Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) No Dip Cake Bites


Have you noticed all the Day of the Dead stuff in stores lately? In all transparency I really didn't know much about this holiday except that it was of Mexican origin so I decided to do a little research.  


Day of the Dead aka Día de los Muertos is indeed a Mexican holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember those who have died and help support their spiritual journey.   


I was curious about all the skulls decorated with bright colors and flowers and according to experts (aka Wikipedia) "people go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing favorite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them." 


 "Plans for the day are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead. During the 3-day period families usually clean and decorate graves which often include orange Mexican marigolds sometimes called Flor de Muerto (Flower of Dead). These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. It is also believed the bright petals with a strong scent can guide the souls from cemeteries to their family homes."

"Families will also offer trinkets or the deceased's favorite candies on the grave. Some families have ofrendas in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto ("bread of dead"), and sugar skulls; and beverages such as atole. The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased."
So now I know and decided to make some of my own sugar skulls! I opted for no dip cake bites.


Dipping treats is my least favorite thing to do so I found a work  around.  I started with some cupcakes.  Crumble and mix with the frosting in a bowl.


Use a skull silicone ice cube tray and outline skull with melted white chocolate or vanilla melting wafers.  Don't fill it all the way with the chocolate - you want to leave space to fill it.  Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes until chocolate is hardened.


Fill mold with cupcake mixture then cover with more melted chocolate.


Refrigerate for another 10 minutes then pop skull out of mold.


Decorate with fun sprinkles and/or more melting wafers.  I added a little edible silver spray to finish them.


Day of the Dead falls is October 31, Nov 1, and 2.  Kinda neat that it coincides with Halloween!


Do you celebrate or decorate for Day of the Dead? If so share what you do! 

Hay más tiempo que vida which means there is more time than life - so very true.  Enjoy each day to its fullest!

Happy days to you and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Pool Inflatable Donut Treats


So I've been a little obsessed with all the trendy bird inflatables that are so popular right now.  I don't even know why (we don't even have a swimming pool - we just mooch off of our good friends) but I just love the way they look.  


I've seen some flamingo donuts that also look like the pool inflatables so wanted to try to recreate them and some others too. I got a bit carried away with my bird theme! 

Can you guess what they are?? And why ostriches and peacocks are in the water I'll never know!

Clockwise from center: Flamingo, Great Crane, Black Swan, Ostrich, Peacock, White Swan, and Canadian Goose
Start with some baked mini vanilla donuts


Glaze them with the colors of your birds (or whatever inflatable you love!)


I made the heads with some melted candy melts in various colors.  Trace them on some parchment paper and let harden. 


Attach them with some toothpicks and more melted candy and decorate the donuts like the birds.  I also attached them to some graham cracker bases to float them in "water" aka dark blue vanilla candy melts.


I thought they needed someone to ride them so gave some teddy grahams sunglasses and swimsuits!


And add a decorated bear to each of your pool float treats!


Super cute for a summer party or to say thank you for letting us use your pool over the summer!


Can you believe it's already mid-August?? 

I say this every single year but time moves even faster than the previous year.  Is that even possible? Well enjoy even the crappy parts of your day as you'll forget about it soon enough!  

Enjoy the edible pool floats and thanks for swinging by!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Cute Animal Madeleine Cookie Pops (a la Trendy Animal Cakes)



Do you love all the trendy animal themed cakes going around the interwebs? 

The most famous is the unicorn cake of course.  

I recently made one for my daughter's 11th birthday along with a Marvel themed cake for her twin!


I really wanted to make all the animals in cake form but then I got realistic and decided on madeleine cookie pops.

I have a madeleine pan that my sister gave me years ago and I love using it.  1) Because the madeleine cookie recipe is so simple and 2) Madeleine cookies are one of my favs because they are more like little cakes!


Once baked and cooled I used various colors of candy melts/chocolates and sprinkles to transform them into cute animals.  

Fox & Bear


Bunny Rabbit & Sheep


Deer & Llama


 And of course a Narwhal & Unicorn!


I love seeing them all together and if I had more time would have loved to add other cute animals to the collection! Don't forget to add those trendy closed eyes with eyelashes!


Wrap them up and bring them to a summer party or use as party gifts.


Which is your fav animal??

Thanks for swinging by - is it summer or winter where you live?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Flag Shaped Coconut Macaroons



Any coconut fans out there? How about coconut macaroons?

I'm not talking about the super trendy macarons that are everywhere now.   I mean macaroons, the sweet and mostly coconut-y treats that I personally love!


I thought red, white and blue macaroons would be fun and I wanted to shape them into US flags for the 4th of July holiday.  Start by making a batch of macaroon batter divided into 3 bowls.  Leave one bowl as is and tint the other 2 with red and blue food gels.


Shape into flags and add non-pareil sprinkles as "stars" or use star sprinkles if you have them.


Bake until just done for about 15 minutes (depending on size of your flags and your oven) but watch them and take out at the first sign of browning of edges.


If you have coconut fans then these fun flag shaped macaroons will definitely be a hit!

flag shaped coconut macaroons by sugarswings.com

Bring them to a party for a unique sweet treat!

Happy Fourth of July to those who celebrate! How do you plan to spend your 4th of July??


Red, White and Blue Flag Shaped Macaroons

Ingredients:

1 and 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
red and blue food gel
white small non-pareil sprinkles

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Add all ingredients (up to vanilla) together in bowl and mix well
  3. Divide mixture into 3 bowls
  4. Add red gel to one of the bowls and blue food gel to another
  5. Shape into flags using the mixtures (use spoon to drop mix onto baking sheet and butter knife to keep edges straight)
  6. Add sprinkles as "stars" on to blue section
  7. Bake for 15 minutes (depending on size of your flags and your oven) but watch them and take out at the first sign of browning of edges.
Prep time: 30 minutes Yield: about 12 macaroons.  Stores 1-2 days at room temperature (or 2 weeks refrigerated - you can also freeze them to last longer)


Other coconut treats you may like:









Sunday, May 20, 2018

HBO's Westworld Cupcakes


Any Westworld fans out there? 


Westworld is HBO's series about artificial intelligence, robots, and how they're being used for parks and recreation in addition to other dark and mysterious projects.

Spoiler alert!!! Do Not read on if you aren't caught up!


In this second season we've learned that the robots aka "hosts" are powered by a "brain" that you can extract and view their programming and memories.  Host brains or power sources are white.  

They are also attempting to clone humans and actually upload a person's consciousness.  Those are the red "brains".


As soon as I saw them I thought they looked like cupcakes so just had to make some host and clone "brain" cupcakes!  I know it's a little weird and dark but they do!


You can see more about how these white "brains" work here and apparently you can take them out and hook them up to any tech.  They must have universal ports!


Also what we're learning is that there are orbs inside that are printed with a human's "consciousness".  They may be called chestnuts and we've only seen the red ones.  I don't know yet if the robot hosts also have orbs but I made them anyway (out of cake bite mixture) for symmetry!

Red orbs are red velvet cake bites and white orbs are funfetti cake bites - well because the robot hosts are more fun at this point in the series.


Take each of the cake bites and put them in the center of the cupcakes aka power sources.


Then bake up as normal


Frost with some red frosting for the clone "brains"


And white for the host brains


Then enjoy!


The series is exploring some really deep stuff like what does it really mean to be human.  Or should humans live forever.  Or if robots evolve to consciousness do they become human.  Really deep stuff that makes my mind hurt sometimes thinking about these things.  That said the show is great and I really enjoy it immensely each Sunday! (and yay it's Sunday!)


Maybe the better solution is a little bit of both

Have a great week and thanks for swinging by!