Thursday, September 29, 2011

Like the Pillow You Wish You Had

        I have been so very sleepy lately. I want nothing more than to crawl into bed, close my eyes, and sleep the day away. Hour after hour of long, undisturbed and peaceful rest, the incessant beeping of my alarm clock for once silenced. Not that the silly clock has ever been particularly useful to me, as I always manage to wake up before the darn thing. You wouldn't believe how many times I open my eyes to "6:59", just one minute before my alarm's cue. It's almost like I have a sixth sense for these things, but, eh… it would be cooler to see ghosts.
        You're probably wondering what I decided to bake for this occasion. I'll tell you--I baked a bunch of pillows. Soft and oh-so-fluffy pillows. Okay, so they were dinner rolls, but with their unbelievable softness and fluffiness I couldn't resist giving the rolls a more fitting name.
Soft and Fluffy Pillow Rolls

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Breathe In the Butterscotch

        I woke up with a strong desire for butterscotch, and when I get a craving for butterscotch I don't let anything stand in my way. It's one of my favorite flavors, as its sweetness is offset by a hint of saltiness that I love. It didn't take me long to determine I was in the mood for something thick, chewy, and with a truckload of concentrated butterscotch flavor. 
        Believe it or not, sweet-and-salty treats are a major competitor for my love for chocolate and in some cases even beat chocolate completely (gasp!). While I can somehow manage to hold myself back from sneaking a few chocolate chips during baking… I can't say the same for their butterscotch counterpart. I certainly could have practiced a little more restraint as I baked these Butterscotch Blondie Cupcakes.
Butterscotch Blondie Cupcakes

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Let's Call It "Breakfast"

        Scones. What are scones? Just a few days ago I hardly knew the answer to that question. For years I had very little motivation to try one, as the mistaken idea of a rock-solid and crumbly scone had planted itself in my mind.
        Then, I saw the light. I tried my very first scone and realized they weren't at all as I imagined. The notion in my head of a dry hockey puck diminished the moment I took the first bite… the interiors were soft and moist, apparently just as a good scone should be.
Nutella Scones

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Beating the Soufflé Clock

        One day I want to be able to say I've baked everything, so since I had (emphasis on the past-tense) never attempted to make a soufflé... I went and made a soufflé. Rather, I made a bunch of cute, itty-bitty chocolate soufflés in my new mini ramekins, the ones I bought just recently as a spur-of-the-moment type thing. 
        I was quite the sight running through my kitchen with my camera after taking these chocolate soufflés from the oven, desperately trying to snap some good shots before the beautifully risen puff could begin to settle. This photo was as fast as I could manage, though I'm pleased to say they rose well past this point!
Mini Chocolate Soufflés

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Becoming Acquainted with Pumpkin

        I must admit that there are few pumpkins in my baking past. None actually. As to why, I'm not exactly sure, but it most likely has something to do with my childhood aversion to pumpkin pie. To me, it was that strange orange dessert I was offered only once a year during the Fall season. Or Autumn season. Whichever you prefer. The pumpkin pie offering was one I so rarely accepted, as it was usually served beside a safe and familiar apple pie. 
        I'm sure if I had agreed to try it more times than I did, I'd have taken a liking a lot sooner. No worries, pumpkin pie lovers--over the years I grew to like all things pumpkin quite a lot. Now, for the first time in my life, I ventured into the world of baking with pumpkin.
Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes

Monday, September 12, 2011

Whoopie Pies of the Red Velvet Variety

       Until just last year I was unfamiliar with the concept of "red velvet". I had seen red cakes before and I had heard the name on rare occasions, but I'd always taken them simply to be white cakes with red food coloring. Unfortunately this is sometimes the case--when sneaky bakeries attempt to pass off their faux red velvet goodies as authentic. But hey, like me, when you've tried a real red velvet cake… you'll know right then and there that it's no white cake. 
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Mississippi Mud Challenge

        I've always enjoyed a challenge, and you know what? I just took on a super, super big challenge. 
        Okay, so maybe this challenge wasn't all that big. Maybe this challenge can't be classified as big at all, or even a challenge for that matter. Maybe you should completely disregard the second sentence of this post, as it will probably hurt my brain a little less.
        I call it a challenge in the sense that this little baking project of mine was fairly time-consuming. Yes, it was pretty lengthy, but a very, very excellent investment of my time indeed.
Mississippi Mud Pie

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Brownies Knock My Socks Off

        I have yet to meet a person who doesn't like brownies. After all, what's not to love? They're rich, they're decadent, and there's a brownie to suit everyone's tastes. The brownie purists can eat them unadorned, the frosting fanatics can enjoy them frosted, the nut nuts (as I like to call them) can gobble them chock full of goodies… the possibilities are endless. If the day ever comes when I do meet someone who claims distaste, I'll be ready. I'll look that person straight in the eye and say, "You, poor soul, still haven't found your brownie."        
Nutty Peanut Caramel Brownies

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Sweet Life Has a Savory Side

        There's a time and a place for everything. No matter how much I love sugar and its sweetness, the two of us go our separate ways come dinner time. When I'm hungry, my tummy cries for nourishment in the form of a hearty meal and it's a need that no slice of cake (no matter how good) can satisfy. So, at around 6:30 P.M.--standard dinner time in my house--I yank out the sweet tooth, set it aside for later, have a seat at the table with my family, and consume the delicious savory dish that is my meal on that particular day.
        I often like to prepare dinner, not because I have to but because I want to. It isn't unusual for there to also be some sort of dessert made that same day we sit down to eat (I like to go all out), waiting somewhere very nearby for mealtime to end and transition into dessert time. That's when I pop the sweet tooth back in. Until then, though, I focus on what's in front of me. 
        During my last meal, I was faced with a pie. It wasn't a sweet pie (though I am certainly very familiar with those), but a savory pie. The ultimate savory pie... Chicken Pot Pie.
The Ultimate Chicken Pot Pie