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I’m alive!
And hey, did you know that they make patriotic candy corn? I didn’t either.
So I haven’t forgotten about my blog, nor have I lost my desire to bake.
I’ve just been really busy, guys. The entire month of May was me packing, moving, graduating, unpacking, and going to Home Depot about 8,297 times. The month of June has been trying to adjust to, you know, being a lawyer. It’s overwhelming, I won’t lie and I won’t sugarcoat it.
Another complication? My house can only be cooled with two window ACs, so honestly, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is turn on a hot oven.
But I WILL return – likely in July!
I hope you have all been well :)

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Hello lovely blog readers! I will be going on a month-long (or maybe a bit more) hiatus because I’m GRADUATING LAW SCHOOL! AND MOVING! AND STARTING A NEW JOB! OMG! This is all very overwhelming. Good overwhelming though. Because of all these MAJOR LIFE CHANGES, I’ll have little to no time for baking or blogging over the next six weeks or so.

Leaving Milwaukee will be so bittersweet. I’ve mostly hated law school, but I’ve mostly loved Milwaukee. My three years here have been filled with ups and downs, but also filled with plenty of fun, good food, and a lot of exploring. Milwaukee is a little rough around the edges and the traffic makes me want to punch a baby, but I will miss it dearly.

Here are some fun facts about MKE. Because who doesn’t love fun facts?!

– The name Milwaukee comes from the Native American word “Milliocki” meaning gathering place by the water.
– Milwaukee is the 22nd largest city in America.
– Milwaukee is home to Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
– The typewriter was invented in Milwaukee in 1867 by Christopher Latham Sholes.
– The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Burke Brise Soleil wingspans spreads 217 feet at its widest point, wider then a Boeing 747.
– The flame-shaped light on top of the Milwaukee Gas Company building changes color to forecast the weather. Yellow is cold, Red is warm, and Blue means no change.
– Milwaukee sometimes referred to as “Cream City” because of the buildings that were built in cream colored brick. It’s unique yellow color disappointed pioneer brick makers. They were astonished when builders from across the country were willing to pay double its price. Although the brick is no longer made, it is still in high demand and often recycled.
– In the late 1800s Milwaukee become known as “Beertown.” Four famous Milwaukee brewers are Frederick Pabst, Frederick Miller, Joseph Schlitz and Valentine Blatz.

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  • Mary-Michael - April 30, 2015 - 9:09 am

    Congratulations!ReplyCancel

    • Annie - April 30, 2015 - 10:51 am

      Thank you, Mary-Michael! :)ReplyCancel

  • Susan B - April 30, 2015 - 9:49 am

    Congratulations! I’m formerly from the Milwaukee area, so I’ve enjoyed both your recipes and your comments about Milwaukee. Don’t forget the Milwaukee Domes at Mitchell Park, one of the most unique botanical gardens ever!ReplyCancel

    • Annie - April 30, 2015 - 10:51 am

      Thanks, Susan! Unfortunately I never made it to the Domes! :( I’ve heard they’re wonderful though.ReplyCancel

DSC_4083x900The end of April is here, final exams are in full swing, and law school is winding down for good. Throughout my three years of law school I’ve brought many of the treats I’ve made to school. Hungry and stressed out students are always a captive audience for sugary treats. My friends and fellow students would see the pink bakery boxes and swoop in like vultures, which was always kind of funny.

For the most part, I have not enjoyed law school. It’s been a steady hum of anxiety, stress, work, and very little fun… and very little sleep. But a small part of me is sad to see it (and my higher education experience) come to an end. So here’s to the approximately 3,280 cookies I’ve baked and to everyone who ate them!

Soft M&M Cookies
Recipe source: Picky Palate
Print Recipe

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 or 1-1/2 cups mini M&Ms (if you don’t have the minis, regular sized will work)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl cream your butter and sugars until well combined.
3. Add your egg and vanilla mixing to combine.
4. Add your flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine.
5. Add chips and m and m’s stirring to combine.
6. With a medium cookie scoop, place dough 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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DSC_4181x900This is a recipe that went over BIG at school. The chocolate lovers were happy. The peanut butter lovers were happy. And if you didn’t peanut butter or chocolate, you could just eat one half! And don’t be hesitant to try these — they’re easy!

Peanut Butter / Chocolate Cookies
Recipe source: Sally’s Baking Addiction
Print Recipe

Chocolate cookie dough:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (or dark brown)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

Peanut butter cookie dough:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (or dark brown)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

Make the chocolate dough:
1. Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed.
2. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly mix it into the wet ingredrients. The dough will be very thick.
4. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the milk and then fold in the chocolate chips.

Make the peanut butter dough:
1. Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed.
2. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Scrape down the sides as needed.
3. Slowly mix in the baking soda, flour, and salt. Do not overmix.
4. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill both doughs for at least 2 hours.

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
2. Line cookie sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
3. Measure 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Take 2 Tablespoons of chocolate cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Smoosh the two balls together and roll them into 1 large ball.
4. Repeat for each cookie.
5. Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, puffy, and almost undone. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet and they will continue to “bake” and set up. As the cookies cool, they will firm up. Cookies remain fresh (and soft) for up to 10 days in an airtight container.

Makes a couple dozen cookies.

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nationalNational Bakery has become one of my favorites in Milwaukee. In addition to bakery treats, they also sell deli meats and sandwiches. They have three locations in Milwaukee, but I always visit their 16th Street store. Every time I’ve been here, it’s been a pleasant experience because I think they have the nicest staff of any business in Milwaukee. Seriously. Here are more thoughts!

  • Their seasonal sugar cookies are really tasty – and some have the old school air-brushed designs!
  • So. Many. Pastries. You name it, they sell it — donuts, danish, coffee cakes, tarts, tortes, muffins, etc.
  • They also have plenty of pre-packaged cakes, cupcakes, and other treats — in case you need to pop in and grab some treats for a party or event.
  • There’s a nice parking lot next to the building, as well as plenty of street parking.

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