Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas CakePops

Yep, I'm a little behind on the blogging this holiday season.

But...I'm still going to show off my Christmas CakePops.

And, of course, my favorite cakepop tester!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Dessert Idea: Mini Cheesecakes

I made these cute little cheesecakes for something a while ago, but I think they would make a great Christmas dessert. They're little, so you won't be too full to enjoy them, and they are a little bit festive with the raspberry on top. Plus, they're super easy to make, so you wouldn't stress yourself out making them!

I used this easy recipe from Bake or Break for the cheesecakes, then made a quick chocolate ganache (just heat milk on the stove and pour it over some chocolate chips until they melt), and added a raspberry for the garnish.

And, Ta-dah...easy Christmas dessert!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pumkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Last week at school, we had 2 days of parent-teacher conferences. The first day is a long one, 11 in the morning until 8 at night - yikes! These are always days I don't really look forward to, so I decided we needed a little pick-me-up for the beginning of the 1st day. I found these amazing muffins on Pinterest, originally from Annie's Eats {oh my gosh, so many great ideas over there!} and I knew these would be the perfect treat on a long day of conferences.

Since these muffins have a cream cheese filling, there are a few more steps than usual. I, of course, didn't read through the whole recipe before starting, so I didn't realize how much time it would all take. But I am passing these words of wisdom along to you - the filling needs 2 hours to freeze, so make it ahead of time!

Once the filling is made, it's a pretty easy process of mixing up the batter and slicing up the filling to put it in the middle of each muffin. Just fill the cups part way, add a blob of the cream cheese mixture, and cover it all up. Add a little bit of cinnamon sugar topping, and pop them in the oven!

When you take them out of the oven, you will want to eat them right away, but be patient and let them cool completely - the cream cheese filling is hot! Once they've cooled, enjoy your tasty treats.
{They were delicious!}

For the original recipe (with complete directions) visit Annie's Eats!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bakery Buzz: Bleeding Heart Bakery

Confession: I have been wanting to go to the Bleeding Heart Bakery in Oak Park for quite a while. It's a pretty tiny bakery in Oak Park. They have kind of a punk/edgy (for a bakery) vibe going on and use a lot of local and organic ingredients. They sell (among other things) lots of gourmet cakeballs.

Then a few things all worked out to make my bakery visiting dream come true:
  1. I purchased a Groupon for 1 dozen cakeballs.
  2. My brother-in-law got a job at a church in Oak Park.
  3. I went to church with my sister at that church in Oak Park.
  4. We went to the Bleeding Heart Bakery after church.
We got there and spent a lot of time examining the flavors available that day:
  • Pumpkin
  • Vanilla
  • French Toast
  • Chocolate Peanut
  • Oaxaca (Spicy Chocolate) 
Hmm...How would we ever decide which ones to taste? Oh that's right, we had a Groupon for 12...we could try them all!

Well...just as we were about to purchase our dozen cakeballs, we were told that they weren't accepting Groupons that day. They just didn't have enough cakeballs. So even though between the 4 of us there, we bought 11 or 12 cakeballs, we couldn't use the Groupon! Ahhh...super frustrating.

But, I did enjoy my cakeball {Oaxaca - and they weren't kidding when they said it was spicy!} and this just means I have to go back another time to use my Groupon. I think I'll try the one in Elmhurst next time - it's a little bigger and maybe they will have enough cakeballs to let me use my Groupon!

If you want to get your punk rock pastry on, visit Bleeding Heart at
1010 North Blvd. Oak Park, IL 60301

Maybe call first to see if they have enough cakeballs: 708.358.0559

Friday, November 25, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

When I went searching for Thanksgiving desserts this year, there was really only one place to look. You know what I'm talking about...time for another Pinterest recipe! {See, it really is taking over my life.} This one is from 52 Cupcakes. If you haven't been there, go check out all of their amazing looking recipes!
When I saw this picture...

Original Here

...I knew I had to make these. Love me some Reese's peanut butter cups! And at the bottom of a cupcake? Even Better!

Then I went to check out the recipe, and it couldn't be easier. All you do is gather the ingredients (starting with a boxed cake mix!), throw them in the mixing bowl, and mix them up.

Before spooning the batter into each cupcake liner, add your secret ingredient to the bottom of each one.

Then spoon enough batter into each cup to cover up the peanut butter cup, and stick them in the oven.

While they are baking, gather up your frosting ingredients and mix them all together.

Then frost the cupcakes, and get ready for a delicious cupcake with a special surprise at the bottom!

{For the original recipe (if you want to make your own), head over to 52 Cupcakes}

Thursday, November 24, 2011

On Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving dessert, and a good reminder of what we can be thankful for today...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pillow Cookies

Pinterest is taking over my life. Seriously, it is. I pin at work, at home, at my mom's house. I love it, but sometimes all of the pinning and repinning and commenting on pins just gets a little crazy. But sometimes, all of the pinning and repinning and commenting on pins leads you to some fun new recipe ideas. Example...Chocolate Chip Pillow Cookies!

Have you seen them over on Pinterest?
It's a brownie inside a chocolate chip cookie!


I know, right?


I (re)pinned them a long time ago, but felt a little self-indulgent just making them for myself. But when a friend needed a little pick-me-up, I knew these were the perfect cookies to get the job done!

At first glance, these cookies seem a little complicated, but they're actually pretty easy. All you need to do is bake a pan of brownies, and mix up a batch of your favorite cookie dough. Let the cookie dough chill in the fridge for about an hour before you use it. Spread some parchment paper out on the counter, preheat the oven to 350, then you're all set to follow these steps...

1. Roll a big glob of cookie dough into a ball. You'll have to experiment with how big you want your cookies to be, how much brownie you want to stuff in there, etc... I used about 1/4 cup of dough for each cookie.

2. Pretend like you're making one of those thumbprint cookies with the hershey kisses in the middle, and smoosh a hole into the center of your dough ball.

3. Cut a small piece of brownie (about an inch or so big) and push it down into the hole that you just made.

4. Work the edges of dough up around the brownie so that it starts to cover up the brownie.

5. Keep working the dough around the brownie until it's all covered up. Do not let any brownie show through! If you need to, add some dough to the top to make sure it's completely covered.

6. Put your dough ball/brownie creation on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. They will spread out quite a bit, so don't put too many on your baking sheet. I only did 6 at a time!

7. Surprise someone with a big batch of pillow cookies! YUM!

P.S. For the original idea, plus the recipe I used for the cookies, check out Bakerella's version.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Yikes...my poor little blog has really been neglected lately. I blame pinterest and conferences at school for eating up all of my extra time!  But the holidays are coming, and that means plenty of baking and time off from school, so hopefully I'll be able to catch up soon! In the meantime, here's a little update on my Cakeballs for the Cure. Remember these?

Well, between my mom's work and the teachers at my aunt's school, we made almost $50 and all of it went straight to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Yay!

I ran out of time to make them to bring to my school or anywhere else, but I've got a whole plan worked out for next year.  It involves starting way earlier, before the Race for the Cure. I'm going to package the cakeballs in sets of 2 and called them Balls for Boobs!

Clever, right? I'm also open to suggestions for other catchy names...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Boy or Girl?

My sister is having a baby in February, and she and my brother-in-law decided to have a Gender Reveal Party. You know, where no one knows if it's a boy or girl...

...and there are cupcakes with pink or blue filling or balloons in a box in the appropriate color. My sister chose me to be the one to find out first and then make some cupcakes filled with pink or blue. (I think they turned out pretty darn cute, too!)

Boy or Girl?

It's a...


P.S. Check out my new favorite frosting recipe here. It's kind of a long, involved process to make, but worth it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

CakeBalls for the Cure!

October is breast cancer awareness month. Every year, in honor and memory of my good friend's mom, I participate in the in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. After the race this year, I started thinking about other ways to get involved. I came up with...

CakeBalls for the Cure!

They are made with pink vanilla cake and vanilla frosting, then dipped in white chocolate and topped with pink sprinkles. I'm thinking about selling them for $1 each, with the money going to the Susan G. Komen foundation, which raises all kinds of money for breast cancer research. You can find out more here.

So what do you think?
Would you buy one of these tasty treats for a good cause?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels

I was making cakeballs and ended up with a bunch of white chocolate left over. I didn't want to just dump it, but I didn't have any more cakeballs left. So I frantically searched around my kitchen for something to dip before the chocolate hardened. What I found was a gigantic bin of peanut butter filled pretzels. Jackpot!

 Melted White Chocolate
Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

White Chocolate Pillows of Peanut Butter Goodness!

Guess what I had for lunch today?
 (Good thing I only had enough chocolate left to dip a handful of pretzels!)

I also thought they would be cute as little ghosts for Halloween!

(I may or may not have added in the faces on Picnik,
but I still think they're pretty cute!)