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Tiny Tidbits of my Time

Elmo Birthday Party ~ Part 3 ~ The Cake & Brunch! July 17, 2014

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 3:06 pm
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I usually like to go “all-out” with my kids’ birthday cakes, so “just” doing cupcakes was a stretch for me.  It actually turned out to be perfect since we ended up having a morning party and serving brunch.  Besides, these Elmo cupcakes were just too cute for words.

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Cupcakes made from box mix

Red Frosting

Oreo Cookies

Reese’s Pieces

Wilton Candy Eyes

Decorating tips

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In a circular pattern frost each cupcake with the red frosting making small stars.

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Next, pull apart each Oreo Cookie, scrape off the creme (I won’t judge if you eat it) and cut the cookies in half to make Elmo’s mouth.  Just push it gently into the frosting to secure it.

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Use an orange Reese’s’ Pieces candy for the nose and two Wilton candy eyes.  Viola!  Be sure to wait until right before the party to put the eyes on or the black color will bleed.

Brunch Collage

Since we had a morning party we served a breakfast/brunch.  It was so fun to do something a little different.  We served crock pot egg bake, fruit (Elmo-style), muffins, caramel rolls, banana bread, chocolate milk and coffee.  The fruit trays were a hit.  They were made with strawberries/watermelon  (head), Cutie orange (nose), blueberries (mouth), marshmallow with edible marker (eyes).  I found the mini milk bottles at Hobby Lobby.  They came with lock lids, but I just took those off.  Michael’s had true milk bottles, but they weren’t on sale 😉

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I think the Birthday Boy enjoyed his Elmo Cupcake!  What do you think?



Double Chocolate Bundt Cake July 25, 2012

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 11:19 pm
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My aunts came to visit today to meet the new little guy.  I thought it would be fun to try a new recipe to serve for dessert.  I finally went into my “Favorite Recipes” board on Pintrest and actually made this luscious piece of chocolate heaven!   It was pretty easy and tasted yummy!  My 4-year-old kitchen assistant was at my side to help, too!  He just loves to help bake (and snitch a piece of something sweet as we work — he does have his mom’s sweet tooth).

The Pintrest post didn’t link to a website, so I’m not sure what the original source is.  There was only a picture and the recipe.

Double Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 yellow cake mix

1 box instant vanilla pudding

1 box instant chocolate pudding

4 eggs

3/4 cup oil

1 cup sour cream

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Warning:  Pictured is a tub of Sour Cream with chives.  I didn’t realize I had bought that until I opened it to add to the bowl.  I was glad I saw the little pieces of chives in there before I dumped it in.  I had to drive back to the store and get plain sour cream – whew!

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, but only mix in 1/2 of the bag of chocolate chips.

Pour half of the batter into a greased bundt pan.  Next, layer the other 1/2 of the bag of chocolate chips (save a few to garnish the top of your cake).  Layer the rest of the of the batter.  Garnish with the remaining chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.



I served the cake with vanilla ice cream.  It rich chocolatey goodness!


stART ~ The Sun is My Favorite Star May 24, 2012

Filed under: StART Bits — tidbittimes @ 10:21 pm
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After a long (too long) of a break from our stART projects, we are going to try to get back on board for the summer.  We kicked off this week by reading “The Sun is My Favorite Star” by Frank Asch.  This is a simple, yet informational, book about all the things the sun does for us.  A great topic to kick off summer, right?

For our project we made Sunshine Cupcakes to share with our neighbors and daycare friends.  The idea came from Pintrest via Taste of Home.

I started by baking the cupcakes, yes, straight from the boxed mix!  I know, super fancy!  I also used the canned frosting.

Will helped with the decorating portion of the project.  He had a great time and it even kept his attention until we were done.  After that project, he did not have the patience to visit with our neighbors when we dropped them off.


Boxed Cake Mix

Canned Frosting (white)

Food Coloring or Paste (yellow & red)

Mini Chocolate Chips

Candy Corn

Yellow Sprinkles (optional)

After I frosted the cupcakes, Will was the official sprinkle guy.  Note we did this on a plastic tray so the many, many, many extra sprinkles could be returned to the bottle to reuse.  If I were to do this project again, I’d suggest skipping the sprinkles since it make it hard to stick the rest of the candy on.

Next, we placed two mini chocolate chips near the center to make the sun’s eyes.  I used red frosting to draw the smile.  The recipe suggested using red licorice for the smile.  The frosting worked pretty slick.

Last, we added candy corn candies around the perimeter of the cupcake to make the sun’s rays.

You are my sunshine!!!!


Spiderman Birthday Party ~ Part 3 ~ Cake and Cookies! April 11, 2012

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 1:59 pm
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I spent quite a bit of time on the cakes and cookies for Will’s Spiderman party (although it was much easier than last year’s big Thomas cake).  I really enjoy the challenge of cake and cookie decorating!  When I saw the Spiderman cookies on Pintrest and looked further at the directions, I knew I needed to give them a try.  I thought they would make great party favors.

I found the idea and tutorial for making these fabulous cookies on The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle.  She gives great instructions!  I also used a recipe I found on Pintrest (Authentic Suburban Gourmet) that mimics the Lofthouse Sugar Cookies (which both Will and I LOVE).  To cut out Spiderman head cookies I used an upside down Easter egg cookie cutter (pictured in a previous blog post) — clever, huh.

Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies (from Authentic Suburban Gourmet)


6 cups all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. butter, at room temperature
2 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. sour cream


1 c. butter, room temperature
1 t. vanilla extract
4 c. powdered sugar
6 T. heavy cream
Several drops food coloring
Multi-colored Sprinkles


In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

Use the plastic wrap that you chilled the dough in. Dust the top of the dough and then flip and flour the other side, keeping it on the plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Best to work in small batches while keeping the remainder of the dough chilled.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired spreading consistency is achieved. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined.

Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

Makes approximately: 5 to 6 dozen cookies (will vary on the thickness of the dough)

On my first trial I used frosting to make the webbing on the face.  This looked great until the next day when the black frosting had bled into the red frosting.  Poor Spiderman didn’t look so good.  I then went on the search for cake decorating pens like Sugarbelle mentioned in her tutorial and found some at the local baking supply shop.


Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make the webbing on Spiderman’s face.  Very simple when you see it one step at a time.


Here Will is pictured holding Trial #1 of the cookies using frosting, but it shows the eyes close up.  I used black frosting to outline the eye shape first and then filled it in with white frosting.



I kept the cakes fairly simple this year after tackling Thomas last year!  I borrowed a Wilton Spiderman pan from my friend, Sandy.  After seeing the guest list I decided I needed more cake so I made a Spiderman head from a layered round cake.

I just followed the instructions to frost the cake from the Wilton pan.  It was pretty  easy although the design from the pan didn’t make a very clear impression on the cake, so I had to get a little creative.   I also had a little cake casualty when I removed it from the pan.  My advice, always wait until the cake has cooled before removing it from the pan.  I was able to piece it together and then make an emergency call to my mom and used her suggestion of freezing it together before frosting it.  It worked!

 The instructions suggested doing all the outlining before filling it in with red stars.  I tested it out first on one foot and I was surprised at how well that method worked (who am I to challenge Wilton, I guess).  The decorating went pretty smoothly and even resembled Spiderman when I was done!

 For the layer cake I baked two round cakes and then stacked them with frosting in between.  For the face pattern I just used the same method I had used to decorate the cookies.  It was super fast and easy!  There was even enough cake to go around!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the process of creating a Spiderman party for my sweet Will!  I had so much fun and was exhausted following the party.  It was all worth it though!


Red, White & Blue Cupcakes! July 10, 2011

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 3:05 pm
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I saw a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for a rainbow cake in the Family Fun magazine and also rainbow cupcakes posted on the Art Mom’s Blog.  I thought the 4th of July would be the perfect time to give this a try with just 3 colors.  So… here is the recipe for Red, White and Blue cupcakes.  I used the recipe from the Art Mom’s Blog http://art-moms.com/hp_wordpress/?p=2252

Pudding Cake Recipe

1 white cake mix

1 pkg Jello instant vanilla pudding

1 cup vanilla yogurt

3 egg whites

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup 7 up

Directions to make the cupcakes

Line a cupcake tin with liners and spray them with cooking spray.  Combine the first 5 ingredients and beat for 1 minute.  Gradually beat in the 7 up.  Pour equal amounts of batter into 3 bowls.  Add color to each bowl (I used red and blue — leaving the 3rd bowl without color).  With a spoon add the first color to the bottom of each cupcake liner.  A BIG thank you to the Art Mom for this tip!  To even out the first layer of batter dip the tips of your fingers in water before spreading the batter!  (This works wonders!) Layer each color after spreading out the previous layer.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting.

Pudding Frosting Recipe

1 1/2 cups of milk

1 pkg of Jello instant vanilla pudding

1/2 tub Cool Whip

Mix for 2 minutes and add to the top of your cupcakes.  Add sprinkles!

YUM, YUM!  Will was able to enjoy a blue cupcake while the rest of us stuffed ourselves silly at the Pizza Ranch and couldn’t even think of eating one on the 4th!  They were sure good on the 5th though!


Thomas Cake (probably the one and only) May 27, 2011

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 11:05 am
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Will requested a train cake for his 3rd birthday.  Last year I really wanted to do a form cake (is that what they’re called?), but tackled the flat decorated cake instead.  This year I was up for the challenge of tackling the BIG one.  Thanks to the gal that writes this blog http://thomasthetankenginecake.blogspot.com/ I was able to get a step-by-step tutorial that was awesome!  I was very happy with the final result, but there was a lot of crankiness involved to get to the final product (just ask my husband).  I believe I said a number of times, “If I EVER get one of these wild ideas again, just tell me NO, NO, NO!”  All the hours of work were worth it to see how excited Will was about his Thomas Cake.  He even requested that I make a Gordon Cake next year…..maybe 365 days in between will be enough time to erase the complexity of the project in my mind.

Will with his cake at his party!

Here are some pictures documenting the train building process.

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