Sugar Sweets Festival

Sugar-Sweets-Poster-web

This Sunday, October 6th, City Reliquary will be hosting its 4th Annual Sugar Sweets Festival. The City Reliquary is a not-for-profit community museum and civic organization located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Through permanent display of New York City artifacts, rotating exhibits of community collections and annual cultural events, the City Reliquary connects visitors to both the past and present of New York. The Sugar Sweets Festival is a family-friendly celebration of New York’s bakers and sweet-makers. The festival will feature a bake sale– which supports the museum and civic organization– as well as a blue ribbon baking competition, demonstrations and entertainment.

I will be participating at this event as a judge (!) and will be providing a few dozen candy Buckeyes. I’ve also been asked to sit a spell at the Ask the Baker table, where I will be answering (or at least attempting to answer) baking-related questions.

This year’s event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and baked goods will range in price from $1 to $4 apiece. Goodies will be provided by A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn, Betty Bakery, The Blue Stove, Momofuku Milk Bar, Peter Pan Donuts, Salties, Steve’s Key Lime Pies, Treats Truck and other home bakers and sweetmakers. Coffee will be provided by Olso Coffee.

There will also be music, apron decorating, raffles and more entertainment!

Blue ribbons will be awarded to non-professional bakers in the following categories: Best Vegan/Gluten-Free; Best Fall-Flavored; Most Creative Cupcake; Chocolatastic (this is the one I’ll be judging!); and Best in Brooklyn.

For more information, go to sugarsweet.org or cityreliquary.org. You can also contact the organizer Jeff Tancil at jeff@cityreliquary.org or by phone at (718) 782-4842.

The City Reliquary is located at 370 Metropolitan Avenue at Havemeyer, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For those taking advantage of public transportation, take the L train to Lorimer St. or the G train to Metropolitan Ave.

Whoopie Pies: Here, There and Everywhere

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Cookie Dough/ Marshmallow Fluff Filling
Chocolate Whoopie Pie with Cookie Dough/Marshmallow Fluff Filling

I love a good Whoopie Pie. My sister-in-law’s husband’s sister (got that?) gave me a Whoopie Pie pan a few Christmases ago and it’s been a pretty amazing tool. It ensures that all my cookies turn out the same size and I don’t have to fiddle with tablespoon measures trying to figure it out.

The recipe for these Whoopie Pies came from (of course) “The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook”. This may be the first cookbook that I bake my way through. I think I’ve done about half the recipes at this point. I would like to point out that the author states that the recipe will make 20-24 whoopie pies, but she obviously was not using the pan I used, as I was only about to get nine-and-a-half out of the recipe. No worries, I had enough ingredients on hand to double the recipe and ended up with 20.

If these whoopie pies look tasty to you, you can try the Neapolitan Whoopie Pies I will be baking next Wednesday, June 12th for the Largehearted Lit event at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint. This event will feature the debut novels of two authors: Alina Simone, whose first novel “Note to Self” was released on Tuesday, and Julie Karkissian, whose novel “Dear Lucy” was published in April.

I’m excited to give these Neapolitan Whoopie Pies a try, as I’ll be going off book. I recently attempted a Black and White Cookie version and it was okay, but I’m eager to apply the same principles (and a fresh strawberry filling!) to this new recipe! I hope to post the recipe next week!

Summer Wrap-up

I’ve been gone way too long. But summer is coming to an end (hallelujah!) and my baking responsibilities will be picking up again, so I thought I’d do a quick photo-heavy wrap-up of what I’ve been baking this summer.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies from The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook. This is definitely my new favorite cookbook. I’ve made so many things from it (there will be photos of more in this post) and everything so far has turned out great.

Megan's Bridal Shower dessert table
Have I mentioned my sister-in-law is getting married on Friday?!? In June, the other bridesmaids and I threw Megan’s bridal shower and her maid of honor and I baked everything but the cake for her dessert table. I brought chocolate-dipped merengues, spiced sugar cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles! The truffles are from The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook and are quite possibly the most addicting and delicious thing ever. And there’s no baking at all!

Cocktail-Inspired Cupcakes
Last month, the other bridesmaids and I threw Megan’s bachelorette party and I baked cocktail-inspired cupcakes. The party was great! We even got upgraded to the Presidential Suite at the Roosevelt Hotel! The cupcakes looked so at home in that lavish suite.

Mojito Cupcakes
Mojito Cupcakes

Old Fashioned Cupcakes
Old-Fashioned Cupcakes

White Russian Cupcakes
White Russian Cupcakes

Moscow Mule Cupcakes
Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule Cupcakes

Screwdriver Cupcakes
Non-Alcoholic Screwdriver Cupcakes

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes
July 4th Red, White and Blue Vanilla Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes (Can you guess where this recipe is from?)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes innards

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Thumprint Cookies
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Thumbprint Cookies (Again, from The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook)

And that’s it! There have been a few other items that I didn’t photograph, but I’m getting back in the swing of things now. I’ll be providing baked goods for the first Largehearted Lit event of the season at Word bookstore in Greenpoint on Wednesday, September 19th. The book/music event is free, so come check out some great authors, music and cookies!

A literary birthday party

Last year, I developed a professional relationship with David Gutowski of Largehearted Boy, providing baked goods to several of his Largehearted Lit events at Word bookstore in Greenpoint.

This week, Largehearted Boy celebrates its 10th birthday with a birthday party at Word. The Thursday night event will feature two authors reading birthday-themed stories, a secret music guest and Fauxstess Cupcakes by me!

This event is free and open to the public, so come on out, eat some cupcakes, hear some great stories and music and celebrate Largehearted Boy’s 10th birthday!

Holiday Baking Wrap-Up

It’s taken me a while to recover from the holidays this year. We did a lot of traveling around New York and New Jersey and I did a ton of baking.

First up were goodies that I baked for the Winter Warmer party Rob and I hosted on December 23. We invited a few friends over for holiday beers, cookies and homemade eggnog.

Gingerbread Cookies
These were vegan gingerbread cookies. This year I saw lots of pictures of using upside down gingerbread men to make reindeer, so I made an attempt. I’m not much a cookie decorator, but I think I got the idea across.

Eggnog Cupcakes
Next up were Eggnog Cupcakes. Since we were making the homemade eggnog, I decided to continue the theme. These were not made with the homemade eggnog though; I just used the boxed Jack Daniels’ brand. These were okay, but I think I would definitely prefer to use the eggnog cupcake with a Cinnamon Rum Frosting.

Next up were cupcakes that I baked for my sister-in-law’s annual holiday party on the 24th in Queens.

Vegan Christmas Ornament Cupcakes
These were vegan vanilla cupcakes with vegan vanilla frosting. I mixed up my own colored sugars and then decorated the cupcakes to look like ornaments. I used pretzels to make the hooks.

Finally, I spent about six hours on the 23rd baking five different cookies for cookie boxes to give as presents. This was a marathon baking day, but I think it turned out okay. My boxes didn’t turn out quite as cute as I hoped. If I do them again next year, I’m going to take more time to find materials to line the box, rather than using foil and scrapbooking paper. Ah well, it’s the taste that counts.

Christmas Cookie Box

Christmas cookie box close up

Christmas Cookies
The cookie boxes consisted of three non-vegan treats, pictured above. These were Iced Ginger Cookies, Peppermint Twists and Lemon Chewies.

Vegan Christmas Cookies
The vegan cookies were traditional sugar cookies and Pinwheels.

Cookies for Santa
And, of course, I had to leave a few out for the Big Man.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I’m really looking forward to 2012. Speaking of which, you can sample some goodies at my first event this year– The 10th Birthday Party for Largehearted Boy at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on January 26. There will be two authors reading birthday-themed pieces and a special musical guest. I’ll be baking Fauxstess Cupcakes! You can read more information about the event here.

Upcoming Events Where You Can Find My Baked Goods

Hi everyone!
The Brooklyn Baker is at it again. This coming week, I’ll be baking for two (count ‘em, two!) literary events at Word bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Tuesday night, you can find my Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting and Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Vanilla ‘Butter’cream Frosting at a Largehearted Lit event featuring authors Nathan Larson and Joshua Cody. Wednesday night, you can sample Blueberry Scones and Lemon Scones for the book release party for Leanna Hieber and her new book “Darker Still”. Leanna is bringing Earl Grey tea to go with the scones!

Both events are free and open to the public! For more information, check out the Word events page at the link above.

Literary Baking (Middle Eastern Baked Goods for Craig Thompson Event)

You may remember a few days ago I wrote about a couple of events for which I would be baking. The first of these events happened last Saturday.

I baked Middle Eastern cookies for the event celebrating the release of Craig Thompson’s newest book Habibi.

Middle Eastern Cookies for the Craig Thompson event at Word Bookstore

The first cookie I baked was called hab el hal, which are sugar cookies flavored with cardamom.

Hab el hal cookies

These were super tasty. The cardamom provided a really interesting flavor and they were incredibly addictive. I just wanted to keep. Eating. Them.

The second cookies was called baraziq, which were butter cookies coated on one side with sesame seeds and on the other with pistachios.

Baraziq cookies

I’m not a big pistachio fan, so I only had one of these, but it tasted pretty good. Other people seemed to really enjoy them.

The event was great and Craig was nice enough to stay and autograph everyone’s book with both his signature and a drawing.

Habibi title page

I even took a little plate of cookies to the table where Craig was sitting to do his autographs. I hope he enjoyed them!