With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of 2011

It's hard to believe the year is almost over!  It's gone so fast, as it usually does, but this year seemed to especially fly by.  2011 will always hold a special place in my heart, because January 4th 2011 was the very first day I ever posted on my blog.

I'm a little sad to see 2011 go.  I measured it not only in 365 days but also in 84 different treats and posts that I wrote on here from January until now.  It was an awesome year filled with wonderful things and times.... and obviously lots and lots of baked goods.

Therefore I thought I'd treat you to a quick look back at my most popular treats of 2011.  While I titled this "The Best of" truthfully I loved all of my recipes this year, but for one reason or another these really hit it off with you guys, and I'm beyond thrilled.

So, without further adieu, the top ten Mary Quite Contrary Bakes treats of 2011.


Spaghetti and Meatballs Cake
This cake was probably my favorite "fun" cake I made all year.  It looked so realistic I'm pretty sure my gram had to do a double take when I first brought it out.  It also celebrates how simple chocolate cake and buttercream can sometimes be all you need.

This is a recipe from the early days of the blog.  And definitely is good enough not to be forgotten.  Brown butter and fall spices put these rice krispie treats over the edge of awesomeness and are as easy to make as it is to go out and buy their store bought counterparts.


Quite possibly one of my favorite pumpkin desserts ever, this gooey pumpkin butter cake is so good you'll keep wanting to make it even way past fall.  I know of two different friends that tried this recipe too and it was off the charts on all accounts.  I may not be able to go back to regular butter cake again.  But I'll take my piece chilled after a day in the fridge.... so good.


Even my mom, the self-proclaimed "non pumpkin lover" dubbed these her favorite cookies ever.  And for good reason.  Soft and airy with fall spices and buttery charm, these cookies run the line of perfect.  The fact that the batch makes a ton and they stay fresh for days doesn't hurt either.


I made this cake for gram's virtual birthday party while she was still in Florida.  Not only is it beautiful, but it tasted fantastic too.  Soft layers of cake sandwiched with strawberry jam and smothered in strawberry swiss meringue buttercream was almost too much to handle.  Somehow I meddled through.


This was the first fancy cake I ever posted to the blog.  It wasn't even a concrete recipe, just an idea and musings on baking and life.  But you all seemed to love it and the ideas it encompassed, and I loved it too.


In this post I went on and on about my love of Mascarpone and all things cheese.  And it seems everyone agreed.  It's pretty plain to see why a sugar cookie crust filled with sweet mascarpone filling and topped with fresh fruit of your choice would be a big winner.  This tart is adaptable and delicious.  Please excuse me while I go buy another tub of Mascarpone and make some more.


After sketching the idea out an some looseleaf when inspiration struck, and developing and actually bringing it to life, these Moulin Rouge cupcakes sort of feel like my brain child to me.  And will always remind me of how much fun I had dreaming of going to Paris, and how much more fun I had when I actually got on a plane and went.  Paris and these cupcakes will always have a very very special place in my heart.  Plus they're adorable and fun, which never ever hurts.


This was the first recipe of mine ever posted on the main page of Tasty Kitchen and I'll never forget how positively thrilled I was when I opened my computer that day in September and saw.  I'm not the biggest brownie person in the world and I fell head over heels for these.  They are sinful, wonderful, and all around everything a great brownie should be.  My favorite brownies of all time.


When I stumbled upon this recipe in September and whipped them up in a cinch, I knew I was onto something unbelievably great.  It's my most beloved recipe I've ever made or posted in this baking marathon so far, and it seems you all agree.  3 Ingredient Homemade Butterfingers are so easy and so fantastic, words don't even really do them justice.  I still stand by what I said the first time I ever bit into one, if you only ever make one thing off of blog... make these.

I hope you loved everything as much as I loved making it for you.  Looking back was a great reminder for me how wonderful 2011 was, but I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for me, both in this blog and in life.  

It's gonna be good.

Happy New Year!  See you all in 2012!!!


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