I’m Finally All Caught Up

This is the last post of things from the end of the semester, and it’s devoted to baked goods in cupcake/muffin form.

I tried my hand at homemade carrot cake with the Carrot Cake Cupcakes from Baking Bites. It was a completely spur of the moment baking decision, as I should have been packing and organizing my room to move rather than baking. They were totally worth the lost packing time, even though they were ever so slightly over-baked.

They ended up sinking and being flatter than I expected, but that just meant that I could put more cream cheese frosting on top in order to create domes. Good plan!

Overall they were very good and I would like to make them again, but this time I’ll pay closer attention to them while they’re in the oven.

To be honest, I can’t remember exactly which recipe I used to make these cinnamon sugar doughnut muffins, but I’m pretty sure I used this one from How To: Simplify.

I wish I could remember because they were so good and I want to be able to make them again.

Well, that about wraps it up for baking from the end of the semester, so now I can look forward to my summer baking, which I can assure you will be very fun!

Cookie Madness!

This post will be devoted to cookies! I’ve made three completely different recipes, and I don’t think I could possibly choose one that I love the most. They were all so different and delectable.

I’ll start with the Pomegranate White Chocolate Chip Cookies. These were one of my baking bonanzas from February and I just had to bake them again, even though once again I failed to document the process. Oh well!

I also had to make a substitution because I wanted them so badly and couldn’t get out to buy eggs. As a result I used half a banana in place of the egg. Thankfully it worked out wonderfully. The banana added a bit of something extra to the taste and I must say that I happen to like it better than the original recipe. I just might keep this substitution in mind when and if I make them for a third time.

They went over really well with my friends when I brought them to class one day. I kept the bag out during class, and one friend just kept reaching his hand into the bag and munching absent-mindedly throughout the entire hour. I think he liked them just a bit, haha.

For my next cookies I failed to get even one picture of them. I took the Glazed Lemon Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod to a picnic in Washington Square Park the other day, and by the time I got there they were all SQUASHED and in chunks. Thankfully it didn’t affect the taste, but it would have been nice to get a picture of them in the park.

They were light and lemon-y and a perfect summer cookie. I omitted the glaze this time, and I might keep it that way so that they don’t become overwhelmingly sweet.

For my final cookie I made Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe from The Joy of Baking. I managed to transport these to the park without too much damage, but I didn’t take pictures of them there. Instead they became the first baked good to be photographed on my new windowsill.

Ta-da!

I’m not really feeling the direct sunlight for my photos. I much prefer my old sill and the indirect lighting because it was much less harsh and didn’t create such bold shadows on my food.

I thought I might also include the sandwiches we ate on our picnic in the park. My friend made us ham and cheese with mayo, spinach, and Texas tomato on bird seed bread from Whole Foods.

Great sandwiches, Anne! You can be in charge of sandwiches any time.

The Post of Chocolate DEATH!

During my time away from the blog I made a couple of things that, if made repeatedly, could result in a death by chocolate. They were too delicious and absolutely to die for!

These Cheesecake Brownies from Buns in my Oven were fantastic. I made them for dessert for dinner at a friend’s apartment. We each made something, and it was all really good. We gorged ourselves on pulled brisket, mashed potatoes, potato rolls, and my brownies–a good old homemade, stick to your ribs dinner that we were all seriously craving by the end of the semester.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of them before we dug in, but that just means I’ll have to make them again sometime.

My next dessert of death consisted of my go-to brownies with homemade ice cream.

The brownies were so moist and gooey that I hope I can replicate this same effect in the future. Rather than use semi-sweet chocolate chips like I usually use, I had a giant bar of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s that I chopped up and melted into the batter, and then I added more chunks before baking.

YUM!

For the ice cream, I found this super easy recipe on kevinandamanda.com. It didn’t even require an ice cream maker, rock salt, or any of that stuff! Color me a happy camper. I’m definitely going to be making this over and over and adding in tons of mix-ins. I should start thinking of combinations right now.

Doesn’t it look like pure FUDGE? Delicious death in a bowl, that’s all I have to say.

Cheesecake!!

A friend pointed out this Vanilla Yogurt Cheesecake recipe a few weeks ago just as I was falling in love with greek yogurt, so it couldn’t have been better timing. With the use of non-fat yogurt, this is certainly a lighter variation on classic cheesecake. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in terms of a final product, but I was happily surprised.

I’m actually not a huge fan of plain cheesecake, but I enjoyed this one. It’s usually the intense cream cheese tang that I don’t enjoy as much, but this recipe just didn’t have too much of a tang, which was surprising considering the block of cream cheese and 16 ounces of greek yogurt it had. I probably could have added more cream cheese since the overall flavor was extremely subtle.

I slightly over-baked the crust, which is seeming to become a habit of mine. I wasn’t a huge fan of the pre-made chocolate graham crust I used, so at least I know I won’t buy it again, even if it’s on sale.

The cheesecake also sank a LOT after I turned off the oven, but it actually didn’t crack like most do. I must admit I was a bit nervous about the cracking and sinking, as that always happens when I make cheesecakes, so this result wasn’t unexpected.

Overall this recipe makes an enjoyable cheesecake, but that’s only my opinion. However, those who enjoy really being able to taste the cream cheese might beg to differ. But if I make cheesecake again, it’ll probably be of the “No-Bake” variety.

Also, these strawberries are so ripe and sweet! I ended up buying three pints of them, and I’m sure they’ll be gone in a matter of days.

Well, I Certainly Fell Off the Face of the Earth

What can I say. I completely disappeared and didn’t want to face the world for that last month of school. But it’s over now and the 2011 Summer of Fun has officially begun! I’ve made so many things that I still need to post about, and those will be coming along bit by bit.

But first, I would like to wish all the health and happiness in the world to Ryan Kelly, my beloved Dark Destroyer, who officially left Celtic Thunder on May 12, 2011. I am so happy I was able to meet you in Boston in 2009 and to say hello to you a couple of other times over the past couple of years. Good luck in whatever you choose to pursue next, you have my full love and support.

I think I should move on to happier news now, don’t you think?

I’d like to come back to the blogging world with this fantastic cake recipe. I’m a sucker for doughnut muffins and anything doughnut, so this certainly hit the mark: The Donut Cake! It turned out absolutely wonderfully.

I think the secrets to this cake were the hints of nutmeg and cornmeal in the batter. The strawberries were a nice complement to the cake as well, so I’m glad I had them on hand, even if they were originally frozen.

I couldn’t get enough of this fake doughnut-y goodness. I can’t wait to make it again and again and again. You can have cake for breakfast, right? It has the word doughnut in its title, so that must count for something.

And if I eat it with strawberries or some kind of fruit on the side? Totally a breakfast food. I’m going to tell myself whatever I need to in order to convince myself that this can be eaten for breakfast without guilt. OH! I think I just came up with the winning justification: it doesn’t have chocolate, so it’s nice and light and breakfast-worthy! There we go. Donut cake for breakfast for everyone! Enjoy!