Red Velvet Seven Layer Bars

So, there’s this baking competition coming up – my work’s annual Valentine’s Day Bake-Off.  Last year, I entered 2 of the 4 categories and won both, which was both super exciting and super surprising.  Check out that post here.  This, however, has added EXTRA pressure for this year’s competition.  Therefore, I’m on a mission to bake my way to success.  The current mission is a red-velvet infused frenzy. Continue reading

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Bakeology: On Browned Butter

Sorry for the delay in posting!  Between Thanksgiving travels and work travels, I’ve been very preoccupied for the past week!  But enough excuses.  Without further ado, my next lesson…

Today’s lesson is in browning butter.  Many recipes call for browned butter, but, what does that mean, and, more importantly, why should I take the extra time to brown my butter?

The browning of butter gives it an extra layer of richness and a deep nutty flavor you simply cannot achieve without browning.  It is also called beurre noisette, meaning hazelnut butter, which is exactly what it tastes like.   It is a step most recipes can do without, but, once you try it, why would you want to?  Let’s start with the basics: What is butter?

Butter is a combination of butterfat, milk proteins, and water.  It is an oil-in-water emulsion* of water and fat with milk protein solids suspended inside.

Learn more…

Happy 19th Birthday Noobs – The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

I can FINALLY post this because both my brothers FINALLY received their packages!  This post has been seriously delayed because the United States Postal Service failed to deliver my packages to my brothers in any sort of timely fashion.  (I sent it 2-day priority, by the way, last Monday.)  Christopher just got his package today and Patrick just picked his up today (even though it had been waiting in his mailbox since Thursday!  Noob!).  Anyway, there is no more secret to hide so I can post about my cookie adventure.  Enjoy.

In case you do not constantly read my blog, or you do and are just very forgetful (I know, Grampie, it’s hard to remember all the little kiddos with your senility*), I have twin brothers who just went off to college this fall.  Patrick is nice and close at Catholic in D.C., and Christopher is far away at Brandeis in Boston.  And last Thursday, the 26th, was their 19th birthday.  While college is a huge adjustment, and they are very busy between a college course load, soccer, and (ahem) partying, I know they will have the time of their lives once they settle in!  Also, they are finally realizing how awesome their family is and (gasp!) they miss us!  Funny how college suddenly changes your whole perspective on your family and home…And again, they just turned 19!!!

Read more sweetness…