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I'm sharing a Mary Berry recipe with you for an important reason. There are exactly TWO MONTHS left to reserve your spot for the London Baking Adventure, inspired by the Great British Baking Show. Y'all. It's going to be BRILLIANT. :) Read all of the customized for Bake at 350, baking-themed itinerary details here.

Merry Berry Fast Cakes is filled with, you guessed it, quick-to-make cakes. There are also a few other recipes included, like quick biscuits (cookies), scones, and quick breads. There are lots of recipes for "traybakes" which always intrigued me when watching the GBBO. A traybake is a cake baked in a rectangular pan, what I might have referred to as a "snacking cake."

This lemon poppy seed traybake might not look super special, but oh my goodness...it's incredible. The cake is fluffy with a large, soft crumb. The glaze adds flavor - a big hit of lemon - and moisture.

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My uncle has a German chocolate cake on his birthday every year. By every year, rumor has it, it's been since he was about 5 years old. He just celebrated 65.


To commemorate this milestone birthday, I decided to bake a little something that was a nod to his German chocolate cake - German chocolate COOKIES! Instead of decorating them with royal icing, I used this imprinting technique that you may remember from these star birthday cookies. I just love the look of them, and they're so fun to make.

For the cookies, I made a chocolate dough. Not a deep, dark chocolate dough like these, but a milder chocolate. The thing about German chocolate cake is that it doesn't (to me) scream CHOCOLATE. It's more subtle.

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I am not an organized person by nature. My favorite section in The Container Store is gift wrap, not containers.

Over the years, I've learned a few ways to store my baking products, though, that keep them more organized...and more importantly, more fresh.

Along with my favorite storage ideas, I'll tell you what baking staples I keep on hand in my kitchen.

I'm sharing it all over on The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be breaking into that container of chocolate chips.
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Last week, I shared the step-by-step tutorial for making the marbled star cookies. (Find it here.) Now, here's the entire set of prom cookies. I thought this was a really pretty theme for prom...and a fun one for cookies.

Obviously, I don't have a prom-goer at home anymore. Our little birdie finishes up his sophomore year of college this week. WHAT? Let me tell you...as a parent, the college years go by waaaaaaaay faster than any other time. It's insane.


What were we talking about? That's right...prom. I don't have tutorials for all of these, but I'll walk you through some of the highlights.

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If this isn't the perfect dessert for spring (and may I suggest Mother's Day? Yes, Bridget...you may. OK. Mother's Day), then I don't know what is. The torte is a nutty, light, and airy walnut base topped with glazed, sweet strawberries. We're pretty close to "belongs in a pastry case" level here.

*this recipe was developed for Imperial Sugar

Not only is it beautiful and delicious, but the recipe is naturally gluten and dairy-free. By "naturally" I mean that there's no substituting ingredients to make it gluten and dairy-free...it just happens to be so.

You start out by processing some walnuts and sugar until finely ground. You'll whip up some egg whites and add flavorings and the walnuts...

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Did your mom sing "You are My Sunshine" to you when you were little? So many of us learned this from our moms. In truth, SHE is our sunshine. Moms just know how to make everything better.


This sunny and cheerful cookie set is inspired by that song and is sure to brighten your mom's Mother's Day!


You might not know this about me, but I LOVE the color yellow. I have a Pinterest board devoted to it. My mom loved yellow, too, and her favorite flower was the yellow rose. Notice a little nod to that in this cookie assortment? (Here's a yellow rose cookie for mom from years ago.)


I love the pop of pink and black with the yellow, but don't feel like you must make all three cookies in this set to give to mom. Just stick with the suns if you'd like, and enclose a card that reads, "You are my sunshine, Mom!" (Oh, and those sun cookies are double-deckers. You know how I love a two-in-one cookie.)


The full tutorial for these is over on the Imperial Sugar blog. I'll walk you through the step-by-step instructions of how to decorate them. Recipes for the cookies and icing are linked there as well. 

If you don't live near mom, no worries. Cookies decorated with royal icing ship well! Here's a link to an old, old (did I mention old?) post about how I ship them.


Sunshine cookies for mom? Wouldn't she just love that?!? (PS. Don't ask her to share on her special day.
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Are you ready? Are you ready for the EASIEST cookie tutorial ever? The easiest cookie tutorial that yields the COOLEST looking cookies ever?


These marbled, gold-flecked star cookies were made for a prom cookie set. I'll show you the full set in a few days. Otherwise, you'd be scrolling through approximately 372 photos in this one post. (And you're thinking, "That's really not unusual for you, Bridget.")

To start, you'll need cookies and icing. I used my go-to cut-out cookie recipe (but you can use any of my cut-out cookie recipes...find the full list here) and my royal icing recipe.


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Ninety-nine percent of the time, I'm going to choose chocolate ice cream over vanilla. And in baked goods, I may lean towards chocolate, there are times when a girl just wants some good ol' vanilla. ESPECIALLY when she can see those little flecks of vanilla bean.

I make these cut-out cookies when I have vanilla on the brain...or when I'm making cookies for someone with a nut allergy. My go-to cut-out cookie recipe contains almond extract. Instead of just leaving out the almond, I wanted to give these a little more va-va-va-voom. 


Look closely at the cookies, and you'll see those gorgeous vanilla bean flecks. Oh hello, beautiful.


These vanilla bean cookies are easily made using vanilla bean paste. Vanilla bean paste is like a thicker vanilla extract chockful of vanilla bean seeds. My grocery store carries it, but you can also find it online...Amazon and King Arthur Flour are two great resources.

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What to bake? What to bake? I know I want to make a carrot cake for Easter dessert but which one? Are you feeling the same way? Let's talk options... (click the title for recipes)

1. Carrot Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting


First of all...salted caramel cream cheese frosting. I mean. Does it get better than that? I say not. This cake is a little lighter than a more traditional layered carrot cake. (Maybe not lighter calorie-wise but texture-wise.) Yeah, this is a good one.

2. Carrot Cake Layer Cake


This is your more traditional carrot layer cake. Again, it is adorned with cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese and carrot cake just go together. There's no pineapple here, no raisins (because my mama raised me RIGHT), but this cake is jazzed up with ginger! That freshly grated ginger in the cake adds the perfect little kick and freshness. Ah, I love this cake.

3. Carrot Cake Cookies


Maybe just maybe we want to go the cookie route. Do we? We might. Carrot cake you can hold in your hand. Topped with...you guessed it...cream cheese frosting. (I guess you can say that I'm consistent.)

What should I make this Easter? What are YOU baking?
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While I made these to be Easter egg cookies, they don't scream EGG to me. I think they're perfectly cute for plain ol' (are there really plain ol' ?) cactus cookies. You guys...they're so easy and fun to make.


I did another "doctoring" of two cookie cutters just like with the unicorn egg cookies. This time I used an egg and Sweet Sugarbelle's cactus cutter...just the top bit of it. You could use any bit of a small flower cutter, or even the edge of a small scalloped oval or circle.



Press the shapes together and freeze for 10 minutes before baking. This will help the pieces to join while baking.

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