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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Edible Cookie Dough

So last week during our snow days, I had a craving for something sweet but my local bakery was closed (because of the snow) and I didn’t have any eggs. So I needed something to satisfy my craving with limited ingredients. I decided to try and make some edible cookie dough. It was so easy to make and absolutely delicious! The recipe is below as well as links to some of my baking tools I had to use.

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Cheesecake Brownies

Hello all! For those of you who saw my Instagram videos this weekend, you will know that I had a pretty fun baking adventure Sunday night. For the first time in a while, I wasn’t making my own recipe, but instead just testing someone else’s. Anyways, the recipe was for cheesecake brownies and as you can see, they turned out really well! I couldn’t have been more pleased and I will definitely be making this recipe again. Plus, now that I’ve had some taste testers, I have some ideas on how to tweak this recipe next time. Also, there are still a bunch of these left so go check out Lefty Baking Life if you want some of your own!

Ingredients:

Cheesecake:

8 oz softened cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup white chocolate chips

Brownies:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

pinch of salt

2/3 cup flour

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F, line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.

Melt the butter and semi-sweet chocolate in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly until they are fully combined.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together and then add melted chocolate mixture. Mix until everything is evenly combined. Then, gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Make sure not to over mix. Set this aside

For the cheesecake layer, melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each, until melted…1 to 2 minutes.

In a bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, and egg. Beat until smooth. Then, stir in the melted white chocolate and mix until well combined.

Pour half of the brownie batter into the pan. Then, dollop spoonfuls of the cheesecake mixture on top and spread in out into a thin layer. Make sure you get into the corners too. Then spread the remaining brownie batter on top. Swirl with a knife through the layers so you get fun stripes when you cut it.

Bake about 25-35 minutes depending on your oven. Make sure that when you stick a toothpick through the center, it comes out with crumbs, but not liquid batter. Allow it to cool completely before cutting and then enjoy!

Let me know what you think of these goodies if you end up trying them yourself. Until next time…

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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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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Lately I have been getting a lot of requests for a red velvet baked good. In the past, I have not really enjoyed red velvet so I wanted to do something a little different in hopes that I would like it. So I combined a bunch of recipes and did a little experimenting and came out with these cream cheese and chocolate chip filled red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and as my coworkers said, they are decadent and scrumptious. I was so pleased with how they turned out and I can’t wait to see what my other taste testers think of them. If you do make them, I’d love to hear your thoughts so please let me know! These are available on Lefty Baking Life so if you would just like to try one without all of the hassle… let me know! 
Ingredients:
Cupcake:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tbs red food coloring (1 oz)
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 egg
6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar
Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Directions:
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
In another bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
With a mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients gradually until they are just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill regular muffin tins 2/3 of the way full.
For the filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and egg until combined. Add in the chocolate chips by hand until combined.
Spoon between a teaspoon and a tablespoon into each filled muffin tin. You don’t want them to be completely to the top, but at least 3/4 of the way full.
Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Watch out not to over bake them because it will make the cake part dry.
Frosting…
Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and beat until blended. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and continue beating until smooth. You can frost pretty liberally because it will make plenty for the 28 cupcakes the recipe makes.
I hope you love these as much as I did and I would love to hear what you think of them! 
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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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Apple Crisp Cookies

2017, baking, Lefty Baking Life, cookies,

Hello all! Happy Sunday! It was a busy week here at Lefty Living Life with new postings on my Ebay page, a how-to transition into fall with some fabulous delicate jewelry, and stepping out of my comfort zone with a dark statement lip and my thoughts on NARS’ powermatte lip pigment. A lot to say the least, but I was so excited about these posts and being able to share them with you. This coming week is also going to be jam-packed with new Ebay postings, outfit posts, potentially a new collaboration, and the continuation of my newest series…beauty Fridays. But before we get into all of that, let’s take a little breather and relax with some delicious fall cookies. 
While I love pumpkin, especially these pumpkin cookies from a few weeks ago, apples and cinnamon make me think about fall even more. A friend had requested I make something  apple related and my usual apple go-to is apple pie, but I wanted to mix it up a little bit. I found this recipe for Apple Crisp Cookies on pinterest and decided to try it out. I could not have been more pleased with the results. The recipe was relatively easy, the hardest thing was dicing up the apples and the cookies came out perfect. They are absolutely delicious and are definitely going to be a staple on my fall menu in the future. 
If you missed it on Friday, I made these cookies on a live video for my Instagram story. It was so much fun and I will definitely be posting more cooking videos so make sure to stay tuned. If you aren’t in the mood to make these cookies, you can always order some from my GoFund and I will ship them to you. Otherwise, have fun and enjoy the tastes of fall this Sunday! Until next time, XO 
Ingredients: 
1 pie crust- I used a pre-made one to save time and didn’t notice a difference
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced- I used honeycrisps because I like the sweet flavor more. Mine were also enormous apples so I only used 2 and had some left over. I also didn’t peel them because I wanted the bright red color to come out in the cookies
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice- this is about one regular size lemon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup rolled oats
10 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a regular muffin tin with baking spray. This recipe will make 24 regular sized cookies. You could also use a mini muffin tin to make more and I think the mini cookies would still be delicious.
Cut 24 two inch circles out of your pie crust. You will need to re-roll the scraps to about 1/4 inch thickness. Add the pie crust circles to the bottom of your muffin tins. Push it down to the bottom, it is ok if it comes up the sides a little bit because that will help hold your cookies together.
In a small saucepan add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Cook until the apples are softened and thickened. This took about 10 minutes. You can make the crisp topping while this is cooking, just make sure to stir the apples pretty regularly.
To make the crisp topping, add the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oats, and butter to a bowl. I combined these by hand. You could also use a pastry cutter or hand mixer. You do not want this to be a solid dough. Just make sure that everything is combined and that you don’t have too much loose powder.
Add one tablespoon of apple filling to each muffin tin. This can be fudged a little. I would make sure you have enough apples in each to completely cover the pie crust bottom.
Then add two tablespoons of the crumble topping on top. This seems like a lot but it will help keep your cookie together once baked.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. My oven is slow so it took 20 minutes for me. You just want to start seeing a little golden brown on the top. The whole top shouldn’t be golden.
This makes 24 if you follow the recipe and would be fabulous with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream! 
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It is finally here!

Hello all! Happy Monday! It is finally October and I couldn’t be more excited for two reasons. One, fall is my favorite season and it is finally starting to feel like fall here in North Carolina. The second reason is a bit more exciting. My online consignment company officially opens today! Unfortunately, the website is not quite ready, but that is ok because everything is going to be on my Ebay page for now. Here is how it’s going to work. Every Monday starting today, I am going to be posting at least five pieces. Other pieces will also be posted throughout the week. If you like something, you can buy it outright through Ebay. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I can send you more pictures or details. Also, if you are looking for specific pieces, please let me know so I can post those as well. I am so excited about this venture and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Check out the Ebay page later today to see the first set of postings. 
Also, because I am so excited about my company and fall, here is a fabulous pumpkin cookie recipe. These cookies are also available this week on Lefty Baking Life and they are pretty scrumptious! 
Ingredients: 
Cookies:
2 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Frosting:
8 oz. low-fat cream cheese, room temp
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Directions: 
Preheat the oven to 350 and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until combined. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about a minute. Add in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and beat until just combined. Gradually add in dry ingredients until just combined.
Drop on a cookie sheet using a small ice cream scooper and then use your fingers to flatten the cookies. They won’t rise or really spread at all.
Bake for 15 minutes so the cookies are cooked all the way through and bounce back slightly. Let them cool until at least room temperature before frosting. 
For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is combined and the frosting is smooth.
Frost the cookies once they are cool and sprinkle with an extra pinch of pumpkin pie spice.
Mine made about 60 cookies. Enjoy and until next time! XO 
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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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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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