. For Groot: Cut the 2 ends of each black jelly bean - for eyes.  Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals - add to plastic bag, snip and end and "pipe" chocolate onto pretzel.  Before chocolate hardens, add green leaf sprinkles to top randomly, add eyes eyes.  Let chocolate harden for 10 minutes.  Draw wood lines and mouth with a toothpick.  Pipe chocolate onto pretzel stick as Groot body.  Before it hardens add a head and let harden 10-15 minutes.
  4. For Mandrakes: Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals - add to plastic bag, snip and end and "pipe" chocolate over teddy graham into mandrake body shape.  Repeat with green candy wafers and add leaves on top.  Let chocolate/candy harden for 10 minutes.  Draw mandrake face with a toothpick.
  5. For Audrey II: Melt green wafers in microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals - add to plastic bag, snip and end and "pipe" 3 leaves for each Audrey.  Let harden for 5-10 minutes. Pipe one nickel shaped circle of melted green candy to parchment paper, add green jelly bean to center and add leaves around - use more melted candy as needed.  Melt red wafers and pipe on mouth.  Let harden for 10 minutes.
  6. Insert Groot and mandrakes into pots (push into "dirt" to stand them up) and set Audrey's on top of dirt. 
Prep time: 1 and 1/2 hours Yield: about 30 cake bites (10 of each)