Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lemon Bottles and Onesies

I am so far behind on blogging, I just don't know why. I have decided to try and update the blog because this is the easiest way to keep all my recipes at my fingertips. This post is extremly beneficial because I am in the process of planning another friend's baby shower.

For a friend's baby shower in February I decided to make onesie cookies again. I am excellent at underestimating the amount of time and the amount of work that I have to do and this was a perfect example because I was up until 4 am and back up 2 1/2 hours later trying to finish the over 100 cupcakes and an absurd amount of cookies (I think I blocked out the extra number for my own mental health). I was in pretty good shape making the cookies (both onesies and baby bottles)and then I tried the first batch of unfrosted ones and GROSS!!! They had to get thrown out and I started scouring my favorite Allrecipes for a new recipe (and now it was almost 3:30pm). I was pretty happy with this recipe except they blew up when they were baking them so I had to recut them once they came out of the oven (this could be because I used just butter) and some of the icing seemed to smudge in the bags but yet again I think my few hours of drying was just not enough.

Even though some of them were a little ugly they did get rave reviews because of the taste, the frosting and the cookies both had some lemon in them. Genious! (Thank you to whoever came up with that idea). I definitely would make these again but next time I would try and follow the recipe to a T and give myself more time for all of the frosting to dry!

(Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/shielas-sugar-cookies/detail.aspx)


1 cup margarine
1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt


3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons milk


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2.In a large bowl, cream together the 1 cup margarine, shortening, white sugar and 1 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets.
3.Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
4.To make frosting, combine the 3 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup margarine and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice in a medium bowl. Mix until smooth, adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time until frosting has reached its desired consistency.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Perfect Cake Version 2.0

I live in DC where there is a pleothra of cupcake shops and honestly I can bake better than a lot of them, this has been told me by a lot of people. However, I cannot make mine as pretty and professional looking as they can. A few weeks ago two of my college friends and I had a sugar adventure and started with Frozen Hot Chocolates at Serendipity 3 and then walked over to Georgetown Cupcake (from the tv show DC cupcake) but after looking at the ridiculously long line (and my friend somehow getting a free cupcake) we walked over to the new Sprinkles cupcake. I had one of the most delicious cupcakes there and thought wow this tastes extremely similiar to my favorite chocolate chip cake but with peanut butter. So last nite I experimented and made the original recipe adding a little bit more than half a jar of peanut butter and have had nothing but rave reviews today, I was told it was the nice hint of peanut butter. So this is definitely a keeper! I made a chocolate glaze but spread it on slightly thicker then your typical glaze, absolutely perfect!

I made it as cupcakes but the recipe was originally for a bundt cake.



1 pkg. Deluxe Yellow Cake Mix
4 large eggs
1 C. vegetable oil
1 C. milk
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 to 3/4 of a jar of peanut butter (reduced fat worked well)
1 - 4oz bar German's Sweet Chocolate grated (grate it by throwing it in the blender)
Handful of Chocolate Chips (I use usually 2 handfuls)


- Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips.
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Pour into a greased Bundt pan or cupcakes
- Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.....(50 minutes is usually enough)For cupcakes about 23-25 minutes.


3/4 C. semisweet chocolate chips
3 T. butter
1 T. light corn syrup
1/4 tspn. vanilla extract

There are two different ways to do the glaze - the official directions are first then my short cut ones are second


- In a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water, combine chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, then add vanilla.
- Spread warm glaze over top of cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.


- In a microwave safe bowl melt chocolate chips and butter, occasionally stirring.
- After melted add corn syrup and vanilla.
- Spread warm glaze over top of cake, depending on the thickness either drizzle it or just spread it over the top and down the sides.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Bit of Spring!

Not only do I have one office mate that doesn't like chocolate but I have two! Seriously, people what is going on! I wanted find something that was delicious and outside of the norm (aka not vanilla cupcake with white frosting), also a great spring cupcake would also be perfect since the weather has definitely not been springy in DC! Well this is the perfect cupcake! People thought that these were professionally made, huge compliment in a city that has cupcake shops everywhere and even on wheels! People are also easily impressed with the fact that these are made with real strawberries (the recipe calls to strain them my strainer didn't work the greatest so the second time I didn't strain.) I used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, this cupcake recipe only makes 15 cupcakes so you only need half the frosting recipe(the halved recipes is in parenthesis.)

Real Strawberry Cupcakes(Source: All Recipes)


8 large fresh strawberries, or as needed
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix (optional)(I use this)
1 drop red food coloring, or as needed (optional)(they come out light pink without it)


- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray cupcake cups with cooking spray, or line with cupcake liners.

- Place 8 strawberries into a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour the puree through a strainer to remove seeds (I strained the first time not the second). Puree should equal about 3/4 cup. Set the puree aside.

- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, white sugar, vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, lemon zest, and strawberry puree until well combined. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla pudding mix (for a moister cupcake), and red food coloring to reach a desired shade of pink. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

- Bake in the preheated oven until the cupcakes have risen and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool at least 10 minutes before frosting.


1/2c. of unsalted butter (softened) (1/4 c)
2- 8oz. packs of cream cheese (softened) (1 - 8oz)
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (1 3/4 C)
1 tbsp of vanilla extract (1/2 Tbsp)


- Cream the butter and cream cheese together and then add the powedered sugar and vanilla.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chocolatey Caramel Love!

I do not know how I never blogged about these brownies, they are amazing! They are delicious and one of the biggest crowd pleasers o and easy (easy is the key for me!!). I know they take a lot of steps but so worth it. Love these so much. I unwrap the caramels when they are in the oven for the first time. Enjoy these!



1 pkg (18.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts (I've never included the nuts...it's your preference)
1 cup Carnation evaporated milk, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or magarine, melted
35 (10-oz pkg) caramels, unwrapped (I would recommend 40-50 (around 12oz)
2 cups (12-oz pkg) semi-sweet chocolate morsels


Preheat: oven to 350° F.
Combine: cake mix and nuts in large bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup evaporated milk and butter (batter will be thick). Spread half of batter into ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
Bake: 15 minutes. ( I normally do for 13-14 minutes)
Heat : caramels and remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted. Sprinkle morsels over brownie; drizzle with caramel mixture.
Drop: remaining batter by heaping teaspoon over caramel mixture.
Bake: 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


WOW!!! It has been forever since I have blogged and instead of throwing my hands up and saying I am done I have decided to come back to blogging. Since I have been back from Japan I have moved and redone my kitchen, I love all my new space and it is such a huge difference from my little galley kitchen!

So here it is what I have been doing:


Old Kitchen

New Kitchen

She didn't know what she was having so I made her favorite Red Velvet Cupcakes and made the frosting both pink and blue. I also made regular size and mini cupcakes. They were a big hit! I had sugar booties, duckies, and flowers to put on each one.

We did candy jars as favors:


My officemate is not a chocolate fan so I made my lemon cupcakes and lemon frosting for his birthday. This time I let them cook longer and they came out delicious. In the earlier recipe I said to halve the cream cheese frosting so below is the halved recipe (enough for one batch of cupcakes). Sorry for the bad picture, they were the last cupcakes left!


Source: Allrecipes.com)


- 1/2 of an 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon rind, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar in 2 additions. Beat until creamy. Add more icing sugar or juice as needed for easy spreading.