Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Cakes, Cookies and A Crown, Oh My!

Our Baby Boy just turned four yesterday! Four. I can't even believe it, really.  How is it that time has gone into some freakish warp speed without my realizing it?

I recall at one time when I was much (much!) younger, and the older kids were all much (much!) younger, I was in a donut shop trying to wrangle all three of them - about aged 1, 3 and 5 as they all went separate directions simultaneously.  A little old lady stopped me and told me to enjoy it.  To know that this time would pass so quickly and they'd be grown up in a flash.  At the time, I remember thinking, "Lady, I sure hope you're right!" As it turns out, I've spent the subsequent 19 or so years wishing growing up took just a touch slower to happen, because that little old lady? She really did know what she was talking about.  Because I'm not sure how baby boy is already four.  I'm even more baffled by the fact that my baby N, that was my baby for 15 whole years before Little Man came into our life, just turned 20 - don't worry, although he didn't get cakes, cookies or a crown, mama made sure he had a birthday treat too by way of pumpkin spice cupcakes that I actually remembered to make and give to him this year unlike last year when they got made and I totally forgot to give them to him so I ate them instead.

Anyways, I digress. Birthday craftiness was, of course, undertaken for the fourth birthday celebrations. Most of it this time was in the kitchen instead of the sewing room. Baby Boy, finally, at the eleventh hour returned to the "theme" he'd chosen ages ago after having gone through about a million other themes in between.  He wanted an Angry Bird cake for his birthday.  Not just any Angry Bird either.  It had to be the "Pink Girl Angry Bird".  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and considered myself getting off easy peasy with that one! Such a simple request.

I have a fantastic 12" cake pan I bought for baking our wedding cake layers, so it really was no fuss, no muss. Well, so long as you don't count the fact that between making too small of a batch for my pan, likely leaving out one of the leavening ingredients and Baby Boy opening the oven so that the already flat cake fell further to almost pancake height requiring me to bake a second batch of cake, it was no fuss, no muss.  I used the recipe for Buttermilk Chocolate Cake from Lorelie's Wedding Cakes For You  site again.  It's such a great recipe! (when you actually follow the recipe, make enough and keep the blooming oven door shut while its baking that is) Any suggestions what to do with the pancake cake that's currently sitting in my freezer? It still tastes delicious.  Maybe petit fours?

So. New cake baked, I was all set to decorate it.  I had leftover buttercream from the wedding cake that (BF)G's niece had brought back after decorating it, that I had popped into the freezer, waste not want not and all that, that turned out to be the exact amount I needed to make the "Pink Girl Angry Bird".  (BF)G, who is often my creative consultant on these sorts of matters, had the idea to use a fortune cookie for the beak, and I decided the gigantic marshmallows I'd bought for the weenie/marshmallow roast party would make awesome (and easy) eyes for our little lady bird. I did cut the marshmallows in half though, because holy smokes! Those suckers are  HUGE!

For party favours I got a notion in my head to make cookies after seeing Angry Bird Cookies on the Sweet Sugar Belle website.  Now, I should mention I'm clearly bat s--t crazy because I've never once decorated cookies with anything more than buttercream. My usual standard of decorating is, well, to be honest, none. Or maybe coloured sugar sprinkles if I'm feeling fancy.  But I did get a bit of the decorating bug last Christmas when the boys and I did some fancier cookies for the holidays. However, I've never even seen Royal Icing, let alone made it, and I do not own a kitchen aid, which every website I looked at told me to use, so it was a bit dicey going. (As in I had no hot clue what I was doing), but I'm am SUPER DUPER proud of my cookies and how they turned out. I am also now obsessed with fancy cookies and have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what kinds of cookies I could decorate. But that, dear readers, is a story for another day.  Back to the birthday party craftiness.  I did have some moments of anguish and panic trying to get the consistency just so, and a few minor heart palpitations when the first one I started with I managed to break an ear off within the first 30 seconds, but then I took a step back, a dose of reality and realized I needed to calm down. It's a cookie after all.  Just a cookie.

So that was the end of party craftiness in the kitchen - although remind me to tell you about the weenie roast some day. We had bannock wrapped wieners cooked over an open fire.  You should try it.  It has the potential to be a fall time cookout winner!

I did, of course, make the now traditional birthday day crown.  (You can see Baby Boy's previous ones here, here and here.)  Sticking with the Angry Bird theme,  I had a lot of fun doing this and was really happy with how it turned out.  I think Baby Boy was happy too!

Then I was back in the kitchen again yesterday to make a mini version of the Angry Bird cake for Baby Boy's actual birthday.  This time he requested a "Blue Bird - not a light blue one. A darker blue one. But not too dark." (He's not particular at all that one. Nope. Not him... rolls eyes)

So, that's it.  I'm a bit caked and butter creamed and royal icing-ed out for now.  I think I'll give the icing sugar and chocolate a rest at least for a few days...