Fudge Shoppe...

So one day when I was being crazy...I decided that in between batches of cookies, I should use my time wisely by making a few batches of fudge for a fun post on how you can become your own little fudge shoppe! Now I sit here three weeks (really? wow!) later realizing that I am just now getting around to having time to post about it, and guess what, I am writing this post in between baking a few batches of sugar cookies because I just cannot stop! I have to finish my last idea that I had a month ago when all of this baking madness began and I must finish it before the New Year is upon us!


Christmas Cookies {Last But Not Least}

These may just be some of my favorites...

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Baking...Happier Eating!

Christmas Cookies {Sandwich Cookies, Ornaments, Gifts & Snowflakes}

 to die...

Christmas Cookies {Reindeer, Trees, Penguins, Candy Canes, Holly Leaves}

Christmas Cookies {Santa & Elves}

I was so fortunate this year to get a bunch of Christmas orders and even more lucky to get time off before Christmas so that I could actually accept all of my Christmas orders! I think in total I did 230 Christmas sugar cookies, 12 dozen snickerdoodles, 5 dozen malted chocolate sandwich cookies, and 5 lbs of fudge all in 5 days...needless to say, I was busy! But it was fun! So although I am not a huge fan of just posting pictures...I usually like to say something witty or intelligent (haha) in addition to posting pics, but I am not sure there is much else to say! I only wish I had pictures of my kitchen throughout this process...so awesome, let me tell you! As for my family and friends who were hoping that some of this baking madness would show up in their mailbox...sadly...I am starting a new tradition called New Years (Christmas) gifts. Sorry, there was not a minute to spare and I didn't want your treats sitting in some strange place over the holiday weekend, so it is the thought that matters and that thought is there, but you won't be seeing that thought until next week! Anyway...enjoy some pics!

Holiday Traditions

{sorry all photos were lost in this post}
I was so happy to receive my most favorite holiday treat from my parents last night, in addition to my Christmas tree, that Barry promptly set up. Now, I can officially say I am in the Christmas spirit! In my family, since we have gotten older and each of my siblings and I have lived all over this and other countries, our Holiday traditions are few. Fortunately, few as they may be, they always make me feel the warmth of family and love and despite any amount of bah-humbug-ness, I get into the holiday spirit. One of these dear traditions is the making of Krullers (crullers to some). Krullers are essentially fried dough +/- powdered sugar or glaze and were a popular treat to many European countries. Krullers in my family, I believe came from my paternal grandmother who was Danish, whom I think used to make them when she was younger (maybe?), but in my memory, they were always made by my mom, dad & us kids every Christmas.


Cookie Dilemma

Before I start...dilemma, that is a funny word don't you think. It is one of those words that when you say it, it just sounds odd. Anyway, back to my post, sorry, I am a little scatter brained at times and I figure I may as well share that part of my personality with you all so you can get some insight into me! So why am I here today on my second day of vacation? To discuss sugar cookie recipes of course! Before I start, can I just tell you how phenomenal vacation is, no matter what I do (or don't do), there is something unbelievable about vacation. No where to be, nobody asking me to make decisions and wondering if my decision is in fact the best choice for the situation, no stress, no pager, and best of all-I get to catch up on my many months of sleep deprivation which has been making me a little kookoo these past few days!

So on to the topic of the day...sugar cookie recipes! I was hugely inspired from Sweet Sugarbelle's post on the debate between RI vs glaze frostings. Now this post requires some reader participation from anyone who bakes sugar cookies, and I thank you in advance for your help! So I never put much thought into the recipe I used for sugar cookies, mostly because I believed that sugar cookies are more about looking than eating. But for about the last year and a half, I realize, taste really does matter! So up until the last month or two I always used adorable Marian's recipe from Sweetopia with a few adjustments (more flour), and I absolutely LOVE the taste! It is almost like a shortbread cookie, so buttery and delicious. There are many pros to this cookie in the taste department; however, there is one con...they tend to be a bit fragile and since I tend to ship most of my cookies, this was so heartbreaking to find out they would occasionally break on transit. So I started researching some other recipes and through a fellow blogger friend Amalia @ Cookie Construction she told me she used Pam's recipe at Cookie Crazie. So I gave this recipe a shot. What did I find???
definitely more sturdy
less trips to the store for butter
probably more figure friendly, but since I don't eat my own cookies, I guess that is ok ;)
easy to work with
lighter in color and bakes more evenly
tastes pretty good and the consistency  is light and fluffy
the taste is not quite as taste bud tantalizing

So what is a gal to do? I simply cannot figure out what is more important in a cookie...taste or texture! Let me know what you all think, I would love to hear anyone's opinion on the matter at hand! Hope you are all enjoying your Sunday and like always...Happy Baking...Happier Eating Stay tuned for my post of fudge making, which let me remind you is my FAVORITE holiday treat!!!


12 Dozen Days of Christmas {Part 4}

Last but not least, on the 12th dozen day of Christmas my true love gave to me...a potpourri of Christmas cookies. I made these for my dear friend Carolyn to give as a hostess gift. For this set, I wanted all things Christmas and I think I just about got it. A little more time and I had a couple other ideas, but I think these will suffice!

12 Dozen Days of Christmas {Part 3}

Dozen 9, 10, 11:
My next order was for teacher gifts from a friend that I work with. Here marks my Christmas baking obsession that will continue on until Christmas :) Lots of red and green and of course disco dust and nonpareils! Let me tell you, there is not a place in my kitchen that is not displaying a light layer of red disco dust...it is everywhere!

12 Dozen Days of Christmas {Part 2}

{sorry all pics were lost in this post}
My next two dozen were some repeat players in my repertoire...I made these for a one year old's birthday party. His auntie wanted my monkey and doggie cookies that I made a few weeks ago. Now the doggie cookies I love and hate all at the same time. They seem so ugly to me the whole time I am making them, and then somehow when I finish them, they are oddly cute and then I love them. Well here they are!
Part 3 here we come!

12 Dozen Days of Christmas {Part 1}

The past few days, I have ventured on a little something I am going to call 12 dozen days of Christmas. I was so fortunate to have a handful of orders this week, but they happen to all be due around the same time and since we are headed to Ohio to visit my in-laws, I had to have them all done by today. All 12 dozen that is! So now that I have finished them, I figured I would share the pics to get you in the mood for some Holiday baking!



{Sorry all, the pictures on this post have been lost except two...}
Tis' the season to be engaged! I remember when I got engaged like it was yesterday, totally kidding...I am not that old, it was only 2 years ago. But still...getting engaged is one of those things that etches not only a vision in your mind but also a smell, taste, touch, and overall feeling within you that will always warm you when you think about it. For me, the vision-multi-colored sky grasping onto the sun before the night, the smell-sweet salt from the ocean breeze, the taste-Cakebread sweet white wine and seafood, and the overall feeling-obscenely magical! The only thing better...the wedding day!


Happy Thanksgiving!

The day of thanks and eating is now upon us! We on the West coast are enjoying our afternoon hours-de-ovres while the East coasters are likely deep into their food comas. No matter where you are on this delicious day of Thanksgiving, I hope it is a happy day filled with loved ones, good laughs, great memories, and delicious food. I myself am enjoying a glorious day with my wonderful husband and loving family in 15 degree weather with the sounds of football filling the pie-scented air. What a glorious day it is, and because it is so glorious, I want to share a couple of delicious recipes with you to share with those you love!


It's Beginning To Look...

...a lot like Christmas (in my notes at least)! Although we have Thanksgiving upon us in just a few days, I have clearly abandoned all Fall cookie ideas for those of Christmas. It makes me sad that somehow October and November have fled my life and I think I did all of 2 Fall baking adventures! So sad! I am going to whip up at least one last pumpkin baked good before November is over, I just have to! The thing I love about sugar cookies is that they are so artistic and truly come to life with just a little time and effort. The thing I don't like about them...I can't do my usual creative baking that I LOVE to do. I remember answering a fellow bloggers question one time...something along the lines of would you rather bake or decorate...Truly I am so torn with this question, I honestly cannot answer it! I truly love decorating whether it be cakes cookies or cupcakes, LOVE IT! But I also LOVE just plain ole baking, creating new tastes for my bakes, I can't get enough! So my answer...I'm torn...gun to my head, I cannot answer! How about you?


Whirlwind {Part 2}!

Here are the remaining pics...

Doggie sugar cookie favors for a 3rd birthday...
 Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a lady-bug themed baby shower...
 Happy Baking...Happier Eating!


So I have a little problem...I cannot seem to allow the simple word of 'no' to come out of my lips. I have tried and tried and tried tried tried, it just won't come out and I don't know why! I have been vexed with this my whole life and I blame this condition for why I sleep very little and do very lotta! Truth be told, I love to be super overly busy...it makes me feel alive! I thrive when I have a whole lot to do and little time to do it in! Anyone else like this? I imagine there are many of us crazed with this problem, but that is what makes us who we are right!


Baby Jungle Boogie...

Want to know what I think is cute...a jungle themed baby shower...and guess who got to be involved? Well fortunately my wonderful friend Sarah who was throwing the shower employed her "wishing baking was her day job" friend Linzy to make the cookie favors for the adorable shower she was throwing. I had so much fun doing these favors and I know it sounds a little crazy, and maybe you are thinking I spend a little too much time with sugar, but I can't help but think these cookies each had a little personality of their own! I could not quite figure out which one was my favorite, part of me thinks the elephants, but then I look at the lions and think these are my fave, and then I realize I just love them all! So you tell me, which one is your favorite??? Is it a clean-cut winner or are you like me, totally undecided, totally loving them all!


Pearls Are This Gals Best Friend...

Sugar pearls that is! I love love love using them to decorate all things! They add a touch of sophistication and glam to any baked treat. The only problem is that when you buy them...there are about a million (gross exaggeration) per container. Therefore you can see that if I bought every color I need I would have way to many to handle! So I came up with a great way to get any color you like with minimal time spent. All you need is:
  • white sugar pearls
  • soft paintbrush (clean)
  • liquid or paste food coloring
  • small bowl


Flower on Flour

This past week I saw a new idea on one of the websites I order cookie cutters from so I figured I had to give it a shot. Basically you paint with your royal icing which in turn gives you these great brush lines and transforms your entire look. After seeing an example I figured what better than a flower on flowers? I included some butterflies as well to go with the flowers and used the same technique to texturize (not a word I know) the wings.



Have you ever thought about how many statements/cliches there are about home...
Home is where the heart is.
There's no place like home
Home sweet home.
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Mi casa es su casa!
God bless this house.
Honey I'm home!
Make your house a home...and on and on and on...


Fall's a Hoot!

So here are a couple of cookies I did over the past week with Fall gatherings in mind. My oldest friend, Crystal(not by age but of years of friendship) just turned a very special age and therefore deserved some very special cookies. I picked up this adorable owl cutter a few weeks ago at my favorite baking store and figured this would be the perfect birthday treat!


In My Absence

I have been away all weekend in San Diego at a work conference and my creative juices have been on hold. They are bubbling out of me and I simply must get back in the kitchen! I have some cute cookies I worked on last week and some I am doing this week that I will be posting just as soon as I get caught up after my trip.
Our trip has been great, Barry and I have enjoyed a ton of really good food and I have spent time with my dear friend Sarah who lives down here as well! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at home and therefore have not taken any pics of our lovely trip, bummer!
I just wanted to leave you all with a post that Jamie at Cake Mom posted about my pumpkin sandwich cookies...oh I love pumpkin! Check out my recipe and give it a shot, fall is here and what better way to experience fall than with pumpkin!
Happy Baking...Happier Eating!


Queen Of The Jungle {Baby Shower}

Last weekend I had the pleasure of throwing a baby shower for a girl I work with. Myself and one of my other co-workers organized it and somehow everything turned out great! We decided on the colorful theme of "Queen Of The Jungle" and I couldn't wait to do the cake and cookie favors as I had the perfect idea in mind.


Tested Recipe: New York Cheesecake

I can't believe it has taken me so long to put this post up because I am so overly excited about my latest addition to my kitchen! Yes, that is a bright, shiny, new dreamy kitchen aid stand mixer you are seeing! It is the professional 600 series which packs a lotta punch in comparison to his little brother the Artisan. which has been working his little butt off for the last 8 years! I was so torn getting a new mixer because I LOVE my butter yellow mixer that I have had since college. It has been one of the best gifts! My parents had bought it for me after I finished taking the MCAT and we have been inseparable since! But as my baking grows, I just needed a bit more power and space in my mixing bowl, so naturally I needed to upgrade from the Artisan.


And Then There Were Three...

Babies are such a sweet blessing and having learned through med school about all of the intricacies of embryology, it still blows my mind the miracle each and every baby birth truly is. So this raises the question...if one is a miracle, how about three!?!?  My dear friend Sarah's sister just had triplets so she wanted to send her some sugar cookies for a little push gift.


Crumb Of The Month (September)...Homemade Oreos 2 Ways!

So somehow the months are-a-flyin'-by and I have not been keeping up on my Crumb Of The Month posts. So sorry. For September I am so happy to be posting a delicious, nostalgic treat that I have made in the past with a different recipe and I must say the recipe I used this time...mas delicioso! I must thank Ms. Bridget from Bake at 350, she is splendid, and she had posted the recipe for the scrumptious homemade Oreos a while back.


Cake Decorating 101

Alright you all, I am doing a special tutorial on how to decorate a cake...and by cake I mean a cookie shaped like a cake! These are some special birthday cookies I did and they actually turned out even better than I thought. Unfortunately I was doing them at night therefore my pics are not the best, but you get the point! Let's get started!


Are You Ready For Some FOOTBALL!!!

I had the cutest order this week...footballs! Not just any footballs, but Greenbay Packer footballs for a 12-year olds birthday. Fortunately I have a football obsessed husband who was critiquing my ever design so I could get them to look just perfect, who knew there were differences amongst pro versus college footballs! Not me, that's for sure!


Give-away Winners!

Alright all, time to announce the winners for the $10 gift certificates to Thirty One...
1. Kathleen
2. Loren
Congratulations you two! Carolyn and I will be mailing you each your $10 gift cards. Please be on the lookout for an email from me to get your info.

Kathleen I will need your email address, unfortunately it is not on your comment. I will give until Friday 9/24 to receive your email address, otherwise I will need to chose someone else. Thank you all for entering and supporting Thirty One!

If you would like to place an order remember to contact Carolyn @ carolynstaszak@gmail.com...the Holidays are coming!!!

Happy Baking...Happier Eating!


GIVE-AWAY! (reminder)

My Photo
Just wanted to remind you all that my give-away for Thirty One Gifts is ending on Wednesday. Two gift certificates are up for grabs and so far, the probability of winning is very high, so you better enter! Click here to see the post and the three different ways you can win!


Hello Fall...Meet Apple Pie

So as much as I LOVE to bake, I must say, I do not bake many pies. My husband absolutely loves apple pie, especially in the Fall. So when he bought me an adorable red pie dish, pie crust protector and rolling pin accessories, I was motivated for pie! First of all, please take a look at this oh so cute ceramic pie dish Martha came out with this year (and yes, we are on a first name basis), I just can't get enough of it!

Cutest Ever!

So I think that kids are by far the most adorable things, but even cuter when I have such fond memories with them! I am posting the most adorable kid pic today because it is one of those that will just melt your heart and bring a smile to your face no matter what sort of day you have had...


Sweet Treats!

So I did quite a bit of baking/decorating this weekend, I was having a drought, but now I am replenished, at least until this weekend! So here are a couple of pics of the other cookies I did in addition to the monkeys.


Giveaway: get started on your holiday lists with Thirty One!

Last Friday I received a very special gift in the mail from my friend Carolyn...it was a cute little apron personalized with Sandwich C & C! And where did she get this fabulous find you ask??? Thirty One gifts that is! So this got me to thinking, it is time for a give away! Yay, I hear the cheers!


Happy Birthday To My Favorite 3 Year-old!

I will start by saying that these are my most favorite cookies I have made in a while and this is perfect because the little boy I made them for is my favorite 3 year-old! Well almost, his birthday is Wednesday! His wonderful mom asked me to make him some cookie favors for his birthday party and she had a great idea...she was having his party at a cute little place called My Gym and since the mascot of this little people gym is a monkey, she thought bananas and monkeys would go over great! So I took a look at the gym's monkey mascot and I thought instead of making just any old monkey, why not make it look just like him?


Birthday Wishes!

Wow, August is a busy month for birthdays let me tell you! I have been pretty busy these past two weeks with some very special birthday sweets. I spent the last weekend with friends for a dear friend's birthday in Coronado Beach and we all had such an amazing time. I made a number of things to make the celebration even more special and I think we all met our sweets quota by the end of the weekend. The birthday gal's favorite color is red, so you will notice a bit of red here and there!
This week I was putting together a larger order for another friend whose father-in-law is celebrating his 60th birthday in party fashion and what party is complete without sweets! I made boat-themed sugar cookies and snickerdoodles. Finally this same friend also wanted another smaller order to send to her grandma for her birthday. So, like I said, I have been busy! Here are all of the pics...


Sandwich Meets Sandwich...

A week or two ago, I got an email from a lovely lady, Keri, whom has a really neat blog all about sandwiches, called Sandwich 365! So naturally she wanted our sandwiches to meet and I just found out today that she posted the sweetest post about my blog! So check it out, and check out her site, it is such a fun blog with tons of witty humor and fun facts! Happy Baking, Happier Eating!



Baby Cakes!

Babies are in the air, or in the bellies I guess! Either way everywhere I look there a baby bumps galore! So I made these little baby cake truffles for a girl at work who is pregnant and happens to LOVE cake truffles. They are my vanilla bean cake truffles with little baby faces, and everyone at my work decided that they should be called crack babies (meant in the funniest way of course). Guess that means they were a hit! Short post for now, but I have quite the crafty week and have got to get to my to-do list! Happy Baking...Happier Eating!


The Good Wife...

No not the TV show, but the real thing, me, being a good wife by making my hubs something he can't get enough of...peanut butter & chocolate! Speaking of TV shows, I did get this recipe from one of the wonderful Food Network personalities...the Barefoot Contessa. Yes, I know she has a real name, but I like calling her the Barefoot Contessa much more!


If "one is the lonliest number"...

Thirty must mean you are anything but lonely! Isn't 30 such a wonderful number!?! I must say, as I get closer and closer to that birthday, I like it more and more. But more importantly, 30 is fabulous today because my dearest friend Brook is 30 today, on Friday the 13th, which is even more fab! I wanted to say a very HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to her, so I sent some fun and fabulous green, white & purple sugar cookies for her special day.



Here is just a quick little post about a little thing I can international deliciousness...and what is that you ask? Mini Mexican chocolate cakes! This past weekend we had a little fiesta and to keep in line with the carnitas tacos we cooked up, I made these yummy cakes for a sweet end to the evening. Funny story about this cake recipe, I actually made it for the first time almost 6 1/2 years ago. Why do I remember this so clearly you may wonder...well that is because I made this cake only a few hours after meeting my wonderful husband. It was that afternoon, I turned in my cynical ways for the belief in love at first sight, and I couldn't be happier I did!


An Old Classic Jumbo Sized...

Who can resist a Hostess Cupcake, sadly I cannot! So what is better than a twin pack in the 10 for $10 section...a homemade jumbo sized one of course! So I, in truth, can take no credit for the design of this big boy, my ingenious better half came up with this idea as we were driving around running errands one day. I in my usual crabby pants fashion was like " ummm...whatever, so not using that idea" (no this is not how I talk, just how I think, haha) and then I thought a little harder and my next thought was "GENIUS!" Why hadn't I thought of it?!?