March 29, 2012

Pâte à Choux and Cinnamon Sugar Apple Strudel

Bless you.  That is what everyone kept saying to me all day in preparation for my Fundamentals of Baking class.  They asked me what I was going to make and I said Pâte à Choux and as I pronounce the Choux "choo", they said bless you.  An office full of comedians, I am telling you.

When I was looking into the class one of the first words that I saw was Pâte à Choux.  Immediately I had to Google it as I had no idea what it was.  It is the glorious outer dough that is baked for eclairs and fried for beignets.  I do love me some eclairs, so sign me up for this class.

For whatever reason, this class, on this day, was the most un-anxious I had been all semester.  Not sure why, just was.  Maybe because this was the outcome.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.....imagine them covered with deep dark chocolate and crammed filled with sweet bavarian cream or chocolate cream.  Can you?  God knows I can.  If I don't eat them all first.  It's like eating a fluffy airy bon-bon.  One of the cool things about this class is we can usually take home what we bake.  For some reason, no one had the vision that I did, so I loaded these ALL up in my Tupperware, and they are now mine, mine, mine, only to be consumed by me, me, me....and the lucky few that are brave enough to taste test my goodies. 

The next goodie we made was Cinnamon Sugar Apple Strudel.  I don't love baked or cooked apples, but it was fun to make and turned out so pretty and everyone else loved it.

The fun part of the class, is of course, the baking, but also meeting everyone and hearing why they are in the class.  Everyone has a dream.  One girl will be opening her very own pie shop one day.  It will happen, you can see it in her eyes.  Another girl, wants to open her own bakery.  It will happen, too.  And she has the cutest blog. And she was kind enough to post the Pâte à Choux recipe.

March 26, 2012

Oh no you didn't....

Oh yes, I did....I added chocolate to Snickerdoodles. I mentioned when I made my Chocolate and White Pound Cake, that everything tastes better with chocolate.  As it turns out, these cookies aren't better, they are equally scrump-delicious.  A little taste of heaven, washed down with a little bite of chocolate heaven. 

Heaven, I tell ya, heaven.

March 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Precious!

Poor Hub.  His birthday was on Wednesday.  I said Happy Birthday in the morning, kissed him goodbye, and headed to work and later that night, to my Fundamentals of Baking class and didn't come home until past 10:30 that night.  I repeat Poor Hub.  During one of my breaks in class, I get two pictures from Hub.

Table for two?  Nope, steak dinner for one.  Sad.  Pathetic, really, what kind of wife am I?  He even went to the store and bought it.  Alone. Did I mention he is on crutches, too?

Here is the even more sad and pathetic show of how I suck as a wife, sometimes.  He had store bought cake for his birthday cake.  Which he bought himself.  Sad.

Here's how I hoped he would look at it....mmmmmmm, steak and dessert, all of our dogs at my side, fork in one hand, tv remote in the other and my skinny arse in the recliner.  Peace and quiet.

Here's the thing...I am taking a Fundamentals of Baking class at night.  I like to think of it as a way to better our dream Bed and Breakfast, so really, I was out doing something for us.  And after all, when I got home, I had all of these goodies, that I made in class.

Sesame Seed Bagels, lightly browned, and ever so tasty. Ever so not symmetrical.  I mean seriously, look at the one at the bottom and then the one to its upper left.  Nary a hole to be seen.  Oh well.  Still mighty tasty, especially toasted with butter (I can attest to that, as it was my breakfast). 

Knot Rolls.  Definitely a hit.  Believe me, you will be seeing these again.  As you can see by the one on the left, I knead...get it knead???  anyhoo, I need to work on my braiding skills.  

Mr. Precious was a great sport, in all honesty, because he knew I would make it up to him, and oh boy, did I ever.  With this GLORIOUS cake.   I've made it for him before, so it was a special request. 

Happy birthday, to the man I love and adore.  I will bake for you until I die  (or you, who ever comes first).  Love, Precious

March 19, 2012

Snickerdoodles and Goldendoodles

I remember the first time I ate a Snickerdoodle. Gosh, early's 80....when I was two years old, late 20's or so.  I remember that I could never remember the name of them, and until I actually saw the name in writing and I could visually see it.  Snickerdoodle.  Funny name for really awesome cookie.  For whatever reason, I really don't ever buy them, despite how good they are.  Anyhoo, I decided to branch out past the peanut butter or chocolate chip cookie, and give them a try.  The pretty topping, I never understood how you could do that.  Not. Rocket. Science.

So, I found these delectable Snickerdoodles.  I can't begin to describe how soft and lovely and amazing these are.  I ate 2 or 3 within the first few minutes, 2 or 3 before the night was out and 2 or 3 before the next day was done.  They taste as good warm as they do at room temperature. I also feel like since they don't have any chocolate in them they are essentially calorie free.  If that is not true, just keep that nonsense away from me.

They are easy peasy to make and all of the ingredients are staples in my house. Definitely a staple in  my cookie book.  If you also wonder how my cookies are perfectly baked and browned and all of that good stuff, I use a nicely seasoned Pampered Chef Large Round Stone.  The only problem with these cookies is when I say "Snickerdoodle" I think of a Goldendoodle. And I want one.  So cute and fuzzy and adorable and loveable. 

March 13, 2012

Pecan Pie Bars

Since I had gone daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaays with out baking and after baking some super Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes, I felt the need to bake something less chocolate based and dark in color.  In running terms, I'm overcompensating.

So, I went to my Pinterest page, looked through my Dessert board and viola, found the perfect recipe. Pecan Pie Bars.  I love, love, love Pecan Pie and so does Hub, so I kept my fingers crossed that they would be a hit.

 Since I'm using sports terms, I will again....Home Run, not just a hit...out of the park, Home Run.  It's funny, not only was it very very tasty, but everyone had their own opinion of it.  The crust was delectable and the topping was gooey and nutty and so lovely. 

A must have for all parties and events.  A must have for all non parties and non events. 

March 11, 2012

Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Just typing the title of this post makes me drool.  Let's say it together...."Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting"...Seriously.

As I mentioned, here, I received lots of the ingredients for the yummy goodness known as Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting.  The day after I received this glorious box of goodness, I traveled for close to a week straight so I could only dream of baking these beauties. 

Sooooooooooo, my first day back home, these were in the oven by 10 am, and in my mouth by 11:30.  A little denser than I prefer, but wickedly tasty.  What rocked this cupcake was the Coffee Buttercream Frosting.  And as you know, I prefer the easy way out sometimes, but that seemed to be not too smart at this juncture, so I whipped up the homemade frosting.  Rocked. It.  Frosting is becoming not nearly as scary as I used to think.  I may even work up to discarding the canned frosting in the fridge.  Or just grab a spoon and eat it.

Now, in my opinion, Toffee Bits only add to the goodness of desserts.  See:  

And back to the easy way out, instead of typing of the recipe for you, I've taken a picture of it for you save and print out.


March 6, 2012

Enjoy! - Joy the Baker

Now it's just nuts.  My last post was about my exciting new cookbook by newest love, Joy the Baker.  So, today, after I settled down from looking at the cookbook and spending a lot of time tabbing some recipes, the mailman arrived with this:

I am just giddy with Joy, errr, joy and Joy.  I signed up for this, and all of these crazy goodies came today.  Can't see the picture too well?  I shall list for you.  1) $10 gift card to King Arthur Flour Baker's Catalogue,  2) King Arthur Flour Espresso Power, 3) sweet colorful cupcake holders, 4) King Arthur Flour double-dutch dark cocoa, 5) King Arthur Flour chocolate sprinkles 6) King Arthur Flour bowl scraper and 7) recipe card for Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes.

Jeepers, I am happy.  And now really ready to make me some Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes.

I do love butterflies!

This little guy was in Blowing Rock, NC.  With the the followers in the background, I was frantically trying to shoot the perfect shot.  In my mind, I got it.  I've used this for covers of thank you notes and will continue to do so.  Enjoy! 

March 5, 2012

I Love Joy the Baker

My first blog to ever read was this one.  Didn't know at the time, what "blogging" was.  Just thought it was cool to see her food pictures and hear her stories.  Lately, I became obsessed with Joy. Joy the Baker has made me so happy, she fills me with joy.  Sorry, I had to go there and say that.  Joy brings me joy.  I love reading her blog/website.  I've been out of town and look what arrived while I was gone...

...I couldn't be more excited and ready to bake something new.  Joy went from a modest blogger to an author of a cookbook!!! Goals, people, goals!!!  Hub pre-ordered it for me and it was a total surprise. Hmmmmm, is he hinting that I need baking tips and ideas or is he hinting that I need to bake more? Either way, thank you Hub!!!!

My Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes came from Joy.  Must. Bake. Soon.

March 1, 2012

I'd love to hear from you!

I'd love to hear from you, email me at

Have a favorite recipe you'd like to share?  Send it!  I'd love to try it...who might even become a premiere item on our dream bed and breakfast menu!  (with kudos to you,of course!)