Joy the Baker

Black Raspberry Muffins

April 30, 2008

I’m a sucker for treats warm out of the oven.  But really, who isn’t!?  One of my favorite things to burn my mouth on is muffins fresh out of the oven.  I thought I’d treat myself to some classic blueberry muffins, but when I saw frozen black raspberries in the grocery store, classic blueberry went right out the window.  The raspberries add loads of flavor and tons of sexy purple black coloring.  These muffins are perfect, fresh out of the oven for a weekend breakfast, and then freeze well for a mid week breakfast treat.  And I sure do like my breakfast treats.  I can’t help myself.

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Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Pancakes with Vanilla-Brown Sugar Syrup

April 26, 2008

I love waking up about half an hour early on Wednesdays to make pancakes for breakfast.  They really take very little time to throw together, and they make a world of difference to my day.  I can’t save my pancakes only for special weekend breakfasts.  Sometimes (every Wednesday) I need that weekend indulgence before I throw on the chef’s coat and dive into the big kitchen.

Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Pancakes are surprisingly light, healthy, and keep me full well into the afternoon.  Drizzled with homemade Vanilla-Brown Sugar Syrup and served with a side of fresh fruit, I can indulge in the comforts of a lazy Sunday morning, even on a daunting weekday.

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Super Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

April 24, 2008

Ok… with this recipe I’ve totally been busted. It’s late April and here I am with a pumpkin post. That can only mean one thing- I’ve had a can of pumpkin in my pantry since last Thanksgiving. Absurd! I know! That little pumpkin gem must have gotten pushed to the back of the line in the past few months. Well, it’s seen the light of day in these most delicious cookies.

These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are a combination of cookie, cake and pancake and quick bread. They’re super soft, moist and cakey. They’re full of pumpkin and spice flavor, and the chocolate just sends them over the top.

I know I can’t be the only one with a lonely can of pumpkin in the pantry. These cookies are a simple and delicious was to celebrate that forgotten can! Throw some vanilla ice cream in, and life has suddenly improved. It’s as easy as that!

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Old School Fudge Brownies with walnuts

April 21, 2008

There are countless reason why I love making brownies.  All they require is a bowl and wooden spoon.  They’re moist and satisfy that deep chocolate craving.  But more sentimentally, brownies are one of the first things I remember making with my sister growing up.  We’d take out one bowl, one pan, follow the directions on the back of the unsweetened chocolate box, and about 45 minutes later- warm brownies!  We’d burn our fingers trying to get the hot brownies out of the pan.  But it was worth it to sit down with a plate of warm brownies and cold milk to watch episode after episode of I Love Lucy.  Those were the days.  These old school Fudge Brownies with walnuts and chocolate chunks were made in an effort to reach back to those days eating brownies on the living room floor with my sister.  The amazing thing is that one bite into the warm chocolate  took me right back to being 10 years old, baking with my sister.  It’s pretty remarkable what a brownie can do! read more…


Blackberry Peach Bread Pudding with toasted pecans

April 19, 2008

Bread pudding exists in the sweet space between breakfast and dessert.  With all of the milk in the recipe, bread pudding feels like eating the most ridiculously rich breakfast cereal.  I suppose for most people, it’s a bonafide dessert.  Perhaps I’m just trying to find as many ways as possible to eat dessert for breakfast.

I’ll admit, I only recently warmed up to bread pudding.  My Dad absolutely loves the stuff, so I was inspired to create my own.  I think I had this conception that bread pudding was simply soggy bread mixed with cinnamon, milk and raisins.  Not so!  This dish can be made with as many combinations as you can dream up.  With this recipe, I wrestled my preconceived notions of bread pudding to the ground.  I decided to combine bread pudding and cobbler.  I know… pretty awesome!   Now we’re getting into the realm of respectable breakfasts… or desserts.

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Cranberry Orange Almond Oatmeal

April 16, 2008

I’m a huge breakfast fanatic.  I usually go for something hearty, healthy and full of surprise goodies.  That’s not to say that I don’t sometimes reach for a donut and some coffee, but this go around I opted for old-fashioned oatmeal with the gorgeous flavors of cranberry, orange and almond.  I threw in a bit of brown sugar for good measure, and surrounded my oatmeal with cold milk.  It was a delightful breakfast- satisfying but not too heavy.  It’s the kind of breakfast that convinces you you’re ready to take on the world.  Brilliant read more…


Baker’s Day Off- At Disneyland

April 15, 2008

It’s hard to remember why my family went to Disneyland this past weekend.  It could have been because my sister was in Los Angeles from San Francisco.  It could have been because my aunt and uncle were generous enough to share their free tickets.  But in all honesty, I think the real reason for our Disneyland excursion was the hot apple fritters, churros, and hot fudge sundaes.

I don’t know anyone else who goes to Disneyland for the food.  Just admitting that feels kinda gross and perverse.  Gross or not, it’s the truth of my family.  Forget pictures with Mickey, we want a picture at the churro stand.  So silly, and strangely true.

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Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake

April 14, 2008

Chocolate and orange are like a dream to me.  Although my dream last night had nothing to do with chocolate and orange, and everything to do with watching some bizarre alley cat trying to eat giant hissing grasshoppers, or something.  I woke up wanting a thick slice of this cake for breakfast.  You know, to make everything right in the world again.  It’s that simple.

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The Sweetest Week- Ever. Strawberries

April 13, 2008

I’m so thrilled about strawberries season, I can barely contain myself!  It’s still early in the season and I’ve already had my way with many berries.  Oh the possibilities are limitless!  Summer produce offers so many possibilities, it’s my favorite food season.  And peaches!  Don’t even get me started on peach season.  That’s when I’ll get into some real trouble!

It seems that strawberry fever is spreading across blog land.  Here are a few of my favorite strawberry entries this week.

Miri of Room4Dessert made a Strawberry and Cheese Mousse Tart.  With the bright red beauty of the strawberries, the tart looks absolutely irresistible.  So much yum!  And beautiful photos too!

Pastry Studio experimented with Strawberry Balsamic Sherbet.  It seems to have to simplicity of strawberry sorbet with a touch of good balsamic and cream to accentuate the beauty of the fruit.  Brilliant!

And lastly, Helene of Tartelette always brings the goods.  She’s incredible.  This week she delighted with  Ice Cold Lemon Strawberry Fraisiers.  The dessert has three parts: Meyer lemon pound cake, Grand Marnier mousseline, and sliced strawberries.  Yea… it’s a serious time commitment, but just beautiful!


Lemon Whoopie Pies

April 9, 2008

Forget about saving room for dessert.  One of these lemon whoopie pies is a whole meal in itself!  These beauties are not the delicate, petite, wallflower cookie.  They bake up into a beast of a cookie.  They’re doubley soft, cakey cookie goodness filled with a lemony cream cheese filling.

These are not a snacking cookie.  They’re a “sit down and shut up and eat your freakin cookie” cookie. That’s not too hard to do, right?

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Old Fashioned Chocolate Pudding

April 7, 2008

Sometimes I just need the comfort of pudding to make things right in my world.  There is something about the smooth texture, slight chill and sweet chocolate goodness that can ease anything from extracted wisdom teeth to a broken heart.  It can even ease the pain of a crazy concoction your Mom may have tried to pass off as dinner.

I would say that this pudding is also comforting because it’s the way Mom used to make… but my Mom never actually made pudding.  It’s fine really, no hard feelings!  I have oodles of love for my Mom.  Hot dog casserole was more her kitchen niche.   And even that sometimes turned out purple.  I think the purple had something to do with cabbage, which is totally bad news.  As if hot dog casserole isn’t bad enough news.  Oh Mom.  She’ll never live down that tragic dinner.

Now, back to the chocolate!

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Red Velvet Black and White Cookies

April 2, 2008

Ok, you might need to sit down for this one. This is going to be good. I don’t know where to start with these cookies. Red Velvet Black and White Cookies- they brilliantly combine the tradition of black and white cookies with the near religion that is red velvet cake. The cookie is soft, moist and cakey, and the frosting… shut up! They were SO incredibly good… and this is coming from me… I practically eat cookies for a living!

When it comes to Black and White Cookies, I think I have a problem. They are absolutely my favorite cookie in the world. I like Black and White Cookies more than I like…. I dunno: puppies. Yea, and who doesn’t like puppies!? So it’s pretty serious.

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Gooey Chocolate Cakes

April 1, 2008

It’s Tuesday and I’m back with Dorie.  She and I had broken up for a few weeks- some misunderstanding with snails and flan, but we’ve got it all sorted out.  A love like ours, afterall, couldn’t be denied for long.  So we’re back and better than ever with a gooey chocolate love to show for it!

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