Dessert Trends of 2011

Looking back on the world of pastry in 2011, it was a pretty good year.  But there was some not-so-good mixed in according to a few food critics.  What made the list of good and bad??  Find out now!

Up first…cake pops!  While cupcakes are the number one sugary obsession with just about every living, breathing human being, cake pops came in a close second during the past year.  People call these things crack on a stick and eat them like they truly are!!  Personally, I prefer my cake and frosting separate and in layers.  But that’s just me.  Read more about the “worst” food trends (including cake pops) here.

Hello Kitty Cake Pops by Bakerella

Also noted in the aforementioned article, savory sweets.  Cheese and bacon cupcakes??  Salami flavored marshmallows?!  Umm, no thanks!  While there is a place for a touch of savory at times (think bacon maple cupcakes or beer infused baked goods), there’s a fine line between good and gross.

Jalapeno Bacon Cupcakes by mybakingheart.com

Speaking of beer, it became very trendy to use it in baking as noted by Serious Eats.  From beer brittle to these beer and pretzel caramels, it looks like it will be making more appearances in baked goods in the future.  And I have nothing against that.

Beer Pretzel Caramel. Image Courtesy of Serious Eats.

Serious Eats also noted the macaron trend, perhaps my most favorite of all cookie sandwiches.  This is a trend that I hope continues to grow.

French Macarons. Image courtesy Serious Eats.

Finally, a trend in Miami that some there wish would disappear…mini cupcakes.  They don’t like them.  Not one bit.

Mini Cupcakes from thecupcakeblog.com

So what do you think about these trends??  Do you agree with the critics?  I think overall 2011 was a pretty good year for desserts and I definitely can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!

 

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New Year’s Eve Party Mini Desserts

I have been in love with mini desserts for years.  They are just so darn cute and the fact that you don’t have to pick just ONE dessert but can in fact try several, due to their tiny size, is just awesome to me.  I love them so much that I actually used to cater desserts and only did miniature sizes.  It was so much fun and sometimes I really miss planning dessert tables for weddings or parties with loads of colorful, bite-size desserts!  Thank goodness for the holidays when I can unleash my creative baking skills (obsession?) on all my family and friends!

So, I thought what would be better for a New Year’s Eve party than mini sweets?!  Finger foods are VERY popular for New Year’s Eve parties and these desserts stay right with that theme.  Some of these are super easy (2-3 ingredients), which is great since you have no doubt been in the kitchen waaaayyyy too much between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Also, another way to make easy miniatures is to bake up a normal 9×13 pan of brownies, blondies, cake, etc. and cut them small with a knife or fun-shaped, small cookie cutters or take any regular ‘ole cookie recipe and just make smaller than normal cookies (be sure to cook them for less time!).  Ok, let’s check out some other awesome tiny goodies from around the blogosphere:

First up, Mini S’mores Cakes.  How cute are these?!  Get a lot more mini ideas from Delish here.

I LOVE baklava.  Love it.  It was the one thing I was looking most forward to indulging in over the Christmas holiday. I’ve actually made Baklava Cups before and they are super good and MUCH less labor intensive than the traditional way.  See more ideas from Women’s Day here.

Mini Oreos.  Yum.

Mini Ice Cream Cookie Pops. How fun!  However, if you’re afraid of the ice cream melting before people can scarf them down, try it with buttercream frosting.

I love these Mini Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats.  Rice Krispie treats are sooo classic and just plain good.

Banana Split Bites.  Delicious and gorgeous.

Vanilla Bean Baby Doughnuts.  Perfect after a night of imbibing.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake.  One of my favorites.

Poptarts on a stick.  Totally awesome.  AND easy.

These Chocolate Salted-Caramel Mini Cupcakes look soooo rich and decadent.  Pure bliss.

Cut these yummy Red Velvet Brownies super small for bite-size treats.

These Lindt Mini Chocolate Trifles are adorable.  Use some larger shot glasses for the cups and think about switching up ingredients…caramel sauce for the fudge, brownies for the cookies, etc.

I have been making Brownie Tassies forever.  The only thing I do differently is top them with coffee buttercream and toasted, slivered almonds.  People will go nuts over these.

Ummm, excuse me but this Chocolate Covered Bacon Caramel Popcorn is dangerous.  Dangerous I tell you!!  And I am SO going to make it.

These Mini Cherry Pies are just down right pretty.  And begging to be eaten.

I love the playfulness of this Gumdrop Fudge.  Very festive and party appropriate.  Not to mention easy.  We like easy!

Well, hopefully this gives you some inspiration for whatever crazy New Year’s party you may be hosting or attending.  Tomorrow I’ll have my own recipe for Mini Doughnut Muffins!

 

 

 

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A Vintage Christmas

I am so in love with this pretty, pastel vintage Christmas dessert table.  If only I had time to squeeze in another Christmas party before this weekend, I’d so do this.  For now I’ll just have to be happy with looking at these pictures…over and over and over again.

 

If you’d like to see more of the photos, you can check them out here.   Hope everyone is having a great week so far!  Only a couple days until Christmas!

 

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Christmas Cupcakes

I couldn’t let all this Christmas baking love go by without mentioning what else….cupcakes!  There are some seriously cute ones out there.  I really don’t know how people come up with this stuff, but I LOVE it.  I think I’d make the snowmen, but with my homemade marshmallows, of course!  They are just toooooo cute.  Check out all of them below!

Holly Berry Cupcakes

Candy Cane Tree Cupcakes

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Snowman Cupcakes

Reindeer Cupcakes

Santa Cupcakes

Gingerbread Man Cupcakes

Festive Sugared Marshmallow Cupcakes

 

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Christmas Food Gifts

Happy Friday!  In case you’ve been thinking about what you’re going to give to that hard-to-buy for friend or family member for Christmas, why not give them food??  Everyone loves food.  Seriously, everyone.  What I like about these food gifts is that they are not your typical fudge or baked good that will probably get a little stale before you can recover from all the holiday eating.  These can be stored away for a cold winter night (or day) and made or used whenever the urge strikes.

Enjoy!

Minty Hot Cocoa Mix

Personalized Coffee Blend

Vanilla Sea Salt

White Chocolate Cinnamon Pretzels

Peppermint Marshmallow Sauce

Vanilla Coffee Syrup

Cookie Bar Mix

Hot Fudge Sauce

Flavored Popcorn Kit

Homemade Nutella

Holiday Drink Mixers

 

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Christmas Wish List

Just a few things I want for Christmas.  I’m sure that my name is at the top of the nice list, so I expect to find all of these under the tree Christmas morning…

 

Adorable Fairy Salt and Pepper Shakers from Chiasso.  I would probably use them for cinnamon and sugar on my oatmeal in the morning–how fun!

This Cupcake Memo Pad is so cute and great for jotting down notes.

Gumball Cookie Jar from Urban Outfitters.

This Cupcake Soap Dispenser belongs in my kitchen.  I need it!

Another great find from Chiasso is this Glass Candy Bag.  So neat!

This knit Cupcake Hat from Etsy is so cute and looks like it would keep your head nice and warm.

I am so in love with this apron from Anthropologie.  I think this is one I would definitely do all my baking in.

What’s on your Christmas wish list??

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Thanksgiving Themed Cupcakes

In case you’re feeling crafty and in the mood for cupcakes this Thanksgiving, why not give one of these so, so cute Thanksgiving themed cupcakes a try!  I think the acorn cupcakes look like something even I could handle!  I’d probably add some chocolate leaves just to give it a little more oomph!

Have fun and get busy baking! 😉

Acorn Cupcakes

Pilgrim Hat and Cornucopia Cupcakes

Turkey and Stuffing Cupcakes

Thanksgiving Pie Cupcakes

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Turkey Cupcakes

 

 

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1st Birthday Rocket Cake!

This past Saturday I got to help my friend Betsy make a first birthday cake.  I think it turned out SUPER cute and for the most part it was a very easy cake to make.  You only need one, 9×13 cake and then a smaller circular cake if you choose to make a “moon”, like we did.  It was so much fun!

Check out this link for more detailed insturctions.

(p.s. sorry about the pic quality…forgot my camera, ugh!)

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My Favorite Season

I know everyone is getting really excited about the colder temps and winter-like weather that is happening right now, but we have PLENTY of fall left and I’m going to savor every last minute of it.  Here are a few things I love at this time of the year (and some ah-mazing pumpkin recipes).

Fall Leaves.  Can’t get enough of the beautiful colors.  And it’s even better this year since this is the first fall in our new house and we have two gorgeous trees in our front yard. (and no, these are not our trees!  I wish!)

Photo courtesy of pixdaus.com

Pumpkin Monkey Bread.  I do believe I could eat this EVERY SINGLE morning for breakfast.  I won’t!  But I could.

Fall-Scented Candles.   According to this blog, Bath and Body Works has a Bakeshop candle collection.  Sad to say I haven’t been to the mall in so long, I have no idea if this is true or not!  Shopping trip!

Andy’s Frozen Custard Pumpkin Pie Concrete.  I think this is my favorite concrete concoction from Andy’s (besides my husband’s brilliant combination of cherry juice, Oreos and brownie mmmmm).  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good photo which I suppose means one thing:  I’ll have to go get a Pumpkin Pie Concrete and take my own photo.  The things I do…

Lovely Fall Dessert Tables.  I so wish I had been invited to this party.

Grown-Up Pumpkin Pie Milkshake.  Bourbon. Pumpkin Pie. Milkshake. ‘Nuff said.

Comfy Cupcake Sweatshirts.  This is going on my Christmas list.

Pumpkin S’mores.  Oh my.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  Think I might spend my Saturday raking up all those beautiful fall leaves!  😉

 

 

 

 

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Leftover Halloween Candy Recipes

So the initial sugar-high has worn off and your  kids STILL have enough candy left to get them bouncing off the walls for several days.  You need to get rid of that candy FAST.  Try some of these delicious, Halloween candy-packed desserts!

SweetTarts Milkshake

Deep Fried Candy Bars

Leftover Halloween Candy Pie

Reese’s Pieces Brownies

Snickers Cheesecake

Butterfinger Pie

Candy Corn Fudge

Chocolate and Malt Pudding

More Halloween Candy Ideas!

 

 

 

 

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Pink Ombre Swirl Cake

I am absolutely IN LOVE with this cake from Glorious Treats.  From the different shades of pink, to the perfect swirls covering the whole cake, I just can’t stop staring at this beautiful creation!

I must make this soon.  The prettiness is killing me.  In a good way.

For step-by-step instructions and more gorgeous pictures, head on over to her blog and get inspired!

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Sweet Treat Aprons

I’m loving aprons right now and I think I might buy each and every one of these if I could afford to!  If you have anyone in your life that loves to bake, think about getting them one of these for Christmas or their birthday.  Such a perfect gift for a baker!  Check out the other aprons on these sites too–so pretty!

Original Frosted Cupcake-Flirty Aprons

Sweet Treat-Cupcake Provocateur

The Sophia Vintage Inspired Birthday Cake Half Apron-Boojiboo

Mother & Daughter Cherry Cupcake Aprons-Jessie Steele

Pink Sweet Treats Cupcakes-Aprons by Vittoria

 

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Anna Sova Food Paint

I’ll bet you  didn’t know you could paint your walls with food, did ya?  Well, I didn’t either until a friend recently told me she had read about it in a magazine. Sure enough there is a company called Anna Sova that is making specially formulated “food” paint.  The ingredients are the same ones found in milkshakes, powdered donuts and chocolate.

The paint is supposed to be free of the many dangerous chemicals that are found in a typical can of paint and is instead made up of more healthy food ingredients.  Not only that, it also makes your walls smell like a vanilla milkshake!  Which I think is divine, but Jeremy says it’s gross.  Whatever.  Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re like my husband) the aroma fades after several days.

The foodie paint comes with quiet the price tag however.  At nearly $70 per gallon, yours walls should not only smell like a vanilla milkshake FOREVER, you should be able to LICK your walls and TASTE a milkshake.  Now that would be awesome…but also gross.  Yeah, never mind.

So what do you think?  Cool?  Weird?  Delicious?  Hmmm?

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Banana Splits

Today is National Banana Split Day!  Woo hoo, get excited!  Personally, I’ve never really been a big fan of banana splits…I mean, if I’m going to have ice cream, I don’t want anything even remotely healthy going on or in it.  Give me the sugary, fatty bad stuff all the way.  But then I came upon these banana split inspired recipes and OMG I am drooling all over my keyboard.  Talk about decadent, over-the-top, gloriously evil, sweet temptation!

Enjoy!  And try to keep the drooling to a minimum.

Banana Split Cake

Banana Split Truffles

Banana Split Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Banana Split Ice Cream Cake

Banana Split Cupcakes

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Shopping for Sweets

Every now and then I like to wander over to Etsy and see what kind of deliciously evil treats people are coming up with in the Edibles section.  I love the creativity that goes into some of the sweet confections and it’s inspiring to see how many of these people make a living doing what they love.

These were some dark and decadent desserts that were calling my name and I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share them with you all.  Take a couple of minutes and check out these fun shops and most importantly, buy something!

Have a lovely day!

Rocky Road Cookies by cookietown

XXX Rated Dark Chocolate Bliss Brownies by cupcakesinjars

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes by thetinykitchen

Artisan Candy Bars by BeesandBeans

Mayan Dark Chocolat Caramel Bars by haveitconfections

 

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