Buttercream’s Bakeshop

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Hello out there! I realized recently that it had been a while since I made a stop on the NC Bakery Tour. Coincidentally, we had plans with our friends Sam and Ashley, the latter of whom loves desserts as much as I do.

I had never heard of Buttercream’s Bakeshop in Apex, but I was more than willing to give it a try. Side note: We went to Anna’s Pizzeria for lunch before dessert, and I’ve officially found my new favorite pizza place. Their ziti pizza was crazy good. (If you’ve never heard of ziti pizza, it’s exactly what it sounds like – carbs on carbs, aka heaven.)

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New York, May 2015

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You know I can’t take a trip to New York without blogging about the food afterwards.

The above is a photo of food not just eaten in New York, but also made in New York. I went for the purpose of going to my friend Laura’s bachelorette party, but I also spent some time with my parents. Before I went to the city for the weekend, my mom requested that I make some red velvet mini cupcakes for a party my parents were having.

During the process of making the cupcakes and the icing, I learned that baking without all of my various kitchen toys is very difficult. For example, a cookie scoop. If you’ve been making cupcakes without the aid of a cookie scoop, buy one! I promise, your baking will never be the same.

Anyway, moving on to the food I didn’t make!

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Honey Almond Macaroons

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Happy Passover! Judaism is full of holidays and traditions, and for Passover, the tradition of avoiding leavened foods for 7 days (or 8, depending who you ask) is mitigated by the seders held on the first two nights.

A seder is a dinner in which the story of Passover is told, you drink four glasses of wine, you search for the afikomen and many other things. “Seder” is Hebrew for order, and the seder has this name simply because everything is done in a particular order.

During a seder, you read along in a book called a haggadah. The most famous haggadah was actually created by Maxwell House! But in 2010, after I came home from spending 5 months in Israel, my mom and I put together our own haggadah, which we’ve used ever since.

Before this year, the only years that I did not attend a seder hosted by my parents were the four that I spent in college. But since they moved back to New York, this year, I was on my own. I’m happy to say that my husband and I successfully hosted our own seder this year! It was attended by two other couples and a one-year-old, and we had a great time.

Traditionally, four questions are asked during the seder. Here’s a fifth question – what do you make for dessert when you can’t use flour?

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Funfetti Cheesecake Hamantaschen

IMG_0940 I love sprinkles. In fact, sprinkles and I have had an extensive love affair over the years. I have college memories of dumping spoonfuls of sprinkles on top of my ice cream and yogurt. The sprinkle yogurts that you can buy in the grocery store don’t come with anywhere near enough sprinkles for me. Something else I love is Purim! For a full history lesson on Purim, check out Chabad.org, but basically, it’s another Jewish holiday where the Jews were almost massacred, they weren’t, so we eat. The food that we eat on Purim are called hamantaschen, which is a Yiddish word meaning “Haman’s pockets.” (Haman is the bad guy in the Purim story, in case you didn’t click the link above!) We should probably eat food that commemorates Esther or Mordecai (the heroes of the story), but who am I to mess with tradition? Well, I messed with tradition a little bit. Continue reading

Banana Pudding Cookies

IMG_0329This sticker belongs on my car, although it hasn’t made it there yet. But my friend Rachel got it for me as a perfect birthday present, being that I’m a born and raised New Yorker living in North Carolina. I love that I feel like I belong on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. (Although yes, I’m more at home in the North. That may never change!)

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Cookies

I am guilty of the sin of not having any pictures of these cookies. In my defense, my grandmother wouldn’t let anyone touch them.

I’ll back up a little. Recently, my mom and I went and spent a week with my grandmother (her mother) in Arizona. She has existed on no white flour, no sugar, no red meat and no dairy for at least a decade now. So of course, she wouldn’t touch most of what I make with a ten foot pole. So of course, I had to find a recipe that she would eat.

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