Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baked Blasphemy

Jay, (the boyfriend), and I have a lot of similar likes and dislikes.  The type of cookie we like is NOT one of them.  I like soft, super chewy, salty chocolate chip cookies.  He likes, as painful as it is to say, crispy cookies (dramatic music and thunder in the background).  To me, there is nothing sadder than having a cookie craving, and getting a cookie that makes crunching noises when you eat it.  Normally, I am so heartbroken that I throw it out after one bite.  Crispy cookies are absolutely blasphemous in my world.  But for some bizarre reason, they are my boyfriend's favorite.

I told Jay when we met that I would NEVER allow a crispy cookie to come out of my oven, unless I forgot a batch in the oven and burnt them.  Well, sometimes, people do crazy things for love.  That crazy thing for me was type "crispy chocolate chip cookie recipe" into my search bar yesterday.  Don't worry, fellow bakers and chewy-cookie-lovers, I haven't gone soft, (well, I guess in this place it would be hard), but Jay needed some cheering up.  He is deciding on whether or not to take a new job, and is pretty stressed out about it.  I decided to make him his favorite cookies for support.  (Everyone that knows my distaste for crispy cookies should be applauding my selflessness right now).

Crispy Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Recipe adapted from the Food Network Kitchens
Yield: 24 large cookies

Friday, August 17, 2012

Glitter Everywhere

There is glitter everywhere.  On my face, in my bed, on my floor, on the stairs, in the bathroom, the kitchen, and even on the cake.  That can only mean one thing: it was JoJo's birthday last night.  JoJo is one of my wonderful housemates for the summer, and one of my new favorite people on the planet.  She is one of the most fun-loving, happy-go-lucky people I have ever met in my life, and it is absolutely impossible to be sad or angry around her.  Yesterday was her 29th birthday, and she threw a super dressed-up, glitterfied extravaganza dinner that was so sparkly and over-accessorized that even Queen Elizabeth would be jealous.

Since I went home to NY for a few days, I didn't have too much time to make a super fancy cake with a lot of rare ingredients and flavor combos.  I came home, opened the fridge, and said, "OK- CAKE!"  I still had another 2lb bag of carrots that I needed to eat, so I decided on a simple carrot cake.  Of course, a simple carrot cake wasn't going to fit the theme of the party, or JoJo's sparkling and happy personality, so I dug around in my box of cake supplies and found decorating crystals.  Normally, I would say that glittery sprinkles have NO place on my birthday cakes.  I think they make cakes look tacky and cheap.  They belong on sugar cookies and kids' cupcakes, not a special, custom-made birthday cake.  THIS, however, was the exception.  JoJo's cake NEEDED glitter sprinkles.  No questions asked.  Here is what we got:

Carrot Cake with Raisins and Walnuts and Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens' New Baking Book
Yield: 1 8" double-layer cake

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Carrots and Craziness

As I mentioned in my last post, my life is kind of nuts.  I am super busy with work, trying to find a new job, get everything set for my classes and internship, finish my summer reading, and tie up the loose ends for my new lease in September.  Oh, and I'm also trying to have a tiny bit of a life, and did get to spend the whole weekend in PA with my boyfriend and his sister for a memorial 5k race, so my life isn't all bad.

What is difficult, however, is paying bills.  Since I couldn't find work for 2 months when I moved here, my bank account kind of emptied itself.  Because I am now an adult in the real world (god I miss Wesleyan), I am responsible for paying things like rent and buying groceries with real money.  Being a super saver grocery saver, I love weekly grocery sales.  (The boyfriend thinks I am nuts because I have so much fun looking through grocery coupon catalogs).  Last week, there was a sale on carrots: buy a 2lb bag and get one free!  "Yay!", I thought.  "I love carrots!"  Well, as much as I love carrots, it's kind of hard to go through four lbs by yourself before they go bad.  So I decided I needed to use some of them and bake something.  The following beautiful creation was born:

Semi-healthy Carrot Breakfast Muffins (with coconut flour, walnuts, raisins, and hemp seeds)
Adapted very loosely from my good friend, Betty
Yield: 1 dozen delicious muffins

Business, Busyness, and Blondies

I think I wrote about it in my last post, but I have a new job.  It's kind of exhausting and pretty overwhelming.  I'm not even sure if I like it.  It's emotionally and physically draining, and I go into work every day with the fear I'm going to go home with bruises.  Because of this, I really haven't had a lot of time for baking or blogging, but I have made a few things, so I'll just give you the recipes and give a more formal life update when things calm down.

Nutty Chocolate Chip Blondies (with coconut, walnuts, and peanut butter)
Adapted (to the point where it no longer resembles the original) from The Cookie Bible
Yield: 1 8x8" pan of blondies