I haven’t been hired for a baking job in a while. But to my surprise, I was contacted a few weeks ago by a friend of my sister-in-law. She wanted me to make cake pops for her daughter’s first birthday. The catch? She wanted start shaped ones to look like a fairy wand. I had never made shaped cake pops before, but I was up to the challenge. I even practiced making some tulip shaped cake pops, which I brought to work for Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
I’ve made cake pop displays before that look like wedding cakes, but this time I tried using heart-shaped cake dummies, since this was a little girl’s birthday party. The top-down view is so cute!
I found this adorable trim at M&J trimming in the city, and I thought it was just perfect.
I used sanding sugar to make the pops sparkly. Each pop was bagged individually and tied with pink and purple ribbon.
I was really happy with how these came out. And now I’m totally inspired…
Just wanted to share some cake pops I made for Parkinson’s Awareness Month. You might wonder why they are shaped like tulips. That’s because the tulip is a symbol for Parkinson’s, and has been for over 35 years. It’s an interesting story, and you can read about it here.
I had never made shaped cake pops before, but wondered if I could use cookie cutters to shape the dough. So I mixed up cake and frosting as I normally would, and then took a piece of dough and packed it down in the cookie cutter. Then I flipped it over and made sure the other side was nice and smooth. Then I added the lollipop sticks and dipped in chocolate as usual.
They came out really cute, and were fun to eat! Next month, I’ll be doing another shaped cake pop project, so stay tuned…
Since I haven’t baked anything in the new year, I wanted to bring something sweet to Easter this year (even though my job was to bring a veggie side dish… I went rogue!). I looked through my cookbooks for inspiration, and realized that I bought a signed copy of Lindsay Landis’ Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook and never actually tried a recipe. Here is me meeting Lindsay and getting my book signed.
This book is awesome. It is contains recipes that all use a specially formulated cookie dough created by Lindsay. What is special is that there are NO raw eggs in the recipe. So you have all the yumminess of cookie dough without the salmonella.
I can’t believe I went nearly FOUR years without trying a single recipe. Since hubby hates chocolate, I decided to try the white chocolate-macadamia nut cookie dough blondies. But I didn’t use the macadamia nuts because we have a nut allergy in my family. I was worried they would be missing something , but I just added a little more white chocolate chips instead, and they were perfect. Seriously, they were SO good. Everyone loved them and there were only a few left.
They were soft and cakey, and the cookie dough topping was the best. I decorated mine with pastel sugar to make it festive for Easter. Can’t wait to try more recipes from this book!
Happy New Year, everyone! Goodbye, 2015. I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!
I made the cake above for a NYE party, and I didn’t love the recipe. I can’t put my finger on it, but there was something I didn’t like. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to figure out why, because I hate having cakes go wrong. The scientist in me should be able to work it out 🙂
I’m a bit behind in posting, but now that the holidays are over (except NYE), I have some time to catch up. I made this pumpkin bread pudding for Thanksgiving, and it was really good. It had a very subtle pumpkin flavor, but I think the pumpkin puree gave it a nice texture (so I wouldn’t omit it from the recipe). So this is perfect if you like pumpkin, but don’t LOVE pumpkin.
I used fresh pumpkin, as I always do, but you can use canned as well. I actually made the puree in October and froze it for a month, since there are never any pumpkins around by the time Thanksgiving comes. It worked out fine, and I think you can probably freeze fresh pumpkin even longer. We’re going to experiment next October and freeze some pumpkin for about 10 months so we can use it in a beer. Stay tuned!
Pumpkin bread pudding (adapted from tahnycooks.com)
For the bread pudding:
1½ cups whole milk
1¾ cups half and half
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree (can use canned)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
6 cups of cubed bread (I used Challah bread)
For the butter sauce:
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup butter
⅓ cup light Karo syrup
¼ cup half and half
To make the pudding:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs in a bowl by hand. Then add the milk, half and half, sugar, vanilla bean paste, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until combined. Stir in the cubes of bread.
Spray a 9x13 Pyrex baking pan with Pam cooking spray. Add bread pudding mixture and let sit for about 20 minutes so the bread soaks up the egg and milk.
Bake 45-55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Serve with warm butter sauce. You can make the pudding ahead of time and make the sauce a day later to serve, but make sure you bring the bread pudding to room temperature before pouring on the sauce, so it soaks in. You can even make little slits with a knife before pouring so that it gets absorbed. No need to do this if you pour the sauce on when the bread pudding is fresh out of the oven.
To make the sauce:
Heat the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan until it melts.
Then add the Karo syrup and half and half. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. This takes 1-2 minutes. Pour evenly over bread pudding and serve.