Monday, August 31, 2009

Bakeover with Danger Kitten

Cheese Crackers
Originally uploaded by Cup O'Cake Designs
Life has been hectic for me this summer, I know I've mentioned that before. I've been very careful to leave time for baking because if I go too long without it, I start to feel like I'll never pick it back up again.

About a week ago, my husband made plans to attend a Beer Festival with Danger Kitten's husband, Brewfus. Danger Kitten & I had zero desire to attend said festival, but I thought a bakeover would be a great idea. I'd been wanting to get together with her for a while now that she's moved back to the state, but hadn't had the opportunity.

While the boys went off to taste who knows how many Belgian Ales, we baked our little hearts out. And it was fantastic.

I made Cheese Crackers, two ways. First I made them as called for in the recipe- with two cups of Cheddar Cheese. However, I love a little spice to my cheese, so for my second batch I used a Chipotle Cheese.

In the future, I think I'll roll the dough much thinner, because I prefer a crispy cracker. These were delicious, but a little soft for my tastes. The Chipotle crackers were addictive, and the Cheddar crackers were quite yummy as well.

Danger Kitten baked Black Bottom Cupcakes and Raspberry Lemon Thumbprints. I didn't have a chance to eat either fresh out of the oven- but they were both delicious. I had a hard time keeping myself from eating too much of the cookie dough. The addition of lemon (juice & zest) made them the perfect summer afternoon treat.

We also had our friend Linda along. She baked some wonderful peanut butter chocolate brownies. Mmm.

I had so much fun doing this, that I'm hoping we can make it a monthly event.

Looking to get out of a baking rut? Looking for an excuse to try out a recipe you keep putting off? Find some friends and host a bakeover. I promise you'll have fun.

You can see more pictures (mostly "in progress" shots) at my flickr.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Neopolitan Cupcakes

I've been itching to make Neopolitan cupcakes pretty much all summer long. I had planned to make them for a BBQ at our new house. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided that this summer would be a mix of rain and unbareably humid thus prohibiting any comfortable BBQs (at least in our busy schedule).

Last weekend, I had a party to go to. A friend who moved across the country was in town. The perfect occasion to bust out a recpie I'd been dreaming about for months.

I tried out a new chocolate cake recipe. While the cake is delicioius, it's a bit too moist for a filled cupcake. I would definitely use this again for chocolate cupcakes, but not any filled cupcakes.

The filling is a strawberry cream, made using fresh pureed strawberries. I was a little uncertain about the cream at first. I felt you didn't get a strong enough strawberry flavoring. I shouldn't have worried. It's perfect.

The frosting is my go-to Vanilla buttercream.

The cupcake came out just right. I might try again, but with a strawberry cake and chocolate filling- because I didn't feel like the filling here was enough of a surprise (my ultimate goal).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

(Sorry for the not great picture quality. I'm working on getting a photo editing program installed on my home computer.)

I've been majorly busy recently with a few close friends getting married, which has led to more time out of my house than I care to think about.

Last week, there were two birthdays at my husband's office. I have become the unofficial cupcake supplier when it comes to birthdays in his office.

For Monday's birthday celebrant, I made an old favorite: Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes. I had to improvise a bit and use finely ground candy canes instead of peppermint extract. Otherwise, it was a very routine day for baking.

Friday's birthday celebrant, however, was a bit more challenging. This coworker doesn't really care for cupcakes or cake. Luckily for me, by now most of my husband's office knows to expect cupcakes on their birthdays. That makes it much easier to figure out what kind of sweets to bake.

When I found out that the birthday celebrant liked peanut butter cookies, I was a little stumped. I must admit that I'm not really into peanut butter cookies. I checked around and find a nice simple recipe, with a twist. Dipping the cookies in chocolate.

I dipped half the cookies in chocolate (not knowing whether or not the birthday celebrant would want that), and then half of those went into sprinkles (for a festive look) and the other half into peanuts.

The cookies were a huge hit at the office. And, it's always nice to try something new.