Friday Favorites | No. 28

Friday, December 22, 2017

The holiday weekend has official started, yay!  The next couple of days for me will be filled with lots of family time, delicious food, crafting and tons of holiday movies.  So far I have crossed off my list White Christmas, The Holiday and countless Hallmark Christmas movies.  Still on the list: Elf and Love Actually!

Gingerbread is one of my favorite flavors in December and if you are in need of a quick and easy recipe for this weekend, try this one out!

If you are looking for a new show to binge watch over the weekend, I highly suggest Outlander. I might be slightly #obsessed with it.

This cocktail looks like something my family and I may have to try at our annual Christmas brunch.

With the new year right around the corner, I am in need of a new wall calendar for my office and love this one from Rifle Paper Co.

I will be traveling to Scotland next spring and these Sperry Top-Sider boots in navy/green would be perfect to add to my footwear collection for the trip.  And these cuties...well I don't need them, but think I could find a place in my closet for them! [hint hint for any last minute shoppers in my family]

Hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

Holiday Gift Guide: Bakers

Monday, December 18, 2017

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Christmas is a week away and if you are still searching for a gift for someone who loves to bake, I have gathered some great ideas here at all different price points.  These adorable dessert ornaments would be perfect to tie on the outside of a present and this beautiful marble pastry board will make any bakers heart sing.

The Amazon Echo Plus is a fantastic idea for anyone who loves technology and baking as it can be super helpful with setting timers, giving measurement conversions and for hands-free calling or messaging when you are up to your elbows in bread dough!  My top pick is the KitchenAid stand mixer.  I received one as a gift many many years ago and it is truly my most favorite piece of equipment in my kitchen.

Homemade Marshmallows

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Making homemade marshmallows has been on my baking bucket list for a long time and this past weekend I finally decided to give them a try.

Now you are probably thinking why spend the time making marshmallows [as many of my friends questioned haha], but the process is really rather simple as long as you have the right tools.  No store bought mallows can stand up to this rich, light and fluffy homemade version thats for sure!  

Homemade Marshmallows
{Yield: 4 dozen 1 1/2" squares}

3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1 cup cool water, divided
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/8 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
powdered sugar (to sprinkle on top of marshmallows)

Start by combining the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cool water in a stand up mixer with the whisk attachement, mix to combine and then set aside.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, Kosher salt and 1/2 cup of cool water in a small, deep sauce pan and place over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Then raise the heat to high and cook without stirring until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer, then remove from the stove.

With the mixer set on a low speed, slowly add the syrup to the softened gelatin.  Once all of the syrup has been added, adjust the speed to high and whip until the mixture is fluffy, thick and cooled to a lukewarm temperature.  Depending on the mixer this process could take between 3 to 10 minutes.  It took me about 5 minute to reach lukewarm.  Then add the tablespoon of vanilla extract to the marshmallow and mix again until combined.

The mixture should be cool enough that you can touch it with you fingers without them burning.  Spread the marshmallow mixture into a well greased 13x9 inch pan and using wet fingers or a spatula to flatten.

Sprinkle the powered sugar over the top of the marshmallow and allow it to sit uncovered for 4 hours or overnight before cutting or using cookie cutters.

To cut, wet your knife or cookie cutters as it will help keep the marshmallows from sticking during this process.  Once cut, lightly roll the individual marshmallows in powdered sugar and dust off the excess.

Enjoy these homemade marshmallows in a cup of hot chocolate, dip them in chocolate and sprinkle crushed canes on top or just snack on them alone because they are that good!

Apple Cider Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Monday, December 4, 2017

I love so many things about the holidays - Christmas music, all of the lights, cozy nights with a cup of hot chocolate, spending time with family...the list goes on and on.  But one of my utmost favorites things is holiday baking!

With so many parties, gatherings and gift exchanges happening I find that giving any type of homemade food item is just so meaningful.  And if you are looking for a great cookie recipe to use this year to gift to friends and family, look no further!  These apple cider jam thumbprint cookies are light, buttery, have the perfect amount of spice and are really simple to make.

Apple Cider Jam Thumbprint Cookies
{yield: 2 dozen cookies}

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 jar of apple cider jam

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 ground cinnamon

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Then in a small bowl mix together the topping made of granulate sugar and ground cinnamon; set aside.

Using a stand up mixer with the paddle attachement or handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.  Add the egg and vanilla bean paste and beat on high speed for 1 minute until combined.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again until ingredients all combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined.

Using a cookie scoop (or 1 tbsp.), roll the balls of dough and then roll into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the outside.  Place the dough balls onto a lined baking sheet spacing 2 to 3 inches apart and using either your thumb or the end of a spoon, gently press to make an indent into each cookie.

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, turing the sheet half way through.  Remove from the oven and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider jam into each indentation and place the cookies back into the oven for 1 to 2 more minutes.  I found the apple cider jam at my local Trader Joe's, but you can also find it here.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


These cookies will stay fresh covered in an air tight container at room temperate for up to 3 days and up to a week in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Friday Favorites | No. 27

Friday, December 1, 2017

Happy December 1st everyone!  I have been reminiscing about the trip my mom and I took last December to the beautiful and charming city of Charleston, SC.  If you are looking for a fun last minute holiday get away I highly suggest visiting.  However, if the thought of planning a trip this time of year is overwhelming, take a look at the Ultimate 48 Charleston Itinerary that Julia and her team over at Gal Meets Glam put together.  It highlights everything from places to stay and eat as well as what sites to visit and where to shop!

For a twist on the traditional ginger bread house, take a look at this adorable little village.  Super simple to do and such a cute idea!

This non-traditional wreath is beautiful and warms my heart!

I can't wait to try fun this hairstyle.

This card case #leopard. <3 And if you are looking for some fun party earrings, these little gems are so fun and the color is perfection!

There is a 99.999% chance that I will make these bars this weekend.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

When it comes to breakfast I tend to prefer savory items, but every once in awhile I get a hankering for something a little sweet and these homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts at the bees knees!

I love how the warm flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar pair with the light and buttery pastry crust.  And what really sets these apart from the store bought version of these is the rich cinnamon glaze.  These pop tarts are fairly easy to make and are really impressive, they taste ten times better than any store bought version!

Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts
{yield: 8 pop tarts}

1 box Pillsbury pastry dough

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Egg Wash
1 large egg
2 tsp. milk

3/4 cup powder sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. milk, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla bean paste

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out the pastry on parchment paper and cut out 8 circles or squares from each pastry crust.  Then place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  The pastry dough will not spread out much during baking so you can place the circles fairly close to each other.

Then in a small bow mix the light brown sugar, cinnamon and flour together, then set aside.

In a small dish, whisk the egg and milk together until combined.  Lightly brush the egg wash on the bottoms of the rounds of the dough then place a heaping tablespoon of the cinnamon mixture and place it in the middle of the round.

Place the top round of the pastry dough over the mixture and seal the two pieces together by using the ends of a fork crimping all the way around.  Once sealed, poke a few holes on top with the end of the fork to allow for steam to escape during the baking process.

To give these little beauties a nice golden color, lightly brush the tops with the remaining egg wash.  Then place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 22 to 28 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through.

Allow the pop tarts to cool on the baking sheet before removing for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, whisk together the powered sugar, milk, cinnamon and vanilla bean paste until combined and at a spreadable texture.  If the mixture is too think, add a teaspoon or two milk and if the mixture is too loose, add teaspoon or two of powdered sugar.

Then using a knife, spread the glaze over the tops of each pop tart.  Allow the glaze to set before serving, which should take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour...or you can be like me and just dive in right after you are done glazing them!

These pop tarts will stay fresh in an air tight container at room temperature for three days and up to a week in the fridge.  To reheat, bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.  The best part about these is you don't need to use a toaster since they are perfectly flaky already!

Recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.


Friday Favorites | No. 26

Friday, October 6, 2017

image via

Happy Friday, friends!  Hope you all have had a great week...mine flew by and was really productive mostly because of #coffeecoffeecoffee!

Speaking of #coffeecoffeecoffee, yesterday my favorite TV show EVER, Gilmore Girls was released 17 years ago!!  I can't believe that I have been watching it for that long!?!  I love it and if you haven't seen it,  then I highly suggest that you spend your weekend watching all 7 season and Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life.

Williams-Sonoma is having a 20% off sale right now and if you are into fall/holiday pie making, then you need these cutters in your life.  I bought these years ago and use them pretty much on any pie I bake during this time of year!

I have been on the look our for a great pastry board and this one caught my eye...good price and had really good reviews.

I am loving this easy to make pie garland!  #toocuteforwords

This week I didn't have enough pumpkin spice in my life, so to rectify that I will be making this for breakfast tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Favorites | No. 25

Friday, September 29, 2017

Over the weekend we had UH-MAZING weather and it inspired me refresh the dead plants on my balcony since the super hot days of summer are practically gone.  I went to my favorite garden nursery, picked up some flowers and succulents and I really enjoyed fixing up my little "backyard".

You all should go and check out the This Modern Broad.  Its an awesome millennial lifestyle blog that my PIC Colleen has that covers fashion, food, fitness and everything else in between!

I have been really wanting to take a hand lettering or calligraphy class, but with my busy work schedule its really hard to find the time.  About a month ago I started following @chalkfulloflove (aka Sarah) on Instagram and I love her faux calligraphy/hand lettering. I found Sarah's book Hand Lettering 101: An Introduction to the Art of Creative Lettering on Amazon and guess what?!  It was on sale ... I figured that was a sign and I purchased it!  Can't wait to get it in the mail and start practicing.

While scrolling Pinterest I found this plum and thyme prosecco smash that looks delicious and would be perfect for a weekend brunch party!

I want need this purse in my life and the color perfect for Fall.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Cookies

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The other day I was at Target picking up paper towels and coffee creamer and ... somehow ended up in the Halloween section of the store.  Does that happen to anyone else or is that just me?!  Anyways, I was skimming over the seasonal baking items and saw a box of pumpkin cookie mix and knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.

I really like giving twists to classic recipes (like this, this and this) and I thought with pumpkin spice season in full swing, that now would be the perfect time to upgrade the traditional snickerdoodle cookie.  The pumpkin and seasonal spices in the cookie mix are perfect with the addition of smooth white chocolate and warm cinnamon sugar ... these cookies are hit in my book!

Snickerdoodle White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
{yield: 24 cookies}

1 box Pillsbury Perfectly Pumpkin cookie mix
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 egg
½ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Start by preheating your over to 375 degree.  In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon and set aside.  Then in a separate medium size bowl, combine the pumpkin cookie mix, melted butter and egg and mix until just combined.

Once combined, add in the white chocolate chips and mix into the dough.

Using a cookie scoop or spoon, measure out 2 tbsp. of dough and roll into a ball using the palm of your hands.  Then roll the ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on an ungreased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart from each other.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are set, turing the baking sheet halfway through.  If the tops look slightly undercooked, thats okay as they will set while cooling.  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

These cookies are amazing served warm from the oven, but you can create the same taste by zapping them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds ... that is if you have any left over.  Enjoy!

Friday Favorites | No. 24

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Fall Y'all!  The weather this week has been amazing in California and I have been absolutely loving it.  Can't wait for the temps to cool down even more so I can bust out my boots and scarves! #fallisthebestseasonever

Gilmore Girls is my all time favorite show and I am loving this shirt I saw on Instagram the other day!

If you are looking for a new handbag for the fall I highly suggest the Jetsetter Mini Convertible Backpack from Henri Bendel.  I bought this exact one a couple months ago and have not stopped using it.  I love that I have so much versatility with it and the deep navy color is just perfection!

I broke down the other day and purchased the Fall 2017 FabFitFun box.  A lot of bloggers that I follow were raving about it so I decided to see that the fuss is all about!  If you want to see what its all about too, you can get $10.00 off your box by clicking here!

Tomorrow morning I can't wait to curl up on the couch with a homemade pumpkin spice latte and a good book.

I need an excuse to make these ASAP.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Maple Glazed Baked Donuts

Monday, September 18, 2017

Guys, these maple glazed baked donuts are so good.  Like stop everything you are doing right now, head to your kitchen and make these ASAP good!

And they are so easy and simple to make.  With just a few basic ingredients and about the same amount of time as it takes you to make waffles, you will have delicious light, fluffy and flavorful donuts for breakfast to enjoy on a crisp fall morning with a hot cup of joe!

Maple Glazed Baked Donuts
{Yield: 8-10 donuts}

Spiced Donuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1 large egg
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup milk
¼ Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ tsps. vanilla bean paste

Maple Glaze
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Start by preheating your over to 350 degrees and spray your donut pans with a non-stick spray.   Side note: I bought my donut pans years ago at Michaels, but have have seen similar ones at TargetJoAnn Fabric and even Home Goods.

In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup until it comes together whisking every once in awhile.  Once melted, remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the sifted powdered sugar until smooth.  Set the glaze aside and allow it to cool.

To make the donut batter, start by combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and Kosher salt together.  Once mixed, set the bowl said and whisk the egg, light brown sugar, milk and Greek yogurt together until smooth.  Then add in the melted butter and vanilla bean paste.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  The batter will be on the thicker side.

Scoop the donut batter into a pastry bag and snip of the end.  This will allow you to be able to pipe the batter into the donut pan with no mess filling each donut space about ⅔ full.  If you do not have pastry bag, just use a large ziplock bag and cut off one of the corners and pipe away!

Bake the donuts for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.  Allow them to cool in the pan for about 2 minutes before transferring to a wired rack with some parchment paper underneath the rack (this will make clean up a breeze after the glazing process).  

Now to the fun part!  To glaze the donuts, simply hold the donut and dip it into the glaze.  Depending on the thickness of the glaze, you can dip once or twice...I opted for once since my glaze was on the thicker side, but a good double dip never hurt anyone!  Place the donut back on the wire rack and allow for the glaze to set for a few minutes before enjoying.

These baked donuts are usually enjoyed best right away, but will keep well if covered tightly and left at room temperature for up to 2 days.  You can also freeze the cake donut without frosting for up to two months and then just defrost them when ready to use.

Enjoy and happy almost fall y'all! :)

Recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.

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