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maybe one day…

I walk past this store front every time I go from work to the Daily Grind weekday mornings. It would be the PERFECT spot for Kara’s Cakery. Fell’s Point doesn’t have a stand-out cupcake/cake shop. I’m secretly hoping I get a call one day from someone with more money than they know what to do with and want to fund my shop. Maybe someday.

black forest cake and pink ribbon cookies

Last week was a busy week. First, a black forest cake for a work colleague’s birthday:

Believe it or not, this is my first black forest cake. And it was good. Really good. Layers of chocolate cake with chocolate fudge filling, covered in homemade whipped cream and topped with chocolate shavings. And of course, the signature black forest cake cherries.

I think one of my favorite parts of a making a cake is cutting into it and seeing what each slice looks like. Here’s this one:

And here are my pink ribbon cookies for our bake sale. I packaged them up in little cookie bags with a satin white ribbon.

Hope you had a nice week!

like old times

Today felt like one of those days back when I had orders nonstop every week. I got home from work, took the cookie dough I made Sunday out of the fridge  to soften, made two 8” chocolate cakes and then four dozen ribbon – shaped cookies. All before 9pm, phew!

Believe it or not, I actually forgot my sugar cookie recipe. Sad, I know. It look all day for me to find it.

I love fresh vanilla beans. They make all the difference. And good butter. Never skimp on butter.

My office does a Breast Cancer Awareness Bake Sale every October to raise money for Susan. G. Komen. An email hit my box about a month ago… “Calling all bakers!” … why yes? Bake cookies to raise money for a cause? I’m in.

Four dozen ribbon cookies to cool over night before I ice them with pink royal icing.

And two 8” chocolate cakes. These will be torted and put in the freezer over night to firm up before I make them into a Black Forest Cake…. stay tuned.

white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

I made some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies for some very special ladies this week.

Fun fact #1) I have never made white chocolate macadamia nut cookies before in my life. However, I am fond of them.

Fun fact #2) These are the best white chocolate macadamia nut cookies I’ve ever had in my life.

Here’s the recipe, adapted from

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 (6.5 ounce) jar macadamia nuts, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the white chocolate and nuts. Drop cookies by heaping teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment, about 2 inches apart. Place cookie sheet in freezer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. When cool, store in an airtight container.

I could eat this cookie dough with a spoon… every last bit of it.

All packaged up and ready to go!

caramel apple cake

I think I may have found the cake I’m going to make for Thanksgiving…. we are having enough people this year for both a pie AND a cake!

breakfast cupcakes

My turn to bring in breakfast again.. I’ve brought cupcakes, quiche and bagels (after failed breakfast cupcakes). I tried making angel food cupcakes in hopes of a sweet but lower calorie breakfast treat, but working with angel food is much harder than I imagined.

Angel food cake is essentially a powdered sugar mix slowly added to a meringue. But what resulted was a sunken disappointment. They looked better than they tasted.

I decided to give it another go, this time using my vanilla cupcake recipe. I lined up some  blueberries, juice and zest of a lemon and a second shot at some cinnamon  streusel mix.

For the first batch, I layered cinnamon streusel and cupcake batter. A much better result than the first!

I also tried a lemon blueberry cupcake with cream cheese filling. It needs a little work, mostly because I wasn’t sure if it would rise and spill over the top of the cupcake liner so I stayed conservative with the batter. They are a tad small, but not bad for my first REAL attempt at breakfast cupcakes. We shall see how they go over tomorrow morning. I’ll grab a dozen bagels just in case.

salted chocolate caramel bars

A few weekends ago, my future hubby spent the weekend with his friend Bobby in New York. While I miss him dearly whenever he’s gone, I enjoy spending my Saturday nights baking new recipes. This particular night I made coconut lemon bars (which I didn’t take a picture of) and salted millionaires shortbread, which I changed a little and renamed salted chocolate caramel bars.

Adapted from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine

Crust ingredients
1/2 cup (that’s 1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 Tablespoons of sugar

Dulce de leche ingredients
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (that’s 1 stick) of Salted butter cut into cubes (this will help it melt faster)
3 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar
dash of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract

Chocolate topping ingredients
6 ounces of chopped dark or bittersweet chocolate
1 Tablespoon of butter
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 inch square baking pan with foil and butter or spray the entire pan (bottom and sides.) Make sure you use foil – I didn’t and it made it hard to get the first couple pieces out. Set aside.

Crust: In a medium bowl, beat the butter on high speed until it becomes light and fluffy (about 3 minutes or so.) On low speed, add the flour, salt and sugar and mix just until a crumbly dough forms. Try not to over mix. Press the dough into the prepared pan, going up the sides a bit. Prick the dough a few times with a fork. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the crust is just starting to turn a light gold. Remove from the oven and cool completely. You may turn off the oven at this point since you won’t need it again.

Dulce de leche: Empty the can of sweet milk into a heavy, medium sized pot. I could eat this stuff right out of the can with a spoon.
Add the cubed butter, brown sugar, and salt. Place the pot over medium-low heat and stir until the butter has melted. Turn the heat up a bit to a medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture resembles a thick light golden caramel. Depending on how high the heat is, it may take up to 15-30 minutes. Be sure to keep stirring to prevent the bottom from burning. The longer you heat the mixture, the deeper the flavor till be. Unfortunately, my stupid metal pan caused the dulce de leche to burn on the sides, so I didn’t cook it as long as I would have liked to. While it still turned out delicious, it didn’t harden completely like caramels do.
Once the mixture is thick and gold, remove from heat and quickly stir in the almond extract (be careful not to burn yourself as the caramel may spatter.)
Immediately pour the mixture over the cooled crust and spread it evenly before it hardens. It should be easy to spread as long as you don’t hesitate too long. Set the bars aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
Chocolate topping: Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure no steam is escaping from the pot. Place the chopped chocolate and butter into the bowl and stir until you have a smooth, shiny mixture. (If you don’t have a bar of chocolate, you can use chocolate chips, but don’t add the butter. It will cause it to clump. Just warm in the microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth.) Carefully remove from heat and drizzle the chocolate over the cooled dulce de leche layer. Sprinkle some sea salt over the chocolate before it cools.
Chill the bars completely before serving. To cut the bars, run a sharp knife under hot water. Run the hot knife through the bars. Repeat as necessary.
These bars are a great treat, but super rich. Next time I will cut it into smaller pieces!

chocolate peanut butter chip cookies

We were invited to a pool party not too long ago. Of course it’s always nice to bring a side dish to these sorts of gatherings. Mine are usually sweet. For this particular occasion, I decided to go with a rich chocolatecookie and add peanut butter chips. I highly recommend using a high quality cocoa powder, even if it’s Ghirardelli, which you can get at most grocery stores. It just makes this cookie so much better!

Chocolate Cookies

adapted from the Food Network

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup quality cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 – 10 oz peanut butter chips


In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar and cream together using mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the creamed mixture and mix until combined. In a medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until incorporated. Remove from mixer and hand mix in the peanut butter chips. I used about 8 oz, but next time I’ll use the whole bag.

Roll the dough into 2 logs that are about 2-inches high and 1-foot long. Wrap them in waxed paper and place in the refrigerator. I left mine in over night. It makes it so much easier to cut and they won’t spread when baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice into cookies, about 1/2 inch thick. Place on a  parchment paper lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy! I’ll probably have a few more good recipes up over the course of the weekend. Assuming we don’t loose power, I’ll be baking as Irene passes through.

memaw’s pie crust rolls

When my grandma made pies, she always had leftover pie crust so she’d make these. Although, according to google, everyone’s grandma does. I had a small disk left over from our Fourth of July pie I made. Brandon was bro-ing out with the guys and I was bored so I made the pie-crust rolls.

Roll it out and cover it in softened butter.

Cover in brown sugar and pecans – or really anything you’d like! Cinnamon and sugar, cocoa and sugar, etc.

Sorry ladies, dad isn’t home yet.

Cut in strips and start rolling!

Bake at 350 until pie crust is done – I think it was about 20 minutes, but I am terrible at keeping track.

The brown sugar oozes out and caramelizes on the parchment. It hardens and would actually make really neat edible decoration on cupcakes!

cookies and cream

I am surprised it look me this long to put these two divine sweets together… ready? This is so easy anyone can do it…

Smash up some oreos (these are double stuffed, but that really isn’t necessary since we’re adding plenty of creme)

Make up a batch of buttercream. I suggest swiss meringue, but any frosting you prefer would be perfect.

Add one wonderful thing to another! Easy as pie – cookies and cream buttercream!

You could ice a whole cake with the c&c frosting or use it as a filling, as I did.

I iced my cake with vanilla buttercream. Instead of the flowers, I tried a swirl. Not bad…

Eh we’ll stick with the 1M roses. Always looks beautiful!