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Oteri's Italian Bakery Blog

Valentine’s Day Sweets and Treats!

Posted in: Holiday Cakes, Recipes

Romance is in the air. Chocolate hearts, roses, and greeting cards are everywhere…but did you ever think about giving your loved one Valentine sweets and treats as a gift from a bakery? You will now after you read my Valentine Poem:

Heart-shaped cakes and cookies or a sweet red cherry pie,
Many yummy bakery treats available to buy.
How about some danish or a special chocolate try?
Did you ever give cannoli for Valentine’s Day?

Pink sprinkle covered cupcakes, cheese cakes shaped like a heart,
Chocolate covered strawberries, cakes that look like art.
Designer shoes with matching bags look lovely on display,
Gifts from our bakery to give on Valentine’s Day!

Donuts, muffins, cream puffs, an assortment of cake pops,
Pick up one of each, pull out all the stops!
Whichever treat you choose, you won’t make a mistake,
Cause what is Valentine’s Day without delicious cake?!

heart-cake-be-minevalentines-day-love

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a simple, inexpensive and tasty recipe that makes a great Valentine’s Day treat or gift:

Easy Oreo Truffles (Everyone LOVES Oreos!)

easy-oreo-truffles
Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
2 (8 ounce) packages Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (or chocolate chips), melted
1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese, softened

Directions
Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a re-sealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls or shape them into hearts, about 1-inch in diameter.

Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.

Arrange them in a decorated or heart shaped box and give them as a Valentine’s Day gift!

From Our Family to Your Family with Love…

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Fighting the Winter Doldrums!

Posted in: Recipes

winter-snow-scene

This winter has sure been a doozey…weeks of freezing temperatures with record lows, multiple snow falls, ice, power outages,  many days of school closings; the list goes on and on. It sure is hard to stay upbeat through all of that…it’s called the winter doldrums. For some it starts when winter arrives, for many it begins when the holidays are over and for some of us it sets in when the last second of the clock ticks at the end of the Super Bowl.

I am here to help…I have a few tricks that will help you keep those doldrums in check while you wait for spring to arrive.  I will also share a fun recipe to cheer you up and create summer time for a little while.

First of all raising endorphins will release natural feel-good chemical in your body so exercise is a great cure for the winter blahs. So lace up your ice skates, strap on some skis, take a ride on the sled that is sitting in your garage, or just put on an exercise video, dance to some up beat music or take a brisk walk. Any of these activities will get your blood pumping, reduce boredom and lift your spirits.

Next, surround yourself with friends. People tend to hibernate in the winter but spending time with friends can be instrumental in our well being. Plan a party or invite friends over for game night or movie night and share laughter and good times with those whose company you enjoy the most.

How about a bit of self-pampering? You can go shopping, get a manicure or perhaps a massage if the budget allows. Doing even a little something for you will go a long way to brighten up a dreary day.

Being trapped in the house on snowy days can be so depressing so why not challenge oneself to learn something new? Discover a new hobby or passion and it will give you something to look forward to.

Incorporate light and color into a typically gray tone winter! Open the blinds and let the light in, buy some colorful flowers or plant and add a splash of color to your wardrobe. It will certainly cheer up your surroundings and hopefully yourself.

The best thing to do is keep an upbeat attitude, stay as positive and optimistic as possible and know that the winter will be over before you know it.

How about a recipe for Beach Themed Cupcakes?vanilla-cupcakes

Ingredients and directions for vanilla cupcakes:

3 cups all-purpose flower
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (1 ½ sticks)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1¼ cups milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla.

Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to assure the batter is thoroughly mixed. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling papers about 2/3 full. Bake on the center rack of the oven until tops spring back to touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before icing.

You can always use your favorite boxed vanilla or chocolate cake mix if you prefer.

Ingredients and directions for buttercream icing:

2 ½ cups sugar
10 large egg whites
4 cups (8 sticks or 2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place sugar and egg whites in bowl of electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The mixture should be completely smooth.

Take bowl out of water and beat on high with mixer until the mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.

Add butter, one piece at a time and beat until incorporated after each addition. (Don’t worry if the buttercream looks curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating.) Add vanilla, and beat just until combined.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in cool environment before icing cool cupcakes.

The Fun Part: Decorating (Beach remember?)

Blue food coloring, blue construction paper cut into small triangles, graham crackers smashed into crumbs, (or can buy already crumbed graham crackers… not as fun!), Paper cocktail umbrellas.

Frost half of cupcakes piled high with the vanilla buttercream icing; then completely cover with the graham cracker crumbs (to look like sand), finally stick an opened cocktail umbrella into the mound. Voila! You now have pseudo beach.

Add a few drops of the blue food coloring to the rest of the vanilla buttercream icing and mix thoroughly (the more drops you add, the darker the color will be) Pile the cupcakes with the blue frosting (as if it is an ocean). Cut the blue construction paper into small triangles and stick them in the icing as if they are shark fins!

Now you have the ocean and the beach! Be creative; play with it and enjoy!!!

 From Our Family to Your Family with Love…

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The Perfect Wedding Cake!

Posted in: Wedding Cakes

The venue, then the food, music, photography, flowers, dress and of course the cake…

Wedding-Cakes-Fondant-Five-Tiers-Bows-Drapped_001Most weddings include these essentials. Although the cake might not be the first thing you order, you will definitely want to get it right and find the perfect cake for your wedding.

At the very least, it should look beautiful and taste great. Without question it should be perfect and exactly as you imagined, plus everything you expected and then some. It should be the “icing on the cake!” (Pun intended)

Here’s how to ensure that happens:

Order the cake early enough that you get the bakery and decorator you want. (Oteri’s Italian Bakery of course!) It is a given that popular dates in the spring and summer will book up early. You should absolutely book the bakery as soon as you have the date and venue because there is nothing worse than a disappointed bride.

Weddding-Cakes-Four-Tier_Buttercream_002Wedding-Cakes-Five-Tier_Buttercream_001

 

 

 

 

 

Know what you want and communicate CLEARLY what you expect. (It’s OK to get advice, suggestions and recommendations from family, friends and other brides).  Be sure you spell out these details in terms of size, flavor, color, and design. Make sure all of this is specified in your contract or on your order form.  (Make sure to get a copy!) Bring photos of cakes you like to your bakery or consultant and be prepared to provide the number of guests you want to serve, the date, time, and location of the reception, the colors and/or theme of the wedding, and the names of any vendors already booked. Be very clear on your budget with the baker. If you cannot afford all the options you’d like, your baker will be able to advise you on what can be done within your budget.

W-BLACK RIBBON SWIRLSAlways ask to taste their cake. You need to know if the bakery’s cakes have the texture and flavor you like. Ask the baker if they deliver the cake. This is so much easier than requiring one of your wedding party to deal with it and the responsibility for safe delivery rests with the baker that way. Bakers and cake decorators can help you narrow down choices, but they cannot read your mind. Choosing a cake is about what feels good to you as the bride.

Follow up a week or two before the wedding and review all the details of your cake flavor and design, delivery date and time. Be sure your baker knows where the cake table(s) will be, and whether there are flowers, linens, candles, utensils, or other items to be set up. If you are coordinating vendors (decorator, baker, caterer, florist), make a list of contacts and phone numbers and share it with each vendor. You want to make sure everyone is on the same page! The wedding cake, whether unique or traditional, still remains one of the focal points of any wedding, and deserves to be chosen with care.

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About Our Wedding Cakes:

Our very large assortment of wedding cakes also includes the option of designing your own. They can be made with buttercream or have that smooth, fondant cake look. You may choose any type or flavor of cake and tiers can be made of a mix of flavors or cake types. Need three tiers of three different flavors? No problem! It’s all up to you. Oteri’s wedding cakes have often been on the banquet tables of multiple generations of the same families, who have returned generation after generation for that one-of-a-kind touch for their special celebrations.

Bride and Groom in Stylish Embrace

Bride and Groom in Stylish Embrace

Romantic Dip Dancing Couple

Romantic Dip Dancing Couple

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Season is right around the corner…we look forward to serving you.

From our family to your family with love…

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