Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin is most definitely one of my favorite flavors. I love the spices that go along with it, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice... yuuuum. SO good :) Most of the time when I bake with pumpkin I make into muffins or a quick bread loaf and try to convince myself it's healthy, but occasionally I will give up the attempts at healthy-ness. These are the times I make pumpkin into cupcakes with obsene amounts of frosting. Like, seriously, the amount of frosting on these cupcakes is ridiculous. There is a reason, though; I have an issue with unfilled cupcakes. For the longest time I couldn't stand cupcakes because the frosting just wasn't evenly distrubited enough. Not to mention, grocery store bakery cupcakes are generally disgusting, but that's besides the point. Once I started filling cupcakes with icing, I couldn't stop. It's the perfect solution, it's not much more work and it's much better for icing distribution. I try not to pile too much frosting on top, as it's generally really rich, but it usually ends up with a giant pile of frosting anyway.
These cupcakes are fantastic. I always think of pumpkin baked goods as dense, which isn't such a bad thing all the time, but these are wonderfully fluffy and still very moist. The frosting is my own recipe and I still need to work out a few kinks before posting it, but just a basic cream cheese recipe will work. I frosted mine with a mascarpone/cream cheese frosting. Yuuum. Enjoy! :)

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)

Preheat oven to 350 and line 23 muffin tins with liners.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
Beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, beat until will combined. Beat in vanilla.
With mixer on low, beat in 1/3 flour mixer, mix until just combined. Add in half milk, then another third of flour, the rest of the milk, and then the rest of the flour. Beat in pumpkin until just incorporated. Fill muffin tins about half of the way full, bake 16-18 minutes until they spring back when touched. Let cool completely before frosting.
This is half of the original recipe. It was supposed to only make 16 but I filled mine a little less than the recipe said and got more. I prefered this, the still came up to the top of the paper liners when baked.
Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting.

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I'm pretty sure everyone has a comfort food, a food they eat when they're feeling sick, or sad, or just generally in need of comfort. I have two kinds of comfort foods, the kind I like to eat, and the kind that I like to bake. My super major comfort food to eat is soup. I love, love, love soup. I don't care if it's 120 degrees and you're swimming through the air (trust me, that happens here in the south), if I'm sick, I want soup. I've never really been one of those people to eat a container of ice cream when I'm sad. I like salty things when I'm sick or sad.
When I'm feeling like I want to comfort bake something, it's either chocolate chip cookies, or oatmeal cookies. I'm not sure why I'd pick either of those, growing up I despised oatmeal cookies for the raisins (raisins are the bane of my existence) and did not like chocolate chip cookies because dark chocolate tasted like dirt. But whenever I'm feeling like I need a little balance and calm, I bake chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies.
This recipe is seriously delicious and super easy. I've actually made it with quick cooking oats before and liked that a lot, it makes the cookies softer. I made them with old fashioned oats this time around because that was what we had in the house, and it's a more classic oatmeal cookie feel. Without the disgusting raisins of course.
You definitely can use just all-purpose flour, I was just playing around with different types of flours for fun and liked this combination :)

Adapted from Joy the Baker
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, and then vanilla. Beat well.

Stir in dry ingredients, then oats and chocolate chips. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake about 9 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 3 minutes before cooling on racks.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Sometimes I get a little crazy. I like to talk to the things that I bake. I know, it's weird. I also get ridiculously excited when it comes to weird things, like key limes and meyer lemons. I have an crazy amount of citrus in my house right now. Seriously, crazy. I just couldn't help myself, it's like seeing something on sale. Just because you don't need it doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it, because what if this chance doesn't come up for a while? That was my reasoning when I bought a bag of key limes, and two bags of meyer lemons. Of course, now I have to actually think of something to do with all of these crazy things. I've made lemon curd (recipe to come), key lime meltaways, and now this totally delicious cake. It's nice and simple, totally easy to bake and really good. I think easy cakes like this may be my favorite thing to eat and bake ever. I'm not so good with the whole gorgeously decorated cookies and cakes thing. I am good at baking pretty delicious things, though.

This cake is delicious and comforting. It's not to sweet and the glaze balances that out really well. It's soft and not too lemon-y and the cornmeal gives it a great texture. This is definitely a cake I will make again soon!

Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon meyer lemon zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus one tablespoons melted browned butter

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, scraped

Butter and flour a 9" cake pan and preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Pour into dry mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until just combined.
Pour into pan and bake about 30 minutes.
While cake is baking, whisk together glaze ingredients. Start with less lemon juice and add more until you get the desired consistency. Mine was thick but still pretty runny.
When cake is done, cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes still in pan, poke some holes in it with a fork, and pour glaze on. Let sit at least 30 minutes before eating.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Okay so I am FINALLY posting a recipe with some pictures. Thank goodness. I stole my sister's camera and my mom's computer and put it on a fancy plate that I got at the thrift store yesterday. I got 16 plates, so psyched out of my mind about them, I absolutely loveee them.
Anyway, about this cake. It's amazing. It's a bit strange, it shrinks up a ton once it cools, but it's rich and delicious and has thousands of tiny little poppy seeds which actually taste like something in this cake. Yum, yum, yum. Also, since it calls for 8 egg yolks, I made angel food cake (which calls for 12 egg whites) with the left-over egg whites. I had 4 extra yolks but I didn't have time to do anything with them after baking two cakes and making a mess of the kitchen.
The recipe is here, from Smitten Kitchen who I absolutely love. Her photos are incredible and I've made quite a few recipes from her blog and have loved all of them.
So yes, make this recipe as soon as possible, because it is delicious and make some angel food cake to use up the extra egg whites :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Frosted Sugar Cookies (Lofthouse Cookie Clone)

Edit January 6, 2012: Added a photo. Also, since first making this recipe I tried another soft frosted sugar cookie recipe that used sour cream, and then made these again for Christmas eve and much prefer the texture of these cookies. The ones with sour cream were definitely delicious, but this recipe is a lot closer to the Lofthouse cookies that I was trying to imitate. Definitely use unsalted butter for these, I generally use salted butter because I don't mind the extra salt and that's what we use more around the house, but it makes these too salty.

Have you had those amazing sugar cookies they have at the grocery store? The ones you know you shouldn't buy because you'll eat them all? They're very cake-y in texture in the best way, and they have super sweet frosting. They're called Lofthouse cookies and they're seriously epic. I don't buy them because I refuse to buy cookies if I can bake some (unless they're oreos, that's completely different).
Another question, is it normal to talk to dogs in the way you talk to people? My mother just asked her dog/bear/rug (also known as a Newfoundland) why he didn't tell her that he needed to go out. I'm pretty sure that's not normal. But, I talk to the things I cook and bake as if they were going to talk back ("are you done? if you burn I am going to be pretty pissed, so don't you dare burn"). Guess I know where I got that from
So anyway, I didn't actually get a picture of these because I made them, had to leave, go to work all day the next day, and then by the time I got home there was only two left so I ate them before I could think about it. But they were so good that I will be making them again very, very soon.
I've been looking for a recipe similar to the Lofthouse cookies for a while now, but most of the ones I found didn't seem close enough, or used a boxed cake mix, and I refuse to bake with boxed cake mix since that takes all the fun out of baking and isn't actually baking. These, however, are amazing. They are freakishly similar to the original Lofthouse cookies, except they're more buttery, which is always a good thing. I didn't change anything to the recipe, other than to add more powdered sugar to the icing as it was runny.
The icing will firm up and become the same texture as the ones from the store after they sit for a bit. The ones I made were just as good on the second day, though I'm not sure how they'd fair after that since they didn't last that long.
Here is the recipe, from the wonderful Annie at Annie's Eats. It's definitely a recipe to make as soon as possible.
Oh you know what else is exciting? They have fancy butter at Publix, who knew? I sure didn't. I looked up at the shelf above the store brand butter that I normally buy and there was like, 4 different kinds of European-style and Irish imported butter! I made some cake with it, just because I felt like it. At over double the price of regular butter it isn't something I'll be buying often (when you use as much butter as I do, even store brand gets a little pricey), but next time I make some shortbread cookies I'll try it and see if I'll be able to tell the difference.
As soon as school starts I'll be blogging more, I've just been so busy this summer doing everything except being home, except when I bake, that I haven't had time to blog. But when school rolls around I'll be procrastinating so much that I'll be posting a ton :P
Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm baaaack!

Alright, well. My camera is currently broken, and until yesterday, my computer has been broken (thank the lord for one of my best friends, he is a smartie and knows how to fix crazy, confusing things like computers), hence the lack of updates. I have, of course, still been baking. So I have lots and lots of recipes to update, all of which I'm extremely excited about, the most recent being a seriously amazing white bean and bacon soup recipe that I think I could eat every day for the rest of my life and still be happy.
SO, assuming anyone is reading this, I shall be updating with some recipes (sans pictures, for the most part :( poor dead camera), as soon as I stop procrastinating :P

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baking Helper

This is my baking helper. She has beautiful curls.

She reads me instructions for my new mixer.

And then she informs me that she can't actually read and she made it all up.

She's pretty handy, she loves mixing and cracking eggs.

We bake together when she isn't too busy building forts and being a super hero with a cape. I've tried to tell her that superheroes shouldn't have capes (everyone who watches The Incredibles knows this), but she says she doesn't care and continues on with her cape.

Her name is Austen and she's 5, she's my little sister.
Just thought I'd post some pictures of her, since I don't have any baking pictures recently. She's far cuter than anything I can bake, anyway.

In theory I will be baking and blogging about these later, depending on when I get home from work. We shall see. I'll borrow my sister's camera to take pictures (my other sister... Austen doesn't have a camera, being as she's 5 and all).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Ok so with school and finals and everything, I have been super slack about blogging, BUT I have been baking, of course. My camera broke so I haven't been able to take pictures but I will post a list of the things I've baked (at least the ones that I can remember off the top of my head xD).

Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze
This is SO good! I did not use any extracts except vanilla. I also made it without the glaze and put in sprinkles so it was a confetti cake :D

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
I made this into a cake for Easter. Yummmmy. That icing is AMAZING.

Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brown butter makes everything amazing.

I ran out of baking chocolate so I made these instead and they were really, really good. I will definitely be making them again.

Oatmeal Cherry White Chocolate Cookies
I think this may literally be my favorite cookie recipe ever. Like, in the whole world. Crazy, crazy good. Can you tell I have a little obsession with Joy the Baker? I think she's awesome.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Like I said, brown butter makes everything better.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
I juuuust took these out of the oven, so I haven't eaten them yet, but they look and smell AMAZING and I cannot wait to try them :) I love Brown-Eyed Baker as well. She's fabulous :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Birthday cake

Well... I tried. That is about all I can say for this cake... the icing was bad because I didn't have a food processer, so I improvised and there were seeds in the icing. The icing was too runny and too sweet. I tried decorating it but it just melted down the sides of the cake (it wasn't particularly warm, the icing was just too runny). So I won't be posting the recipe for the icing, but I will be posting the delicious yellow cake recipe because it was wonderful. I will also be posting a few pictures of this cake so that you can laugh at the ugliness of it. The cake itself was delicious. Moist and super fluffy and just absolutely amazing. This will definitely be what I use in the future for yellow cakes. Click here for the recipe.

The Best Fudgy Brownies

So, for some reason I have issues with brownies. They never turn out quite right. They're always good, because they're brownies, but they're never perfect. These are pretty much perfect. Joy is amazing. Just sayin'.

So... these are delicious. They aren't actually dark chocolate because when I looked in the cabanet I realized that I had bittersweet chocolate, not unsweetened, but I didn't feel like going to the store. So these were more milk chocolate rather than dark, but either way you make them, they're amazing.

Here is the recipe!

Brown Sugar Cookies

I have been incredibly slack about blogging lately. I have been baking, of course, but I haven't been blogging about it. I need to get better, for sure. Hopefully once this semester is over I will.

So, these are definitely the best sugar cookies. Ever. In the whole wide world. End of story. I'm not a huge fan of sugar cookies most of the time, I find them boring. This is not to say that I don't eat them if there isn't another option, but they wouldn't be my first choice. These cookies, however, may be one of my new favorite cookies. I had 4 in about two point three seconds. I would have eaten more but I'd given a lot away.

I give some of my friends at school cookies, which was ok when it was just one friend and I was giving him the extra from my baking binges, but now it is expected that I give these 4 guys something baked at least once a week, and if one of them doesn't get some, or gets less than the others, they feel the need to whine. I guess I should be flattered that they like my baking so much, haha.

But anyway. These cookies. Pure epicness. They're perfectly chewy and delicious. I made them twice in one week. I used light brown sugar. You can find the recipe here. Everything I have ever made from Baking Bites has been amazing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream Frosting

I still haven't gotten the hang of taking pictures yet :/ I know my frosting is sloppy, I didn't feel like piping it on and I kind of like the way hand-frosted cupcakes look.

So, I had this strange urge to make cupcakes today, I'm not sure why. I normally never make cupcakes. I've also been wanting to make them with some kind of fruit, I guess because it's getting to be spring time. So although it was FREEZING tonight, like, 45 degrees (it's been in the 80s recently, gotta love the south!), I decided that I NEEDED to make these cupcakes. The cupcakes recipe is from here, but I made up the buttercream frosting :D It only makes enough to frost about 9-12 cupcakes, but I only had 6 blackberries left haha. It doesn't have a super intense blackberry taste, but you could add more and then just wait on adding the cream and see how it looks. Some of the cupcakes have a strawberry buttercream but I haven't perfected that yet so I'm only posting the recipe for the blackberry buttercream. Blackberry Buttercream

6-8 frozen blackberries, mostly defrosted ½ tsp vanilla A couple drops raspberry extract A couple drops lemon extract 2 cups powdered sugar ½ cup butter, room temperature 2 tbs cream

Smoosh the blackberries into a pulp (I don't have a food processer), set aside.

Beat together butter and one cup of powdered sugar, then beat in the second cup. Add the extracts, blackberry pulp, beat. Depending on the texture, add 1-2 tbs cream or milk.

Angel Food Cake

Ok so I have been incredibly slack about baking and blogging lately. I've been super busy and haven't felt with dealing with the mess after I bake, so I just haven't baked xD BUT! Last night I made angel food cake! :) I finally got a tube pan and made it, after wanting to for FOREVER. And it actually turned out really, really well! :) I have to charge my camera and then I will take some pictures. this is the recipe I used. The only thing I did differently was that I baked it only 40 minutes, but I used a convection oven so I would just go by how your oven is. This was SO much easier than I thought and really good. And my mom is doing weight watchers and she was exciting because it was low on WW points, so that's always a plus as well :D

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's my birthdaaaaaay!

Alright sooo I've been majorly slack about blogging recently, but I have been baking. Unfortunatly, I've also been super slack about taking pictures of what I baked. BUT I'm going to take a picture of this cheesecake that was my birthday cake tomorrow (if it isn't all gone) haha.
But yeah, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY! :D woooot! I'm 19. Craziness... last year of being a teenager and I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's weird, when you're growing up, 19 seems incredibly old, but then you get there and you're still a kid. Well, I am anyway.

So for my birthday party I made these cupcakes and they were fabulous. The icing really was the best icing ever. My best friend had like, 3 and she hates icing.

And for my birthday cake for today I made this oreo cheesecake and it was AMAZING. That was the first time I made a cheesecake, so it wasn't exactly esthetically pleasing, but it was SO delicious. Also it was a whole lot less scary to make than I thought.

So anyway. I shall post pictures asap. Hope everyone had an epic weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whole Wheat Chocolate Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies

I saw these last week and thought they were the cutest thing ever. I didn't have a heart cookie cutter, but I found one yesterday for .70 cents at AC Moore, so I had to make them today. They're not as sweet as I thought they were going to be, but in a good way. They're the perfect amount of sweet. I already had about 5, but I figure since they're pretty small and thin I figure it's ok :P They are delicious!
I didn't change the recipe at all, you can find it here.
I got frusterated with rolling them out and ended up forming the dough into balls, smooshing it down on the cookie sheet with my hand, and then using a cookie cutter. It probably took longer, but it made me less irritated so it was worth it :P

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

So I'm a total slacker and didn't take a picture of this bread. I should have taken a picture right after I made it, but I had homework and I wasn't in a picture-taking mood. BUT you can just click the link and see Joy's. Mine was just slightly less awesome.
I didn't change the recipe too much, the only changes I did make were to use things I had on hand. I only had 3 bananas (although it was still quite banana-y), and I was worried about it being too dry, so I substituted olive oil for butter. I also didn't have peanuts or yogurt, so I left the peanuts out and used milk with vinegar instead. Next time I'd like to try it with peanuts, but either way it was completely delicious and I'm so glad that I made it!

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
adapted from Joy the Baker
3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

This is all almost completely copied and pasted from Joy, except that I made changes where I changed the recipe. So yeah:

"Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground allspice.
In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, buttermilk, peanut butter and oil. Whisk in eggs and sugars. Blend mixture until no sugar lumps remain.
Pour the wet mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients. Fold together with a spatula until no more flour bits remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and cake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before running a butter knife along the edges of the pan and inverting the bread onto a wire rack to cool completely.
This bread lasts, well wrapped at room temperature,for up to 4 days. It is also great to store, well wrapped, in the freezer."

From Joy the Baker
Slightly adapted because I was lacking in the ingredient department...
Oh, but I do have a picture of the terrible "scones" that we (we being my boss, one of the other girls that works there, and I) tried to make. They turned out like not very sweet, slightly tough scones. I still ate about 4 because the alternative was hot dogs. I hate hot dogs, even though I work at a hot dog place.

Raspberry "scone"
Blueberry "scone"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Extra Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies

I used to absolutely hate chocolate chip cookies. I mean, I'd still eat them if there was nothing else (they are still cookies, after all), but was not a fan. They were still preferable to oatmeal raisin, which are pretty much the most disgusting thing you could make into a cookie. I hated them until I started baking and realized that I could put milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate in them. Semi sweet chocolate is disgusting. I still am not a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies, but I definitely liked these and will be making them again.
Usually when I make chocolate chip cookies, I use this recipe, but I didn't feel like waiting around for them to chill. I had seen this recipe on My Baking Addiction a while ago and wanted to give it a try. They were AWESOME. I didn't change anything about them, except when I made them the second time, I halved them and used the same amount of vanilla as the full recipe called for. They were amaaazing. Super thick and delicious. The second time I made them smaller, and they still turned out just as good. Definitely my new favorite chocolate chip recipe.
Since I didn't change the recipe at all, I'm just going to post the link.
Click here for the recipe!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chocolate "Ugly" Cake

I've been wanting to make this cake for months, ever since I saw it on 101 Cookbooks (which is a fabulous website, by the way). It was adapted from Nigella Lawson's cookbook How to be a Domestic Goddess. I haven't tried it yet, as it just came out of the oven and you are supposed to let it sit overnight, but I will post about the taste once I have it tomorrow. It is a rather unattractive cake, but it smells absolutely amazing.

Chocolate "Ugly" Cake, adapted from 101 Cookbooks, and Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 2/3 cups loosely packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water

Preheat oven to 375, butter a loaf pan and line with parchment paper (I buttered the parchment paper, as well, but I think that was probably unnecessary).
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter until light and fluffy, then add in sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add in vanilla. Stir in chocolate until just combined, and then add 1/3 of flour mixture, stir, and 1/3 of water alternatively until everything is incorporated. It will be incredibly soupy, but that's alright.
Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes (I did 28 with my convection oven). After 30 minutes at 375, turn down to 325 and bake for another 15-18 minutes (I baked for 16).
Let loaf cool on a wire rack, and eat the next day.
Update: Just had some of it... absolutely the best chocolate cake I've ever had, and I really dislike chocolate cake normally. Will definitely be making this again!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Grandma's Pound Cake

My mom was the first person to teach me how to bake, but I'm pretty sure I inherited my love (obsession) with baking from my Dad's mom. Every Christmas and Thanksgiving she bakes for weeks before hand and freezes a crazy amount of absolutely delicious desserts to have on the holiday. She's an amazing cook as well. This past Thanksgiving we went up for the day (my grandparents live about an hour and a half away), and I baked cupcakes with her to have on Christmas with all the family, which was really awesome. She bought me a copy of the cookbook that we made the cupcakes out of and sent it to me a couple weeks later, it was really sweet and the cookbook and some seriously delicious looking recipes.
Last time we were up there, my Grandma gave me a recipe that she had had for about 30 years for pound cake. My aunt had it from her home-ec class when she was in school, and my Grandma used that recipe since. I didn't change it at all, because if it's good enough for her to use for 30 years, it certainly doesn't need changing.
The reason I decided to make this was because my mother decided that since butter was on sale at Harris Teeter and she had a coupon, she needed to buy 20 pounds of butter. I fully support this decision, since everyone knows that one can never have too much butter. This recipe uses an entire pound of butter, but it makes a lot and its completely worth it. You could also leave out the extracts, but I like the taste of them. For some reason almonds taste like cherries to me, I'm not sure why, and I absolutely love cherries.
I'm not 100% sure on the times, because I tend to put a crazy low time and then check from there, because I'm absolutely paranoid about burning anything. I always forget to keep track of the time. But I'll give you a general idea.
I apologize for these terrible pictures, I am not a photographer in any way, shape, or form, unfortunately.

Butter, sugar, and eggs

Grandma's Pound Cake
Makes 2 loaves and 12 muffins, or one bundt cake

1 lb butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs, room temp
4 cups flour
3/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350, grease 12 muffin tins and two loaf pans (or one bundt pan).
Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy (about 5-ish minutes).
Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in extracts.
Add in flour and milk alternatively into butter mixture, starting and ending with flour. Beat until completely combined.
Pour into baked pans.
Baking times:
Cupcakes- I think about 20 minutes. They'll spring back slightly when touched. The outsides will be brown but the middle of the tops might still be slightly pale.
Loaves- I think around 45-55 minutes. The tops of these won't spring back as much, or at least they didn't for me. I used a tooth pick and took them out when it didn't have any crumbs.
I'm not sure about the times for the bundt, as I've never made it and I forgot to write down times when I copied down the recipe, oops!

One thing that I was wondering today, do other people talk to the things they are baking or cooking? I do this regularly. I ask risotto if it's cooking properly, I ask bread of its going to rise correctly, I ask cookies if they're undercooked. I also throw hissy fits if anything goes wrong. Well, not all the time, but if it's a stupid mistake that I made. There have been a few times where I literally have thrown something across the room. It's pretty ridiculous. I tend to have very long conversations with the things I'm making then, alternatively pleading with them to just come out of the pan nicely, and telling them that they're stupid. I'm pretty sure that qualifies me as crazy, but at least I don't expect the food to talk back. There was minimal talking on this baking experience, pound cake is pretty straight forward but super delicious :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vanilla muffins

So, I haven't posted in a while. Well, maybe not that long... I think it's been like, a week and a half or something. I'm not sure. But anyways... I haven't baked much in the past week and a half. I did make some of Joy the Baker's whole wheat molasses bread, which was pretty fabulous. I used sour cream and blackstrap molasses just because that was what we had in the house and I was feeling too lazy to go out at 9 at night. It still turned out wonderfully, although next time I'd add a little milk because it was a little dry since I used sour cream.

I also made some cookies the other day but they turned out badly. Well, they tasted great, but they were not aesthetically pleasing at all. So instead of pitching a fit and then throwing them out, I went to the store, got the stuff to make ice cream, and made some pretty delicious ice cream. It wasn't a good consistency, but it did taste pretty yummy.
I'm going to keep working on the cookie recipe because I think it will be good once I can get the cookies the right texture/thickness.

When I was about 5, my mother, sister and I would go to this coffee shop/bakery by my old house a lot. I think my mom usually got cream cheese muffins, my sister got some form of chocolate, and I always, always got vanilla. They were wonderful. Humongous and super vanilla-y. Maybe that's where I got my obsession with vanilla from. I add way too much vanilla to everything, because I just think it makes everything taste better. The same with malt and cinnamon, but I just had vanilla in these muffins.
They weren't like the ones at the bakery, but they were definitely delicious. I think next time I'd cut down a little on the sugar, because they were very sweet. I had added 1/4 cup less sugar than the original recipe, but even that was a bit much. They were also a lot lighter in texture than the ones from the bakery, but that was definitely a good thing. I think they could have been a little heavier, as they were almost cupcake like, but they were still very good. It only takes about 5 minutes to put these together, which is awesome as well. I over-filled mine because I love muffins with big tops, but you could fill to about 3/4 full and get more muffins. I filled mine up to the top almost, and got 12 muffins.

Vanilla Muffins
Adapted from The Singing Chef

2 cups flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tbs vanilla
Preheat oven to 350, line 12 muffin tins with papers
Sift together the dry ingredients, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon into muffin tins and bake 18-21 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nigella Lawson's Bread

I made this last week, but I kept forgetting to post it. I'm posting a picture now, and will be posting the recipe soon :) It was definitely the best bread I've made so far. I haven't completely gotten the hang of bread yet, I think most of my problem is stressing too much about burning it so I take it out of the oven soon. This bread was delicious though, and gone very fast.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Random Chip Cookies

I was bored last night and felt like baking, so I decided to use up the rest of the half bags of random chocolate chips. They actually turned out really well. They were a bit sweet last night, but I tried them again today and I feel like they're less sweet. Obviously you could make these with normal chocolate chips, that's what the regular recipe called for, I just wanted to see what would happen if I threw all the extras together :P I used white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, toffee bits, and butterscotch chips. Soooo yummy!

Any Chip Cookies

Adapted from Joy Of Cooking

Makes about 3 dozen cookies (ish... forgot to count)

1/2 cup shortening (I ran out of butter)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup plus 2 tbs flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together shortening (or butter, you could obviously use that too), and sugars, then beat in egg and vanilla. Sift in flour, salt, and baking soda and stir until completely incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips. Bake for about 9 minutes, until slightly brown on the edges but still not completely set in the middle. Cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire cookie racks.

Nigella's Snickerdoodles

I got "How To Be a Domestic Goddess" by Nigella Lawson out of the library yesterday, and I decided to try her snickerdoodle cookie recipe. I looked it up online to see what other people who made these had thought of them, and the majority of them seemed to think they tasted a bit like donuts. I think it's the nutmeg.
I thought they were sort of a strange texture at first, but they're really, really good. A bit dry, but not in a bad way. Also, they're cute. They look like little pebbles.
She said they made about 32, but I think I only got about 18-20 out of them.

Here is the recipe:
Slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson

1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tbs for rolling
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 tbs cinnamon for rolling
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in egg and vanilla. Slowly stir in dry ingredients until fully incoporated.
Combine cinnamon and 1 tbs sugar. Roll dough into a walnut sized ball (mine were bigger than walnuts, but not too much bigger), and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 14 minutes (not exactly sure the time of this, Nigella said 15 and I started with 10 and kept adding until they were done). Let cool slighly on cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

I've been wanting to make these for a while, but we never ever have sour cream (I find it completely disgusting, unless it's baked into something), but I actually remembered to buy some last night when we went to the store, soooo I made some :)
They were sooo good. I was lazy and didn't roll them in cocoa powder or powdered sugar, but next time I will chill them until they're firm enough to roll into balls, and then roll them in cocoa powder/powdered sugar.
They have a really great texture, and they're very rich, I think partially from all the butter, but also from the sour cream. They were very chocolate-y and sweet because I used milk chocolate chips, but not too sweet. I will definitely be making these again :)
Chocolate Truffle Cookies
Adapted from Baking Bites

1 1/4 cups butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Cream butter, stir in sugar, then beat using a mixer (so that powdered sugar doesn't fly everywhere when you're trying to mix it in). Sift in cocoa powder, malt and salt, mix until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla and sour cream.
With the mixer on low, slowly add in flour until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll into balls (I just used a spoon and my finger and put the dough on the cookie sheets that way), and place on cookie sheets. They don't spread much.
Bake for about 9 minutes, until barely set. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dorky post

This is going to sound like a dorky post buuut.
YAY! :D Thank you guys for reading and commenting on my blog! I've had like, 200 views in the last 24 hours because of the post on Cookie Madness :D So excited! I absolutely LOVE her blog and I am seriously rediculously excited that she actually read my blog, haha. I know I'm such a dork, but whatever :P haha.

Also, I seriously need to get started on the Daring Cook's challenge... I think the reveal date is the 17th? I'm not sure. I need to go look. But it looks hard. And I just checked the Daring Baker's challenge for this month, and I have to say that it looks preeetty petrifying :P I will try though! If I can get my stuff together xD I guess we shall see... I'll probably post when I actually finish it. Not details until the reveal date, obviously. But just that I finished the challenge and probably that I ruined it xD And then post pictures and details and all that jazz when it is the reveal date.

All done rambling :P Hope everyone has a good weekend! I plan to bake something tomorrow... kind of craving chocolate cake... hmmm...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I already have the recipe on here, but I just wanted to post pictures because I made it again today and got some pictures...
It is deliciousss. One of the loaves is already 3/4 gone, and only two people have eaten it so far :P Super yum! The link for the recipe is here

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vanilla Ice Cream

I made ice cream for the first time last night. It was AMAZING. SO worth the effort. Probably about the same price as buying ice cream at the store and it tastes a thousand times better. This was the first time I've ever made ice cream and it was delicious.
The picture I have is terrible, but I'll try to take a better one later.
I only chilled it for about 2 hours, because I was impatient :P

Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz
1 cup whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

This is mostly copied and pasted from his website, because he can do a better job explaining than I can.

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.
2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
6. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

White Chocolate Sugar Cookies

These are delicious. I was very tempted to eat all the dough before it could even go in the oven. It was worth baking them, though. The edges got crispy and the middle was chewy. Sooo good. Definitely use good quality chocolate. I used ghirardelli white chocolate baking bar, white and milk chocolate chips for these. The original recipe had dried cranberries, but none of my family like fruit in their cookies.
Sorry these pictures are so terrible, but the cookies are SO good! :)

White Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Baking Bites
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk (or semi-sweet) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350, line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Melt the 2 oz of white chocolate, set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in egg, then vanilla and white chocolate. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls, place on sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are brown and center is just set.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

pancakes and browned butter peanut butter cookies

Yum! Sooo much peanut butter

Mmmmm delicious :D

Yay for chocolate chips! The 5 year old didn't want them... the 16 year old did. Weird little 5 year old child...

Browned butter specks right thurrrrr :P

So today I decided to try browning butter when I made peanut butter cookies. I think I may have over-browned it, but they still tasted good :D They were very thick and almost fudgy. I think part of that was the peanut butter chips, too. You don' t need to add those, but they definitely make it better. If I had peanuts I would have added them, too, but we never have peanuts. Chocolate chips would also taste good, I'm sure, but I really just wanted mass amounts of peanut butter haha.
Also, I tried Nutella for the first time. Oh my lord. Definitely going to find something to bake this in soon :P

Browned butter double peanut butter cookies
adapted from
1/2 cup browned butter
3/4 cup crunchy butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 eggs
1-1/4 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Brown butter and set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Cream together sugars and butter, stir in peanut butter, then egg and vanilla until fully incorporated. Slowly mix in dry ingredients and then mix in peanut butter chips.
Chill in fridge for an hour or freezer for 30 minutes. Form into balls, flatten slightly and bake at 350 for about 9 minutes.

I make these pancakes for my little sister sometimes, because she's obsessed with pancakes and these are delicious and super fluffy

adapted from

3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons malted milk powder

Put milk and vinegar in a bowl to sour for 5 minutes.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, malted milk powder, and salt.
Whisk egg and vanilla into milk and then whisk into dry ingredients. Do not wisk until all the lumps are gone!
Pour onto lightly greased preheated pan and cook until the batter starts to bubble. Flip over and cook until cooked through.
Throw some chocolate chips or berries onto the batter right after you pour it into the pan. YUM.