Home Home Home Home Home Home Home
CakeSpy

Featured: 

My adventure at Ben & Jerry's in Vermont!

 

Unicorn Love: the Eating Disorder Recovery Blog

 

 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too! 

CakeSpy Online Retail!

 

Archives
Gallery

Fantastic appliance for cake making on DHgate.com

everyrecipe.co.nz

Craftsy Writer

Entries in books (32)

Wednesday
Sep212011

Save the Date: Official CakeSpy Book Launch Party at CakeSpy Shop on October 13

People. It's happening.

My book is out. It's called CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life. It rules. It's available for purchase. And on October 13 at CakeSpy Shop, at 415 East Pine Street in Capitol Hill, Seattle, we're gonna have a party to celebrate this momentous occasion.

If you're not in Seattle, don't despair: it's also the kickoff of my lovely and amazing Tour de Sweet book tour, which will span the entire nation (lucky you!). And I sincerely promise to draw a cupcake, unicorn, or robot in every book, free of charge. Um, the books you still have to pay for though.

But back to the launch party at the store.

What to expect: an informal open-house type setting where we will have cake and treats (I will have 4-5 types of sweets made from recipes in the book!), alcohol (woooo!), original artwork as featured in the book on sale in the gallery, and my lovely little self on hand to sign the books which you should plan on buying. 

  • Date: Thursday, October 13 (this is also the night of the Cap. Hill art walk!)
  • Time: 6pm-???
  • Location: CakeSpy Shop, 415 E. Pine Street, Seattle, WA; online at cakespyshop.com

For the rest of the tour dates, click here! To purchase the book in advance, visit cakespyshop.com.

Thursday
Aug042011

Sweet Reading: Cookies and Cream Scones Recipe and a Giveaway for The Secret Ingredient by Laura Schaefer

Reading is totally sweet. We all know that. But novels are even sweeter when they involve baking recipes! A few years ago, I was charmed by Laura Shaefer's young adult novel The Teashop Girls, about three friends who are trying to save the main character's grandmother's tea shop in Madison, WI; now, there's a follow-up novel entitled The Secret Ingredient, which is a sweet but not saccharine continuation of the tale of Annie and her friends growing up and learning their place in the world--this time centering around a scone-making blogging competition.

So, they're super cute books for young girls to read, but happily, Paula Wiseman books has offered a copy of The Secret Ingredient for giveaway! Just add a comment to this post (or comment on the CakeSpy facebook page) with your favorite type of scone. 

and--bonus! Here's a recipe for one of the scones from the book.

Cookies and Cream Scones

Adapted from The Secret Ingredient

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup chopped sandwich cookies (I used about 8 coarsely chopped berry oreos, because they were pink in the middle)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup milk

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together first; cut in the butter. Stir in the beaten egg and the cookie pieces. 
  3. Slowly add the buttermilk to form a thick dough. Knead the dough on a board, roll to a 1-inch thickness, and cut the dough into 2-inch rounds or triangles.
  4. Place each piece on a greased cookie sheet and brush the tops with the milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Thursday
Jul282011

Sweet Giveaway: Win a Copy of You Are My Cupcake By Joyce Wan!

FACT: You could use some more cuteness in your life. But how? Answer: a copy of You Are My Cupcake , the adorable new book by Joyce Wan, which focuses on terms of endearment, delivered with a ton of cute illustrations.

And--lucky you--Joyce has offered up three copies to give away on this very site! Like, OMG!

How do you enter to win? It's like, so easy. Simply confess the cutest pet name you use for your partner (or your pup, or kitty, or sister, whatever) in the comments section below, or on the CakeSpy Facebook page. It doesn't have to be pastry-related (but you know that we'll probably enjoy those ones best).

Three winners (US only this time, please!) will be chosen at random on next Friday, August 5; the winners will be contacted and announced once they have been confirmed.

Good luck!

Thursday
Jun232011

Five Reasons Seattle Dessert Lovers Must Buy Keren Brown's Food Lover's Guide to Seattle

If you live in Seattle, you pretty much need to buy the newly released book Food Lovers' Guide to Seattle: Best Local Specialties, Markets, Recipes, Restaurants & Events by Keren Brown.

If you don't know Keren Brown (if you live in Seattle, and are involved with food at all, you probably do), she basically knows everything about the Seattle food scene. And this book is her love letter to the city and food she loves. 

In the book, she shares "the inside scoop on the best places to find, enjoy, and celebrate these culinary treasures. A bounty of mouthwatering delights awaits you in this engagingly written guide, as well as a rich array of other, indispensable food-related information including Favorite restaurants and landmark eateries, Specialty food stores and markets, Food festivals and culinary events, and even recipes from some of Seattle's top chefs."

But for sweet-lovers, I'll give you five good reasons why you should buy this book.

  1. CakeSpy Shop is featured! A self-serving reason, yes. It is featured as a spot for gifts for foodies (although my store does not sell food!). OMG!
  2. There is an entire section dedicated to the city's best baked goods. Really, this reason alone would probably be enough to make the book worth buying, but please, see reason #1.
  3. You might just learn about a new specialty shop. I know I did! For instance, although I had vaguely heard of Punjab Sweets in Kent before, Keren's detailed listing of this confectionery shop has now made it a high priority on my to-do list!
  4. There's a section on sweets on the Eastside too. As an urbanite who often "doesn't go over there", it was nice to have a short-list of some of the best for when I do venture over the water.
  5. There are recipes from local chefs. For drinks, main courses (from the likes of one of my foodie heroes Kurt Dammeier)...but also desserts. One I can't wait to try? The Chocolate Ganache Cakes recipe from local celebrity chef Maria Hines. 

And if these reasons haven't enticed you to buy my friend's book, then I am not sure we can be friends anymore. Buy it here. Keep up with Keren via her website, franticfoodie.com.

Friday
May202011

Cookie Time: Butterscotch Pecan Cookies Recipe by Big Girls, Small Kitchen

CakeSpy Note: I am so glad you have plenty of money, because there's another book you should buy this year in addition to my CakeSpy oeuvre. It's called In the Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes from Our Year of Cooking in the Real World and it's by Cara and Phoebe of Big Girls Small Kitchen. Here's a guest post from these talented sweeties:

There are about a million reasons to bake, most of which are enumerated right here on CakeSpy. Sweets bring such pleasure, and they’re the easiest treats to share.

But sometimes a batch of baked goods is not just about the chocolate (or the butter or the sugar or the maple syrup).  We send off treats when we want to express an emotion or make a gesture that we’re just not eloquent enough to put into words. We bake, box, and deliver, and poof!—we’ve conveyed how we feel. 

So whether it’s guilt, atonement, or pity you need to demonstrate, we’ve got the sweet for you in our book,  In the Small Kitchenwhich comes out on Tuesday, May 24th! A whole section, called “Tins of Treats” is organized by emotion and the treat that goes with it. (In case you can’t wait, the answer is: brownies assuage guilt, “lotus” blondies are for atonement, and classic chocolate chip cookies are best for ameliorating a pitiable situation.)

For now, something simple: cookies for gratitude. It’s possible this is what cookies were invented for.

These Butterscotch Pecan Cookies are something special, as is fitting when you’re thankful. Their toothsome texture makes each bite melt in your mouth, and the sweet taste of butterscotch is balanced every so slightly by espresso. But the best part is the sweet-and-savory coating: these babies get a roll in a sugar-salt mix before going into the oven to caramelize and bake. Gratitude, indeed!

--Cara and Phoebe, bloggers at Big Girls, Small Kitchen and authors of In the Small Kitchen.

Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

Makes 24-30 cookies

If you can’t find butterscotch extract, use 3/4 cup butterscotch chips and decrease the pecans to 1 ¼ cups.

  • 2 cups (8-ounces) raw pecans
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon butterscotch extract (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

 for coating the cookies:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Procedure

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment (or just bake in batches).

2. Spread the pecan halves on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, checking every minute or so after 5 minutes have passed. You want the nuts to be fragrant and sweet but not burnt. Set aside to cool. (You can do this step a while in advance.)

3. Put 3/4 cup cooled pecans in a food processor. Pulse on and off until the pecans are just ground--you don't want to turn them into a paste.

4. On a cutting board, chop the remaining 1 ¼ cups pecans into small pieces. Put the ground and chopped nuts in a small bowl and add the flour, baking soda, and teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and set aside.

5. In a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixture, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy.

6. Add the egg, beat until combined, then mix in the extracts and espresso powder.

7. Pour the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix just until the flour is incorporated.

8. Prepare the coating: mix together the additional sugar and salt on a shallow plate. Form the dough into 2-inch balls, and roll the balls in the sugar-salt mixture until coated. Place the balls on a baking sheet 3 inches apart.

9. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until the bottoms are golden and the tops are just barely firm. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before gently removing to racks or plates to cool completely.

Thursday
Apr072011

Sweet Love: A Crush on the Book FoodFest 365! by Yvan Lemoine

It's time to share with you my favorite food-book find in recent memory. It's a sweet (and savory) little morsel of a book entitled FoodFest 365!: The Officially Fun Food Holiday Cookbook by Yvan Lemoine.

This is a book which documents a national food holiday for each day of the year, and is punctuated with recipes and stories about each food.

After taking it out two times from the library, I decided that yes, I must own it. Because it's through this book that I learned several things, including:

-February 21 is National Sticky Bun Day

-April 7 is National Coffee Cake Day (may I suggest this?)

-April 16 is National Eggs Benedict Day (your choice if you want to make it Cadbury Creme Egg-style)

...of course, the fact that my birthday, August 26, is National Cherry Popsicle Day doesn't bother me too much (although cherry-topped cupcake day would probably be more appropriate).

It's a super-fun book; I highly suggest it, sweeties.

You can get a sneak peek on the book website hereBuy the book here.

Friday
Mar182011

Best Giveaway Ever: Win a Copy of Big Little Felt Universe AND a Handmade Felt Cake by Jeannette Lim

Dudes. Dudettes. You know that I don't like to speak in absolutes (yes I do) but...this is, without a doubt, the biggest, best, awesomest giveaway ever.

Here's the deal. Indie crafter/Etsy artist, Jeanette Lim has just come out with a new book entitled Big Little Felt Universe: Sew It, Stuff It, Squeeze It, Fun! --which I learned about thanks to my friends at Lark Crafts. BLFU features over 70 fun stitched-felt projects—including food items, desserts, and interactive play kits.

And you can win a copy--awesome, right? But wait, there's more: The author, Jeanette, handmade the cake shown at the top of this post for the book, and she donated it for this special giveaway on CakeSpy!!! As you can see, it’s a vanilla cake with eight different kinds of fruit topping, and it comes with candles that stand up via magnets, a serving plate, spatula, and a cake box with a ribbon (not shown) -- all made out of felt!

I know, I know: you want to win this. But how to enter?

It's easy. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what kind of cake you're going to have for your birthday this year. I can be a cake you're sure you'll have, or just the dream cake--fantasy allowed.

But--since I'm not above coercing you to like me, I'll enter you in the running TWICE if you "Like" me (CakeSpy) on Facebook. Yeah, you heard me. Do it. 

Giveaway will close on Tuesday, March 29 at noon PST!

 

Friday
Nov052010

A Sweet Peek at 1000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies and Cakes by Quarry Press

So.

The recently released book, 1,000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes, delivers exactly what it promises: one thousand ideas for decorating cupcakes, cookies, and cakes.

But should you buy it?

I recently received it as a review sample from the friendly folks at Quarry Press, and I must say I was impressed. Usually I feel as if sweets-themed books fall into two camps: ones that I like for the pictures, and ones that I like for the recipes. But this one, as it turns out, was solely dedicated to the former--it is sort of like a confectionery "look book", comprised of inspiring photos of decorating ideas for baked goods.

I found it to be an inspiring resource to turn to when baking old recipes and looking for a new decorating spin--a fun book to flip through for ideas, and one that I'd suggest for other baker friends too.

So there you go: my two cents. A good gift idea for your baker friend, or baker self!

Buy it online here.

Monday
Aug092010

Reading Is Totally Sweet: Honey-Yogurt Panna Cotta with Berries Recipe from Author Jenny Nelson

Eating is awesome, but what to do during those in-between meal times when you're not hungry? Work up an appetite by reading food-themed literature, that's what. Or at least that's what I do (when I'm not painting anthropomorphic pastries, of course).

So I was delighted to receive a review copy of Georgia's Kitchen, a novel wherein the namesake character is a New York chef who goes to Italy to find herself, both in a culinary and existential sense. The book is full of sensual descriptions of delicious food (hooray!). While there isn't a heavy dessert presence, happily I was able to catch up with author Jenny Nelson, who was able to answer the question: what type of dessert keeps authors inspired? Here's what she had to say about one of her favorite recipes, for Honey-Yogurt Panna Cotta:

Panna cotta, a deceptively simple Italian dessert that means, literally, cooked cream, is one of my favorite desserts to make, serve and – most important – eat! I serve it all the time -- at dinner parties, holidays and even as a weekday treat for my kids. It’s elegant, delicious and so, so easy to prepare. While tasty panna cotta recipes abound, this is one of my all-time favorites. You can make it even richer using all cream, but I opt for a more healthful 1 cup half and half, 1 cup whole milk. Either way, it’s delicious.

Honey-Yogurt Panna Cotta with Berries

Serves 8

  • 2 cups heavy cream (or 1 cup half and half, 1 cup whole milk; or 2 cups whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup honey, plus more for serving
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are my favorites)

Procedure

  1. Place cream and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring cream to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cover pan, remove from heat, and set aside steep, at least 10 minutes.
  2. Place 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl, and sprinkle gelatin over water; set aside to soften, at least 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, honey, vanilla and salt until combined; set aside.
  4. Return cream to a boil. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in softened gelatin until dissolved.
  5. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into yogurt-honey mixture; mix until combined.
  6. Divide mixture among eight 4- to 6-ounce ramekins. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
  7. Wash berries and, if necessary, cut into bite-size pieces. Mix together and set aside 
Monday
Jul192010

Scrump and Save: Scrumpy Delight + Simply From Scratch by Alicia Bessette

Photos by Dave TavaniScrumpy Delight is, truly, a terrible name for a dessert. It sounds more like Swamp Thing's cute sidekick than a delicious pastry.

But in the novel Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette, which I recently had the opportunity to preview in review copy form (it comes out later on in the summer) it's the unexpectedly delicious dessert--made with an unlikely series of ingredients including pineapple, goat cheese, and chocolate, all baked in a pastry crust-- that represents sweet salvation for a character who is struggling with the tragic death of her husband.

Dave TavaniSo how is the book, anyway? I found it to be a thoroughly engaging novel. While the story can be slightly cliche at times, the main character's charm is undeniable, appealing even as she struggles with tragedy, and ultimately the sweet story did win me over.

Moreover, the book, like the below recipe, goes to show that sometimes, the strangest flavors can come together to create something magical--both in pastry, and in life.

Here's the recipe from the book:

Scrumpy Delight

As seen in Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette

- serves 2-4 -

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup well chopped pineapple, either grilled (ideally) or at least very well drained
  • 2 ounces spreadable goat cheese, softened slightly in microwave (cream cheese will also do)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • One pie crust (your favorite recipe, or a pre-made pie crust dough)
  • 1- 1 1/2 ounce dark or milk chocolate bar
  • 2 teaspoons cream or whole milk

For garnish:

  • brown sugar
  • chilled fresh raspberries or blueberries
  • pepper to taste

Procedure

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Combine pineapple, cheese, honey, lime juice, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Carefully lay pie crust flat on your baking sheet. Repair any tears in the dough with moistened fingertips.
  4. Place the chocolate bar in the center of the pie crust.
  5. Pour the pineapple mixture onto the chocolate bar. Using a spatula, spread the mixture out toward the edges of the dough, leaving about a 1-inch edge.
  6. Using fingertips, drag two opposite ends of pie crust to meet in the center, forming a rectangle. Brust the top of the crust with your milk or cream.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pepper, if desired. Garnish with berries.
  9. Using a sharp knife, divide into segments. Serve warm.

 

© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.