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Entries in recipes (675)


Whole Grain Bread, Plain and Simple

Based on my recent posts, you'd think I just discovered bread. Well, I suppose I have. 

Typically a "now and again" breadmaker, I've begun to appreciate baking a loaf or two per week for my household. Not only is the taste very, very good, but there's a sense of accomplishment that I get from baking my own bread, and having the bread I baked in the house, that really can't be beat.

I have experimented further with my honey-wheat loaf and have come up with an even grainier variation, since I still had some of that hot cereal I used to make healthy-ish cookie bars

This bread is ever so slightly crumblier on the edges than its counterpart, but it still holds its shape for sandwiches or slicing, and has a nutty, wholesome flavor that is absolutely perfect when served warm.

Whole grain bread at home!

My favorite way of serving it? With a healthy pat of sweet cream butter and a sprinkling of sea salt (for some reason, unsalted butter with salt is a whole different thing than salted butter). This recipe is worth having on hand for your winter baking!

Whole grain bread at home!

Whole Grain Bread

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Yield: 1 large loaf 

  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill hot cereal
  • 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk granules


  1. Combine the water and yeast. Once the yeast begins to bubble lightly, proceed.
  2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients with the yeast mixture in the order listed.
  3. Knead, either by hand with a dough scraper or with a stand mixer, until it has progressed past a shaggy texture to a solid, slightly sticky mass. This can take up to 5 minutes by hand; less when using a mixer. It will never quite take on the smooth elasticity of the honey-wheat variation of this bread, but the extra moisture is necessary as the whole grains will absorb it. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise at room temperature until it’s quite puffy and doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Gently deflate the dough with your hand (a gentle pressing, not a knockout punch), and shape it into a fat 9″ log (it may still be slightly sticky; I used lightly oiled hands). Place it in a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  5. Cover the pan, and let the dough rise for 2 hours or even overnight, or until it has formed a crown which extends 1 inch or slightly more over the rim of the pan. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  6. Bake the bread uncovered for 20 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is golden brown on top, and when knocked lightly, yields a slightly hollow sound.
  7. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool. Go ahead, give it a taste if you can’t resist (who can resist warm bread?). When completely cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature. 

Do you prefer salted or unsalted butter on your bread?


Be Healthy: Pumpkin Pie Juice Recipe

It's a funny thing about juicing.

I can always tell when someone has gotten into it, because (if you'll excuse me) they won't shut up about it. They start to resemble frankenstein robots to me: "My green juice makes me feel aliiiiive!" 

Oh, you know who you are.

But when Williams-Sonoma contacted me and was all "hey, want to make a juice recipe?" I was all, "OK. Can I use dairy?". What I should have asked is if they would pay me. Turns out they're not, but all they asked is that I mention their  juicer and blender  resources. So there you go!

But they did answer regarding the dairy, in the affirmative. So I decided straightaway that this dairy would be thick, creamy, whole milk, and that it would go into creating what I call Pumpkin Pie Juice.

It has all the flavorings that make pumpkin pie great, but because it is juice, it can be classified as healthy. I'll happily sip this while you enjoy that green juice, you zombie!

Note: if you wanna be really naughty, add a couple scoops of ice cream. YEAH!

Pumpkin Pie Juice

2 servings. Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of pumpkin, chopped up into 1-inch chunks 
  • 1 1/2 cups of apple juice (or use milk if you like it really milky!)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (more or less to your liking)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • more pumpkin pie spice, to garnish (if desired)


  1. Put the pumpkin, apple juice, honey, and pumpkin pie spice in a powerful blender. Set on the juice or blend setting, and blend until it has formed a thick liquid slurry.
  2. You're going to have to froth the milk now. If you, like me, own a milk frother (I AM SO FANCY!), go ahead and put it in your frother and froth until it's nice and firm and frothy. No frother? I included some tips for microwave frothing in this post!
  3. Divide the juice into two cups. Top each with a nice "head" of milk foam. Garnish with more spice, if you wanna.

Enjoy being healthy!


Homemade Grapefruit Soda

Grapefruit Slice

Grapefruit via Flickr member danzen

I am a seltzer FIEND. This is a fact.

So when Cascade Ice offered to send me some samples of their new flavored sparkling water line, I was happy to try them out. 

Very-very-very happily, one of the new flavors is grapefruit--I think this tart flavor is beautifully suited to sparkling water.

Of course, it's even better when you sweeten it up a bit. Here's a recipe for an easy homemade grapefruit syrup which you can mix into your seltzer as desired for a sweet "better than soda" treat! 

Homemade Grapefruit Soda

  • 4 ruby grapefuits, juiced 
  • Zest from said grapefruits
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • seltzer
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the grapefruit juice, zest, and honey. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by a third, stirring frequently. 
  2. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. It will become quite viscous. Strain the syrup through a cheesecloth or fine strainer to remove any large zest or pulp debris. Let cool completely, and put in a jar or airtight container to keep in the fridge. 
  3. To enjoy your soda, combine 1 part syrup with about 3 parts sparkling grapefruit water. You can increase the syrup ratio if you like it sweet. Either stir, or shake (in a covered container!) to combine. 

What's your favorite sweet beverage?


Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tarts

Hazelnut truffle cups

Don't these little treats look darling? They taste just as good, since they're made with the following: chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate hazelnut spread, sweetened condensed milk, and hazelnuts. The cherry on top is what kills me, though! Recipe via Doris Rizza of Scottdale, Pennsylvania.

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tarts

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Min
  • Makes: 24 tarts


  • 1 roll Pillsbury™ refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 3/4 cup Jif® Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
  • 1/2 cup Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk (from 14-oz can)
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 12 maraschino cherries, halved, well drained


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with Crisco® Butter Flavor or Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  2. Shape dough into 24 (1 1/4-inch) balls. Place 1 ball in each muffin cup. Bake 8 to 16 minutes or until light golden brown. Do not over bake.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix hazelnut spread, condensed milk and hazelnuts until well blended. Shape into 24 (1-inch) balls.
  4. Remove cookie cups from oven; cool 1 minute. Place 1 hazelnut ball in each cookie cup; press lightly. Top each with 1 maraschino cherry half. Cool completely in pan 30 minutes. Loosen with tip of knife; gently remove from pan. Store covered.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.


Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

It's pretty safe to say I am obsessed with this recipe.

It includes all of the major food groups: carbs, chocolate, salt, and peanut butter. What's missing? Cream? Nope, they have that too. They have everything, delivered in twisty-turny-yoga-pose-pretzel form.

It's super sweet too that the recipe comes from Elizabeth Bennett of Seattle, Washington--my former hometown!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

  • Prep Time: 25 Min
  • Total Time: 45 Min
  • Makes: 6 pretzels


  • 3/4cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated original breadsticks (12 breadsticks)
  • 1egg yolk


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar, peanut butter, cocoa, whipping cream and vanilla until well blended. Unroll dough on work surface; separate into 12 breadsticks. Pinch ends of 2 breadsticks together; repeat with remaining dough to make 6 long breadsticks. Press each breadstick to form 12x2-inch strip.
  3. Divide chocolate mixture into 12 equal portions, about 1 rounded tablespoon each. Roll each portion into 6-inch long rope. Place 2 ropes down center of each breadstick strip. Fold dough lengthwise over chocolate ropes; press edges firmly to seal. Stretch each breadstick slightly. Shape rope into U-shape; cross ends, and place over bottom of U to form pretzel shape. Place seam side down on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chocolate ropes and breadstick strips.
  4. In small bowl, mix egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water with fork. Lightly brush egg mixture over pretzels; sprinkle each with a pinch of kosher salt.
  5. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.


Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate-Almond Butter Turtles

Turtles - Pillsbury BakeOff

Seriously. Don't these sweet little things look like sweet morsels of pure magic?

Credit for these sweet little treats goes to Christine Southard of Noble, Oklahoma, who will be attending the Bake-Off next week!

Chocolate-Almond Butter Turtles

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 10 Min
  • Makes: 24 cookies


  • 1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 2/3 cup crunchy almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
  • 24 caramels, unwrapped
  • 24 milk or dark chocolate-covered almonds


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften.
  2. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add almond butter and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon, or knead with hands until well blended. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  3. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth. Spoon and spread 1 teaspoon chocolate on each cookie.
  4. In another small microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and 1 1/2 teaspoons water uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring once, until caramels can be stirred smooth. Spoon about 1 teaspoon caramel in center of each cookie; top with almond. Store covered.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.


Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Golden Fruit Brioche Rolls

Brioche rolls - bake-off

I love making people think I'm all fancy in the kitchen when really, I've just lazed around all day and baked something awesome in just 15 minutes. This clever recipe by Christine Wilson of Sellersville, Pennsylvania only takes 15 minutes to make, 45 minutes total (much of that is inactive, though). That means even if you've been watching Mad Men all night and just woke up, you could still get these together in time for brunch. WOO!

Golden Fruit Brioche Rolls

  • Prep Time: 15 Min
  • Total Time: 45 Min
  • Makes: 12 rolls


  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated crusty French loaf
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup whipped butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  2. In medium bowl, pour 1 cup boiling water over apricots and raisins. Let stand 5 minutes; drain.
  3. Lightly sprinkle work surface with Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour. Remove dough from can; cut 2-inch piece from one end; set aside. Cut remaining dough into 12 (3/4-inch thick) slices; press each slice to form 2 1/2–inch round. Spoon rounded teaspoonful of apricot mixture onto center of each round. Bring dough up around filling to cover completely; pinch edges together to seal; shape into ball. Place 1 ball seam side down in each muffin cup.
  4. Cut reserved 2-inch piece of dough into 3 (about 3/4-inch) slices. Cut each slice into quarters; roll into balls. Place 1 ball on top of dough in each muffin cup; press in lightly. Brush with beaten egg. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix butter, honey and orange extract until well blended. Serve warm brioche with orange honey butter.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.


How to Make a Classic Sandwich Bread Loaf

This is the bread that kicked off my recent bread-making obsession. It's so simple you might start making fresh bread weekly, like I have been!! Once you master this one, you'll also want to try my honey-wheat variation.

Full recipe and photo tutorial here. 


Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chewy Gingersnaps with White Chocolate Drizzle

Who says that ginger cookies have to be snappy? These ones are soft, and in the best way possible. It makes them all the better to cuddle up with on a cold night with a cup of cocoa!

This yummy recipe is courtesy of Michele Kusma of Columbus, Ohio. Good luck at the Bake-Off!

Chewy Gingersnaps with White Chocolate Drizzle 

  • Prep Time: 20 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 45 Min
  • Makes: 30 cookies


  • 1 container Pillsbury Gluten Free refrigerated pie and pastry dough
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup white vanilla baking chips


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften.
  2. In large bowl, break up dough. Add remaining ingredients except baking chips. Mix with electric mixer on medium-low speed about 2 minutes or until well blended.
  3. Shape dough into 30 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Place 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets (dark cookie sheets not recommended); flatten with fingers into 2-inch rounds.
  4. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 4 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth.
  6. Place in small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut off tiny corner of bag; squeeze bag to drizzle melted baking chips over cooled cookies. Store covered.

About this post: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off events, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.


Sugar Cookie Dough Cups from Dessert Mash-Ups

I felt a shiver of excitement upon receiving a review copy of the new book Dessert Mashups by Dorothy Kern of Crazy For Crust (a site well worth checking out if you ask me). Before I even opened the book, I already loved the concept. Upon opening it, I just got more excited: s'mores cakes, cheesecake cookie dough truffles, carrot cake-coffee cake...the tasty mashups prove that if some is good, more is amazing (something I have long suspected).

Basically, I'm going to tell you that if you liked my first book, CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life, then you absolutely need to buy Dessert Mashups

In case I haven't made myself clear enough, I'll bring the point home with an excerpt from the book, for sugar cookie dough cups. This excerpt, including headnote and photo, is reprinted with permission from Ulysses Press. Thanks dudes!

Sugar Cookie Dough Cups

My father-in-law was a sugar-cookie fanatic. Every Christmas I’d make our family sugar cookies and I’d have to make him his own extra batch so he wouldn’t eat all of ours (and he would have!). Over the years I started making lots of other sugar-cookie treats, from bars to candy, to give him for every holiday and birthday. I made these in his memory, and I know that he would have loved them (and eaten them all without gaining an ounce).

  • Yield 12
  • Prep Time 45 minutes
  • Chill Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons whole milk
  • 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 to 16 ounces vanilla-flavored melting chocolate
  • Sprinkles (optional)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla, milk, and flour.
  2. Form the dough into a disk. Place between two sheets of waxed paper on a cutting board. Roll out to 1⁄4 inch thick. I like to peel the waxed paper off the top, then flip the dough over and peel it off the bottom after every few rolls so that it doesn’t stick. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut 24 circles of dough, rerolling as necessary. Place half the dough rounds on top of the other half, for a total of 12. Refrigerate until ready to assemble cups.
  4. Melt the melting chocolate according to the package directions. (See Candy Dipping Tips.)
  5. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of melting chocolate into the bottom of each liner, enough to coat the bottom. Tap the pan to settle the candy and release any air bubbles.
  6. Place one cookie dough round in each muffin liner. Top with
1 to 2 tablespoons more melting chocolate, spreading as necessary to make sure that the two edges of chocolate meet. Tap the pan again to release air bubbles. Top with sprinkles. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. These can also be frozen.
  7. Tip: These are a big dose of sweet! To make them more bite-size, use a mini muffin pan, with mini muffin liners and a 1-inch round cookie cutter. You can also make these with your favorite flavor of cookie dough. Just substitute 1 tablespoon of milk for each egg called for in the recipe to make an eggless cookie dough, and you can omit any leavening that is called for. Use vanilla or chocolate candy melts, depending on your cookie dough flavor.

Someone come over my house, because I feel like I could eat the whole batch!

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