Another day off, another day of baking. I find it kind of ironic that I use my days off from work, which is where I go to bake all day and get paid, to just bake at home instead and not get paid. I guess that's when you know you love it? Or maybe it's an unhealthy obsession? Who knows, but my family doesn't have a problem with it. They say they do, like stop making so many sweets, but I know they love my cookies :).
Today I had another day off from work, and I had two things I wanted to do. One was to bake, as always. But, the other thing I wanted to do was to take that baked good and take better quality, more professional pictures of it. One of the most essential things to an online baking blog is the photography. I may be the best baker in the world, but since you all aren't actually eating what I make (maybe some of you are), the only way I can portray that is through my photographs, and therefore I am trying to improve. It is a long process and takes a lot of practice, so this is just the beginning, but I still think I did better than usual with my pictures today. I also put the camera on complete manual mode, including manual focus. It's not as scary as I thought it would be. In fact, it's kinda cool because you have complete control over what your photos are going to look like. So now I am going to be using all natural lighting, which means a slow shutter speed on cloudy days and a high shutter speed on sunny days. So far shutter speed is one of the only things I've really started to nail down. I'm still kind of confused as to what aperture even is, but I'll get there, hopefully. Let me know what you think of my improved (?) pictures!
Yesterday was another one of those days that there were just no cookies in the house, which I find unacceptable. Especially since I'm only here to provide my house with cookies for another month or so, then I'm off to New York to study hard. So, I got right to it. I opened one of my new cookbooks and saw this recipe for whoopie pies and had to try it. I've always wanted to try and make whoopie pies, so I did. They were delicious. The whipped vanilla filling was the best part, since the filling is always the best part I mean come on. It really does feel like you're eating whipped cream, but instead tastes more buttery and has no cream in it! Well, it has milk and butter and sugar instead, shhhh.
Last night we finish dinner and 8:00 rolls around and my mom goes, "So what's the deal here, Katherine? No cookies?" Now lets just be clear, there were cookies in the cookie tin and pop-tarts in a Ziploc container, but that wasn't enough for my mom and sister apparently. Of course I have no problem making them more dessert, but a lot of the times I just get them complaining about how many cookies and cupcakes and what not we have in the house, and here they are asking me for more. Of course I obey and get right to it, even at 8:00 at night (that's late for me okay). So I whip these up in under an hour, and they were delicious! A slightly crunchy while still chewy peanut butter cookie rolled in sugar and then topped off with a mound of chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough on top. It comes from a cookbook called "The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook", a.k.a. "Katherine's Cookbook". I love cookie dough. Who doesn't though, let's be real? But no worries, this cookie dough is egg-free. Give them a shot!
Last night I felt like baking, but we still had Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies in the house, and I thought another dessert would be too much. So, I thought I'd make something for the next morning. First thing that came to mind was cinnamon buns and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Who doesn't love a warm cinnamon bun for breakfast in the morning? But, every recipe I looked at made 12 to 16 cinnamon buns! That's too much to be around, I knew I would just nosh on them until all of a sudden I've had 3 cinnamon buns for breakfast. And on top f that, I'm still not feeling good enough to exercise yet (the whole wisdom teeth deal), so I decided no on that. Then I found these: a copycat recipe of my favorite store-bought breakfast treat, Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts! Who doesn't love that, and the recipe only makes 9, which is perfect for my household. Not to mention they were delicious. So if you ever want to make a morning treat but don't want a dozen cinnamon buns staring at you because you don't have an army to feed, here's a recipe for you! Also, they're great for making the night before, because who's going to slave over these in the morning!
Please do not close your browser right away after reading "zucchini". I promise, these are really good. This is coming from someone who grew up hating vegetables, I mean I'm a baker, right? Not a cook. I do like many more vegetables now, including zucchini depending on how it's cooked (this way is obviously preferred), but nevertheless you could hate zucchini and I promise you will still like these. I told my brother to try one and he goes, "They look so weird and green". But I forced him to try it and he goes, "They taste just like chocolate chip cookies, what's the point of the zucchini". So I guess that's good and bad feedback. One, he likes them and can't tell they have zucchini, and two, he makes a good point, which is that what is the point of the zucchini? Not really sure. Maybe to trick yourself into thinking you're eating a healthy cookie (sorry, not really). Or maybe because it's cool to get a sliver of your daily vegetables in a chocolate chip cookie. Both are probable reasons. I just thought it was cool. And no, these aren't exactly healthy cookies, but when you make two chocolate chip cookies, one with sugar and butter, and one with sugar and butter and zucchini, I guess the one with the zucchini is probably a bit healthier. Everything put in perspective, am I right?
Anyways, my point is try these out! It's summer and zucchini are beautiful right now, and I personally think it's pretty cool to make cookies that taste like cookies but actually include vegetables. The best part is making someone try it without telling them the secret ingredient, then telling them they just ate vegetables without even knowing, hehe :).
I made these cookies twice, actually. Once at night because we were all out of cookies, which is an obvious signal that I need to make more ASAP. However, our oven, which I love for cooking correctly and how shiny and new it is, is really stupid and makes the TINIEST little noise when it's done preheating or when your cookies are done, so I went to go watch a shark week episode (yay shark week), and my cookies burnt to a crisp. My brother got up to go do something and said right away, "I smell something burning." I was like "Shoot my cookies!!" I opened the oven and a whole burst of smoke came out and my cookies were black. Not even brown, but black. I tried a teeny piece of one of the least burnt cookies and it sizzled in my mouth like pop rocks. It was a tragic night.
So, I made them again the next morning, and they were delicious. My dad even said, "Are you making cinnamon buns or something? It smells good." I was like score! So they're delicious to taste and they make your house smell like cinnamon buns, as long as you don't burn them to a crisp while watching shark week...
I just got back yesterday from spending July 4th with my cousins, in which I made this flag pie! It was soooo delicious, and it looked pretty legit in my opinion. The only thing people didn't like was that there wasn't more blueberry, because everyone wanted blueberry. I personally like the strawberry-rhubarb side better, but nevertheless it was all good. So what do I do when I get home and have a day off from work? Bake some more! I got two new cookbooks in the clearance section of the bookstore at the Culinary Institute of America (!!!). We went there before we went to visit our cousins and had dinner at one of their restaurants. It was good, not splendid, but the experience was cool and the place was BEAUTIFUL! They had water fountains out front and a spectacular view of the mountains and the Hudson River.
This cake is so delicious. I liked the balance between the light and spongy cake with the rich buttercream. It helped not overload you with richness but still give you a satisfying piece of cake. The buttercream is an amazing recipe. It doesn't have any confectioners' sugar so it doesn't have that sometimes over-the-top sugary taste and instead tastes like pure butter. It was sooo good. I would make it my go-to recipe if my brother wasn't allergic to eggs (although I still might make it my go-to recipe, shhhh!). It does take more time than most cakes but it is a very impressive and delicious result and in my opinion a lot more fun than a plain old yellow birthday cake!
My name is Katherine and I love, love, love to bake! You can find all my baking adventures on this blog, plus you can follow me on Social Media by clicking below!