Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Julia Child!

Saturday night... 8 pm.... bored out of my mind = cake baking.

 My new job at cakejournal is fantastic, and also inspiring me! I love that people I don't know - and don't even live in the United States! - are reading my posts and interested in my baking. So one of the readers suggested I make the cake I wrote about from the movie, Julie & Julia. So, I did.

I made the Chocolate and Almond cake -  Reine de Saba - In French, with the Chocolate Icing - Glacage au Chocolat - fantasitc icing, amazing, will make again!

I have to be honest, I was out of sugar and butter and so I had to use Splenda and Crisco, which probably led to my cake being less than perfect, but I saved the few tablespoons of butter for the frosting, which was completly worth it!

I also think I may have overbaked the cake a bit, which is strange considering I'm always pretty positive my oven undercooks things... hmm... always, the frosting made up for the a-bit-too-dry cake and my parents and I enjoyed it at 10:30pm later that night. It was a cute one, as you can see by the pictures. And if you want more info about the cake/recipe, check out cakejournal soon when my post will be up!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Can't forget the coffee cakes!

Two more big labor day kitchen developments - monday morning coffee cakes!
I tried to different recipes and was proud to finally open cookbooks. I'm not gonna lie, I generally just google and print but wanted to put all of those bookmarked recipes to use. I chose the "sock-it-to-me" cake from the Neely's new book --> Down Home With the Neely's
Problem is... the recipe called for only 1/4 cups flour... strange and definitely incorrect. I boosted it to 2 1/4 cups and later googled and found the misprint online. It was supposed to be 2 1/4, but the out of order add-in made my cake a little mis-layered, but still delicious.

Not quite as delicious as the other cake from the Deen Bros. Cookbook, their recipe titled: Cherry-Stuffed Pecan Steusel Coffee Cake, but I eliminated the pecans and swapped the cherry jam for raspberry preserves. I'm always looking to make things my own. Aside from being gorgeous, it was fantastic and I might be making it at least every month with different flavor combinations.

And, just for fun - gotta mention the Watermelon Sangria from FoodandWine. Cheers to a lovely end to a lovely summer!

Septemberfest has finally arrived!!! Complete with pink hat sugar cookies!

Labor day weekend is a HUGE deal at my house. We wait all summer for Septemberfest - a three day festival of music, craft fairs, rides, Bingo and a party for lots of friends and family at my house. We live at the end of the street that the fest is on, so we practically live there for the weekend. So of course I needed to provide delicious desserts for the after party. I decided to do single serving snacks this year so that people could enjoy as they pleased.
One septemberfest tradition is my dad's hot pink Old Style hat. He's worn it every day of the fest for at least 20 years and so I decided to take our traditional sugar cookie recipe and make little hat replicas.
It's actually the C&H sugar bunnies recipe for a good 15 years ago:
1 1/2 cupcs butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
The cookies were a hit, as always!

Since sugar cookies are a bit time consuming I wanted to do a few other super easy recipes and chose the recent Kraft Food & Family Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Cookie-Bars recipe, which I didn't eat because I don't do peanut butter, but everyone loved them (and they were so pretty!) - especially my grandpa!

As a third item, I picked super quick and easy golden graham rice krispie treats. Basic rice krispie recipe with the cereal swap out and extra marshmallows and chocolate chips. It's amazing how good such a simple dessert can taste!

I of course, also made my signature jell-o jiggler mini muffin shots. Can't have a party without them!

Happy Labor Day!

Mini Grad Hats!

I've been making graduation hats all summer for my own college graduation party as well as many of my cousins' parties. This time, per request of my Uncle Anthony, I switched up the design a bit and traded in the chocolate covered graham crackers for some ridiculously adorable mini Heath bars.
At first I wasn't sure the new candy toppers would look ok on the peanut butter cups, but I was wrong. The little tops made these treats super cute and almost bite-sized.
As always I glued the peanut butter cups and the candies together with chocolate frosting and added an m&m and a piece of licorice on top for the tassel. And, as always, they were devoured!