Monday, February 27, 2012

Daring Baker's Challenge: Lemon Cream Cheese Quick Bread

Oh hey, how are you blog?

This semester has been crazy - I'm working tons of hours and I still have class and Journal to attend to, so it's been wild! But, it's starting to relax a little, so that's good! I decided to do this month's Daring Bakers' Challenge, because I've embarrassingly missed the last two. Last month, in all fairness, was biscuits - I have baked way more than my fair share of those!

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

I decided to make a lemon bread that is reminiscent of a bread we used to get at my job in Ann Arbor. Everyday that we had interviews, we would get breakfast pastries catered in for the corporate recruiters. There were always croissants, which had been baked the day before and consequently tasted pretty sad - we used to joke that they must be fat free! My favorite thing was a lemon poppy seed bread with a strip of cream cheese filling through the middle. This bread is like that, though I must admit, the bread at work was better!

Lemon Cream Cheese Bread (Adapted from Land O Lakes) - Makes 2 Loaves
  • 2 c sugar 
  • 1 c unsalted butter (softened)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1c milk
  • 6 TBSP lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 6 TBSP powdered sugar
  • 1 egg 
  1. Preheat oven to 350. 
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. 
  3.  Add in the milk and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  4. Mix in flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix together until well-combined. 
  5. For the filling, cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and egg until smooth.
  6. Pour one quarter of the batter into the bottom of two greased loaf pans. Pour half or the filling into each loaf pan. Pour the rest of the batter over the tops of each loaf.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Let rest for at least then minutes, and then turn out of the pan to cool. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Deliciousness

I had a lovely Thanksgiving at home with my family and Matt. Lots of shopping, not nearly enough studying, and way too much dessert. I brought four desserts to the event, including the Sans Rival cake I posted below. My favorite was the cheesecake. My mom was a big fan of the cranberry pie and her boyfriend kept getting up in the middle of the night to eat the pear pie. Here's the photos I snapped, while everyone was still full of breakfast.


 Pioneer Woman's Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Our Best Bites' Creamy Pear Pie

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Daring Baker's Challenge: Sans Rival Cake

I made this delicious cake for Thanksgiving. I wasn't planning to bake it, but then my step-mom asked me to bring something chocolate to Thanksgiving, so that was that.

Catherine of Munchie Musings was our November Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make a traditional Filipino dessert – the delicious Sans Rival cake! And for those of us who wanted to try an additional Filipino dessert, Catherine also gave us a bonus recipe for Bibingka which comes from her friend Jun of Jun-blog. The Bibingka cake was a little to crazy for my family, so the sans rival cake was a much better match.

This cake takes 10 eggs! The cake layers are meringue with ground cashews and cocoa folded in. The frosting is made from half of the left-over egg yolks and is an extremely rich French buttercream. It was my first time making butter cream in this way and it was difficult but ultimately worth the effort.

I don't know if I'll make this again, just because it was so labor intensive. But, it was a fun thing to bring for the holidays and everyone enjoyed it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies

 I promised to bring treats to my Tax Procedure course this week during our pre-Thanksgiving movie week. I made cupcakes, but they aren't very cute, so I felt the need to make something else. I was watching my friend's son, so I decided to make something easy that he would be able to participate in. He's only two, so he wasn't much help, but he did really like the color. He was also totally entranced with the oven window and watching them bake. So cute!

 Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies
  • Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 C Oil
  • 1 C White Chocolate Chips 
  1. Preheat oven to 350. 
  2. Beat eggs and oil together in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add cake mix and stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined and uniform. 
  4. Stir in the white chocolate chips. 
  5. Measure out tablespoons of dough. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes. Allow to rest 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Craft Divergence: Easy DIY Necktie Obi Belt

I saw a belt like this on Pinterest ages ago and kept intending to make it. I love neckties and I love wide belts, so this was a must! This belt is so stupidly easy to make, I'm kind of embarrassed to even give the instructions.

You start with two neckties that are as close as possible to the same width and their widest. It would be best to test this out before buying them to make sure they line up. I prefer silk ties for all of my necktie crafting - if all ties cost the same amount at the thrift store, why not go for the nicer fabric?! Anyway, I glued the large ends together using fabric glue. To tie the belt, put it on front to back, wrap the ends around your front, and then tie in a knot.