Friday, December 30, 2011

MY Top Ten Recipes of 2011.

Because I love:

- New Year's Eve

- Making lists

- Posting excessive pictures of sugar

... aaaaand refuse to make, eat, or look at another cookie until 2012, here are my top ten favorite recipes from 2011 (your favorites are here). Get on this!

10. The Baked Brownie.
Honorable Mention: Chocolate Cauldron Cakes. You were delicious and whimsical, but oh so much work.
Happy 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 10 Recipes of 2011.

These were the ten most viewed recipes this year... did you try any of them? What was your favorite? 

9. Graham Cracker S'mores Candy.
4. Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling.
2. Chewy No-Bake Cookies & Cream Treats.
Thank you to everyone who's stopped by this year, supported me, baked things, left comments, and basically just been awesome. Love to all of you and wishing you lots of sugar and happiness in the new year! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Things.

1. Remember this list of four thousand stocking stuffers?

On Christmas Eve, my boyfriend handed me a fancy purple water thingy thermos which, at first, I thought was man-code for babe, you should start working out again... until I opened it and found it filled with candy. "It's full of peanut butter cups!" Three second pause. Gasp. "... oh no. YOU READ MY BLOG?!?"

"#11. A new coffee cup, thermos, tumbler. Bonus points if filled with Hershey kisses or peanut butter cups."

He then proceeded to hand me a bag full of...

#5. Mini bottles of wine. <-- Totally drinking them now.

#19. Hair ties & bobby pins.

#34. New razor.

#44. Heat-protectant hair spray.

#46. Pepper spray. No really.

#47. A strawberry slicer.

#48. A manicure gift certificate.

But I think the greatest part was knowing that he cares enough about cookies cupcakes sugar me to stalk me on the Internet. "Why didn't you just tell me you read my blog?" "Because you get so angry when you catch me on there!" 

Yeah. That's probably true. 

... and now that I've re-read that list, I'm kind of permanetly mortified over the fact that he probably read #17, in which I stated that I would "marry him immediately" if he put a tiny framed picture of us in my stocking. I can't even deal.


He didn't give me one. What does that mean? Oh geez.

2. I may be 24, but I still sneak out of bed in the middle of the night to see if Santa's come yet.
... this year he kind of failed at the "under the tree" concept. 

3. I think you know. 
What did Santa bring you this year? 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Why Did I Take a Picture of That?

Photos from the vault, the 2011 edition. 

How to make cinnamon doughnut holes and FAIL.
Either you really love peanut butter cups... or you've just made these. Either way, this is just an artfully-arranged Christmas pile of trash.
How to make pumpkin pie spice. Or Bing it, really.
 World's most ugly cookie batter.
Because the best way to showcase a cake is with a dog's face up in it.
Ready to be filled with chocolate mousse!
 Because normal people pre-sketch out their Easter cupcakes, right? Don't answer that.
 The tiny monster that follows me around while I bake.
What happens when you try to sprinkle fancy coconut on a cupcake and take an in-focus picture at the same time.
P.S. You miss completely. 

A political sugar cookie. It happens. Don't judge me. 
S'morestown. Chances are, no matter what I'm making, if there's chocolate melting, I'm going to take a picture of it. It's just a fact.
I think I was attempting to show the gooeyness of the peanut butter half? Either that or zoom completely inside the dough.
Making delicious cherries. I must've thought this step was important because I took at least eleven pictures of it. 
How to add flour and cinnamon to pumpkin cupcake batter. Very complicated. And orange.
Sorry. It's just this is so in your face it's practically yelling. 

Chocolate-dipped cookies? I don't even remember these happening.
If I could have zoomed all the way into this buttermilk biscuit, I probably would have. Clearly I really wanted you to understand that they are flaky and delicious.
Annnnnd... a chocolate chip. Like... just one. Very important things happening here. 
What are you looking forward to baking in 2012? 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas full of family, love, magic, and cheer!
Oh and cookies. Always. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting for One.

If you...

Ever had an Easy Bake oven.

Wish you still had an Easy Bake oven.
Have small children that have an Easy Bake oven throw flour everywhere like to help you bake.

Like sprinkles. 
Like frosting. 

Like miniature things.

Want to Facebook "Ate a whole cake. Totally normal." 
Want to practice frosting a cake. Or use up leftover frosting. Or just put frosting in your face in general. 

Have a last-minute need to celebrate something. 
Had yourself A Day.

Consider cake a totally acceptable breakfast food.

Want to throw a pre-Christmas Eve Friday night party for one.  
Or put a candle in something and make wishes. 

Then this cake is for you! 
Like... only for you. 

Cuz it's tiny, duh.
I baked this mini cake for my dad's birthday the night before I moved to procrastinate packing since I would be missing his actual birthday. This meant the task of birthday cake-making would fall (unwillingly and with lots of grumbling and glares) to my mom... which, let's be real, means dropping off an order form at Baskin Robbins.  
P.S. His birthday's today! 
But my dad has a thing. And that thing is "chocolate cake with white frosting" every year without fail for his birthday, Father's Day, and, if he can get away with it, anytime in general that I bake a cake. The one time he tried to shake it up? I can't even deal. My mom made a red velvet cake and I think it scarred us for life, what with all the radioactive food dye in it and the cream cheese frosting (<-- not our favorite), since no one's eaten/asked for/thought about red velvet anything since then.  
So. Happy birthday, Daddy. I miss you, I love you, and I think you're the bestest Dad in the world. Enjoy your birthday sushi and birthday ice cream cake and birthday Kindle Fire and I'll be back to bug you tomorrow.
Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting for One

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Vanilla Frosting
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon shortening
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove paper label from a 12.5 ounce can, wash, completely dry, then spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

P.S. The original recipe used this can. It works perfectly. Trust.
Place flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, egg, oil, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized mixing bowl. 

Melt chocolate chips in a small microwavable bowl in 30 seconds intervals, stirring in between until smooth. Pour into mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. 

Pour batter into prepared can and bake for 25-30 minutes or until baked through. Remove and loosen edges with a knife. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from can by flipping over firmly. Let cool completely, then cut in half length-wise.

To make frosting, beat together the softened butter and shortening until light and fluffy (I did this in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but since it's such a small batch, be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula in between steps).
Add the vanilla and salt and mix until incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the milk and beat at high speed until light and fluffy.

When cake is cooled completely, spread part of the frosting over bottom cake. 
Place second cake on top...
...and evenly spread the rest of the frosting over the cake. 
Decorate with sprinkles, find something to celebrate, and enjoy!
Source: Cake and inspiration from Picky Palate. Vanilla frosting barely adapted from the pumpkin spice cupcakes for two recipe.