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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Where the Wild Things Are Shower (Finding Time in 2013: Fondant)

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 I’m going to be an aunt! My sister-in-law Erin is due with her first baby, Eoin (pronounced Owen) Wayne in a little less than two months. Depending on when baby Eoin decides to make his appearance, we just might share a birthday!
To celebrate the new member of the family, we recently threw Erin a Where the Wild Things Are shower, to coincide with hers and Justin’s favorite children’s book and their nursery theme. When I say “threw a shower”, I really mean that Erin’s family did all of the work and planning. My other sister-in-law and I just took on the one area we knew we could manage: dessert!
We did lots of scheming via text message and secret Pinterest boards before coming up with our plans. For the main event, we knew red velvet, Erin’s favorite, had to be involved. Thanks to Bridget's super helpful red velvet cake comparison, we ended up using Apple a Day’s red velvet cupcake recipe. Red  velvet cupcakes are gorgeous on their own, but Kate took things to a whole new level with the “Wild Things-esque” crowns she made for each of the cupcakes to sit in. Finished with a book-themed topper, they could not have looked more impressive on the cupcake tower!
Since Erin’s side of the family is huge, we knew we needed a second dessert. Both Kate and I prefer to make (and eat) cake over cupcakes, and decided to try our hand at something new to both of us: fondant. Kate made the fondant from scratch the day before we baked and we nervously set out to use it in our decorating. We used my dark chocolate cake with hot chocolate buttercream as the base and then used this blog post’s pictures to fashion a monster face out of the fondant. We ended up with dyed fingers and sticky hands, but the finished product was a huge success!
The desserts tasted as good as they looked and we were surprised to find ourselves with no leftovers—most people couldn’t resist trying both a cupcake and a piece of cake! Of course, the treats didn’t end there. For favors, we settled on monster cookies, figuring most people can’t resist chocolate, peanut butter, and M&Ms (spoiler: we were right!). Erin’s sister-in-law Jamie made us adorable labels to accompany the cookie bags and we sent each of the thirty plus guests on their way with a little something to help continue their sugar high.
Kate and I are so excited about our newfound cake decorating skills (disclaimer: I never could have done that without Kate!) and even more excited about the arrival of our nephew!
Edited to Add: I'm counting this as my "Finding Time in 2013" post for the month of June....in part because this was a new kitchen endeavor (fondant, anyway) and also because the month slipped away from me...and at the end of the day, this challenge was all about allowing ME to make the rules :)

One Year Ago: Beet Hummus
Two Years Ago: Tropical Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette
Three Years Ago: Cilantro Lime Grilled Vegetables