Chocolate and gold have always been one of my favorite pairings! I know that doesn't really make sense because it is a food and a color - but just go with it for now. Something about the combination just screams elegance to me. Even when it is as simple as this one tier Double Chocolate Cake with some gold candles on it. Try it some time. I think you will like the results.
Inspiration is an odd thing. Sometimes you have to go looking for it (thank you pinterest), and other times it just hits you out of nowhere. This week's recipe comes from the latter. While my mom has been sick, she has only been able to eat certain number of things - and one of those things is a quesadilla. Living in California, we are definitely not short in the Mexican food category, so there are plenty of options for her. But her favorite is this little place called La Sirena Grill in Laguna. La Sirena is good Mexican food. They only use the freshest ingredients, are not afraid of a little spice and have this authentic flare about them (none of that tex-mex stuff). But my mom's favorite part - the cookies. For some unknown reason, they decided to start selling giant cookies along with their tacos and burritos. Not very Mexican, but no one seems to be complaining. Her favorite is the coconut butterscotch. She challenged me to make my own (so she could have them whenever she wanted of course). I accepted the challenge and came up with these guys. A perfect combination of the buttery coconut cookies and the crunch of the oatmeal butterscotch. She was pretty happy with the results!
So always be on the look out for inspiration, because you never know when your next great idea is going to hit! It could even be when you go pick up some tacos for lunch today. And if that doesn't work, head over to our pinterest page. It is always a good spot to go when inspiration is needed.
Coconut Butterscotch Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 instant cup oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups Baker’s sweetened flaked coconut
- 2 cups butterscotch chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars.
- Add vanilla and eggs until combined.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
- Add instant oatmeal and mix until combined.
- Fold in coconut and butterscotch chips with a spatula.
- Scoop out 1 1/2 inch balls and place on baking sheet about 2" apart.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges just begin to turn golden.
It is never a bad time for cake, especially when it looks like this Celebration Cake we made a few weeks ago. So, we put together a little tutorial so you can make your very own Celebration Cake at home - edible confetti included.
It is really quite easy. All you need is a couple of these Wilton sugar sheets and a hole punch. The sugar sheets can be found at any craft store with a cake section (like Michael's) and they come in all different colors. The possibilities are endless!
DIY CONFETti CAKE
1. Follow the instructions to make an 8" Cake. (You will not need the full amount of frosting because you are covering the cake with fondant - I suggest cutting the buttercream recipe in half).
2. Cover the cake with fondant and place onto a plate.
3. Use hole punch to make confetti.
4. Prepare pipping gel in a small shallow bowl and then brush the entire top of the cake, and 1" down the side with the piping gel.
5. Cover with confetti.
6. Transfer to cake stand and enjoy!
Naked cakes have been popping up all over the place in the past year, and it turns out, I am pretty obsessed with them. In theory, you would think a naked cake would look sloppy or unkempt, because by definition, it is an unfinished cake. But, for some reason, naked cakes actually turn out looking pretty beautiful and elegant. This is especially true when they are paired with natural elements like colorful flowers or simple greenery.
So, we decided to try it out for ourselves. This Vanilla Cake is filled with a delicious Honey Buttercream and decorated with a little Lavender and Rosemary. What better way to welcome the first day of Spring?!
This weekend I went to a funeral. I know that is not very uplifting, especially when this post is supposed to be about ice cream sandwiches, but my experience reminded me of something very important. Something I think a lot of us go through our day to day life not thinking about. We are all preoccupied with things like money, weight, success, or how many instagram followers we have, but in the end, and I mean when things actually end, none of that really matters.
Watching my friends and their family say goodbye, I was reminded that love is by far the most important thing we have in life. It is true, there are a lot of other emotions out there that, at times, can feel just as important or influential - anger, grief, or pride - but none of them can really compare to love. Love is this all encompassing thing that we as human beings cannot avoid. We are literally wired to depend on it. This is not something that is made up, or something Disney has brainwashed us to believe - this is real. And there is no escaping it.
And just because it is important does not always mean that it is easy. Love can be hard, or even scary at times - because things happen. Life happens. But without it, what's the point? Can you imagine if something wonderful happened in your life and there was no one to share it with? Or if you were going through a really tough time and there was no one to turn to? Our lives are meant to be shared with people, and it is so much better when we get to do that with the people we love.
So I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to this family and to Grandpa Joe, for reminding me how important it is to allow yourself to open up and love someone unconditionally, and how lucky I am to be surrounded by so much love in my own life. I know in this day and age there are a lot of things out there to distract us - our phones, computers, television - but I challenge you to take a step back from that part of your life and tell someone you love them today. Call your mom, or your best friend or your brother - and just remind them that you love them.
And then when you are done with that, you can start making these ice cream sandwiches.
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar (plus extra for rolling)
- 2 cups + 2 TBS flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
- Preheat to 350°
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer or paddle attachment, cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- On medium speed add the eggs and vanilla until combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk together baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and flour.
- On a low speed, add to the dry mixture until just combined.
- Put the extra 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl.
- Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and roll in sugar.
- Place the balls about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Using the back of a spoon, flatten each ball to 1/2" thick.
- Bake 8–10 minutes until the tops begin to crack.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack.
- While cookies are cooling, bring ice cream out to soften.
- Once cookies are cooled, and the ice cream is soft, place a large scoop of ice cream on one cookie, and carefully top with another cookie. Press firmly but gently to avoid breaking the cookies.
- Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges to clean up any ice cream hanging over the edge.
- Freeze for at least 1 hour to firm the ice cream. Repeat with all the cookies.
Julia Child once said "A party without cake is just a meeting" - and I agree with her on very level. Any kind of cake is fine - chocolate cake, vanilla cake, ice cream cake, short cake - I will take anything you got - but a party without a cake is just not something I am that into.
Another thing I think most parties should have is confetti. There are not many things in this world that scream party like confetti does. It just makes me happy - and I am not afraid to say it. Especially after I found this article on the many different ways you can clean up confetti, there was literally no excuse not to have it anymore. So this week, I decided to combine the two, and make the ultimate party center piece - a Confetti Cake! This Vanilla Vanilla Cake is decorated with edible confetti and topped with some awesome star sparklers. Sparkles + Confetti + Cake - you can't get much better than that - and I think Julia would agree.
I mentioned the other day that I am a self taught baker. That means, I did not go to culinary school or undergo any sort of formal training - it was just me in the kitchen trying to figure it out as I went. Overall, it has worked out pretty well - but there were definitely a few things that took me a little longer to learn than others. One in particular was how and when to use the kitchenaid attachments. For the longest time I only used the whisk attachment. I know I should have figured out that the machine comes with different attachments for a reason, but for some reason, I thought the whisk was kind of universal.
It wasn't until I started working in a cake shop that I learned there are different uses for the different attachments. Each one has their own specialty. My mind was blown. But, when I started working there, I obviously pretended like I knew this the whole time. One of my first conversations went something like this...
"Hey Lindsay, can you use this recipe and make the vanilla cake?"
"Sure." I headed over to the mixer to set up. "Umm...where is the whisk attachment?"
"Why do you need the whisk attachment? You are making a cake. The flat beater is already on the mixer."
"Oh yeah. Of course. The flat beater. You always use the flat beater for cakes. I don't know what I was thinking!"
Lies. Lies. And more lies. But whatever - you live and you learn - and that day I definitely learned (I never made that mistake again). We used the flat beater for all of our cakes and the whisk for all for our buttercreams. Once I started figuring out what the different attachments were supposed to be used for, I started seeing the difference in my final product. It is amazing to see what happens when you actually use the equipment the way it was intended to be used!
Anyway, I put together a quick guide to help you guys understand these attachments. It's nothing too crazy, just a little something to explain what each attachment does and when you should use them. Trust me, it will make you a better baker - or at least keep you from having to lie to your boss on the first day of work.
Someone once asked me, "Why would you let your parents waste their money on a college degree if you were just going to be baking cookies for the rest of your life? Why didn't you just go to culinary school?"
Now while most people would just shrug this off - I was pretty upset. I was about to graduate from college, and for the first time in my life I was not going to be a student. It was time to enter the real world, and that was pretty freaking terrifying. And on top of that, I had recently decided to take my life in a little different direction that most of my classmates. While everyone else was gearing up to start their careers in politics or business - I was getting ready to move to NYC to give the whole "baking and photography thing" a shot. People thought I was crazy. So I was already a little self conscious about my life choices, when this man rolled around a totally crushed my confidence. I was in a full on panic.
What if this was the wrong choice? What if I did need to go to culinary school to be successful in baking? What if I really had wasted my parents time and money by making them put me through four years of college? But, even with all this self-doubt, I just decided to go for it. Something in my gut was telling me that I needed to see this through. And in the end, I am glad I did, because here I am two and a half years later doing something I absolutely love every single day! And not many of my other classmates can say that.
I still get asked about culinary school a lot. People are constantly asking me if I went to culinary school or if I plan on going in the future. And the answer is always the same. Culinary school is just not for me. I think culinary school is great for some people, but I have always felt I could learn everything I needed to know through books, the Internet, and/or work experience. And so far, it has worked out pretty well. I mean, don't get me wrong, there have been a lot of failures to come out of my kitchen - not everything turns out great the first time. But like anything you do in life, it takes practice and patience to get good at something.
So anyway, back to the important stuff - these Chocolate Raspeberry Mini Cakes are pretty awesome. Made with a dark chocolate cake and a raspberry swiss meringue buttercream, these mini cakes are perfect for entertaining. They are small and adorable and delicious. What more could you ask for?
Chocolate Raspberry Mini Cakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup strong black coffee
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 oz. raspberries (plus extra for garnish)
- Pink food coloring (optional)
- 2" circle cookie cutter
- Pipping bag
- Wilton tip 18
for the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a half sheet pan with pam and parchment.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder. Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.
- Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Place on a wire rack and let cool completely.
for the buttercream:
- Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water.
- Whisk constantly with a whisk until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.
Put mixture in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff speaks form. The mixture should be fluffy and glossy, and completely cool. (About 10 minutes)
Put the mixer on low-medium speed, and add butter a little at a time. Once all the butter has been added, add vanilla extract and increase the speed of the mixer to high. Let mix for 3-5 minutes.
Purée 4 oz. of raspberries in a blender. Press the raspberry purée through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of all the seeds. Discard the seeds.
Add purée to buttercream and beat until the frosting is smooth - and if you want, add a little bit of pink food coloring as well.
1. Once the cake is completely cool, use the 2" cutter to cut out circles of cake.
2. Using a knife, cut the circle in half (horizontally) and separate the two layers.
3. Fill a piping bag with a star tip with raspberry buttercream and pipe a circle on the bottom layer.
4. Place the top layer back on top and pipe a circle on the top layer.
5. Top each one with a fresh raspberry.
Even though everyone on the east coast is still suffering through the snow, it's starting to feel a lot like spring over here on the west coast. And we are ready for it! This Rustic Vanilla Cake is one of my favorites of all time, and the perfect way to celebrate the upcoming season change. And hopefully it will inspire the weather on the east coast to start cooperating!
Last week Be Spoke Bride put up a post called "75 Colorful Instagram Accounts That You Need In Your Life", and we were so excited to make the list! Here at Sprinkles for Breakfast, we LOVE color. It basically dictates what we do on a daily basis, because we believe baking is just more fun when its colorful! We also happen to be obsessed with instagram - we spend A LOT of time on there. It is by far our favorite social media platform because we love to see how creative and talented people are. And we also like pictures of dogs - and instagram provides a lot of pictures of dogs. So it was super cool to be recognized on this list! And we loved looking at all the other amazingly talented people on there. You should definitely check it out here. And in honor of this awesome list, we were inspired to make this week's recipe extra colorful for you guys - Confetti Rice Krispy Treats!
I love Rice Krispy Treats for two reasons. 1. I think they are gooey and delicious and amazing - and 2. In middle school I did my "How To" Project on them. You know that project where you teach your class "how to" do something? Yeah, well my best friend and I taught our class how to make Rice Krispy Treats. We made a tutorial video and everything (I was a total overachiever if you have't figured that out already).
So I consider myself kind of an expert when it comes to Krispy Treats. I mean I have been teaching people how to make them for over a decade! That has to count for something. They are easy to make and they require minimal ingredients! And the best part - you don't even have to bake them! And now I have found a way to make them even more awesome by adding color.
Confetti Mallow Treats
- 6 cups Rice Krispy Cereal
- 16 oz. bag or 9 cups mini marshmallows
- 4 tbs. salted butter
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Melting White Chocolate
- In a large pot, melt butter and 7 cups of mini marshmallows on medium heat. Make sure you stir every 15-30 seconds until the two ingredients are combined.
- Mix in vanilla.
- Add in Rice Krispy cereal and mix until everything is coated in the marshmallow mixture.
- Let sit for 1 minute to cool.
- Add remaining marshmallows 1 cups at a time. Stir after each addition.
- Let Krispy mixture sit for 1 minute.
- Add 4-5 tbs. sprinkles and lightly mix.
- Spray a 9x13" pan with PAM and then pour Krispy mixture into pan.
- Spray PAM on your hands and press mixture down into the pan until it is one even layer.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the treats and cooled, cut them into individual servings and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt a handful of chocolate disks in 30 second increments, stirring between each heating.
- Using a fork, drizzle white chocolate over treats and add sprinkles.
- Let them sit until the chocolate has hardened, and then serve.