Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

posted by on baking, homemade, quick

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This recipe is not mine but I’m really excited to share it with those of you who choose to or demand a gluten free lifestyle. Peanut butter cookies are a favorite and this recipe from Miss Kait is just what the world needed!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 egg
    that’s it…really


Mix all ingredients together – her recipe says to roll into balls but it looked like such a mess. I just spooned the dough onto my cookie sheet and flattened with a criss-cross pattern with a fork and sprinkled some sugar on top before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

original recipe found here (check out the rest of her blog too – she has some really amazing stuff to share!)

posted by on baking, Denver, grandma, homemade

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The sisters, kids & bf all recently loaded up in a car in Denver and headed back to my small hometown in Nebraska to help celebrate my mother’s 50th birthday. Mom knew right away what she wanted me to bake for her birthday cake. Grandma K’s spice cake. I didn’t know that there was a recipe out there but apparently Grandma used to make this cake when my mom and her siblings were growing up. Thanks to Aunt Karolynn for giving it to us!

What you’ll need:

  • ¾ cup mayo
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons Karo syrup (dark)
Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Seriously, that’s it.) Since it was momma’s 50th we decided to get a little creative and make 2 sheet cakes and cut out a ‘5’ and a ‘0’.

My niece Temperance was my little helper!

I used parchment paper to draw out and use as a stencil for the ‘5’ & ‘0’.

My sister (the one who went to culinary school!) crumb coats the cakes for me before I put on the buttercream.

The birthday girl and her finished cake! Certainly doesn’t look 50, does she?

Trust me when I say the frosting is what makes this cake and brings out all the spices in it.
Buttercream Frosting – what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (do not melt!)
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar, SIFTED
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk
  1. Beat butter for a few minutes on medium speed. 
  2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed and mix fully with the butter.
  3. On medium speed, add and mix the vanilla, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk. 
  4. Beat for approx. 3 minutes. 
  5. Add remaining sugar if needed or add more milk if thinning out is needed.  

**I used some extra cake mix to bake my nephew’s 1st birthday cake since we were doing a joint party that weekend. My sister wanted Cookie Monster – I did the best I could.**

Me working on the Cookie Monster cake.

Finished! Yes, his eyes are too close together…

Mason before the destruction!

I saved the best photo for last! photo credit: AJ Vicens

posted by on baking, Colorado, Denver, high altitude, Holidays, Phoenix

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I hate making things from a box. Cake mixes, cookies, brownies – they will never compare to baking them from scratch. The one exception? Angel food cake. I refuse to attempt this from scratch when the boxed version reminds me of so many good things from my childhood.

When I lived in Denver angel food cake was the one baked good I really missed. I could never get the cake to cooperate with the high altitude even after making the suggested adjustments. (If any of you out there can help out with this or have some tricks of your own, let me know!) 

This was our first 4th of July in Phoenix so I ran to the store and picked up a box of angel food cake mix and was ready to go! Here’s my version:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 angel food cake mix
  • fresh or frozen strawberries
  • sugar
  • cornstarch
  • vanilla
  • whipped cream (made from scratch or not – it’s a holiday for crying out loud!) 
  1. Follow instructions on the box to make the angel food cake, letting cool upside down on a bottle as shown.
  2. In a small sauce pan add strawberries, sugar (I don’t really measure this, just sprinkle a good amount on) and heat until bubbly.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract and 1-2 spoonfuls of cornstarch and mix well. Simmer for a bit then remove from heat and let cool until thickened.
  4. Cut the cake very carefully in half, letting the sawing of the knife do the work for you. Spread the bottom half with whipped cream, top with strawberry sauce & put the top of the cake back on!
  5. Finish off with whipped cream on top and around edges and remainder of the strawberry sauce.

Don’t worry about it being messy – it’ll be gone quick!

 

cooking vs baking

May
2012
16

posted by on baking, cooking, gripes, healthy, leftovers, quick, vegetable

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The idea of spending more than 30 minutes cooking a meal is annoying to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the kitchen but I’d much rather spend 4 hours with the precision of baking. Throw “a bunch of sh*t” in a pan and cook it is my theory when it comes to dinner (which is exactly what I did last night).

I had a couple of almost empty boxes of elbow pasta, some feta cheese, frozen corn, frozen chopped spinach, and a half can of diced tomatoes leftover in the fridge. I heated up a tablespoon of butter, threw in the frozen spinach, corn, can of tomatoes with the juice, mixed it all up until it was hot and bubbling and added some finely chopped garlic at the very end. Feta cheese was sprinkled on the top after it was dished up. Bonus: it made about 4 servings so the boyfriend and I had leftovers for lunch which, in my opinion, was even better reheated the next day (you’ll have to ask him how it was cold – yuck!).

posted by on baking, Holidays, homemade

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I’ve been holding off on posting this recipe. It’s something from my childhood that always reminds me of my mother and Christmas in Nebraska.

Growing up, mom would go all out. Cut-out sugar cookies, her famous rum balls (if you want this recipe, you’ll have to ask her – I’ve never been a fan – a subject for another time), and the crème de la crème – the peanut butter cup cookie. Trust me. It won’t get any better than that – unless you a) hate peanut butter or b) heaven forbid, you’re allergic!

I guess at some point I’ve come to realize this blog was just as much, if not more, for me than my six or seven readers. So, here’s another recipe to add to the archive. I hope you love it as much as my family does.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup softened margarine
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg

Beat the above ingredients until smooth.

  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Peanut butter cups (if you can find them, the dark chocolate ones ar—–

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until well combined.

Roll into balls and place in mini muffin tin and bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-9 minutes until the tops are lightly brown. Remove from the oven and press your peanut butter cup into the middle of the dough.

**Place the muffin pans in the freezer for a few minutes so the chocolate won’t melt**

No Easy Buckets

Apr
2012
17

posted by on baking, basketball, Colorado, homemade, taking the long way

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It’s easier than ever to make something quickly and inexpensively from a box or mix. I don’t care what anyone tells you, they are no competition for my family recipes I’ve collected over the years. I’d rather torture myself and make everything from scratch. I’m a control freak with a lot of things, so there’s something about being able to choose what goes into whatever I’m baking that I love.

“No easy buckets!” is a phrase the boyfriend and I often yell out when we’re watching our beloved Denver Nuggets play basketball. It’s fitting for my baking habits, too.

When I read this paragraph from Rina Rapuano’s article “No Ordinary Bake Sale: Simply Made From Scratch” it reminded me of myself.

“Unfortunately for me, like the famous Ms. Stewart, I rarely take the easy way out. I have been known to torture myself with mile-long to-do lists, and short cuts just aren’t my style. Because of this persistent (some might call it annoying) personality trait, I mainly gravitate toward recipes that rely on pantry and refrigerator staples. Buttermilk biscuits? Forget it. I’ll scour my cookbooks or do an online search until I find a recipe that uses regular milk — and I’ll stick with that recipe loyally.”

Check out the rest of the article here.

(article from NPR’s series Kitchen Window)

posted by on baking, gripes, high altitude, homemade

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One of the first things I remember my mother teaching me to bake is the forever-loved chocolate chip cookie. After moving to Denver this was another favorite that failed to turn out due to the high altitude. It took a long time and a lot of compiling of recipes to come up with this version that worked beautifully in the land of 5280.

What you’ll need:

  • 2½ cups flour – *add 2-3 tsp. water to the flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter (I use margarine), softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao bittersweet chips) 
  1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda & salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the butter, sugar & vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until combined.
  4. Gradually beat in the flour mix.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir in the chips.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

**Just to compare to my “high-plains” version**

You use ¼ cup extra flour &  2/3 cups of both types of sugar instead of the normal 3/4 cups. More flour, a bit of moisture (the water to the flour) and less sugar is a general rule of thumb when baking anything in high altitude.

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