Monday, September 24, 2012

Baking Sweet Memories

I love this time of year. When fall rolls around I get even more excited about baking than I do any other time of the year. Summer ends and the real baking begins. The last months of the year are full of special reasons to spend time with family, share smiles, and bake sweet memories.

Pecan Pies

One of my favorite baking memories is making pecan pies with my uncle. We make them every year around Christmas but I thought I’d share the recipe with you again a little early this year. It’s too good to wait until December.

My grandmother used to make these pecan pies. Her recipe made three perfect pies at a time. She made them every year for family and friends. She loved it. And when she became less able to keep up with the same quantity of pies she liked to make, my uncle Ronnie became the official pie maker. He doesn’t bake and he’s not really a dessert guy but he makes a mean pecan pie. He’s been making them now for well over a decade since my grandmother passed away. He’s continued making them every year for friends and family to carry on his Mama’s tradition. And now I bake with him every year I can and if not I make sure to bake them in my own kitchen. It’s our family’s way of keeping her with us during the holidays.

And the pies are delicious too, so that’s awesome.

Mini Pies

Of course, I had to put my touch on them and make them mini. Major cute. But I still wrap them just like she did. Simple and sweet. I love these refrigerated and I eat them like a giant pecan pie cookie.

Here’s the recipe how my grandmother made it and here’s a link to the original post with step-by-step photos demonstrated by my uncle and a little more about my grandmother.

And keep scrolling for a fun giveaway below…


Mama’s Pecan Pies
Makes 3 pies or about 32 individual pies

16 oz. pecans
2 sticks margarine
16 oz. package light brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon (serving tablespoon, not measuring spoon) self-rising flour
16 oz. bottle Karo light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 eggs
3 regular size (not deep dish) frozen pie crusts – or make your own (enough for 3)

  • Melt margarine in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until melted and set aside.
  • Prepare your pecans. Remove any unwanted dark brown pieces from the pecan crevices and shake out pecan crumbs in a colander.
  • Place brown sugar in a large bowl. Work out any lumps with the back of a spoon. If the brown sugar is too hard, you can loosen it up in the microwave. Heat it for a few seconds and it will be fine.
  • Add a heaping serving tablespoon of self-rising flour and stir until the flour disappears into the brown sugar.
  • Add the bottle of corn syrup. Then add 1 serving tablespoon of vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Add melted margarine. Fold carefully into the mixture so it doesn’t splatter. Fold until the margarine is thoroughly worked in and disappears.
  • In a separate bowl, crack open six eggs. Remove the “roosters” and loosely beat the eggs with your spoon.
  • Fold the eggs into the pie mixture until they disappear.
  • Add pecans and stir until completely coated.
  • Remove three pie shells from the freezer at this point and check for cracks. (If you do have a crack, thaw and knead the crack together and refreeze.)
  • Pour the mixture evenly into the three shells. You’ll probably have a little bit leftover in the bowl. Tap tops with a spoon to check consistency and make sure there is the same amount in each pie. Redistribute pecans if necessary to make equal.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350. Cook pies until they swell and then fall. At that point they are done.
  • Remove and cool for about three hours to set. Store on the counter or in the refrigerator depending on how you like your pie. Or eat right away and really warm – the pie just won’t hold it’s shape at this point but it will be amazing.
  • For mini pies: chop pecans, use mini frozen pie shells, removing them from the freezer as needed and bake in three batches on a baking sheet for about 35 minutes each. I’m guesstimating the time. Watch them and make sure they are done.



And now, I’d love for you to share your favorite baking memory.

Holiday or any day.

You could be the lucky baker to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and a Williams-Sonoma Gift Card.


  • Prize includes a KitchenAid Stand Mixer (valued at approximately $650) and a $200 Williams-Sonoma gift card. Approximate Retail Value: $850. Tasty!
  • Giveaway runs from September 24, 2012 at 12:00 am ET through October 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm ET. Sorry, Time’s Up! Winner will be announced this week.
  • One entry per person. You must live in the U.S. for this one (I’m sorry my international friends) and be 18 or over, too to be eligible to win.
  • To enter for a chance to win the mixer and gift card, just leave a comment on the website and share your favorite baking memory. And if you don’t have one yet, the giveaway lasts long enough for you to bake one. : )
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced during the week of October 8th in a follow up post here on the site.
  • Note that it may take a few minutes for your comment to display.

Good luck guys and I can’t wait to read your baking memories.


This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels, the perfect special ingredient for all of your family’s favorite treats!

Sharyl said...

The very first time I ever baked and decorated a cake for our 1st wedding anniversary 5 years ago. We didn’t keep with the tradition of keeping the top tier of your wedding cake, because seriously, I just won’t be able to put a year old cake in my mouth (no matter hdow much i love cakes!). That really started off my love for baking.

October 2, 2012 06:22 PM
Kerstin M. said...

My grandma used to bake chocolate chip cookies with us and tell us not to eat the raw dough… but then we would sneak the dough anyway :)

October 2, 2012 06:22 PM
Irma said...

My favorite recipe is my Mom’s flan. It’s funny because I am not a big fan of flan but just knowing that she made it and it has become a staple at our gatherings makes me smile everytime I see it on the table. It brings back very good memories.

October 2, 2012 06:26 PM
Christine W. said...

Oh, these pies looks so lovely! I LOVE pecan pies! My little sister loves to bake and she always bakes for my family and I. All the baking memories mainly includes me eating because I suck at cooking/baking. Ha. Maybe it’s about time I start to learn and help out in the kitchen!

October 2, 2012 06:37 PM
Marlene G said...

My favorite baking memory is that in the past few months I have been getting orders to make cakepops and cupcakes, etc. and it all started with a little party my mom made for valentines day and so two of my moms’ friends asked me if I could make them some so they can sell them to their coworkers and so I did, so I had my sister help with all these orders I’ve been getting from all their other friends. Its been great, and really fun making different designs and spending time with my sister. So what really counts in this memory is having my sister help me out! It is awesome and hope to have more memories along the way. Thanks Bakerella for all your great recipes and designs. You’re awesome

October 2, 2012 06:41 PM
Diana Siegmund said...

the website is setup very nicely and easy to read!

October 2, 2012 06:50 PM
Debra said...

My grandmother used to make German coffee cake and orange rolls. They still remind me of Christmas!

October 2, 2012 07:06 PM
Abby S said...

My grandmother makes fabulous apple pie, and I’ve always wanted to learn how to bake it the way she does. For my 18th birthday, she got my aunt to video her baking an apple pie, making sure to include all the tricks and bits of family tradition and history that go along with apple pie, and sent me a DVD. Now, whenever I bake apple pie, My grandmother is right there baking with me. I don’t have a written recipe so I’ve had to memorize most of the video, but I always play it so that I feel like my Grandma is baking with me. It always brings back all the memories of being a little kid playing in my grandmother’s kitchen.

October 2, 2012 07:25 PM
Michelle F. said...

After Thanksgiving my grandma and I would begin baking for Christmas. She had a cold room so the peanut brittle and candy would come first. Then fudge, pumpkin bread, bars, cookies and so much more. When we were finished we would make boxes and deliver them to friend and family! It was so wonderful. Thanks!

October 2, 2012 07:28 PM
Sydney said...

My favorite baking memory has to be when I was baking with my niece and I gave her the hand-mixer to mix cookie dough and she turned it ALL the way up and threw cookie dough all over the kitchen. We still joke about it everytime we bake together.

October 2, 2012 07:29 PM
Margie said...

Making the Easter cake, shaped like a bunny, with my niece. She was so proud, so happy. She did most of the work and it came out beautifully. She was about 6 back then and later this month, my baby will be 20.

October 2, 2012 07:35 PM
Christine said...

The very first time I started baking!
A year ago, last August. It was my boyfriend’s birthday and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.. I’d never even baked with a mix before. I thought it’d be more meaningful to bake from scratch…so I did. I started baking at 12AM because I wanted to surprise him when he came over in the morning, and I ended up pulling an allnighter… I didn’t know cookies were so hard to bake. And I ended up knocking out on him right after breakfast and woke up at 4PM just in time for dinner.. bummer birthday, but it’s still so memorable.

October 2, 2012 07:57 PM
Polly J. said...

Every year at Christmas time me and my daughter bake over 20 different kinds of cookies to give away to our family and friends. We have over 1ooo cookies all over the kitchen! I love baking and she is turning into a baker too! Love the late nights for a week, we always end with Nighty Nights for the last cookie.

October 2, 2012 07:58 PM
Laura G said...

Baking my moms famous old fashioned sugar cookies at the holidays and decorating. I loved making them because she’d let me eat the dough since there were no eggs in it. Another was my mom teaching me how to make her homemade caramels!

October 2, 2012 07:59 PM
Christina said...

My favorite baking memory was baking with special needs students. It is always enjoyable to watch children cook, but seeing the feeling of accomplishment (baking a cake) really touched me. The mixer would be a great addition to the special needs kitchen! :)

October 2, 2012 08:05 PM
Dana said...

The first time I went over to my aunt’s house to help her and my other aunt make their annual holiday cookies. I was about 15 and it was my first time baking from scratch. I remember baking with them and talking nonstop, and generally having an amazing time =) We also enjoyed the cookies very much the next day on Christmas!

October 2, 2012 08:06 PM
Jasmine A said...

My friends and I were making a cake for my birthday because we thought it would be more fun that way. When it came to decorating the cake, we had no clue what to do. We wanted to do something special and fun. So we thought that we would just wing it and my friend started to flatten the top of the cake. She made a mistake and cut it lopsided. Then we noticed that it kinda looked like a crescent moon. So instead of fixing it, we decorated to look like the moon in the night sky. It was so fun making that cake with them, that is definitely my fondest baking memory.

October 2, 2012 08:20 PM
Pam said...

I love baking with my daughter. She is now the families official birthday cake maker and I am her assistant.

October 2, 2012 08:46 PM
Zayra M said...

I was making this crepe cake for my mom’s birthday, y was like 32 chocolate crepes with hazelnut filling, you had to chill it for a while then pour ganache, when I put it in the fridge, the cake slid, and 1/3 stayed in place, 1/3 on my hand and the rest on the floor. I wanted to die, got so mad with myself, but my mom helped me out with her cake and restacked the ones on my hands and said that everything was fine and that it still would taste great (which it did). Lesson learn, be patient and listen to mom.

October 2, 2012 08:52 PM
Sabrina said...

I have such fond memories of my grandma making Scottish “dumpling”. We’d make it the night before we were going to eat it for breakfast, and the dumpling would bounce around the pot making lots of noise. We’d eat it fried up in the morning with eggs. Yum!

October 2, 2012 09:05 PM
Leah said...

A few years ago my friend and I were baking heads at an overnight camp. We were up until the wee hours of the morning making dough for doughnuts for 300 campers .. We had a tried and true recipe and had to x the recipe by 60 … Once we finally figured all the insane amounts of ingredients we needed we got started measuring everything out … After an hour or so we have the batter up and running …. That is until we realized there was way too much yeast in the dough ..the dough started bubbling over the bowls and started filling the floor ..we had to keep grabbing more and mire bowls to hold our over rising dough !! The dough turned out the a little sour ..we just joke a lot abt the story recalling how we could have poisoned the camp! Lol

October 2, 2012 09:08 PM
Mark said...

My memory is meand my grandma would make bunuelos and we used to make the dough roll it out have dough everywhere in the kitch it would be a big mess but it was fun

October 2, 2012 09:25 PM
Kate said...


October 2, 2012 09:26 PM
Flora Reyes said...

I was eight years old the first time I was allowed to help my mother bake a pie. My mother and I prepared it the night before so that the next morning she could put it in to bake. But it wasn’t just any pie it was my mothers’ famous sweet potato pie. It is one of my sweetest memories because it was a moment me and my mother shared. That is not the only memory of that Thanksgiving I have to my dismay not all of my memories were so sweet.
My most memorable thanksgiving encompassed a lot of emotions from the moment I woke up. I remember waking up to a lot of commotion down stairs. I knew my aunts were going to come early to help with the Thanksgiving dinner. I remember getting up and feeling the cold floor beneath my feet as I struggled to find my luscious slippers that would ensure the warmth of feet. The very first thing I noticed was when I opened my bedroom door was the sweet intoxicating smell of cinnamon. It was seven am but already my mom had started to bake. I walked down the stairs taking in all the new aromas that where now settling in lungs when my dad said in a surprised voice “Flora, what are you doing up? Go back to bed everyone is still sleeping”. But the sweet smell of candied yams and sweet potato pie levitated me and for a second I lost my balance. My father laughed and said that if I was going to stay up that I should go get dressed so I could go outside with him to gather wood for the bon fire. Every year we had a bon fire where we would gather around and get toasty with the warmth of the fire.
The minute I stepped outside I felt a light breeze go through my hair. The color of the trees and leaves always fascinated me. There was something about the intense hues of reds and yellows’. I always felt that they mimicked the intense colors of the roses and sunflowers that inhabited my mothers’ garden in the summer time. I was supposed to be looking for dry tree branches but instead my eyes were devouring my surroundings. All I could hear was the crunching of the leaves breaking beneath me and the wind dancing all around me. I wondered at that precise moment what the ground felt like. To my parents dismay I was a very curious child. I proceeded to take off my sneaker and sock making sure my father didn’t see and I carefully placed my foot on the ground. It was dam and cold it reminded me of sand in the beach when the tide of the ocean comes and retreats leaving the sand cool and damp. But instead of a smooth surface I felt what at first I though was a twig that poked me. I did not feel any pain until I saw the blood envelop my foot. Then I felt a large throbbing pain that consumed my whole right leg. The blood was warm and it felt as though I had stuck my foot in warm water. The bottom of my pants was soaking up the blood and I wanted to brush it off as if it were dirt. I was starring at my foot when I heard my father scream. He quickly ran over, picked me up and took me into the house. My mother was frantic and at first all she was doing was screaming and crying. I could see my brothers and sisters peering into the kitchen through the opening of door. They were trying to figure out what happened when my father closed the door to the kitchen. I heard my youngest brother Noah say that I had been bitten by a snake and that I was so cool.
While having a supposed battle wound did sound cool what was not cool was arriving at the emergency room with five screaming aunts and my mother in tears. When they handed me to off to one of the nurses I could feel the blood soaking through the towel my father wrapped around my foot. The nurse looked very calm and was telling me that it was going to be ok. At this point all I could think about was the scar he had on his arm. It was smooth and made me think about how he got it. They took me into a room where a nurse with too much make up stuck a needle into my arm. At first I thought I was receiving multiple needles but it turns out it was her nails that were digging into my skin. The needle was not nearly as painful as her nails pressing against my skin. I was not scared throughout any of this if anything all I could think about was the sweet potato pie that was in the over at home. Was it ok? What if it burned? When my mom came in to see me she asked me if I was ok all I could respond was “is the pie okay”. She began to laugh and said warmly while brushing my hair back “lie down you need to rest”. Before I could protest I fell a sudden heaviness in my eyes and quickly fell asleep.
When I woke up I felt as if I was floating in retrospect I know that the drugs and mixture of antibiotics were the sole cause of this. While I was trying to take in a breath of air I was bombarded with the pungent smell of medicine. My mother explained to me that I had stepped on a nail; it had entered completely severing an artery, which is why there was so much blood. The doctor came in soon after with a big smile which at first made me uncomfortable. She said “you are a very brave little girl”. At that moment I thought that she couldn’t be too smart. She called me a little girl if she was a good doctor she would know that I was eight. She showed me the x-ray of my foot and went on to explain that a three inch nail gone through the bottom of my heel and imbedded itself. I had gotten surgery to get it removed and a cast that went up half of my shin. When I arrived home the next day my brothers embellished my cast with a flaming skull claiming that it would give me character.
I was eight years old the year that I ruined Thanksgiving accept my brothers and sisters were not a loud to tell me this or make me feel bad. Every year there is a joke thrown around about how I didn’t cry when a nail went through my foot but that I cried when my tooth fell out. I have definitely had a lot of memorable moments in my eighteen years of living but this one will always stick out. I can only hope that I keep making memories such as these maybe not as painful but definitely ones that include my entire family after all what would thanksgiving be without family and friends.

October 2, 2012 09:32 PM
Claire H. said...

My favorite baking memory is making cookies with my son when he was still a preschooler. I loved his excitement over the addition of each ingredient and the finished product. He still helps me from time to time with the same enthusiasm :)

October 2, 2012 09:33 PM
Sam O said...

When I was 10 I made chocolate chip cookies with too much baking soda, they were awful! My dad, he’s so awesome, he ate them like they were the best thing he ever ate. I love that man!

October 2, 2012 09:38 PM
Bonnie C. said...

Santa’s being eating our cookies for decades!

October 2, 2012 09:46 PM
Kristine said...

My favorite baking memory was when my mom taught me how to make filipino cassava cake for the holidays. So good!

October 2, 2012 09:54 PM
Shira said...

My grandma would make these amazing apricot bars that we called ‘wormy cookies’ because the crumble on top looks like worms. I’ll never forget being a little girl in the kitchen, marveling at her make them. I still have the recipe today.

October 2, 2012 09:56 PM
Candis said...

I love the smell of fall baking…cinnamon, spices, apples, pies…it always brings back a flood of holiday and childhood memories!

October 2, 2012 09:58 PM
nl huber said...

making cheese cake using the non dairy cream cheese! OMG so good and i made a blondie recipe with tons of chocolate chips, baked it, put it in the food processor, placed that in a spring pan and poured the cheese cake batter in the middle. baked it and it was OUT OF THIS WORLD! A kitchen aid is a must for this recipe :)

October 2, 2012 10:05 PM
Beth Whitney said...

My best friend was over spending the night. We must have been 12. We wanted to make snickerdoodles. The recipe called for butter and shortening. The only Crisco we had was butter flavored, so we went with it! Then we greased the cookie sheets, even tho the recipe called for ungreased. They were the butteriest, greasiest mess ever! Every time I make snickerdoodles, I think of Lori and our buttery mess!!

October 2, 2012 10:12 PM
Jill Hampton said...

My favorite baking memory is teaching my high school daughter and her best friend how to bake. They are such a joy at that age. And I think I will hold that close to my heart for many years to come.

October 2, 2012 10:13 PM
Shannon said...

Making chocolate chip cookies as a family when I was a little girl. Mom threw in all the ingredients while we gathered around Dad to watch him stir then my brother and I would make the cookies…so much fun!!

October 2, 2012 10:14 PM
Denise Martin said...

My Favorite baking memory was with my 5 year old son. We were baking cookies for Santa and I made sure to only eat the ones he made and then left him a message from santa saying that his cookies were the best cookies. That morning when he read the note from santa (wink, wink) he told me mom I have to be a baker santa knows cookies and he loved mine.

October 2, 2012 10:22 PM
Susan Eardley said...

My favorite baking memory is making what my grandmother termed ‘Christmas fruit’ every December. . it reminds me of her.

October 2, 2012 10:34 PM
Celene said...

All of the women in my family bake, but my Grandma surpassed them all! My sister made a much-cherished book of all of our favorite family recipes. On each recipe page, she jotted down a few of my grandmother’s comments from their time together compiling the book. The comments range from sweet and poignant memories to “This one is fattening as hell…” and are as nice to have as the recipes!

October 2, 2012 10:36 PM
Audrey said...

My favorite memory is learning how to make chicken fried steaks with my dad. It’s my grandmas recipe and was such a treat growing up. The first time I went to make it, I remembered none if the measurements and just poured from memory and it was perfect!

October 2, 2012 10:37 PM
Emily said...

Since I was a kid, my parents, my brothers and I would all get together and bake sugar cookies on Christmas eve. I remember decorating with everything from marshmallows to red’s what got me into baking!

October 2, 2012 10:47 PM
Jamie R. said...

My favorite baking memory was learning to make Christmas cookies with my mom! We have a family recipe that we make every year, I have spent most of my life eating just the dough but learning how to actually make these for when I have my own family!

October 2, 2012 10:50 PM
Cat T. said...

In general, my favorite baking memory is all of the traditional recipes that have been passed down through my family – saucepan brownies, paper bag apple pie, aunt bessie’s pie crust and Hannah’s butter cookies. Making these things makes me feel close to my family even though now we live on opposite coasts.

October 2, 2012 10:58 PM
Sheila said...

My favorite baking memory is actually the story of a good intention gone wrong, a true baking disaster story! I was about 4 years old, and my two older sisters and their two friends decided they were going to surprise my mom and bake her a cake for her birthday. My sisters were 8 & 9 and the friends were 7 & 11. The cake was supposed to be chocolate, but due to their lack of know how, it looked like chocolate cake with chocolate chips and white chocolate chips (pieces of egg shells). My mom was surprised, no question. The girls knew my mom appreciated their efforts so they weren’t upset when she didn’t even want to taste it. They suggested that we feed it to the dog next door, the “junkyard” dog who ate anything and everything under the sun, but he wouldn’t go near it (and this mind you, was long before it was commonly known that chocolate was poisonous to dogs)

October 2, 2012 10:59 PM
Tita Ledesma-Cuaresma said...

My favorite baking memory is during the Christmas holidays. I would always bake sweet treats to my friends, family and co-workers to make them feel that they are special in my life and it became a yearly tradition. Can’t wait for the Christmas holidays :)

October 2, 2012 11:01 PM
Kori said...

I would say when my grandpa made baked apples for us kids and let us eat them with ice cream.

October 2, 2012 11:05 PM
Allison said...

My sophomore year of college, my two best friends and I spent a long weekend at my friend’s grandmother’s cabin in the woods of Maine. We wanted to make cookies one night, but we were lacking some of the basic ingredients. We modified a recipe in a vintage cookbook that we found up there and came up with a recipe that was an amalgam of all our favorites, along with some great improvisations. We called the recipe the “mad hella wicked cool, yo” cookies after the regional slang differences between our friends. Each ingredient was dedicated to a member of our group. It was great. Even when we burned one batch to a crisp and threw them off the back porch for the deer to eat.

October 2, 2012 11:08 PM
Elissa said...

Growing up, my parents were macrobiotic and we didn’t get to eat a lot of sweets. However, at Xmas the rules would be laid aside and we would pull out the recipe box and bake 4-5 kinds of cookies. My best baking memories come from that time. :)

October 2, 2012 11:27 PM
Karen said...

I remember while growing up my mom, my brother, and I (& any friends who happen to be hanging around) would make sugar cookies for various occasions. Our family would collect special and fun looking cookie cutters from all over (especially when on a vacation) to use throughout the year. We would mix the dough, wait for it to chill, roll it out, and use the cookie cutters for lots of fun shapes that we could decorate once cooled from baking. We would make a confectionary sugar/butter frosting and then use food coloring to create a rainbow of colors for “painting” our cookies. This was the best part to us – we would spend hours “painting’ our cookies with the variety of colored frosting and then add the finishing touches with candies, sprinkles, etc.

One particular year (way before the varicella vaccination started being given), there was a large breakout of the chicken pox virus in our school. My mom came up with the idea of making our beloved sugar cookies using our little “chick” cookie cutter (usually reserved for Easter or springtime) to make the sugar cookies and then frosting/painting “spots” all over the chick as a get well gift for anyone who had the chicken pox!

We’ve made lots of special cookies in our time but this one stands out in my memory the most and is probably what has gotten me hooked on Bakerella because the ideas you give us remind me of creating that special, silly, and fun cookie!

October 2, 2012 11:46 PM
Kelley said...

I’m making new memories all of the time with my kids now as we bake quite often. However, one of the baking times I remember from my childhood is when my mom and I baked bread together. We shaped the dough into a teddy bear and put it on top of the mantle to rise, as it was winter time. It made the house smell so good!

October 2, 2012 11:46 PM
LauraEmm said...

My favorite baking memory is helping my mom make various Christmas cookies/desserts every year. She would let me help pick out 5-10 different recipes to make, and we would spend a lot of time baking together and having a lot of fun. I really miss baking with my mom at Christmastime!!

October 2, 2012 11:58 PM
ashley w said...

I loves when me and my two sisters were younger everyone in the family would come over and bake for no reason other than to spend time together. Now me being a mother of four girls I always do the same with them. I love the tradition and the fun we have :)

October 3, 2012 12:02 AM
Sally S said...

Learning to bake my cakes were always lopsided. Turns out the oven wasn’t level!

October 3, 2012 12:29 AM
Connie Sahn said...

My son and I always baked cookies for the holidays together – cut out in shapes appropriate for the holiday. I hope he has good memories like I do!

October 3, 2012 12:32 AM
Liz W said...

Best baking memory was making my brother’s 27th birthday cake. It was my first fondant cake and it was tiered too. Instead of going for something simple and hard to mess up, I went all out–Super Mario Brothers theme! In the end, everyone was asking if that professional cake artist down the street made the cake (Chef Duff of Charm City Cakes), it looked so amazing. It even garnered me a few marriage proposals when he posted picture in his online gaming forums.

October 3, 2012 12:32 AM
Mary said...

It is so good to bake, especially when the weather ccols down here in Ca.

October 3, 2012 12:43 AM
RockerJewlz said...

Awesome prize, thank you!

October 3, 2012 01:02 AM
Emily C said...

Decorating Christmas cookies with my mom and sister when I was a kid. My mom would ice the cookies and my sister and I would decorate them. I now make and decorate cookies with my son.

October 3, 2012 02:21 AM
Liz Hartrich said...

My brother was totally against all vegetables when we were growing up (he’s better now). My mom bought a book called Old Witch and the Polka Dot Ribbon that has a fantastic Carrot Cake recipe at the end. I have fabulous memories of my mom, brother and I cooking that cake many times. Now I enjoy cooking it with my daughters, too, but it always makes me think of baking with my mom and brother.

October 3, 2012 02:40 AM
Jan Allred said...

When I left the. Stuff inside the turkey by mistake

October 3, 2012 02:52 AM
Cheryl said...

My mom used to make these amazing pumpkin cookies around halloween and then she would let me decorate them with candy corn. I still to this day am trying to find the recipe she used.

October 3, 2012 02:54 AM
Alyssa said...

Every Christmas, my mom, my sister, my brother and I make sugar cookies together, while listening to Christmas music. My mom makes the dough and rolls it out to the perfect thickness. My brother, sister and I pick out which Christmas and winter shaped cookie cutters we want to use and my mom places them in ways to fit the most cookies at once. Then she cuts them out and puts them onto the cookie sheets for my siblings and I to decorate with all my mom’s different kinds of sprinkles. She has so many to choose from and we use so many to decorate the cookies. My mom puts them in the oven and we wait anxiously for them to come out so we can taste them. Eating them is my favorite part because they are so good and I can’t wait for every Christmas to make these cookies with my family!

October 3, 2012 03:03 AM
Susan L said...

I remember one time I attempted to bake a cake for my boyfriend’s birthday. So I decided to try it out first. The chose a strawberry sponge cake with strawberry fillings. The cake came out beautifully, I was so proud of myself. =D But then when I tried to cut it, It was rock hard. Couldn’t even get the knife to cut threw it and had a hard time try to get it out ’cause I tried hammering the knife in to get a piece of that cake. lol. I was so funny. I have improved since then but still working on it. ;) No more rock cakes.

October 3, 2012 03:37 AM
Janice said...

My favorite baking memories actually took place when I first moved out for college! It was my first chance to cook for myself as well as my friends around me!

October 3, 2012 03:40 AM
Rachel said...

hmmm… Let’s see, I have many baking tales of woe and tears BUT in every disappointment and every perceived failure, my sisters came alongside me to save the day :) My greatest memories of baking happen when Jessie is in the kitchen with me trying to rescue seized chocolate- telling me it will “ok” and she will eat the underdone cake whether or not its doughy (as I despairingly cry into a kitchen towel), or when I make something tasty enough to satisfy my (exasperatingly hard to please sister) Maddie, or when I finish whipping up a white, fluffy meringue and call out, “its done who wants a try?!” immediately hearing footsteps descending the stairs for a lick a :) I am so blessed to have such an encouraging family, and I would love to share more desserts with them! (mixed up in this beautiful kitchen aid ;)

October 3, 2012 03:40 AM
Lanelle C. said...

baking for the less fortunate. making the sweets even more sweeter because of the children’s smile on their face. it was also the first time i made smiley cake pops

October 3, 2012 03:54 AM
vicki miller said...

my favorite memory is making chocolate chip cookies with my 3 yr old granddaughter on a day she was not feeling good, hoping to bring a smile and help her feel better. and i turned my back and she had puked all in the cooking dough, crying saying she was sorry and than asking if she could lick the bowl when i was done after I cleaned her up.

October 3, 2012 05:42 AM
Beth Hagler said...

Great memories of very labor intensive lefse making at Christmas with my Scandanavian mom and building REAL (not graham cracker) ginger bread houses for my little Girl Scouts to decorate. So fun!

October 3, 2012 06:09 AM
Pamela Downing said...

In my family we all learned how to make our Great Grandmother’s Christmas “cakes” when we reached the age of 6. I have wonderful memories of all of my siblings covered in flour and icing, while our Mom patiently taught us how to make these delicious time consuming treats. It took a whole day, and we laughed through it every year!

October 3, 2012 08:02 AM
Emiko said...

I didn’t start baking until I began living on my own, so most of my baking memories revolve around my Easy Bake Oven. I would always make sure to “bake” something for each member of my family!
My next challenge is cake pops! I tried a couple times before and everything fell to pieces. Will keep experimenting! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful and adorable cake ideas!

October 3, 2012 08:17 AM
Suze said...

Making cookies and when no one was looking the number of cookies cooling always seemed to get smaller

October 3, 2012 08:27 AM
Jessica said...

In late November each year my 3 daughters and I bake together and mail boxes of cookies to out friends/family across the country. We makes sure the cookies arrive well before everyone is sick of eating holiday treats.

October 3, 2012 08:33 AM
Holly said...

Frosted windows on winter morning. Mom and her kids gathered in the kitchen with their jammies. Mugs of hot cocoa steaming on the counter. Recipe books and folders piled high, yet after all that scouring, coming back to the sweet simple standard in the Toll House chocolate chip cookie. Sharing in mixing, tasting and baking. Then waiting, for the ooey, gooey just-out-of the oven warmed delights to make their way into our inviting hands.
Now I am full grown, but never tire of that memory or the new ones I make. Baking is truly sweet!

October 3, 2012 08:53 AM
Erly said...

High school home-ec class was my introduction to baking. It was the first time I’ve seen a bakery sized oven. And for some reason none of my classmates wanted to turn the darn thing on. I suppose because you need to climb in there and light it up from the inside. Being as short as I was I almost always have to climb in halfway to do it and a couple times have burned my hair and/or eyebrows in the process.
I guess I really wanted to learn to bake.

October 3, 2012 09:12 AM
Ofie G. said...

First time I baked cinnamon rolls in 7th grade home ec class. watching the dough rise and smelling the cinnamon as they baked. heaven.

October 3, 2012 09:38 AM
Sara said...

Oh my goodness this would be awesome for my little boys cakes I make every year! Thanks Bakerella! I’ve been following you since your first cake-pop post and I just adore you and your ideas!

October 3, 2012 10:06 AM

My Grandma Mary and I use to make Toll House Cookies from scratch. Everytime I think of her, the memories of baking together are the most fondest. It was special for both of us. Now that Im the Grandma (Nonni is what he calls me) I make it a point to carry on this tradition. I was blessed with two sons and a grandson and boy do they know how to bake. My grandson Louie and I share the love for Toll House Cookies and we look forward to our semi-annual baking day!

October 3, 2012 10:17 AM
Deborah said...

My first experiences of baking and cooking were at the elbow of my maternal grandmother. She was a cooking from scratch woman before it became vogue. I could stand mesmerized for hours while she mixed biscuit ingredients in her large wooden flour tray, which now sits atop my fridge. Then pinch up a wad of dough, roll it in her palms before patting them gently out on a baking sheet edged with a brown halo from all the years of use. Nothing has ever tasted like the warmth of her buttered biscuits & homemade jams.

October 3, 2012 10:27 AM
Cara Huff said...

My favorite bking memory would undoubtedly be making the sourcream coffee cake my mothrt has made every Christmas I can remember. We also give it as gifts but Christmas morning wouldn’t be acceptable if we didn’t eat coffee cake! It is a special tradition and I am passing it onto my daughters. ;)

October 3, 2012 10:30 AM
Janet said...

Your post made me cry… I only have one baking memory that inspires such emotion and it is the memory I have of the only time my Oma and I baked together… I was 7 and she showed me how to make coconut cookies with what I called Communion wafers on the bottom. I kept eating the sugar wafers, which is why we had lots of coconut cookie dough that was baked without them! Thank you for the give-away but thank you for the reminder of baking with my Oma!

October 3, 2012 10:34 AM
Jenny D said...

My fondest baking memory would have to be the year my mom discovered spritz cookies…she would have me make the dough and we would go to town! We had cookies coming out of our ears but it was always a special time with just me and mom :)

October 3, 2012 10:44 AM
Mary R said...

One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking for the masses with my daughters and mother while she was still living. Since her passing, my girls and I have carried on the family tradition with every kind of cookie imaginable and pies to share with family and friends.

October 3, 2012 10:47 AM
erin said...

my favorite baking memory came last year. my parents came up to oregon from san diego for christmas. they rented a house that was in between where husband, daughter and i lived and where my brother and his fiance lived. we all came together and baked sweet treats together and celebrated christmas a week early. i was also 6 months pregnant, so we had a little something extra to celebrate! by the way, what are “the roosters?”

October 3, 2012 11:03 AM
Jasmine said...

One of my favorite memories a baking as a child was making christmas cookies with my mom. She is not a great baker or cook, but she always made cream cheese sugar cookies at Christmas time for my brother and I to decorate and leave for Santa.

October 3, 2012 11:09 AM
Christina M, said...

My favorite baking memory is baking with my 3 sons when they were little- like my twins were 2 and my oldest was 3 and how they would try to logically reason ( as much as 2 and 3 year olds could) who would get to lick the beaters on the hand mixer. They are 10 and 9 now- still arguing who gets the beaters :)

October 3, 2012 11:12 AM
Cheryl said...

My mom has never been an avid cook or baker, but every New Year’s, Thanksgiving, and Christmas morning she would make Chocolate Rolls. Yes, I said Chocolate Rolls, as in cinnamon rolls but with chocolate. I know, right?! She’d make the dough (just rolled biscuit dough from the Bisquick box), and the chocolate sauce (boiled almost like fudge!), then place them in pans the night before so that all we had to do in the morning was pop them in the oven. Ohhh, the smell! I really need to do this with my family, this Christmas morn. Thanks Bakerella!

October 3, 2012 11:23 AM
Maria LeBel said...

My favorite memory is of my memere baking around the holidays. She would make pies and cakes and cookies. But the one thing i found magical was the small pies she made from the left over pie dough. She would put it in a small tin pie plate and fill it with brown sugar and pecans or walnuts and vanilla and I have no idea what else. And each time she did this, they were never quite the same, but they were always, absolutely delicious!

October 3, 2012 11:41 AM
Dorene S. said...

I made a train cake for my son’s 1st birthday, it was one of my first attempts at doing something like that and it was not going well…but my mother stepped in and helped make it a cute cake for my son, who is now 24, time flies so so fast!!

October 3, 2012 11:42 AM
Nellie said...

My favorite baking memory is baking my first cake from scratch! It was a trial for my boyfriend’s birthday cake. I’ve been hooked every since and now I will not touch a cake box.

October 3, 2012 11:42 AM
Zarina C. Benitez said...

My favorite baking memory is the first time I baked my son’s birthday cake and cupcakes, which were for his 10th. I made him a pull-apart baseball cake with matching baseball, soccer, football and basketball cupcakes for his sports themed birthday party. The look on his face, the hug and ‘thanks mom’ just made it all worth the hard work!!! :0)

October 3, 2012 11:49 AM
Namrata said...

My favorite baking memory is waking up to the smell of my grandma’s banana nut muffins in the oven. It was the perfect start to the weekend and all of us cousins used to gather around the table to enjoy them piping hot.

October 3, 2012 11:52 AM
Gauri said...

My favorite baking memory is making a chocolate nut cake for New Year’s Eve every year for my kids. They could hardly wait till it was out of the oven and used to be excited all week long about the New Year’s cake.

October 3, 2012 11:54 AM
margie said...

There are so many fond memories that I have of baking, especially during the holidays! My favorite though is a tradition that we have always had in our family. (It’s a Mexican cultural tradition.) For New Year’s Eve, my dad would always fry up a batch of bunuelos (elephant ears) and make a pot of Mexican hot chocolate. It didn’t matter how late it was, even 2 minutes before the Ball dropped, we had to eat a bunuelo and drink hot chocolate! Closing my eyes I can taste the flavors of the cinnamon and sugar on the warm chewy dough and the grounds of chocolate that would always sink to the bottom of the mug!

October 3, 2012 11:55 AM
Julia said...

Sunday evenings were always waffle night which I made and served with ice-cream and syrup – of course I could afford the colories in those years :)

October 3, 2012 12:10 PM
Angela said...

Our family’s Christmas tradition when I was a child was making roll-out cookies with cream cheese frosting. My Mom, Grandmother’ and Sisters would gather around the kitchen table and frost and decorate the cookies. By the time we had frosted/decorated a quarter of the cookies, my Grandmother would be the only one still at the table. Now my family has created the same tradition with some very good friends. However, the kids aren’t permitted to leave the table until the cookies have all been decorated.

October 3, 2012 12:22 PM
Damaris V said...

One of my favorite baking memories was the year 2010. I was pregnant with my son & it was Mother’s Day. I was baking brownies & cupcakes & made one other special treat… chocolate covered strawberries. I was happy to share that moment with my family and grandmother who was also going to be a first time GREAT grandmother. i remeber her smile and sitting around with the women in my family talking and taking pictures.

October 3, 2012 12:43 PM
Karen said...

I loved to help my mom bake chocolate chip cookies because I would get to lick a beater (one for me, one for my brother) and lick the bowl, too! Then when the cookies were baked, she would store them in one of those old-fashioned glass cracker jars, rectangular in shape with a red screw-on lid. We could tip the jar on its side and reach in for the cookies. What a bounty to see two of those glass jars full of home-baked chocolate chip cookes!

October 3, 2012 12:44 PM
Wendy said...

I love baking with my daughter who is 9. She loves to be in the kitchen with me whether it’s baking or cooking dinner. I didn’t have that growing up so it is a very special memory that we are making together.

October 3, 2012 12:48 PM
Lauren A said...

A new family moved into the neighborhood and we invited the family over for a playdate. I made cookie dough and let the kids bond while decorating and baking cookies. It was a fun time and proved to be the beginning of a great relationship.

October 3, 2012 01:01 PM
Rosalia Womack said...

My mother didn’t bake or cook – I grew up doing those things for my siblings I now do it for my granchildren.

October 3, 2012 01:04 PM
Mary Ann said...

Watching my grandma bake during the holidays. Now that she is gone, I wish I would have written all those recipes down. I still have the wonderful memories though.

October 3, 2012 01:07 PM
Jenny said...

My favorite baking memory dates back many years to when I was 8 years old. I remember walking in the front door and was stuck by the intoxicating smell of chocolate chip cookies my mom had been baking. I remember how amazing they tasted right out of the oven. I fell in love with baking that day and have been doing it ever since. Baked goods make people smile and work as a stress reliever for me!

October 3, 2012 01:16 PM
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