Do You See Blueberries in That Muffin?


Memories are funny things…and not all of them good. But that is okay. Every moment leaves an imprint on our lives and, good or bad, those memories are triggered by small things. Like blueberry muffins.

Now I realize the blueberry muffins are a strange trigger, but they play a big part in an amazing 2 days at the Hualapai Mountain Resort Arts and Crafts Fair in August 2011

After years of taking treats to work, I was finally convinced to put a booth in a craft fair, and the biggest one in the Northern Arizona community we lived in was the Hualapai Mountain Resort Arts and Crafts Fair.

I started planning a menu of products to bake and take, warring with myself about staying to traditional flavors or introduce the general public to some of my not so typical flavor combinations.

I ultimately settled on a good combination of traditional and adventurous. Cupcake flavors leaning to the adventurous, with cinnamon rolls and muffins for those who preferred to stay in the safe lane.

After recruiting 1 husband, 2 daughters and a very tiny granddaughter, I finalized a menu of 6 cupcake flavors, brownie bites, cinnamon rolls and 2 flavors of muffins..banana and blueberry.

We baked, decorated, packaged and labelled enough product for the 1000 expected craft fair attendees and headed to the Hualapai Mountain Resort very early on a Saturday morning in August.

Now, having absolutely NO experience with setting up for a craft fair, we erred on the side of having too much rather than too little product. So naturally it took a good deal of time to unload a pickup and SUV of tables, chairs, EZ up (in this case, not so ez up), display cases (which husband had made) and product.

We had a lot of interest in who we were and what “craft” we had for sale from the other vendors. Many were very happy to see food that wasn’t the normal flavored olive oils and jerky, so we did have some early sales of cinnamon rolls and muffins to them.

FINALLY!!! We managed to get everything set up and, like a thoroughbred horse in the starting gate, we were just twitching with anticipation for the first customers to start meandering by.

As people started to trickle in, we had some interest, but most just glanced and walked right on by. The beautiful granddaughter was excited about all the fun crocheted animals at the next booth and we had to keep calling her back. Everyone thought she was adorable (she was 8 at the time, so very adorable) and we decided to use that to our advantage and set her out in front of the booth to engage with people. And, because most people cannot resist adorable little girls with a tray of sweets, people began to ask questions.

So we started having good sales and the first day ended with 5 very tired, but satisfied, first time craft fair vendors. Because we were coming back for day 2, we only packed up the product and money, and headed back down the mountain to get some much needed rest.

Day 2 started off with everyone complains about how tired and sore, but excited to get back to the mountains to see just how much we could actually sell. So we loaded up and made our way back to Hualapai Mountain Resort. As we started setting up, our fellow vendors, many of whom had spent the night in tents and campers at the site, started coming by for fresh cinnamon rolls and muffins. The gates opened of customers started to slowly trickle in. Not as busy as day 1, but steady.

One of our booth neighbors (they had a high powered telescope set up so people could look at the sky) kept coming back for more muffins. He finally just gave the granddaughter the money and she would come get him which ever flavor he wanted. Eventually, he decided he wanted to buy some to take home. He bought 1 dozen banana and 1 dozen blueberry.

A while later, I hear someone calling my name. It was the muffin man. He hollers out (while holding up a muffin) “is this blueberry or banana”. Aaaannnddd I could not stop myself before I blurted out “Do you see blueberries in it?”

Everyone started laughing and I realized that my tone had most likely been a little sarcastic. We all had a good laugh, and I had to admit to everyone that my momma had raised a bit of a smart ass.

It has been almost 8 years since that weekend in the Hualapai mountains, but every time I make blueberry muffins, I can smell the pine resin, see the dappled sunlight through the aspens and, clearly as that day, hear myself asking “do you seen any blueberries in it?”.


Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…Ella Fitzgerald


Today is the first day of summer, and here in Northern Nevada, we can feel it.  100 degrees in the shade and it will only get hotter as the days go by.

The heat doesn’t make me really want to bake, but I couldn’t fight the urge to welcome Summer with my Summer Squash/Chai Cupcakes.

A few years ago, we had a bumper crop of summer squash from our garden, and I was wracking my brain for new recipes to use it all.

Now most people have had chocolate zucchini cake and zucchini bread, but there aren’t a lot of bakery items made with summer squash.  But, this thin skinned, lightly flavored cruciferous vegetable lends itself to some very yummy desserts.

The first time I made Summer Squash cupcakes, I just adapted my basic cupcake recipe, and the result was good, but not great.  I knew it could be so much better.  So I went back to my recipes to see how to make it great.

I knew I needed to kick up the flavor a bit because the squash itself is such a not-imposing flavor.  I tried using cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice (both individually and together in different combinations).  Still not what I was wanting.

So I started thinking of exotic spices/flavors, and immediately hit upon Chai spice.  The amazing combination of cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and black pepper is the perfect compliment to the slightly sweet vegetable.

After more testing, I had a summer squash/chai cupcake that I liked, but didn’t love.  It was a good dense cake with a nice crumb, but just not the over the top moist cake that I was wanting.

So, I went through my other cake recipes and decided to see if my carrot cake recipe would adapt to this cake.  And guess what…it did.  Beautifully.  So with a couple of tweaks, I was able to create what has become one of my favorite cupcakes.

The thing that makes this cake recipe different from my others, is that I use oil instead of butter.  I am a “butter makes everything better” kind of girl, so having a recipe that doesn’t have butter is a rarity.  Also, this recipe is mixed in a single bowl, no mixer needed.


I leave the skin on the squash, it is not fibrous, so no need to peel.  Just cut off the ends and grate 454 grams and set aside.

Combine 440 grams sugar, 320 grams all-purpose flour, 10 grams baking soda, 5 grams salt,  15 grams chai spice mix in a large mixing bowl.  Add 4 beaten eggs, 240 ml vegetable oil and 240 grams of crushed pineapple.  Stir to combine.  Add shredded squash and mix until just combined.

Use a portion scoop to scoop into lined cupcake pans and bake @350 for 16-18 minutes until tester comes out clean.


Once the cupcakes are cool, ice them with your preference of frostings.  I prefer cream cheese icing, but if you prefer a simple buttercream, that works too.


The shredded squash blends well into the cake and makes this cupcake amazingly moist and the chai compliments the light flavor of the vegetable.

Enjoy and stay cool .




It’s All About the Dough

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it…Henry David Thoreau


doughAs you may have noticed, I have been away from my keyboard for a few weeks.  Not because i haven’t had anything to say, but, simply put, life has managed to once again, get in the way of living.

I had to get a real job.

I know, I know, big deal right?  Welcome (back) to Adulting.  Since closing Lavender Box in January, I had been spending a lot of time working on my cottage bakery…and to be honest, myself.  Trying to answer the basic questions about me;


At (almost) 51 years old, one would think that I had all of that figured out; and I thought I had.  For decades, I have been a daughter, a student, a wife, a mother, a friend and an employee, Some days I was afraid my neck was not strong enough to hold up my head because of all the hats I wore.   But that is the life I chose.  A long time ago I realized that life is much like the books that let you “choose” how the story went; at the end of a chapter, you’d answer a question that would determine the “path” your would go.

Of course, some life events are out of my control, I didn’t get to chose my parents, siblings, or extended family.  The schools I attended were decided by the higher power of the school districting board, and even religion was someone else’s decision in my early years.

But even as others made those types of decisions that effected my life, the decisions I made, determined the outcome.  Don’t study or do homework–get bad grades.  That’s a pretty basic concept, but one that I think many people don’t seem to grasp.  The result you get in life is determined by the effort you put in.  You choose your path, and how you react to the story you choose will determine how your story unfolds.

But, enough philosophical musings, back to the root of this story…dough.  Not just the dough that results from having a job ( I do have to admit though, having a steady income has helped a lot), but the dough that makes me happy.  Dough that, when baked, is light, flaky, crispy and sweet…all at the same time.  Dough that takes me 2 days from start to finish when making at home (man I miss my dough sheeter)AD853E96-8238-49CA-910F-FB9BFE9A995D 2

Okay, Okay.  No wallowing today, just beautiful dough.  Croissant dough to be precise.

In pastry school, when we learned to make laminated doughs (croissant, puff pastry), we learned to do it by hand.  Getting a feel for the dough and knowing the steps is key to being able to get it right.  So, up until the time I opened Lavender Box, I made croissants by hand; and now that I am back to being a “home” bakery, I am, once again, rolling and folding the dough the old fashioned (and sometimes tiring) way.

But the result of all that work is something almost ethereal.  Delicate and light, fresh croissants are one of my favorite things, and defiantly worth the time and effort.

Good butter croissants begin with cold ingredients.  Ice water, egg, sugar, salt and milk powder combined in the mixer bowl.  With you dough hook, knead in the bread flour, yeast and (a touch) of softened butter.

As with any dough, texture is key.  Kneading croissant dough just the right amount, helps create that wonderful texture.  I have found that right amount of time is 5 minutes on a medium high (7 on Kitchen aid mixer).

After the dough has been made, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  While you dough is chilling, make you butter block. I use 2 pounds of unsalted butter in my croissants.  While some recipes for croissants call for the butter to be mixed with some flour, I have never found this makes a difference one way or the other.  I let the butter get to room temperature (it should be soft enough that when you press with your finger it will indent, but not so soft that you can easily push your finger through), and then roll it between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to a 10 x 10 inch square.  Then refrigerate the butter.  The dough and butter should be the same “stiffness”.  If you butter is too soft, it will squish (very technical term, I know) out everywhere.  But if your dough is softer than your butter, the butter will tear the dough.  It takes some practice to learn the right level of firmness for both dough and butter, but I have found that if the dough has been refrigerated for about an hour, and the butter at least 30 minutes, they seem to laminate very well.

Now the fun starts.  Roll out the chilled dough to a 20 x 10 inch rectangle.  Then place the butter on one side and seal it up like an envelope.  Press those edges together well, we don’t want any butter oozing out.

Since the butter is cold, it will be hard.  Take you rolling pin and make “speed bumps” in the dough.  The “dips” helps work the butter so that you can roll out the dough.

Roll the dough out to 10 x 24 “, fold into thirds (a single book fold).  Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.  Roll the chilled dough out again to 10″ x 24” and make a double book fold (fold each end into the middle and the fold in half). Refrigerate again for 30 minutes.  Roll out one last time and make a single book fold.  Wrap well and retard in the refrigerator overnight.

After the dough has retarded in the refrigerator overnight, Roll dough out into a 16″ x 30″ rectangle.  Cut triangles 4″ wide at the base, and roll.  Cover with a clean towel and let raise until double.  Brush with egg wash and bake in 425 degree oven until dark golden brown.  Enjoy.

If you are wanting something really amazing, turn this wonderful croissant dough into Kouign-Amann, but that is a story for another day.






It’s Not Really About the Bananas

I’ve spent the majority of my life working in the healthcare field.  In all honesty, from ages 12-46, I worked in healthcare in some capacity.  Many of those years were spent in long term care homes and critical care units in hospitals; and either way you go, both of those types of jobs comes with a lot of loss.

I don’t know if people who gravitate to patient care professions do so as some type of pre-determined pull, or if they fall into it some other way and decide they are suited to it.  Either way, I have never known why I stayed in the field for so many decades, other than I was born to it.

Some one asked me how I did it; how was I able to go to work every day and see these people knowing that many of them would die soon.  And to be honest, I have never had an answer, even for myself.  What I do know, and have said for years, is this:  If, at the end of the day (or shift), just one person was impacted in a positive way by something I did or said, it was a good day.  And that swings both ways.  I have been so blessed by the people who have drifted in–and out– of my life over the years;  I think I have definitely come out better for having met them.

One of the most amazing and special people to have let me call her friend is Mickey.  I first met Mickey working pulmonary rehab in Dr. M’s office in Arizona.    She is the mother-in-law of another physician at the hospital, and he referred her to us for management of her COPD.

Now the main thing about pulmonary rehab, is that if you can’t find some kind of common ground with your “patient”, each session will take forever.  There will be a lot of awkward silence and botched attempts at small talk.  With Mickey there was never any of that.  The first time I met her I knew we were kindred spirits.  She had 3 daughters–I have 3 daughters; She loves to read–I will read the inserts from prescriptions just because they have words.  But it think one of the biggest connections Mickey and I have is cooking.  She has the same type of mindset that I do, We mother with food, we comfort with food, we celebrate with food and we love with food.

From very early on, Mickey would come in to each session with goodies–lemon bars, peanut brittle, toffee and the ABSOLUTE BEST pecanettes ever.  So naturally we started comparing and swapping recipes.  Mickey actually became my first real, repeat customer when I started inKredible edibleS in AZ; ordering cakes for birthdays, showered and graduations.

She taught me how to make tamales and always called me first when her apricot tree was putting out fruit.  For a few years, hubby, kids and I would take laundry baskets to Mickey’s house in mid-late July and harvest apricots.  The only thing she ever asked was for a couple of jars to send to her twin brother Bill.

For close to 5 years, I saw Mickey 2-3 times a week.  To be honest, she was the only person (or thing) that I had a difficult time leaving when I moved from Arizona to Nevada.  We still Facebook stalk each other and I hope to get to go visit her at least one more time.

Mickey will turn 81 on June 23rd this year, and every minute I had with here becomes more special with each passing day.  I have so many cherished memories that I carry with me, but I also have a very tangible part of Mickey with me always.  A few years ago, her youngest daughter put together all of their family recipes, and Mickey gifted me with a copy of these.  It is my most used and most special cookbook out of the scads that I have.

When I was finally able to open my bakery, Lavender Box Bakery, I asked Mickey for her permission to use her carrot cake recipe; and her being the bestest friend I could have, said “Of Course”.  It is the absolute best carrot cake ever.

The other Mickey recipe I use all the time is for her banana bread.  Most families have banana bread recipes, and I have tried dozens over the years.  This recipe is unique in that you don’t have to use ripe bananas.  That’s right, no more setting the bananas out for a few days to get ripe, and then forgetting them and finding a dried up pile of goo a couple of weeks later (not that I have ever had that happen).   I did make one adaptation to this recipe.  Mickey uses shortening and I replaced it with room temp butter.  I can’t help myself, butter is better.

Your can use bananas that you’d eat for this bread recipe.  The secret is to mash the banana and sugar together and let it macerate (sit) while you get all the other ingredients together.  Oh, and to mix the baking soda in with a tablespoon of water.  Mickey and I discussed this at length and decided the dissolved baking soda was key to the success of this bread.

The rest is pretty simple.  Macerate bananas and sugar for about 15 minutes.  Then add in the eggs and butter.  After that is combined, stir in the baking soda/water mix, vanilla and dry ingredients.  As with other quick breads, never over mix the batter or you will have tough bread.  Here’s the link to the recipe:  Banana Bread Recipe

I try to be realistic about it, so I know that I may not actually get to sit in Mickey’s kitchen talking an laughing, and no matter how many times I try to make them, I cannot get her pecanettes to taste right.  But that’s okay, every time I make a carrot cake she’s with me.  And this post was never really about the bananas, it is me coming to peace with the fact that with all the loss I’ve had in my life, there will be more.  There will be the day when I get the news that Mickey has left, and I will know I have lost a truly special friend.  But with that come the joy in having just know her.

Because you see, at the end of the day, she made my life, she made me, better.

It’s Pancake Day.

Almost everyone knows about the Mardi Gras celebrations that take place all over the world on Shrove Tuesday.  But the real party on Shrove Tuesday doesn’t take place in New Orleans or Rio de Janeiro.  No, as anyone from Southwest Kansas knows, the best celebration on the day before the start of Lent is International Pancake Day.

That’s right…Pancake Day.  Complete with parade, talent show and, the highlight of the celebration, The International Pancake Race.

Yup, It’s a Thing.

Not only is it a thing, it truly is an International thing.  Okay, I can tell you are skeptical, so here’s a little history lesson for those of you who are unlucky enough NOT to have lived the dream.

The story goes all the way back more than 500 years, 1445 to be exact.  The story goes something like this…

A housewife in England was so engrossed in using all her cooking fats (which were forbidden during Lent) making pancakes, she lost all track of time and it wasn’t until she heard the church bells that she realized she was late for Shriving Service.  Pausing only long enough to grab her headscarf, she races off to the church–still wearing her apron, with skillet, and pancake, in hand.  In the years that followed, it became a competition for the women to see who could race to the church the fastest and get the “Kiss of Peace” from the church bell ringer.

Race ahead a few centuries (pun intended) to 1950 when a member of the Liberal Kansas Junior Chamber of Commerce (JayCees) saw some press clippings about the Olney England Pancake Race and challenged their women to race against the women of Liberal.  The rest is history.  My history at least.

Some of my best memories are of Pancake Day.  When I was a kid in the 70’s, Pancake Day was not just a holiday in Liberal, but the entire area got into the fun.  The Pancake Day Parade was wonderful.  Bands and floats from towns in Oklahoma and Southwest Kansas were joined by the Shriners in their funny cars, weaving and dancing before my excited eyes.


As I grew and got old enough (5th grade) to be part of the school band, I got my first chance to be a part of Pancake Day as a participant. From marching in the grade school band, which was comprised of all band students from all 7 elementary school in town, through marching as a proud Warrior in the West Jr. High School Marching Band, and finally to the pinnacle as a member of “That” Liberal Band, The Pride of the Southwest.

As an adult, Pancake Day was just as special. Every year I would take the girls to the races and the parade.  And Daughters #2 &#3 both raced in the toddler races.

I have been away from my hometown for 2 decades now, and haven’t seen a Pancake Day celebration in all those years,.  But every Shrove Tuesday, I celebrate; wherever I am, I celebrate.  I always wish people  a “Happy Pancake Day” and then explain what I am talking about.  I watch the national news for clips, and I swell with pride, because that is MY hometown; those are my memories.

So, wherever you are, Happy Pancake Day.



Wimpy Kids and Waves

The process of closing Lavender Box, my brick and mortar bakery, and switching back to a cottage bakery has been, in all reality, very smooth; in the practical sense anyway.   I am, however, discovering that my psyche is having a bit more trouble grasping the concept.

For one thing, I am not up at the ass butt crack of dawn everyday.  Some days I actually get to sleep until 5am, woohoo.

The other major adjustment I am having to make is that I can take my time; I don’t have to have 4 different pastries, croissants, kouign amann and at least 2 cookie flavors baked and in the cases by 6:30am.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved it…Every minute of it.  And the satisfaction I got from seeing a customer’s reaction to a flaky pastry made it all worth it.

But being at home now, without the hectic pace of running a made-from-scratch, every thing fresh, every day  bakery with only myself and (the ever amazing) #1 daughter, I have come to realize the value of time.  Time to dedicate to the tiniest of details, without worry that something, or someone, will walk through door and take away my focus.  Time to set a work timeline and be able to adhere to it.  Time to not have to rush to get the finishing touches on a cake.  Time.

Now don’t get me wrong, I put every bit of myself into each and every thing I make; the simplest cookie or a 4 tier wedding cake with a ton of gum paste flowers, there is no difference in the dedication I put into each.  But knowing that I have the time to dedicate to each task individually makes me a lot less crazy.

It is that time that made the 2 cakes I did this weekend seem almost easy.  I was able to plan each step of each tier, and actually execute according to that plan.  I even had each one ready to deliver with time to spare.

Cake #1 was for a “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”birthday party.  There was some stress involved because I got the referral from another decorator who was unable to take the job.  No pressure there right?  Now I am somewhat familiar with the book series by Jeff Kinney, but let’s face it, my baby is 25 now, so I am a bit out of the loop.  The only kids books I have in my house now are the vintage Dr. Seuss and Peanuts books that hold a place of honor in the book case.  But with a lot of planning and preparation, I was able to get this beauty made, decorated and delivered for a very happy 7 year old.


And another angle, just because I canimg_1262-2

Cake #2 was a customer from the bakery whose little one was turning 4 and LOOOVES Disney’s Moana.  While #3 daughter has been dying to see Moana, we haven’t had the time, so I was flying blind here.  Miss Lennie Lou (birthday girl) had the figurines (thank goodness, ’cause sculpting figurines is still a dicey proposition for me), so should be simple enough right?  Oh, but no fondant for 4 year olds because they are picky about their cake.

Let me see now, have to put together a Hawaiian themed cake with waves and sand and flowers (oh my), and make it out of butter cream.  Okay, confession time, the flowers and sea shells and turtles are fondant, but the waves are chocolate and buttercream.  I was feeling so good about my timeline for this cake, I decided to make the little pig Pua from fondant, just because.  img_2255-2

Well all in all, I think it turned out pretty good.  I know, I know we have a pretty good lean here, but Lennie Lou’s Mom was very pleased.

There is always room for improvement, always something that could be better, and I don’t delude myself into thinking that I am any where near a cake artist.  I am simply someone who loves to be in the kitchen.  I love to bake and I love to see people smile when the idea for a cake becomes reality.

And for me, that is when time stands still.

Inkredible Recipe Page


As anyone who reads this can probably tell, I am very new to the blogosphere. I really am just learning as I go.

The best thing to come of starting this blog is that I have rediscovered my love of words.  Writing as always been a way for me to get out of my own head; to get out whatever is making me crazy.  By putting it into words, I am able to, essentially, get over it.

I have never been one to journal on a regular basis, but I did discover years ago that if I put whatever is in my head on paper, I was able to move on a bit.  It (whatever it may be) doesn’t go away, but I am better able to keep moving forward with my life.

Stay with me here, there is a point to my ramblings.

Through the journey of losing my bakery, living with the hubby’s Multiple Sclerosis and just generally trying to find my way in the past month or so, I am finding a lot of comfort in the words I put here.

Now to the point I began this post to make.  I am in the process of getting recipes on “paper” for the “Recipe” page on this blog.  As of tonight I have a total of 1!!! recipe on the page, but I will be adding more daily.

Many of these will be recipes I used in the bakery, others are family meals, and some will be recipes I find and try out for myself.  It is really rare to “create” a new recipe.  There is very little new in the world of cooking and baking.  But, I really enjoy playing with flavors and being creative when I am baking.

So, please feel free to comment and give me ideas of what you may want me to try.  Or if you had the most amazing cake or cookie, let me know, I would love to see if I can figure it out.

Have a wonderful night and keep eating inkredibly.

This Week Ends on a Tired Note

I scroll past the cute, tired puppy and kitten memes every day and, most of the time, just think “how cute”. This week however, these adorable, exhausted little faces really resonated.  Everything’s been so hectic that I haven’t had time to even check in here.  or1d2j

Okay, that’s the last puppy or kitten meme for today.

Now on to business.  The reason I am so “doggone” tired and “weak as a kitten” is I’ve just been busy.  With Valentine’s Day, birthdays and weddings, the cookies, cupcakes and cakes are literally keeping me up at night.

But the end is in sight.  Today I just have to fill, stack, crumb coat and decorate a 2 tier wedding cake and a 1/2 sheet groom’s cake.  Piece of cake, right?  Let’s hope so.

But I do want to share with you the coconut pastry cream filling I am using for the groom’s cake today.

I know some people think pastry creams are difficult and time consuming, but, in all honesty, this recipe is almost idiot proof (I say almost, because if you follow a few simple rules, well one rule actually, it is simple—-PAY ATTENTION–It’s that simple)

As with all of my other recipes, quality ingredients are the key.  Pastry cream only has 6 simple ingredients that most of us have all the time anyway, so if you want to take your chocolate layer cake for dessert tonight to another level, fill the layers with this delicious pastry cream.

Just like making a pudding, pastry cream uses cornstarch and egg yolks to thicken; add in a  little sugar, vanilla and butter, and in less than 30 minutes, you’ve turned whole milk into a silky, slightly sweet treat.


Your sugar is going to be divided between your milk mixture and you egg yolks.  Unlike pudding recipes, you won’t cook you cornstarch with the milk.

Whisk you egg yolks and 105 grams sugar until creamy, then whisk in your cornstarch.

Cook milk and the other 120 grams of sugar on medium high heat until it boils.

Temper the yolk mixture with 1/2 of the boiling milk.  This is very important–if you don’t do this step, you will have scrambled eggs.

From there you pour the tempered egg mixture back into the pan and cook until it thickens.  Just remember to stir it constantly so you don’t have burnt pastry cream.

For this batch I add in 2 cups of flaked coconut and used it to fill a vanilla bean cake.

Like I said, super simple and I guarantee that you family will think you spent hours.

After 7 dozen Valentine’s Day sugar cookies, a birthday cake, a wedding cake and groom’s cake, I am definitely ready for some down time, but even ending the week on a tired note, I am excited for what the next one will bring.

Vanilla Pastry Cream

Printer friendly version here:  Pastry Cream


1000 ml whole milk

225 gr. sugar

75 gr. cornstarch

10 egg yolks

60 gr. butter

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 10 ml. vanilla extract


Whisk egg yolks and 105gr. sugar in bowl until pale.  Whisk in cornstarch.

Bring milk and 120gr. sugar to a boil in heavy bottomed saucepan.

Temper your egg mixture by pouring 1/2 the boiling milk into eggs while whisking.  Pour back into sauce pan and bring to boil, stirring constantly.

Pour into bowl, mix in butter and vanilla.  Cover top of pastry cream with cling wrap, pressing it down onto the top to keep skin from forming.

Place bowl in ice bath the cool, then refrigerate until ready to use.

It’s a Seuss Kind of Day


Oh the places I have been.  For a girl born in the Oklahoma  Panhandle and raised in Southwest Kansas, Reno Nevada is a whole different world; and the road I travelled to get here was (to quote The Beatles) long and winding.

The wonderful thing about the journey is that I have gotten to share every step of the way with my husband and girls.  From Kansas, to Texas, to Colorado, to Arizona and finally to Nevada, each stop has helped me grow and learn.

Now on to the Dr. Seuss cookies.  I’ve been making Dr. Seuss decorated sugar cookies for the last couple of years, usually for Dr. Seuss’ Birthday in March.  And I will be making them this March again.  But this week I got an order for Dr. Seuss cookies for a birthday.

Always up for some cookie decorating fun, I decided to throw the Dr. Seuss cookies in with all the Valentine’s Day hearts and flowers (that will be Tuesday’s post).


For these cookies, I used by basic sugar cookie recipe (recipe is below).  I love this recipe because it is light and so easy to work with.  No need to refrigerate before you roll it out and it is very easy to adapt flavors.  Some of my favorite are lavender, chai (great with a cinnamon royal icing) and chocolate.  These are good old vanilla bean with vanilla royal icing.

Once the cookies were baked and cooling, it was time to get the pictures together for decorating.  I generally will use a picture for reference and free-hand it, but I do have Kopycake projector that I rarely use, and figured this would be a great time to practice with it.   I chose 5 books to represent; The Cat in the Hat, Oh The Places You Will Go, Horton Hears a Who, The Lorax and Green Eggs and Ham.

Working with the Kopycake is still tricky for me, but the more I use it, the easier it becomes.  I am sure that after a while, I will love it as much as many other decorators do.

The royal icing recipe I use is from  If you haven’t already fallen in love with Miss Marion’s amazing work, trust me, you will.  This is the link to here royal icing recipe

Now I outline and flood my cookies with the same tip and consistency of icing.  I follow the 10 second rule, also from found here along with a great video.

I’ve put a couple of pictures of outlining and then filling.  Please excuse the run-over in the 3rd picture, I filled the first petal too full.

I started with the base coats on any cookie designs that have a solid background (Green Eggs and Ham cookies have a white base coat).  These I let dry AT LEAST 4 hours if not overnight. These are shown with the image superimposed onto the base coated cookies.


I will generally take a full 2 days to decorate cookies.  Much of this depends on the “layers” of detail, for example, the Cat in the Hat cookies can all be done at once, but the Lorax and Green Eggs and Ham had to dry between layers.

Thank you for letting me spend a little time with you.

Don’t cry because it’s over.

Smile because it happened.

Dr. Seuss

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough


  • 227 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 175 grams confectioners sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 425 grams all purpose flour
  • 10 grams baking powder*
  • 5 grams kosher salt
  • 5 ml vanilla


  1. In bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder
  2. In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar
  3. Add in eggs mix to combine
  4. Mix in dry ingredients and vanilla.  Don’t over mix.
  5. Roll to desired thickness, place on prepared sheet tray
  6. Bake at 325 9-11 minutes, just until edges begin to brown.

*if you don’t want your cookies to spread or puff, leave out baking powder.  Doing this will prevent the cookie from “morphing” shape while baking.