I am always very impressed by people who go above and beyond simply frosting a cake or cupcake. I’m referring to people who can turn cupcakes into flowers and cakes into a work of art. I wish I had the talent to do stuff like that.
I recently had the opportunity to check out a book called Sugarlicious: 50 Cute and Clever Treats for Every Occasion. It’s written by Meagan Mountford.
This is the books official synopsis;
Meaghan Mountford had never held a frosting bag when she applied for what she thought would be a temporary job at a local bakery. But this writer-turned-decorator discovered a talent, and soon became one of Washington D.C.’s most-sought-after cookie decorators, counting among her clients top corporations, sports teams and celebrities from coast to coast. Her wonderfully creative cookies have since been featured in the New York Times, Modern Bride, and on the Today show and her new book, SUGARLICIOUS: 50 Cute and Clever Treats for Every Occasion (Harlequin Nonfiction; $17.95 U.S.; February 2012), makes it easy for anyone to create these adorable treats at home.
With 50 easy-to-follow recipes for any party or occasion, Mountford shows readers how to transform ordinary cookies, cupcake, marshmallows and cake pops into sumptuous works of art. She shows how with just a dab of bright icing and a sprinkle of color, you can create “Conversation Heart Cupcakes” (page 136) for Valentine’s Day, “Bunny Cookie Pops” (page 138) for Easter, or “Candy Clay Crayons Treat” (page 108) for the birthday girl or boy. And it’s not just cakes and cookies. See how you can transform marshmallows into “Scary Zombies for Halloween” (page 153) or “Fruit and Veggie Marshmallow Kebabs” (page 83) for summer BBQs.
Not sure how to use a piping bag? A little intimidated by fondant? Does making petits fours sound impossible? No problem. Mountford divulges her tricks of the trade for time-saving shortcuts, her tried-and-true recipes (all of which are kid-tested and approved), and her DIY (Do-It-Yourself) techniques that serve as a guide to novices and seasoned bakers/crafters alike.
Fully illustrated with over 50 gorgeous full-color photographs, SUGARLICIOUS also includes instructions for creating these amazing treats with minimum fuss, cost or effort and gives home bakers the techniques to turn their kitchen into a studio for Sugarlicious works of art all year long!
I am in love with this book! Meagan makes things look so easy to do, even for people like me. Even though I am not a baker by nature, this book inspires me. It makes me want to get in my kitchen and start molding some fondant into cute critters.
I LOVE that there are pictures for the recipes in the book. For me a photo is the selling point of any recipe. It’s fine and dandy to have and easy to follow reciepe. I find having a photo to go along with the recipe inspires me to want to try it.
This book is packed with full color images of the recipes found within the pages.
Before Meagan jumps into her whimsical recipes she gives you a run down on the basics including equipment and terminology. When it comes to the recipes Meagan gives you step-by-step directions, most of the time with photos. Even someone like me who is not the best baker in the world can re-create her adorable treats.
Here are two examples of recipes found inside this “sweet” book.
Bite-Size Hugs and Kisses Cookies
Store-bought sugar cookie mix (*note when using store-bought cookie mix to make cutout decorated cookies, be sure to follow the recipe on the box for “rolled” cookies not “drop” cookies)
Pink Food Coloring
Red Food Coloring
Square Fondant Cutter (About 1/2 Inch)
Circle Fondant Cutter (About 1/2 Inch)
2 disposable frosting bags
2 rubber bands
2 size “3″ tips
Step One: Make Your Cookies
Prepare dough and refrigerate according to recipe. Roll out and cut out squares and circles with the fondant cutter and bake according to the recipe. Let cool completely.
Step Two: Decorate Your Cookies
Tint some of the frosting red and some pink. Prepare two frosting bags with the couplers and size “3″ tips. Fill one with red and one with pink; tie closed with rubber bands. Pipe “X” on the square and “O” on the circle. Let dry overnight if packaging.
Step Three: Package Your Cookies
Package in any cute container you like!
Zombie Marshmallow Pops
Marshmallows Lollipop Sticks Toothpicks Light Corn Syrup Large Confetti Sprinkles Baking Tray Wax Paper Edible Writers (black & red)
Step One: Skewer the marshmallows with lollipop sticks.
Step Two: Use a toothpick to dab light corn syrup on the back of confetti sprinkles and adhere to a marshmallow. Rest the marshmallow on a baking tray lined with wax paper to dry.
Step Three: Use the edible writers to draw eyes, mouths and blood, or draw Xs in place of eyes or mouths.
As you can see both of these recipes are super easy to do. Anyone can do them including someone like me. I’m actually looking forward to making the Zombie Marshmallow Pops with my kids when it get closer to Halloween. I was thinking about how we could do something like this for Easter. Maybe decorate Marshmallow Eggs?
Sugarlicious: 50 Cute and Clever Treats for Every Occasion is available where most books are sold.
Meaghan Mountford has been a professional cookie decorator for over a decade. She crafts cookies, marshmallows and other creative treats for her blog, The Decorated Cookie, and she is the Edible Crafts editor at the popular website, CraftGossip.com. Meaghan’s cookies have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Brides Magazine, and her sweets have been featured on thousands of websites. She is the author of Cookie Sensations. She also has an MFA in Literature and a Master of Liberal Arts. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter.
I’m giving this book two thumbs up. The recipes are adorable and fairly easy to do. This book is a great source of inspiration too!
*I received a free sample copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.
**Recipes compliments of Meagan Mountford.