Friday, December 30, 2011

Most Visited Posts of 2011

Here are the most visited posts of 2011 on!

red velvet cupcakes

Desserts for Work: Salted Caramel Brownies and Mini Strawberry Swirl Cheesecakes

race car track cake

A Giant Cupcake Cake 

Thank you for following along with me as I documented my past year in the kitchen.   It amazes me looking back and seeing how much I have accomplished because of the encouragement of friends and family; motivating me to create something that would blow them away.

My personal favorites of this past year was the Nikon cake for my cousin Dennis, the topper cake for a backyard wedding, and the winter wonderland cake for Cake4Kids.

Here's to an even sweeter New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cookies for Charity (

My sister and I baked an assortment of dessert bites for Cake4Kids as part of their commitment to providing over 1000 dessert and appetizer bites at the Sunnyvale Community Services Annual Auction.  Together, we made pecan tassies, peppermint brownies, and pumpkin snickerdoodles.

Finally got to making the pumpkin snickerdoodles which I had bookmarked for my fall repertoire.  The pecan tassies were an ode to the pecan pie bars I made last year for this same event.  As for the brownies, I figured you can't go wrong with a chocolate and peppermint combo.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
adapted from Annie's Eats
Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies

For the cookies:
3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the coating:
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
Dash of allspice

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Whisk to blend and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the pumpkin puree.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Combine the sugar and spices for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend.

Scoop the dough (about 2½ tablespoons) and roll into a ball.  Coat the dough ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart.  Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly.  Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and baked through.  Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chococat Cake

It's getting a lot harder for me to take pictures in natural light around this time of year!  My brother was taking this cake to work the next morning and I was only able to snap a few shots before bed.

This cake reminded me on how much I dislike using store bought fondant to cover an entire cake.  The last time I covered an entire cake in fondant, I ended up ripping a lot of the smooth edges off my cake and redoing it.  Fortunately, no edges were ripped off but the cold weather made it extremely difficult to knead the store bought fondant.

Cake was chocolate cake with strawberry frosting as requested by recipient.  I hope she enjoyed it!
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