Popcorn Snowmen

There’s lots of special treats you can make to have fun with National Popcorn Day. As I was looking through my collection of cookbooks during the holidays, I came across the first book that began my confectionery journey.  It was Wilton’s Complete Book of Candy, 1981.  In it I found a recipe for popcorn balls. I have a wonderful memory of my grandmother’s popcorn balls that she’d wrap in colored wax paper.  They were crunchy and chewy, sweet and slightly… [Read More]

Snowflake Gingerbread Cake with a Cocoa Trimming Kit

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.  Ours was, as both boys were home and were able to stay a few days but today they’ve flown the coop again.  I never get used to that but before they left they got out all the Christmas decorations and put the garlands up on the banister while I was out shopping.  It was a perfect surprise!  It’s a big job to get the greens and lights up on our curvy staircase so I… [Read More]

Pretty Painted Pie Crusts

With pie making taking center stage on Wednesday along with all my other prep work for Thursday’s dinner, I’ve planned ahead and taken some steps to make the day less hectic and more organized with “pretty” still in mind. Truth be told, I cannot make a pie without a decorative crust finish.  When I won the blue ribbon for my Dutch apple pie at the Orange County Fair, one of the judge’s comments was how pretty the single painted apple… [Read More]

Black Cinnamon Candied Apples

Trick or Treat!  Happy Halloween Week!  Here’s a treat that’s best made a day or two before the big night.  It’s a twist on the hard candied apples that are usually colored red but I’ve made these black and cinnamon flavored.  That would be the trick but they’re not tricky to make. To begin, clean apples thoroughly to get the wax off.  I did this by taking baking soda in my hands, dampening with water to make a paste and… [Read More]

A Whimsical Springtime Brunch

You might think I’ve gone down the Easter bunny hole or have spring fever but when I saw the Spring Flower Cupcake pan from Wilton, I immediately thought of quiche flowers for a springtime brunch and not cupcakes!  Hard to believe, I know. With the beautiful tulips, lilies and freesias that grace my table, I wanted to add a touch of the garden to everyone’s plate but in a whimsical and unexpected way. Using the cupcake pan is a fun… [Read More]

The Best Giant Make-Ahead Cinnamon Roll Ever Is Back For The Holidays!

What is big and round, gooey and sweet, crunchy and soft and bakes while you open presents making your Christmas morning cinnamon-y and warm with everyone deliriously happy? If you guessed the Best Giant Make-Ahead Cinnamon Roll Ever, then you are right, my friends!   This recipe uses store-bought frozen bread dough, thawed, formed and left to rise overnight in the fridge.  How simple is that?  Check out the step-by-step very easy tutorial and create a holiday tradition. Yes, it’s back… [Read More]

Decorative Pie Crusts

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.  Friday felt like the day after Christmas to me.  I just crashed and completely vegged on the couch editing photos, taking in Barbra in Hello Dolly! and ordering a few things online while everyone helped themselves to leftovers.  Anyone else take it easy? I’ve been baking so many cookies for the last couple of months that it was a nice change of pace in the kitchen.  We began the season in celebration of… [Read More]

Meringue Cookie Heart Pops

While I was making Meringue Heart Cookies for a recent post, I thought how cute they would be sandwiched with white chocolate ganache or white candy coating, dipped in colorful sprinkles and placed on a red and white striped straw, so I gave it a try. Won’t they be fun to attach to Valentines? If you’ve made the meringue hearts you only need a few more things to transform them into pops. If you’re using *white chocolate ganache:  1.  Heavy… [Read More]

“Be Still My (Meringue) Heart” Cookies

Chocolate might reign supreme as the sweet choice for Valentine’s Day but if something lighter tickles your fancy, meringue heart cookies just might make your heart go all aflutter. Made with ingredients most of us already have on hand in our kitchens, the ingredients are simple: egg whites, cream of tartar, granulated sugar (either ‘super fine’ or regular), and vanilla.  The pink food coloring for tinting the meringue is optional but soft pink hearts are the language of love on… [Read More]

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream, Frangelico and Crème de Cacao Buttercream Icing

As if my favorite espresso martinis weren’t decadent enough I made espresso martini cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day with buttercream icing made with Bailey’s Irish Cream and a few of its flavorful, sweet, high octane friends. These friends play together beautifully and are three of the five ingredients in the espresso martinis that I love. Bailey’s is creamy goodness.  Frangelico is hazelnut-flavored liqueur and Crème de Cacao has a light chocolate flavor. For the cupcakes, I substituted the liquid ingredients… [Read More]