Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Feature in Bird's Party Magazine

As many of you may know, I recently collaborated with Marcie of Celebrating Moments by Marcie on a layout for a fun online party mag called Bird's Party Magazine Fall Edition.  What an honor it is to be a part of this fabulous magazine.  It is full of lots of fun and creative fall decorating and entertaining ideas, so be sure to check it out!  And it's free and full of lots of great resource links!

Now, I contributed several delicious sweets for our beautiful dessert table and want to share some of the recipes and techiniques I used to make all these fun fall desserts.

First I would like to give you the recipe for Pumpkin Buttercream I created as it appears in the magazine on page 75. It really is scrumptious!  (Don't tell anyone but I found myself eating the leftovers on store bought gingersnaps which I microwave for 15 seconds to make them soft and chewy again...soooo bad, but oh soooo tasty!)

Pumpkin Buttercream

by Marilyn Higgins of Whatever Whimsy

This tasty frosting works great on on gingerbread cake, as well as, adding a spicy accent when swirled onto chocolate cupcakes.


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup shortening (Crisco)

3/4 cup pureed pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 lb bag confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Orange gel food color (optional)

Cream together softened butter, shortening, pumpkin, vanilla and spices in a stand mixer. Slowly add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. Mix until nice and fluffy. Adjust consistency with a little milk or added confectioner's sugar.

A few drops of orange food color can be used to get a brighter burnt pumpkin color (as seen on featured cake). This is optional. Basic recipe will have a lighter more natural color.

Another Recipe

When my friends and family got to taste test all the yummies from the display after the shoot they loved everything, but one item kept coming up as an overall favorite, the Pumpkin (Orange) Cream Cheese Truffles.  Now, I adapted a recipe that I found at Whole Foods but with a few important changes to make them my own and to ease in preparation.  Everyone loves the unexpected burst of orange flavor that is such a refreshing twist to the usual spiced pumpkin flavors of the season.  So I have added "Orange" to the name because it just belongs there! 

Now for the recipe not shared in the magazine for all of my blog friends!  Try it and let me know what you think! Enjoy.

Pumpkin Orange Spice Cream Cheese Truffles
by Marilyn Higgins of Whatever Whimsy

These tasty truffles have a beautifully bright orange flavor that is a very refreshing change from the classic spiced pumpkin of the Autumn season.


24 ounces Vanilla Flavored Coating,( 8 oz for filling, the remaining 16 oz for dipping)
(can substitute vanilla flavored chips)

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

3/4 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs, reserve some for garnish

2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

Melt 8 oz (4 squares) vanilla coating in microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. Place this in mixing bowl of stand mixer with remaining ingredients. Mix until well incorporated.

Freeze for at least one hour or until firm to the touch.

Scoop using a small cookie scoop or by rounded teaspoons and roll into balls. Freeze balls for 1 hour until set. Melt remaining vanilla coating and use for dipping. Remove from freezer, dip in vanilla coating and place on wax paper. Quickly garnish with gingersnap crumbs. Freeze until ready to serve.

Preparation Tips:

When zesting an orange use only the bright orange top layer for great orange flavor. The white, pith, underneath is bitter and not desirable in most baked goods.

Also, use a microplaner instead of a regular zester. This tool makes a much finer zest, resulting in stronger, bolder flavors!

If you are finding your pumpkin balls are softening too quickly before dipping, remove only a couple from freezer at a time.

I plan to give more tips and recipes for other featured desserts over the next few posts so keep your eyes open!  Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just a quick post to say that I have lots of pics posted to my Whatever Whimsy fanpage on Facebook. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, I post there much more often! www.facebook.com/whateverwhimsy Blessings Sweet Friends!
Again, I have been neglecting this blog. [Sorry!] Life is full! Family, homeschooling, housework, ministry, and confections are all keep me busy! I have been creating away and have so many projects to share!
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Spring is here and isn't it Grand! I am sitting here listening to the rain as I type and am in awe of God's creatioon and the beauty of Spring out my window. The grass is green, the magnolia and daffodils are in bloom and the Maple trees are budding. Thank you Lord for new beginnings and fresh starts! Oh, how I need them!

One fun and exiting endevour I want to share is my recent colaborations with Marcie from Celebrating Moments by Marcie. She is an event designer/stylist and does beautiful work! God brought us together when my husband and friends hired her to design the decor and dessert buffet for my 40th birthday party a couple of months ago! [Yes, I am officially 40! And yes, I told my husband I was not doing decorations for my own party! ....in comes the amazing Marcie.] Here are a few pics.

I really loved the wish tree! How sweet to have messages from all my friends and family. Many thanks to my wonderful husband and sweet friends for making it such a touching and memorable celebration!

Fun, right! Marcie and I hit it off right from the start! Actually I met her online first, when a mutual friend posted some pics she had done for a Valentine display. {link} I fell in love with her style, creativity and personality from the moment I first saw this post!

And I can't forget to mention the Super Cute cake made by my close friend Stacy. She did a Fabulous Job!

I have had the pleasure of making some fun desserts for a few of Marcie's latest displays. We really have been having a great time together. I think we are a perfect fit! God is sooooo Good!

Chocolate bird pops, coconut cupcakes, chocolate raspberry cake balls, and of course, a cute little bird cake, these all from a Vintage Bird dessert display we put together for a local bridal show. And yes, these custom bird cookies below are edible! Having fun with some new technology that I am incorporating into my confections. Might just have to start selling on Etsy! Well, I have so much more to share, so I will post again soon. Please take a moment to check out more pics on Marcie's blog. Her most recent post has a couple more of my custom confections. It's exciting to see what God has in store! Blessings Dear Friends!
{P. S. Marcie, thanks for letting me share your wonderful photography!}

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's been forever since I last posted. Actually, it's been over a year! I started homeschooling Sept of '09 and there went the blog. So it's a new year and a new chance to start sharing my projects and thoughts. It is snowy here in Maryland so I thought I would share some snowflake creations.

First some snowflake fondant cookies. I used basically the same techniques as previously posted for fondant cookies, just used snowflake cutters.

Second, I created some fun beaded snowflakes magnets for a kids project for an Orphan Hosting Farwell party. They were a hit and super simple. These could easily be made as ornaments but that season has passed for this year!

I will post directions to the snowflake magnets if anyone is interested. Let me know with a comment.