ta da!: cakespy presents sweet treats for a sugar-filled life by jessie oleson

As Cakespy herself would say, “Like OMG!”

Prepare yourselves for the ultimate SUGAR RUSH: Jessie Oleson’s very first cookbook, CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life, is officially out! Can you think of a million ways to say ADORABLE!?

Longtime readers of this blog know I’ve been a big Cakespy fan for the last three years. It’s been such fun (a decidedly

photo by Paul Hipple

delicious vicarious thrill) to follow Jessie’s ever-burgeoning career as an author, artist, “adventure” baker, gallery owner, savvy businesswoman and primo blogger.

As Head Spy of her very own Dessert Detective Agency, whose mission is “Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life,” Jessie has proven that following one’s passions, working hard, consistently cultivating a positive outlook and transmitting mega-watt joy can reap sweet, sweet rewards.

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sweet talk with cakespy jessie oleson

                She’s here! She’s here! Let the sweetness begin!


When I decided to devote the month of March to Cupcakes and Bake Shop Treats, I immediately thought of Jessie Oleson, a.k.a., CakeSpy. After all, her sweet and scrumptious blog is where I get my daily sugar fix. There, I feast on delicious interviews with bakers and pastry chefs, read about fun baking experiments, learn about bakeries all over the country, and of course, drool over the neverending stream of recipes, stunning photographs, and whimsical Cuppie art.

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here, cookie cookie!

I saw this adorable image at CakeSpy.com recently, and simply had to ask Head Spy, Jessie Oleson, for permission to post it here. It’s got to be one of the cleverest ways ever, to present a cookie!

Turns out she created the drawing for a guest post she was doing for Serious Eats (see it here), featuring the recipe for Berlinerkranser wreath cookies. I love to make these buttery wreaths flavored with orange zest, because they always look beautiful on a cookie tray and are totally scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth heaven. In case you’re looking for a new cookie to impress your guests this holiday season, try Jessie’s recipe, or the one I’ve always made, from the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook:

(makes 54 cookies)

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. grated orange peel
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg white, beaten
red and green candied cherries, chopped

1. In large bowl, measure 1/2 cup sugar and next 5 ingredients. With mixer at low speed, beat ingredients until just mixed; increase speed to medium and beat 4 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. (Mixture may look dry.)

2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Take a heaping teaspoon-ful of dough at a time and roll it into 6-inch rope. Place each dough rope on cookie sheet in a circle, crossing ends over.

3. Brush cookies with egg white and sprinkle on some sugar. Decorate with red and green cherries.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes until light golden. Allow wreaths to cool on cookie sheet. Store cookies in a tightly covered container.


*Bonus Recipe

Speaking of looking beautiful on a cookie tray, I also love these Neopolitan Cookies. They take a little more time, but are totally worth it. Nom nom all the way!

(makes 72 cookies)

photo by mmwm.

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
5 drops red food color
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. With mixer at low speed, beat flour, sugar, butter, egg, baking powder, vanilla and salt until just mixed. At medium speed, beat 3 minutes.

2. Divide dough among 3 small bowls. Add almond extract and red food color to one portion; stir until thoroughly mixed.

3. In 1-quart saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate. Mix chocolate into second portion; mix walnuts with remainder.

4. Line 9″x5″ loaf pan with waxed paper and spread almond dough evenly in pan. Then spread walnut dough and finally, chocolate dough.

5. Cover layered dough in pan with waxed paper and place it in refrigerator until firm, about 4 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Invert pan over board to turn out chilled dough and peel off waxed paper.

7. With sharp knife, cut dough lengthwise in half. Slice each half of dough crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.

8. Place slices on cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes unti light brown. Remove to wire racks and cool.

by erin taylor.

If you’ve yet to experience the unending deliciousness that is CakeSpy, make sure you click on through lickety split. Jessie and her fellow cake detectives have been posting all kinds of wonderful holiday recipes. Check the CakeSpy Online Shop for adorable Cuppie merchandise — cards, prints, t-shirts, accessories, etc. Yummy!


Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing:
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
Let us get back our childlike faith again.
~ Grace Noll Crowell

*Berlinerkranser image used by permission, copyright © 2009 Jessie Oleson. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2009 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.