Thursday, December 8, 2011

Birthday Cake Cocktail

So, the real reason I've been MIA for the past month and a half is because my life has been all over the place. For instance, that new job I had mentioned in a previous post got replaced with another job after a mere week. Let's just say I found myself in the back of a walk-in freezer for much of my 13-hour workday. And I don't know about you, but I don't typically wear my long johns to work. 

Maybe you do. What's under your clothes is none of my business, really.  

Anyway, now you can find me at the Columbus Cupcakery doing all of the custom cake orders. If you're from this wonderful area of South Jersey, you need to stop in and try a cupcake or four. Flavors are always being updated (Tiramisu cupcakes, anyone?). This wonderful new career opportunity has been great, mostly because we don't have a walk-in freezer. Oh, and I get to do what I love. That's good, too. 

Okay, that's the end of my public service announcement. My days have also been crazy because another huge, life-changing event.......

We joined a new gym. 

Was that a let-down? Well, it's big for me and my mom. I'm pretty sure she was a member of our old gym for like a decade or a century or something along those lines. And I was probably there since before high school. We spent every morning with the same wonderful, sweaty people. Then one day, an eviction notice was posted, and that was that. I don't do well with change in my routine, especially my morning routine. But it turns out that pretty much everyone we knew from the old place are at this new one with us, and it's closer, and cleaner, and we all lived happily ever after. 

Now to go with all this gym talk: a healthy, energy-boosting protein drink that I think you should all start your day with. 

I'm lying again. It's calorie-laden and flirting with the idea of being sickeningly sweet. But it isn't, so you should try it. 

How do you feel about drinking your birthday cake? Do you feel as good about it as I do? Or do I only feel good because I had to drink some of these as a quality control procedure before writing this post? Anyway, if you're too lazy to bake a cake for your birthday, or no one made one for you because they're also too lazy, you both can whip up this cocktail in a matter of seconds. Hell, I'm probably going to start replacing birthday cakes with this. It's like the Easy Bake approach, but instead of cake mix you have alcohol, and instead of a light bulb oven you have more alcohol. 

Birthday Cake Cocktail 
Original Recipe
1 oz. vanilla frosting vodka (such as Cupcake brand vodka) or vanilla vodka
1 oz. Frangelico
1/2 oz. of creme liquor (such as Starbucks brand liquor)
1 1/2 oz. simple syrup
Splash of half-and-half
Whipped cream and/or sprinkles for garnish

Fill shaker a little more than halfway full with ice. Add vodka, Frangelico, creme liquor, simple syrup and half-and-half, and shake well. Pour into chilled martini glass and garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles.

PS--If you read my last post, I went with my better judgment and decided to post that picture of my beautiful, loving mother. If you don't know what I'm talking about, well, that's your problem. Have a great day! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Coffee Almond Cake

December already! I wonder why they decided to skip November this year? Going straight from Halloween to the Christmas season just seems so wrong. It's quite a monumental moment in our world history--I'm actually surprised there wasn't any sort of massive uproar over it. I mean, Thanksgiving is a pretty sweet holiday. It's too bad we missed it. At least thousands of turkeys' lives were spared this year. 

Nah, I just didn't blog at all in the month of November, and I wanted to cover it up by trying to convince you that the wonderful 11th month of our year was non-existent. I think it worked for a second, but then you realized that I'm really bad at lying. And I'm also pretty fickle. How about we move on to YOUR imperfections? No? 

Thousands of turkeys actually died, by the way. And the one that died for our Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic. (Shout out to you, Mama!)


How's your holiday season going? It is a little on the warm side, but I can dig it (I am NOT complaining Mother Nature, not for one second). Our holiday season over here starts with my mom's birthday, which is TODAY. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAMA! Double shout out. 

If you know my mom, you already know she's an awesome lady. She's super fun...I'm pretty sure she has more of a social life than I do. And she's super nice, and really pretty. I'd post a picture of her and have you guess how old she's turning, and you'd probably all guess somewhere around 30, 32--MAYBE. But, she's probably horrified at the thought of that all going down, so we'll just skip that little game. But seriously, she's pretty much my BFF, and puts up with my fickleness, which is very admirable. Enjoy your day, Mama. I love you!

Obviously this cake is for my mom's birthday. I tried to come up with something that combines a few things she likes. So, I started with coffee buttercream (Mom loves coffee!), then moved on to the cake. Hmmm...what goes with coffee?....chocolate: BORING, vanilla: BORING, coffee: TOO MUCH COFFEE, hazelnut: NO. So what did I go with? Almond. Mom seems to like almonds. And I figured if I douse it in Disarrono, she'd be sold (Mom loves alcohol!). Now we have a party. 

Almond Cake 
Adapted from Living Tastefully

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup almond butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup amaretto liquor (I used Disarrono), plus more for dousing the cakes
2 cups cake flour (or 1 3/4 cup AP flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup hot milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and prepare two 9" cake pans. Cream butter, almond butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and then add vanilla and amaretto. Mix in dry ingredients, slowly add the milk, and mix until just combined. Divide batter between the two pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool cakes a bit and use a pastry brush to add some additional liquor.

The frosting I used was basically this frosting from a previous post.

See you in February!

Just kidding, maybe.