Monday, January 31, 2011

Vermont Brownie Company!

Lets talk Brownies! I have to admit I love this sweet little treat but I'm not a fan of making them. That's where Vermont Brownie Company comes in! Perhaps this company might ring a bell. Well if your a fan of the Food Network I'm sure you've seen the show Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Bobby challenged them to a throwdown and these ladies kicked some butt!

Katherine and Shawna have built a company that keep people coming back for more!  As the name suggests  this wonderful company can be found in Vermont. These ladies put on their aprons and took in there surroundings.  All of their brownies are made from scratch and they use local farm-fresh ingredients.

Dark Chocolate Chevre

They offer flavors like Peanut Butter, Maple Toffee Crunch, White Chocolate Raspberry and Espresso Dulce de Leche................YUM!  Now if you can't decide on one flavor that's O.K. because they offer a sampler pack!  Check out all their treats at their website.....Brownies! Chocolate Gourmet Brownies – Vermont Brownie Company    

Maple Toffee Crunch

Once your hooked on these brownies head over to the merchandise section and pick up a shirt or two! If you have a wedding coming up they make cute treats to give away to your guest! They even have a Brownie of the Month Club to join!  These ladies have thought of everything!

Check out their facebook fan page Vermont Brownie Company today!
Phone: 802.450.2253

                                           Good Luck Vermont Brownie Company!!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Featured Designers!

Today I wanted to feature some amazing designers that I've found through Facebook.  Everyone these days has a fan page on Facebook so it's fun to search around to see what's out there!  I've seen paper designers, party planners, food designers and much much more!

I'm going to start with ........... Stix N Pops  (<---- click to connect on facebook!)

Stix N Pops. Fun Edible Favors for all your Celebrations. (<---- The link to her website!)
 Here is where you will find marshmallows and sugar decorations on a stick!  The designer Elizabeth just makes the cutest items!  These marshmallow treats work great for a birthday party, baby shower, school event or holiday!  This item is cute, fun, exciting and original!  This really fills out any party your having and even makes a great conversation piece at the party!

Take a look at some items she makes..........

You can even find Stix N Pops on Etsy!  Stix N Pops by stixnpops on Etsy   OR if you use Twitter follow her there too! StixNpops (StixNpops) on Twitter

Cupcakes & Cookies - Oh My hopes you enjoyed Stix N Pops!  Drop by facebook and become a fan!


Up next is this company I just found a few days ago on facebook. The Twinery  They have baker's twine that you can use for crafting, wrapping, decorating and so many other ideas! They have 4 ply twine that's made from cotton and they have lots of colors to pick from!  Check out their facebook page to join give aways and see tutorials.  They even have a blog to follow at The Twinery.  You can order their items through Etsy and get amounts and colors of twine.

Take a look at what they offer.............

There are so many different ways to use The Twinery items!  Go to their facebook page to see how some fans have used their product!  Good Luck to The Twinery!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Next Great Baker - Corina Elgart

Who will win The Next Great Baker tonight?

Next Great Baker Blog(*photo from TLC website)

As you all know tonight is the finale of season one The Next Great Baker!  Buddy Valastro took ten bakers and watched them compete week after week for a cash prize of $50,000 and a chance to work with him at Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. 

He's challenged them each week with tasks that bring out the best and the worst in each other.  He's put them under a time crunch, he's dropped their cakes off the side of a building, he's asked them to put special effects on the cakes and he's asked them to do all this with camera's, lights and a crew watching their every move.  These bakers gave it their all and now the last three remaining will appear on tonight show.

We had the chance to interview Corina Elgart who will be appearing on tonight's final show. Check out what Corina had to say in our interview!

Did you enjoy being on the show?I loved being on the was an incredible experience and I met wonderful people and learned  invaluable lessons and tips.

How was working with Buddy?
Working with Buddy was great.  He's real and honest and helpful.  He and his staff know so much about the industry and business, it was great to be around them.

What were you thinking when Buddy dropped your cake off the side of the building?
When Buddy dropped the cake off the roof I was thinking, ugh, I hope we don't have to do them over.....and then......well, ya...we did.  Boooo!!!!  However, lesson learned, stuff can and does happen unexpectedly.

Do you feel that this show helped you grow as a pastry chef as far as learning new skills?
I think being on the show really helped me broaden my spectrum of skill.  Each one of us brought a different skill set to the competition so in turn I think each of us walked away with a little piece of each other....that's a wonderful thing.  

I’ve seen a lot of negative reaction to your out spoken words and on the show and was wondering how you’re dealing with any back lash and if it’s effected you in any way?
There has been SO much negativity surrounding my character on the show...all I have to say is-THIS IS TELEVISION....not everything is what it seems.  I AM out spoken and I am passionate and focused-I am NOT nasty, mean spirited, or self centered.  Actually those who know me will say I'm anything but.  Here's the thing I always wonder...if I was a male would I be received the same way?  would people think I was driven and hard working rather than bitchy and obnoxious?  Who knows.  The backlash has not effected me locally, NY'ers who have come into my shop are fans and they're fabulous...the haters are going to hate, their entitled...BUT I will say this...I was accused of being violent and bitchy and the funny thing is...their negative hating comments are quite nasty and pot, kettle, black much?  Just think about it....just sayin'

Would you ever do it again?
I'm constantly asked if I'd do it again....I would, in a second-but I wanna do it w/ these fabulous people again!!!  LOL...the 10 of us were quite a crew...let's just encourage TLC to run a blooper episode b/c we had an absolute blast!!!

What’s your favorite flavor of cake to make?
My favorite cake flavor is the end of the day I love a plain yellow cake no frosting...just cake.  ;)

Do you prefer doing wedding cakes over birthday cakes?
I don't have a preference of wedding cake or birthday cake.  I love any idea that clients bring my way and that we design together.  Wedding cakes are more profitable for sure and really showcase skill and talent but there's something fun about making a little girl a princess cake for her birthday....  ;)

Do you have any advice for up and coming pastry chefs?
Aspiring pasty chefs...keep working on it...take classes, read books, practice practice practice and stay inspired by everything around you.  If you love what you do it will show in your food and in your design. xo

How can people find out more about you and your shop, TASTE?
You can keep up with me in a few ways.
Twitter - @corinaelgart

Feel free to keep up with me virtually at these places, or come by the shop and say hi!
Cupcakes & Cookies Oh My! would like to wish Corina luck on tonight's show!  Thank you for doing our interview and good luck to you in 2011!
Our featured company today is Party Starters!  Pamela Smerker is the designer of Party Starters which is located in Littleton, CO.  She has hand made items that give your parties that extra boost!  You can find items for birthday parties, weddings and almost any other event you can think of!  There are invites, favor bags, paper cakes and so much more!  Check out her website Party Starters to find the most amazing items!  Flip through the gallery and check out the party items Pamela has put together.  I have some favorites that I have to share with you!
Party Starters also has out this great line for Valentine's Day! 
Stop by  Party Starters Facebook Page and become a fan today!  You can even find her on Twitter and Etsy through facebook!  Check out her great line of party goods today!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Next Great Baker : Brian Stevens

Next Great Baker Blog*(Photo from TLC website)

Buddy Valastro is the host of the reality hit The Next Great Baker which airs on Monday nights on the TLC channel.  Buddy took ten people and challenged them week after week to make cakes while the clock ticked away.  The winner of this amazing contest gets $50,000 and a chance to work with Buddy at his bakery Carlo's in Hoboken, New Jersey. 

Not only is this show about being a great baker but it's also about time management, team work and facing cake disasters! We snagged a great interview with Brian Stevens owner of  Crazy Cakes. Here's a link to his  facebook fan page Crazy Cakes Inc.  -- stop on by his page, click LIKE and flip through some amazing photos!  Check out his great work at his website  Austin TX Cakes by Crazy Cakes Inc., - Home page.

 *(photo from TLC website)

How did you hear about The Next Great Baker?
I was told about NGB from a friend Dena Bryngelson who won the Fireman's Ultimate Cake off.

Fans want to know what do you think happened with the cakes that were suppose to have effects go off (like the demolition cake) but just didn't work in the end.......was it a time management issue or just bad luck? 
I think the Confetti didn't work on the 1st cake because I could not find a tube that kept the cake from pushing in on the motor that spun the cartridge to the spring loaded confetti tube. The cake pushed in on the motor and jammed it, I assume this since I was not allowed to look or touch the cake afterwards. The Pyro cake was damaged in the delivery accident when I was thrown 10 feet into the front of the truck. They didn't air the paramedics treating me and all of that but it was serious. I ended up getting full body X-rays and prescribed painkillers and Muscle relaxers. I will say this I have never had a Cake failure before or after the show. So I must have had some serious bad luck or was just too stressed out.

What was going through your head when Buddy let the wedding cakes fall off the side of the building? 
What a Douche bag! Then I looked over the edge and saw the structure was still in tack and I had a big laugh.

Would you do the show again knowing what you know now?
No I do not think so; I would rather be part of something more positive. I am truly disappointed in now much the show was just negative drama. I do not care if that is what makes ratings we have a responsibility to improve our society and I really do not see how this did any of that.

What was the most important thing you learned from being on the show?
I learned 2 things, one negative and positive.
1st. In the public’s eye, perception is more important than the truth and that is the understatement of the year.
2nd. After the coverage of my zombie cake ran in the news, I was contacted by this lady. She said that her son loves Cake Boss and the work of mine they saw. She asked if I ever do workshops and what not for her 13 yr old son to attend. Here is the kicker he has 2 different forms of Brain Cancer and has had so many surgeries. I asked the mother if her son liked Comic books and games. After she replied yes, I invited them to the Sony Studio for a tour of the DC universe on line Game. She said that after he heard that, he wore his Superman cape all week. Well they came! It was hard because of the physical appearance this lil guy has as a result of treating his cancer. He could hardly speak mostly mumbles. But he was so amazing. He stared down every piece of concept art and I also gave him a demo of how we build the worlds. I gave him a signed poster of the game and the Eyeballs I saved from the Trex cake I became know for. The mother just wrote me back and said how inspired he is now. He is coming to the Austin cake show in Feb. I want to get him his own chef coat with all the NGB contestants’ signatures.

So here is what I have learned. We may become famous or any number of other things in life but please remember that we can do so much good from this and inspire others to do more or live more regardless of how long their lives are. There is no greater lesson to learn.

How did you get into cake making?
After 14 years developing Video games I wanted to get back to hand-made art. A friend made my son’s 2nd Birthday cake and I was inspired. 3 years later here I am.

You have amazing skills with carving and airbrushing.  Did you go to school for this or are you just a natural?
I have an art degree but I’m self taught when it come to cakes. I’ve been an artist my whole life. There was nothing else I was ever going to do. This is just a new medium for me.

What's your favorite type of cake to make? 
I like any cake that is artist and expressive. I think that shows in my portfolio.

Has business picked up since you've been on the show?
I was slammed before the show and after the show.  I only do 3-5 cakes a week. With my average cake taking 15-30 hrs and my high end cakes hitting 100 hrs, they are out of average persons prince range. I am getting a ton of people wanting to work for me now. I don’t ever want to be as big as Buddy! He once joked on set about how Ron-Ben Israel would never make a cake twice. I was like, that is the difference, Ron is a true artist and Buddy is a production baker. It is a different mind set. I am very happy being an artist.

I just heard that The Next Great Baker got picked up for season two. Any advice for the people that make it into season two? Always remember it is a TV show 1st and a competition about skill 2nd! That may be the only thing that gets you through.

Cupcakes & Cookies Oh My! would like to thank Brian Stevens for taking the time to do this interview with us!  We wish you tons of luck for 2011!


Today we're going to feature a great company called Oh My Gluestick. Tommie Alexander makes some fantastic party items! Oh My Gluestick has these cute invites with themes that are super cute!  Check out the monkey theme!  There are great print outs for making cupcake picks that match your invite theme.  I have to admit I love the sock cupcakes! Check out the fan page on facebook Oh My Gluestick.   There's even a great blog too!


*oh my gluestick photos can be viewed at the facebook fan page

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Next Great Baker: Pamela Ahn

                                     Pamela Ahn

If you've been watching The Next Great Baker with Buddy Valastro then you know Pamela Ahn. She was one of the stars of Buddy Valstro's famed show where ten contestant compete to be The Next Great Baker.  If they beat out their other fellow bakers they get to win a cash prize of $50,000 and a chance to work next to Buddy at his famous Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. 

*(Photo taken from the next great baker fackebook page)

Pamela Ahn is located in the Washington, DC area and is the owner of PamCakes.  We had a chance to interview Pamela recently and we would like to thank her for her time!  Check out what Pamela and I talked about.........

How did you hear about the next great baker show?
My friend saw the link online & sent me the link & told me I should apply. I filled out the online application not thinking anything was going to come out of it & the rest of history! :)

Everyone wants to know how it was to work with the other bakers?

I LOVE working with other bakers. I bake/decorate in my own home, so I really don't get the chance to share my passion of baking/decorating with amazing people in the industry. It was amazing to fuel each other's creativity. I loved Greggy's fun energy, Brian good attitude, Dana was an amazing teacher to me & so was Buddy, Mauro, & Joey! Kendra & Johanna were just as sweet as ever. Even Mary is just a sweet, beautiful person too! I miss that - working with other cake artists side by side. There's definitely a different energy with that & I'm a people's person so I really miss it!

Did you get to spend any time with Buddy and learn new skills?
Buddy is an amazing guy. He is soooo generous just like he is on his Cake Boss show. He even offered to give me & my husband an off screen tour of the bakery. I am forever thankful for him believing in me and giving me the opportunity to compete on his show, meet his amazing family, & tour his bakery!
Check out the pictures here:

Is there a moment from the show that really stands out to you?
My favorite part was when I made the baby shower cupcakes. Buddy's face was hilarious. He was tickled to death with how cute they were & was impressed that they were cute and tasted amazing! And him & Joey joked at who was going eat the baby butt! ;) It was soooo much fun filming with them & the fun energy behind the scenes were hilarious! I wish the audience gets to see some of the hilarious out-takes from the show!

Here's that red velvet recipe that Buddy adored:

Has being on the show helped your business gain more exposure?
Of course! Since I got on the show for blogging about my cake creations, my blog has really gained a lot of exposure. I'm a little different from the other 9 contestants because I don't do this full-time and I'm in it more to share my recipes, baking tips, and decorating ideas with people like me.

If there was something you could do over on the show what would it be?
Nothing? I try to be a honest person, so some time I do end up with my foot in my mouth, but at the end of the day that's me! I make mistakes, but I learn from them. So I really don't have regrets in life, all the good/bad/ugly just end up being life lessons for me. And I can only try to be a better person/baker/decorator going forward, that's all.

What type of cakes are your favorite to decorate? Wedding, Birthday, baby?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Children's Birthdays! Birthdays for all ages, but especially 1st birthdays because the responses/expressions of pure joy and innocence from little toddlers is just priceless to me. I've always love children & is just so thankful I can use the art of cake to bless children I get the pleasure of meeting or making the cake for. Nothing fulfills me more in life.

Do you enjoy working with fondant or is butter cream more your thing?
I LOVE working/decorating with fondant! It's an amazing medium and allows me the freedom to create, the sky's the limit with fondant/gumpaste/modeling chocolate, etc. LOVE IT!

What's your favorite flavor cake?
Taro, of course! :D

To date - what's your favorite cake that you've made so far?
I LOVE Mango-Passion cake! It's soooo yummy! And great for any occasion & it pleases almost everyone.

Are there any words you have for pastry chefs just starting out?
You gotta LOVE it, that's all I gotta say. I love dessert, so it fuels me to create better tasting foods. I live to eat & am a BIG TIME foodie. I don't know how anyone can be a pastry chef or any culinary chef without the ultimate passion for everything food!
  What a beautiful cake Pamela made for the Chinese New Year!

Thank you Pamela for taking time to answer some our questions! We wish you lots of luck in 2011!

 How About Orange

How About Orange is our featured designer for today!  I found this wonderful company on Facebook and I'm very excited to share!  Jessica Jones is the owner and designer of How About Orange and she lives in Evanston, IL.  As you can tell she has a love for all things orange!  On her website you will find decorating idea's, free printables, DIY tutorials and tons of inspiration!  Check out her amazing items on her website
How About Orange  or become a fan on Facebook.

Check out these amazing designs from How About Orange below.  For more photo's and great ideas visit her site today!!

Thanks for stopping by the blog and join us over at Cupcakes & Cookies - Oh My on facebook!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Next Great Baker : Kendra Jordan

 *(photo from the cake boss fanpage at facebook)

Here at Cupcakes & Cookies Oh My! we've been watching The Next Great Baker hosted by Buddy Valastro from the famed show The Cake Boss. You can catch the show on Monday nights on the TLC channel.  We love to watch Buddy Valastro's amazing skills as he puts together cakes that blow your mind on The Cake Boss.  He has an amazing talent and if your in the Hoboken, New Jersey area stop on by his bakery to taste his amazing treats!  Carlo's Bakery has been around for generations so they must be doing something right!

From the moment Buddy announced he had a new show coming out called The Next Great Baker - we were hooked.  He took ten bakers and gave them the chance to rock out their best baking skills. Who ever wins this show gets a cash prize and a chance to work side by side with Buddy himself at Carlo's. Now that's pretty fantastic.

We had the chance to interview contestant Kendra Jordan this past week and we are very grateful for her time. 

Kendra Jordan image *(Photo from The Next Great Baker facebook fan page)

Kendra Jordan is from  Emporia, Va and she's a talented baker!  Check out her website at  KeShaJo Bakes I personally think the Skittles cake is amazing!  Also check her out on  KeShajo Bakes (Kendra Jordan) located on facebook.

Check out our interview................

How did you find out about the show The Next Great Baker?
A friend of mine let me know about it through a Craigslist's casting call advertisement.  I was totally apprehensive to apply, considering my novice experience. I've been baking for a while, but at the time I had only been decorating cakes for six months.  I sent the application and immediately told myself, '"okay Kendra, that was wait for the rejection!"

Some views wanted to know what the kitchen environment was really like? Hot & humid or really cold?
Oh man...walking in there the first time, I'm like in heaven.  From baking in your home kitchen, it was like being in kitchen heaven! Now once the cameras starting rolling, it was a whole different ball game! I mean once those ovens were going and human body temperatures rose, it could draw a few sweat beads.  I think Brian sweated more than anyone else, though! LOL!

Was there enough room in the kitchen to work in or was it really cramped like they made it out to be on the show?
I'm all about space, and the lack of it was quite mind-boggling.  Of course at ten contestants you're bumping elbows and into people...and as many of us were "box-trucked" that cut down significantly!  I did dislike the fact that space was so limited!

Was baking on the show stressful with the time counting down?
For me it definitely was.  Baking was constraining when there are only a few ovens to cook out of and there are ten of us using them.  Then cake decorating is definitely in relation to your prep if you're waiting for an oven or a mixer...the timer certainly doesn't care!

Are there any skills you learned from the show that you took home with you?
Lots of skills...Time management being one! to use a sheeter! LOL!

Is there a part of the show that you would go back and do over?
Of course!  There were a lot of things that were edited out...but I do believe more of my personality could have been shown and the fact that I am a great cake designer.  People tend to think that all that you are is what they see for one fraction of your life.  But honestly, pulling a sentence from a book is not a consensus of the author!  You have to read the whole thing to come to understand the author! Right?

Has business picked up since you were on the show?
Oh yes! And I'm wiping my brows because of it!

What cake flavor is your favorite?
Sweet Potato.

What's your favorite cake to date that you've made so far?
Everyone loves my Red Velvet cake!

Do you like to make a certain style of cake over another one? For example wedding cakes over birthday cakes?
You know at first I was so apprehensive to do wedding cakes (cue the bridezilla), so I was more willing to make celebration cakes.  But since the show I made my first wedding cake and I was pleased to feel a sense of calm when making it.  It's a lot easier to make and there's more money involved, which is always great!

Do you have any advice for people who want to go on a reality baking show like The Next Great Baker?
It's more than a baking competition.  It's still television and there are some elements that are emphasized more than others.  Just because you think you can do it at home, doesn't mean you're able to endure many pressures, plus cameras at every angle of your yourself in an environment where there are limited numbers of resources to you that are conveniently available in your baking environment.  Coupled with personalities that may not be as accommodating as the ones you work with on a day-to-day may feel like the levees will break!

I had to swallow a bitter pill upon my exit...I came into the competition with an entirely different mind set and from a different walk of life.  I got into cake decorating December of 2009 as artistic therapy.  The vicissitudes of life had really gotten me down and as convention would have it, I always invest my problems into artistic expression.  I took one Wilton Cake class course and the rest is some where in cake batter history! Cake decorating for me was different was a way to cope with a broken heart.  Walking onto the set, I was still in disbelief as to how it all came to be.  It's life and God certainly works in mysterious ways.  I was always a fan of Buddy Valastro and the Cake Boss television show.  Last year on my birthday, I had surgery and while recuperating in my hospital room, TLC aired a Cake Boss marathon.  I watched each show.  And this year, another birthday comes and I'm watching myself on the opening credits?!! Dolce vita!
I was a little broken hearted about how it all panned out on television.  But I will say I'm a firm believer that any thing can work out for the good.  I still design cakes, but I don't design to get my ego stroked...I do it, because it plants some of sort of seed of goodness in humanity.  Every cake brings a smile, even before it's been tasted.  And for me, while creating, it makes me forget about all the problems and obstacles I've had to endure.  I can honestly say that this experience has been life-changing and one that placed some great people into my life.  Everything I did from birth to adolescence to young adulthood to September 2010, got me on TLC's Next Great Baker.  Ultimately, I have no regrets...because evidently, bad or good, they were the perfect ingredients to create a sweet opportunity of a lifetime!

We also want to feature Allyson Jane who makes amazing desserts! Allyson is located in the Seattle, WA area and you can email her at  Check out her fan page on facebook at Allyson Jane and flip through the pictures!  She has these amazing cookies that just blow me away! She's always coming out with new designs. Check out a few pictures of her amazing work!

 She's not just a cookie gal but she also puts together some great cakes and cupcakes! Check out her great website at Allyson Jane to place orders.

Thanks for stopping by our blog today and keep your eye out for more great interviews coming soon!