Luau Bridal Shower

My dear friend, Heather, is getting married in Hawaii so I wanted to do a shower for her.  Keeping with the theme I wanted to have fun things to go with it.  I decided to do cupcakes but needed something to put on top of my cupcake tree.

I made an 8-inch cake topper using some of the vanilla cake mix and some of the chocolate cake mix I was using for my cupcakes.  She had this cute kissing Hawaiian couple that was perfect for the top of the cake.  Just had to add some palm trees and shells then I was good to go!

To make my cupcakes I found some really cute wrappers on a website and got three different ones I thought would go with my theme.  I made three different kinds of cupcakes; chocolate, strawberry and vanilla (not original but something for everyone).

The Flips Flops – I saw a cute cupcake on the web with little flip flips sticking out of the sand.  The flip flops look like they were made from a candy mold but I didn’t have one of those.  I made mine free-handed on wax paper and did just fine doing it that way.  I made the shape of the flip flop (left foot/right foot), let set then added the strap and a candied pearl.  I wanted to add a little more color so I made another flip flop shape in the same color as the strap and laid the flip flop on top and let set.

Sea ShelIs –  I did have some sea shell candy molds.  I filled 2/3  of my white chocolate in each mold then added the last 1/3 with milk chocolate.  Taking a toothpick I swirled and scraped the milk chocolate around the white to give the shells a little color.  To make the starfish I added some yellow chocolate to my milk chocolate to change the color.  Before adding the chocolate I put a little raw sugar in each starfish mold then added the chocolate to give it a little more design.

The Hibiscus flower – I melted red chocolate in a Ziplock bag and cut a small corner of the bag.  I piped the leaves in the shape I wanted then sprinkled the edge of the petals with red sugar crystals.  The good way to make your flower shape is to find a picture of the flower, copy several on one sheet and print.  Then take a few pieces of double-sided tape and place your wax paper over your printout.  This will give you a guide to your design.  Then I took black chocolate and put a dot in the middle of the flower.  Taking a toothpick I scored from the middle outwards to make the black color in the center of the flower.  Since chocolate sets up fast I pretty much had to do the petals, sugar sprinkles and black center a few flowers at a time.  Once all my flowers were set I added the stamen with more red chocolate then sprinkle the end with yellow sugar crystals.

The Palm Trees – the palm trees are just melted chocolate in a Ziplock bag and I squeezed large dots close together on wax paper for the trunk.  When that set I flipped them over and applied more chocolate trying to stay in the same place.  This gave the trunk a little extra thickness and 3-dimension so I didn’t have a flat side.  Once they were set I took some green chocolate in a Ziplock bag and just began making streaks to form the leaves at the top part of the trunk.  Let that set, flip over and began putting the leaves on the other side.  Before the leaves set on the second side I added a few Milk Duds for coconuts.

Now, all my garnishes were done…time to assemble!!

Using the hibiscus flower – strawberry cupcakes with vanilla icing.  I put some vanilla icing in a Ziplock bag and added green food color to make icing for the leaves.  Then cut a small slit in one of the corners of the bag.  This is the same as using a tip from a pastry bag if you don’t have one.  I piped a few practice runs on my wax paper till I got the shape I wanted.  Squeeze firm and slow to let the ruffles form.  I added the leaves and sprinkled a little green sugar crystals…and the chocolate hibiscus.

 

Using the sea shells and starfish – chocolate cupcakes with blue icing.  I sprinkled a little blue sugar crystals on the blue icing and added 2 chocolate sea shells and a starfish.  I also added some of the sea shells to the cake topper.

Using the flips flops – vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing.  I took some graham crackers and crushed them very fine in a Ziplock bag then added the same amount of raw sugar to the bag to add a little sparkle to make the sand.  Then I iced 2/3 of the cupcake with vanilla icing and patted the graham cracker/raw sugar mix to look like sand on the beach.  I frosted the last 1/3 of the cupcake with blue icing and stuck in the flip flops.  I did the same for the sand and water for the cake topper then added the kissing couple and palm trees.

At the shower I wanted to add a little color to my clear cupcake tree.  I found a leaf pattern and printed 25 or so full sheets.  Then cut out one big leaf shape for each sheet of paper I printed.  I cut a hole at one end of my big leaf big enough to slip over the middle section of each tray and slipped on my leaves, layering enough to hide the clear plastic.  The connection tubes are clear and hollow.  I found another pattern of wood grain, printed several sheets to fit and rolled inside the tube.  All that was laid out on a straw beach mat with candies, more candies and Nutter Butter cookie flip flops!!

Heather and my gang love chocolate covered Nutter Butters so, of course, I needed to make some Nutter Butter Flip Flops for her shower.  I’ve seen some online with just the strapes added to the plain cookie but I like covering the whole cookie in chocolate.  Not only does it taste great but the cookie doesn’t get stale or soft.  Yes, this is one of the places I spend a little more money buying melting chocolates but the end results are so much better!!  Putting these in pretzel rod wrappers when done and adding a little raffia helped keep them even fresher and made such a cute look for the Luau theme.

Of course I needed to do some more goodies.  I made some peanut butter fudge (recipe below).  Once it was cool enough to handle I shaped it into a large, flat square and let cool.  You can also press your fudge into a pan lined with clear wrap but I like having one less thing to do…or clean!

After your fudge is firm cut into little rectangles.  Melt blue chocolates in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute, stir then microwave another 15-30 seconds until all the chocolate is melted and there are no solid pieces.  Some colored chocolates are a little thick when melted so your may have to add a tablespoon or 2 of vegetable oil to your melted chocolate to make it less thick.  Be sure to mix the oil and chocolate throughly before dipping.  Dip each of your fudge squares into your blue melted chocolate and let set.  To jazz it up a little I started by using melted milk chocolate in a Ziplock bag and snipped a small tip from the corner of the bag.  I made a dotted line to look like the truck of a palm tree to all my blue dipped fudge and let set.  Using the same technique to make leaves on the cupcakes I melted green chocolate in a Ziplock bag, cut a snip on one corner towards the bag and made some leaves for the top of the tree.  When that was set I made 3 dots in the middle of the leaves for the coconuts.  I had some yellow chocolate I used to make the little flip flops so I remelted that bag for 15-30 seconds and squeezed a little around the base of my tree then sprinkled with raw sugar.  When everything was set and could be handled I wrapped each piece in clear wrap and sealed with a little sticker I made from mailing labels.  If you don’t want to do this (or not able to do this then) just a piece of tape or store bought stickers work great to keep the clear wrap sealed!

Almost done…I still had some chocolates that were previously melted left over.  I don’t like to save any bags of melted chocolates so I always find something else to make so not to waste them.  I had some little candied sized paper wrappers that were white with red dots.  I picked up a jar of honey roasted peanuts.  I really like the little added crunch of the honey roasted peanuts rather than just regular salted nuts.  Sometimes if I have extra pecans or walnuts or even raisins I’ll use those.  I took my chocolates and melted in a bowl and added the honey peanuts to coat then spooned into my little paper cups.  I sprinkled some tiny yellow non-pareils on top and let those set.  I kept them in an air-tight container then placed them around the cupcake tree during the shower.

To put all the fun favors together, and anything else they wanted to take home, I made some little goody bags.  Target had these for $1.39 for 5 bags.  I made a tag using a cute picture of the happy couple, added some borders and their name and wedding date and printed on card stock.  After I cut out the tags, I turned them over and took some raffia I cut into little strips.  Taking a glue stick I  coated the back of the tag and pressed some of the raffia into each corner then laid all that on the front side of the bag.  I was able to put these together in about an hour and made a fun way to add some of our favors for all our guests.

So, now, I finished with the making and baking and needed to make her card, wrapping paper for the gift and put it all together with the kissing Hawaiian couple that topped her cake!!  I did add to the back of the card the translation to my Hawaiian messages!

 

Peanut Butter Fudge

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound powdered sugar  (I use half of this when making a filling)

Take a microwave safe bowl and add your butter and peanut butter and cover with clear wrap.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Carefully lift the clear wrap (watch for hot steam) and stir the butter/peanut butter mixture.  Replace the clear wrap and microwave another 2 minutes.  Remove from the microwave, take off the clear wrap and stir in the vanilla and powder sugar to combine.  As you mix it will become thicker.  You can put this on wax paper or in a pan (lined with clear wrap) or even candy molds.  Once it’s cool and firm cut into squares or use cookie cutters.