First Week

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My big, handsome boys have conquered their first week back at school, the first week of THIRD GRADE!! (how are they in third grade??!!!)

We have had the same routine for the past four years so even on the first day of school they woke up and began to get ready for their morning. Since we had a short summer, they really didn’t lose that which I am thankful for. I can’t do tears first thing in the morning, ya’ll.

Flashback: First day of second grade.

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They were so little then. I guess I’m going to say that every year when I look at old photos. I’m so proud of my little guys and so glad they had a good week.

Do you still get excited when it’s back to school time, even if it’s been years since you were in school? I do!!

Baked Sunday Mornings: Oopsy Daisy Cake

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I loved this cake, but it came at a weird time. It really is a special cake, and would be perfect for a birthday. But it wasn’t anyone’s birthday and our A/C hasn’t been being freezing up so the house was a little warm-ish and I was baking and sweating and it wasn’t awesome. But I did have help:

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The name made me giggle every time I looked at it, I couldn’t help but think of this.

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The cake was a classic Baked cake, but with two layers instead of the three I’m used to with the other cakes I’ve made. (Sweet & Salty, Lemon Drop) I used local coffee and local organic chocolate (that was on clearance! I may have bought 4 bars, don’t judge) and the cakes baked up intensely dark and fragrant although they did seem to sink in the middle a bit.

That didn’t matter at all once I filled and frosted them. I always bake the cakes one evening and then frost the next day and that is what I did this time. I finished up the cakes at around 1am and for some reason after I added the chocolate and peanut toppings it just seemed like it needed to be a peace sign. I think I may have been delirious.

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The cake was well-received at home:

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and my kid-testers approved:

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I would definitely make the cake again, but it would have to be for a special occasion.

Go see what my fellow bakers made! Next up: Lime Tarragon Cookies with White Chocolate Lime Topping. (Yum!!)

Baked Sunday Mornings: Malted Vanilla Milkshakes

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I was excited to make these because I LOVE vanilla malts. I love all things malt in general, really–who am I kidding?

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I do love Whoppers, and that is what I used. Whole Foods carries these amazing chocolate peanut butter malted milk balls that I wanted to use, I was just too lazy to make the extra trip. (I was already at Target)

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I love my KitchenAid ice cream attachment and I have made lots of different types: custard bases, infused cereal milk, eggless stovetop method…but I wanted to try vegan ice cream because my husband is sensitive to dairy and feels yucky after eating my yummy homemade confections. There is no sadder thing for a baker than to hurt people with their treats! I thought it would be a pain, or wouldn’t taste that good but I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

I did a quick google search and realized it was way easier than I could have imagined to whip up a quick non-dairy treat using coconut milk as the base.

I had a can on hand so the first time I tried it, I just tossed it in the fridge and let it chill overnight. That’s right! If you pre-chill the coconut milk then all you need to do to make vanilla ice cream instantly is to mix it up with a sweetener and some vanilla. If you want to get more creative, that’s easy to do as well. I know having to chill my base before freezing can be kind of a drag.

The next morning I added 2 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste (obsessed with it!) and sugar to taste. (I used about 1/4 cup I think) There are lots of alternative sweeteners that would work great, but that’s what I grabbed.

I was amazed at how delicious and creamy it was so when it came time to make these shakes I did the same thing but used three cans and right before it was the perfect consistency I added the Whoppers directly to the ice cream maker to finish freezing.

When it was all set I blended with a bit of almond milk in the food processor to make the ice cream into shakes and garnished with more Whoppers.

Holy moly it was good!!

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And the best part was that I had ice cream leftovers for later!!!

Head on over and see how my fellow bakers ice cream makers fared!