Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mountain [Sugar] High

I am from a sleepy little mountain town called Truckee.  It's one of the best places on earth, if you ask me.  I moved there when I was in the first grade, and lived a full and wonderful life there until I graduated in 2000 - go Wolverines!  I try to make it back often to visit my dad and his wife, who still live there.  The fresh mountain air, cool nights and clear sky filled with stars never gets old.  All of these elements bring me back to the adventures I used to have with friends - late nights at the lake, driving around town, snow days and summers filled with all the goodness Truckee had to offer.  There really is no place like home - that good witch really knew what she was talking about.

So imagine what would make this place even better than it already is.  That's right, folks; a cupcakery.  Freshly opened for business in my hometown, right in the heart of downtown.  

Growing up, I didn't spend a lot of time in downtown Truckee.  It is filled with shops and restaurants that are usually vacated by "the locals" on weekends to make way for those pesky Bay Area folk.  However, on Sundays, after church, my dad and I would go to Coffee &, one of the local restaurants, where I would try my darndest to finish a plate of french toast all by myself.  We would race from the car to the coffee cup that was inset in the sidewalk - I usually "won" - and then we would wander on to the counter and catch up on the funnies and world news, enjoying diner fare and chatting with the waitresses.  It wasn't until I was older, making trips back from college, that I started to hang out down there more, realizing how Truckee's downtown captures the quaintness and small town feeling in a short packed block.  And so, it is the perfect spot for a sweet stop at Cake Tahoe.

Their spot is very cool - a huge open space to let in all that fresh mountain air.  They open onto a patio right along Donner Pass Road - a perfect spot to sit, eat a cupcake and watch the throngs of people passing by which is just what we did, after enjoying a night at Truckee Thursdays.  The inside reads like a typical mountain shop.  It fits in well with the vibe of Truckee and the neighborhood.  Their location and set up easily earn: 

We ordered a few types - we wanted to be thorough in our research.  We tried the red velvet, carrot (well, actually my DAD had the carrot and didn't share!) and chocolate.

The decoration was pretty simple - not anything too memorable, but not the lamest thing ever.

All the cakes were moist, except for the elusive red velvet.  That is a hard one to get just right, and CT didn't quite nail it in my opinion.  The other cakes were yummy, but not necessarily something I would use calories on again!  You have to be selective, you know.  I can't really speak for the carrot, because my dad didn't let us try any.  But there were definitely no crumbs left behind, so I'll let you be the judge!  For the overall taste, I'd say:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cookie Dough Heaven - A.K.A. The Best Cupcake I Have Ever Made!!

Yikes - it's been a while.  I know.  But, I had a baby, and that kind of takes up some time!  Not to say I haven't been sampling cupcakes - I have.  But I haven't been writing about it!  I have not, however, baked a single thing since my last update in May...sad.  But, this weekend, on the eve of returning to glorious Fremont High School to begin my 7th year of teaching, I tied on my favorite apron, and pulled up a Pinterest recipe that made my mouth WATER!!

As I have posted before, I make cupcakes for my students (only 1 class, actually) once a month.  I have had a class of students for the last four years - we have had lots of highs and lows together, and this year is their senior year.  So, of course, the first cupcakes have to be that much more special than they have been all the other years!  This recipe seemed like a good way to bid farewell to a glorious summer, filled with trips, relaxation and most importantly, the birth of my amazing daughter.  And also a sweet ringing in of a new year - one that will surely be full of adventures both at school and at home.

On Pinterest, the poster said that she decided on French Vanilla cupcakes so as not to be too overly sweet.  WHAT?  How is that even possible?  I followed the OG recipe and went cookie dough - top to bottom: Frosting, Inside Stash and Cake.   And the result? These are the best cupcakes I have EVER made.  Ever.

They are so good, in fact, that I am making them for two events I have coming up this weekend!

The recipe can be found here - lots of dishes and lots of steps, but so worth it.  (And the batter and frosting are yummy too!!)


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