Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cupcakes

I have a lot to talk about today. Like, tons of important issues.

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First, I think we really need to discuss the winner of the Super Bowl yesterday. I am referring, of course, to BEYONCÉ. Oh my goodness, girl – sorry, I mean Sasha Fierce – KILLED it out there yesterday! Honestly, I was won over within the first 10 seconds of her act (I’m not really a hard sell), when she managed to stay standing in her skyscraper heels on that tiny platform . . . which, oh, right, was also moving. During that time, I tried to picture myself in Beyoncé shoes. Every scenario ended with me toppling over onto the ground. Which is why the organizers of the Super Bowl will never ask me to perform (because, clearly, I possess the necessary talent).

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But in addition to Beyoncé’s extreme skill at standing, there was also holographic Beyoncé, and ripping-her-clothes-off Beyoncé, and, of course, this very highly anticipated reunion: Beyoncé and her live singing voice. Ooh, sorry, that was low of me. No, of course, I’m talking about the reunion of Destiny’s Child(!), which occurred for about a minute. But oh, what a beautiful minute. Continue reading

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American Idol Microphone Cupcakes

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Happy New Year, everyone!!! Where have you been, guys? Oh wait, that’s me. Sorry for my blogging absence! New Year lazicraziness and all that. But hey, it’s still January! And, as such, I think it’s a great time for a check-in on New Year’s Resolutions.

This is a bit of a special year for me. I don’t generally make resolutions since, well, I’d rather not disappoint my optimistic January 1st self with the smashing cheese fries in my face January 25th self.

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But, like I said, this is not just any year. As in, this is my last half-year of freedom before I enter law school! Oh boy. Thus, I have carefully constructed a set of resolutions that more resembles a bucket list – you know, an “I’ve always wanted to do blank” list. Continue reading

Santa’s Cookies!

When describing my perfect day, I leave it to the expert, Buddy the Elf: “First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.”

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Oh yes, I love pretty much everything about this season, especially today, which, hello, is Christmas! Merry Christmas, everyone!!! I wish all of you a time of rest, relaxation, and never-ending Christmas cookies with family and friends. Continue reading

Junk in the Trunk Cookies

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Last week, my friend Ragini came over to hang out and bake. At this point in our friendship, I know to expect: 1) (Un)Healthy doses of Mean Girls quotes, 2) Sour candy, and 3) Ridiculous times in the kitchen. Items #1 and #2 seem pretty self-explantory, but I think #3 deserves some explanation. Let me start by telling you about the Baking Adventures of Tiffany and Ragini (she has no idea that I call it that).

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There have been three documented Baking Adventures. The first adventure, which actually took place at our friend Nisha’s house, started when Ragini brought a bag of marshmallows and a bag of chocolate chips . . . which went into cookies . . . which went into the toaster oven.

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Continue reading

Salted Caramel Christmas Brownies

Salted Caramel Christmas Brownies

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I am just a little obsessed. Just a teensy, tiny . . . okay, maybe medium-sized-ly, perhaps colossally, ridiculously obsessed with salted caramel. It is sweet. And salty. Gooey, rich, an amazing melding of buttery caramel and that surprising bite into a delicate flake of sea salt. Salted caramel is, pretty much, absolutely perfect – poured into thumbprint cookies, slathered in between layers of cake, whipped up to frost cupcakes, and, today, drizzled over fudge brownies.

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I first encountered the idea of baking brownies in cookie cutters from this amazing list entitled “38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier” aka my favorite webpage of the past month. Because, although I have attempted to lead you astray by baking things like Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake and German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies, I am actually quite the lazy chef.

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Like, ughh do I really have to wash out the KitchenAid bowl in between different cookie batches? And, hmm, should I get out the candy thermometer for this caramel, or can I just guesstimate? (By the by, judging by the damage I generally incur on my saucepans, I’m guessing that the answer is: get out the thermometer).

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In any case, I’m treating this list of Christmas Food Hacks as someone’s early Christmas gift to moi (you should really check it out too – there’s Crockpot French toast!). I was especially excited about the cookie cutter brownies, because, last year, while shopping for the essentials at Target last year, I managed to pick up a very nonessential silicon muffin tray with Christmas-themed molds! Color my Little Miss Christmas (S)elf Ecstatic. As a side note, I should never shop for the essentials at Target because they have clearly employed my evil twin to spill all my secrets and tell them everything I could possibly want to buy – even things I didn’t know existed! Continue reading

Cinnamon Crunch Cookies

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There is a mythical, magical place called Panera, home to flaky chocolate croissants, steaming hot, rich bread bowls of clam chowder, and the most amazing bagels in the world: Cinnamon Crunch Bagels.

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What is a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel? I’m almost inclined to say that this deliciousness cannot be so easily defined. But, I suppose I would describe it as bagel with crunchy cinnamon topping, hidden pockets of sweet cinnamon goodness, and a perfect melding with cream cheese. Yeah, I’ve eaten a lot of these bagels.

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Since leaving Kansas, though (with a Panera 5 minutes away from my high school!), I’ve barely glimpsed, let alone eaten at a Panera. So when I learned of a Panera close to my Dallas abode, I raced there in a tizzy. Okay, actually, that is a complete exaggeration. I went last night for dinner, which was a terrible mistake….because I felt the need to eat dinner food, aka NOT bagels. Continue reading

Mini Sponge Cakes

Have you ever been to a Chinese bakery?

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No? Get out. Right now (it’s the end of you and me). No, but really, please take your lovely self to a Chinese bakery as soon as possible. It is – in one word –incredibleamazingdelicious. Got that?

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As soon as you step in the door, your senses will be assaulted by the sweet scent of fresh bread, as your eyes take in rows and rows of puffy, golden, gorgeous pastries: some topped with sesame seeds, others filled with curry chicken, or black sesame paste, or taro, and all so, so, mouthwateringly tasty.

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Without fail, one of the items on offer will be this mini sponge cake…and if the bakery you visit doesn’t make these, run away as fast as you can. Actually, literally translated from Chinese, these cakes are called “Paper-Wrapped Cakes.” But I think the name “mini sponge cake” sounds a bit more appealing, and accurately sums up the product. Continue reading