Happy Halloween!

What more can a kid ask for than a holiday that is all about playing dress up and consuming mass amounts of candy? Sounds like heaven. The holiday doesn't even seem to get old either. As a kid it was all about trick-or-treating with your pillow case and anxiously waiting for Dad to "approve" all my candy before I could dig in. These days, it doesn't quite involve the door to door begging for sweets but it still has the same excitement each year. New costumes, decorations, and sweets! 

To get into the Halloween spirit I had to whip up some chocolate cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting and some fall sprinkles for decoration. Cupcakes are great for all holidays and occasions because there are SO many flavors, colors, and decorations that you can make! If you can think of it, you can most likely convert it into a cupcake. They are great for parties too because of their individual serving size. Are you baking cupcakes this holiday season? Send me your ideas and pictures! I'd love to see what you are working on out there!

ALSO, here is a great tip for getting that sticky cake batter into the baking cups. Get a large ziplock (or pastry bag) and put the batter in the bag, cut off the tip of the bag and then you can pipe the batter into the cups. Its fast, easy, and clean!!

Halloween wish from Boomer! (aka Superman!)

Off to Vegas to celebrate...have a safe weekend everyone!! :)


Growing Older, Not Really Growing Up

Pheww - what a week! In the last week, I have grown another year older, started a new job in a new town which requires me to be at work at...believe it or not..0515! That is code for 5:15 AM and no, I am not lying.

Needless to say, its been a long one.

Last weekend I celebrated my 23rd birthday (although I still feel like I'm five) with friends and family and it was soo much fun! It was obviously necessary that all 23 years be represented on the cake..

The most exciting part of it was the amount of fabulous baking appliances I received as gifts. Christmas come early!  I am now a proud owner of a PINK Kitchen Aid Mixer!!! I definitely ran around telling everyone about that as soon as the wrapping paper came off.  Thanks Mom and Dad! :)
My amazing boyfriend got me an awesome camera to use to take better pictures of things for this blog. Thank you Mike! <3

AND.. I now have a great giant baking sheet, a cookie press and a frosting pen. I know...crazy right? I definitely got spoiled.
Amazingg!! Thank you Debbie, Mike and Kris!

So after a seven day stretch of being at work before the sun has even thought about rising I was really looking forward to spending some time in the kitchen. Turns out this cookie press is loads of fun! It definitely took some experimenting but I think I got it down by the end. I love these cute, bite-sized cookies that you can decorate to fit any and every occasion. 

I like the color pink...did you know??


2 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350
Mix flour and salt in small mixing bowl, set aside
In stand mixer, combine together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add the vanilla and egg, mix to combine
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined
Load your cookie press and press cookies onto ungreased baking sheet
Bake for 8-10 minutes 
Decorate as desired!


3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
food coloring as desired

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and cream
Add vanilla and corn syrup, mix until smooth


October = Warm and Fuzzy

Ask my boyfriend and he will say that October 1st marks the beginning of my month long birthday celebration. Which would be awesome but I think people might just get annoyed with me trying to celebrate my birthday on all of their birthdays..? Yeah, thought so. October is not only the best month because some wonderful people where born this month but it represents the real beginning of fall and the holiday season. October means boots and scarves, halloween (which means candy!), pumpkin spice lattes (which also means peppermint mochas and red cups are soon!), pumpkin bread, cool sunny days, blue skies, fallen leaves, James Taylor CD, relaxing spirits and most importantly, BAKING!

A handful of birthday's have already passed so naturally, their present from me is some form of sugary baked goods. So far, my friends Lora and Shane got brownies and my brother's friend Melissa got herself a cake. Is your birthday coming up?? Let me know what you would like :)

Chocolate Caramel Brownies with Walnuts

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese/Marscapone Frosting

"Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter."

Happy Warm and Fuzzy October!! :)

RECIPE: brownies

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup caramel, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray or melted butter.
Use a warmer or a double boiler to melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. (Make sure not to seize the chocolate)
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed for five minutes until light in color and forming clumps. 
Scrape down sides of the bowl and add the caramel and incorporate. 
Crack eggs into a separate bowl and combine together with a fork. Add the egg in four batches allowing to completely incorporate before adding more. Beat in vanilla extract and scrape bowl.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the caramel mixture all at once, then blend on the lowest speed just until you no longer see streaks of flour and the batter is smooth. Scrape down and make sure its completely incorporated. 
Spread half of the batter into the bottom of your baking pan. 
With the remaining half of the batter, incorporate the melted chocolate. Mix together and then lay the chocolate batter on top of the caramel batter in the pan. 
Use a  knife to swirl and spread the batter so it lays evenly in the pan (it is okay for them to blend into each other). 
Sprinkle the walnut pieces across the top and lightly press into the batter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For an extra kick, drizzle caramel over the top of the warm brownies and serve with ice cream!

RECIPE: cake

Red Velvet Cake:
2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (15 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
1 1/2 (360 ml) cups heavy whipping cream (contains 36-40% butterfat)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
Red Velvet Cake: In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter. 
Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight). (This is done to make filling and frosting 
the cakes easier.)
Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency. If the frosting is not thick enough to spread, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour, or until it is firm.