Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Cupcakes & Cookies

I've had a lot of fun making cupcakes for friends, baby showers, parties, and kids' birthdays over the past year and a half.  I had always wanted to take a cake decorating class at JoAnn's, so I signed up for the Wilton Decorating Basics course.  It was so much fun!!  It was just for four Saturday mornings, which was perfect cause David could be with Peanut while I went.

If you're thinking of doing a class, I'd definitely recommend doing it during a month when you don't have much going on, because you end up baking and making frostings ahead of time for the next week's class.  And even though the sign-up fee isn't much, you end up paying for the Student Kit, the frosting/ cake/ cupcake/ cookie ingredients, and any fun baking tools the class ends up selling you on. :)

Anyway, I can't wait to take the next class on Flowers and Cake Design, and then the Gum Paste and Fondant course--I just have to find the time (and money)!

Last Christmas I had fun making some North Pole cupcakes I saw on Pinterest.  And this year I made Glorious Treat's Snowflake Cupcakes for the sweetest one-year-old's winter birthday.  (Happy 1st, Charlotte!!)

Hope you enjoy the pics and recipes--the red velvet recipe from Annie's Eats is my favorite. :)

Vanilla (from a box) cupcakes  |  Vanilla Buttercream frosting  |  Photo cred: Dan McNeely
White crystal sugar sprinkles  |  Candy Canes with hook broken off  |  Red M&Ms  |  Printed North Pole signs attached with frosting  |  Photo cred: Dan McNeely
Ellie loved 'em. {1 1/2 yrs}  |  Photo cred: Dan McNeely

Snowflake Cupcakes {inspired by Glorious Treats}  |  Red Velvet Cupcakes  |  Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting 
Royal icing snowflakes  |  Pink Sugar Pearls  |  White nonpareil sprinkles 
(for more pictures follow me on Instagram - @bethanyjanae)
Then, yesterday Ellie and I baked some Christmas sugar cookies.  Loved the hint of almond extract and how soft they turned out.

My little baking assistant!  She knows the drill well--"Mommy, you measure, and then I pour it."  (If she disobeys I just have her get down off her "climber" for a couple minutes and that works really well.)

To achieve the 1/4" thickness, I got 8 popsicle sticks (thanks to husband's genius thinking), and wrapped tape around 4 each to use as guides.

I loved the no-chill recipe we used from In Katrina's Kitchen, and the cookie cutter set I found at Target was adorable and perfect for toddler hands!  I'm excited to decorate them together today--using Annie's Eats Royal Icing recipe and cookie decorating tips.  

What do you enjoy baking this time of year??  Any favorite recipes to share?  

Well, I'm off to get the last things ready for Christmas!  We're celebrating at home just the three of us this year (missing our baby Pistachio even more--thinking how he would've been 9 months and crawling around, getting into the wrapping paper...).  But I'm really looking forward to having our own quiet little Christmas here (and then we'll head out the day after to celebrate with my family up north).  I'll be pulling out our family Cinnamon Roll recipe for our traditional Christmas brekkie, and of course will enlist my precious baking assistant to help!

So thankful for Jesus' birth--and that He came to show us God, so that we may know and love Him.  Means even more now than ever... 

Merry Christmas everyone!!

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