Birthday Pie and a Pie Party!

September 26, 2011 at 7:00 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 5 Comments

Who knew I would be spending my 29th birthday making two pies and then going to a pie contest! What would surprise me even further was that I would win that pie contest! And I didn’t even guilt trip the other contestants/judges into voting for me because I was the birthday girl (I neglected to share that fact to make the contest more fair…). But it makes sense, cause when Bec and I get together for a extended amount of time, we end up spending a good amount of it in the kitchen making glorious concoctions (see these old posts here..) We scientists know how to whip up things very expertly. (or maybe we’re just good at cooking??)

Look at this cute friend of mine in her pink and green apron. 😀  So I went searching that weekend for the perfect awesome pie recipe. And I found this peach and blueberry one on Joy the Baker’s site. I ❤ Joy the Baker!!! I mean, even in this post, she tries to prove that making pie is like making pure love in your hands! She convinced me to make that pie and damned if it wasn’t the best pie I ever made! Thank you JOY! And thank you Becca for making it with me every step of the way. On to some fun pictures my friends!!

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Daring Baker’s Challenge: Croquembouche

May 27, 2010 at 10:29 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 8 Comments

So here I am back in the DB driver’s seat again! Who knows about June, but May was a definite for me. It helped that the challenge only took about 3 hours in total! I love making pate a choux, getting pretty good at it! Might need to change the amount I pipe though because when I do a little curly q, it makes a little ducky shaped choux. They were so tasty and I filled them with coffee flavored cream and used the hard caramel glaze to glue everything. Some nice pink mini carnations topped it off! A perfect treat and end to my Ree inspired girlie dinner!


The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri. Thank you for hosting us Cat!

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Daring Baker’s Challenge January: Nanaimo Bars

January 27, 2010 at 12:00 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 13 Comments

Well when I read the name of these babies, I had no idea what that corresponded to! But actually, they are a hot mess of chocolate, graham cracker and sugar! Laurita loved them and everyone seem to enjoy their serving when I doled it out on Saturday to some of my buddies. But I really thought the middle layer was too sweet. It was really cool making my own graham crackers- I didn’t do it gluten free though because the cost of buying those different flours swayed me away and I have two sacks of whole wheat flour in my pantry that I had yet to touch- so whole wheat it was!!!


Laurita took that lovely picture of the bar. I was being lazy and didn’t feel like getting up from the dinner table and wow shes such a good photographer! She is starting her student teaching this week so I hope that this dessert will help calm her after her new long days. Welcome to the real world sister bear!!

I love making layered desserts- seems so much fancier and interesting to me! I substituted more almonds and marshmallow bits for the coconut part of the bottom layer since I detest it so much! And I thought that was a good substitution.

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and Check out some more pictures below and the recipe!

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December Daring Baker’s Challenge: Gingerbread House!

December 27, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert, Entertainment | 4 Comments

This challenge I saved for the end of the month! The reason you see, is that I wanted my two younger cousins to help me decorate it! So the Monday before X-mas I made the dough, Tuesday night I rolled it out and baked it and then Christmas eve it was decorated and constructed! I think it looks amazing!! Love my little cousins Caroline and Sarah- they are such a joy to me. 😀


The dough making and rolling was actually quite easy- probably about 1.5 hours in total. Not bad if you want to be cheap and authentic when Christmas comes around! We went to Wegmans and got allll the christmas candy to decorate with. I think that was my favorite part- picking out the candy!! My not so favorite part was when the pieces of gingerbread started breaking apart which led me to Plan B, which Auntie Catherine so expertly assisted me with. Basically, I built another house out of cardboard and duct tape and then I royal frosted the gingerbread pieces to the cardboard house!  Check out the recipe below, some more pictures and the rest of my posse!
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November Daring Baker’s Challenge: Cannolis!!

November 27, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 15 Comments

The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book. Lisa Michele is one of my very favorite fellow Daring Baker’s so I am so excited to do her challenge!!

I chose to make three different fillings and use a semi chocolatey shell dough! I was only planning on making a plain vanilla filling with chocolate chips, but then Ned urged me to make one with the pistachios that we had in the pantry and when I heard that the pumpkin filling recipe used marscapone (which I had leftover from another pumpkin creation) I called Laurita immediately when she was getting our turkey from Trader Joe’s and she got me a can of pumpkin to complete that filling! From what I hear about the pumpkin shortage, boy am I glad to be able to get that can! These three fillings were lovely and are so delicious each in their own way. Fantastic choice for a challenge LM, fantastic!

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August Daring Baker’s Challenge: Dobos Torte

August 27, 2009 at 8:43 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 10 Comments

The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. Here is my “tilty” rendition!  And it actually tasted deeelicious, except for the caramel part which might have had a bit too much lemon juice!

And I made this cake early in the month and why you ask? 😀 Well go for the jump and find out!

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July Daring Baker’s Challenge: Chocolate Cookies!

July 27, 2009 at 8:51 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 11 Comments

My eyes lit up and stomach started growling the minute I read this challenge! I love mallow cookies and milano cookies and was so excited to concoct these babies!! So I actually only got around to making the first kind of cookie with Super Scotty, but they turned out actually incredibly delectable and all two dozen were promptly eaten within 60 minutes of me announcing they were up for grabs in VT!

Baking on vacation isn’t necessarily ideal (cause of my busy schedule of sunning, reading and feasting!), but boy were they delicious and everyone was impressed.
The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

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June Daring Baker’s Challenge: Bakewell Tart

June 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 17 Comments

I was a little unsure about how this challenge would turn out, because I saw this as a nut pudding tart…but it was far from just that! The pastry crust turned out great and the jelly filling added a nice little zing, and the pudding!- well I baked the whole thing so that it didn’t stay pudding and I was happy with that!

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

Check out the recipe below!

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May Daring Baker’s Challenge: Fruit Strudel

May 27, 2009 at 5:59 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 9 Comments

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers. They also allowed us to choose whatever filling we wanted so I went seasonal and got strawberries and rhubarb! Alas- a perfect combination! The preparation of the dough was definitely my favorite part.

The filling didn’t turn out exactly how I expected it, but Ned, Laurita and Jen seemed to enjoy it so I consider that a job pretty well done. 😀 I paired it with some french vanilla ice cream and boy did this dessert go down smoooth. Check out the recipe below!
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April Daring Baker’s Challenge: Raspberry Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

April 27, 2009 at 7:41 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 25 Comments

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. These cheesecakes were OFF THE HOOK. Ned actually proclaimed that these might be the best dessert he has EVER HAD!! And when I told my sweet coworker Alice (who also had one!) that- she said “Now if he doesn’t marry you, he is out of his mind!” 😀 I love Alice, and I love Ned AND I love cheesecake!

Well I didn’t follow the recipe hardly at all- but being economical Elizabeth I used a bunch of ingredients that I already had in the fridge!

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