Friday, July 22, 2011

Apple Tart

In a previous post about my June 2011 baking, I mentioned an apple tart in the oven.  Well, I just wanted to update your on the success of the aforesaid apple tart.

The recipe was from Paula Dean and can be found on Food  The recipe was okay.  Nothing spectacular, but nothing horrible either.  It was a good first attempt.

My purpose really in writing this post is to show off the pictures of this gorgeous, browned, sweet yet tart dessert.  I sliced all those apples for the top, by hand!

That is all.  Thanks for indulging me :-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Little Red Basket

Shhhh!  I am having a not-so-secret love affair with this little red basket!

I mean this basket is perfect, absolutely perfect, to carry so many different varieties of baked goods to so many different places in so many different situations:

Taking rainbow rice krispies treats to a movie night with my friend’s niece and nephew.  Yup, it was perfect for that.  Not to mention that I had to ensure the niece did not take the basket home; I saw her eyeing my love.

Bring supersized triple chocolate chip cookies to my office for a Friday treat and displaying the cookies, in the LRB (that is my term of endearment for my “little red basket”), on the front reception desk.  Did that as well.

Sharing peanut butter cup brownies at the gym (the irony, I know) with patron who came to rock climb… So, did that as well.

Just putting my newest rice krispies treat creation in my LRB because I knew I was going to write this post and share it with the world.  Check. 

And even when I have had a hell-ish week, where sleeping was a luxury I could not afford; yet, I choose to make Peanut Butter Snickers Surprise Cookies and take them into my office.  The LRB made is worth it...

So, you can see why I am in love!

But, I have to be honest.  This relationship did not start off this affectionate.

My LRB was actually part of a Valentine’s Day gift.  When I received the basket I thought, oh how cute.  Now once all the chocolate is gone, what am I supposed to do with this?  I do not need any other knick-knacks around the house.

The basket set untouched and unused for months.  Just getting pushed around with different junk piles on the counter.

Until one day, I need to transport some baked goods to an outing and I grabbed the basket.

It has been history ever since.

My LRB… Oh, how I love thee!

This has been a picture heavy post :-)

I could not help but add one more!

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Month in Baking: June 2011

June was a busy month for me. I tried to memorialize my month in baking, but then I just realized these are only pictures of about half the treats that left my kitchen. None the less:


My friend’s soon-to-be Mother-In-Law is part of an annual charity bake sale.  She asked me if I would make some treats for the bake sale.  Each table is assigned a color.  The color assigned to her table was purple (and yellow for her partner’s table).  I made purple traditional French macarons filled with Lemon Curd Butter Cream (not pictured), yellow and purple layered rice krispies treats (not pictured), and decorated earl grey short bread/sugar cookies.

The bake sale had an overarching tea party theme, hence these cookies.  The frosting is a regular royal icing flavored with orange extract.  That was the special touch to these cookies.

Giant Cupcake Cakes

The kids my mom used to babysit were having a birthday party and I brought the cake.  The pink one is my homemade confetti cake recipe in a giant cupcake size (10 cup capacity) with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  The blue one is an experimental snickers bar cake, in a slightly smaller large cupcake size (6 cup capacity), with a Swiss Meringue Buttercream as well.

Both of these pans were gifts, and I never used them before.  The fact the pans are so deep made it impossible to completely bake the larger cupcake thoroughly without the outside of the cake turning nearly rock hard.  If I had more time, I would have applied simple syrup to remoisten the cake.  The snicker cake looks a mess, a delicious mess, due to the inherent liquid quality of caramel.  As this cake was sliced, it became the leaning tower of cupcake.

Birthday Cake

There was another office birthday at the end of June, so another cake was in order.  I used the same confetti cake recipe I created in a previous post, except I exchanged the buttermilk for sour cream to ensure the cake was moist (and tried not to over bake it this time).

This cake came out perfect this time.  I put a little strawberry filling between the layers and frosted it with a Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  I added a little shortening to the SMBC, for better decorating consistency, and added the piped dot flowers.

I loved the way this cake came out.  It looked wonderful with all the different positions and sizes of flowers, not to mention the stems and leaves.

So far, July has not been a busy baking month, but I do have an apple tart in the oven as I type :-)