Thursday, May 5, 2011

Please have babies so that I can plan another shower!

One of my professors is expecting her first baby next month, so some of the girls from the lab and I put on an impromptu baby shower at our last lab meeting of the year. Although I had a term paper due at 9 am the next morning, I spent the entire day before the shower turning my apartment into a pink and white sugar-coated oven. 

Birds and Bugs Dress
Using the same pattern Butterick 3782 and (I probably shouldn't admit) the same fabric I used to make a little dress when my cousin had her first little girl I stitched up this jersey dress for the baby on her way. Though, I am a firm believer that zippers on children’s clothes are just plain mean to parents and babies alike, so I incorporated two snaps up the back of the dress so it will fit over baby’s head. I knit a little sweater/shrug to go over it, but of course forgot to photograph it before I wrapped it up for the shower.

Rattle Cake Pops
If I ever get all caught up on all of the crafts you’ll be privy to my past adventures in cake-pops inspired by receiving the Cake Pops book from my Aunt Kathleen for Christmas. After hearing that I made them for a bachelorette party for my sister, my friends at school were pretty jealous, so I used this as an opportunity to bring them to my stressed out friends.I’m the first to admit that cake pops are bit of a mess, but it’s a pretty straightforward process and the results are SO cute. 
I used one box of Funfetti cake mix for both the dozen cupcakes and the 15 cake pops, and it was the perfect use for the other half the cake mix that I never know what to do with after making cupcakes.
Prepare cake mix as instructed by box, bake in one 8 or 9 inch round pan. Cool on wire rack. Crumble cooled cake into a medium bowl and mix with 1/3 tub vanilla frosting. I use my clean ring-free hands to mix into “cake goop.” Once cake is mixed wash hands (you’ll curse yourself if you don’t!) and lay out a cookie sheet or cutting board with parchment paper. Roll cake mixture into golf ball sized balls and cool in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours or the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Melt candy coating in the microwave according to the package, dip the end of a lollypop stick into the coating, then insert in the ball (about 2/3 of the way through). Dip the ball in the coating and allow excess to drip off. Using a styrofoam block (or an empty egg carton), insert the pop sticks into the styrofoam to so that the pops can dry right side up and separated from one another. When coating is dry decorate as desired. I wanted to make festive baby-shower cake pops to look like rattles, so I coated the pops with white candy coating and decorated with “candy buttons” and ribbon bows.

Flower Power Cupcakes

With the other half of my cake mix and the other 2/3 of my frosting tub I put together these colorful cupcakes. I have always wondered what I could do with the frighteningly inexpensive “Candy Buttons” from the dollar store, and after making the cake pops I decided that they would work even better for cupcake decorations than for making rattles. The feedback I got was that they give a “nice crunch” and I sure think they make colorful additions these early-summer treats.

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