Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Matt!

Mostly, I'm here to recommend a cookbook. I've had the tendency of late to check them out of the library, bring them home to peruse over breakfast and lunch, and then heading over to Amazon to order my own copy. Really, not something I'm going to feel guilty over. Everyone needs food, right? And good food is an even bigger plus.

I love to bake. Hank loves to pitch in. All fine and good. Only problem is that if there is even a single leftover cookie in the house, I'll hover around it like a bee to a flower. And when is there only one cookie? There is usually a few dozen. So to spare myself calories, I don't usually bake.  

Enter Small Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers. It was a library find. I ended up buying two--one for me and one for my mother. And it is on my short list for future gift giving. There are recipe inside for eight chocolate chip cookies...or three cupcakes...or a single tart to be shared by two...or in today's case, tiny little chocolate cakes complete with icing. Just enough to ease your sweet tooth, but not to heave on the guilt. I've made two of the recipes so far and have found that I have enough dough or icing to make the recipe, without having to scrape the bowl for that last 1/4 tsp. That was main concern, which I no longer have. And so very yummy.

Today's Matt's birthday. I recycled two tin cans (originally held black beans) and ran them through my dishwasher for my "cake pans", as suggested by the author. Followed the directions. Melted a large bar of chocolate to use for both the cake and the icing. You know it's going to be good when it calls for "premium quality chocolate".  I wrapped a gift, decorated a tag, and created a cake topper. And had time to spare at naptime. Whoo! 

And best of all? I'm not going to be "squaring up" the cake at 11 o'clock when I go to bed and again before breakfast. We ate up all the cake tonight, just enough for the four of us. 

Now, if I can only find a way to package up these little cakes. I think the By the Numbers dies make the perfect scaled toppers. Like seriously, a cute little cake that matches the gift? Bring it. 

Other than that, Happy Birthday to the man who makes me laugh on a hourly basis, likes to sit in a parked car in our garage for long chats while sleepy children snooze behind us in carseats, and who always makes my coffee in the morning. Love you heaps and heaps. And I'll be down in just a few minutes so we can binge on The Good Wife. :)

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  1. Erin, you are truly a god send here. I have a similar situation. With only 2 people in my household, I always hate baking because of the amount it makes and I usually eat most of it. I'm going to definitely check out the cookbook. I think the little cake looks so cute with the By the Numbers on it. Oh, and Happy Birthday Matt!

  2. What a great find Erin! I am single and never need a whole cake or 3 dozen cookies! I am off to buy this book!! Thanks for sharing! Your cake looks so yummy and your card is lovely too!!

  3. Super cute, Erin! thanks for the idea of the number dies cake topper, as my hubby has a 40th birthday coming up in three weeks, and I banked that idea (don't know why I didn't think of it before, it like a great use of those adorable numbers!!) Thanks for the heads up on the baking book...sounds like JUST what I need! (though not for his party...there will be enough people there to definitely warrant a FULL SIZE cake! ;)

  4. I have a major love of cookbooks. Libraries are a great source to look at them and try them out before buying. I go online and try some of the recipes and then add to my collection. When I was single that book would have been perfect for my hips. Now my husband is a small man (lucky him) and can seriously eat. I make 10 blueberry muffins, and he eats 8 out of 10 over the course of a few days. Somethings in life are just not fair. Love your cake and decorations!

  5. Hi Erin...a few years ago, you posted a cake that you made Matt for his bday, and I made it for my hubby that year. He LOVED it and wants it again...I seem to remember that it was chocolate with maybe some kind of liqueur like kahlua? Anyway, if you could direct me to that recipe I would be eternally grateful!

    Jennifer Cravens