Friday, July 30, 2010

Reynolds Product Review and Giveaway

Cupcake wrappers needed to be fixed for a long time now.  White, foil and pastel colors tend to get boring fast. It was possible to buy wrappers with decorations in some grocery stores or at a craft store but so often the design wouldn't be visible after the cupcakes were baked. These new Reynolds baking cups eliminate that problem. As demonstrated here:

They're foil lined. See? 

And come in a great variety of colors and designs. 

We are giving away 4 packs of these cupcake wrappers in various designs and to win you simply need to follow our blog (to become a follower, sign up and click on the follow tab at the top left-hand side of the page) and leave a comment stating which cupcakes you'd bake first with these beauties. If you win, we'll contact you for your mailing address. Btw, only one comment per person!

The contest will close on Friday, August 6th and the winner will be chosen using Good luck!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Baked Brie

Okay so I love me some cheese. Who doesn't right? (Sorry lactose intolerants) So any time I can incorporate cheese into a recipe is a good day. Brie is definitely one of my favorites. It's just so delicious and creamy. This recipe is great to bring to brunches or put out as an appetizer. Serve it up with your favorite crackers or apple slices or do like we did and just eat it as is!

This recipe is adapted from a bunch of different baked brie recipes out there online.

  • 1 tube Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 round wheel of brie
  • Strawberry jam, or other flavor you like (it should be jam even though jam gets a bad rap due to the saying "It must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that." Trust me, jam works better here.)
  • Handful of chopped walnuts
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350. Now roll out the crescent roll dough on a non stick cookie sheet (or simply use cooking spray if you don't have the nonstick kind). Place the wheel of brie in the center of the dough.

Next, grab your jam of choice. I like Strawberry Smuckers because with a name like Smuckers, it has to be good. 

Remember that commercial? No? Okay thanks for making me feel old. Now I'm sad and the only way to cheer me up is with more jam. It should be seedless but as for the flavor, you can use whatever you like. I might use apricot for the next one!
Okay so spread the jam all over the top and sides of the brie and the top it with a handful of chopped walnuts.

Okay now there are a few ways to do this next part. The easiest way is to simply fold the dough up and over the brie. That's the way I did it. Now if you want it to look nicer, you can fold the dough up and then cut off the extra dough at the top and pinch it together. The fanciest way to do it is, instead of just pinching the dough, secure it with some twine. Like, I said, I did it the first way but all work equally as well. Make sure the dough will stay in place though. You don't want the cheese bursting out mid bake and trying to make a run for the border.

Next take a basting brush (or just a spoon-I won't tell) and brush the maple syrup all over the dough. 

And then sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the whole thing. Amity just recently explained to me the difference between light and dark brown sugar and explained that unless a recipe specifically calls for dark, always go for light. Those instructions also fly if you're, say, deciding what kind of Jedi to be. 

Okay so now bake it for about 20-25 minutes or until the dough gets a golden brown color. You kitchen should be filled with the smell of maple syrup by now!

Okay now let it sit for 10 minutes before serving or else the cheese may be too gooey and come rushing out of the dough to freedom.

And bam! Just like that, cheesy, sweet, savory deliciousness! For an added dose of fancy, use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of the extra dough and put those on top before baking. I tried to do a star but little leaves might look nice!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Another birthday! This time for my bf (Scott).  I gave him the opportunity to request which flavors he'd like for his cupcakes. I thought he'd insist on chocolate and peanut butter. But instead he said I should make whatever I felt like making. Well, what I felt like making was chocolate strawberry cupcakes because that's what I felt like eating. 

For the cake I used my trusty One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe. It's easy, delicious and the cake has a tender crumb.  (I say that instead of using the word "moist" which Gina hates.)


2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in boiling water.
Pour into two 9 inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and continue cooling.

For the frosting I used the Sprinkles Cupcakes recipe which is found on Oprah's website as well as a few other sites.


(Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes) (LIES! It totally covered 2 dozen.)
1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

Look, I don't know why the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries and then has you use a mere 3 tablespoons of puree. I guess you could make strawberry pancakes with the remaining 5 tablespoons the next morning but you're probably going to be eating cupcakes for breakfast so never mind that. 

To decorate the cupcakes, I simply dipped some strawberries in Baker's dipping chocolate:

And just like that I had some mighty fine cupcakes on my hands.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gina's Birthday "Cake"

Not too long ago, Gina had a birthday.

Somebody BEGGED me to make her a cake. Okay, I was the one begging to make it. So?

I had a few ideas I presented to her BF (Bryan) and he decided on Rice Krispies Treats. Oh, but Rice Krispies are cookies - not cake. Oh yeah? Then what's this?!

Yeah that's what I thought!

The top layer is classic Rice Krispies Treats. The second layer has Reese's Puffs cereal in it. And the third layer is Cookies and Cream Rice Krispies Treats using Oreos.

A Winning Combination!

I used a springform pan for the third layer and casserole dishes for the top two layers.

I used Reese's Puffs to decorate the edges and melted marshmallows to stick them all on.

I think next time I'd use a more colorful cereal in maybe the middle layer - like throw in some Fruity Pebbles or Fruit Loops instead of the Reese's Puffs. And then I'd use Trix to decorate the edges. But I would NOT change the Cookies and Cream layer. It was THE BEST!

Now I leave you with some Rice Krispies photos I found online. A Rice Krispies beer koozie, a feline Rice Krispies treat and the world's largest Rice Krispies treat.

I need the perfect gift for my uncle. He's an alcoholic who loves sweets. Hmm...

He's mad because there's no milk left

All utilities are included, it's cable ready, oh and did I mention it's delicious?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Meet the bakety bakers!

Hello there! It's us again. We figured you might want to know a little something about us if you were going to be taking baking advice. Then again you could be saying "I don't give a crap about you, show me more yummies!" Well screw you buddy! We are pleasant and delightful and everyone loves us!

Meet Amity!

Amity is the brains behind this operation. She is the baker of the two of us. I'm just here for taste testing and comic relief. Amity loooooves to eat as you can see.

She grew up in Kansas where butter is considered a vegetable and therefore everything she makes is super fantastically delicious. Amity now lives in LA and if you ever want any advice on what bakery has the best cupcake, she's your chick.

And Gina!

Okay that's me! I guess I lied before. I do bake a little. In this picture I was making an Italian Easter pie which basically gets filled with about 80 pounds of meats and cheeses. I like to get dressed up in wacky outfits as you can see.

I grew up in New Jersey which means I know everything there is to know about awesome. I live in LA right now where I perform sketch and improv comedy at different theaters including UCB. If you ever want any advice on how to tell a good poop joke, I'm your chick.

Thanks for visiting our blog! Leave us a comment and tell us what you think! Have a nice day!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Snicker. Doodle. Cup. Cakes. Am I kidding you right now?! I assure you I am not. Good 'ole Martha always coming through with the great recipes.

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.


Makes 28

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
To finish, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, pipe frosting on each cupcake: Hold bag over cupcake with tip just above top, and squeeze to create a dome of frosting, then release pressure and pull up to form a peak. Using a small, fine sieve, dust peaks with cinnamon-sugar.

Like this:

Which is more strange: the fact that I sometimes bake in my PJ's or the fact that I still own a shirt with The Crow on it? Oh and I got that teeny tiny sieve at a shop in Little Tokyo. It was about a dollar or two.

Now, Martha's got a 7 Minute frosting listed on her site to go with these cupcakes. The recipe calls for six egg whites. Eating raw or partially cooked eggs causes me anxiety so I used this frosting recipe instead (which seems a much better pairing anyway):


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and cinnamon, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Martha says that the cupcakes are best served and eaten the same day they're made but I don't know how that would pose a problem for anyone.
Hooray! Your cupcakes are done. They don't really need any extra decoration other than the cinnamon sugar dusted on top. Unless you have a spare batch of Snickerdoodle Blondies lying around.

Oh you do? Perfect.

Just one more thing... There was a lot of icing left over and quite a few Snickerdoodle Blondies too. Well... waste not, want not.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Who doesn't love a Snickerdoodle? Soft, chewy cookies covered in cinnamon-sugar. Simple yet utterly delicious. Everyone's grandmother or mother made these for them when they were growing up (if they didn't, I pity you) and the mere scent can evoke strong hopefully fond memories (unless your mother or grandma often beat you with a rolling pin). What baked treat could possibly equal that glorious cinnamon-y disc? Well, as Huey Lewis knows, it's hip to be square! Introducing, Snickerdoodle blondies! All the taste of a Snickerdoodle cookie in bar form. And they're easier to make than regular cookies because you just dump the batter in the pan and bake it all at once. I got this recipe from Recipe Girl and she adapted it from another site.

Recipe courtesy of Recipe Girl.

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup cinnamon chips, optional

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

Glaze (optional)

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9×13-inch pan with nonstick spray. Line pan with parchment and let it hang over the sides. Spray parchment with nonstick spray too.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cream of tartar and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer (3 to 5 minutes). Mix in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Keep beating until mixture is smooth.

4. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. If using cinnamon chips, stir them in now. The batter will be thick. Spread it evenly into the prepared pan. Spray your hands with cooking spray and use them to pat the mixture down evenly. Or just spread it out with a spatula. Whatever.

5. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly on top of batter.

6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Let pan cool completely.
7. When ready to cut, use ends of parchment paper to lift out baked bars. Place on a cutting board. If you’re adding the glaze, whisk the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl and drizzle onto the bars in decorative fashion. Let glaze set (this will work more quickly in the refrigerator) then use a large, sharp knife to cut into bars.

Makes 20 to 24 bars


So... the first time I made these, I used the glaze on them. But I made the glaze with milk instead of cream. Yeah, milk is cheaper but don't be a cheapskate like me, get the cream! The second time I left the glaze off. They look a little nicer with the glaze but it's not strictly necessary. I didn't use the cinnamon chips either time because I've only seen those once before at one grocery store and I couldn't remember which grocery store that was...

If anyone happens to see cinnamon chips in any LA grocery stores, let me know where because I have a feeling they will only improve on an already spectacular treat!