Sunday, November 30, 2014

Vanilla Vanilla

Vanilla Bean Doughnuts

We’re talking vanilla today. I know. I know. Something must be wrong when I don’t have chocolate all over my treats. But, no… I’m fine. I’m just loving on chocolate’s often overlooked sister with these beauties… Vanilla Bean Doughnuts from the book Pure Vanilla and a very vanilla giveaway.

Vanilla, but definitely not plain.

Dougnuts Rising

You know, I don’t work with dough and yeast nearly enough. But when I do I remember how much I love to watch it rise. It fascinates me.

Doughnut Dough

If doughnuts can be adorable – or adoughable (ha) – then this one definitely is.

I mean, look how cute and puffy it is.

Glazed Doughnuts

But not as cute as when it’s warm and bathed in vanilla bean icing.

I did have to fight my urge to decorate these with bright, colorful sprinkles though. What a pretty pretty backdrop that white would be.

But I didn’t. I refrained. I mean it would be a shame to cover up all those beautiful tiny vanilla bean specks in the icing don’t you think?

Dipping Doughnuts

Oh my. Send help.

Vanilla Bean Doughnut

Never mind. I’ve got this.


Glazed Vanilla Bean Doughnuts

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted – plus more for kneading
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for frying

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast, warm water and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let stand until the mixture is foamy, about five minutes. Whisk in the remaining two tablespoons sugar, milk, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, egg yolks, and butter. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and begin mixing on low speed.
  • Add flour and salt and mix for three minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle often to keep the dough moving.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand several times, dusting with flour as needed. Place dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut out the doughnuts with a three inch doughnut cutter, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 30-45 minutes or until doughnuts have doubled in size.
  • Pour 2 1/2 inches of vegetable oil int a 4 or 5 quart pot and heat to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Fry doughnuts in batches of up to four at a time, until the are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side, turning only once. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • For the glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk, salt and vanilla bean seeds until smooth. Spoon glaze over warm doughnuts and serve.

Makes 12

© 2012 Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever, used with permission

Vanilla Vanilla Giveaway

Now, to help get you in the vanilla baking spirit, I have a fun very vanilla giveaway to share with you. We’re talking a TON of vanilla all courtesy of Vanilla from Tahiti.

  • 16 oz Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract
  • 100 g Ground Vanilla Bean Powder
  • Vanilla Coffee
  • 20 6-inch Vanilla Beans
  • Tahitian Vanilla Sampler with ground vanilla, vanilla extract and Tahitian Vanilla Beans

That should keep you set in the kitchen for a while.

But that’s not all. It’s a double vanilla kind of day because the winner will also receive a signed copy of the book Pure Vanilla from my friend Shauna Sever. Yay and yum! And full of fun recipes like the ones below.

Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever

Vanilla Cloud Cake, Vanilla Lollipops, Twinkie Bundt Cake, Vanilla Waffles and much more.

Enter for a chance to win the Tahitian vanilla products and the book Pure Vanilla

  • Leave a comment on this post and tell me the last dessert you baked or sweet you made.
  • Deadline to enter is Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at midnight ET. Sorry, Time’s Up! Winner announced below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Thursday.

Good luck!

Giveaway items shared courtesy of Vanilla from Tahiti and Shauna Sever. 


And the winner is Lisa!!!!! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy all the Vanilla from Tahiti when you bake.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Thankgsgiving Throwback Treats

This week is going to be busy busy. I’m trying to get ready for all the cooking and baking … and eating (YAY) for Thanksgiving. It’s like my favorite day. Things are coming along and most of the menu is planned. I just need to figure out what I’m making for dessert to sit beside the sweet potato pie my mom is bringing. I think I want to make something I haven’t tried before, but I can’t decide what. Buttermilk Pie maybe. While I’m being indecisive, I thought I’d share a handful of Thanksgiving-worthy treats if you need some last minute dessert inspiration. These sweet throwbacks might just fit your menu this Thursday.


Sticky Toffee Pudding


Sticky Toffee Pudding (2013)


Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies


Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Maple Brown Butter Frosting (2008)


Turkey Cake Pops


Turkey Cake Pops (2008)




Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares (2010)




Brownie Pecan Pie (2010)


Pumpkin Pies


Pumpkin Pie Bites (2009)


Scarecrow Cake Pops


Scarecrow Cake Pops (2013)




Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Pie (2009)


Cinnamon Rolls


Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Rolls (2013)


S'mores Cupcakes


S’mores Cupcakes (2014)




Biscoff Fudge (2011)


Happy Thanksgiving friends!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Moose Munch Dark Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

Moose Munch Dark Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

I have some yummy yummy chocolatey caramel-y crunchy cupcakes to share with you today. I created the recipe for my friends over at Harry & David using their famous flavored popcorn. Visit their blog here for the cupcake recipe, more photos and a peek of their new Moose Munch® Gourmet Popcorn packaging.

Cupcakes and Popcorn

Chocolate cupcakes and caramel coated dark chocolate Moose Munch. Yes! And Yes!

Caramel FIlling

Filled with caramel, too. Oh my.

Moose Munch Dark Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

Get the recipe here:

Moose Munch Dark Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes created for Harry & David.

I really, REALLY enjoyed these and hope you do too!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

KitchenAid Giveaway and Cake Pop Con Weekend

I had the most wonderful, incredible, emotional and unforgettable few days at the first-ever international cake pop conference in Philadelphia this weekend hosted by KCBakes. I was the keynote speaker and shared my story of creating cake pops back in 2008. It was the most humbling experience talking to so many people whose lives have been touched by cake pops. From simply inspiring creativity in the kitchen to completely changing the way people make a living through home businesses and large scale bakeries, pop products, boxes, books and more – Cake Pops are so much more than just a little ball of cake on a stick.

Here’s a quick little slideshow of some of my pics from the weekend or view them individually on Facebook.

Now … since I was away from the kitchen this past weekend, I didn’t have a chance to bake anything fun for you today. So I thought I’d continue the cake pop love and give away something here on the blog that I also gave away at the conference.

Enter for a chance to win

1. A 5 qt. KitchenAid Stand Mixer in Cranberry … or color of your choice if you don’t like pink as much as I do.   : )


2. The NEW line of Bakerella for Make’n Mold products now available in stores exclusively at A.C. Moore Crafts.


To enter for a chance to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite dish for Thanksgiving is. Easy as Pumpkin pie.
  • Deadline to enter is November 14, 2014 at midnight ET. SORRY, TIME’S UP! Winner announced below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Saturday!

Good luck!


We have a winner! And, Oh my gosh, I am totally craving Thanksgiving dinner right now. I think my favorite is dressing and cranberry sauce, oh and cream corn casserole. Yum! Thanks for sharing your favorite dishes. And the winner of the mixer and products is…………

Congratulations Danielle! Enjoy!


Giveaway sponsored by me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Baby Block Cake Pops

Baby Block Cake Pops

These Baby Block Cake Pops are just too sweet. How Sweet you ask? Sweet enough to help surprise my internet friend Jessica of How Sweet Eats with for her very yummy virtual baby shower. There’s going to be a ton of yum happening today so check out these other friends’ food posts, too and get it on the fun.

Shaping Cake Pops

To make baby blocks, follow my basic instructions for making cake pops.

Then shape them into squares before dipping. For shaping, I roll into balls first to help ensure that I get the right amount. If I start shaping as I go, I tend to get all different sizes. But by rolling first, I can count out how many I need and also re-proportion any that are a little too small or too big by pinching off or adding dough and then re-rolling. I made these slightly bigger than my normal round pops to make sure the letter shapes would fit on the flat surface, so the dough will yield fewer pops.

To make the blocks, take a cake ball and start shaping it into a rounded square by rotating and pressing with your fingers using both hands. Then pinch a bit of the dough out on all 8 corners to a form a sharper point. It will look a little wonky at first, but then take your shape and slide it on a piece of wax paper on the counter, pressing down slightly as you do. Rotate and repeat with each side. Continue shaping until all four sides are smooth with defined edges.

Candy Wafers

Since Jessica loves sparkly and neon, I decided to go bold and bright on the blocks instead of paler pastels. I think she’ll heart them.

But if you want them to be light pink for instance, just melt and mix in white candy wafers to create lighter colors. Easy!

Dipping Cake Pops

To decorate the blocks, dip in melted white candy wafers first and let dry. When dry, melt a second color to highlight the edges with.

You can decorate these as much or little as you like. You can pipe and outline just the fronts of the blocks or outline each edge. I didn’t pipe the melted wafers on though because I have a harder time controlling the coating that way. I like to just use a toothpick to draw it on instead.

Draw the coating one edge at a time and then sprinkle white sanding sugar on top before it dries. Repeat with each edge until they are outlined and sparkly. The other great thing about using toothpicks and sanding sugar is that the sugar will create a barrier and allow you to gently straighten up any lines with your toothpick and without messing up the melted coating. SO helpful!

Candy Letters

Now for the letters! Oh, baby… too cute!

Candy Mold Painting

I used the letter candy mold in my new line for these and it worked out great. But if you are good at piping, you can totally just pipe A B C letters on the blocks, too. To use a candy mold, fill cavities with melted candy wafers and tap the mold on the counter gently to settle the melted coating into the cavities. Then place the mold in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help set and dry quickly. To remove pieces, gently twist the mold or press from the back gently to help remove the letters and you’re ready to go.

Baby Block Cake Pops

:etter Pops

To attach the letters, just add a few dots of melted white candy coating to the backs and “glue” them on. I just did letters on one side.

If you create these for a friend’s shower, have a little fun with the letters and make unexpected words.

For instance, I don’t think we should stop at just A B C  for Jessica?

Candy Molds

NO… I don’t think so.

Letter Block Cake Pops

Add an O and N and now we’re getting somewhere… spelling the important things in life. Jessica would agree.

Place them in a stand to serve and display …

ABC Pops

or you can wrap them in treat bags for fun baby shower favors, too.

Now, if you don’t know Jessica yet, then you are totally missing out on some amazing food, photos and fun over on her blog.

Hop on over to visit or you can check out her brand new book for some Seriously Delish food, too.

And don’t forget to check out what else everyone made to help celebrate!

>> Here’s the links to all the other How Sweet Eats Virtual Baby Shower Posts. <<

ABC Pops


Also, below are the Bakerella for Make’n Mold products I used to make these cake pops.

You can find them all in stores at A.C. Moore Crafts right now. And, if there’s not a location in your area, you can also order online from Make’n Mold.

Candy Wafers
Pop Sticks
Letter Candy Mold
Dot Treat Bags

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