Sunday, February 12, 2017

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Lime Curd Filling...YUM!

I decided to make some Macs again.  These little guys are a little finicky for me-especially in the summer when I am craving them most so I decided to try making them in the winter and it made ALL the difference for me!  My macs turned out perfectly and I was so thrilled.  Because they were so beautiful, I HAD to make them all fancy-schmancy (and take a boatload of photos!)
Isn't she just gorgeous???  I mean really!  It's a little magic in your mouth!
 LOTS and LOTS of "painting", some hand punched gumpaste toppers, lime zest and some little decor dots add the perfect touch to the top!
For real!  These little beauties were so fun to decorate.   You should give it a try!  I brought them to school and they were a hit!  You should have seen the eyes rolling up as they tasted them.  Made me smile!
Oh!  Wait!  I even whipped up the recipe so you could make some yourself!  Enjoy!  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Honey Bacon Croissants...Mmm

Hello baking and cookie friends!

We're having our first snowfall of the season today and that means there is no better time than to turn on the oven and start baking...

I decided this was a MAJOR celebration and it calls for the big guns!  Yep...BACON!  Now, I don't really enjoy cooking greasy things especially when they splatter all over the place.  But...I can make an exception for BACON.  That means, I have to cook ALL THE BACON, because I am not getting more grease splatter all over again for a great-long while!  LOL

Last night, I headed over to to find a yummy bread recipe.  I've been craving biscuits for several weeks but then I spied THIS croissant recipe and thought that maybe, just maybe I could try my hand at making croissants.  I'm happy I gave it a try!  Although it was time consuming, the results were so yummy!  I now have some extras in the freezer for many more yummy breakfast treats!
Ok now...  wipe the drool from your chin, it's ok.  These were SO YUMMY!  If you know me, you know I don't do very well following directions.  I tend to take them as "inspiration" and I take a few tangents, tweak a few things and make things oh so much more difficult than they probably are, so it's probably no surprise that I tweaked the recipe, just a tad.  

I used some of my yummy 2015 inaugural batch of Flower Road Farm honey while cooking the bacon and then again a little brushing over the top.  It makes a great dipping sauce too...Just sayin'!  

I'm no professional so don't sue me if I didn't follow the "rules" of baking these tasty treats.  Heck, I don't even know those rules.  All I know is that they turned out amazing and had I been paying attention to my oven while making my yummy bacon, I would have taken these babies out a little sooner (they're a bit dark).  I blame it ALL on the BACON!  

Hope you enjoy this recipe.  I created a little PDF for you to snag if you'd like to make some yourself!  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Zucchini Bread with Whipped Honey Butter and Caramelized Walnuts

Oh my goodness!  This weekend I made a batch of zucchini/squash bread for my parents who will be taking a long drive down south.  It's always nice to have some snacks packed for the trip and a few mini loaves (sliced and ready) are the perfect snack for their trip.  I raided my dad's garden a few weeks ago and picked two GIGANTIC squash or zucchini.  I'd never seen squash that big before, so I decided to call it "zucchini".  It looked like the zucchini I had as a kid, it was just yellow.

Here:  Take a peek at the instagram photo I shot of those squash/zucchini or whatever they are.
Those babies were not at all tiny.  They measured approximately 14 inches long and about 5 inches wide.  ONE of those squash/zucchini made enough for two batches of bread (I use 4 mini loaf pans per batch).  SO amazing right?

Now, you might think that it's crazy to use squash (if that's what it was) in a bread, but I figured if it WAS squash, that's ok because zucchini is a form of squash too.  So maybe we can call it zucchini with a little wink, ok?!  Either way, this dessert bread is AMAZING, I tell you.  It's not too sweet, not bland and packs so much fabulous flavor.  It DOES NOT taste like squash and I thank GOD for that! Moist, dense and tasty!  Did I tell you it was delicious?  MMM...
Alrighty, so I suppose you might be interested in dipping your finger in that buttah...Oh yeah, I did. Just a little dab'll do ya!  
Now this moist, dense, and delectable bread needed a tasty topping to send it over the edge, so I whipped up some Honey Butter (Fresh Honey from Joscie's bees of Flower Road Farm) and caramelized some walnuts to sprinkle on top.   MMMM...deelish!  
I mean LOOK...don't you just want to lick this picture?  Really, this butter was so light and fluffy and mighty tasty too!  
So how about the recipe???

Inspiration for this recipe comes from a treasured cookbook.  The Our Heritage Cookbook published in 1984, contains recipes contributed by parishioners of First Lutheran Church in Northwood, Iowa. This particular cookbook is lovingly called "The Rainbow Book" because each cooking section is a different paper color.  It's quite easy to navigate using this color coded system, and the baking/breads section is pink...go figure!  This cookbook is like a bible for my family and has so many tried-and-true recipes from families we love.  It also includes recipes contributed by my grandmother and aunts.  It's a treasure trove of history and memories, that's for sure.  The original recipe was provided by Iola Bakken and Deb Rustad and it can be found on page 35 in the "pink" section.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Maple Cognac Buttercream and Sugared Bacon Crumbles


My kitchen was hoppin' last night as I made these cupcakes.  This morning, I mixed together the frosting just in time to take them to a little cookout.
I was inspired by a recipe for some Chocolate Coffee cupcakes on THIS site because of the buttercream flavor and the bacon...Yes, I DO love bacon.  I decided I'd give it a try...but make it my own by tweaking the recipe up a bit.

Here's my version of the recipe...adding a little bit more of this and switching a little of that, and adding something new.  I have to say that this cupcake recipe was so yummy! I'll definitely be making it again!

1 1/3 cup flour
1/4 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 t salt
4 T unsalted butter- softened
1 1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs (aged on the counter for the day)
3/4 t vanilla paste
4 T instant coffee (mixed in 1 T hot water)
1 cup milk (minus 4 T)

Candied Bacon Crumbles:
6 slices of cooked bacon
1/3 c dark brown sugar

Maple Cognac Buttercream:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 1/2 t vanilla bean paste
1/4 c maple syrup
4 T Cognac

Here's how you put it all together!

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes:  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift dry ingredients together then set aside.  Cream butter, sugar and vanilla paste in stand mixer then add eggs (one at a time) until combined.  Add milk and coffee and mix until smooth.  Add dry ingredients a little at a time until batter develops nicely.  Scoop batter (I use the middle pictured here: cookie scoop) into cupcake liners placed in a cupcake pan.  Use only one scoop and it will fill approximately 3/4 full.  Place into oven for 15-19 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from pans and set onto cooling rack to cool.

Sugared Bacon Sprinkles:  
Cook 6 slices of bacon (I used Maple Bacon) and blot off grease.  Cut into small pieces then combine 1/3 c brown sugar into a bowl.  Spread this mixture onto a Silpat mat and place into the oven (350 degrees F) for 10 minutes or until sugar starts to bubble.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Break crumbles into smaller pieces and set aside (I used a meat tenderizer to smash them to bits).  Don't eat too much or you won't have any left for the cupcakes!

Maple Cognac Buttercream Frosting:  
Cream 1 cup room temperature butter and powdered sugar in stand mixer.  Add 1 1/2 t vanilla paste, 3/4 c maple syrup (I use Mrs. Butterworth) and 4 T Cognac in stand mixer.  Mix until light and fluffy.

**Before I put the frosting on the cupcake, I squirted some maple syrup onto the tops of the cupcakes.  This syrup soaked into the cupcakes just a bit before the buttercream was added on top.

Place buttercream frosting into an icing bag and apply to tops of cupcakes.  I used a 105 tip, but I believe any tip or or a knife will do the trick.  Just don't use your finger.  It might be too hard to resist that lick!  Sprinkle some sugared bacon crumbles on top and...


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Wishing You and yours a blessed Easter!  I'm headed out to deliver my Easter cookies and celebrate with my family.  Blessings to you!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Prepping for Valentine's Day...

I'm in prep and plan mode for Valentine's Day cookies and that means I'm making some RI transfers for some of my designs.  I decided that perhaps others would enjoy using these transfer templates too so I have added a sidebar for my cookier friends that includes RI transfer templates I use.  As I make new templates, I will continue to add them to folders and share here.  

If you are interested in something particular and you don't have a transfer template for it yet, please let me know and I'd be happy to create one.  

See you soon with some Valentine treats!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! Spooky Cookie Alert!

 Made some chocolate cookies- Smelled soooo good while I was mixing...
 Smelled so good when I was rolling...
 Smelled so good when I was cooling...
Smelled so good when they were waiting...
 Smelled so good while I was decorating them...
 I thought I'd have a little taste...Ummmm....

Yuck!  They tasted gross- even the dogs didn't want to eat them.  So this recipe is OUT!  I'll stick to my favorite sugar cookie recipe!