Look what someone got for Christmas from Iced Fancies.
One highlight of our trip to New York was the crazy coincidence that Angie Dudley, known better as BAKERELLA of the cakepops fame, was going to be at Williams-Sonoma for her Cakepop booksigning!
It was a wonderful experience. We ended up getting there half an hour early and the line was already quite long. As a result of that we didn’t get to hear much of her lovely demonstration or question and answer period, but everyone seemed charmed by her.
We did get a special treat though- meeting Angie’s MOM. Holy, is she adorable. She couldn’t stop talking about how proud she was of Angie, how talented she was, and how much she wanted to be like her. I guess she thought we were adorable too, since she said we were “too cute!” and bopped me on the head. My favourite part of talking to her was when she was talking about how much Angie loves her fans. Not a direct quote, but she said something along the lines of this being “love going back and forth and back and forth”. From the fans to Angie and back again. It was so true. Everything there was so excited to see her.
Angie herself, wow. She’s just so sweet in person, it just oozes out of her. Perfectly lovely! I only wish we had been able to hear her demonstation, but just talking to her made it worth it. You can tell she just ADORES her fans. I’m so glad she is getting so much attention and her site is so popular, she deserves every little bit of it.
P.S. I have learned since getting Angie’s book and finally making cakepops (Reindeer cakepops, nonetheless!) that they are tricker than one would think!
I love making Christmas cookies. I love the mixing and the rolling, cutting out shapes and the crazy decorating.
(If anyone is doing some last minute Christmas baking and is in need of some new recipes- NY Times has Readers’ Holiday Cookie Recipes that look really delicious! I’m dying to try the Linzer Augen and Russian Snowball cookies. I might have to do some after-Christmas baking!)
Harry Potter fans do a lot of weird things. Some get tattoos of scars (or get real scars!) on their foreheads, others try to adopt the actors. Megan and I, we aren’t that crazy. We just stand in line for the movies for hours.
This year we decided to try out a neat recipe we found: Butterbeer cupcakes! from Amy Bites
Now, if there is one thing that Harry Potter has taught us is the importance of friends, so we had a couple of ours with us to help us with these! Sonia was back in the kitchen with us and Jeff joined us for the first time. 😀
For the cupcakes:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda
For the ganache:
1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy cream
For the buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 16-oz. package powdered sugar
Splash of milk or cream (as needed)
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream your butter until light and fluffy. Add your sugars and beat until well-combined. Beat in your eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then beat in your vanilla and butter flavoring.
Alternate adding your buttermilk, cream soda, and dry ingredients in batches until all are well incorporated. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back to the touch. Cool completely on wire racks.
For butterscotch filling: In a double boiler (heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove), combine butterscotch chips and heavy cream and stir until completely combined and smooth. Cool to room temperature. Fill a squeeze bottle with ganache and insert into the center of each cupcake, squeezing until filling begins to overflow.
For buttercream frosting: Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt and mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until reaching desired consistency. Add milk or cream by the Tablespoon as needed. Frost cupcakes and top with a drizzle of butterscotch ganache.
Because we were going with a large group, we wanted to double the recipe. Instead of making just 36, we got 48!
We also had a lot of ganache left over- we most likely could have gotten away with not doubling that part of the recipe at all.
In addition, we would have run out of frosting if we had piped it on to all of the cupcakes. We only just had enough for all of them, and we just used knives on the majority of the cupcakes. If you want to pipe the frosting on to all of yours, I would recommend doubling the frosting part of the recipe.
During our vacation in New York we went to see Bakerella (Angie Dudley) at her Cakepops signing.
Here’s her Flickr Set- more to come on our trip in NYC soon!
though we’ve not been baking much, we have been thinking about baking!
We are off to New York City soon and there we shall be tasting some of the finest cupcakes, such as at Magnolia Bakery!
And while we are there we shall also be seeing the Queen of Cakepops herself, Bakerella, at her signing at Williams-Sonoma. I’m sad we will be staying at a hostel and won’t be able to make cakepops for the occasion.
An occasion we will be making cupcakes for, however, is the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows: Part One. Amy Bites has a delicious recipe up, based off of the butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It looks really yummy, hopefully we’ll be able to find butter flavouring.
Megan, several friends, and I have recently started a book club. This past month was the first time people we didn’t already know were going to come, and we were a bit nervous how it would be. We knew what would make it better though: cookies. Cookies keep everyone happy.
First, the Cocoa Cookies. (makes about 20 cookies)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
7 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably not low- or nonfat
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips, preferably Ghirardelli brand, either semisweet or bittersweet
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave briefly, until just melted. Add the sugars, and sift in the cocoa. (You can skip the sifting if you want, but my cocoa almost always has lumps, and I don’t like cocoa lumps in my cookies.) Stir to blend well. The mixture will be somewhat thick and pasty, like wet sand. Add the yogurt and vanilla and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the dry flour mixture, and stir to just combine. Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.
Drop the dough by generous tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crackled slightly and look set. Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack, and cool the cookies on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs best-quality vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 ½ cups best-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups quick-cook oats, or rolled oats zizzed in a food processor for a few seconds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease cookie sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter and brown and granulated sugars until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk, mixing until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients, working until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and oats by hand, using a wooden spoon. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour. Use a table knife to scoop and press dough into ¼-cup measuring scoops, and plunk the mounds onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be three inches apart.
Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cook completely.
We made our oatmeal cookies far smaller than Molly suggested in her directions. We made them about a tablespoon in size, just like the Cocoa cookies, and they took 20 minutes at that size.
Megan and I both agreed that these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies aren’t the best we’ve had, but our friend Tara loved them, so it really depends on your personal cookie preferences how much you will enjoy them.