April 30, 2012

Birthday Cake Cupcakes

I have a secret. It's a dirty little secret that my shock and enrage all who read it. You may wish to burn me in effigy after reading it, but I can't keep it from you any longer.

Here's the truth: I never liked cake growing up. Phew, that feels good to let out in the open.

The cake itself was tolerable, but not something I'd choose to eat. It was more the frosting. I hated frosting. With a passion. I've mentioned before my dislike of creamy things, and that might have had a hand in it. But it wasn't just the texture that threw me off. It was the sweetness. Nobody ever made their own frosting when I was growing up, so it was all that stuff from the can, and that stuff just turns my stomach. Put that on top of cake, which I didn't especially like to begin with, and there was no way that I was going to eat it.

So suffice it to say that I never actually ate birthday cake when I was growing up. When I decided to make "birthday cake" cupcakes for my sister-in-law's birthday, my image of birthday cake was a vanilla cake with a light, sweet vanilla frosting. If that doesn't remind anybody else of birthday cake, well you can deal with it.

But wait, there's more!

April 23, 2012

Banana Lime Whoopie Pies

I've never been a coffee drinker. Ever. I've tried it a few times and I just don't enjoy it. But there are some mornings that even I think I could use a cup.

The job can be fairly monotonous. When it's busy, it's I-need-about-five-more-people-here-but-am-all-by-myself busy, but that comes in spurts and doesn't happen all the time, and there's no way to really know when it will happen. Most of the time, it's pretty predictable. Answer the phones, mark down appointments, create security badges, easy peasy. It's all routine enough that I get the urge to answer the phone at home with a "How may I direct your call?" So the times that I screw it up are the times that I think I could really use a cup of joe.

(Question: why is it called joe? Is there a higher incidence of Joes drinking it than any other name? Did Joe invent it? Does Joe mind that we drink him?)

Once at work, I nearly answered, "How may I decorate your call?" A few times before I bought the Silver Dragon I answered, "How may I direct your car?" This one time, I answered an e-mail with, "Thanks Theresa!" when I was answering Janice. I've misdialed my own extension.

But the best was this morning. See, I use a headset, but the battery dies really quickly, so if the phone's not ringing, I leave the headset plugged in. If I'm busy doing work on the computer, though, I might leave the headset on so I don't have to pause to answer the phone. This morning I was working on a directory for one of the other buildings when the phone rang. Without looking, I pressed the button to pick up the call, and started my customary greeting... when I realized the headset was plugged in, not on my head. I was talking to thin air.

Yeah, coffee's sounding better and better all the time.

April 18, 2012

Lemon Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry Filling

Did I tell you guys that Bossman hired me full time? Yup, it only took a crisis, but I've suddenly gone from 20 hours a week to 45. Good thing: I can earn back the money I spent on my Silver Dragon (who is sickly and in the care of the dealership, who has kept him for far too long, and I appreciate the fact that they're paying for the repairs, but I want my car back! He's probably homesick. :-( Poor Silver Dragon.). Bad news- I'm more exhausted than I feel I really should be considering it's not really a physically taxing position.

Anywho, the point of the story is the reason I haven't been doing my making-of photos recently. I know I don't always do them, but I really haven't had the time lately. It's hard enough finding the time to bake working 45 hours a week now, and taking pictures of the steps just seems to double the time. So until I find a rhythm I can stick with, those pictures aren't happening, and I may have to nix them all together. I'm probably more disappointed than you about this, but them's the breaks, right?

April 13, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

I apparently work in a tourist trap. I know, I know, I was surprised too. But then some Israeli tourists- a husband, wife, and their 9 or 10 year-old son- came in and started asking me if they could look around the building.

No, I'm not making this up. Really.

April 11, 2012

Chocolate Whoopie Pies and a Surprise!

Did you guys know that I have magic tickle monster blocking powers? I know it's true because my almost-5 year old cousin AJ told me so. You have to be careful around tickle monsters too, because they're very sneaky. And if they catch you, the only way you can get away from them is if you have a magic anti-tickle monster defender pull you away. *Nods sagely* And since I have never met another magic tickle monster defender, I will happily rent my services out to you guys for a reasonable fee.


Well, ah, I'm sure you're all in too much awe of my newly discovered super power. You've been struck speechless. Allow me to humanize myself for you- I apparently suck at hide and seek. But Aunt Trish (you might know her as the mastermind behind my cannoli cupcakes) is the, and I quote, "goodest ever." I lost some cred with AJ after not being able to find her hiding behind the drapes. It's okay, though. I think I gained it back and then some at dessert time with these puppies.

You might remember that I love whoopie pies. Well, I'm not the only one in my family to love them, so I decided to make them to bring for Easter. And I went with the classic dark chocolate and marshmallow combo because I tried out something new with the cupcakes (that I'll be sharing a little later in the week), and I wanted to have a tried and true fallback. And AJ loves chocolate.

For the cakes, I used the recipe from Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix 'em, Match 'em, Eat 'em Up Recipes. If you're looking for a good whoopie pie cookbook, buy that one. All of the recipes I've tried have been fantabulous, and it's got good basics as well as some more eccentric items. Plus, it's pretty entertaining. The only downside is the book does not like to stay open, so you'll want to put it on a cookbook stand or weigh it down. But the content is totally worth it. Just make sure to watch your cook times, since I've found about 8-10 minutes to be good, rather than the 10+ suggested in the book. Every oven is different.

But wait, there's more!

April 2, 2012

Cookies, Screnzy, and the Silver Dragon

Please note that these taste much better than they look.
You might have noticed something new here on Treats & Trinkets. Something that doesn't quite go with the design or color scheme. Something that may not make a whole lot of sense to you. Something on the left side of the page there.


Well, if you have seen it, let me e'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. You see, it's April, and what does that mean?...