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Entries in bakeoff (51)

Saturday
Oct262013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Cinnamon Roll Cranberry Orange Pull Apart

Cinnamon Roll Cranberry Orange Pull Apart

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

What's for breakfast tomorrow? Um, here's an idea: Cinnamon Roll Cranberry Orange Pull Apart. It comes together in less than an hour (including baking and cooling!), making it an ideal treat for a lazy morning. This stellar recipe comes at you from Leah Stacey of Montgomery, Alabama, who is bound to make delicious waves at the Bake-Off!

Cinnamon Roll Cranberry Orange Pull Apart

Prep Time: 20 Min Total Time: 55 Min Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tablespoons Smucker's® Sweet Orange Marmalade
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (12.4 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (8 ct)
  • 1 can (7.3 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (5 ct)

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  2. In food processor, place cranberries. Cover; process until coarsely chopped. Add cream cheese and 4 tablespoons of the marmalade; process until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Pour 3 tablespoons of the butter in bottom of cake pan; sprinkle with pecans.
  4. Separate dough into 13 rolls; reserve icing. Place rolls on work surface, cinnamon side up. Flatten each roll to 3 1/2-inch round. Spoon about 1 tablespoonful of the cream cheese mixture on center of each round. Fold dough over filling; pinch edges to seal. Repeat with remaining rounds and filling.
  5. Dip filled rolls in remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Place rolls in pan, seam side up, overlapping slightly. Drizzle with any remaining butter.
  6. Bake 23 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 2 minutes. Place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; carefully turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Cool 5 minutes.
  7. In small bowl, mix both cans of icing and remaining 1 tablespoon marmalade until blended; drizzle over cinnamon rolls.

 

Monday
Oct142013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Oatmeal Cookie Granola Berry Parfaits Recipe

Oatmeal cookie parfaits

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

Now here's a treat that is virtuous enough (fruit, yogurt) to be served for breakfast on a Monday, but tasty enough (oatmeal cookie crumbles) to make it pleasurable all week long. It's a simple and delicious treat, and it doesn't hurt that it's pretty, too. It was dreamed up by April Timboe of Siloam Springs, Arkansas. 

Oatmeal Cookie Granola Berry Parfaits

Prep Time: 30 Min Total Time: 30 Min Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package Pillsbury® Big Deluxe® refrigerated oatmeal raisin cookies
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 cups plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup Blueberry Preserves
  • 80 fresh raspberries (about 12 oz)
  • 16 fresh mint leaves

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften.
  2. In large bowl, mix cookie dough, pecans and coconut with wooden spoon or knead with hands until well blended. Crumble mixture evenly on cookie sheets.
  3. Bake both cookie sheets at the same time 18 to 28 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes and rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking, until golden brown. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Break granola into smaller pieces.
  4. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix yogurt and blueberry preserves until well blended. Refrigerate.
  5. To assemble parfaits, spoon 1/4 cup of the granola into each of 8 (8 oz) glasses. Top each with 3 heaping tablespoons of the yogurt mixture and 7 raspberries. Repeat with remaining granola and yogurt mixture. Top each with remaining raspberries and fresh mint leaves.
Saturday
Oct122013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Lemon Pistachio Blackberry Thumbprints Recipe

Lemon cookies

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

I appreciate the power of a promise. And these cookies, designed by Joan Cossette of Colbert, WA offer a delectable one: "Each bite of these sugar cookies promises a bit of sweet jam and a drizzle of sweet icing." Oh, yum.

Lemon Pistachio Blackberry Thumbprints

Prep Time: 25 Min Total Time: 35 Min Makes: 36 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/2 cup shelled salted roasted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup Blackberry Jam
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften.
  2. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add pistachios, flour and lemon peel. Mix with wooden spoon or knead with hands until well blended.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls.
  4. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. With thumb or handle of wooden spoon, make indentation 3/4 inch wide in center of each cookie. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon jam into each indentation.
  5. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until set but not browned. Remove to cooling racks. Cool 3 minutes.
  6. In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, honey and 1 tablespoon water until smooth. If necessary, stir in water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until of drizzling consistency. Drizzle honey glaze over warm cookies. Store in covered container.
Thursday
Oct102013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Strawberry Cream Cheese Cream Puffs Recipe

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cream Puffs Recipe

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

These sweet treats are a sure-fire recipe for success. They have so much going for them:

  • Strawberries and cream are a match made in heaven, not to mention the fashionable style of a cartoon icon.
  • Cream Puffs are delicious and delicate.
  • And when it comes to baked goods, cream cheese makes just about any flavor richer, creamier, tangier, and tastier. 

See? I've bullet-pointed the reasons why these scientifically rule, so it's now fact.

These Strawberry cream cheese cream puffs were dreamed up by Dawn Logterman of Verona, Wisconsin, who says "Who doesn't love strawberries and cream? Here's a tasty way to serve up the combo."

Simple but sweet, and they come together in just 30 minutes of active time. Score!

Here's the recipe.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cream Puffs Recipe

Prep Time: 30 Min Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Min Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Strawberry Preserves
  • 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1tablespoon powdered sugar

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat 1 cup water, the butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boiling over medium-high heat. With wooden spoon, stir in flour. Reduce heat to low; beat vigorously about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Beat in 1 egg at a time, beating vigorously after each addition until mixture is smooth and glossy. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls, 3 inches apart on cookie sheet, forming 12 mounds.
  3. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from pan to cooling rack; prick side of each puff with tip of sharp knife to release steam. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese and preserves with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Fold in whipped topping until combined; refrigerate.
  5. Just before serving, cut each puff in half horizontally. Spoon about 1/3 cup cream cheese mixture into bottom half of each puff. Place tops over filling. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Store in refrigerator.

 

Monday
Sep232013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Breakfast Panini with Caramelized Bananas in Coffee Syrup

Breakfast Panini with Caramelized Bananas in Coffee Syrup

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

Monday! It does not have to be no fun-day. Nope. Not when you start the day right, with a sweet breakfast sandwich made with bananas, choco-hazelnut spread, and some coffee liqueur sandwiched sweetly between biscuits. 

It's not hard to see why this tasty morsel is a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Let's all take a moment to silently thank Lisa Speer of Palm Beach, Florida, for dreaming it up.

Breakfast Panini with Caramelized Bananas in Coffee Syrup

Prep Time: 25 Min Total Time: 40 Min Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can Pillsbury® Grands! Flaky Layers refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur or brewed coffee
  • 2 ripe firm large bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
  • 8 small strawberries, halved

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake biscuits as directed on can. Cool 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook brown sugar, butter and coffee liqueur over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in bananas; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; keep warm.
  3. Heat closed medium-size contact grill or panini maker for 5 minutes. Spray grill plates with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  4. Split biscuits. Spread 1 tablespoon of the chocolate hazelnut spread on cut side of each biscuit bottom to within 1/2 inch from edges; top with remaining biscuit halves. Place filled biscuits 3 to 4 at a time on grill; close grill. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining 4 filled biscuits.
  5. Top panini with bananas and syrup. Garnish with strawberries.
Thursday
Sep122013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Hazelnut chocolate tart

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

Generally, I like to make it clear to people that I am CakeSpy, not MathSpy.

However, every now and again I like to riddle with numbers and equations. Here's one that I feel pretty good about:

Flaky pastry + super rich creamy fudgy filling  = deliciously indulgent dessert.

Now, this type of addition makes sense to me. And the delicious result is beautifully illustrated in the form of this Decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Tart, a Bake-Off finalist recipe dreamed up by Marie Bruno of Greensboro, Georgia. 

Seriously. It's got crust. It's got chocolate. It's got hazelnut. What is not to love? Oh, and it only takes 30 minutes to make, and including cooling time, you'll be eating this treat in under 2 hours. YES!

Decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

12 servings - 30 min active time, 1 hr 30 min total time

Ingredients

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz semisweet baking chocolate
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup Jif Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups toasted hazelnuts

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Unroll pie crust; place in 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press crust firmly against bottom and side of pan; trim edges. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven to cooling rack. If crust puffs in center, flatten gently with back of wooden spoon. Cool 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, heat 3/4 cup of the cream over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around sides of pan. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until melted. Stir in 1/4 cup of the mascarpone cheese and 6 tablespoons of the chocolate hazelnut spread until well blended.
  3. In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. Gradually add about 1/4 of the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Stir egg mixture back into the pan of hot chocolate cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken; remove from heat. Spread 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture in bottom of cooled crust. Press 1 cup of the toasted hazelnuts into hot filling. Carefully spoon remaining chocolate filling over nuts. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until completely cooled.
  4. In medium bowl, beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream with electric mixer on high speed until slightly thickened. Slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup mascapone cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  5. Pipe or spoon whipped cream mixture over top of cooled tart. Finely chop remaining 1/4 cup hazelnuts; sprinkle over whipped cream. Store covered in refrigerator.
Tuesday
Aug202013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Hot Pink Raspberry and Cream Cake Recipe

Hot Pink Raspberry Cake - Bake-Off

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

Darn-tooting you love this cake. It's the perfect color: pink! Since we eat with our eyes first, why not treat yourself to something as sweet, both literally and figuratively, as this Hot Pink Raspberry and Cream Cake? This Bake-Off finalist recipe comes from Dawn Onuffer of Crestview, Florida. The tartness of the raspberries is a wonderful complement to all of those luscious, creamy layers. Enjoy!

Hot Pink Raspberry and Cream Cake

Active time: 30 mins

Total time: 1 hour, 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® Self-Rising Flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Pillsbury® Funfetti® Hot Pink Vanilla Flavored Frosting
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line bottoms of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper; spray paper with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat flour, eggs, frosting, 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1/3 cup water with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until blended. Pour and spread batter evenly in pans.
  3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Carefully invert cake layers from pans onto cooling racks; remove parchment paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  4. To make filling, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in whipped topping on low speed until blended.
  5. To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer top side down on serving plate. Spread half of filling to edge; top with 1 cup of the raspberries; pressing berries into filling. Sprinkle with half of the pink decorator sugar. Place remaining cake layer, rounded side up on raspberries; press gently. Spread remaining filling on cake. Top with remaining raspberries and pink decorator sugar. Store in refrigerator.
Monday
Aug122013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Sweet and Salty Cookie Pie Recipe

Cookie Pie

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

I don't know about you, but this recipe SPEAKS to me. As a bona fide carb-o-holic, the fact that this dessert contains cookie dough baked atop pie crust with a bunch of other tasty stuff added (like choco-hazelnut spread, which makes everything better) is very, very appealing.

It also vaguely brings to mind my own Cookie Cake Pie, which is a personal and web reader favorite from this site.

This version combines sweet and salty with some serious carb-on-carb action. It comes at you from Bobbie Harms of Boulder, Colorado. The recipe headnote reads, "Is it a cookie? Is it a pie? It's a cookie pie with rich chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt." Yes!

Sweet and Salty Cookie Pie

  • Prep Time: 15 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 20 Min
  • Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
  • 1/3 cup Jif® Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 package (12 cookies) Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher (coarse) or sea salt

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll pie crust on ungreased cookie sheet; prick generously with fork. Bake 5 minutes.
  2. Spread chocolate hazelnut spread evenly over crust to within 1/4 inch of edge. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  3. Cut sugar cookies in half horizontally. Place over chocolate hazelnut spread, 1/2 inch from edge and about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with toffee bits and salt.
  4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until pie crust edges are golden brown. Cool 30 minutes; cut into wedges.
Monday
Jul292013

Secret Lives Book Tour, Part Three: Albuquerque, Jersey Shore, Philadelphia, and Seattle Again

What a long, but awesome road, it's been! My third and final leg of book tour supporting The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America's Favorite Desserts has come to a close, and if you have a few minutes (of course you do, you're on the internet! It's leisuretime here!) I'd love to tell you about my adventures.

(P.S. If you want to read about the first two parts of my book tour, here's part one, and here's part two!)

First was an event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Don't you just love saying the word "Albuquerque"? I had an event at a bookstore called Bookworks, where my NAME WAS FEATURED ON A BIG MARQUEE. This was a great life moment, but even better was the fact that almost the entire audience was composed of people who work in the film industry in New Mexico. It made for a wonderful and varied crowd!

Next up was a trip to the Jersey Shore. Now, a trip to this part of the world is always dear to me because it's where I grew up, but it was especially wonderful this time because I had a book event close to my hometown. It was at a wonderful little bookstore called Booktowne in Manasquan, New Jersey, and I was delighted to see a nice-sized crowd of people who came, including some former high school classmates who happened to be in town and read about the event!

I also served some Smith Island Cake, which is never a bad thing. Did I mention they sold out of books? That made me feel like a Jersey Shore Superstar. 

Next up, on the same day, was a book event at a bookstore called Towne Book Center in Collegeville, PA (yes, I had an event at Booktowne then at Towne Book Center, one after the other). This was a super fun event because it was a dessert potluck, where everyone brought something sweet and we all got to taste it--then, everyone told us the story behind theirs. I tasted some really good stuff, AND got a really exciting Congo Bar recipe from one of the entrants that I can't wait to try out.

But one of the biggest highlights? Brett and Christina, both contestants from last year's Pillsbury Bake-Off, were in attendance! So we had a mini Bake-Off reunion. How cool is that? Christina won last year (winning recipe here!), so she's got a million reasons not to be at the contest this year. But I was so excited to hear that Brett (here's his entry from last year) will be a finalist again this year, with another delicious-sounding dessert called Heavenly Hazelnut Torte with Mascarpone Cream

That was a great event!

But that wasn't all to the Pennsylvania leg of tour. I also taught a baking class in Philadelphia, at a fine establishment called COOK. I wore a hot pink dress and had a great time teaching people how to make Smith Island Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Alice B Toklas Truffles (Toke-less ones, you know). 

Then, I had about a week to rest and hang out at my house. I spent that time wisely, making milk fudge and learning how to make overnight French toast. I also made homemade croutons for the first time, which is ridiculously rewarding. Yumsies.

Then, I hopped a flight back to Seattle for a few more book events.

Hellooooo, Seattle! I was picked up by my sweet friend Nicole (bloggy persona: So Suzette) who is also the person I went to eat with at Wandering Goose Cafe the next morning. I got something called "Big Trouble" which consisted of a warm biscuit with honey, banana, and lots of peanut butter. It was. So. Good. Just looking at it should tell you that this is a biscuit that means business.

The same day, I did a baking demo at the Tom Douglas Summer Camp. This was probably the best demo I had ever done. Now, the fact that they gave me a glass of wine before my demo made me (in my opinion) even funnier than usual, and the crew was GREAT. We talked a lot about Nanaimo bars, which was one of the demo items. Smith Island Cake and Toklas Truffles, too. 

The next day, I had off, so I hung around Seattle and went to Crumble & Flake with my friends Laurie, Iris, and Matthew (they also happen to be a family). Actually, Matthew was on his way to do some book touring of his own, for his new e-book, Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo . It is about his family's eating adventures in Tokyo. You probably need it. Don't you love the cover? Well, don't judge it by the cover! Cos the writing is even better. 

Our pastries were also awesome. I got the kouign amann.

Kouign amann

I also picked up some macarons to bring to the great staff at my publisher, Sasquatch Books. They liked me pretty well that day, I'd say.

I was then summoned back by the Tom Douglas people--apparently, this night was their closing party, and Tom himself needed a karaoke partner. I was happy to make a repeat performance! Here we are together, to prove it really happened.

The song we sung, by the way? "People who need people". Yep. 

There was still more awesome to come in Seattle, though. The next day I had a sweet signing at Mrs. Cook's in the University Village, and got to meet a bunch of cool people there. And I brought brownies from the book...

Whew! After that, I was pretty tired, but there was still more to do! I had a booth at the Urban Craft Uprising on both Saturday and Sunday, where I sold books, cards, and products. I left with fistfuls of money and good memories, and got to see my buddies Kristen of Schmancy and Rosalie of Ugly Baby and Kari Chapin, genius writer of many books.

And guess who else came to say hi? PEABODY! Of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody! My baking hero! She always makes me smile.

It was a great fair!

I got a tasty dessert with my friends Nicole and Ramon after the fair one of the nights...delicious Cupcake Royale ice cream! 

Craft fair, LA

Monday morning after the fair, I hopped a plane and flew out of Seattle. Then, I headed for Los Angeles! There, I was a vendor at the Renegade Craft Fair, where I also sold my books. 

Cornflake oatmeal cookie, sprinkles, LA

There, I saw many LA buddies and (hooray!) got to visit the Sprinkles cupcake ATM. The line was really long though, so I got ice cream instead. Their ice cream is good--the cookies they use for ice cream sandwiches are awesome.

Pie Hole, LA

I also went, on reader Zita's suggestion, to The Pie Hole, where I got their version of a Pop-tart. This thing was good, even though it cost as much as a box of pop-tarts! 

Vici Victuals cookies

I also had the good fortune of sharing a craft fair booth with Vici Victual, a cookie baking business that is seriously awesome. The cookies may look like normal cookies, but the taste is extraordinary. Soft, but firmer on the edges (not quite crisp. I like soft so this was good for me). Beautifully balanced flavor. Seek them out in LA--they're at craft fairs and the like. 

Thank you to everyone who bought my book, came to my book tour events, and generally made my life sweeter.

And in case you missed out...buy the book here! The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America's Favorite Desserts! And don't forget to buy my first book too, Cakespy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life!

Sunday
Jul282013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Toasted Coconut Cheesecake Parfaits

Bakeoff recipe - mini cheesecake parfaits

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

Hey! Did you know that today (July 28) is National Milk Chocolate Day? And Tuesday (July 30) is National Cheesecake Day? It's true. And it's a great day to enjoy these easy to prepare Toasted Coconut Cheesecake Parfaits, which, as the name might imply, are packed with tasty stuff--including milk chocolate frosting! Therefore, it's the perfect sweet to celebrate this extra special week. This recipe is from Bake-Off finalist Gloria Seymour of Rohnert Park, California.

Toasted Coconut Cheesecake Parfaits

Prep time 30 minutes - Total Time 1 hour, 30 minutes

Makes 12

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 tablespoon Smucker's® Caramel Flavored Topping
  • 1/2 cup Pillsbury® Creamy Supreme® Milk Chocolate Frosting
  • 2 teaspoons brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 oz) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix (from 4-serving size box)

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread 1 cup of the coconut in ungreased shallow pan. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.
  3. In small bowl, mix toasted coconut and caramel topping. Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, microwave frosting on High 15 seconds or until smooth and creamy. Stir in coffee until well blended. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, scraping bowl occasionally until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup coconut and pudding mix; beat on low speed until well blended.
  5. To assemble, spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of the toasted coconut mixture into each of 12 (4 oz) glasses. Top with 3 tablespoons of the coconut cream cheese mixture, 1 teaspoon of the toasted coconut mixture and remaining coconut cream cheese mixture. Top each with about 2 teaspoons frosting mixture; sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour. Store in refrigerator.
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