Banana Oatmeal Muffin Top Cookies

Banana Oatmeal Muffin Top Cookies

Whenever I have overripe bananas, I make banana chocolate chip muffins.  I am tired of them!  So I found a recipe for frosted banana oaties in Betty Crocker’s Ultimate Cookie Book and decided to give it a try.  These cookies were outstanding!  They taste like mini muffin tops, which everyone knows is the best part of the muffin anyway.

Banana Oatmeal Muffin Top Cookie Bite

The bananas in the recipe keep these cookies moist and delicious.  I was nervous that the cookies would spread too much, but they puffed up so nicely!  The recipe calls for cinnamon, but after they baked, they weren’t cinnamony (my new word of the day- patent pending) enough for me.  So I developed a cinnamon glaze instead of the glaze the recipe calls for.  It was the perfect addition!  The glaze is the key to transforming these from plain ol’ cookies into magical mini muffin tops.

Charlie snacking on a banana oatmeal cookie

The best part about these cookies is that they are child approved!  Here’s my son, Charlie, snacking on one.  Here is my lactose-free (pareve) recipe; enjoy!

Banana Oatmeal Muffin Top Cookies
Author: 
Serves: About 3 dozen Cookies
 
Ingredients
Cookie
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 2-3 bananas)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
Cinnamon Icing
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs. cold water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, mix the margarine, sugar, and banana until combined.
  4. Add in the egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Once combined, add in the dry ingredients; flour, oats, flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  6. Using a cookie scoop, drop cookies onto lined cookie sheets, making sure they are about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are light brown. Cool completely before icing.
  8. While cookies are cooling, make the icing.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and water together. Drizzle the icing on each cookie.

Brush Embroidery Flower Cookie Pops and a Giveaway!

Brush Embroidery Flower Cookie Pops

I thought these cookies would be the perfect treat to post before Mother’s Day.  Instead of buying your mom regular boring flowers, why not bake her some beautiful flower cookie pops!  They make a great centerpiece and a great dessert for your Mother’s Day brunch.

Flower Cookie Pops

Lately I have become obsessed with brush embroidery (here is my first attempt).  I was trying to come up with more ways to use this fun technique and decided to try it to decorate flower cookie pops.

Brush Embroidery Flower Cookie Bouquet

I love how they came out!  I used my favorite sugar cookie dough to bake flower shaped cookies.  Right before baking, I placed a lollipop stick under each flower.  The cookie bakes right onto the stick!

Blue Brush Embroidered Cookie PopOnce the cookies were baked and cooled, I used royal icing tinted turquoise, purple, and pink to ice each cookie.  The icing needs to dry overnight before piping on the white details. While the cookies were drying, I piped white royal icing dots onto parchment paper.  While the dots were wet, I sprinkled white non-pareils on them, making sure to cover the entire dot. Once dry, these become the flower centers.

Purple Brush Embroidered Cookie Pop

The next day I piped some stiff white royal icing around each petal.  Then with a damp paintbrush I pulled the design in toward the center.  Once I finished the outer design I repeated it closer to the center.

Pink Brush Embroidered Cookie Pop

To finish the cookies, I popped the dried flower centers off the parchment paper and attached them to the center of each flower.  Easy and beautiful!  To display my cookie pops, I poured some edible sugar pearls into flute glasses and stuck the cookies inside.  The sugar pearls kept them in place; how easy is that?!

Now for the moment you have been waiting for–THE GIVEAWAY!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED!

Cookie Cutter Giveaway

Just leave a comment on this post; what is your favorite cookie?  And you could win these nested cookie cutters!  These are perfect for making your own flower cookie pops!  One winner will be chosen at random by 11am eastern on Friday May 11, 2012.

This contest is sponsored by me; good luck!

Congratulations Shelley Summers!  Your cookie cutters are on their way!

Cake Plate Cake

MacKenzie Childs Inspired Cake

This is a cake made to look like a MacKenzie-Childs cake plate.  My friend asked me to replicate a special cake plate that her mother-in-law once owned that had recently broken. She absolutely loved this cake plate and was sad when it broke; especially since the company no longer makes this design.

Hand Painted FlowersThe flowers are all painted by hand.  I used gel food colors for my paint.  Since the gel colors are very thick, I used some vodka to thin them out until I had a nice watercolor consistency.  I hand painted the checkerboard pattern on the cake board too.

MacKenzie Childs Cake Plate Cake

Here is the other side of the cake plate.  This was my first time painting a cake and I really enjoyed it!  It brought me back to art class in high school.  I loved that class, it was definitely my favorite subject in school.

Hand Painted Cake Plate

I carved ridges at the top of the cake to replicate the ridges in the top of the cake plate.  It was a little hard to paint but that little detail really brings the cake plate to life.

Top View of MacKenzie Childs Inspired Cake

Here is the top view of the cake.  I painted those loop details with gold airbrush color and topped it off with a knob made of chocolate brown fondant.  I love how this cake turned out!  I still can’t believe that I actually made it!

Super Why! Birthday Cake

There is a really cute television show on PBS called Super Why!  The show title ends in an exclamation point which is weird and makes me seem like I am really excited every time I write it.  The show is super cute, it takes children on reading adventures one episode at a time.  Here is the cake I came up with for Dovi’s 2nd birthday party.

Super Why! Cake

The cake was airbrushed from light green fading to blue.  The grass was hand cut and embossed using a silicone leaf mold press.  I really love the clouds, they are my favorite part.  It really makes Wyatt’s cape look like it’s blowing in the wind.  Wyatt is the main character on the show.  He has the power to read.  He changes the story to save the day.

Wyatt from Super Why!

Here he is up close.  Each color is cut out of fondant and pieced together like a puzzle.  I learned this trick from Cakes With L.O.V.E.  They have some great tutorials on their facebook page.  I surrounded Wyatt with the shows signature question marks so he could save the day.

Happy 2nd Birthday Super Dovi!

Passover Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s that time of year again, Passover!  A time I used to dread as a kid.  I always thought I would starve without pizza, pasta, and bagels.  But I’ve matured in my old age and realized that a week without flour is not so bad.  I can handle it!  Especially since I’ve started developing Passover dessert recipes that actually taste delicious!  The recipes I posted last year for Passover: double chocolate nut cookies, and chocolate chip cookies were such a hit, I was eager to develop another recipe for this year.

Passover Banana Choocolate Chip Muffins

These muffins taste great, nobody will guess that they are Kosher for Passover.  I can’t wait to enjoy these every morning with my coffee.  It will be a nice alternative to sponge cake!  Here is the non-dairy, Kosher for Passover recipe; enjoy!

Passover Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe type: Passover Dessert
Serves: 18-24 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1 stick margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup matzah cake meal
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18-24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat melted margarine with the sugar and eggs until pale yellow in color.
  3. Add the bananas and mix until broken down and mashed.
  4. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients: cake meal, potato starch, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and stir by hand so the chips don't break up.
  7. Fill each muffin cup ¾ of the way and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until light brown and the tops springs back to the touch or a toothpick comes out clean (avoiding the chocolate chips, they will be melted).


Dora and Diego Birthday Cake

Dora and Diego Cake

I made this cake for my niece Abby and her cousin Aaron.  They turned 2 years old and shared a party.  They were born a few weeks apart and love Dora and Diego.  The characters were made out of fondant and outlined in black using my Americolor food coloring markers.

Dora made out of fondant

Each figure took 3 hours to make.  They were really time consuming, but I couldn’t be happier with the results!  They look so much like the actual characters and that is hard to achieve.Diego made out of fondant

My favorite part of the cake is the stars.  They are so cute and have so much personality!

Dora the Explorer fondant stars

I piped the eyes onto the stars using royal icing and I drew the black centers on with my food coloring marker.  I found a piping tip that I had that made the perfect mouth shape.  I just pressed it in slightly to imprint the tiny smiles on each star.  They were left to dry on metal floral wire and then twisted around a wooden dowel.  Cuteness!

Purple and Blue Airbrushed Cake

I even love how the back of the cake looks!  Here you can really see all the details.  I airbrushed the bottom tier blue and the top tier purple trying to achieve a faded effect. Each blade of grass was cut individually and imprinted using a silicone leaf impression mold.  Happy 2nd Birthday Abby and Aaron!

Yankee Hat Cake

Yankee Baseball Hat Cake

My friend saw a baseball hat cake somewhere on the internet and realized it would be the perfect cake for his son’s 7th birthday.  His son loves the Yankees and would definitely go crazy over a Yankee hat cake.  So I was called for the job.  I made a baseball hat cake once before and it came out pretty good but not great.  I can’t even find any pictures from my first attempt, but that’s perfectly fine; there were a lot of issues.  The first hat cake was practice cake and this time, I worked out all of the kinks!

Yankee Hat Cake

The first thing I did was mix up some navy blue fondant.  To get this color I used Americolor gel paste in royal blue, violet, and black.  Then I formed the brim.  To make the brim I used a real baseball hat and traced the brim onto some parchment paper. Then I cut out my stencil and cut the shape out of my royal blue fondant.  Before allowing it to dry I imprinted the brim with the seam marks using a fondant quilting tool. Then I placed the fondant on the parchment and then on the real hat to dry in a nice curved shape.  I allowed the brim to dry out for a few days.  When I was ready to assemble the hat I baked 3 cakes: an 8″ a 7″ and a 6″ layer.  This gave me the nice rounded shape to make it easier to carve. I carved out some dents to make the hat look worn.  Once the hat was covered with fondant, I made more stitch marks and used the tips of 2 different sized round piping tips for the eyelet holes.  I used a small piece of matching fondant formed into a flat round disc to form the fabric-covered button and attached that with a tiny bit of water.

Fitted Yankee Hat Cake

I cut the Yankee logo out of white fondant and attached it to the front of the hat.  A number 7 was added to the back of the hat because the birthday boy turned 7 years old! Once the brim was attached and the cake was placed on the pinstriped cake board, I brushed the whole hat with a little vodka to give it a real fabric look.

Happy Birthday Avi!

Popcorn Cupcakes

Popcorn Cupcakes

I keep seeing these cupcakes all over Pinterest.  If you don’t know what Pinterest is, you are missing out!  It’s my favorite new obsession; I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard; a place to keep all your great internet finds indexed and accessible.  There is no need to bookmark a crafty project or print out every recipe you want to try.  Just pin it to your personalized boards and voila!  It’s right there for you when you need it.  I can spend hours browsing other pinners pins, it’s really addictive.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  As I was saying, I have seen these popcorn cupcakes all over Pinterest and I obviously had to pin the idea.  I knew that I would make them at some point in the near future and then Purim came around.  What a perfect opportunity to try these cupcakes!

Marshmallow "Popcorn"

The “popcorn” is actually made from mini marshmallows that I snipped to give them the fluffy air popped look.  The “popcorn” looked good but it was missing something: the butter!  So I pulled out my trusty airbrush and hit them with a shot of yellow and gold food coloring.  My husband actually thought it was real popcorn and told me I was weird for putting it on a cupcake.  Now I wasn’t really going to make these cupcakes until I found the perfect containers at Michael’s Art’s and Craft’s Store.

Popcorn Cupcake Bags

Once I saw these cardboard bags I knew I could fill them with the cutest popcorn cupcakes.  Two regular sized cupcakes stacked on top of one another fit perfectly.  Then the whole bag fit nicely inside tall clear bags I always have on hand.

Popcorn Cupcake Packages

My cute little packages weren’t complete until they had sugar cookie movie ticket tags.

Motorcycle Charlie

Here is Charlie in his cool biker dude costume.  He is a lot bigger than last year, but just as cute!  Happy Purim!

Safari First Birthday Cake

Safari CakeThis cake was made to celebrate Aiden’s first birthday!  He is the cutest little boy and deserves the cutest little cake.  This cake was inspired by a cake made by the Pink Cake Box.  Their cakes are fabulous and always inspire me.  All the little animals were molded by hand out of fondant.

birthday elephant molded out of fondant

This little elephant is so cute.  I love his floppy ears.

Fondant Monkey

This is the mommy monkey.  She came out cute, but not as cute as the baby monkey…

Fondant Birthday Monkey

Look how cute he is in his tiny party hat!! Love him.  All this little guys came out great, but here is my favorite one:

Fondant Lion

This lion is so cute!  I love the colors, they are so bright and match the cake so nicely.  Can you believe this is my first ever fondant lion?  Me either.

First Birthday Safari Cake

Happy First Birthday Aiden!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Hamantaschen {Recipe}

Peanut Butter and Jelly Hamentaschen

Hamantaschen are a traditional Jewish cookie made for the holiday of Purim, or Jewish Halloween.  They are basically the perfect cookie in my humble opinion.  What is better than a sweet cookie filled with delicious jam?  When I was younger, my mom and I had to bake so many batches of hamantaschen because my family and friends would gobble them up so quickly.  My mom tried to hide them so we wouldn’t have to keep baking them every night, but that never worked-someone always found them.

Jam Filled Peanut Butter Hamentaschen

While I love classic hamantaschen, (find my recipe and instructions with pictures here), I kind of get bored of the same old thing.  I need to mix it up a little, turn a classic recipe on its head.  We used to experiment with different fillings a lot when I was younger.  We would try filling the hamantasch dough with chocolate chips, marshmallows, chocolate spread and other various creations that didn’t go so well.  We also used to try a peanut butter and jelly filling.  For some reason, the peanut butter didn’t really bake well.  It would dry out and become crumbly.  I thought to myself, what if I make a peanut butter dough and fill it with delicious fruit jams!  Peanut butter and jelly hamantaschen!  This was my mini aha moment.  I was so proud of the idea. The only problem was that I hadn’t seen it done anywhere which means there are no recipes available.  I was challenged with developing my own recipe and I am so happy with the results.  These are a great alternative to the classic and will appeal to the kid in everyone. Chag sameach!

PB&J Hamentaschen

Peanut Butter and Jelly Hamantashen
Author: 
Serves: About 6 dozen cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 4½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • Your favorite flavor jam filling*
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the honey, brown sugar, shortening, peanut butter, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. Do not mix too much or the cookies will be tough.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour in the fridge.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll the dough out thin.
  7. Using a round cookie cutter (I use a cutter that is 2 ½ to 3 inches in diameter) or a drinking glass, cut out the cookies.
  8. Using a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, fill the cookies with the jam filling. *Make sure the jam is oven proof meaning it won’t melt and ooze out of the cookies. Apricot and prune butter work nicely as well as anything labeled “oven proof”, “bakers filling”, or “cake and pastry filling”.
  9. Pinch 3 corners, forming the classic triangle shape and bake for 8-10 minutes on parchment lined baking sheet until light golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool-the filling will be extremely hot! Enjoy!