Saturday, May 12, 2012

A quick recipe, a few tips, and an apology.

I again, suck. I haven't posted anything for close to four months, and for that, I am sorry! I have been baking away, working away and planning away!

Weddings are not fun. I don't know who decided that all this stress was something every girl should want to go through, but it's lame. Seriously. 
I always thought my wedding would be an event. Lots of my friends and family, big poofy off the shoulder gown, a bridal party of no less than six, and tons of food.

That is not how this is ending up to be. I have a guest list that is pretty average, it would of been bigger but unfortunately there is a TON of people I was unable to invite because of space and budget. Please tell me how much it sucks when I want everyone there, and only 100 people will fit in the hall! >_< My dress, while GORGEOUS, is quite simple. No big poofy mess that would cause me to hold my pee all night in fear of messing up the dress. My bridal party? One. My best friend is my maid of honor, and that's it. 

Oh, but we're still having tons of food. No worries there.

So during this craziness that is planning this wedding, I have been working. I love working, I love the people I work with, so to thank them for being so incredibly awesome to me, I bake. Well, like I always do...

So recently I made these adorable and yummy little cheese cakes! They were SO easy to whip up and (since it was incredibly hot out that day) I didn't need my oven!


1 8oz block cream cheese
1 8oz tub cool whip (thawed)
1 11oz box Nilla Wafers
1 tub strawberries (or fruit of your choice)
mini muffin tins**

(**Use aluminum! the filing doesnt stick as bad))


Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy (about two minutes)
Start by folding in the cool whip to get it incorporated a bit
Once cool whip is incorporated, beat on low about 30 seconds
Your filing is done!

Take your mini muffin tins and line them up on a baking sheet. 
Place one Nilla wafer in the tin, flat side down.
Once all your tins are lined, put a small dollop of the filling in each cup. You can also pipe it in until it looks about full. 

Wash and chop us your fruit to whatever size you prefer and put it on top. 
Keep them refrigerated!! And keep them in there about an hour before you serve them, giving them some time to stiffen up. 

See what did I tell you? Super simple.
I also have a few newer tips I would like to let you all know! I really have been baking a lot, and I've been learning quite a few different things..

Know thy frosting: Learn when it's the best to use for different things. If it's super thick and stiff, it's perfect for holding up on elaborate designs. If it's a little looser, use it for basic coverage.

Every oven bakes differently: Have you ever baked over at someone elses house for them? I recently did this, and it was horrible. Ovens are like people. Every single one is completely different. So when your mom asks you to bake a cake, or a friend wants something special for their birthday and you have to use their kitchen, don't be overly frustrated. Just know that it may not bake the same as it does at home. Make a test batch first!

Find a good basic recipe: Obviously, I am extremely partial to yellow cake being a base recipe. You can add things to make it chocolate, or take away to make white. Whatever you choose to be a basic recipe for you, KNOW IT. And know it well.

Don't over beat!: It is CRUCIAL to beat your ingredients for the listed time. That two minutes will make your batter beautiful, fall short by a mere thirty seconds, and you have lumpy cake. But just as important as it is to beat sufficiently, your cakes (and frosting) will go horribly wrong if you over beat it!

It's a science.: Just because Martha Stewart and Paula Deen doesn't always use a measuring cup, doesn't mean that you should follow in their foot steps. Baking is a science. An exact science to be honest. You mess up your batter with an eighth of a teaspoon too much of baking powder and you've totally ruined your cakes. Please take caution and use a measuring cup!

Well there you have it!
Happy Mother's Day to all the ladies who are moms!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I am such a slacker!

So I suck.
Sorry, it's taken me FOREVER to post again. Hope everyone had a great christmas and new years? I did! No, I didn't get my stand mixer D: But, I did get a baby cakes maker from my mom, and it came with this great little recipe book :]

Also, I started a new job a couple of weeks ago. I finally decided I was sick of being broke and having to ask jeremy to pay for my things, so I work at Pizza Hut now, which is actually a lot of fun :]

Speaking of Jeremy...
We're finally getting married :D So between work, cleaning, and planning for this wedding... I haven't had much time to bake. Although, I baked my ass off at christmas :]

So with that being said, I don't have any new recipes to post again. Don't look at me like that, I'm sorry!

BUT I'll leave you with some extra tips to make your baking extra delicious...

1. If you're using a box cake mix (especially chocolate) and wanna keep it moist and spruce up the flavor::
-The BEST chocolate mix is Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge- can't go wrong with that.
-Wanna add a little extra oompf? Throw a couple of tablespoons of chocolate frosting (I use Pillsbury chocolate fudge) in the microwave and then pour it into the batter, make sure you mix the batter really well when you put it in.
-The frosting added will make the batter SUPER thick, so you wont get as many cupcakes out of it, but it still makes a decent cake.

2. When using ANY box mixed cake mix, be SURE to mix the ingredients for the time on the box. I know a lot of the time, we get lazy and if it looks mixed enough, we stop. DON'T. Mixing it the right way for the right amount of time makes a HUGE difference.

3. I get a lot of compliments on my frostings. That's definitely one thing I can bang out pretty well. Want some advice?
- DON'T use the crisco-butter ratio for butter cream. Especially if it's hot out. The butter will melt, and the criso will stay, so it causes your frosting to separate.
- Instead, try using Light Corn Syrup. 2 sticks of butter, a tablespoon of milk, 1 tsp of vanilla, and 4 cups of powdered sugar.
Mix the butter, vanilla and milk until creamy. Scrape the bowl, add powdered sugar, mix until JUST mixed, then scrape the bowl again and keep mixing. Once it's all combined, add a tablespoon or two of corn syrup. It'll help thin it out and bind it together, keeping it from separating.
- Don't be afraid to play around with frosting. Add some different flavorings, try piping some cool designs or try changing the thickness around. Frostings can be very forgiving and usually it's what makes the cake so good!

4. I know I've mentioned this before, but if you're using a yellow cake mix, Add a drop or two of butterscotch oil. It really brings out the flavor of the cake, but be careful not to add too much!

5. Another mix you can play with? White cake.
-Instead of using eggs and oil, try using a can of your favorite soda.
-Try different extracts- Peppermint, almond, and banana all work well. (especially with chocolate frosting.)
-Add fun little sprinkles to the mix!

6. Making chocolate chip cookies?
-I've found that using the mini chocolate chips (bittersweet) are the BEST! You get chocolate in every bite!
-Instead of using tons of brown sugar, try using a little molasses and half the brown sugar. This will give your cookies a warmer and chewier taste.
-Add all sorts of chips, not just chocolate! Heath bar, peanut butter, and white chocolate work really well with the bitter sweet chips.

7. Don't be afraid to experiment a little! Sometimes you find the best recipes by tweaking and playing with the base line of the one you have!

8. Find a guinea pig! Find someone who will be honest with you about your goodies, and feed them every time you make something new. They'll tell you whether or not it's good. Then, try to figure out how to fix it or make it better!

Hopefully some of this will help you on your baking endeavors! :]

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving is over :[

Well it's that time of year again... That dreaded time of year...

I don't hate Christmas, I would just prefer it to be less stressful. I'm not quite sure why it stresses me out so much, I think it's because I have a million things to do that day, and not enough hours in the day. I have an immense amount of family that i go to see. Mom's side, dad's side, Jeremy's side and I always feel horrible because I haven't gotten anyone anything..
Oh the joy of the season.. The joy of being broke!

This year, however, i have decided to do something for everyone! Selling my cupcakes has made me a little extra cash than I normally don't have so I have enough to do something! and by something I mean bake...
Bake like the wind, bullseye!
(I don't think that's how it goes, but it sounded good :])

So this year, the family that I see can expect delicious treats! Cookies, mini cupcakes, cookie bars, all sorts of goodies, because lets be honest... What's Christmas without adding on a few extra pounds of sugar?

Moving on with the Christmas theme of this blog, has anyone else noticed that they start putting Christmas stuff up in the stores entirely too early? I mean, the little girl inside of me get's unnaturally excited at the scene of Christmas lights covering houses, but seriously?

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I know I did. I also had a great black friday! Still didn't get my stand mixer though.. I'm a little put off about that...
Soo... Christmas gift for Amanda?
Stand mixer.

I don't need a kitchenaid or some other expensive one, just something better than my hand mixer that I've burnt out from making frosting three times a week (at least.)
Oh, and i've also decided that if I can figure out a way to do it, I'm going to go into business making frosting. Why, you ask?
Because my frosting is pretty much the bomb.

Done bragging..

I apologize for my lack of recipes on this post, I decided to put a little update, and realized I have no recipe to add with it. Nothing new that I've tried. :[

BUT! I have a suggestion...

If anyone ever needs butterscotch flavoring for anything (I've discovered that it really kicks up the flavor of a yellow cake) use butterscotch OIL.
I've found it for about three bucks at hobby lobby. It's fantastic and really makes cake mixes just that much cooler, but you only need to use a drop or two or else it will be over powering.

Another tip!!
Play around with caramel and heavy cream! Go to the store, get a bag of caramel (the little squares that are wrapped in plastic.. make sure you unwrap all of them!) or caramel bits (you can find them in the baking aisles).. Add a couple tablespoons of cream to some caramels and melt it in the microwave, stirring frequently. It's a really good way to make caramel topping for ice cream or to drizzle it over top home made chocolates or peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (Ill post the recipe for those eventually). And it's super easy to change the consistency to whatever you need it to be.

Hopefully everyone got nice and fat from turkey!!! Have a good week!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cookies for everyone!

I hate baking cookies.

Usually the recipes I get are never quite right, the cookies end up hard after two days and they just never bake right for me!

But I have come up with a recipe that I doctored to fit my baking needs. A simple GREAT recipe that makes amazingly awesome cookies.


I have found myself addicted to the show Sweet Genius. Not only because Ron Ben-Israel is a mad scientist of a baker, but the mandatory ingredients are just crazy! Cheese curls, durian, ostrich eggs, jaw breakers? Love it.

But, I hate that he's so prejudiced against the "childish" desserts! What's wrong with a little whimsy every now and then? A little childhood nostalgia!?

*ahem* Now that I'm done being dramatic...

Here is simply the most amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe, so that we may all be a little childish at times :]


4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 sticks butter-- melted
2 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar (or better known as plain old sugar)
2 TBS vanilla extract
2 whole egg
2 egg yolk
1 12oz bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl-- set aside

Cream together melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar

beat in vanilla, eggs, and yolks until light and creamy

slowly add the dry mix, beating on a low speed.

fold in chocolate chips.

**Grease cookie sheets.
Roll dough in 1in balls and place on cookie sheet at least 1/2 inch apart.
Bake about 15-17 mins


This makes a TON of cookies.. Like, close to 5 dozen. So if you don't want that many, cut it in half. (but lets be honest, who doesn't love having a ton of cookies on hand?)

The egg YOLK is extremely important in this recipe. It makes the cookies super chewy and rich, please be sure you add just the yolks where it calls for it.

If you're like me and you want super chewy soft cookies, take the cookies out about 2 mins early. They'll continue to bake while they're out of the oven.

Best way to store them so they don't get hard? Zip-loc baggies. Be sure they are totally sealed and your cookies will stay soft and chewy for a week or so.

Mini chips are the best for this recipe! You get chocolate chips in every bite, but DO NOT beat them into your batter. Get a big wooden spoon or a spatula and fold them in. This will make the cookies nice and fat and insures that you get chocolate in every bite!

Hope you love my recipe as much as we did here! And I hope the notes help you on your cookie endeavors!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Not enough sold :[

So I had the festival over the weekend...


Made 200 cupcakes, sold maybe 30. I also had cute mini cupcakes to hand out...
Apparently metal heads covered in fake blood don't like cupcakes as much as I do!
Most of my money was made off of a solitary drunk guy handing me five dollars at a time and taking the free cupcakes... After I told him he could take the ones for sale.

drunk guy: *hands me 5 bucks* "I'm gonna take three of the free ones, okay?"
me: "Uh, yeah they're free. You can actually take 5 of the big ones."
Drunk guy: "No no no no no I can only take these ones."
Me: "Sir, those are free, you don't have to pay."
Drunk guy: "Yes i do, these ones aren't free."
Me: *heavy sigh* "Sir.."
Drunk guy: *Stumbles away from table.*

He did this like, four times.. Not that I'm complaining... Although I wish he would have taken the big ones... So now I'm stuck with over 150 cupcakes, chillin on my table.

On the plus side, I had waaaaay too much fun, so much fun I could hardly handle it. 

Now, I am faced with the task of getting rid of said cupcakes...
I might freeze them, and eat them at a later date... Like when it's that time and ben and jerry's just isn't cutting it and the lifetime movie network and a box of tissues and I are having a date... I'll eat fifty chocolate cupcakes and continue crying.

That's totally healthy right?


So anyway...

I've decided to start branching out of cupcakes. Although they are adorable and scrumptious, I do want to become a pastry chef.. Not just a "cupcake girl"

So, I'm gonna start with basic.. Maybe try some cookies (which I have a horrible history with) and maybe some whoopie pies. I am also DETERMINED to make French Macarons. It's going to to happen. 

Also, Christmas is coming up... People should expect to be getting baked goods from me. Eat them, feed them to your dog, throw them away, I don't care, but i will force them upon you :]

And since Christmas is coming up...
I am DESPERATE for a stand mixer. I realize kitchen-aid is awfully expensive, but even a cheaper off brand will do! My hand mixer is just not working any more.. the motor is burning out and it's not beating anything right. 
Seriously.. I need a stand mixer more than I need air.
Is it bad to feel that deeply about a counter top appliance?
I think not.

Anyway, I would like to share with you, a recipe for a very decadent, very rich, very easy chocolate frosting...
This frosting will also be in my LMN movie viewing party. I will be eating it straight from the bowl, and sobbing to a movie about a woman who loses her husband and regains her own self assurance.

I adapted this recipe from one I found online, for the life of me, I can not remember where I found it. When I do, I'll post!


2 sticks softened butter
3 TBSP heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup chocolate syrup (I use the hershey's syrup in the can. You find it with the cocoa powder in the baking aisle at most grocery stores. I suppose bottled syrup would work fine too though)

Beat the butter, heavy cream, and vanilla until smooth.

Add powdered sugar, beat on med- low until just incorporated.

Add chocolate syrup, beat on high about 2 mins.

Easy peezy. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall is in the air!

I love fall.
Or at least the concept of fall. The leaves changing, the cooler weather, the fashion, the food!!
But to be realistic, I live in Ohio...
Oh the leaves change...

The weather goes from 90 to 40 over night, the fashion is a pair of torn up wal-mart sweats and a hoodie (for most people... seriously, go outside and look around.. you MIGHT see a pair of jeans..) I don't get to wear those cute heeled boots with the toe cut out... It snows here.. ALOT. And I don't want frostbite to catch hold of my piggies!

But the food... Now I can hate Ohio as much as the next guy, but this is my home, and my family is here. And good lord, can my family cook some food.

So I'm excited for thanksgiving.

But I'm still waiting on Halloween to get here.
I've decided on cupcakes for the festival that I'll be doing! And none of them are the choices I gave two weeks ago, haha. I've decided to do more basic flavors, something that everyone will eat.

So, the reason I blog today?
I've decided to give you a great recipe for a cupcake (or even eat it as a muffin). It's one of my favorites right now, and it's my own write up. If you try them, please let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes


1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 stick butter -- softened. (I use the plain old salted stuff)
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup Pecans (chopped or chipped, whatever you prefer)
1 cup Pumpkin Puree. ( I use about 3/4 of a 15 oz can. You of course, can use fresh)

**NOTE:: I STRONGLY suggest to use the aluminum muffin tins for these. They have a tendency to stick to the paper ones a bit.


Preheat your oven at 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside

On MEDIUM speed: Beat butter until creamy (about a minute) add vanilla.

Gradually add sugar to the butter and vanilla.
Beat until fluffy (about a minute and a half)

Beat in the eggs, One at a time.

Slowly add your dry mixture, alternating with milk, in four parts.

Soo: dry mix, milk, dry mix, milk, dry mix, milk, dry mix.

Beat about 2 mins

Once batter is smooth, FOLD IN in the pumpkin and pecans.

Spoon into muffin tins, 2/3 of the way full. (make sure NOT to over fill them! They will make your pans sticky!)

Bake about 18 mins or until golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. (Or the old fashioned clean toothpick way)

It is VERY IMPORTANT to FULLY cool these cupcakes if you plan on icing them. Let them cool 10-15 mins then pop in the fridge for about 2 hours.

You can find a great buttercream frosting Here. I added about 2 tsp cinnamon to this frosting.

Please let me know what you think if you try them!!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ohhh the joy of asking for your help!

So as you know, I'm a fan of making up my own recipes. I feel if I don't, I'm stealing ideas from other people-- Although I ALWAYS doctor up the recipe somehow to fit my tastes a bit more...
However, I have found quite a few recipes I'm in love with that I NEED to try!

I'm extremely excited for Halloween. It's been one of my favorite days since I was a kid, I mean.. Free candy and scary costumes and parties and candy and fog machines and candy and masks and candy! Who wouldn't love this holiday?!


I have a festival coming up, Halloween themed of course, where I know I'll be making AT LEAST 200 cupcakes... Stoked? Yes. Nervous? Definitely.
This will be the first time I'll have baked so many cupcakes for one event...
In my tiny kitchen (Literally the fridge door hits the counter on the opposite side of the kitchen when I open the door...)
With my tiny oven
and my limited amount of counter space
But thankfully I'll have some help from my best friend (if she's still willing) with decorating which would be good :]

Okay, but what I need from you...

Here's a list of the cupcakes I'm thinking of doing for the festival. I don't want to bake more than four types and 2 of the 4 are going to be basic white and chocolate flavors... Sooo... tell me which two of the list I should take with me to the festival!

-Caramel sour apple
A sour apple cupcake (spiked with a bit of sour apple pucker) with caramel frosting, topped with a caramel apple sucker
-Butterbeer (yes as in Harry Potter butterbeer)
A cream soda cake with butterscotch frosting and a little edible broomstick
-Cherry Coke
(Im aware this isn't very halloween-esque) A chocolate-cola cake with cherry-chunk icing and a chocolate cherry glaze
-Shards of glass 
A white cake with strawberry-cherry filling topped with a "shard of glass" (hard sugar candy) and cherry glaze

Let me know which of these two you think would be the best fit to take to a very diverse crowd of people. :] Thanks!!