May 2018 in Review

This month, I baked 9 things:

  1. Peanut butter cut-out cookies with chocolate ganache
  2. Pineapple upside-down cake!
  3. Roll-out chocolate chip cookies
  4. Challah bread
  5. Brownies
  6. Brioche
  7. Everything cookies
  8. Cinnamon swirl cream cheese banana bread
  9. Brioche

I think this may have been my most diverse month of baking yet: I made

  • 3 types of cookie
  • 2 types of bread
  • 1 quickbread
  • 1 cake!

None of these recipes were bad.

My favorite was easily the brioche, especially the second time I made it, and especially in roll form.  Yum yum, I could eat an unreasonable number of these fresh out of the oven.

New things I tried this month:

  • I made a skillet cake!

I think that was the only ~brand new~ thing I tried… most of the rest of the bakes were more of variations on different forms, such as the brioche as another variation on a fairly simple bread.

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I progressed in basically every one of my resolutions this month!  This was definitely more of a bread-focused month than a cake-focused, but technically I did bake one cake.  I am also really proud of my re-bakes, which are helping me to learn a lot faster than simply trying new things all the time!

Next month: I’m going to keep my options open, as far as what I bake.  I want to commit to writing up my baking posts sooner, because I’ve let that slide a lot the past month.  It’s really helpful to do the write-up quickly, because I remember more of what worked and what didn’t.  Onward!

April 2018: Month in Review

This month, I baked 7 things:

  1. Brownie roll-out cookies!
  2. Mini challah bread!
  3. Mini challah bread!
  4. Classic birthday cupcakes
  5. Chili chocolate cupcakes!
  6. Challah bread
  7. Mango rose cheesecake

The worst was, by far, the mango rose cheesecake.

The best: I’m getting better at challah bread, and I really dug the chili chocolate cupcakes.  The challah looks better than it tastes, to be honest, but I think I’m getting somewhere.

New things I tried this month:

  • I made a yeast bread!  (Okay technically this isn’t NEW new, because I have made breads before in the past.  But not since I started this blog/baking project.)
  • I re-baked something TWICE!

Also, this isn’t exactly new either, but I feel I turned a corner with my cupcake decorating in that they no longer look quite as much like garbage.

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On the resolution front: I continued making progress towards 1, 4, 5, and 6, and I finally got somewhere with #7 for the first time this year.

Next month: To be quite honest, I am at a very busy point in my life and I’m no longer finding myself able to bake during the week, which limits this endeavor to weekends only, and even then I’m not always up for it.  I did notice, reviewing my previous posts, that I didn’t re-make any Italian meringue, which was something I was hoping to do in April; so perhaps I will get to it in May at some point.

March 2018: Month in Review

This month, I baked 9 things!

  1. Banana cupcakes with Nutella frosting
  2. Cinnamon sour cream coffee cake
  3. Hummingbird cake!
  4. Irish cream cupcakes with italian buttercream
  5. Espresso cream lazy tiramisu
  6. Shortbread chocolate chunk cookies
  7. Lemon bars
  8. Jalapeno Cheeto Krispy treats
  9. Carrot cake!

Each of these had their merits, although obviously Cheeto Krispy treats were more of an exercise in testing the boundaries of reality than an actual recipe, and I’d say the cinnamon sour cream coffee cake was the most forgettable.

Out of the rest, I really liked the banana cupcakes with nutella frosting, hummingbird cake, Irish cream cupcakes, lemon bars, and carrot cake.  If you made me pick an absolute favorite, it would probably be the Irish cream cupcakes.  These were the most complicated and difficult things I made this month, but overall I think they (a) tasted really good and (b) looked really pretty.

New things I tried/learned this month:

  • I used a large glass to help make it easier to fill a frosting bag!
  • I realized my cake pans were too small and got real 9″ cake pans!
  • I made “pineapple flowers” by dehydrating the fruit in the oven!
  • I made Italian meringue!
  • I used a pouring measuring cup to distribute batter neatly into cupcake wells!
  • I made TWO layers cakes!  I never made layer cakes before!

Let’s revisit my 2018 baking resolutions…

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This month, I made progress towards #1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.  I did not re-bake any thing this month.  I also did not yet experiment with any yeast or bread.  SO, that will be a goal for April 2018.  Specifically, I want to try re-baking the Irish Cream Cupcakes, or at the very least the Italian meringue.  I also want to try making one of these yeasty recipes:

January 2018: Month in Review

This month, I baked 9 things!  (Technically, I baked 10, but the black forest cherry cake came before I started this blog, and to be totally fair, my husband basically did almost all the work, so I didn’t log it here.)

  1. Gingersnaps and mini lemon cheesecakes
  2. Double chocolate chip muffins
  3. Blueberry and cream cheese muffin top bread
  4. Cranberry oat muffins
  5. I remade: Blueberry cream cheese muffin loaf
  6. Brownies
  7. Banana buttermilk muffins
  8. Biscuits!
  9. Tide pod vanilla buttermilk cupcakes

Out of the nine, I think several of these came out really well and I would remake again, with few to no tweaks.  The only one that I think was a real dud was the cranberry oat muffin, which was too bland to be a dessert and too sweet to be a healthy breakfast.

If I absolutely had to pick a favorite, I suppose it would be… the blueberry and cream cheese muffin top bread.  It was so fiddly and I thought I messed it up!  But then re-baking it revealed, it’s just a messy recipe, and it tastes amazing anyway.  I would make this again for almost any occasion: to take to a party, to give away to friends, or just to eat at home standing at the counter until I realize I’ve accidentally finished the whole thing.

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I also really enjoyed the brownies and double chocolate chip muffins.

New things I tried this month included:

  • Decorating with colored frosting!
  • Baking something savory!
  • Making a layered flaky dough!
  • Using a lot of buttermilk!
  • Rolling a cookie dough into a LOG, freezing it, and cutting off rounds!
  • Greasing/flouring muffin tins instead of using paper liners!
  • Finally using the sifter we got from our wedding registry!

Out of my baking resolutions, I have made progress in several areas.  I attempted to work on decorating skills with tide pod cupcakes.  I kept GREAT records, visual and written, through this blog.  I baked an average of twice a week, well over my goal.  I tried to go outside of my comfort zone with the biscuits and tide pod cupcakes.  And I re-baked once to improve technique.  (I learned a LOT from this, actually.)

I did not bake any cakes nor did I do any experimenting with yeast or bread, so those remain two areas to continue working on in the future.

In February, I would really like to explore:

  • baking with Nutella
  • using coffee flavoring in desserts
  • having FUN with baking!!!