Month: November 2011

Update on Life!

Apologizes for the lack of blog posts lately! My time has been chewed up by TWO new puppies! If you’ve attempted to housebreak a puppy you know what an endeavor it can be in the beginning. My baking projects have slowed a bit, but I have a TON of content lined up for December — including 6 birthday cakes and a 12 Days of Christmas stint (there will be a holiday-related post for the first twelve days of the month) — so check back!

But for now, I’ll leave you with some cuteness. My new loves, Gus and Gracie.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

Apples are one of my favorite fruits. I love Granny Smith apples with peanut butter and I eat Honeycrisp apples like they are candy (which is a good thing, I suppose, as they are super healthy). But let’s be real: this is a baking blog. Healthy flies out the window on a daily basis ’round here. Let’s add caramel! Caramel apples are delicious and a staple of fall. These cookies were easy to make — but are best served warm, so the caramel within the cookie can melt and remain oooey gooey!

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
Recipe source: Gimme Some Oven
Print Recipe

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (7.4 oz) box Alpine Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix (do NOT buy sugar-free!)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14 oz) bag Kraft caramels, unwrapped

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. (note: these cookies can and will likely ooze caramel – be sure to use parchment so that the caramel doesn’t stick to the baking sheet!)
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. With an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, salt, and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add  vanilla and mix well. Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
4. Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of 2 Tablespoons. Flatten the ball of dough in the palm of your hand and press an unwrapped caramel into the center of the dough; seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Shape the dough into a ball and place on the cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.
5. Bake 12-14 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges. Don’t over bake!!  Once the cookies are done, carefully slide the parchment off the baking sheet onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment and then carefully twist off parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down.

Yield: About 4 dozen; likely less if you make large balls of dough/caramel.

Note:  Be sure to cool these cookies upside down — they will leak and ooze out caramel if you don’t!

Hamburger Cookies

I had a little football party a few weeks go and made these for dessert. They are mini hamburger cookies and they are SO EASY to make. Seriously, they only took about 10 minutes to assemble. Super easy! Hope you are all having a great week.

Hamburger Cookies
Recipe source: The Capitol Baker
Print Recipe

48 Nilla Wafer Cookies
24 mini peppermint patties
1/4-1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 can vanilla frosting
1/2-1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Red, yellow, and green food coloring

1. Divide the vanilla frosting into three bowls; dye one batch red, one yellow, and one green.
2. Place the coconut in a Ziploc bag and add a few drops of green coloring. Shake the bag until the color is even (if you want a deeper shade of green, just add more food coloring).
3. Lay 24 Nilla wafer cookies, curved side down, on a flat surface. Attach the peppermint patty to the Nilla wafer using a dab of frosting.
4. Spread red frosting on half of the peppermint patty and yellow frosting on the other half. Sprinkle green coconut on top of the frosting. Place another Nilla wafer on top.
5. Sprinkle a bit of water on the top “bun” and add sesame seeds.

Football Rivalry Cake

Happy Friday, bloggity blog readers! Nothing special to share with you today — just this fun cake I made to celebrate the football rivalry between my friends and me. I’ve got two good friends who share my adoration of NFL football, but there’s just one problem. Jamie loves da Bears (boo). Rolanda loves the Vikings (double boo). And I love the Packers. All three of these teams share history and heated rivalries, so watching football together is always so much fun. We give each other shit & make silly bets, all in good fun.

I made this cake to celebrate the NFL and how fun it can be. It includes Packers, Bears, and Vikings colors. :)

Gluten-Free Oreo Cake

Here’s another yummy cake that Meghan baked a few weeks ago!

Gluten-Free Oreo Cake
Print Recipe

1 box gluten-free cake mix (plus necessary oil, butter, etc as called for)
1 box gluten-free Oreo cookies (Kinni-Toos or Newman-Os)

For icing: 
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 stick salted butter, softened
1 stick shortening (Crisco)
1 TB clear vanilla
4-6 TB milk
1 bag powdered sugar (2 pounds)

1. Bake gluten-free cake according to box directions. Meghan used vanilla cake.
2. Make frosting by creaming the butters and shortening together until creamy; slowly add the powdered sugar until well-incorporated; add the vanilla and milk until you reach a desirable consistency.
3. Crush the cookies in a food processor — or put them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
4. Frost the cake entirely; cover the sides of the cake with crushed cookies.