Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse: And Other Treats for Colorful Celebrations Hardcover – Jun 1 2010
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About the Author
LIV HANSEN’s eye for edible decorating comes from her training as a painter. KAYE HANSEN, a self-taught baker, owns Riviera Bakehouse in Westchester County, New York. The bakery has been featured in the New York Times, and this baking duo has appeared on Today, The View, The Early Show, and Food Network. Together, they are the authors of The Whimsical Bakehouse, Christmas Cookies from the Whimsical Bakehouse, and Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse. Liv and Kaye live in Rockland County, New York. www.whimsicalbakehouse.com
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Cookie: Sugar Cookies (recipe below)
Icing: 1 recipe Royal Icing (recipe below)
Decoration: pink and/or white sanding sugar, 6- or 8-inch lollipop sticks for magic wands, and ribbon for decoration (1 to 2 feet per wand, depending on whether a knot or bow is tied)
Colors: pink liquid gel colors
Miscellaneous: half-sheet baking pan, pastry cones, star cookie cutter
1. Bake the cookies and let them cool completely. Prepare the Royal Icing. Keep the icing covered with a damp cloth.
2. Prepare the colored icing: approximately 1 cup light pink, 1/2 cup medium pink, 1/2 cup neon pink.
3. To prevent breaking when decorating, hold the cookie, not the lollipop stick. Spread a thin layer of colored icing over the entire cookie. Immediately pour white or pink sanding sugar over the top or dip the cookie into a bowl of sanding sugar, pressing gently to adhere. Shake or dust off any excess sugar.
4. Place 2 tablespoons of each color icing into separate pastry cones. Cut a small hole at the tip of each pastry cone. Pipe dots or lacy borders around the edge of each cookie, write the initials of the birthday fairy, or make a design of your own. Let dry overnight.
5. Tie a bow with long trails around the handle of each wand.
Yield: approximately 24 to 30 wands
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Have all ingredientsat room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed, cream:
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
2⁄3 cup sugar
Add and thoroughly incorporate:
1 extra-large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
On a piece of wax paper, sift together:
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.
Mix until the dough comes together.
Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured board, roll the chilled dough out to ¼ inch thick. Slip parchment paper under the rolled dough and transfer it to a half-sheet pan. Chill for 30 minutes. Cut out shapes (see below).
For magic wands: Cut out stars using a star cookie cutter (2 inches to 3 inches across; larger stars need longer handles). Arrange the stars 1 inch apart along the long sides of the cookie sheets. Carefully insert lollipop sticks into the hollow created between two points of the star about 1/2 inch deep.
Yeilds approximately 4 cups
In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment, whip to stiff peaks:
1/4 cup meringue powder
1/2 cup cold water
Add and mix at low speed with a paddle attachment, until combined:
4 cups (1-pound box) confectioners’ sugar
Continue mixing at high speed for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the icing is stiff.
Add and mix on low speed until combined:
1/2 teaspoon strained fresh lemon juice
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth while you are working with or coloring batches of icing, or immediately place it in an airtight container or a pastry cone; otherwise, a hard crust will quickly form as it dries.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
My book finally arrived yesterday. I opened it, along with my children, and flipped through the book page by page. I have to say that the first third of the book is just recipes and the written word. I finally made it to the substance of the book, the photographs and cake ideas. I kept flipping through, hoping with the turn of each page, that I would be more impressed and find THE CAKE for my kids' fourth birthday. After all, the jungle/zoo animal cake that I created for their third birthday, straight from the ideas of The Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun to Make Cakes..., would be very difficult to top! After I made it the last page, I found myself extremely disappointed. There was no WOW cake in this book for me. I wasn't as impressed with what was even there. The only cake that even slightly appeals to me is the circus cake on the cover. None of the others inside the pages of the book even compare, although my daughter would probably disagree with me there, as she rather excitedly pointed out that she wanted the pink girlie cake inside, complete with a wig, makeup and hair accessories, etc. created from chocolate wafers.
I'm hesitant to give this book 3 stars. However, for someone who has never owned a Whimsical Bakehouse book, you may be completely impressed with the ideas presented here. As a veteran of the Whimsical Bakehouse ideas and creator not-so-extraordinaire (I'm still learning), I found the Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse book a bit disappointing. I hope to find uses for some of the ideas in the future, but find it highly unlikely.
Then on to the decorating of cakes, cupcakes and cookies. They even give special hints and tips for children to help them in the decorating process.
Several pages of templates will help you decorate `Tea party' cupcakes for a princess, `Treats for young explorers', Circus and Zoo animals, to Spooky surprises. There are also alternative sweet endings to your meals. I would love the `Banana Bear Pancakes' for breakfast, what a way to star the day.