Emerging from the “no time to” bake zone

I have been so baking deprived, but, in the last few weeks, have managed to fling a few things into the oven.

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It’s Pride Weekend in San Francisco, so, as is my custom, I made rainbow cupcakes for my Pride Celebration “Bake Free!”

Even though I give the cupcakes away, there are, amazingly, people who don’t want a free cupcake. So I still have some left.

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Fortunately, they freeze!

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These cupcakes just don’t keep!

I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep up on Sundays with Joy (baking from the Joy the Baker cookbook with my online, baking obsessed companions) but I managed this week!

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We baked mini chamomile cakes with honey frosting (sorry for the blurry photo–my IT guy (aka my husband) took these pictures with his phone; mostly they turn out great, but not this one). I didn’t have regular milk so I mixed cream with skim milk and it worked fine. The batter was super easy to make as most of the ingredients just went straight into the mixer except for the eggs, milk and vanilla. In fact, the only thing even mildly challenging (other than keeping myself from eating most of them) was opening 12, count ’em 12, tea bags to get the chamomile out. You’d think that my local hippie food coop place would have bulk chamomile. Just sayin’

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Moto sensed the presence of butter, but I frustated his sworn intentions.

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Even though I doubled the cupcake recipe, the quantities for the frosting seemed pretty large to me so I made a batch and a half. This was half a recipe too much. This means that I have to have the sailors tie me to the mast every time I open the refrigerator door. I’ll bet it would taste really good on carrot cake pancakes (Inside Baking with Joy joke).

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Brought these for the costume crew at school. People always seem to like the baked goods that I bring (perhaps because they’re ravenous college students?)–these, however, generated the most positive response yet! They’re definitely going on my bake again list. My only complaint? They just don’t keep–I turned my back and they were gone!

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Oh Joy, it’s back to Sundays with Joy!

It seems like a million years, what with my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah and then Passover with all leavenings and leavened and potentially leavened products banished to the depths of the garage, but I’m back to baking on Sundays with Joy!

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Today, from the Joy the Baker Cookbook, I made the whole wheat honey and goat cheese drop biscuits.

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Not only were they easy to make (an important factor when baking early in the morning), they were adaptable—I didn’t have a cast iron skillet in which to bake them (actually, I do have one but its whereabouts are lost in the den of squalor, i.e., the basement) so I used cake pans (thanks to Carrie Burrell). Also, due to my fear of cardboard textured baked goods made entirely with whole wheat, I substituted a 1/4 cup of white flour for whole wheat. Even though I trust Joy and her recipes, I just had to do it.

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The upshot? The executive tasters (husband and daughter) each had two. I’m not saying how many I had—I’m still thinking about how one would taste if I cut it in half, dumped some grated cheddar on it and shoved it under the broiler. All thumbs pointing up for this recipe!

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Not Food!

I digress–this is definitely not food or baking-related. It’s a wedding dress, patterned from scratch and created from silk crepe-back satin with hand-appliqued lace.

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It took hours upon hours, including thread marking, hand-basting all the vertical seams and a hand-rolled hem. That’s why for relaxation, I choose baking!

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Lotsa Matzah!

A wandering mind will occasionally happen upon a truly cockamamie idea. I have frosting (see my previous post), I have matzah, why don’t I make a cake out of it? I’d seen recipes for crepe cakes so that’s where I’m going with this.

Today, I am a man (oops, wrong religious event). Today, I frosted a bunch of pieces of matzah, alternating between brown sugar cream cheese frosting and chocolate cream cheese frosting (thank you, Joy the Baker). Extensive testing determined that the frostings, while glorious for cupcakes, were a bit too sweet on the matzah; I added cream cheese to solve that problem.

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The matzah cake will now repose sweetly overnight in the refrigerator and be crowned, resplendently, in a chocolate glaze, sometime in the near future.

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It’s a pancake…it’s a cupcake…it’s both!

I just happened to be baking cupcakes because…who needs a reason? Actually, I have four or five students with March birthdays, a load of extra frosting in my refrigerator and a baking mania. Plus, enough batter for 13 cupcakes.

I baked 12, nestled happily in their little paper cups, their destiny shaped by an orderly muffin tin. But, ah, the batter for the 13th cupcake yearned to breathe free so I flung it, freeform, into a hot buttered frying pan. According to the consumer (my daughter), it was an awesome pan-cupcake.

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with frosting on top!

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Pi Day Pie

Got out the “Pi” plate and flung together a pecan pie to celebrate Pi Day. Said pie was transported to school, bisected and dissected without the aid of a knife; the resulting picture was not pretty but will be posted sometime in the foreseeable future. For now, the intact pie, circumference and all, in its considerable glory. If you look closely, you can see a few digits of pi around the edge of the pie plate.

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oh, look, the future’s here already!

IMG_0718the “after math”

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More about that cake

In my ardent quest to bake, whether or no baking is a good idea at the time, I’m moving into some bake-along activities. My first adventure was in Sundays with Joy, a group of people dedicated to baking from Joy The Baker’s cookbook. May I just say one thing about being a theatrical professional? No matter what one bakes, one is pretty much guaranteed a ravening horde to whom one may disperse one’s baked goods. Often caloric intake is limited to licking the bowl. This, I might add, is a good thing. The cake is a marbled red velvet and chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese icing. Although the marbling was less than stellar, there were no complaints whatsoever about the cake.

I managed to get a piece.

It was pretty darn good.IMG_06870209131611

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Just trying to do a little baking around here…

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