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Baking Ideas & Recipes

Chocolate Caramel Apple Cake Pops

My sister JoAnn is the most amazingly talented baker/chef/hostess I know, so I had to up the ante when her birthday came around. After a tasty breakfast up in Placerville, the plan was to head to Apple Hill for some awesome apple treats. The trip to Apple Hill was the inspiration for these bite size treats. My train of thought went something like: Apple Hill… apples… caramel apples… mini caramel apples… caramel apple cake pops!

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I love when I LOVE the cookie theme I’m asked to do. This project started when my old boss Kari sent me a message about her son’s 9th birthday. Her son, as far as I can tell, is a super cool little rocker dude who loves music.

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Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies


When it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, I know my place. And that place is holding a fork and waiting to eat. That’s just how it works! I happen to have two sisters who make totally killer pecan, sweet potato, lemon meringue, and (of course!) pumpkin pies. So it’s really just my job to stuff my face come Thanksgiving time. Since I’ve been making so many cookies these days, I decided to make the cookie version of Thanksgiving dessert.

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Butterfly Sugar Cookies


There are a number of things that my sister Vicky is known to love, but the first three that always come to mind are the color blue, Michael Bublé and butterflies. Since making people-shaped cookies are a skill I will likely never acquire, I made some cute butterfly cookies for her birthday.


For the small butterflies, I placed the cut-out dough onto a cake pop pan so the cookies would bake into a cute curved shape. These were baked for just about five minutes and left to cool completely before I dared move them. Once totally cooled, they could be handled easily and kept their in-flight shape with no problem.


Royal icing was used to decorate these little guys. The icing consistency was about the same as I would normally use to outline sugar cookies. It was thick enough that it wouldn’t run over the edge of the cookie, but thin enough to spread smoothly.


I also made some larger butterflies and frosted them with white and two shades of blue royal icing. I used a wet on wet technique for the royal icing so that I could draw the designs onto the butterflies and the icing would dry (nearly) completely flat.


These butterflies are almost calming to look at. My sister and the rest of the familia loved them!


Minions Cupcakes

Early Monday morning my boss sent me a text to ask if I would have time after work to make Minions cupcakes for her. She apparently hadn’t checked her email yet to see that I was using a last minute sick day. Oops! Continue Reading…

Succulent & Cactus Cupcakes

I’ve been on a real succulent and cactus kick these days. In fact, Mr. Gish and I have totally redone (with help) our front yard entirely in succulents and cacti. It’s almost done now and it looks awesome! It’s also low maintenance. Low maintenance not only because that’s just how those types of plants roll, but because Mr. Gish does all the yard work. I helped pick out the plants and I get to look at them, so I definitely have the better part of the deal.

Our succulent garden idea took a step into reality thanks to to some guidance and help from by our friend Zina, who herself has a succulent and cactus garden. Several months ago, Zina sent a link to a tutorial that combined both of our loves – cupcakes and succulents! I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make them myself, and when Zina had a party last Friday, it was opportunity was knocking.

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Gingerbread Christmas Cottages

With Christmas coming it was time to bust out the trusty gingerbread cookie recipe for Christmas cottages. The recipe (at the end of this post) is a bit more work than the usual sugar cookie recipes I do, but oh-so-worth the extra time. The resulting cookie is soft and delicious with the perfect blend of baking spices.

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