Cupcakes for cheer!

My birthday is a time of mixed emotions for me.  I found out I was pregnant with my son on my 21st!  In 2000, we found out my father had cancer on the 18th.  In 2007, I was with Mom in the hospital when the doctor told us they were out of treatment options for her and she died 8 days later.  So it can be a bit of a upsetting day for me.  Now, today, it’s raining.  But I put on some good old Guns & Roses tracks from my high school days and cranked out some peanut butter cupcakes with peanut butter frosting!  And, my friend took me to lunch!  Thanks Karen!  


Giant Almond Crumb Cookie – Yum!

Giant Almond Crumb Cookie

Source: Martha Stewart (8 servings)

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

1 ½ cups finely ground (5 1/4 ounces) blanched almonds

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon table salt

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk almonds, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly. Work in butter until completely incorporated with no dry crumbs.

Transfer all but 1 1/2 cups of mixture to pan. Press mixture into pan to compress dough. Sprinkle with reserved 1 1/2 cups of mixture; transfer to oven.

Bake, rotating pan two to three times, until cookie begins to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees. bake until golden brown and fairly dry, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove from pan. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Mmm…cake !

This one is orange poppyseed! I will post the recipe later if the boys think it is worthy! – It came out great!!! See cake recipe below!

Orange Poppy Seed Cake

Source: Prevention (12 servings)


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup poppy seeds

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 egg whites

2 eggs

1 ¼ cups sugar

¼ cup canola oil

2 tablespoons grated orange peel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup orange juice


¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

1.To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ or 10″ tube pan with a removable bottom and dust lightly with flour.

2.In a medium bowl, combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.

3.In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

4.In another bowl, using the same beater, beat the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the oil, orange peel, and vanilla extract, beating just until blended. Alternately add the flour mixture and the orange juice, beating on low speed just until blended.

5.Stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the rest. Place the batter into the prepared pan.

6.Bake for 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake will rise and crack on top, then deflate a bit as it cools. Run a knife around the rim of the cake to loosen it from the sides. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and place on the rack to cool completely.

7.To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

I made a cake today!

Glazed Almond Bundt Cake

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 ⅔ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup milk
  • Glaze:
  • ¼ cup 2% low-fat milk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground almonds. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with 1 cup milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and invert on a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes longer. Place rack on waxed paper.

Combine 1/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and toasted sliced almonds; pour over warm cake.


In between studying Sociology and reading the short story, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,” for lit class – I made some cookies today!

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

34 cookies


Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake – Emeril Lagasse

  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, for the pan, at room
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks, at room te
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, to dust pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon butter. Coat pan with 2 teaspoons of the flour, tapping out the excess.

Into a medium bowl or onto a piece of parchment paper, sift the remaining 2 cups flour, the baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. With the machine on low speed, beat in the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 1 egg at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Fold in the rosemary, zest, and lemon extract. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto the rack, turn right side up, and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

8 – 10 servings

Bread weighs 28 ounces, approximately

Also baked this week…mmmm

Apple Molasses Bread

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour, all-purpose
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside. Combine applesauce and molasses.

Add dry ingredients alternately with applesauce mixture to egg mixture. Fold in raisins and nuts.

Pour into a greased 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 2 3/4 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour, or until a
toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.

12 servings