An afternoon of Panda Cupcakes

6 January, 2009

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Yesterday afternoon my friends Denise, Tisha and I embarked on a mission to make some panda cupcakes from Alan Richardson and Karen Tack’s book, which Denise received as a Christmas present. The book’s creations are adorable! Making these was a great group project since all the components that transform these cupcakes into pandas take a considerable amount of prep work. By the way, the lovely kitchen you see in these photos is at Denise’s parents house.

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The cupcake decorating ideas in this book vary from the whimsical, like our pandas, to the elegant like a white Christmas wreathe.  It also comes with a cupcake decorating kit, which includes metal decorating tips and some disposable pastry bags. However, one of the book’s big draws is that you need little more than some candy, plastic storage bags and time.

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There’s also a section in the back with recipes for making your own cupcakes from scratch. We saved some time by using white cake mix and vanilla icing from the grocery store, but I’d be happy to give the book’s cake recipes a go next time.

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Making 24 of these little guys took us three hours, complete with messes, improvised ingredients and laughs. Ooodles of fun photos after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »


Let the holiday baking begin!

12 December, 2008

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Christmas cookies have always meant a lot in our house. Over the years, holiday baking blitzes have featured gingerbread, cut-out sugar cookies, spritz cookies and some famous oatmeal raisin cookies. As you can see above, it’s usually been a family afair. Top: From left to right, that’s Derrick (now 20!), my momma (now younger than ever!) and me. I’d guess I was 4 or 5 in this picture. And bottom… well, I’m sure you can figure it out. Read the rest of this entry »


Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Cookies

1 December, 2008

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This is by far one of my FAVORITE cookie recipes. These never fail to come out looking and tasting fantastic. The recipe itself, which I originally found on The Adventures of SuperWife and tweaked ever so slightly, requires a bit of assembly. But then how else did you think that gooey peanut butter filling got into the chewy chocolate cookies? Read the rest of this entry »


Red Velvet Cupcakes (from scratch!) with Cream Cheese Frosting

19 November, 2008

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Two weekends ago The Whit’s office got a new coat of paint… or paints. We painted most of the room a beige called “Westward Ho” and used “Red Velvet Cake” as our accent color for one and one-third or so of another wall. Needless to say, the rich velvety red inspired me to bake after I got over the shock of seeing it all over my shoes.

I meant to bake these cupcakes last week, to up the already tangible WOW factor in the office and treat the newspaper’s staff. The November slump has hit them too, and I’m hoping the baked goods will be a pick me up. Unfortunately, my work load was not conducive to a leisurely Tuesday afternoon in the kitchen last week. Luckily, this afternoon was. Photos aplenty, along with the recipe, await you after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »


It’s About That Time

7 November, 2008

This hungry student has hit the usual mid-semester slump. The end still isn’t in sight. Projects and tests seem to be cropping up everywhere.

What’s that mean for my kitchen? Unfortunately, it’s meant some neglect. I had to perform one of these on the refrigerator yesterday. Ingredients I purchased with the best of intentions found their way to the back of shelves and weren’t looking to pretty. Read the rest of this entry »


Babka photos! As promised.

26 October, 2008

I made another babka yesterday and took lots of photos to make up for my initial lack of them. I even borrowed my roommate’s camera to get better photos than usual.

Due to a temporary lack of a real camera, most of the photos on here – save the apple cake ones – have been taken with my cell phone.

I’m supposed to be getting one of these for my birthday on Nov. 3 (hint, hint), which is what I took the apple cake photo with. Expect lots of food porn in November.

By the way, the actual recipe I followed is in the previous post.

Now, without further adieu, a babka tale through photos! Read the rest of this entry »


An old fave revisited: Cinnamon Bun Babka

24 October, 2008

My Polish grandmother’s kitchen was always warm and aromatic. She churned out baked goods regularly and always had a chewy slice of babka with a little jelly spread on top ready for me.

Babkas come with various fillings. My grandmother’s were usually filled with golden raisins and other dried fruits. I couldn’t identify them then, and still can’t now. All I knew was that they were tasty.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering where my photograph is.

There is none.

I made SUCH a delicious Cinnamon Bun Babka a few days ago that it lasted less than 24 hours in the house. I came down to a cookie sheet covered with crumbs and glaze remnants. It’s that good. Read the rest of this entry »