Monday, December 28, 2009

Cakes Cakes Cakes and cookies

So since I've been slacking on my blogging. Here are some of the cakes I've been doing since then.

This is probablly my best cake I've ever done...for my sister and aunt's birthday!

A rock n roll cake for my friend daniel's 21st!
For my cousin's 30th (who got thrown from our tube at the lake haha)

And these little cookies were for a presentation to a company that my group had worked on all semester for a company. They were highly impressed ...were not suck ups I sware!

Hope to do some more soon...hmm who's birthday is next??

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gingerbread House Holidays

My mom and I make a gingerbread house every single year! SO when I heard the daring bakers challenge was going to be this I was excited! I then read on to find out we had to make it from scratch....not so fun. I guess that's why it's a challenge right?

Anywho..Thank god my gingerbread baked up nicely...otherwise I would have quit haha. Overall, I think it turned out cute!

I also had some fondant left over from a cake I made a few days earlier so I used it to make a mini snowman! Isn't he cute??

AHH I love that snowman!!

Oh and I thought I would just include a picture of my vegas cake...pretty good considering I had just a days notice! I got paid big bucks from this one! yay!
The December 2009 Daring Bakers' Challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers' everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Macaroon Mishap

So I have been the worst Daring Baker ever! I was supposed to start my new project of baking and posting something new once a month in August and I have neglected my duties for the past two months! Ugh school was just killing me! So since after missing 3 months you get kicked off I figured I should get to work.
Luckily this month was macaroons! I have always wanted to make these but I've always shyed away because I thought they were extremeley difficult...I mean why else are they really only popular in France? This was a great recipe to start my first time with too, all the ingredients were fairly cheap and you don't need any extra fancy equipment. I really loved this challenge too because you can customize them to any flavor combination you prefer...or even according to the occasion...should have colored these black and orange right?
So these didn't turn out exactly how I wanted but they werent bad. I used strawberry nesquik in the batter which i feel could have been part of the problem with them not rising. Bottom line...they were cute, tasty, and unique; not perfect.
P.S. Don't you LOVE my cookie jar I a little proud :)
Here's the recipe if any of you want to try them for yourself...
Confectioners’ sugar: 2 ¼ cups
Almond flour: 2 cups
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
7. Cool on a rack before filling.

Yield: 10 dozen
The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Defensive Driving Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm not sure what it is about me, my car, or sadly enough my driving skills. I don't want to admit that the reason I get tickets all the time is due to my terrible driving but I really do feel unlucky. haha So as soon as I got home from school for the summer I got stopped my a woman officer for running a red light that is less than twenty feet from where I pull out of my neighborhood! Oh whatever...I'm done just ticks me off even more. I paid the ticket in full and agreed to take defensive driving but due to summer school I havent been able to take it lately.

So it was time...I came home everyday after work and did stupid online defensive driving and after 2 1/2 days after work I needed something to celevrate with so I decided to reinvent my chocolate chip cookie recipe...mmm therapy!

So I revamped it up and here it is..
I know! This picture doesn't do it justice I sware! Its from my camera phone though so what did I expect right?

Oh gosh these were the most fabulous amount of crunch on the outside and chew in the middle...PERFECTION! I also subbed with milk chocolate chips which just made them divine. Here's the recipe!

MMM Perfection Cookies
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 stick butter( melted, then cooled slightly)
1 tbl Vanilla
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 tbl milk
1 12 oz bag of milk chocolate chip

Preheat to 325F
-Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda
-Cream butter and sugars together, add milk, vanilla, and eggs. Then beat in flour fixture slowly. -Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop cookies about 2 1/2 Tbl each and bake for around 25 minutes.
Eat when warm... mm :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Family Time Brownies

Oh joy! A whole week with my 15 year old step-sister! NOT!
Actually I know for a fact that I bugged my older cousin when I was that age just as much as she bugs me now, so I can't be too hard on her. She is on the dance team at her high school so fortunate for her she can eat whatever she desires and never gain a pound. ( lucky) She also happens to be a VERY big brownie addict. She has probably tried over 100 different kinds of brownies in her short life!
So I decided to try to impress her with my baking skills!
The statement I got after a bite into these Huge brownies will never leave my memory...."This is the best Brownie I've ever had in my life" umm...seriously? wow! Although I can imagine why since these brownies have an ounce of chocolate in every serving! haha so anyways...TRY THESE! They are sooo gooey and soo thick and rich! Do it!

"The best brownie I've ever had"
1 3/4 cups Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup water
1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs( add 4 if you like them really gooey)
1 1/3 sticks of butter( or margarine)
24 oz. of chopped semi sweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9 X 13
In a small bowl combine flour, b.s., and salt and set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt butter, sugar, and water until sugar is dissolved, then add half the chocolate. Once silky and smooth, remove from heat and add both extracts.

While the chocolate mixture comes to room temperature, beat the eggs in a large bowl until light in color. Then add your chocolate mixture and beat until well combined. Then slowly add in the flour mixture and make sure everything is well incorporated.

Then gently stir in the reamining chocolate. Pour into the 9 X 13 and Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool cut and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a la mode.

Serves 24


Sunday, July 19, 2009


Beside the fact of having a MAJOR chocolate attack,my first ganache, and that I have never made a cupcake with filling, what more excuses did I need to make these? So I saw them on MyBaking Addiction and thought how perfect!
( I'm pretty sure my mom would kill me if she knew I put a cupcake on her piano! lol )
So I spent my Saturday night ( haha I'm such a lame college student) making some cupcakes. I was fairly surprised at how easy they were to make. They weren't too bad tasting either! I'm not so sure they tasted exactly like a Hostess cupcake but they were awfully close. I have to admit I do prefer the fake (Hostess) stuff! Okay well I have lots of homework to do so Got to go. Hopefully I can find another day this week to bake!
Also, I can't wait to get a better camera haha!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tart n' Sweet Black Cherry Cupcakes

I actually had a break from my homework and school today. Shocker I know! Calculus and now Physics...what happened to summer? Anyways, I decided what a day to bake right? Well I found a recipe on for some Strawberry Cupcakes. By the way...I love that blog! It's one of my favorites! I think she is great and always has the most scrumptious food!
So The cupcakes looked so good so I had to try...but when I got home I realized we had no strawberries :( I was so dissapointing but I had to improvise, so I took some cherries we had in the fridge, pureed them up, and crossed my fingers.
They were so awesome! The frosting was the best because it wasn't to sour and not too sweet. Just perfect. I'm sure the strawberries would have been better but it got my baking fix out of the way for a few days at least.
I let my dad " Certified Taste Tester" try these out and he seemed to love them. Usually it's just one bite for him..but I think the tartness of these hooked him enough to eat the whole thing.
Cupcakes (edited from the Sprinkles cupcake recipe)
Cherry Buttercream
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of cherries(pited & food processed)
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb of powdered sugar
Cream butter, add vanilla and cherry puree, then add 1/2 cup powdered sugar at a time until light and fluffy
I'm thinking Blueberry Pancakes for my next endeavor...or maybe some Hostess inspired cupcakes...mmmm I'm making myself hungry