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Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Hazelnut Checkerboard Cake

Happy Halloween from Bake It With Booze!  Hope you're all enjoying the day replete with costumes and candy.  It's going to rain here tonight, so I have no solid prediction on the number of Trick or Treaters...So glad I bought ALL that EXTRA candy since it is a Friday Halloween!  Looks like my freezer will be happy with left overs...Oh, what to do! 

I've thought about this checkerboard patterned cake for a very long time.  I knew I wanted to make it a theme or holiday cake so that I could get creative with the colors.  I wanted a nice white cake recipe and a nice subtle flavor so I used Frangelico instead of the traditional almond flavor.  I knew I only wanted three layers.  I first saw a checkerboard cake at Sprinkle bakes.  It looked so fun, but perhaps a bit more anal retentive than I wanted to take on.  

In the end, it was so much more easy than I had anticipated.  I just had to have a PLAN.  And, like most of life, the 6 Ps prevailed: 

Prior Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.  

Read that first in a hiking magazine a life time ago.  Still holds true today.  

I simply adore the Italian Meringue Buttercream!  Not as difficult as I had thought, so I was pleased with the results.  Very smooth, yet amazing stable at room temperature.  Perfect for this cake...These Italians Rock!

You can make this cake with no worries!  Have all your ingredients and equipment ready, set aside some time so that you're not rushed, and enjoy what unfolds!

This cake was a huge challenge but one I was so thankful to have accomplished.  Lots of oohs and ahhs from the folks at work, which is always nice.

Happy Halloween!

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Drunken Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

These are not your grandma's snickerdoodles!  Our cocktail twist on an old fashioned favorite: Drunken Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.  You've seen my "Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles from a few years ago.  This time around, I used the same vintage cocktail flavors and brought them more modern and swingin' with the addition of that fall baking favorite, Pumpkin.  

Jacqueline shared some snickerdoodles with me last week and I loved how her addition of applesauce made them soft and not thin and crumbly like in some snickerdoodle recipes.  The apple was so subtle, but just a nice nuance.  I have wanted to make a pumpkin version of my "old fashioned" snickerdoodles, so the time was right with the cooler temperatures and the age-old hankerin' for the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin in the kitchen.  

These are light and fluffy and almost cakey.  If you like your snickerdoodles more chewy, you can reduce the number of eggs.  There are lots pumpkin snickerdoodle recipes on the Internet that have no eggs and the result is very chewy.  Also, as these have less cream of tartar than more traditional snickerdoodles, they won't have that distinctive taste...Something for which I was down graded on my entry to last year's state fair.  The judges just didn't get my play on words, either, noting the name "Old Fashioned" meaning my twist on cocktail meets cookie.

A combination that's sure to please both young and young at heart...The addition of the pumpkin makes them almost feel 'healthy,' while the addition of the white chocolate chips makes them a bit more elegant. 

Who doesn't enjoy a good oldie but goody, right?

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