Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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Did you know that yesterday was a holiday?

Yup, May 6th is Hanson Day! Let’s just get the answers to all the usual questions out of the way –

Yes, Hanson as in MMMBop.

Yes, Hanson is still my favorite band.

Yes, Hanson is still making music. Check out newer songs here, here, and here.

No, I’m not the only Hanson fan left. In fact, you can see in the links above that really cool people like Weird Al and Kat Dennings are Hanson fans.

Anyway, to celebrate Hanson Day, I decided to make cupcakes. I thought about making Twinkie cupcakes (if you’re a Hanson fan that makes sense to you), but decided to work with ingredients I had on hand. I also decided to make a one bowl, no mixer required recipe. So now I’ve given you some music education and a great new recipe. You’re welcome!

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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

Apple Bundt Cake

IMG_0660I got a bundt pan for Chanukah! It’s the Nordicware Anniversary bundt pan, recommended by the Baked guys (of course).

I wanted to make a bundt cake from the “Baked Occasions” book, but I also had to play to my audience for the particular occasion, which was Christmas. As someone else was bringing a chocolate dessert, that knocked out the particular bundt recipe I had in mind. So I went searching, and found the perfect recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction – Glazed Apple Bundt Cake.

Not only was it a flavor that everyone would love, but I still have some apples left from apple picking in October! So this cake was baked completely from scratch, including self-picked apples.

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