Taking the Research out of the Recipes: Sweet Dutchess relentlessly researches, taking away her favorite ingredients and ratios, adding a few creative touches of her own, and creating her perfect recipe in order to create the ultimate confectionery experience.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lunch Ladies and Giveaways

I have always daydreamed about some of the foods that I had the pleasure of consuming during my childhood years: orange drink in cartoons after field day, Thanksgiving dinner, and a few others that will forever be ingrained in my brain. I love how food can capture memories; taking one bite can take you back to times of familiarity and happiness and can trudge up a smile even on the darkest of days. By far the one I miss the most is the peanut butter brownies with chocolate frosting. So when one of my customers, who is also pregnant at the moment, brought up the deliciousness from yesteryear I just had to jump at the chance!

I had to do a lot of research to find what I remembered as perfection. There are a lot of new recipes out there, and I am assuming that the addition of oats in the brownies gave them more merit nutritionally. But I didn't want oats in my chocolate peanut butter brownies! I eventually discovered a few recipes I liked and did a little science and experimentation and came up with, what I feel, is a glorious replication that I am proud to call chocolate peanut butter brownies.

Once I pressed the dough into the tart pan and it began to bake I knew I had hit the jackpot: I walked into the kitchen and was immediately taken back to standing in line in the cafeteria in elementary school and spying those glorious treats wrapped in a napkin at the end of the line on a lunch tray. Now I am sure the lunch ladies from my elementary days did not use Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla, free range, organically fed eggs, or Cacao Barry Extra Brute cocoa powder, but fear not. These were a total success! Meet the newest member of the Sweet Dutchess family: The Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Tart!


And now to the GIVEAWAY!!!!! I am a baker...I sell cupcakes galore to both customers and a few venues .I initially transported cupcakes in boxes to certain venues but felt I was doing the planet a disfavor.  One evening I stumbled upon the Cupcake Courier when I was desperately searching for something that could hold more than a dozen cupcakes that was super sturdy, had a handle I didn't have to question, and wasn't insanely bulky. I found this little gem on Amazon and it has been a lifesaver. I ended up ordering a few more and I couldn't be happier! The Cupcake Courier holds...wait for it...36 cupcakes! You can also take the trays out and it transforms into a cake carrier as well! The individual cups on each stackable tray ensures perfect travel and keeps those cupcakes upright and beautiful.

Want to win one of these beauties?! Here is how you can get yourself signed up with 4 chances to win!

1. Comment on this blog post in the comments section below...what is your favorite childhood food that sparks a memory?! Comments must be on Sweet Dutchess blog under "Lunch Ladies and Giveaways" post in order to be entered.

2. Share this post on your timeline on Facebook! Don't forget to tell me about it below in the comments! Comments must be on Sweet Dutchess blog under "Lunch Ladies and Giveaways" post in order to be entered.

3. Become a friend of Sweet Dutchess and like me on Facebook...don't forget to tell me about it below in the comments! If you are already a friend let me know too in the comment area below! Comments must be on Sweet Dutchess blog under "Lunch Ladies and Giveaways" post in order to be entered.

3. Start following the Sweet Dutchess blog  by clicking "Follow" on the right side of the blog and post it in the comments section on the blog! Comments must be on Sweet Dutchess blog under "Lunch Ladies and Giveaways" post in order to be entered.

The giveaway will end on Tuesday, April 1st, so get those entries in and be sure to share with your friends! Good Luck! And remember, there is always room for cake! XOXO

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lemon Velvet with Fresh Blueberries and Cream Cheese AND Exciting News!

Spring has sprung in Dutch Country! The sun is out, the snow is melting, and it is time to share the sunshine with those taste buds! I made a Lemon Velvet cake this week that was tangy, sweet with a tender crumb at my daughter's request.

People ask if there is food coloring in my Lemon Velvet due to it's beautiful hue of happy yellow, but alas there is not. Wait, why am I saying that like it's a bad thing?! I attribute the sunny color from all the delicious lemon juice and zest I stick in there, plus the use of free range, organically fed eggs from Peaceful Pastures. The yokes are SO yellow, and SO flavorful!


I threw in some fresh blueberries to add an extra pinch of happy, spring flavor, and boy, what a fantastically awesome idea! This cake and cupcakes are AMAZING. Lemon is viewed as a spring and summer flavor and I like to think this is because, just as spring awakens the flowers and trees, lemon wakes up the senses and brings back memories of sun and cool breezes.

I topped the cupcakes and cake with my secret Cream Cheese Frosting recipe that is not too sweet and actually tastes like cream cheese. I swear I could eat it out of a bowl with a spoon. Ok, you caught me! I HAVE done's that good!

These little rays of sunshine are available this week and for the rest of spring! And make sure to check back in next week: ready for some exciting news?! Sweet Dutchess is having her first giveaway next week!!!!!! I'll give you a will keep those cupcakes off the floor. Keep your peepers peeled! Thanks for popping in! Have a sweet day and remember, there is always room for cake! XOXO