Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Cookies and Kitties

So it's the Sunday before Christmas and Favorite and I are preparing to head over to my parents' house tomorrow so we are wrapping up what Christmassing we can. I had previously found some really cute snowman jars and decided I would fill them with cookie mix and give them as gifts. I also decided to crochet an animal friend as a gift. Here are the results --------------------------->

I got the cookie recipe from It's called Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix in a Jar. I didn't quite follow the layering instructions because I decided I wanted the snowmen to be mostly white so I separated the cocoa out and stuffed it in their hats and hid the nuts and chocolate chips inside the flour (the base is brown sugar).

Now I couldn't just give these as gifts not knowing how the recipe would turn out, so I HAD to bake a batch for myself and Favorite to make sure they were worthy cookies. I made sure to follow the directions of mixing the mix first and then adding the butter, egg and vanilla because I wanted to see how it would come out without creaming the sugar and butter first. I ended up having to mix it with my hands a little to make it come together ( it's tricky cutting in butter when chips and nuts are getting in your way!) but the cookies turned out scrumptious! They were nutty and chewy with just a little crispness to the outside. The chocolate of the cookie was tasty without being overwhelming (I could even eat them WITHOUT milk) while the melty chocolate chips satisfies any chocolate craving. By the way I used GOOD chocolate chips. Big dark chocolate ones.

So I was satisfied with the cookies making good gifts. I made sure to print a cute little instruction tag for the instructions and crocheted up some tiny little snowman scarves to attach the instructions to the jars.

While I was taking pictures to post here I got a little sad. I've crocheted a little kitty like this one before and I was wondering if my old kitty would miss my new kitty when he was gone. As such I did a little photo shoot with my two sleepy little guys.

Man, those little kitties are just too cute.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bad Blogger

I thought I was doing so well with all of my October posts, and then November came and once again I was lost to the blogosphere.

It turns out I am terrible at keeping up with stuff. Since my last post I have made chocolate spice cookies, pumpkin bread pudding, pecan meringue with coffee buttercream. I did not get a picture of ONE of them. I realize the list is really not all that impressive considering I haven't posted for a month and a half. I will try to do better.

Even though I have no pictures I am going to expound on the desserts I made for my own posterity. The chocolate spice cookies were very fast and easy to make. No special equipment required, no eggs, very little fuss. They were made with applesauce and were moist and spicy-delicious. The recipe was from a new book I got called Perfect Light Desserts. The meringue was from this book too. I made the meringue to serve to my sister and her fiance when we had them over for dinner. Once constructed it consisted of a very thick and creamy Swiss style coffee flavored buttercream sandwiched between two 10 inch diameter thin crunchy pecan meringue layers. It was rich and sweet enough to make a satisfying dessert without being heavy and overwhelming. I would make both the cookies and meringue again although the meringue is not nearly as quick and simple as the cookies. Despite having few ingredients, the meringue dessert took a significant amount of time to assemble between creating and baking the two 10 inch meringue layers, letting them cool, and whipping up the buttercream. The buttercream took so long to come together, even with my trusty Kitchenaid, that I was about a minute away from giving it up for lost when it finally broke and I knew it was almost ready. I'm sure it is exaggerated in my head, but it seemed like a half an hour went by easily. This time being added to the time it took to bring the sugar syrup up to temperature and then entirely down to room temp before beating. Whew! I was lucky I finished it before they arrived!

The pumpkin bread pudding was brought to Thanksgiving. With only about a spoonful left at the end of the night I figure it fared pretty well considering the sheer volume of desserts that were there. There are a few things I would change in the future however. I didn't have day old bread for one thing, and I feel like the custard was not properly soaked in. I also could have had a slightly higher custard to bread ratio. The last qualm I had was it needed more pumpkin spices!!! I am a pumpkin fanatic and the best part of pumpkin desserts is getting to spice them.

Anyhow, I will post the recipes soon. Next up though I am using my sweet amigurumi skills to make a floppy stuffed cat. The pattern, although crocheted, is reminiscent of a sock monkey. The final product will surely be fun.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


So I did it. I managed to finish my first tiny animal friend. I haven't decided on a name for him yet though. Maybe Winslow. His arms didn't come out exactly how I wanted them to and I had a hard time getting the face right (you can tell the nose is just, well, not QUITE), but he is here. So no one can complain any longer that the Threadbare Bakery has no threads. I feel really bad because I know any faults in the bear are not his fault, but mine, but still, I kind of just want to sacrifice this one, say I did my best, and give him to a kitty that needs something to chew on... It's hard to tell because the picture is so close up, but he's only about 5 inches tall and would be a perfect toy once rolled in catnip. Well he would be a perfect toy for about 10 minutes until his stuffing innards got all over the floor. This is probably why I haven't committed to naming him. Naming an animal and then sending it to it's death is just wrong.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cookie Bonanza

I have to say, I am quite pleased with the way the cookies came out. I made the snickerdoodles and the pecan pralines like expected (though without the icing as I ran out of brown sugar) and since I was running short of time I combined the last two cookies - pumpkin cinnamon chocolate chip cookies. Actually most of the batch was just pumpkin cinnamon chip, but I had some morsels hanging around and added those to the last batch or two.

From top to bottom are the pumpkin cookies, the pecan cookies, and the snickerdoodles.

I can't tell you the final count on how many cookies I made, but there were TONS! I filled two very large tupperware buckets. One could have fit a very large round cake while the other looked the size of a lasagna. I was pleasantly surprised to leave the weekend jaunt a little early with only about 15 cookies left. They were, in short, a hit. One especially nice compliment I got on my snickerdoodles went something like "I really like snickerdoodles, and these taste exactly like snickerdoodles!" Maybe he's not really one for words, but it got the point across.

The snickerdoodle recipe got from and the praline cookies I made from a faulous cookie book my mom has so I won't recreate those here (I'll try to get the name of the book sometime). I got the pumpkin cookie recipe from Teri's Kitchen at AOL hometown, but I made some changes to it so I'm renaming them and posting it:

Kerri's Pumpkin Cookies


  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 c. oats*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. butter softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • cinnamon chips**
  • chocolate chips (optional)***

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pie spice, and salt.
  3. Cream butter in a separate bowl and gradually add sugars beating until fluffy.
  4. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  5. Alternate adding pumpkin and flour mixture until well combined.
  6. Stir in desired combination of cinnamon chips and or chocolate chips depending on preference.
  7. On a parchment covered baking sheet drop batter by rounded tablespoons (I use one of those fabulolus cookie batter scoops that releases the batter when you squeeze he handle). Leave about two inches between each cookie. It is advisable also to wet your fingerips and flatten just the tops of the cookies so they will cook evenly.
  8. Bake about 12 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.
  9. Cool on wire rack.
The recipe I started from said to pour 1/4 c. of the dough for each cookie and to spread it to shape with a spatula. I didn't want cookies this big and was also afraid they would turn into something more resembling muffin tops. If this is what you are going for try it with the quick oats and the huger cookies and bake them for about 20-25 minutes instead of 12. Doing it my way actually gave a soft chewy pumpkin cookie which I have never had the likes of before as most are either soft and cakey or muffiny. I wanted them chewy so I was very pleased with the results and their relative low moisture compared to the cakey cookies meant that I could cool them and put them in tupperware without them gettin too wet and gooey and falling apart. They actually stayed really well for about a week. They may have been good even longer, except they were eaten so I don't know.

* Original recipe called for quick oats, but I didn't have any so I used rolled oats, this might have made the cookies chewier, which I am all for
** I believe I put in a whole cup of the cinnamon chips. I probably could have cut it to 3/4 because they were REALLy cinnamon chippy. Luckily they're mini chips so they kind of melted into the batter.
*** I only had a very small amount of chocolate chips so I put them in just the last baking sheet worth of cookies. It was probably only about 1/3 of a cup.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Cookies Coming Up!

So, no, I haven't finished my poor little koala yet. I just can't seem to find the time to sit down and DO something! It seems lately that once I get home, as soon as I am off my feet I am ready for bed. Luckily, baking is a mostly stand up kind of activity.

I am going out into the middle of nowhere with Favorite (my husband) and some friends this weekend to get some r&r out in a cabin in the woods. What a perfect opportunity to bake some cookies! So I have been making cookie doughs nights when I come home so that tomorrow I can bake them all batch after batch. So far I have a log of pecan praline cookie dough and one of snickerdoodle dough in my fridge. I am going to make at least one, possibly two more doughs. One will definitely have some chocolate in it and the other is going to be something pumpkinny! I have some cinnamon chips that my mom so thoughtfully gave to me and I was thinking about making some kind of pumpkin cinnamon chip cookie with them. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


It has recently been brought to my attention that although the title of my blog is the threadbare bakery I have conspicuously left out any fiber relating posts. This is actually because I have been too lazy to create that which does not give immediate gratification. Cookies are splendid because you can throw all the ingredients together, bake them, and eat them all in under an hour. Knitting and crocheting take a little more time and patience. I am happy to report, however, that thanks to my wonderful husband there will soon be a fibrous project to display! Incredible man he is he knows of my need for creation, my lack of time, and my love of the adorable so he bought me this book for my birthday.

His idea was that I can crochet all the little animals in the book, each one in very little time, and then maybe I can design my own tiny animals. I have actually already started and I have begun with the koala featured on the cover. I have all of his body parts made and all I have to do is darn them together. I have made amigurumi designs before and I find although attaching the body parts may sound simple it is actually the most difficult part. This is because the location and angle of the attachment is what really determines what the final critter looks like and whether or not their body shape seems natural. Well I will see if I can get the motivation to sit down and attach the little koalas bits and pieces and I will most certainly post the final results.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Since the husband and I have moved into our new place we have been very busy moving in, getting married, and going on our honeymoon. We just got back from the honeymoon this past Tuesday so we figured this weekend was a perfect opportunity to show everyone our new place and to celebrate the autumn glory that is Oktoberfest. He did most of the work for this party since all of the beer was homemade. We had on tap a Peppercorn Rye Bock, a Ruby Red Hefeweisen, a Four Grain Ale, an English Mild, and of course an Oktoberfest. We drank and ate in German style (brats, knocks, sauerkraut and potato salad) so I had to make my own contribution. I made Black Forest Cupcakes. It was an awesome decision since I got to utilize so many newly acquired baking items. I used my trusty Kitchenaid to make the batter and whipped topping, my mini food prep to process the cherries (and my new safety edge can opener to OPEN the cherries), my 12 cupcake pan to do the cupcakes AND, the crowning glory, the CUPCAKE TREE.

I got the recipe off of and it was delicious! The only problem with it was they looked so nice in my cupcake tree that no one wanted to be the first to take one and mess it up!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ice Cream Goodness

So I am toying with the idea of adding my ice cream conquests to my blog. It is not made with thread, nor baked in an oven so I'm a little on the fence about the whole thing. I DO often incorporate homemade ice cream into desserts involving home baked goods, so they are not exclusive of one another, but I have yet to make the leap. Either way I'll let you know that there was a double batch of banana pudding ice cream made up last night. One was mixed with smashed oreo cookies. Both batches had a lot of delicious flavor, but the recipe was a little strange (it involved cool whip, pudding, and sweetened condensed milk, but no CREAM) and the resulting ice cream seems a little more icy than creamy. Still, I think I'll eat it all :-).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Oven = Tons of Yummies!

I have been baking up a storm! My fiancee and I just moved into a new apartment together at the beginning of the month and the change has brought me a wonderful opportunity in the form of a practically brand new oven. The oven I had been using previously never had any idea of what temperature it was or what is was supposed to be. As a result I was somewhat limited to cookies as they are much more forgiving than cakes and more delicate pastries (plus cookies still taste pretty good even when they are lightly burnt or a little dry). Well I have made up for all of the time spent with the crappy oven (2 years) in the span of the last month. Since moving in I have baked:

pumpkin scones (twice)
cinnamon scones (twice)
orange scones
graham cracker bundt cake
strawberry rhubarb pie
pumpkin pie
peanut butter oatmeal cookies
chocolate dipped peanut butter shortbread cookies
german chocolate sandwich cookies

Okay, so maybe none or these items have really CHALLENGED the new oven. I haven't tried any souffles or cream puffs or anything, but nothing got burnt and nothing dried out and it all slid very nicely out or off of whatever it was baked in or on. The unfortunate thing is that most of these baked goods got eaten before they could be captured on film. I guess I will just have to make them all again so I can do a glorious photoshoot. So I know that my new oven can perform, and so can my glorious new kitchenaid (it has certainly been broken in) now the only question is; what to bake next?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dim Sum Dessert

I love coconut and I also love the chewy wonderful texture of sushi rice, so when I bought a new recipe book on dim sum and found a recipe for Sweet Coconut Rice Bars I couldn't wait to make them.

Sweet Coconut Rice Bars


  • 2.5 c. uncooked glutinous rice
  • 2.25 c. thick coconut milk
  • .5 c. superfine sugar


  • 1.25 c. unsweetened dried shredded coconut
  • .25 c. thick coconut milk
  • .5 c. shaved palm sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. water


  1. cook glutinous rice
  2. heat rice, coconut milk, and sugar in medium heavy bottom saucepan until liquid is absorbed
  3. spread rice in parchment lined baking pan
  4. refrigerate until firm
  5. combine shredded coconut and coconut milk in bowl
  6. heat sugar and water in saucepan until slightly thickened
  7. stir shredded coconut mix and sugar syrup until well combined
  8. spread topping over rice and chill for another hour

Although these bars came out rather tasty and addictive, there are some thing I would do differently next time. The recipe calls for thick coconut milk but all I could find was cream of coconut. The recipe states that you can dilute coconut cream into thick coconut milk by adding water. I mistakenly confused coconut cream with cream of coconut and the result was less coconutty than I would have liked. Next time I will simply mix up the coconut cream and use it straight. I would also cut this recipe in half as it makes more than 2 people can eat in a weeks worth of desserts.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

First Post, Not my first Cookie

I make a lot of cookies, but since I've only just started blogging it would be ridiculous to posthumously resurrect cookies that have descended into my stomach never to be heard from again. Instead I will start now. Here is my most recent cookie. I call it the Chocolate Dipped Pecan Shortbread. You'll have to bear with the low quality images. They are the best I can do.

Chocolate Dipped Pecan Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 c. toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 2/3 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c. wheat or graham flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Your favorite chocolate


  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour and salt.
  2. In another bowl cream the butter and sugar together using two butter knives or a pastry cutter.
  3. Add vanilla, flour mixture, and chopped pecans.
  4. Mix (I usually end up doing this with my hands). Do not overmix. Mix just until dough comes together. Little bits of butter are good as they help create crisp little layers like in pie crust.
  5. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate until firm (at least one hour).
  6. Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Working with half of the dough at a time roll to about 1/4" using flour as needed to keep it from sticking to surface or rolling pin. Cut shapes and place on parchment baking sheets.
  8. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up the cookie dough.
  9. Bake for approximately 13-15 minutes or until the shortbreads are brown in color.
  10. Once cookies have all been made and cooled, melt chocolate (no I don't know how much) and dip cookies to your hearts content!

Makes about 36 shortbread cookies (depending on the size).

Note: Making these cookies with wheat flour makes them extra crispy and nutty flavored, but you could just as easily make them with white flour if you prefer.