Posts Tagged 'dad'

Favorite Shots: What My Dad Made, A Daymaker

dad made

I was obnoxiously delighted to find chocolate-dipped coconut sugar cookies upon my return home one night. I talked about it for days. Here’s why:

  • My dad made them.

This is significant because:

  • My dad never bakes. Ever. I have literally never seen this. Not even a box mix.
  • No one put this idea in his head. He just decided on a whim to bake up some delicious treats.

Upon asking him why he was baking these, I received this delightful quote:

“I just wanted to do something nice for Mom. I saw these on Salt and Serenity and just had a craving. I couldn’t find unsweetened coconut though, so I just had to use sweetened. You wouldn’t believe all the things you have to do for this recipe. It says that the dough should chill for three hours, but I was like, ‘No way. I don’t have time for that!’ so I just threw the cookie sheet out on the snow for half an hour. It worked great!”

Now, my dad will occasionally forward me posts from Salt and Serenity, asking me to make whatever delicacy she has posted that day. I haven’t yet done it, and clearly he was ready to take matters into his own hands.

Still utterly, puzzledly delighted,


dadglasses 2

How To Illuminate Your Mind And Bakes

Back when my family got Netflix, we went through a period where we watched all three seasons of Cake Boss in about 3 weeks. (I’ve talked about this before, and made some of the prettiest cupcakes ever.) It was pretty legit. One of the coolest things on that show is how they make everything look so real. They use all kinds of things to achieve different special effects: edible ink, fondant, gum paste. But one of the prettiest things they use is luster dust. My mind was illuminated. I had never seen anything of the kind. It is kind of like loose glitter eyeshadow, really sparkly and brushable. I’ve never tried putting it on my face, but that’s only because it is kind of spendy.

Because this stuff actually costs money, I was a tad miffed when I knocked a significant amount on the floor. I was concerned enough that I spend a good five minutes sweeping it up and putting it back in its minute jar. When it was done, my body was showing the strain; I looked like I had just gotten off a shift at Pier One during the Christmas rush (slightly  pop-eyed, jumping at small movements and full of glitter), but I was soothed. Most of the powder was back in its place.

I bought the color SUPER GOLD with which to test my abilities. I thought it was a bit more yellowy than I would have liked. Perfect for, like, fake pirate gold, not apples, but it was still neat.

You can either brush the dust on dry or mix it with a little vinegar or vodka. Whatever you have on hand is cool. You just need some edible liquid that is going to evaporate pretty quickly leaving the dust behind. Brushing luster dust on dry results in a sheer shimmer, while brushing on wet dust gives you a thicker coat.

A little bit of the vodka went a long way. I didn’t exactly look up how much I was supposed to put in, so it was kind of a guessing game. The paste was tricky because as soon as I thought I had the right consistency for brushing, the vodka would evaporate and I would be left with gummy chunks. Remind me never to say ‘gummy chunks’ again. Anyway, it is pretty much trial and error; I’ll be better next time. To brush it on, I actually did use an eyeshadow brush. Ahem. It’s not like anyone was going to eat this, yeah?

See how funky it looks? I had to put on a couple coats without brushing off the stuff I had already put on. It took forever.

But! It does end up looking like this. I sprinkled some dry dust on the berries and flourless chocolate torte for effect. I think it would be super neat to paint luster dust on frosted sugar cookies or fondant. Let me know if you try it! I would love to see what you can do.

Sometimes I don’t tell people they have unintentional glitter on their faces because I like it so much,


Pipe Dream #64: Um…Chocolate – Flourless Chocolate Torte

I really didn’t know what to call this post except “Chocolate.” This whole recipe is saturated with chocolate. And ok, let’s be real, my whole life is saturated with chocolate. Or at least, I feel that it should be. Can I get an amen?

Also, I make a lot of ‘I feel’ statements. Like, “I’m feeling like you are in a bad mood,” or “I feel that I think that I possibly want to go on a bike ride.” Just thought I would tell you that. Anyway.

Actually, it was my dad’s birthday, so I felt like I should make something that he would like. It wasn’t a hard decision. In my dad’s eyes, chocolate is always a winner. I mean, he can pretend like he’s all healthy eating green shakes in the morning, but we all know where his true heart lies. And can I just say, there is a lot of chocolate in this recipe. You have to go all in and buy 23 whole ounces of the good stuff. But it is worth it, I promise. :]

There is real dark chocolate in the glaze. Also pictured, butter.

There is chocolate in the batter.

There is chocolate lining the very pan in which the cake is baked.

This recipe also includes fewlding in egg whites, which I don’t actually get. Usually, you fold in egg whites because you want your cake or what-have-you to be especially light. This torte is the opposite of especially light; it is like a fudge cake. So I don’t get why you fold in the egg whites, but whatevs. I did it. It turned out fine.

Bonus, this cake has the easiest frosting in the world. Just heat up the chocolate, and pour it over the cake. Ba-am. The golden apples were a little more time-consuming, but I’ll tell you about that some other time, like maybe later this week if I get the time. Hold your breath.

Suffice it to say that this torte was a cinch and my dad totally loved it. Print it, bake it, love it.

I feel,


Flourless Chocolate Torte

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Dessert, by Abigail Johnson Dodge (Simon & Schuster, 2002)

Serves 12-14…depending on how you slice it.

For the torte:

Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
15 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
18 Tbs. (2 1⁄4 sticks) unsalted butter,
cut into small pieces
7 egg yolks
9 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 1⁄2 Tbs. dark rum or brewed espresso (optional)
1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
5 egg whites, at room temperature
3 cups raspberries
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

For the glaze:

1/2 cup butter
8 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons light corn syrup


Preheat an oven to 300ºF. Grease a cake pan and dust with cocoa powder.In the top pan of a double boiler or a janky makeshift version of a double boiler. Sometimes I use a regular pan and a glass bowl…gets the job done. Combine the chocolate and butter. Set the top pan over simmering water and melt, then whisk until well blended. Set aside to cool a bit.In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the egg yolks, 6 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, the rum, vanilla and salt on medium-high speed until pale and very thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Graduallypour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended.In a deep bowl, using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Make sure your bowl and beaters are very clean. Gradually add the remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and continue to beat until medium-firm peaks form, about 2 minutes. Scoop half of the egg whites onto the chocolate mixture and fold them in gently. Fold in the remaining whites just until no streaks remain, so your cake doesn’t deflate. I find this hard to do without feeling like I’m overdoing it–you’ll probably be fine, though.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake until the torte puffs slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out very moist but not liquid, about 40 minutes. This is tricky too, as Abigail warns us not to over-bake. Whatever. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes.

Remove the torte from the pan and let it cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
To glaze the torte, combine butter, cut into 4 pieces, and chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Set over simmering water and melt, then whisk until blended. Remove from the heat and whisk in the corn syrup until smooth and glossy. Set the cold cake on a wire rack over a large plate or baking sheet. Slowly pour the warm glaze over the center of the cake. The glaze should cover the surface evenly, but feel free to help it along to be even. I spent a devil of a time wiping off my cake plate after I glazed it so the excess would look even. No, I’ve never been a perfectionist.

Pipe Dream #56: To Be Right – Famous Dave’s Bread Pudding

My father had been insinuatingly asking me to make this recipe for months. At first I was skeptical. Here is my thought progression:

Bread pudding? Sounds like a carb-fest to me.

Also, it sounds like it might be kind of English and bland.

But Dad really wants me to make it.

Where are you going to get a half loaf of French bread?

But seriously, when have you ever been afraid of a carb-fest? You make cupcakes on a weekly basis.

Yeah, but breads carbs seem eviler than frosting carbs.

Hey look! Old French bread that nobody is going to eat!

Ok, whatever. I’ll do it.

So we whiskED up some cream and eggs. I don’t even want to tell you how much cream is in this, but I guess you’ll see at the end of this post. Please do not let it deter you. You will not know regret after tasting this.

It turns out that in this case, my father was quite right about this bread pudding. It was not bland or boring. But it was a carb-fest. In my ongoing quest to be right, I can at least cling to that. It was a carb-FEST. Thought: you could eat this right before a marathon. That would be perfect.

For some reason, I had to bake this longer than the recipe called for. It seemed a bit too jiggly at first. I just kept a close eye on it and let it go for 10 minute intervals until it was less jiggly. Sorry I’m not being more specific. Blame it on my ISFJ personality or something.

And if we’re talking about my problems now, might as well hit a few more. The jiggliness could be the result of not using the water bath called for in the recipe. Sorry, I just don’t have a pan big enough to hold a 9×13 and a bunch of water. And notice the weird cinnamon crusty dark stuff? I could have avoided that if I had mixed the cinnamon with the sugar before adding it to the wet ingredients. Please learn from my mistakes.

Anyway, in the end, everything turned out just fine. It was a wonderful bread pudding, and someday I will make it again.  I would be interested to try it with different fruits. I can take or leave raisins. Let me know if you try it with something different, eh?

Also, notice the sinful looking sauce draping the calorie-laden crags of the pudding? That recipe is coming next, so stay tuned. This recipe is not complete without it. I’m so adamant on that point.

Best of luck,


Famous Dave’s Bread Pudding

Adapted from

butter (as needed)

1/2 – 3/4 cup golden raisins, to taste

1/2 loaf French bread or egg bread

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

8 eggs, beaten

4 cups milk

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup vanilla extract

pan spray

hot water

Heavily butter 13”X9” pan with softened butter

Sprinkle 1/2 cup golden raisins on bottom of each pan

Remove crusts from bread slices and break into 1”-2” chunks


Evenly distribute crusts from loaf on top of raisins and sprinkle 1/2 of the golden raisins on top of bread crusts. Tear bread middles into 1”-2” chunks and evenly distribute on top of crusts.

Separately blend sugar and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl with a wire whip (like I didn’t). Crack eggs into bowl with cinnamon sugar; whisk eggs to blend. Add milk, cream, and vanilla to egg mixture and blend with wire whip.

Pour custard mixture into pan of bread; use all liquid even though it will look like your bread is drowning. Trust meh. Press any visible crusts or raisins down into custard. Spray sheet of foil with pan spray and loosely cover bread pudding with foil.

Place covered bread pudding in 4” roasting pan and add water to reach halfway up side of the baking dish. Place in 325 degree oven and bake covered for one hour; remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes (or longer). Remove bread pudding from oven and cool on wire rack for 60 minutes. The pudding will continue to cook as it cools.

Serve warm with praline sauce (to come!) and whipped cream and/or ice cream.

Favorite Shots: Cilantro Chunkie

My dad is somewhat facebook-ly famous for his raw/foreign/unique food pictures that he posts. He especially loves “green drinks,” brightly colored chunkies filled with fruits and vegetables. I’m calling them chunkies, not smoothies, because heaven knows they are not smooth. Anyway, I want to be just as cool as my dad, so I decided to post a shot of what he forced me to drink a couple weeks ago.

I saw him blending something, but I didn’t pay much attention until he said, “Hey Lo, want some of my smoothie?”

After figuring out that the smoothie was approximately 40 percent watermelon, 10 percent peach and 50 percent cilantro, I said, “Um, no.” I could tell he was hurt by my flat refusal, so I eventually told him I’d give it a try. He poured me but a pauper’s portion from his tankard, but to me, it seemed a little much. After one sip I was done.

I have issues with cilantro because one time when I was little, I woke up from a nap to this sick boiling cilantro smell. My dad had picked it all from the garden and was making some rando cilantro soup. And I’ve been scarred since.

Aren’t you glad you know these stories from my life? Why do you even read this? :]

16 days cilantro-free,


Favorite Shots: Happy Birthday, Dad (exclamation point)

Disclaimer: These shots are pretty much not self-explanatory.

That being said, I will explain them.

Two things: One, it was my dad’s birthday the other day, and two, my sister’s glasses broke. For whatever reason, my dad decided to “try them on” as I was capturing birthday memories despite everyone in the house pleading that he not give in to trendy hipster obscurity by wearing tortoiseshell frames.

He didn’t listen. Thankfully, I have been laughing uncontrollably every time I see these pictures, so it wasn’t a total loss.

He looks like Steve Urkel. Ok.

Dear Dad, I am putting these on facebook, and you had better not untag them. They are too precious. And besides, the world is a better place with your various faces in it.



Pipe Dream #6: To Make The Perfect Snickerdoodle, Revisited – Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

I once posted about Snickerdoodle Muffins as a non-cookie substitute for the real thing. But I forgot! that I had already made a snickerdoodly thing. It was this last autumn. With my old camera(…). And I piped them pretty ok.

My dad liked ’em a lot. He actually requested them a second time. How nice of him, don’t you think? My dad loves me. I know because he tells me. Plus, he eats my baked goods and tells me when I have grammatical errors on my blog. I can take the criticism. Usually.

The cake in this recipe is really springy and happy–it requires cake flour, but I don’t know how much of a difference it would make if you used all-purpose flour. The frosting is really good for piping and slides down the hatch real easy. Like how a watermelon would slip out of your hands if it was greased and you were playing with it in the water.

(I know that that was a really irrelevant and weird analogy. In an attempt to jazz up my writing and use descriptive language, I am attempting to use more analogy. I realize this may not be very successful, but I’m willing to give it a go. Like the slimy politician who makes ridiculous promises because his poll ratings are on their last legs. Ok, Lauren, you can quit now).

I hope you like cinnamon because I write about it a lot,


Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

For the cupcakes:

1-½ cups cake flour
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-¾ cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
4 whole eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-¼ cups milk (whole is best)

For the cinnamon buttercream:

½ cups unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
⅛ teaspoons salt
1 pound powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line  a muffin tin with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among the lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored for up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen for up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

To make the buttercream, cream the butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt together. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk until creamy. You may need to add in some more milk or sugar until you get the right consistency, the consistency of awesome hatch flow. Then pipe on the icing or glop it on with a spoon or whatever.

To finish, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Using a fine sieve (or a spoon like yours truly), dust peaks with cinnamon-sugar.

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