Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Marshmallow Fudge without the Fluff

Well, a vacation is a vacation and mine was MUCH needed. I don't even care that all my boys were sick, that we barely left the house, or that Wyatt, who is usually so good became possessed. (seriously, something happened to that child while we were gone...) I didn't even care that an 8 hour car ride turned into 11 hours and that the above child whined or screamed almost the whole way was a VACATION and I am so grateful for it. Anyways...I'm BACK and I have so many fun posts and delicious recipes to share.
What was your favorite thing you ate over the holidays? Me? My favorites were all my mom's classics: meatloaf, beef stroganoff...yum. And some new favorites: a delish and healthy spinach artichoke dip, minty meringue chocolates, Christine's chocolates, and my new favorite fudge recipe that is sooo easy. I will share all of these with you in the weeks to come. For now, make this fudge for a New Year's Eve Party!!
Please forgive the above photo. It does not do this fudge justice. I have my new camera when my pro photographer gal pal is not around. AND...I am taking photography classes starting in two weeks. Stay tuned and I can share tips with you guys as I learn!

Marshmallow Fudge without the Fluff
Source: My dear friend Shelley Pesta gave me her mother-in-laws coveted recipe her own words...

In a glass bowl: 2 cubes butter, 12 oz choc chips & 1 tbsp vanilla (waiting on counter until the end) (don't blend)
In a nonstick pan: 12 large marshmallows, 12 oz evaporated milk & 4 cups sugar
Stir everything in pan & apply heat (med/hi) Don't stop stirring!!! Bring to a boil (make sure not to scorch bottom)
Boil for 6 min (liquid will have bubbles popping and pulling away from the pan sides)
Dump the hot liquid over the mixture in the glass bowl & stir
Pour contents of glass bowl on a cookie sheet sprayed with Crisco or butter
Put in fridge to set

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas from The Bakery Box!

How was everyone's Holiday?!!! I have been in Utah the last few days enjoying some down time. Sometimes being on vacation really makes you realize how crazy real life is. I have had so much fun cuddling my boys and playing with them. I am really going to have to focus on this more in real life. What have you enjoyed doing? Our boys came down with strep throat and we had to pay a butt load, yes, a BUTT load for them to go to InstaCare here out-of-network. Now three days later, the baby, little Luke has a fever--ggrreeaatt!! More money down the tubes!! Perfect time of the year for that!! What did you get for Christmas? I got a CAMERA!! A really nice new camera to take pictures for my blog...oh! So exciting and unexpected since my husband is rather, er...thrifty. Well, we get back tomorrow and and we dive right back into real life. I am helping a friend out with her wedding, making 150 sugar cookies, cheesecakes, chocolate covered caramels, lemon tarts, etc. Should be an adventure...stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

I LOVE sugar cookies. I said in an earlier post, that to me, no Christmas is complete without the rolling out, baking, and decorating of sugar cookies!!! I grew up with my mom's delicious Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Recipe. CLASSIC!! These are a thinner version that shows the shape of cookies really well. Last year, my gal pal Julie brought over cookies one night to snack on while we played Settlers of Catan...yes, I am THAT kind of a girl. (I LOVE that game...for the first hour, then I just want someone to win and end my misery...I seldom win!!!) ANYWAYS, her sugar cookies were something else, soft and really fluffy...they remind me of Lofthouse cookies. I like using this recipes on cookie orders because they are still fresh and soft after 5 days! Here are some pictures of some cookies I did 2 weeks ago for a clients' aunts 80th Birthday! In Romania they would say "La Multi Ani!!". Which means to your many years! Happy Birthday Auntie, hope you liked your cookies! My client brought me some scrapbook paper she used in party decorations to help inspire me. I hope she liked what I came up with! I took pictures of the cookies next to the paper.

Sugar Cookies
Source: Julie Held

Put in your shopping cart the following...
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder

Put on your apron and ...
Beat butter and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs and beat. Add in dry ingredients. Last mix in sour cream and vanilla. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-10 minutes depending on your oven. I SWEAR by silpat for a perfectly cooked cookie! Frost with your favorite frosting or decorate with fancy shmancy royal icing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

To Do Lists and English Toffee

Check, Check, Double Check...things off my to-do list that is! I feel like I have been living the last weeks by my to-do list. I LOVE scratchin' things off it. Blogging has been on the list...sorry it kept getting pushed to the next day! ARG!!! This holiday has been so busy. I think each of us feels busier than ever. What have I been up to since my last post? Orders!!! Last week I made some super cute owl cookies (I will share with you soon), some roll orders, 4 dozen sugar cookies, 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies with candy cane Hersheys Kisses (these were scrumptious! Try adding these kisses to your fav. choc. chip cookie recipe!) , and I made delish treats for a Christmas Party. Every year, Paul and I spend a whole day baking, plating, and delivering cookie plates to our neighbors, friends, and church friends. This year it took two days! We delivered about 35 plates of fudge, sugar cookies, licorice caramels, oreo truffles, chocolate peppermint cupcakes, and peanut butter kiss cookies. It was so fun! Check, check, check that off my list!!
I have a friend whose husbands is obsessed with English Toffee. I made it for him two years ago and ever since...whenever he sees me, he asks, "when you makin' those toffees again...?" Well, this was the year. Happy Birthday Jeff! Hope you enjoyed your gift!

English Toffee


Put in your shopping cart:

1 stick, plus 6 Tab. butter

1 cup sugar

2 Tab. cold water

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 6 oz. bag choc. chips

Put on your apron and...

Prepare cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper (silicone baking mats also work). Chop nuts now if they are not pre-chopped.

Bring to a boil butter, sugar and water. Stir constantly for about 15 minutes at a rolling boil. Cook to a brittle stage on your candy thermometer 300 to 310 degrees. Remove from heat, add nuts, Add vanilla and salt. Pour onto prepared cookie sheet about 1/4 inch thick. Cool slightly, top with chocolate chips while toffee is still warm. Spread chips as they melt and sprinkle with more nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gingerbread Waffles

I got a waffle iron for my birthday in October and since have tried probaly ten recipes for waffles....look they come! What isn't to like about waffles? Hot, fresh, filling, the aroma... And my boys scarf them done no matter what recipe I decide on. I gave them frozen Eggo waffles the other morning when I was rushed and they turned their little noses up at them saying they tasted funny. The boys loved these holiday gingerbread waffles though. They smelled so good cooking!( The waffles that is, not the boys...if clarification was needed.) My house smelled like Christmas all morning. We ate ours with maple syrup, but I also think these would be good with fresh whipped cream.

Gingerbread Waffles
Source: Annies Eats
Put in your shopping cart the following:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
4 large eggs
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and
cup milk
½ cup sour cream
3 tbsp. unsulfured molasses

Put on your apron and...
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to blend. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, butter, milk, sour cream and molasses and whisk to blend well. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk to combine until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Preheat a waffle iron, fill each section adequately and cook til golden. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eggnog Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce

I had a few posts all ready to go for today...when last night I ate a slice of the best holiday treat EVER!!! I HAD to bump it to the top of the list. Last night we were invited to dinner at our friends Annie and Jeff's. Dinner was amazing!!! For dessert we had this cake.... Ohhhh yes! It is so moist and the warm sauce over the top is ....tantalizing!! Annie sent me home with the leftovers to give to our friends who were coming over. They were a no show and I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that I ate this slice for breakfast...don't judge me...I know each of you has done this before!! Then...I had another for lunch and knew I had to share this recipe. Thanks Annie for the little bit larger muffin top I have today! Folks, this is a winner...try it!

Eggnog Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce
Source: my dear friend Annie via The Sisters Cafe

Put in your shopping cart:

1 yellow cake mix (preferably with pudding in the mix)
3 T. flour
2 c. eggnog
¼ c. butter, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ tsp. rum extract
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Dust lightly with powdered sugar for presentation.

Caramel sauce:
½ lb brown sugar (~1 1/8 c.)
½ lb butter½ lb powdered sugar (~2 cups)
½ T. cinnamon
½ qt. rich vanilla ice cream

Melt together over medium heat. Pour warm over individual servings immediately before serving.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Ask and Ye Shall Receive!!! I made these beauties (seriously, aren't these some of the simplest, yet most beautiful cupcakes you have ever seen??!!!) for the fair last week (Oh my gosh, that was just last week and it feels like it has been a YEAR!) and for a friend's party Wednesday night. These were a hit! Wouldn't a box of these be the BEST neighbor present EVER and, so simple and affordable! A few fans have been begging me for the recipe and, as promised, here it is...

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
Source: Paula Dean of course!
Put in your shopping cart the following:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 24- cup miniature muffin pans with foil liners. Of course, you can make regular size cupcakes too! I bet there would be enough batter for about 2 dozen.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with mixer till super fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well and add peppermint extract.
In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients-flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternating with buttermilk.Mix well. Stir in sour cream.
Fill cups 3/4 full and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until toothpick or knife comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on racks. Frost with peppermint cream cheese frosting and garnish with crushed peppermints, candy canes, or top like I did with peppermint butter mints.
Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat together the following in a mixer or with a mixer:
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 cups powder sugar

And the Give-Away Winner is....

Congats Wylie! I gave her a call and she chose a dozen cupcakes over the Target giftcard. I will be doing a ROCKIN giveaway after the New Year keep checking back!!! Thanks again for spreading the word about The Bakery Box!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Don't Forget!!!

I am grateful for so many of you spreading the word for me!! Thank you! Don't forget to let me know if you qualify for the give-away...Shoot me an email , call me, or leave a comment on one of my recent posts. And WELCOME new followers. I hope everyone keeps checking back and start leaving me some good ol' criticism! What kind of recipes would you like me to find "THE BEST OF" for you? What would you like to learn?

Check in the morning to see the winner of the give-away!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Clean Eating Thursday #1- Super-fast Thai Chili

Clean Eating. Have you heard the phrase? It is really popular right now. There is a magazine, a show, cook books, etc. Basically it is eating naturally, no processed food, no white sugar (GASP), butter not margarine, no canned cream of mushroom soup casseroles, etc. ALL natural foods. This concept may seem like the polar opposite of The Bakery Box. But, everything in moderation, right? And although I LOVE to bake, I do try hard to be healthy. And I do try hard to practice self-control. Yesterday, I made toffee, sugar cookies, and two kinds of cupcakes. I only ate 1 cupcake (today I ate 5 though so I guess that counters yesterday...crap...) Anyways, yes, we should try to eat healthy meals if we want to snack like pigs, carb-adicts, glutens. So, I propose to start one meal at a time. Every Wednesday night I will make something from Clean Eating and post about it on Thursday night. I have been getting the magazine now for a year and have loved every single recipe I have made (ugh...except for the desserts) So, last night we had thai chili. It had wheat bulgur in it and sweet potatoes. Sound strange? It was pretty delish and my boys ate it. THAT is something. And my hubby Paul gave it the "make again" rating. So, here's to your health. Make it (Seriously a 30 minute meal!!! ) and THEN eat a cupcake! :)

Super Fast Thai Chili
Source: Clean Eating Magazine January 2011

Put in your shopping cart
1 1/2 tsp. red curry paste---see note below
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth----see note below
1/2 cup uncooked wheat bulgur
1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed (2 cups)
1 large green pepper (2 cups)
3 cups cooked kidney beans, drained (probably about 2 cans)
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 cups jarred or boxed tomato puree
2 scallions
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Put on your apron and:

1. In a 4 quart pot, add curry paste, cumin and a bit of broth. Mash mixture and stir until paste is no longer in lumps. Add remaining broth, bulgur, potato, and bell pepper. Set over high heat and bring mixture to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce heat to med. low and cook for 10 minutes.

2. Add beans, coconut milk, and tomato puree to pot and stir. Cook, uncovered, for 7 min, until bulgur is tender and chili is thick. Garnish with scallions and black pepper.

Notes on this recipe:
I changed a few things that maybe you might want to try. My Walmart didn't have red curry paste. I just used about 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder. Also, I didn't want to spend the money on vegetable broth, so I used chicken bouillon and beef bouillon at home...a mixture of both. ( Are you shaking your head right now thinking, "Ghetto, much? " ... I know...I know...) Also I added a big can of tomatoes to the chili...I think this is a good addition. We also topped ours with green onions instead of scallions (Sigh...once again ghetto) And we couldn't forget the fattening shredded cheddar cheese. Even with these changes, or maybe because of them, this chili was so good and really a different combination of flavors!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

SUPER Easy Pizza Dough

I have been selling this pizza dough on Fridays for a friend. She is a raving fan. My family never complains on pizza night neither. This recipe is pretty darn simple too. No fancy seasonings, it looks pretty, and tastes like dough from Papa Murphys. (in my opinion). Pizza is a great dinner to just let the kids create. My Ben loves to spread the sauce, make pictures out of pepperoni, sprinkle the cheese... He loves it! This dough also freezes pretty well too.

Easy Pizza Dough

1/2 cup warm water

1 envelope (2 1/4) tsp) instant yeast

1 1/4 cup water at room temperature

2 Tab. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (as Rachel Ray would say "EVOO"

4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/2 tsp. salt

Measure the warm water into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand till it is bubbly. (About 5 minutes). Add the rest of the water, (room temp) and the olive oil to the big measuring cup and stir.

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed and slowly add the water/oil/ yeast mixture. Switch the attachments...that is...put on dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and well mixed. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place for up to 2 hours until it is double in size.

To bake, place your pizza stone in the oven while it preheats. Heat oven to 500 degrees. I don't have a pizza stone and just use a pizza works just fine. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough in two. This makes enough for two big pizzas. Cover two dough balls and let them rest on work surface for about ten minutes but no longer than 30.

Working with one piece of dough, form it into your pizza circle. I form mine right on the pan. (Spray your pan or dust with flour) Top as desired. Bake till golden brown 8 to 12 minutes. Make second pizza or freeze that ball of dough for next time!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Give- Away Deadline!

Hello All! Once again the give-away dead-line is Friday at 5 pm. Check in Sat. morning for the winner! If you are already a follower you can enter by getting two friends to join! Make sure you leave me a comment to let me know who your friends are that joined us at The Box! ALSO... I had to make those of you far away eligible...if you are out-of-state (out of Colorado) you could be the winner of a $10 Target gift card. OHHH... I know... not a million dollar give-away, but hey, just getting started here...and hey...who doesn't love cash! Locals...I decided I would let you choose between the cupcakes and the card. So...get busy and introduce some friends to The Bakery Box!!

Some more business...coming dough, chocolate peppermint cupcakes, tutorial for licorice caramels and royal icing, AND ....INTRODUCING... drumroll please... Clean Eating Thursdays! (Don't laugh...I can make healthy stuff also!) Keep checking back!

Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

These babies are SOOOO good. I love this spin on regular chocolate chip cookies....YUM!!! I have been trying to detox my boys and myself the last week or so yesterday and today. (Hey...a girl has to start somewhere right? ) (Oh yeah baby...I even RAN on the treadmill to compensate for the six cookies I ate today over the last few days.) :) Why am I ALWAYS restarting this goal? Working out is so hard! But, MAN!!! I sure feel good about myself when I do it. Anyways...why am I talking about working out and eating right right before I give you this AMAZING recipe? Because they are worth every piddly calorie in me...I KNOW!!! Make them and enjoy them...'tis the season!!!
Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: found on the world wide web (have you heard of it ? :))added by elimaxandlela
In your shopping cart put:
2 sticks of butter-room temp.
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/4 cup flour
4 packages (not sugar free) Hot Chocolate Mix
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup each white, milk, and semi-sweet chocolate chips (I didn't have or use the milk chocolate chips and mine were still DELICIOSO!!)
Put your cute little apron on and :
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients in parts, making sure all is incorporated. Fold in chips. Chill dough for an hour or so. Scoop onto baking sheets in golf- ball sized mounds. Bake for 9-11 minutes until edges are golden brown! Eat only one...yeah right!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Are You Out There? And...The first Bakery Box Give-Away!

Hello friends and family and The Bakery Box fans! Please follow me. In the left column of this page, click on follow, share your email address, and follow me. For those of you who are not familiar with blogs, this doesn't mean you are giving your info to the whole world or committing to anything. You will just be helping me fulfill a personal goal of getting 200 followers in six months. This doesn't help me in any monetary fashion, just helps me know you support me. In fact, ATTENTION PLEASE!!!

For those of you locally, if you are not a follower, follow me and get two friends to follow me and you get a dozen free cupcakes-your choice- anytime!!! Just leave me a comment letting me know who you got to follow me and I will choose a winner from a hat! (High tech, I know! :) )

Thanks everyone! As always, I appreciate the support!
I will draw a winner Friday!

Family Night Treats- Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies!

This Monday, December 6th, order your family some Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies!! These are so good I just ate 3 in about five minutes! You might want to order extra for your family and friends! Click on the weekly menu tab for pricing.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bake Till You Drop!!! And...Licorice Caramels

Yesterday I posted about being SUPER busy...well, here is why...Ben's Preschool had a little fair and I, being the crazy, over-achiever I am volunteered to do a Bake Sale Table. Such a great idea and I was grateful for the affordable marketing opportunity. However, in order to make sure everything was super fresh I had to make it all the day before. This resulted in pure insanity and no sleep! I was a crazy person the next day, but, looking back, it was so fun.

Sometimes when you are home all day with the kiddos, you forget that there is a big, wide world out! It was so great to meet other ladies with their little businesses...immediate bonding! And to each of you ladies out there...good luck...I wish you the best! For this little event I baked chocolate peppermint cupcakes and white chocolate vanilla cupcakes...YUM! And they turned out so festive! I will be posting these bad boys in the following weeks to come. I also attempted caramels for the first time. I made black and red licorice caramels that were a hit. Candy is so time consuming to make...seriously! I also sold chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies and my homemade rolls. I did not become a millionaire ... I barely covered my table and supplies... but I am hopeful that I made some good contacts. RIGHT?!!! Here are some picture of The Baking Box 's first "BIG" event. (I use the term "big" loosely as there were only four tables :) )

I have some friends begging for me to post my black licorice caramels. Dang it! I didn't take a picture. So... I will post the recipe now and add a photo in later! Happy caramel making!!!
Licorice Caramels
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup butter
2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. anise oil/extract
1 tsp. black paste food color
Butter a 9 X 13 pan liberally, set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine condensed milk, corn syrup, butter, sugar, and salt. Place over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. If sugar crystals are present, wash down sides of pan with wet pastry brush.
Clip on candy thermometer. Cook, stirring constantly, to 244 F (120 C) or firm-ball stage (for harder candy cook to 245 to 250 degrees). I stirred mine on my gas stove set at number 6 for about an hour...pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable...if you stop for too long, it burns. Once it hits the temperature you want quickly add flavoring and color and blend well. Without scraping, pour into prepared pan. Allow to stand at room temperature overnight. Cut into 1 inch squares. Wrap in waxed paper of plastic wrap. Makes approx. 160 pieces.
Variation: Red Licorice Caramels- Use 2 tsp. cherry oil /extract and 1 tsp. red paste food color.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sprinkles Cupcakes Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Oh My!!! I have been CRAZY busy! I was just telling a friend that I feel like I am juggling 5 balls in the air...and not really catching any...

Alas, hard work equals success. Right? And that being said...I am going to share my secret frosting recipe with you and then get back to work making rolls for a fair coming up! Have you heard of the first cupcake chain in the United States called Sprinkles Cupcakes? Well, here is one of their frosting recipes that goes delicious on everything!!!! I use this recipe on my chocolate and strawberry cupcakes. The recipe I first received didn't have the dash of salt, but I added that after reading in a cake book that a dash of salt enhances the flavor to frosting. So here goes...

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1 block 8 oz. cream cheese softened
3 3/4 cups powder sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
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