Wow, I may have just broken a record. I have made bake sale week last nearly a full two weeks this year. I just ran out of days faster than I could bake cookies, apparently. Time has been going by so fast lately. In fact, my kids called me from school last Friday, reminding me to come get them because it was early out, and I was late. I never even realized it was Friday until they had called. Anyway, here I am, with one last recipe.
My favorite brownies showed up in 2008. They use an entire bag of chocolate chips, and are the easiest thing in the world to make.
But sometimes, you just don’t have a bag of chocolate chips in the pantry. You may have thought you did, but when you go to find it to make the brownies you have just set your heart on, you may discover it has been nibbled down to about a half a cup’s worth by your sugar-addicted-nine-year-old (not that I would have any personal experience with that).
That is what some would call a chocolate emergency.
Have you tried those salted caramel squares at Starbucks yet? Whenever I get a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate or a Caramel Apple Cider, I always buy a salted caramel square, too. They’re tiny little pieces of joy. And I love them.
It’s quite often that I want one, but I’m not near a Starbucks. I do live in Utah, after all.
One Sunday afternoon last fall, my next door neighbor gave us a jar of caramel. I knew that was the day I would figure out how to make those caramel squares. Though I’m no stranger to eating homemade caramel out of a jar with a spoon, I restrained myself to use the caramel for the greater good. I remembered a tiny bag of pretzels was still swimming around in one of my kids’ Halloween bags, so I bartered him for it, and got to work.
Some artists say they keep to themselves, that they try not to look at other artists’ work for fear they will be influenced too heavily by what they see. Though I would love to be able to claim true originality for what I do—my designs, my recipes, my photographs—I can’t. For starters, I spent about a dozen years looking at food photography and beautiful cookbooks before ever deciding I wanted to do anything like it. So even if I threw all my Martha Stewart Living Magazines in the tag sale bin, never to look at them again, I would still have the impression of everything I had ever looked at.
So whether it makes me a hack or not, I look up to other artists, and am inspired by them.
Donna Hay probably influences me more than anyone else, or she’s at least in my top three.
While I was posting the Twelve Days of Christmas, I was ready for the holidays to be over. Not because I don’t love Christmas, but because I was on my way to gaining about thirty pounds.
But then I was asked to review the new cookbook Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients written by the people at Whole Living magazine, and I new I would be saved from my holiday diet of sugar and butter.
Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook is, hands down, my favorite baking cookbook. I stare at those pictures over and over, just wishing I didn’t care if I get fat.
Each recipe is gorgeous. I am often tempted to do a Julie & Julia thing and just do every recipe from cover to cover.
This pear cake is an adaptation of a pear Bundt cake she makes in the book. Mine is slightly more simplified, and to make it more for a bake sale, there is enough batter to make four small loaves (That’s enough to keep one yourself!).
This is moist, dense, and very pear-tasting. I hope you like it as much as I did.