Ready for the last installment of Handmade Holidays? There is no sweeter gift than homemade treats! 

Remember when I said this was the easiest DIY holiday present? I lied — it gets easier! Grab a package of Tollhouse chocolate chips from the grocery store and using the recipe on the back measure out all of the dry ingredients, layering them one by one in a mason jar. Next, write the recipe out on a pretty piece of paper and stick it on top of the jar, and finally, adorn the front with a personalized message and some ribbon (I printed my message out on Martha Stewart Avery Labels). How easy was that? Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Handmade Holidays Gift ideas here, here, here, and here!

Baking can  be a daunting task when you have a tiny apartment kitchen, but I powered through the minimal counter space dilemma this weekend and made some mini pecan pie tarts. The recipe was simple and it was a nice relaxing way to spend my Sunday afternoon.  Now if only doing the dishes was as rewarding as popping those sweet little bites in my mouth!

Earlier this week I took a cupcake decorating class with my friend at Isabelle’s CurlyCakes in Beacon Hill. I learned invaluable skills like how to fill cupcakes with mousse, how to pipe icing, and how to speed eat cupcake scraps left on the counter.

We made Oreo cupcakes (with Oreo bits baked into the cake! and Oreo icing!), red velvet cupcakes, peanut butter cupcakes, oh and triple chocolate cupcakes that were filled with chocolate mousse, iced with chocolate frosting, drizzled with chocolate ganache, and dipped in cocoa puffs. Hungry yet? You will be after you see how decadent they look:

And if you’re not in sugar shock yet, click over to 101 Things I Love and read my guest post about baking Oreo treats!

PPS: Have you entered the Coral and Pearl earring giveaway? Click here to enter.

I think I’m just going to start a new blog or tumblr that features amazing cake pictures. I could look at them all day long! My obsession today is this six-layer  chocolate malted & toasted-marshmallow cake, it looks heavenly. Visit Sweetapolita for the recipe and to look at the gazillion other delicious pictures — I have definitely found a new favorite baking blog.

Another cake moment this morning was spotted on You Are My Fave, where mini cakes were used in lieu of floral centerpieces for a party tablescape. Man I’m hungry!

It’s an all-carb day here at DomestiKatedLife… first bread, now sweet treats! I took my new Flour Bakery cookbook for a test run today and made milk chocolate hazelnut cookies for my New Years Eve party on Friday. The taste as good as they look, and they smell even better.

I definitely recommend picking up a copy of the book, it’s a little complicated but with some precision and patience, the results are very, very worth it. I have to try out the infamous sticky-bun recipe next!