This month’s Largehearted Lit

You love books, right? And of course you love baked goods. If you’re in the area, stop by Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s Word bookstore this Tuesday, March 26th for the latest in the Largehearted Lit series.

This month’s event will feature Michelle Orange and Teddy Wayne and will also feature Pink Lemonade and Chocolate Stout cupcakes by yours truly!

For more information, click here.

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!

Summer Treats

It’s been so long since I’ve posted that I’m not sure I still remember how to do it. Sorry I’ve been missing so long. I’ve been baking, just not posting. I’m going to rectify that today with a few desserts that are perfect for July or any time you’re craving something sweet.

First up are Fourth of July Cupcakes. These are just plain ol’ vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting; the secret is the tri-colored batter! All you have to do is divide your batter in halves or thirds and mix in some food coloring. I of course went with red, white and blue, but you could do whatever colors you like.

Fourth of July Cupcakes

I created the two-toned frosting by filling two small piping bags with red and white frosting respectively and then forced them into one larger piping bag with a large tip. Squeeze frosting out until you see both colors, then pipe away!

The second dessert is a tart treat and perfect for a warm summer afternoon barbecue– Key Lime Pie! Though technically, I just used regular limes, so I guess it’s a Lime Pie. Either way, it’s incredibly tasty and incredibly easy. You can find the recipe I used here.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

This pie is so easy to put together and holds up nicely in the refrigerator. I recommend making it the night before you want to eat it and waiting until a few hours before consuming to make and apply the whipped cream topping. It’s so delicious! Creamy and lightly tart with a really wonderfully simple graham cracker crust.

I’ve been baking so many things out of a new cookbook and I will post about it soon. I just have to make a few more things because I’ve been eating them before I can even take a picture!

After Eight Cupcakes

After Eight Cupcakes

Last weekend I got a hankering to bake. Sometimes when I have a rough week at work, baking is the only thing that restores my sanity. It doesn’t always make me happy (especially when things burn or don’t go right), but it does make my world make sense again and gives me some balance.

I decided to make something I’d never made before and so consulted my copy of “Cupcakes Galore”. I’ve made a lot of cupcakes from this book, but I’d never made the After Eight Cupcakes, so I settled on those.

These are basically chocolate mint cupcakes. The cake itself is a basic chocolate cupcake with a little mint extract added in. The frosting is Mint Buttercream, which I tinted green. I topped it with a dark chocolate ganache.

After Eight Cupcakes

These were good, though if I make them again, I’m going to amp up the mint flavor. I
felt like it was a little too subtle, when I was going for more of that intense Andes mint flavor.

Cookbook Giveaway

Cake-Pops-Book

Hey everyone! I am doing my very first giveaway and wanted to invite you all to participate!

I’m giving away cookbooks to three lucky winners. Two people will receive a copy of “Cake Pops” by the talented Bakerella and one person will receive “Whoopies!” by Susanna Tee.

To enter this contest, all you have to do is “like” The Brooklyn Baker on Facebook! Already like it? Then you’re already entered to win! Want two chances to win? You can get an extra entry by sharing this post on your own Facebook page. Just hit the “Share” button under the post to post it to your own Facebook page.

Contest will end Friday, April 27th at noon EST. Three winners will be selected at random and will be notified Monday, April 30th via Facebook. The winners will also be announced on this blog. The books will be mailed out the following week.

Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcake

Last week I had another Largehearted Lit event at Word bookstore in Greenpoint. It had been awhile since I made Carrot Cake Cupcakes, so I busted out my trusty copy of “Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook” and whipped up a batch of her Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes.

This is hands down my favorite Carrot Cake recipe. I omit the raisins (I am of the opinion that raisins do not belong in cupcakes), and what’s left is just fantastic.

Carrot Cake Cupcake

I attempted to make a pretty orange and white swirled frosting, but I realized too late that I had run out of large piping bags. When I do swirls, I fill up two small piping bags with different colored frosting and then insert both of them in a much larger piping bag to create a dual piping bag of sorts. I shuffled through the mountain of piping bags I have only to discover that I was out of the large ones. So I tried to wing it and just put the two frostings in a small bag, but it didn’t *quite* work. Ah well. Lessons learned.

I’ll be back at Word on May 22nd for another Largehearted Lit event. My plan is to make Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes and non-vegan Creamsicle Cupcakes. Stop on by!

Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake

This Easter was a difficult one for me. In February, my husband and I joined Weight Watchers. We’ve had incredible success (I’m down 23 pounds so far!), and while we are able to eat whatever we want as long as we plan for it, it’s sort of frowned upon to eat nothing but dessert and candy, which is pretty much what I eat at Easter.

So this year, I did some research and determined that Angel Food Cake is actually a pretty Weight Watchers-friendly dessert. For those counting Points Plus, Alton Brown’s Angel Food Cake recipe is only 6 points a slice if you cut the cake so that you get 10 slices (which is incredibly easy to do). I even mascerated my strawberries in a little of the free sample of Truvia I recently got to further reduce Points.

Angel Food Cake

This was my first time baking an Angel Food Cake, so not only did I get to try a new recipe, I also got to buy a new toy– a tube pan. Win-win situation!

I was very intimidated by this recipe and was worried that the egg white mixture was NOT going to fluff up. I shouldn’t have worried. Ol’ Trusty the KitchenAid Mixer took care of it. The cake puffed up just like it was supposed to and even released from the tube pan with minimal effort.

The cake was a hit at Easter dinner where at least half of it was polished off after dinner. The strawberries and Truvia lent a perfect amount of sweetness and the cake was light and airy and tasty! I used lemon extract in my cake and the lemon and strawberry flavors were delightful together.

If you’re looking for a lighter dessert, I would definitely recommend this cake and Alton Brown’s recipe. Also, make sure your eggs come to room temperature before you whip them, or it will take an exceptionally long time and you’ll start to think you royally screwed up.