2012 has been a wonderful year on Lulu the Baker! At the end of 2011, I decided to try focusing a bit more attention on my neglected little blog, just for 1 year, to see what would happen--a little experiment to see if this blog was worth maintaining. And I've been floored by the supportive response from my family, my fellow bloggers, and you, dear readers. Thank you for every comment you've left, for every kind email you've sent, for chatting with me on Twitter, for including one of my recipes in a round-up. Thank you for making this year such an amazing blogging experience!
Without further sentimental ado, here are the 10 most popular Lulu the Baker posts from 2012:
I hope you're not tired of my holiday food round-ups; I know I'm still enjoying putting them together! One of my favorite things about planning a party is deciding which delicious food to make. New Years Eve parties seem to be especially well-suited for fun appetizers and snacks. Here are 20 party-perfect favorites from here on Lulu the Baker and around the web. Happy New Year!
Cookies seem to rule the roost during the holiday season, but Christmas cakes and candies are a nice change of pace. After all the cookie noshing, a beautiful and delicious cake is a welcome end to a holiday meal, and nothing stands out among the sea of cookie plates on your neighbors kitchen counter like a beautiful box of homemade candy! Below, I've gathered 20 of my favorite recipes for holiday cakes and non-cookie sweets. May your hearts be full of sweetness and peace this Christmas, and I'll see you back here at the end of next week!
Just in time for Christmas, I present for your enjoyment the most festive and perfect of holiday cupcakes--the Mallowmint Cupcake. A fluffy, white peppermint cupcake topped with the most amazing minty marshmallow buttercream, sprinkled with crushed candy canes, and dusted with glitter. Words truly cannot express how utterly amazing they are--you'll just have to try them for yourself!
Chocolate and Mint is one of my favorite flavor pairs. I don't know what it is that makes them such perfect partners, but I can't think of a better match for either of them than the other! These culinary co-conspirators meet up in one of my favorite candies, the Andes Mint--a single bite of melty, minty goodness!
My first post as a new contributor on Best Friends For Frosting is an irresistible Andes Mint Cupcake! Rich chocolate cupcakes covered in fluffy mint frosting, with a secret layer of Andes Mint hidden in between! See the full recipe on Best Friends For Frosting!
Is there anything better than a good Christmas cookie plate? I think not. I heard a quote recently about something not at all cookie-related, but I'm going to apply it to Christmas cookies: The good ones are great, and the bad ones are still pretty good!
Below are some of my favorite holiday cookies, old and new. I tried to pick really quintessential Christmas cookies for this round-up--lots of chocolate and peppermint, and spices galore! I hope you can find something delightful to add to this year's cookie plate.
I've said before that I am a chewy cookie girl, but there's just something about biscotti that I love. I don't know if it's the extremely tantalizing crunch, or the extremely alluring sweetness, or, in this case, the extremely addictive bits of tart, tangy sour cherry. They have an irresistible siren song, and I love them.
These cookies are not only sweet, they're kind-hearted and generous too! I made them as part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap to support Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Lots and lots of amazing food bloggers participated, swapping yummy cookies, and donating to a great cause. If you'd like to be on the email list so you can sign up next year, you can click HERE, and check out the links below to see all of the cookies these creative food bloggers made!
Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap Recipe Round-Up, Part 1
Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap Recipe Round-Up, Part 2
I have such a treat for you guys today--projects and recipes, all rolled into one merry post! One of my very favorite parts of Christmas has always been delivering homemade holiday treats to friends and neighbors. When I was growing up, I loved when my mom would help us make plates of snickerdoodles, molasses crinkles, peanut blossoms, sugar cookies, and russian tea cakes to give away. And now that I have kids of my own, I love thinking up fun Christmas treats to share with school teachers, carpool buddies, and friends from down the street.
When it comes to giving delicious gifts, I think cute packaging is just as important as a good recipe! I've teamed up with Garnish--an online retailer that offers adorable food packaging--to show you some easy and fun ways to take this year's neighbor gifts from drab to fab! Why settle for paper plates and plastic wrap from the grocery store when Garnish can send you wooden berry baskets, cardboard bakery boxes, and striped twine?
Last year, we decided to give Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough to our neighbors and friends, and it was probably the most popular Christmas gift we've ever given! I thought I'd take that popular gift one step further and show you three super cute, super easy ways to dress up Garnish's paper bowls and lids, and a drool-worthy cookie dough recipe that would make a perfect holiday gift!
First up is the yarn pom pom. If you've never made yarn pom poms before, they are super easy and super addicting! You can find directions on how to make them on one of my favorite blogs, Creature Comforts. I teamed these bright, happy pom poms up with a White Paper Bowl and Lid and a Round Kraft Label from Garnish.
The second idea reminds me of a classic Christmas tree! I started with a few of my favorite Garnish supplies: a 16-oz Kraft Ripple Paper Bowl and Lid, a White Oval Label, and a length of Red and White Bakery Twine. Once the cookie dough was packed, the twine wrapped, and the label attached to the front, I hot glued a few sprigs of pine, a cluster of old-fashioned glass ornaments, and some stars punched from decorative paper to the top of the lid.
Last, but not least (and, actually, my favorite!), we have a nature-inspired design. I used Garnish's White Paper Bowl and Lid and Round Kraft Label, as well as a trio of bakery twine offerings: Red and White, Green and White, and Brown and White. To the top, I attached a small bundle of twigs from the apple tree in my backyard, and a pine cone and cluster of red berries from a $1 holiday decor pick from the craft store.
All of these packages are adorable, not to mention filled with the most amazing cookie dough that combines warm spices and sweet flecks of chocolate! Keep scrolling or click "Read More" for the recipe for Chewy Gingerbread Cookies with Double Chocolate Chunks.
I know there aren't a lot of meals to choose from, but breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. I could eat waffles, sausage, and omelets for lunch and dinner every day and be completely happy, and a nice, big Holiday brunch with french toast or quiche or bagels or pastries is my idea of perfection!
I've rounded up 20 of my favorite delectable breakfast recipes from Lulu the Baker and other tasty corners of the world wide web; they'd all be perfect for a special Holiday breakfast get-together!
Growing up, on Christmas morning, we all lined up at the top of the stairs in order from youngest to oldest, dressed in last year's Christmas jammies, and marched down together to see what Santa had brought us. After digging through our stockings, and before we were allowed to open presents, my grandparents would come over and we'd eat Christmas breakfast together. And for years and years and years, Christmas breakfast has been this tasty, hearty, and wholesome casserole filled with ham, cheese, and green onions. It's one of my favorite things to eat, and I look forward to Christmas morning because of it (the family and presents galore don't hurt either!).
You can find this mouth-watering recipe on This Heart of Mine, where Amy has asked a few bloggers to share their favorite holiday recipes all month long!
I think Christmas morning is one of the most magical times! There are very few days that are as filled with joy and wonder and love as Christmas. These yummy Cinnamon-Pecan Biscuit Twists would be the perfect addition to any Christmas morning breakfast spread, with a layer of sweet, spicy cinnamon sugar and nutty pecans tucked between buttery biscuit dough, and a sweet vanilla icing drizzle topping it all off. Best of all, they are as easy to make as they are delicious, so you can spend your time making magical memories with the people you love, instead of making breakfast!