The Simple, Sweet Life is Moving!

The Simple, Sweet Life has been growing, and with that comes the need for more space, more room for customization…  Which means the time has come for the Simple, Sweet Life to move to it’s own site. That’s right folks, we’re moving to self-hosting in all it’s terrifying glory (seriously, you don’t even want to know how many hours I spent working on the new site yesterday)! For all of you who have subscribed via email and follow the blog via the wordpress.com button, you should continue to get updates just as you have before. But if you want to make sure you stay up to date on all the latest posts and recipes, you can head on over and like the Simple, Sweet Life Facebook page. In the meantime, check out the Simple, Sweet Life at its new home: http://thesimple-sweetlife.com

Chocolate Fingers

Chocolate finger invitations

Growing up I always loved leafing through Martha Stewart’s Halloween edition of her magazine for all sorts of creepy ideas. I remember being particularly struck by her severed finger invitations, and thinking that some day I would use those for an amazing Halloween party. Unfortunately, the store kits she used to sell have come and gone, and neither my parents nor I could find rubber mold to make them at home. But luckily, that’s when I discovered Silicone Moulds, who just so happened to carry a finger shaped silicone mold. Not only could I make my severed finger invitations, but I could have my cake and eat it too!

Chocolate Fingers
Yields about 18 fingers

For the cake truffle filling:
1 stick (113 grams) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup white or yellow cake mix
1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the chocolate coating:
3 bars white chocolate
A few drops black food gel
Cooking oil (for thinning, if necessary)

Other ingredients or tools:
Silicon finger mold
A small, clean brush
Brown food gel
A sponge or cotton ball
Red jam (optional)
Boxes and black ribbon (if making invitations)

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Candy Corn Swirl Cookies

Candy corn cookies

I love complicated and elaborate desserts. Something that really makes people say “Wow!” But sometimes, I don’t have the time (or energy) to put together such a dessert. Or sometimes I’m putting together multiple desserts and they just can’t all be “wowers” (hey, a girl’s gotta have a life outside of baking too!). It’s times like those, that I turn to simple cookies, like a candy corn-inspired swirl cookie!

Candy Corn Swirl Cookies
Yields about two dozen cookies

2 sticks (226 grams) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Food coloring in yellow and orange

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Braaaaains!

Halloween cupcakes

For ages I’ve been promising one of my friends that we’d do some fun baking together and that I’d show him some cool baking tricks. And what recipe, you ask, did I think would be perfect for honing his baking skills? Why, the first of my Halloween baking: brain cupcakes with bleeding centers! You know you have good friends when they’re equally as happy to make gross Halloween food as you. So without further ado, meet my baking assistant and mad scientist, Trond!

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Brain Cupcakes
Yields 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1/2 stick (57 grams) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup milk

For the filling:
Raspberry or strawberry jam

For the frosting:
2 sticks (about 226 grams) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pink food coloring

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

In case it hasn’t been enough that I’ve made pumpkin macarons and pumpkin cupcakes, I thought I’d introduce the delicious flavor into my breakfasts. And boy, was that a good move! Nothing says “hello weekend!” like hot, fresh pumpkin cinnamon rolls with vanilla buttercream frosting!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 12 rolls

For the cinnamon rolls:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. melted butter
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. instant, dry yeast

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

For the filling:
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the frosting:
1 stick (113 grams) butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

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