Oven Lovin'

April Fools!

Here are some fun ways to prank your kid today and get to eat the joke.  The instructional for these cupcakes are in “Hello, Cupcake” and “What’s New, Cupcake?”  The terrible puns however are all mine.

corn
This one might be kinda corny.
eggs
This one will leave them with egg on their face.
fried rice
This prank is best delivered hot.
spaghetti
Using your noodle, you can make anything pretty funny.
Oven Lovin', Royal Iced Cookies

Thumbs Up for Delish

Thank you!

Last weekend we jumped into the business world with both feet and started a Delish page on Facebook.  Nothing is scarier than putting your creative self out there and ask people to “like” you.  When the first person hit they liked Delish, we were beyond excited.  As it started to grow, our confidence in having a great bakery started to grow with it.

Now we’ve hit 100 likes and we want to say thank you to everyone who supports us.  What better way than to have a little contest to give away some cookies?  The prize?  A spring inspired cookie bouquet and a $25 gift certificate to Delish.  Anyone in the US can enter.  All you have to do is leave an answer in the comment section below answering “What baked good can you not resist?”

Wait, you want more chances than just one?  Okay, since you asked.  You get another entry if you like Delish’s Facebook page. (If you already have, you need to leave a comment too and then you are entered twice.)  More?  Because you are so sweet, smart, and beautiful (did I mention how much we love your hair?) AND we appreciate you more than you know, we are going to give you infinite times to enter.  If you refer a friend to like us on Facebook and they leave a comment here, have them mention you.  If they win, you win too!  Yup!  Double the prizes.  Contest closes March 26th at 6:00pm PST and the winner will be announced soon after.

We can’t thank you enough for your support.  Feel free to drop us a comment on FB or shoot us a note here.  We love hearing from you.  There will be more contests, more baked goods, and more oven lovin’ coming your way.

Oven Lovin'

Holy Cannoli!

It may seem a bit non-traditional to start February off with something other than red and pink goodies.  However, I wanted to start with something that screamed LOVE to me in celebration of this Valentine’s month.

My Valentine, Hubs, is a little different.  He’s quirky, you might say.  One of his little idiosyncrasies is his ability to watch the same movie about a hundred times.  Right now he’s back on The Godfather and the sequel.  I’ve watched Sonny get ambushed, Michael hit the five families, and Fredo not returning from a boat trip so many times I can’t even keep count.

The other day on Food Network Alex G featured cannoli on “Best Thing I Ever Made.”  My heart fluttered because I had the perfect sweet gift for Hubs.  I agree with Food Network that this is an intermediate recipe because there are a few steps.  Still totally doable for anyone who has some cooking experience.  A couple adjustments I made were I started with homemade ricotta by Ina Garten and used my pasta machine to thin the dough.  Both things I would repeat next time.

The filling is easy to put together and surprised me.  I imagined a sweet whipped cream fluff.  Instead, I got a firm and smooth creamy texture spiced with cinnamon, a hint of lemon, and crunch from chocolate chips.  It far exceeded my expectations in the taste department.  When combined with the crunchy outside, it was pretty divine.

cannoli

My favorite part in the whole thing was sliding the plate across the table under Hubs’ nose.  When he looked up to see if it was for him I said, “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”*  He laughed.  It is true love.

*You’re only going to get that joke if you’re a Godfather nerd.

Oven Lovin'

Do-No Day

We try to fill the weekend with family time.  It starts the moment we wake up when I start a hot breakfast.  (Hubs does it Mon-Fri so he gets the weekends off.)  A month ago, my baking partner Tia bought me the Cook’s Illustrated Baking book and I couldn’t wait to tear into it.  What’s the first thing a cake baker would make when faced with all those delicious baked goods?

Anything her son and daughter ask.

Oven Lovin'

Zucchini Variation

A couple weeks ago, Tia’s zucchini bread showcased her husband’s gardening skills.  If you’re still trying to finish up the last of your crops or sneak in some veggies to your kids, this might be the thing for you.  Chocolate.  Doesn’t it make everything better?  I can tell you it even works on zucchini bread.

choc

Oven Lovin'

Breakfast Pizza

I’m probably one of the luckiest people in the world.  A dear friend also happens to be my hairdresser.  Not only do I get the benefit of enjoying fabulous cocktails and great conversation when I get my hair done, she pretty much rocks hair color and does a slammin’ cut.

In the chair we gab about everything from kids, to books, and most certainly recipes.  The last time she gave me the great tip about a breakfast pizza that her young boys have been gobbling up in the morning.  I couldn’t wait to add some of my touches and give it a try.

First you start with a store bought pizza crust.  You can make homemade but why make this difficult.  We’re working moms, remember?  Roll out the dough to a pretty thin crust.  Brush the dough with melted butter, sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of sugar, and shake over some cinnamon.  Bake the crust to directions.  Let it cool for a few minutes when it comes out.

While you’re waiting, throw four ounces of room temperature cream cheese into your mixer.  Mix that around for a minute before adding a cup of powdered sugar.  Now I do this by sight and taste because we all like different sweetness.  I wanted the frosting to be easy to pipe so thin it out with heavy whipping cream.  I keep adding and beating until it was a pretty soft frosting.  Soft enough to put in a piping bag, cut off the end with a scissor snip, and pipe this out.

crust

Take any berries you have in your fridge for the toppings.  I sliced my strawberries to give it a faux pepperoni look.  Don’t overly fuss about looks.  It gets pretty mangled when you cut it anyways.  The kids will never notice.

berries

Now why let any frosting go to waste?  Pipe more on. The more the merrier!  To give a little crunch I added some coconut chips from Trader Joes.  (This was the secret touch supplied by my friend.)  It did give it that little sweet crunch.

Breakfast Pizza

And voila!  You have a great breakfast treat no one can resist.  I tested this on my children who loved it, even though they picked off the blueberries.  I brought a white and a wheat crust version to my work.  There was a general rave consensus.

Go ahead.  Have a slice for breakfast.

slice

Oven Lovin'

A Berry Delicious Dessert

The title might be simple, but so is the dessert.  This quick berry sauce will be the perfect topping for light meringues.  It doesn’t have exact measurements or precise ingredient lists..  It could probably be substituted with frozen berries.  This dessert is meant to make your life easy and enjoy time with family.

Start with any fresh berries you have in the fridge.  It’s a perfect place to use up those blueberries and raspberries which may have gotten soft.  Reserve a quarter of your berries off to the side.  Dump the rest into a sauce pan and add some water.  The amount depends on how many berries.  Just enough to make a sauce without turning it into soup.  Don’t overanalyze it.  Don’t sweat this small stuff.  Start out with a quarter to  half cup of water for your two cups of berries.  Add a bit of sugar (again to your preference) and simmer on low heat.

Once the berries have bubbled to burst and reduced the water down to a deep berry sauce, turn off the heat.  Add a little lemon zest if you want a pop of fresh.  Throw in your reserved berries and you’re done!  Really, that’s it.

I chilled mine for a bit so it didn’t melt the whipped cream in the middle of my meringue bowl.  If you go at it hot, it would make a terrific topping to some vanilla ice cream. Yum!  Either way it’s fast, easy, and your guests will love it.

berries

Oven Lovin'

Meringue Flower Cups

It’s hard to find desserts for an Easter brunch.  After gorging on chocolate bunnies and sugary Cadberry eggs, a heavy dessert does not sound appetizing.  What could be lighter than a meringue?

After whipping up a Swiss meringue, you are able to load up your pastry bag and make any design you want.  You could pipe a simple kiss for bite-size treats or create a small bowl for something more substantial.

You can follow any meringue recipe you want.  I like the texture of the Swiss meringue buttercream, but stop before adding the butter.  Bake at 200 degrees until crisp, but not browned.  Then turn off the over and let it rest for four additional hours to overnight.   This makes it perfect for a Saturday afternoon in prep for the Sunday festivities.  In the end, you can end up with a beautiful bowl that looks like a rose.

merangue top

Next, an easy recipe to go in it.

Oven Lovin'

Who You Callin’ A Cream Puff?

What do you get when a Frenchman passes an Irishman looking for dessert?  I’m sure a pretty funny joke.  Instead, I’ve gone with yet another Car Bomb flavor combination wrapped up in a traditional french package.

irish cream puff

It’s too hard to make cream puffs, you say?  The complete recipe will be at the end, but here are the easy steps for an overview:

Replace the normal part of water with Guinness.  Don’t worry, there is still a half a beer for you to finish off while you’re baking.  Melt the cubed butter and beer on medium heat.

Melt Stuff

Sift together the dry stuff.

Sift Stuff

Once the wet stuff is melted, dump in the dry stuff.  Take the pan off of the heat and stir with a wooden spoon.

Brought Together

Stir for a couple minutes until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides.

Keep Mixing

Put the hot mixture in your mixer bowl and let cool for a few minutes.  Begin to mix on medium speed to release some of the steam.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix until it is fully incorporated.

20130310_141127

Once it’s mixed, it’s ready to pipe.  If you don’t want to deal with the piping bag, just spoon them out in dollops or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off.  If you want to pipe, make sure to dab down the point or this can really look not very appetizing.  I forgot to take a picture of the next step.

After baking, let the puffs cool so they don’t melt the whipped cream.  Cut them in half and pipe in the cream.  Finish it off with a drizzle of whiskey ganache on top.

Guinness Cream Puffs (Adapted from Joy of Baking):

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour replacing 2 tablespoons of it with unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup Guinness
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Choux Pastry:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly butter or spray the pan with a non stick vegetable spray.

In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt.

Place the butter and Guinness in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir until combined. Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about 1-2 minutes). Transfer the dough to your electric mixer, or use a hand mixer, and beat on low speed to release the steam from the dough (about a minute). Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs (dough will separate and then come together) and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste.  Spoon or pipe 12 small mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. With a wet finger or pastry brush tap down the tip from piping.

Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to bake for a further 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cut a small hole in side to release steam. When cooled, add whipped cream.

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Creme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar, or to taste

In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream and sugar. Whip the cream just until stiff peaks form and then add the Bailey’s for the last turns.

Ganache:
  • 8 ounces chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon Jameson’s whiskey
Heat cream and pour over chips, butter, and whiskey.  Let stand for a couple minutes before whisking together.  Let cool before drizzling so it doesn’t melt your cream.  Not too long or it will solidify.
See?  That wasn’t so hard.  If you’re tense about it, make sure you pick up a six pack of the Guinness and enjoy a couple extra.  This always helps with baking tension.  Enjoy!