Friday, March 23, 2012


There comes a time in each of our lives when we must leave responsible, grown-up eating habits behind and we must try to kill ourselves via food.


Hence this blog post. I give y'all...


There's no way you're ready for this jelly so I'm withholding the entire recipe. Only after you witness what an abomination these are can you fully determine if the FAT KID COOKIE is something you can handle. Once you do...please contact moi ( and frickin' ORDER SOME! $15 for a dozen is totes reasonable...doncha think?

oh...and there are outtakes, too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rhapsody in Cheese

Hello Dear-hearts!

I've been one busy little beaver lately and it's been TOUGH finding time to bake much less post.


The Cheese Straws worked!

My childhood bff, Dawn, is like...miss improv comedy 2012 and does lights, etc. for an improv show called FUN! on Monday nights in Long Island City. She asked me last week if I could bring some fun sized baked goods and naturally I said 'Yes!' and I used the opportunity to try out Miss Sally Stockton's Cheese Straws.

Sally is a friend of my mom's and apparently makes cheese straws once a week. After my first attempt at these went 'THUD' I was looking for a tried-and-true recipe and Sally was kind enough to send me hers. Lemme tell's an expensive recipe to screw up and I was nervous, but these turned out PERFECT! They're cheesy, crunchy on the bottom, slightly soft throughout, and have a little kick from the cayenne at the end.

Also, the recipe makes a ton, which is good cause the improv show attendees gobbled 'em up like crazy.

Pretty much the whole recipe and tips are on the short video below. ENJOY!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I sold 'em then ate the rest...

First, let me apologize for the lack of pictures and/or video.



Maybe it's silly and over-excited to be be so...EXCITED...but when your goal is to sell stuff and you finally DO sell's just very encouraging.

Honestly it was a weird feeling to get paid. I almost felt guilty. Like, 'No sweetheart! These are on me!' almost escaped my mouth. Was that because I've just always given away my tasty treats or because I'm just too damn 'naaaaaahce' for my little southern girl good? We could spend an hour analyzing that, but I think another couple orders and another couple months of unemployment will fix the whole 'guilt' thing.

'So what did they order, Laura?'

So glad you asked!
He ordered a dozen pecan tassies (2 bite pecan pies) for $15 ( a steal don't you think? )

It gave me a nice excuse to pay Bed Bath and Beyond a tempting visit. I mean...can YOU walk into a Bed Bath and Beyond and NOT impulse buy? No. No you can't. When I began, I needed a non-stick mini muffin pan. When I finished, I had a mini muffin pan, a complete set of pastry bags and tips, a fabric shower curtain, and 4 champagne flutes (CLEARANCE!!!!). It was thrilling.

I went home and started baking the tassies. Here's the recipe:

cream cheese crust:
3 ounces room temp cream cheese
1 stick not exactly room temp butter
1 cup flour (whole wheat flour works well!)

mix with a potato masher, forks, fingers, whatever you got, til it forms a dough. roll into balls just smaller than an even Tablespoon and refrigerate for about an hour.

pecan filling:
2/3 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar (i used dark brown but light brown works nicely, too)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
dash of salt
1 Tablespoon room temp. butter

mix. seriously. that's it. mix.
pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
With your fingers, pat the dough balls into the sides/bottom of the mini muffin tin (no greasing necessary). Fill with 1/2 tablespoon or so of the filling. Try not to over-fill but if you do...whatever.
Bake for 20-25 mins and enjoy!

Lucky for me (and some friends) the recipe yielded 19 mini pies. I boxed up a dozen for sale and took the remaining pies to a girlfriend's apartment. The Joy of Baking, indeed.

I'm also very proud of Maren Flagg for making this ALL BY HERSELF! My little princess is learning domestic stuff! *tear*

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Coconut-less Cake

Does anyone else find cake baking a little bit intimidating?
I little slip missed incorrect measurement and


toughness or dryness or...just general ickiness.

But I've been inspired to put my fears aside by a family member. My Dad's cousin, Rick, has been my pastry hero lately by sending me a BOAT LOAD of Oldham family recipes. I couldn't wait to make the bourbon balls and the chocolate pudding, but I was especially excited about the cakes.

The first recipe he sent was for a coconut cake made by my great-aunt (i think?) Rose Phillips. There's also a sweet story (get it? 'sweet story'?) behind it:

She sold her cakes at a local farmers' market in Athens, GA during the depression to help make ends meet. After a while she kinda became known for her baking, especially for her coconut cake.

I kinda figured this was the perfect place to begin. Only...I really don't like coconut. So I decided to get all crafty and turn it into a cookies n' cream cake.

Here's the recipe and notes:

For the cake:

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups sifted flour (plain)

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy

Add eggs - one at a time – beat well after each

Add vanilla

Beat well for 2 minutes

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together

Add in parts to butter mixture – alternating with milk, beating on low until mixed well – then beat on high for 1 minute

Pour into 3 round cake pans (I baked in 2 9" pans and increased baking time)

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (or until done)

Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove – cool completely


-sift flour more than once. it'll result in a softer...uh...happier cake...yeah

-when alternately adding the flour and milk to the egg/butter/sugar mixture begin and end with the flour!

-once you begin adding the flour and milk it's time to try a little tenderness. As soon as you start to see things looking 'mixed' * STOP * and add the next thing. Try to introduce the flour in only 3 parts.

-you can either line your pans with parchment paper or you can butter and flour your pans. pick one or these suckers might not come out.

-run a paring knife around the cakes before you remove them from the pans.

Divinity Frosting

2 cups sugar

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup water

4 egg whites (large eggs)

½ teaspoon vanilla

Coconut – 12 oz. (moist) (OPTIONAL)

Combine sugar, cream of tartar and water

Cook over medium heat until 240 degrees

Beat egg whites until fluffy (soft peaks)

Add sugar mixture slowly over 3 pourings – beat well each time

Add vanilla and beat until fluffy


-bust out your candy thermometers, kids.

-when boiling sugar/water etc. on the stove, watch it CLOSELY and watch yourself! this stuff can burn you BAD. It also can boil quickly if you don't pay attention. Stick to a medium high heat and be patient.

-don't let your candy thermometer touch the bottom of the pan when you take the sugar's temperature. you'll get an inaccurate read. just thought i'd point out the obvious...

-egg whites


-room temp!

-it's nice to have a friend help you with the actual frosting-making part.

-SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWLY drizzle the 240 degree sugar into the whipped egg whites WHILE mixing.

-keep the stream of sugar away from the beater to avoid gumming up and messiness


-this frosting was a wee bit sweet by itself, but when eaten with the delicately sweet cake it really worked. Next time, though, i think i'd like to try it with a bit more vanilla.


i could add almond extract, orange extract, add mint extract and put it on a chocolate cake i mean...the possibilities are endless!!!!

-my roommate put the frosting in between chocolate chip cookies. omnom. I think it'd also be perfect for whoopie pies since it's so thick and marshmallow-like

*music used

-'If you wanna be happy...' by Jimmy Soul

-'Big Bottom' Spinal Tap

*the average american eats 50 pounds in cookies and cake a year

-i think i average about 75 pounds...fatty fatty no friends...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Cheesy Experiment: Episode 1

For all y'all from the South I don't have to explain what a cheese straw is.

For all you sadly deprived 'other people' here's the deal:

It's like a crunchy, sandy, cayenne pepper-y, sharp cheddar's not a biscuit, cookie, cracker it's a....cheese straw. Confused? Intrigued? I bet you are.

Wanna try one?


I mean...these things are more addicting (addictive?) than Cheez-Its (and we ALL know how addicting [addictive?] those things are) and I've got big plans for 'em. I plan on hooking all of New York on my oooo so tasty cheese straws. Yes! Anyone and everyone will soon be able to buy these on my website and have his/her own baggie of Laura O baked goodness.
The website is in the works as we speak and (as you'll see below) the recipe is SERIOUSLY in the works.

It's SO in the works that I'm not even gonna write the recipe for you... Cause the it was a big ole failure. The texture was COMPLETELY WRONG. And that's half the fun of eating the cheesy straws. BUT the flavor was pretty least when I tried extruding them in the cookie press and sliced them into wafers.


i just love that word...anyway...

But I tried rolling the dough into balls and baking them, too. When they were just out of the oven they were tasty but...after they'd cooled they were gnarly. Just a mess of cold cheesy blech-ness. No bueno.

So it's with a whole lotta humility that I present you the first in (HOPEFULLY) a set of 2 episodes on Cheese Straws.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gifts for the Greedy Baker

It's that time of year when the world falls in love and eats its face off...

I guess it's also the time when people buy stuff for each other...and that's pretty awesome, too. So I've compiled a fun little list of gifts for the baker in your life! Enjoy!

And yeah...that's me in half a polar bear costume. Respect.

1) Pastry cutter! Great for making pie dough AND mashing potatoes. Who doesn't love a multi-tasker?

2) Spiffy metal mixing bowls! Economical and UBER-usable!

3) A Digital Scale! This is for those recipes that call for 7 ounces of flour and ca-ca like that. No more, 'Sorry, British lady, I don't have a 37.2 ounce measuring cup so I can't make your recipe.' That just opens up a whole world of recipes!

4) Silicone spatulas! Essentials for any baker and look at the pretty colors!!!
(Sur la Table...I think)

5) Unless you're Mr. or Ms. Moneybags this ain't in your budget but...ain't it pretty to look at?

6) Tart pan with removable bottom! Perfect for those holiday Sugar Plum Tarte Tataines :) or whatever...

7) Decorative accessories! Pastry tips AND candy cane shaped sprinkles! Frickin' cute, right??!!!!!

8) A lovely alternative to Gingerbread men are:
I'm just trying to keep your holidays hilarious...

9) For the more traditional bakers out there: Cute ornament shaped cookie cutters :)

10) A Candy Thermometer! This one is for the more ambitious baker in your life.

11) A Silicone Baking mat! This is a pretty good match for the baker who is starting to experiment with caramel or hard candies.

12) A Cake Stand! Somethin to put all those pretty holiday treats on. I found this one on It's pretty affordable and kinda pretty, too, doncha think?

13) An even fancier cake stand! This one is from Williams-Sonoma and it's a multi-tasker. Not only is it a lovely cake plate with dome, but it can also be a punch (or egg nog) bowl!

14) Yet another cake/cookie display thingie!! It's pattern is based on classic Christmas carols and will be used by your gift-ee for...ever. Williams-Sonoma.

15 a) For the fancy dancy baker: Cute dishtowels and a matching apron!

15 b) Cute huh? I found these on

16a) This is a 2 parter, too. A cookbook stand with festive cookbook. The stand was pretty dang affordable (

16b) I mean...who doesn't love Nigella?

17) Personal favorite...the Horta Champagne glass, Small from Anthropologie. $12. I cute...real rrrrreal cute...just sayin'...*cough cough* cute...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Sensible Thanksgiving Tiramisu

Way-yull ('well'),

Oh Boy! After missing the past 4 family Thanksgivings I finally got to head to Birmingham to enjoy some mad tasty fried turkey and dressing. The food wasn't the only thing to be excited about- the making of the food was bound to be totally entertaining, too.

Mom (Mama Wynn) usually contributes a dessert to the festivities and it's always somethin'...non-traditional. There's been chocolate ganache cake (crazy tasty but different), some lemon lady finger thingie with raspberry coulis (crazy tasty but different) and a whole bunch of other 'tasty-but-different' stuff. This year she decided to bust out the old trusty 'Barefoot Contessa' cookbook and get all Italian on us: she decided to make a tiramisu.

You: 'But Laura...y'all are FAR from Italian. Where's the pumpkin pie? Apple pie? How can you be so unAmerican on Thanksgiving?'
Me: 'Easily. Now hush up and eat.'

Here's the recipe:

6 extra large egg yolks, at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum (but we used Kahlua...ommmmmmmmmmnomnom), Divided
1 1/2 cups brewed espresso, Divided
16-17 oz mascarpone cheese
about 30 ladyfingers (any kind will do but Mom got the 'naaaaahce' (nice) ones)
a bar of dark chocolate (to shave on top before serving)

-put half the kahlua and espresso in a bowl and set aside
-put the other half in...somethin else and set aside

-in a mixer, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Beat on high for about 5 mins.
-when the mixture is thick and pale yellow, lower the speed on the mixer and add half the espresso and kahlua (or rum)
-add the mascarpone
-turn off mixer and scrape down sides of the bowl

-dip ladyfingers individually in dish of espresso and kahlua and place in a 9'x13'x2' dish til the bottom is covered
-cover that layer with 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture
-repeat the ladyfinger dip-age layer then top with remaining mascarpone
-cover and refrigerate overnight

-before serving shave the dark chocolate over the top and VOILA!

-this is foolproof just...ya know...follow the recipe.

Copy and paste the link below for a little video of the silliness that happens with Mom in the kitchen and the silliness that happens at our family's Thanksgiving. ENJOY!