One of my favorite things to do this time of year is holiday baking. I have the fondest memories of standing in a chair beside my mother when I was little, and creating cookie masterpieces to give to friends. My mom’s cookies were the best…seriously. My daughter and I spent many December days doing the same thing. Oh how I miss those days!
I did, however, have a little baking time of my own thanks to Safeway, who sent me a fabulous basket full of goodies to get creative with! I have to admit that I didn’t even know that some of these items existed for the home baker – such as the Betty Crocker Fondant Toppers, Duncan Hines Frosting Creations (and mix-ins) and more. Oh here, let me show you!
It was fun pulling each item out – the ideas started coming to me immediately. Here is another photo, unobstructed by Newman:
Before I do a “show and tell” with you on my baking fun, I want to tell you about a really neat app from Safeway. The Safeway Chef Assistant app has holiday recipes and tips, a baking timer, and a really fun “Virtual Cupcake Decorator” which lets you and your children decorate a virtual cupcake. After the perfect cupcake has been created, you can email it or even share it on Facebook and Twitter! Make sure you follow the #SafewayChefAssistant hashtag on Twitter for more fun ideas.
I first decided to bake Red Velvet Cupcakes. I am crazy about Red Velvet, so this seemed like a good place to start. Plus I had plans to use the red fondant shapes. I was fascinated by the Red Velvet mix, as it also contained a frosting pouch (which I haven’t seen before). Everything that I needed was in the box, including a plastic pastry bag for filling and frosting the cupcakes!
After the cupcakes were done, I mixed the frosting per the directions, filled the pastry bag and poked the tip of the bag into each cupcake and gave a gentle squeeze. I then used the frosting in the bag to frost the Red Velvet Cupcakes. I may have added a bit too much water (or maybe I just need more practice), as the swirls I made didn’t quite stand up the way the should have. No problem though, I decided to use little fondant shapes on top of the cupcakes anyway.
The fondant was really neat and easy. I have always wanted to play with it, and the possibilities are endless really. I wouldn’t even begin to know how to make it from scratch, so it was a relief to find it in three little tubs with the primary colors. To use the fondant, I simply microwaved it on a plate for a few seconds, then rolled out. Also in the box were teeny cookie cutters, which I used to make the shapes. Voila!
Oh my goodness – these cupcakes were amazing! They were so moist and full of flavor. I would never have known that they weren’t from scratch, if I hadn’t baked them myself.
Next I made the Reese’s Puffs muffins. They were really easy to make and again, everything was included in the package, including the yummy crumbles that I sprinkled on top before baking. These were a big hit with my family.
Last but not least, I decided to try something completely different (out of the box, if you will!). I used the Pillsbury Moist Supreme Yellow Cake mix and made two round cakes. I then used the Duncan Hines Cinnamon Roll frosting mix-in, and blended it into the tub of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. I just have to say what a clever idea this is – I love the idea of mixing in different flavors to put a twist on an ordinary cake. I was curious to see what other flavors are available and there are so many. Baking will never be the same! With Duncan Hines Frosting Creations mix-in flavors such as Cotton Candy, White Chocolate Raspberry, Mocha, Strawberry Shortcake and even Bubble Gum, how can a person not be creative? There are plenty of other flavors too (and recipe ideas on the Duncan Hines website)! Right now they have a few Limited Edition seasonal flavors that I am dying to try – Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, Peppermint Stick and Apple Pie. Oh my.
Sorry – I got sidetracked. Back to my recipe! I mixed the cake batter according to the directions, poured in two greased cake pans and baked them. While they were baking, I made my Cinnamon Roll frosting.
I frosted the cake, sprinkled lightly with a little more cinnamon (just for looks), and topped with two cinnamon sticks. This cake was incredibly good – it was super moist and the frosting was amazing. It tasted just like a cinnamon roll! I could not stop eating this cake (in fact, I ate so much of it, I didn’t want my dinner. Shame on me). I would feel proud to take this cake to any event!
My kitchen smelled delightful for three days in a row, as I baked my little heart out. Safeway has all of the above products, to help you through the holidays (and any time really). With all of these flavor combinations, my family will never be bored!
Safeway has a Pinterest page with oodles of holiday ideas and delicious, including holiday meals, baking, sides, drink pairings and of course, dessert. You will also want to follow Safeway on Facebook and @Safeway on Twitter, as there is there is a “Pin to Win” Sweeps coming up soon from Safeway!
How would you like to win all of the baking products that I received? Enter below!
One (1) winner will receive a Holiday Baking Gift Basket from Safeway (like the one shown above!)!
Open to US residents. Giveaway ends 12/17.
*I received the above gift basket from Safeway/DEI Worldwide, free of charge, to bake holiday goodies and share with my readers.