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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

January 17, 2014

Chunky Cherry Brownies

Technically there are two basic kinds of brownies: fudgy and cakey. Fudgy brownies usually begin with chocolate and butter that are melted together. Cakey brownies start with butter and sugar that are creamed together, with the chocolate added later.  For me, a brownie by its very nature should be fudgy because if it's not, then it's really just cake.  These brownies fall into the first category, fudgy! They are dense and moist and totally luscious.  Since they have more chocolate than any other ingredient, it's important to shell out a little extra dough for the good stuff. Avoid all the normal store brands of chocolate like Nestle, Bakers or Hershey's. Look for good brands such as Lindt, Scharfeen Burger, Valrona or Ghiradelli. Trader Joe's and Ikea store brands are both great options too and I would recommend them. I used a very fancy pants brand called Maracaibo Clasificado 65%. I get this from a chocolate shop hear where I live. It's not that expensive, actually and the flavor is fantastic.
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October 17, 2013

The other French Pancake...and no, not a crepe!

Imagine it's Sunday morning. The family is in their jammies and it's time for breakfast. Junior wants pancakes but your little princess wants French toast. Instead of making both, be creative, be daring, live on the edge and make (drum roll) French Pancakes!  No not crepes, that's totally different. Think French Toast but instead of bread, use pancakes!
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October 13, 2013

Mr. McGregor's Garden: From Scratch Oreo Cookies and Cream Cake

I think my favorite thing about making cakes is the journey. From vague idea to the exact "ah ha!" moment when I can envision the cake in my head is a truly magical process. It can take days, hours, weeks or just moments. I sketch ideas on random pieces of paper, I see my hands press and pull gum paste into shapes as I go on my morning run, I dream of cake. Sometimes I'll think I have a concept completely solidified but I'll see something that catches my eye like an illustrated children's book or a funky bookend on Etsy and my mind is busy again.
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October 9, 2013

I'm published!

Back in August I was contacted by the good people at Brigham Young University newspaper. They were starting a new magazine for the student body at BYU and wanted to know if they could print my snickerdoodle blondie recipe in their first issue. With lightening speed I responding with a resounding "YES!". 
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October 2, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze

Many months ago I was asked to make this cake for my friend's husband Karl's fortieth birthday. To celebrate, they were meeting friends and family in Whistler Blackcomb for a big ski weekend and Karl had specifically requested something ridiculously chocolatey for his birthday cake. What is more decadent and over-the-top chocolate than a flourless chocolate cake? The melt-in-your-mouth truffle-like luxury of this cake was the perfect choice to celebrate Karl's 14,610 days of enduring on planet Earth.
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September 5, 2013

OMG! Cookies


OMG cookies received their name because the first thing that people say after they take a bite (and regain their composure) is, "Ohhhh my  God/Gosh/Goodness!". This is usually followed by another exclamation of some variety, such as "Holy Smoke!", "Those are amazing!" and occasionally, "I'm in heaven!". Apparently these cookies are a bit of a religious experience. But they also have this name because it's much easier to say than "Salted Browned Butter Pretzel Butterscotch Chip and Chocolate Chunk Cookies", although at some point you'll probably have to say that too.
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August 13, 2013

Whale look who's two!


It's been a long time since I've made my little whales and it was so much fun! I forgot just how cute these little whales were. This time around I made them for Konrad who was celebrating his second birthday. His party theme this year was All Things In the Sea and the whales were a perfect fit. You might remember these little guys from a few years ago when I first made them. It was then that I also invented my Sincere Strawberry Cupcakes which I also made for Konrad. I topped all the  cupcakes with a very generous dollop of Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
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June 23, 2013

Pattern Play Baby Shower

A few weeks ago I received an email from Debbie to make a very special cake to celebrate the upcoming birth of her very first grandchild.  The theme for the shower was "monsters" but the design of the cake was totally open. I wanted to find a good balance between being uber cute (like the one I made for Mikey's first birthday) and sophisticated. When Debbie showed me the invitation she made, I was instantly inspired.
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June 12, 2013

Strawberry Not-So-Short Cake

So you'll never guess what I treated myself to a few weeks ago: a fancy, schmancy new camera that takes beautiful photos. And where was said camera when I made this cake? Hanging on a hook at home, packed safely in its bag. That's a great place for it but not when I get a hankerin' to bake and I'm away from home! Sadly I had to rely upon my phone's camera which has a reputation for being less than stellar at taking reliable photos.
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May 24, 2013

Ava's Cheerleading Birthday Party

Oh how delighted I am to share photos from Ava's 6th birthday party! Isn't it just delightful? Ava's theme was cheerleading and some cheerleaders from the local high school came to teach all the party guests some cheer fundamentals. Several of the girls dressed in the most adorable little cheerleading outfits. Pink is Ava's favorite color so everything was pink, pink and more pink! I made pink funfetti cake (pink cake with red, white and pink sprinkles), pink raspberry French macaroons and of course pink cake pops, each adorned in a various shades of pink sugar and sprinkles.  I think Ava's mom did a supreme job decorating! It felt as though I was on a set of a magazine shoot.
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May 16, 2013

Konrad's Biplane Birthday


I've gotten a bit behind on my blog posts. I hope you can forgive me! I was going through my photos, when I realized that I never posted this charmer.  Last year on an extremely warm and sunny Seattle summer day, I had the honor of baking Konrad's first birthday cake, complete with a kitschy banner tolling biplane. 
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May 5, 2013

The Serendipitous Proposal

In the spring of 2010, I was visiting San Francisco for the first time. I only had three days in the city and I made the most out of every single second I was there. I have a lot of tremendous memories of that trip, but this particular moment was ranked highest among them.  I was walking through a little park on Baker Street,  on my way to the Palace of Fine Arts.  I was in a bit of a hurry, but I couldn't help but notice a couple sitting in the grass, each painting on canvases.
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