Time for another Birthday. My funny, spunky sweetheart is 6.
Birthdays make me sigh. Don’t get me wrong; I do brim with joy when I see the excitement in those shining eyes. I hold that moment close to my heart when I hear her call at night saying she cannot sleep and make me count the days until her “best day ever” with her. But at the back of my mind there is this continuous chime that days are slipping by fast, very fast. They are emerging out of their cocoon so soon, flapping and building their wings to get them stronger. They will fly before I blink.
I knew she was past that “baby” stage when she said she wanted only three friends for her party. Gone are those days when she needed the entire class to be there. She is past that time, when the birthdays are only defined by the number of gifts. Close sweet company is more important now. She is discovering what she likes. She is getting to know herself. These are the little signs of growing up. I went through this with another one. I know.
I also know I have to let them free. I cannot hold them back even if I wanted to. I do not want to stop them, but I do miss the gone by days.
So here she is today, a Little Lady! my little ladybug.
She loves a good Boa!
always happy – dancing and twirling.
seeing the Tutu bounce around her
She wanted no big parties. Only a small sweet one at home with only 3 best friends.
…and a lot of cupcakes, which they will frost and sprinkle and decorate by themselves.
A Pinata. Thank God that crazy whacking still makes them laugh.
Some fun times together stuffing their own bears in Build a Bear. (I love that place too, but not so much the clothes and accessories).
She also wanted a homemade cookie cake for her birthday, with lots of chocolate chips, M & Ms and may be some nuts.
Since this little lady detests icing or any kind of frosting, I did a simple glaze of chocolate ganache on her cake which she dearly hearts.
M&M and Nuts Cookie Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Ingredients: (makes a 9″ cookie cake)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon brown sugar (or to taste)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract or vanilla extract or almond extract
- 1 cup flour + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cups M&M
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup nuts (Optional: I used slivered almonds)
For Chocolate Ganache:
*Note: this is an approximate measurement. (If you want a drippy thin icing, increase the amount of cream a tiny bit and do not allow the stirred melted chocolate to sit for too long; this one was a thicker spreadable kind )
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1.5 tablespoon butter
- 6 oz chocolate, chopped
- few drops of orange or almond extract
Line a 9-inch, round pizza pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat and cream butter and sugars together.
Add eggs and orange/vanilla/almond.
Mix flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar with a whisk.
Add dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well blended.
Stir in M&&/chocolate chips and nuts.
Spread dough into the lined pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden.
Cool completely. Do a double flip and place the cake on the serving plate.
To make the Chocolate Ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Combine butter and cream in a pan and bring it to a boil. (or you can heat in a microwave, but heat enough to bring it to a boil).
Pour in to the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes until the heat melts the chocolate. Add the extract. Stir with a spoon or whisk until all the chocolate melted and it forms a smooth silky glistening mix. Let it sit for a few minutes to make it get thick enough to spread. (the longer it sits the thicker it will get).
Icing/Frosting the cake:
Cool cake completely before icing. You can even refrigerate the cake for about 1/2 hr. Pour/spoon it over the cake and spread it around with a knife to cover the surface well. Decorate it with sprinkles or whatever you want and if you want. Refrigerate cake for the icing to harden.
If you have leftover ganache, refrigerate the extra for later use or use it to make truffles.
Preparation time: about 30 minutes
Cooking time: approx. 30 -40 minutes (including the ganache)
Assembling time: 20 minutes