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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baking Lust: Kitchen Accessories

Today we are pretend kitchen shopping at Antropologie (where else?!)
First you need an apron that looks like a dress:

This one works for me:
Measuring cups are important. Currently I can only find 3 of mine, the 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 cup. It's getting really old using the 1/2 cup to measure 3 cups of flour.
Eggs and butter are essential for every baking recipe:

I always make a mess and have to wash and dry my hands 1,000 times.
Presentation is everything.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Three years ago...

...I made a batch of peanut butter cookies.

Last night I was putting off going to sleep and after seeing another blog's birthday post I thought "hmm...when is this blog's birthday?" All I could remember was that I started it in the summer, two years ago maybe? So I looked it up and was way excited to find out that it's today! And it's been three years! What good timing!

I forgot that I started it right after graduating college. The main reason for starting it was just to remember all the recipes I tried and liked (or ones I didn't so I wouldn't try them again). And I was just out of college, starting to look for teaching jobs, and had not much else to do besides bake. I can't believe it's been three years! I still remember making that batch of peanut butter cookies and I'm pretty sure I've not made any since then. But I've come a long way since that first batch of cookies!

After reminiscing for a bit I thought, oh no, now I have to bake something. I mean, I couldn't know it was my baking blog's birthday and knowingly pass the day by and not bake. Pretty much instantly I knew what I was going to bake.

Strawberry Shortcakes (how cute is the word shortcakes?)

makes 6 servings
modified slightly from Joy the Baker

For the berries:
1 pint fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons of sugar

For the whipped cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the shortcakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Slice the strawberries and blackberries and place in a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle with sugar. Stir. Cover and place in the fridge to macerate for at least 2 hours.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using simple a bowl and whisk, whip the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together until soft peaks form. Cover place in the fridge for later.

Now let’s make the biscuits!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, vanilla extract and heavy cream. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and, using your fingers, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture. Work quickly, the butter and flour mixture will look like coarse crumbs.

Make a well in the center of the butter and flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix just until the dough comes together. Dump out onto a clean, floured surface and bring it together with your hands. Knead once or twice then pat the dough out into a rectangle roughly 7-inches long, 4 -inches tall and 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into six equal pieces.

Place the shortcakes onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of each shortcake with a bit of cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until nicely browned.

Remove from the oven. Cool completely.

To assemble, cut the shortcakes in half, top with a few spoonfuls of berries and juice, whipped cream and the biscuit top. Dang good.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bake Lust: Pretty Tiered Cakes

All of a sudden, right now I want to make a tiered cake. I have no reason to do this besides the fact that I haven't in a while. Here's some inspiration in the meantime:
Fabric inspired cake. I always love their fondant work. How cute is that top layer?

Another great graphic sugarcoat it studio cake.

Love, love, love this cake! Of course it is my favorite colors and I love the unique tier combination.
Another cake with unique tiers. Very dreamy. And what a lovely cake stand!

Pretty piping. Which reminds me that my piping skills are probably pretty rusty about now.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bake Lust: Mother's Day

How perfectly adorable are these? I'm really in a cupcake making mood after seeing this site. Maybe this weekend...?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Little Preview- Petit Fours

I was thinking about it and a baby shower (especially a baby girl's baby shower) really needs petit fours. It's a little ambitious for a Tuesday evening baking endeavor but it was nonetheless accomplished...with a few shortcuts. I'll do a proper step by step (mistakes and all) when I'm not about to fall asleep covered in confectioner's sugar.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bake Lust Saturday (Sunday...)

How bad is it that all of my latest posts are of things that other people made. And I've actually baked but have been too busy/lazy to get my photos uploaded. Sad.

I can't wait til this school year is over so I can devote more time to baking. I'm so slack when school is in session. I've been asked to make something for a baby shower at work (can't believe I agreed after the first baby shower fiasco this year) and originally I suggested petit fours. Yeah...but then I get an email tonight that it is going to be this Wednesday so I may switch that over to cupcakes. Petit fours take a lot of prep work. At least I know the gender of this baby (baby girl!) so it won't be as hard to think of ideas.

Anyhow, here are a few things I saved for this week:

homemade pop tarts (with nutella!) from smitten kitchen
edible butterflies from the kitchn
pretty and classic French charlottes from the kitchn

Stephanie makes getting up to make weekend pancakes so much easier.

It is strawberry season.