Monday, June 8, 2015

New York City Sweets

New York Bakeries

Back in May, I was in New York City to treat Nestle’s Tollhouse Time “Sweetstakes” winner to a sweet tour of the city as one of her prizes. If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen a few of the pics. Well, I took a ton. Too many to even show here, but I thought I’d share all the places we visited in case you’re looking for a sugar-filled way to see the city, too.


Milk Bar New York

We started out at Milk Bar Midtown. I figured their Cereal Milk soft serve topped with cornflakes would be a great way to start the morning. But we also left with compost cookies, cornflake-marshmallow-chocolate chip cookies and candy bar pie. Stocking up for late night snacks you know.


Sprinkles New York

We went to Sprinkles Cupcakes next. This is Angela (the winner) and her husband. It was their first time so we grabbed a few flavors to take home and enjoyed a red velvet cupcake in the shop. It’s my favorite flavor after their black and white cupcake.


Baked By Melissa NYC

A couple of doors down is Baked by Melissa. These are the teeniest cupcakes. Smaller than mini and perfect for tasting… these one bite babies are just way too fun to eat and because they’re so small, you can try several flavors without feeling bad or full. I tried the PB&J in the store and brought these adorable “cupcarons” – macaron topped cupcakes – for the road.


Laudree NYC

Next we stopped in Ladurée for french macarons. Oh my gosh I loved it inside – so pretty – and I didn’t want to leave. We couldn’t decide between all the beautiful pastries, so we left with just the macs. Sampling would take place in my hotel room later though. I had to pace myself you know.


Levain Bakery NY

And also because we were heading to Levain Bakery next and I knew we’d be enjoying their decadent warm chocolate chip cookies on the spot. Head to NYC right now and get one of these. So so good. and big and warm.


Bouchon Bakery NYC

Bouchon Bakery was next. One of my faves. I absolutely love their macarons (get the big ones) and TKO cookie sandwiches. Like giant homemade Oreos. But better.

After Bouchon, we headed down to Chelsea Market where we stopped in several shops. As a sidenote, I think the best thing I had here was actually lunch from Los Tacos No. 1. OMG The only mistake I made was only getting one. And I wish I had some right now.

Okay back to sweets.


Eleni's Cookies NYC

If you like sugar cookies, stop in Eleni’s and treat yourself to one. Or cupcakes, too. So fun!


Fat Witch Bakery

And if you like brownies, you’ll love Fat Witch with all their different flavors. Right about this point, I was super happy that these were packaged and individually wrapped. Easy to grab and save for later because I was still trying to pace myself.


Amy's Bread

Amy’s Bread has tons of baked goodies to choose from like cupcakes, cookies, bars and breads. Try the Yellow Cake with pink frosting if you get a chance.


Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets! Caramels, cookies and candy bars. They had a small setup in Chelsea Market and I was glad because we didn’t have time to make it to their shop in Brooklyn.

Ahhh Brooklyn! There are so, so many places I want to visit. The Original Baked, Ovenly, Hay Rosie and much more. I’ll just have to plan another trip for all their tasty treats.


Sarabeth's NYC

Sarabeth’s – more goodies galore. Buttermilk Biscuits, cookies, tarts, pastries, pies and chocolate pudding, too.


Magnolia Bakery NYC

I had to take Angela by Magnolia Bakery to adore their beautifully swirled buttercream frosting. We left with cupcakes and tried the Banana Pudding in the car on our way to our next stop for chocolate.


Jacques Torres Chocolates

Jacques Torres Chocolate! I don’t remember what flavors I had but one thing I can recommend is his recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I make them often and always with people adoring them!


Dominique Ansel

After chocolate we went to the place known for inventing the Cronut. Of course by the end of the day we had to settle for Dominque Ansel’s other amazing treats. S’mores on a stick, Cookie and milk shooters, Coco the cream puff cat, and the kouign amann… a croissant-like dough with a caramelized crunchy crust. That one was my favorite.


Sugar Sweet Sunshine

Sugar Sweet Sunshine is another cupcake bakery we stopped in. I enjoyed their vanilla cupcake best, but if I could top it with Magnolia’s frosting, then I think it would be perfect.


Morgenstern's Ice Cream

We ended the day with ice cream at Morgenstern’s. The ice cream parlor feel makes you want to hang out while you chill with your ice cream in hand. Such a cool little spot. And I love the paper hats they wear, too.

So that was all done on day one. Angela and her husband were so awesome to hang out with for the day. I hope you guys had a great time and enjoyed the rest of your weekend in the city.


The next day… because I obviously didn’t have enough sugar on Saturday, I stopped by a few more places with a friend who lives in the city.

Lady M Confections

Lady M – Gorgeous cakes and confectionary masterpieces. Try their signature Mille Crêpe Cake. Amazing! I love the simplistic decor. It’s stunning in white and really showcases all of the desserts.


Sant Ambroeus

My friend and I stopped in Sant Ambroeus on Madison Avenue. I had a proscioutto sandwich and just adored everything else.


Maison du Chocolate

At Maison du Chocolate we enjoyed champagne truffles.


Ô Merveilleux

The last place I visited in NYC was Ô Merveilleux. And OMGoodness. It was one of the best things from the entire trip. This ever so light meringue sweetened with whipped cream and covered in belgian dark chocolate shavings. Simply Merveilleux or Marvelous as they say in the shop.

Okay, that’s it. What did I miss out on? What should I try next time? And if you have any Brooklyn recommendations, I love to hear your thoughts on those too.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Pug Cake Pops

I made the cutest chocolate and peanut butter pug cake pops for you. These little guys were inspired by a recipe from I’m working with them to put my spin on one of the sweets from their site. Not that they don’t already have cute covered though. Tablespoon’s community is overflowing with fun recipes, creative ideas for entertaining and more. I love the way they think with categories like rainbow, OMG, party, and mini.

And you guys know it’s no surprise that I love little treats, so when I found this adorable pug cake on their site, I knew I had to down-size it to bite-sized proportions. But the full-size version is just as fun if you want one big cake.

Alright. Let’s get this pug party started.

Pug Cake Pops

Here are the goodies you’ll need to make 16 Pug Pops.
4 cups crumbled chocolate cake
1/3 cup buttercream frosting
2 tablespoons peanut butter
White candy wafers
Chocolate candy wafers, reserve 16 wafers for decorating
Medium heatproof bowl, plus two smaller heatproof bowls
Wax paper
Baking sheet
16 lollipop sticks
Cake pop stand
8 Tootsie Rolls
16 black sunflower seeds
32 sugar eyes with black edible ink pen
Pastel confetti sprinkles
Candy Bones
Toothpicks. I can’t live without toothpicks when it comes to decorating cake pops.

Here’s a link to my full instructions for making basic cake pops if you need more help.

Cake Balls

  • Stir peanut butter and buttercream until mixed together and then incorporate into chocolate cake crumbs until completely combined.
  • Roll the mixture into 16 balls and place on a wax paper covered baking sheet. Let the rolled cake balls rest for about 30 minutes and then place in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up. When firm, transfer them to the fridge to remain chilled (not frozen) for dipping.

Dipping Pops

  • Melt chocolate wafers with vanilla wafers. Start with vanilla and add a few chocolate wafers at a time until you achieve a lighter shade of brown. (Note: You can use peanut butter candy wafers insead of mixing chocolate and vanilla.)
  • When ready to dip, remove a cake ball from the fridge. Dip the end of a lollipop stick in the melted candy wafers and then into the cake ball and dip.
  • Make sure the cake ball is completely coated and tap off any excess.
  • Before the coating sets, place a chocolate candy wafer on the front – towards the bottom half of the pop. Hold in place until the coating dries and place in a cake pop stand until you’re ready to decorate.


We’re using Tootsie Rolls for ears, confetti sprinkles for tongues, sunflower seeds for noses and sugar eyes for the eyes. But you already guessed that one.

Pug Faces

  • With the candy wafer already in position on the pop, dip a toothpick in melted chocolate and swirl two large dots on the front of the pop in position for eyes. Then gently press the sugar eyes right on top so that the chocolate surrounds the eyes.
  • Dot on coating in position for the nose and tongue and then attach a sunflower seed and pink confetti sprinkle and let dry.

Decorating Pugs

Then finish the mouths. Use a toothpick dipped in melted chocolate candy wafers to apply coating on top of the already attached wafer … under the sunflower seed nose and down around the sides of the tongue. Make sure to overlap the confetti sprinkle so it looks like a sweet little tongue is sticking out.

Tootsie Rolls

Now for the ears. Cut a tootsie roll candy in four equal parts and hand shape into rounded triangles for ears. Note: microwave the candy for 3-4 seconds to make it easier to shape. Don’t overheat.

Pug Cake Pop

  • Use more melted chocolate to attach the ears and add finishing details to the mouth.
  • Draw big black pupils on the eyes with the edible ink pen. Feel free to stop here, but if you want to add a few more details, then keep going with me.

Pug Pops

  • Draw on eyebrows with a toothpick dipped in the melted lighter brown candy coating. Then dot tiny dark chocolate freckles on each cheek.
  • And most important, add a little sparkle to the eyes by dotting on melted white candy wafers.


But let’s dress these doggies up a bit more…

Candy Bones

… with candy bones.

Pug Cake Pops

Because they make the super cutest bow ties, you know.


This post is a collaboration with

Monday, May 11, 2015

Cotton Candy Oreo Cupcakes

Have you tried the Cotton Candy flavored Oreo cookies yet? They are a new limited edition flavor available exclusively at Target. I had some for the first time a few weeks ago and fell for them right away. I don’t eat the golden Oreos that often because I always gravitate to the original… but these had me going back for more.

So when Target asked me to create a recipe using the cookies for their blog, A Bullseye View, I was so excited to play with them. I thought showcasing the pink and blue creme centers would be fun for decoration because the colorful insides definitely made them more fun to eat.

Head on over to A Bullseye View for the recipe and links to a few of the other projects I’ve made for them.


Do you have a favorite limited edition Oreo cookie flavor you enjoy? Red Velvet, Green Apple, Gingerbread, Watermelon, Cookie Dough? I’m curious.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cocoa-Cola Snack Cake with Back in the Day Bakery

Cocoa-Cola Cake

I think I forgot how much I love snack cakes. Easy, single layer cakes that take all the fuss out of cake decorating and throw in all the fun of snacking on sweets. This yummy one is a Cocoa-Cola Cake with Chocolate Icing that I just made from Back in the Day Bakery’s brand new book, Made with Love.

I wanted to try one of their recipes out because this Wednesday, I’m going to be chatting it up with none other than Cheryl and Griff Day… the delightful duo of Back in the Day Bakery. If you are in the Atlanta area, stop by Little Shop of Stories on Wednesday, May 6th at 7 p.m. for the Q&A and book signing. It’s going to be good times. (More info here.)

Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love

Okay, let’s make a cake.

Snack Cake Ingredients

This one calls for easy ingredients including Coca-Cola. Awesome.

Snack Cake Batter

Mix everything up and spread the batter in a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Mini Marshmallows

Oh yeah, we’ll me marshmallowing this baby up, too.

Yum marshmallows

Right after the cake finishes baking, sprinkle mini marshmallows on top and place back in the oven for a couple of minutes to get all melty. Yum!

Cocoa-Cola Frosting

Then whip up the chocolate frosting.

Chopped Pecans

And mix in chopped pecans. This just keeps getting better. Cocoa-Cola Cake Yumminess

Oh my oh my. Place large spoonfuls of frosting all over the top of the cake to make it easier to spread without messing with the marshmallows underneath too much.


Spread evenly on top.

Cola Cake

Reserve some of the chopped pecans to sprinkle on top of the cake, too if you like.

Cocoa-Cola Snack Cake

If I had the patience to let this cake cool all the way before I made the first cut, I think it would look a prettier. But, I COULD NOT wait to dive in. Actually, I took a spoon to the corner of the pan before I even cut into it. Highly recommended deliciousness.

P.S. Now I want a whole book on snack cakes.


Cocoa-Cola Snack Cake with Chocolate Icing

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda*
1 cup Coca-Cola, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup Coca-Cola
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
one 16-ounce box confectioner’s sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease 9 X 13 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Sift flour, cocoa and baking soda together and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the cola, buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter on medium high speed for 4-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the cola mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape the bottom with a rubber spatula to make sure everything it incorporated. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Scatter marshmallows over the top of the hot cake and return to the oven for two more minutes to get melty. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Make the chocolate icing: In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, cocoa, Coca-Cola and vanilla. Mix with a spoon until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, mixing until the icing is completely smooth. Fold in the pecans. Spread frosting over the warm cake. It will firm up as the cake cools. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Note: I added an extra tablespoon of melted butter to my frosting to make creamier. I also reserved some of the chopped pecans to sprinkle on top of the cake.

Hope you enjoy snacking on this cake as much as I did.

Recipe from Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love, © 2015

* NOTE: This recipe is now updated. I had a typo originally in the ingredient list. It should be 1 teaspoon baking soda for the cake.


And here’s a little peek at some of the other deliciousness you’ll find inside the book Made with Love. So much yum!

Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love Cookbook

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Monday, April 27, 2015

It’s a Spring Bake Giveaway!

YAY for Spring! I’m so happy to finally break away from all the cold weather and enjoy the warm outdoors. Wouldn’t it be nice if it could stay this way all year long. Minus the pollen.

Well, to celebrate the season, I’m having a super Spring Bake Giveaway for a KitchenAid Stand Mixer in one of the lovely colors shown below.  The winner gets to pick their favorite! Awesome.

Which color would you want to see on your kitchen counter? Aqua Sky? Ice? Pink? Majestic Yellow?

Enter the Spring Bake Giveaway for a chance to win a KitchenAid 5-quart Artisan Series Stand Mixer:

  • To enter, just leave a comment on this post answering the following question.
  • What’s your favorite outdoor activity? Oh and pick your favorite pastel mixer color, too.
  • Deadline to enter is Thursday, April 30th at 8:00 p.m. ET. Sorry. Time’s Up. Winner announced below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Thursday evening on this post.

Here’s to Happy Baking! Good luck!


 The winner of the Spring Bake Mixer picked Pistachio as their favorite color.

And that winner is Kara, Commenter 4286. Congratulations! Oh what fun you’ll have with this beauty in your kitchen with newly painted cabinets. ENJOY!

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