Baked Sunday Mornings: Sweet & Spicy

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I can’t fully express how much I loved the Gingersnaps with Lemon Sugar. I was totally ambivalent about making them and had zero expectations, and was beyond surprised at how delicious they turned out.

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I was really pleased at how quick the cookies came together, and how little mess they made.

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I weighed the ingredients and baked the cookies for about 14 minutes. They were perfectly uniformly soft when warm and crisp-chewy the next day. I almost ate all of these single-handedly, and will absolutely make these again.

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I didn’t make our first recipe in this book, Election Palmiers and so I decided to catch up and make them this week.

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It was so fun to make these and I got to use my new pastry mat for the first time which was great. I was worried about the cayenne, I don’t love spicy foods, but I decided to trust the recipe and go for it. I did cut it back by 1/4 tsp. but that’s it.

My cookies were not the most even–some were way thicker than others and my rolling technique was not on point, but the issue I had was the lip-tingling burn I felt when I bit into them. I don’t normally get angry at cookies but I was kind of annoyed at this one. I’m so glad I made them and gave elephant ears a shot, but I will not be making these again.

Go see what the other bakers were up to this time!

Next up: Toffee Coffee Cake Surprise– I can’t wait to try this one!

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Baked Sunday Mornings: Twice Baked

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I had decided to go rogue this time around so I could make the Wintermint Cake. I had already bought all the ingredients before and I really wanted to get rid of those candy canes while I still could. I decided to make Wintermint cupcakes to take to our friends’ house for New Year’s Eve.

I made them the same day and decided to skip the ganache because I didn’t have the time or the desire to both dip and frost my cupcakes, but next time I will make the recipe as a cake and will make the ganache too.

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It was fun to crush up my remaining candy canes to top the cupcakes with and even though I normally don’t like mint and chocolate together, I really liked the subtle fluffy buttercream paired with the delicate chocolate cake.

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I had no plans to make this week’s recipe, Hair of the Dog Cake. I just don’t dig alcohol with desserts and while this post contains two combos I usually don’t like–I’m really not that picky. There are not too many foods I don’t like: mint/chocolate, alcohol in desserts and mushrooms. That pretty much covers it.

But when one of my fellow bakers mentioned skipping the booze and making the cake as a vanilla cake I decided to give it a shot. I had most of the ingredients and I was curious about the boiled frosting. I didn’t want to run to the store to get the remaining ingredients so I tossed in some shortening a bit of sour cream to compensate for the egg and half a stick of butter I was missing and hoped for the best.

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The cake baked up beautifully, but I was still a bit confused by the boiled frosting. I pulled the cake when it turned bubbly, worried that I was going to overbroil and burn the cake, but I’m not quite sure I took it out at the right time.

The finished cake was delicious, though and we really enjoyed it. I loved the rich vanilla cake and the warm brown sugar/vanilla frosting and fluffy whipped cream. I’m glad I decided to make it as well.

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Go here to see how everyone else liked it! (and if they all kept or ditched the rum)

Next up: Gingersnaps with Lemon Sugar!

My Birthday!

December is a busy month for us–my birthday, winter break, Christmas, New Year’s Eve….lots of chances for spending time with family, lots of yummy food and bubbly drinking. I had a great time this year, I’m so thankful for everyone in my life.

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Baked Sunday Mornings: Going Rogue

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I wanted so badly to make this week’s recipe: Wintermint Cake. I bought all of the ingredients, but life got in the way. Friday was my birthday and I really should have known that if I didn’t make it before Thursday it wasn’t going to happen. I’m still bummed and so are my kids, who LOVE chocolate and mint together.

I have to admit: I don’t usually like mint and chocolate together. But guess what I LOVE together? Chocolate and peanut butter. When I was invited to my first cookie swap of the season that one was a no-brainer. They turned out perfectly, even though I was worried they were going to spread out they baked up beautifully.

My mom baked these a lot when I was a kid so I loved the nostalgia factor as well.

My friend has a cool embroidery machine so I asked her to make myself and my mother in law a couple of presents:

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Of course I got mine dirty already 😉 Even my cute aprons are put to work in my kitchen!

Go see how everyone else’s cakes turned out!

Next Up: Hair of the Dog Cake!

Baked Sunday Mornings: Date Squares

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I can’t say I was excited about this recipe. I think the name reminded me of my least favorite Baked recipe, Bale Bars. But, cookies are my favorite thing to make and this recipe sounded like a breeze.

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They were super easy to put together, and the only dates I found at my local store were already chopped into small pieces, making things go even quicker.

I had two small issues: the first was that my crumb mixture was too dry. It really did need more butter and I considered adding more, but in the end I just went with the original recipe. That made them more messy and I lost a lot of the crumbs, but there was a cohesive bar in there that cut nicely and came out of the pan easily, even without using parchment. (how could I be out of parchment?!)

My other issue was that I read the instructions wrong. It said to rotate halfway through baking, about thirty minutes and for some reason I took that to mean rotate thirty minutes in, then bake another thirty. I realized my mistake about five minutes after rotating so luckily I didn’t ruin my bars.

I have to say, the bars are really tasty and were nothing like my sad bale bar failure. My kid-testers enjoyed them too even though one of them was really disappointed that there was no chocolate involved. He thought ‘date squares’ were cookie bars you made for a date, and would naturally contain chocolate.

Go see what everyone else thought!

Next up: Wintermint Cake!! This cake is due the same weekend as my birthday, so I think I know what kind of cake I’ll have for my birthday this year!!!