Friday, April 10, 2009

Hats off for Easter!

I'm sure the nuns that used to teach religion at St. Bridget's Grammar School would be thrilled to know that since my childhood, Easter always symbolized the beginning of another new fashion season (I'm sure my knuckles would have been rapped a couple of times for that one).

But seriously, as a child, my memories of the Lenten season consisted of my mother dragging us taking us to the 5:00 p.m. Mass every day, then watching her spend hours...and hours......and hours at night at the sewing machine making me and my sister new Easter outfits. It was exhausting just to sit and watch....not to mention the numerous fittings which were sheer torture to us. She started making our outfits around Ash Wednesday and usually didn't finish up until the night before Easter at the eleventh hour. And she did it almost every single year. She put so much work into her projects even though we usually only got a couple of months wear out of them. The final adjustments were always made the night before the big day. My mother had us stand on the kitchen table with our outfits on, and slowly turn around so she could look at her eye level if the hem(s) were straight. One year she made my Easter coat in a light sage green and my sister's was a soft yellow with a matching "tulip" hat. And then there was the year that she made me a hot pink coat (I loved that coat!) and bought me a hat to go with it. It was white and it had a large daisy that stood up straight in the back. Hmmmm.............anyone see my inspiration here???

My mother's Easter food tradition were her Jelly-Bean-and-Green-Coconut-Grass-Chocolate-Cupcakes, Pecan Tassies and Stained Glass Pie.....and they were delicious! Since that time, I have seen so many renditions of the Jelly Bean Cupcake, I really wanted to come up with something a little more original.

How about starting with my personal favorite......Double Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes!!

Since making a boatload of colorful cakeballs for my friend Frank's birthday a few days ago, I had more than a few leftover. What to do....what to do......Ah-Ha!

What the heck can you do with extra cakeballs?? You could go down to the corner and chuck them at cars......but I'm pretty sure you can get into trouble for that. So instead, I decided to split them in half......

then I melted some pretty blue candy wafers.......

For the "hat" rims, I drew circles on the underside of a piece of waxed paper, using them as a guide to pipe on the melted candy.

Then I dipped a half cakeball into the same melted candy and set them on waxed paper to harden. When both pieces were ready, I used a dab of melted candy to fuse them both together.

Next, I rolled out a chunk of white fondant and cut it into strips. I used the the opening in a large decorating tip to create the "polka dots" and used just a dab of water to adhere them to the "bonnet".

Since I didn't have a small flower cutter......I had to improvise by using the letter "x". I cut out two of them and put them together to make the flower.

It was a split decision on the fondant vs. frosting for the top of the cupcake. So I ended up using both. After rolling out the fondant, I used a fluted biscuit cutter (about the same size as the top of the cupcake) and popped the Easter "Bonnet" on top. Voila!

Now, I know that sometimes my ideas are too farfetched......and sometimes I reach just a bit too far. It is in these trying times (usually it's in the middle of a raging hot flash) if I'm not focused I can fall off the creativity "cliff" entirely and I end up throwing away a lot of treats.

But most of the time I totally luck out and my ideas turn out pretty much the way I planned. And if I'm really lucky....they turn out even better.



Minka said...


Happy Easter to you, too!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous cupcakes and I really enjoyed reading your blog. I loved hearing of your inspiration for making this little works of art. Thanks for the awesome instructions too. Happy Easter!

Holly Bergantino said...

Holly Bergantino, I like hearing your stories Anne about your Mom and the traditions you had when you were a little girl. I always knew your Mom was a good cook-did not know about her sewing skills!

Anonymous said...

i love your cake balls!


One of many cuzzins' said...

-A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E-!!! I love the Easter bonnets! One of your best creations yet. It keeps getting better and better baby! The rainbow cakeballs are simple beautiful. Your mother would love what you're doing. She is someone who would certainly appreciate your ingenuity and flair.
Happy Easter!

Lisa said...

Fondant? What the heck is fondant again?

I'm confused. How the heck did you get so dang mom says "It's Good enough"....just put pins in it.....It's good enough...let's just eat it. She does set a beautiful table though....

I'm just in awe at your talent!! My mom has been telling everyone to get on your blog and look at what you have done now....She is right they are just beautiful...

Your parents are smiling down on you with pride. I just know it!