Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have to thank Jenny at Picky Palate for creating this amazingly delicious recipe! I am a big fan of good 'ol fashioned sugar cookies, but these are just simply on another level! I boxed up these cookies and shared them with friends and family over the weekend and received nothing but rave reviews, so I would highly recommend whipping up a batch for yourself asap! They are a bit more time consuming than your standard cookie, but I can assure you, they are worth the extra effort! I tasted these cookies both warm and chilled and couldn't get enough of them either way! This sugar cookie recipe creates a to-die-for soft cookie and the cinnamon roll twist (ha, get my pun?!), with a touch of gooey cream cheese frosting just puts these over the top! Plus, the cinnamon roll influence makes these totally acceptable to enjoy at breakfast, or really any time of day! Be sure to check out the recipe on my fellow blogger Picky Palate's website and let me know what you think! Happy Baking! :)

Lady Bug Cupcakes

So, let me start off by apologizing for my recent blogging hiatus. Just because I haven't posted in a while does not mean that I haven't been baking however, so not to worry! Even though the story of these cupcakes is a sad and tragic one, I figured I'd share it with you all so that you can experience both my highs and lows of baking! 

As I've mentioned, I am taking a Wilton basic cake decorating class. In our third class, we focused on cupcake decorating! As an avid cupcake enthusiast, let's just say I was more than excited to attend this session of my Wilton class! Unfortunately, the night was more or less a disaster before it even began. Without getting into the gruesome details, the night ended with my new fancy cupcake carrier and one dozen homemade cupcakes in the trash! It was terrible. Luckily, when I got home, I had some extra cupcakes set aside to decorate that I didn't bring to class. I managed to muster up the motivation to decorate a few of these before throwing in the towel for the evening. 

I thought these little lady bugs were a perfectly cute design for summer! Before class, I baked two dozen classic yellow cupcakes using a Duncan Hines mix. I then whipped up a few batches of Wilton's vanilla buttercream frosting and chocolate buttercream frosting to use for creating the design. When making black frosting, it's best to start with chocolate buttercream frosting since it is already a darker color. Check out the Wilton's buttercream frosting recipes on their website! I used Wilton's icing colors to dye a variety of different colors to use in class. The colors for the lady bugs were the most challenging, since red and black are very dark and rich colors, but don't get discouraged, it CAN be done! Here's a tip: frosting colors darken over time, so if your red is looking a little pink-ish at first, stick it in the fridge in an air-tight container and check on it in about an hour. You should see an improvement!

Luckily, I made it through the class and ended up learning how to create a bunch of beautiful frosting flowers and a variety of other very cool cupcake designs with different decorating tips! I am excited to whip up another batch of cupcakes to try out all of these new techniques on another day - hopefully sans tragedy! 

Anywho, check out the Wilton website for tons more tips on cupcake decorating! Best of luck and happy baking! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Let me start out by saying that of all the things I've baked so far, these evoked the most praise. It seems wrong to refer to these deliciously crazy concoctions as just a cookie. In reality, they are three cookies all wrapped into one. It is a cookie INSIDE two cookies! What's not to love? I tested these tasty treats on chocolate lovers and chocolate shruggers (Ok, you caught me, I made up a word for people who aren't crazy about chocolate) alike, and no one could turn them down! Luckily, I doubled the recipe to serve the crowd my family was hosting at our house on Cape Cod over the holiday weekend, because I could barely get these cookies off the baking sheet before they were gobbled up by my family and friends! I would suggest trying them both warm and chilled. If you eat them warm, it is more difficult to taste the distinct chocolate chip and Oreo flavor than while they are chilled, but either way was a hit amongst my taste testers, just the same! I have to thank my fellow Picky Palate blogger for creating this amazing recipe! It was the hit of the weekend! Ordinary chocolate chip cookies might never be the same...

Cupcake Charlie's

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Cupcake Charlie's

One dozen cupcakes from Cupcake Charlie's
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! I spent the weekend celebrating on Cape Cod, enjoying beautiful weather, great family, friends, fireworks and some seriously delicious baked goods. One of my favorite places to visit on the Cape is Cupcake Charlie's. Cupcake Charlie's is a specialty cupcake bakery and their red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting is my personal favorite. Their wide variety of delicious treats is too tempting to pass up, so if you're ever on Cape Cod, I would most definitely recommend you stop by for a Lemon Drop, Hostess with the Mostest, Grammy's Carrot Cake, or Raspberry Delight cupcake (among others!)

Next week in my Wilton class, we are tackling cupcakes! Simply put, I'm aspiring to Cupcake Charlie's status. Yes, I know, I'm dreaming big! Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how my homemade cupcakes  rank on the Cupcake Charlie's scale of delicious decadence!

Until then, happy baking! :)
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