Cake, Cookies, Recipes

Red Velvet Mini Whoopie Pies

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If you’re an avid reader of my blog, you probably know by now that I’m a sucker for a good cookie, especially one of the sandwich variety. Whoopie pies are no exception here! Yesterday I decided to be a tad adventurous and try to come up with my own red velvet whoopie. I mean, I had all this cream cheese lying around… what else was I going to do with it than fill up some sammies?

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While this recipe is a bit more… time sensitive, I guess, than most cookie recipes, it’s definitely worth the effort when they’re done. I would also strongly suggest baking and filling these cookies the night before you need it, because letting them chill overnight will improve both the taste and texture, leaving you with a moist, tender cookie.

Red Velvet Mini Whoopie Pies

Makes about 20 (1″) sandwiches

175 g All Purpose flour

30 g cocoa powder

1 g salt

65 g vegetable oil

110 g sugar

1 large egg

45 g whole milk

15 g lemon juice

5 g baking soda

7  g red gel color

Preheat oven to 350F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix together oil and sugar. Add your egg,  and mix until combined. Add your dry ingredients, and mix just until combined. With a rubber spatula, scrape bottom of bowl, then turn off mixer.

This is where it gets kinda, science experiment-y. In a tall pitcher or glass, combine milk and lemon juice, and let sit about 2 minutes. If it curdles, that’s good! (honestly I only added this step because I was out of buttermilk, and soured milk is a good substitute for that!). Stir in your red food color, and then stir in (quickly!) your baking soda. If you’ve ever made a volcano in science class, you probably recall that baking soda + an acid bubbles up quite a bit! Turn your mixer back on, then with the mixer running, stream your liquid mixture into the batter, scrape the bottom of your bowl, and mix just until all ingredients are incorporated.

Scoop (or pipe) out your dough onto your lined sheet pan, and bake for about 7 minutes, or just until tops of cookies are firm. Cool completely before filling.

For the filling, I didn’t really use any recipe, I just paddled together cream cheese, a couple tablespoons of lemon juice and some sifted powdered sugar until I got the flavor and consistency that I wanted. Fill yer cookies, store in an airtight container, and chill overnight. Trust me, the waiting makes them taste even better, too!

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Cookies, Recipes

Orange and Key Lime Ricotta Cookies

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On Saturday my cousin was having a pool party at her place, and since I’m not one to pass up any opportunity to bake, I wanted to make something that will package well and won’t melt out in the 90F heat.

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This recipe is based off of Giada de Laurentis’ Lemon Ricotta Cookies, but I wanted to add a little twist to it and switch up a couple ingredients. I also think the little flecks of orange and green zest in the glaze make such a pretty presentation!

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All packaged up and ready to go! These cookies came out amazingly tender and soft, and very cakey (in a good way!). They also managed to last the 2 hour car ride in 90degree heat, although I attribute that to the pastry gods, who have been quite kind lately!

Orange and Key Lime Ricotta Cookies

based on this recipe

Makes about 50 cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, soft

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 (15 oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese

2 Tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon key lime juice

1 tsp orange zest

1/2 tsp lime zest

For glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons orange juice

1 Tablespoon key lime juice

1 Tablespoon orange zest

1/2 tsp key lime zest

For cookies: preheat oven to 370F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together softened butter and sugar until light and airy in appearance. Add eggs one at a time. Add ricotta, juices, and zest, and mix until combined. Scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Add dry ingredients, and mix on low speed just until combined.

On a sheet pan covered with wax or parchment paper, scoop out cookies (about 2 Tbs per cookie), placing each about an inch apart from one another. Bake for 15 minutes, or until tops have firmed up a bit and edges are lightly golden. Let cool completely before glazing.

For glaze: whisk together powdered sugar, juices, and zest until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 tsp onto each cookie, and gently spread around the top. Let glaze set for about an hour before packaging.

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Art, Crafts, DIY

A couple weeks ago I decided I wanted to start painting again, and last night I finally got around to it and finished one! For the last couple of weeks I’ve been given Friday and Saturday nights off of work, so I’ve been spending a lot of time with friends and family but last night I wanted to take some time for myself.

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This was my first time using oil paints, and I really like it! The only thing I was unaware of is that you need turpentine or paint thinner to properly clean the paint off your brushes, otherwise they’re ruined. Sigh, ohh well. They were cheap-o brushes from the craft store anyway, like $3 for a pack of 10. Next time!

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The painting is supposed to look like this photo of Corrine Bailey Rae. She’s so pretty! And her music ain’t bad either (:

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Anyway, I know it’s a little novice-y looking, but I’m working on it! I hope you guys enjoyed my short lil’ post, and I know that summer has just started but I hope yours is as amazing as mine has been!

Celebrating Summer Nights

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Cake, DIY

Happy Father’s Day! A Mini Step-By-Step Photo Tute

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By some miracle (that I attribute to the pastry gods) I was actually given a Saturday off of work this weekend, allowing me to spend an (early) Father’s Day with my dad. Needless to say, this special occasion called for a cake! I got a lot of the inspiration for this cake from here.

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I made 3 layers of vanilla white cake and in between i spread some caramel cremeu and chopped hazelnuts to fill it. After trimming the cake and doing a thin crumb coat, I did a final coat of buttercream all around. Making the buttercream as smooth as possible is crucial to the final product!

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Enrobed in baby-blue marshmallow fondant, made by yours truly.

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I forgot to take a picture between piping the royal icing and adding the collar, but this’ll do! For an easy royal icing, sift about a cup of powdered sugar and whisk together with a couple tablespoons of milk. Add more powdered sugar or milk accordingly to obtain the proper consistency (it should look like thick elmer’s glue). Put icing in a small piping bag and pipe thin stripes starting at the center of the cake and slowly bring it down the side of the cake. For the collar, I rolled out a strip of fondant about 3 inches wide, and used a rolling cutter to cut it on a curve. Cut the edges at an angle, gently fold in half lengthwise, curl into a u shape and bring the ends together.

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Make yer tie! I rolled out a long strip of yellow fondant about 2 inches wide, and used a rolling cutter to get the right shape of the tie. For the knot I cut out a rectangle about 1 inch wide and wrapped it around the top end of the tie, lightly pinching it around the base. For both the collar and the tie, I didn’t need to use anything to hold them down to the cake as they were both heavy enough to stay put, but if you’re worried about it moving you can use any leftover royal icing you have as a glue.

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Boxed up and ready to be delivered! I hope you guys enjoyed my tute and to all the daddies out there: have a happy Father’s Day!

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Cake, Chocolate

Late Post and Another Happy Birthday

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Last week was my cousin Kelley’s birthday, so needless to say I made her a cake! This one is a marble cake with chocolate cremeu filling, italian buttercream, and marshmallow fondant.

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I enrobed it in a pale yellow fondant and mixed together vodka and gel colors to paint the sides.

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The goal was to make the cake slightly reminiscent of this stained glass jewelry box I got at a thrift store. Goal slightly accomplished, although it’s been a while since I’ve painted anything. Practice makes perfect, alright?

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Poppies made from fondant and royal icing.

I’ve been thinking about taking cake orders a lot lately and it’s definitely a tempting idea. Right now I think I’m just going to do a few cakes for practice and see how it goes (my living situation kinda makes things more difficult; I need more fridge space!), so there will definitely be a few more cake posts in the coming weeks. Anywhoodle, have a happy birthday, Kelley, and I hope ya’ll have a good day! (:

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Dinner, lunch, Recipes

Shrimp Rolls

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Yesterday I decided to surprise Robert with a nice lunch, so I made us some shrimp rolls with oven-baked herb fries and a creamy balsamic dipping sauce. Needless to say it was devoured in seconds!

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This was my take on the southern lobster roll, and just happened to be a lot more wallet-friendly! The shrimp were tender and sweet, and the paprika gave it a nice smokey flavor and some heat.

Shrimp Rolls

makes 2 large sandwiches

3/4 lb peeled, uncooked shrimp, cleaned

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup mayonnaise

salt and pepper, to taste

lettuce/greens/etc.

2 large rolls/buns

In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and toss together raw shrimp, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and vegetable oil. Saute shrimp until fully cooked, then toss in mayonnaise mixture.

Slice open your buns and lightly toast. Line one side of buns with lettuce, then fill with your shrimp. Serve while shrimp is still warm, and enjoy!

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