clown cupcakes

We were fortunate to celebrate Our Sweet Friend's 10th Birthday — for dessert, The Daughter chose to make these fabulous cupcakes.

The Yellow Cake is delicious, the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, heavenly, and the cupcake design, ADORABLE!

We used Dots, Chocolate Jimmies, Red Hots and Non-pareils.


national chocolate cake day- january 27

Nothing like finding out last minute that it's NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CAKE DAY to galvanize one into action.  Rather than creating an unholy mess in the kitchen at 10PM, (my last student just left,) I'm finishing up a post that was started about five months ago...


flour's famous banana bread

Banana bread is one of those recipes that gets baked not because I want to, but because I have to. I just can't stand throwing out super brown bananas.  I'd been perusing the flour cookbook and knew that when the time came, I would want to try out Joanna Chang's famous banana bread.

Now is the time.  Three bananas were past eating prime.*


chunky lola cookies

What a name.  Does it appeal to you?  It certainly piqued my curiosity. Who is Lola? Was she chubby? What's in the cookie?  

For Christmas, The Sister, feeding my cookbook obsession, gave me flour, by Joanne Chang. Joanne is owner and pastry chef at Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston. She asked her bakers what ingredients they craved in a cookie— chocolate, pecans, coconut were favorites. They then had a cookie-naming contest for customers, and the winning name was CHUNKY LOLA.


apple coconut cake {bwd}

I am so behind the eight ball.  The New Year has ushered in a huge bout of sluggish-itis and I have not joined in on any of my baking clubs' recipes. Until today. Only four days late. My apologies to my Baking With Dorie friends!

My mantra has always been better late than never (my wedding thank-yous were sent out a year after the fact) and in this case, I am supremely glad that I baked this cake. With a splash of rum and a sprinkling of sugar, the humble apple cake takes on a certain je ne sais quoi, which is very appealing. The cake is moist, fragrant, and best of all, easy to make. I took it to a meeting and the tasters raved. The Daughter, a self-proclaimed coconut hater, pronounced it delicious, as do I.  Will you?

For the recipe, please visit Mia's site, Bright Morning Star.


pizzettes for national pizza week

Patisseries: Paris :: Pizzerias: ______

Answer: NYC, or any North Jersey Town.

Prevalent and pervasive, patisseries and pizzerias seemingly exist on every block of their respective cities. Though I prefer the former to the latter, I will always find room for a good slice.  In my town of 45,000 residents, one can choose from 15 pizzerias.  We usually order out for pizza, but since it's National Pizza Week, I thought we'd try to make our own.

Pizza making can be a fun bonding experience— who knew?  Last night marked the first time The Family participated in making dinner together.  The Daughter loved the tactile experience of kneading the dough and Both Kids were actually excited at the thought of creating individual pizzas.


peanut butter chocolate chip pretzel cookie

The snow keeps falling, and that makes me hungry for a stick-to-your-ribs kind of food cookie.

What comes to mind is chunky and chockablock-full-of-good-stuff.  I had a yummy peanut butter/pretzel/chocolate chunk cookie this past summer at the Hester Street Fair.  The cookie was super crunchy and delicious, but the pretzel was quite hard.  Today's recipe produces a semi-soft cookie filled with chocolate and balanced out with a crisp, salty crunch from the pretzels.


perfect roasted potatoes~ aka fuzzy potatoes

It's a new year.  I always make a long list of resolutions, of which one is the well-known mantra: eat less, exercise more.  I am sure that will be on the list in perpetuity.

Another resolution is a variant of the above: bake less (maybe not that much less), cook more.

I have a cupboard full of cookbooks and cooking magazines which are sorely neglected.  For Christmas '09, I received Thomas Keller's ad hoc at home cookbook, and I have managed to try but two recipes. Needless to say you will be seeing more of TK's dishes in the future.

So here's to more savory recipes.  The first one of the year is a wonderful potato dish.  I've roasted potatoes many, many times, and have never looked up a recipe.  Last week, while browsing Clotilde's lovely Chocolate and Zucchini blog, I stumbled upon this recipe. I was tickled and inspired.


cookies and cream cheesecakes

I have a guest blogger today, who baked a yummy dessert.  Enjoy!

Hi. According to my mother's blog, I'm The Daughter. As my mother is not feeling well, I decided to step up as an amateur baker and blog for her today.

This morning, I hunted around the mess of cook books we have and pulled out a rather new addition (compared to the other ones...ANCIENT!!!) - Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. After skimming the book, I located an ideal recipe, one that is not that hard, but delicious enough for this state-of-the-art blog— Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes. The final product was beautiful and positively scrumptious.

These little bites of perfection are incredibly creamy with a perfect, fluffy texture.


world peace cookies {bwd}

Happy New Year, everyone!

I have the pick for the Baking with Dorie baking group this week, and what better cookie to ring in the New Year than one that, if distributed, could contribute to a better place to live? (That is, only if you don't eat the batch yourself.  They really are rather addictive.)  Chocolate dough, chocolate chunks, and butter. Need I say more?

These cookies are related to the sablé — a buttery shortbread, with a slightly sandy texture. The difference is that they are packed with chocolate.  The recipe comes via Dorie Greenspan from renowned pastry chef, Pierre Hermé, who can do no wrong.  He uses fleur de sel, which "surprises, delights and makes the chocolate flavors in the cookies seem preternaturally profound."  

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