as GOLD as it gets

Life's adventures should be fully accessorized!

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brown butter bourbon apple pie

Our local farmer’s market hosts seasonal fruit pie contests, you can see the pies I entered here and here. Before I realized I’d be out of town for the apple pie contest I was thinking about how to capture the judges attention with something a little different. JPS had such a good idea of just swapping peaches for apples…I did a little research and found a similar pie here and I used their guidance on spices for the apples but kept my own method for using brown butter bourbon and brown butter streusel because it’s simply divine.

What makes this pie SO AMAZING is that it isn’t overly sweet. It has a lot of rich flavor but not too much cinnamon or sugar just a really satisfying piece of apple pie. JPS doesn’t claim to like sweets although he gobbles up any cookies I make…but he can’t stop raving about this pie! If a pie can win him over, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser at your house!

brown butter bourbon apple pie
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brown butter bourbon peach pie

I’m sorry to have had a brief hiatus but things have been a little bit crazy around here. I just received a huge promotion and will now be the Director of Marketing at my current job. I am so excited about it but I’ve been trying to get things in order while they search for my replacement and being trained for my new position, so my brain has turned to mush. But its the perfect time to come back with this delish brown butter bourbon peach pie.
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laudree macarons nyc

I’ve caught the macaron bug and I’ve been dying to head to Laudree to try the queen of the macarons. It wasn’t too long ago that the notorious french pastry shop came to New York City from Paris and now has two locations. I went to the Soho location which also has a full kitchen and tea room. I was in a moderate hurry but plan on popping back in this summer for more macaron’s and tea.
laudree macarons | as GOLD as it gets

I picked up a box of 6 which is $21, which is a lot but this is something that I cannot make on my own (yet!) and I also didn’t want to eat them right away and if you buy less than 6 they put them in a little sleeve like you get at Starbucks and these delicate little gems would just have not survived NJ Transit back to Princeton. And well, life has been hard and macaron’s are great! (Also something to note is they don’t have a credit card minimum).

macaron flavors from laudreelaudree macarons | as GOLD as it gets laudree macarons | as GOLD as it gets

A little about the shop: It’s gorgeous and feels like you are transported into a Parisian fantasy. The windows are decorated adorably and the shop has a bright mint exterior with a huge Laudree flag fluttering in the wind on W Broadway. The staff is so friendly. Honestly the reminded me of the ladies on Disneyland’s Main Street that serve ice cream, they look (and sound) like they flew in from Paris and they are so patient as you peruse the mountains of treats that you can get. You even get to choose the color box that you want (and they don’t seem to mind as you snap a few photos!).

window display laudree  Who doesn’t want to have a little dessert on this china?laudree tablesThey absolutely live up to the hype. They are so flaky, chewy but cripsy and obviously have amazing flavor. The one below is the Rose which is understated but fresh and smell heavenly.

Laudree Soho Location
398 W Broadway 

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lemon blueberry cupcakes with buttercream frosting

lemon blueberry cupcakes | as GOLD as it gets blog

I’ve already posted these on instagram


I can’t think of a better way to greet spring than start baking with some fresh fruit. This recipe is pretty dang simple for a “from scratch” recipe. I’ll be making another batch to top off our Easter dinner but I wanted to do a test run. You can find the full recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction. The only change I made was I used smaller but very juicy lemons and only used 1.5 lemons. You can taste test the batter to see if its lemon-y enough for you. I also added blueberries into the batter right before I put them in the cupcake liners. I sprinkled flour on them to help them keep their shape and not instantly explode as they baked. I threw a couple of handfuls in but you can certainly use more or less depending on personal preference.

lemon blueberry cupcakes | as GOLD as it gets blog

lemon blueberry cupcakes | as GOLD as it gets blog

lemon blueberry cupcakes | as GOLD as it gets blog

I’ve gotten rave reviews on these so far, they stay so moist and have such a nice flavor that is neither tangy or overwhelming!


first attempt at cake pops

There’s a lot of things that making cake pops can teach you including patience, precise and quickness! This was my first attempt at making cake pops and I knew they were a bit tricky so I spent some time pouring over some other people’s experience….there’s a lot of differing information but I’ll share what I did here and what I will change for the future.

cake pops | as GOLD as it gets

You start by making a regular cake from a box (easy!). I used this recipe that is suppose to be a dupe for the Starbucks birthday cake pops. I used a Pillsbury white super moist box mix and used a large round pan and cooked according to the box directions (34 minutes). cake pops | as GOLD as it gets

I cut the cake into pieces so it could cool faster (my first lesson in patience) and popped it into the fridge. If you add the frosting too soon it will obviously be too wet and possibly soupy!cake pops | as GOLD as it getsAs you can see my edges were brown so I through the “crust” or outside part out and just used the soft middle for the cake pops. You want to make sure that your cake is fluffy and broken up with your hands really well so that your cake pops can be smooth.

cake pops | as GOLD as it getsOnce you add your frosting (about 1/3 of a can of frosting) use a big spoon to mix it all together evenly. Then I used a cookie scoop to divide up the mixture. At this point I stopped using the directions and tried to dunk one – such a fool. Obviously it crumbled, and obviously it was a huge mess. Turning back to the directions I read that you have to FREEZE them for two hours. My second lesson in patience.

cake pops | as GOLD as it gets

After an hour I checked on these and rolled the balls a little tighter. These started out looking like drop biscuits and they need to be more compact and round. I let them freeze for another hour before I melted the chocolate and got to dipping! Take them out one at a time (max two at a time) so they stay cold and intact. Even the warmth of your hand will have them get mushy again. dipping cake pops | as GOLD as it getsI dipped the end of the stick in the chocolate and then dipped the whole cake pop to act like a glue. Some people swear by this, others say they don’t see any difference…but it seemed to work for me. I only had trouble keeping it on the stick if it was a little bit larger. The weight was just too much to be balanced.

Next time, I want to experiment thinning the chocolate out more. The pink especially seemed difficult while the yellow was a bit thinner. I included a little veggie oil to thin it out and think that next time I need to really work on making them smoother…but for a first time (and to only have my husband eat them) they are fine!

Do you have any cake pop tips? I’d love to hear what works for you!

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the BEST cookies (again!)

I shared my favorite cookie recipe here before, but I took some new pictures of them and they are literally just as good as they were before. They are commonly known as Monster cookies with mini M&M’s and chocolate chips, but there is nothing scary about these cookies. They are simple and a huge crowd-pleaser (they’ve even been equated to crack).

the best m+m and chocolate chip cookies

cookies on baking sheet

This time I used 1 Tbs scooper but usually use a 2 Tbs scoop for even sizes.
cookies fresh out of the ovenDon’t these make you just salivate looking at them fresh out of the oven?

You’ll want to use both mini m&m’s and mini chocolate chips but the dough has so much flavor they don’t even need a ton of “stuff” in them.

The recipe is here and also here from Picky Palate .


simple + fresh strawberry cake

I like to think of this cake as a serving a fruit – it’s packed with fresh strawberries – that works, right? It’s not the prettiest cake but it is DE-LISH.

basket of strawberries

It’s easy, fresh and doesn’t take too long to make. A literal – dump all the ingredients, beat and bake- sort of cake.

simple and fresh strawberry cake
simple + fresh strawberry cake Continue reading