Category Archives: The Bakery!

This category is for all things baked!

Pudding cookies: Attempt #2

I attempted to make some M&M cookies following a recipe I found on Pinterest. I am not sure if I did something wrong or not but they didn’t come out at all like the photo. There were way too many M&Ms and chocolate chips leftover in the bottom of the bowl that didn’t get mixed in with the dough. There just wasn’t enough dough to incorporate them all. The cookies were ok, but they didn’t flatten out and they were WAY too sweet to eat more than one. You could definitely taste the vanilla pudding mix in it even though there was only 3 tablespoons in it. I followed the recipe exactly (I think) so I am not sure what happened to make them not flatten out.

That recipe can be found here: Perfect M&M cookies

Photo of my cookies:
365: Picture 94

So, I found another recipe on Pinterest for pudding cookies. I decided to give them a try because the recipe was pretty different from the first one. I am really glad that I did. These didn’t flatten out either BUT they are way less sweet than the first ones. The only change I made to the recipe is that I used half a bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and the rest of the bag of mini-M&Ms I had from the first batch. I think it was about half a cup of them. The only thing I would change is: I didn’t use salted butter (because I like to use unsalted – you can control the salt in the recipe that way) but the recipe called for it so there was no salt. They tasted a little flat so I sprinkled a tiny bit of Kosher salt on top of the other pans of cookies before I baked them. Next time, I will add a 1/2 tsp of salt to the mix before I portion them out.

Mini M&M cookies
Adapted from this recipe: Double Chocolate Pudding Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3.4 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs (at room temp)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
6oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Mini M&Ms
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add in the dry pudding mix and vanilla.
Beat in one egg at a time.
In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk til combined, then slowly stir into the wet ingredients. Add in the chocolate chips and M&Ms. Do not mix too much because the M&Ms will break apart if they get bashed around too much
Spoon the cookies out using a tablespoon. I got about 12 to a pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Pull them from the oven when the tops start to look slightly browned. If they go longer than that, they end up being a little bit dry.

Recipe makes 4 dozen tablespoon sized cookies.

Pudding cookies!

Pudding cookies!

I can’t wait to try these with different flavors of pudding! So exciting. 😀

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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in The Bakery!


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Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes

I saw Boston Creme cupcakes somewhere the other day and decided to day that I would make them. I didn’t want to use egg yolks in my creme filling so I found a recipe that used cornstarch as a thickener. Otherwise, I used the recipe from Martha Stewart’s website for the cupcakes and the chocolate ganache topping.

I have to say, the Vanilla Pudding mix is probably the best I have ever had. The first batch I made of it did not come out right because I didn’t use enough of the warm milk mixture to heat up the corn starch. It ended up really lumpy and didn’t set up right. I did it a second time and it came out pretty amazing.

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
Serves 18

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 2% milk
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Cream
Chocolate-Ganache Glaze

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line one and a half cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
3. Start warming milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat.
4. Whisk eggs and sugar with a mixer on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.
5. Beat in dry ingredients.
6. Once the milk and butter come to a boil, add milk mixture to batter with the mixer on low speed. Beat until smooth.
7. Add vanilla.
8. Divide batter among cupcake cups, filling each a little more than halfway. Bake cupcakes until light gold, about 15 minutes. Let cool in tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Let cool.
9. Using an apple corer, take the center out of each cupcake once they are room temperature.

While the cupcakes cool, make the vanilla pudding for the center of the cupcakes. I changed a few things in this recipe as well. The biggest difference is that I halved the recipe!

Vanilla Pudding
Adapted from TheKitchn’s D.I.Y. Pudding
makes 2 cups

2 cups 2% milk
1/4 cup vanilla sugar
1/2 vanilla bean pod, sliced in half
2.5 Tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

1. Whisk the sugar into the milk and warm over low heat, stirring constantly. i added a half a vanilla bean pod from the vanilla sugar when I whisked in the sugar. This allowed the vanilla bean to steep in the milk while it came to a boil.
2. When bubbles appear around the edges, ladle a cup of the milk into a bowl with the cornstarch and beat the whisk until smooth.
3. Add cornstarch mixture back into the saucepan of milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens.
4. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pot loosely. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, uncover, and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract. Cool completely before filling the cupcakes.

While the pudding is cooling, make the chocolate ganache. The only thing I did differently was to use mini semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of chopping my own chocolate.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Ganache Glaze recipe
Makes 1 1/4 cups

2/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and add chocolate and corn syrup. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool, stirring often. Use immediately.

I was low on corn syrup so I ended up putting half a tablespoon of it into the ganache. It still poured nicely and was awesome.

Once everything is cooled to room temperature, you can begin to build them. I filled each cupcake with a teaspoon or 2 of the pudding. (there was a LOT leftover to eat on its own!) Once that was done, I poured a fat tablespoon of the chocolate ganache on top. I put them onto a baking sheet with a piece of Glad Press n Seal wrap under them for quick clean up. As you pour the ganache onto each cupcake, it will spill over the side. This is good! They look pretty awesome when that happens!

OK time for pics!

Boston Creme Cupcakes

366: Picture 138

Boston Creme Cupcakes

Boston Creme Cupcakes

Boston Creme Cupcakes

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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in The Bakery!


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In honor of Cinco de Mayo (in a couple of days) I decided to make horchata cupcakes. Carter and I both really love to drink horchata. Last year, I made the same cupcakes but didn’t get enough pictures to write it up. This year, I measured all the ingredients out and found their weights as well as took lots of pictures of my candy set up. They came out just as adorable as they did last year and I am really excited to share them with the guys at his office tomorrow 😀

I got the recipe from my favorite cupcake website, as usual. Horchata Cupcakes were an experimental cupcake that Chockylit made. I didn’t go as far as she did with it because I used store bought horchata. (We like the Kern brand) Other than that, I followed her directions pretty exactly.

Horchata cupcakes
Adapted from Chockylit’s recipe: Horchata Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 stick butter
1-1/2 cups (294g) sugar
2 cups (278g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons (9g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2g) salt
1 teaspoon (4g) cinnamon
1 cup fresh horchata
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites

1. soften butter in the mixer on high speed
2. drizzle the sugar in with the butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes
3. sift flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together
4. mix the horchata and vanilla together
5. add the flour mixture and horchata mixture to the butter/sugar in 3 parts alternating between flour and horchata and beating well after each addition
6. set aside incorporated mixture
7. in a clean mixer bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form
8. fold egg whites into cake batter until incorporated
9. scoop batter into the prepared cupcake pans
10. bake in the 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean

2 sticks butter, soft
1/2 cup fresh horchata
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
7-8 cups confectioner’s sugar

1. soften butter in the mixer on high speed
2. sift confectioner’s sugar
3. add horchata, vanilla, and 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar to the sugar and beat until combined
4. add remainder sugar 1 cup at a time until desired consistency/sweetness is reached

I ended up using 7 cups of confectioner’s sugar and I didn’t bother to sift it. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I am too lazy to do it. I don’t know if it makes much of a difference or not but most of the time it works either way 😀

The tacos on top of the cupcakes were a stroke of genius based upon the candies I had been using to do the fancy cupcakes from the Hello, Cupcake! book. I sat down one day and figured out what would work best for each component of a taco.

I used:
6 Kraft caramels (divided into 4)
2 Peach Guava Starburst fruit chews (From the Fiesta Pack)
2 Melon Berry Starburst fruit chews (From the Fiesta Pack)
1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
2 TBsp strawberry jam

Roll each piece of the divided caramel into a ball. Using a rolling pin, flatten the caramel quarters as thin as you can get them without sticking. I used a plastic, flexible cutting board for this because they were sticking to my wooden one as I was rolling them out. Try to keep them round when you do this step. (If you have trouble rolling out the caramels, you can nuke them in the microwave for 5 seconds. Any more than 5 seconds and they sort of melt into a puddle.) Don’t overlap the caramels once you roll them out because they will start to stick to each other!

For the cheese and lettuce, I cut the Starbursts into strips. For the lettuce, I flattened the pieces out and then sliced it to look like shredded lettuce. I started doing that for the cheese pieces but ended up cutting the strips into little squares because that resembled grated cheese better. I tried actually grating the cheese as well and that didn’t work out for me very well.

For the meat, melt the chocolate in the microwave until it is completely melted. Mix the cereal with the chocolate until it is coated evenly.

Everything is ready!

Caramels are done!

Lettuce and cheese!

To build the tacos you have to work a little quickly, otherwise the caramel starts to get soft and melt to your hands. Fold the caramel in half like a taco shell, and layer in the meat, cheese, then the lettuce. I did all of these placed them on top of the frosted cupcakes. I went back once they were all finished and topped each taco with a small amount of the strawberry jam.

OK Completed Pics!

I highly recommend these cupcakes and also making the tacos for the top. I think everyone is pretty excited when they see them. 😀

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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in The Bakery!


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St. Patrick’s Day Treats!

Yesterday, I made some chocolate Guinness cupcakes with a Bailey’s Irish Creme buttercream. I followed the recipe pretty closely. The recipe recommended making them in a jumbo size, but I did them regular cupcake sized. I didn’t know which Guinness to buy, so I asked a nice girl who was buying some which would taste best in a chocolate cupcake. She said that she makes them every year and uses the Guinness Draught. This was good news for me because it was available in a 4-pack! I also used Bailey’s in place of the Guinness in the original recipe for the frosting. I added a bit of milk to make the frosting soft enough to pipe onto the cupcakes with my new star tip. The cakes were very tasty with a light Guinness flavor. The frosting was WAY too strong for me personally but everyone else said it was awesome.

I got the recipe for both from Leite’s Culinaria: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from The Butch Bakery Cookbook by David Arrick

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup dark stout, such as Guinness, poured and settled before you measure
2 large eggs
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Vanilla Bailey’s Buttercream:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted or whisked.
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Creme liquor
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt

Make the cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and place a baking rack in the center of the oven. Line 24 regular sized cupcake pans with liners (Mine had a basket print on the outside! :D)
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cocoa powder, and stir until smooth. Then stir in the stout. Set the mixture and aside to cool for 10 minutes.
3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and the sour cream. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture, making sure to incorporate it well. Next, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt, and whisk until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
4. Fill each prepared cup about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are just firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Leave the cupcakes in the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack to cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.

Make the buttercream
5. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar, Bailey’s, vanilla, and salt to the bowl, and continue to beat until very smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add a little green food coloring if you would like at this point too!

Construct the cupcakes
6. Frost each cupcake in a way that you like. I used my new star tip and a piping bag. The original recipe recommends sprinkling each cupcake with a tablespoon of the crushed pretzels but I just used some green sugar crystals I had here. The cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container or frozen for up to 1 month. However, they were gone by the end of today. The rig crew sure did like them! 😀

Today (St. Patrick’s Day) I made some chocolate cupcakes with a mint chocolate ganache filling and mint buttercream. These I got from The Cupcake Bakeshop website by Chockylit. I love her basic chocolate cupcake recipe so instead of the one she paired with the mint chocolate ganache and mint buttercream, I used the one that I like so much. I like using Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa because it is less expensive than Valhrona. It is pretty amazing with Hershey’s so I am sure it would be amazing with the high quality chocolate. I found that when I added the milk directly from the refrigerator, the mix would look like it was breaking. I think the milk made the butter cold enough to partially solidify so I am going to try taking it out of the fridge when I start making everything to let it warm up a touch next time.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe by Chockylit (I doubled her base recipe)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1 cup + 4 tablespoons sugar
1 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup milk, not fridge cold
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter until light in color. Add sugar and beat until it is fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the eggs and beat until everything is well combined.
Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small bowl and whisk to combine. (Whisking the mix aerates it so you don’t have to sift it together)
Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mix and beat to combine. Add half of the milk/vanilla and mix well. Continue alternating between the dry mix and the wet once more, finishing with the last portion of the dry mix.
Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Bake cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

The Mint Chocolate Ganache and Mint Buttercream were from a completely different recipe. I adapted it a little by accident. I forgot to add the butter and the teaspoon of mint after I mixed it all up but it ended up working out anyway!

Mint Chocolate Ganache
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
(1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves)

Chop the chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
Heat the cream and mint leaves in a small saucepan until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the cream through a strainer, over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until the chocolate is completely melted. (If you add the butter and chopped mint from the original recipe, you add it here.)
Let the chocolate mixture cool then put it into the refrigerator to thicken for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Mint Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon all natural peppermint extract

Whisk the butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
Add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract, and mix until combined. I tasted it after I added 1/8 tsp of the peppermint extract and ended up adding another 1/8 tsp. The consistency was perfect at this point but you can add more powdered sugar if it isn’t piping consistency for you. My frosting sort of looked like it was grainy to me but I think it was the fault of the milk being too cold again. I think it really makes a difference.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, you can fill them. I use an apple corer to take out the centers of each cupcake and snack on the middles while I am filling! I filled the cupcakes with one overfull teaspoon of the ganache and then piped on the frosting. (Tinted green for St. Patrick’s Day with a little food coloring while it was mixing.)

I topped mine with brown and green dark chocolate M&Ms 😀

This batch was the second time I used the star tip. I really love the way the frosting looks on these cupcakes! It is bakery worthy I think 😀

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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in The Bakery!


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I have been wanting to make pop-tarts for a really long time and today in the IRC, people were talking about making them. They inspired me to get off my butt and try it. I found quite a few recipes but I decided on the one at Her recipes are generally awesome so I had lots of faith in this one as well.

I followed the directions pretty much exactly. I agree with adding some whole wheat flour to the crust next time. It would make them hearty and a little more healthy as well. I didn’t chill the dough between mixing and rolling them out but the dough was perfect. I also decided to egg wash the tops of them and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of each tart.

I HIGHLY recommend baking up the leftover crust edges with cinnamon and sugar (I used vanilla sugar). They are so delicious that I can barely stop eating them!


365: Picture 216

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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in General Food, The Bakery!



I was making bagels from Serious Eats and I noticed that the grams and ounces were off. When I measured the ounces, and switched my scale to grams, it was not the same as the recipe. Since I have friends in Australia, I figured I would remeasure everything and put up the correct gram measurements.

Adapted from Serious Eats:
19.25oz [548g] bread flour (3 1/2 cups)
1/4oz [10g] instant dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons; or 1 envelope active dry)
1/2oz [17g] sugar (2 tablespoons)
1/2oz [7g] salt (1 teaspoon)
12 ounces hot water (1 1/2 cups, 120°–130°F)
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (I don’t use the malt syrup because I cannot find it here)

Add the bread flour, yeast, sugar, and salt to a mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on to mix it up a little, then add the water slowly. Let it mix until it just comes together then mix it for 5 minutes on medium speed. I don’t have a food processor so I figured out a way to make the mixer work for it.

Transfer the dough ball to an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rest for an hour or so (longer doesn’t hurt it), until it doubles in size. Once that happens, fill the pot with water and then add the syrup to it. Set it on the stove to heat up and by the time you have the bagels shaped, it should be boiling.

Work the dough on a floured surface. I usually form it into a log and cut it into 10 equal(as equal as I can get them) pieces. Then I roll each piece out into a rope and wrap it around my hand to form a circle. Then roll it on the cutting board until it comes together. The diagram in the original recipe is a really great way to learn how to do this.

When all the bagels are shaped, start cooking them in the boiling water for one minute each, turning them halfway through. I usually take them out and put them onto a kitchen towel. While they are still wet, I put on whatever toppings I want (minced dried garlic or onion, sesame seeds, salt) and put them on the pan to bake. I bake them at 400F for 15-20 minutes and I do not flip them over to get them brown on the bottom. They always end up completely browned nicely.

They are delicious bagels and I love that serious eats shared it with us!

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in The Bakery!


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Red Velvet Cupcakes

The photos at the end of this post could be construed as NWS for many people. Do not look if you don’t like seeing penises or if you are at work.

Yesterday was Gunnar’s (my brother in law) birthday. He requested red velvet for his birthday cake flavor. I had never made it so I spent the morning looking around for a good recipe. I lean toward cupcakes instead of cake because they are self-serving sized. I found a few that looked good but ended up settling on Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting because I have made a bunch of different cupcakes from her site and they have all come out pretty awesome.

The only change I made to the recipe was to add an extra 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the mix. I added more chocolate because in her notes, the author mentions that the cupcakes were not chocolatey enough for her. I figured, if they weren’t chocolatey enough for her, chances are I would want it to be more chocolatey as well. The cocoa powder seemed to make it a little too dry though. They tasted pretty perfect but maybe if we do liquid chocolate or add a little more butter to the mix, it will make them more moist. I will definitely make them again! 😀 The frosting, as usual, was amazing. I used the baking soda and baking powder version for mine instead of cream of tartar.

Chockylit wrote an extensive post on the difference between the two at the link above. I highly recommend reading it! I will post the recipe here for ease of use though.

Recipe courtesy The Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 36 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3-3/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cups cocoa (I used 1/2 cup total in mine)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder or 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
3/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
3 teaspoons vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 ounce red food coloring paste
2-1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups butter
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder (or cream of tarter), and salt into medium bowl.
Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and food coloring in small bowl to blend.
Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well fluffy, 3 minutes.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition, about 30 seconds.
Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.
Scoop into cupcake tins and bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove and finish cooling completely on racks.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours. (I ended up letting mine sit
for at least 2 hours to get it soft enough)
Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment (I sifted the 4 cups of sugar into a bowl. I only needed that
much for the frosting.)
Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy.
Add 4 cups of the sugar and beat until combined.
Add vanillas and beat until combined.
Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

While the cupcakes were cooling, I went to work on the decorations for the cupcakes. I had gotten some marzipan for stars on my 4th of July cupcakes and had some leftover. I took a bit of that and shaped 36 small penises out of it. They looked adorable but I thought some needed to be different colors. Originally, I was going to make them a peachy flesh tone but the food coloring mixed with a little vodka I used for paint made them look like they were coming from the Jersey Shore! I colored 9 that color, 9 a darker color, and left the rest almond paste colored. They were a HUGE hit. Everyone thought they were hilarious. 😀

Cupcake batter:

Baked cupcakes:


Completed cupcakes!

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Posted by on July 10, 2011 in The Bakery!


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