Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Donut Obsession

Me:  "My name is Joyce and I am addicted to donuts." 
All: "Hiiiii, Joyce."

If there was a Donuts Anonymous, I imagine that's how one gets introduced to the group.  I'm practicing for that day because I have a slight addiction to the fried goodness.

Need proof?

- I have a Tokidoki donut shirt.  It's ridiculous and I love it.  If it was dri-fit with thumb holes, it would be perfect.
- I desperately want to host a cold weather event with spiked hot chocolate and a donette-topped stir stick.
- I text my donut orders to the owner of my favorite shop, DK's Donuts in Orange.  Oh, and we're collaborating to create a new flavor.
- I was dangerously close to purchasing a commercial donut machine.
- I ran a half marathon in San Jose just so I would have a valid excuse to visit Psycho Donuts.

When my hockey teammate announced that his clothing line, Markisa, would be unveiling a donut design, I was immediately on board!  And it was because of this hoodie that my donut cupcake was born.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Holiday Gifting

Every holiday season, I bake treats for my favorite people.  Usually, it's the year's most popular treat, like lava cupcakes, cookies & cream cookies or chocolate covered pretzels.

This year, I decided to change it up and took a DIY approach (DIY meaning Do It Yo'Self) that I thought would be fun and in a way, could be a gift that keeps on giving - after all, the best way to learn how to do something is to do it yourself, right?

Taking inspiration from Bakerella's popular Cowgirl Cookie gifts which feature an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with M&Ms and pecans, I took my favorite cookie recipe and created a mason jar treat that my friends could bake at their leisure.

I have to admit, making the jars was a bit more time consuming than I anticipated, but the end result - oatmeal Raisinet cookies - was quite lovely (and quite tasty).

Hope your holidays were great!  Wishing you a fantastic 2014!

I'm Back...Temporarily

It's been months since my trusty stand mixer has been put to use, but not to worry - I've found new baking inspiration to get me going.

But first, some background...

This past Thanksgiving, I was in Miami anticipating the regional fave, key lime pie.  Nine days later after a cruise through the western Caribbean, I found myself at the airport, hours before my flight home without having an authentic Miami treat.  SUPER SAD FACE.

So what is a girl to do?  Um, check in my luggage, grab my boarding pass and find a way to Joe's Stone Crab for some pie!  Duh.

And that's what I did.  My original plan was to bring home some of the creamy, tarty goodness, but after learning that the pie would melt in transit, I did the next best thing:  I bought the Joe's Stone Crab cookbook.

By the time I got back to the airport, my flight was boarding (oops!), but the pie was definitely worth it.

It didn't take long for me to make my own version of the pie using a cupcake pan, of course!  Although it took forever to juice the limes, the effort was well worth it and immediately brought back memories of that amazing Miami treat!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Cookie Butter Craze

For those of you who haven't tried it, cookie butter is a popular treat that takes a spiced European cookie and turns it into a peanut butter-type spread. The cookie butter craze has officially taken over the world. 

I tried it when Trader Joe's started carrying it a couple years ago, but it wasn't really my thing.  As a full-fledged fan of Nutella, I don't understand the cookie butter hype, but I fully support anything that causes sane people to lose their minds.

Little did I know that the butter was in such high demand!  After a relaxing night out with friends, cookie butter and Pretzel Crisps, I learned that not only do most Trader Joe's have a limit of two jars per person, but apparently, they sell out ridiculously fast!

The next morning, I made my way over to Trader Joe's, picked up a jar (there were six pallets of jars on a Sunday) and proceeded to make a cinnamon-vanilla cupcake with cookie butter buttercream frosting...just for the addicts. 

By Tuesday, ALL SIX PALLETS WERE GONE.  Seriously.  Ya'll are crazy and I love you.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Post-Season Hockey Treats

Hockey players are creatures of habit. We put our gear on right to left, every single time. We wear lucky socks. We wrap our sticks in a way that appeases the hockey gods.

Ok, maybe we're not all that hardcore (yes, we are).

Every year between mid-April and mid-June, I make a special treat in honor of the NHL's post-season, typically referred to as the most wonderful time of the year.  From puck cakes to the Stanley Cupcake, the treats symbolize some of my favorite things: hockey, sugar, hockey and chocolate.

This year, instead of baking a treat, I went the candy route, dipping chocolate hazelnut sandwich cookies into creamy chocolate to make pucks...Los Angeles Kings pucks, my favorite kind!

So delicious and so easy to make!  Using an Oreo cookie candy mold, I filled it 1/3 up with melted chocolate, stuffed a cookie into the mold and filled the rest with chocolate.  Once it cooled down, I popped those babies out of the mold and topped it with an edible Kings logo.  Easy peasy!!

The Kings face the Chicago Blackhawks this week in the Western Conference Finals.  Let's go Kings! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My new favorite dessert

Many moons ago, brownies were my favorite treat to eat.  Why? Duh, because it's chocolate on sugar on chocolate.

Now that I'm older and waaaaaay more sophisticated (not really), my taste has evolved into something much more simple and not nearly as decadent. 

Do I still indulge in the always fancy salted caramel ______ (fill in the blank)?  Of course.  But every now and then, it's equally indulgent to go back to basics.

Like Rice Krispy Treats.  Seriously, how can you go wrong with one of the easiest desserts known to man?  They're crispy yet chewy, not sugary sweet and can be easily fancified using any number of ingredients.  Nutella, Snickers, chocolate name it and it will probably taste amazing.   

When I like to get fancy, I go back to my childhood with the ever popular Oreo.  You know what's weird - I don't really like Oreos as a cookie.  But mix that bad boy into cookie dough, brownies or milkshakes and it's the best thing ever!  No joke.  Mix into a Rice Krispy Treat and you are definitely in for a treat!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thank you, Hostess

Generations of treats have been inspired by Hostess, the maker of the famous Twinkies, Ding Dongs and my personal favorite, the Frosted Donette.

Although the company is closing, many will fondly remember eating these treats, whether they were in your childhood lunchbox or deep-fried at the local fair.

One of the first cupcakes I added to my menu is inspired by the Hostess Cupcake.  Appropriately named TheOriginal, it is still one of my all-time favorites.  With its whipped cream center and ganache glaze, TheOriginal always takes me back to my childhood!