Cupcakes!

Our wedding is in 10 days and I have good news on the knee front. X-ray shows I’m on track and am perfectly healing. I’m cleared for physical therapy to work on improving my strength and  range of motion (ROM). I’m at 70º right now and 135º or so is normal. Now I just need to practice walking down the aisle.

The amount of television I’ve watched in the last few weeks rivals the amount I’ve watched my whole life prior to my injury. I’m exaggerating a tiny bit. Just a bit. Streaming Netflix has been a lifesaver while I’ve been stuck at home. TV Shows I’ve watched their complete available libraries include: United States of Tara, Raising Hope, The League, Better of Ted, Parks & Recreation, The Killing, Damages, Downtown Abbey, Portlandia, Cake Boss. I’m currently watching: Bones, Samantha Who, Sports Night, White Collar, How I Met Your Mother, Lie to me. See? Lots of TV.

What does all this have to do with cupcakes? Well. While watching Cake Boss, I decided I need to give this decorating thing a try. I’m what you call a rustic decorating. A sprinkle of powdered sugar does wonders. I decided to start small. Cupcake small. I ordered a couple of cupcake books from Amazon (not really able to go to bookstores now).

One of those cookbooks is Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes and these cupcakes are the first recipe in the book: Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting. Yum. As you can see, not a lot of fancy decorating here. I’m starting slow. You can find the recipe for the cupcake base HERE and for the dark chocolate frosting HERE.

Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

There is the endless debate between fans of fudge-like brownies and cake-like brownies. This is the first time I’ve baked cake-like blondies, which make them pretty much cake. A delicious snack cake with a tight crumb, but nonetheless, still cake.

The recipe comes from the Martha Stewart Cookie of the Day email (another one!) for April 22. I baked as directed and after tasting it (again and again and again) I decided it is the perfect vehicle for other flavors. Maybe add some cinnamon to the batter or use a flavored cream cheese or make it boozy and add Frangelico or Kahlúa to the swirl. Since the blondies use simple ingredients that we tend to have on-hand and Paul thought they were great, I’ll make them again as to not break his heart. ;)

Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies Recipe

(For the record, I prefer fudge-like brownies but I have no problem eating cake-like brownies.)

photo by paulrus

Mudslide Cookies (I’m back to baking!)

Yes. I’m back to baking. :) Although in a very limited capacity and not anything too complicated or anything that requires too much standing. No baking marathons of the past where I would bake all day and through the night.

Sitting at home, In between TV shows and naps, I have plenty of time to read emails that I used to just delete unread. One type is the Martha Stewart Cookie of the Day email. Mudslide Cookies were the featured cookie on April 16.

Reviewing the ingredients and having everything on hand (very important as I can’t drive or walk anywhere) I decided to make these. I’m glad I did.

They are a chocolate lover’s dream and I knew Paul would love them. Made with 3 types of chocolate and barely any flour, they melt in your mouth. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Like a perfectly under-baked brownie.

You can find the recipe here: Mudslide Cookies.

(by the way 23 days until our wedding.)

photo by paulrus

It finally happened

I’ve subscribed to the Martha Stewart Cookie of the Day e-mail for months possibly even years and have never made a cookie. I save each and everyone in my cookie of the day folder. There have been many that I’ve said to myself, “I’m definitely making those” and somehow, it turns out, with all my skooling :P I don’t know the definition of ‘definitely’.

I’m proud to announce I baked a Martha Stewart Cookie of the Day. On March 28, the cookie was Pecan Sandies and everything was perfectly aligned in the universe that day:
1. I heart pecan sandies. Okay, I heart most cookies.
2. I had all the ingredients
3. I had the time
4. The instructions were simple. No fancy cookie-making techniques or equipment needed.

I made the cookies smaller than suggested and they turned out great. Perfect “sandie” texture and the brown sugar/pecan flavor was awesome.

You can find the recipe here: Pecan Sandies