January 28, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

In the office I had a reputation for harboring contraband.  Yep, it's true and I'd gladly be a repeat offender.  Why?  Because my so-called illegal good was nothing more than a toaster.   A toaster for goodness sake! 

Nine times out of ten I was using the toaster for cinnamon raisin bread.  The glorious smell of yeast and spices would permeate the hallways of our floor and most people knew they emanated from my office.  Luckily corporate security never found out!    

The Mar/Apr 2012 issue of Cook's Illustrated has a recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Bread that I knew I wanted to make right away.  My experience with bread making is pretty limited but I'm getting more and more practice with recipes like these.  I don't think there's anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread...absolute bliss!   The recipe is really straightforward and the results are just like in the magazine.  Looks like my toaster will be on overdrive for the next few days. 

January 26, 2012

Patti Cakes

Call it ironic (or maybe sacrilegious!) but even though I love to bake from scratch I actually tend to prefer store-bought or box mix  treats.  Crazy, right? - but that's how I roll.   

I first tasted the fudge marble version of Patti Cakes many years ago when I was visiting Jill and her family in Cape Cod one summer.  After one bite I was hooked.  Their moniker comes from a close family friend who's famous for them.  I've seen them called other things, e.g., cake mix cookies, but I just like the name "Patti Cakes" above all others.

The cookies are super soft and chewy and such a snap to make that it's ridiculous.  All you need is a box of Duncan Hines cake mix, an egg, some oil and water...that's it!  Couldn't be easier.  These would be a great addition to any kids party or for a Super Bowl gathering next week.

I don't know why it took me so long to ask for the recipe and make them myself, but now that I've got it you can be sure I'm making them again and again.

January 21, 2012

An Elmo Birthday Party

I can't believe Micah is already two years old...time does fly by so quickly.   Was it just a year ago that he had his dinosaur-themed first birthday party?  These days Micah is all about Elmo from Sesame Street so that's the theme Evelyn chose for his party.   The kid's got good taste - I love Elmo as well...he's too cute for words.  Unfortunately I couldn't attend Micah's big party this year but I made some sweet treats that he and his guests could enjoy.   

The birthday cake was four layers of high ratio chocolate butter cake filled with raspberry swiss meringue buttercream and decorated with colored fondant.  I wish I had applied the frosting a bit smoother but I ran out of buttercream.  However I am happy with how the "2" cookie favors turned out.  Their red and orange color theme were inspired by Elmo.


January 14, 2012

Black and White Cookies

"Look to the cookie!"  Who would have thought that a simple black & white could evoke such wise and thought-provoking words from Jerry Seinfeld?  Seinfeld aside, these iconic New York cookies will bring about harmony to your taste buds...guaranteed! 

If ever there was one cookie that I always bought and never considered making at home it would have to be the black & white.  Why?  Mainly because if I was eating one most likely I was in NYC enjoying it.  Not a bad thing if you ask me. 

Considering my budget can't support flying to the east coast on a whim I had to find a cheaper alternative to get my cookie fix.  America's Test Kitchen came to my rescue with this recipe.

These cookies seriously taste like the ones you'd find in a NYC deli.  It's got the authentic taste of the slightly lemony cake/cookie frosted with chocolate and vanilla fondant.  I swear you'll feel like you're back in the Big Apple!

January 1, 2012

Elle Bijou's New Year's 1st Birthday

My dear friend Mimi's much beloved daughter Elle Bijou was born on New Year's Day 2011.  In fact, she was the very first baby born in Louisville last year - it even made the local news!  

To celebrate Elle B's milestone Mimi asked if I could make some edible favors for the party she was having January 1st.  Of course I would!  These monogram cookies are just the thing Mimi was looking for - simple, classic and elegant - and they match the invitation.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...