Where the Only Limit is Your Imagination

Baking is my new passion! The magical smell of cake in the oven, the sweet aroma of cookies, the clicking sound of the mixer combining ingredients....

... sugar all over the counter, flour sprinkled on the floor and my clothes, food coloring all over my hands and the table.... I'm a messy baker. lol. I cant help myself, but I love every minute of it!

Starting off as a cake decorator, I began my new found occupation in culinary cheating a bit, and used mixes quite often.If its not broken, why fix it, right? I was a decorator, not a baker. I quickly realized my joy was not only in decorating but also in creating the whole package, the design of the cake along with the flavor. It is incredibly satisfying to see people's faces light up when they not only see their cake but also when they taste it. I find great joy in it! (Making a buck or two isn't bad either. ) :)

Join me in my journey as I learn and experiment with not only cake and decorating but also other pastries. I will share with you my ups and downs, my accomplishments and my disasters! There will be disasters...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

85 Cookies and counting....

I baked and baked and baked today. 

My previous post was explaining how Amanda, from "I Am Baker", was looking for bakers to help her with a project. She asked if she could pair us up with a family that had been originally nominated for her to send cookies to. She ended up with almost 200 nominations and couldn't pick just one family to win the cookies. She needed help and I was more than happy to lend a hand! 

I picked the cookie I wanted to bake and the recipe said it made 112 cookies! Maybe mine were bigger than they were supposed to be. Ha ha...I ended up with 85. Thats still A LOT of cookies! 

I decided since I had SO MANY cookies that I would give some to other friends too. I packaged them up in clear goody bags.....

Then wrapped each sleeve in bubble wrap.....

Tomorrow I will box them up, with MORE bubble wrap, and send them on their way. 

I am so glad I was able to help with this project. There are so many people out there that just need a little pick me up and to know that there are other people that appreciate them and care. Sometimes, something as small as a few unexpected homemade cookies can bring a smile to someone's face. It brought one to mine just being a part of it. :)

Here is the recipe that I used. These cookies are soooooo good!!
(You may want to cut the recipe in half if you dont need 85 or more cookies!)

2 cups butter
24 oz. chocolate chips
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
5 cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the
butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour,
oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey
Bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie

Bake for 10 minutes (I baked mine for 13 minutes) at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I just finished reading a blog pot from "I am Baker", one of my favorite baking blogs to read. She is looking for bakers, professionals or just anyone that can help, to bake cookies for people very much in need of a pick me up. There are a lot of heartbreaking stories of people who need to be cheered up. Please consider helping her. I'm already signed up!.

On another note, I came across this recipe for "fry bread tacos" that I thought Id share with you. Looks SO GOOD! It looks to be just like fried dough but she shares ideas of how to serve them. Check it out!


Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Cake Ball Disaster!

Remember when I told you I would tell you about my experiences with baking, both good and bad?? Well, I honestly didn't think the BAD would come so soon! Ha Ha....My third post and this is me, keeping it real!

I saw this idea on Wilton's website the other day and thought it was a really cute idea for St. Patrick's day. Adorable little St. Patrick's Day hats! However, I didn't have the Cordial Cups Candy Mold and honestly didn't want to go buy them. 

I have wanted to do something with cake balls for a while now but never got around to trying to make them. Seeing them on Bakerella, it looked SO EASY, and maybe they are for some, but this was my very first experience making them and maybe, like everything else, practice makes perfect. (I'm really hoping that's the case!)

So, to make a long story short, I decided in my infinite wisdom, to combine the two ideas. I would make those cute little St. Patrick's Day hats out of cake balls! Seriously, how could this possibly go wrong? (Famous last words).

Did I mention Im not even a little bit Irish? Ive never even celebrated St. Patrick's Day before. Well, actually thats not entirely true. I did have a beer once, about 10 years ago, at a pub with some friends. We were having lunch, and it happened to be St. Patrick's Day. Does that count?


I started with baking a 9x13 cake with my new favorite gold cake recipe. You can use whatever recipe you prefer or a cake mix. Whatever makes you happy.

Have your favorite icing set aside. Mine is a homemade buttercream, but as I said about the cake, use whatever icing you like the best.

While the cake is STILL WARM crumble into a large bowl and add your icing to it. I honestly dont know how much I added to the crumbled cake. I would say it was aprox. 3/4 cup but I just added a little at a time until it was the consistency I was looking for. I added icing until I could "squish" it in my hand and have it stick together. Yes, "squish" IS a baking term. It looked like this....

Since I didn't have the Cordial Cups Candy Molds, I decided to improvise and find something in my house that I could use in place of them as a mold for my hats. I ended up using a 1/4 cup measuring cup from a set that I had bought at Pier1.

I sprayed cooking spray inside of it to keep the cake ball mixture from sticking and to have it come out easily. I did this every 3-4 times I filled it. 

I made 12 of these and put them on waxed paper as I made them. 

Ok, so here's where it started to go downhill!!

As you can see by the picture above, my "hat" didnt come out in the perfect shape of a hat so I had to do a little tweeking here and there. A little freehand sculpting, if you will. 

I have to be honest, after doing this 12 times, I had had enough. I rolled the rest into balls. I wasnt doing this for a client or for anyone else. This was just for me to experiment and try to learn a new technique, so I didnt feel bad at all taking the easy way out this time. lol


I then put my green candy melts in a microwavable bowl and melted them down. When using a microwave to melt them, do it in 30 second intervals, stirring in between.

I think this is where I made my first real mistake. Like I said before, I molded my hats while the cake was still warm and put them on waxed paper. I think maybe I should have dipped them into the melted chocolate right after I molded each one because it seems like the cooler they got, the more they started to fall apart. I inserted a toothpick into each and as I dipped my cooled off cake balls and "hats". Pieces were falling off into the melted chocolate and then this happened....


Then to top it off, I couldn't get a smooth coat of chocolate on my cake balls. I kept reheating the chocolate to keep it thin and smooth, and gently rolled them in it. It came out way too think and not pretty at all!! I cant understand how to get them covered evenly and not clumpy looking. PLEASE, if anyone out there knows how to do this, email me!

This is what I ended up with. Its Ok, You can laugh.....really, I dont mind. Its not pretty and Im the first to admit when Ive been defeated.

Ok, try to catch your breath now......I know, its funny. They look terrible!

I was able to salvage 2.....count 'em......2, out of the 12 that I tried to make. I then took the chocolate and spooned out 2 circles to make the brim of the hats. I let them dry and used a tiny bit of melted chocolate to "glue" the top part of the hat to the brim.

I colored and rolled out yellow and black fondant to make the buckle on the hat.

This is what I ended up with. These two were the only two that were even remotely "hat like". 

I know, its a bit of a stretch of the imagination. Maybe if you squint and let your eyes get blurry you can see it. They are lumpy and crooked and just not good. Im not sure what went wrong and how I should go about fixing it for the next time I try this, but I will keep at it and hopefully one day get it right!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

As I said in my previous post, I am always online looking at cakes and "How To" videos. I forgot to mention I have countless recipes that I have found online. Unfortunately I dont remember where I found most of them.When I do remember, I will be sure to share where I found it to give the proper person credit.

I have so many recipes sitting in my inbox, waiting to be printed. I even started sending them to Walt, my boyfriend, so he could print them for me! His work inbox is inundated with emails! He just said to me, the other night, that he might not ever catch up! lol. Maybe I should stop spending hours on end every night copying and pasting? Nah, I don't think so. He doesn't really mind (He told me he didnt). I have taken a little break from sending them to him though. .Ill give him a chance to get more of them printed first.

In my search for the perfect chocolate cake recipe, I found this one! I dont always give out my favorite cake recipes for fear that people will just make the recipes themselves instead of asking me to do do it, but I will be sharing some of them on here.This is not a recipe that I can make and send it home with someone. It needs to be served straight out of the oven. It is AMAZINGLY GOOD! So, I thought for my first "real" blogging post I would give you the gift of MOLTEN LAVA CHOCOLATE CAKE! And believe me, after eating this cake, you will fully appreciate the word "gift". Its so rich and full of chocolately goodness! And oh so easy to make! 

I made it for my family the other night. Everyone had smiles on their faces. Please, let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it! 


What You Need

4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup  butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 whole  eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tbsp.  flour
1/2 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Make It

HEAT oven to 425°F.
BUTTER 4 small custard cups; place on baking sheet.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted; whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Add whole eggs and egg yolks; mix well. Stir in flour. Spoon into prepared cups.
BAKE 13 to 14 min. or until sides of desserts are firm but centers are still soft. Let stand 1 min. Carefully run small spatula or knife around cakes to loosen; invert into dessert plates. Serve warm with COOL WHIP.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

About Me

Finding myself unemployed (and in my mid 30's....Shhhh, please dont repeat that little bit of info!), was quite unsettling. I had owned my own interior painting business and when the economy plummeted, so did my business. The phone stopped ringing altogether and I found myself wondering what I was going to do next to support my 2 children. Thank God I have a wonderful boyfriend that is there for my and supports all my decisions in this area of my life. Thank you, Walt!

Having a background in art and music, I really felt that I wanted to do something creative as an occupation, but what would I do and where would I find a job that I really loved doing? Its nice to "think" that way but was it realistic? I started thinking about it and one day it dawned on me that I had been watching every cake decorating show known to man on TV, and I obviously had an interest in it. The only difference is that it's a different artistic medium. I had never even considered a career in food before. Why not become a cake decorator? It looked to be very creative and a lot of fun to do! So I signed up for a few Wilton classes at a local cake supply store and learned the basics. I needed to learn the foundation of cake decorating. Every week was something new and interesting and I found myself not being able to wait until the next class. I had found a new passion and hopefully a new career. I worked VERY hard on my new skills and before I had even finished all the classes I had a job at cake decorating shop in Quincy, MA. I had found my calling! Unfortunately the economy had also taken its tole on the cake shop and it closed. So what would I do now? I LOVED that job! I was heartbroken. I began watching every video and looking at hundreds...no THOUSANDS of cake pictures on line to learn from and for inspiration. I started making cakes for friends and family. The orders started rolling in! I LOVE what I do, but I STILL need to find a job doing it!! I have decided to go back to school in the fall for culinary. I need to broaden my horizons even more. Fingers crossed that this will work out and I will find the job of my dreams once I graduate in 2 years. The strange thing is I will be going to college the same time as my oldest daughter!
I will share with you what I learn in the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 school year. I'm sure it wont always be pretty, but hopefully it will ALWAYS be fun!