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Thursday
Apr082010

Cake Byte: Two New Cake Molds You Need

It's no secret that CakeSpy loves Fred, that arbiter of creative and cute products like the ABC Cookie Cutters and the "Peace" of cake mold.

And now they've done it again, with two fantastic new cake molds, both of which can be purchased at WeeCanShop, who kindly alerted me to their existence: the Cakewich Sandwich Cake mold, pictured above, which is described thusly:

The best thing since sliced bread… is cake!  Our silicone Cakewich Sandwich Cake Mold is shaped like a big hunk of white bread - just bake and slice to make double-decker sandwich cakes with yummy fillings.  Be creative and create a raspberry-vanilla Reuben or even a chocolate-butter-creme Sloppy Joe...  Use your favorite cake recipe or try the recipe and assembly instructions that we've included for our Famous PB&J Pound Cake! 

and then there's also the TeaCupcakes mold, which has this description:

Bake and serve your cupcakes right in these teacup-shaped silicone molds and delight your tea party guests! We’ve included four reusable, food-safe silicone baking cups complete with saucers for a most elegant presentation. TeaCupCakes are 100%-pure silicone and phthalate-free plastic. 

Yup, that's right. You don't want these--you need them. Buy them at WeeCanShop.

Thursday
Apr082010

Sweet Treats, Sweet Cause: Great American Bake Sale in Seattle

Sweet treats are delicious, but you know what? Sometimes it's even sweeter to give back. And so it is with sweet delight that I announce that I (along with a cast of awesome Seattle bakers and bloggers) will be contributing to the Great American Bake Sale next weekend!

Here are details from the press release:

Some two dozen local food bloggers recruited by "Frantic Foodie" Keren Brown will bake cookies for the Great American Bake Sale next weekend. Proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength, the culinary industry's fundraiser to help end childhood hunger. 

The sale by Seattle food bloggers—one of dozens nationwide—will take place at the Metropolitan Market Uptown on Lower Queen Anne on Saturday morning, April 17th, from 10 AM until noon.

Among the bloggers donating baked goods are Jessie Oleson of Cakespy.com, Shauna James Ahern from GlutenFreeGirl.Blogspot and many other well-known bloggers. Each participant will have two dozen cookies (and their recipes) for sale at the event.  For a complete list of the food bloggers participating, click here.

"Readers and fans will have the opportunity to taste the baked goods from their favorite food blogs", "We're thrilled that Metropolitan Market Uptown is offering us the space for this fund-raising event," Brown, said.

The national effort to involve bloggers in the Great American Bake Sale was spearheaded by Gaby Dalkin, a personal chef in Los Angeles and author of a blog called WhatsGabyCooking.com. 

All funds raised through the event support Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger in America by helping fund after-school and summer nutrition programs. “Summer is an especially difficult time, because the children facing hunger in America, nearly 17 million children, will no longer have access to the school-based meals they rely on,” said Bill Shore, executive director of Share Our Strength.

Attend the sale! It will take place on Saturday, April 17th, 2010 10 AM to Noon at Metropolitan Market Uptown 100 Mercer St., Seattle (Free parking while at the store).

Wednesday
Apr072010

I'd Crumble For You: Blackout Crumb Bars Recipe

So. There may be something that makes me happier than a good bar cookie, but just at the moment, nothing is coming to mind.

That having been said, let's discuss the Blackout Crumb Bar, a recipe I discovered on the inside label of Love N Bake's "Chocolate Schmear" filling. 

But first things first. What is this chocolate schmear business? I came into this bounty not long ago when aforementioned company sent me a sample. It comes in a can sort of like almond paste that you'll find in the grocery store baking aisle--only it's chocolate. It's got this incredibly thick texture, and in the name of science I felt it necessary to take a spoonful before baking with it (it tastes good on its own. Whew!).

But it has found its perfect vehicle with the Chocolate Blackout Crumb Bar. Kind of like a cross between crumb cake and fudge bar cookies, these babies are dense, chocolate, crumbly and buttery--that is to say, pretty delicious. And while it's a slight stretch, I still think these bars are a very appropriate way to celebrate National Coffee Cake Day.

Chocolate Blackout Crumb Bars

Adapted from Love N Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (original recipe calls for just 1/4 teaspoon but I like salt)
  • 1 can (minus a spoonful or two) Love'n Bake Chocolate "Schmear" Filling

 Procedure

Grease a 9-inch square pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Set aside. Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in the flour, sugar and salt until well mixed. Reserve ½ cup of the crumb mixture. With floured hands press the remaining crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until edges are golden brown, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Spread the baked crust with the "Schmear" Chocolate Filling. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the chocolate. Continue baking the pastry until the crumbs have browned approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack then cut into bars.

Tuesday
Apr062010

Sweet Art: Dip for Illustration Friday

Not to alarm you, but I'm pretty sure Cuppie just double-dipped. Not cool, Cuppie.

Done for this week's Illustration Friday theme of Dip.

Monday
Apr052010

Cake Byte: The Saveur Blog Awards Winners!

Dudes, dudettes. So, remember how I was nominated for the Saveur Blog Awards, in not one but two categories?

Well, turns out I pulled a Susan Lucci: I didn't win either. But you know what? It's really hard to feel bad about this when such an awesome collection of sweet (and savory) dudes and dudettes did win the awards.

Plus, I am kind of feeling like I win at life lately, what with a new retail gallery in the super-cool Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle (it was even mentioned on DailyCandy!) which will have its grand opening party on May 8 (oh please, please come to it if you're in Seattle!!).

Here's the full roster of winners from aforementioned Saveur awards:

BEST BAKING AND DESSERTS BLOG

David Lebovitz

BEST WINE BLOG

Good Wine Under $20

BEST FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

Smitten Kitchen

BEST REGIONAL CUISINE

Homesick Texan

BEST SPECIAL INTEREST BLOG

La Tartine Gourmande

BEST CULINARY TRAVEL

Cafe Fernando

BEST INDIVIDUAL POST

Smitten Kitchen

MOST INNOVATIVE VIDEO CONTENT

Food Wishes

BEST KITCHEN TOOLS AND HARDWARE COVERAGE

Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn


...thanks again to Saveur for nominating sweet, sweet CakeSpy!

Monday
Apr052010

Cake Byte: Safeco Field Debuts Cupcakes at Baseball Game Concessions

You know what this photo means? 

It means that I now officially like baseball.

OK, let me back up. In case you haven't heard, Seattle's Safeco Field (home of the baseball team the Seattle Mariners) has just revamped their concessions menu and will be offering several food options beyond the expected nachos and cheez whiz and hot dogs (although, as they were quick to specify, "Not to worry, garlic fries, Ivar’s clam chowder and hot dogs are still available, but for the more adventuresome palate, Centerplate, the exclusive caterer for Safeco Field, offers fans a variety of new offerings."). It's an ambitious new menu, including crab cakes, pasta, and organic smoothies.

And cupcakes.

There will be house-made cupcakes and caramel apples, as well as chocolate dipped Rice Krispie treats, and cookies from Hope's Country Fresh Cookies.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the preview event at which they let some of us newsy types taste this array of awesome (alas I was held up in a meeting about floors for my new gallery!), but from what I hear, these cupcakes are "huge and good". Concise, but alluring, no?

Check out the cupcakes at Safeco Field when you go see the Seattle Mariners; for more information on upcoming games, visit the official Mariners site.

Monday
Apr052010

Sweet Seconds: Leftover Easter Candy Cookies for Serious Eats

In my mind, Easter candy falls into one of two categories. There are the show pieces—the chocolate bunny, Cadbury Creme eggs, and those addictive Reese's peanut butter eggs, for instance—which tend to disappear rapidly. And then there's the filler—the jelly beans, the Peeps, and those little malted eggs, which look pretty in the basket but aren't consumed quite as quickly.

But I feel for the filler, really I do, and so I tried my hand at designing a desirable delivery vehicle for these assorted pastel leftovers: the Leftover Easter Candy Cookie. I started out with a basic drop cookie recipe and added in a cup of assorted leftovers, including Easter corn, jelly beans, cut-up Peeps, and malted egg candies.

To read the full entry and find the recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Sunday
Apr042010

Stock Up on Delicious: Economic Crunch Cookies by Sugar Bakery and Cafe, Seattle

The phrase "economic crunch" is pretty common these days, and usually it does not have a positive connotation.

However, at Sugar Bakery + Cafe in Seattle, the economic crunch is delicious.

"Economic Crunch Cookies" as they call them, are of one of the tastiest cookies I've sampled in a while: a crunchy sugar cookie made with almonds, toffee, chocolate, coconut, all of which is coated in coarse, sparkly sugar.

They are crunchy, savory, sweet, lightly salty, and chewy, all at once: this is to say, basically, they hit all the bases of what makes a cookie awesome...simultaneously. 

Or, as owner Stephanie Crocker (no relation to Betty), so aptly puts it: "They are like crack cookies so watch out…".

To taste the crunch for yourself, visit Sugar Bakery + Cafe at 1014 Madison Street, Seattle (be sure to call ahead to ensure availability of the cookies); or check 'em out online at sugarbakerycafe.com.

Sunday
Apr042010

Sweet April: Trophy Cupcakes Debuts Three Flavors This Month

 

April is officially going to be the awesomest month ever: Trophy Cupcakes has not one but three special flavors!

Want to know more? OK. Per their newsletter:

Three new flavors start this month! Tiger Tails, our coconut cupcake topped with raspberry buttercream, rolled in coconut and drizzled with raspberry sauce! Peanut Butter and Jelly (one of our most requested flavors) is back from a little vacation. PB&J is our Vanilla Butter Cake filled with Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam then topped with swirled Peanut Butter and Strawberry Buttercreams. Last but not least, Salted Caramel is our Valrhona Chocolate Cake topped with Caramel Buttercream drizzled with house-made caramel and a sprinkling of fleur de sel.

Total yum, right?

Here's the schedule of availability for the three flavors:

Tiger Tails: Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays 
PB&J: Tuesdays and Thursdays 
Salted Caramel: Fridays and Saturdays

For locations and more information, visit trophycupcakes.com.

Sunday
Apr042010

Sweet Love: A Bakery Crush on Daisy Mae Treats, Los Angeles

Photos c/o Daisy Mae TreatsThank you, internet. For various reasons, of course, but most recently for introducing me (via DailyCandy) to my newest bakery crush: Daisy Mae Treats, an online bakery based in Los Angeles.

And happily, several of their items can be shipped nationwide.

The primary object of desire? Their signature "Daisycakes", a most delectable-looking gourmet cookie sandwich which comes in flavor combinations like chocolate cookies filled with sea salt caramel frosting as well as ginger molasses, peanut butter chocolate, and lavender. 

Of course, the caramels--which come in flavors like sea salt and lavender--don't look so bad themselves.

While they don't have a retail space (yet), if you're in the LA area you can also receive deliveries of all sorts of treats from their menu, including the aforementioned cookie sandwiches and caramels, as well as a full array of cupcakes (in flavors like lemon curd, honey mascarpone, chocolate sea salt caramel, and red velvet), brownies, blondies, sour lemon scones, and a most alluring-looking chocolate chip coffee cake (pictured left).

Browsing the internet has never been so sweet.

Daisy Mae Treats can be found online at daisymaetreats.com.

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