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Happy 60th Birthday Cake!

11 Dec

Carved 60 numbesThis weekend I made a wonderful almond cake in the shape of a 60! It is so wonderful when you get a referral client. I made this cake for a person that attended, the Movie Cake party, the Tre Chic Party AND the Jungle Junction party. That just warms my heart that she though of me to make the cake for her fathers 60th Birthday! Feeling very blessed!

I recently came to the realization that I started doing this in April 2012. I started taking the wilton classes in January finished the 4th course in april and here I am 9 months later!!! Just amazing it almost seems unreal!

Anyways back to the cake! This recipe was to die for. I have always just added almond flavor to my vanilla cake recipe and voila Almond cake. I thought I would really try something different this time around. I found this great Almond Pound cake recipe from Paula Deen. If you are looking for an almond cake please try this recipe! On a side note my room mate and boyfriend ate all the cake scraps after carving with left over buttercream!

After baking I got to carving (see here for my post on how to do this). This time it was much easier that the Movie cake because I had a bit more experience (always bodes well) . That took about an hour to get all the pieces cut and frosted and assembled on the board. Then I covered in fondant and decorated it.

Covered 60 numbers

I used gold spray to give a air brushed affect across the top  and cut out some stars in black as accents. My client wanted little messages on the cake about her dad. I made those with fondant and painted the blue onto the ribbon for more of gloss effect and used edible markers for the other text.handpainted gold letters

For the message on the front my client loved the letters in the Jungle Junction cake so I melted down some chocolate and made the letters using one of the Plastic molds I like. I HAND PAINTED every one of them gold with edible luster dust. That took an hour because I had to make sure every spot was colored. Trust me I wished often why no one has invented golden and sparkly chocolate, or I just have not come across it yet.  I laid a thin strip of fondant down and placed the letters across the front of cake. Then I was finally done.

Finished cake 2
Finished cake 1

High School 10 year Class of 2002 Reunion Cake

3 Dec

High School Reunion cake

Morristown High School Class of 2002 congrats on your 10 year reunion! This was a fun cake to make. I just wish that someone did not bump into the cake box as I entered the venue and bent the letters on the front back:(  Don’t you hate when that happens. The school had a pool and boasted success  in many sports and theatre. This picture does not show but the sides were maroon lockers and there were even hand made books for the classes favorite subjects.

The top tier was a spiced rum cake (recipe here) and the bottom vanilla and red velvet cake. Man was that spiced rum layer delicious.

Here is to another 10 years MHS!

What a Toffee Crunch Cookie Surprise!

21 May

Last weekend my sweetie made me cookies! He thought since I bake for him all the time he wanted to return the favor! (I feel so lucky!) So after we hung around the apartment on Friday night he wonders over to the kitchen. Casually he asked ” Hey hun where is the butter and stuff?” I say ” For?” He replies “I need the stuff to make you some cookies”. What a Surprise!

We had picked up the toffee at the supermarket earlier that week because I was going to make him some toffee cookies, I guess he had other plans! So naturally I had to get pictures of this.

The whole process was just hilarious to watch! He at first thought he should just dump all ingredients in the bowl and mix them. Or he did not quite know what it meant to “cream the butter and sugar”. I am glad I caught him. Imagine the first time you learned correctly measure dry ingredients or how to PROPERLY use a hand mixer. I think I am still finding dried cookie batter that splashed out of the bowl on he walls and floor. What I enjoyed was the perplexed look on his face. You know the ” am I doing this right?” face. Overall this was just a nice activity to do together. To teach him about the thing I love to do the most. So I was not making fun of him but I was thoroughly entertained.

And Let me tell you folks, they were sooooo  good!  Chewy, soft and the toffee gave them a light sweet crunch. I just loved them. After the first batch we had some extra batter and added some chopped nuts to them and that made them even better! So a big thanks to my sweetie for making me the happiest baker ever!

Recommendations from the Baked Scientist:

1. You can also add some chocolate chip morsels if you want a but more chocolate in them.

2. Any type of nut or dried fruit you love will add a nice crunch and flavor to these.

3. Be awesome to your significant other because one day they might just make you cookies or something else you love.

He found this recipe on Foodnetwork.com

Toffee Crunch Cookies

Recipe courtesy Jeannie Eddy (1st Place)

Prep Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 45 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag toffee candy bits
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup sweetened flake coconut
  • 1 cup chopped whole, skinned almonds

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat the eggs slightly; then add to the butter mixture and mix well. Sift flour, salt and baking soda; then add slowly to the moist ingredients and mix thoroughly. Mix in the toffee bits, oatmeal, coconut and nuts.

Drop dough by the teaspoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Sort of Alley’s Strawberry Pink Lemonade Cookies!

18 Apr

The pink cookies

Thank you Alley!  Her blog  At home with Alley  has great recipes and fun ways to spice up your kitchen. Her awesome Strawberry Pink Lemonade Cookie Recipe was no exception. So I CONFESS I did not actually make the exact recipe like I had planned, but with good reason. First I realized I forgot to buy strawberry cake mix! I then thought I had some cake mix that I could add strawberry coloring and wilton flavoring to, but  I didn’t even have that. ( sad face)

The Baked Scientist actually had to be a scientist. I actually am a scientist in real life so I should be able to handle a lil recipe hocus pocus. Right?  To pull this off, I ended up putting a homemade yellow cake and cookie recipe together! I feel super accomplished because they came out perfect.

I am not going to post the recipe for this just yet. There are a few tweaks I have to make. Don’t worry Alley I plan on making your recipe as well soon!  I am so very proud of myself for being so creative. The cookies themselves were a little too sweet; probably because I added sugar AND lemonade mix but the texture was chewy soft and DELICIOUS!

So here is my challenge to you all… be like a scientist in your kitchen… make your own creations you just might surprise yourself!

Yummy Gooey Cookies on a Saturday!

25 Mar

Yesterday I Made Cookies!

My chewy chocolate chip and strawberry jam shortbread cookies. I love both of these recipes because as usual they are very easy to make. The shortbread ones are a recipe from Ina Garten and chocolate chip from a Co-worker. I lost to him in a department bake off years ago and I just had to have that recipe. Here are the pictures I took. 

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Tips from The Baked Scientist:

– These Chocolate Chip cookies are so chewy and gooey, even after cooling. The key is melting the butter then mixing with sugar as opposed to creaming the butter and sugar. Yes that extra yolk makes a big difference! Here is a link to video by Alton Brown about cooking texture. Learn about to make Thin, Chewy or Cake like cookies. I found it super useful.

– You can add anything to these CC cookies. I like white chocolate/cranberry or chocolate chunks with nuts or anything you can think up. Be creative as long as your base is good and you are not introducing any liquids you should be fine.

–  How did I get the jelly in those shortbreads? To be honest I have tried to make these by just doing a thumb print in the cookie. However, the jelly bubbles over the sides. BIG DISASTER. So I figured out a different way. Basically you make a inlay cut. Now those Pepperidge Farm Veronas are no longer that hard to make!

  1. You need three cookie cutters. Rolled out dough and cut out the largest cookie size, 1/4 to1/2  inch thick.
  2. Cut a smaller circle, smaller than the first.
  3. Then cut a hole in the second circle, basically making a hole.
  4. Lay the second circle with the hole in it on top of the first cookie.  Fill it will your choices of jelly.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Dilemma

10 Mar

Last weekend, in addition to making that fab pumpkin pudding cake I also made Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana bread. My boyfriend wanted to have banana bread with chocolate chips so I made one special just for him <3. Here is the picture to prove it.

So I cut half of the bread and brought it over to my boyfriend’s thinking I would be back the next day. I should have cut a slice and photographed it then. But I figured I would be back the next day.

When I got home, the glass loaf pan was on the stove, covered but guess what…. NO PUMPKIN BANANA BREAD! So me being a scientist, I had to use the scientific method to deduce the answer to this problem!

Question #1: Did I take the whole loaf?… No I am positive called the BF to confirm.

Question #2: Maybe I took it out and put it in the fridge? …. NOPE. Can’t be the case because it was still hot when I left (never put hot baked thing in fridge) and secondly, when I looked it was not in the fridge. Where the HELL IS MY PUMPKIN BANANA BREAD? 

Moving on Question #3: Did my roommates eat it? My roommates are pretty good about not eating my baked stuff in their ENTIRETY, especially without saying something. Maybe it accidentally fell on the floor or something? I checked the garbage can. Not in there. So my preliminary conclusion based on results was, they ate it!

I wait for said Roommate to get home, the other one was not here so they were not questioned. I inquired. He said I didn’t eat any Banana Bread! I don’t even like banana bread! (Remember that who stole the cookie from the cookie jar game?) Well someone ate it. All of a sudden his face changed. He says “Unless my friend that came over ate it and didn’t tell me?”  Yes people he was correct his friend came over and ate the rest of my Pumpkin Banana bread!

Here is his story: Well, I had a little tiny piece and it tasted really good. So then I thought this would taste even better if I warmed up. So I cut another slice and heated it up in the microwave. It was sooooo good! So then I had to have another piece and another slice and then well, it was done, gone, finished! It was super good, my birthday is next week can you bake me something?

People you can imagine my inner anger. Who comes to someone’s house eats all of his or her food and doesn’t say anything? He claims he forgot to mention it. But the other part of me thought. It was THAT good? So good he just couldn’t stop and he ate it all! Damn I am good baker!

It was so good that you can bake it for yourself. Super moist, tasty and not too sweet.

Suggestions from the Baked Scientist:

  • Up the sugar by 1/4 cup if you want something a little sweeter. I do not always like my treats sweet.
  • I did half a can of pumpkin filling and 3 bananas. However, you can play with that combo as much as you want just don’t go over 15 oz. Make it all banana or all pumpkin, it’s up to you.
  • To prevent your chips from sinking to the bottom  I added them to the flour mixture

 

2 Cups all Purpose Flour

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup  semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup of nuts of your choice (optional)

1/2 cup  softened butter

15 oz  canned pumpkin & banana ( see suggestions)

1 1/2 cup of sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring

Oven: 350°F

Pan: Loaf Pan ( 9X5X3)

  • Coat your pan with cooking spray or shortening.  If you  are ambitious you can line with parchment paper ( I didn’t).
  • Combine all dry ingredients: Flour, pumpkin spice, salt, baking soda and powder AND chocolate Chips.
  • Combine wet ingredients: Butter, Pumpkin/banana mixture, sugar, eggs, sour cream and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. DO NOT OVER MIX it will make your bread very dense not light and moist.
  • Add your flour mixture one cup at a time to wet ingredients until  just combined.
  • Spoon batter into pans and bake for 65 to 70 minutes  (so worth the wait) or until knife/toothpick come out clean from center.
  • They say to let it cool completely but it smells so good while it bakes, taste is ASAP, I wont tell on you!

 

** Recipe adapted from the mixingbowl.com

 

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