Archive for January, 2010

Attention Fellow Bloggers

January 27, 2010

Write a post about The Sugar Moon on your blog and you will receive a $6 off coupon on your next order for helping to spread the word!  That’s a dozen free cookies of your choice people…(or anything else your heart desires!).  Just send me an email with a link to your post and your coupon will be on it’s way!

(Offer is for locals only…sorry.  I mean feel free to write a post, it’s just that the $6 off wouldn’t do you any good if you’re not in my area.) 🙂


5 Things Every Baker Needs

January 26, 2010

Just like everything else we do, the right tools can make all the difference in how the job turns out.  All you sewers, and woodworkers out there will understand this.  Using the right tool for the job is key.  Baking is the same.  Using the right tool can make your good treats excellent!

So do you want to make your sweet even more scrumptious?  Here is my list of the top five things every serious baker needs in order to make the most delectable delights!! (In no particular order).

This is my first item…a Kitchenaid Mixer.  Of course you can use any standing mixer out there, but I am partial to this one.  My mom had one that I used growing up and I’ve had my own (the same one) for 15 years and it’s still going strong, showing no signs of wearing out anytime soon.  But a standing mixer is a definite must in my book.  The consistancy you can get with an electric mixer is something that cannot be taken for granted in the world of baking.  It is versital and quick.  (Here’s a trick too… have two bowls and two paddles!  For baking mulitiple things at once, it makes life so easy!)

This little beauty is a new addition to my kitchen.  I’ve always used a cuisinart, but this is like no other cuisinart around. It is a Williams-Sonoma exclusive (my home-away-from-home). I got this from my husband for Christmas this past year.  It is amazing.  I’ve always made pie crusts and other doughs in my food processor, but this Cuisinart does so much more and it is even easier to use!  I just made a batch of delicious blueberry scones for a customer and mixed them perfectly in the 10-inch nesting bowl.  I’m telling you, if you are a fan of the food processor, you need one of these! Sometimes I just look at it on my counter and sigh with joy!

Does this surprise you?  A whisk…just an ordinary french whisk in my top five?  It is very ordinary, but in baking I’ve found there is no better tool for mixing dry ingredients.  I use my mini french whisk the most.  It is the perfect size to really blend evenly.

Does anyone else laugh when a recipe calls for a greased cookie sheet?  I do!  I haven’t had to spray a cookie sheet since the Silpat was invented.  Truly nothing sticks to it and cookies come out perfect every time.  They are easy to clean and I store them right on the cookie sheets.

And here is the final item on my list: a cookie scoop!  It makes your cookies or even truffles easy to get out of the bowl and a tray of evenly sized goodies always looks prettier.  You can get these in multiple sizes.  Scoop out your dough and then throw it in the dishwasher.  The days of two teaspoons is over!  Today is the day of the cookie scoop!

So what do you think?  What would be on your list?

Sweet and Salty!

January 20, 2010

My daughters and I were having an after school snack the other day of pretzels and marshmallows.  Although I generally only crave sweet things, the combination of sweet and salty tasted so good.  So I had an idea! What would happen if you combined a salty pretzel with the most classic sweet around…chocolate chip cookies. Something wonderful…that’s what! They are yummy! Try them and let me know what you think!

(adapted from a recipe in Cookies Unlimited by Nick Malgieri)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup broken pretzel pieces

In an electric mixer cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. In a small bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda.  Whisk to combine evenly.  Add to mixer and beat until combined.  Add chocolate chips and pretzel pieces.  Use an extra-large cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop) to drop cookies on a greased cookie sheet or one lined with Silpat.  Bake at 360 degrees for 15-16 minutes. Makes 12 jumbo cookies!

The Perfect Gingersnap

January 18, 2010

One of my favorite cookies, is a nice soft gingersnap.  I generally reserve this cookie for Christmas time, but last night I had some friends over for dinner and one of them reminded me how much he loved the gingersnaps I made him in December.  I haven’t stopped thinking about them.  They have the most wonderful chewy texture and when you roll them in sugar the outside has the perfect crunch!  Why wait until December?  Try these today!

Chewy Gingersnaps

2 cups flour (sifted)                       3/4 cup shortening
2 tsp baking soda                          1 cup sugar
1 tsp ginger                                     4 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp cloves                                      1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon

Sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside. Cream shortening. Add sugar, egg, and molasses. Beat well. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth.  Mixture will be very stiff. Take a teaspoon full of mixture, roll into a ball, then roll in sugar.  Bake on greased cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees!

Life Under the Sugar Moon

January 17, 2010

Last Christmas I had the opportunity to start a very small home-based bakery. It’s called the Sugar Moon. It’s been so fun and I’ve loved sharing my talent for creating yummy sweets with others. Today, I decided it was time to launch my business into the world of blogging! The Sugar Moon will stay the same, but now through my blog I will be able to share my passion and ideas with a broader audience. So pass on the word and let the world know how sweet life is under The Sugar Moon.