Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, Espresso, Chocolate, Honey & Almonds!

I think I have started, stopped, restarted, and restopped, and restarteded this post so many times.  Instead of trying to write a fun intro.. I’m going to just dive in!  Ready?!

First off, we have a Oatmeal Cookie Sandwich with Peanut Butter Filling.

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When you mix together flour, spices, and oatmeal plus some nicely chopped up pecans.. do you know what you get?  Lemme tell you.  You get amazing amazing oatmeal cookies!  Oh, and you mustn’t forget the sugar and butter too.  All whipped up nice and fluffy.

And if you look closely in that first picture, do you catch a glimpse of yet another wonderful present from the husband?  Yes, it is a rabbit whisk!  Cute right?  🙂

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Yummy!  They were wonderfully soft and chewy.  They didn’t turn out as flat as I hoped.   I wanted them to be flatter so that they wouldn’t be humongous when I filled them.   But seeing how fast they disappeared… I guess it really didn’t matter.

P1230688 P1230692Beautiful, right?!  My coworkers INHALED them.  I bring them baked goods every week.  Some are hits and some are miserable misses.  But these cookies are still raved about today!   I made these cookies 2 weeks ago!  I rarely bake the same things twice, but this one, this one I must.  Otherwise… I fear retribution from the coworkers. hahaha.

Next, we have Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.

I guess I take back what I just wrote earlier about not baking the same things twice.  I did indeed bake this before.  But thinking back I do not believe I actually posted it.  And looking back through my archives… I do believe I am correct.

This is a delicious rich buttery cookie.  I don’t really eat shortbread cookies all that often.  I realize that this is a big mistake.  They are crisp and yet melt in your mouth.  The lovely marriage of espresso and bittersweet chocolate.  You would think that this cookie, being chock full of chocolate-y bits, would be very sweet.  However, since I used bittersweet chocolate, it was just the right intensity of dark cocoa flavor.  🙂

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And did you know that this cookie is actually kinda fun to make.  But I suppose if you’re really anal about like having really straight lines.. this might be more fun?  Less fun?  After chilling the dough inside a gallon-sized ziploc bag, I used my cutting board to cut my cookies.  If you look closely, you can see the little rectangles I cut.  They were somewhat straight… I really don’t care that much, as you can see.  haha.

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They go quite well with coffee.  Or milk.  Or chocolate milk!  Yum.  Chocolate soy milkkkkk.  🙂

Okay, last but not least, I also made Honey Bee Cake.

Yes. I did make all three of these in the same week.  In 2 days to be exact.  Yes, I do have a life outside of baking.  No, I do not get enough sleep.  🙂

This pretty little cake was from the afore-posted about cake cookbook.  I love it!  I have already bookmarked three other cakes I want to make.  Maybe I shall try to make one every week!  hehe.  I do love cakes.

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See the super cute rubber spatula?  It was a gift from my coworker.  It pretty much describes my most favorite three things to do.  🙂  Melting butter is always a good sign.  As is including honey in baked goods.

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This is the resulting glaze comprised of honey, butter, and brown sugar.  Yes, this beauty will be drizzled all over the cake!

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You have to poke holes to help the honey glaze seep in.  Seep in.  SEEP! But no worries, we will cover up these unfortunate looking, but very necessarily, holes with…

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ALMONDS!  Toasted almonds.  And then drizzle even more glaze on top!  Bake a few more minutes for the just the right type of crunch…

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AMAZING!  I wish I had taken off the springform pan while taking this picture.  Then you could see just how beautiful this cake is.  Oh well.  Next time.  And I also wished I used MORE almonds.  The almond to cake ratio was not to my liking.  But since this cake was so cute and so delicious (my coworkers are also raving about this one!), I think I will end up using twice as many almonds.  Just to be safe.  🙂

Whew.  I am finally done!  This was a really long post.  Took a long time to write it.  Thanks again to the husband for the lovely pictures!  Enjoy! 🙂

Happy Birthday to Me!

Maybe that sounded a bit self-absorbed.

As much as I love celebrating birthdays, and even my own, I actually don’t like being the center of attention when it is my birthday.  Which seems contradictory.

Contradictory like how I like making birthday cakes, but dislike being sung to when it’s time to eat my own.

Strange, huh?  Oh well.  I love a good party, but find it awkward being in the limelight.

Anyhow, what you really want to know about is the cake that I baked for my birthday.

I know I know.  My birthday should be the day that I shouldn’t have to bake a cake.  But, the husband got me the cutest cake cookbook ever for, well, my birthday!  I knew that I had to bake something out of that book and I figured my birthday was a good enough excuse to do so.

Earlier this week I saw a sale for blackberries.  I decided to buy a couple boxes to make blackberry jam.  Not that I really eat jam, but I thought that instead of hiding my fruit inside a baked good, I’d let the fruit itself shine.  But then I saw a recipe for jam cake.. and that original idea went out of the window.  🙂

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I don’t particularly like the taste of blackberries.  I find them a bit sour.  But in a jam (with lots of sugar, of course), they taste just wonderful!

Oh yes, I should tell you what I made.  Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Chocolate Ganache.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  🙂

First off!  Making Caramel Chocolate GanacheP1170579P1170584.

Warm buttery caramel poured over semi-sweet chocolate chips = Amazing ganache.  Lemme tell you.  The kitchen smelled wonderful.  Beautiful glossy and rich ganache.  I could probably eat it drizzled over everything.  🙂

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Aren’t those layers wonderful?  I’ve started to notice this 3-layer cake trend.  Or maybe it was always there and I was just oblivious.  I only have 2 8-inch pans.  And then I decide to bake a beautiful cake that is… 3 layers.  This always causes me to shake my fist that I still haven’t gone and gotten that darn 3rd 8-inch cake pan.  SIGH.   But anyways, that’s my pretty blackberry jam cake with ganache fillings.  I was supposed to also put toasted almonds inbetween…but I forgot.  😦

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Beautiful, right?  Gah.  I painstakingly put every toasted almond on there.  hahaha.  I didn’t want to just like mash/throw the almonds on there.  Yeah, I can be particular like that.  My first batch of almonds burned too.  But that’s okay.  The husband likes to eat burnt things (including my burnt baked goods).

It was a beautiful cake that tasted amazing as well.

And if you were wondering… no one sang happy birthday to me.  🙂

Just the way I like it.

Give Me S’More Brownies, Please!

Those are the words I long to hear.  People asking for more and thereby relieving me from having to deal with leftovers!  The husband claims that he likes to eat my desserts…but more often than naught, they are left to rot in the fridge and on the dining table.

But thankfully, these brownies were somewhat of a hit.  Only left with 1/3 of a pan out of the original 2 full 9×13 pans.  I suppose that’s as good as it gets when I’m dealing with health-conscious (well, somewhat) co-workers and friends and the like.  I tell myself not to bake so much… but then again I don’t ever listen to anyone.  🙂

These brownies are chock full of CHOCOLATE.  Yes.  Lots and lots of chocolate, oh and butter.  And some sugar.  Yes yes.  And gingersnap cookies (I didn’t have any graham crackers, but everyone knows that gingersnap cookies are better anyhow).  And topped with lots of delectable mini marshmallows.  Delicious!

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Apparently, there is a cult-like love for brownie edges.  But lemme tell you something.  These brownies, you need to get at the very center of the whole pan.  Because in the middle, my friends, is where you find the most fudgy decadent chocolatey brownies.  Yup.  Moist and dense.  You seriously need a glass of milk to get a giant mouthful down.  Well, unless you are ladylike and take little nibbles.  With bursts of sharp ginger and the softness of  marshmallows to round it all off.  🙂

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I’m not a huge fan of brownies, but I would ask for s’more of these! (Yeah yeah.  The husband’s punny-ness is rubbing off on me!)

Kiss My Bundt!

Bundt cake is delicious!

I used to think that bundt cakes were stuffy old-fashioned cakes, but now I realize that they are actually quite fun and tasty! I think I like them because they are usually covered in a sweet and delicious oozy glaze… 🙂

 

And I also found out that some people don’t like orange + chocolate!  WHAT?!  I LOVE that combination! They are crazy! Not only does it smell amazing, the tangy-ness of the orange with the sweetness of chocolate is just divine.

 

This cake required the zest of four oranges!  My kitchen definitely smelled citrus-y.
The cake asked for chocolate chunks… but I only had chocolate chips.  But I think it turned out chocolate-y nevertheless. hehe.
There’s something very satisfying when I see a nicely floured cake pan.  Yeah.  I don’t know.  I’m weird….
You’d think the zest of FOUR oranges would be enough… but this recipe asks for orange sugar syrup to be drizzled over the cake too!  YUM.
And last but not least–melted chocolate! 😀
Yum yum.  I do have to say… this cake is amazing when served warm!  And a tall glass of milk or maybe ice cream. hehe.
I think bundt cakes shall be a regular fixture in my kitchen.  🙂

Who Doesn’t Want World Peace…

Cookies?!

That’s right.  World Peace Cookies!  Strange.  I know.  But delicious nevertheless. 🙂

And let’s not forget Buttermilk Pie and Caramel Cupcakes!

(Apparently, I like to bake in threes.  Hmm.. interesting.)

The World Peace Cookies were to die for!  Er.. I mean, the name is a bit misleading.  If there aren’t enough cookies to go around.. there’d be no peace.  There’d be CHAOS! hahahaha. 🙂  I think I’ll be making these again.. but I’m going to try and bake them one minute less to see if I can get them to be chewy versus crunchy.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do love crunchy cookies, but I think they’d be even more amazing if they were a bit more chewy. 🙂

I really love buttermilk!  This pie reminded me of a giant dan ta.  🙂  I didn’t get a chance to eat it.. but it definitely smelled and looked delicious! 🙂  Next time I’ll be sure to make some sort of fruit topping to accompany this deliciously simple Buttermilk Pie!

Last but not least..  Caramel Cupcakes!  Caramel or carmel or however you say it… caramel is wondrous!  It’s actually a vanilla cupcake with caramel on top.. but maybe I’ll try making it with some swirls of caramel inside it next time. 🙂

Hurray!  I’m getting closer and closer to catching up on my posts. 🙂

The only crazy thing is.. this week I’m baking like.. 5 to 7 different things.. AT LEAST.  CRAZY.

I must be crazy!  (Please don’t answer that…)

🙂

How Many Layers Can You Fit in a Cake?!

To be honest… as many as you want.  Granted.. it’d probably be so tall and heavy that you wouldn’t be able to move it.. let alone find someone to eat a whole slice of it.

But if you want really want to know… fourteen.  THAT’S RIGHT. 14! 😀

Isn’t it so crazy and wonderful?!  It didn’t take me too long to bake or assemble the cake.. though you can tell from the lighting that I started at night and finished in the day.  I took a “nap” inbetween the icing and the frosting. haha.

It’s a simple vanilla cake with lots of chocolate icing and chocolate buttercream.  I found the recipe on Bakerella a couple months ago and was hoping for any excuse to make it! 😀

But yes!  I actually haven’t tasted the cake yet.. but I’ve heard that it’s quite dense and yummy!  Hurray! 🙂  Perhaps I can aim higher next time?  Say… 20?! HAHA. jk. 😀

Cake Balls Are Too Cute!

But seriously… I don’t have what it takes to make these more often.   I don’t know how Bakerella has the energy and patience and creativity to do what she does!  (I warn you before you click on that link.. to be prepared for cuteness overload.  I die every time I look at her blog!)  I stumbled upon her blog awhile ago and I LOVE her creations!  They are just TOO  precious! 🙂  I seriously want to try everything she’s made on her blog…but I may die from sugar overload first. hahaha.

Anywhos.  I decided to try my hand at cake balls!  I had so many leftovers from my mini-cakes and I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing away perfectly good cake!  So the only logical choice was to make cake balls!

They are so easy to make!

Step 1:  Crumble cake.  You can use scraps.. or just bake a cake (from cake mix or what have you of any flavor) and after it cools just use a spatula and crumble it all up!

Step 2: Mix in almost a full can of frosting.

Step 3:  Form balls of whatever size you prefer.

Step 4:  Chill them in the fridge for several hours or freezer.

Step 5: Melt chocolate bark or morsels.

Step 6:  Roll cake balls in the chocolate with a spoon and let them harden on wax paper.

Step 7:  Decorate if you choose so (before chocolate hardens) and then enjoy!

Pretty easy eh?  You can see more pictures and directions on Bakerella!

I didn’t have time to take more pictures of the finished products. 😦  I don’t know how Bakerella managed to make her balls look so round and cute.  Perhaps I need to melt the chocolate more?  Hmm..

I think I might just stick to making cakes and leaving this cake ball business to someone else. haha

But yes, congrats again to the Class of 2010! 🙂