Freezing Your Wedding Cake Top Tier


Yesterday was a special milestone of mine, it was my husband's and my first wedding anniversary! I cannot believe it has been a whole year. It was a wonderful day that we will never forget.  Here are a few pics from our beautiful wedding day! 



To celebrate our anniversary, we took a weekend trip out of town to Cincinnati. We enjoyed eating at Bobby Flay's burger restaurant at the casino, as well as shopping at the foodie paradise Jungle Jim's. One of the highlights of the celebratory weekend, though, was enjoying the top tier of our wedding cake. Our cake was beautiful and was made by a close friend of my family. She makes amazingly delicious cakes, and made many of my birthday cakes growing up. I thought she did a great job with both the taste and look of the cake, it was exactly what we wanted!


If you are wondering, yes those are penguins on the top of the cake! Long story, but both my husband and I have always loved penguins. I found these adorable toppers on Etsy and we knew we had to incorporate them into our cake!


Now, I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about eating the wedding cake top tier on the first anniversary. While it is definitely sentimental, I've heard a lot of couples in the past say that the cake tasted dry and many were freezer burned. But, I wanted us to try anyway. I decided to do a little research online and found that a lot of those issues with the cake could be reduced, or eliminated, based on how you wrap the cake up.

My mom was actually the one to wrap up the cake for me, so she did some research online as well. The in-depth way of freezing the cake really seemed to make a difference! Now clearly it didn't taste exactly like on our wedding day; it did spend a year in the freezer. But, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the cake.

Make sure and share this with any of your friends and family who are getting married!

Steps for freezing wedding cake:
  • Remove any adornments or sugar flowers from the cake
  • Place cake in box and freeze for a few hours until frosting hardens
  • After frosting has hardened, wrap in several layers of plastic wrap
  • Place cake (covered in plastic wrap) in an airtight bag
  • Place bag in a box and cover the box in several layers of plastic wrap
  • Finally, cover the box in a layer of foil
  • Freeze cake
Hope this helps you preserve your cake and have a wonderful first anniversary!
I

Something Savory #5


It's time for another installment of my Something Savory series. This month is another delicious dinner perfect for summer! Besides burgers (which I shared during Something Savory #3), one of my favorite meals for summer is barbecue chicken. My family would make it on the grill a lot during summer, and I always looked forward to it! I love burgers and steaks, but I'm definitely more of a chicken eater. I love chicken on the grill, but we can't have one where we are currently renting. But, I found a way to get flavor packed, and tender, barbecue chicken in the crockpot!  I tuned it into a sizzling summer meal by adding cheesy, bacon filled twice baked potatoes and some Red Lobster copycat biscuits! 


The dinner inspiration started when a friend of mine posted the Sweet Baby Ray's crockpot chicken recipe on Facebook. I had seen the recipe all over Pinterest, and various blogs, and had been wanting to try it. I'm not really sure where it originated as I've seen so many people post it. The recipe is simple, but chocked full of flavor! It was exactly what I was hoping for. The combination of the bottled barbecue sauce, along with the additional ingredients mixed in, creates this delicious tangy and slightly sweet sauce. I ended up using thin chicken tenderloins instead of chicken breasts, which is what the recipe called for. With the thinner pieces of chicken, you get a much better sauce to chicken ratio!

Here's the recipe with only a slight change. The original recipe called for vinegar, but I had some apple cider vinegar on hand, so I just used that.

Sweet Baby Rays Crock Pot Chicken ingredients:
  • 1 package chicken tenderloins (~1.5 lbs)
  • 1 bottle Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Sweet Baby Rays Crockpot Chicken directions:
  • Place chicken in crockpot
  •  Mix together BBQ sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder
  •  Pour barbecue sauce over the chicken
  • Cook on low 4-6 hours

It's really pretty quick and easy to make. I'm getting ready to start back to work soon, so I love finding these crockpot dinner solutions!

I was trying to decide what I wanted to have as a side for the dinner. I have never made twice baked potatoes, so I decided to try that out. I added chopped up bacon to the mixture, it was definitely a delicious addition. It wasn't hard to make at all, it just takes some time. I combined a couple different recipes I found online to make my own. 

Twice Baked Potatoes ingredients:
  • 4 large unpeeled russet potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 8 small pieces of cooked bacon (crumbled up)
Twice Baked Potatoes directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Scrub potatoes and pierce with a fork (to allow air to escape)
  • Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • When potatoes are cool enough to touch, cut in half lengthwise
  • Scoop out inside leaving just a thin shell
  • Increase temperature of oven to 400F
  • Mash potatoes with electric mixer (on low) or potato masher until there are no lumps
  • Add milk in small amounts, beat after adding each bit of milk (mix until a creamy, mashed potato consistency)
  • Beat in butter, salt, and pepper
  • Mix in cheese and bacon
  • Scoop mixture back into potato shells
  • Bake for around 20 mins

To complete the meal, I made some Red Lobster biscuits. Have you seen the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuit mix at Sam's? It is so close to the real biscuits, you'll think you are at the restaurant! They are easy to make, and delicious!


Hope you enjoyed this meal idea, it's perfect for summer. I'd love to hear if you try out either the chicken or the potatoes!

Don't forget to check out my other posts this week, including my mocha brownies and marshmallow fondant.

Mocha Brownies


Any coffee lovers out there? If so, you have to try today's java inspired twist on a typical brownie. The chocolate and coffee combination in these decadent brownies is wonderful! You may recall I once made a mocha coffee cream cupcake. To this day, it is still one of my husband's favorites! I think these brownies gave them a run for their money, though.

As with a growing number of my posts (fruit cookie cups, strawberry butter, tres leches cake), this amazing recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman! When she made these brownies on her TV show a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to try them out. Usually, I try to modify recipes and add my own twist. But with this one, I thought it sounded so good I made it exactly as is! I did, however, cut the amount in half to make a thinner brownie. You can find the original recipe here.

The brownie portion is just a typical chocolate flavor, but even tastier than any other brownie I've made! The icing is where the real mocha flavor comes in, it is packed with cocoa powder and strongly brewed coffee.

Mocha Brownie ingredients (1/2 original recipe):
Brownie
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1//2 tsp vanilla
  • 5/8 cup all-purpose flour
Icing
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled (more to taste)

Mocha Brownie directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • Spray 8x8 inch baking pan with cooking spray
  • Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 sec intervals
  • Using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time
  • Drizzle in melted chocolate with the mixer running on low
  • Mix in vanilla extract
  • Beat in flour and mix just until combined
  • Pour the batter into pan
  • Bake for around 30-35 mins
While cooling, prepare the icing for the brownies! Make sure the brownies are completely cooled before icing them. For the icing, I used the whisk attachment.
  • Combine the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla
  • Mix until slightly combined
  • Beat in 1/2 cup coffee, you can add more to taste
  • Ice the brownies once cooled and enjoy!

Hope you've enjoyed this recipe. Make sure and link up your favorite recipe, DIY project, or craft tutorial to my Sweet Tooth Tuesday link party going on!

Make sure and follow my blog, or follow me on social media, to keep up with my latest posts. I've got some great summer recipes coming up, as well as some craft projects!

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays #7


Welcome to my seventh Sweet Tooth Tuesdays blog link party! I've been having a lot of fun hosting this party and I can't wait to see what is linked up the next few days. Thanks to everyone for sharing such great recipes, crafts, and DIY projects. I'm back from vacation this week, so I hope we can have a great turnout for this week!

First up, I want to share a few of my favorite link-ups from last week. It was hard to choose this week, there were so many great ideas! Don't forget my features will be pinned to a Sweet Tooth Tuesdays board on my Pinterest page, as well as shared on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Blue Jean Rosette Bracelets from Gina's Craft Corner
Choco Cake from My Hobby Corner
Homemade Lemonade from Plucky's Second Thought
Card Using Cricut from And Who Says You Can't

If you were featured, make sure and get a button to display on your site.

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays
<a href="http://sarahlynnssweets.blogspot.com/search/label/sweettoothtuesdays" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5442/8750299087_99bbb99e6d_q.jpg" alt="Sweet Tooth Tuesdays" width="150" height="150" /></a>

Please make sure and follow me to get updates and see who is featured next week! 

Here's a quick way to follow me on my social media sites:


Sarah Lynn's Sweets

Now for the party! Link up and have fun checking out the other projects. I'd love for you to tweet about linking up to the party to help spread the word.

Marshmallow Fondant


Mondays are usually when I share my latest cake decorating ideas or cupcake toppers. I've had a little bit of a lull lately in regards to cakes. I have several coming up in July, so I decided to take this little break and work on some new techniques! When I first started baking and blogging, I only worked with cupcakes. I used snacks, candy, and other edible items to decorate the cupcakes. After some classes, I moved on to cakes and piping techniques for decorating cakes and cupcakes. I was still hesitant about moving into fondant, it seemed so overwhelming!  I finally did get into it, though, and I've never looked back. I love sculpting 3D shapes, as well as making flat logos and shapes. One thing I have still yet to do, though, is make my own fondant. 

All the fondant cake decorations that I have previously worked with have been made with store bough fondant. It works really well, but doesn't taste that great... Last week, I decided to try to make some my own. I wanted to see how easy it was, and how delicious it tasted. I found a recipe on a site I belong to, Cake Central. It's a great community where various bakers can write in and share ideas, recipes, tips, etc. This particular recipe was for using a stand mixer. Now if you don't have a stand mixer, you can still make this recipe. But, it just saves time and arm power!

This recipe turned out great. It was just as easy to use as a store bought type, but tastier! Next time, though, I think I will use a little vanilla. I've seen that in other recipes and it would make the taste even better. The recipe below is half of the original recipe, it yields around 1.5 lbs. You can either color the melted marshmallows (if you are wanting all the fondant one color), or you can dye it after it is finished.

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant ingredients:
  • 8 oz mini marshmallows
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs water
  • Shortening
  • Tool: KitchenAid mixer with dough hook
Homemade Marshmallow Fondant directions:
  • Cover every inch of your stand mixing bowl, as well as the dough hook, with shortening. Make sure and get a good coating to prevent anything from sticking.
  • Put the marshmallows and water in a bowl
  • Melt in a microwave safe bowl in 30 sec intervals (it took me just 1 min)
  • Pour in half of the powdered sugar in the stand mixer bowl
  • Top the sugar with the melted marshmallows
  • Mix on low until the marshmallow and powdered sugar is completely combined
  • Pour in the rest of the powdered sugar (I put the shield on this time to prevent the sugar from flying around)
  • Mix on low until combined (if using a lower powdered mixer, you may need to finish up by kneading by hand)
  • Spread shortening all over the plastic wrap
  • Dump out fondant onto plastic wrap (scraping it out if needed)
  • Knead by hand for a couple minutes
  • Cover the fondant up in the plastic wrap and let sit for 30 mins
  • You can dye fondant if needed and then mold, cut, etc

I will definitely be incorporating this into future cakes!

Don't forget to follow me on social media, or follow my blog to stay up to date with the latest posts and pictures.

Strawberry Butter


You may have seen the strawberry cream cheese spread that I recently shared. Today, I have a similar recipe, this time is for a strawberry butter. It's a simple process I saw on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. Everything I have ever made of Ree Drummond's has been excellent, she has so many great ideas and recipes. I saw a berry butter she made on a recent rerun of Pioneer Woman on Food Network. There was raspberry butter and blueberry butter to go along with a delicious looking french toast. I was drooling over the butter and decided I wanted to try it, but with strawberries instead.

It's such a simple process, but absolutely delicious!

Berry Butter ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 berries (~3 medium berries)
Berry Butter directions:
  • Beat butter until soft and creamy (I used the whisk attachment)
  • Add in berries and beat on low speed (I used paddle attachment), stop when berries are starting to break up
  • Spoon out butter onto plastic wrap, make a long line of the butter
  • Roll the plastic wrap up making a tight cylinder to shape the butter
  •  Wrap the plastic wrap in foil and close up the sides
  • Freeze for around 30 mins and then keep in refrigerator until serving

This week has been a busy week! I've had posts every day that you will want to check out. For my Monday cake decorating, I shared an easy bottle cap cupcake topper. For my recipe Wednesday post, I shared a white chocolate no bake cookie recipe. I also had my monthly Surprise Recipe Swap post, this month was a strawberry cream cheese spread. As always, I also had my Sweet Tooth link party - there's still time to link up.

Surprise Recipe Swap #3

HungryLittleGirl

It's the 20th of the month, so it's time for another Surprise Recipe Swap post. This is my third month participating in the group. As a member, I'm given a blog each month to check out and replicate one of their recipes. Each month (on the 20th) we all post and reveal who are secret blog partner is. I love the idea of discovering a new food blog each month, I might not have found these blogs otherwise. I love taking someone's recipe and trying it out for myself. If you'd like to learn more about the group, or are interested in joining, check out the site here.

This month I was assigned to the blog, Custom Taste. The blog is full of sweet and savory recipes, many of which are for healthy options of popular dishes. There were so many delicious recipes, it was hard to choose which one to go with. But, I then I saw a recipe for a strawberry cream cheese, and knew it was a perfect way to utilize some extra strawberries I had laying around. I love bagels and will buy cream cheese, but I decided this would be something delicious to try. 


This cream cheese recipe looked simple, but sounded delicious! It would be a perfect compliment to so many things. I chose to use it on a bagel, but it would be a great compliment to many snacks. The blogger at Custom Taste used in on her chocolate cupcakes, I definitely have to try that! I also wish I had some of the lemon cold oven pound cakes I made last week, this cream cheese spread would be a great addition to that.

Strawberry Cream Cheese ingredients:
  • 2 large strawberries or 3 medium size
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey
Strawberry Cream Cheese directions:
  • Cut up strawberries
  • Whisk together cream cheese and yogurt
  • Fold in honey and strawberries
  • Mash everything together with fork
  • Serve and enjoy!!

Hope you enjoyed this month's simple, yet scrumptious recipe from the Surprise Recipe Swap! Don't forget to check back next month on the 20th for my next swap.

My Sweet Tooth Tuesdays blog link party is still going strong. Be sure to check it out and link up. Don't miss out on my other posts this week either. I've shared a delicious recipe for a white chocolate spin on no bake cookies. I also shared an easy way to make bottle cap cupcake toppers.