Saturday, December 10, 2011


It has been WAY too long, and I hope that you still love me, over here in sugartown. Life has taken some interesting twists and turns since the last time I posted, and I kinda had to stop the blog and focus on my life. BUT, no matter because Sugartown is BACK, and in the process of being better than ever! I have some really exciting news to share in the coming weeks!! stay tuned and have a BEAUTIFUL Christmas!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oh Oh Oreo!

Hey all! So sorry for the delayed post!

I have been so excited to do this project, so excited in fact, that my initial plan, to wait until valentines day just didn't work! So, here it is, my attempt at making homemade oreo cookies! I found this recipe courtesy of Bake at 350, and it is super easy ( though a little time consuming, it's worth it!)

2 & 1/2 c. all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 c. dutch-process cocoa (natural is OK, too)
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 c. unsalted butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease your cookie sheet with non stick spray ( I swear by bakers joy. that stuff is MAGIC)

Whisk together the flour,cocoa, espresso powder and salt; set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light an fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.

In 3 additions, add the flour mixture at low speed. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured and cocoa-ed surface. (I mixed the 2 of these, then spread on my rolling surface, on my rolling pin, and used it to dip my cookie cutters.)

1 tsp. plus a heaping 1/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin
2 TBSP. cold water
1/2 c. shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
2 and 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl or cup.  Place the cup into a larger bowl of hot water and leave it there until the gelatin is completely dissolved and liquid transparent.

Remove the cup from the hot water and let the liquid cool to room temperature, but hasn't begun to set...about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the shortening with a paddle attachment until fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add the sugar a little at a time, beating until the mixture comes together.  Scrape the bowl as needed.  Beat in the gelatin.  Use immediately, or store, well-wrapped at room temperature.

BIG thanks to Bake at 350 for this great find!! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"What The French Toast!?"

So here it is! French toast souffle! I first tasted this deliciousness thanks to my wonderful cousin Gayle during this years family break the fast of Yom Kippur gathering. my brother and I exchanged raised eyebrows and big as saucer eyes as we both dove in, and then immediately asked if she would share her recipe. It. is. SO. good, and it's so pretty! look at those layers!

French Toast Souffle Recipe

From Gayle Elias

2 Cups Brown Sugar

1 Cup Butter
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
18 slices or 2 loaves plain Challah (you can also use white bread if need be in a pinch, I did on account of wanting to make this in a blizzard for my roommate and I)
3 Cups Milk
6 Eggs
½ Cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla

In a medium bowl, melt butter, then add brown sugar and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, then add regular sugar, vanilla and milk.
In a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray, layer bread, glaze (with brown sugar mixture), add another layer of bread, glaze, (maybe 3 layers).
Pour egg mixture on TOP of bread.  I do all of the above the night before I want to serve this, cover it, and keep it in the refrigerator overnight.  
In the morning, take out of the refrigerator and bake it uncovered at 350 degrees for a total of about 1 Hour 15 minutes.  After about 45 minutes, I loosely tent tin foil over the Pyrex dish to prevent overbrowning.

I highly reccomend serving with a tall glass of milk to temper the sweetness! Enjoy!

stay tuned next week for a post birthday treat related post ( I'm celebrating on Monday)

Peace, Love, and Sugar


Saturday, January 8, 2011

did someone say Nutella?

Okay. Okay. So I know I promised french toast casserole this week. But here's the thing. a big fat cinnamon brown sugar laden dish is meant to be shared with many people, right? right?! well, I'm pretty sure that in the hideous weather that my fair city is experiencing, getting a bunch of people to share my french toasty goodness might be difficult. 

The other option would be for me to eat all of it. 

and that would just not be pretty. 

SO, we're going to save cousin Gayle's delicious french toast casserole recipe for a bit later down the line (and it WILL happen) and instead, I offer up something equally delicious, and while I may eat most of these cookies, at least it wont be like eating an entire french toast casserole on my own. right? yes. I thought so lol

Nutella peanut butter chip cookies! ( Slightly adapted from "Cast Sugar" this week- Thanks!)

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temp.
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. light brown sugar
2/3 c. Nutella
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 c. peanut butter chips
1/2 c. toasted and skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped ( optional)

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside

next combine the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar til fluffy
Add the nutella ( NOM) and vanilla extract and mix again

Add 1 large egg. okay! no sweat! in fact, I have a large egg! a VERY large egg. 
it kinda looks like an ostrich egg, doesn't it? I figured, okay recipe! you call for a large egg. perfect!

guess what!? when I cracked the LARGE egg!? TWINS!

I was so surprised I didnt snap a photo... I was also too busy fishing the second egg out of the batter before it was too late. I was successful. Don't worry. But I wondered to myself, is that supposed to be good luck or something? 

Combine the egg, and then slowly add the flour mixture in until it is just incorporated. Add your 1/2 cup of peanut butter chippies and optional hazelnuts, and bake at 350 for about 11 to 15 minutes!

and VOILA!
There you have it!! 

This week's bake to background noise is the uber talented "Grace Potter and The Nocturnals". Check em out!

 see ya next week!

Peace Love and Sugar,


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Meet poppy!

So at the end of my work day today, I got a text from my roommate saying she had a surprise for me when she arrived home from work this evening. half terrified, half curious ( hah) I waited, wondering what she might walk in with.

to my great relief, it was not a severed head ( whew!) but something much more fun.

readers, meet Poppy....

Isn't she pretty!!?

we quickly set to work setting her up on the stove...

poured in the included popcorn and oil package....

and cranked it up! ( cue the jack in the box music here)

finally, we had a product!!!!!

and just to make it more fun, we decided to throw in some more yummyness for good measure.

*sidenote- tomorrow's recipe for french toast casserole is going to be pushed to Saturday morning when I'm home inside watching the snow fall. again.

 oh and, because it's hilarious, and so very very true. LoL

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sugar Town Sweeties!!!

Happy New Year!!!!

So, this is just a drop in blog post to say, I have these wonderful, beautiful  adopted little sisters in my life who I, admittedly, ache because of how much I miss them. They've got a huge part of my heart, and over new years weekend, I got a chance to talk to them, wish them a happy new year, and then clap with glee when I found out that they were busy at home in their kitchen cooking and baking from scratch! So I promised them a blog post because I am so proud of them! Kit Kat and Beanie? This one's all for you!!

Behold, cupcakes made by Ellie ( age 7)
(photo credit: Ellie)

and Mac and Cheese made by Katie ( age 11)
(Photo credit: Katie)

I'm going to see if they would mind sharing their recipes and I'll get back to you all on that ;)

and in other HUGE news, as of tomorrow morning, I, Jamie, the self proclaimed mayor of Sugar Town, can officially say my baked goods are on sale! I was able to work out a deal with my boss to sell the famed and sought after Sugar Town Coffee Cake in our cafe.  If you're out there, in and around TriBeCa, stop by the Downtown Community Center and buy a piece of delicious coffee cake! All the profits from our cafe go to funding our after school and young family programs :)

Stay tuned for a new recipe this friday! think Syrup. and more sugar.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy (and bubbly and fluffy and delicious) New Year!

Hello from the ice and snow!!

It's been a crazy, crazy week, started with a blizzard, ending with, well, the end of the year! I hope everyone who got nailed like I did is safe and digging out of the snow without too much trouble. One day, I'll regale you all with the harrowing tale of my trip home from work on Monday...once the emotional scars heal ;)

So this week's recipe is for Champagne Chiffon Cake. Ooh! Ahh! I can taste the bubbles!!!

Being that tomorrow is New Years Eve, and my roommate just pointed out that if I post this NOW as opposed to tomorrow, it may give some of you the inspiration to try this delicious recipe for your own New Years celebrations!!

In my quest for the perfect New Years Eve sweet, I stumbled upon this recipe from the brilliant and talented Nicole over at Baking Bites. I modified the recipe, admittedly by happy accident...I forgot to add  two tablespoons of sugar into the egg whites... oops, what can I say, I'm a novice. But, in my defense, my army of taste testers didn't seem to miss those two tablespoons a bit!
 So, in keeping with the theme I seem to have going, I have yet another kind of amusing story to go along with my finished, and surprisingly beautiful end result. It began with an adventure to procure the Champagne needed for the recipe ( Left my ID and had to recruit a friend to accompany me to the liquor store) and ending with the realization on the way home that I do not possesses a flour sifter!! ( Make shift sifter? fork holes in a paper cup. I swear, it totally worked.)  So as a result... I am highly considering sub titling this blog "this misadventures of a penniless baker"

(Apologies for the lack of photos in this weeks post as well, but I did manage to get a few decent ones of the final product!)

Champagne Chiffon Cake ( Adapted slightly from Thank you!)

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/2 cups super fine sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup champagne
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7 large egg yolks
7 large egg whites, at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 325
In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar ( reserving two tablespoons for later) baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the champagne ( make sure it's a champagne you enjoy, as you'll definitely taste it when the cake is finished!) vanilla, vegetable oil and the egg yolks. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. 

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, add in the remaining sugar as it gets foamy and gently fold into the batter little by little until all of the egg white is combined thoroughly into the batter. If you're not me, you'll remember to add those reserved two tablespoons of sugar. just so you know... according to my roommate, it tastes A OKAY if you forget. Like I did.  

Pour the mixture into an ungreased tube pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. I recently purchased a wilton silicone tube pan and LOVE it.  When finished, the cake will spring back when it is gently pressed, and a fork or toothpick comes out clean. 

Here is my end result!!

So there we have it! I am pleased as punch to announce that the cake was a huge hit at work ( I love my co workers and their willingness to try pretty much anything I march in with on any given day!)

Stay tuned for some exciting news about Sugar Town in next week's post! Until then, have a safe, healthy and happy New Year.

Peace love and Sugar,

Baking entertainment background noise of the week : Gilmore Girls Season 6- Hater's gonna hate but I loved all 7 seasons ;)