Thursday, April 26, 2012


Secretary's Day, oops that 's not pc so let's try that again: Administrative Professional's Day. 
These were the treats I made for the 2 secretaries at work.  They are definitely hard working ladies, so I wanted to show them my appreciation.  I usually will swing by Starbucks and buy a gift card and a mug, but after a while it gets kinda boring to receive/give the same gift every single year so I decided to get creative knowing that the ladies have sweet teeth (haha that just looks & sounds funny trying to make it plural, I don't even know if it's correct).

I do not own anything fancy to hold my cake pops in place, so I usually take a cereal box and stab holes in them.  It's not pretty, but hey it's free, nothing beats free.  When the cake pops dried I tied a ribbon to each them that matched the ribbons I used to decorate my white cake box.

They were able to spell their names out with the sugar cookies.  One left her name out on her desk for display for the entire day and the other ate most of it by the end of the day.  

I packaged everything pretty nicely completed with beautiful ribbons and tags, but as a rookie a mistake I made was I did not take any pictures!  

After a Long Day

 After a long day at work the best way to wind down is to bake because I find it very relaxing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way, although my sisters would beg to differ. Throughout the entire day I kept on asking myself what I would bake when I get home.  A chiffon cake?  Bread again? Cupcakes?  Pound Cake? Cake pops? Heck if I had the time and I would have done it all.  So what did I end up baking? Drumroll please.....cake pops AND chocolate cupcakes.  Like I said, I tend to get carried away.  

I started off with making red velvet cake pops.  I'm not a red velvet fan myself, but I know that it is the flavor of choice for many.  I used my Bella Cucina cake pop maker.  I enjoy using this handy appliance because I find mixing cake and frosting is way too sweet for my liking; plus the benefit of using this appliance gives me perfect balls that look uniform.  I dipped my pops in melted white chocolate and decorated with a variety of Easter sprinkles that I bought from Target (my favorite store and anyone who knows me will confirm this as a fact).  Which I will share the ingredients at a later time.  Then off to cupcakes.

Once I finished my cake pops I started on my cream cheese frosting for the chocolate cupcakes.  I used the following recipe for my frosting:

4 ounce cream cheese
5 tbs unsalted butter room temperature (or your frosting will be lumpy)
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs cream

Using a hand mixer I combined all the ingredients until smooth.  I stored the icing in the refrigerator to stiffen while I baked my chocolate cupcakes.  I used the following recipe for my moist chocolate cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy then add egg and vanilla.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda together in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl combine the liquid ingredients.
3. Slowly add the 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter.  Alternate between the dry and wet ingredients.  
4. Fill the baking cups 2/3 full and bake for about 22 minutes.
5. Frost when cooled and *decorate.

*I decorated with a flower made earlier during the week from leftover royal icing and stored in an air tight container.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dinner Rolls

So when I learn something new I have a bad habit of making it over and over again.  I'm not too sure why that is the case.  It could be because I:

1. want to perfect it, 
2. am excited that I learned something new or, 
3. want to make sure that I truly know how to make it versus getting lucky that time around.

I will usually make it to the point where my family members are nauseated merely by looking at it or will simply refuse to eat it...not because it tastes bad...or at least that's what I tell myself.  Anyhow, with that said, I made bread again but this time in the form of dinner rolls.  The dinner rolls came out SUPER SOFT kinda like the ones you find at the asian bakeries.  
*All my pictures are unedited and it's not because I think I'm a badass, truth be told I just don't know how...yet or ever.

The recipe I used:
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp active yeast (dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water + 1tsp sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs oil
3 cups bread flour
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bread maker and set it on dough mode.  
2. Once dough has risen in the dough maker, divided the dough in 12 equal balls and place on    
    baking sheet.
3. Allow double in size and at this time preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
4. Bake the rolls for about 20-25 minutes.

Before baking I brushed my dough with different flavors to see which I would like.  I used condensed milk on 4 rolls, butter on 4 rolls, butter and sugar on 4 rolls and I left the last 4 plain.  My niece preferred the sugar one, but hey she's only 2 1/2 years old!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Honey Oat Bread

Wahooo!!! Finally I am able to make bread.  I am quite embarrass to admit how many times I have failed at baking bread.  It seems easy enough: a little flour, water, an egg, a dash of salt, a dash of sugar, sounds easy right?  Nope, because then comes the dreaded yeast.  Yeast is something that I will never understand.  It has such a temper.  Too hot it dies. Too cold it's a dud.  Too old it will refuse to rise.  Just like Goldilocks it has to be just right.  Well fast forward maybe  a dozen or two loaves later, I have finally baked my first loaf of bread that actually looks and more importantly TASTES like bread and not just any bread, Honey Oat.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


For many months I have been contemplating as to whether or not I should start a blog, considering the time I will have to invest and if anyone will read it.  However, after reading various cooking, cookie, cupcake, baking and party blogs, I have decided that I too want to document my journey of attempting to replicate the various treats I have read and dreamed about.  This will also be a learning process for me so please excuse the rookie mistakes and my randomness.