Sunday, February 24, 2013

salty & sweet

we have a birthday tradition at work, a fun takeout lunch and cupcakes. not elaborate but sweet and really nice. and i bet you're not shocked when i tell you that i always make the birthday cupcakes.

well this week was our fearless leader's birthday and we wanted the cupcake flavor to be a surprise so we sought the advice of our leader's adorable daughter with a sneaky text message. so covert, we could be spies i tell you! and the verdict, salted caramel.

fabulous except i've never made salted caramel, in fact i've never even had one. hard to believe that with the millions of cupcakes i've eaten that i've never tried a salted caramel one but it's true. (yeah i said millions but this is a judgement free zone, thank you). so that's where the amazing brown eyed baker comes in. i found her site thanks to pinterest and her recipe didn't disappoint.

the birthday girl (and everyone else, including me) enjoyed the cupcakes very much! it's a great chocolate cupcake recipe, very moist and not too rich which is perfect with such a sweet frosting. and a great caramel frosting too, however i have to admit i cheated on the caramel. after burning my first 2 batches of caramel, i melted a bag of kraft caramels, added some cream & pretty grey salt and ta-da, had my salted caramel sauce. apparently learning to make caramel sauce from scratch is going on my 2013 list.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

cookie #11: petticoat tails

this is a simple & easy, slice & bake shortbread recipe!

-2 cups butter or margarine
-2 cups sifted powdered sugar
-2 tsp flavoring (vanilla, almond or wintergreen)
-4 1/2 cups flour
-1/2 tsp salt

mix butter, sugar and flavoring thoroughly. measure flour by dipping or sifting. mix flour and salt; stir in. mix with hands. mold into rolls about 2" across. wrap in wax paper; chill several hours or overnight.

heat over to 400. cut slices about 1/8" thick. place a little apart on ungreased cookie sheet. bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

my notes:
i baked my first dozen plain and then i rolled my dough in sprinkles! everything is better with sprinkles right? it just seemed fun. and they are just delicious, loved by my husband, my mom & my coworkers. this recipe is a keeper!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


photo from
working on a new project with this beautiful polka dot lace. hope you're doing something fun tonight too!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

cookie #10: golden nuggets

these sweet & chewy cookies come from the "cookies that travel" section of my betty crocker's cooky book. and while i can count on one hand (well one finger really,) the number of times i've shipped cookies in the mail, it's always good to know.

-1 cup dried apricots
-1/2 cup water
-1 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp almond flavoring
-1 3/4 flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 1/2 to 2 cups flaked coconut
toasted almonds

cook apricots in water over low heat 5 to 10 minutes (water should be absorbed). cool. mix shortening and sugars until fluffy. add egg, flavorings and apricots. measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. mix flour, baking powder and salt; stir in. chill dough several hours.

heat over to 350. drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough into coconut to coat. place 2" apart on lightly greased baking sheet. top with an almond. bake 12 to 15 minutes. makes 6 dozen cookies.

my notes:
it was my first time making these golden nuggets, i had to skip the almonds because i'm allergic but besides that i followed the recipe exactly (i even used shortening for once) and i really loved these cookies! they were a huge hit with my husband too! they are sweet & moist, with a nice flavor of coconut & almond like an coconut macaroon. and then there are the wonderful bits of apricot, yummy! i might have to mix up a second batch right away and send them to someone special!