Sunday, October 23, 2011

I love sweet stuff! Not only do I love baking goodies, I love giving it to other people as gifts. What is the hardest part when it comes to giving sweet gift: DELIVERING the treats. It could be 300 mini cupcakes for a wedding, a 4 tiered wedding cake, or bunches of cookies for a baby shower, transporting sweet stuff can get tricky. I have learned A TON from former gigs, work, and other pastry peeps across the world (thank you twitter and bloggers!).

Here are my top 3 tricks when it comes to delievering goodies for your next event!

1) KEEP YOUR CAR CLEAN AND COOL.


-Empty all extra "sutff/junk" in your car. Clean out any trash. If you have car emergency bag, place it the passenger seat, away from the trunk. (I always put the sweet stuff in my trunk, it has a nice, flat bottom.)
-Especially in the summer and heat, keep your car cool. Blast the A/C 15 minutes before leaving for your destination. Heat will kill buttercream and soft frostings.
-Make sure you have a full tank of gas, too.


2) BUY CABINET LINERS.

-What are they: They are soft, textured, liners that people use to line their cabniets and shelves with. I put them underneath my cake pans and goodie boxes to keep them from "slipping" and slidding around.
-The liners are often sold by the roll, making it very easy to cut accordingly to the box/cake pan size.
-Save them! If they get dirty, just wash 'em.

3) WITH CAKES, put them in a cake pan to transport.


-If I am transporting a round cake, I put it in a square cake pan and a cabinet liner underneath the pan. Thus, the pan keeps it from "bumping" around. If I am transporting a square cake, I put it in a round cake pan.
-The cake pans are extra duty versus putting them in a cardboard box.

Also, make sure you know where you are going! I always leave 15-25 minutes early so I can drive slow, find an easy parking spot, and call the host, in case I get lost. Many "get-away" places will have gravel and "rocky" roads, be careful! Drive extra cautious. If needed, park on the street and walk up. Yes, it will be more work, but well-worth it for the cake.

Happy Baking!
-SC

Monday, October 10, 2011

Favorite Fall Flavors!

Fall is here! Thus, rainy days, windy storms, and umbrellas are upon us once again. It is ok, I am a natural Seattle-gal and love cozying up in a coffee shop with a good book and sweet treat.
Not only is autumn here, so are fall flavors. My three favorite are: pumpkin, coffee, and cinnamon. I love using warm spices in cakes, cookies, and cookies. It makes your house smell like love and care.

My favorite fall recipe: Pumpkin Biscotti

Directions:
-Set oven to 350 degrees F.
-Have one parchment paper-lined cookie pan ready

-Sift together, in a large bowl:
2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

-In a large bowl, using a spatula, mix together:
2 large eggs
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-Now, add the dry mix to the wet mixture. If it is "too moist," add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. You want it to look like "sugar cookie" dough.
-Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into long cyclinders (like paper towel's cyclinders). Place on the cookie tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes. They will look like logs.
-Let cool for 15 minutes. Cut with a serrated (bread) knife into 1 inch slices, on a bias, on a cutting board. Place cut side up on the cookie tray. Bake again for 10 minutes or until crispy.
-Let cool again and enjoy! For an extra treat I like dipping half of the biscotti in dark chocolate. Oh la la!

Get your fall baking on! The holidays are right around the corner.

Happy Baking!
-SC

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Baking and Social Media: My two loves!

I love LOVE social media. Why? It helps me connect, not only with family and friends, but with people with similar interests and likes AROUND THE WORLD. My blog has been viewed by people in different countries, languages, and lifestyles. I feel blessed to have such global SWEET readers!

What is social media? "Media for social interaction, as a superset beyond social communication." Basically, when you use the internet to connect with people. For example, facebook.com and twitter.com are the most commonly used social media. Every social media site is a bit different and every user has his/her own purpose for using social media.

Why use social media? You could use it to stay in touch with close friends and family who you do not see often or maybe to meet a new friend with common interest. I use it for that reason AND to keep people posted at my business and let them know what direction SC is heading towards.

I love using twitter for SC. Why? I can search who is talking about what topics I am interested in...like cupcakes, brownies, and cookies! I trade advice, secrets, and tips from other bakers, chefs, and foodies around the WORLD. I attend tweet-ups (a gathering of people using twitter) to see them "IRL" (In Real Life) and chat about other local events going on.

Will getting a twitter account, facebook page, or Google+ profile make you a booming, overnight success? Nah, probably not. Will it help you connect with people in your area and around the world? Yes. The more SWEET people you meet, the better life is! If you use it for that purpose. Go on. Chat and see what new friends you will make.