Monday, October 18, 2010

Frosting and Lingerie

With this title, I have great hopes for the new search engines I will show up on.  An entire new demographic to view my blog...

Bear with me... I'll get to pictures of lingerie in a second, but first, I suck at making pretty icing.  I watch those Food Network shows, I look at your blogs, but I just have a mental block and can't do it.


Go ahead and say it, I know... It looks like an orange dog turd with candied orange peels.

But, look at this...

1st close up picture, I did... Bottom picture, My wife did.

As Richard Gere says, Razzle Dazzle 'em

Take your turd cupcakes, razzle em with candied orange peels and dazzle em with a pumpkin center piece and hope against hope that no one notices the turds on the top.

But I am ahead of myself again... before the icing, the pretty and the lingerie, we need to make the cupcakes.

CUPCAKE BAKERY MYSTERIESThese are a "preview" recipe from Jenn McKinley.  Jenn McKinley is 1/6th of the 6 Merry Murderesses of the Mystery Lover's Kitchen.  Jenn writes mysteries set in a cupcake shop, with a new book in the series coming out in January.  Recently she did a post where she journeyed to a cupcake convention... Really!!!  Begs the question, was it a boondoggle at the tax payer's expense?  Just because she writes a cupcake series, will that trip be written off on her taxes?  How many schools must shut down, how many fighter jets will the US not be able to build just because Jenn McKinley does not pay taxes on the cupcake pans she buys?  Come clean Jenn McKinley, Come Clean!

But, aside from being a potential tax dodge, her cupcake recipes are gems!  In the self same post that she talks of the sweet time she had at the convention, she did a preview recipe that will show up in her next book, coming in January, Buttercream Bump Off.  Orange Dreansickle Cupcakes!!!

I love dreamsicles.  Those wonderful ice cream treats with the orange candy coating surrounding the Vanilla icing.  When I saw that Jenn had shared the recipe on the Mystery Lover's Kitchen blog, I knew I was going to give it a shot.

Here's her recipe...

Orange Dreamsicle Cupcakes: An orange cupcake topped

with vanilla buttercream and garnished with a candied orange peel
(sadly, I didn't have any for the picture).
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs, separated and
whites beaten until stiff
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 stick of butter, softened
Candied orange peels (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 350. Combine butter, sugar, egg yolks, zest and orange extract in a large mixing bowl. Cream these ingredients together thoroughly. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together in a separate mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients 1/3 at a time alternately with the orange juice. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Spoon batter into cupcake liners until 1/2 full.
Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 18.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar 
2-3 tablespoons milk (or whipping cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream butter and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides of bowl often. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. For best results, keep icing in refrigerator when not in use. This icing can be stored up to 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.Makes 3 cups of icing.

You can see her original post, see her much prettier photos and read about the cupcake convention (how come Kansas City doesn't get a cupcake convention, all we ever seem to get are the Future Farmer's of America... not that there is anything wrong with being a future farmer, but ...  Oh well, I digress).  You can see her original post by clicking HERE

I made a few changes, I made mini cupcakes instead of full size.  the baking time was only about 13 minutes.  That made 36 cupcakes, 1 teaspoon of batter in each.  I also add orange food coloring to make the theme of Dreamsickles come alive (razzle dazzle em).

And the Dremsickle theme gave me the idea for the pumpkin display.  Dreamsickle ice cream is served on a stick, so should Dremsickle cupcakes.  I was taking these for a dessert for my neighbor's outdoor chili feed.  Shoving the sticks into the pumpkin, then shoving the cupcakes onto the end of the stick, and you have a portable unique display item.

Adding the candied Orange Peels just added to the "hair" look of the pumpkin.

BTW, when I say shove the sticks into the pumpkin, actually I took a steak knife and cut a slit into the top.  then inserted the stick into the slit.  Same thing with the bottom of the cupcake.  Cut a slit and they slide onto the stick easily.

And, it worked.  The display was a huge hit, the taste of the mini cupcakes was an even bigger hit.  All was right with my little Cul de Sac world...

Except, I was still  not happy.

Fortunately, the cupcakes were delivered at dusk, and they were razzle dazzled by the orange peels and the pumpkin display.  No one noticed my turd icing look.

But I hated it and complained to my wife.

And complained and complained...

And complained (you get the idea).

VERY long time readers may remember that I once mentioned my wife occasionally decorates wedding cakes.  It was a hobby from her youth, that she does for friends (the Love is lovelier the second time around gang) that want to save a few bucks by avoiding the $500-$1500 wedding cakes the pros do.  Anyway, she has skills that i don't.

She also has all the fancy tips and such.

So, in order to get me to shut up, she agreed to give me cake decorating lessons.

So, next morning, we scrapped off the turd icing from the leftover 20 or so cupcakes, she loaded up a decorating bag with a fresh batch of icing and away we went.

Here's the lingerie part...

Different tip, now it didn't have the turd look anymore, but still not pretty...

We tried bunches of tips...

And in the end... New skill set for me...

Get used to this look.  About the best I could do!

Thanks Jenn, great recipe!  Hope the last photo does your recipe (and book) justice.



  1. Oh my.. I think I snorted coffee up my nose this morning! Funny man... Funny.

  2. Crack me up!! ha ha ha ha... I think they look delicious...I'm kind of afraid to mess up a "perfect" cake, so! You know I love my foodie mysteries, so I loved this post...must check out that title :D

  3. With that search engine you might get some weird viewers! Too funny Dave. Jackie's skills and jammies are excellent. Love your decorated pumpkin.

  4. Lovely post -- your wife is an angel.
    Orange creamsicles -- blast from the past!

  5. Thanks for the giggle! I can't wait to see your frosting skills in future posts!

  6. This was such a fun read! Makes me miss my cake decorating days.

  7. You are a hoot Dave. And cupcakes of any kind are good in my book - with or without icing. :)

  8. I am glad that Jackie and I have the same lingerie! :D

    Love the final product you made though!

  9. You are way too funny :) Like your new skill there...

  10. LOL! Im embarrassed that not only did your title catch my eye, but I had to read your post. Looks yummy! I was razzle dazzled.

  11. I love the title! You wife really fixed them up! It's a really cute idea!

  12. Haha I want to know what kind of comments you get when people find you via the search for lingerie and icing. I mean, really, why do you think I mention sex in just about every post :P

    The cupcakes sound delicious and your icing skillz are really coming along. Oh yes. skillz with a Z.

  13. Oh wow, so adorable! Love the stand up cupcakes alots and look so tempting as well. Your honey bunny done it like a pro. ^_^ Hope you're having a wonderful day.
    Cheers, Kristy

  14. Dave, that is a such cheerful pumpkin ))
    I would like to invite you to share your vegetable or fruit creations at the Carving Event that I am hosting in September 2011.

    Please check up details at