Brownies for the Blues
Brownies are loved. They have super healing powers that cure the worst of weeks. You know it’s true. I was in the midst of one of those weeks where it seemed unlikely I was meant to get past it. My wisdom teeth came out on a Friday and I was to start summer classes that Monday. In order to distract myself from this knowledge, I went grocery shopping. Typically, this cheers me up until I spend too much money. I can’t win. Woe is me. My haul this time around included peanut butter, Rice Krispies, at least three different types of chocolate, and marshmallows. It was not my intention to create a brownie masterpiece from these items, but I ended up last minute babysitting some tiny children. I wasn’t sure how best to entertain them, so I decided they could whisk the eggs as I baked around them. I know enough about tiny children to know they will eat brownies. They ate so many of these Rice Krispie Brownies that I sent them both home with stomach aches and it is a good thing their mother likes me because otherwise I might have gotten a good talking-to. These brownies are killer because you’re basically eating your childhood in each bite. It’s fun, and it cheered me right up.
The key to a perfect Carrot Cake is to grate the carrots (lots and lots of carrots) fresh and to add them to the batter last. A couple other things to watch out for is 1) over-stirring (add the nuts, raisins, and carrots to an already stirred batter and toss only a few more times) and 2) over-cooking (the tops of these cakes typically look more moist and underdone than they are. Why are looks always deceiving?!) As I was posing this particular slice for photos, my roommate was talking to me about how strange it was that carrot cake tastes so much sweeter than you would expect. The reason for this is really quite simple. All of the goodies that you add to the carrots (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, etc.) act as sweetening agents. It’s never overpowering; it’s simple, it’s beautiful, and it’s a ton of fun to make.
Some Springtime Sweetness
I feel like I’ve been neglecting cupcake recipes as of late so I wanted to rectify that situation as soon as possible. Traditional pie recipes, in my opinion, inspire a whole slew of ideas for other desserts. I also happen to be pretty good at re-creating these flavors. These Key Lime Cupcakes took just ONE try in the kitchen and they are now my favorite original cupcake recipe to date. The tart filling and perfect meringue topping make them sweet without being overwhelming. I’ll share a secret with you- I know as a baker it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I very rarely indulge in what I create. But these… these I ate.
Mmm is for March
One of my all-time favorite childhood treats was Oatmeal Creme Pies, and I very rarely received them in my lunchbox. This, I think, made them taste even better (if that was possible!) when I was lucky enough to get one. As I began to bake more, I thought of those delicious oatmeal goodies and became quite obsessed with the idea of making my own. And, boy, did I do just that. These are officially my favorite thing I offer (Oatmeal Creme Pies.) They’re soft, they’re moist, and the creme in the center is whipped perfection. My taste testers for the first three batches ooh’ed and ahh’d over these so much, I was smiling for days. Warning: you can’t eat just one.
A Real Love Story
February is always one of my favorite months of the year- my birthday falls on the fifth, I get to break out the red food coloring for the 14th, and the rest of the month is a whirlwind of Colorado confused weather, alternating between days as high as 65 degrees and as low as 10 degrees. Your outfits are based on your best guess for the day, and you’re almost never right! This year, Valentine’s Day was particularly enjoyable. I’m dating someone kind of cool and he agreed to bake with me that night. Though I don’t usually allow anyone else in the kitchen with me, he fared pretty well with my kitchen alter-ego. These red velvet whoopie pies turned out pretty beautifully, and we filled them with some to-die-for cream cheese filling.
In With The New
Fresh starts and fresh ideas! January wanted me to get a jump on some new recipes so here’s one to start off the year right. These are my new and delightfully chocolatey Thumb Print Cookies. Filled with peanut butter frosting and all the love I could muster, they turned out even better than I had hoped. I’m rather excited for another year of moderate exercise and diet intermitted with excessive eating and Netflix binging. And of course, the baking! We can’t forget about that.
PS: Those bells and noise-makers in the picture may look unloved, but I can assure you that my little sister and I have outright abused them every year at midnight.