Winter Whites and Sweet Treats

Can you believe it’s already February?! I sure can’t Valentine’s Day is already next week which means my birthday is just around the corner! So, I am not a huge Valentine’s Day fan, I actually think it is kind of silly. However, it does give me the perfect excuse to bake and wear some red and pink. So let’s talk about the clothes first.

Winter Whites and Sweet Treats - Lefty Living Life

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

Hello all! With Thanksgiving and applying to grad schools, I haven’t had a lot of time to bake for myself recently or experiment with recipes. But, if you’ve been keeping up with my¬†Instagram stories, then you know I had quite the baking adventure on Friday night. One of my co-workers recently requested German chocolate cupcakes, which I love. But I wanted to do something a little bit different so I made a German chocolate cupcake and then experimented with the toppings. For half of the batch, I made a coconut, pecan, brown sugar topping. For the other half, I filled them with a coconut, pecan filling and then topped them with a chocolate ganache. I thought there would be one clear winner, but I really can’t decide which one I like better! As this is my own recipe and my own creation, if you make it, I would love to hear your feedback. Plus, if you think one sounds better than the other, let me know!

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

1/2 cup water

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups and 3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Coconut, Pecan Filling and Topping:

4 egg yolks

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup heavy cream

12 oz. semi sweet or dark chocolate

Directions:

So the first thing I made was the cupcakes because I wanted them to be cold before I started frosting or filling.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tins with cupcake liners. These are a dense cupcake and you need the liners to make sure they stay together. For me, the recipe made 24 big cupcakes and 48 mini cupcakes. It would probably make 36 big cupcakes.

Bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Reduce the heat to low and add the 6 oz. of chocolate. I used semi-sweet because the topping is so sweet I didn’t want milk chocolate. I would really recommend semi-sweet or even dark chocolate for this recipe. Whisk until smooth and then cool.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder in a bowl. In a separate, larger bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding another egg. Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the remaining chocolate chips with a spoon at the end.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners until they are 2/3 the way full. Don’t over fill these! Bake for about 15 minutes depending on your oven. Just wait until a toothpick comes out clean. They really do need to cool so maybe make these ahead of time or the day before.

I filled the cupcakes with the same pecan, coconut mixture that I frosted the half with. For it, whisk the egg yolks, evaporated milk, and brown sugar together in a large saucepan. Add the butter and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely and the butter is fully incorporated. Stir this constantly so nothing sticks or burns. Continue cooking this until it is thick. If it doesn’t thicken up, add some more brown sugar. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla, salt, coconut, and pecans.

For the chocolate ganache, all you have to do is bring the heavy cream to a boil. Then pour it over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 4 minutes without mixing it. Then whisk until it is completely combined. Allow it to cool a little.

Construction:

So for half of these I simply used the coconut, pecan filling as a frosting. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop them on the top and then refrigerate so that they stay together.

For the other half, I first scooped out the middle and filled them with the coconut, pecan filling. I then froze them for about 20 minutes so it wasn’t too liquid-y. Then I put a spoonful on the top of each one and spread it around.

Until next time,

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Halloween Holdover and New Clothes for Sale

Hello all! Life has been a little crazy as I have been sick, busy with work, and studying for the GRE/ applying for grad school. Sadly that means my baking has been put on the back burner so these cookies are a little late. As you know from my many adventures with cookies (here, here, and here) I love my recipe for sprinkle cookies and I love experimenting. For Halloween this year, I wanted to do Halloween themed cookies which meant Halloween sprinkles. These cookies are so easy to adapt for any occasion or holiday and they are delicious. I’m not going to lie, this batch, might be my best one ever and I am definitely enjoying them even though Halloween is over. If you are tired of candy, I’d be happy to ship you some! Just donate to the go-fund and message me with your info and I will send you a whole box! 
In other news, there are also a few new items up for sale on my ebay page! Now that it is starting to get cold, it seemed like the perfect time to start looking at coats and sweaters. Check it out and if you are looking for anything in particular, please let me know because I might have just the thing! 

 Ingredients:
1 cup butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sprinkles
Frosting: 3/4 cup butter, room temp
2 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions:
With an electric mixer, cream the butte and sugar until light, about 2 mins. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Scrape bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly add to the butter mixture on low speed and mix until combined. Gently mix in the sprinkles by hand. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
Remove from the fridge and preheat oven to 325. Let cookies sit at room temperature for 15 minutes unless you have chilled them overnight. If so, let them sit for about 30-40 minutes.
Form dough into balls. Bake for 9-10 minutes until the edges are slightly browned. The centers will appear soft. Allow to cool on pan for 3 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool. They need to be completely chilled before you frost them.
Frosting: With a hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt and mix on low speed until combined then increase the speed and mix for about 3 minutes. Add more sugar or cream if too thick or thin.
Place as much frosting as you like on the cookies and then finish with sprinkles. 

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Caramel Brownies

Hello all! I hope your Labor Day weekend was absolutely fabulous! This post is one of my favorite types of brownies…caramel brownies. I adapted the recipe from The Pioneer Woman and what she calls “Knock You Naked Brownies.” However, her recipe has nuts in it and I have been trying to avoid eating nuts lately. So I just cut that bit out! 
Anyways, this recipe is not too difficult, just slightly time consuming because you do have to bake the base and then bake the top layer. My one piece of advice is to let it cool for a LONG time. I made these a while ago for some friends and didn’t have time to cool them. It turned into a caramel brownies, lava-esque like cobbler. It was still delicious, but very difficult to eat.
Ingredients:
1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix…yes I did use the pre-made mix and trust me it is the right decision when it comes to these
1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup melted butter
60 whole caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips…or as many as you see fit in my case! 
Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use a 9 x 9 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. This will make it so much easier to take them out of the pan once they are cool.
In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. You want the mixture to be very thick so make sure all of the dry ingredients are mixed in.
Press half the mixture into your baking dish and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
In a double boiler, or if you are lazy like me a microwave proof bowl in the microwave, melt caramels with 1/2 cup of evaporated milk. If you use the microwave, stir every 20-30 seconds. 
When melted and combined, pour over your cooked brownie base. Sprinkle your chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the layer of caramel.
Turn out your remaining brownie dough on the counter and press it into a large square then put it on top of your caramel and chocolate chip layer. You want it to cover most of the pan, but if there are holes, that is ok.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I’m serious here y’all. They need to be cold when you cut them if you want them to come out pretty. 
There are still some of these available on Lefty Baking Life, so if you want some, make sure to order them today! Well, that’s all of now, until next time! XO 
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Pink and My Local Bakery

2017, summer, OOTD, pink, neon, statement lip, LBD, baking, food,

2017, summer, OOTD, pink, neon, statement lip, LBD, baking, food,

2017, summer, OOTD, pink, neon, statement lip, LBD, baking, food,

2017, summer, OOTD, pink, neon, statement lip, LBD, baking, food,

2017, summer, OOTD, pink, neon, statement lip, LBD, baking, food,

2017, summer, OOTD, pink, neon, statement lip, LBD, baking, food,

Hello all! I must say, one of my favorite things about living downtown is that I am within walking distance of a fabulous bakery. If you have been following my instagram (@leftylivinglife) you will have seen some of the fabulous pastries I’ve gotten so far! My favorite has been the seasonal danish which had fig and goat cheese in it. Sadly the seasons are changing and they don’t have figs anymore, but they do have a blueberry, cardamon, and goat cheese danish. I just tried it yesterday and it was fabulous! 
When I decided to live alone, I promised myself that I would try and go out and explore and interact with other people downtown as often as possible. This bakery, called The Table, was the perfect start for me. First of all, I love baked goods and pastries, so having access to that has been wonderful. Second of all, I can walk over and eat breakfast while blogging! It is just the perfect way for me to spend my mornings. 
Sadly, they are closed on my only day off so I can’t spend the entire day there. But I sure am enjoying it as a morning treat so far! Do y’all have any tricks for discovering a new city? Do you have a favorite bakery or coffee shop that you always frequent? Until next time, XO 

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Chambray and Leather

J.Crew, 2017, summer, leather, chambray, pink, Lefty Baking Life, food, OOTD,

J.Crew, 2017, summer, leather, chambray, pink, Lefty Baking Life, food, OOTD,

J.Crew, 2017, summer, leather, chambray, pink, Lefty Baking Life, food, OOTD,

J.Crew, 2017, summer, leather, chambray, pink, Lefty Baking Life, food, OOTD,

J.Crew, 2017, summer, leather, chambray, pink, Lefty Baking Life, food, OOTD,
Hello all! It’s Monday for me and I am excited about the start of a new week. There is just something about the beginning of the week that gives me such faith. I always seem to have my best ideas at the beginning of the week and so far, I’ve had quite a few about outfit posts, things to bake for Lefty Baking Life, how to decorate my apartment, and other random things. Hopefully, I’ll be able to accomplish some of these ideas this week and they won’t just sit on my to do list. 
Quick word about baked goods before we talk about this outfit. If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, it is for a fabulous and classic lemon bar recipe. I love the juxtaposition between a tart lemon curd and a buttery crust! Also, I am excited to announce this week’s goodie for Lefty Baking Life…caramel brownies! These are some of my favorite chocolate desserts and it has been so tempting not to eat all of them! If you want some, comment below, message me, email me or text me and we will work out the details! You also can go directly to our facebook page or the go fund page. Also, if you have any requests for Lefty Baking Life goodies, let me know! I always love trying new things. 
I always struggle with what to wear this time of year. My mind is already thinking about fall clothes but when it’s at least 80 degrees, I want as few a layers as possible. So, I’ve been wearing some of my more transitional clothes without the layers and with fun pops of color to keep them summery. Chambray and leather are my two go-tos when it comes to transitional pieces because they are lighter but easy to layer. Without the layers though, they make the perfect fun outfit. A little pale pink and hot pink were the perfect additions to give this outfit that extra summer kick I was looking for. Until next time, XO

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A “Healthy” Cookie for Lefty Baking Life

2017, Lefty Baking Life, food, recipe, cookies, chocolate,
Hello all! I hope your weekend has been nice and relaxing. Mine has been filled with baking, decorating my apartment and going to see art…not to worry, there will be updates on all of that this week! Anyways, as is usual for a Sunday evening, tonight’s post features the most recent baked good for Lefty Baking Life. If these cookies sound delicious to you, simply donate to the go fund and send me your info and I will ship you some cookies! 
Now on to the cookies. These are supposedly a healthy cookie recipe as there is no sugar in it. However, there is quite a bit of maple syrup so between that, the chocolate, and the raspberries, it is still sweet but not over the top. It is also relatively simple to make. My first “healthy” recipe and I think it went well! 
2017, Lefty Baking Life, food, recipe, cookies, chocolate,
Ingredients: 
1 cup instant oats
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
6 tbsp fresh raspberries, diced
2 1/2 tbsp chocolate chips…not gonna lie, I put 3 tbsp in the dough and then a smattering on top
Directions:
Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup. Add in the flour mixture, stirring until just incorporated. Gently fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips. And I mean gently other wise your raspberries will basically disintegrate.
Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 and line baking sheets with parchment paper
I used a small ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough onto the baking sheets and then press some chocolate chips onto the top and slightly flatten the cookies.
Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes.
Mine made 32! 
Let me know what you think and if you want any, go to the facebook page or the go fund! Until next time, XO. 

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Sprinkle Cookies with a Chocolate Twist

2017, personal, lefty, Lefty Baking Life, recipe, food, cookies,
Hello all and happy Monday! Yesterday ended up being so crazy and I am so sad I wasn’t able to blog because it was National Left-Handed Day! But I did buy a futon for my apartment and get it all assembled! Let me tell you, never have I felt more accomplished than after buying a piece of furniture and putting it together by myself. I am getting so excited about my apartment and there are going to start being posts about it this week as I finish getting it decorated. 
As sad as I am that I didn’t blog on National Left-Handed Day, it is not that big of a deal because every day is left-handed day for me. One of the main reasons I named the blog Lefty Living Life is because I am left-handed, but I also identify very strongly as a lefty. It is just one of those aspects of my life that has come to define me. Next year, I think I’m going to have a Lefty party! Maybe I’ll even make these cookies.
Let me tell you about these cookies. These are the first thing available on Lefty Baking Life and I am obsessed with them. First of all, it is my sprinkle cookie recipe that I talk about all the time and love. This time though, I mixed up the icing a little and added chocolate chips and somehow they are even better. I am so pleased that another of my own recipes worked out and that it was able to kick off Lefty Baking Life. If you want some, there are a couple still available so just go to my go fund, donate, and then send me your address through our facebook page or email (leftylivinglife@gmail.com). I’ll then send you the cookies in the mail! Until next time, XO
Ingredients:
1 cup butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sprinkles
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Frosting: 3/4 cup butter, room temp
2 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions:
With an electric mixer, cream the butte and sugar until light, about 2 mins. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Scrape bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly add to the butter mixture on low speed and mix until combined. Gently mix in the sprinkles by hand. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
Remove from the fridge and preheat oven to 325. Let cookies sit at room temperature for 15 minutes unless you have chilled them overnight. If so, let them sit for about 30-40 minutes.
Form dough into balls. Bake for 9-10 minutes until the edges are slightly browned. The centers will appear soft. Allow to cool on pan for 3 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool. They need to be completely chilled before you frost them.
Frosting: With a hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt and mix on low speed until combined then increase the speed and mix for about 3 minutes. Add more sugar or cream if too thick or thin.
Place as much frosting as you like on the cookies and then finish with sprinkles. At first, I only frosted some of them, but the frosting really adds something so I would definitely recommend it! 
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Sprinkle Sandwich Cookies

Hello all! I am sorry I was a little MIA last week…moving and starting my new job ended up being way more time consuming than I expected. No surprise there, but I did not plan very well so blogging had to take a slight back burner. 
However, I am using my first day off since April (!!) to plan out this week a little better and be a little more organized. Moral of the story, I am now back with a full schedule of posts so make sure to stay tuned this week. There are some fun things to come like my first Lefty Baking Life adventure as well as some first looks at my new apartment as I get moved in and situated! 
Anyways, excuse my ramblings and let’s get back to the main reason for this post…cookies. I have never been a huge cookie fan because I hate dry cookies without flavor. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a crunchy, crumbly cookie. But, I want it to be that way because the baker intended that, not because they are over-baked or otherwise poorly made. 
So, when my mom first told me she was making sprinkle cookies, I was a little hesitant to say the least, despite my love of sprinkles. However, these turned out to be some of the best cookies I’d ever had. They had a strong flavor of vanilla (which I love) and were soft and moist. Since this discover, I’ve looked for every possible opportunity to use these cookies. I’ve drawn shamrocks for St. Patrick’s day, made bunny butt cookies for Easter, tried holiday themed sprinkles, and dyed icing.
A couple of weeks ago,  I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw a recipe for sandwich cookies. My first thought was to make sandwich cookies out of my sprinkle cookie recipe because how could that possibly be bad?! It also seemed like the perfect way to say thank you and good bye to my Leland Little family. 
The cookies were a hit to say the least. I made them slightly smaller than usual so it wasn’t too big a serving and I used a cream cheese icing instead of my usual icing. I like cream cheese icing for fillings because it is a little thicker so better in large quantities. These really turned out to be a fabulous experiment and they will definitely be featured on Lefty Baking Life soon if you want to try them yourself! Until next time, XO
Ingredients: 
1 cup butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sprinkles
Frosting: 
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions: 
With an electric mixer, cream the butte and sugar until light, about 2 mins. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Scrape bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly add to the butter mixture on low speed and mix until combined. Gently mix in the sprinkles by hand. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. 
Remove from the fridge and preheat oven to 325. Let cookies sit at room temperature for 15 minutes unless you have chilled them overnight. If so, let them sit for about 30-40 minutes.
Form dough into balls. Bake for 9-10 minutes until the edges are slightly browned. The centers will appear soft. Allow to cool on pan for 3 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool. They need to be completely chilled before you construct your sandwiches.
Frosting: use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and beat until well blended. Add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and continue beating until smooth.
Place as much frosting as you like on half the cookies and sandwich them together. Put enough to hold the cookies but not too much. You don’t want it to ooze out when people take a bite.
This made almost 40 sandwiches for me! 
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Lefty Baking Life

2017, Lefty Baking Life, food, recipe, personal,
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bars
Hello all for the second time today! My first day was so fabulous! My job is off to a great start and I took another load of stuff to my apartment this morning. I also am in the final stages of the logo design for my online consignment store…hopefully more updates on that to come soon. 
2017, Lefty Baking Life, food, recipe, personal,
Chocolate Chip Sprinkle Cookie Bars
You may have started wondering why all of the photos in this post are food related. Well, let me tell you! In addition to a new job and a new apartment, I also launched my newest project today. It is called Lefty Baking Life and I have been dying to tell you about it! 
2017, Lefty Baking Life, food, recipe, personal,
Better Than Sex Cake
As you have probably noticed, I have been posting a lot more recipes lately because I love to bake and I love being able to share that with other people. So, Lefty Baking Life is an opportunity for me to bake more and be able to share that with all of you! 
2017, Lefty Baking Life, food, recipe, personal,
Blueberry stuffed cupcakes with blueberry jam and cream cheese frosting
Every week I will be posting on the Facebook page a baked good of the week. If you want that baked good, send me a donation through my go fund. All of the donations will go to buying supplies for the baked good and shipping them out. The more you donate, the more baked goods I will send you! 
2017, Lefty Baking Life, food, recipe, personal,
Chocolate muffins with cream cheese filling
If you want a specific thing, feel free to message me a request and I will make that the next week. I will also be doing custom orders. I am so excited about this and I can’t wait to start experimenting with recipes. I would love any and all feedback so please email me or message me! Until next time, XO. 
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