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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Introducing Twinkakes!

My sister, Jennifer, and I were going to bake Twinkies the other night just for the fun of it.  We didn't want to make the Twinkie molds out of foil though, so I suggested we just use regular cupcake pans.  We then decided to call these Twinkakes, a play on word with combining Twinkies and cupcakes!  We are very corny, and have really cheesey humor, and since we also happen to be (super awesome) twins, we felt these are our special little creations (or so we think no one else has made these before...).  So we are happy and excited to introduce to you, Twinkakes, made by twins!!!  Hehe!  These are nice little sweet treats that taste like twinkies, but in the shape of little cupcakes!  Enjoy these twintastic sweets!  For more information on how we made these, feel free to visit my sister's blog HERE!

Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary to my Parents!

Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary Mommy and Daddy!!  My mom doesn't like to eat cake, so I decided to make a fake cake so they can still at least have something to take pictures with to commemorate this special celebration!  The 30th Wedding Anniversary is the Pearl anniversary, so I make pearls that bordered the tiers of the cake.  I lined the top tier with a smaller string of pearls to make it look more delicate than having the larger size pearls.  I made flowers and leaves out of fondant and painted the leaves and pearls in the middle of the larger flowers with pearl luster dust.  I used a floral impression mat to make the texture of the cake as well.  For the lace, I was really excited to use an icing called Sugar Veil.  It allows me to make flexible icing decorations!  I used a lace impression mat for the lace designs as well.  I figured this would make a very elegant and fancy cake that my mom would enjoy, without all the calories! =P  My dad will appreciate the work I put into this as well, so I hope this will wow them!

For the real cake, I made them a flan since its one of my mom's favorite dessert.  I made the flan from scratch and sliced up peaches, kiwi, strawberries, and placed black berries on top in a decorative manor.  I made a test flan last week just to make sure that I was able to make this for the main event, and I was very pleased on how it came out!!  I think the hardest part is melting the sugar to make the caramel.  I think you just have to let the sugar melt on it's own and not stir too much.  Then make sure the caramel is completely cooled before pouring the egg mixture into the dish.  This way the caramel won't crack, and if the caramel isn't spread out evening on the pan, no worries, it will even out when it bakes!  It's like magic!! This flan is quite yummy, special thanks to my friend Katherine's mom for giving me this amazing recipe!

I want to take this time to wish my parents a wonderful happy anniversary!  Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today.  It's a cliché but it's true!  I'm thankful that they raised me the way I am, and that they taught me to always put family first.  I'm so grateful for everything they've done for me, all the sacrifices they've made and all the hard work they've done to make sure Jennifer and I are happy and well.  Happy Anniversary Mommy and Daddy, I wish you another 30+ years of love and happiness!

Christmas Macarons!

Merry Christmas Everyone!  I saw these snowman and penguin macarons online and just had to make them myself for our yearly cousin Secret Santa Exchange!  I was thinking about what other shapes I can make and so I also made gingerbread men macarons as well!  I was a little worried that the gingerbread men wouldn't turn out right because the macaron batter tends to settle a little bit after you pipe them, but once they bake and rose, they turned out quite nicely!  The snowmen and penguins are basic vanilla macarons with swiss meringue filling and the gingerbread men are chocolate macarons with swiss meringue filling.  I used edible ink markers to draw on all the designs, and I had a special crew of helpers for my gingerbread designs (thank you Jennifer, Andrew, and Khoa!).  This time of year is my favorite time because of all the holidays.  The greatest part about the holidays though is having all your friends come together and spend quality time with one another, and just be happy and enjoy each other's company, friendship, and love.  Making cute little tasty treats are also fun as well =).  I wish everyone a wonderful happy holiday, and here's to a fabulously sweet new year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Andrzejewski!

Congratulations to Alvina and Will on there beautiful wedding on September 22, 2012! Not only did I have the special privilege of making their cupcake tower, cupcakes and cake, but I got to the Matron of Honor for my best friend's wedding!  Alvina and I have been friends since the 3rd grade, that's pretty much 20 years of our life, and we're only 28 years old!  I cannot be more happy for Alvina and for finding her true love, and now starting her new life with him.
I made red velvet cupcakes with whipped cream cheese filling and basic buttercream frosting.  All the seashell decorations on the cupcakes are made of white chocolate and the cake is topped with fresh real flowers and seashells.  The cake is covered in fondant with fondant decorations on the sides.
I am so proud, excited, and happy for my best friend and her new journey in life!  Will makes Alvina a better person, and together they can conquer the world!  Alvina, you are a beautiful, wonderful, smart, and crazy person, but that's why we all love you!!  You deserve all the happiness in the world, and I'm so glad Will will be by you side each day, as you make new memories together.  Here's a recipe just for you!  Congratulations Alvina and Will!!!!

Recipe For A Happy Marriage Poem

4 cups of Love
2 cups of Loyalty
Dash of Faith
3 cups of Kindness
4 cups of Understanding
1 cup of Friendship
5 spoonfuls of Hope
1 barrel of Laughter

Pinch of Forgiveness (no substitutions)
Dash of Thoughtfulness (not optional)
Take love and loyalty and mix thoroughly with faith.
Blend in kindness and understanding, add friendship and hope.
Sprinkle abundantly with laughter. Garnish with forgiveness and thoughtfulness.
Bake with sunshine.
Serve daily with generous helpings.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy 1 Month Nathan!

Happy 1 month birthday celebration Nathan!!  This is the baby boy version of my dragon cake I made earlier this year for our baby shower! This is a mixed berry cake from Givral, with yellow piping, and I used gold luster dust to paint the piping to make it look like gold.  There's real ivory and mini yellow roses on the cake and a light blue ribbon border as well.  The dragon is egg shell is made out of fondant!  I painted a little bit of gold luster dust on the egg shell and dragon to make it look more magical!  A baby's 1 month celebration in the Vietnamese culture is so special and important, and I'm glad I was able to help make the celebration that much more special!  Happy 1 month birthday Nathan!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Peppermint Truffle Brownies

'Tis the season for yummy sweets! I saw this recipe online, and I just had to try it! I never made brownies before, but these are one step better than brownies, they're Peppermint Truffle Brownies!! These are brownies that are made from scratch, and I used melted chocolate and butter instead of cocoa powder, and it has a layer of chocolate ganache onto top with crushed peppermint candy on top! These are really rich and dense and tastes super yummy!  It'll satisfy any sweet tooth out there!  My husband, Khoa, doesn't even like sweets and he couldn't get enough of these!  1 batch makes quite a lot so these are great to hand out as special homemade treats for all your loved ones!  Happy Holidays everyone!