I learned to love baking early on. I started with box-mix brownies and of course, cookies. Chocolate chip, gingersnaps, and Snickerdoodles were a few of my early favorites. I fondly remember being about 12 years old and making a batch of Snickerdoodles, and then happily bringing a warm napkin-wrapped cookie out to my dad who was working in the front yard. Today, I'm lucky enough to still live just minutes away from my parents, making it easy to share my baking efforts with them. It goes the other way, too- the other day, I stopped by to pick something up at my parents' house and my mom sent me home with a few warm buttermilk pancakes, fresh off the griddle, wrapped in a paper towel.
These ... [Continue Reading]
A real s'more, made with a warm, gooey marshmallow that has just been toasted over a crackling fire, is a real treat. It's not surprising that s'more-inspired treats have been popping up on blogs in all corners of the internet this summer. There is just something special about s'mores, and I can't help but pin so many of these treats. The only s'more dessert that I've actually made this summer, though, are these cookies (plus a few microwave s'mores, which can't compare to the real thing).
I actually made two batches of these cookies in a row, one week and then the next, because I liked them so much. Which surprised me because I was not sure how much I liked these when I first tasted ... [Continue Reading]
Wait, didn't I just post a recipe for blackberry crumb bars? Aren't crumb bars and pie bars basically the same thing? Yes, actually, they are. But I made both recipes within days of each other and both are totally worthy of sharing here. If you asked me to choose which dessert bar I liked better, I couldn't. Each is equally irresistible and easy to make. The main difference is that the fruit filling in these peach pie bars has eggs and Greek yogurt mixed in, which creates a creamy, fruity filling. Both recipes are completely adaptable to whichever fruits you're craving at the moment.
I have been eying this recipe for a long, long time. Pie bars are great because, well, they are pie in a ... [Continue Reading]
I just can't get enough of the fresh summer fruits that are available right now. Blueberries, strawberries, and peaches are my three absolute favorites, but raspberries and blackberries are also high up there on my list. Most of the time I enjoy fresh fruit on my morning bowl of oatmeal or cereal, as a side with my lunch, or sometimes as a topping for Greek yogurt.
Other times, though, I take advantage of sweet summer fruits by turning them into dessert. It's hard to beat a fresh fruit crisp, cobbler, or pie topped with a little vanilla ice cream.
If you took a crisp and crossed it with a pie, you would get these crumb bars. One dough makes both the bottom crust and crumb topping, ... [Continue Reading]
I bake cookies all the time, but somehow it's been a long time since I've made biscotti. Lately Brad has been reminding me of that fact, telling me more than once that I really need to bake some biscotti sometime. The other morning I had a few extra minutes and felt like playing around in the kitchen, so I mixed up the dough for these cranberry almond biscotti. Biscotti are very easy to make. You bake the cookies twice- first the dough is shaped into two logs and baked, and then you bake the cookies a second time after slicing the logs into individual biscotti.
These cranberry almond biscotti are a wonderful treat for breakfast or a snack. They are crisp on the outside and slightly soft ... [Continue Reading]
I've been on a bit of an oatmeal kick lately. We have oatmeal for breakfast most mornings, and I've made homemade granola, oatmeal muffins (recipe to come soon!), and oatmeal cookies. Then, I decided to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but with some cocoa powder added in to make them Cocoa Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
These cookies are the best of many worlds. The cocoa powder lends a subtle cocoa flavor to the cookies, which are deliciously soft and chewy. The oats contribute to the chewy texture, and the chocolate chips give an added dose of chocolate flavor. If you're lucky enough to have a free couple of minutes in your afternoon, pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy one of ... [Continue Reading]
A donut pan is one of those kitchen gadgets that always looked like it would be fun to own, but was probably not something that I would buy for myself. So I was super excited when I won a donut pan that Tracey was giving away on her blog! It arrived in the mail on Friday and I made my first batch of donuts on Sunday morning. They were really easy to make, and while they aren't health food, they're not too bad, either, since they're baked and not fried. Thanks again, Tracey for the fun giveaway!
I made these maple donuts with cinnamon sugar and they turned out really good. I had actually bookmarked the recipe in the middle of the night while feeding William. Lately, I've been catching up on ... [Continue Reading]
Sometimes, you want a sugar cookie, but don't want to go through the process of rolling out dough, cutting out shapes, and decorating. For those times, these soft frosted sugar cookies are the perfect solution. They're quick and easy to make, and turn out just as cute as decorated sugar cookies, especially if you add some fun sprinkles.
The cookies are super soft and just about melt in your mouth. I've made them a couple of times now, and this last time I made them in mini size. I like the mini size so much better than the large cookies; they are just the right size for snacking. The large cookies, while delicious, were a bit much to eat in one sitting.
These cookies are fun to make ... [Continue Reading]
This pound cake was my first baking project after William was born. I could not wait to get back into the kitchen, especially since I wasn't able to enjoy sweets while pregnant (and therefore didn't bake much). The other day, William was fed and napping and I was feeling up to it, so I made this ricotta orange pound cake.
I've enjoyed a couple of slices of this cake with a morning cup of coffee, but it's actually more of a dessert treat than a breakfast treat. It's incredibly rich and buttery, with a delicious orange flavor. The cake would make a great dessert topped with some fresh strawberries. I'd recommend macerating the strawberries to bring out their juices, by sprinkling them ... [Continue Reading]
Last week we celebrated my birthday. Usually I would make some sort of cake or cupcakes to celebrate, but since I'm following my low-carb diet I decided not to. As the day went on, though, I started thinking about Julia and how she was going to think Mommy's birthday isn't much fun at all, with no cake or presents. (I'd already treated myself to a new wallet and had received my other gifts before my birthday.)
That leads us to these cookies. I thought Julia and I could have some fun together after school baking them, and then we put a candle in one after dinner to sing, "Happy Birthday." So, I made myself birthday cookies, but mainly for Julia since I shouldn't be eating them (although I ... [Continue Reading]
As my due date approaches, my nesting instinct has kicked in, compelling me to organize, clean, and do other tasks around the house to get ready for baby. Maybe what they call nesting is real, or maybe it's just a myth, but either way, over the past few weeks I've felt the need to clean out the refrigerator and freezer, organize my desk, update my photo albums, make sure my recipe binder is up-to-date, and keep the house clean and tidy. And that doesn't include all of the getting-ready-for baby tasks that I've enjoyed doing, especially washing, folding, and putting away all of those cute little clothes, washcloths, blankets, and burpcloths. How come laundry is so fun when it's in preparation ... [Continue Reading]
Coffee lover that I am, I was so excited to try these Vanilla Latte Cupcakes. Coffee-flavored cupcakes are topped with a Vanilla Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Yum. I especially loved the flavor of the cupcakes themselves, and would have no problem eating them without frosting. The frosting and coffee bean garnish do make for a really pretty presentation, though, don't they?
This was the first time I've tried making a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and it was a success. I had read about this type of frosting many times, and was interested to see how it differed from a regular buttercream frosting. Swiss Meringue Buttercream does take more time to make, but isn't really all that ... [Continue Reading]
I had a special reason for wanting to bake some blueberry cupcakes, so when Brad came home from the grocery store with fresh blueberries I knew it was meant to be. Although we're in the middle of winter, the blueberries were delicious and just perfect in these cupcakes.
The cupcakes themselves are not overly sweet, and are almost more like a muffin than a cupcake. And the cream cheese frosting (oh how I love cream cheese frosting!) is sweet and tangy, and is just right with the cupcakes.
One year ago: Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin
Makes 24 cupcakes (can be halved to yield 12 cupcakes)
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose ... [Continue Reading]
If you love Oreo cookies, then these are the cupcakes for you. To start, half of an Oreo is hidden at the bottom of the cupcake. Then, chopped Oreo pieces are mixed into a delicious cupcake base. Finally, the cupcakes are topped with Oreo whipped cream and half of an Oreo cookie. These cupcakes are definitely indulgent, but I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding friends to share them with!
One year ago: Vanilla Ice Cream, Philadelphia-Style
Oreo Cookie Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room ... [Continue Reading]
Lately Julia has really gotten excited about helping me in the kitchen. This week we decided to bake some cranberry orange muffins. Julia loves to help scoop the flour and sugar into the measuring cups, and give her a spoon or whisk and she is an expert mixer. :)
These muffins were especially fun to bake together because they required us to make freshly squeezed orange juice. Ever since she was little, my plastic hand juicer has been one of her favorite "toys." That little orange and yellow juicer has provided her with hours of fun, taking it apart, putting it back together, so you can imagine how much she enjoyed using it to juice some real oranges. (Funny how random things around the ... [Continue Reading]
On a recent trip to the grocery store, while waiting in the checkout line, the special issue of Fine Cooking: Holiday Baking caught my eye. I picked it up, quickly looked through it, and knew I had to have it. The magazine has recipes for cookies, pies, cakes (including cheesecakes!) and breads, many of which I can't wait to try. These Dark Chocolate Crackles were my first choice of what to bake from the many delicious-looking recipes.
When reading through the brief description and ingredient list for these cookies, I was intrigued by the addition of orange zest to the batter. I know that chocolate and orange can be a wonderful combination, so I was expecting these cookies to be good, and ... [Continue Reading]
Made with four different grains, these muffins have a heartiness to them that makes them perfect for breakfast on those days when you need something to grab and go. The cornmeal in the muffins gives them an almost savory taste, so they would also be great for a light lunch, paired with some cheese and fruit. The maple syrup lends just a hint of sweetness to the muffins.
I added raisins and toasted pecans to my muffins, and you can use whatever fruit and nut combination you like, or omit them altogether. These Great Grains Muffins would be delicious spread with a little honey butter, and are a healthy way to satisfy your sweets craving.
One year ago: Swiss Enchiladas and Sugar-Topped ... [Continue Reading]
This is my second month participating in The Secret Recipe Club. Each month, participating bloggers are assigned another blog, and you choose a recipe from that blog to make and blog about. Until the posting day, you keep secret which blog you are assigned. This month I was assigned the blog ButterYum. ButterYum is written by Patricia, a mom of 4, and has many delicious recipes for everything from main dishes to appetizers to baked goods.
After looking through many of Patricia's recipes, I decided on one that had initially caught my eye, a banana cake with vanilla frosting. The original recipe calls for using vanilla bean paste in the frosting so that you have vanilla bean frosting, but I ... [Continue Reading]