Amaretti Cookies

amaretti cookies right out of the oven!

Every time we go to New York City, my family goes to an Italian bakery in Little Italy to buy Amaretti cookies. Years ago I started to just play with ingredients to make amaretti cookies, and each recipe failed. I determined that they must be really hard to make!

Then, one year we went to the city and the bakery was closed for its annual 2 week vacation. We went to every other bakery on the block and no one had the chewy style Amaretti cookies. Some bakeries offered the crunchy ones but we had grown to love the chewy cookies. Continue reading

Chocolate Cupcakes

For years I struggled with making chocolate cupcakes. It was challenging to get the amount of batter for each cupcake correct so I would end up with giant cupcakes, or poorly risen cupcakes more times than not. However, I finally figured out that the method for mixing up cupcakes can really affect the final product. This recipe calls for adding the boiling water late in the process and beating on high speed for a minute. The cupcakes have baked perfectly every time for me. Every time I’ve made them they yield 12 cupcakes. They also work nicely for the mini cupcake size. If you bake them as minis, they need 13 minutes in the oven.

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How to Make a Popcorn Bag Cake

Design by Invitation

One of my friends always has me design her children’s cakes from a custom birthday party invitation she sends out. She introduced another one of her friends to me and her friend had the same idea for her daughter’s 11th birthday. Samara’s invitation had a big bag of popcorn on it, so of course we’d need a “bag of popcorn” cake!

I LOVE to design cakes this way. Sometimes they are almost identical to the invite and other times the invitation simply serves as a launching point for inspiration. For Samara’s birthday, the cake was pretty similar to the invitation:

The Cake

The cake was for a sleepover party for 11 year old girls. Knowing this, and the fact that the design of the invite lent itself to a rectangular shape, we decided to go with a 1/4 sheet cake. Serving would be easy and they’d be smaller pieces than if we went with a layer cake. Once the size was selected it was time to assemble the cake! Continue reading