Raspberry Almond Valentine

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Happy Valentine’s Day! I was inspired to use fresh berries for my Valentine bake and came across these lovely raspberries, and then the almond cupcakes and bittersweet chocolate ganache followed 🙂 I look forward to getting a new camera someday soon, but for now, these camera phone photos will have to do!

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This lovely cake stand was made locally by JaMpdx! Thank you, Jenn and Meghan! 🙂

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Springerlie

This year I tried my own hand at making the German Springerlie cookies I remember my Mom making each Christmas time. They involve a wooden rolling pin with little molded patterns, fresh anise seeds, allowing the cookies to dry out overnight before baking, and then leaving them in an air tight tin for a few weeks to soften and soak up the anise flavor!

Ready to roll…

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Ready to cut…

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Ready to dry overnight…

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Baked and ready to be stored! We’ll see how they turn out in a few weeks 😉

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Thanks, Mom!

Just Peachy

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I am so happy to be posting after such a long, unintentional break! So grateful for 3-day weekends 😀 Happy Labor Day!

Picked up these beauties from a local farmer’s market this afternoon…

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The crust definitely did not turn out to be the prettiest… but the pie was delicious.

Happy Memorial Day

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A simple red velvet cake to say thank you. This was my first attempt at covering a cake in fondant, and well, I got it covered! 🙂 I used a beautiful patterned embossing rolling pin, but realized fondant takes so much smoothing once on the cake, most of the pattern disappeared…. you can still see some subtle hints of the damask pattern. I’ll try it again with a pie crust.

This red velvet layer cake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog is delicious and moist!  If there’s one thing I hate, it’s dry cake!

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my fondant is stretched too thin…. but you can see some of the damask pattern on the sides 🙂

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And with leftover batter… a patriotic cupcake with a little man saluting (kind of) and thanking those who gave their lives while serving. Thank you.

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A Hoppy Easter to All! ^^

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These egg cookies look nothing like the Ukranian eggs my Grandma was so good at decorating (similar to these), but I definitely thought of her and her immensely talented detail work while baking this batch. There is nothing waxy about these royal icing decorated sugar cookies – only a sugary, buttery, slightly soft crunch. 🙂

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Candid: Staging in process…

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Easter pineapple, anyone? 😉

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Merry Cookie Christmas!

This year was my second Cookie Exchange Extravaganza, and I made sugar cookie Christmas sweaters and mittens 🙂

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For the sweaters I used Sweet Sugar Belle’s royal icing recipe again and separated the icing into red, green and white. As the planning continued, my strategy got simpler and simpler… Maybe another time I can make all of them customized and silly with santas, snowmen, reindeer, presents, lights, sleighs, chimneys etc.

Since the royal icing takes a number of hours to set, I baked and created the background icing layers one day, and piped the detail in white another…

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Voila!! So many….

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I packaged what I had up into baggies of 6 each…

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And off to the exchange I went! Look at the piles of amaaazing cookies that everyone brought!

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For my NEXT three dozen (remember–strategy got simpler and simpler… eight dozen sweater cookies, ok six dozen sweater cookies, ok only two base colors and white decoration, ok actually three dozen sweater cookies and three other dozen of something else…that will be faster to bake and decorate)….. I made mitten cookies dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and garnished with little cookie stars and snowflake sprinkles! There were a few I tried edible glitter, but the glitter got away from me… :/

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Just dipped!

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Thanksgiving 2014

So for Thanksgiving this year I tried baking a sweet potato pie, enhanced with bourbon and a brown sugar layer between the crust and the filling…  Honestly, I was disappointed–especially with the crust. The recipe was much more involved than I ever do for crust, and did not come out well for all the effort! Needless to say, the filling was pretty good…

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Feeling Lucky

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I had fun trying out a new cookie decorating technique…

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I made some mistakes and have a list of improvements to make, but I also have a list of ideas for future decorations swirling around in my head and am eager to practice more!

I happened upon SugarBelle’s blog and used her royal icing recipe for these cookies (Note: After finishing my cookie experiment, I saw a much more recent post from SugarBelle with an updated royal icing recipe and tips here!).

Here are the ingredients ready to begin my royal icing adventure…

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The recipe called for mixing up VERY stiff icing to start from for tinting and watering down to desired consistencies for decorating. I think I was pretty successful in this (and my wrist felt it too after mixing in all of the coloring!)

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The only two green tint colors I had were these two…

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Let the tinting begin! After multiple rounds of adding a couple drops at a time and stirring…

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Even if not quite the two green colors I had imagined, I eventually got a decent contrast and figured that was the best I could do with what I had… time to expand my green tint collection!

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(I apologize for lack of photos during this process…) I then watered down my ‘pipe consistency’ icing with a spray water bottle, placed it in a piping bag with a #3 tip, and prepared my ‘flood consistency’ icing by watering it down even more, and placed it in a squeeze bottle. Starting simple, below you can see one cookie that has been outlined, and the other that has been outlined and then “flooded’.IMG_9221

And then there were these…. 😀 I went crazy with multiple compositions!

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(I’m wishing I had more than four $1 gold coins…. I think it would have made for more of an impactful message ;))

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Since I didn’t have anything rainbow to add to the mix, I created one out of Washi tape 🙂

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And let (a little too) loose with the edible gold glitter!

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