Archive for October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Candy Corn Cookies


I am NOT a candy corn kind of gal, which is surprising because I love sugar. 

When I first discovered these cookies on Pinterest, I pinned them, but forgot all about them. A few days before Halloween, I came across The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle's blog and caught her version of these sweet cookies. I loved the chocolate touch she added and followed suit. We made them for my daughter's teachers and, needless to say, they went over better than a kid in a candy store.

Super cute and delicious? You can't ask for anymore than that.

Happy Halloween and Happy Baking!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Disney's 'Ohana Bread Pudding

There are 2 things that drive me crazy about people.

Actually, there are about 1,143 things that drive me crazy about people, but for the sake of this blog, I'll keep it to the two that pertain to this recipe and something that just happened.

The first is when I sell something on Craigslist. 99% of the time, the items I sell are very reasonable and in pristine condition. It grinds me to no end when people try to get my goods for nothing. I was selling a brand new pair of Strawberry Shortcake fleece pajamas - with tags attached, perfect for gift giving as they were thankyouverymuch - for $8. I originally bought them for $17.99, but decided to cut my losses and sell just below half of what I paid since I wasn't going back to that shop I bought them from anytime soon. I had a buyer ask if I would let them go for $3! THREE DOLLARS!?!? Give me a break.

The second is folks is people that don't share recipes. I understand that your Aunt Dottie's 100-year-old soufflé recipe has been the family secret for years, but don't tease me with photos, tell me how delicious it is, let me moan through it, and NOT expect me to ask for the recipe. That's just cruel. In my opinion, recipes are like good advice. They're meant to be shared. Don't be so difficult. I'm not going to sell it and make a million dollars on your recipe...and even if I did, you snooze, you lose. Just kidding. Fortunately, I'm not that kind of person. I'm a lover, not a fighter and it's just not in me to be any other way. 

I first found this recipe online a few years ago. The site I got it from had amazing photos with step by step instructions. What could go wrong? Everything. I was so disappointed. Mine looked nothing like theirs and I'm sure it did not taste the same either. What a waste. Last year, my MIL picked up the cookbook, Delicious Disney, by total coincidence at a garage sale. Guess what was in it? You betcha. This beauty. I did a cartwheel (true story!) When I went back to the site, I realized the author had the posted the incorrect recipe. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened. I get so annoyed because ingredients are not cheap. Some recipes I make can cost up to $20 when all is said and done.

Anyway, I gave it another shot correctly and we all absolutely moaned through it. We love it and it's the only bread pudding I ever make. Even my gluten-intolerant husband can't resist it. He pays for it the next day, but says it's worth every bite.

You may gain 5 pounds eating this dessert, but I assure, it is worth every swear word you will speak when it comes time to put on those skinny jeans for a night out with the girls. 

Recipe adapted and slightly modified from Delicious Disney Cookbook

5 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups whole milk
1 loaf challah bread or egg-style bread (large enough to fill 10 cups)
½ cup crushed, canned pineapple
¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350ºF. In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut bread in ½-inch cubes. I just tear them.

Add bread, pineapple, and coconut to egg mixture. Grease large baking dish with butter. Add bread custard mix to the greased baking dish. 

**The recipe calls to bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. I have found that it was too long and didn’t give the bread pudding it’s pillowy inside that I love.  After several attempts, I found 40 minutes was perfect.  

Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes.

1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup rum - optional

(If you use the rum, the original recipe also calls for 3 bananas to be sliced, added, and flambéed along with the sauce. This creates a sort of Bananas Foster sauce. I make this without both (and prefer it) and it is still - OMG delicious!) 

In a sauce pan, combine dark brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and half of the heavy cream. Using high heat; bring to a rolling boil. Allow mixture to boil 10 minutes and add remaining heavy cream. Let it boil additional minute. Add rum (if using) and vanilla extract. 

If you want to use the bananas, rum, and flambé the sauce, here are the instructions to do so. Amaze your friends and family! I would, but knowing me, I would burn the house down!

Carefully flambé the pan using a long stemmed lighter. Let boil until the flame goes out. Reduce to a simmer and stir with a high heat spatula.

Peel and slice bananas; add them to the caramel sauce. Remove the caramel from the heat and set aside. Place scoop of ice cream on top each portion of bread pudding.

Yields: About 12-14 servings.
Happy Baking!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla Chai Buttercream

It has been 2½ months since I blogged. I know. I'm totally hanging my head in shame, but I can explain. 

First, our best camera broke. 

My husband and I seriously have the WORST luck with technology. You name it - VCR's, DVD players, stereos, cell phones, and more importantly, cameras. They just seem to break. It's frustrating. Our kids have 6 cameras in their toy box - all of which were working at one time. Buying another camera wasn't in the budget when we really need a new roof. The camera we were making do with takes mediocre & grainy photos, so we resorted to taking photos with film for awhile. I know, right? What's film? I can't believe they actually still develop film. Luckily and thankfully for us, they do. 

We finally went out last week and bought one before my baby boy's first birthday. I wasn't risking his special day to a crappy camera or film. I've gotten spoiled with digital and he deserves it.

Aside from being absent photo wise, we've also had a very busy summer and time just got away from me. 

So, I thought I better get cracking. What does one blog after such an absence and just in time for Fall? 

Something with pumpkin. What else?

I'm really sad to see the my flip-flop weather go, but there is nothing like that crisp weather, watching the leaves change colors, and pulling sweaters out of their summer hibernation to officially kick off the baking season.

I'm so giddy with joy I could almost wet myself. 



2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 350º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside. 

In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add pumpkin.

Slowly incorporate wet and dry ingredients together. 

Using a small ice cream scoop with a retractable mechanism, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. 

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble the whoopie pies:

When the cookies have cooled completely, place a dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Add sprinkles if desired.

Yields: About 20 Whoopie Pies.

Happy Baking!

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