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Blended Baking

So I awake this morning without the blare of my alarm (still got up before 9am grrr) to see a freshly sprinkled snow.  Rochester has been without snow for all of December and  now here it is.  I suppose it was hubris to think that Rochester wasn’t going to have a winter.It kind of looks nice but it wasn’t that nice to walk with laundry. There were a few dangerous moments in rainboots, balancing an overflowing laundry basket, and pulling out my student ID.

I thought to myself …Self, you should bake while this laundry is getting done. I perused my baking supplies and found half a bag of toffee bits and two frozen bananas. I was going to go all out and make some banana bread and the random recipe on the back of the toffee bits. I also riffled a bit more through the supplies and found soy flour and whole wheat flour left over from a class project.

As I mentioned before I used the recipe on the back of the Heath toffee bits bag. Except  here, I will link you to the  recipe I actually ended up using. The Heath-bag recipe asked me for cream of tarter. Uhhhh I don’t have that because no recipes ever need it. I said screw it and relied on the 1 tsp of baking soda for proper leavening. All was well. Another modification I made was to add 1 cup of soy flour in place of the all purpose flour. At first when I tasted the dough before I added the toffee bits, I tasted an awkward plant taste. However it quickly dissipated once I added the  toffee bits.

Here you can see what the dough looked like, a finished batch of toffee cookies, and one of the cafeteria cookies I made. To me insanely large cookies are cafeteria cookies since generally all cafeteria’s at schools serve oversized cookies.

 

 

 

 

Banana Bread

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 cup applesauce
  • 4 TBS butter
  • 2 bananas

I baked this at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and made sure to flour coat the pan before baking. Honestly, I didn’t do anything fancy but put all of this in a bowl and stir. I don’t claim to cream the sugar or any of that nonsense. I did substitute 1 cup of regular flour for wheat flour. This is what the bread looked like after baking for an hour. After it cooled on its side I made a cinnamon glaze and warmed up a little bit of cream cheese icing to drizzle over the bread.

 

 

 

 

These are the flours I used for my substitutions.

 

 

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

Happy Holidays from upstate New York! For reasons unbeknownst to me it still hasn’t “really” snowed here but I’m not complaining. We can have a green Christmas, New Year’s, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Easter….ALL YEAR. YEAHHH BUDDY.Ok enough of this. I probably just jinxed myself.

So this year to make things a little different I tried a chocolate rolled sugar cookie in addition to the classic vanilla. The dough for that was amazing but I wish the baked cookie was a little more chocolate-y. I even made my own homemade frosting for these cookies. I’m not sure what possessed me to do that but I was still ambitious and full of pep at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. It might have been from the latte I had with Sara at 1pm. So these are the recipes I used. There was no way I was going to try and wing these recipes so I used ones that seem respected by the baking community.

VANILLA

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/the-best-rolled-sugar-cookies/

CHOCOLATE

http://glorioustreats.blogspot.com/2011/01/chocolate-rolled-cookies-recipe.html

 

Now for the interesting part of this blog…the pictures

The doughs: I rolled them out in confectionery sugar and cocoa respectively

 

My pre-baked creations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many minutes later…

In the meantime, makin’ some frosting

Well I my brother doesn’t believe in traditional colors so this is the craziness I ended up with..

I then sit down to about 6 different types of sprinkles, glitter gel, and M&Ms to make some magic.

I love snowmen so I got very creative with them.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I frosted these ones.

Sometimes I even personalize cookies.

Also, my brother’s house is fully decorated for the holiday season. This is just a glimpse of how much Christmas cheer I was sitting in.

Duke really wanted a cookie.

My brother also got in on the baking and made some Italian cookies.

So have a good holiday although this wish may be premature since I will most likely be baking up until Dec 25th.

Gobble Gobble

Well Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday. I’m not a fan of pie crust, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, turkey skin…So I guess you could say I like turkey, corn, squash, and pie filling. For some reason I feel unAmerican by stating this but I just feel like there are better foods to eat. I digress. So to get in the Thanksgiving spirit I made some peanut butter cookies with a white chocolate peanutbutter glaze. The glaze took this cookie from I will never make this again to…I’d make this again and bake the cookies for less time.

The recipe I used is linked below. I did make some modifications.I decided to use a little less sugar and added some applesauce to replace the 1/4 cup of extra butter.

http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/5366/REESE%27S-Chewy-Chocolate-Cookies.aspx

These modifications may have been my downfall.  I guess I will try making the recipe as stated or just find a better chocolate cookie recipe. My glaze though was super easy and made these cookies delicious.

GLAZE

  • white chocolate candy melts
  • peanut butter
  • food coloring

Melt the candy melts in a microwave safe bowl. Stir in peanut butter to taste. I added about 1/4 cup of peanut butter to almost a cup of un-melted candy melts. Then mix in food coloring for any colors you desire. I just did orange and red because I wanted semi-realistic turkey cookies. In another mood I made have gone with blue and white turkeys.

Me eating a cookie before the glaze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me eating the cookie with the glaze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearly, you can see the glaze is worth it. So now more pictures!

Ebony and Ivory

I think most of us have seen the half moon cookies. They are usually a cakey cookie with vanilla and chocolate icing. Well as I have mentioned earlier my favorite cookies are chocolate chip cookies. I got the idea to make make half moon chocolate chip cookies. This is one of my proudest baking moments. They are amazing! I used dark chocolate chips but you could use milk chocolate. For the chocolate half of the cookie I used mini chocolate chips. This was super easy and it’s really nice to have two cookies in one.

I followed a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag. When it came to adding the flour is when I diverted. I mixed in 1.5 cups of flour into the batter then I moved some of the batter to a smaller bowl then added approximately 1/3 cup of baking cocoa into the bowl. Honestly I didn’t measure because it was after 11pm at night and anything goes. I then proceeded to add about 1/2 cup more of regular flour to the first bowl then added a bit more to the cocoa batter. I taste tested frequently to ensure good mixing. I finally added the chips then viola!

I closely dropped about a teaspoon of each type of batter next to each other and baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Enjoy the pictures!

These cookies are kind of like the best in show. Oh the symmetry.

Two of my Favorite Things <3

This is one of the best weekends of the year in my opinion. HALLOWEEN WEEKEND!!!! Skeletons, pumpkins, ghosts, creepy things are in every store. I have restrained myself for the most part from buying into it all. Two of my very good friends have gotten me some awesome gifts though: Pumpkin luminary and a ghost dish. So cute 🙂 But about the baking…Since this is my favorite time of year I decided why not make it even better b

y baking my favorite dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies. To add some semblance of health I used dark chocolate chips and drizzle. But,  in reality these cookies are not going to be helping my daily vitamin quota but by god they are delicious.

I opted to use the Nestle chocolate chip cookies recipe.  Why ruin a good thing? That was my reasoning.  I do have a few tips though…

To achieve such perfectly creamed butter and sugar, warm the butter slightly in the microwave so it’s soft but not melted. If the butter melts, GAME OVER. Your cookies will not turn out right. They will be too thin if you were doing drop cookies and spread awkwardly. If you are not comfortable with your microwaving skills you could always let the butter come to room temperature but that takes time.

Also, spray the pan with a cooking spray before putting the dough into the pan. I can assure you the pan relinquished the cookies easily with the aid of the spray otherwise it would have been a fight.

Use a metal cookie cutter for this. The metal is more rigid and will be able to cut through the chips if any happen to get in the way. Also, these cookies only baked for 20 minutes and got this dark. It was not an issue though since the middle was perfectly doughy.

Use candy melts for the drizzle. It was super easy to  warm almost a half a pound in the microwave, stir, and drizzle. I didn’t have to make a double boiler or add butter. The consistency and the flavor were great.

I got a little carried away with the chocolate for this one. I think this might put someone into a massive sugar high so I’m not sure if it’s safe for consumption. Originally this was my  concept to dip the cookies in chocolate and put jack-o-lantern faces on them but common sense got the better of me. Not many people want that much chocolate. Plus there is no good reason to mask the delicious cookie.

My little pumpkin cookie patch. The recipe did make 3 more cookies than this but I couldn’t ruin my symmetry by putting them on the plate. This is a great recipe but very rich. The cookies have a great flavor though. Happy Halloween everyone!