Saturday, April 23, 2011

Amazing Kidlit Cakes

Nothing makes me happier than when my two favorite things come together - Children's Books and Cake! I’m always admiring the work of professionals, particularly when they decide to make cakes about kids books! If you’re not familiar with the hilarious blog “Cake Wrecks” which usually features BAD cakes, it’s time to check it out. Only once a week they share the GOOD instead of the bad. This week they featured creative cake creations made in honor of National Library Week.

See all the amazing cakes here: Cake Wreck’s Feature Kidlit Cakes

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Limey!

The Limey is a slang term for the British, it comes from a term used for sailors in need of lime juice (or citrus) to ward off scurvy. The Limey is also a Steven Soderberg film about a mean ass-kickin' Brit out for revenge. Well, my Limey (my key lime pie limey) is just as mean! Deliciously mean, and ready to kick your lime cravings and scurvy scrapes forever!

I have to make a confession before we get to far into this post. The above key lime pie photo is not of the pie I made. *Gasp!* I know, it's hard to swallow. The truth is I baked five (yes, five) key lime pies in the month of January. You'd think with five opportunities one would manage to snap a single shot. But the real truth is that this pie recipe is so mean and so delicious that each pretty pie was deliciously devoured before photos could be fetched. Yes, it's that good! (Not to mention a two month all-you-can-eat supply of limes growing on the tree behind the house).

This recipe is so tasty, and so simple, it will surely swirl a curl into your hair. So, bring out your bad British accent and start zestin' and squeezin those limes. Because in no time you'll have yourself some lovely lip-licous limey pie!

(AKA: The Best Key Lime Pie You Ever Did See...and Eat!)

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (store bought or make your own)
1/2 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (key limes are ideal, but any limes will work)
2 Tablespoons of Lime Zest
1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz.)
4 Egg Yolks

Cool Whip or Whipped Cream
Slices of Lime

1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees.
2. Combine lime juice, zest, condensed milk, and egg yolks in a bowl.
3. Whisk with a stand mixer or hand beater for one minute.
4. Pour mixture into graham cracker crust.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (until set).
6. Chill pie in refrigerator for 2 hours.
7. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with a slice of lime!

Now wasn't that easy?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bringing Home the Biscotti (with Bite!)

Yes, it's true, I've been pretty bad about blogging lately. I'd like to blame it on too much egg nogg and the tsunami of rain that LA has had the past few days, but being cooped up indoors drinking merry delights screams blog-time. So, I must admit laziness, blog-laziness of course. I'm always baking!

I know it's almost Christmas, and waaaaaay too late to give out holiday party snacks ideas, or even great gifts for the giving. So all I can suggest is bookmark this blog for next year, when this lil' Christmas Elf is back on her A-game. (It's new year's resolution time after all...)

In the meantime, here's a fun recipe for Brilliant Biscotti, the kind that's sweet, tangy, and kicks you in the kisser with a surprise bite!

They make great holiday gifts... for next year...

And hey, for extra cool-points, I took the photos for this blog post all by myself! (Sure, maybe I got a few tips from my photographer boyfriend, but these photos are all me!). Yee Haw!

Cracked Pepper, Dried Cherry, and Chocolate Chip Biscotti
(Makes about 3 dozen pieces)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups dried cherries
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


1) Position one rack in the center of the oven and another rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2) In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

4) With the mixer on low speed, add the sifted ingredients in two batches, beating after each addition until the flour disappears. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cherries, chocolate, and pepper. (Note: if you don't have a pepper grinder, you can crush pepper corns with the flat side of a butter knife).

5) Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough will be a bit sticky. Divide the dough in half. With floured hands, roll each half into a log 1 1/2 inches thick and about 15 inches long. Place both logs about three inches apart on a nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until lightly firm to the touch (about 25 minutes). Remove from the oven and let sit for ten minutes.

6) Place one log on a cutting board. With a sharp serrated knife and using a sawing motion, carefully cut the log on a slight diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the slices on their sides on their sides on the baking sheet. Repeat with the second log, using an additional baking sheet (if needed). Bake until dried out and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Turn each slice over and bake until lightly golden, about ten minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

7) To decorate, place five or six pieces of biscotti in a cellophane bag and tie with paper raffia/ribbon. (Bags and raffia can be found in a local craft store).

8) Share and be merry!


My long haired long term boyfriend and I sent out the following Christmas card last year. It seemed appropriate for this baking blog! Happy Holidays!

All the photos were taken by my boyfriend. Check out this year's card and other great photos at: or

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Extravaganza!

Have you recovered from your Halloween candy coma yet?

Well if you haven't, then steer clear of this post because it may make your sweet tooth start to scream! Yes, I hosted a spooky Halloween soiree this year and of course this little baking bug went into hyper-drive. So here's a sweet sampling of some of the delectable and deeeelicious treats I made for the party (and the silly names my friends and I made for them). Trick-or-Treat!

The spook- tacular snack spread!

Chocolate Black Widow Bites! They're mini chocolate cupcakes with black sprinkles and black licorice strings for legs. Arachni-fabulous!

Vanilla Monster Cupcakes! Faces are made with various candies including mini-marshmallows, black and red licorice strings, gum drops, jelly beans, and sour candy tape.

The sweets table!

Bloody Blackbird Pie with Fingernail Crust! Disgusting (or deeeelicious). It's really a Blueberry Pie. The crust is colored with burgundy gel food coloring and black sprinkles. The fingers are fake, and came from a Halloween party shop. Almond slivers are used for the fingernail crust.

Lady Ga Ga (Me!) serves up some finger-lickin- good pie!

Magnum P.I. has a new case to crack - there's a finger in his pie! Now where's the dead body?

Would you like some Vanilla Phlegm Brulee? Ask Lady Ga Ga to get out her blow torch and serve you up this snotty sweet!

There's a spider in my Phlegm Brulee! Hot Nurse and Chilean Miner don't care, they still want to give it a try!

Ghost Sugar Cookies (made with real kitten tears)!

Russell's Heart, made of cherry jell-o smashed to smithereens! Love hurts!

Lime green Wobbly Brains! J-E-L-L-O!

Are you thirsty? Maybe you'd like some Blood, or a sip of our home made Vampire Blend (made of 50% 0-Negative, 20% AB-Positive, and 30% B-Negative). Perhaps Warewolf Urine is more your style. Watching your witchy figure? Try out some healthy Unicorn Plasma, it's antioxidant rich!

Feeling cheesy? How about some Skin-Wrapped Brie, Bloody Vampire Chevre, or the Franken-Fungus!

We got these flown in special for the party. It's hard to get pickled Monster Members, Dill Pygmy Peckers, Goblin Balls, Sweet Hobbit Knobs, and my favorite the Spicy Warewolf Testicles.

No Halloween party is complete without a little Festive Maggot Salad!

Devil's Eggs!

Get daring and dip your fried banshee tongues and fairy wings into a little Pico de Vomit, Persian Zombie Puss, or Monkey Poo!

I hope your Halloween was as tasty as ours!

A special thanks to Russell Gearhart Photography for the fantastic photos, and for donating his Jell-o heart for our fabulous feast! See all the creative costumes our guest wore at the Russell Gearhart Photography Facebook Page! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Star-tastic Blueberry Pie

With Halloween just around the corner I thought I'd do a blog post about...


Okay, pie has nothing to do with Halloween. Except I will be making some spook-tacular finger nail pie in the next week. Not to mention the harry arachnid cupcakes and the snot brulee. But lets not get ahead of ourselves.

In the meantime, lets think pie, blueberry pie. Or more accurately lets think STAR-TASTIC blueberry pie! Sure this pie is screaming 4th of July, but really stars are not only for those who are patriotic. And frankly, you can be patriotic all year round (even on Halloween). Particularly if pie is involved!

(makes one pie)

1 recipe Pate Brisee
6 cups of blueberries
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter (cut in pieces)
1 egg
1 tbsp milk

1) Make one recipe of Pate Brisee for the pie dough.
2) Mix berries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
3) Put pie crust in bottom of pie pan, then fill with berry mixture and dot with butter.
4) Cover with second crust. To make it star-tacular, cut stars out of the crust with a star-shaped cookie cutter. Adorn crust with star shapes you've cut out.
5) Chill pie for 30 min.
6) While pie is chilling pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
7) Whisk egg and milk together and glaze the top of the pie.
8) Bake pie for 20 min at 425 degrees. Then turn temperature down to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 30 to 40 minutes.
9) Eat!!!

Star-tacular thanks to Russell Gearhart Photography for the star quality photographs!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Name is Brulee, Creme Brulee

If James Bond had a favorite dessert, I bet it would be Creme Brulee. The man is a sexy international spy, so it's only natural that he would desire something sophisticated and irresistible, (which of course also requires a blow torch). The name's Brulee, Creme Brulee! *Cue James Bond music, followed by an extensive car chase and million dollar explosions.*

That's right, now we're baking dangerously.

Okay, despite the set up, Creme Brulee is actually not that difficult to make. Yes, it does require a blow torch. But if a huge flame-o-phob like me can get over it (with much prodding by my long haired long term boyfriend) then so can you. Follow these simple steps and you just might find yourself in Her Majesties secret baking service. They call me double-O Cupcake, baby!

Classic Creme Brulee

(Serves 8)

1 quart heavy cream (this is the key ingredient so don't skimp on it. I buy the fancy organic stuff, and boy does it make a difference in the flavor!)
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar (for the baking)
1/2 cup sugar (for the brulee-ing)
6 large egg yolks

Blow Torch (I use one from Home Depot, it's cheaper than the fancy-shmancy baby ones at the kitchen boutiques, and works just as well. Plus it makes you look hard core!)
8 Ramekins


1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Place ramekins into one or two deep cake tins or casserole dishes.
3) Heat cream and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan at a medium-high temperature. Bring to a boil, and then remove pan from heat, cover, and let cream sit for 15 minutes.
4) In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of sugar and egg yolks until light in color.
5) Stirring constantly, slowly add the cream to the bowl.
6) Pour or ladle the mixture into the 8 oz. ramekins.
7) Create a water bath by filling the cake tins/casserole dishes with water so that the water is about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
8) Bake the ramekins in the water bath for 40 to 45 minutes. The tops of the custards should wobble a bit. Be very careful when you remove the pans as the water will be very hot.
9) Let ramekins cool in the water bath for about 10 minutes.
10) Place ramekins in the fridge and let cool for a minimum of 2 hours.
11) When ready to serve, remove ramekins from fridge and sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top of the custard (about 1/8 of an inch thick).

12) Flip a bowl upside down (or an unused ramekin) and place the custard you wish to brulee on top of it.

13) Fire up the torch baby!

14) With the flame about one inch long, hold the flame about 1/2 an inch to one inch above the sugared top of the custard. You will see the sugar bubble and melt. Slowly move through the whole custard so the top is melted in all areas. Take your time, it may take a minute or so.

15) Garnish with fresh berries or chocolate bits, and serve immediately!

Mmmm Mmmmm Good!

A fantastic shout out to Russell Gearhart Photography for documenting this process and for not catching on fire!