Depending on how tart your berries are, you may need to add more sugar, to taste. I like mine with a hint of pucker since I’m usually serving it with something really rich. Make sure once it’s boiling, you stir continually to keep it from burning to the bottom of your pan. Great with chocolate, over ice cream or on top of cheesecake. Continue reading →
It is a well documented fact that my husband (Zachary) is not a fan of sweet things. Cookies, cakes, fudge, candy – none of it tempts him. It drives me crazy. However, even his lack of a sweet tooth cannot resist my peanut butter cookies. Probably because they are so nutty and awesome, rather than being just something sweet. There are a couple keys to a great peanut butter cookie. First of all, extra super chunk peanut butter is a must. Mine also have a full cup of chopped peanuts – imagine that, actual peanuts in a peanutty cookie. Secondly, make sure you take these cookies out when the edges are just starting to golden. They won’t look done, but trust me, if you want a soft cookie – take them out of the oven.
My friend Colleen sent me the link to this recipe – and upon first sight I couldn’t wait to make it. So, I’m naming it after her. Today, I just did the recipe as it was listed in the original article in the Seattle Times Food & Wine section – except that I coated my baking pan with butter, drizzled more butter on top, and broiled it prior to taking it out of the oven to crust up the top a little. I was having a girls night with my three sisters, and brought it for dessert.
Obviously this is a fall to Christmas baked good since eggnog and cranberries are only really available around this time of year. My youngest sister said this tastes like Christmas on a spoon. I’d have to agree. It’s a moist delicious bread that tastes a little like pumpkin pie, with the richness of eggnog and the spices of the holidays. The cranberry compote it’s served with it tart and tangy, the perfect offset to the rich bread pudding. However – with the sweet tooth that runs deep in our family, my sisters and I kind of agreed that we’d rather have it with a vanilla dipping sauce/custard the next time. And, I’ll probably do up the bread pudding in individual ramekins next time for a prettier presentation.
Yesterday I made an amazing discovery. I love people and I love food. Well, I already knew those things, but here’s the discovery. I bake because I enjoy it, but more because I love the people in my life and want them to have delicious things. I’ve made a decision. Someday, when I have my own bakery, all the goodies will be named for the people I love that had a hand in the creation of those things. So, instead of having a cookie called “Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies”, they will simply be named “Phil”. As in, I’d like a dozen “Phils”. Because I created that cookie specifically for my pastor. And each item will have a photo of that person next to the name. I’m thinking of calling my bakery “Bakerlady’s House” – because it will be filled with all the people I love…in the form of delicious treats. We’ll see, I’m still working on it.
Today, I created what will be known as Emily. Emily (the person) is a friend from church. She is generous and organized. I love that she always seems to know when I need a play date to walk with our strollers and just talk. I made these cookies today to recreate some that I purchased (gasp!) for her baby shower last week. I have an excuse, I could not use my kitchen that day. Here’s what the purchased (Trader Joe’s) cookies looked like: Continue reading →
I made these tonight for our annual family trick-or-treating extravaganza. They were crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. They were awesome! Next time, I’ll make some kind of dipping sauce (raspberry maybe, or possibly a vanilla bean custard) and try rolling them in powdered sugar. I think that would make them absolutely perfect. I also would like to try these substituting pumpkin for the applesauce and kicking up the spices a little. Mmmmm, I really do love pumpkin spice things.This recipe makes a TON of little doughnut holes. They disappear quickly though, this whole batch was gone before I knew it! Luckily, we had lots of other food, including Simple Caramel Apples, Wassail, Mom’s Tortellini Soup, and Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
It’s a well documented fact that I love mini desserts. I don’t know what it is about them. Maybe it’s that no matter what you’re making, if you turn it into a bite sized version, it gets a little more adorable. And somehow, being able to pop the entire thing in your mouth makes it taste even better. Apple crisp is one of my favorite fall desserts. Since I’m not a fan of pie crust in general, crisps are way better in my book. But, there’s never enough “crisp” to go around it seems. Enter the Apple Crisp Cup. Mini muffin tins filled with crisp crust surrounding spiced apples with more crisp on top. Oh baby.
Apple Crisp Cups
Apple Crisp Cups
4 large Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored, and chopped
1/4 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
1/2 cup candied walnuts, chopped fine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 mini-muffin tins.
Mix apples, cider, white sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon together in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer until apples are partially cooked, about 5 minutes; remove from heat.
Combine flour, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and nutmeg in a food processor, pulse until blended. Add the cubed/frozen butter and pulse until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. If you do not have a food processor, cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. Dump the butter mixture into a large bowl and add the oats by hand.
Place a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into a mini muffin cup, and, using the back of the tablespoon, press it into the cup so that it covers the bottom and pushes up the sides of the cup. Make the crust go all the way to the top of the little muffin cup, and patch any holes with more crust mixture. Place about 2 teaspoons of apple filling in the crust. Take two cups of the crust mixture and combine with 1/2 cup candied walnuts (optional). Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the crust mixture over the filling. You will probably have about a cup of the crust mixture left over…don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Allow to cool in the pans about 10 minutes. Then, slide a butter knife around the edge of each crisp and pop out of the muffin tin. Place on wire rack to cool completely.
It was a gorgeous fall day! We went to the pumpkin patch as a family, enjoyed the brisk foggy morning and the muddy ground. We picked pumpkins and took some photos, then it was home to prepare for Madison’s birthday party.
Pitts in a Pumpkin Patch
She turned 4 back on the 5th, but because of wedding craziness, we held of on the party until tomorrow. She requested “chocolate cake with no frosting” for her birthday. Well, that’s no fun! So she gets a plain chocolate cupcake, but I created these babies for her guests. Madison LOVES candy corn (just like me!) – actually, it’s pretty much the only candy my daughter will eat (totally NOT just like me).
Originally I was going to make a cake in the shape of a candy corn. Yellow cake on the bottom, pumpkin spice layered over the top, cut it out into a triangle and frost it to look like a candy corn. Then I thought, I wonder if I can do cupcakes that are layered, yellow cake, orange cake and white frosting. How cute would that be?! Here’s what I came up with. It was time-consuming, but they taste AMAZING. The slightly sweet almond-y yellow layer combined with the spiced pumpkin layer are great together. And the creamy rich frosting is perfect on top. Plus, they are totally adorable.
Candy Corn Cupcakes
Yellow Cake (bottom layer)
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups cake flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and the almond extract. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
Fill cupcake pans (with liners) about 1/2 inch with yellow cake batter and set aside.
1. Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
2. Beat 1/2 cup of oil, applesauce, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl to combine. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the mixture before adding the next.
3. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree after the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.
4. Add pumpkin spice batter on top of yellow cake batter in cupcake pans until 3/4 full.
5. Bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in pan 2 minutes then take out of pan to cool completely on wire racks. Frost with swirled cream cheese frosting and top with a candy corn.
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar.
Remove 1/3 C frosting to smaller bowl. Add orange food coloring to tint slightly orange.
Put a Ziploc bag into a tall glass. Using a butter knife, spread a line of orange frosting vertically up the inside of the bag. Fill the bag with the plain white frosting. Press the air out, seal the bag and snip a corner. Pipe frosting around the cooled cupcakes to frost.
Put together some cake bites for the family get together for gift opening. Congrats to the new Mr & Mrs Desimone! I’ve had these cake bites sitting un-dipped in my freezer for about a month, took them out and dipped them while still frozen. It worked so much better than when I dipped them previously. I highly recommend freezing your batch – even if it’s just for an hour or so – prior to dipping them in chocolate. Added bonus, the frozen bites cooled the chocolate almost instantly, so I could pipe on the letters. I used black candy melts and an icing of powdered sugar and milk in honor of the new couple’s black and white themed wedding.
This is a really easy (one bowl!) chocolate cake. Nothing too fancy, but it’s deliciously moist and the perfect amount of chocolate. I cut each cake in half and put raspberry jam between the layers then frosted it with a rich chocolate frosting. Today we had it to celebrate my daughter’s 4th birthday. It’s the first year I’ve been able to make a normal cake for her – because up until last Christmas, she was allergic to dairy. I have to say, making this chocolate cake sure beats having to do a soy-butter/rice milk cake.
Super Moist Chocolate Cake
Super Moist Chocolate Cake
2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.