Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

This post will be short and sweet because I've already written so many posts about the Baked cookbook! I'm a HUGE pumpkin fan, so it's not that surprising that I would like this one, although I did make pumpkin bread last year, using a nonBaked recipe, and I was really disappointed. This, on the other hand, was delicious! Yum from the first bite!

More From Baked: Flourless Chocolate Cake, Whoopie Pies, Sugar Cookies, Sweet and Salty Cake, Lemon Drop Cake, Coconut Snowball Cupcakes, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Recipe after the jump.


Inspiration Board: Steampunk

(Image above: Cake by Mike's Amazing Cakes, photo by celustig)

What the heck is steampunk??? That was a question I was asking myself recently after stumbling across this word, a word that I had never seen before, twice in one day! The first time I came across it was after a friend of mine posted a steampunk-related link on Facebook and then, later that same day, it showed up again, on a pair of steampunk cuff links on Etsy. What the heck is this steampunk business??? I quickly sent an e-mail to my friend, the Facebook poster, for an explanation. As it turned out, I've been a steampunk fan for years . . . I just didn't know it!

For those of you who, like me, require a crash course in steampunk, here ya go. Steampunk is, as far as I can tell, a sort of a Victorian, fantasy, sci-fi hybrid. Just picture any film that has one foot in the future, and the other in the past. Think Time Bandits or City of Lost Children. I think the whole genre is pretty cool and, as I usually do whenever I learn something new, I started getting super excited about it! Of course, I immediately started thinking about writing a post about steampunk desserts! I was a bit disappointed with the lack of range amongst the steampunk sweets out there. As of right now, the inspiration is mostly about gears, but I still think it's an fun idea, nonetheless!

Steampunk cookies and bourbon bread pudding with bourbon glaze from Jenny Bannock

Cake by Mike's Amazing Cakes, photo by Libby Bulloff

Cake topper by The Builder's Studio ($139)


The Mixing Bowl: Holiday Fudge by yellowlion

Nothing says happy holidays like fudge! Homemade fudge was a family tradition when I was a kid, so I was so pleased when Sarah at yellowlion sent over this delicious (and easy!) recipe for marshmallow/walnut/chocolate chip fudge! It's the perfect holiday treat and, as Sarah told me, a must for any chocolate lover!

Based in Chicago, Sarah creates beautiful screen prints that are inspired by her love of nature and, of all things, the patterns of Rorschach tests! Personally, I've always been fascinated with the look of the Rorschach inkblots. There's something about their surreal, dreamlike quality that I can't resist, so I love how Sarah takes that concept and kicks it up a notch with gorgeous colors and interesting designs.

I hope you all enjoy your holidays! Click here for more information on Sarah's work and to shop online! Thanks, Sarah! More fudge and prints after the jump.


Sweet Testing: Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks

I don't know what it is, but sometimes I enjoy the things I bake more the next day. Maybe I spend so much time in the kitchen that by the time the cake/cookies/whatever comes out of the oven, I'm pretty much sick of them. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself and the food that I'm bound to be disappointed once I finally get around to taking a bite. Maybe, sometimes, foods just need to rest a bit in order for the flavors to really settle in. You know, like how soup is better if you make it the night before. Anyway, these cookies were definitely a better the next day kind of thing for me.

I made these classic goodies for a party and almost didn't bring them because I thought they were so boring, but the next day and the day after that . . . and the day after that, I couldn't stop shoving them in my mouth! I'd plan on eating one and end up chomping down five, one after another! This recipe made A LOT more cookies then I expected, so I brought the leftovers to work and they were quickly gobbled up. People actually came back for more, so they must have been fairly good, right? I know. This whole post is not exactly ending up as some huge ringing endorsement, but they're easy to make and they're tasty.

After writing this post, I came across Carolyn's review of these cookies on Food Gal and quickly realized that my big mistake was using chocolate chips instead of chopping the chocolate myself. I usually follow instructions, but I was short on time and I didn't think that it would make a huge difference. Apparently, the chopped chocolate transforms an ordinary cookie into something more like a peanut butter cup! So, there you go! I'm sorry Baked for not listening to you! It won't happen again! :-)

Recipe after the jump.


Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

My sister made these Martha Stewart cookies recently and I immediately snapped some pics because I knew that I wanted to share the recipe! So yummy!

You can find the recipe and a video right here on Martha's site. I've also posted the recipe after the jump.


Cupcakes on Pitt

Wow! These are impressive cupcakes! They're actually award-winning cupcakes and I can understand why! Their lemon meringue cupcake (a vanilla cupcake with fresh lemon curd inside and garnished with a soft torched Italian meringue) took home a gold medal at Sydney Royal Fine Food Show and I can see why. It's almost too intimidating to eat . . . almost! The vanilla, strawberry, peppermint, chocolate, and carrot varieties walked away with silver medals, so anything you get at Cupcakes on Pitt will probably be pretty tasty. They even have giant cupcakes (20cm in diameter, height 22 to 25cm) for when you're really really hungry.

Cupcakes on Pitt don't take online orders at the moment, so if you don't live nearby you'll just have to settle for looking at the pictures. If you live in Australia, click here for locations.


Chocolate Cloud from Et toque

Happy Friday, everyone! I've spent the last week dealing with a very persistent leaky roof/window issue that I've had for the past oh, I don't know, three years or so, and I was feeling a little down in the dumps about, well, the dump that I call my home, when I got an e-mail from Clementine Derodit about her new cookbook that instantly cheered me up! I can't think of better cure for an annoying water drip then looking at the delicious food and sweet illustrations that fill the pages of Clementine cute book, Et togue! Based in France, illustrator Clementine has created a wonderful recipe book for children that is filled with a cast of adorable characters and includes intriguing recipe titles like "pirate's soup" and "tyrannosaurus poo." Personally, I'm loving the page for "Risotto bicolore." Risotto has never looked more fun!

The text of Et togue is in French, but Clementine graciously agreed to translate the Chocolate Cloud recipe for us, which you can find below. You can also watch a cute little video about the book, which is in French with English subtitles. Even if you don't understand French it's still fun to watch. Everything sounds better in French! :-)

You can order a copy of the book right here and check out the Et togue Web site right here. To see more of Clementine's work click here. Thanks, Clementine!


St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

I love this article on St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake that appeared in the New York Times early this month. The story is centered around writer Melissa Clark's first tasting and subsequent baking of this delicious Made by Molly treat!

Here's a sample:

I took a big bite. It was nearly what my friend described, though I’d say it was more moist and cakey than gooey. Nonetheless I was hooked, and did not want to wait for next week to get more. I’d just have to make it myself.

I know that I'll definitely be making this one sometime in the near future! If you live in New York and would like to try Molly's yummy cake for yourself, you can find her stand at the Park Slope Farmers’ Market (Sundays 10 to 5). Btw, Molly used to be the pasty chef at Amy's Bread, so you know her treats must be good!

I hope everyone in the states has a great holiday weekend!

Click here to read the article from the Times and here to get the recipe. Thanks, Steve!


Vegan, Gluten-Free Blondies

Last weekend, my sister, my mom, and I got our hands dirty, tackling another recipe from the Babycakes cookbook: gluten-free blondies. Actually, there wasn't much tackling going on because, as long as you have the ingredients, this recipe is actually really easy to make and the blondies turned out great! And I don't mean great for a vegan, gluten-free dessert. I mean great, period. I know that there are varying opinions of Babycakes out there and I'm not saying that all their recipes hit the spot, but these were good. More like mini chocolate chip muffins then blondies, but, hey, I like mini chocolate chip muffins, so that was okay by me. Besides, Zooey Deschanel likes them, so they must be good! :-)

You can find the complete recipe after the jump.


The Mixing Bowl: Blok by Katarzyna Bogucka

I was first introduced to Kasia's portfolio last month, after running across her work on the Polish design site/store Pan Tu Nie Stal and have been smitten ever since! I really love her ability to move in between the sweetly retro and the slightly odd with such ease. Her work is full of so many humorous and colorful details that you don't even need to speak Polish in order to understand the images. The illustrations tell their own story.

I’ll let Kasia take it from here, but I wanted to first thank her for sending such an interesting story and recipe, one that I'm sure you'll want to try at home!

From Kasia: "Blok" (cake) was made in my early childhood, when there was nothing to buy in Polish shops! People dreamt about chocolate, and one day someone cooked up BLOK! It's one of my favourite memories! I'm not sure if it will taste as good for people who are not devoted emotionally to it, but I hope you like it!

You can find Kasia's books on various Polish Web sites, like this one. You can also see more of her illustrations by clicking here. Thanks, Kasia! There are more illustrations after the jump.


The Mixing Bowl: Toffee Mallow by Emily Hogarth

I'm so in awe of papercut artists. I can barely cut a straight line with a pair of scissors, so it amazes me that people can create such beautiful and intricate work with just a piece of paper and an exacto knife! That said, I was so excited when Emily Hogarth agreed to share her Toffee Mallow recipe with us. It's an easy, yummy version of the classic Rice Krispie Treat. Quick and easy comfort food. What's better than that?

From Emily: This is a really simple recipe that my grandma used to always make for me when we went to hers. I love it and I hope your readers will to! You certainly don't need to be a great cook to pull this sweet treat off.

Inspired by natural beauty of her native Scotland, Emily's incredible work is quite magical to look at. Whether appearing as an art print, on a dress, or as a greeting card, her designs are always telling a story.

It's really fun to look at all the little details that she creates or you can just appreciate the entire design, in total, from a far. Lovely work, Emily! You can see more of Emily's designs here and purchase her work here on Etsy. You can also visit her blog right here. Thanks, Emily!


The Mixing Bowl: Pasteis de Nata by Lisa Jones Studio

If you're not familiar with Lisa Jones's work yet, get ready to fall in love with her sweet designs! Lisa is a graphic designer whose bold and colorful work is great for both adults and kids! Not only is she the creator of one of the cutest tea towels that I have ever seen (see owl print below), but she also designs a line of recycled cards and wrapping paper, which is helpful for people like me, who wrap all their xmas presents in newspapers and plastic bags! This week she's sharing her yummy recipe for Pasteis de Nata (custard tarts), as well as a really cute egg illustration to accompany the recipe. Great work, Lisa!

From Lisa: I grew up on a version of these custard tarts. The English versions are a little more insipid, not quite as tasty and covered in nutmeg!! So the Pasteis de Nata are a tasty treat! I read that some Hong Kong branches of 'Kentucky Fried Chicken' sell them. . . . mmmm I'll have chicken, chips and a custard tart please!

You can check out more of Lisa's designs via her blog, Web site, and online store.

You can find the complete Pastis de Nata recipe and more of Lisa's work after the jump.


Inspiration Board: Wood Grain

I’m noticing a bit of a mini trend starting to emerge in the baking world: wood grain! Maybe it's an extension of the design world's renewed love of wood's simplicity, but a growing number of pastry chefs (and home bakers) seem to be using wood for inspiration! Personally, I love the look of wood, so I really enjoyed researching this one. There are so many cool ways to incorporate this trend and I can't wait to try one! Check out the images below if you too would like to add a little carpentry to your dessert menu. [Above: Martha Stewart's Chocolate Faux Bois Cupcakes]

Baumkuchen or Tree Cake. The particular cake was created by Falko Konditormeister for Katherine's wedding. If you want to create your own version of Baumkuchen, a recipe can be found here.

Woodgrain Heart Cookies from Whipped Bakeshop

Woodgrain Monogrammed Cookie from Whipped Bakeshop

Wedding Cake from Martha Stewart's Making Chocolate Woodgrain

Bird House by I Dream of Cake

Christophe Mazeaud's Wood Slice

Martha Stewart's Chocolate Wood Grain

Wood Grain Mat ($7.70) from Country Kitchen
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