December 2, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 30 Comments
“IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR.” Edward Pola & George Wyle
December is a month full of joyful anticipation. Yes, there is Christmas at the end of the month. But there are so many other things I look forward to. The first snowfall, Christmas decorations, holiday baking …… and eggnog! Beginning on Thanksgiving Day, eggnog is my one true guilty pleasure of the season. Some love it, some not so much. I indulge myself for an entire month and a half!
I belong to a few baking groups online. I LOVE baking alongside other equally passionate bakers. And Twelve Loaves is one of my favorite groups. It is dedicated to the love of baking bread and the like. So I have a few women to acknowledge and thank! Founded by Lora of Cake Duchess fame and running smoothly with the help of Heather at girlichef, each month a theme is chosen and a member hosts. This month, Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake selected a holiday bread theme. I knew immediately that I wanted to slip a little nog into the works!
If you love eggnog as I do, you will enjoy these muffins. Simple and subtle in flavor, they are enhanced by a little nutmeg and rum extract. But really, it’s all about that streusel . . . . . [Read More...]
November 20, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 54 Comments
“SOME FOODS ARE SO COMFORTING, SO NOURISHING OF BODY AND SOUL, THAT TO EAT THEM IS TO BE HOME AGAIN AFTER A LONG JOURNEY.” Eli Brown (author Cinnamon and Gunpowder)
Let me tell you that these soft and moist little sweet potato cakes are so VERY comforting! The warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg combined with a sticky rum glaze ….. well these are sure to soothe the most tattered of souls.
While working through some major life changes, what I thought would be a 3 month absence from blogging turned into 9 months! Yikes! And as I prepared to return this week, I found myself worrying if I would even remember how to bake, photograph and blog. I have truly missed my blogging friends, my baking groups, the camaraderie we share in doing what we all love to do so much. And I am thankful for the support of those who reached out to me behind the scenes while I was gone; it meant so much.
I am especially excited to be back baking with The Cake Slice bakers. This is a wonderful group of women who share a love of baking cakes. And each year we bake together from a selected specialty cake cookbook. This year it is The Southern Cake Book, from Southern Living. A huge thank you to Laura from Baking in Pajamas for leading this fabulous group of women. I’m looking forward to a great year.
I’m also looking forward to jumping back in with the Bundt Bakers. While I had hoped to contribute this cake to their Boozy Bundts collection this month, I missed my deadline. Stacy from Food Lust People Love, was willing to squeeze me in, but I couldn’t get my act together. So I look forward to next month!
Now, on to this cake….. [Read More...]
March 8, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 27 Comments
“THE ONLY WAY CHEESE IS DESSERT IS WHEN IT IS FOLLOWED BY THE WORD CAKE.” Michele Gorman
If it were up to me, every meal of the day would be followed by dessert!
Now having said that, sometimes you just want a smaller bite. These little strawberry cheesecake cupcakes are just that. Fresh strawberry puree is swirled into sweet, vanilla cheesecake batter and baked on top of a chocolate cookie crust flavored with a slight hint of cinnamon.
I love cheesecake desserts in just about any form. Take these little cheesecakes out of their papers and plate them with some extra puree and a little whipped cream for a more elegant dessert. Pack one in your lunch bag for an extra special pick me up in the middle of the day. But they are a perfect size with a cup of tea or coffee for those mornings when you just have to have dessert for breakfast! [Read More...]
February 28, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 48 Comments
“NO ONE WHO COOKS, COOKS ALONE. EVEN AT HER MOST SOLITARY, A COOK IN THE KITCHEN IS SURROUNDED BY GENERATIONS OF COOKS PAST, THE ADVICE AND MENUS OF COOKS PRESENT, AND THE WISDOM OF COOKBOOK WRITERS.” Laurie Colwin
Since I’ve been developing my interest in blogging, baking, and …yes….cooking, I find myself collecting a number of things. Among my obsessions are cake stands, bundt pans, vintage kitchen ware, and COOKBOOKS!
So it was really fun to participate in the Food Blogger Cookbook Swap. The swap is hosted by Alyssa of Everyday Maven, and Faith of An Edible Mosaic. How does it work? Upon signing up, we are assigned a match. I sent a cookbook to another blogger, (Carrie at Poet in the Pantry . ) And then someone else sends a cookbook to me.
About my cookbook obsession? Well I have over 125 BAKING and DESSERT cookbooks alone! So I was secretly hoping I’d be sent a more savory cookbook. And I received a BEAUTIFUL book and decided to make a dessert from it! [Read More...]
February 24, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 27 Comments
“THE LIGHT MUSIC OF WHISKEY FALLING INTO GLASSES MADE AN AGREEABLE INTERLUDE.” James Joyce
There was a time when I would have told you that I don’t care very much for whiskey. But then, I decided to make some Home Made Irish Cream. You know, that wonderful creamy liqueur that has you believing you are drinking an adult milkshake? That stuff contains a whole bottle of whiskey! And now Jameson’s Irish Whiskey is among my favorites. I’ve used it for this recipe, too!
This recipe makes the top 3 of my favorite recipes on this blog! So simple to make, yet the combination of flavors and textures is so sublime. Cinnamon raisin bread, vanilla bean custard, pralines, pears, whipped cream, and the most delicious maple whiskey sauce imaginable! A little something different in every spoonful! [Read More...]
February 20, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 20 Comments
“I NEVER IN MY LIFE ARGUED WITH A PIECE OF CAKE OR A BOWL OF ICE CREAM.” Ray Bradbury
Cake and I get along very well. (Though you’ll never see me picking a fight with a bowl of ice cream, either!)
And while I’m a fan of simple cakes, they must be exceptional in flavor and texture. Take this chocolate bundt cake, for example. It’s a delicious blend of cocoa and cinnamon.
A little sweet. A little heat. And unlike most dense bundts, this has a soft, light and airy texture. And perfectly suited for a scoop of ice cream! [Read More...]
February 13, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 47 Comments
“ORANGE IS THE HAPPIEST COLOR.” Frank Sinatra
I agree! Orange is such a cheerful color!
As fruits go, I love oranges. And I especially crave them right around now. The holidays are over. My months of decadent eating are a fading memory. And I’m excited for recipes that include bright, tangy citrus. AND, blood oranges are now in season!
What I love about blood oranges is that they are sweet and tangy and vary so much in their unique color. I decided to use some to create this lovely blood orange and poppy seed sherbet. Combining the juice with cream lends this beautiful peachy pink color. The sherbet is both sweet and tart. And the contrasting black poppy seeds provide such a delicate crunch. [Read More...]
February 9, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 59 Comments
“SO HAND IN HAND THEY PASSED, THE LOVELIEST PAIR THAT EVER SINCE IN LOVE’S EMBRACES MET . . . . .” John Milton
Chocolate and Strawberries.
One of the most perfect pairings in the world of sweets. And if you want to be in love this Valentine’s Day, this cake will take you there!
Imagine fudge that is flecked with strawberries. This cake is dense and rich and worthy as a decadent dessert for a special occasion. It’s your favorite chocolate cake, mixed with smooth chocolate ganache. But the star ingredient are beautiful, sweet strawberries! [Read More...]
January 16, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 47 Comments
“IT WAS INEVITABLE: THE SCENT OF BITTER ALMONDS ALWAYS REMINDED HIM OF THE FATE OF UNREQUITED LOVE.” Gabriel García Márquez
I promise you. You will LOVE this cake. And it will LOVE you back!
What’s not to love? A sweet, moist cake baked with ground almonds and a hint of extract. And it is just bathed in a lush, chocolate amaretto ganache.
And you? You are so sweet and loveable just the way you are! You are meant to be together!
Just like the Bundt Bakers. There has been a little changing of the guard. But I’m so happy that this group of bundt loving women remained together, too. You know how it is. Life gets busy and we all go off in all sorts of directions. I’m ever grateful for Cake Duchess and Baker Street for starting this group. Now I am so thankful to Stacy of Food Lust People Love for taking over the helm of the new Bundt Bakers.
And to celebrate our first challenge as a somewhat new group, we decided to go nuts! [Read More...]
January 12, 2014 By Anne Boeckl 37 Comments
“WINTER IS NOT A SEASON, IT’S AN OCCUPATION.” Sinclair Lewis
Is it me, or does everything feel like so much more of an effort in the winter?
Walking to the bus stop, hauling my recyclables out to the curb, stopping to put gas in the car . . . . . these 5 minute activities feel like 20 when it’s cold outside! Just getting ready to go to work in the morning feels like an occupation. The days of grabbing my purse and keys are gone for a while. Now I have to consider my coat, boots, warm socks, hat, scarf, mittens and chapstick!
Do you feel like you are working double duty in the winter? I do! Especially on those days when I have to shovel my way out the door before I can get anywhere!
I take a bus and a train back and forth to my job. It’s about an hour and a half commute one way. I leave when it’s dark. I get home when it’s dark. And a warm cup of cocoa really hits the spot some nights. And in the winter months, baking should not feel like another of my occupations!
This sweet, chewy cocoa brownie cake is just about effortless! It’s made in one bowl. You can eat it straight out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream. Or you can add a layer of chocolate ganache and top it with loads of whipped cream! And perfect with a cup of cocoa! [Read More...]