Sunday, October 20, 2013
Hi friends! I'm updating with a quick little post to wish my best buddy Biscuit a Happy Birthday! He's the most funny, spirited, mischievous little dog I've ever had. Everything he does borders on ridiculous! He definitely helps me to not take life too seriously, and I appreciate that.
I like to keep wholesome treats on hand for the pups, and these pumpkin biscuits are just that - plus they're easy-peasy to make. The honey glaze I brush on them during baking makes them extra tasty, and the boys always scarf them down!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
If these little party cakes look familiar, it's because they were inspired by this sprinkle cake I made a few years ago. The minute I spotted Birthday Cake Oreos (!) at the grocery store, I knew they were destined to crown little chocolate sprinkle cakes. I baked one inside each cake, too!
A few people have asked how/where the pugs are lately, so I decided to include them in this post! They make regular appearances on my Instagram feed if you'd like to keep up with their curly tails (and antics) there.
To answer the question - they are well. Sweet and spoiled and all-around stinkers!
|Oreo surprise inside!|
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Happy Valentine's Day, friends!
We've already been celebrating this week with one of our favorite sweets - churros! It's almost unbelievable that it's taken me so long to blog about them, considering our dog is named Churro. It's true, we love them that much! And we love our little ridged-face Churro-the-Pug.
Check out those wrinkles!
Baked churros for everyone!
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
If you follow me on Pinterest, then you know that I'm a teeny bit obsessed with crinkle cookies right now. I had planned to make red velvet crinkles for Christmas all along, but something wonderful and miraculous happened.
An unopened package of Oreos.
In my pantry.
This is something that never happens. They're usually eaten so fast I don't have a chance to use them in a recipe. I felt a sense of urgency, and surely Oreo-stuffed red velvet crinkles would be the best thing ever, right?! Right.
These bake up extra-large and pillowy. One cookie should get you through a vigorous present-wrapping session. You may need two if little pugs are running off with your packing tape.
|I could get lost in those nooks and crannies!|
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
A few weeks ago The Everygirl editors asked me share one of my favorite holiday recipes for a feature on their site. The first thing that came to mind was this delicious gingerbread bundt cake. It reminds me of the gingerbread my grandmother used to make and it's so easy to whip up. My favorite thing about it is the sweet coffee glaze. It's makes a good breakfast!
I'm sharing the recipe here on my blog today, but you should certainly check out the entire feature (HERE) that includes 4 other baking bloggers and their favorite holiday recipes. (I can't wait to make those little mince pies from Poires au Chocolat!).
Monday, October 15, 2012
A couple of weeks ago Biscuit the pug woke me up at 4 a.m. so he could go outside and leisurely walk around the yard for an hour. I thought he had business to do but it turns out that he just wanted to PLAY(!). By the time he came back in there was no sense in going back to bed. It was almost time to start typing. I was tired and grumpy and decided muffins would ease the pain.
I picked out a recipe online and preceded to make the worst muffins in the history of ever, which resulted in a full blown pity-party for myself. Where is my go-to muffin recipe for these types of emergencies?! I quickly cobbled together something with streusel. And cream cheese.
Breakfast muffin trifecta:
- The base- coffee batter subtly flavored and studded with mini chocolate chips.
- The middle- cream cheese batter that bakes up slightly sweet and oh-so-fluffy.
- The top- coconut streusel that transforms into sweet, crunchy deliciousness as it bakes.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Fall is in full swing here, complete with the yearly sniffles I get when the weather changes. It's a mild inconvenience considering the months to come of lovely cool temperatures and glorious color. But I still need my creature comforts. Chocolate ganache spiked with bourbon and miles of toasted marshmallow is a cure-all, I tell ya!
Friday, October 5, 2012
The new Frankenweenie movie is in theaters today (!) so I'm celebrating this happy occasion with a funny little Sparky cake!
I can remember watching the original version of this movie when I was nine years old. That was way back in 1984, but the story still tugs at my heartstrings today. Tim Burton based the film on the relationship he had with his first dog (aw!) and the personal feel really shines through. Most every pet owner will be able to relate to the love that young Victor Frankenstein has for his dog, Sparky. I certainly saw myself and my first dog (a scruffy mutt/chihuahua named Danger) in the story.
I can't wait to see the new movie in all its black and white stop-motion-3-D glory! The new puppet incarnation of Sparky captured my heart with his expressive face and little nubbin-nose. I so wanted to create my own Sparky. And I did.
(Okay, I'll stop.)
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
It's Churro's birthday!
Well, sort of.
We don't really know when his birthday is. And we don't know exactly how old he is either, but we still like to celebrate the day we welcomed him into our family. Churro is a rescue -yes, a pound puppy. His history is somewhat of a mystery to us, but we were told that he came from a pretty bad situation. You'd never know that from his demeanor. He's the sweetest real-life teddy bear you'll ever meet! And he instantly fit right in with Biscuit-the-pug and our three kitty-cats. Words cannot express how gentle and loving he is. It breaks my heart that there are so many animals of similar docility that get taken to the shelter. I don't like to think about that too much, but I felt that I must mention it.
Maybe someone out there looking for a furbaby will remember Churro's happy ending and decide to rescue.
Both pups went absolutely NUTS over these Peanut-Honey Pupcakes. I've never seen them so excited! And I have to admit- they smelled pretty darn good fresh from the oven. I used natural peanut butter (no sugar, low sodium) and some good quality local honey. To make absolutely sure no one mistook these for people food, I added a peanut butter dog biscuit to the tops before baking.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
It took a few tries. First, I used the liquid/sugar ratio for a standard pop, but the flavor was lacking. I increased the red wine, only to find the candy wouldn't set properly. I knew better, but I did it anyway.
A while later the correct synapse fired in my brain, and the answer was simple: make a red wine reduction. This gave the lollipops big-time flavor and a beautiful color.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
It's hard to believe that 2012 is just a few days away. I'd like to say I'm ready to dive in head first, but I'm more the type of person to test the water with one toe. For me, easing into the new year means no high pressure resolutions. It's more fun to make up a few that are easy to keep. For example, this year I resolve to...
- Eat birthday cake without feeling guilty.
- Put sprinkles on everything.
- Sleep late whenever possible.
- Watch movies on rainy days.
- Tell more corny jokes.
For this year's NYE gathering, I whipped up a batch of champagne mousse. In spite of its light texture, it is completely decadent and full of champagne flavor. I decided to mold mine in a fancy pan, but you can use a regular loaf pan or just pipe it into champagne flutes. It's very versatile. The chocolate ganache was a last minute addition, and I'm including the recipe, but it can be enjoyed with or without.
And of course, it had to be decorated with sugar pearls, shiny dragees... all types of edible baubles.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Honestly, folks. These are no walk in the park to make. Poured fondant has been my baking nemesis since I coated my entire kitchen and dining room in the stuff two years ago.
Fact: it is messy!
Recently I've been working my way through a host of poured fondant recipes in hopes of finding one that is easy and not so messy. What did I find? Most poured fondant recipes are easy to make and all are equally messy. The hardest part is getting a good even pour over the sides of the cakes without wasting all the fondant you've just made. I've tried every way under the sun to apply poured fondant to these cakes - piping, spooning and pouring - and I've found the "dip and spoon" method is best with this particular fondant. Since it is nearly impossible for me to document this process in pictures, I made a little video to show you my method.
The poured fondant recipe I'm sharing is my favorite because it tastes the best of all I've tried. When applied to the cakes, it is semi transparent but dries smooth and opaque; the color lightens slightly as it dries. I almost bought into a white chocolate version that I will most likely use again, and may even post in this blog, but to me it seemed like a substitution for the real thing. It didn't have the classic look and taste I wanted it to have. The worst recipe I came across was made from a boxed rolled fondant that is softened in hot water for 15 minutes then melted in the microwave. It tasted like old perfume smells and had a slimy consistency that never fully dried. I almost gagged trying to get a single bite down.
So why go to all the trouble? When executed correctly, these cakes are incredibly delicious. When poured fondant hardens around a cake it seals in moisture and gives ordinary sponge cake a divine texture. There's nothing quite like biting into one, and mastering the art of poured fondant petit fours is a true notch on the baking belt. Making them takes time, practice and sometimes, intuition. It is full of rules and takes patience and the willingness to try and try again.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Chocolate pâté intrigued me. In all honesty, I wondered how weird it would be. After reading the recipe in its entirety I found that it was little more than a chocolate mousse you can slice - and a double plus, it's easy to make! I practically leapt to the kitchen for my stash of Green and Black's and a pint of cold cream.
|Biscuit being well behaved - a rare occasion and most likely because I'm holding a piece of cheese.|
My hunny and I made short work of the 9 x 5" chocolate brick, eating it after lunches and dinner (...okay, sometimes breakfast, too). I considered making cookie "crackers" to pair with the pâté, but it needs nothing else. It is perfect as it is. It feels special enough to serve to your Valentine or as playful party fare for a crowd.
Friday, December 10, 2010
This holiday season I've been baking more than ever, and my appliances are either rebelling or flat out giving up the ghost. My Kitchen Aid mixer started making an unfamiliar noise yesterday, and my poor cheapo food processor died last week. It's untimely demise was from the thick batter of a viking cake I'm making for the upcoming book. Apropos, don't you think?
I don't even want to talk about my mini chopper (R.I.P.). I really loved that thing.
Though I've clearly had some trials, I've not lost much time working. I've got a really great support system, and Mr. Baird is handy indeed. So, onward to the cake!
I've had the idea for this cake for some time now. While thumbing through some old favorite recipes I came across the beloved Jello "poke cake". This is my version, and though it's not made from a box mix, it's still pretty easy to put together. In place of the jello, pomegranate juice and sugar are simmered together to make a syrup that soaks into the white cake layers. It reminds me of the sweet-tart flavor that a jam cake has.
I frosted the cake with cream cheese icing, but you could switch it out for buttercream if you prefer.
Friday, November 12, 2010
This biscuit post has been a long time coming. Week after week, as I've decided on new blog entries I would always consider the beloved southern-style biscuit. I dismissed it often because it seemed too daunting a task. Why? As a born-and-raised southerner, how could I possibly put into words something so deeply woven into the fabric of my life? How could I tell you what my Grandmother's biscuits tasted like without also telling you about childhood summers on the farm, bottle feeding baby calves, gathering the daily eggs from nesting hens...
... falling and breaking said eggs and never once being chided for it; having tears wiped away and then being fed buttermilk biscuits with homemade apple butter.
I can't help but get a little misty-eyed, and simultaneously feel silly for having such emotion for the humble biscuit. Clearly, it's more to me than just flour, fat and buttermilk. It's the memory of happy times and a grandmother's love. As silly as I may feel, I know I'm not alone. The countless blog-writers dedicated to the celebration, sharing and heritage of their own foods is perhaps the strongest testament to that.
I'm so happy to be able to share my regional food with you. Just as I indulge my inner Parisian with financiers and the like, (but mostly by slaughtering their language) I hope you'll indulge your inner southerner with one of these down-home favorites.
Another food that is a big part of southern heritage is chocolate gravy. It is a depression-era recipe that was most commonly eaten on big flaky biscuits for breakfast or dessert. Although it stems from meager beginnings, it is absolutely indulgent! My Aunt Grace would make this often and I'd always get excited to see it on her breakfast table. Chocolate for breakfast is a kid's dream come true, and I must admit, I still find it quite exciting!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
One year seems to have flown by, and in another sense it feels as if I've been blogging about sweet confections for... well, forever! One might say that it's easy to savor life when you measure your year in desserts.
I knew that the Sprinkle Bakes birthday cake could be no less than sprinkle encrusted. It's even sprinkled on the inside! For several years I've requested a Funfetti cake for my birthday, but now I've worked out a recipe for a scratch made version. It is made with buttermilk, so it's extra moist and not overly sweet - but you couldn't tell from looking at it. It's a visual sugar rush!
"A casserole made for special occasions or year round use. The perfect size for baking potatoes or soufflés. Enameled cast iron heats quickly and retains heat beautifully. Limited lifetime warranty."
* Can be used in the oven or on the stovetop
*Enameled cast iron efficiently conducts and retains heat
*Heavy, tight-fitting lid; knob on lid is ovenproof to 450 degrees F
*Holds 2 quarts
Also, 12 of you will get a special baked treat delivered to your doorstep! I wish I could tell you exactly what it is, but I will say that the recipe comes from my baking book that is due out next fall. So, consider it a sneak peek at things to come!
(Contest entry form is at the bottom of this post.)