{Cookbook Review} CakeSpy Tour de Sweet

October 13th, 2011

TdSgraphic

 

Cupcakes, unicorns, and rainbows. Today I’m excited to be part of CakeSpy’s Tour de Sweet blog tour! Cakespy is one of my favorite sweet blogs – the adorable graphics and quirky fun recipes definitely make it one of the most distinctive sites out there. I love Cuppie the cupcake – his smiling face and his group of equally delicious friends always makes me smile when I visit the website.

I was honored to get an advance copy of Jessie (head CakeSpy)’s new cookbook, Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life, and I’m happy to say it’s just as captivating as her site. It contains over 60 recipes for some wildly outrageous concoctions like Cinnamon Rolls Stuffed with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cupcake Stuffed Cupcakes, and Red Velvet Cake Shake. I wish my dessert dreams were as creative as Jessie’s. The cookbook is liberally sprinkled with artwork of Cuppie and his companions. As someone with zero drawing ability, I love her art – it really helps set the cookbook apart from all the other cookbooks out there and adds to the zany and whimsical feel of the book.

Unfortunately, since I was on vacation last week, I didn’t get a chance to send Jessie some interview questions, but after reading her cookbook, I applaud her for bringing such a unique and creative vision to desserts. The recipes all sound like wonderful crowd-pleasers (fried cupcakes – genius!) and they are all clearly and simply written, and are easy enough for most any home baker. I also like the large number of photos – along with the hand-drawn art, it makes this cookbook a visual treat to leaf through and really brings you into Jessie’s sugary world.

blondie brownies

It was hard to choose which recipe to make first, but I tried out her Blondie-Topped Brownies, because I’m always a fan of not having to choose. This recipe is exactly as described: a moist fudgy brownie layer topped with a sweet, butterscotch-y blondie layer. It’s quick to make, and the flavors mix together surprisingly well. And it’s certainly a conversation starter, like most the other recipes in the cookbook. (I’ll put up the recipe if I get the ok from Jessie).

Congrats on a great first cookbook, Jessie! As part of her book launch, Jessie will be touring several cities, and she’ll be in the Bay Area next week at two great foodie locations: Teacake Bake Shop and Omnivore Books. I’m looking forward to meeting her and if any of you are local, I hope you’ll come too!

Here are the other stops on the Tour de Sweet – be sure to check them out!

October 10—Cupcake Project
October 11—Bake It in a Cake!
October 13—Dessert First
October 14—Cookie Madness
October 15—Bake and Destroy
October 16—Piece of Cake
October 17—Not Martha
October 20—Blondie and Brownie

 

CakeSpy

Blondie-Topped Brownies

makes 24 to 36 pieces
  • from Jessie Oleson's CakeSpy cookbook

Brownie Layer

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Blondie Layer

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips, optional
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional

For the brownie layer:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 3 quart, 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  • Combine cocoa powder, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Sift and set aside.
  • Combine butter and sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Beat until mixture comes together; it will look slightly gritty.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition. Beat on medium speed until mixture is creamy and light yellow. Beat in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture bit by bit, beating on low speed and scraping down sides of bowl until well blended.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Brownies will still be jiggly and just beginning to set in center. If it's still liquid, bake for about 5 more minutes.

For the blondie layer:

  • Prepare blondie batter while brownies are baking. If brownies finish baking before you are done, remove from oven and let sit while leaving oven on. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine butter and brown sugar in stand mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until smooth.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition. Add vanilla and beat on medium until mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add bit by bit into stand mixer bowl, mixing well and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  • Fold in chocolate chips and nuts last. You may want to do this by hand as the batter will be very thick.
  • Carefully spoon the blondie batter evenly over the top of the brownies. It's best to ladle it on a little at a time instead of pouring on a big heap and trying to spread it as it will sink into the brownie batter. The brownie layer should be completely covered.
  • Bake in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until blondie layer is browning on edges and has a dull finish, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool on rack before serving.

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