Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Since 2011 I've been running two separate blogs-- one contains random musings about cats and politics and trips while the other contains recipes for sweet treats. I've decided to consolidate them because, well, it's easier. I think it will help keep me on a more strict blogging regimen too (I've been doing a terrible job!). So what's the plan?

1. I'm moving everything to this blog. Past posts will still remain at the other blog-- An Itty Bitty Baking Girl-- because people, including myself, have "pinned" certain posts. But in one giant move (I hope), everything from "Itty Bitty", or at least part of it, will be here.

2. To help keep things organized, I will label things accordingly. My musings will simply be labeled "Musings." I'm still thinking of a clever baking or cooking label (I may just go with "Darling Gems" since that's the name of my pipe-dream bakery), but regardless of what it becomes, it will always be tagged/labeled with the same name.

3. I will post about baking and cooking on Sundays (or Mondays if I'm running behind). My "musings" will be posted on Wednesdays or Fridays depending upon the week, but I promise to try and maintain some level of consistency.

So here's to the future of my blog! And below you will find some of my favorite posts/recipes from An Itty Bitty Baking Girl.

I recently lost my Grandma. She was an amazing woman... I know everyone probably says that about their grandmothers. But Grandma Darling or Midge or Mildred or Millie or whatever else you knew her as really was an extraordinary woman-- she volunteered at church and the hospital until she was physically incapable; she judged no one; she loved deeply and gave the best hugs; and she baked one heck of an Angel Food Cake. She cooked and baked all the time--she lived on a farm after all. Ask my Aunts and Uncle, even my older cousins. They'll tell you about the chickens without heads and buckets of lard. Grandma may have left the farm after Grandpa died, but she took her Angel Food Cake with her, and it was and will always be legendary. 

Losing her has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. But one must move on, especially when your grandma was Grandma Darling. The toughest loses didn't stop her. So I'm pretty sure she'd want me and the rest of my family to keep on trucking. So what did my mom and I do? We baked and Angel Food Cake.

My mom and I are a bit adventurous, and we love chocolate. We've both made Grandma's legend, not as well of course (I'm not sure anyone has), but we did what Grandma Darling would have done, what she did do for more than twenty-five years after losing the love of her life, Grandpa Darling, we baked, and we baked well. More importantly, we baked with love.

Now Grandma never made this version... I think she was stubborn. But I know she was proud... after all it still requires the ever tedious sifting of flour and sugar! So, I urge you, try this cake. Go forth, be bold, and enjoy the chocolatey goodness of the Chocolate Angel Food Cake... and remember, when life gets tough, do as my Grandma would do, bake!

Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Frosting

1 1/2 Cups Confectioners' Sugar
1 Cup Cake Flour (Swan's Down is the best.)
1/4 Cup Baking Cocoa
1 1/2 Cups Egg Whites (about 10 eggs)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Cups whipping cream
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup baking cocoa
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Vanilla Extract
1. Sift together confectioners' sugar, flour and cocoa three times. Set aside.
2. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt until soft peaks form.
3. Gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form. 
4. Gradually fold in cocoa mixture.
5. Spoon into an ungreased Angel Food Cake pan... preferably one with legs. Trust me! Life will be much easier!
6. Run a knife through the batter to remove air pockets.
7. Bake on lowest oven rake (if you have a gas oven) at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes until the top springs and has dry cracks. Make necessary adjustments for electric ovens and altitude differences etc.
8. Cool completely, with the pan upside down (cake pan legs should come in handy!).
9. Run a knife around the edges and the center to loosen, and remove cake.

1. Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Cover, and chill for one hour.
3. Beat until stiff peaks form.
4. Spread over the top and sides of cake.


There's Nothing Wrong with Plain Jane Cookies

I've been doing quite a bit of baking lately. Unfortunately I haven't blogged about any of it. What can I say? It's that time of year-- I may not be the student anymore, but I still feel overwhelmed at the end of the semester. There's so much grading and reading and listening to speeches and grading and listening to excuses (that I've heard at least twice before) and some more grading.

So dear readers, I do apologize (all five of you... or maybe ten?) for not blogging about my favorite meal of the day. If it's any consolation, I ate very little of my creations... until now. I'm on my fourth cookie. Everyone else liked the brownies with a bajillion ingredients and the chocolate covered cake bites, but it was all too much for me. I like the simple things which is why I'm obsessed with my organic take on this blogger's brown sugar cookies. 

I only have one picture... I went jogging. Yes, I went jogging and then measured out oodles of sugar. Needless to say I wasn't exactly focused on taking pictures of my soon-to-be-dessert. I just wanted to reward myself with these wonderful cookies!

Please enjoy...

1. 1 cup organic, unsalted butter, room temperature
2. 1 and 1/4 cups organic brown sugar
3. 1 organic, cage-free egg
4. 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract (Personally, I'm obsessed with Singing Dog Vanilla Extract.)
5. 2 cups all purpose, organic, unbleached flour (I wonder if using gluten-free all purpose flour would work?)
6. 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
7. 1/4 teaspoon organic baking soda

1. Using your beautiful KitchenAid Mixer mixture, blend butter and sugar.
2. Add the egg and vanilla.
3. Gradually add the flour, salt, and baking soda.
4. Mix until blended.
5. Refrigerate dough for two hours.**
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and bake cookies for about 12 minutes.
7. Enjoy! Oh, you should probably let the cookies cool first. Now enjoy!

* As always, I use organic ingredients when possible. It's just a personal preference, not a requirement.
** I have no idea why the recipe said to do this. My guess? The dough was really sticky before it chilled. So I would be patient if possible.

I've been in a bit of a baking frenzy. Thankfully I have somewhere to send my treats too, or else I'd be in trouble (Thanks Jeff's co-workers! Be nice to him tomorrow because he's bringing you cookies!)! Maggie usually tries to con me out of some, but not this weekend...

Although after her nap Jeff did spoil her with a few nibbles of his turkey burger. Ah, the life of a cat. But I digress. So what did today's agenda entail? Baking of course!

I may have also jumped on the Instagram bandwagon. What can I say? I like the clean and neat borders. I also did a bit of grocery shopping, and I happened to snag this...

I know. It's pretty awesome. Now for the fun part. Cookies! Last week I tried making cake batter cookies. Everyone loved them, but I thought they could be better. I found the recipe from the blog, Lovin' From The Oven, but I didn't have the exact cake mix it called for. I figured what the heck. Well, the cookies tasted great, but they were really, really, really thin. I thought it was my use of organic ingredients, or maybe my oven just sucked (because it really does).

Being the perfectionist that I am, I had to try again with the "correct" cake mix. It must be Funfetti magic, because this batch turned out wonderful, organic ingredients and all (Minus the Funfetti of course!). They aren't puffy, but they aren't too thin. They have a bit of crunch, but the center is a bit soft. Perfect! At least in my book.

I highly recommend these cookies. They are super tasty, and the batch size is perfect for keeping them at home and not fretting about munching on too many sweets--about twenty or twenty-five cookies. So here's my adaptation...

1. 3/4 cup organic, softened butter
2. 1/2 cup organic cane juice/sugar
3. 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
4. 1 organic, cage-free, and preferably local egg
5. 1 egg yolk... that's cage-free, organic, and local!
6. 2 teaspoons organic vanilla
7. 3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
8. 1 and 1/4 cups Funfetti cake mix
9. 1/4 teaspoon organic baking soda (I used a touch more because my first batch scared me into it.)

1. Mix together, or as my mom would say, cream together the butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla
2. Mix in the flour, the cake mix, and the baking soda (I prefer to mix them together first)
3. Refrigerate the dough for at least thirty minutes
4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
5. Grease a cookie sheet or two
6. Spoon the dough on the sheets, and bake for about 8 minutes
7. Let the cookies sit for a few, and then move 'em to a cooling rack
8. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment