Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
When I started this blog in 2009, I didn't plan on being drawn into the Cupcakean Nebula. I never had anything against cupcakes, they were just too trendy.
For as accommodating as I am, I can also be quite contrary. I cut my hair super-short after someone said they didn't like girls with super-short hair, If someone says "You're a good mood!", it puts me in a bad mood, despite the fact that I consider myself a realist, I believe in the idea of soul-mates, and I like knee socks with just about everything, including shorts. So when the world became obsessed with cupcakes, my automatic response was to avoid them, at all costs.
Thankfully, that didn't last very long. :D
the Bucket Brownies
Since I'm an on-again, off-again, pseudo vegetarian, I look to peanut butter as a source of protein. (That's a good excuse for stealing a few spoonfuls here and there, right?) Well, apparently yesterday was National Peanut Butter Day...and I didn't even have so much as a piece of toast, or smear of jam to mark the occasion.
Lime Chiffon Cake
So far, winter has been on the mild side. I haven't had the usual angst-ridden longings for sunnier weather. (Now watch what happens as a result of writing that down.)
Even though I haven't felt the urge to bury myself under 300 blankets while inhaling Meyer lemons for the next two months, I still crave the warm, summer-drenched ambiance of citrus. Any form of citrus. Yes, even a tangerine-vanilla martini (or two).
For some reason, my friends don't always just come right out and ask me to bake something. Instead they leave clues, ninja-style, for me to find in the morning.
I can take a hint.
Pinckney Cookie Cafe Cookies
It's no secret that I Love cookies. (In all honesty, who doesn't?) I became a cookie snob when I was about 7 years old...right after my first batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies were lovingly removed from the oven. Since then, my taste-buds will only dance for cookies that are lush with natural, made-from-scratch, taste and texture. Nothing compares to homemade cookies.
So it was a lovely, delicious, wonderful, fabulous, surprise when Michael, of Bellevue Washington's Pinckney Cookie Cafe, sent me a box containing his 4 signature chocolate chip cookies.
Michael knows his baked goods. Each variety is as decadent as the cookies I've made at home!
Walnut-Oat Caramel Shortbread
My convenient, digital kitchen scale rarely gets to play in the world of grams, so why start now? For this recipe, I dug out my mom's old-school kitchen scale. (The kind that has to be at eye-level in order to get an accurate read on the thin, wobbly needle.)
Everyone has a favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, right? After extensive research on the matter (and by research, I mean eating), my top pick is The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, from Cook's Illustrated. Nipping at it's crumbs in second place is the infamous recipe by Jacques Torres.
All's fair in love and cookies. And since I've made the Cook's Illustrated and Jacques Torres recipes more than once (I won't give out actual numbers), I thought I should also revisit the 3rd runner up, Alton Brown's The Chewy...with the addition of salty pretzels and sweet, butterscotch chips.
As some of you may know, since I blurt it out at random like an obsessed parrot, I love citrus. For New Years Eve, I was convinced that I was going to make some kind of perky, tart, lemony-pistachio layer cake...until I saw This cake on Country Living.
I am not a chocoholic. (Every time I say that, it feels like I'm confessing to a crime.) And after my sister requested chocolate on chocolate for her birthday last March, I didn't want to look at chocolate cake again. Ever.
But this recipe has something spectacular, something that brought me back to the land of chocolate cakes, something called raspberry cream filling!
Happy New Year! I hope the first few days of January have been kind. Even though I never make any resolutions, a new year feels like a crisp, fresh sheet of paper sitting beside a typewriter at a desk in a sunlit room. There's a calm, clarity of thought that allows us to write a new story without the burden of a year's worth of worries.