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Friday
Jan152010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet and Cute Things!

Hungry for something sweet? Well, there's only one solution for that: eat a delicious baked good! And then, to tide you over til you're hungry again, enjoy these sweet (but not sugary) treats:

To have and hold:

Baker Ninja by Shawnimals: This adorable plush toy (pictured left) is the perfect collector's item for the stealthy sweet tooth. As cute as it is, even more fun is the backstory: "Working deep in the maze of caverns under Mt. Feroshi, the Baker Ninjas not only have the unique skill to craft the secret Ninja Star Cookies, they can also withstand the deadly heat and toxic fumes. They wear special quilted, anti-lava Ninja robes, an inch-thick visor, and a fancy apron, too." (thanks to Bethany of Boofy Cakes for the tip!)

Speak Sweetly Stationery: Speaking of the multi-talented Bethany of Boofy Cakes, check out the new line of sweet stationery she's selling on Etsy--it's all handmade and largely cake and baked good-themed.

Miss Cupcake Mini Series by Kid Robot: Sweet but not delicious, these cupcakes are a delight to have and hold (pictured left).

Donut Plushies by Heidi Kenney for Kid Robot: Who doesn't love Heidi Kenney's adorable work? These donut plushies remain sweet long after the breakfast donuts have gone stale.

Crochet Black and White Cookie from Bluebottle Art: Even if you're not in NYC, you can enjoy the iconic treat whenever you like with this handmade crochet back and white cookie by artist Alicia Kachmar. (pictured top, top center)

CakeSpy ornaments: Not just for Christmas, these plush sweeties would look great hung from a rear view window, or in your cubicle! Make every day sweeter! (pictured top, bottom left)

To wear:

Aaron Meshon Zipper Pulls: You'll want to zip it good with these coo-worthy zipper pulls designed by artist Aaron Meshon.

Let's Mix it Up Tee by Loyal Army: Love to bake? Let the world know with this tee, featuring anthropomorphic ingredients. (pictured top, top left)

Girl Scouts Cookie Time Pin: This embroidered pin (pictured left) is better than any watch, because it always has the right time: Cookie Time!

To hang or decorate:

Girl Scout Cookies Magnets: Of course you love Girl Scout Cookies, but what about the sad times of the year when they're not available? You can comfort yourself by hanging up recipes or notes on the fridge with these Girl Scout Cookie-inspired magnets. (pictured top, bottom right)

Lemon Meringue Pie Print by Christine Larsen: Seattle-based illustrator Christine Larsen is a CakeSpy soul mate, frequently painting robots and delicious sweets. A favorite pick? How 'bout this double decker dose of deliciousness to hang in your house: a print featuring a sweet slice of lemon meringue pie! (pictured top, top right)

Steve Morris Gnome and Cake Print: Everyone loves cake...but throw a gnome and ladybug into the mix, and you've got some sweet art on the table (or on the wall, as it were). These limited edition prints would look great in a kitchen. (pictured left)

Justin Richel Prints: While we're talking about cake art, it would be remiss not to remind you of how awesome Justin Richel's delicate cake and confectionery paintings are (an absolute CakeSpy favorite! pictured top, bottom center).


Monday
Jan112010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Moments in Fiction

Baby, it's cold outside--so why not get all warm and fuzzy-feeling by curling up with a book featuring delicious treats? Here's a baker's dozen of fictional tales which include memorable scenes involving sweets.

Bread Alone and The Baker's Apprentice by Judith Ryan Hendricks: These linked books detail a pivotal time in the life of the main character, who abandons a plastic LA lifestyle and keeps it real by working at a bakery in Seattle. 

Carrot Cake Murder (and basically anything by Joann Fluke): A murder mystery series which focuses on an unlucky baker who has a tendency to come across dead bodies. This series includes recipes that are actually quite good!

Chocolat by Joanne Harris: If this doesn't make you want chocolate, nothing will.

Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser: OK, so this is not fiction, but it really does read like it--and it has a recipe for cake. Win-win!

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Who could forget Miss Havisham's mummified wedding cake? 

Heartburn by Nora Ephron: Before there was Sleepless in Seattle, before she directed Julie and Julia, Nora Ephron was one of the first novelists to include recipes in a novel. This one is liberally peppered with all sorts of food, but has a killer Key Lime Pie recipe.

Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister: Owen Wister's tale from whence the cake of the same name sprouted!

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel: Sex! Betrayal! Sadness! And best of all, plenty of food (including cake!).

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Two words for you: Maple Snow. What kid didn't want to get in on that action after reading this classic?

Pastries: A Novel of Desserts and Discoveries by Bharti Kirchner: The title does kind of say it all--this novel details the soul-searching journey of a Seattle baker.

Ruby Bakes a Cake by Susan Hill: This one's for the kids, but even adults will enjoy the sweet illustrations (by my mom, Margie Moore!) accompanying an equally sweet story of Ruby the Raccoon and her journey to make the ultimate sweet treat.

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister: This wonderfully written novel details several students in a cooking class and the ways in which they lose (and find) themselves in cooking. Includes a great chapter (with valuable baking tips and a recipe!) on cake.

September Fair: A Murder-by-Month Mystery by Jess Lourey: This murder mystery is not about sweets per se, but it takes place at a Minnesota state fair and includes plenty of appetizing descriptors of decadent fair foods (deep fried nut goodie, anyone?).

That's just a baker's dozen of sweet reads--please feel free to comment with your favorites or to leave suggestions!

Friday
Jan082010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links

Photo credits, from top left clockwise: the kitchn, Piece of Cake, Jules Food, Hardly Utopia

This year, resolve to do the opposite of dieting, starting with this batch of sweet excess:

"You've Got Mail" cupcakes--complete with mini mailboxes! Now that is cute. (via hardly utopia)

Piece of Cake delivers the ultimate peace offering: a hunk of fat, New York-style crumb cake. (via piece of cake)

When millionaire's shortbread invests well, you get multi-millionaire's shortbread. (via julesfood)

No mixer? No problem--check out this No Mixer, One Bowl Cake. (via the kitchn)

Dulce de leche sandwich cookies: double the pleasure, plus filling. (via joy the baker)

These cinnamon rolls are devoid of gluten, but not delicious butter or sugar. (via gluten free girl)

Give your crepes a super sweet makeover (crepe-over?) by cake-ifying them. (via martha stewart)

If you are what you eat, let's all be honest: the fat piggy cake. (via family fun go)

Tastes like heaven: leftover eggnog and bread pudding cupcakes. (via paula deen)

Addictive anise cookies, dreamed up by Dorie and endorsed by Tea. (via tea and cookies)

Looking pale has its upside, based on this Brown butter vanilla cake with caramel buttercream. (via dessert first)

Just Fondue It! Chocolate orange fondue is a great way to eat more fruit. (via ezra poundcake)

It's hip to be square, so long as we're talking Nutella cheesecake squares. (via coconut & lime)

Wednesday
Dec302009

To the Nines: CakeSpy's Sweetest Moments of 2009

Goodbye, 2009!

Dear 2009,

You've been, like, the sweetest year ever! We've had some sugar-filled fun times together, ranging from Renegade Cake Parties to delicious trompe l'oeil treats. But before we trade you in for a cake-filled 2010, let's take a sugary stroll down memory lane to recall some of the most delicious CakeSpy experiences of the past year. Truly, 2009, you are 2 GOOD + 2 B  = 4 GOTTEN!

Love,
CakeSpy

Click here to to see the full list!

Taking it to the Sweet
The streets of Seattle got a lot sweeter with this feel-good cupcake art installation;

Petites Bouchees
Petites Bouchées Macarons induced a serious mac attack;

Croissants
We delved into the secret lives of bakers...

Cookie Sandwich
A car crashed into CakeSpy headquarters, but we got cookies out of the deal;

Rolling Scones
Sweets rocked with a collection of rock n roll-inspired cakes and pastries;

Cake from Freeds in Las Vegas, C/O Not Martha
We learned how to successfully elope to Las Vegas and have our wedding cake too;

Red Velvet Cake from Kingfish Cafe, Seattle
The Red Velvet Cake from Kingfish Cafe was indeed legendary (and so was the Hummingbird Cake!)

S'moreos!
We created something so beautiful, the world let out a collective sigh of awe and longing: the S'moreo;

"Rocky Rose" ice cream
Poppy pastry chef Dana Cree's desserts continued to amaze;

Houdini Bars
We escaped from cake mix mediocrity with the Cake Mix Doctor's Houdini Bar recipe;

Grilled Cheesecake Sandwich
Grilled cheesecake sandwich. Need I say more?

Huckleberry bar
A blissful huckleberry bar cookie was discovered at a Montana rest stop;

Little Debbie Death Match
We, like, totally killed some Little Debbie Cakes;

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar, Ciao for Now, NYC
Ciao For Now offered up an absolutely tantalizing peanut butter and jelly bar;

Halloween Treats!
Some said these babies were too sweet, but I said "more for me" and finished the entire pan...

Colossal Crumb Cake
The only regret about the colossal crumb cake from Ocean Grove Bake Shop is that it had to end;

Cranberry walnut bar, Alliance Bakery, Chicago
At the Alliance Bakery in Chicago, the Cranberry Walnut Bar offered sweet, tart, and totally rich flavor;

Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart with homemade brandy whipped cream
Combining Ina Garten and Tom Douglas recipes resulted in awesomeness (oh, and pie) squared;

Piggie loves Apple Pie Bars
Caramel apple pie bars for those who don't like fruit to invade on their streusel-and-crust experience;

Cookie Cake Pie
And of course, who could forget the #1 most popular CakeSpy post of 2009--we all got a little fatter (but happier too) with the advent of the Age of the Cookie Cake Pie.

Friday
Dec182009

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Holiday Recipes!

Holidays at Trophy Cupcakes
Christmas is just a week away--which begs the question, why don't you have something sweet in your mouth, right now? Here's a batch of sweet ideas to get you baking!

Doughnut stop believing: these doughnut snowmen are an adorable way to justify eating four doughnuts at once!

These s'mores cookies by Lovin in the Oven look ooey, gooey, and pretty perfect (pictured below).

Utziger Haselnuss Leckerli via Petit Atelier Cuisine. Try and say that three times fast. Better yet, don't--just eat them up.

RecipeGirl's chocolate mint filled cookies are a rich (yet refreshing) delight.

Iced Eggnog Cookies by Cookie Madness: yes, yes, yes!

Maple bacon chocolate chip cookies by Food Blogga: she's pretty much covered all the bases here.

Because tiny things are cute: mini gingerbread houses by Not Martha.

Gingerbread Cupcakes on Martha Stewart: you know you want some.

Dulce de leche cashew thumbprints by Peabody. Doesn't the thought just make you shiver with happiness?

Bring on the figgy pudding with this recipe from Dorie Greenspan.

If you're feeling ambitious, why not give this cassata recipe a go?

Gingerbread Mad Men by yours truly: possibly a new classic.

Decidedly NOT gingerbread: a house made of chocolate and bacon to keep Santa fat and happy.
Holiday Baking Ideas!

Thursday
Nov052009

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Bakery Cupcake Recipe Links!

Cuppies waiting in line at the Magnolia Bakery
Want to bake like a pro? Here is a sweet collection of recipes from some of the nation's best cupcake bakeries!

Buttercup Bake Shop in NYC: Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Magnolia Bakery in NYC: Their classic vanilla cupcakes!

Sprinkles Cupcakes in LA (and others): Strawberry cupcakes to dream about.

Sweet Revenge in NYC: The "Pure" Cupcake pairs perfectly with Pinot Noir (via Behind the Burner)

Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle: their legendary Chocolate Graham Cracker cupcakes, as featured on Martha Stewart!

Back in the Day Bakery: this old-fashioned cupcake recipe is super-easy, and was featured on Paula Deen.

Billy's Bakery in NYC: their celebrated chocolate cupcake recipe.

Cupcake Cafe in NYC: these buttery and not-too-sweet cupcakes are an aquired taste...but I've sure acquired the taste.

Auntie Em's in LA: What throwdown? These coconut cupcakes are a keeper.

How Sweet It Is in NYC: Mexican Chocolate-Pudding Filled Cupcakes! Sounds like a fiesta!

Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica, CA: Meyer lemon raspberry cupcakes. Yes!

Friday
Oct302009

Baker's Dozen: A Sweet Batch of Halloween Links!

Mellowcreme strikes back!
Trick or Sweet! Here is a batch of sweet Halloween links full of ideas ghoulishly delicious ideas and recipes, some from the CakeSpy archives and some from other sweet spots around the web:

Homemade Candy Corn

What happens to Halloween Candy when it dies?

Wicked Witch's hat: a super elaborate popcorn ball (and cute Halloween recipe!)

Candy Corn Nanaimo Bars

Putting the "fun" back in Fun-Size Candies!

Mellowcreme Strikes Back!

Quick and easy ghost cookies, using nutter butter cookies!

Sweet coconut-orange thumbprint cookies are delicious, and a perfect quick cookie for a Halloween party!

Ghoulish Halloween Cupcakes!

Cereal Killer: Reese's Puffs bars with buttercream frosting!

Sweet (and cute!) Dracula Cookies!

Oogly Butterfinger eyeballs!

It may not scream "Halloween"--but this four-layer pumpkin cake would make anyone's October 31 sweet.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday
Oct172009

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Brown Butter Links!

Bread and Butter
Gourmet may be on its way out, but it's certainly leaving a legacy of deliciousness. And in the most recent issue, their feature on brown butter (most notably how it makes cake more delicious) sure made a lasting impression. Here's a collection of links to tempt palates and feed the hunger for sweet knowledge about brown butter:

First things first: an explanation of what brown butter is and how to make it.

Of course, the aforementioned delectable-looking brown butter pound cake from Gourmet.

Brown Butter Cookie Co. specializes in Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookies.

Oh, and if you wanted your own brown butter cookie recipe, Gourmet also has you covered. (RIP Gourmet!)

For the sophisticate, how about a hazelnut brown butter cake, via Smitten Kitchen?

And for more pinkies-out deliciousness, a caramelized apple tart in a browned butter custard, via RecipeGirl.

Cool off with brown butter ice cream, via Chez Pim.

Experience delicious overload with Browned butter scotch pie, via Desert Candy.

Dress up a homey favorite with Brown butter rice krispie treats.

Enjoy a rich and decadent confection with brown butter fudge.

Sophisticated flavor, fun presentation: brown butter blondie pops, via Peanut Butter and Julie

Brown butter icing: just one more reason to love Martha.

Brown butter bacon chocolate chip cookies: sweet (and salty) perfection!

Friday
Oct092009

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links!

Tangerina Cakes
Cupcake cars! Thank you Neiman Marcus for the visual candy. (via Cake Gumshoes Dan and Catherine)

A loving look at dulce de leche, with stunning photos, on Not Without Salt.

You like me, you really like me! CakeSpy is nominated for the Foodbuzz blog awards: vote for me here! (please)

NYC Cupcake ban: So sad!

Yet another reason to love Mark Bittman: The Minimalist makes cake, easily, on a stovetop.

Care for some liquid nitrogen in your ice cream? (via Cake Gumshoe Eric)

A few days late, but it still makes me titter: brownie bandit still at large in Seattle!

Why do I have such a dessert crush on Dana Cree? Because she can make blue cheese ice cream...and make it delicious.

A sweet glimpse at the dessert scene in Buenos Aires: Tangerina Cakes! (pictured top)


English. Toffee. Bars.

 

Doughnuts that are gluten free, and delicious? Gluten Free Taste of Home will make you a believer.

My kind of breakfast: the fluffernutter sandwich from Bouchon Bakery in NYC, as reported by Serious Eats.

Speaking of Bouchon, how about Tartelette's rendition of the SF location's lemon tarts?

 

Friday
Oct022009

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links!

Links 10.2.09
From top left, clockwise: MKE Cupcake Queen reigns supreme; Coco Cake cutes it up, Cuppie-style; sweet marshmallow witches; delicious Fiadoni. Links below!

Never too early to get started: CakeSpy Holiday Cards are available for pre-order in the newly revamped CakeSpyShop.com!

Simply perfection: double vanilla cupcakes, via Simply Recipes.

Dirty but sweet: in Chicago, Sweet Mandy B's has a delicious-looking Dirt Cup.

Milwaukee Cupcake Alert! CakeSpy buddy Sandy, AKA the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen, makes buttercream waves with Iron Cupcake!

Coffee stencils: because your coffee deserves to be as cute as the cake it's served with!

Like, OMG: Cuppie-ish cupcakes! These look delicious, via Coco Cake.

Cereal deliciousness: check out the General Mills Cereal Spooktacular!

Didn't get to attend the BlogHer conference? Read Not Martha's recap, it's as if you were there!

Kicking off the Halloween Candy season: these Marshmallow Witches on Taste of Home are freaking adorable.

Fiadoni: roughly translated, delicious Italian Pocket Pies.

Salty-sweet, make-your-life-complete, chocolate dulce de leche cupcakes, via JustJenn.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Sprinkles offers some of the sweetest cupcakes for the cause the first week of the month.

Are cupcake lovers seeking eternal childhood? Newsweek investigates.

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