Friday, August 29, 2014

Delicious Caramel Desserts

Who can resist the rich, decadent taste of caramel? It's delicious by itself, of course, but it's even better when incorporated into some type of dessert. Many of your favorite desserts can be spiced up with a little caramel, and creating delectable desserts with this tasty ingredient is way easier than you probably think. Sure, there are lots of elaborate recipes out there involving caramel, but there are plenty of simple ones, too. We found two particularly easy and tasty examples, so be sure to give them a try as soon as possible!

Chocolate-Caramel Cream Puffs

For this recipe, you'll need a 13.2-ounce box of frozen cream puffs, 12.25 ounces of caramel — we love Peter’s caramel for almost any application — and one 16-ounce jar of hot fudge sauce.

This mouth-watering dessert couldn't be easier to make. First, defrost the cream puffs according to the directions on the package. This usually only takes 45 minutes to one hour, but read the instructions ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Next, heat the caramel in a small pan and bring it to a boil. Allow it to boil until it achieves a thick, chewy, glaze-like consistency, which should take about one minute. If using a candy thermometer, melt the caramel to approximately 125ºF - 150ºF.

Using a pair of tongs or a fork, gently dip one side of a cream puff into the caramel sauce and then put it on the serving plate. Repeat this process for each additional puff. Plan on placing four puffs per plate.

Immediately before serving your caramel-coated cream puffs, heat the hot fudge sauce on over low heat and then spoon it over the puffs. You can also set aside some extra caramel sauce and drizzle it over the completed dessert to give it a fancy appearance.

Caramel-Almond Ice Cream Cake

As elaborate as the name of this dessert may sound, it's a snap to prepare. You'll need a carton of vanilla ice cream, a package of sliced almonds, one cup of caramel sauce and a nine-inch springform pan.

Let the vanilla ice cream soften a little, and then press it into the springform pan. Freeze it in the pan until it becomes slightly firm, which should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Next, top the ice cream in the pan with the caramel sauce. You might need to heat it up a little immediately beforehand for easier pouring. Toast your sliced almonds in the oven until they are slightly browned, and then sprinkle them over the caramel sauce. Place the cake in the freezer and freeze it for anywhere from one hour to up to two days. When you're ready to serve it, just remove it from the pan, slice it up and enjoy!

Once you're whetted your appetite with these delicious caramel recipes, you'll eagerly seek out more! There are plenty out there, so get baking now!

What are your favorite caramel recipes? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cake Decorator’s Essential Tool Set

Want to bring your cake decorating to the next level? The right tools are sure to make a huge difference. Professional bakers and pastry chefs have lots of talent, skill and experience, of course, but without the right tools, their results would be less than enticing. Shouldn't you have the perfect tools too? The best cake decorating tools are simple and affordable, so there's no reason to go without them. Once you've switched over to using top-quality cake decorating tools, you'll wish you did so much sooner!

Build your own cake decorator's essential tool set by investing in the following items:

  • Decorating Tips - Open up new worlds of creativity with a nice assortment of decorating tips. There are tips that can be used to create all kinds of neat effects on cakes, including flowers, petals, stars, ruffles, leaves and basket-weave designs. Tips are affordable and come in a huge assortment of styles, so stock up on your favorites!
  • Parchment Paper - If you've ever tried to release a cake from a pan only to have the bottom half tear apart from the rest of it, you know how frustrating it can be. All that hard work goes to waste! Put an end to the issue with parchment paper. Just cut it so it fits in the bottom of your cake pan for a smooth, easy release. Parchment paper can also be placed beneath a cake while covering it in fondant to keep the fondant from sticking and tearing.
  • Cake Pads - Cake pads provide the strength and stability you need to move your cakes from place to place without incident. They're affordable and easy to use, so be sure to stock up on a few before tackling your next project!
  • Sharp Knives - Although any sharp, precise knife will do, you can't go wrong with an X-Acto knife. In addition to using it to release a cake from the pan, you can use it to cut and add details to fondant to make a truly stellar masterpiece.
  • Turntable - Whether you call it a turntable or a lazy Susan, this item is indispensable when it comes to decorating a cake professionally and easily. The days of awkwardly spinning a cake on a countertop are finally over.
  • Off-Set Spatula - Once you've used an off-set spatula to spread frosting on a cake, you'll never go back to using a regular knife. Our customers love this 12-1/2” angled spatula.
  • Straight Spatula - After spreading the frosting on a cake, give it that smooth, elegant style by using a straight spatula like this one.

There are lots of other great tools that come in handy when decorating a cake, and you can invest in them as you go!

Did we miss any of your favorite cake decorating tools? Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School Treats for Students and Teachers

You'd be hard-pressed to find a kid who's excited about going back to school after a long, fun-filled summer. A great way to smooth the transition for your child is by baking some creative, back-to-school-themed treats! You can let your imagination go wild in this regard, but it never hurts to get a few tips for inspiration. Also, these treats don't need to be reserved strictly for students. Teachers and other school officials will love being welcomed back to work with colorful, tasty treats too, so be sure to make enough for everyone!

Chocolates and Candies

There are so many neat school-themed molds out there that it would be a shame not to put them to good use! If you've ever used a candy or chocolate mold before, you know how easy it is. The hardest part is selecting one mold from so many different options! This is the type of project that your child can easily help you with too, so be sure to invite him or her to lend a hand in the kitchen.


What could be cuter than a cake shaped like a school bus, huge crayon or other school-themed item? Not surprisingly, there are all kinds of school-themed baking forms out there, so all you have to do is choose your favorite one, whip up your favorite cake batter and bake it as directed. Once it's cooled sufficiently, let your imagination go wild with icing, frosting and other decorative touches. This is a great way to welcome back the students and to say thanks to the teacher for embarking on another year of instruction!


Whether you tuck a few into your child's lunch or deliver an entire platter to his or her classroom on the first day of school, back-to-school-themed cookies are sure to go over in a big way. Just use your favorite cookie recipe — sugar cookie recipes are perfect for this — and invest in some creative, school-themed cookie cutters. Whether you create tiny, edible composition notebook cookies, globe cookies or something different, you'll love the results.

Once you've made your special back-to-school treats, whether they're cupcakes, cakes, candies, chocolates or cookies, package them up to make them even more delightful. It's easy to find treats bags that mesh perfectly with your school-related theme, or you could always tuck them into a colorful cake box or other container. If you'll be giving treats to the teacher, be sure to include a nice little card welcoming him or her back for the year. If your child participates in making the treats, that's even better! You'll have a blast making back-to-school treats, and your child will love bringing them to his or her school!

How do you plan to make the school year sweet? Let us know in the comments below!