Frosting Choices For Sweet Treats

Most cakes, unless prepared by an expert, have to rely on frosting to give them a bit of punch. That sweet, smooth and creamy layer on top is what adults and children tend to look for when shopping for and sampling cakes. It may surprise amateurs to know that there are different types of frosting and each offers a unique flavor.

To make frosting, powdered sugar or sugar substitute is always used. Cream, egg white, artificial coloring and essences are added to transform an ordinary round cake into one that features patterns, vibrant colors and a combination of flavors.

Glaze

Cakes and other baked goods with a glistening surface have glaze applied to them. This is nothing but a simple preparation of sugar and liquid that can be brushed or poured. When it sets, it hardens into a shiny layer. If ordinary glaze is not used, melted chocolate can be applied to achieve a richer flavor.

Buttercream

Buttercream is a soft, sweet and buttery frosting that’s extremely popular. It can be spread like butter and is favored by both children and adults as an indulgent treat. It doesn’t set into a hard candy-like finish.

Comprising powdered sugar, liquid and artificial flavoring and color, buttercream achieves its creamy state because of prolonged beating or whisking to make it fluffy, smooth and easily spreadable.

Royal icing

More popular back when buttercream wasn’t, royal icing is still favored by many for decorating elaborate cakes as it sets and holds its shape. Like the rest, it contains powdered sugar, liquid and artificial color and flavor. Meringue powder is sometimes used.

Where buttercream is creamy, royal icing feels and tastes like candy. Use it when you intend to decorate cakes more elaborately.

Whipped cream

Easy to make and an all-time favorite, whipped cream frosting can be used to top cakes, cupcakes, cookies and pies. It isn’t as heavy as buttercream or royal icing and not as sweet. This makes it especially suitable for summertime desserts. You can also use it along with other types of frosting. Its composition is the same as the rest but with the addition of whipped cream.

Cream cheese

For a rich taste that will linger long after sweet treats are eaten, choose cream cheese. It’s smooth, thick and very filling. Cupcakes, muffins and carrot cakes go especially well with cream cheese frosting. Try to avoid dyes which create too bright a color and enjoy the original ivory texture.

Fudge icing

Wintertime treats can be topped with rich fudge icing for an energy boost. It’s rarely dyed as the dark brown color is what transforms cakes, brownies and cookies into mouth-watering goodies. To make fudge icing, use powdered sugar, butter, milk, cocoa powder and vanilla essence. Refrigerate to preserve it for up to a week.

Ganache

A simple mix of cocoa powder and heavy cream, ganache can be fluffy or stiff. It boasts a rich chocolate flavor and a delicious deep brown. The mix is beaten until fluffy or stiff to use as cake decorations, make truffles or coat a cake with a creamy layer of sweetness.

Rolled fondant

Where overly sweet frosting is not desired, rolled fondant delivers a blander taste. It’s pliable with a satin smoothness that makes it suitable for complex cake decorations. Consisting of powdered sugar, glycerin, gelatin and glucose syrup, it’s the only frosting that can be stored up to 2 months when refrigerated.

Santa’s Favorite Sweet Treats

Santa loves his cookies. After all, it’s one of the most special traditions of Christmas Eve night–to leave Santa his share of cookies on a plate, alongside a tall glass of cold milk. But where did this special tradition get its roots? And why does everyone, even Santa, eat cookies and so many other sweets around Christmas time?

Hundreds of years ago when celebrating Christmas first became an international pastime, sugar was a very expensive commodity. It wasn’t something to be enjoyed every day, unless you were fabulously wealthy. The only times ordinary folks ate sugary treats was on special occasions, like high holy days, birthdays, and weddings. And of course, the only people who could get their hands on treats were close family members, friends, and very important people, such as Santa Claus.

So when people had the chance to have sweet treats, they went all out. Cookies became all the rage in Europe, even as far back as the Middle Ages. Each country in Europe came up with their own special favorite type of cookie. Germans loved to make ginger bread cookies and butter cookies called Spritz. Swedish families baked ginger and pepper cookies, prized as much for their spiciness as their sweetness. And believe it or not, British folks took a liking to fruit cake.

In the United States, where immigrants from all over Europe came in the 1800s and 1900s, all of these cookie traditions came too. So instead of favoring one type of Christmas cookie, Americans have the good fortune of having a lot of different cookies to choose from. Americans also added their own touch to the Christmas cookie tradition. Beginning in the early 1900s, Americans started making metal cookie cutters, with funny shapes like Christmas trees, angels, and reindeer, and they used these cutters to make cookies of every shape and color.

Of course, some folks have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads come Christmas. We may not leave a plate of sugar plums out for Santa on Christmas Eve, but these candied treats are still an important part of the holiday tradition. Technically, sugar plums are seeds coated with confectionary sugar, and they date back almost as far as Christmas cookies. According to the accounts of the day, people enjoyed sugar plums during the holidays as far back as the middle of the 1600s.

Of course, possibly the most famous sweet holiday treat, or should we say infamous, is the fruit cake. As we mentioned earlier, we can blame the British for this. It was in the Middle Ages that this treat started, but back then, it probably was more edible than it is today. The fruit cake of yesteryear was more a bread, with some dried fruit mixed in, more like today’s raisin bread.

Nowadays, fruit cake is a glazed over, fruity feast. Back in the day, these types of cakes were considered only worthy of the very rich. Today, fruit cake has become a traditional holiday joke. And no, don’t leave a slice for Santa.

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Sweet Treats for Your Mom This Mother’s Day

Do you want to prepare something special and sweet for your mom this coming Mothers Day 2012? Well, she truly deserves nothing but the best so it is advisable to plan your sweetest treat for your mom this early. In this article, we will give you some ideas of sweet treats that you could offer to your beloved mother on their special day – May 13, 2012.

1. Bake a cake for her – you could always buy a cake for your mom but this Mother’s Day, you should try and personally bake a cake for her. It does not matter if you do not know how to bake because there are lots of available tutorial articles and videos to help you prepare the sweetest and most delicious cake for your mom. For sure, she would appreciate your effort to prepare this kind of treat for her. To make your treat more special, you should write a personalized dedication on top of the cake. You should remember to take pictures and videos to capture your mom’s reaction when she saw the cake that you personally created for her.

2. Create special video greetings for her – another sweet gift that you could come up with this coming Mothers Day is a special video for your mom. You could record a video of yourself stating why your mom is the best or you could come up with short presentation or a short story about your mommy. You could present this video while everyone is gathered in your living room celebrating Mother’s Day.

3. Come up with personalized greeting card – when was the last time that you created a greeting card for your mom? Well, maybe it is best to create one for May 13, 2012. You do not have to be an artist to make a beautiful greeting card so you should not hesitate to make one. You could tell her how much you love her on this card.

4. Give her some beautiful flowers – lastly, a beautiful bouquet of flowers will surely make your mom happy. Learn about her favorite flower and make the effort to come up with beautiful arrangement.

The gift ideas presented in this article will definitely make your mom feel special on Mothers Day 2012. There is nothing wrong about buying material things like bag, clothes or shoes as present for mom but sometimes it is better to come up with personalized gift items that would make her feel that you truly love her. Most moms are very loving and sweet so it is just fair to give back some of the sweetness that she has been showing us since the day that we were born.