We don’t accept tips, but we will PAY IT FORWARD everyday!

If you know us, you know that we are big fans of the “Pay It Forward” movement.

If you don’t know, the expression “pay it forward” is used to describe the concept of asking that a good turn be repaid by having a good turn done to others.  In other words, you do a good deed for someone and in turn they do a good deed for someone and so on.  Hence the term “pay it forward”.  Can you even imagine our world if everyone, everyday subscribed to this concept?

Our customers try to give us tips all the time.  We’re grateful, but reply, “We don’t accept tips unless it’s a life tip or a really good stock tip, but we will collect for a charity”.  Over the course of the last two years, we’ve mostly concentrated on “Paying It Forward” by collecting food and money for the local churches who help feed the hungry, our efforts usually concentrated on collecting during the holiday season.  We realize that the need in our community is an everyday need, not just seasonal so, we’re making some positive changes.

I have to add here that I am repeatedly amazed and humbled by the dedication and generosity of the people in our community who care for those in need.  One church around the corner feeds more than 200 people every Wednesday.   Another operates the Church Mouse Thrift Shop in town.  Run solely by volunteers, the Church Mouse profits mainly fund community outreach programs and the list of these types of organizations could go on and on.

Without getting too sappy here, God has given Shelly and I so much that we are compelled to “Pay It Forward” and have decided to refocus our efforts on making sure that we do just that everyday, all year-long.  So beginning in April, which also happens to be our second Anniversary in business, we will raise money and awareness for the programs in our community who “Pay It Forward” everyday and are in need of help.

For the month of April we will work to “Pay It Forward” to Diakonia in Ocean City.  Diakonia has been helping individuals and families in Worcester County and on the Lower Shore for more than 30 years.  They “Pay It Forward” by providing shelter, food, clothing and the resources to rebuild the lives of those in need.  Diakonia is the only comprehensive provider of emergency and transitional housing for men, women and families on the Lower Shore.  As you can imagine, the need here is great.

Diakonia’s moto is “Help for today, Hope for tomorrow”.  Enough said!  We invite you to join us and “Pay It Forward”.Baked Dessert Cafe and Gallery

You asked for it…Moist and Flavorful Irish Soda Bread!

Ok, I’m not Irish.  As a matter of fact, I consider myself to be a “mutt” although my husband says that I am Italian by marriage.  So suffice it to say that the only reason I ever even thought to make Irish Soda Bread was for our bakery customers who request it for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

Over the years I have tried several traditional Irish Soda Bread recipes and most have turned out as expected.  Honestly, I find this type of bread to be on the dry side  and overall unappealing; this coming from a total “bread head”.  This year I decided to continue my quest to find an Irish Soda Bread recipe that was moist and flavorful.  After researching and reading numerous reviews, I decided to try several and came up with a real winner with the recipe I found on allrecipes.com.

This Irish Soda Bread was a breeze to make and is a recipe that I will continue to bake year round.  Both moist and full of flavor, this bread would be a perfect accompaniment to breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.   I made two varieties this week, plain and whiskey soaked raisin studded.  I’ll also experiment with the recipe to see if I can replicate it in a Gluten Free variety.

Note, if you don’t have buttermilk handy you can simply make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of milk.  Allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes before using.  Making your own buttermilk is also less expensive than buying buttermilk in the store.  I guarantee that you’re not going to be disappointed with this Irish Soda Bread recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beatenMoist and Flavorful Irish Soda Bread
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into prepared pan.
  2. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor.

Totally “Baked” Danny Boy Cupcake!

You all might have heard about a popular drink served particularly around St. Patty’s Day call the Irish Car Bomb.  You make one by adding Bailey’s and Jameson to a shot glass.  You layer the Bailey’s on the bottom.  After you pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug 3/4 of the way full you simply drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug.  This drink sounds like it can get you totally “BAKED”.

I love the idea of making this drink into a cake/cupcake, but I thoroughly dislike the name.  One of our faithful facebook followers suggested that we rename it the Buzzed Danny Boy which we think is an awesome name, but since we always try to play off of our “BAKED” name we have decided to rename this concoction the Totally “BAKED” Danny Boy.

We’re lucky to have a fantastic micro-brewry right here in town so I strolled on over to Burley Oak Brewery and grabbed myself a growler of their Black Cow Stout.  Now, I’ve made Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Burley Oak brew before, but adding this Black Cow to my recipe really cranked things up a notch.  The cupcake was so moist and balanced it was delicious without the accouterments of filling or frosting, but in our efforts to recreate the drink in a cake/cupcake form we’ve filled them with Irish Whiskey Ganache and topped them with our homemade Irish Cream Liquor buttercream.  The Totally “Baked” Danny Boy cupcakes are rolling out the door for a limited time only.

For your baking enjoyment I’m including the following recipe for Chocolate Stout Cupcakes.  It’s the best that I’ve found and is courtesy of David Lieberman of the Food Network.

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purposeflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 bottle stout beer (I recommend Burley Oak’s Black Cow)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

My suggestion…You can top these cupcake with any of your favorite fillings and/or buttercream frostings, but honestly they’re absolutely delicious all by themselves.Totally "BAKED" Danny Boy Cupcake

What to Whip Up for St. Patrick’s Day?

I can’t believe that March is almost here and that means “Saint Patrick’s Day” is right around the corner. Last year we learned the fine art of baking Irish Soda Bread and offered Chocolate Stout Cupcake with Irish Cream Buttercream and Mad Vanilla Cupcakes stuffed with Stout Orange Curd.  What uniquely different dessert  are we going to whip up this year?

I think most people think about desserts that surround Irish Cream Liqueur for St. Patty’s Day and it’s a no wonder.  Did you know that this delicious concoction was created by a guy named Joe Sheridan in 1943 at Foynes flying boat base’s at Shannon Airport.  It all happened when a crowd of tired, thirsty and cold passengers wondered in and Joe served them up some hot coffee laced with sugar, Irish whiskey and a generous amount of Irish double cream.  More than 60 years later, this liqueur is now served world wide.

In addition to using some of Joe’s creation in our desserts, I think we’ll also try some other unusual offerings as well.  How does Chocolate Potato Cake and Donegal Oatmeal Cream sound?  In addition to Irish Soda Bread maybe we’ll also bake some Sweet Seed Cake.  I can’t wait to get started.  The best of the best we’ll post in a later blog, but in the meantime I’m sharing a recipe for homemade Irish Cream Liqueur that is fool proof and far less expensive to make than what you find in the liquor stores.

Irish Cream Whiskey Liqueur

1 3/4 c. your favorite liquor (Irish Whiskey, brandy, rum, bourbon, scotch, or rye whiskey)

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 c. whipping or light cream

4 eggs

Day 256/365 - 13 Sept - Irish Cream

Day 256/365 - 13 Sept - Irish Cream (Photo credit: anshu_si)

2 tbsp. chocolate flavored syrup

2 tsp. instant coffee

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve over ice, with club soda or in your favorite dessert recipes. Store tightly covered in refrigerator up to one month. Stir before serving.