…my title is referencing the ad campaign right now for Girl Scouts that’s all over busses and things, at least in Boston. It’s pictures of girls doing things like rock climbing or camping or whatever and they say things like TEACHER (basically they’re combining inspiring words with the word her).
So maybe “BLOGher” doesn’t make any sense anyway, but that’s beside the point.
I went to this event tonight that was a fundraiser for Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass. My friend Laura joined me and we had a really good time. I heard about it a little while ago and thought… I MUST GO TO THIS. It combined things I like, such as fundraising, cookies, baking/food making, supporting Girl Scouts and all you can eat snacks. They had 6 chefs from the Boston area make a dish inspired by and incorporating a Girl Scout Cookie. The chefs and their dishes were present and there were guest judges and the crowd voted as well. There was also fancy cheeses and things related but I was SO STUFFED by the cookie creations that I didn’t get around to anything else. Most of the dishes were desserts but one was salmon, which used the ginger cookie. Samoas, or what they’re calling Caramel deLites now, seemed to be a favorite amongst the chefs (and my personal top pick).
I was a Girl Scout, technically for only 4 years, but I’m a big supporter of the program and I’m glad I found this event so I could contribute. Also, I bought some boxes of cookies (obviously).
In the program for the event they had the recipes for all the creations, which I thought was great, definitely more posts to come…
I have been wanting to make Nutella cookies again, since the first time I made them they were a hit and I do love me some Nutella. And last weekend was World Nutella Day (who decides these things?), so I thought it would be an appropriate time to jump on that bandwagon. Also, I wanted to send a little something special in the mail to a friend of mine for Valentine’s Day. So timing was good for all. I had participated in Tumblr Eat Up in the past (a blind online baking exchange) but decided if I can mail baked goods once a month to a stranger, I should do it for my friends. I sent a small batch of super chocolate chocolate chip cookies to my friend Leigh in Florida (because he asked first and he’s supposed send me a drawing). This weekend another friend will receive a batch of Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Nutella Cookies along with some other fun things.
I used this recipe here, although my cookies didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as the ones posted on the blog, but the recipe sure is good. I’m actually not a chocoholic, but I do love the way chocolate batter looks when it’s being mixed.
(the lighting is weird in my kitchen at night) That’s the batter BEFORE the dry ingredients. This recipe REQUIRED sifting (actually, a lot do, but this one was like “really… do it” because of the cocoa or something). So I got to use my sifter which i always enjoy.
The first time I made these I let them get crunchier then I prefer so of my 4 batches I made 3 were JUST RIGHT. The 4th batch was a little over-baked, or as I started saying.. got a little too much loving from the oven. Which happens sometimes when I have multiple batches of cookies and I only have the oven timer and then I say to myself “I’ll remember when those went in” and then I loose track. I want an egg timer.
Cupcakes #2 were Banana Cupcakes. Which lead me to a new discovery at the grocery store. A lot of cupcake recipes call for Buttermilk. Whenever I get it, (a lot things I buy are store brand, which I think I’ll talk about in later post), I only use a very little bit and then it goes bad before I can make use of it again. I found a Buttermilk that is in a bottle instead of a carton and the expiration date is later so it’s got to last longer, right?
Also it’s from New England, so that’s kind of cool.
The recipe was actually for Banana Butterscotch cupcakes with a different frosting, but I decided I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t have butterscotch chips, anyway. I did, however, think of the idea to add a little bit of brown sugar to replace the extra sweetness that the chips would have added. I haven’t eaten one of the finished ones yet (which is very rare) but I tried the batter and it tasted great!
Here are the banana cupcakes in the oven.
*I actually usually drink soy milk and decided to switch it up the last time I went grocery shopping, I’m not saying Almond Milk and cupcakes is a thing.
There is a baby shower at school tomorrow for one of the faculty member’s and I volunteered to make cupcakes. When I signed up I specified that I would make something with cream cheese frosting and another kind. I asked the woman who we’re throwing the shower for (it’s not a surprise) what she liked. She said it didn’t matter what she preferred because she’s not going to be the only person eating them. SHe did however have one request: that they not be mini or baby anything. A friend of mine (who I work with), who went to my show last weekend where I brought itty bitty cupcakes said that she really liked the peanut butter cupcakes so I decided to make those again, only regular sized.
This time I decided to throw some chocolate chips into the mix.
I used my ice cream scoop again to put the batter into the cupcake liners and I really love how easy it is to make them all uniform-ish. I still had some extra so decided to put some in my silicone cupcake thingies. I got them for Christmas and have used them a couple of times for situations such as this. I know they don’t need paper liners inside and that in fact defeats the “green-ness” of them but that’s beside the point when you’re talking about extra cupcakes.
Okay, so I put mini Reese’s on them, but that doesn’t count.
Q: when someone comments, do only you see it or does everyone else? And do you comment back?
I loved pulling up the archive and looking at all you have posted at once. I love the pictures of your finished products and those along the way ( I am sending the link out to family) - I love the christmas cookie photo - it triggers a yummy christmas feeling! maybe I could use in a christmas letter next year? Also I heard this random comment on Rachel Ray: "making people laugh and feed them is about the nicest things you can do!" So, I guess,you have it covered! Love you, Mom
When someone clicks on the “Question/Comment” button, only I see it unless I want to respond publish it, like I’m doing right now.
Hello out there: a Thank You and "that's what she baked" featured on The Merriweather Council
Recently, I’ve gotten a few out of the blue (and heavily appreciated) comments/messages about my blog. Hearing that people who I’m not expecting to be following along, keep up to date on my baking, leaves me very humbled (I think that’s the word I’m thinking of). So I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for letting me share.
My friend Danielle blogged about “that’s what she baked” and it makes me silly happy.
Danielle is a maker, a crafter and a blogger, among many other things. You can check out her etsy site by clicking here.
To view the full post and check out more of her website click on this.
The cupcake book that I got last Christmas is really awesome and has very good, clear directions. I highly recommend it. The peanut butter cupcakes were paired with a chocolate glaze which had to be made over the stove.
It involved a couple of ingredients
Vanilla, butter, heavy whipping cream, and of course, milk chocolate. You heat up the cream and butter in a skillet, remove from the heat and then add vanilla and mix the chocolate in with a whisk until it’s all melted together.
Making frosting/glazes is even newer to me than baking, as I just recently started making them from scratch. But now I’m never going back, they really do taste much better.
Peanut butter and chocolate for the second time this week.
They are obviously meant for each other.
Tonight I have an improv show with this group I’m in, Don’t Tell Mimi, which I usually bake for, and it’s Matt’s last show, which is sad, but he got to make the request of what I make, which turned out to be peanut butter cupcakes. I meant to take more pictures along the way and blog about the whole process but I was singing along to Billie Holiday and forgot.
Yesterday I went to the first of many “Supper Club” dinners.
Supper Club is a thing organized by this fantastic girl Elizabeth, who is a mutual friend of a few of my friends who I had met a couple of times. She decided to form this group of 12 girls in Boston who don’t all know each other but are all connected to at least one other person (mostly her) in some way (school, work, hometown, etc.) The idea is that once a month, one person hosts a dinner and they are assigned a cooking buddy (helper) and they make what they want and we eat and enjoy a home cooked meal and the company of a new group of friends.
My cooking buddy, Sarah, was hosting so I got to play sous chef. I enjoyed it very much because I am good at following directions and I’ll ask questions if I don’t know what I’m doing because I don’t cook a lot but it’s still great because I’m learning things.
On the menu was:
homemade edamame hummus with celery and pita chips
cheese pennies (they were these cheese-cracker type things made from a dough Sarah made)
The annual Cookie Creations fundraiser invites the area’s top chefs to use our famous Girl Scout cookies and whip-up a delicious dessert. The fabulous evenings of culinary delights will include tastes of all the treats, a silent auction, appetizers, great networking and the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting Girl Scouts.
Celebrate Girl Scout Cookie time while “raising some dough” for Girl Scouts at this fun event . Top chefs show off their culinary talents and serve up tasty creations using Girl Scout cookies. Tickets are $30 or 2/$50.
I decided it would also be fixed by cream cheese frosting, because who doesn’t love cream cheese frosting?
I used a recipe I’ve posted before, but used only 1/2 cup of confectionary sugar and added 2 tablespoons of honey, to go along with the honey chai cupcakes. The taste is very subtle but a nice compliment to the cupcakes. I had a small problem with the butter the last time I made this frosting, so I softened it up a bit before mixing.
After having my roommates and best boy taste the cardamom coffee cake (which I originally thought was a disaster) I decided to bring it to the brunch and it went over much better than I expected. Heidi, the lovely hostess of this brunch, especially enjoyed it.
Here’s a semi-blurry picture of it cut up
Next time a recipe calls for a bundt cake pan, I’m going to make sure I get my hands on one. The pieces were a little too big and a bundt or roll pan (which was called for) would have solved that problem. I think I didn’t like it at first because I didn’t know what cardamom actually tasted like and was expecting something different. This has happened before with some breads I’ve made because I expect a sweeter taste than the results because I make sweets a lot.
Now, I’ve made these cupcakes MANY times. It’s a recipe from my super cheep-y cupcake book I got at the Christmas Tree Shops last year. I love it because it involves brewing chai tea and adding it in at the very end.
The mixing and everything was going well. I was doubling the recipe and not forgetting that I was doubling the recipe (which has happened before). I even used my new ice cream scoop to pour the batter into the cupcake liners
(I was very excited about this, the handle is yellow!)
Now the coffee cake (yet, to be a blunder) was in the oven at 350° which was exactly what I needed for the cupcakes, so I figured I’d just put them in. Usually when I make cupcakes I put one pan on each in the middle of the oven, they bake pretty evenly all is well, etc. etc. Except today, I put them both on the bottom rack since the above one was occupied, and long story short they all baked at different speeds and I was left with a lot of this
Thus leaving a slightly defeated very bummed out Cora.
Do I try again? Do I give up? Do I serve as is with a disclaimer? Is my cardamom coffee cake supposed to taste like that?
….this whole Cora-bakes-a-lot and blogs about it deal. Especially when I have a baking blunder. Especially when I have more than one at once.
I’m going to a brunch tomorrow so I decided to make a brunch-y baked thing. I found a recipe for Cardamom Crumb Cake which called for these things
I didn’t actually know what cardamom was before seeing this recipe and am not sure if I just don’t like it, or if something else wrong happened. It has a very strong taste and I checked the recipe many times and I didn’t put too much in but I thought the whole thing would have been sweeter. Also, the recipe calls for a bundt or roll pan, (I have neither) so I used a square pan and also a bread loaf pan.
Also, this happened
Some of it just fell off when I was transferring it to a plate. Not only am I not sure if it’s yummy enough to serve, but also, I’ve made a mess.