Monday, April 20, 2009


Make that a warm milk. Or not. The notion of drinking warm milk is unappealing to me. Cold milk in a Mickey Mouse-style footed cup might be good though :) It's 2:00 a.m. and I am wide awake, perched on the edge of a new work week and unable to get any rest after a week of vacation. Go figure. On the bright side, I can get this post out of the way and kick-start my week!

Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies A combo of this and this, and then some!
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pkg. (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1-3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbl. vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2-1/2 cups oatmeal (I used quick oats)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine flour, pudding powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir to evenly distribute ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and both sugars together until fluffy. Blend in applesauce. Add eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Slowly incorporate flour mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and oats by hand. Drop by tablespoons (I used a medium-sized cookie scoop) onto ungreased (I line mine with parchment or foil, just in case!) baking sheets and bake at 375°F for 9-11 minutes. Yields 6 dozen.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tinkering with Sizes

Greetings, dear readers! It just occurred to me that I've been posting entries in an unnecessarily large font size. I'm sorry :( I will be switching over to this new, smaller font for future entries. Attempts to edit previous posts produces mixed results. As in some words are randomly large for no apparent reason. Blogger's been driving me crazy with that!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bringin' Back the Cupcakes...

... to work, that is. There has been a very noticeable drought in the appearance of home-baked goodies at work--primarily due to my declaration, "I'm not bringing anything in during Lent." Since Lent is over and the glorious Easter season is upon us, I spent yesterday (and some of today) working on something really special to bring in tomorrow. As always, one batch of cupcakes is never enough. Whether that's due to the number of employees we have or to greediness ("well I didn't try that flavor, so I gotta try both"), is unknown. In any case, I am glad to oblige because it presents the perfect opportunity to try out ideas I find on the Interweb.

Red velvet is always a hit around these parts, but I decided to step it up a notch by making a vanilla bean cream cheese icing to top it all off. Did I mention before that I've been working on a bottle of home-brewed vanilla extract? No? Well it's no surprise, because it's taken ONE YEAR to reach perfection. I've seen various sources that call for anywhere from 3 months to a full year. I decided to go whole hog. That's right--I've been keeping a bottle filled with vodka and chopped vanilla beans in my cupboard for that long, taking it out every few days to give it a gentle shake. My patience was definitely worth it. Wanna make your own? Click here. It's where I was inspired!

Now I realize that the background choice probably wasn't the best pick since it's so close to the cupcake color. BUT...this was all about the frosting! Which was deliciously speckled with vanilla bean seeds. That didn't photograph well. *sigh*

Easy Red Velvet Cupcakes

1 box (18.25 oz) Betty Crocker® Milk Chocolate Cake Mix
1.25 cups buttermilk (I used 1 Tbl. vinegar added to half-and-half for richness and extra YUM.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 oz. liquid red food coloring
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients and beat on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl, then increase mixer speed to medium and continue beating for 2 minutes. Portion into 24 paper-lined muffin pans and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing Adapted from

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/2 cup salted butter, softened but still cool
4 cups (about 1 lb.) powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
seeds from one vanilla bean (save empty pods to add to homemade extract or make vanilla sugar!)
8 oz. cream cheese, COLD--and not fat-free/low-fat either!

Beat butters on medium speed until blended. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating on low after each addition, until incorporated. Blend in extract and seeds. Cut cream cheese into 8 pieces and add to butter mixture. Mix on medium speed until smooth and combined. This shouldn't take very long. Don't over beat or the icing will be too soft. Which is fine if you don't plan on piping it.

In addition to the red velvet cupcakes, I decided to try out the popular chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake. Google it, and you'll find many interesting variations. Most recipes call for freezing a ball of cookie dough and plopping into a yellow or vanilla cupcake right before baking. The frozen dough doesn't really cook and stays pleasantly gooey and "cookie dough-y" Since I wasn't sure how well a cookie dough cupcake would go over at my work place, I decided not to freeze the cookie dough so it would bake through. And it worked! The perfect frosting complement? A brown sugar Swiss meringue buttercream using How to Eat a Cupcake's recipe. Absolute heaven!

I won't post a recipe here since I've already taken up too much space (and your time--thank you, loyal readers!). Use your favorite yellow or vanilla cake recipe along with your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Don't tell, but I used a vanilla cake mix for the cupcake part. The cookie recipe came from the back of the yellow chocolate chip bag. You know which one ;) Roll dough into 1" balls and place in batter. I substituted mini chips because I wanted to make mini cookie toppers and regular chips would've been ugly. And we all know there's no room for ugly here at the Fuzzykoala Cake Company.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

You Can Has CUTE for Easter Too!

There has been one cake on my "to-bake" list for ages...the classic Betty Crocker Easter Bunny Cake. Every year for the past 5 years or so I eagerly look forward to Easter so that I have an occasion to make this little bugger. Yet for some reason every year I am struck by temporary memory loss when faced with the task of creating the Easter dessert. But not this year! No Sir-ee. It's been baked, decorated, photographed, AND posted. With plenty of time to spare. Now to rest up before Easter Vigil. Have a blessed Easter everyone!

The Original:
My attempt:
And a couple of impostors who look suspiciously like my bunny cake...
You know, I've gotta give my sister a whole mess of credit for me making the bunny cake this year since her Christmas gift of bunny slippers has been a daily reminder that I needed to do so!