most ardently.

(I love you.)

  1. All of these dresses. All. Of. Them.
  2. Portable burrito. When I was in Poland, my friends and I had the misfortune of dining at a “Mexican” restaurant, a night which became one of my regretted adventures. But, going to Chipotle in Paris (we were homesick!) made up for it. Burritos for days.
  3. Honey Almond Quinoa Granola. Do you know how much I adore Kristin’s blog? A lot. This granola looks to die for.
  4. Gregory Alan Isakov. Be still my heart. My roommate and I listened to this song all semester, and it’s still as gorgeous as ever.
  5. Music to my little introverted ears.
  6. Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies. Yes. Please. In my mouth. Now.
  7. Just for fun. Because who doesn’t like ridiculous looking cats?

“I browned butter for you!” Or, Mini-Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups.

Doesn’t that sound like a line from a soap opera? Scene: Eleanor, finding the door to boyfriend Jonathan’s apartment unlocked, steps inside, only to find Jonathan making out with Alexandra. Alexandra having fled the scene, Eleanor confronts an embarrassed, red-faced Jonathan in his entirely unkempt kitchen.

Eleanor: A year of dating and this? That? You with that woman? My God, Jonathan, I’ve done all I could for you – sat with you as you wept over Jane Eyre, drove you to the bakery every morning when your car was in the shop so you wouldn’t have to live a day without Josie’s bagels, didn’t laugh at the stupid things you said after your wisdom teeth were taken out. I made puff pastry for you from scratch! I slaved over that eighteen-layer cake for your mother’s birthday! I browned butter for you, Jonathan. And there you were, with that tramp who can only make cookies from refrigerated cookie dough.

End scene.

use ii

Maybe I should be a writer.

Anyways. I’m still having a love affair with my mini muffin tin, because mini muffins and small cups of various baked goods are automatically 50 zillion times more delicious than any standard-sized or jumbo counterparts. Size matters. And what’s better than cookies baked in a mini-muffin tin? And what’s better than cookies covered in cinnamon and filled with caramel in a mini-muffin tin? (Your boyfriend eating them is even better, actually.)

I’m a big fan of this recipe…but I wanted cups. So I searched the internet and found a recipe for maple snickerdoodle cookie cups…but, the addition of maple was overwhelming. Brown butter? (Everyone says browned butter smells nutty. To me, it smells like pancakes.) Vanilla? Cinnamon? Caramel? And you want me to add maple? No. Can’t do it. Maybe next time, when my caramel fiend of a boyfriend won’t be around.

After tweaking with reckless abandon (sort of), the results are…delicious. And perfect. Also, delicious.

use

#1 rule of baking: always “accidentally” add more vanilla extract than necessary. Oops, my hand slipped. Better let the overflow happen.

#2 rule of baking: there is no such thing as too much cinnamon.

Add the maple if you want. Fill with chocolate if you want. What-ever you want.

Go forth and enjoy. Before any significant others consume them before you get the chance.

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Mini Caramel-Stuffed Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups
Recipe adapted from Beyond Frosting and inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

For the cinnamon-sugar coating

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a mini muffin pan with cooking spray or line with muffin liners.
  2. Brown the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, stir constantly until it turns brown with a nutty aroma.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream the browned butter with sugars and cinnamon. Set aside and allow the butter to cool.
  4. When butter/sugar mixture has cooled, beat in the egg and vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  6. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter until well combined.
  7. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the coating in a small bowl. Roll about a tablespoon of dough in the cinnamon sugar and place into the mini muffin pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned.
  9. Allow the cookies to sit in the pan for 15-20 minutes before removing and cooling completely. Devour.

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food for thought.

  1. Considering a blog name change. Yea? Nay? Eh. Oy vey.
  2. Periodically I experience the desire to chop off all my hair. Then I remember I’ve spent the past two years trying to grow it back out and digress.
  3. We need to start using words like “exquisite” and “ardent” more frequently.
  4. Victoria’s Requiem Mass. I can’t even.
  5. Any sort of emotional recovery after Jane Eyre is probably impossible. Please tell me there are now-stable people who have adjusted to life after reading this book. Please.
  6. Why does wearing cute underwear automatically make me feel uber confident and babely? No one sees my underwear except the person at the register when I buy it. No one knows it’s cute unless I go out of my way to announce to someone how adorable my underpants are. It’s psychological feminine magic, it must be.
  7. My summer booklist is growing and growing and I’m acting like I don’t start my (nearly full-time) job next week. Whoops.
  8. Since my boyfriend is coming into town at the end of the week(!!!!!!), I decided to be cute and take him on a picnic one day. But while the Pinterest-ers of the internet have 8 million totally-doable (ha!) picnic ideas, it’s all…well, overwhelming. And a little above my skill levels. I haven’t totally given up on the Mason Jar ideas yet, though! Any suggestions? Or maybe I’ll just make pb&js…

Real Life.

Come, sit with me, and let’s talk about life.

Rather, let me dominate the conversation and tell you all about mine. I know, you’ve been wondering why I’ve been gone so long – I’m sorry I never wrote why. You know, it didn’t even cross my mind to tell you. As time went on, you slipped further away from my consciousness. Ugh, I know, I should’ve told you sooner. I’m sorry, truly.

You know, friends, life is funny. Fate is funny, Providence possesses a wisdom far beyond the deepest parts of my brain that are seared with truth.

Allow me to summarize, starting from the beginning. Well, where we last left off, the end of September. Eighteen credit hours were wearing on me; expending myself in a relationship that was truly a shamble of communication was exhausting. And, slowly the knowledge of reality grew, expanded, and finally crashed through the door of my consciousness. Sometimes wanting something just isn’t enough. Sometimes, you can’t make people love you. Actually, you never can: love has to be given, effort has to be made, all things must flow from the heart. Love expects reciprocation, after all, for that is the nature of the thing. And this…wasn’t. This was – well, I’m not sure what it was. At any rate, things with the Boy mentioned in various previous posts fell through, and that is that.

Thus, the remainder of the semester involved heaps of schoolwork, papers, exams, new friendships…new trials, new blessings, new opportunities. There were weeks when the only time I turned on my computer was to start a new paper or logged onto the Internet to check my school email.

Winter break brought insane amounts of snow and intense amounts of preparations for my semester abroad. For weeks, I panicked, sorted, packed, re-packed, un-packed, spending many nights unable to sleep and many days dragging myself through stores to find just what I needed to ensure I wouldn’t be caught unaware in Europe. The days passed; I packed for the final time, leaving behind several things I didn’t want to; we loaded the car, drove two hours to the airport in ridiculous Midwest weather; ten hours after boarding a plane, I was across the ocean.

Thus began the “semester of a lifetime”, dubbed by my university’s study abroad program. Nothing could have prepared me for everything that has happened in the past four months. All my traveling, all my experiences, all my new knowledge, my new confidence, my new clarity – it would take weeks to detail it all to you.

To summarize: I’ve changed – or rather, I’ve grown. Am I a “new” person? No; my European adventures haven’t morphed me into a different soul, but rather, taken the soul I’ve always possessed and made it brighter.

Now, it’s time for Cakey Bakes to reflect my growth. Truly, I desire to start up this blog again, after that long, long hiatus. But I don’t want to limit myself. Cakey Bakes will remain food-based with the incorporation of various other things I enjoy – fashion, literature, music, travel, photography, odds and ends. Life is good, and I want to embrace all of it.

Here’s to new beginnings.

 

Catherine