I love this time of year mostly because I have a great excuse to put pumpkin into my baking. I love pumpkin cakes, pumpkin pies and most of all, pumpkin cookies. The other day I pulled out my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe and headed to the kitchen. Half way there I had decided to make a few tweaks to it. The end result ended up being more like a muffin than a cookie; however it was perfect right after dinner, as well as first thing in the morning. To get your hands on a muffin-top styled pumpkin chocolate chunk cookie, read more
Last weekend a bunch of gals were coming over to chat and drink some wine. I planned a quick array of things to nosh on — cheese, crackers, grapes, strawberries, etc. — but really wanted to make something. That's when I remembered the Goat Cheese Cheesecake that TeamSugar member Mokona posted a few weeks ago. Goat cheese + cheesecake? How come I hadn't tried it already?
The flavor was sweeter than I anticipated, but the lemon really balanced out the "goatiness." The crust — which is made from Animal Crackers — also added the perfect texture and flavor. If you're looking to stray from the classic recipe — and I highly recommend that you do — then give this one a try! For the recipe, read more
When I asked the Sugar HQ what kind of cookies I should make for this week's 52 Weeks of Baking project, BuzzSugar quickly answered, "LEMON!" I couldn't turn down such an enthusiastic request, and so lemon cookies it was. She specifically asked for crisp lemon cookies, however when searching for a recipe, I kept seeing ones that called for lemon cake mix instead. At first I kept looking for something else, but then I figured why not make it easy on myself? Why not start with a cake mix?
In the end I was really glad I did. These cookies came out fluffy and light, with a slightly crisp outside. They also come together in no time at all. To get the recipe and see my step by step photos, read more
I decided that this week would be a great week for cupcakes. I entered my kitchen with visions of fall colors and flavors, but was sidetracked when I saw a bottle of champagne and several pears. Pears and champagne are nice together, so wouldn't they be nicer in a cute sweet cupcake? I started with a variety of vanilla cupcake recipes and experimented from there. I shredded up the pears, and popped open the champagne. About an hour later, I was left with one of the moistest cakes I'd ever eaten. I've baked a lot of things this year, but this is definitely one of my favorites. I topped them with a good dose of cream cheese frosting, but they were great plain too. To check out the recipe for Bubbly Pear Cupcakes, read more
When it came time to work on this week's baking project, I promptly thought of pretzels. My friend Molly's been bugging me all year long for soft baked pretzels, and every week I keep saying I'll do them next time. However it's her birthday this week, so I thought I would finally get around to it. I was out all weekend, so I knew I'd have to find an easy, weekday recipe. There's an hour of proofing involved, but the one I found goes together easily and tastes great too. You can get it started, and then set it aside to rise while you eat dinner. To check out the recipe for soft baked pretzels, keep reading.
Last week I saw that Tartelette went out and baked some delicious looking doughnuts. When I read her post I knew immediately — if not sooner — that I had found my next baking project. The recipe comes from another respected food blogger, so I knew I couldn't go wrong.
A packet of yeast and a few hours later, YumJimmy and I were noshing down on delicious baked doughnuts. The recipe has definitely got to be healthier than fried dough, but don't trick yourself too much, they're still dipped in butter and rolled in sugar. Or if you feel like it, go ahead and trick yourself, they're definitely worth it!
To get the recipe and see my step-by-step pics, read more
This week I decided to brave it out, and put my excuses — small kitchen, no room in the freezer, no pastry blender, etc. — aside and bake a pie. My friend Becky had some ripe pears off of her tree, and I still had a few of the apples from geeksugar. So with fresh produce in hand, and a few recipes at my fingertips I decided to roll out some dough and make a pie.
Things were not so great. I'll admit it now, I'm not great with pastry crust. Pie eludes me and while I successfully managed to create a bottom crust, the upper crust was difficult and not easy to work with — I should have put it back in the freezer first. After ruining what was left of the dough, I went into panic mode until I remembered I didn't need a top crust and could make a crumble instead. So I whipped up a few ingredients and sprinkled the crumble on top.
Overall it ended up being a delightful pie — the pears and apples really play nicely together — and when paired with a scoop of ice cream, it was absolutely heavenly. Oh and I know it doesn't quite look like a slice of pie, but like I said, pie eludes me...
To check out the recipe I used, read more
This week YumJimmy asked if I could bake something that he would like. In other words, he wanted to know if I could bake something containing a lot of chocolate and not much else. Initially I thought I'd make cupcakes, but have already baked great chocolate ones this year. So after about two seconds more of thought, I decided to treat him to a batch of super-rich brownies. To check out the simple, stove-top recipe — and you really should, it makes the best brownies — read more
As you may have heard, geeksugar recently brought in a large bag of apples. She didn't know what to do with them, so Party and I have decided to make treats for the office. I originally intended on bringing a pie, but the pie pan has gone MIA and I wasn't quite feeling like a tart. What I was feeling like was a big gooey caramel mess. So I took out my trusty peeler and went to work. The result was like caramel apple pie filling on a thin oaty crust. In other words, it was a teeth-rotting delicious caramel treat. For the simple — honestly, the apple peeling is the hardest part — recipe, read more
A few years ago, I became obsessed with biscotti. I found myself making batch after batch of the traditional Italian cookie - which roughly translates to "twice baked" - trying to find a recipe that was tasty on its own, as well as dunked into a frothy latte. Eventually I landed on a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis that combines fragrant citrus flavors with a lovely layer of chocolate. That alone should have made it the winner, however it was actually the addition of corn meal that pushed it over the edge. The texture is unlike most biscotti and you'll find that you'll be perfectly happy snacking on them with or without coffee. And believe it or not, biscotti is actually quite easy to make - so check out the recipe read more