Spontaneous Snow Day Baking

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Yesterday was the winter day I had been waiting for.

I’ve waited literally all season for snow, like real, accumulated snow.

As I saw the snow falling I decided to do an impromptu recipe. I’m not here to share the recipe or review these cupcakes. I’m simple sharing the joy of finding a recipe that you have all the ingredients to inside your warm house while the first snow fall of the season is happening.

I wore a big wool skirt from mod cloth and a nice comfy sweater and a frilly apron. And I got to baking. And you know what? I didn’t do anything else yesterday. And it was so fun.

Let this be your invitation to take a day to make up a recipe and have fun with it, no matter how messy it might get. Or redo your room. Or paint a picture. Do something spontaneous this week that takes up your day, that makes you forget about the usual distractions in life. If you do, let me know how it went.

-The Very Spontaneous Heather

Baking Haul | All Discounted!

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Hello there loves!

I did some shopping over the holiday weekend because there were amazing sales everywhere and I need some new baking supplies.

Old Fashioned Timer from Anthropologie, $7

As soon as I saw this in the sale section, I dove for it. I always see these at Anthro and never want to pay full price for them. I think they’re handy if you have a ton of things you’re baking at once and you need another timer. In all honesty, it was also just cute!

Gingerbread Cookie Mold, $10

I got this at TJMaxx and I can’t wait to try it out! I think you can also use this for sugar cookies or other types of cookies beside gingerbread. The company is French so you have to do some reading to see what it can be used for, but I thought it was so adorable! Silicone is generally super easy to bake with and I can’t believe I found one this cheap. I can’t wait to decorate little gingerbread cookies.

Holiday Sprinkles, $4

I got these at TJMaxx too, and all I can say is that they are adorable!

Holiday Baking Cups, $3

I found these at TJMaxx as well, and these are perfect in every way. We always make so many treats for Christmas time and now we are prepared to be even more festive. I’m already looking for cupcake recipes to use these bad boys. The best part about them is you don’t have to put them in a muffin tin! They can stand straight up on a cookie sheet and have batter poured into them. Very convenient and easy to use.

Copper Cookie Cutters, $8

Last year, my family went through a cookie cutter crisis. We had no idea what to do because we had lost all but two of our cookie cutters. We vowed to get more, and never did. When I saw these at TJMaxx, I had to get them. Firstly, because they are copper and wonderfully on trend. Second, the shapes are lovely and wintery, I can’t wait to use them.

Paper Straws, $2

I actually have some red and white striped straws like these, but these are soooo cute. I love the striped green and the red polka dots. I think these will be good for drinking eggnog or other festive drinks for a party. Also from TJMaxx, I was surprised at how many were in here for the price, and I’ve started thinking up ideas for what cute things we can use them for.

 

Now that I have all these new baking goodies, I’ve got to get baking!

-Heather

 

Chocolate Overload

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Happy June!

I made homemade brownies for the first time yesterday, and I had to share them with you! The recipe I found is from Style Me Pretty. I decided to give them a try, and they were delicious.

 Ready in 40 Minutes                   Moderately Easy                  Made 16 Squares

Ingredients

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch slices
1¼ cups pure cane sugar
¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 cold large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅔ cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup overflowing cup chocolate chips

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees placing your rack in the lower third of the oven. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper (we used coconut oil spray but anything will do).
To brown your butter, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, while stirring constantly with a whisk or rubber spatula. After about 5 minutes, you should notice the butter foaming a bit and starting to turn a deep golden color. Keep stirring for another 3-5 minutes until the tiny reddish specks appear and your butter smells nutty and delish.

2. Remove your pan from heat and stir in the sugar until incorporated. Next, stir in the cocoa powder, salt and baking powder until completely blended,. Let this mixture cool for 10 minutes. **Very important to remove mixture from heat source and let cool for 10 minutes or a minimum of 5.

3. Add one of the eggs, stirring the mixture vigorously. Once incorporated fully, add the second egg, again stirring vigorously. The mixture should thicken a bit and have a glossy texture, but shouldn’t separate or become difficult to stir.

4. Add in the vanilla extract and the flour, stirring until just incorporated. Now, beat them brownies! Stir vigorously for about 1 minute.

5. Fold in the chocolate chips. Or chocolate slivers or almonds or whatever else you can dream up. Traditionalists…stick to chocolate chips or chunks and you can’t go wrong.

6. Pour batter in the lined pan, swirling the top with a knife if so you fancy,.

7. Bake on the lower rack for about 25 minutes. Some ovens might go a little longer, but the important thing is not to overcook.
Once the brownies are completely cool, dig in. And maybe scoop some vanilla ice cream on top.

-Heather

OOTD- Welcome Home

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Here are some pictures of a very exciting day that I had yesterday! My dad has lived away from us since I was about 12 because he’s in the military and yesterday was the day he moved back home. Me and my boyfriend had some extensive shopping and baking to do, so I had to wear a practical a warm outfit. Even though it’s almost April, it was snowing yesterday. I opted for my Sorel snow boots and some leggings. I also am wearing a jacket that I’ve had forever, I think it might be from Macy’s.

We made some rainbow cupcakes as well. I’ve been watching the Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief and Zoella inspired me to try this. It wasn’t that difficult! It just took a bit of patience.

We also piped the icing on with a ziplock bag and it was much more difficult than I thought it’d be. But it was so much fun making them. My mom and dad were very surprised when they walked in.

I thought this would be a cool day to share with you guys!

I’m hoping the weather gets a bit warmer so I can do more OOTD’s. What do you guys think? Would you like more of these? Let me know!

-Heather

Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies

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I was in the baking mood yesterday and though it was time for chocolate chip cookies. After being sick for about 2 weeks, I was happy that I was feeling myself again. I love baking, it usually brightens my spirits. I did a twist on my normal chocolate chip cookie recipe.
First of all, this was the first time I’ve used a pudding mix instead of granulated sugar. We still used brown sugar, but the taste of the pudding mix replaces the large amount of normal sugar that is usually used for cookies. I just used a Jello Vanilla Pudding package. The recipe called for 4 ounces, and the Jello packed was 3.4 ounces. But it all worked just the same!

These are pretty rich, so I suggest if you’re making them that you make a lot of small ones so you can eat them in small doses. That’s what I did and everyone seemed to like the portions. Also, this might be a good recipe for an Easter dessert! Lots of chocolate and great flavor.

Also, I didn’t crush up my oreos too much. I left some of them quite big and it made for interesting cookies!

I got this recipe from Food Fanatic. I was excited to find an oreo cookie recipe that wasn’t the ones where you just bake the whole oreo. That sounds good, but would be way too much for me! This gives enough of oreo flavor without being overwhelming. I’m really happy with how them came out.

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 ounces vanilla pudding mix, instant
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
10 oreos, crumbled and crushed
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant pudding, and baking soda.
3. In a large bowl beat the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg plus egg white and mix until just combined.
4. Add the flour-pudding mixture and mix until the dough is moist all the way through. Then stir in the crushed Oreos and chocolate chips.
5. Spoon the batter onto the prepared cookie sheets by the rounded teaspoon (these cookies are small!) about 2″ apart.
Bake for 10- 12 minutes.
6. Let the cookies cool slightly before removing them from the cookie sheet.

Autumn Apple Cake

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Hello everyone!

I made a fun apple cake yesterday and it ended up being a hit! It really isn’t that hard, and this was my first cake recipe from scratch.

This is a chunkier apple cake, and the size of the chunks reminds me a lot of apple pie. But the consistency of the cake is amazing with the apple, and it’s thicker like a coffee cake.

It seems like you’ll need a lot for this recipe, but honestly I had all the ingredients but the apples and custard right in the kitchen. I hope you enjoy this little fall treat!

Ingredients: 

3 c flour

2 t baking powder

1/8 t salt

1/4 t cloves (ground)

1/4 t nutmeg (ground)

6 oz butter (can be cold)

3/4 c sugar

2 large Granny Smith apples and 2 large Golden Delicious apples (or just 4 Granny Smith if you’d like)

2 eggs

2/4 c milk

2 T sugar (for top of cake)

1 pack of vanilla jello pudding (for an easy custard)

 

Directions:

1. Grease and flour a taller pan to give it a thick up-and-down shape

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

3. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves together in a big mixing bowl

4. Cut your butter into pieces and mix it with your fingers. That’s right, just keep mushing the butter into the flour mixture until it’s the same consistency and a bit crumbly. (Obviously wash your hands before this)

5. Add the sugar to the flour mixture

6. Peel and cut your apples. We took the cores out of the apples, split them into 4 pieces, and cut each of those 3 or 4 times. Some pieces were chunky, but it works well for the cake.

7. Add the apples to the flour mixture and mix thoroughly

8. In a small bowl, mix milk and eggs together, and then add to the apple mixture and mix until you get a very dough-y batter.

9. Empty the dough into the ready pan and try to smooth out every part with a spatula or spoon.

10. Pour the sugar on top and all over the surface of the batter before putting it into the oven

11. Let it cook for 40-50 minutes (with a smaller pan, mine was completely ready at 40 minutes) and check when it comes out by sticking a toothpick in the middle

12. For the custard sauce, you could make your own from scratch, but I was hesitant to do that this time. I bought a vanilla jello pudding pack and added the milk over the stove until it came to a low boil. While it was still thin, I poured it on top of the slices, and it worked beautifully with the cake!

 

I was pretty proud of this cake to be honest with you! It’s perfect for a cold autumn night with your friends or family (as you can see, Rex liked the cake too).

Try this out and tell me what you think!

-Heather

 

Pumpkin Brownies

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Hello there!

I made the simplest of recipes last night, but I thought it would be a fun little one to share. I also got these adorable recipe cards from Anthropologie and they’re perfect for my baking posts so you can all see how to make the brownies and what you’ll need.

The 1 can of pie is exactly what you think, it’s pumpkin pie filling. These brownies are not the texture of normal brownies, so beware! They are very rich and have that pumpkin taste, but it isn’t too overpowering.

Try it out and let me know what you think,

-Heather

Summer Inspiration Post

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re all having a great summer so far. Where I am it is so incredibly hot. I can’t believe there’s a hurricane coming up the coast, but I guess it is that season. I hope you all stay safe! I’ve been very inspired lately by beautiful clean lines that remind me of fresh summer days. I also just want to tell you guys that my blog may look a bit different lately, but please don’t mind its appearance. I’m working with different themes to change it up, and in doing so, I by mistake changed my theme and can’t get my old one back. If someone could tell me how to get that back, that would be great. I’ll update you when I finish all the re-vamps for the final product of my blog!

 

Have a great fourth of July!

-Heather

Peanut Butter Cookies with Ingredients Sitting in your Kitchen!

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Hey everyone!

I made a pretty easy peanut butter cookie recipe, and all the ingredients are easily found right in your kitchen. I got the recipe off of Better Homes and Gardens, so go check out the website for the specifics. You really just need the basics: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 and 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon baking powder, and an egg.

I first mixed the butter and peanut  butter in a big bowl because all the ingredients are being mixed in, so you’ll need a lot of room for everything. After the butter and peanut butter mixture is smooth and creamy, start adding the granulated and brown sugar.

After mixing in the sugars, I added the egg and beat that in until it was even. Then I added the vanilla extract and baking soda as well as the baking powder. The consistency at this point is kind of gritty.

I then mixed in the flour, and I really had to mix this in good because it was a bit dry until I worked it into the batter. I then refrigerated the dough while waiting for the oven to eat to 375 degrees. It’s easier to form the dough into 1 inch balls while it isn’t so sticky, so refrigerating helps with that a bit. After waiting about ten minutes I rolled the balls and put them in a small ball with a good amount of granulated sugar so the dough is coated in sugar. You then place them on the cookie sheet evenly.

I used a fork to press into the dough before putting it in the oven. However, it was sticking to the fork, so I filled a glass with water and dipped the fork in before each cookie so the dough didn’t stick. I cooked them about 7 or 8 minutes, or until they got too brown around the edges. Tell me what you think!

 

-Heather

Christmas Cookies!

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Hello Everyone! Here are my cookies in a little festive slideshow 🙂

The cookies were made with a Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix, and the frosting was all done homemade with confectionary sugar, milk, and butter. Very standard recipes, the reason they came out so good was I cut them with a cookie cutter a little thick. A little under and inch!

Enjoy!