New Year, New Cake.

butter cake, cake, food, recipe

Happy New Year!!! 2016!!! Today marks the first day of 2016 and while all y’all got your resolutions to get your gym on and eat better I got a cake recipe to share! Butter cake! It’s super easy and cooks for an hour so you can go workout while it bakes! 😉 I suggest make it to share because its big. Maybe a party.  You’ll be the belle of the ball if you show up with this cake!

Butter Cake
1 cup of cubed butter at room temp
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk – *I used a cup of heavy cream and squeezed in half a lemon and it worked just fine.
Glaze
1/3 butter
3/4 cups of white sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 vanilla bean extract
1. Start oven at 325.
2. Grease bundt pan with butter liberally, dust with flour and set aside. (use lots of butter!!)  This is important because you don’t want part of your cake to stick to the pan.
3. Place all cake ingredients in bowl and mix for 2 minutes.
4. Pour batter in bowl and place in oven for 65-70 minutes, or until knife comes out clean. (It’s okay to use a knife for this one because were gonna poke holes in the bottom of the cake for the glaze.)
5. Once cake is done, remove from the oven in order to cool.  Place the ingredients for the glaze in a sauce pan. Combine at low heat, stir until butter and sugar are melted, don’t bring to a boil.
6.  Poke holes in cake. More holes = more glaze = moister cake.  Lots of holes!  After you’re done pour the glaze on the cake.
8.  Let cake cool, put cake on plate, then serve and enjoy!

 

Cookies of NYC!

cookies, cookies of new york, food, new york
When I was in NYC over Thanksgiving break I burdened myself with the task of finding the best cookie in NY!  I’m a total chocolate chip cookie girl.  They’re my favorite food and I’m happily obliged.
Insomnia Cookies – Chocolate chip, Chocolate M&M, Sugar.
  These are a 10 when it comes to convenience.  They can be delivered hot & fresh right to your door!  These weren’t my favorite… I was counting on these to be a hit, especially since they’re hot.  These are crunchy on the edges and chewy in the middle.  They’re good but not great I would say… Although I did prefer them the morning after rather then the night of delivery… which sorta defeats their purpose of a hot delivery.. I give them 3 stars.
By Woops Chocolate Chip Walnut.
I think this cookie is a stab at the Levain famous chocolate chip walnut… I’ve never had the Levain ones..(shame on me I know) This one was good, again not great… but I don’t love walnuts.  It did taste super fresh and was huge.  You can make a meal out of this cookie. Its has crunchy edges and a soft, chewy inside.  I give it 3.5 stars.  If you do find yourself at By Woops, try the peanut butter oatmeal cookie! (pictured below) Its a big and thick one which I loveeeeeee…. So good!!!!!
Maison Kayser – Chocolate chocolate cookie.
This cookie is for someone who lovessssss themselves some chocolate.  They have weird cookie combos like orange chocolate chip. This French restaurant is not a good choice to eat at…combo of bad service, small meal, lack of choices = still hungry and irritated.  The cookie wasn’t bad… I’d give it a 3.7.  Its a chewy chocolate cookie.
City Bakery – Chocolate Chip cookie
I’ve heard good things about City Bakery.  This cookie was delicious with great flavor.  It almost had the taste of pretzels on it’s crunchy outside paired with its chewy middle.  I give it 4.5 stars.  Next time, try the melted chocolate chocolate chip cookie… I’ve heard good things about that one.  I actually thought that was the only chocolate chip cookie they had.  But they’re two different kinds.  Below is the melted chocolate chocolate chip!
Rubyzaar Classic Rock cookie.
I got this cookie at a booth at the Craft Square in Union Fair and I was pleasantly surprised!  I love a cookie with some shopping! 😉 Makes for a hella happy me.  This cookie was chewy.  It had a buttery taste and I looovveeee butta. I give it 4.3 stars.
Penelope (on Lexington and 30th) – Chocolate chip cookie
This is a cute little place to get brunch!  Perfect to hop in, grab a cookie and go.  They have peanut butter blondies that smelt awesome.  This, too was a soft cookie.  I give it a 4!
And there we have it!  City Bakery looks like the winner. I know Levain and Momofuku are popular choices in NY.  I didn’t include the Levain cookies because everyone raves about how great they are, so you don’t need to read yet another review on them.  I’ve had Momofuku cookies before and they aren’t my thing. I don’t like the flavor.  I love soft and chewy cookies, everyone I tried mostly fell into that category.  The City Bakery cookie was great.. the one I got in Union Square is a good second.
I do have an honorable mention to report that isn’t a cookie…. Dun dun dun…
Dough Chocolate Cocoa Nib donut.
This donut was INSANE.  Like drop everything and go get one insane.  I was strolling through the Flatiron district looking for a place to eat brunch and happened to turn down a random street and found this gem.  I follow Eva Chen on instagram and she’s always posting pictures of Dough Donuts.   I was a little Starstruck when I found this place.  The dough tastes incredible and is so fresh.  And the chocolate.  Ahhh, can’t go wrong with a classic!  I give this 5 out of 5 stars.  SO GOOD.

Wine n Dine

app, food, wine n dine
It’s no secret I loveeeee food.  Making it, eating it… I’m a fan either way.  I recently discovered the Wine n Dine app! It’s like instagram for food/wine. I love it because personally, I love food pictures on instagram.  Though I keep mine to a minimum (to avoid being a total fatty) this app fully supports all your food pictures and welcomes them! It also allows you to like pictures and add them to a list of foods you wanna try. Super helpful when trying to pick a restaurant with friends/family.  Is that not the hardest thing in the world?! I read in an article a little while ago that said Gigi Hadid loves the app.  Now I totally see why.  Follow me @reeceyberry!
PS try the banana cupcake at Sprinkles. (the one with the blue and yellow circle) It’s to die for. Just make sure you go on the right day!

 

Meet the Naked Cake

cake, food, frosting, recipe
Boo-yah, bam bam, HELLO!  It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe on the blog so I whipped up a 4th of July themed cake this weekend!  I really love making and frosting cakes.  It’s something I’m totally gonna miss when I’m in college living in a tiny dorm, so I’m trying to enjoy it while I can!
This here is a naked cake!! What makes it naked is the lack of frosting on the sides.  I like cake better than the frosting so this was perfect. This is a yellow cake with vanilla frosting. The inside has sliced strawberries in it and it was SOOOOOO good.  Hey, maybe I’m biased but I’ve eaten like half of it.  (aye carumba)  Time to get my ass to a treadmill and turn on a baseball game while I run for an hour.  (hey theres fruit on it!) I so wanted to add blackberries on it too because I’m the blackberry princess and why the hell not?!  Well, because the ones I had were mushy.  So that’s the hell why. 

 

Yellow sugar cookie cake – adapted from this recipe
2 sticks of room temperature salted butter. + more to grease the pans. 
2 cups of sugar 
2 1/1 cups of all purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
4 eggs at room temperature 
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
1 cup of milk **
2 big dollops of mayo.  
Preheat over @ 350
1) Grease and flour pans.**   Line bottoms with parchment paper. (I traced and cut mine, super annoying but worth it!)
2) Combine sugar, flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  Add in a section of butter and mix on medium.  I did it in 4 sections. (i.e 1/2 of a butter stick at a time.)  Mix for about 2-3 minutes.  Texture should resemble cornmeal. 
3) In another bowl combine milk, eggs, vanilla and mayo.  Add to flour/sugar mixture in 2 groups.  Beat till smooth. 
4) Distribute the batter between two pans.  Bake for 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
5) Let cake cool for 30 minutes before frosting.  Use a cooling rack to speed up the process. 
** If you’re making a naked cake, make sure to grease and flour the pan really well as the sides will be visible. 
** I’ve heard that Sprite makes cake really moist when switched out for a liquid like milk.  I was out but I’ll try it next time.  The mayo makes it moist too. (moist = yucky word but what else is there?!) 
 
 
Butter Cream frosting adapted from Sprinkles 
 
2 sticks of softened, salted butter. 
3 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar 
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
pinch of salt. 
 
1) Combine butter, sugar and salt.  Beat till evenly mixed. 
2) Add in vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes. 

 

Frost your little heart away! 
 
Tips for frosting the cake! 
Whenever I frost a cake, I put the frosting in a frosting bag with the pipe tip I want in regards to the design of the cake.  (Theres different pipe tips like stars, roses, etc.)  I then put the frosting in the fridge for 15 -30 minutes so it’s easier to frost the cake.  This makes a huge difference as it’s firmer and more manageable.
Cakes out of the oven have a rounded top shape.  When I layer a cake, I trim the top to make it flat. This gives it a more even shape and makes it easier to layer.  
For this cake I just used a frosting knife to apply the frosting.  I used frosting in a bag to do the sides. 
When you put fruit on a cake, make sure to buy a fruit preserve.  They have it at the grocery store in the baking aisle.  This will help the fruit to not get mushy and wilt on the cake. 

Levain Cookies Copies!!!

chocolate chip cookies, food, levain cookies, recipe

 

 

Levain cookies; the big, thick, chocolate chip cookies floating around instagram and pinterest.  My latest and most greatest feat.  I’ve been searching for a thick chocolate chip cookie to make for a while and I finally found it! These cookies are so thick, dense, bursting with flavor and oozing with chocolate chips.  {Theirs have walnuts in them also, but Ew I don’t like walnuts.} I must say when you eat 4 of them in a row, it quite resembles a meal….and that I need to go run 5 miles. 

 

recipe adapted from Broma Bakery 

3 cups + 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of salted butter, cold, cut in cubes
3/4 cups + 3 teaspoons of brown sugar
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
2 cold eggs, beaten lightly in a different bowl.
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of milk chocolate chips [I use ghirardelli because I like their bigger size.]

Measure out the flour, salt, baking soda {I got BAKING SODA} and baking power in a bowl.

Beat the butter with a mixer on high for about a minute.  {paddle attachment, ideally} or until the butter forms one big ball.

Then add the sugars and beat for about 2 more minutes or until the butter mixes with the sugar.

Then mix in the vanilla and eggs on medium/low.  The dough will be lumpy and that is OKAY!

Then gradually add the flour. And lastly, fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Divide dough into 12 chunks.  Don’t roll them. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Here comes that sad part. 😦  The cookies will need to be in the freezer for up to 3O minutes. {feels like the equivalent of a treadmill minute x 3O, ughhhh} They can stay in there for up to 12 hours.

Ten years later, you can put them in the oven @ 375 F for 18-22 minutes.  Mine were in for 18-19 minutes.  You don’t want to over cook them because that will ruin it!!!!  And once you take take them out of the oven, they still continue to cook.  So you can take them out to early and pop em back in need it be, but you can’t undo it if you over cook. 

Enjoy your Levain copycat cookies, take lots of pictures, eat them for dinner, don’t share, or share all of them! 

LA Eats

food, LA eats, restaurant

 

I’ve made a promise to myself to try and blog more.  With that, I think that leaves a lot on the table to blog about.  So then an idea hit me.  I go out to eat alot in LA.  And if I want to blog about what I love… why not add places I like to eat at?  Well, TA-DA!!! Checked that box off today.  Sweet Lady Jane on Montana (in Santa Monica) is one of my favorite places!  It’s good for breakfast; think yogurt + granola, oatmeal, to die for pastries (scones, cookies, cake, pie.  I’m particularly partial to the chocolate croissant) quiche, eggs, pretty lattes.  I like the yogurt as seen above, served with blackberries.  And sandwiches and salads for lunch.   If you’re in the area I certainly recommend it.  Even if it’s just for an ice tea… and a slice of pie! 😉 

Cake

cake, food, frosting
I made this cake about a week ago… I call it my pinterest cake.  It’s the first time I’ve ever really nailed the frosting.  But then you cut it open and the inside is terribly DRRRYYYY!!! (insert crying face emoji.)  Gosh darnit.  Perhaps my aversion to following recipes.. (coffee in cake, really?)…or my belief that I have every secret in the book?  Something. Just not cutting it fellas. HA!

 

Fruiti Pebble Biscottis

food, fruiti pebble biscotti, recipe
I’m all for quirky, delicious foods.  I think fruiti pebble anything is up there with quirky.  Fruiti pebble biscottis??? Let me introduce you to my masterpiece!
Now biscottis are traditionally cookies you have with coffee… now fruiti pebbles, coffee? Not so sure how I feel about that but these were delicious on their own.   Next time, I want to try corn flakes or cocoa pebbles.
6 tablespoons of softened butter
2/3 cups of sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of fruiti pebbles
In a bowl, cream butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder.  Beat in eggs on low, then add in flour.  Then add in fruiti pebbles. The dough will be very sticky.
Biscottis bake in the oven twice, so bare with it because its worth it in the end!
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and assemble the dough into a large oval, about 2 inches tall.  Cook for 25 minutes @ 350.
Remove from oven and turn heat down to 325.  Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then use spray bottle filled with room temperature water, and spray evenly.  Let is sit for another 2 minutes.  Then, using a serrated knife, cut the loaf into biscotti pieces.  You can cut straight or diagonally.
Transfer back on to baking sheet and cook @ 325 for an additional 25-30 minutes. Until biscottis are crispy and golden at the edges.
Enjoy!!

 

 

Sugar Cookie Bars

cookies, food, recipe

Those soft, cakey cookies at the grocery store with the pink frosting and sprinkles are a longtime fav of mine!  They’re orange at Halloween, red at Christmas, yellow at Easter….if you still have no idea of what the heck I’m talking about then (get with it and) look here.   I made a kicked up version of them and they were so so soooo delicious.  But then we’re talking cookies… the only time there is a problem is when raisins look like chocolate chips…and when nuts are thrown into the mix!  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction 
Ingredients 
1/2 cup of unsalted butter softened at room temperature
3/4 cups of sugar
1 egg and 1 yolk @ room temp
2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Vanilla Frosting 
1/2 cups of softened butter
1 3/4 cups of confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Sprinkles for top of frosting. I used nonpareils.
Cookies instructions 
Oven @ 350.  Line 8 in pan with foil and set aside. (let some foil hang over edge.)
In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter.  Think about 1 minute.  Then add sugar.  When its light and fluffy, then mix in egg, egg yolk and vanilla.  Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch.  On low, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix in little by little until all the dry ingredients are mixed.  About 3 times is good.
Pour the mix into the pan and set in oven for 25 minutes.  These cookies are soft so make sure they don’t overcook as they will get dry!
Frosting Instructions 
Beat butter until creamy. about 2 minutes. Add in sugar, cream and vanilla.  Mix, mix mix!  on high for 3 minutes.  If the frosting is too sweet add in a pinch of salt.
Once the cookies are done and have cooled, remove from pan and frost away.  Place sprinkles when frosting is still runny because when it hardens, the sprinkles won’t stick!  Enjoy!

 

Dooooonuts

donuts, food, recipe

I’M ALIVE!!!!! Alright, I suck.  My blogging has been less the stellar this past week, probably because there hasn’t been any, but hey!  This week was the longest one in the world (aka: first full week back to school) summer will do that too ya! Darn you.   Last weekend, let this serve as a TBT (and a throwback monday and tuesday and wednesday) I made donuts (doughnuts?) with my new donut pans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  These donuts are heavy! They taste like a cake!

recipe adapted from cooking classy
2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
 3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup & 2 tbsp sugar
1 vanilla bean seed
2 large eggs
3 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup o milk
Oven @ 425
Butter Donut pan!
In a green bowl; mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In an orange bowl; blend butter, oil, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds with a mixer until smooth for 1 minute. Then add in the eggs and vanilla extract.  Once that is done, you’re going to alternate adding half flour and half milk until there is none left.
Now comes the hard part of placing the dough into the pans. I put the dough into a ziploc and cut off the corner.  That worked wayyyyyy better then using two spoons.
Bake for 8 minutes or until cooked. I’d say golden but I’d be lying. vvvvv
Remove from the pan and place on cooling rack to cool and then frost.

 

 

Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp  melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
pinch o salt
2 tbsp milk
food coloring if you feel like it. my mom says orange donut frosting freaks her out. who knew?!
Mix this all together in a flat bottomed bowl that is microwave friendly.  Once the donuts cooled, you’re going to dunk them in the frosting which will need to be heated frequently because it hardens and won’t stick.  If you’re using sprinkles, add them right after you do the frosting because they don’t stick once the frosting has hardened.