Peanut Butter Pie with Cookie Crust

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Happy Mother’s Day! How better to celebrate than with chocolate and peanut butter?

This year marks the first Mother’s Day since 2008 that I haven’t spent any time with my own mother. My parents moved back to New York last year, and it’s still weird that I can’t just drive over and see them whenever I want to. Fortunately, I still have family close by!

This recipe marks another step in my journey to make every Baked recipe. I wish I could say that I’m going in some kind of order, but I’m not. This pie is in the very first Baked cookbook. I was looking for something chocolatey, because when the mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law are involved, it just has to be chocolate.

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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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Guglhupf

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The NC Bakery Tour continues! I met my sister at Gugulhupf, a German bakery in Durham. In case you were wondering, there are a whole bunch of bakeries in Durham, but most of them are closed on Sundays. Now I know!

Anyway, it was a beautiful spring day, so we chose our pastries and sat down at a table outside. Pictured above is Rachel’s choice, the mango mousse torte.

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CupCakeBite and Stick Boy Bakery

IMG_1060If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember my post about the bakery tour of Manhattan that my friend Laura does annually for her birthday. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can find it here!)

Considering Laura has been doing this for five years, I’m not sure what took me so long to come up with the idea to do my own version. However, I’m going to do it a little differently. Rather than having one day where a group of friends travel from bakery to bakery in one city, I’m going to visit as many bakeries as I can in the entire STATE! I have no idea how long that’s going to take, but anyone is welcome to join at any point!

Last week, I made my first two stops in a small town called Fuquay-Varina. I met up with fellow dessert-lover Ashley, who took me first to her favorite cupcake shop, CupCakeBite.

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

AMAZING photo courtesy of Julie!

AMAZING photo courtesy of Julie!

And now for something completely different – a savory recipe!

There’s a backstory attached to this post, so I’ll start from the beginning. I discovered Julie of Willow Bird Baking through LiveJournal (yes, that’s still a thing), and at first I just enjoyed her recipes. Then, I realized that she lives near me! I immediately emailed her and asked if she would be interested in baking together.

I was thrilled when she responded that she would love to meet up with me! Unfortunately, it took a long time for our schedules to match up, but we finally made it happen this past weekend! Now, here’s the part where I explain how the savory recipe fits into the mix.

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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