A Deft Hand, from Swaddling to Icing

Is there something in the water? It must be raining babies! We’ve been busy in the kitchen, which is why we’ve been a little slow on the blogging front. Last month, we took on seven baby shower projects, helping glowing mamas-to-be welcome their precious little ones into the world.

Baby showers are some of our favorite undertakings. Though we Sarmie sisters have been baking together for over 20 years, it was Cilla’s baby shower (for daughter Ellie) that got us thinking about sharing our work– that’s how our Instagram account was born, as was our first foray into fondant toppers:

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Every baby shower host who asks us for sweets is bursting with ideas and themes for the celebration, and it’s our job to help bring their creative visions to life. In the age of Pinterest, people have really stepped up their game with baby shower themes. We’ve worked on some unique requests, including:

whale / Vineyard Vines vibe

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zoo babies

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and woodland creatures, to name a few.

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Our most recent project was a Winnie the Pooh-themed shower for a baby girl named Melody Grace. We absolutely loved the planning process, from text threads with the caterer, Shari of Catering 59 , and grandma-to-be, to adding elements of nostalgia with modern whimsy. The outcome was a labor of love, handcrafted with joy in anticipation of baby Melody. Cilla’s signature calligraphy and Geels’ painted elements supplemented Shari’s 100-acre-wood atmosphere, complete with rustic signage, watering cans, and a plethora of “hunny bees”. And her soup / salad / baked potato bar was the perfect meal to warm our rumbly tummies on an otherwise chilly January evening.

Here’s a quick look at what we put together:

A guest sign-in poster, which will make a great keepsake to put in the nursery

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Buntings cascading over the new parents’ own baby blankets and the sweet table

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A sweet badge for the “Mommy to Bee” (thanks, Cricut!)

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And a little woodsy sign to accompany the sweets.

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Oh yeah, we made sweets:

Chocolate cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream rosettes

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Vanilla pound cakes with buttercream beehives

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Marshmallow pops

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A red velvet cake shaped into a honeypot

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And, of course, our sugar cookies.

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These cookies always tend to be the stars of the show, and with good reason. Much like child-rearing, icing a single cookie takes plenty of patience and a gentle hand. Wanna learn how?

Check out our most recent video summarizing the process!

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Dream Big, Little One

There’s something special about baking for children. When taking on these projects, one of our favorite parts of the creative process is talking to mothers gushing enthusiastically about their beautiful babies. Even if we haven’t met the celebrant, we catch a glimpse of the hopes and dreams parents have invested into each child. We learn what interests their kids and how each one has developed a personal and unique style. We see parents letting their child’s imagination run wild with possibility.

We’re all for letting children be who they want to be, and that often translates into how we personalize treats. If your little girl aspires to be a superhero like the kids of PJ Masks, why not celebrate her courage and desire to do good?

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And if she gravitates toward the dreamy world of Disney princesses, celebrating her inner beauty and sweetness will show her the magic of being a positive and influential force among her peers.

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Speaking of inner sweetness, we’re happy to share our recipe for princess brownie pops.

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While we generally try to make all components edible, we couldn’t pass up the perfect little princess printable templates (courtesy of Etsy vendor chicaandjo) we used on these pops and the cupcakes. Once you have these, it’s smooth sailing on the assembly front. Now for the recipe:

Princess Brownie Pops
Yields approx. 25 – 30 pops

Items needed:

  • Lollipop sticks
  • Candy melts or almond bark
  • Styrofoam board (optional) or waxed paper-lined cookie sheets

Instructions:

  1. Make our favorite brownies and let them cool. If doubling recipe, cook for 30 min.
  1. Crumble brownies with a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or by hand in a large bowl). The brownies should be moist enough to bind together without the addition of icing as you do in traditional cake pops. You should get a consistency similar to dough.
  1. With a cookie scoop, scoop balls of “brownie dough” and hand roll them until smooth. At this point, you could make them into round balls, or create any shape you’d like.
  1. Place brownie balls into fridge and let chill for at least 1-2 hrs (or overnight if you can!)
  1. Take brownie balls out of the fridge. Melt small amount of candy melt, place end of lollipop stick into melts, and push about halfway into brownie ball. Repeat for each ball. Let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  2. Melt candy melts or almond bark in the colors of your choice (we prefer Ghirardelli candy melts or ChocoMaker, which you can find at WalMart. Wilton melts come in wonderful colors, but the consistency of the melts is variable. They can be thinned out with shortening). Dip each brownie ball into the melts, covering thoroughly, and tap the lollipop stick on the side of the bowl to let excess drip off.*If you are making princesses with skirts as we have done here, or pops that are meant to stand with the brownie side down, put the dipped brownie pop, ball side down, onto a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper.

    *If you are making round pops, place the brownie pop, stick side down, into a styrofoam board.

    *If you are decorating with sprinkles, be sure to put them onto the dipped pops immediately after dipping (while melts are still wet).

    *If you are adding stripes of candy melts onto the dipped pops, let them dry first, then drizzle more melts over them.

  3. For the princess toppers, download the princess template, print the images onto white card stock, cut them out, and tape them to the lollipop sticks after the candy coating dries completely.

Happy baking!