There’s a lot of things I’ve never made but have always wanted to try… here’s the list!

• Puff pastry (tried, wasn’t perfect. Going to try again.)
• Eclairs (tried twice… not good enough to cross off. In fact, bad. Dad still loves me though.)
• Croissants
• Truffles/Chocolate candy (Made Brigadeiros, but… eh… that doesn’t quite count)
• Danishes
• Baguettes
• Crepe Cake
• A charlotte
• Mochi
• Something with quince
• Chocolate roses
• Classic buttercream
• Opera cake
• A jelly roll (genoise)
• Cannoli
• Madeleines

• Tiramisu (Orange-Espresso Tiramisu)
• Panna Cotta (Black Pepper Panna Cotta & Red Wine Strawberries))
• Semifreddo (Ginger, Almond, and Cranberry Semifreddo)
• French Macarons (Cinnamon Cream Cheese Macarons)
• American Macaroons (Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons)
• Ladyfingers (Orange-Espresso Tiramisu)
• Marshmallows (Autumn S’mores with Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows)
• Whoopie pie (Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling)
• Ice cream cake/Baked alaska (Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake, Brown Butter Baked Alaska)
• Rugelach (Apricot Walnut Rugelach)
• Something with Rhubarb (Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp)
• Doughnuts (Yeast-Raised Doughnuts)
• Fondant (Georgetown Chocolate Cupcakes)
• Graham crackers (Autumn S’mores with Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows)
• Biscotti (Chocolate-Dipped, Almond-Orange Bisotti)
• Bagels (Basic bagels)


Things I’m meaning to buy or wish I had in my pantry.

• Madeleine pans
• (More) cute ramekins
• Ring molds
• Interesting dishes/silverware
• Quality candy thermometer (my $4 thermometer broke)


  • 1. Danica  |  April 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Ooh–I love list. It has a lot of overlap with my own cooking aspirations. Wouldn’t it be fun to compare results from some of these baking challenges? If you’re interested, let me know when you are planning to do a particular thing on that list and I will also post my attempt at whatever it is. I’ve made many ice cream cakes and a bunch of stuff with rhubarb since the garden is usally overflowing with it, but everything else I haven’t tried yet.

  • 2. Tania  |  April 20, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Here’s a link for good quality delicious vanilla beans….even a 17 year old can afford! And I am so impressed with your treats! You have a great future as a baker!


    • 3. Elissa  |  April 20, 2009 at 3:38 pm

      Tania, thanks for the link! I’m always so envious of bloggers who seem to use real vanilla beans in every dessert, thinking they’re spending $10 for each bean… This is great!

  • 4. Peter  |  May 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    “20. Something with rhubarb”
    If you ever make a rhubarb pie, please please please think of me and let me try a slice! :)

  • 5. melanger  |  May 22, 2009 at 4:46 am

    I’m going through a macaron craze right now. I have a similar list – on spreadsheet – that I slowly work through too. Great satisfaction once you check another one off! :)

  • 6. Holly B  |  June 15, 2009 at 6:31 am

    I just found your blog and applaud your work! I took my first job in a bakery at 18 and have never looked back.

    Here is link to my favorite piping bags:

    They are disposable and come 100 to a box; the plastic is thick and I have NEVER had one burst. The price is reasonable too!

    Happy Baking.

  • 7. Cheryl LeFon  |  July 6, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    You have a 50 year old fan. I am so impressed with your flag cake. Try freezing the layers and you might be surprised as to the moistness retained. Do you Twitter? Marshmallows and whoopie Pies are easy to make – you won’t have any problems.

  • 8. Amy  |  July 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Elissa! I was searching for flower ice cream & came across your Lavendar recipe. Since you’re really into baking, maybe you can look at Cornell for their Hotel Administration program. They were consistenly voted #1 for campus food (UCLA is a close second! My alma mater). Hope you’re enjoying your summer.

  • 9. You-know-who  |  September 2, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Whooo Elissa is so good at baking you’re like my hero ><. At baking, that is.

    Have fun with the tiramisu hahaha.

  • 10. Tania  |  September 3, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    ^ Mmmm, well, Elissa is my hero at EVERYTHING. So ha, you know who :]

  • 11. Jess  |  October 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I love your list, mine is very similar. Have you heard of the Daring Bakers? I’m a member, and a lot of the things on your list have been challenges. You can check it out at http://www.thedaringkitchen.com. The concept is a bunch of baking fanatics bake the same recipe (with room for creativity of course) and then all post on the same day each month. It’s really fun and takes me out of my usual baking comfort zone. Last month was homemade puff pastry even! Good luck with the to bake list and the wish list. Love your blog!

    • 12. Elissa  |  October 14, 2009 at 8:58 pm

      Jess – I am in fact a Daring Baker, I joined April 09 and love it! :) I’ve had to skip two challenges due to school work, and those were the two involving marshmallows and puff pastry, both of which are on my list.

  • 13. Katryna  |  December 6, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I was wondering what it takes to start a blog? I love baking and would love to share recipes with others.

  • 14. Sarah  |  December 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    I would definitely recommend making croissants. I’m 16, and I made them one night this past summer – so worth it! IJust like a little bit of heaven in your mouth. t’s a little bit time consuming, but most of the time is waiting so you can do other things in between steps. I used a recipe from epicurious – they have separate recipes for the dough and for baking.
    Good luck on your list! I can’t wait to hear all about it.

  • 15. Tobin  |  December 24, 2009 at 1:06 am

    Hi! I think it awesome that you take time to write about whats going on with you and your life. I’m 13, and live close to Seattle. :) one of the jobs i want to do when I’m older is become a pastry chef. I love to bake! I saw that one of the things you want to make is doughnuts. We make them at my house, just plain ones, nothing fancy. I’ll ask my dad for the recipe and post it later, considering its like 12 am right now… heh heh heh. I hope i get time to read some more of your blog later! Have a good Christmas!

  • 16. Tobin  |  December 24, 2009 at 1:15 am

    I saw that you wanted piping tips. Here’s a link to someplace(off in space. woooo!:D). I have these and its a lot of fun to play with them and figure out what each does. I do it with pudding. :P.

    These might be kinda expensive though…. ack! I gotta go to sleep, other wise I’m not going to be able to get back on and read your blog T_T. Bye!

  • 17. tsmith  |  December 26, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I’m looking for a really good doughnut recipe for my our traditional new years party (everybody family member brings a new recipe-were big bakers :] ) Please cross this off your list soon!

  • 18. Sara Jane  |  December 26, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Good to know you are enjoying a creative art! Be interested to see some yeast bread recipes and results. Your writing is well developed. Are you Bellevue’s “Martha Stewart”? You go, girl!

  • 19. Michelle  |  December 26, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Remember to do Strudel!


    NY, USA

  • 20. Jei C.  |  December 27, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I adore rhubarb. A friend gave me a recipe (her mothers) for a rhubarb cake …

    1 1/2 cups brown sugar & 1 tsp cinnamon for topping;
    1/2 cup shortening
    1/2 cup sugar
    1pinch of salt
    1 egg
    1tsp. vanilla
    2 cups of flour
    1 1/2 cups chopped raw rhubarb
    1 cup milk
    1tsp. baking soda
    1tsp. vinegar

    Cream sugar and shortening until fluffy.
    Mix milk and baking soda and vinegar and set aside.
    Add salt, vanilla and egg to sugar and shortening; blend.
    Add milk mixture alternately with flour.
    Fold in rhubarb. Sprinkle with topping.
    Bake in greased 9 X 13″ pan for 45min. @ 350 degree oven.

    I add less sugar for the topping as I prefer the cake to be tart, the same with cinnamon. I prefer without.

    Let me know what you think?

    I hope it wasn’t inappropriate to post this on here, if it is please delete.


  • 21. Marisha  |  January 7, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I don’t know if you’re interested in decorating cakes as much as baking them, but whichever Michael’s is near you, they have cake decorating classes. I took them and loved it! I love baking as well but I’m more of a decorating-whiz than a baking-whiz.

  • 22. Charles  |  January 8, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I made something with quince a while back. I thought it was pretty good!

  • 23. Aly  |  January 8, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    You should totally make truffles! My tip is to wear gloves. It made it so much easier! I’ve made the plain chocolate ones and the oreo ones you see posted everywhere. YUM!

  • 24. Lesley  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:32 am

    You are simply amazing! I read your Seattle Times story and went online and voted for best teen weblog! Keep up the great work! Everyone at CCR is so proud of you!!!! The pride cake was amazing! Thanks for your hard work!

  • 25. Shannon  |  February 3, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Nice list! You’ve inspired me to make my own… now to find the time to translate that to paper :S lunch is almost over… Anyway Great going on crossing some of those off your list always a great feeling.

  • 26. cupcakeswin=]  |  February 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    make rhubarb pie!!!! it tastes really really good….

    if u don’t mess up=]


  • 27. Warm Vanilla Sugar  |  February 4, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Please, please, please make croissants! I’ve always wanted to make chocolate croissants, but can’t find a recipe!

    • 28. Elissa  |  February 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      Warm Vanilla Sugar – Yikes, I am terrified of croissants even though I’m also dying to make them! While I work up the courage, check out this recipe/tutorial that I’ve been eying for a while: http://joepastry.com/index.php?cat=43

  • 29. Gustavo  |  February 27, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    try this site for vanilla beans:

  • 30. Josie  |  March 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Here is a site which has good recipes for panna cotta, chocolate eclairs and croissants (the recipes for eclairs and croissants are from a french pastry chef)


  • 31. Ella  |  April 1, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Rhubarb and apple crumble is incredible. In New Zealand we have this stuff which is palm sugar combined with vanilla, and if you mix that into the fruit before you stew it AND put it in the crumble bit with some dessicated coconut then it is heaven. Esp. with vanilla bean ice cream!

  • 32. Molly  |  April 4, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Elissa, I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and I find it completely inspiring. At 29, I’m just discovering that baking is my passion, and I’m trying things that are more and more complex. Your passion and determination inspire me to do this! Thanks to your link in the comments above for croissants, I made those this weekend – completely amazing. If I could do it, you can probably do it about 100 times better – no need to be terrified! They take a long time, but they’re not that difficult. Thanks for your amazing blog!

  • 33. Ngan  |  April 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    You’ve really inspired me to keep on cooking and baking (: Since I was 6 or 7 years old [I’m 15 now] I’ve always loved to cook and wanted to make it my profession, but my parents never really approved of it. They saw it as a hobby, not something I could make money out of. Even though I have a long ways to go until I’m in college, I can still think about baking and cooking and doing all this – I’m currently in the midst of baking my way through 500 cupcake recipes and blogging about it.

    If you still need popover pans or madeline pans, I believe they can be bought at any baking supply store. If you want, I could send them to you; there’s a store in a mall near my house called Daiso Japan where nearly everything is about $3! The madeline and popover pans I saw there were only about ….$5 maybe?

    Have fun baking, and thank you so much for your amazing blog!

  • 34. rosemarycake  |  May 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    You call yourself a baker, yet you’ve never made buttercream? Its so simple and easy, next time you make a cake, you absolutely have to make buttercream icing. You’re list of things to make is very similar to mine.
    A 6″ cake tin is a surprisingly useful piece of equipment, treat yourself to one, they’re the perfect size for making half cake recipes when you just want to try something out, or when you want a really tall cake.

  • 35. Jessica  |  July 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Mochi is super easy! All you need is glutinous rice flour (available at any asian grocer for only a buck or two) and just mix with water and sugar, heat up in the microwave, then cover it with corn starch as you roll it out (careful, it’s hot and extremely sticky!)

    I love making mochi ice cream with it! Reviewing your list, I would think that item takes the least amount of time, work, etc. I also bought a ton of flavor extracts and like to play around with it, but my favorite is adding black sesame paste, it is divine

  • 36. Madison Shingledecker  |  July 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I found your blog because of CakeSpy and was looking through your wish list; and this may be a weird question. But I was wondering if I could send you some ramekins? Or maybe a gift certificate for some? I am a firm believer that every household should have at least a set of 4. I am an avid baker and I use mine all the time, whether for baking or for other things (they are just so useful). I also want to give you a recipe for creme brulee, it is a favorite at my house. I love your blog!
    -thanks, Madison

  • 37. Goose  |  July 30, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I just discovered your blog- I love it!

    I just made a strawberry-apple-rhubarb pie. Delicious! If you still need to cross rhubarb off your list I really recommend it!

    Have fun with the rest of your baking endeavors :)

  • 38. fontgirl  |  October 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Classic Buttercream is truly delicious! I also really love double berry buttercream, here;s the recipe! Enjoy http://fontgirl.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/double-berry-buttercream-filling/

  • 39. E  |  October 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I was reading your wishlist and saw you’d like to make something with rhubarb. I stumbled upon this recipe for a Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down cake. I haven’t tried making it yet, but I’ve made some of the other baked goods from her blog and they are yummy! Maybe you’d like to try it!


  • 40. Eileen  |  November 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I noticed that madeleine pans were on your list! Here’s a link to the one that I use: http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-26631-Nonstick-Madeleine/dp/B00134LXEY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288835537&sr=8-1
    I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and the non-stick still works wonderfully.
    Can’t wait to see what else you’re up to!

  • 41. Karen  |  November 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    For the rhubarb, one of the best breakfasts/desserts I’ve had is a simple rhubarb pie. It’s great combined with strawberries, too – perhaps a summer recipe to look forward to?

    I’ve also had a heavenly rhubarb cake topped with strawberry cream & compote, covered in sliced almonds. I’m looking forward to seeing how you attack this vegetable!

  • 42. Jyoti  |  March 3, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Wow – this list is a great idea! I always see things I want to try making and always forget about them. Lately I’ve just been using the “labels” in gmail “Recipes to Try”.

  • 43. Kim Akari  |  April 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    panna cotta is really easy. So super simple and soooo delicious. I’m sure you could do it in a dorm commons kitchen even!

  • 44. Isabel Kitchen  |  May 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I have a wish list similar to this. Some of the stuff in it has been put on hold because of the need for certain equipment. For me it’s all about taking my time and finding the perfect recipe.

  • 45. Emily  |  June 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    You can cross of 18 and 20 now! Congrats on being able to cross two more off your list!

  • 46. Mariel Walker  |  August 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I saw a recipe from your blog posted on Boston.com for a Rasberry no bake icebox cake. Do you still have that recipe posted somewhere? It looked delicious! Please share!

  • 48. Shannon  |  September 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    This is regarding your chocolate rose item on the wishlist. They are Suuuuper easy :D I followed a Youtube vid when I wanted to make mine and it turned out wonderfully. I forget the exact recipe but it was melted chocolate waffers mixed with corn syrup. Put the mixture on seran wrap and into the fridge until cooled.. than break apart little bits and form into petal shapes, and wrap them around themselves slightly over lapping into a rose shape :D SO pretty and fun to do! I’m going to try and hunt for the youtube vid tonight (no access while at work) but Man oh Man you should try it :D Too pretty for words.

  • 49. Dorothy P  |  October 26, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Mochi is super easy to make. It’s very sticky and will give your arm muscles a good workout, but it’s definitely worth making yourself!

  • 50. Mandy  |  November 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    When I was a freshman in college I decided I was going to make some chocolate croissants. I have to admit having never made anything as complicated as delicate, flaky French pastry before they turned out fantastic. I would suggest you look at the recipe from “King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion” which you can find here (http://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Flour-Bakers-Companion/dp/0881505811/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322013377&sr=8-1). The recipe was really thorough and explained the process for folding the butter into the dough quite well. I would suggest you take a look at it before you take on croissants. I look forward to reading about your adventures with the French pastry in the future, no matter which recipe you choose :)

  • 51. Nikita  |  December 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Have you tried eggless baking? Cheesecakes, cookies, doughnuts, pies?

  • 52. Evelyn  |  January 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Just learned of your site from February issue of Family Circle!

  • 53. Kate @ Eat, Recycle, Repeat  |  October 25, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Great idea! I love the cozy feel of your site and that you put your baking goals & dreams to share in a wish list.

  • 54. thebakingyear  |  April 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    This is a great list!! I recently made macaroons that actually turned out really well. Now I’m trying to work up the courage to bake croissants :)

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