Irish Coffee Cupcakes

I may have made the best cupcakes in the world.

Or I may just be delusional from my nearly four week deprivation of baking anything.

Yep, its definitely one of those two things.

This semester I may have bit off more than I can chew, taking a full load of classes, working two jobs, carrying out my senior capstone, planning for my future, preparing for my summer internship in Japan, and preparing to study abroad in Korea next year before graduating next May. Looking back I am not sure why I thought this all seemed reasonable, but then again, hindsight is 20/20 right?

No matter how busy I got, I knew I had to do something for St. Patricks Day, and luckily for me it fell during a week when one of the schools I attend was on spring break. Knowing that this recipe would have to make up for an entire month of not baking–and not knowing when my next baking fix would come–I knew it had to be epic. I searched and searched on every blog, website and social media I knew until I found it. Irish Coffee Cupcakes.

DSCN1672

Because for me being on spring break does not equate excess free time, Continue reading

Apple Cider Caramels

Did you know how many ways there are to make caramel? Or how many flavors can be infused into this sticky, sugary goodness?

I, for one, was sadly not in the loop. It was only in the past few weeks that I discovered how fantastic making caramel actually is, and I feel like I discovered an alternate universe–its been quite exhilarating!

IMG_4123

As you may remember from my previous posts, I started making caramel as a way to send some kind of dessert to friends I made while studying abroad in Japan. But of course, who wants to make the same recipe more than once? So I had to keep looking for new recipes and flavor options. After the initial experiment with my Homemade Caramels, I moved on to Earl Grey Caramels, and then to these: Apple Cider Caramels. Continue reading

White Chocolate Hibiscus Almond Bark

As much as I love slaving away for hours in the kitchen, carefully creating various components that add up to one single dessert, there are times when you just need to make something simple. However, that does not mean that you have to sacrifice on taste!

DSCN1568

I think I stumbled across this recipe the usual way I stumble across recipes: procrastinating doing my homework by pinning recipes on Tastespotting. It was just in time too, as I wanted something like this to set out for a dinner party I was hosting.

Everything about this recipe is delicious, and combined it becomes the perfect flavor explosion. As I mentioned, it is not only delicious and easy, but perfect for having out as something for guests to munch on! Continue reading

Earl Grey Caramels

So I’m into caramel now. Like REALLY into making caramel.

I have always been a fan, but I never appreciated how easy it was to make, and how utterly delicious it is to make a fresh batch of it!

IMG_4110

After having a plain batch of caramels under my belt, I decided I was ready to move on to better–and more delicious–recipes! One of those recipes, Earl Grey Salted Caramels, was one I had pinned quite a while ago and had been on my “to bake” list though I hadn’t had the courage to make it until now.

Now if you haven’t made caramels before you might not believe me, but I promise, as long as you get your caramel up to the right temperature, it is very hard to screw this up. Continue reading

Glazed Blueberry Doughnut Muffins

Being back to school may mean back to long nights of homework and running to classes between shifts at work, but it also means getting back to clubs and other school activities. For me, that means getting to hang out with my 会話サークル (Japanese conversation club) every Tuesday!

This club rounds up many of my friends in one place, and is always the perfect time to try out new recipes. The only problem? The club meets on Tuesday nights…after two days full of classes, work, meetings and finishing homework. That means that whatever I want to bake has to not only be easy to transport and easy to share with many people, it has to be able to hold over well since my new routine is to bake for 会話サークル on Sundays.

For the first meeting of the semester, along with some delicious caramels, I made Glazed Blueberry Doughnut Muffins. I decided on this recipe because it was simple enough, and was the perfect level of sweetness to satisfy both sweet-tooths and non-sweet-lovers alike.

IMG_4143

The dough becomes “doughnut” like through the addition of Continue reading

Homemade Caramels

One of my favorite parts of baking is giving what I have made to others. It is such an incredible feeling to be able to create something and give it to someone else, and to know that it is meaningful to the person you are giving it to.

Recently through studying abroad in Japan, I made some friends that I know will always be a part of my life despite the distance. That said, it is hard to be separated after creating such deep friendships, and I wanted to do something to show my friends that they were a part of my life even though I had returned to Minnesota. Baking is more or less what I am known for among my friend group, and I really wanted to share this aspect of my life with these friends.

However. It is not exactly possible to ship a cake to California, much less to Japan!

So I thought long and hard about what I could create that would ship easily and–here’s the kicker–still taste good when it arrived. I ended up finding a recipe for homemade caramel. One problem: I had never made caramel before! >.<

DSCN1021 Continue reading