Friday, August 28, 2015

Sweet Shortcuts - Easy Puff Pastry Shells

My friend has been telling me for years how easy frozen puff pastry is to work with, and how you can dock the dough (poke holes in it) to let part of it puff and part of it stay flat.  I was always too nervous to try, but today, I'm happy to say that I made puff pastry shells, and they were so easy!

This recipe yields nine shells, and here's how you do it (make sure to read the note at the end regarding how long they stay fresh):

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mocha Pots de Crème

I'm back!  Sorry that I haven't posted in SO long - life got hectic, and this blog fell by the wayside.

I've wanted to make pots de crème (pronounced po de crem) for a long time, but was intimidated by recipes with a lot of complicated steps.  Then I saw The Pioneer Woman's pots de crème, done in a blender!  I saw that the comments were a mixed bag, with some saying that they were amazing, and some complaining that they didn't set up right.

I thought that the addition of heavy cream would help them set up properly, and I wanted to keep the coffee element, so here's my riff on her recipe:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Simple cake recipe for people with dairy and egg allergies

We had houseguests this weekend, and their son is allergic to dairy and eggs.  I wanted to make him something sweet that he could eat, so I scoured the Internet and found that you could add a can of soda to any cake mix and end up with a great cake!  So I used a box vanilla cake mix by Duncan Hines (egg and dairy free) and added a 10 ounce bottle of club soda...just mix them together, pour the batter into the pan, and bake for the time listed on the cake mix box.

The resulting cake was so good!  It was light and airy from the club soda, and sweet from the mix.  I left half of the cake plain and frosted half with cinnamon frosting.

(This is also a great recipe if you find you have no eggs in your fridge!)

If you're looking for a recipe for friends/relatives with allergies, or simply want a light and airy vanilla cake, I hope you try this!!!

- Sugar Baby

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chocolate crinkle cookies

I wasn't sure what to expect when I made these cookies…when you make a new recipe, you have to have a lot of hope and faith that the end result will be delicious.  I made these chocolate crinkles from a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens "New Baking Book," and I am so happy to report they are AMAZING.  They're soft and fudgy, and aren't overly sweet, which is nice.  Here's how to make them:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday recipes and gifts for bakers

Hi everyone,

I'm in the last stretch of the semester, and should return to posting regularly very soon.  In the meantime:


Peppermint Bark:

Holiday Sugar Cookies:

Mini Gingerbread Bundt Cakes:

Goodie Bag craft:

And many other recipes can be found in my recipe index:


Baking Books:

Gift Ideas for Bakers, under $20:

It was written last year, so I hope all of the links still work!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sweet Shortcuts - Easiest Pumpkin Muffins


You guys won't believe how easy this recipe for pumpkin muffins is to make!  It's SO fast and simple, even those of you who swear you can't bake can make these.

There are only three ingredients - one spice cake mix, one 15 ounce can of pumpkin (not pie filling), and a little milk.  That is IT.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Down East Pumpkin Bread

I'm sorry for my long absence - my college class load is much larger this semester, and it's been keeping me busy!!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I love autumn!  Walking the greyhounds is so much fun when it's cool out, and the leaves swirl around us.  My inner baking goddess wakes up, and says, "Let's bake!"  I can't get enough pumpkin-flavored treats in the fall (hello, pumpkin spice latte!), and this recipe is a doozy!

It's from Tried and True Favorites, published by Allrecipes.  It's moist and hearty, with a lovely spice blend that includes cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  (The original recipe also calls for ground cloves, but I omitted it.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lemon-Lime Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

This light and fresh pound cake is not your typical pound cake, because you add lemon-lime soft drink to the mix!  The soda adds a lovely citrus note to this cake, and the lemon glaze is just scrumptious.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Glazed Butter Cookies

It's funny how a recipe can morph as you experiment with it.  On Thursday, I set out to make a traditional wedding cookie recipe that my friend Emma gave me - it was a pretty straightforward recipe, but I wasn't crazy about the result.  It was too dry and crumbly, and not sweet enough.

I tried again, adding a little milk and some honey to the dough, and the results were amazing.  Those two additions produced a cookie that sweet, buttery, and delicious!  I also changed the powdered sugar coating to a vanilla glaze, and it's really the perfect little cookie.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review: Williams-Sonoma's Ice Cream Starter

I was in my local Williams-Sonoma last week, and I saw a product called Ice Cream Starter, and I was intrigued.  It comes in three flavors - vanilla, chocolate, and caramel.  I am such a caramel fiend, so I thought I would give it a try, and do a review here!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Triple Color Cake

I absolutely love the surprise waiting inside this cake - from the outside, it looks like a regular vanilla cake, and then you cut into it and see the gorgeous colors!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mini-mason jar shortcakes

I'm so sorry for the long gap without any posts - my kitchen is currently under construction, and my oven has been disconnected for a while, so I decided to make these little shortcakes from store-bought ingredients.  They're perfect summer treats bursting with fresh fruit…I think you'll really like these!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Southern France

I just got back from a trip to Southern France, and thought I would share some food photos with you.  Our group visited Les Halles de Lyon ~ Paul Bocuse, a lovely covered food market named after the famous Lyonnaise chef Paul Bocuse.  We wanted to buy everything in sight, but settled on a baguette, a wheel of brie, some ham, and macarons!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fondant Cupcake Toppers - Flowers

I made cupcakes for a friend's baby shower - she's having a little girl, so I thought pink and green would be really cute!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Streusel Coffee Cake

Sorry for my long absence - between my semester wrapping up, and some traveling, I could never find the time to post a new recipe!

This coffee cake is moist and tender, and the streusel topping puts it over the top.  I know you'll just love it as much as I do!  The credit for this recipe goes to my friend Stacey, who shared it with me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

White Chocolate Chip Blondies

These Blondies are simply Nestle Toll House dough with white chocolate chips…I tried a lot of different Blondie recipes, but you just can't beat Toll House!

One quick note - this recipe uses a 15 x 10 jelly roll pan.  If you don't have this size, you might be able to get away with using two 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pans.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Savory Shortcut - Baked Brie

Hello everyone,

I know my shortcuts are normally sweet, but I thought I would add an occasional new feature with savory dishes.  This appetizer is great for family get togethers, dinner parties, cocktail parties, etc.  I owe this recipe to my dear friend Laurie - she made it for book club a while ago, and I told her I was SO impressed that she made it with puff pastry.  She laughed and explained that it was actually just Pillsbury crescent roll dough!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sweet Shortcut - Chocolate Icebox Pie

Hi everybody!

I'm so sorry for my long absence - it was a combination of mid-term exams and the flu!  (I'm getting a degree in Art History as an adult, so I have to work hard at it!)

I thought a shortcut recipe would be perfect for this lazy Sunday.  This pie is three layers of chocolate - the Oreo cookie crust, a layer of chocolate pudding, and a layer of chocolate "mousse" made from combining the pudding and non-dairy whipped topping.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Craft idea: Goodie Bags

If you're like me, you like to give your baked goods to your friends and family.  I have struggled with how to package up my baked treats…I've used paper plates covered with foil, disposable plastic containers, zip-top bags, etc.  I think these cellophane goodie bags are so cute, and are SO versatile.

For this project, you will need:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sweet Shortcuts - Giant Cookie

This giant cookie was super simple to put together - all you need is a 16 and a 1/2 ounce roll of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough and some canned frosting!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

Ahh, chocolate and peanut butter…SO good together!  I was flipping through one of my cookbooks, called "9 x 13: The Pan That Can," and I saw a recipe for these brownies with a peanut butter swirl.  I just knew I had to make them!

I altered the recipe a little by adding a ganache on top, because the original drizzle called for melting shortening and chocolate chips together, and that didn't sound good to me.  I also used chocolate chips instead of bar chocolate, because that's what I had on hand.  :-)

Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients, because it's not a hard recipe…and the final product is so rich and decadent, with a hint of that salty bite in the middle.  Yum!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day - Fondant Toppers for Cupcakes or Cookies

I had so much fun with these toppers…I just rolled out pink, white, and pink/white smushed together fondant and played around with some heart cutters.  [Here's a link to my fondant post if you want to learn how to color and roll out fondant.]

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentine's Day - Red Velvet Cake Balls

These cake balls arose out of a disaster…I made a red velvet sheet cake and had dutifully greased and floured the pan, but when it came time to flip it and take the cake out, disaster struck!  Half of the cake came out and half stayed in.  I was so mad, but I saw it as an opportunity to make cake balls out of the ruined cake.

I don't have a lot of process shot for these, but please check out Bakerella's how-to post for these delicious treats.  She's the queen of cake balls, cake pops, cupcake pops, etc. and she's just wonderful.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Valentine's Day Brownie Towers

I'll be posting some Valentine's cupcakes with fondant decorations in the next week, but I wanted to show you a quick and easy dessert first.

These are stacked brownies with strawberries and buttercream frosting…and they're delicious!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cream Biscuits, two ways

These cream biscuits are SO amazing…I'll show you how to make the dough, then two ways to put them together.