Funfetti Baked Donuts

Today has been a busy day of baking. Tomorrow is the day two of my favorite people were born – just 47 years apart. My oldest niece is turning the big 13, and my dear co-worker the big 60. So naturally, I must bake something to show my appreciation and love for these lovely people – its what I do!

My niece is getting a deep dish cookie cake using the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction I posted about a few weeks ago. So good! I couldn’t wait to make it again! And my family couldn’t wait either, since the first one went into work. And there are never any left-overs where my co-workers are concerned.

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For some reason, the frosting doesn’t contrast with this cake as much as the first one I made. Which may be a good thing, since I asked my assistant (aka mom) to decorate the cake so I could start on donuts. I may have left the cake in the oven a big longer because it seemed so soft (I can’t remember how long it baked the last time). Oh well, I’m sure whatever it looks like, it will still taste delicious!

On to the main focus of this post. Donuts! And not just any donuts, but Funfetti Donuts! My co-worker’s favorite dessert is white/vanilla donuts with vanilla frosting and sprinkles. Apparently nothing else comes close to the sugar rush of those little gems. Yet again, I turned to Pinterest for a recipe, and lo and behold, I came out with another of Sally’s recipes: Baked Funfetti Donuts.

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These donuts were so easy to whip up. The only ingredients I didn’t already have on hand were greek yogurt and nutmeg; nothing a quick stop at the store couldn’t fix. (Still not really sure how I didn’t have nutmeg before this, but I do now!).

The funfetti donuts came together quickly, and only take a short while to bake. I did find that mine didn’t really turn a light golden brown (at least not anywhere visible while in the oven), so I baked them for around 11 – 12 minutes, which is a bit longer than suggested in the recipe, but they don’t seem to be over-baked. (You’ll notice a color difference between the above photo of donuts in the pan and the one below. The donuts below are “bottom-side-up” to make it easier to pick up for dipping in glaze.)

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The only part of this recipe I wasn’t completely satisfied with was the glaze. But that right there is the problem I should have foreseen: GLAZE. Not frosting. It was pretty runny, making dipping the donuts a bit messier process, and it just didn’t coat them well. Even after three dips, I could still see the funfetti sprinkles of the donut through the glaze. At that point, I just added more sprinkles to the glaze and called it done. Next time I will pay more attention to the recipe. Live and learn!

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I made a double batch of donuts for a total of 16. I only made up a single batch of glaze because I knew I wanted to have a bit of variety and make some of the donuts chocolate frosted (my favorite!). I used the chocolate glaze recipe from Simply Stacie’s Cake Donuts with Chocolate Glaze.

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This glaze is much thicker than the vanilla glaze. Don’t be tempted to add more than the 2 tbsps of milk initially. Even with the electric mixer, mine seemed very dry and powdery at first, but once I attacked it with a spatula, I could see the milk combining with the dry ingredients. I did add about half a tbsp more of milk once I had thoroughly mixed (by hand and mixer) the glaze.

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The donuts really only needed one good dip and swirl in the chocolate glaze, but after doing the 8 donuts, there was left-over glaze. I couldn’t let it go to waste, so they got an extra drizzle of glaze before the final touch of nonpareils. So cute! And the glaze tastes just like that on the Krispy Kreme donuts you find in the store. Yum!

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I can’t tell you how much will power I’m exhausting waiting until tomorrow to try these beauties. They just look so scrumptious!

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Questions and comments are welcome.

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Baked Penne Rigate

If you’re looking for a tasty, easy, weeknight meal, I have one for you.  Baked Penne Rigate from Maryann over at Domestically Speaking.

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Photo courtesy of Domestically Speaking

I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! And so easy to put together. I added about 6 or 7 strips of grilled chicken (the kind you buy in the frozen foods section) to add some protein, since pasta alone never seems to fill me up. I think I’ll try whole wheat penne next time, to see if that helps with the filling-up.

A few notes:

  • Since the original post didn’t include an amount of pasta sauce, I just bought a 23.5 oz jar of Prego, and it was just the right amount.
  • I used a 15oz tub of low fat ricotta since the other sized tub seemed like way too much, and it was just about 2 cups (it was close, so I just stopped measuring and dumped the rest in the bowl, lol)
  • I recommend using a 2.5 Qt baking dish. I only had a 2 Qt available, and it all fit, but barely. It made dishing the pasta out a little messy.

As always, questions and comments are welcome! Hope you have a great weekend!

JoJo’s Finished Granny Hexagon Baby Blanket

Whew! An entire baby blanket done, from start to finish, in 1 week. And not just a solid, repeating pattern, but 40 plus pieces to make up then piece together. Not to mention all the ends to weave in. I’m actually impressed with myself.

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Don’t get me wrong. I love making this blanket. And it really isn’t that difficult to do. It’s just…1 week! I was really cutting it close. But JoJo’s Granny Hexagon Blanket was ready to meet little JoJo just a few days after she made her first appearance in the world.

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And I’ve been told that the colors match the bedding set perfectly, so all of my searching for just the right shades of pink, green, and yellow paid off!

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For some reason, the yellow looks a little more orange in some of the pictures. Must just be the lighting when I scrambled to take pictures before heading into work. I think the above photo is the closest to the actual colors; they are more pastel and soft than some of these photos make them seem.

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The edging even has a row of the pink, just to give it some subtle interest.

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If you would like to make your own Granny Hexagon Blanket, check out my previous posts to learn how to make a hexagon, make a half hexagon, join hexagons, and how to finish the blanket.

As always, I’d love to hear from you! Questions and comments are welcome.

JoJo’s Granny Hexagon Blanket

Hello all! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much done with this cold. I mean, I like winter and snow and all, but over 500 straight hours below freezing, many of those below zero, is more than enough for me. But, its just the perfect weather to stay inside and watch netflix (or hockey!) and find something to keep my hands busy and my lap warm.

Lately, my hands have been kept busy with baby blankets. One friend is due the the beginning of July, so I have plenty of time to finish that one up. But my coworker has commissioned one for her sister-in-law who is due any day now. The crib set for baby JoJo is jungle/animal themed, with accents of pink and green and an adorable yellow giraffe. Let me tell you, it is much harder to match pink AND green AND yellow than I thought. Once I finally found shades of each color that went well together, I knew, as soon as I saw the yarn, exactly which pattern I had to use: my granny hexagon baby blanket. It was just perfect.

So for the last 5 days, I’ve been furiously crocheting lovely pastel hexagons. I’m using the same total number of hexagons as my original blanket, just fewer colors and a more ordered arrangement.

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14 yellow hexagons, 14 pink hexagons, 11 green full hexagons, and 6 green half hexagons to fill in the edges of the blanket.

Today I start the joining process. Hopefully this blanket will be finished and wrapped around wee JoJo in just a few more days!

Check back soon to see the finished project!

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Questions and comments are more than welcome!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Let me start off by saying that I love cookie cake. You might even go so far as to say I’m a cookie cake connoisseur. My family has long since stopped asking what type of cake I want for my birthday; there’s no question. I want cookie cake. And none of that dry, crumbly stuff you find in a lot of grocery stores. For years, I had thought that the best cookie cake to be had was what you get from the bakery in the mall – I think you all know the one I’m talking about.

Well, today, let me tell you that I was wrong. A couple weeks back, I realized it had been a while since I’d done any baking, so I thought I would try out a new recipe on my guinea pigs – I mean, co-workers. I searched my Pinterest for something relatively simple that wouldn’t take too terribly long to put together (I had to have it done in time to watch the hockey game!). I decided that the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction was just the ticket. This is the same wonderful lady that I got my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe from. And yet again, she did not disappoint.

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This cookie cake is nice and thick, and wonderfully soft and chewy. And the chocolate butter cream frosting! Oh my goodness! Delicious!

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I only had salted butter on hand, so I cut the salt in the recipe in half, and it turned out fine. And it was just the right amount of salt in the buttercream frosting: I didn’t have to add any salt to flavor. Though, I would recommend following the recipe as is, since the amount of salt in different butters can vary. I also used a 9-inch round springform rather than a pie pan as it really is quick a thick cake.

This truly is the best cookie cake I’ve ever had. And my guinea pigs wholeheartedly agreed!

As always, questions and comments are welcome!