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Kat’s Cupcakes

So I know I told everyone I would report back on the cupcakes I’m making for Kat Rohrbacher’s thesis project in her graduate program for art school. Here’s an update to that. We met today for our “cupcake transaction”. She is a very sweet girl and I wish her all the best

24Dec2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Gingerbread Scones

These delicious scones can be whipped up with a few pulses in the food processor in minutes. As they bake, your kitchen will fill with the scents of Christmas- cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. You may wish to reduce the amount of spices and molasses, as they are a bit spicy and younger

24Dec2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Christmas Red Velvet Cupcakes with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

I didn’t think I would do this, but being in a generous mood with the approaching holiday, I have decided to share my coveted Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe. Red velvet is my favorite type of cake- it is in its own category of cake and taste. It has a hint of cocoa in

24Dec2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Let’s Make a Date Muffins

These are one of the muffins I made this past weekend when we had company in town. They bake up nice and high and have a beautiful streusel topping. The dates are made into a puree so there are no date pieces in these, although you could always process the dates less

24Dec2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Tiramisu with Homemade Ladyfingers

Dessert overload this weekend. I had been planning on making Dulce de Leche Eclairs this weekend (I still did by the way) when my I received a text from my Mom Saturday afternoon… “Can you make tiramisu tonight?!”. I replied saying she needed to pick up mascarpone cheese and cream cheese. What

15Dec2008 | | 8 comments | Continued
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More Sweet Stuff…Sugar Cookies, Cookie Decorating, & Hot Chocolate

I had a baking disaster yesterday. I was looking forward to trying out a new recipe for Caramel Sea Salt Truffles because I thought that salty-chocolate combination would be quite tasty . And they would be the perfect gift for sticking in holiday packages. The problem is, I am caramel challenged. Try as

11Dec2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Breakfast Today? Christmas Cookies.

A bit overdue, perhaps, but our mini marathon of Christmas cookie baking took place yesterday. Originally my Mom and I had planned on baking early in the day, but it was snowing and we decided to get some errands done first. We ended up making four different types, two old and two new

7Dec2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

My little brother has been asking me to make these, and while I have several more unusual and distinctive Christmas cookies to blog about, I’ll go ahead and post this recipe. It is a simple Christmas cookie staple. Another crinkle cookie, these are low-maintenance and beautiful from the contrasting white and brown that happens

3Dec2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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How to Make a Chocolate Yule Log

Cake rolls can be intimidating, I’ll admit, but this recipe for Chocolate Yule Log Cake, also known as Buche de Noel, couldn’t be simpler and it tastes fantastic. Ribbons of light chocolate cake surround a cool chocolate whipped cream filling. Bittersweet chocolate ganache covers the sides of the log, delivering extra bites of chocolate.

28Nov2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Icebox Butterhorns and Campton Place Hot Chocolate

Our leisurely Saturday morning was intensified with delicious Icebox Butterhorns and Campton Place Hot Chocolate for breakfast. Usually I make these tried-and-true rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, but of course I couldn’t wait for five more meager days and made them on a whim. Please excuse my doofus of a brother

24Nov2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Pumpkin Tart: Two Ways, with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Ann, this post is for you. Over the past week I’ve tried my hand at two different pumpkin tarts. They are both equally good. Both tarts feature that soft, almost sugar cookie-like crust that is not too sweet, and a smooth, creamy pumpkin filling, flavored with just the right amount of spice.

21Nov2008 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Chocolate Mousse Dream Cake

I’m a big fan of this one. Dense, flourless chocolate cake is topped with a light, creamy milk chocolate mousse, then drenched in bittersweet chocolate glaze. The entire delight is kept in the freezer, which surprisingly keeps all the layers at just the right texture. This dessert is best served within a few minutes

20Nov2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Cranberry Crumble Tart

Forget eating cranberries as a side dish. Have them for dessert in this cheery tart. Cinnamon and orange zest help celebrate the taste of cranberries. The cranberries turn into an oozy bubbling garnet mixture as they bake beneath the sweet crumble topping. While they are still sweet-tart in taste, the buttery flaky

20Nov2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Mini Bourbon-Macadamia Nut Pies

Tiny, portable, cute. About the size of a muffin, these little nut pies ooze holiday charm. First of all, it’s nut pie season. Can you recall any other time of year when people eat them with passion, and not guilt? To step it up even more, these pies are made with macadamia

12Nov2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Cookie Exchange: Crinkle Cookies

I did a little baking this weekend and these are the result: Spicy Ginger Crinkle Cookies and Cocoa-Coffee Crinkles. I love the way crinkle cookies look. It’s also easy to tell when they are done because they will start to crack. If you’re looking for the perfect recipe to bring to a cookie

10Nov2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Pears in Nightshirts

For this dessert, pears take center stage. Sometimes we forget how wonderful the simplicity of fruit is. While delicious on its own, fruit can also be beautifully dressed up with only a few ingredients. These pears are cooked in pear juice, water, and a little bit of sugar until they are soft and tender, then

9Nov2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Snowball

This cocktail is perfectly fitting for the holidays. With a powdered sugar rim, slushy consistency, and snow white color, this cocktail lives up to its name. Slightly reminiscent of a White Russian, cinnamon sticks and coffee beans are heated with cream, then left to steep for half an hour. The coffee beans and cinnamon sticks are

9Nov2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Cranberry Corn Muffins

Another holiday favorite. Delicate corn muffins are studded with fresh cranberries for a delicious Fall twist. Enjoy them two ways: sprinkle the tops with sugar before baking for a sweeter breakfast treat, or savor the heartiness of the cornmeal and serve them alongside dinner (or Thanksgiving meal). Cranberries are in season right now,

7Nov2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Maple Apple Tartlets

Looking for a sophisticated but simple dessert recipe for the holidays? You’ve found it. Dozens of flaky layers provide a tender base for fanned apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, butter, and maple syrup. As they bake, they transform from a flat sheet of dough into  puffy, elegant tartlets, while simultaneously filling

4Nov2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust & Praline Caramel Topping

If you aren’t ready for November take a bite of this cheesecake. This dessert has “holiday” written all over it. Its chewy and spicy gingersnap crust mingles with creamy pumpkin, and is accented with just the right amount of sweetness by a praline sauce drizzled over the top of the cheesecake. This is

26Oct2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Gingerbread Muffins

Nothing tastes better than a warm muffin in the morning for breakfast. Especially when you’re used to just eating cold cereal. Imagine being greeted first by wafts of cinnamon and cloves, wondering where that wonderful smell is coming from (and maybe what it is), then stumbling through the darkness of your house

22Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Biga, Country Bread, & Pitas (Arab Bread)

Boy have I been busy this past week! My usual pastry creations ventured off a bit into the bread territory. It has been awhile since I’ve made homemade bread, but it’s always been something that I enjoy doing. It’s very soothing to handle the dough and then watch as it bakes into a satisfying

21Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Perfect Drink: Caffe Freddo

We got lucky this week. For a short string of days, it was the perfect Autumnal weather- warm, breezy, and lots of sunshine to highlight the gorgeous colors. The temperature change was a welcoming invitation outside to my deck, where I could sit in the sun, watch leaves fall, and hear squirrels

18Oct2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Cut-Out Shortbread Cookies

If you haven’t noticed yet, it’s already mid-October. Amazing how time flies. It is now time for holiday season food and themes! At least in my house… This weekend my younger brother and I made these cookies and spent quite a while decorating them. I wanted to practice decorating for future Christmas

12Oct2008 | | 10 comments | Continued
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Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Filling

Oreo Cakesters, meet your nemesis: Megan’s Whoopie Pies. I can only imagine what my life would have been like years ago if I would have had these during lunch in elementary school. Amazing, probably. The traditional whoopie pie is usually made with a shortening based vanilla filling. I find that too sweet and sometimes

8Oct2008 | | 8 comments | Continued
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Peach Queen Cake with Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting

I had the wonderful privilege of spending several days this summer in North Carolina with my two brothers. We love the mountains and wanted to get away and go hiking. We rented out a beautiful, quaint cabin in Weaverville, which was about 15 minutes from Asheville. Asheville is one of my favorite

5Oct2008 | | 5 comments | Continued
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Chocolate Chip Cookies: Extreme Sugars

Believe me when I say these are the some of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. They have the texture, chewiness, and brown sugar taste chocolate chip cookie lovers crave. The secret ingredients are Demerara sugar, dark muscovado (MUSK-A-VEY-DOH) sugar, and toasted oats. These sugars may be unique and unheard of to

5Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Triple Chocolate Scones

I baked these scones the other day and I couldn’t believe their lightness. Yes, they are “triple chocolate”, but they are not overwhelmingly decadent and manage to retain a delicate taste. Despite the added chocolate, these are more traditional than my Cinnamon Roll Scones. Better yet, each scone only has half a tablespoon of butter!

4Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Cocktail Time: Bloody Marys

I know I blog about sweet stuff, but sometimes, I need a baking break. I bartended in college, and I always enjoyed making drinks because a great deal of time is spent on the presentation of the drink, whether it’s the fruit slice garnish, the olive-studded sword, the perfectly poured wineglass, or

29Sep2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Espresso Ice Cream

Espresso ice cream. Yes, I know it’s not exactly summertime anymore, but I saw Ina Garten make this on the Food Network the other day and I wanted to eat a spoonful as soon as possible. Homemade ice cream is truly a treat and it’s not as complicated as you may think. If you

19Sep2008 | | 1 comment | Continued