Tuesday, December 8, 2009

‘Tis the Season….For Cookies!

It’s the holiday season and we are all looking for cute little gifts for so many special people in our lives. If you are looking for a great gift for teachers, cleaning ladies, postman, friends, kids, hostess gift, what could be better than homemade, delicious cookies? And artistic and personalized ones are even better! I will have all sugar cookie orders ready for delivery on December 21st, but will not be able to accept sugar cookie orders after December14th so don’t wait too long. I will be able to take chocolate chip cookie orders and deliver up to December 23rd, so if you need a last minute box of yummy goodness, please don’t hesitate to email me (24 hours notice is appreciated!). I have some pictures and prices below, please take a look. Happy Holidays!!

Personalized cookies in gift bag, one large (about 6”) OR two smaller (baker’s choice if not specified): $6

Please follow same instructions as the next item when ordering.

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Personalized sugar cookie with a complimentary cookie in basket, wrapped in cellophane: $10 Dunkin Donuts gift cards added to tag: add cost of gift card to basket, or you may supply me with cards of your choice and I will create tag for you.

Please specify:

  1. Snowman
  2. Snowflake
  3. Christmas tree
  4. Baker’s choice in design

And include the correct spelling of the name you would like on the cookie.

This is before wrapping:

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Not a very good “after wrapping” photo, but I hope you get the idea.

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Larger baskets or trays available, prices vary.

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Also available are delicious chocolate chip cookies, made fresh to order (sometimes still warm!)

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Prices start at: Gift bag: Half a dozen for $10 (a whole pound of cookies) Box: 12 cookies for $20 or16 cookies for $25 (fits the box better and gets you one free cookie!)DSC_0006

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Better than Samoas

I know not everyone likes the same things, but I love it when people like coconut.  Or LOVE coconut.  Some people like it fresh, some only love toasted, some only love to drink the tropical drinks rather than eat it.  I LOVE it all.

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When I toast it for some goodies I’m about to make, I have a hard time not eating it.  I also put it into my granola, into my cereal, onto ice cream… it’s that yummy.

But when you bake some little cookies made with white coconut and vanilla, then add some caramel…

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and then top with the toasted coconut…

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and then dip the bottoms in some dark chocolate…

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I think there might be something wrong with you if you still don’t like chocolate.  I think this might be a green eggs and ham moment, where you can’t say you don’t like it if you don’t try it.  I think that if you “don’t like coconut'”, this will make a convert out of you.  Just sayin’.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

COOKIE OR BROWNIE?

I was craving some sugar. Something with a big glass of ice cold milk. I had to make chocolate chip cookies for someone, and I wanted something for the kids (er, myself!!) and thought I should make something a little more chocolatey. I started with another batch of chocolate chip cookies but found a box of brownie mix in the cabinet (I feel compelled to add that the mix is for my 8 year old daughter who loves brownies and likes to make her own and I let her- with a mix! Mine are from scratch, mind you.). Having the beginning ingredients already in the mixer, I decided to skip the flour and I threw in the mix and then 3 heaping cups of chocolate chips and gave it a go.
It is such a nice fall day, the windows are open, the breeze rustling the leaves that are going to start changing colors and falling soon. The sight and sounds of fall, the "back to school" feeling, and now the smells of cookies baking and then the tastes of this concoction... it's all good. I was not happy about school starting, but today, a day of long lists that aren't getting done because I am sitting here eating cookies and drinking a gallon of milk, today I am satisfied that the kids are back in school. I'll work on my list tomorrow.
Hopefully there will be some left for the kids.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

zucchini in disguise


Today was the day we finally used some of the mega zucchini we grew in our garden. The zucchini was larger than our dinner plates, and one yeilded over 6 cups of shredded zucchini! My 8 year old assisted me (as this was just a "fun" baking day) and we made 10 mini loaves and one large loaf of a spicy zucchini bread. I never seem to follow recipes as they are written and I had to add some allspice, cloves, and nutmeg in addition to the called for cinnamon. Cut back on the sugar and added All Bran cereal instead of nuts, and the result was a moist, yummy, and (supposedly a tad bit) healthy snack.

















































Next was a batch of muffins (still had a lot of shredded zucchini!)with all the above spices, as well as cranberries, coconut, and pecans thrown in. No All Bran this time. They smelled sooooo good! I forgot to cut back on the sugar, and the neighbor was playing with the temperature controls on my oven. That combo yeilded a slightly burnt bottom on half of the muffins! Oh well, it didn't stop me from ripping one open. Mmmmm.



Be sure to wear swanky red patent leather wedge sandals with your striped apron while baking, everything is sure to taste better!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Key Lime Coconut Bars

 

Becky, my sister in law, is visiting, and made some delicious lemon-blueberry cobbler for dessert. In the mood for another tangy treat, I decided to try these bars. Of course, in typical Kohut fashion, I can't follow a recipe exactly, having to make it my own with some tweaking. And of course, this tweaking was due to some mistakes I made (yes, I admit my mistakes...once in awhile). So having put the sweetened condensed milk into the egg whites instead of the egg yolks kind of set me back, but I gently poured out as much of the whites as I could and lost a little of the condensed milk along the way. The addition of the juice of one lemon added to the key lime juice changed the taste slightly, but Becky and I both liked it. And the coconut in the crust was yummy. The crust could be used for anything, and I think I might make a coconut cream type thing with it.

Anyway, the experiment was a success. The kids don't like tangy, the husband doesn't love coconut, so Becky and I get the whole thing!!
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Life's a Beach

I had someone ask me to make a cake and some cookies for a 90 year old woman's birthday party. Apparently this woman loves the beach, the party was "down the shore" (a NJ way to say it for my non-NJ friends) and so of course a beach theme was necessary. For the cookie trays, I wanted some seashells and some starfish, so I made shells out of white chocolate and teeny tiny starfish sugar cookies. The idea was good, the execution of the little starfish was harder than I was planning, especially for late night decorating. They are hard to pick up without messing them up! But the outcome was cute.
I wanted to include a few "staples", things that I know people will eat no matter what else is offered. Chocolate chip cookies and some devilish brownies were in order. I also made a heath bar brownie, some peanut butter covered oreos, and some white chocolate coconut cranberry cookies that are ridiculously hard to stop eating once you start (I made the mistake of making too many and eating every single extra!) due to their moist coconut-y flavor and the sweet of the white chocolate balanced out with the tang of the cranberry. Sooo good. They are a popular cookie for the summer parties I go to.
The cake was fun to make. The request was to make it not too hard to transport, since the ride was about an hour or so, and the customer had seen the sandcastle cake I made a few years ago that was about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. She was excited to have a theme cake, but nervous because she knows I can go crazy when left to my own devices. So, trying to restrain myself, my immediate idea of a tall, fondant covered lighthouse was out. Trying to keep "small scale" in my mind, I made a little lighthouse and some other beachy things out of fondant before really deciding the layout of the cake.
I knew I wanted a sandcastle somewhere on the cake, but not like the other one I had made. So I started pieces made out of Nilla wafers and frosting that I molded into towers. The outcome of the towers was pretty good, but it was a very messy project. The "sand" and frosting combo was not as fun as Play-doh, that's for sure. Each tower took me almost an hour!
When it finally was close enough to the due date, I started making cake. There was no requests for flavor, so I made some chocolate and some vanilla which should please most guests. The frosting was all vanilla buttercream, and the whole cake was put together with white frosting before the rest of the cake was decorated. I didn't want tons of support pieces in the cake because it makes it harder to cut and the people wouldn't know how to take it apart to serve it. So the layers are just stacked with frosting in between each one.
This is the outcome.

Here are some other pictures. Almost everything is edible. The the seal on the rocks, and the turtle and whale in the ocean (made out of over 4 cups of sugar) are not.




























The sugar was done in layers to get the effect of moving water. What do you think?










































The writing didn't look so good on the flags, but I couldn't make new ones.



The lone bird on the back of the cake.

Let's Eat Flowers!

I was asked to bake for a very cute little girl. "Something girly" was the only request regarding the design. Hmmm. I've been working in the garden so much over the last couple of weeks that flowers were the only thing on my mind. And flowers are "girly", right? I personally don't know any girl that doesn't like flowers no matter the age. So flower cupcakes it is!
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Monday, June 8, 2009

End of the School Year


It's that time of year when the sun is shining, the weather is warm, and SCHOOL GETS OUT!! It's also the time of year I crank up the oven and bake gifts for the teachers. I have been making teacher gifts for sale every year, even when I'm "not baking anymore". It seems that I am not ever really "not baking anymore" because I still love to do it, and people still ask me to! I just try to limit how often I do it, and my family (and my waistline) seems to appreciate that. I always say "when we renovate the kitchen, I will do this more often" but I think that my grandkids will have gone to college before that will happen. Order while you can!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rose Overload!

I was asked to bake something for a bridal shower that the second graders (and their parents) are throwing for their teacher. I have been out straight with a million things to do, and of course time was running out. The shower is coming up fast, and I needed to come up with something that was easy and not too time consuming, so that I could get back to my other things, like the two truckloads of topsoil and mulch sitting in my driveway AND getting ready for company that arrives in one day AND pack for our weekend away... which is supposed involve yet another cake that needs to make the ride from NJ to NH... AND my husband told me that he's out of clean socks.
Sigh... cupcakes should've sufficed, but I thought about the kids and what they would imagine a wedding cake to look like. Kind of over the top, as second graders don't usually know when enough is enough, right? And because I know some kids like vanilla and some like chocolate, I had to make both! I was going to just make vanilla, but this being my daughter Julia's class, she wasn't going to let me get away with it. So part chocolate, part vanilla, 3 layer cakes with some major vanilla buttercream.
Unfortunately, the buttercream was too warm, too soft, and I was having some major ugliness. The basketweave didn't want to stay woven! Now, this was a donated cake, so I reallllllly didn't want to spend 3 days on it. I took a break and walked away for a few minutes. I had made a zillion roses but hadn't really thought too much about the layout. Eventually, I just dove back into it and just finished the basketweave and then started covering the cake in roses.

Not sure what else I can do to this cake, unless I just completely cover the cake with roses, and I just couldn't do that.
At this point, I feel like I have arthritis in my hands from the 4 days of shoveling dirt and weeding in the yard followed by the day of rose making. Plus someone is coming in an hour to fix something in my house, and I have frosting all over me, the floor, everywhere. So... done. The fat lady has sung! I think it's crazy! A little much, don't you think? I'm wondering what the parents are going to think of this chaotic rose cake. And Ms. McKeever, the bride to be! Hopefully I will remember to take pictures of her reaction and post them.