Honeymoon Bakery

Pint-Size Baker here!… I guess that was a little redundant; who else would be writing on this blog???

This weekend was one of those catch up ones. The weather was overcast with the appearance that rain could pour down at any second, so it was perfect for a little movie watching and productivity at the homestead.

And I did just that.

I guess this also meant that I had plenty of time to try a fun, new, and creative recipe, but I didn’t. Instead, I sat around on my hiney and watched a new (old) show called Life.

Needless to say, I’m addicted. It will be a sad day when I run out of episodes knowing they stopped making the show two years ago… and I digress.

Back to the topic at hand. While this weekend wasn’t filled with any new recipes, I did bake two batches of cookies: Oatmeal Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies. [This is becoming a pattern and I LIKE IT! I LIKE IT A LOT!]

I also had the opportunity to live vicariously through someone else’s travels. While in Rome, GA, said person happened upon a bakery called Honeymoon Bakery and sent me a picture of it. I immediately texted back suggesting [and by "suggesting" I mean STRONGLY URGING] that he go in and at least try a cookie or a cupcake. Well, let’s just say, be careful what you wish for…

Before I knew it, I had an influx of about 7 photographs of various baked goods ranging from a “Chocolate Seduction Tart” to cupcakes and cookies. Then a final text came through informing me that we would be having a dessert-fest upon his return home.

Below is only about half of the sweets my “sweet” brought back for me to try. [Like the play on words there? No? Well I like being cheesy so :-P ]
photo 1024x768 Honeymoon Bakery

Honeymoon Bakery Honeymoon BakeryNow on to my “sweet” review:

  1. Chocolate Seduction Tart – Pretty darn good. Very rich and chocolately and not for the average chocolate consumer. If you like bittersweet or dark chocolate, then this is for Y-O-U! [A-]
  2. Red Velvet Cupcake – Moist and delicious. The cream cheese frosting left a little something to be desired, but I’m a bit picky when it comes to cream cheese frosting on a Red Velvet Cupcake. All in all, I’d give it a [B].
  3. Cream Cheese Brownie – Now, I have saved this for last for a reason… and that reason is because this brownie is AMAZING. I don’t think I’ve ever had a better brownie in my life (and that’s sayin’ something). It’s moist, fudgy, and gooey while not being messy, and the cream cheese adds a bit of tang to counteract the sweetness. If you are in or near Rome, GA, this Cream Cheese Brownie is well worth a stop at the Honeymoon Bakery! [A+]

Hmmmm, all this brownie talk has got me thinking… it might be about time I take a stab at making brownies from scratch again myself. If ya’ll could see how long my “to bake” list is, your eyes would bug out!!! [It even includes cinnamon rolls with bacon!]

Alright, that’s it for this week’s installment of the Pint-Size Baker. See ya’ll next week!


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French Silk Pie Take 1

This baking adventure actually dates back to three weeks ago. *GASP* Good thing there’s no expiration date on these blog posts.

Please forgive me. I’ve been meaning to post it but just haven’t gotten around to it… until now! Better late than never right? RIGHT!

This baking adventure has been marinating in my head since the beginning of June when I first met the person this ended up being made for. You see, during our first meeting (much like when meeting most people), the fact that I adore baking came up, to which he responded at some point in the conversation by telling me his favorite dessert and coincidentally his birthday…

FRENCH SILK PIE

[I have what librarians would call a "card-catalog" in my head for baked goods, especially when people tell me their ultimate favorites. And this particular meeting/conversation was instantly engrained in my head and filed away.]

I had tasted French Silk Pie once or twice before, but it never really stuck out in my head as being over-the-top amazing. However, my curiosity about this particular dessert was instantly sparked, and the next week I began the process of searching for the perfect recipe along with tips and tricks to ensure a perfect end product… IF I were to end up making this pie for said person one day.

About six weeks later it became clear that the opportunity to pull out the card-catalog file where the French Silk Pie was located would become a reality, and so I began gathering ingredients and referencing my research materials from the previous month. I referenced this Mocha Silk Pie recipe from The Pioneer Woman and this French Silk Pie recipe from Martha Stewart and went to town…

First things first: PREP.

IMG 1347 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

But wait! One very important ingredient is missing for the crust…

PECANS.

You see, I had enough pecans left from a previous baking adventure to make the crust of this one but my mother-dearest decided to toss them in the trash without looking at the expiration date, so it was back to the grocery for me to get them.

IMG 1346 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

Ahhh much better! Now we can proceed.

The first step is to make the crust, which is made by combining flour, sugar, salt, butter, and…

IMG 1349 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1Finely chopped PECANS!

IMG 1348 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

This little device has been sitting in the kitchen unused for who knows how long, so I decided to remove the tag and give it a whirl. Boy, was it a fun little whirl! Make sure if you try this at home, you hold on tight!

Okay, so after you get off the whirly mini-food processer and have gathered yourself back together, combine all of the ingredients for the crust and pat into a buttered pie pan and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.

IMG 1352 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1IMG 1354 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

After the crust has baked and while it is cooling, it’s time to make the filling that makes this pie become french silk!

This is where I let my Pint Size Baker creativity come in. Both Silk Pie recipes called for similar ingredients but not the same portions, so I decided to merge the two and see what I ended up with. Again, living life on the WILD side here…

Side note: I may have said this before but I don’t typically test out recipes before delivering to people (unless they are paying for the request). This could be perceived as not a smart idea to most, but it hasn’t really steered me wrong yet… YET.

First step is to cream the butter and sugar together. (I used 2 sticks of butter and 1 and 1/4 cup of sugar. Will probably only use 1.5 sticks of butter next time.)

IMG 1355 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

After the butter and sugar are light and fluffy, it’s time to slowly add the melted chocolate (3 ounces of bittersweet) and vanilla extract (1 tsp).

IMG 1356 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

IMG 1357 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1After that, it’s time to go to town with your 20-yr old hand mixer… wait, what’s that you say? You don’t have a 20-year old hand-mixer? Well you are missing out! It doubles as a hand warmer after 5 minutes. ;-)

Where was I? Oh, yea… add 4 eggs one at a time beating 5 minutes after adding each egg.

IMG 1358 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

Here is what it looked like after the first egg:

IMG 1359 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

After egg #2:

IMG 1360 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

After egg #3:

IMG 1361 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

and finally 20 minutes and one toasty right hand later, after egg #4:

IMG 1362 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1When completely combined, pour the French Silk pie filling into the COOLED pie crust.

IMG 1363 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

Cover with plastic wrap and let set in the fridge a few hours or overnight. IF possible, overnight is the best option.

When ready to serve, make a beautiful presentation with whipped cream and wait patiently for the birthday boy to arrive so that you can surprise him with it.

IMG 1364 1024x768 French Silk Pie Take 1

Then, while waiting, realize you shouldn’t have made a beautiful presentation with whipped cream just yet.

Scrape the top of the pie off and run a damp rag around the outer part of the pie pan and add the extra filling you had saved from the night before.

Smooth out and make it look like nothing had gone awry in the pie-making process…

Like most of my baking adventures, I have a few takeaways:

  1. Give mom STRICT orders not to toss out any baking ingredients unless otherwise noted… and make sure to say “PLEASE” when giving said orders of course.
  2. Reduce butter and possibly eggs to 3 instead of 4
  3. French Silk Pie is supposed to stay in the refrigerator but it didn’t set as densely as it should have. Resolution: Consult the person the pie was made for and take his advice on sticking it in the freezer instead. It ends up being amazing. However, beware of the crust. You might need a jack hammer when it’s frozen…
  4. Wait to put whipped cream on pie until you actually place a slice on a plate with a fork.

And there you have it! FINALLY I can quit worrying about when I’m going to post this French Silk Pie adventure because it’s done!

Finito…

Finished…

Yea, not so much… notice the “Take 1″ in the Blog title? Well, a wonderful lady who works on my floor who shares my passion for baking put together a makeshift French Silk Pie recipe for me sans raw eggs to give a whirl!

SO…

Stay tuned for French Silk Pie Take 2! Coming to a computer near you…

Posted in baking adventure, baking blog, chocolate, pie, pint size baker, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Welcome Home

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!

You have successfully made it to my brand, spankin’ new website!

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think! Also, don’t forget: if you are currently following the Pint-Size Baker on blogger/blogspot, make sure to re-subscribe to this blog site. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see all of the scrumptious baked goods to come.

Hmmm… a new home should have a house-warming party shouldn’t it??? I’m thinking maybe another baking video is in order! Now, the question is: what to bake??? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below and I’ll choose one from there!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Oatmeal Cookies

I love the smell of repeat customers in the morning (or afternoon… or whenever you’re reading this)!

This week’s baking adventure was performed by special request from my very best customer. So far, I have made Snickerdoodles, Banana Bread, Strawberry Pie, and my Top Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies for him… I think that might also make him Pint Size Baker’s biggest fan? (If anyone would like to fight him for this namesake, I will gladly add you to the client list so you may become a contender!)

This particular “client” of mine isn’t a fan of things such as nuts or raisins added to his baked goods. [Reference: Banana Bread] So he gave me the challenge of making an amazing Oatmeal Cookie that could stand all by itself without the flavor help of raisins.

Thankfully, I had stumbled across a recipe some time ago on The Pioneer Woman’s website for something she calls “Oatmeal Crispies“. The recipe looked simple yet flavorful enough, so I decided to give it a try while changing a few things to suit the flavor palette of said client.

Just a forewarning, my pictures won’t be as lovely as they are on The Pioneer Woman’s website, BUT they do the trick.

OATMEAL COOKIES (minus the raisins)

First things first, per usual. PREP.

IMG 13441 1024x768 Oatmeal CookiesAfter prepping the ingredients, it’s time to get down to business…

And by business I mean, scooping out my least favorite ingredient to deal with.

IMG 1345 768x1024 Oatmeal Cookies

Yes, you read it. Shortening is my nemesis, but not because of what you’re thinking. I could care less about the fat content or the health-effects of this particular ingredient. My disdain lies in the sheer fact that it’s impossible to clean whatever utensil you use to scoop it out with. You might as well be working with motor oil… Alas, however, shortening does make for an amazingly delicious result in whatever recipe you use it in and my disdain stops at the cleaning.

First step in the Oatmeal Cookie making process is to combine the sugars and shortening.

IMG 1346 1024x768 Oatmeal Cookies

Then mix together until creamy. Once again, I used “my spoon and my bowl”. Call it stubbornness or laziness, but I refuse to use the hand mixer unless absolutely necessary, like for frosting.

IMG 1348 1024x768 Oatmeal Cookies

Next whisk the eggs and stir in the vanilla in a separate bowl.

IMG 1349 1024x768 Oatmeal Cookies

Then pour into sugar/shortening mixture and stir until well-combined.

IMG 1350 1024x768 Oatmeal Cookies

Once the wet ingredients are all smooth, add in the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda and a secret touch that won’t be named) until completely blended.

Next, it’s time to add the most important ingredient. OATMEAL. I mean what would OATMEAL COOKIES be without oatmeal? I’m not sure the answer to this question, but I don’t want to find out either.

IMG 1351 1024x768 Oatmeal Cookies

[Not sure what it is, but there's something about this picture that I just love. Perhaps it's the combination of unhealthy ingredients with a healthy ingredient that, in my head, cancels out any unhealthiness in the final product.]

Once the oatmeal is fully incorporated in the batter, the recipe says to roll half of the batter in wax paper and either save for later in the freezer or slice and bake now. I decided to just go ahead and omit the whole wax paper step and scoop tablespoon sized drops onto my “cookie sheets” and bake immediately.

IMG 1352 1024x768 Oatmeal Cookies

This is one of those recipes that is beyond difficult to wait to cool before attempting to eat. And as luck would have it when removing the cookies from the sheet, one happened to “break”. I can’t give a customer a broken cookie but also can’t let it go to waste… so I ate it.

IMG 1354 1024x768 Oatmeal Cookies

Ok, maybe I ate two. Shhhhhh….

IMG 1356 1024x768 Oatmeal Cookies

I delivered the cookies the next morning to my faithful customer to rave reviews. He even shared with the other guys at Starbucks! Something tells me I’ll be making these again sometime soon.

Until next time folks! (Which will be soon because I have another baking adventure already done. I just have to blog about it. *slaps head for procrastinating*)

Posted in cookies, Oatmeal | 2 Comments

Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

Well hello there! Fancy meeting you here.


We are about half way through the summer, and it has been the busiest, yet one of the best! Last week was my birthday/July 4th weekend, and I opted to make two of my grandma’s Strawberry Pies instead of one and a blueberry tart.

 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer
It’s funny, since I have had this blog and everyone knows I love to bake for others, this year on my birthday, no one asked what I did or what I got for my birthday. Instead, the first and pretty much only question was “Did someone bake YOU a cake?” Well folks, I must report that no one baked me a cake. In fact, while I had MANY birthday desserts (and by many, I mean cheesecake, creme brulee, berry filled churros, ice cream, dark chocolate cake… okay I’m done incriminating my diet), I did NOT once have a slice of birthday cake. It’s probably for the best though. Tony Horton, Mr. p90x, would not have been supportive of my birthday dessert binge. (Yes, you’re reading this right. I’m currently on Day 43 of p90x. Began on Memorial Day.)


Anyways, back to this week’s baking adventure! Not sure why I went off on that tangent…

FOCUS ASHLEY FOCUS!


This week’s baking adventure is a baked good that I am not so much a fan of typically. In fact, when I first tasted this particular recipe for it, the person allowing me to try it didn’t even know what it was called; thus, allowing for no preconceived judgements to be had, so without further ado…



BLONDIES (or Blonde Brownies) w/Old Timey Caramel Frosting


A little background on Blondies: Blondies were actually developed before Brownies.


Ok, that’s it. There’s your background. You’re welcome.


This recipe was given to me by a friend’s mom who tweaked it to make it her own by adding in butterscotch chips and adding a caramel frosting. SWEET doesn’t even begin to encompass the final result, so if you’re into things with less sugar, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME but if you’re into things that melt in your mouth, ignore the previous warning and give it a try!

First things first: P to the R to the E to the P! [or PREP for those of you who aren't chipper like me in the morning.
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

The first step in the Blondie making part of the recipe is to melt the butter and brown sugar until smooth.
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

While the butter and brown sugar are melting, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and roughly chop up the pecans.
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

I halved this recipe, so this is about half a cup. [Make sure to keep stirring the sugar and butter so that it dissolves together well and doesn't burn. If you're NOT a multi-tasker, it's more than okay to chop up the nuts before beginning this step. I just prefer to live my baking life on the wild side.]


After the butter/sugar mixture becomes smooth, remove it from the heat and let cool for about 3-5 minutes while continuing to stir. Next, it’s time to add the eggs one at a time… but before you do, did you let the buttery sugar cool long enough? Not sure? Well check and see! Otherwise when adding the eggs, you could be making some sweet scrambled eggs instead!


After adding the eggs, add in the flour mixture making sure to incorporate about 1/3 at a time until everything is fully combined and smooth and dreamy.
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

After smooth and dreaminess is obtained, stir in the pecans, vanilla extract, AND bbb-bbb-baaaaa [that was my attempt at making a trumpet sound] the butterscotch chips.
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

Once combined, pour the batter into a greased pan and bake in the oven at 350 for about 25-28 minutes.
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

After the blondies have baked, allow them to sit out to cool and go to town on making the frosting!
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

Allow me to interrupt this post for a bit, have I told you lately how much I love frosting? I love it so much in fact that I could eat it with a spoon and nix the cake that typically comes with it altogether, so here’s my ode to Frosting (as sung to the tune of “We Love you Conrad” from Bye Bye Birdie):


“I love you frosting,
Oh yes I do.
I love you frosting,
You know it’s true.
When you’re not near me,
I’m blue.
Oh Frosting, I LOVE YOU!”


Ok, where was I? Oh yes, making the frosting…


Before beginning, make sure to clean out the saucepan you used to make the batter (unlike when making Texas Sheet Cake) or get a new saucepan. Melt more butter and sugar together and allow to boil for a few minutes while stirring occasionally.
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

Let cool slightly and add powdered sugar and milk.
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

Then stir to combine and create the most luscious caramel frosting you will set your eyes on.
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

Pour said luscious caramel frosting over the top of the cooled Blondies and allow to cool completely before cutting into. This will take a couple of hours, so if you absolutely have no self control and can’t wait, grab a spoon and dig in! (In fact, I highly recommend this method of consumption.)
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer
 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

Now, you would think that would be the end of this blog post right? RIGHT. Well, I am here to tell you otherwise. Before we go, I should tell you a story and it goes a little something like this:


Once upon a time… There was a pint-sized princess. This princess loved to make sweet, scrumptious things and share with everyone in the land. One day, the princess decided to make a dessert named after her golden locks. This dessert was called Blondies. Everything went smashingly when preparing, making and cooking the Blondies until… duh duh duh… it was time to clean up after sitting the Blondies on the castle counter to cool… Something I forgot to mention is that this princess is quite a clumsy one… and while attempting to clean up the kitchen so that Queen Mom wouldn’t banish her for a making a mess, the princess accidentally knocked the cover on the stove and the Blondies pan began to slide to its death on the floor. ALAS, the princess immediately grabbed the pan and all was saved and they lived happily ever after.


THE END


[Please reference the picture below for evidence regarding the heroic efforts of the princess of our story to save the Blondies.]


 Blondies or Blonde Brownies… whichever you prefer

Luckily! These Blondies were cut into squares when cooled and no one knew any different!


Hope you all have a wonderful week! On a personal note, it’s going to be a strenuous one for my family. Would those of you out there please keep my family, in particular my sister, in your prayers over the course of the next week? Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Until next time!


P.S. If you’re interested in this recipe, feel free to leave a comment with your email address and I’ll send it to you!
Posted in baking blog, blondies, brownies, caramel, frosting, pint size baker | 7 Comments

God Bless the USA!

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very happy 4th of July weekend and send a HUGE THANK YOU to all of those men and women who have fought and are fighting to keep our country safe and free! Without your bravery and dedication, who knows where we would be??? You are in my prayers always.


Stay tuned for my post-4th of July post! I’ll be making Grandma’s Strawberry Pie and perhaps a blueberry tart as well!!!


Before I close this post, I wanted to leave you with one of the best songs about our wonderful country:


Posted in baking blog, holiday, july 4th, pint size baker | 1 Comment

Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

As I sit here in my food coma, I figured what better to do than blog about the amazingness that recently hit my taste buds and is now nestling in my belly…


My dad has been requesting Chocolate Cream Pie (the third of his pie requests if you recall) for a while. [In fact, if I had a dollar for each time he mentioned it over the last month or so, I could possibly invest in the KitchenAid Stand Mixer I've been eyeing for quite some time.] Dad has been hounding me so much about this pie request that I’m almost positive he thought it would be his Father’s Day “surprise” I’ve been so secretive about. Well, I must tell you: HE HAS BEEN FOOLED!


This week’s baking adventure is an old recipe made by a very special lady and I really believe she had a hand in how wonderful it turned out as she rests in heaven with our eternal Father.


GRANDMA’S TEXAS SHEET CAKE


Like I said, a very special lady came up with the basis for this recipe and I just found out the story behind it tonight. Sure, you may find other recipes for TX Sheet Cake online but my grandma’s will trump them all (Is being biased a sin?).

The story behind the cake recipe is that my grandmother used to make Jiffy Cake out of the box for 39 cents all of the time, and my dad loved it so much that she wanted to figure out how to make it on her own. [SIDE NOTE: Dad used to eat the entire box of Jiffy cake in one sitting with a gallon of milk... (that makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it) Told you he gives my sweet tooth a run for its money, didn't I?]


Devil s Food Cake Mix Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Anyways, back to this week’s baking adventure…


My cousin stumbled across grandma’s recipe as she was going through some old pictures and things and typed it up and sent it to me a little over a month ago. Immediately, I knew I HAD to make this for Father’s Day. My dad is one of those men who is extremely difficult to buy gifts for but this was sure to surprise him!


First was to prep the ingredients. In case you hadn’t noticed, I love Publix brand bakery items.
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Now, this recipe is different from most cakes I’ve made. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING went into a saucepan and was heated on the stove at some point during the process. It was so simple and so much fun to make.


First step for the cake itself was to combine 2 sticks of the butter, 4 tablespoons of cocoa, and a cup of water.
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Heat until boiling.
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Then remove from heat and dump in flour, sugar, and salt (that had previously been sifted together). Stir this until well mixed.
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Then dump in eggs, sour cream, and baking soda. Mix this until well blended and smooth. (You might see air bubbles but that’s about it)
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Pour cake batter into a WELL-greased jelly roll pan (I HIGHLY recommend PAM for Baking) and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

While the cake is baking, it’s time to make the frosting! (Arguably the best part of eating cake… in my humble opinion.)


Take another stick of butter and 4 more tablespoons of cocoa and melt over the stove in the SAME saucepan you made the batter in…
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

and GET THIS: there is absolutely no need to clean the saucepan OR spoon/spatula you were preparing the batter with (unless of course you lick the spatula) Please see below for evidence supporting the only reason to clean…
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross
Does this face scream guilty or what?


After the butter has completely melted, add in powdered sugar, vanilla (there was no vanilla in the cake batter… shocker, I know!), and baking soda.
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Mix until smooth (except for maybe some air bubbles).
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Grandma’s recipe calls for a cup of chopped nuts to be added; however, my dad and family aren’t fans of nuts in baked goods so instead I decided to substitute Heath bar toffee bits to maintain the crunch factor.
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

After the toffee bits are evenly mixed into the frosting, maintain stirring every now and then until cake is ready to pull out of the oven. Once out of the oven, frost IMMEDIATELY.
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Then let cool completely before decorating and cutting into. If you can’t wait, I highly recommend licking the bowl and spatula yet again to satisfy the sweet tooth. ;-)
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

And decorate with the worst hand-writing known to man… ok, maybe yours won’t be this bad but it was late at night (I had to wait for dad to go to bed so his surprise would be awaiting him upon stumbling down to the kitchen on Father’s Day morning) and I was rushing… or at least that’s my excuse for now.


Before I forget, I must show you one of the KEYS TO SUCCESS when baking. Everyone is always asking me different tricks and tips, but this one is a MUST no matter what you are baking…

Are you ready???…

Here it is…

Never before revealed…

You must, and I repeat, must, make a MESS of not only the kitchen but whatever article of clothing you’re wearing as well.


 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross

Whew! Now that the secret is finally off my chest, this is what awaited dad the next morning:
 Texas Sheet Cake recipe by Grandma Gross
Grandma’s TX Sheet Cake, Graffiti Zoo chocolates (one of his all-time favs), and a card


Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful father who has sacrificed so much so that his daughters could have the life experiences he was never able to have. I am forever grateful dad. I love you!
Posted in baking blog, cake, chocolate, grandma recipe, holiday, pint size baker, toffee | 1 Comment

Banana Cream Pie

Alright, alright… I will write another blog post! You don’t have to be so cruel… hehe. Just playing. But really, I am SO sorry for taking a month “off” of blogging. Baking has still occurred but life has just gotten in the way lately… imagine that?!


See below for evidence of MUCHO baking-o that happened:



AND NOW FOR THE MAIN EVENT!!!


This week’s baking adventure actually occurred…. ohhhhhh about 2 weeks or so ago.



*Bad Ashley*



My dad is ruler of the roost and has arguably a larger sweet tooth than myself (combined, we are dangerous in a bakery or candy shoppe or FUDGE shoppe in Helen, GA that shall remain nameless to keep all those involved safe… just playing. Or am I?).



Anyways, my grandmother was an amazing cook and BAKER and even though she has passed, her legacy lives on…. as do my dad’s memories of the delicious pies she used to make. For a few months now, my dad has been requesting three in particular said pies: Coconut Cream, Banana Cream, and Chocolate Cream. As you saw in the slideshow above, I conquered the Coconut Cream pie and the Chocolate Cream Pie will come soon… me thinks. Which then leaves pie request #3…



Even though the pie order listed above doesn’t reflect it, the Banana Cream Pie was my first stab at his requests. I found the recipe on Delish.com (shocker!) and altered it slightly. You’ll find out shortly how it was altered… aka I cheated. Whenever looking for recipes, I’m mostly drawn to the simple ones with minimal ingredients but maximum taste and reviews.


First things first, per usual. PREP the ingredients. Otherwise you’ll be running around the kitchen like a chicken with your head cut off… much like I did when making the Cinnamon Raisin Bread for the SECOND time.
 Banana Cream Pie
After prepping the ingredients, whisk the milk, corn starch, sugar, and salt until dissolved. Allow the mixture to thicken and boil while making sure to stir constantly. (You’ll see in a bit that I kind of neglected this part of the instructions and had some of the custard stick to the bottom and then make it a little lumpy… Hey! It still tasted good though!)
 Banana Cream Pie
While the custard is beginning to boil (or before if you don’t want to be a rebel like me), dice up 3 of the 4 bananas.
 Banana Cream Pie
And divide in half, as you will be making two layers of ‘nanners (or dice up 1.5 bananas at a time so you have an EXACT measurement if you’re an anal mathematics nerd like me).
 Banana Cream Pie
Next it’s time to take the pre-separated and whisked egg yolks and add some of the hot milk to them SLOWLY, VERY SLOWLY, WHISKING THE ENTIRE TIME so that you temper the egg yolks before adding them back into the saucepan of hot milk. (Tempering keeps the yolks from curdling people… you don’t want scrambled eggs in your pie do you? Yea, me neither.) Keep stirring the quasi-custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon thickly (Think pudding consistency).


Once you reach the consistency you want, then remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract (I don’t feel the need to spend oodles of $$$ on vanilla beans just yet).
 Banana Cream Pie
[I must apologize for the lack of pictures during this process but everything happens so quickly and unfortunately, I do not have a third arm or sous chef/photographer to help. Any volunteers?]


Transfer the custard to a medium bowl and press plastic wrap down onto the top of the custard (so it’s actually touching it all over) and place in the fridge to cool. While the custard is cooling, arrange half of the bananas you cut earlier in the bottom of the cooled pie. [Where did this miraculous pie crust come from? This is where I cheated (yet again). I bought it pre-made in the Frozen foods section of the grocery.]
 Banana Cream Pie
Then, once the custard has chilled and set some in the fridge, layer half of the custard on top of the first layer of bananas.
 Banana Cream Pie
Add another layer of bananas and then a second layer of custard. Place plastic wrap around the top of the custard again and place back in the fridge to cool completely (a few hours or overnight if you wish).
 Banana Cream Pie
When ready to serve, make the homemade whipped cream. (I whipped it a little stiffer than normal.) Pile on top of the cooled custard pie and then layer the last sliced banana on top…
 Banana Cream Pie
Admire for 2.5 seconds before diving into a big slice of Banana Cream Pie goodness!
 Banana Cream Pie
 Banana Cream Pie
I did warn you it was a big slice right???
 Banana Cream Pie


Ok, ok… this may have been a few slices. hehe.


I hope you all can forgive me for being away for so long! I have also been trying to diet a little (it is bathing suit season afterall), so the baking has been less experimental as of late… gotta avoid sugar intake as much as possible. Until next time my friends! Thanks for hanging in there while I was away!
Posted in baking blog, banana, pie, pint size baker, whipped cream | 1 Comment

Please Forgive Me

I’ve been neglecting you and blogging lately and I’m SO sorry!

There has been much baking and cooking but no time to sit down and blog about it. I promise a delicious Banana Creme Pie blog and update very soon!


Thank you for continuing to check in everyone!
Posted in baking blog, MIA, pint size baker | Leave a comment

Ode to my Momala

Mother’s Day 2010 was spent with the greatest mom in all the world. (You’re probably sitting there thinking yours is, but I beg to differ and I will fight you over it. *puts up dukes*)
 Ode to my Momala
My mom always dreamed of having three little girls… which she wanted to name Marcia, Jan, and Cindy [I kid you not]. By the grace of God, she was able to have her wish, and by the grace of God, we were not named after the three daughters in the Brady Bunch.


She first became a mother in July of 1984 but was too afraid of dropping her baby, so her husband took over the baby-holding for the first few weeks of my life… Her next daughter came out fighting and loving Mexican food in March of 1986 and last, but not least, little “Katie” arrived relatively peacefully in June of 1991.


My mom is the epitome of selflessness. She has always put her family before herself for as long as I can remember. The ONLY time she puts herself first is when we make her… even then, she can’t help but do something for us. There aren’t enough praises in the world that could be given to justify everything she is, stands for, and has done for our family.


Last Mother’s Day, I started a little tradition of cooking her one of her favorite meals and continued it this year… dad was none-to-pleased either year but he gets his turn on Father’s Day. Below are the two things I cooked for her this year. Both were super fun, delicious and relatively easy to make!


 Ode to my Momala


CHOCOLATE MOLTEN LAVA CAKE w/VANILLA ICE CREAM
 Ode to my Momala


To all you mothers out there, I hope you had an amazing day. Thank you for all that you do! And to my Momala, I love you more than you’ll ever know!
Posted in baking blog, holiday, pint size baker | 1 Comment