It’s no secret that I love scones. Done right, they are melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I have had my share of dry scones and my share of hard scones, and these, my friends, are neither. There’s something about fresh cranberries that make everything taste a bit better. Maybe it’s the fact that you really only crave them during one season of the year, late fall to early winter, that makes it extra special. These scones have a hint of orange and light spices, so you have a bit of citrus that cuts down on the tart berries.
My son thought it was really funny to shake the berry. Because, if you shake it hard enough, you can hear the seeds rattling around inside. It was like his own personal maracas, and he would violently shake the berry next to his ear and laugh. It was fun until he shook it a bit too hard and hit himself on the side of the head. Sigh…
Thanksgiving flew by and now Christmas is almost here. I have been piled under a mountain of essays these past few weeks and have just now emerged. Yeah to Christmas Break almost being here! And speaking of Christmas, one tradition that I had growing up was my mom making cinnamon rolls Christmas morning. In elementary and middle school, I was up before the rolls were done, but once I hit high school, it was the smell of the rolls from the oven that awoke me. (You can read about these cinnamon rolls here .) Now that I have children of my own, I am thinking about what traditions I want to continue, and a large breakfast spread is on the top of my list!
I had some leftover fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving that I wasn’t sure what to do with. And believe it or not, I have never worked with fresh cranberries before. Wow, what a difference is fresh versus dried! I didn’t realize how naturally sweet fresh cranberries are! I’m not sure I’ll ever go back. Dried, schmied…well, maybe in a salad. Continue reading
Peppermint is one of my all-time favorite flavors. In fact, when I go to Starbucks, 9 times out of 10, I order a peppermint mocha (except now, when they charge me more for it because it’s considered a “holiday” drink). And peppermint, when paired with chocolate, is one of the most heavenly desserts I have ever had. So when I thought of creating a dessert for a holiday party a few days ago, this was the first thing that came to mind.
If you love chocolate, or mint, or both, these are the cupcakes for you. The mint adds a subtle contrast to the chocolate cake, and when you take a bite, you get a nice, even flavor of both cake and frosting. (It was really difficult for me to eat just one. I have such a hard time with self-control!) However, if you’re like me and you eat cake because you love frosting, then pile the buttercream on, and get a little bit of cake with your frosting! Continue reading
Cake balls have become one of my favorite desserts to make. I don’t make them all fancy and wonderful like Bakerella does, (she’s amazing!); mine are just plain and simple. And I’ve learned a lot in the two years that I’ve been making them. In this post I’ll tell you some tips I’ve learned along the way through trial and error. This post isn’t a tutorial, but if you’d like one, check out these posts here and here I made over a year ago and this past July, respectively. Just please be kind to me and naivety. As I said, I’ve learned A LOT.
So here are my top-10 things to do/not do when making cake balls. (And they are in no particular order.)
1. To melt candy melts, or chocolate, (which I’ve done before too), do not use a double boiler to melt the cancy coating. Or, if you do, make sure it’s still not on the burner and the stove top isn’t on. You’ll melt the cake balls, which will make it very difficult to coat, since most of it will end up being clumps in the candy melts.
2. Don’t use too much frosting. Start with 1/2 of the can and then work up to 3/4 of the can if need be. It’s a lot easier adding more than taking it away. (To see if you have just the right amount of frosting, make sure there are no traces of frosting in the cake. Then grab some cake in your hand and gently squeeze. If the shape holds, then you have just the right amount.)
3. Watch the microwave. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned the candy melts!
4. Shortening is your best friend when the melts are too thick. Put in 1 tablespoon at a time and fully mix it in to thin it out. The candy melts should be the consistency of heavy cream.
5. Take your time. This can be said for everything, but it’s important to not be rushed or distracted. Continue reading