i am baker http://iambaker.net Confections & Creations Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:15:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 pumpkin puff pastry http://iambaker.net/pumpkin-puff-pastry/ http://iambaker.net/pumpkin-puff-pastry/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 01:53:24 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45363 Homemade Pumpkin Puff Pastry! From scratch toaster strudel!
I have officially jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon and I am so excited about it!  This faux Toaster Strudel® recipe is absolutely amazing, and the perfect way to start any day! It all started with a homemade puff pastry.  I have made it three times in the last couple days and love it more and... 

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Homemade Pumpkin Puff Pastry! From scratch toaster strudel!

I have officially jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon and I am so excited about it!  This faux Toaster Strudel® recipe is absolutely amazing, and the perfect way to start any day!

It all started with a homemade puff pastry.  I have made it three times in the last couple days and love it more and more each time.

The great thing about this puff pastry is that it takes just minutes to pull together!  I was shocked at just how easy and fool proof it is.  Every single time I have made it, the dough has been perfect.

A word of caution:  This dough feels like silk.  I wanted to keep kneading, to let my hands linger in the velvety soft exquisiteness, but you must resist!  Over kneading is a no-no.

pumpkin puff pastry

Ingredients

    Pastry
  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cold tap water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Filling
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

    Pastry
  1. Measure water and add salt; stir to dissolve and set aside.
  2. Put flour and cinnamon into food processor.
  3. Coarsely dice all butter and place in food processor on top of flour. Pulse for about 3 seconds four or five times.
  4. Drizzle water into food processor on low speed. Watch closely as dough will start to pull together very quickly. Once the dough forms a ball stop the processor.
  5. Flour work surface and scrape dough from work bowl.
  6. Roll dough into a rough rectangle, dusting with more flour if the dough gets too sticky.
  7. Fold the dough in half, then in half again, then in half again. If you are able fold it over one more time, then wrap in plastic and chill for one hour.
  8. Filling
  9. Put pumpkin puree in a bowl and mix well with sugar and vanilla.
  10. Cream Cheese Glaze
  11. Beat cream cheese with handheld mixer until creamy.
  12. Add in remaining ingredients and mix on slow until fully combined. (You may add more or less milk to reach desired consistency.)
  13. When you are ready to assemble to Pumpkin Puff Pastries:
  14. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. You want the dough to be thin, only about 1/8 inch thick.
  15. Using a pizza cutter, trim off the rough edges and then cut into small sections, about 4 inches by 5 inches.  I divided the dough into thirds lengthwise, and then halves width wise.  You can see that my rectangles are not perfect and that is just fine.  
  16. Beat egg in a bowl and grab a pastry brush.  Brush the edges of the pieces of dough lightly with the egg.
  17. Add about 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree to half of the rectangles, spreading to about half an inch from the edges.
  18. Top with the remaining pieces of dough.  
  19. Use a fork to press the edges together going in about 1/2 inch from the edge. (The first couple times I made this I just barely made marks with the fork and when they baked you could not tell.  I prefer the look of a larger fork impression.)   
  20. Generously brush the entire top of the pastry with the egg.
  21. Place strudel on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  When done pastries should be golden brown and puffed up.
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Puff Pastry recipe barely adapted from Food Network.

I think that I ended up liking the ‘rustic’ look best.  Sure, you can get out your ruler and make a perfect rectangle and measure each perfect little pocket of pumpkin loveliness OR you can eyeball it and enjoy it just the same.

For the delectable frosting drizzle: Place cream cheese in a pastry bag and snip off a very small portion.  Apply pressure to bag and drizzle over each pastry while it is still warm.

This recipe makes roughly 10 pumpkin pastries.  I had about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture left over, and that will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Just look at those flakey layers of buttery deliciousness!  My third attempt at these is when I decided to add cinnamon to the dough.  I have to tell you… it is incredible.

The slight cinnamon flavor in the buttery pastry paired with the barely sweetened pumpkin filling seriously creates something magical.

Here is another plus, without the frosting these pastries have just 1/3 cup of sugar in the entire recipe!  If you use a small amount of frosting you can actually feel good about giving them to your family for breakfast.  (Note, I was not able to use a sparse amount of frosting.  I mean, cream cheese.  Obvi.)

If you are a pumpkin fan, a breakfast pastry fan, a butter fan, a fan of food in general, you will want to try these!

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in which i am complaining (and need you) http://iambaker.net/in-which-i-am-complaining-and-need-you/ http://iambaker.net/in-which-i-am-complaining-and-need-you/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:10:03 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45346 Audrey riding bike
So.  Turns out having kids in school is just as hard as homeschooling. I have three kids in school right now, a 3rd grader, 2nd grader, and 1st grader.  Tonight, like many nights, they each had homework.  By the time I was able to work with each child individually, 2 1/2 hours had passed.  (The... 

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Audrey riding bike

So.  Turns out having kids in school is just as hard as homeschooling.

I have three kids in school right now, a 3rd grader, 2nd grader, and 1st grader.  Tonight, like many nights, they each had homework.  By the time I was able to work with each child individually, 2 1/2 hours had passed.  (The kids are at an age that they need a parent or adult to do the work with them as most of it is reading together and checking work and memorization.)

As a result of that, dinner was late on the table.  The kids were late to bath, and then late to bed.  Baby was grumpy and in need of her own bedtime ritual, which was also sorely behind schedule.

And then, as if writing and reciting Bible verses and spelling words and reading about Ruff the dog wasn’t enough, now it is time to read with little Eddie before bed.

I am tuckered out.

Basically, my kids enjoy school (a lot) and don’t mind homework.  (I am absolutely fine with the amount of homework each child is given, and in no way find it excessive.  I would actually like to be able to devote more time to each child one-on-one, but cannot conceive of a way to do that.)  It’s me.  It’s all me.  I don’t know if I can handle that much homework at night and be expected to still do everything else the family needs!

Truthfully, the transition to the kids being in school has been harder than I imagined.  But not in the normal way, in a weird i-am-mommy-but-not-homeschooler-anymore-but-work-fulltime-but-stay-at-home-mom kind of way.

I just sort of assumed that I would be the mom who was helping out in class and ever present in the kids’ learning and social development.  It was a given that I would know who they are hanging with and who is influencing them and that they would be the brightest most well behaved kids in the class and that Audrey would have perfectly perfect styled hair every single day.

That I would have had the kids’ teachers over for dinner, or at the very least, met with them so that I know more about them.

The truth is, I have not helped out in class.  Not one time.  Granted, I have been at home with a 3 year old and 1 year old, but you’d think I would find a way to be there for all my kids.  I am just now, very slowly, starting to figure out who the people are who have such a huge influence in my kids life.

I am lucky if Audrey’s hair gets combed in the morning.

Lets just call this look… “messy pony”.  We dominate the messy pony. (I also just discovered that one of my children has been wearing dirty underwear to school because I mentioned that it is ok to wear pants more than once between washings. They just assumed that also applied to underwear. AND socks. I am mortified. And laughing because I often laugh at inappropriate times.)

I have not talked one-on-one with either of my kids’ teachers (Parker and Audrey have the same teacher as 1st and 2nd grades are combined) nor figured out a date when they can come to dinner. It’s already looking like mid-November.

None of this is going as planned and I didn’t even know I had a plan. So I sit here exhausted and a bit defeated and a lot hopeful that someone can shed some light.

Tell me please, if you would be willing… how do you do it? How do you manage school work with the kids and still manage the home? (As well as the needs of the children not in school?) What kind of relationships do you have with teachers and what should I be doing differently? What does your after-school schedule look like?

And thank you in advance for any insight you can give this weary mom.

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your name http://iambaker.net/your-name/ http://iambaker.net/your-name/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:12:19 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45342 Jesus!
worshipgifs.org “My Name is constantly abused in this world.  Some people use it carelessly, without even realizing they are talking about the Lord of Lords.  Other people use it as a curse word, which is an attack on who I am.  Every time my name is used, it is recorded in Heaven.  So when you... 

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Jesus!

worshipgifs.org

“My Name is constantly abused in this world.  Some people use it carelessly, without even realizing they are talking about the Lord of Lords.  Other people use it as a curse word, which is an attack on who I am.  Every time my name is used, it is recorded in Heaven.  So when you say My Name in prayer, when you call out My Name is praise, when you whisper My Name in trust, My aching heart is soothed.  All the curses in the world are drowned out by a loving whisper… Jesus.  When you speak My Name in these ways, both you and I are blessed.”

I read this in Jesus Calling, 365 Devotionals for Kids by Sarah Young.

And I was simultaneously ashamed and convicted.

I don’t know about you, but today I am going to whisper His praises and name.  I want the King of Kings to be blessed by my words and to hear my appreciation with every loving thought.

From the Worship Project, 365 days of visual art combined with worship songs from across the earth

“God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.” (Philippians 2:9, 10)

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coupons my way http://iambaker.net/coupons-my-way/ http://iambaker.net/coupons-my-way/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:52:03 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45328 coupons my way
Brought to you by myself and CVS.com. Have you heard of Extreme Couponing?  It is basically when people are so organized and meticulous about their grocery store experience that they are able to utilize all the resources available to get the best possible deal on groceries. image from TLC Extreme Couponing I watch the shows... 

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coupons my way

Brought to you by myself and CVS.com.

Have you heard of Extreme Couponing?  It is basically when people are so organized and meticulous about their grocery store experience that they are able to utilize all the resources available to get the best possible deal on groceries.

image from TLC Extreme Couponing

I watch the shows occasionally, and am consistently blown away.  I see the stockpiles, the rooms and garages and homes full to the brim with endless supplies and treats.  I see the money saved simply by getting that Sunday paper and clip clip clipping a few of those precious coupons.

But it is not that simple.  Believe me, I tried.  I tried to get the binder going and cut coupons and price match and I kid you not, I ended up in tears, frustrated, defeated and embarrassed in the checkout line at Walmart. (This actually happened more than once and is a story for another day.)

image from TLC

Extreme couponing is hard. Like, really really hard. And is not for the faint of heart. And is not for Type non-A personalities. (See, if I was a Type-A personality I would take the time to figure out what all the other personality types are.  But alas, I am as far from type-a as you can get and am fully satisfied with the assumption I am simply not type-a.)

Here is my dilemma. I want all the benefits of the ultimate couponing experience, but I do not want to invest 40 hours a week into it. I don’t even want to invest one hour into it. I mean, cakes simply do not make themselves!

I think I may have found a solution to my problem.

It is the ExtraCare card from CVS.  I told you that I was partnering with them to share some great products, and for this I am grateful.  Honestly, I thought our partnership would end there; I try products (and subsequently love them) and then tell you about what is and is not  working for my family.  But then I heard about this ExtraCare program, and every single fiber in my type-non-a personality was screaming to share it.

It is perfect for me.  Perfect for you.  Perfect for everyone.

Just perfect.

Here is the nitty gritty:

You can earn rewards even if items are not on sale:

Whether an item is on sale or not, using your ExtraCare card every time you shop is an easy way to rack up rewards. Members  automatically get 2% back on nearly every dollar spent at CVS/pharmacy. Then, at the end of each quarter, you will receive these earnings back in the form of ExtraBucks®Rewards – or “free CVS money” you can spend on almost anything in the store!

Instead of slaving over newspapers and websites to locate coupons that might not even match what you need to buy, you can simply hop onto CVS.com and get exactly what you need.

Before you start shopping, visit the ExtraCare Coupon Center to collect coupons you can use during that visit, personalized just for you. Often the coupons will be good for new items like Gold Emblem Abound™ products – especially if you purchase them and find that you like them, and buy them more than once.  The best part? This can happen just minutes before you need to head out to the store!  Which, as I mentioned, is quite literally the perfect scenario for me.

What does it boil down to?  When utilizing the ExtraCare program, CVS does all the hard work for me.  They get to slave over the Sunday papers for the exact coupons I need. They get to keep track of items I buy on a regular basis and help me save money on them.

And I get to buy the things I want to buy at a discounted price.  And it’s free to use!

Happy sigh.

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Logo Surprise-Inside Cake http://iambaker.net/logo-surprise-inside-cake/ http://iambaker.net/logo-surprise-inside-cake/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 01:49:53 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45314 McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!
I have been partnering with McCormick for a few years now. It is a match made in heaven! I get to use amazing quality products and share delicious and creative recipes and they… um… they… well. I am starting to think that I got the better end of this partnership. Don’t tell them I love my... 

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McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

I have been partnering with McCormick for a few years now. It is a match made in heaven! I get to use amazing quality products and share delicious and creative recipes and they… um… they… well. I am starting to think that I got the better end of this partnership.

Don’t tell them I love my work so much ok?  Our secret!

McCormick is celebrating their 125th birthday on Sept. 28th. I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that they had been around for 125 years! There is something to be said for longevity and dependability in a huge company like that.

In honor of their big day I decided to make them a cake. It’s what I do ok? I wanted it to be fun, really fun, and really personal. The outside of my cake is covered in hundreds of rainbow sprinkles! Don’t you love the clean lines and color in this cake?

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

Or rainbow.  More like rainbow.

And here is the surprise! I made the McCormick logo inside the cake!

It was not easy. But it was a labor of love.

I have to tell you, when I cut into the cake I was so pleased! SO pleased.   could not contain my excitement and I texted off a picture to a close friend. She was as excited as I was and that’s when I knew that this was a special cake. And who better to honor?

While I happen to think that this may be one of the prettiest cakes I have ever made, it is also the tastiest. I prefer this amazing White Cake recipe, but with a twist.

McCormick just released this wonderful new Extra Rich vanilla that is 25% richer than classic vanilla extract. It adds something really special to my cakes and frostings!

If you want to know more about how I made this surprise-inside cake please do check out my book, Surprise-Inside Cakes! I also have a little video here that helps to detail the process.

Happy Birthday McCormick!  Looking forward to another 125 years!

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my husband went away and I have never been happier http://iambaker.net/my-husband-went-away-and-i-have-never-been-happier/ http://iambaker.net/my-husband-went-away-and-i-have-never-been-happier/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:52:39 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45294 Chad Bow Hunting
If you know me at all, that title probably doesn’t make much sense does it? Let me explain. I married an outdoorsy guy. Chad likes to hunt most things and fish for everything, any time of year that it’s legal. He is just one of those guys that gets his soul refreshed among God’s nature... 

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Chad Bow Hunting

If you know me at all, that title probably doesn’t make much sense does it?

Let me explain.

I married an outdoorsy guy. Chad likes to hunt most things and fish for everything, any time of year that it’s legal. He is just one of those guys that gets his soul refreshed among God’s nature and beauty. Sitting in a deer stand in silence and completely still at the break of dawn, that’s something he enjoys.  Me?  Not so much.

I knew this when I met him. I knew this when I married him. I have learned the lesson over and over again with each pregnancy, each new baby, each rambunctious toddler that I was inevitably left alone with just when it was most inconvenient.

Chad (on the left) with his brother, Ryan

While I accept his passions and love to reap the benefits of it (having a buffalo fill your freezer for 2 years is a wondrous thing) I can’t say I like it. Dread it more like. Hunting season and fishing season always seem to come too quickly and I find myself getting more bitter every year. It just doesn’t seem fair anymore! Here I am at home with five kids, sacrificing my job and my time to meet the needs of my family, alone. He is out doing exactly what he loves, with not a care in the world.

Yes, I signed up for a husband who puts time and great energy into his passions. No, I didn’t sign up for parenting alone for weeks at a time.

I joke with friends and family and give him a hard time. I start giving him dirty looks when he talks about mandatory trips to Cabella’s and Gander Mountain. I tune out when he talks about the details of his excursions.

I fully realize how I sound like a really terrible wife right now. Here is my poor husband, doing what he always does, and I am giving him heck for it.

But we are not the same young independent couple as when we first married. We have much bigger responsibilities now. In addition to the kids there is a home, a property, chickens and guineas’, a dog,  my career. Everything suffers when he goes away, sometimes life is lost.  And frankly, I just don’t handle it well.

I was recently reunited with a blast from the past. It was a lazy Saturday as I welcomed an old high school friend and her daughter into our home with open arms.  I had not seen her in about 20 years, but it was like not even a day had passed.  My heart was truly delighted seeing her beautiful smile again.

After a few hours of us talking and catching up, we had really gotten to a comfortable place and I found myself completely opening up. Telling her things I saved for the closest of friends. I told her about my husband’s trip and that it is HARD when he leaves. Everything about it is just hard.

We were all standing there, in our kitchen and she said, “You know, maybe it would be easier when he went away if he didn’t do so much for you.”

We laughed. She went on her way. But that comment… it stuck around.  Lingered in my brain and started to eat away me.

For days, I was questioning everything. What did she mean? That I am lazy? That I depend on him too much? Was she right? Was it only hard because I was too dependent on his help? Did she look at me and judge me for being overweight and assume I sat around all day eating the cakes and cookies I blog about? Why did she think that I was not pulling my share of the weight around here? Did she have ANY idea what I had been through?

The more time passed the more angry I got. Really, really angry. How dare she? She didn’t know me, know my husband, know our relationship. How dare she assume that my husband carried the weight of our relationship. I decided to email her, or to confront her, or maybe even to gently persuade her that what she perceived our situation to be was actually far from the truth.

But I didn’t. I said nothing to her. After a long mental battle, I realized something that I can honestly say I have never realized before.

There was no point in my fighting this battle.

Her opinion, while totally valid and one she was free to have and keep, should have no bearing on the reality of my life.

If she was wrong, she would see it in my actions, not in my words.

My husband packed up and left, and I cried. I texted him that I missed him, that I needed him, and he was my partner. While that may seem like normal conversation between husband and wife, it is not for me. I rarely, if ever, tell people I need them. (not to say I don’t actually need people, just that I am too stubborn or embarrassed or feel too guilty to impose my needs on people, much less tell them. I can honestly say that nothing feels worse to me than feeling indebted to others. It’s a level of discomfort I have a hard time explaining.) He texted back that I would be fine, that he loved me and that I was stronger than I thought.

He was right.

A mighty work took place in me while he was gone. Something clicked somewhere and every single day started with Intention. I decided that even if my circumstances were hard, that was no excuse for me not living life to the fullest and giving my family my best. Every single day, every single moment, I was all-in. I gave my all at home with the kids, giving them my full attention and respect. I didn’t yell (much) and I tried to be as calm as possible when faced with disagreements. I did the chores around the house with a happy heart, feeling grateful that I was able to get them done and feel so accomplished afterwards. I made lists and stuck to them, and at the same time decreased my self-imposed work load in favor or putting out better quality work. I set goals, made plans, and finally figured out just what I want to do with my life and career. And while some of that I will keep private (as part of me is just a natural big dreamer who loves the dream itself and finds joy in thinking about it, not necessarily seeing it come to fruition) one part I can reveal.

I want my blog to be a true representation of my home and life. I love iambaker. I love baking and decorating and creating new things, so that will not change. But I also love our home, our property, our chickens and garden.  I want to share with you that fact that my family and I drink raw milk and that we make homemade ketchup and syrup and jelly and can tomatoes and pickle peppers and that I brush my teeth with baking soda and don’t ever use bubble bath because I try to not put any chemicals on or in my kids and that most things I buy are organic.  And still I love Oreo’s and box cake mix.

That I take thousands of pictures of the sunrise and chickens and birds. I don’t understand fashion and am totally comfortable buying clothes at Target. I don’t like to travel and have no desire to leave my family nor vacation without them. That I am simple.

Most of all I love Jesus.  And I love that He gave me this perfect-for-me husband who I never knew was so perfect for me.  (He has been a gardening and natural living guy all along, while I came along kicking and screaming.) I love that while my husband was away chasing an elusive Elk and walking the scenic and breathtaking mountains of Idaho, I was coming into my own as a wife, mother , homemaker and child of God.

The kids with cousin Inga

I got just as much, if not more, from completing the kids’ laundry in an organized fashion as I did from finding out my book was a best seller. I found out that when all is right with me, in my head and heart, then I can happily and successfully run this home.  Not in spite of my husband, but for him.

When my husband did come home, he came home to a house cleaner than it had been in ages.  To happy children who had a happy and relaxed and attentive mom.  To a better listener.  To a schedule and a routine that made our home a place we all wanted to be.  To a wife that didn’t resent him being gone, but that loved him for who he is.

I can honestly tell you, I have never felt more domesticated in my life.  And I am loving it.  The idea of getting a cow and living off of the grid is really, really appealing to me.  Now remember, I am a big dreamer.  In those dreams, I forget how much I love watching Cedar Cove and playing Spider Solitaire and blogging and baking crazy desserts with snickers stuffed into every crevice.

I love my home and children and nature loving husband. I love spending time with them. I love my life and am so thankful and blessed to be living it. And since I didn’t know how long this feeling would last (although I can’t help but hope for forever) I just wanted to write it down so that I could look back and know that somewhere along the way I knew.

I knew that I am exactly where I was meant to be.

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great news from craftsy! http://iambaker.net/great-news-from-craftsy/ http://iambaker.net/great-news-from-craftsy/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:01:13 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45286 Candle Surprise-Inside Cake!
Every now and then I have to pinch myself.  Getting to work with an amazing organization like Craftsy has been such a blessing!  I have learned quite a bit and met some amazing folks.  Best of all?  Taking advantage of everything the Craftsy has to offer. Chances are if you are here, on my blog,... 

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Candle Surprise-Inside Cake!

Every now and then I have to pinch myself.  Getting to work with an amazing organization like Craftsy has been such a blessing!  I have learned quite a bit and met some amazing folks.  Best of all?  Taking advantage of everything the Craftsy has to offer.

Chances are if you are here, on my blog, you are a fan of cakes and cake decorating.  This is what first drew me to Craftsy!  Everything I have ever wanted to know is out there.  From fondant to amazing birthday cakes to intricate piping work to the business behind  running a cake business or bakery!

What I am able to offer friends and readers is a bit more specific, as I get to tell you about my class too!  Everything you have ever wanted to know about Surprise-Inside Cakes.  There are even some really basic frosting techniques as well!

But, really.  I can’t stop there.

There is SO MUCH MORE!

And here is the best part… today it is 50% off!  EVERY SINGLE Cake decorating class is on sale.  If you have ever wanted to learn more about cake, about this hobby and passion of yours, now is the time.

Check out this awesomely creative class about flavors and fillings.

Create tantalizingly touchable cakes with cake designer extraordinaire Marina Sousa in this hands-on exploration of designer fondant textures!

Couture cake artist Maggie Austin shows you how to create an elegant ombre cake with her signature – and secret! – frill technique.  MAGGIE AUSTON!  She is an icon… and huge name in the cake industry!  She started more trends than I can count!

I have a secret to share.

Sometimes I need a little inspiration.  I need help motivating myself and getting the creative juices flowing.  Craftys should really add INSPIRATION to their list of credentials, because seeing the detail and talent and ideas that the incredible instructors at Craftsy share… it gets me so excited to bake and create!

I hope you will join me and so many others as we take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that Craftsy offers.  You never know, I just may be sitting next to you in class!

Click HERE to explore.  But remember, this amazing deal only runs through Monday, Sept. 22nd.  Act fast!

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pumpkin rose cookies http://iambaker.net/pumpkin-rose-cookies/ http://iambaker.net/pumpkin-rose-cookies/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 15:32:57 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45273 Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!
Making things into roses is kinda my thing.  I have an Original Rose Cake, Neapolitan Rose Cookies and Red Velvet Rose Cookies.  I recently decided to re-vamp my Pumpkin & Brown Butter Sandwich Cookie’s and make them into rose cookies! Which is kinda weird, I admit.  I mean, the correlation between roses and pumpkins is... 

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Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

Making things into roses is kinda my thing.  I have an Original Rose Cake, Neapolitan Rose Cookies and Red Velvet Rose Cookies.  I recently decided to re-vamp my Pumpkin & Brown Butter Sandwich Cookie’s and make them into rose cookies!

Which is kinda weird, I admit.  I mean, the correlation between roses and pumpkins is not exactly obvious.

Except here at iambaker! Then it’s like, da.

I simply used my Homemade Spice Cake mix and added a can of store bought pumpkin puree.

The cookies are basically the same as the Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Buttercream, only I made then a tad fancier.

I’m so fancy.  You already know.

Just kidding.  That’s a song that I heard once by accident.  Think it was made for the young kids to listen to.

I am more of a worship music kinda gal.  And 80′s Hairbands, monster ballads and stuff.  Yup, I am weird.

Ok, back to these beauties.

Spice Cake Mix + 15 ounce can Pumpkin Puree + Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting =

AWESOME

To get the rose effect I placed (1/2 at a time) of the pumpkin cookie batter (it is thick) into a pastry bag with a Ateco 846 closed star tip. I then piped out rosettes onto a parchment lined baking sheet. These cookies do not spread, so whatever design you pipe out is what it will look like when done baking.

Allow to cool and pipe out a dollop of frosting onto one cookie, place another cookie on top, then take a bite!  Er, I mean, set aside and make another. Although I did take a lotta bites. They are kinda irresistible.

You can pair these with that fabulous Caramel Cream Cheese or feel free to use any fabulous cream cheese frosting recipe.  (Or the brown butter buttercream I have linked to above!)

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happy birthday! {naked cake} http://iambaker.net/happy-birthday-naked-cake/ http://iambaker.net/happy-birthday-naked-cake/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:11:14 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45261 A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!
Did you know that September 16th is the most popular birthday??  In honor of everyone who is lucky enough to celebrate this awesome day as well as all the September birthdays, I am sharing a fun “naked” cake! Calm down now, this is a G rated post.  A naked cake simply refers to the fact... 

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A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!

Did you know that September 16th is the most popular birthday??  In honor of everyone who is lucky enough to celebrate this awesome day as well as all the September birthdays, I am sharing a fun “naked” cake!

Calm down now, this is a G rated post.  A naked cake simply refers to the fact that the sides of the cake are left bare, or free from frosting.  Or, naked!

I am absolutely positively thrilled with how these turned out and I have to tell you, it is thanks to a good recipe!

Achieving the “perfect” colors in icing is often complicated and difficult to replicate.  With the help of McCormick, the recipe is specific down to the very last drop.  If you decide to try this cake, you are destined to get the exact same results that I did!

Another reason to celebrate!  What do you think of the fun design?  Two cakes, one with pink, orange and yellow and the other with green, blue and purple.  A Rainbow!

Rainbows are my happy place. #obsessed

pink, orange & yellow naked cake recipe

Ingredients

  • ngredients
  • 1 package (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract
  • McCormick® Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Coconut Extract
  • 2 teaspoons pineapple juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix as directed on package. Pour batter evenly (about 1 1/4 cups each) into 3 (9-inch) round cake pans sprayed with no stick cooking spray.
  2. Bake 25 to 29 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean.
  3. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
  5. For the Frostings, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy.
  6. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently.
  7. Add water; beat until light and fluffy.
  8. Divide frosting evenly among 3 bowls.
  9. Tint and flavor each bowl of frosting. F
  10. or Pink Lemonade Frosting, stir in lemon extract and 7 drops red food color.
  11. For Burnt Orange Frosting, stir in orange extract, 36 drops red food color and 30 drops yellow food color.
  12. For Piña Colada Frosting, stir in coconut extract, pineapple juice and 30 drops yellow food color.
  13. Place a cake layer on serving platter and spread with Pink Lemonade Frosting.
  14. Top with second cake layer and spread with Burnt Orange Frosting.
  15. Top with remaining cake layer and spread with Piña Colada Frosting. Do not frost sides.
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Recipe shared from McCormick with permission.

If you stop by McCormick there is a complete chart with all the frosting as well as a very detailed recipe you can download for both cakes!  I can’t help but be impressed with the level of detail they have provided.  It really takes all the stress out of baking and leave you with all the FUN!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all the September Birthdays!!

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homemade spice cake mix http://iambaker.net/homemade-spice-cake-mix/ http://iambaker.net/homemade-spice-cake-mix/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:17:17 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=45239 Homemade Spice Cake Mix
The Homemade Yellow Cake Mix, White Cake Mix and Homemade Brownie Mix on my site are so popular, I deciding that adding to the selection needed to be at the top of my list of things to do.  (Don’t worry, chocolate is next.  I am still experimenting! You will read why below.) I have quite a... 

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Homemade Spice Cake Mix

The Homemade Yellow Cake Mix, White Cake Mix and Homemade Brownie Mix on my site are so popular, I deciding that adding to the selection needed to be at the top of my list of things to do.  (Don’t worry, chocolate is next.  I am still experimenting! You will read why below.)

I have quite a few recipes that utilize spice cake mix, so instead of buying boxes I make up my own mix! It is easy peasy. And best part?  Wholesome and delicious!

As with all my homemade “box mix” cake mixes, you have some dry ingredients in an airtight container and then simply add the wet ingredients when you are ready to bake. The very same process as if you were to use a box of mix you purchased at the store.

One of the main differences is of course taste (so delicious) but also quality of ingredients. You have complete control over what you are eating and what you are putting in your body.

homemade spice cake mix

Ingredients

    Dry Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice*
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Instructions

  1. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and sift to combine. If there are any lumps in your sugar be sure to get them out now. Pour all dry ingredients into a mason jar or air-tight storage container.
  2. *If you do not have pumpkin spice you can use: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp all spice and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
  3. When ready to bake:
  4. In a medium bowl add in eggs, milk and vanilla and beat together with fork. Set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer cream butter until light and fluffy.
  6. With the mixer on low, start by alternating the dry mixture and the egg mixture.
  7. Pour 1/3 of the dry mixture into the creamed butter, then add 1/2 of the egg mixture. Continue alternating until all ingredients used. Turn off mixer, remove bowl and continue stirring by hand if any ingredients are not fully incorporated.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes in 8-inch round pans. Increase time to about 30 minutes for 9x13 pan and keep a close eye on it.
  9. This recipe makes 14-16 cupcakes and they should bake for about 15 minutes.
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Quick Note: You can change the spice level to your tastes.  I prefer a subtle spice cake, one that does not over power a cream cheese frosting.  If you prefer a bold and zany spice cake, then feel free to play around with the amounts of spies added.

Not just any recipe can be turned into a homemade cake mix. The recipe really has to be conducive to the Single Stage or All-Ingredient method of baking.  If you need to harness the lightness and airiness of the Creaming Method (creaming butter and sugar together first) then the recipe will not work as well for a homemade box mix.

 

I recently used the Homemade Spice Cake Mix to make cupcakes with a Caramel Cream Cheese frosting.  They were phenomenal!  I can’t wait to make my Velvet Spice Cake Surprise-Inside Cake with it next!

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