Sunday, January 18, 2009

This Baking Blog is Moving... and the First Scone Recipe Is Already Posted!

In the spirit of posting more frequently, Justin and I are merging That Would Be Lovely with our Foodspiration blog. What does that mean?

1. All of my future baking posts including one that I just wrote tonight on the cream scone recipe will now be at

2. We will be posting 2 to 3 times a week instead of 1 to 2.

3. You should change your link from this blog to

After all, baking is inspirational too! Please click over...I've got so many ideas in the queue: all three scone recipes, pavlovas, and did anyone see this month's Martha Stewart Living?? It's all about cupcakes- hooray! I'm definitely making cupcakes.

Thanks for your patience with this changeover!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Coming Soon: In Search of the Perfect Scone... for Jam!

Mmm...we just came into some delicious spreadable fruit:
  • Summer Sweet Peach & Rose Geranium Conserve from June Taylor Jams
  • Blenheim Apricot Jam from We Love Jam
  • Apple Butter which was a homemade gift from Nonna C
  • Ginger Pear Preserve which also was a homemade gift from Nonna C
And of course, I need something delicious to spread it on! So I am looking for the perfect scone recipe that is slightly crumbly, flavorful but plain enough to deserve one of these lovely spreads. If you have a favorite recipe, please send it my the meantime, I'm considering:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chicken and Mitten Cookies

After Mama A and Little I left, I decided to decorate some of the chicken and mitten cookies a bit more elaborately. First, a few FAQs:

Q: Why chickens and mittens?
A: Because those are two cookie cutters that I have been meaning to try out...they have nothing to do with each other besides that.

Q: What does elaborately mean?
A: It means 5 colors or frosting: white, red, yellow, blue, green and black and two consistencies: outline- thicker for outlining and flow- to flood the cookie with frosting.

Which all equals- a very messy kitchen!

Q: You can buy black food coloring?
A: Yes, I highly recommend the gel paste food colorings because they are extremely concentrated and don't change the viscosity of your frosting as much. I have a gajillion colors thanks to Mama A who hit a sale at Sur La Table.

And here are the results:

Chickens... (some in more formal attire and wearing pearls)

Chickens and Mittens...

Just Mittens...
My buffet is full of mittens and be distributed amongst my neighbors.

As you can see, I am still in holiday mode...and I will be until January 10th when the Boy Scouts come to pick up our tree. Christmas felt too short this I like to leave the Christmas stuff up until Epiphany which is January 6th.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Look What Little Hands Can Do!- A "First Cookie Decorating" Experience

Well, I really wanted to do some low-key baking that wasn't for a party or work but just for me. It worked out really great because my friend,Mama A, brought her daughter, Little I, over to help with the cookie decorating! It was Little I's first time decorating cookies. Good thing Mama A brought their aprons!

First Mama A showed Little I how to put just a few sprinkles...

I baked the cookies ahead of time and used a royal frosting recipe that uses meringue powder. Raw egg whites are traditionally used but you can find meringue powder at Michael's to use instead (which won't have the salmonella risk). The icing will harden which makes it easy to stack these cookies once they are dry.

We had sprinkles, sanding sugar, and even edible glitter to put on these cookies! Mama A got their aprons at Anthropologie- on sale after Christmas! So cute!

Little I caught on pretty quickly and took over! She definitely had a vision for many of these cookies- which colors and sprinkles went on which cookie.

There's no time for laughing, Mama A, this is serious stuff.

Ok, maybe a little laughing...Little I was amazingly gifted at sprinkling cookies. Perhaps a future Martha in the making???

Voila! The results...And how did they taste? To quote Little I, "Crunchy!" Well, this was so much fun...there will definitely be more baking projects with Mama A and Little I in the near future!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Baking is for the Dogs: Peanut Butter and Bacon Biscuits

Well, it can be. We have a black lab named Beaker who is 9 going on 10. Because we have no children yet, we probably focus a bit too much on our sweet dog- and we love doing it. Beaker has several dog friends in our neighborhood and for the holidays, I decided to bake them some homemade dog biscuits. Mindy, Maggie, Kinsey, Bailey, Izzy and Oscar will all be receiving a homemade Peanut Butter and Bacon biscuit.

Beaker seemed to know I was baking for her and kept me company in the kitchen. She gladly offered her quality control sampling skills for the bacon.

The rising interest in where food comes from and how it is made is not limited to people food- in fact if you go to a pet store, you will find quite an array of dog food and treats from standard kibble and biscuits to mix it yourself/ handcrafted food and treats. After seeing some really nice dog biscuits for a fairly expensive price, I decided that I could make them at home. I went to the library and found this book- which I bought.

I actually met the author at a food show and she was kind enough to autograph our copy.

This recipe for Peanut Butter and Bacon biscuits has great ingredients in it: natural peanut butter, oats, baking flour, whole wheat flour, uncured bacon, and water. In fact, we should probably be eating this instead of Beaker. Justin has pointed out that I bought more premium ingredients for Beaker than for ourselves.

Essentially, the dough is mixed and rolled...then baked and dried in the oven.

And the result is...voila! Peanut butter and bacon biscuits that look just like some familiar granola bars.

Did I try them? Of course! You saw the ingredients- nothing out of the ordinary. They actually taste pretty good- like a savory cookie. A little sugar and it could be pretty delicious.

Perhaps it can be a future flavor for people...after all bacon is in.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Are You Baked Out? The Last Christmas Cookie of the Year is a No-Bake!

Merry Christmas to you! Here's the last Christmas cookie of the year: White Chocolate-Peppermint...and it's a no bake cookie if you want it to be! After baking and making

gingerbread snowflakes,

rosemary butter cookies,

chocolate crinkles,

lemon bundt cake,

and chocolate peppermint cake,

I was baked out and needed my last cookie to be simple. I originally planned to make the White Chocolate Peppermint cookies from scratch from this Martha Stewart recipe here. But I was running out of steam and needed a shortcut! I found these Nabisco Chocolate Wafers in the cupboard. They aren't easy to find but you can get them at These are known for being used in an icebox cake.
So, I decided not to bake my own wafers but instead to use these. I melted Ghirardelli white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. I added a teensy bit of peppermint extract. I dipped the wafers into the white chocolate and put them on wax paper.

As the recipe suggested, I crushed some candy canes with a rolling pin and used a strainer to sift the pieces. This resulted in two sets of crushed candy: one that was very fine and one that was chunky.

This is was a great idea! I topped some of the cookies with the chunky candy cane and some with the fine.
These cookies were then transferred to the fridge where they did take a few hours to really harden. I kept them their overnight. They turned out very well and were a crowd pleaser (click the photo for a close-up).

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope you are enjoying the holiday as much as we are! Check out some of our other family holiday food traditions on Foodspiration.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Cookie That Will Make You a Foodie: Rosemary Butter Cookies

Once in a while you find a recipe that is so easy but tastes like it might have taken you all day. This is that cookie: Rosemary Butter. The profile is somewhat unusual- a delicate balance of sweet butter with sanding sugar on the edges, fresh rosemary and salt. It's a slightly savory cookie that is perfect for a party- surprising, unusual yet impossible to stop eating.

The recipe for this cookie came from my Martha Cookies book but can be found here. It is a basic dough with fresh rosemary that is shaped into a log and frozen. Once frozen, the log is rolled in sanding sugar, sliced and baked. You'll notice that I didn't have a perfectly round log but I think it gave the cookies some character. I also didn't have sanding sugar but used a coarser sparkling sugar. I went to three stores and called two others and learned that December is a bad time to look for white sanding sugar! But, I highly recommend this recipe for an exceptional yet simple addition to your cookie portfolio- which is a long way of saying you should try it.