Angry Birds!

It’s been a while since I made a theme cake. There’s a reason for that. I’ve decided a year ago not to do theme cakes anymore because it takes more time to make the cake than to devour the entire cake. So I now make theme cakes only for family.

Like most edible theme cakes, most of the structures or models used on the cake are made using fondant or gum paste. I try to steer away from both as much as I can because I don’t think they taste good, but sometimes, it’s inevitable.

I have found one brand of fondant though, that tastes decent. Some had said it tastes almost like a tootsie roll. The brand is Fondarific. The fondant seems to also be more pliant and workable, and doesn’t dry up as fast as those I’ve worked with, such as Wilton.

Anyway, I digress.

I was asked to do a theme cake for my nephew’s 4th birthday. He’s crazy about Angry Birds. I mean, really crazy. He has stuffed toys of the different angry birds and knows what each bird does!

My first thought was…. someone has to already have made those things as cake toppers. I wasn’t looking forward to making them from scratch, though I will if I have to. But lucky for me, they are available! So, I just have to figure out what structure I’m going to build on the cake and where to place the birds and the pigs. Yay! Job made simple 🙂

So here are all the in-progress pictures of the cake.

First, I made a “stone” platform where I’m going to place my structure on. I made a rice krispies treats using vanilla marshmallows and cocoa puffs. I did add a drop of grey to make it look more like a wall of rocks rather than chocolate.

This is finished structure that I was going to put on the cake. The pigs and the birds are plastic but the other pieces, the eggs, ice blocks, wood planks, and the concrete blocks, are made out of fondant.

The angry birds with the fondant catapult! 

The finished cake. The cake was a marbled cake with a custard filling and whipped cream frosting.

I had some leftover cocoa rice krispies treats so I decided to make an actual angry bird model to surprise my nephew.

Here are the in-progress pictures:

And he loved it! I don’t know if he’s going to eat it though. 🙂

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Looks Can Be Deceiving

It’s both a blessing and a curse knowing how to bake sometimes. I’m so picky now when it comes to desserts. Yes, even a dessert as simple as cookies. I can’t remember the last time I bought a cookie and liked it.

Last week, I had lunch provided by Doubletree Inn. The lunch came in a brown gift bag with a large “Cookie” word printed on it. I guess I’m having a cookie for dessert. I wasn’t too excited at the thought of it at the time. When I unwrapped the wax paper containing the cookie, my expectations was right on. I wasn’t too impressed by the look of it. I took a bite of the cookie and wow! I was so surprised by how good it tasted. Ok. I take it all back. This is one cookie that I would actually buy and eat. It wasn’t too sweet as most store-bought cookies are. It was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The cookie also had a subtle hint of lemon and cinnamon, and it was loaded with chocolate. Seriously! I thought I put a lot of chocolate chips in my chocolate chip cookies. This cookie actually had more.

So, I went home and of course bragged about the cookie to my husband. The poor guy had to listen to me describe how scrumptious the cookie was. I felt bad afterwards so I decided to make a trial batch for him to try it out.

I’ve modified the recipe slightly so if you want to use the original recipe that I found on the web, here is the link: http://www.foodgeeks.com/recipes/18302. You’ll notice that I tend to convert the measurements in my recipes from cups to ounces. It’s a habit I learned so I always have a consistent result every time.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour (11.25 oz)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, softened (8 oz)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed* (7 oz)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar* (3.5 oz)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (18 oz)
  • 1-1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped fine
Directions:
  1. Grind oats in a food processor or blender until fine. Combine the ground oats with the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and lemon juice in another medium bowl with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix until smooth. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend well. Add the chocolate chips and nuts to the dough and mix by hand until ingredients are well blended.
  3. Spoon rounded 1/4 cup portions onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the scoops about 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350°F oven for 15-18 minutes or until cookies are light brown and soft in the middle. Store in a sealed container when cool to keep soft.
*This cookie isn’t overly sweet but if you want it even less sweet, you can reduce the sugars a little bit more.

Note: The original recipe indicated that you should chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator before baking the cookies. I don’t find that the step makes that much of a difference, but that chilling step does help when you have to prepare lots of dishes for an event.

If you decide to chill the dough overnight, I recommend that you scoop them first on the cookie sheet before covering and putting them in the refrigerator. If you don’t, the dough will be stiff when you first remove them from the refrigerator and you’ll have to wait for the butter in the dough to soften before you can scoop them out.

Of course, if you don’t want to spend the time making these cookies, you can always buy them from any Doubletree Inn 🙂 They’re not very expensive and are worth the purchase.