Home Home Home Home Home Home Home
CakeSpy

 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too!

 

CakeSpy Online Retail!

 

 

Craftsy Writer
Sunday
Dec152013

Tubular: Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Using Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough

Cookie tree

Somehow, it's happened: you find yourself in need of a batch of homemade cookies, STAT. It might be for the cookie swap you thought was tomorrow, not today, or the school party you totally forgot, or maybe you just want to whip up something sweet in record time.

Green cookies

As these cookies prove, a time crunch need not mean that you sacrifice all the fun of baking--they are actually made from "doctored" refrigerated sugar cookie dough. They're assembled in less than five minutes and baked in about 10 minutes--even with cooling time, the process of going from mere ingredients to "let's party" all happens in about 30 minutes. 

ALL YOU NEED:

Green cookies

All you have to do? Mix that dough with mint and chocolate chips (they're easily found in the baking aisle this time of year), a teaspoon of peppermint extract and maybe a few drops of green food coloring. Roll into balls and bake as specified on the package. They bake up like a minty, buttery, sweet Christmas miracle!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Using Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough

Makes about 24

  • 1 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup mint and chocolate chips, mixed together
  • 4-5 drops green food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, break up the refrigerated cookie dough by hand. Add the food coloring and peppermint extract. Combine well.

Make them green

Add the morsels, mixing by hand to knead them evenly but gently throughout the dough.

Green cookies

Divide the dough into 24 equal parts. (First divide in two, then those two pieces into two to make four, then break each of those parts into three pieces, then divide those in two. You'll have 24. Don't get confused.)

Roll each piece into a ball and place on the baking sheet, well spaced. Green cookies

Bake for 8-11 minutes, or until soft in the center but lightly browned on the edges. I don't know how to say it other than this, but the middles might not look 100 percent set. They will bake a touch more when you remove the cookies, though, so it's ok.

Green cookies

Note: At this point, instead of baking, you can freeze the dough balls on the sheets if you prefer not to bake right now (if you want to do it in the morning, say). Just don't forget to turn off the oven and remember to preheat it again before you bake. 

Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 6 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a spatula for the transfer; if the cookies seem too soft, wait another minute or two before transferring.

Saturday
Dec142013

CakeSpy for Craftsy: How to Make a Yule Log Cake

You might think making a traditional buche de noel is difficult - but it's really not! I break down all the individual steps in making it here. Enjoy!

Friday
Dec132013

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links!

Baby buche de noel cookies. Too cute!

Tips for shipping baked goods for the holidays!

This is cute: Santa hat icy hats!

A good christmas cookie: snowy snickerdoodles!

The best cookies ever: chocolate chip pistachio cookies.

Not sweet, still delicious: how to make risotto (I wrote the article!).

How to toast spices! Make everything taste better.

The story of the Christmas Cake.

Cool infographic about the history of baking!

Solutions for common cake baking pitfalls.

Cookies that will make Santa give you coal.

Chocolate-gingerbread cookies! Yum.

Sweet gift idea for newbie bakers: the book The Clueless Baker: Learning to Bake from Scratch

Thursday
Dec122013

CakeSpy Teaches a Baking Class for Kids

Baking class for kids

At this time of year, you have plenty of options if your heart is in need of some warming, including Hallmark or Lifetime holiday-themed movies, multitudes of volunteering opportunities, or perhaps simply sharing some cookies with the ones you love.

But if your heart needs a little more warmth, worry not. Let me tell you all about how I taught a cookie baking class for kids last weekend.

It was a hands-on class, and these kids were very dedicated to baking.

The class was at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy (which also deserves credit for the cooking class photos featured in the post), right up the street from the historic Santa Fe Plaza. The title of the class was "Kid's Class: Holiday Cookies". Well, if you guessed that we spent the class baking up some of Santa's favorites, you are correct. The kids mainly ranged from 6 to 10 in age, but there was one little brother who was three who also (quite ably!) participated.

After introducing myself and asking if they knew where gingerbread men sleep (on cookie sheets!), we got to work. 

We made snowballs...

and candy cane cookies...

and of course, cut out and decorated gingerbread men. 

Then we went into no-bake territory and made some cornflake wreaths. Have you ever made those? The process is similar to making rice krispies treats, but you use cornflakes, tint the marshmallow mixture, and shape them into wreaths. 

At the end of our 2 hours-and-change class, we had a wonderful variety of cookies, and each student had a little gift bag including a card, a bookmark, and a button. 

Baking class for kids

 

During breaks or dough resting periods, I taught them how to draw a variety of my characters, including Cuppie the cupcake, as well as my unicorn and robots. They had crayons and craft paper on the tables--here are a few shots of their brilliant work.

Baking class for kids Baking class for kids Baking class for kids

I told them that I brought one of my little mascot Cuppie figurines and placed it on the edge of the baking space, because in case anything went wrong, then I could blame Cuppie. They *loved* the idea of that: BLAME CUPPIE!

Clay cuppies

In fact, one student was so inspired that she sent me this a few days later. Note the fine attention to cupcake detail, and the "blame cuppie" incorporation.

Baking class for kids

Another student gave me this:

Baking class for kids

flip side of the envelope:

Baking class for kids

and inside, this note:

Baking class for kids

Doesn't it just melt your heart?? As for me...my reaction is that I must have done my job well! I was so impressed by these creative little baker-elves, and felt a renewed sense of wonder and magic at the art of baking after spending time with them.

What is your favorite cookie that we made? 

Thursday
Dec122013

CakeSpy for Craftsy: How to Make Stained Glass Cookies

Tuesday
Dec102013

Mon petit Cherry: The Most Amazingly Delicious Cherry Buttercream

Cherry buttercream

I have a deep-seeded belief that among cake lovers, there are two types.

There's the type of cake lover who deeply loves and appreciates the cake. These people have a high appreciation for a tender crumb, and know that a fine cake doesn't need frosting.

Personally, I have no idea what is wrong with that sort of cake lover. I'm part of the other type: Team Frosting! Members of team frosting think that cake is great, but its primary function is delivery vehicle for all that delicious, creamy frosting. 

That having been said, I would like to introduce you to the new buttercream that has me wondering if I can invent a sort of IV drip so as to just keep a constant stream of this coming into my body.

It's cherry buttercream, but don't worry, it's not made with health food. It's made with cherry morsels. 

 

Chocolate covered cherry stuffed cupcakes

I know! Cherry morsels! They carry them at the Albertson's near where I'm living right now. I think they're the bee's knees. And they tint the buttercream pink with no additional food coloring needed!

I got a bee in my bonnet to create a cherry buttercream for a very exciting recipe I'll be sharing soon on Craftsy, and I'm proud to give you a sneak peek (just the buttercream, you'll have to wait for the entire package!). It's a good piping buttercream, too.

Cherry buttercream

 

Here is my recipe for cherry buttercream. I could eat it by the spoonful, and think that if you don't happen to have a fine cake on hand, you might find that you can do the same.

Cherry Buttercream

Makes a big bowl (enough for a batch of cupcakes or to frost a two layer cake)

  • 12 ounces (1 bag) cherry morsels
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 brick (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened to cool room temperature- not low fat
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 4 cups (give or take) confectioners' sugar, sifted

Procedure

 

  1. In a double boiler (or carefully over low heat) melt the morsels with the stick of butter. It goes quicker if you cut the butter in pieces, FYI. This mixture will look ugly and weird, but it will all come together in the next step.
  2. Remove from heat once melted, and let it mellow out on a cool surface while you cream the heck out of your cream cheese in a stand mixer, beating until nice and fluffy and smooth--5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the morsel and butter mixture. Heck, add a pinch of salt if you want. Stir until combined.
  4. Now, with the mixer on low, add in the confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, until your desired spreading or piping consistency has been achieved.

 

 

Are you team cake or team frosting?

Monday
Dec092013

Bundles of Joy: Holiday Recipes from Craftsy

Seriously, people. If you want a fine collection of things to put in your mouth, look no further. Check it out to find pecan pie, pumpkin spice lattes, and more!

Monday
Dec092013

Best Gift Ever: Chocolate Spoons With a Dollop of Cookie Dough

Happy Holidaze, sweeties! Here's a wonderful guest post from Heather Saffer, also known as the author of The Dollop Book of Frosting: Sweet and Savory Icings, Spreads, Meringues, and Ganaches for Dessert and Beyond.

Cookie dough on choco spoons

Hello CakeSpies! Can I call you that? I hope so because it sounds really super cool! I’m Heather, author of the newly released cookbook, The Dollop Book of Frosting, and winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars! And I’mhonored to be guesting on CakeSpy today!

I’ve been following Jessie for quite some time now and I’m honestly enamored with her creative genius. Add the fact that she’s a fellow published author with a newly released gorgeous dessert book? Well, I literally danced a (very poor) samba when she agreed to participate in my 2013 Holiday Blog Tour!

The theme of this blog tour is “Frosting Gift Guide” so all month long up until Christmas I’m showing you entertaining ways to gift the creamiest, most delightful frostings for that frosting lover in your life.

From frosting filled candies, to frosting covered popcorn, my goal is to help you break away from the grocery store frosting jar you once relied so heavily upon!

With that said, today I’m sharing with you one of my all-time favorite frosting recipes from The Dollop Book of Frosting: Cookie Dough Frosting.

Not just a frosting, this recipe is spreadable and bakeable! Whip it, pipe it, scoop it, roll it, bake it—there are SO many things you can do with this Cookie Dough Frosting.

For this holiday gift I’m showing you today how to make chocolate spoons as the FDV’s (Frosting Delivery Vehicles) for your Cookie Dough Frosting. Packaged in pretty tins and paired with a jar of your favorite hot cocoa mix, I guarantee your friends will squeal with sweet delight at this perfect present!

Hey Jessie—I’m curious, what’s the history of Cookie Dough Frosting??!

Cookie dough on choco spoons

Cookie Dough Frosting Served on Chocolate Spoons 

Yield: 24 Cookie Dough Frosting dolloped spoons

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I get the best result from J.R. Watkins’ pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 1/8 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until soft by mixing on low speed, about 2 minutes until smooth. Add both sugars, salt, vanilla, flour, baking soda, and chocolate chips and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

To make the Chocolate Spoons:

  • 2 bags of chocolate candy melts
  • Chocolate spoon silicone mold

In a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Scoop chocolate to fill spoon molds. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes to set. Dollop a teaspoon of Cookie Dough Frosting on each spoon and place in festive tins.

Recipe adapted from The Dollop Book of Frosting by Heather “Cupcakes” Saffer.

To follow along on the remainder of the Holiday Blog Tour, head over here! And for more ideas check out my Gift Guide for Frosting Lovers!

Happy Frosting, everyone!

Sunday
Dec082013

Most Important Tutorial Ever: How to Make Nanaimo Bars

Have you been dying to try Nanaimo bars but scared that you're not skilled enough? STOP IT. Here's a step by step tutorial with pictures which will teach you how to make them right.

Sunday
Dec082013

CakeSpy for Craftsy: Holiday Entertaining

Need some nifty holiday dinner party ideas? I went above and beyond sweets for this post on Craftsy, and include entertaining ideas, and recipes sweet and savory.

© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.