I am a terrible blogger–update and dulce de leche

This is my first blog post since April, and I am really angry with myself. But I have been really busy spending time at an actual bakery! I have made tons of goodies over the past few months, and took pictures of most of them, because I knew I would get back to blogging at some point. To start off with, here are some really yummy cupcakes I made this morning. They’re devil’s food cupcakes with dulce de leche topping. So delicious!

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Easter Treats!

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I got so excited over all the treats I was seeing on food blogs and in real life that I thought I was going to die. I knew I had to try something myself. Then I had a brilliant idea: cupcakes with Cadbury Creme Eggs in the middle! I wanted to make them fast so I bought a yellow cake mix, the eggs, and some pink frosting. This was more about testing out the idea than testing out original recipes.

Here are my eggs, and the cake mix with the eggs, water, and oil.

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Next, I filled six of the twelve cupcakes with a creme egg, and covered them in batter.

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Meanwhile, I also started working on this butterfly shaped caked that I saw on the back of the Easter M&M’s bag. It’s quite simple; bake a 9″ cake, cut it in half, and cut out a little piece for the wings. When the cupcakes came out, they looked normal.

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I piped some pink frosting on and got prepared to taste the yummy chocolaty goo inside.

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But unfortunately, they were kind of gross. Maybe it was because I didn’t use high-quality chocolate. I’m not sure. But they were not yummy.

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But then, on the regular cupcakes, I used some of the aforementioned M&M’s to make a pretty flower.

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And my butterfly cake came out well too! I am definitely going to incorporate M&M’s into my decorating repertoire.

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Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

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I went to Target this weekend, and they had so many cute Valentine’s themed baking items that my head almost exploded. I bought lots of stuff, including some heart-shaped cookie cutters. Sugar cookies it is!

Now, like all things I make, I want my baked goods to look professional. This, being my first attempt at professional looking sugar cookies, didn’t work out too well. They sure taste good. At least I have that.

Here are the ingredients I used. I took a shortcut and used premade sugar cookie dough.

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I cut out various heart shapes and added sprinkles!

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Little did I know that it helps the cookies to keep their shape if you chill them again after cutting, so I didn’t do this. They were pretty much misshapen blobs!

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So, I thought maybe if I baked the cookie IN the cutter.

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It kind of worked. Obviously, this is not how sugar cookies are supposed to look.

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Oh well. I started making the Royal Icing, and dyed it pink.

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These were what I came up with…not that impressive but still tasty!

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I also wanted to show the incredible MESS I made in my kitchen.

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Final products:

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Baked French Toast

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I absolutely love making sweet breakfast foods. For this Saturday morning, I decided on Baked French Toast from Martha Stewart, because I had some nice Challah bread that I needed to use up. I also skipped the raspberry sauce that is included in the recipe.

I prepared it the night before. It’s very simple; all you need is milk, sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla. Mix all of these ingredients in a baking dish.

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Then, put the bread slices in and let them soak for 15 minutes.

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Flip them over, and let them soak overnight.

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In the morning, I placed them on a baking sheet and baked away! They smelled amazing as they were cooking.

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I topped them with strawberries and maple syrup. So delicious! And very filling too.

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Dinner Rolls

Ever since I got my KitchenAid Mixer, I have been reading up on breads. I have made a few pizza crusts with success, so I decided to try something new: No-Knead Dinner Rolls from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. The rolls were supposed to be stuffed into a 9″x13″ pan, but because I only have to feed two people, I cut the recipe in half and just made balls of dough. The recipe was extremely easy, but did take some time so I would suggest planning which meal you want to serve these yummy rolls with. They came out great and had a slightly sweet taste, which I liked.

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Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

I have always loved the gingerbread cookies from The Gingerbread Construction Company, which has two store locations in Massachusetts (www.gingerbreadusa.com) . My mom would bring them home from the Wellesley craft fair every December. This year, I finally felt confident enough to take them on. First, of course, I needed to find a good gingerbread recipe. I went to my favorite website, allrecipes.com, and selected Eileen’s Spicy Gingerbread Men, which had excellent reviews. After I mixed the dough, rolled it, chilled it, and cut out the shapes, I was ready to bake them. They came out delicious! I was off to an excellent start.

I knew the hardest part of these cookies to replicate would the the frosting. The Gingerbread Construction Company’s frosting on their gingerbread cookies was always very hard, sweet, and extremely tasty. I immediately thought that it was probably royal icing, which is known for it’s sweetness and stiffness. I knew that royal icing consisted of powdered sugar and egg whites, but I needed a good ratio. So, I selected Royal Icing I from All Recipes. I cut this recipe in half because I knew I wouldn’t need too much. On my first try, the icing never fully dried and hardened. You can see the stickiness in these pictures:

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I decided to try another batch to give to people as gifts. My first try wasn’t good enough. The only changes I made to the cookies was to roll the dough out a little thicker. The cookies were very moist and delicious once again. For the icing, I beat the eggs much longer and added a little more sugar until it got the consistency described in the recipe. Success! It took about two days to harden completely, but I could tell right away that it was going to be perfect. Once they were dry, I placed them in little tins along with the Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
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And I sent them off for friends and family to enjoy!

I hope you had a Merry Christmas as well!