Sweet Sandy B. Bakes

If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time. Not tomorrow or next year... Today should always be our most wonderful day...

So, let's eat cake!

Notes on my adventure as a mom and baker and life as Sweet Sandy B...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Red Velvet

I've been skeptical about Red Velvet. It is so trendy to 'like' Red Velvet. Seriously, what's the big deal? Maybe it's because I haven't had any that knocked my socks off. And as I've mentioned before I ate a ton of it from various bakeries in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. None of which blew me away.

There are a few birthdays coming up that I'm going to be baking for and I've offered Red Velvet as a flavor choice. This afternoon was my first attempt and what a MESS! A "hot mess" if you will...

Lessons learned:

1) Maybe wear gloves while making red velvet? The red gets everywhere and it dyes your hands.
2) Mini cupcakes are a mess to scoop. I need to find the right sized scoop for these smaller cups.

3) Everyone likes a mini cupcake. They are 'cute' and you don't feel as guilty eating them.
4) I like the idea of a mini cupcake. It's like a dessert amouse-bouche (a single bite sized appetizer type thing. oh yeah, whipping out my french culinary terms).

I also tried out a new cream cheese frosting recipe. I knew I was wanting a thicker one, since I found this a.m. that the previous attempt was more of a glaze not a frosting. I wish I took a picture of this whipping up because it was perfect. Serious cream cheese frosting perfection. It piped out so well on the mini cupcakes and spread perfectly on the big ones too.

Huge smile on my face as I decorated these. I was calling and texting anyone in the vicinity- "come quick, just frosted some red velvets and they look good!"
#1 ate one and per usual, he bit the top off and gave me the muffin 'stump'. oh dear...

And after all were picked up/delivered I got this glorious text message:
"OMG sandy- sooooo good!!! I luv having a baker bff!!! :)"

I'm going to bed happy....

Morning Baking

We got pummeled with snow the last night! Roads were too scary to make the drive in to work so I'm working from home today. And since I was up at my normal pre-dawn time, I decided a sweet morning treat was in order.... Cinnamon Rolls from scratch w/ some cream cheese icing (I had to use up that left over cream cheese frosting/icing from the spice cupcakes anyhow).
I've never had much of an inclination to bake bread. I think I got a bread maker as a gag gift once (a la Old School), and it has since been re-gifted... The whole yeast thing and waiting for it to rise and proof and OMG that's just way too much waiting and seeing.
I set to work with the packet of yeast, flour, (and HOT water) etc etc and began kneading. My arms have been getting a workout lately- the beating, kneading, rolling, frosting- seriously, baking is a workout...

OK, so I had the dough in a ball... then had to let it 'rest'... and I got breakfast going for #1 and started doing work email (oh the juggling working mom's must do!) which got me thinking, maybe I LIKE making bread, it allows you to do OTHER things and not babysit the ingredients!!

The timer went off and I proceed to roll it out, and add a TON of butter, sugar and cinnamon before I rolled up the dough and cut into slices... To let it rest again in a warm place... Warm place, warm place...hm... OH! the first floor bathroom! there is a heating vent under the sink that dumps hot air on my feet every a.m. when I'm getting ready for work. It serves zero purpose besides to warm my feet up because the rest of the bathroom is freezing. It now has a second purpose. Anyhow, the dough rested, I read #1 a book, talked to my boss and then popped them in the oven.

I forgot to take a picture of them before I iced them- I got too excited. They actually looked pretty, smelled good and they ROSE. holy cow I can make dough rise and not have an I Love Lucy moment where the dough comes spewing out of the oven!

The icing melted so nicely- I now know that this specific icing is PERFECT for cinnamon rolls, not so much to frost a cake or cupcake. ****LESSON LEARNED!****

They were too good not to share, so they found their way to various work places today. Although, they tasted best steaming hot right out of the oven with the icing melting into the buttery sugary cinnamon goodness. Don't think about it now if you ate one yesterday, but I added some extra butter, sugar and cinnamon on top before I popped them in the oven ;)