October 31, 2009

IV: Ghosts, Witches, & Frankensteins!

Happy Halloween! Here's the last post in my 4-part monster series. Today, I'll show you how to make ghost, witch, and Frankenstein cookies! The cookie and icing recipes are the ones used in yesterday's Vampire Cookie post. The only things I'm changing are the cookie cutter shapes used and the icing/sprinkle colors for the decorating.

Just a warning, today's post is extremely picture heavy. But then again, who doesn't love pictures?

Chubby witches, skinny witches, witches of all shapes and sizes.

Smiley, happy ghosts.

Green, shiny Frankensteins. Despite some of my pictures, this icing is actually quite shiny, especially if your cookies are chilled or frozen after decorating.

October 30, 2009

III: Vampires!

To continue with my Halloween-themed posts, today I present to you Vampire Cookies. Actually, both Post III and Post IV of the Halloween series are monster cookie posts. Today I will present you with the recipes I used, along with how to make a vampire. For post IV, I will show you how to shape a witch, ghost, and frankenstein.

When I think of  "vampires", what comes to my mind is still the cliche depiction of the mythical figure, you know with the prominent widow's peaks and sharp, visible fangs... rather than the oh so popular Twilight vampires.

So after many trials and searches, I have finally found the perfect sugar cookie recipe! It has a nice, chewy texture and a flavor just sweet enough that a icing can still be used. Plus, all the cookie cut outs stay the same size as they bake. As for the icing, though royal icing makes gorgeous designs, I'm not too partial to how it tastes. But luckily the icing I'm about to share with you is both appealing for designs and tastes delicious!

October 29, 2009

II: Mummies!

Monster of the day: Mummies! Because I usually spend most of my time baking sweets, I thought I'd be good to include at least one savory treat in my Halloween baking fest.

On the Pillsbury website, I saw a recipe for Crescent Mummy Dogs and thought that the mummies were pretty cute and perfect for Halloween. Since I love making things from scratch, I opted to make my own bread dough to use for shaping (but if you don't have time, instant crescent dough will work in a snap). I used a roll recipe from America's Test Kitchen along with the general idea from the Pillsbury recipe to create this Halloween snack.

October 28, 2009

I: Zombies!

I guess you should know that I love holidays (and anything else that has a theme). That being said, I think the best way for me to start off my blog is to post about Halloween. Today will be the first post in my 4 part "monster" series.

Monster of the day: Zombies! When I see the picture above, I imagine the ground cracking open as zombies try to pry their way out of the dirt, like in a horror film. At least that's what happened as the macaron shells were baking. I "accidentally" put the shells in the oven before the skins were completely dry, so as the macaron feet were forming, the middle of the shells began bulging out and cracking, like fists were trying to punch their way out below the chocolaty macaron tops. Quite an entertaining thing to watch. It was definitely a sign that these were meant to be Halloween macarons!

Before starting college, when I still went trick-or-treating, my favorite candies to receive were always those of the peanut butter chocolate variety, like Reese's pieces or those funny Halloween-themed half chocolate/half peanut butter coins. But... now that I'm too busy with studying (and possibly too old?) to go trick-or-treating, this year I decided to create a more upscale twist on my beloved childhood PB & Chocolate combination by playing around with the filling in my favorite Pierre Hermé chocolate macaron recipe. So even though I still enjoy peanut butter cups very much, I must admit that these macarons are wayyy tastier!

October 27, 2009


Hi, my name is Susan. I'm a undergraduate at UC Berkeley who loves art, science, fashion, and languages. Right around the time I started college, I discovered a new passion: baking! It all began with my introduction to a site called Tastespotting...

After I was dazzled by gorgeous photos of cookies, cakes, and every other type of dessert out there, I realized that baking was my type of hobby. The precision needed for following recipes appealed to my inner perfectionist. The designing of the aesthetic look of the product thrilled the artist in me. The wide availability of new recipes from all over the world satisfied my need for novelty. And the calmness that overcomes me from the moment I begin a recipe to the end provides me with a way to relieve all the stress from school and life, a form of meditation.

Ever since I started baking, I've been tempted to start a blog to document all the recipes I try. For a while, I've been posting pictures of my food on Livejournal and Facebook, but just posting pictures alone only documents half of the baking process. Finally, I decided to take the leap and start a food blog!