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Thursday
Jun032010

Beyond A Baker's Dozen: Sweet Links for National Doughnut Day

Upon first glance, these Doughnut Seeds might appear to simply be cereal cleverly packaged for sale for a tidy little profit.

But you're so wrong, because oh, the places these doughnut seeds could go. In honor of National Doughnut Day, here are several things to which doughnut seeds can aspire:

They could become delicious doughnut pies:
They could become athletic heros (just donut!):

Or maybe Trompe l'oeil bagel-and-cream cheese doughnuts:
They could become Red Velvet Cake doughnuts:
They could become any number of these clever donuts:
Or maybe they'd grow into doughnut lookalike cookies:
They could grow up to be the inspiration for portraits:
They could become German chocolate cake doughnuts:
They could become the anchor for some delicious Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict:
Or perhaps a doughnut burger:
Or maybe even a wedding cake substitute:
They could become the hopeless quandary:

They could be a saving grace at a Texas airport:
They could be the crowning glory on a Doughnut Upside Down cake:
They could become the sweetest thing for 500 miles around in South Dakota:
They could make cupcakes even better.
They could be the subject of a tell-all, such as the amazing book Donuts: An American Passion by John T. Edge (which I think everyone should read!) 
They could be a Los Angeles landmark...

Or they could be written up in fancy doughnut day articles on MSN.

So there you have it--who knows what could happen when you plant these sweet seeds?

Sunday
May302010

Sweet Links: A Batch of Sweet Memorial Day Recipe Ideas

Three! Day! Weekend!

...and I'll bet you haven't even thought about what you'll bring to the barbecue tomorrow. Well, here's a sweet batch of recipes and ideas perfectly suited for outdoor eating!

Chocolate Cakes grilled in orange shells, a CakeSpy entry on Serious Eats!

Hot dogs and hamburgers--made completely from sweets! 

...of course, along those lines, burger macarons would also be cute.

Pop Rocks-infused cookies are bound to bring fireworks to any affair.

Nobody likes getting their hands dirty, so why not serve up some deep fried cupcakes on a stick?

S'mores Pie, as featured in the NY Times T Magazine.

...or, even easier, how 'bout some S'moreos?

Of course, my offering tomorrow will be a revamped version of the Cookie Cake Pie, and let's just say I'm a highly anticipated guest.

Friday
May282010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links

Clockwise from left: Pop-Tarts; food fails; cute cupcake toppers from Confessions of a Cookbook QueenIn case you needed suggestions: six new ways to eat chocolate, from ChefShop.com.

Sugar circus: a whimsical circus-themed dessert table feature from the Amy Atlas blog.

What kind of desserts does Clothilde of Chocolate & Zucchini eat? I must confess a minor obsession with her "moblog" documenting basically every delicious French thing she eats, especially the desserts.

The scoop on ice cream scoops, via Al Dente Blog.

What exactly do baking soda and baking powder do in baking? Find out here.

Something's fishy...Sushi-shaped donuts. Yup, you heard me. (via Bon Appetit)

Why chocolate fries never took off, and other food fails, via Mental Floss.

Cupcakes...topped with mini cupcakes! (pictured above; via Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)

Writing (and baking brownies) as therapy: the NY Times on Cakewalk: A Memoir by Kate Moses

Toasted Coconut Rice Krispie Treats: kind of like macaroon meets cereal treat. (via Craving Chronicles)

Chocolate chip cookie dough Pop-Tarts: I'm sorry...but how did I not know these existed?

Supernatural, and super delicious: Nick Malgieri shares a brownie recipe in Saveur.

Cinema and Sugar: revisit this old CakeSpy post (with supporting comments!) featuring desserts from the silver screen.

 
Friday
May212010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links

Need a sweet diversion? Here are just a few of this week's sugary obsessions.

Got wanderlust? Discover Bariloche, Argentina, home of the "Street of Chocolate Dreams". (thanks to a CakeSpy Shop customer for the lead!)

Cajeta in my mouth: goat milk caramels from France, not Mexico. (via The NY Times)

Baking in a slow cooker? Betty Crocker says "it's magical". I'm intrigued. Recipe here.

It's biscuit, it's biscuit time: Strawberry shortcake with the most delectable-looking cream biscuits you ever did see, via Love and Olive Oil.

Fashionable financiers: Tartelette makes delightful cookies for a guest turn on Design*Sponge.

But do they have bar cookies? Cookie Bar opens in Chicago, and has a funkadelic website.

Cinnamon bun pie pockets. I'd try to say it five times fast, but my mouth is full. (via Gimme Some Oven)

Peas on earth: Sweet pea cupcakes with sour cream frosting. Believe it. (oldie but goodie via Vanilla Garlic)

Food Takes Over Stationery: Finally! (via Bon Appetit)

Pastries and politics: Bernanke tours the Tastykake factory.

Peabody takes on Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison: I just received this book too so was excited to get a sneak peek.

Seattle bakeries hit the big time, via a feature by Sara Dickerman in the NY Times (prominently featuring CS favorite, Columbia City Bakery!). Thanks to everyone who shared the link with me!

Speaking of Columbia City Bakery, let's have another loving look at the doughnut muffin.

Friday
May072010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Reasons to Love Megan Seling

Megan Seling is kind of a big deal in the Seattle music scene. She's a calendar editor and all-ages music columnist for The Stranger; she also has her own radio show on 107.7 The End. I know, awesome, right?

But what you may not know about this local superstar is that she's also very savvy on the subject of sweets (and bakes a mean cookie, to boot). And so, in an effort to share her awesomeness with the sweet-loving world, here's a baker's dozen of reasons why this sweet writer ought to be loved and appreciated:

She brought Rocky Ledge Bars to my cookie swap last year.

She also brought Striped Icebox cookies to aforementioned cookie gala.

She doesn't just love cupcakes...she educates us on who makes the best ones, too.

She did this great writeup of me and my fantastic life in The Stranger last week.

She made these Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes.

She's super fun to follow on Twitter.

She covers hard-hitting journalistic issues, such as what should be considered the official candy of Washington.

She invited me, CakeSpy, to be a featured contributor on Questionland!

She loves Poppy like I love Poppy.

She is able to admit that she is a sugar addict.

She keeps us all updated on the Capitol Hill, Seattle, bakery scene.

She's an amazingly skilled writer--it's impossible to not be moved by this piece on her "Cookie Winter".

...and finally, did I mention that her equally cute and sweet boyfriend Robby makes a mean chocolate-dipped cream pie?

Tuesday
Apr272010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Ideas for Mother's Day

Clockwise from top left: pedestals by Juliska; onesie by Bored, Inc.; baking cups by Bake it Pretty; cake plates by Once Upon a Pedestal. Links below.Moms are totally sweet--so why not treat them in kind? Here's a baker's dozen of sweet (some literally, some figuratively) gift ideas for Mother's Day:

Betty Crocker's Cooky Book: One of my all-time favorite cookbooks--I know my mom would be delighted with this, so I imagine yours would be too. A word of advice: definitely go for the spiral-bound version. Available on Amazon.

CakeSpy Artwork and Accessories: Oh, come on, don't act surprised. I have rent to pay now! Plus, your mom would probably love you forever if you bought her something from my shop. Shop online here.

Cake Plates and Pedestals by Juliska: If you're feeling like a big spender this Mother's Day, these breathtaking cake plates and pedestals would probably go over very well. While you're at it, buy me one too, ok? (thanks to my friend Love and Confections for introducing me to these!). 

Cookies by Mail from Hey, Sugar!: A delightful recent CakeSpy discovery (via DailyCandy), though this Chicago-based custom order baking company provides a full assortment of baked goods locally, they will ship their cookies in assortments or by the dozen in single flavors (like the alluring-sounding Aloha Cookie "When pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts all mix together in a yummy, creamy snickerdoodle; your taste buds will say Aloha!"). Online at heysugarchicago.com.

Cups of all sizes and colors from Bake it Pretty: That's cupcake cups, of course. And you'll find the greatest variety of cute, pretty, sophisticated and kid-friendly ones here. Some for mom, some for you, some for your friends...

Cute as a Cupcake Baby Onesie by Bored Inc.: Naturally, babies are cute--but they can always be cuter. And that's easily done with these adorable "Cute as a Cupcake" onesies by Bored Inc.! Available here. 

Legalize Frostitution Tee from Cupcake Royale: Hipster moms who love baking will adore this tee from Seattle cupcake institution Cupcake Royale. Available here.

Little Red Riding Hood Tea Pot: Tea is totally sweet with treats, and it's sweeter still when served from an incredibly adorable tea pot like this one. Available at Fred Flare.

Retro Aprons by Kitsch'n Glam: These retro-cute halter aprons would make any mom happy, I think. Better yet, get one for yourself too. Available here. 

Three Months of Croissants: Do you really need to be told how much cooler this is than a fruit basket of the month club? Each month, a batch of prepared gourmet croissants will be shipped; simply thaw overnight and bake in the morning. The gift that gives back, especially if you plan visits back home around the shipment dates. Available at Williams-Sonoma.

Unique Cake Plates by Once Upon a Pedestal: One of a kind creations to display your sweet treats, made from salvaged plates put on a pedestal! Read the CakeSpy writeup of the company here. Available at Once Upon a Pedestal.

Vintage Cookie Jars from Jazze Junque: This site (and in Chicago, storefront too!) is a treasure trove of unique vintage and collectible cookie jars; stock constantly rotating. Available here.

What's New, Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson: If mom is a cupcake-maker, this book is a must-have--it's the uber-cute followup to the already uber-cute book Hello, Cupcake! which makes me want to coo every time I look at it. Available on Amazon.  

Friday
Apr232010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweetly Named Towns in the US

Take me to Sweetieville!Life would be a dream, sweetheart, if you lived someplace with a dessert-related name. Here's a baker's dozen of real places in the US with baking-related names:

Also worth noting? There is, in fact, a Bacon, Delaware and a Ham Lake, Minnesota.

Got any other foodie-type town names to add? Leave a comment!

Sunday
Apr182010

Beyond a Baker's Dozen: A Roundup of Cake Truffle Companies

Cake bites made by Bakerella for CakeSpy!Whether they're on a stick or just rolled as truffles, one thing is for certain: Cake Balls are taking over the world (for which I credit, and thank, Bakerella!). Here's a collection of companies selling them online and in their stores:

(note: got one to add? leave a comment!)

Audrey Kate Rae cake truffles come in flavors like red velvet coated in Tiffany blue--yes! Read more here. (Thanks Suzette for the tip!)

Butterfly Cake Bites come in pina colada, banana split, and creamsicle-inspired flavors. Oh yes.

Cacao Sweets and Treats in the Chicago area makes sweet cake truffles in a variety of flavors, and will also provide custom packaging options. Oh, and their shop also features white chocolate bacon peanut butter cups, just FYI.

Cake Balls is probably my favorite company name ever. Of course, the fact that they sell a delectable-sounding Birthday Cake truffle makes me even more delighted!

Cake Bug provides custom truffles with build-your-own flavors--I think I could go for the lime-coconut combination!

Cake Pop Company in Springfield, MO features pops of all sorts, but their most exciting new item is the Askinosie Chocolate Cake Pop, which is described by the owner as "are a combination of my own Mother’s recipe for chocolate cake and Single Origin Natural Cocoa Powder-San Jose DeTambo, Ecuador from Askinosie Chocolate, covered in Askinosie 77% Davao, Philippines Dark Chocolate. It is a dense and rich cake."

Cocoa Bakery and Cafe in Jersey City, NJ makes cake truffles--including banana cake truffles.

Confection Concoctions in Spanaway features cake pops and cake truffles; read the CakeSpy interview with owner Laura here!

Crunchy Jewels is a cake truffle company in NYC, and they make something called a Vietnamese Coffee Cake Ball. Yum.

David Burke Cake Pops makes pops both sweet and savory of all types, but their Cheesecake pops have me intrigued.

Dessert.Net offers what they call "addictive cake balls"--in collections of complementary flavors.

Fab Favors offers traditional flavors and specialty flavors such as peanut butter banana and Key Lime.

Frosting Bake Shop in Mill Valley offers extremely delicious cake bites.

Honey and Bee in San Diego works by special order to create cake truffles in flavors like toffee, green tea, and an intriguing Imperial Chocolate Porter.

Just a Bite Cake Pops in Orange County, CA specializes in sweets on a stick, with the usual suspects (vanilla, chocolate, red velvet) and also a line of more gourmet flavors, including toasted coconut, carrot cake, and more.

Krissy's Cake Balls features a German Chocolate cake ball. They're in Kentucky, but they do mail order (whew).

Little Miss Sweet Tooth Dollies in Coral Gables, FL features cake truffles in flavors like the delicious-sounding "Drag Queen", comprised of pistachio cake, buttercream frosting, covered in vanilla coating.

Lollicake Bake Shop makes cute cake pops and truffles, sometimes in the shapes of characters like Elmo. Awww.

Lux Bakery and Cafe in Austin makes cake balls in flavors like chocolate chip and green tea. It's also worth noting that they have something on their menu called the "Nanaimo Cup" which sounds like the best kind of cup there is.

Mad Cravings from Oregon may not have the most user-friendly site, but they do have cake balls in flavors like peach champagne and key lime pie, and they also offer gluten-free versions.

Sarandipity Sweets in Georgia makes cute cake pops shaped like cupcakes, apples, and more.

Skipping Stones makes adorable cupcake-shaped cake truffles, and their online shop boasts a variety of other goodies like pie lollipops, homemade graham crackers, and more!

Stacy's Cakes of Irvine specializes in cake truffles in creative custom flavors.

Sweet E's in Los Angeles makes sweet pops covered in rainbow sprinkles--because everything tastes better with sprinkles.

Sweet Tooth Fairy in Provo, UT features something they call "CakeBites" which are a CakeSpy (and Rachael Ray!) favorite. 

Tart Bakery in Dallas has cake balls for sale in a variety of flavors.

Very Vera truffles are available at Saks Fifth Avenue, and are described as "Sweet two-bite decadences are rolled up into balls, then dipped in chocolate and various toppings including pecans, almonds, walnuts, coconut flakes and graham cracker crumbs; a festive dessert presentation."

With Love Bakery in Plano offers cake balls in a delectable array of flavors like s'mores, candy bar, and coconut cake. This makes me love them.

Friday
Apr162010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Cool Companies Specializing in Sweet Stuff

Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Say It With Cookie Cake, Caroline's Desserts, High 5 Pie, Granville Whoopie PiesWhat does this baker's dozen of cool companies have in common? A sweet vision. Here's a batch of new businesses to discover:

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck serves larger than life cones and frozen treats with personality to match.

Cake Balls, while unfortunately having nothing to do with a "Space Balls" remake with an entirely cake-based cast, does nonetheless sell some decadently delicious little cake bites.

Caroline's Desserts specializes in pinkies-out, fancy versions of the classic Rice Krispie treat.

Cake & Shake: This street cart in NYC basically sells all the best things in the world.

Crème Brûlée Cart is keeping San Franciscans on their toes, twittering their location and flavors daily. I'd totally follow their beckon call to score some chocolate peanut butter cup creme brulee.

Granville Whoopie Pies specializes in...well, you guessed it--but in unique flavors like black forest cherry, lemon poppyseed, and buckeye. Nom.

High 5 Pie is the brainchild of Dani Cone, owner of Fuel Coffee, whom I suspect is a genius, what with products like PieJars, pie pops and mac and cheese hand pies.

Hotlix is a company that specializes in lollipops with bugs inside. Yup, you heard that right.

Las Paletas in Nashville, as you can see from the Yelp reviews, sells "popsicles, and only popsicles" - in flavors like hot chocolate and chili, mexican caramel, peanut butter, raspberry and lime, honeydew, cantaloupe, tamarind, cucumber with chili, elderflower and more.  

Led Zeppole specializes in zeppoles, and has a name that makes me laugh every time I see it.

Say It With Cookie Cake is an Austin-based special order baking company specializing in items like cookie-cakes which say "Bite Me" or "Suck It" and other sweet snarkiness. 

Sweetfields Inc. specializes in flowers...that you can eat!

Sweet Revolution Caramels in San Francisco makes maple honey caramels that might make you want to emancipate yourself from all other candies. 

Friday
Apr092010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Online Resources

The internet is so totally sweet. After all, it's the source of awesomeness like CakeSpy! But if you're in the mood to learn something sweet (or savory), here's a baker's dozen foodie sites which I keep bookmarked as great resources:

Amazon's Al Dente Blog: A great source for learning about food news, new products, and clever writing by Rebekah DennTracy Schneider, and Leslie Kelly, among others!

BakeSpace: Connect with bakers and find some seriously sweet recipes on this social networking-for-bakers site.

Betty Crocker's Baking Recipes, Tips, and Ideas: A great resource for tips on not only baking but also technique, preparation, and storage.

Cake Central: Cake photos, message boards, decorating tips, giveaways, and more--the website's name really kind of say it all!

Epicurious Food Glossary: I could get lost in this glossary--and have, in fact, on occasion.

Foodista: Like Wikipedia for recipes. 

King Arthur Flour Blog: I cannot visit this site without learning something.

Kitchen Monki: A clever cooking (and baking) tool which enables you to export your recipes (and those from other users!) to shopping lists. Sweet!

Modern Baking: This site is dedicated to professional bakers, but I find a lot of the articles and features very interesting!

Rose Levy Beranbaum: Real Baking with Rose features recipes, lore, and great baking info--also some interesting message boards.

Saveur's Baking Techniques: Step by step illustrated guides.

Serious Eats: Yes, I freelance for them. But I'd visit this site like a million times a day even if I didn't--it strikes the perfect mix of funny, newsy bits with serious food info.

What's Cooking America History of Cakes: So much awesome on just one site. I could read about the history of cakes (and all sorts of food) all day on this site, easily.

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