Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Star Wars Cookies Part 2

Theo took a looong time deciding what he wanted for his birthday snack at school. He weighed all the options and considered his favorite foods (chocolate chip cookies and caramel popcorn were also contenders) before deciding on Star Wars cookies. (Forgive the terrible lighting ... these were the product of post-bedtime baking.)

Notice some new friends? I was fortunate to get the second set of cutters for my birthday ... just in time to make cookies for my favorite 9-year-old's birthday. (There's a set of vehicles, too, but I don't think they are nearly as fun.) I usually make these with almond flavoring, but there's a nut allergy in Theo's class, and I wasn't sure how severe, so I decided to play it safe. Turns out, these are just as good with vanilla flavoring.

Leftover dough made some tie-dye friends yet again. Most popular shape with the 4th graders? Yoda, it was.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Baking Monday - Brown Sugar Cupcakes

Another fun fall-ish recipe from Martha Stewart. The recipe says poundcakes, but these were definitely more cupcake-like in texture. I used the half-portion recipe found here.

The frosting recipe called for browned butter - very yummy. I stopped for about 10 minutes halfway through the frosting process to take Clark on a playdate. When I returned, the texture of the icing had changed from smooth and glossy (see below, right) to shiny and bumpy (below, left). Bummer!

These were one of Jeff's favorites - super buttery. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Baking Monday - Apple Cider Mini Muffins

Fall is in the air! It was just the teeniest bit chilly today, time for jackets. We picked our first apples of the season. And yesterday, we stopped for cider and donuts, so there was cider on hand to make these autumn-inspired treats. The recipe has a long list of ingredients, but nothing too complicated, including apple sauce substituting for apple butter. I will definitely try them with half whole wheat flour next time (and there will be a next time, Dora and Theo loved these!) and will go easier on the cinnamon-sugar coating ... a light dusting is plenty. Super yum!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baking Monday - Autumn Goodies

So, I'm thankful for word of mouth today! Two years ago, I got an email from someone who was searching online and saw these tiger cookies. She ordered cookies for her son's graduation party, and then again this year for her daughter's party. (And placed the order way back in January - way to go, organized mom!!) One of her co-workers placed an order for another graduation party, and a guest at that party placed an order for her Labor Day party last weekend. (And turns out that she is the aunt of my daughter's best friend ... ah, the fun of a small town!) So, one post turned into four baking orders, which makes me very happy!

I was also very happy when the hostess told me her party was going to be a "Welcome to Fall" theme ... autumn cookies are some of my favorites to decorate. I was really thrilled with how this assortment turned out.

She also ordered cake pops. I had made some (seven dozen!) for the graduation party back in June, and by the time she arrived at the party, there were only two left - both vanilla - and apparently everyone was raving about the chocolate ones, so she ordered all chocolate this time around. It's such a joy to get positive feedback from customers - including my daughter's friend, who told me at school last week: "I had your cookies at my aunt's party and they were delicious!"