Saturday, December 26, 2009


Cookies should be sweet and simple... and these snickerdoodles are just that! This holiday season has been very busy and wonderful, which unfortunately did not give me much time to bake Christmas cookies. I have a feeling that next year I will be baking enough to feed a small army just to make up for the lack thereof this year!

My Christmas present to you (sorry it's a day late!) is the recipe for these classic snickerdoodle cookies. Be sure to write this one down and save it for your Christmas baking next year! Yummy.

In a large bowl, sift together 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour with 2 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together 2 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter with 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, and 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.

Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture until combined. Cover dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and combine 3 Tbsp. of sugar with 1 Tbsp. of cinnamon in a small bowl.

Scoop 1-inch balls of dough and roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture to coat. Place on a chilled cookies sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes.

Look how cute these cookies are in gift bags!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Tis' the season to celebrate! Here are a few things I am celebrating right now:

My new blog design (isn't it FABULOUS!?)
My BFF Julie has a big rock on her finger!
I get to visit my nephews in Chicago in just 2 WEEKS!
My Cousin Harmony is having a baby boy in February
My FAVORITE Uncle is coming to visit on Saturday
I finally got my wedding album and it was worth the wait!
We actually purchased furniture... woo hoo!
... so much to celebrate!

To keep this party going, I want to celebrate 2009 by picking my absolute favorite cakes from the year. These cakes were so much fun to make and I can't wait to see what comes out of my oven in 2010!

Number 5 - Jenny's Black & White Birthday Cake

Number 4 - Handy Manny Cupcakes

Number 3 - Mason's Pumpkin Patch

Number 2 - Leanne & Reed's Wedding Cupcake Tower

Number 1 - Hailey's Under-the-Sea Birthday Cake

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gone Fishin'

What is it about a fishing trip that makes men so happy? Is it the thrill of the catch... the freedom of the open water... or the boyish desire to play with worms? Or, is it the excitement over a weekend with just the guys. Yep, that must be it!

I am not much of a fisherwoman, but I did earn some major bragging rights when Brian took me deep sea fishing 8 years ago and I caught more fish that he did. I will never let him forget it! Now that I think about it, he hasn't invited me fishing since!

This is a fun little cake I made over the Thanksgiving holiday. The cake is Red Velvet covered in Cream Cheese Frosting. I made the boat and cat-tails out of homemade marshmallow fondant and borrowed some of Brian's fishing line for the pole. Such a fun cake!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Go Nolan Go!

I love the fact that so many of our friends have kids... being around them just makes me feel so happy! And, Nolan is no exception. He is a super-cute blondie surrounded by a family that loves him more than anything. Remember his Curious George party last year?

For Nolan's 2nd birthday party, his mommy created an adorable jungle room complete with vines hanging from the ceiling for the big DIEGO birthday bash. I know I mention themed parties all the time on this blog... because I ADORE them! I made a small chocolate cake with raspberry filling decorated with Diego himself! Then I made chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and vanilla cupcakes with fudge frosting. Wowsa!

Holly, this one is for you! I promised you a spot on the blog and here you go... LOVE you girls!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pink Princess Party

Three year ago, our best friends welcomed their sweet baby girl, Raigan, into the world. Those days of diapers and cribs are long gone... now it's jewelry and power wheels for her!

For Raigan, I made a Vanilla Cake with Lemon Curd Filling to top off the tower. There were also vanilla cupcakes with caramel filling and chocolate frosting, lemon shortbread squares, cocoa cookies, and handmade chocolate truffles. YUM!

I can't believe she's 3 already! I'll be baking her wedding cupcakes before I can blink!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Birthday

I have often wondered what it would be like to have a birthday on a major holiday… all the celebration and excitement just for you! Although I don’t really consider Halloween a “holiday,” the candy companies sure do!

This year, I made a special cake for Mason’s first birthday… on Halloween. His mommy dressed him as a pumpkin and decided to theme the party around that… how cute!

The cake was chocolate with caramel filling and white chocolate frosting. I sculpted the pumpkins and fence out of homemade marshmallow fondant. I am so glad that Heather trusted me with her sweet boy's first birthday cake!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Country-Western Couples Shower

Nothing says "FUN" quite like a backyard BBQ with good country music and great friends. In fact, Brian and I selected this no-fuss theme for our own rehearsal dinner... although some of you may want to avoid baked beans the night before your wedding :)

I love the way this cake turned out... it resembles red bandanas and yellow mums, the decorations used at the party. Both tiers of the cake were chocolate with whipped banana filling. I made the decorations with homemade marshmallow fondant and frosted it with white chocolate buttercream.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Punkins and Ghosts

There are so many things to love about Fall… football games, pumpkin bread, holiday excitement and cold weather… oh wait, I live in Florida. Forget that last thing I just said.

Punkins (that’s gibberish for "pumpkins") are indicative of the season. For my first Halloween, my parents dressed me as a punkin. A little, round, orange-cheek punkin. Since I don’t have any little ones to torture with punkin costumes yet, I figured I would dress my favorite sugar cookie as a punkin!

Check out these adorable Punkin & Ghost sugar cookies. Perfect for a not-so-scary Halloween! Happy trick-or-treating!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Shhh, My Oven is Sleeping

My oven is getting a well-deserved rest this week after several months of constant baking. Don't worry... it will be preheating for next weekend!

Audrey over at The [Artful] Abode recommended that I partake in the "Honest Scrap" post that is going around the blog world... and I have a problem saying no to really nice people. I'm not going to follow all of the rules because I like to be the person who deletes chain emails/forwards. Yep, that's me... a rebel rule-breaker. I'm simply going to tell you how much I adore Audrey's blog and proceed to torture you with 10 honest facts about yours truly...

10. When I was little, I ate the feet off of my Barbie dolls.I actually ingested their tiny, rubber, non-edible feet. There is something seriously wrong with that.

9. I label all of my photos with the date, location and names of those pictured before putting them into albums. Hello, my name is Andrea and I have OCD.

8. I have never eaten at Taco Bell. Never. Ever.

7. The Office is my all-time favorite TV show. Sometimes I wish Michael was my boss... afterall, he is the "World's Best Boss"

6. My brother and I have a secret handshake that takes 1.5 minutes to complete. If I showed you, I'd have to kill you.

5. I had a pet pig named Jimmydean for 8 years. He now resides at Uncle Donald's Farm.

4. I have a fear of carbonated beverages and going bald.

3. I can wiggle my ears.

2. I love to read anything that motivates me. Right now i'm reading "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson... I highly recommend it!

1. Baking makes me happy...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Inspiring Creativity

I know you all think i'm so cool and not-at-all nerdy. Well, think again. When I was younger I was part of an Odyssey of the Mind team... not just any team, but a two-time state champion team. I know you are jealous.

We spent our evenings problem solving, writing skits, designing props and letting our imaginations run wild. Oh to be 13 again. My team's coach, Gillian, inspired me to think outside of the box and taught me that no goal is too far out of reach.

Gillian's daughter, Leigh, planned the most amazing 50th birthday surprise party for her mom... and asked me to make the cake! I had so much fun making this zebra-print two tier cake for Gillian. I really think it reflects her anything-goes personality.

The cake was chocolate with mint filling on the bottom layer and vanilla with raspberry filling on the top. The brown zebra stripes were made with homemade marshmallow fondant. Yum!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

I couldn't ask for a more perfect couple to give me the opportunity to accomplish this goal that I set for myself so long ago... thanks to Leanne & Reed, I finally did it... I made my first wedding "cake!"

I made a variety of cupcake flavors, including Chocolate with Caramel Filling, Vanilla with Strawberry Filling and Banana with Cream Cheese Frosting. For the top of the cupcake tower, I made a small Vanilla Cake with Strawberry filling for the bride & groom to save for their anniversary.

Brian designed the stand for me and had it custom built and I was so impressed with how amazing it turned out. Hopefully, it will grace the receptions of many upcoming weddings!

During the reception, I looked around the room and watched as guests enjoyed their cupcakes. I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and accomplishment. Leanne, thank you for your confidence in me, I know that your marriage will be blessed with so much happiness!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Best Sheet Cake In The World

Okay, so I haven't tasted every sheet cake in the world, but I am sure this would still be at the top of my list! You HAVE to try this... you just have to.

The simple peanut butter cake base is fluffy and moist while the topping adds so much flavor and crunch. Trust me, it will rock your world.

Ingredients: 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 4 Tbsp. room temp butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, combine the peanut butter, butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and mix until combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk until combined. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

To make the topping, stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 2 Tbsp. melted butter. When the mixture is crumbly, stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter chips. Sprinkle topping evenly over the cake and bake 30-35 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Buy bigger jeans, you will need them.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shower for a Baby Girl

Pink and brown. Can you think of a sweeter color combination for a little girl baby shower? I was so excited when Niki enlisted my help for a family baby shower, especially after I received the adorable invitation with a monogram "K" for the new baby's name, Kennedy.

For the shower, I made these adorable onsie sugar cookies packaged in celophane bags and tied with pink & brown bows. The cake was made up of chocolate and vanilla layers with chocolate fudge filling. Handmade fondant was used for the scallop details and baby carriage on top. Yum!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Under the Sea Whimsy

I love baking. It not only brings me personal joy because I love it so much, but it also brings happiness to others' parties and celebrations. My cakes and cupcakes become a sort of celebration centerpiece which makes me indirectly a part of each and every celebration.

When I delivered Hailey's Under the Sea-themed birthday cake, her mommy, Christin, asked me to be in a photo with her sweet baby girl for the scrapbook. In a little way, I feel like I am part of the celebrations where my cakes go. For that, I am grateful.
The two-tier cake was made up of scratch-baked vanilla cake and chocolate cake layers filled with whipped cookies n' cream filling. Hailey's "smash" cake was made up of fresh banana cake, banana pudding filling and cream cheese frosting.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Engagement Celebration

Celebrations just aren't complete without cake... or cupcakes... or cookies... or, okay you get the point. I made this 2-tier cake for an engagement party last weekend. The couple wanted their initials on the cake and wanted it to feature the wedding colors of orange and brown. I love these two colors together!

The cake is made up of chocolate cake layers, raspberry filling and chocolate fudge filling all covered in white chocolate buttercream... yumm!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nine Eleven

The Sixth Sense was a scary movie, but I don’t remember much about the plot. It was September 11, 1999… I was sixteen years old and all I could think about was the cute boy holding my hand. It was our first date, and the beginning of our love story.

Our story isn’t perfect, but that is what makes love so beautiful. God brings two completely different people together and makes them one. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know he will be there… making me laugh, encouraging my dreams, strengthening my faith, and leaving the toilet seat up. Over the past decade, Brian and I have created a life together… a life of excitement and passion. I can’t wait to see where God’s plan will take us, I can’t wait to raise a family together and watch my husband become an amazing father, and I can’t wait to wake up next to him every morning for the rest of my life.

September 11th is a bittersweet day for me. I remember the nervous butterflies when he picked me up for our date in 1999 and I remember holding his hand silently watching the news coverage in 2001. Although our story means the world to me, there is a more important story for the world. Life can change in an instant. Be happy, love more, and focus on the gifts that God has given you!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Luscious Lemon

I spent last Saturday in the kitchen, testing and tasting my way through several new recipes. I love days like that, so relaxing and peaceful. The end result was a freezer full of homecooked meals and a batch of delicious lemon cupcakes on my counter... staring at me... teasing me...

I brought the Luscious Lemon Cupcakes to our friends Eric & Jenn later that evening. Whew! Was I ever glad to get those out of my house... I was going to need elastic waitband pants if I continued on that path. Too yummy!

Who took that big bite? Oh yeah, it was me. Definately me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lions, Tigers & Bears

I am a big fan of first birthdays... babies and toddlers everywhere, families coming together, and kids covering themselves in frosting and cake. Wouldn't it be great if we could dive into our cake every year and get coated from head to toe in buttercream? I guess that is why the first birthday is so special.

Peyton's mommy planned such a fun jungle-themed party for her little birthday boy. She found the most adorable napkins, plates and decorative animal picks for the cupcakes. I made a Chocolate "smash" cake for Peyton and a mixture of Chocolate, Vanilla and Banana Cupcakes for his friends. Yum!

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