Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Gifts

I wanted to prove that there are other people who get to enjoy what I bake besides myself and my husband. To be honest, Andy knows that most of the food is off limits and doesn't get to eat as much as he would like. 

The refrigerator and freezer are now empty after I bagged the goodies as a gift for my teachers! 

Red Velvet Brownies

I have recently fallen in love with all things Red Velvet. I have to give PF Changs a shout out for their Red Velvet Cake....it's to die for and it's served in a tall shot glass. I have been searching for an interesting Red Velvet Cake recipe for awhile and finally found this one on www.bakedperfection.com. I just served these brownies to my teachers at school and they loved them! 

Red Velvet Layer:1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking pan, and set aside.

Brownie layer: Add melted butter to a large bowl and add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, in that order, mixing between additions. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and stir it into the cocoa mix. Fold in the flour until lightly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, saving 1/4 cup of the batter for the top.

Cream cheese layer: Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer. Using a skewer or the tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chocolate Coffee Mix

I came across this recipe when I was browsing food blogs. I found this super cute website, www.singforyoursupperblog.com and this recipe quickly stuck out. Ask my husband or even my assistant director at school, that I am not approachable until I have my cup of coffee in the morning. And like most women, chocolate always puts me in a good mood! 

As soon as my driveway was plowed from being in a Blizzard Warning for two days, I drove to pick up the ingredients that I needed to make this. The plan is to give it away as gifts to help everyone start their day off right! 

Chocolate Coffee Mix
-slightly adapted from www.singforyoursupperblog.com

1/2 cup instant coffee (I actually used ground coffee)
1 1/2 cups powdered Coffeemate creamer
1/2 cup 
Nesquik (powder)
1/4 cup sugar
dash salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


Mix all ingredients in a blender. If you used the instant coffee then use 1-3 heaping teaspoons per cup of boiling water. If you used the ground coffee then I used 3 tablespoons to 4 cups of water and put through the coffee maker. I also used liquid Peppermint Mocha Creamer to add a punch of peppermint. 


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Andes Candy Cookies

I was given this recipe at a cookie exchange a few years ago and it has been on my list of items to make but I can never find mint M & M's so I substituted with Andes Candies. I happened to have a whole bag full (thanks Jen and Amanda)!

I also must clarify that this is my second post of the day and a possible 3rd is on the way due to being in a Blizzard Warning. So please take that into account when you start judging me for not having a social life on a Saturday night!

Andes Candy Cookies


3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 sticks of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla (or peppermint extract)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (I never add salt when baking)
crushed Andes Candies (eyeball it)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Blend together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Once those are blended together mix and add slowly the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add crushed candy, stir, drop on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies

These are by far my favorite cookies of all time! As soon as cranberry season begins I can't wait to make these cookies. The recipe asks for dried cranberries but like I have stated in earlier posts, I love cranberry, so I refuse to use the dried and go for the fresh. You could also substitute vanilla for the brandy but come on who doesn't like a little alcohol?!

White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon brandy
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease cookie sheets.

2. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and brandy. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Take them out while they are still doughy. Allow to cool for 1 minute on the cookies sheets before transferring.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peppermint Truffles

As every holiday season, I start to notice a trend in my baking. Two years ago it was cranberries, last year peppermint, this year it's goodies in the shape of a ball. It's quick and easy when I don't have a bunch of extra time (which is all the time). I love that I can roll the dough into a ball and then put it in the freezer until I have time to finish. And that is exactly what I did. I made the dough for the Peppermint Truffle several days ago and just finished them up tonight.

This recipe took a little experimenting. I found a basic recipe for "Easy Decadent Truffles" but I wasn't satisfied with the "easy" part and in normal Kaiti-fashion, I had to turn something easy into something more difficult. Nevertheless, the end result is delicious! I was also bored with vanilla extract so I knew I wanted to replace it with peppermint. And what better pair then peppermint and white chocolate?! Enjoy!!

Here is the "easy" recipe first:

Easy Decadent Truffles


8 oz of softened cream cheese
3 cups confectioner's sugar
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


In large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate chips and vanilla until no streaks remain. Refrigerate and shape into 1 inch balls. Coat in your favorite flavor!

Kaiti's Peppermint Truffles (still amazingly easy)

8 oz softened cream cheese
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 cups white chocolate, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract


In large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate chips and vanilla until no streaks remain. Refrigerate and shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in red sprinkles or coat in melted white chocolate and then roll in sprinkles. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pipka Cake

A few years ago my mother-in-law introduced me to Door County and Pipka. Pipka (yes that is her name) has a shop in Sister Bay that sells her infamous Santas' and other cute items, especially cake!!! (http://www.pipkasofdoorcounty.com)

We were at Door County for our annual girls weekend when Sherrie introduced us to "Pipka Cake." Pipka sells the special pan at her store in Sister Bay and apparently she makes 6 cakes a week for her customers to enjoy.  

This cake is truly amazing because you can turn it into whatever you want! I happen to be a fan of chocolate chip or cranberry.  You don't need to have the pan  (you could use a meatloaf pan) but it's super cute and once you taste this cake you are going to want the pan!  The pan is called Rehrucken Baking Pan. Below is the basic recipe. I tend to like Vanilla extract better then Almond and I add fresh cranberries or chocolate chips. I will be trying to Turtle recipe soon! 

Pipka's Scandinavian Almond Cake
Beat well:
1 1/4 C sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
2/3 C milk

Then mix in:
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

And slowly add:
1 stick melted butter

Butter cake pan.
 Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 38-45 minutes until golden brown. Cool in pan for 6 minutes (this is critical in order for the cake to come out of the pan. I use a timer.) Invert cake onto cooling rack. Sprinkle with confectionary sugar before serving. Variation; Before pouring batter, sprinkle sliced almonds in the pan bottom. Recipe can easily be doubled. Cake freezes well.

* Substitute lemon extract and add zest of lemon
* Substitute lemon extract and add poppy seeds
* Substitute orange extract and add zest of orange
* Substitute vanilla extract and add blueberries
* Substitute rum extract and top with shredded coconut

* Blueberries
* Door County chopped dried cherries plus some chocolate chips
* Top cake with sliced almonds
* Spread cake with Nutella and jam!

Pipka's Special Turtle Cake
Mix up original recipe, putting half the dough in the pan. Then drizzle caramel sauce across the dough, then sprinkle mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Spoon in the rest of the dough and bake as always. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nutella Cake Balls

Ever since I went to Italy in 2005 I have been OBSESSED with Nutella. It baffles my husband that I go through a jar of Nutella so quickly when he doesn't eat it. I also love cake and have tried many times to create a successful cake ball. I have failed and failed, until I discovered a Nutella cake ball recipe from, www.bakedperfection.com. 

Nutella Cake Balls

  • Ingredients

8 oz of Nutella
8 oz of melted milk chocolate (white chocolate would be good too)

    • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13 x 9.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 
  4. Immediately take half of the cake and put in a bowl combining it with the 8 oz of Nutella. 
  5. Stir together until well blended. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookie dough sheet and let cool. 
  6. Once the Nutella balls are cool, melt chocolate stirring every 15 seconds to avoid burning. Dip the cake ball into the melted chocolate, decorate if desired. 
  7. Cool for a few hours.
  8. EAT!!!!! 

If I were to do it over, I would probably use white chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Regardless, they are yummy! 

Oreo Truffles

These are so easy anyone can do it! I found many recipes for Oreo Truffles but the one I decided to go with was from www.bakerella.com (can you tell I love her website?) They are extremely easy to make and extremely hard to put down once you start eating. They are officially a staple in our household for everyday and the holidays.

Oreo Truffles

1 package of Oreo Cookies
8 oz of cream cheese, softened
8 oz melted white chocolate


1. Place all but 5 Oreo's in a food processor and grind to crumbs. Save the 5 Oreo's for garnish (although I can never wait for the garnish)

2. Combine the Oreo crumbs and the softened cream cheese and mix. I used my KitchenAid mixer instead of my own muscle.

3. Once combined evenly, roll into 1 inch size balls and let cool. I stuck mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes to speed up the process.

4. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in 15 second increments. Once melted, cover each Oreo ball in the melted chocolate.

5. Let cool and eat!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pillow Cookies

I have a habit to browse other baking and cooking blogs for unique recipes. I came across the recipe for Pillow Cookies on www.bakerella.com. I was intrigued by the name, maybe because I haven't been getting much sleep lately, but probably because it combines 2 of my favorite baked goods......brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Yes, brownies AND chocolate chip cookies! I know it sounds impossible but I have proof that it's possible.

Pillow Cookies

1 box of brownie mix (feel free to make your own brownies if you are ambitious)
Recipe to your favorite chocolate chip cookies--I always use the one from the back of the bag of chocolate chips

Bake the brownies according to the box and let cool. Once cool, cut into 1 inch by 1 inch squares.

Meanwhile, mix up the ingredients to your chocolate chip cookie recipe. Once dough is made, take 1/2 cup scoops of dough and flatten. Take a brownie and place it in the middle of the chocolate chip cookie dough. Form the dough around the brownie to close the brownie in. Shape the cookies as close to a ball shape as possible.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. The time will depend on how big each cookie is. Keep a close eye out!

Let them bake, cool, and enjoy!


I recently had a friend of mine from high school ask me to be a guest blogger for her blog, Mom Taught Us. Starting a blog has been something that I had been thinking of for quite some time and Holly allowed me to have a taste of blogging. I have always loved to bake but recently I have discovered how much I LOVE to bake! I have piles of recipes that I have yet to try and I plan to document their success or failure to share with you!