Happy March! I’m so delighted that we’ve been seeing more sunshine and warmer temperatures. Dare I say it’s starting to feel like spring?  I’ve been enjoying these cookies this week. I made the full batch of dough but only baked off a few at a time- I like them warm and gooey. Similar to an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, these also have chopped walnuts to give a little crunch (I substituted pecans) as well as grated milk chocolate. The oats are finely ground in your food processor so the cookies still have a hearty texture, yet they’re softer. There’s just about something for everyone in this cookie, and they traveled well packed in my pocket when we took the dogs on a hike. You may be familiar with the ‘story’ [...]

My mom just left town today. She was visiting from the Midwest, where the temps there lately have been insanely frigid. We were hoping for some bluebird days during her visit, but Colorado decided it would be overcast, cloudy, and snowy instead. We still had a great time though, and she also got to meet her grandpuppy Abe.  While she was here we made up a batch of these double lemon bars. We also baked a pan of chocolate brownies (at the same time!), but the lemon bars surprisingly were the overall favorite because we gobbled them up in no time. The pan of brownies still remains.  I think it had something to do with the fact that the lemon bars were so brightly flavored, refreshing, and the perfect combination [...]

Sometime between 5 am and 9 am it decided to snow, oh, about 13 inches. I got up early this morning to test some doughnut recipes and I had to spend quite a while pushing all that snow off the car.  I suppose it only made the doughnuts taste sweeter, as we sipped hot coffee and reveled in their pillowy softness while skiers clamored about outside in Vail village.  So why all this doughnut business? I  wanted to do a test batch of some doughnut varieties I have planned for an upcoming wedding. The bride wants to serve small doughnuts at the end of the night to her guests, along with spiked coffee and milk shooters. They will also have some little bags for guests to grab a few on [...]

I know I’ve shared my memories of baking recipes out of Taste of Home magazine with my mom when I was younger. The new magazine arrivals were always such a thrill- we’d sit together and go through each page, marking the recipes we planned to make.  These cappuccino muffins came to mind this afternoon when Zack, Abe, and I returned from a sunny hike. I loved them then and I still love them now. They are such a perfect muffin- fluffy and moist, with a delicious coffee-cinnamon flavor and studded with chocolate chunks or chips.  They’re also really fast to throw together, which of course works wonderfully with my new life as a puppy mother. I will say it is getting a little easier, so maybe one of these days [...]

Today was one of those sleepy, perfect kind of days off. It was much needed, too- I had two wedding cakes in Aspen last week, Zack’s been working a ton, and we have our new little monster, Abe, to constantly tend to. I never knew puppy training (and care taking) was as much work as it is! But, I’m not complaining. We love him to pieces. We’ve gotten quite a lot of snow since January began and it seems like every time I look at the window it’s snowing again. I mixed up these blondies this morning and I’m so glad I did. They literally are a one-bowl kind of treat, which means they’re super fast- excellent for my schedule these days when I’m on puppy time. The blondies are [...]

Greetings! I hope everyone’s been having a fresh and joyous start to 2014. December was a crazy month and I’m sorry I couldn’t do more posting, although there was plenty of baking  and pastry activity taking place.  There was a lot of Megan Joy Cakes work and another trip to Aspen: Right before Christmas I did a high altitude baking class with The Vail Mountain Club. It was held at one of the member’s beautiful homes and we made apple breton pie, pumpkin cheesecake snickerdoodles, and a hot chocolate torte. It was a lot of fun.   Shortly after, I left to go to Indiana for a week so I could celebrate Christmas with my family. At my grandma Jone’s Christmas Eve dinner, we enjoyed my favorite honey-glazed rolls. They are [...]

Christmas is 9 days away! Are you ready? As promised, I made a candy recipe that performs appropriately at high altitude. My mom’s good friend Cheryl always sends the most delicious chocolate covered toffee around the holidays, and this recipe reminds me of it. It’s buttery, crunchy, chocolaty, and coated in nuts. Highly addictive.  I was expecting the recipe to be much harder than it really was. You cook butter, sugar, water, and salt; add vanilla, and then pour it onto your baking sheet. Let it cool, then cover each side in chocolate and finely chopped pecans. Break it up into pieces and you’ve got a hefty quantity of homemade candy on your hands, perfect for feeding guests or giving away as gifts.  Last night I also baked up some [...]

This time of year there is so much sugar- Christmas cookies, candies, cocktails…that these cupcakes are a refreshing break from all things sweet. They don’t rise too much and are more of a ‘flat topped cupcake’, but their damp, almost black interiors are richly spiced and festive.  Smeared with a ginger-coffee icing, these cupcakes are great for short-notice, informal holiday get-togethers. We like them plain, for breakfast- big surprise there! As the temperatures are finally warming up here from those single digit days we had last week, it’s been nice to actually venture outside. Warm Colorado sunshine streaming in through the windows highlights all the snow laying on the ground outside. It’s been a beautiful time of year.  I just finished a cake this week and enjoyed photographing it with [...]

My, what a busy time of year! I’m sure everyone else feels the same way.  In between wintery wedding cakes, business trips (pictured above is snowy Aspen), Christmas shopping, preparing for our puppy, and other work, it’s been hard fitting in any holiday baking. But the show must go on… Thankfully we have a multi-tasking recipe to work with: brioche. I’m a big fan of brioche. Not only does it taste fantastic- it’s rich, buttery, tender… like the love child that would result from bread + cake. But it has many, many uses.  1. It makes THE BEST french toast ever.  2. Shape dough into balls and bake up into dinner or breakfast rolls.  3. Roll the dough out and use it to make cinnamon rolls or coffeecake. 4. Fry [...]

I can’t stop baking these. I’ve already planned to make them again in 2 1/2 weeks  so we can eat them for breakfast on Christmas morning. They remind me of my days as a student at The French Pastry School, when obviously, pastries were plentiful.  Flaky, tender, and feather-light, homemade ‘quick’ puff pastry serves as the base for these tartlets. Then they’re topped with ripe, yet slightly firm pears, and baked. Golden brown and fresh out of the oven, a lightly spiced powdered sugar glaze is drizzled over the tops, creating warm, sweet, fruity, flaky pastry goodness.  I made this dough and used it over several days. Each morning I’d roll out two or three squares and bake them off so we had fresh pastries with our coffee. Because they’re [...]

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