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Showing posts from September, 2012

baked brownie

I believe that there is no such thing as a bad brownie, nor is there such thing as "the best" brownie. But there is such a thing as an extremely moist, perfect, delicious, melt-in-your mouth, oh-la-la brownie. Say hello to the Baked brownie.

The recipe comes from Baked NYC, a bakery specializing in All-American baked goods. They make pies, cakes, granola, confections-- however, they are most famous for their brownies. They describe their brownies a  "hovering blissfully between 'cakey' and 'fudgy'." 

I brought these in for the Club Fair to promote the Baking Club (everyone who signed up got to take whatever they wanted from our array of baked goods). Guess what went first? Not the double espresso cupcakes, not the pumpkin bread,  not even the gooey butter cookies! These brownies. My friend Erin ate three before I could even finished putting our poster up! Bewildered little freshman boys started asking for the recipe.  Even my merciless P.E. teache…

banoffee bread

Erika of The Teenage Taste, Abby of Munchin' Mel, and I have started a new project called The Three Ingredient Challenge. Every month, we vote on three ingredients and a category (such as quick breads, cakes, brownies etc.) and see what we come up with! This months ingredients were hazelnuts, toffee, and cocoa. The category was quick breads, muffins and scones.

When we chose the category of quick breads, I knew I had to make banana bread.  I know, anotherbanana bread recipe? Yes. But stay with me... this one is special.

This is not banana bread as you know it; this is banoffee bread, the love-child of mindbogglingly moist banana bread and sinfully delicious banoffee pie.

Banoffee is a clever little portmanteau of the words "banana" and "toffee." Banoffee pie is a big thing across the pond.  It's kind of like banana cream pie, but much better, and British. Two years ago my dad and I shared a big slice of banoffee pie in Leicester Square, and I will never …

apple brownies

Last weekend, we bought some beautiful honeycrisp apples from the farmer’s market. They have been sitting on the counter, looking all shiny and pretty for the past few days. My dad loves apple pie, and now that it is officially fall, I felt that I should bake him one.
However, the thought of making a pie crust on a Tuesday night didn't excite me -- and the thought of using store bought crust for the first pie of the year made me a bit sad. So, I made these apple brownies -- and everyone was excited and no one was sad.

I clipped this recipe from the back of Living. I often find my recipes on Pinterest and other recipe blogs, so I always feel good when I bake something from a clipping or cookbook. It makes me feel a bit old fashioned, a bit rustic, a bit more self-sufficient. Plus, it helps with the "sticky keyboard" issues I often encounter.

These brownies are a cinch to make -- I whipped these brownies up even faster than the chocolate version (dare I say …

pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

I can't get enough of fall baking, and nothing screams fall baking quite like canned pumpkin! I have been dumping it into bars, smoothies, cakes, loaves and everything else I can get my hands on -- because I know that before long, I will have to move on to gingerbread, peppermint and Christmas cookies.

I was planning on making pumpkin spice latte cupcakes; however, something didn't seem right about pumpkin cupcakes without cream cheese frosting. So I ditched the whipped cream frosting and used my absolute favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. I left the espresso powder in the cupcakes -- and it added a subtle, warm flavor to the finished product. The pumpkin, cinnamon, and clove create a tickling, spicy aroma that is uniquely autumnal.

I frosted them with a cute little swirl, and garnished each one with a candy corn. I plan on bringing these to my first baking club meeting on Thursday!
What's your favorite fall flavor?
With love, Erica

pumpkin spice cupcakes

2 2/3 Cups al…

crunchy strawberry wheatgerm pancakes

I know it's no longer strawberry season; however, yesterday my dad came home from the store with a big box of strawberries.

Weekend breakfasts are always a highlight of my week, and I tend to plan of them in advance. I was planning on making something autumn-y -- apple rings, pumpkin pancakes, gingerbread waffles... But that pint of strawberries kept calling my name. So I mixed it into these pancakes.

These pancakes are light and fluffy. Juicy strawberries are packed into every bite, and the hint of vanilla makes them taste like dessert! Despite their dessert-like appearance, these aren't overwhelmingly sweet (making them the perfect thing to pour maple syrup on!). Before flipping, I generously sprinkled each pancake with wheat germ. Not only does this up the health factor, but it adds a delicious crunch to each bite.

With love,

Strawberry Pancakes
Yields 4-6 servings

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla…


Today I wore long sleeves on my morning run, and leaves crinkled under my feet. It's getting cooler around here. When it starts to get chilly, nothing warms the heart quite like ginger and cinnamon.

Ginger has that nice, sharp bite that reminds me of crisp, fall air.
Cinnamon has that warm, homey quality that reminds me of thick, woolen blankets.
When put together in the form of a cookie, they become an unbelievable hybrid of pricklygingersnaps and doughy snickerdoodles. Behold the gingerdoodle. 

The strong flavor of a molasses ginger cookie is countered by the soft, sugary flavor of the snickerdoodle. After being rolled in cinnamon sugar, they are baked until crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. All I want to do is cuddle up in some blanckets, brew a pot of tea and devour some of these soft, chewy cookies for a while.

With love,

P.S. These would be great cookies to make for the holiday season! They are festive and stay chewy for days!

Snickerdoodle Dough 1/2 cup …

everyday vita: an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

apple triangles

When I was in elementary school, I always ate breakfast in the car.
Some of my staples were oatmeal, microwave french toast sticks, and croissants. But my favorite were always apple turnovers. 

My dad would always pick up a box of four at the grocery store bakery. I loved the sweet, cinnamon apples and the coarse, grainy sugar crystals dusted on top.  I loved them so much, that today I made a simple take on them.
I made mine with crisp, delicate phyllo pastry, and filled them with fresh, cinnamon applesauce from the Farmer's Market. If you wanted to get fancy with this recipe -- you could add some freshly diced apples to the sauce. But today, I wanted to keep things simple.

These are flaky, buttery, and delicious. Since they are bite-sized, I can eat four or five in a sitting, and that's totally acceptable. The warm cinnamon-apple flavor is perfect for fall, and reminds me of dad's apple turnovers that I used to eat in the car on the way to school.

With love,


peach ginger muffins

If you look carefully, you can see peaches rolling around in the back of most of my recent photos. These peaches led to this, this, this, and two peachy banana breads. These peaches also led to these cute little peach ginger muffins... and we still have a bunch rolling around on the counter.

These soft, fragrant muffins have the most amazing ginger streusel that packs a delicious crunch into every bite. The sharp, spicy ginger contrasts so nicely against the sweet, plump peach chunks. What makes these muffins even more delectable is the addition of brown butter. Just like in my peach shortbread bars, I browned the butter before adding it to the batter -- giving the muffins a rich, dark, nutty flavor.

These are perfect for breakfasts, snacks, and (my favorite) eating standing up over the oven. These peaches are ripening by the second -- if any of you have any other peachy recipe ideas, shoot them my way!

With love,

6T unsalted butter1/3c milk1 large egg1t vanilla e…

best cinnamon coffee cake

When Izy and I first started e-mailing, I asked her what the best thing she ever baked was.
She sent me the recipe for this coffee cake. 

 I can't believe that I didn't make this coffee cake until now (the recipe has been floating around my kitchen counter for months). But I can believe that this is the best coffee cake I have ever eaten. 

It is a rich, golden cake swirled with sweet ribbons of cinnamon, and topped with a crumbly cinnamon streusel.I wish you could have smelled my kitchen when it came out of the oven. It smelled like heaven as the warmth of cinnamon and butter filled my house.

With love,

Streusel Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup butter, softened

Cinnamon Sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¾ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ cup butter, softened
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/3 c…

pumpkin spice bread

Yesterday I woke up, and things felt different. The air was crisp, the sky was cloudy, and the air smelled a bit like spearmint.  It was the first morning of autumn. I have been waiting for this day for a while now. The kind of cool crisp day that requires a chunky sweater and a warm scarf.  I bought the first can of canned pumpkin of the year. Fall baking has officially begun. 

I wanted to kick off my fall baking with the quintessential pumpkin loaf. This recipe is by no means original, but it is arguably the best. With a whopping 5000+ five star ratings on All Recipes, this pumpkin bread is a surefire winner. It makes your house smell like pumpkin-cinnamon heaven. It's great eaten warm with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. It's also divine when eaten standing up out of the freezer. 

This bread stays moist for days and keeps well in the freezer (it tastes even better after it sits for a day or two). Therefore it's perfect for autumn gift giving. Toss together a fe…