On our day off, my sister and I decided to make 4th of July Cookies and came across this GENIUS idea to sprinkle sugar cookies with blue sprinkles and red Pop Rocks! Sticks to the 4th of July theme and adds a kick of fireworks in your mouth! The cookies themselves are star-shaped sugar cookies and we just used some icing we had in the fridge. These cookies really are festive and brings back memories of eating those Pop Rocks straight. Happy 4th of July and I hope you enjoy these fun cookies! My sister also was kind enough to take some amazing pictures (I’m positive you can tell when the pictures come from her and when they come from my iPhone but still want to give her a well-deserved shout out!).

Also, if it wasn’t enough of her to take pictures of the baking process, she also took the time to take some pictures of where the BWF magic happens. It’s no gourmet kitchen but it’s my cozy nook where I have everything I need to bake with ease, comfort and joy. Let’s bake! If you want to set up a session just email me at bakingwfriends@gmail.com.  



  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder


In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed and smooth – about 1 minute.


Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes.


Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.


Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combine, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.


Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl.


Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.


Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.


Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness.


Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Chilling is mandatory. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper. Chill up to 2 days (max).

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The amount of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.


Bake for 8-10 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

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I am a happy godmother of two amazing young women: Stephanie and Laura and we were able to spend a weekend together where we explored some embassies in DC, checked out the DC Funk Parade, ate some Chinese food, made brunch and baked cupcakes! Since the beginning of great summer weather is approaching, we thought it would be fitting to make these amazing strawberry lemonade cupcakes. The original recipe also suggested putting them in mason jars which is adorable too, but we stuck with some quintessential summer cupcake liners that were too perfect to pass up. Enjoy these refreshing summer treats!


Lemon Cupcakes Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (any fat content)

Strawberry Frosting Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4oz. (1/2 block) cream cheese (cold)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 2-3 fresh strawberries, pureed (or very finely chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream, or milk, as needed

Lemon Cupcakes Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F. In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.


Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla, lemon extract, lemon juice, zest and oil, beat.


Add sour cream and blend until combined.


Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Pour (or scoop) batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full (no more).

Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes


Strawberry Frosting

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until fully smooth. Add cream cheese, and again beat until fully incorporated and very smooth. While mixing on low speed, add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time.

Add vanilla extract, then strawberry jam and beat until well combined. If the jam you are using has large chunks in it, you may need to blend in a food processor or press through a fine strainer before adding to the frosting. Depending on the ripeness of your berries, you may want to add 1 drop of pink food coloring to the icing.

If the frosting is very thick, add heavy cream or milk, then beat until light and fluffy. Frost on cooled cupcakes.

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Love these goons:


Same story as my chocolate chip cookies but for a scrumptious vanilla cupcake recipe!


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line (1) muffin tins with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric or stand mixer  on medium speed, beat eggs and sugar for about 2 minutes, or until light and creamy.


Add the butter and vanilla extract and beat on low speed for about 1 minute, or until well blended.


Beat in the dry ingredients on low speed until blended. DO NOT OVER MIX! Add the sour cream and beat until smooth.


Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 the way full with cupcake batter.


Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.


Found some icing in my cabinet to match my cupcake liners🙂


I was asked to make some chocolate chip cookies and I figured I would just quickly pull up my blog and find one or two recipes, and to my surprise, I didn’t have a single plain chocolate chip cookie recipe posted! So I did some searching and found my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe! It’s not necessarily quick but they are well worth the effort. Enjoy!


  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks


Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla.


Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick.


Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.


Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Roll the dough into balls, about 3 Tablespoons of dough each. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will allow the balls to stay intact. Roll the cookie dough balls to be taller rather than wide, to ensure the cookies will bake up to be thick. Put 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. Press a few more chocolate chips/chunks on top of the dough balls for looks, if desired. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet.


Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.


Hosting an Easter egg hunt for two young kids is just about as cute as it gets! Since rice krispies are so easy to make, we decided to make some in Easter-themed shapes. The recipe was the same as always but the fun part was making the fun designs and adding jelly beans, sprinkles and peeps to the mix.

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Happy Easter!

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Anna (one of my former college roommates) and I made some ridiculously delicious cookies with just about everything you could want in a cookie: some cake mix, some chocolate chips, some sprinkles and of course, the baking essentials. These cookies were amazing and it was great to catch up with this awesome lady🙂

P.S. the batter requires at least 2 hours in the fridge so just use that time to go grab some pizza like we did!


  • 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup yellow or vanilla boxed cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (we used a blend of white and semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles



In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat on high until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Mix on low until the add-ins are evenly disbursed.


Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 3-4 days. This step is mandatory. The dough is fairly sticky, so chilling the dough is required in order to avoid the cookies from spreading too much. If you chill longer than 2 hours, make sure you roll the cookie dough into balls after the 2 hour mark. Place dough balls on a plate, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. You may also freeze the balls at this point for up to 3 months. (Then bake as directed adding 1 minute to the bake time without thawing.)


Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Scoop rounded balls of the cold dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, use about 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie. Shape your cookie dough balls to be “taller” than they are wide, as pictured above. Press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the cookie dough balls, if desired. That makes a pretty cookie. Make sure to keep dough chilled when working in batches.


Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool. You may also press a few more chips into the tops of the cookies at this point (the chips will melt down and stick from the warm cookies).


Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days; baked cookies may be frozen up to 3 months. They won’t last that long!


Craving something quick and easy? This recipe is filled with chocolate and peanut-buttery goodness!


  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose baking mix (Bisquick, for example)
  • 1 bag of M&Ms (I used regular)
  • Some chocolate chips to sprinkle on top before serving


Preheat oven to 325*F. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Combine peanut butter and eggs until well mixed and smooth. Add in brown sugar and stir until combined. Stir in baking mix until moistened (I used my hands because the spoon wasn’t cutting it for me–it is a very thick batter). Fold in M&Ms. Again, using my hands worked best for this step. Not all of the M&Ms stuck in the batter (or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it dough). I just shoved them in when I put it all in the pan. Spread mixture in greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.


These smelled so good I couldn’t even wait to try some before taking the picture!


Because there’s nothing better than a Waffle Work Meeting on [the day after] International Waffle Day!

The recipe itself is still on the organic waffle mix bag at the office,which was quite good and healthy using soy milk and honey. But the idea for this came up as a team bonding experience for our relatively new team. Within one day, we had all of the equipment and ingredients needed to make fruit and maple syrup covered waffles in the office kitchen. They smelled and tasted delicious and I got some new Instagram followers from it🙂

Remember, baking can be with anyone, anywhere. Just enjoy it and don’t stress about it!

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In addition to it being my sister’s birthday, it was also a historic Pi Day!


This recipe had a recipe to make the crust as well I had to buy a pie crust in the interest of time (which worked just fine except that my filling started to bubble through the crust toward the end of the baking time). I’m sure this crust recipe is just as good as the filling which was absolutely delicious!

  • 6 cups (about 2 pounds) of strawberries, small ones whole and larger ones chopped into chunks
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup + 1 tbsp. pure cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
Chop strawberries and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle cornstarch on the berries along with the salt and stir thoroughly. Add vanilla, lemon juice and ¾ cup of sugar. Mix until berries are evenly coated.
Remove crust from the fridge. Roll one half of the dough out into a circle, large enough to lay in the pie pan with the pie crust laying over the edge of the pie pan.
Spoon the strawberry mixture on top of the pie crust.
Roll out the other half of the dough into a circular shape, enough to cover the pie plate with 1 inch or so hanging over. Cut strips across the dough approximately 1 inch wide using a pizza cutter or a decorative edge cutter. Lay strips horizontally and vertically across the pie.
Pinch the ends of the top and the bottom dough together and make the decorative edge of your choice. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Cover the outer edge of your crust using a pie ring or foil.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a baking rack.
More pictures from the birthday festivities:
You can find the recipe to the cake here!
The birthday girl and I!
 The full spread!
And some behind the scenes:

My sister turned 23! I just can’t believe it! She will always be my little sister but that just means the older she gets, the older I’m getting! Because she is my PIC in my baking madness, I wanted to dedicate the next few posts to her. I baked quite a bit for her birthday week and here are some recipes and pictures of what we did. Needless to say we were on a sugar high for that week but it was quite nice and I’m grateful every day to have such a kind, funny, talented, and all around awesome sister.  Love you and to many more happy and sweet birthdays!


To start it all off, I made her some donuts! She loves cinnamon flavored treats and I though this was perfect to start off her birthday🙂 Also, these donuts are baked so no need to fry anything or feel guilty later!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside. In a small saucepan bring together the milk, white vinegar, vanilla, egg, and butter. Cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until the butter melts, about one minute. Remove from heat.
Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture; mix until combined.
Using a large tablespoon, spoon the doughnut mixture into an ungreased doughnut pan.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and immediately invert the pan onto a cooling rack. While the doughnuts are cooling, begin to work on the glaze.
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly just until combined and no lumps appear. Set the saucepan over a bowl filled with hot water.
Dip the doughnuts into the glaze, one at a time, and set on a rack, glaze side up. Put something underneath the rack because some of that glaze will drip off.
Give it a few minutes before you dig in!
We went to a dance performance at the Kennedy Center that evening and the sunset was stunning!
And afterwards, the birthday song of course!
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