bittersweetbaker

Archive for the ‘Frostings and Icings’ Category

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake

In Cakes, Frostings and Icings on January 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm
From Recently Updated

December evenings were made up of the type of nights that creep in, slowly dousing the world in darkness. No one notices the gradual shift in lighting until suddenly, windows no longer frame the outside world but reflect the life inside instead. White walls become stark and clinical under harsh fluorescent lighting, and edges and angles become more pronounced without natural light to soften their outlines.

New Year’s eve arrived in much the same fashion, catching me unawares. I was sitting by the fire when I decided that the year had fizzled out almost as quickly as the spilled champagne at the dinner table, and was left saddened by the realization that I could do nothing to rein it in.

But today, already living my first day of the new year, I realized that I’ll forever remember 2011. It was a recipe book of tea green frosting sandwiched between pepper biscuits, of giant cookies in celebration of a blogoversary, of yeast-raised doughs, and of ice cream. I’ve documented my year in recipes. Read the rest of this entry »

Chocolate Pepper Cookies with Matcha Frosting

In Chocolate, Cookies, Frostings and Icings on January 6, 2011 at 1:53 pm
From Adriana Baking

It’s good to be back at school. Though every second upon waking up this morning seemed to pass by much too quickly, school was nothing to dread. Kicking off my warm covers and jumping out of bed at six forty-five was a dive back into the deep waters of familiarity. Walking to school in the early morning with a heavy bag and my clarinet case in hand is what I’ve known for the past five months, and it felt right to be reacquainted with routine.

As much as I love to spend time alone reading books or toting a camera around and capturing moments of life, I do enjoy the company of others. I walked into school today and greeted my friends with a shining smile – I’d missed them. Throughout winter vacation I’d spent most of my time at home with family, with the exception of a couple of days. Read the rest of this entry »

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Frosting

In Chocolate, Cookies, Frostings and Icings on December 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm
From Adriana Baking

I’m sitting on the black woven chair by the computer, glowing and alert after a good night’s sleep. The past few days of vacation I have spent at home, learning how to relax again. I never expected high school to be easy, a few years that I could live through without putting in effort. The last week of school before vacation drained the energy from my body until I was waking tired and cranky, and struggling to keep my heavy lids from drooping down during biology class. I couldn’t even manage to fall asleep when I crawled into bed. Often, it would be hours before I floated into a land of unconsciousness – I couldn’t keep my mind off schoolwork. Teachers always seem to load us with homework, deadlines, and upcoming tests just before a break, leading us to crash into Christmas vacation exhausted. Read the rest of this entry »

Pull-Apart Loaf – Infinite Layers of Possibilities

In Frostings and Icings, Yeast Breads on October 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm
From Adriana Baking

I’ve been around music for as long as I can remember.

As a preschooler riding to school on her very first day of kindergarten, I remember dreading the rides to school, awaiting something made far worse by my imagination than it was in reality. I sat quietly in my seat, peering out of the passenger seat window and seizing every fraction of traffic, trying to squeeze time out of the seconds ticking by.   My mother would pop my favorite CD into the disk drive in an effort to ease the tension – when the familiar tunes wrapped around me, equivalent to a warm blanket on a stormy evening, and caressed my hair,  school didn’t seem like such a daunting event any longer. Music made everything  better then, and it still does now. Every night, after being tucked into bed and having received my good-night kisses, my mother still turns the stereo to a calming clarinet solo or a classic violin concerto. The notes dance throughout my room, finding their way out into the dark night, all the while sending me to a land of dreams, a land of unconsciousness devoid of stress. Read the rest of this entry »

The Daring Bakers Make Decorated Sugar Cookies

In Cookies, Daring Bakers, Frostings and Icings on September 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm
From Adriana Baking

As I start high school I realize that the previous years could never have prepared me for what was to come. All throughout middle school, I listened to my teachers lecture about various subjects, searching for some genuine interest in their lessons. But I found none. While writing essays about Medieval Europe and proving theorems and postulates in math class were definitely not boring, I never found myself becoming excited about a class and looking forward to it – until now.

Maybe it’s the change in the atmosphere from middle school, or maybe it’s the fact that my teachers are all passionate about their fields, each one of them showing their excitement their own way. Some fill their voices with emotion as their faces become animated and their hand gestures elaborate. Others can’t help but go beyond the required teaching material, sharing their enthusiasm for the subject with the whole class. My classes are definitely harder, but I feel like I’m learning, grasping new ideas and eager to be taught. Read the rest of this entry »

Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake

In Cakes, Frostings and Icings, Fruits on September 6, 2010 at 12:31 pm
From Adriana Baking

I’m aware that I’ve written about it before, but school is the only thing on my mind now, day and night.  I’d much rather be able to spend my last hours of vacation enjoying it, lounging in the sun with my mind cleared of homework-related thoughts, but school keeps creeping back into my mind, no matter how hard I try to chase the thoughts away. I’m still on vacation, but every hour that passes feels like the last hour of free time I’ll enjoy. Waking up in the morning I stay in bed a couple minutes longer, just to feel the warm rays of sunlight falling across the room and to hear the cheerful chirping of the birds outside.  I know I won’t have that luxury when school begins. And in the evening, sitting by the warm glow of the lamp nearby, I read my book only paying half the attention I should be, secretly enjoying the fact that I have a new baking project planned the next day, and nothing to interfere with my plans. When I start school, will I have the time? I know I’m worrying, exaggerating even.  But high school is new territory, and quite honestly, I’m nervous. Read the rest of this entry »

The Daring Bakers Make Baked Alaskas

In Cakes, Daring Bakers, Frostings and Icings, Ice cream on August 28, 2010 at 8:31 am
From Adriana Cooking

“If only”. . . The sound of a wish in a pair of words.

It didn’t occur to me how rapidly summer is dwindling to an end until early this morning.  I was on the couch, happily flipping through a cookbook, when my sister pointed it out.

“There are only 12 days of vacation left”, she had said, her voice full of dread.  The filtered morning sunlight that had danced across my limbs, causing the metal on my watch to scintillate in its light, gradually faded away, leaving the room as gloomy as my thoughts. It couldn’t be. Just last week  (or so it seemed), I walked home from school, my heart full with the prospects of summer. I’d left my last middle school report card lying on the dinning room table to go outside and spend some time with my friends, absorbing each and every second of the newly granted freedom I had obtained. Time must be playing with my mind. It’s passing as slowly as honey dripping off a spoon, and rushing by faster than the second hand around the clock. I tried to push the thought of school away, and enjoy the cookbook in my hands. If only we had more time, more vacation. Read the rest of this entry »

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

In Chocolate, Frostings and Icings, Muffins and Cupcakes on August 22, 2010 at 7:59 am
From Adriana Baking

It’s humid, hot, and the weather is practically unbearable. It’s summer!

For about a week now, I’ve been pet-sitting our neighbors’ two German Shepherd Labrador mixes . When I get up in the morning, the sky is a cloudless stretch of bright baby blue, and the trees just outside my bedroom are awake with the music of songbirds and the gentle swaying of the wind, weaving in and out of their deep emerald-green leaves.  Seemingly, the weather is perfect. But once outside, I’ll be drenched in sweat without so much of a light breeze to cool me down.  The dogs will be pulling on their leashes one minute, then suddenly jerking to a stop the next in hope of finding a morsel of food left behind on the dark gray pavement.  And by the time the sun sets and it’s time for another walk, the weather will be no less hot than before. Read the rest of this entry »

Yeast-Raised Doughnuts

In Chocolate, Frostings and Icings, Yeast Breads on August 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm
From Adriana Baking

I haven’t lived nearly long enough to write of childhood, but in this case, I write with experience.

Since I was young, I’ve loved animals. My sister would volunteer to take the the nursery school’s rabbits home for Christmas vacation, then watch the teachers lock up her nursery classroom, leaving it too cold and lonely for two little bunnies to stay in.  Once we took them home, I loved feeding them carrots through the wire bars of their enclosure, watching them nibble at them until only a few orange shreds were left. They liked mint leaves too, and I would give them each a few sprigs for a post-dinner snack.

When I was in elementary school, I harbored a scrawny, blind kitten, who was abandoned by its mother, and desperately hoped to revive it from its near state of death.  I could not keep him inside, for our house cat, Snowball, disliked- no, abhorred, all other cats with such a strong passion she could probably set fire to a whole forest of trees. The kitten eventually died, to my great dismay, and I didn’t get over it very easily. Read the rest of this entry »

Red, White and Blue for the 4th of July

In Frostings and Icings, Muffins and Cupcakes on July 6, 2010 at 11:35 pm
From 2010-07-31

As I stepped out into the bright afternoon light, I couldn’t  help but let a smile slowly spread across my sunburned face. I had been waiting for this as long as I could remember. I wanted to feel the weight of the DSLR camera nestled securely in my hands, waiting to take its first picture. To let my eyelashes brush across the view finder and press down on the shutter-speed button. I wanted to be able to replicate the pictures I saw in my head and be able to share them with you. To try to convey the smells and textures to you, through my camera.

For days my parents deliberated about what kind of camera we would purchase. It had to be a Nikon because my father had some old lenses that would fit the new camera. It couldn’t be too heavy, but it had to be well-built. I secretly told myself that I knew which camera they would choose at the end. It would be the Nikon D90, because it had everything we wanted. And luckily enough, that was the one we got. Read the rest of this entry »