Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gray and White Chevron Cookies

Welcome! I wanted to post my newest cookies before I immerse myself in housework. Have you done your Spring cleaning yet? I don't know about you but I am always late to this whole Spring cleaning thing. I love having a clean house yet I don't really like constantly having to clean (If you have kids then I am sure you understand the added madness that they lovingly bring). How do you deal with the daily household chaos?
On to the cookies... the colors I used for the gray is Americolor Super Black with a tiny touch of Americolor Sky Blue to give it a little bit of life, rather than being just a blah gray, the bead boarder was piped in light blue using a tip #1.5 and then painted with Sugarflair Satin Silver luster dust mixed with extract. If you saw my Sugarflair haul then you know how exited I am to use these new lusters. I am here to tell you that they did not disappoint! 

I will put a tutorial up soon on how I made these. Thank you so much for stopping by and if you liked these cookies and want to see more of my work then don't forget to add/follow me! See you next time!

-Pretties and Pastries

Monday, May 26, 2014

Nospresso 'Espresso' and Irish Cream Mini Cupcakes

Welcome! Are you wondering about the name "nospresso"? Well, I don't drink coffee so anytime I am wanting that espresso aroma (or when it calls for it in a recipe) I reach for this wonderful drink mix called Pero. It doesn't contain any coffee whatsoever but it's as close to the real thing as you can get and boy is it GOOD! I even fools avid coffee drinkers so I would say that's pretty darn impressive. If you do drink coffee though feel free to use some Starbucks VIAs, or other espresso powder.

Anyway, I can't believe I haven't posted any mini cupcakes yet! They are the dessert that won't make you feel guilty no matter how strict your diet may be... unless you eat forty of them and then well, I think it's safe to assume that you have fallen off the diet wagon (no worries, you can join the non-dieters club with me).

These are super simple and very yummy!!! Just take your favorite chocolate cake recipe (these are my go to chocolate and vanilla recipes) and sift 4 tbsp of Pero and 2 extra tbsp sugar in with the dry ingredients, then swap out all the extract for Irish Cream flavoring, then mix and bake as directed. Since I made minis, they only took about 11 minutes to bake, so keep that in mind if you want to do a cake, cupcakes or mini cupcakes your baking time will vary. 

For the frosting I used my favorite basic crusting buttercream recipe (found here) and added 3 tbsp Pero sifted in with the powdered sugar and then I swapped the extracts for 1 1/2 tsp Irish Cream flavoring. It takes a little while for the Pero to blend into the buttercream after you have mixed it so if you need to serve these right away I would recommend pre-mixing the Pero with 1 tbsp boiling water (taken out of the total liquid amount) and let it cool before adding it to the butter and sugar mixture. Do not over mix your buttercream.

If you want to add any sort of sprinkles they will need to be added to each cupcake right after you swirl on the frosting if you are using a "crusting" recipe. As you might be able to see, my sprinkles didn't adhere very well since I didn't follow my own advice (add scolding and finger pointing here)

Have you tried any other coffee alternatives? Were they any good? Hopefully you can pop into your kitchen, whip these bad boys up and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!

-Pretties and Pastries

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Brown Smokey Eyes with MAC, Urban Decay and NARS

Happy hump day! Don't you love it when people share? I know I do! So I wanted to share my most recent eye look with you and I hope you like it. 
What I used for this smokey look is:
•Urban Decay anti-aging eye primer
•Urban Decay eyeshadows in laced and naked (crease), buck and blackout (outer-v)
•NARS cheyeanne (purply color, lid)
•MAC brule (blending)
•Kat Von D tattoo liner in trooper
•Lashes are #47's 

I just adore smokey eyes... in fact nine times out of ten when I actually do my makeup, it's a smokey eye. Do you usually rock a bold lip or do you prefer to do something dramatic with your eyes? Well, until next time beauties!!

-Pretties and Pastries

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Maraca Cookies Tutorial

Here is another quick tutorial from my Cinco de Mayo cookies. The cutter I used for this is actually a bunny cutter that I got at Hobby Lobby before Easter, just in case you were wondering.
1. Using 15 second flood consistency icing in Warm Brown and a tip #1.5, pipe the first handle and shape with a scribe tool or toothpick. I just did these free-hand, but you could make a template if you want them to be perfectly even each time.

2. Repeat step 1 for the second handle and let dry for at least 30 minutes.

3. Using a scribe tool, etch the shape of the first maraca head on the right, then etch as much of the other head as you can on the left side. If you would like to do a design, then etch that now.

4. Fill in the left maraca with Leaf Green 15 second flood consistency icing using a tip #1 and then shape with the scribe tool. 

5. If you are doing more than one color like I did then immediately fill in the next colors using 15 second icing on that side while the icing is still wet so they blend together.

6. Fill in the last color, shape with the tool. For the red tops I used Americolor Super Red (how did I ever live without this color?). Let this side dry for at least 30 minutes. 

7-9. Repeat steps 4-6 with the maraca on the right side. Allow to dry at least 6 hours. You can absolutely stop here and serve these as is... or you could shade them with petal dust and food coloring as I did to give them more dimension. 

10. Using Wilton Brown Color Dust and a small brush, shade the left maraca up to the line where the two meet. 

11. Shade the left side of each handle.

12. Using a fine paintbrush, chocolate brown airbrush color (or if you don't have that then use the same warm brown gel from earlier mixed with some extract), paint the edges of shadows that would be darkest parts; like where the maracas meet each other, the left sides of the handles and underneath the maraca tops. I like using the Amerimist airbrush colors (my wonderful hubby got me this set as a very generous gift, the little sweetie-poo!) for any type of painting on sugar, just because it's less mess, not as time consuming since it takes out the mixing step, dries quickly and I don't have to worry about mixing in too much extract and having the color be too sheer. 

Well, if you have managed to get this far without devouring them all yourself (I'm not here to judge), then they are all done and ready for your fiesta!! Of course if you have any questions or comments, just leave them below. Enjoy and happy baking!

- Pretties and Pastries

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lime (citrus) Cookies Tutorial

Hello and welcome! Here is a quick tutorial for you to see how I did the limes from last weeks Cinco de Mayo cookies (more on those to come). Needless to say, you could translate this to any type of citrus fruit though.
What you will need: 
-Americolor Electric Green, Bright White and Leaf Green 15 second consistency royal icing 
-Scribe tool or "Quilling tool"

For the seeds just pipe a small dot and then take the scribe tool and drag it from the center of the dot to the center of the cookie. The whole way through I used the "wet on wet" technique which basically means... put everything on the cookie as quickly as possible and then pray it turns out right sit back and admire your work.

 Viola! Quick, painless and the perfect compliment to so many types of festive cookies. 

Now I must head off to bed because my toddler may or may not be waking me up by dumping all her princess on my bed first thing in the morning (again). These are pretty straight forward but if you have questions or comments, just let me know. 

-Pretties and Pastries 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco De Mayo Cookies

As Cinco de Mayo comes to a close, I wanted make sure I shared my newest cookie creation with you. 
These were so fun to make and they ended up being a big hit. If you want to see how I made these festive little cookies then check back next week and I will have a tutorial up just for you!

-Pretties and Pastries