Month: February 2011

Store Review: Vanilla Bean

This post really only applies to Madison, Wisconsin residents. There’s a baking store in Madison called Vanilla Bean… and if you live in Madison, I urge you to visit! Cause it’s amazing. They have every single baking supply, cookie cutter, cake pan, extract, fondant, sprinkle, liner, kitchen tool, and decoration ever produced. Don’t believe me? Check out the photos below! My only complaint about this store — and it’s a minor complaint — is that the employees are a little, uh, cranky. C’mon ladies — you work in the land of baking goods! SMILE! I certainly would.

Cake pans!

Candy-making supplies!

Pressed sugars and cupcake liners!

Cake decorations & cookie cutters!

Sprinkles! They also sell edible glitter. Yes. You know you want it.

Bottles and bottles and bottles of AmeriColor! Hello, lovers..

Cookies ‘n’ Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies

Happy Valentine’s Day, chocolate lovers!! You can do one of two things with this recipe:
a) Make these brownies for your sweetie, as a lovely dessert to top off your romantic Valentine’s day dinner.
b) Make these brownies for yourself, as a way to celebrate the fact that Valentine’s day sucks.

I’ll be going with option B. I’ll try to show some restraint and not eat the entire pan…(y’all know how Oreos are my biggest guilty pleasure).

Cookies ‘n’ Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies
Recipe source:
Print Recipe

1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownie mix)
Eggs & oil (as called for by the brownie mix)
1 heaping half cup (6 oz) cookies & cream ice cream
1/4 cup hot fudge topping (chilled or room temp)
Double Stuf Oreos

1. Preheat oven according to box directions & spray an 8×8 baking dish generously with cooking spray.
2. Combine brownie mix, eggs, and oil as directed on the back of the box, but do not add the water.
3. Add ice cream and hot fudge to the brownie batter and stir to combine.
4. Pour half of the brownie batter into the baking dish, layer with Oreos, then top with remaining batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes or as directed on the back of the box.

Valentine’s Day Ideas 2011

Valentine’s Day is on Monday! That means you have the weekend to come up with a yummy treat to make for the special (or incredibly commercialized, depending on how you look at it) holiday. To help you out, I’ve collected my favorite recipes for this holiday. XOXO.

1. Sweet Talk Cupcakes
2. Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcakes
3. Red Velvet Cake
4. Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars
5. Pear-Raspberry Heart Pies
6. Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
7. Fudge Brownies
8. Red Velvet Cupcakes
9. Neapolitan Rice Krispie Treats
10. Valentine’s Day Cupcakes
11. Chocolate Butter Cookies
12. Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake
13. Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Cookies
14. Conversation Heart Cupcakes
15. Cherry Icebox Cookies
16. Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Fruity Pebbles Treats

Okay, how many of you have kids? Raise your hands. Well, I certainly don’t — but who doesn’t love something deliciously sweet and artificial every now and then?! Fruity Pebbles are, by nature, weird. Brightly colored and full of a mysterious flavor that in no way resembles fruit. These treats would certainly appeal to children — and those of you who really, really like SUGAR.

Fruity Pebble Treats
Recipe source: …the side of the cereal box
Print Recipe

1/2 stick butter
10.5 oz mini marshmallows (1 bag)
13 oz box Fruity Pebbles (or about 8-1/2 cups)

1. Coat a 9×13″ pan with cooking spray.
2. Melt the butter and marshmallows in large pot over medium heat. Stir until you get a lovely melted butter-n-marshmallow goo.
3. Add the cereal to the butter/marshmallow mix gradually. Stir well to make sure that the cereal is evenly coated.
4. Press the cereal mixture into the prepared pan and let cool. Cut into bars.

Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Cookies

Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Cookies
Recipe source: Everyday Food
Print Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Pink or red food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar on medium-high until creamy (about 3 minutes). Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla — beat until combined. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine.
2. Place 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl; roll dough into 1-inch balls and coat with sugar. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. With the bottom of a glass, flatten balls to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Press a 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter into each (do not cut through).
3. Bake cookies until golden at edges — about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire racks.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1-3/4 teaspoons cold water. Whisk in food coloring. Spread glaze inside each heart — or pipe the glaze onto the hearts. Let set for 15 minutes.

Makes about 40 cookies.