Friday, December 17, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

It dawned on me recently that I started this little blog in hopes up spreading the word about my budding business, yet I didn't exactly showcase any of my favorite creations. Duh, Brooke! So here are some of my favorite cookies and cakes:

Last year's mitten and snowflake cookies for my Cocoa Bar at work

Cupcake cookies for a birthday

Baby onesies and bibs for a friend's baby's sip-and-see

Dr. Seuss cookies for a baby shower for twins, aka Thing 1 and Thing 2

Cookie platter for a pharmacy school graduate

Baby shower cakes for coworkers. The monkey is actually 2 cakes - a 3D monkey on top of a 1/2 sheet cake.

Cookie platters for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day at the office

Tinkerbell doll cake for a coworker's niece's birthday. She flipped when she saw it!

I can't wait to see what gets ordered next. I love trying out new designs and giving treats my personal touch. It's strange to look back at cookies from a year ago and see how much I've improved, while at the same time thinking of ways to make my confections even better. Hopefully 2011 brings many opportunities to do so, and I'll have even more to add to my list of my favorite things.

Ice Princess

Last weekend, my friend and coworker, Michelle, asked me to make cookies and cupcakes for her daughter's 7th birthday at the ice skating rink. Of course, she wanted them to be snow and ice skate themed. She actually ordered the cookie cutter she wanted me to use, and we worked together on the design. They looked adorable packaged as favors for the party guests. And it's clear that I need to use a real camera.

I also made the birthday cupcakes. The birthday girl requested cherry chip, and that's what she got. I got to break out the Cricut Cake and edible shimmer dust to make the fondant snowflakes.

It took some playing around with the Cricut Cake to get them right, but in the end I was very happy with the result. The little birthday girl had a great Ice Princess Party and loved her treats.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bake at 350 on Pioneer Woman

I'm probably the last person in the world to discover the mega-blog known as The Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond. One day a couple weeks ago, my Twitter was all aflutter with tweets about Ree being on the Thanksgiving edition of Throwdown with Bobby Flay (she won, by the way!). I'd heard of her blog but never visited. Oh man, have I been depriving myself. She's full of fabulous recipes, along with ideas for decorating beautiful tables. Her blog is a collage of awesome photographs with down-to-earth friendly commentary. It's fabulous, and I'm kicking myself for not checking it out sooner.

I was very excited to see that Ree recently hosted my favorite cookie blogger, Bridget of Bake at 350 at her Lodge in Oklahoma. Some lucky ladies won a day at the Lodge and hands-on cookie decorating lessons from Bridget. I am Jealous. Capital J. Bridget has been a phenomenal inspiration to me. I have tried out a lot of her designs and then tweaked them to put my touch on them. I'm always learning, and she's always teaching. When I had questions last year about making cookie favors for my wedding, she was more than happy to answer questions, and I appreciate it so much. So please, go check out Bridget's visit to The Pioneer Woman's ranch, and then go check out Bake at 350if you haven't already.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holy Craps!

My coworker asked me to make cupcakes for her boyfriend's 30th birthday. His gift is a weekend in Vegas, but she wanted to celebrate his 30th with a dinner with his close friends. She went looking for inspiration and found poker themed cupcakes with fondant and gum paste gambling-themed decorations, and decided to mix it up and focus on his favorite Vegas game: craps.

I made gum paste dice

And gum paste chips

And fabulous green frosting that closely matched the color of a game set she bought to actually be used as a serving tray for the cupcakes.

I think they came out really cute! And bonus! I got to use my awesome new stationery with my logo.

Also, this coworker is really creative with her ideas. A little while back, she asked me to make ring cookies for a shower she was hosting. When the groom proposed, he had a shirt made for the bride that said "I said yes!" with a little bedazzled ring graphic on it. My coworker used vistaprint to have favor tags made with a representation of the shirt, and the cookie was the ring from the shirt. I think they came out super cute when packaged for the shower guests.

It's so wonderful to have continued support and business from my wonderful coworkers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sweet Corn

I recently hosted a 250th post giveaway on our family blog, Building a Kingston Castle and Shana was the lucky of winner of 3 dozen adorable candy corn cookies. These cookies were the first I presented to my office last year for tasting and exhibition of my then-new hobby. I got the idea from Bake at 350. I loved that they were Halloween-y without being witches, black cats, and headstones. Next year, I want to play around with colors - I love the idea of a white, purple, and orange candy corn. I also made 2 dozen for my mom's coworkers as a special Halloween treat.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate cake, peanut butter cream cheese frosting, peanut butter chocolate ganache. Sound delicious? It is. And I don't even like chocolate. Or peanut butter. But this cake is to die for. I found the recipe here and tweaked it some for a coworker's birthday. Within a week, I was asked to make it two more times in cupcake version. Once for the big boss' birthday, and once for an admin who love the cuppity cakes so much, she wanted some at home for the weekend. Awesome. And earlier this week, another coworker asked if I could make another cake for his mother's birthday. Happy to oblige.

I really love making this cake. What's great about making it as a cake is that, unlike butter cream frosted cakes, it doesn't have to be perfect. Normally, I have to do a crumb layer, freeze the cake and do another layer and skillfully ensure that no crumbs are picked up by the second layer, all while making sure that it's level and the sides are lovely and neat. With this cake, the "crumb" layer is covered by a layer of rich, peanut butter ganache, so crumbs are irrelevant. Even though the components are a little complex, the cake as a whole is a dream come true. The hardest part is leveling it. Even then, frosting can be used to make up slight differences in height around the cake. And ganache by nature is lumpy, so voila! An awesomely delicious cake that's relative easy and stress-free for me to make. Hopefully, I'll be able to experiment with the recipe some more and make it a Purple Castle Confections classic.


This is my very first post here on my new blog, and I'm incredibly excited. Thanks to my awesome friend, Salt, I have this awesome logo, and I'm so appreciative of her graphic design work.

A little about me, I started baking about a year ago, and have been trying to challenge myself ever since. I got my start with a gift from my friend and coworker, the Brown Eyed Girls' Mom, who gave me a gift card to take a cake decorating class. My excitement inspired me to start with decorated sugar cookies, and now I do cakes and cupcakes, too. I've also learned a lot from Bridget at Bake at 350. My wonderful husband, Dan, and my coworkers love every bite of my new hobby. I've recently started bringing in some business and being able to expand on my skills, so I'm excited to start a blog and showcase all my creations.

The name of my little business is taken from our last name and our personal blog, Building a Kingston Castle. I clearly love purple, and Purple Castle Confections was born. Check out my side bar for dessert-related blogs I love and am inspired by. Thanks for coming by!