Cranberry Upside Down Cake

cranberry-cakeHope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Just wanted to pop on to share a cake I made for dessert. It's a cranberry upside down cake, made with fresh cranberries. I had never worked with fresh before, and was worried it would be too tart, but this recipe was great. The cranberries get caramelized with the sugar and allspice for a perfect combination of sweet and tart cranberry flavor.
 
Cranberry Upside Down Cake (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1¾ cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Rub 2 TBSP of butter along the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cake pan. This will result in a very thick layer of butter.
  4. Then in a small bowl, mix ½ cup of the granulated sugar with the cinnamon and allspice. Sprinkle all along the bottom of the cake pan.
  5. Place the cranberries in a single layer on top of the sugar mixture.
  6. With an electric mixer, mix together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla bean paste.
  7. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk.
  8. Spoon the batter on top of the cranberries and spread across until even. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Place on a wire rack to cook for 20 mins. Run a cake spatula around the sides and invert the cake onto a plate or cake round. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature.

 

 

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Poke ball cookies

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Just wanted to pop on and share some sugar cookies I made for our Pokemon Go themed BBQ last weekend. And yes, this was a BBQ for adults! The game is really run, though I think it needs some updates, as I keep catching the same pokemon.

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

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Fairy Princess Cake Pops

Fairypops1I 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!

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I found this adorable trim at M&J trimming in the city, and I thought it was just perfect.

Fairypops5I used sanding sugar to make the pops sparkly. Each pop was bagged individually and tied with pink and purple ribbon.

Fairypops3I was really happy with how these came out. And now I’m totally inspired…Fairypops7

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I need to find other shapes I can make!

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Tulip cake pops for Parkinson’s Awareness Month

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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…

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Hoppy Easter! What better way to celebrate than cookie dough blondies?

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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.

Cookie_Dough_Book_SigningThis 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!

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White chocolate cookie dough blondies (modified from Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook)
 
Makes 16 blondies, or more if you cut them smaller
Ingredients
For the blondies:
  • 5 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste (I LOVE vanilla bean paste so I added this option)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
For the cookie dough:
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 TBSP milk or cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup of mini white chocolate chips (or if using macadamia nuts, use ¼ cup chocolate chips and ¼ cup nuts)
For the topping
  • 2 ounces white chocolate melted
Instructions
To make the blondies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang of paper on two sides. Rub butter over the parchment paper.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter. I did this in the microwave (30 second intervals at 50% power and stir in between), but you can also use a double boiler.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in granulated and brown sugars. The batter should cool to just above room temperature by now.
  4. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Then add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Pour into the pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the cookie dough:
  1. While the blondies are cooling, beat the butter and sugars in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Add the flour and salt and mix until incorporated.
  4. Stir in the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts (if you are using them).
  5. Spread the dough over the top of the blondies, and drizzle the melted chocolate over the dough.
To serve:
  1. Remove blondies from pan by taking the edges of the parchment paper and lifting out of the pan.
  2. Place on a cutting board and use a large knife to cut 2-inch squares.You may need to trim the edges first to make the blondies nice and even.
  3. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (but they won't last that long!).

 

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