Archives for category: Baking

Pinterest dreams do come true! I came across a Rice Krispie treat cake awhile ago and knew I had to make it for my good friend Michelle. She’s gluten free and loves her some rice krispie treats! So I held onto that idea for her birthday and after lots of not so patient waiting I finally got to make it.

Not my normal cake making ingredients

Not my normal cake making ingredients

Cocoa krispie rice krispie treats patted into a springform pan.

Cocoa krispie rice krispie treats patted into a springform pan.

Two layers sitting out to dry

Two layers sitting out to dry

Time to stack the cake with Marshmallow Fluff frosting.

Time to stack the cake with Marshmallow Fluff frosting.

Hmmm... turns out that frosting makes a better filling. The cake spent the night in the fridge to try to keep some of it from sliding off.

Hmmm… turns out that frosting makes a better filling. The cake spent the night in the fridge to try to keep some of it from sliding off.

Time for sprinkles. It's a lumpy bumpy cake, but sprinkles help.

Time for sprinkles. It’s a lumpy bumpy cake, but sprinkles help.

Maybe the sweetest dessert I've ever made. Tasty and fun, and we already have lots of combo ideas for future versions!

Maybe the sweetest dessert I’ve ever made. Tasty and fun, and we already have lots of combo ideas for future versions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I forgot just how happy baking makes me. No, there’s no chocolate in this one – but I had to share because I’m celebrating fall and a return to baking and the realization of just how much I missed creating (in the kitchen and with my sewing machine) over the summer. This summer was incredible and I wouldn’t change it, but I am so excited for fall, for apples, pumpkins, leaves, foggy mornings and crisp evenings, curling up with a book, cozy clothes  & boots and best of all baking.

At the beginning of each new season I’m convinced it’s my favorite, but truly I know that designation only goes to fall for me. And I’m celebrating with food (cause that is one of the best parts of fall, right?). Yesterday I enjoyed an egg, smoked jack cheese, apple and sausage scramble – delicious! And tonight… my most favorite apple, a Zestar, with honey roasted peanut butter (thank you Bellewood Acres for both) and now… I have pumpkin poppers in the oven. The smell of the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger made me grin and then the taste of the batter (yes, I love my raw baked goods!) just made me giddy. The recipe describes them as baked pumpkin donut holes and I’d have to agree, yum! I did adjust the topping a bit. I made brown butter and used maple sugar with the cinnamon – might as well take it to the top for a fall celebration, right?

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I realized I’ve had a string of sewing/crafting posts so it seemed like well past time to share some baking delights. And this morning provided a couple tasty subjects.

We had a baby shower for a good friend today and I’d been trying to think of what sweet things to make for her. She loves salted caramel, so this recipe from Smitten Kitchen was a no-brainer since I know I can trust that her recipes will turn out even on the first try.  So what to pair with it? Something non-chocolate? Then it hit me… this baby made her mama extra nauseous early in the pregnancy and one of the only things that sounded good were pop-tarts (and hot chocolate, but now that the sun is out that didn’t seem as appealing). Yup, time to try homemade pop-tarts. And this recipe for strawberry nutella pop-tarts seemed like the perfect place to start.

Happily both turned out – especially the brownies, those will be a new go-to favorite I’m sure!

Ready for a morning of baking

Ready for a morning of baking

As much as I bake, my little secret is that I pretty much avoid any dough that has to be rolled out – it scares me. But I was too excited about the pop-tart idea and besides, my friend is worth it. I also had a duh moment when I realized that just because I have a baby food processor that doesn’t mean I can’t use it. I needed two balls of dough anyway, so I just mixed it up in two batches and just like that – pastry dough! I just might be able to add a whole new category of baking into my repertoire.

I know it's not an exciting photo, but I was so proud of these two little balls of dough that I'm sharing anyway.

I know it’s not an exciting photo, but I was so proud of these two little balls of dough that I’m sharing anyway.

Then came the rolling and cutting and filling stages of the pop-tarts; not so bad. And more importantly I got a complement on the flaky pastry dough!

Pastry with nutella and strawberry jam.

Pastry with nutella and strawberry jam.

They're starting to look like pop-tarts!

They’re starting to look like pop-tarts!

Ta da! Homemade pop-tarts.

Ta da! Homemade pop-tarts.

Next up… the brownies. Which started with homemade caramel (getting over that fear really opened up a whole new world of goodness).

Caramel bits ready for the brownies.

Caramel bits ready for the brownies.

Gooey chocolate with caramel bits? yes please.

Gooey chocolate with caramel bits? yes please.

Salted caramel brownies. These were a chewy, gooey, decadent treat that I'll be making again for sure!

Salted caramel brownies. These were a chewy, gooey, decadent treat that I’ll be making again for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

More fall love… Both last weekend and today (a Monday no less), I had perfect lazy fall days with friends. Last weekend a friend who’s learning to sew came over for the afternoon and we had a mellow few hours talking, sewing and enjoying some homemade pumpkin soup. My project that day was to start some pillow covers for fall/winter. I got one front done and they’ve been mocking me ever since. But today another friend came over to teach me how to bake bread (yeast and I just don’t play well together). The bread baking took a few tries – there just might be something to my yeast jinx… but we got one tasty if somewhat dense loaf out of it. And… while we waited for the dough to rise we enjoyed more pumpkin soup and did some sewing. Once she finally pushed me to get back to the pillows I got back in the groove and got them both done! And I’m feeling motivated to keep sewing and to keep trying to make friends with yeast. We’ll see how it goes…

A sure sign of fall, one roasted pumpkin just waiting to be turned into tasty goodness.

First up… pumpkin soup. At first I was disappointed that it was so mild. But it worked out for the best, I added a different combo of things to it each time I served it. A few things on the list: bacon, parmesan cheese, cashews, chilli oil, garlic croutons and I wanted to added roasted apple but ran out of soup before I tried it.

I saved some of the pumpkin puree because I have to bake with it. This is gluten free pumpkin, chocolate, hazelnut bread for a stitch ‘n bitch.

Sewing day one about all I got done was cutting the strips and piecing together one front (that was the intimidating but fun part). But finally a week+ later… here are the two pillow fronts.

Here are the two quilted backs.

completed pillow #1

and completed pillow #2. Oh, it feels good to have those done! And to finally have some new fall pillows on the couch.

And just for the fun of it, here are the bacon maple biscuits I made on Sunday while I was avoiding the pillows 🙂