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Sweet Mondays: Churros

Monday, April 21, 2014

Churros | Paper & Party Love

Sweet, crunchy on the outside and warm on the inside, and usually eaten with a chocolate sauce or with Nutella.  Who wouldn't love to eat churros? With Cinco de Mayo coming up soon, I thought I would share one of my family's favorite Mexican desserts.

We made some the other day and they are very easy to make.  The dough took about 5 minutes to prepare and as soon as the oil was heated up, they cooked fairly quickly too.  I made them in long strips with a churro maker, but I have read that some people simply use a large star decorating tip and a pastry bag to get the same shape.  I also made some that were bite size so that it was easier for the little ones to eat. Either way you make them, they are really good!

Bite-size churros | Paper & Party Love

Churros Recipe (adapted from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

1 Cup Water
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp.  Vegetable Oil
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
Oil for Frying
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp. Cinnamon

Instructions

1. In a saucepan, add the water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Bring these to a boil and then remove the pan from the heat.

2. Stir in 1 cup of flour until the dough forms a ball.  Set aside.

3. Heat the oil for frying in a deep pan or a dutch oven.  Heat the oil to 375 degrees fahrenheit (or 190 degrees celsius).  Pipe strips of the dough into the oil with a churro maker or with a pastry bag.  Fry the strips until they are a golden color and then drain them on paper towels. 

4. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon on a shallow plate. Roll the churros in the mixture.

5. Enjoy!


Happy Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter | Paper & Party Love

I just wanted to wish you all a happy Easter!  I hope you are able to spend it with your loved ones.

5 Simple Easter Table Decorating Ideas (and a Free Printable Banner!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

5 Simple Easter Table Decorating Ideas | Paper & Party Love

Easter is almost here and as most of us are busy, you might not have had time yet to think about decorating for Easter brunch or dinner.  I am all about keeping it simple and easy, especially around the holidays. There is enough to do with cooking and getting everything ready. But if you have friends and family coming over for dinner, I am sure you would like to decorate a little to commemorate the holiday. I wanted to share some decorating ideas with you that you can do with items you can easily get at the grocery store or probably already have around your house during this time of year.

1. Use a dyed egg as a place card. I wrote a name with a gold pen on an egg and placed it in a shot glass to hold it up. You can also just place it on top of a plate to keep it simple. 

2. Decorate with flowers.  I bought some tulips at the grocery store and placed them in a large vase and put them in the center of the table. It makes a big impact and is very simple to do. You can also place two or three flowers in small vases and place them around the table or at each place setting.

3. Download a printable Easter banner and use it to decorate a side table where you can place your drinks or desserts. I made the one you see above and you can download it for free here!

4.  Use dyed eggs (either from the grocery store or ones that you decorated) and fill a vase with them to bring color to your table. I love all of these bright colors!

5. Make an easy table centerpiece/dessert using cupcakes, eggs, and chocolate bunnies. Use the chocolate bunnies as cupcake toppers and decorate around them with eggs and Easter grass.

I hope that helps and that you can find simple ways to make your Easter table a little less ordinary with these simple decorations!

Sweet Mondays: Easter Flower Pot Cupcakes

Monday, April 14, 2014

Carrot Top Cupcakes | Paper & Party Love

Since Easter is this Sunday, I thought I would share an Easter-themed sweet this week.  These adorable cupcakes were made by my friend Sharon for that same Easter party that I talked about last week. These are chocolate gluten-free cupcakes made in a silicone flower pot.


She stuck a marzipan carrot on top and smashed an extra cupcake to use as the "dirt". They look great and I can tell you that they tasted really good too!  


To get the recipe, visit Sharon's blog


Chocolate Bunny Cupcake Toppers

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chocolate Bunny Cupcake Topper | Paper & Party Love

Here's an easy way to make an Easter dessert with cupcakes. Simply place a chocolate bunny on top of your cupcakes and you have an easy Easter treat that looks great.  Make a few of them and group them together to use as a table centerpiece!

Bunny Tails & Bunny Poop - Free Printables!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bunny Tails Printable Bag Toppers | Paper & Party Love

Easter is almost here and my friend Sharon, who blogs over on TheVazFamily, needed some printables for bunny tails and bunny poop bags she was making for an Easter party.  I made some for her and they turned out really cute!  I am sharing them here as a free download in case you would also like to use them for your Easter parties.

We used the bunny tails printables in two ways. One was as a bag topper like you see above, and the other was as a tag like below.  To make them into a tag, simply cut them in half and punch a hole to tie them around your package with a ribbon.  Sharon used tulle, clear plastic wrap, and raffia ribbon to wrap the marshmallows into a pretty little bundle.  She topped it off with our printable tag.  They look great, don't you think?

Bunny Tails Printable Tag | Paper & Party Love

For Christmas, we made reindeer poop bag toppers and the kids loved them. So, we made bunny poop bag toppers just for them.  This time though, instead of filling them with Maltesers, we filled up the bags with jellybeans.  I'm sure the kids will enjoy this one as well.  Anything with candy makes them happy!

Bunny Poop Printable Bag Toppers | Paper & Party Love

Click on the links below to download the printable files to make these at home.

Bunny Tails Printable Bag Toppers | Paper & Party Love
Bunny Poop Printable Bag Toppers | Paper & Party Love

Download the Bunny Poop Printable PDF File

Enjoy!

Sweet Mondays: Vanilla Cake With A Chocolate Ganache Drip

Monday, April 7, 2014

Vanilla Cake with a Chocolate Ganache Drip | Paper & Party Love

This was the cake for the party that never happened.  It was meant to be for my daughter’s 10th birthday party this past Saturday.  However, on Friday night, she came down with a high fever and we had to cancel the party.  She was really looking forward to it and was so sad that we couldn’t have it. Since I had already made the cake (and cupcakes too), we ended up having a small celebration of our own.  We ate cake (of course) and all ended up sleeping in the living room.  It was meant to be a slumber party, so we dragged some mattresses into the living room and had a family slumber party instead.  My daughter is better now, and no, we didn’t eat all of the cake ourselves.  It’s a big cake! We shared with our neighbors :-). 

Inside of a Vanilla cake with a chocolate ganache drip | Paper & Party Love

This was my first time making a cake like this with the chocolate ganache drip.  I was nervous to try it out and here are some tips that helped me:

  • Make sure the ganache is thick, but not too thick.  If it’s too thick, it won’t run down the sides, and if it’s too thin, it will run down too much.  I watched this video to get a good feel for how thick it should be. 
  • I used a frosting spatula to help the ganache roll over the sides.  It helped to keep the ganache smooth on top while I was trying to push it over the edges.
  • Also, I think it helped that my cake was cold.  I put it in the fridge for about 1 hour before I poured over the ganache. I read that would help the warm ganache “freeze” on the sides. It worked for me!

Cake slice | Paper & Party Love

The cake is a vanilla cake with a white buttercream frosting covered with a chocolate ganache drip. 

Cake recipe: 

Makes enough for all 6 layers of cake.

Ingredients:

Cake
12 eggs
660 grams / 24 oz of self-raising flour
660 grams / 24 oz of sugar
660 grams / 24 oz of butter at room temperature
2 tsp. of vanilla extract
Food coloring of your choice

Buttercream Frosting
2 cups butter at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup cream
9 ounces of chocolate

Cake Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and grease and flour your baking pans. 
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.  
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Add the vanilla extract.
  5. Pour in the flour a little at a time.  If the mixture is too thick, add milk one teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
  6. At this time, to make the different colored layers, separate the batter evenly into three bowls.
  7. Add the food coloring to the batter to reach your desired color.  I used blue and pink (the colors of the party) and left the other layers a natural color.
  8. Pour the batter into your greased pans. To make the different sizes, I used a 7 inch and a 9 inch baking pan.
  9. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Cool your cake completely before frosting it.


Frosting:
  1. In an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy.
  2. Slow down your electric mixer and slowly add in the powdered sugar.  
  3. If the mixture seems a bit dry, you can add in small amounts of milk (1 teaspoon at a time) to make it creamier.


Building Your Cake:
  1. Take the larger layers of cake and begin to stack them in the order of your choice.  In between each layer, add frosting. I used three layers.
  2. Add frosting to the top and sides of the cake.  
  3. Crumb coat your cake first, which means put a thinner layer of frosting on the cake and then place it in the freezer or fridge for about 20 minutes. This will help you get a smoother layer of frosting on the outside by “sealing” the crumbs.  
  4. Frost the cake and place it in the fridge again for about 30 minutes while you make the ganache.
  5. Repeat the steps for the smaller cakes.


Chocolate Ganache:
While the cakes are in the fridge, you can make the chocolate ganache.
  1. Chop your chocolate into small pieces and place it in a bowl that can withstand some heat.
  2. Heat the cup of cream on the stove.  Heat it until it just begins to boil.  There will be some foam around the edges when it is ready.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate.
  4. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until smooth.
  5. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. It will thicken up a bit while it is cooling off.
  6. Once it is not so warm anymore, pour it over your cold cakes.
  7. Add sprinkles if desired.
  8. Put the cakes in the fridge again for a few minutes to “set” the ganache before serving.

I stacked the cakes after the ganache was set in the fridge.  Once it was ready, I simply stacked the smaller cake on top of the bigger cake.  I believe that you are supposed to use cake dowels and place the smaller level on a piece of cardboard for stability and so that the cake doesn’t collapse.  I did not do this and it is still standing two days later.  If this was for a wedding or a more formal occasion, I probably would have tried to use these items to be sure that the cake wouldn’t topple over or collapse.

I hope you enjoy the cake!
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