Double Trouble Coming Soon…

We are expecting! And twins at that! We are beyond elated! We are joining the Coolneys and Carters (lol). Our family will be increasing by 40% come late November/early December of this year. We feel truly blessed as we have been waiting a long time. TB and I are both happy and healthy but I think we both want a boy. TB goes I don’t know what I would do with a girl(s). LOL My mom definitely would like a boy while my mother-in-law is gunning for a girl or two. We’ll find out in a few weeks! I will say if they are girls, they will probably be raised in tomboy fashion. I strongly dislike the color pink or purple, etc. or super girly stuff but who knows what will happen. Either way, it’s going to be Operation Tiger Mom for the next 17 years of their life. Also, they aren’t required to go to Michigan but that’s the baseline.

I did give up Crossfit a while back and running since mid-March but you know in the grand scheme of things, I could care less of hitting a PR right now. The doctor did clear me two weeks ago for running but still being a bit cautious about that. My pace is that of a speed walker but at least I still got the endurance. Don’t worry guys, I’m still gyming but doing a lighter version of CF WODs ie lighter weights, slower, and mostly with DBs. We’ll see what happens once the babies come. Could I go back to CF? Yes but then I would be moving at the pace of a snail but who knows.. maybe a drop in here or there depending on the WOD.

Some fun facts/happenings in the past 15ish weeks…

  1. TB is a twin and was Baby A. He also weighted almost double his brother at birth. My MIL didn’t even know she was having twins until 3 weeks before giving birth.
  2. Compared to a lot of women, I had minimum nausea but did loose my appetite for a long time that I lost 6lbs! I just started gaining it back but appetite is still iffy.
  3. I started eating different carbs then just brown rice and quinoa – ie bagel here and there, and mashed potatoes. I know I’m crazy.
  4. I crave sugar even less if that’s even possible. In fact, it makes me sick. However, salt is even more my bff. I indulge in a pringle and onion bagel once in a while. I know people I’m getting crazy…
  5. For a while, eggs and sausage were the only protein that I could eat. I also ate beef for the first time in years. (no lie Territory’s Brunch in a Bowl was and still is my go to)
  6. No weird cravings but I do fancy some eggplant
  7. I was holding onto 2 of the upper abs for a long time and they recently disappeared…
  8. I thought I would be super pissed about not being able to eat sushi but eh. I also can’t handle drinking bubble tea right now.
  9. We live in a 1 bedroom loft and most likely will still be here come baby time… lol this will be fun so please don’t buy us random stuff.
  10. I once wanted 4 kids in this order boy, twins, girl. I got my twins. We’ll see what happens after.

A Final Note: I stated above that we have been waiting a long time because I was diagnosed with a minor case of PCOS. (No we did not get IVF) It wasn’t just let me count some days, pee on some ovulation sticks, and boom I am with child(ren). I’m a pretty private person and I truly appreciate my close friends that knew what was going on not asking me all the time for a status update/didn’t ask at all. You spend your entire life trying not to get pregnant only to when you are trying to get pregnant, it ends up not being as easy as it seems. As a Type A person, its rather frustrating  but I just remind myself that we are lucky to have the resources and things could be a lot worse. So just re-think next time you ask someone, SO WHEN ARE YOU GUYS HAVING KIDS? Because you never know what the reason might be and then you could just look like an ahole…

April Already!

Guys, its April ALREADY! I feel like it was just CNY a couple of days ago and then boom, the year is 1/4 of the way done. Time goes by so fast but so slow sometimes. Not too much has been going on besides work, trying to figure out this crazy San Francisco weather. It has been raining A LOT these past few months, that’s for sure. I know we need the rain but it would be nice to bathe my dog and then not have it rain like two days later. It’s like getting your car washed. lol Also, Giants season is about to start meaning it’s about to get COLD in SF at night time. By cold, I mean like as low as 30s on game nights. It’s like the weather likes to punk the game attendees.

As for my other personal stuff that I referenced in my last post, I remind myself to stay positive. Things could be worse and we have the means to do something about it.

So in the gloominess, I decided to make some Lemon White Chocolate Chip cookies. If life gives you lemons, you bake them! This is one way and a new recipe. It smells so fresh and looks so bright. Nice change from the rain and from the fake sunny weather (its sunny but its FREEZING outside). Enjoy!

 

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Recipe adopted from Gonna Want Seconds

  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, at Room Temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1 Egg, Large, at Room Temperature
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Zest
  • 1-11 Ounce Bag White Chocolate Chips

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Add butter and sugar to mixers until smooth. Add egg, let mix again. Add vanilla and lemon juice.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, fresh lemon zest and salt to separate bowl. Mix some and then slowly add to wet mixture.
  4. Careful not overmix. Add white chocolate chips by folding in via spatula.
  5. You can do whatever size you want. I did about tablespoon size and baked for 12-14min or until golden brown along edges.

*this dough does not need to be chilled before baking which is a huge plus! Enjoy!

Chinese New Year 2017…

It’s 5 days till the Year of the Chicken and its time to revive this blog… It’s been a busy 2016. I’ve been at my job for just a little over a year. I’ve started selling my baked goods at a local coffee shop. Things are great in the married life – we just passed year number two. We are planning a vacation for later this year but more importantly, we are trying for a baby. It’s been and continue to be a journey… no one is ever prepared for this of course but fertility is not that easy. It seems common but not common at the same time to have fertility issues. This is the road that we are at… a lot of visits to the RE but trying to stay positive.

So anywho, we have a lot of friends with babies who are out of town. Thus red envelopes need to be mailed. I rarely like to just mail something by itself without accompanying it with something else. This year, I decided on a simple but favorite – Almond Cookies. I remember eating these as a kid when my parents used to own a Chinese restaurant. It apparently is also a nostalgia for my husband too. He tried one and immediately said that it reminded him of his grandmother. Well that’s good enough for me to mail out.

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Chinese Almond Cookies
from Use Real Butter

3 cups (375 g) flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (60 g) almond flour (ground almonds)
12 oz. butter, softened
1 cup (210 g) sugar
1 egg
1 oz. water
1 tsp almond extract
42 whole almonds, blanched
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground almonds together in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.

Add the egg, water, and almond extract and beat until incorporated.

Beat in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Form 1-inch balls of cookie dough, placed a few inches apart (for spreading) on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Top each dough ball with an almond and brush the top of the cookie with egg wash.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Happy Chinese New Year!

happy-chinese-new-year-2016-with-a-cute-monkey_23-2147532303

Here is a cute one and below is the controversial one for shits and gigs… lol

year-monkey-peen-hed-2016
OK now let me act my age of 32 now.. so I know that the actual day was almost a week ago but we Asians like to celebrate it for 2 weeks so I decided a late post was acceptable. I grew up never really celebrating or ever receiving a red envelope until I was like almost 30. Yes, my parents were that type which honestly is fine and dandy by me and I feel the same for my non-existent (but hopefully soon) children. However, now that we are married and have nephews and godson/daughter and friends, we do give some out which I’m completely fine with. I get adorable pics in return. I also like to cook a special meal as well.

This year was the ultimate meal because Superbowl 50 was the day before and we always host that so I did a combined Superbowl/CNY party and cooked a small feast of Superbowl goods with Dimsum goodies for CNY and of course I baked.

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I know this is a baking blog but I also love cooking too and very much so like to make things fresh as much as possible. Bottom pic is Lion’s Head Meatball and Black Bean Spareribs. Top pic is the Chile Lime Wings, Sticky Rice (hidden behind the cups), Shui Mai (I did cheat and bought wrappers due to time constraint), Stuffed Mushrooms, and 100% Homemade Chao Shao Baos. There were the usual guac, chips, etc too.

For Dessert – homemade mochi and matcha fortune cookies…

Lessons learned from the Mochi on the right. As you can see, the bottom wasn’t fully covered. I thought my scoops of ice cream were small enough but clearly they were not becuase I cut pretty big mochi circles. They get a little tough after freezing but was super easy to make.

As for the fortune cookies, easy recipes but hard to shape and you have to be FAST and not fear burning your fingers. Also make sure you keep the cookie wafers thin. Towards the end, I got lazy and everything was wafers lol.

Matcha Fortune Cookies

Adapted from The Jewels of NY

Makes about 30 cookies

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 large egg whites

1 ½ cups superfine sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons heavy cream

3 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 teaspoons matcha powder

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet liberally with nonstick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, and set it aside.

Beat the egg whites and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds. Gradually add the flour and salt, and beat until incorporated. Add the butter, heavy cream, water, and vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated. Add Matcha Powder and beat again

Pour a tablespoon of batter onto the baking sheet, and spread with the back of a spoon into a thin circle. Leave 2 inches of space between each cookie . Bake the cookies on the middle oven rack for 6-8 minutes, or until the edges slightly darken. Once you take it out of the oven, you have to be really quick to shape so I recommend not baking too many at once.

To shape the cookies, use an offset spatula to lift up a cookie, and place a fortune onto the center of the cookie. Use your fingers to fold the cookie in half, and pinch the edges together to form a loose semicircle. Carefully bend the two open ends of the cookie together, allowing the two sides of the cookie to expose the center. Place the cookie onto cookie rack or plate, to allow it to set. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

And if you are wondering what I did with the extra egg yolk, I made a egg yolk citrus cake…

The weather outside…

in the Bay area has finally hit a semi-respectable winter weather and has been raining (with even a moment of hail) and ranging from 40s to 50s the past few days. I lived in the Midwest for ten years for undegrad (Go Blue!), work, and then finally grad school (Boiler up!) before moving to the east coast and eventually to the Bay. I am one of those weirdos that loves the first snow fall – well me and Stitchpup. I still think its magical and everything looks so nice for a few days plus it’s warmer too. And then when it turns into ice or black slush, I’m over it – lol. I’m enjoying this weather until it’s time to Crossfit and the bar is too cold and you can’t stay warm. I know I know – #firstworldproblems….

In addition to the holiday season, we had a Cookie Exchange at work this past Monday which turned into competition for Best Tasting, Most Festive, Best Looking, Best Store Bought, Most Unique Flavor. There were 16 entries with four being store bought. There were a lot of great submissions like cranberry shortbread, chocolate peppermint, and chocolate with sea salt and rosemary. My cookie, a Hot Cocoa Cookie with a homemade Marshmallow and Chocolate Ganache, won Best Tasting! I was inspired by the weather and also because I made homemade marshmallows earlier last week for hot chocolate gift bags which were a hit. I’m not a hot chocolate fan but I do associate that with the Winter so why not in cookie form.

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This was a lot of fun to make but it was a 2 day process because I made the marshmallows versus store bought. I am the type of person where if I can make it, I will instead of buying it. Its more fun, fresher, and I know what goes in it. The reason its 2 days is because the marshmallows need to sit over night but they are so easy to make and so much more airy and spongy. A couple of lesson learned – you need to the WHISK attachment and as soon as you stop the whisk to pour it, you need to POUR it out ASAP. If you let it sit in the bowl too long (ie liek 3 minuts), it starts getting sticky and extremely hard to pour out and flatten.

Homemade Marshmallows

adapted from http://altonbrown.com/homemade-marshmallow-recipe/

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup*
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Nonstick spray

*I subbed this for 1/4 cup water and 1 and 1/4 cup of sugar

  1. Combine the gelatin with 1/2 cup of the cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
  2. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, the granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. When the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat. (I just turned it off when it started boiling for a minute)
  3. Turn the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows. (I added it in the beginning and towards the end so I don’t think it really matters)
  4. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar  and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
  5. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  6. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel or knife dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

 

So that is the marshmallows, and now the recipe for the Hot Cocoa Cookies which is a three step process…

Hot Cocoa Cookie

adapted from Glorious Treats

Ingredients

For the cookies…
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

25 (apx.) large marshmallows

For the icing…
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the cookies-
1.) In a medium saucepan (or in a microwave safe bowl, using 50% power), melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
3.) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until well combined.
4.) Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until just combined.
5.) While mixing, add the flour mixture slowly and blend until just combined.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then cover the dough and refrigerate about 1 hour. If making the dough a day ahead, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.
6.) Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray for non-stick spray. Use a spoon to scoop the dough, then roll the dough in your hands to create balls about size of a ping pong ball. This does not spread out. Arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on your baking sheets, then flatten slightly. Bake cookies about 12 minutes.
7.) While the cookies bake, cut the marshmallows into 1/2×1/2in squares. When the cookies have baked, remove from oven and press one marshmallow (sticky side) into the center of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes. Allow the pan of cookies to cool a few minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.
8.) Prepare cookie icing by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl and mixing together with a whisk. Place wire cooling rack (with cookies on it) over a baking sheet (to catch any excess icing). Spoon a small amount of icing onto the top of each marshmallow
9.) Allow icing to set up about 30 minutes before serving.

I hope you guys enjoy!

when its Persimmons season…

you makes a baked goods recipe with persimmons for a baking throw-down at work. I bring in baked goods to work all the time for my team to enjoy. One of the guys on my team is also a baker and recently we started a tradition of doing a monthly throw-down of an ingredient picked out of a cup that other team members submitted. The pick for this month was berries but we expanded to all fruits. With this expansion, I decided to go with Persimmons and by default also lemon.

There are two types of Persimmons that you will commonly find in grocery stores – Hachiya and Fuyu. The main difference is one is astringent while the other is not and to further break this down, its all about the taste if eaten not fully ripe.

Both can take quite a bit of time to ripen and bruise very easily when ripened. It’s a great Fall fruit with the color and taste. It’s not overly sweet either. My husband loves this fruit and this is one of those fruits that stick with the season. Persimmons can be grilled and also sauteed with meat. I found a great recipe which was taste tested by the hubs.

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Please excuse the chunky bits of powdered sugar as I didn’t have a shifter to use and/or was too lazy to do so. I do love how the colors came out though with the yellow and orange red of the fruits. The ratio of crust to filing was a pretty perfect 50/50. Enjoy!

Lemon Persimmon Bars

Serves:  makes 1 pan bars

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 2 sticks butter (1/2 pound)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2-3 overripe Hachiya persimmons
  • 1-2 lemons, juiced (approximately 2/3 cup juice)
  • 2/3 cup flour

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Using a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light.
  3. Add the flour and salt and mix into the butter and sugar mixture until it’s just incorporated. You should have a crumbly, dough-like texture.
  4. Dump that into the greased pan and flatten into the pan until the whole bottom is covered.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the dough mixture is very lightly browned.
  6. Squeeze the ripe persimmons over a measuring cup to extract the juice and pulp from the skins. Leave out most of the skin if possible.
  7. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, persimmons pulp, lemon juice and flour.
  8. Pour over the crust and bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set, but still kind of wiggles when you shake the pan.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and dig in

*I used meyer lemons and also used both Hachiya and Fujiya persimmons

*recipe adapted from Farm Fresh

 

Right before our big trip…

The hubs and I are coming upon our ONE year anniversary early next month and to celebrate, we are going to Asia. This is also our year delayed honeymoon as well. We actually fly out in a week so thus groceries are sparse and all perishable items MUST be used as I hate wasting/throwing away perfectly good food. One of the things that I needed to get rid of was milk. Neither of us are big milk drinkers but I do occasionally need it for a good recipe or two. In this case, I needed it for a Buttermilk Pound Cake so I had some left over that I needed to use ASAP. Luckily, I stumbled upon a recipe for Cardamom-Vanilla Scented Wedges but had to slightly modify it to use the ingredients that I had available. This was super easy to prep and took less than 10 minutes even with my substitute for the heavy cream. Since I was not about to buy heavy cream, I melted butter and used the rest of the milk (its 1/3 cup of butter plus 3/4 milk for every 1 cup of heavy cream). I also didn’t have cardamon so I used pumpkin spice instead since it has cinnamon and nutmeg in it and because its pumpkin season. As I poured the batter into the pan, you can very much smell the vanilla. Pictures and tasting to come shortly…

Pumpkin Spice & Vanilla Scented Wedged

adapted from Food & Wine

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 1/4 cups heavy cream*

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Using your fingertips, blend in the butter until pea-size pieces form. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla just until a dough forms. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick round, about 9 inches in diameter. Cut the into 12 equal wedges.
  2. Transfer to the prepared sheet and bake for 40 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly before serving.

*I subbed out for 1 cup of milk and 8 tbsp of butter

It’s October and its my 32nd Birthday…

and three months later almost, i’m back…

It’s October which is also the start of my favorite season – the Fall. Granted I now reside in Nor Cal so Fall doesn’t really exist but when I used to live in the Midwest, the South, and the East coast, the change of the weather and color of nature always got me. Not to mention all the fun Fall goodies like PUMPKIN that you can bake. I have already baked a number of pumpkin goodies and today for my birthday, it was no different. I’m not a sweets person but one of my co-workers shares the same birthday (10/11) so a cake was made – Pumpkin Chocolate Cake with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting… My coworkers and friends all said that it was super moist and not overly sweet at all. Not one flavor overpowers the other either  but equally you can taste the chocolate and the pumpkin. Someone even said – can we just have the frosting? lol This is just one of the many pumpkin goodies that I plan on making. I did slightly modify the recipe from The Little Epicurean. Her blog is awesome and I have tried a couple of her other recipes too. I didn’t do  a chocolate glaze or added the orange gel. I think it look better more natural but if you are going for a Halloween theme, the food coloring is fitting. I also never add as much confectioner’s sugar for the frosting either because its just too much sugar. I don’t like the frosting to overpower the cake. Anywho I hope you guys enjoy the recipe.

the display...
the display…
already missing some cupcakes and the inside of the cake...
already missing some cupcakes and the inside of the cake…

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake, adapted from The Little Epicuream
makes 2- 8 inch cakes and 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground coffee

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup non fat greek yogurt

1-15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 tsp vanilla paste

2 1/4 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

5 eggs

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease lightly.  Line 12 muffins tins.

2. Sift together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ground coffee.  Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, pumpkin puree and vanilla.  Set aside.

4.  Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars with a paddle attachment.  Add eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down bowl between eggs.

5.  In three additions, alternate adding dry mixture and wet mixture to butter.  Scrape down bowl occasionally to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.

6.  Fill muffins tins 2/3 full with batter.  Divide remaining batter between the 2-8in round pans.  Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Bake cake rounds for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cake rest for a couple minutes in pan before unmolding and allowing to cool completely.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2- 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature

1.5 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or more according to taste

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
1.  Cream together butter and cream cheese until fully incorporated.

2.  Add confectioner’s sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, ground cinnamon, and vanilla paste.  Beat until combined.  Add a couple drops of orange gel paste to get the desired colored.

Keep Calm and Bake On…

Things have been a little stressful these past few days, so when that happens, there is an influx of baking over weekend. Am I alone in this? I could cook too but baking is so much more relaxing to me because of the precision that is needed to ensure the baked item comes out exactly as it should. It just calms me and I can think or not think or do whatever for a good 20 minutes before popping it in the oven. What ends up happening is my office and friends benefit greatly from this… lol

I made two different things over the weekend but one of them was for our good friend’s Dirty 30 birthday. Concidentally, I made two super Chocolate items. I made the Brooklyn Crumb Cake below which I was quite pleased with because believe it or not – it was my first layered cake. Double layered chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache layer covered with the same ganache and then you use the trimmings (aka Baker’s reward) to sprinkle all over the cake. It came out quite nice so I was pretty pleased. (its all those episodes of Cake Boss watching them shape and slice the cakes – lol) The birthday party gave very positive feedback. Wongawitz was like oh you can tell it was nice and moist because people weren’t chugging back water, it was the frosting… lol ok thanks cake connesiour…

Brooklyn Crumb Cake
Brooklyn Crumb Cake

The second chocolate goodie was the XXL Death by Chocolate Cookie courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction. First of all, I just want to say I love her blog. I always go to hers when I’m needing a recipe for something and usually find something fun to bake. For this recipe though i did modify slightly since I made 3 of them. I just threw in 2 eggs versus 6TBS. and btw, measuring out 2 TBS of eggs is not that easy. I also baked it for about 20 minutes since there was three of them.

It's the size of my hand!
It’s the size of my hand!
and a loner shot..
and a loner shot..

Pretty fun to make them and I guess I’m kinda ready for Monday but not really… I just want to wake up, go workout, and watch some HGTV and TLC while vegging out on my couch… is that so much to ask?