Friday, December 18, 2009

Pecan Sandies

This recipe also came from the Allrecipes Christmas Cookie Countdown and unlike the ice cream cookie one this one was awesome! They were like Pecan Shortbread Cookies covered in extra sugar! The recipe said it made 8 dozen, so I cut it in half and it came out with about 3 dozen, which I thought was good.

1 cup margarine
1 cup oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup icing sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
2 cups pecans
More white sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together margarine, oil, white sugar and icing sugar. Stir in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Slowly stir into creamed mixture. Stir in pecans. Place extra white sugar in a shallow bowl. Form dough into small balls, roll each ball in the white sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes.

These were pretty awesome and I will definitely make them again! :)

Ice Cream Cookies

Okay, so these were the weirdest cookies I've ever made and they turned out terrible! Which was really weird because they have a really high rating on Allrecipes, so I don't know if I did something wrong or what but they were gross. I was going to take them to work but I was too embarrassed to, so my Dad took them to his office instead and apparently somebody liked them because they got gobbled up. But I personally thought they tasted more like biscuits than cookies and I hate biscuits.

I got the recipe from the Allrecipes Christmas Cookie Countdown (a new cookie recipe every day for 25 days!)

1 pint vanilla ice cream (A US Pint is 473 ml, A UK Pint is 568 ml, I started with the US Pint amount but it didn't look right so I upped the amount of ice cream and it still didn't work)
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
Fruit Jam (I used Raspberry and Strawberry)

Cut butter with flour. Mix in ice cream. (Use your hands, you may want to put on gloves first because it will be cold). Form dough into ball. Refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350. Roll out dough. (My dough was no where near a consistancy that could be 'rolled out' so I just shaped little balls with my hands) Cut circles with the rim of a glass, make a thumbprint in the center of each cookie, fill thumbprint with jam. (I just shaped balls with my hands and made a thumbprint in them) Place cookies on cookie tray lined with parchment paper. (Parchment paper is very important here!) Bake for 20 minutes.

Like I said, I thought these were disgusting but other people liked them. Try at your own risk!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dark Tiger Cookies

Okay, so I haven't posted in a while, but I made these cookies a few weeks ago and I absolutely love them. They are so simple and tasty.

Dark Tiger Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup cocoa
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Icing sugar

Stir together sugar, oil and cocoa. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, mix well. Cover and refrigerate. (The instructions say for at least 6 hours but I've done it for as little as 1/2 an hour) Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Shape into balls. Roll balls in icing sugar. Place on cookie sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes.

I made these three times in the first week that I discovered them, they're so good. :)

I haven't posted a lot lately but I've been doing some Christmas baking that I'll be posting soon and I should start transferring over all of last year's Christmas baking posts from Facebook as well.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chocolate Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter (or margarine), melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (I used sunflower seeds)
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400. Prepare 2 muffin cups. Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Bars

1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cups cocoa
1/4 milk
1 1/4 cup nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup margarine
1 2/3 cups (1 pkg) peanut butter chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. Melt margarine. Beat margarine with sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa and milk. Beat well. Stir in 1 cup nuts. Pour into pan. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool completely. Melt 1/2 cup margarine with peanut butter chips over low heat. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir until smooth. Pour over brownies. Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Drizzle over bars. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup nuts. Refrigerate until firm.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mom (and Dad)'s Birthday Cakes

This Wednesday was my Mom's birthday and since we weren't able to celebrate my Dad's birthday in the summer we decided to celebrate both birthdays at once. So that required two cakes!

Mom asked for the same Turtle Cheesecake I had for my birthday so I was happy to oblige.

And for Dad I made his favourite cake, Black Forest.

Black Forest Cake

2 cups + 2 tbsp flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350, grease and flour two 9-inch pans. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add in eggs, milk oil and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks and cool completely.

2 (20 oz) cans Sour Pitted Cherries in juice(I could only find 14 oz jars but it worked just fine)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tsp vanilla (I think I forgot this but it didn't really matter)

Drain cherries. Reserve 1/2 cup of juice. Mix cherries, juice, sugar and corn starch in saucepan. Cook over low heat until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. COOL COMPLETELY! (I definitely did not do this, results described below)

3 cups whipping cream (unwhipped)
1/3 cup icing sugar
Combine cream and sugar in a chilled GLASS (Ceramic) or METAL bowl. With an electric mixer beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.


How the instructions said to do it:
Cut each of the two layers in half with a serrated knife or specialty cake layer cutter. Crumble one of the layers and set aside. Set first layer on cake tray. Spoon on some whipping cream. Spoon on cooled cherry goo. Top with second layer, repeat. Top with third layer. Cover the whole cake with the remaining whipped cream. Top cake with more cherry goo. Cover sides of cake with crumbled cake.

How I did it:
Make chocolate shavings: Take a bar of chocolate and a carrot peeler, "peel"(or shave) the chocolate as you would a carrot. Set the chocolate shavings aside. Place the bottom layer on the cake tray. Top with whipped cream. Cover with cherry goo. (Which was still warm because I was running out of time) The cherry goo will melt the whipped cream and goo will go everywhere. Top with second layer. Cover the rest of the cake in whipped cream. Cover the sides and top in chocolate shavings.

What I would recommend for next time:
Make chocolate shavings, as described above. Place bottom layer on cake tray. Top with (warm) cherry goo. Place second layer on top of the cherry goo. Cover the entire cake in whipped cream. Cool the rest of the cherry goo. Place more cherry goo on the top. Cover the sides in chocolate shavings. Serve with excess whipped cream or cherry goo.

Life's a Cake Walk

I made these for the cake walk at my church's pre-Halloween carnival a couple weeks ago but I was too busy at the time to post them.

Unfortunately I decorated this one the night before the rest, so it was wrapped and I didn't want to unwrap it to take the picture because we were running out of plastic wrap.

The first two are chocolate cake. The last two are rainbow cake.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

For my young adults group last week I decided to make cupcakes. Chocolate mint cupcakes to be exact. And I had several recipes I wanted to try out so I decided to just go for it and I realized that each recipe only made one dozen. I was expecting to have 10-15 people at the young adults group and young adults have a tendancy to like home baking so I figured I'd need at least two for each person. So I figured I needed at least two dozen cupcakes or possibly three dozen. And it turned out I had three chocolate mint cupcakes recipes that I wanted to try out. So I went for it.

Peppermint Patty Brownie Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup margarine (or butter)
1 cup white sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
12 peppermint patties

Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups. Melt together butter and chocolate chips. In another bowl mix sugar and salt, stir in melted chocolate. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in cocoa and flour. Spoon one spoonful of batter into each muffin cup. Place a peppermint patty on the batter and then top with more batter to cover the patty. Bake for about 35 minutes.

These were very tasty. Brownies, with peppermint patties in the middle. They were the favourites of the three types.

Chocolate Mint 'Vegan' Cupcakes

1 cup (soy) milk (I just used regular milk because I don't really care about the vegan factor)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (I used regular vinegar because it's what I had)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 12 muffin cups. Mix milk and vinegar and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Mix together milk mixture, sugar, oil, vanilla and mint extract. In another bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix into wet mixture. Beat well. Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

These were surprisingly good. I was not expecting vegan cupcakes to taste this good. They weren't spectacular exactly but they were pretty tasty. They were the second best of the batch.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

NOTE: I really did not like these cupcakes. Personally I thought they were disgusting and that they tasted like bread. But I took them to young adults and everyone insisted they weren't that bad. So I'm posting the recipe and you can make your own decision, if you want to take the chance. (Personally I'd make the vegan ones again before I'd try these again)

6 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp butter (or margarine)
1/4 cup butter (or margarine), softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup chocolate milk (I would recommend using the bought stuff from the store, that stuff that's artificially thickened, rather than the stuff you make yourself with the chocolate powder or sauce)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (6 ounces) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 12 muffin cups. Melt together cocoa powder and 2 tbsp butter. Cream together sugar and 1/4 cup butter. Stir in melted chocolate mixture. Add eggs, mint extract and chocolate milk. Beat well. Beat in flour and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes.

For frosting on all of these cupcakes I just used my usual recipe with mint extract rather than vanilla.

Monday, October 12, 2009


So I had to use up the rest of the evaporated milk after making the pumpkin pie. Stupid ingredients only coming in one size of can. So I made fudge.

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated mik
2 tbsp butter (or margarine)
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 tsp vanilla.

Measure out all ingredients before you start. Line 8x8 pan with tin foil. In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together sugar, milk, butter and salt. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts and vanilla. Stirring until marshmallows are melted. Pour into 8x8 pan.

Pumpkin Pie

So I have to admit, I really don't like Pumpkin Pie. But it was Thanksgiving this weekend and so my mother insisted that I make some Pumpkin Pie. (I was originally planning on making apple or cherry) And so because I don't eat pumpkin pie I didn't really care about making the pie from scratch. So yes, I cheated.

Pumpkin Pie
1 can pumpkin pie filling
1 egg
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 pie shell

Preheat oven to 475 F. Beat egg. Add in pie filling and evaporated milk. Stir well. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 475 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake another 30-45 minutes.

I also made my Caramel Pecan Pie because I love it and I wanted something other than pumpkin.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rainbow Cake!

On the outside, it just looks like a chocolate cake that an amateur decorator used to practice their piping skills.

But on the inside...

All the colours of the rainbow!

So for this recipe I just used my handy dandy works for everything cake recipe in it's basic form. Then I divided the batter into 7 bowls, dyed each bowl a different colour and then layered the batter into the cake pans. It turned out beautifully. Not to mention that no one was expecting what was inside!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chocolate Walnut Bar Cookies

I made these cookies for a pizza night with some friends. They were easy, quick and tasty.

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 375, mix together oil, white sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. In another bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Knead with hands when the dough becomes difficult to stir. Grease a cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper), roll, or stretch out the dough onto the cookie sheet, this works best if you grease your hands first. Once the dough is in a long sheet, sprinkle on the walnuts and chocolate chips and press down slightly. Bake 7-8 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes or so, then cut into strips and allow to cool completely.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Great Granny's Lemon Cake and More Decorating

I made these two cakes yesterday for my friends birthday. I put her two favourite drinks on them. Coca-Cola and Tequila.

The Coke cake is chocolate, made with my favourite recipe.

The Tequila cake is a lemon cake made with my great granny's recipe.

1 box cake mix (I instead used the dry ingredients from my 'Boxed Mix from Scratch' recipe)
1 pkg lemon Jello
1 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350. Add the lemon Jello mix to the cake mix ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Apple Pie

My mum has been bringing home lots of apples from the grocery store lately and they don't always get eaten before they go bad, so this week I decided to make a pie with them before they were unusable.

7 cups apples, peeled and sliced (I used gala apples and I cut up about 7, I didn't actually measure)
2 tbsp lemon juice (I think I ended up using more than this)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter or margarine, cut into squares (I didn't measure this part either)
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
1 double pie crust (I used this pastry recipe)

Preheat oven to 425. Prepare pie shell in a 9 inch(ish) plate. Toss apples with lemon juice in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss this mixture in with the apples. Pour into pie shell. Top with the butter pieces. Cover with pastry top, seal the edges then stab holes in the top for the air to escape. Combine egg yolk and water, brush over top of pie. Place pie on a tinfoil covered cookie sheet (to catch the drippings). Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and cook for another 40-45 minutes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bird Crap Cookies (Meringues)

I used to make these fairly frequently but only my dad and I really like them, so I stopped. One of my family members nicknamed them 'Bird Crap Cookies' because that's that they look like. They didn't turn out quite how I remember them though.

2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 F. Grease two cookie sheets. In a non-plastic bowl, using a non-plastic spoon (or a set of beaters works best) beat egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually, beating until stiff. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake for 15-20 minutes. According to the recipe this makes 2 1/2 dozen, I got 18.

When I make these again I think I will either halve the walnuts and chocolate chips or double the rest of the ingredients. There were way too many walnuts and chocolate chips for the recipe. But they are tasty, even if they did flatten more than I remember.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lemon Cake

For this recipe I took the recipe from the post below and modified it slightly.

2 1/3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Then I frosted it with Lemon Cream Cheese icing from this post.

Basic Yellow Cake

I found this recipe on Allrecipes and it is great and amazingly versitile. The first four ingredients are basically what is in the commercial box cake mix (or at least the basics of it, none of the unpronounceable stuff :P)that you would buy at the store for a white or yellow cake. You can then experiment with the remaining ingredients however you like to create your perfect cake. For my first try with this recipe I made a basic yellow cake.

2 1/3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together the first group of ingredients then mix in the second group of ingredients. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake 30 minutes or so, until a fork (or toothpick) inserted comes out clean.

I haven't tried these variations myself, but they came with the recipe.

To make this recipe into a chocolate cake, add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.

For a white cake, omit the two eggs,and instead beat three egg whites on the side and then gently fold them into the cake at the very end, just before you pour the batter into the pan.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fudge Puddles (aka Fudge Puppies)

I made these Fudge Puddles the other day and for some reason my mother started calling them Fudge Puppies. They're pretty tasty, peanut butter cookie outside with a fudge centre.

1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325. Spray muffin tins or mini muffin tins with PAM. Mix together margarine, peanut butter and sugars. Stir in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into 'wet' mixture. Roll dough into balls and place each ball inside a muffin tin compartment. Bake for 14-16 minutes.

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup regular chocolate cups
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt chocoate chips together in a double boiler. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Mix well. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven (while they are still warm and soft) make wells in them by pushing down the centres with a melon baller. Allow the cookies to cool in the pans for a bit and then remove carefully so that they don't fall apart. Spoon fudge mixture into the wells in the cookies.

Perfect peanut butter inside, chocolate outside, kind of the opposite of my mum's favourite chocolate bar.

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake

So this is the last Facebook transfer post left! Yay! Or at least until Christmas. Anyway, saving the best for last of course, this was the birthday cake I made for myself this year. Originally posted on Facebook May 5, 2009

This past Saturday was my 20th birthday and for it I baked my own cake. No, I didn't want someone else to bake one for me, I wanted to bake my own to share with my friends. Although, one of my friends was nice enough to bring brownies to my party, which were amazing and I must have the recipe. Anyway, back to the topic. I made myself (and my friends) a Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake and since so many have asked for the recipe, I knew I had to post it. Although I would have posted anyway.

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake
from the inside of the Philly Cream Cheese box

1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans (I think I used a bit more)
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup sugar
32 caramels, unwrapped (this is the hardest part of the whole recipe)
3 tbsp milk
3 pkgs (250g each) brick cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
8 oz semi sweet chocolate squares (one package if you use Bakers') melted and cooled slightly

Preheat oven to 350. Cover bottom of 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Combined chopped pecans, butter and 2 tbsp sugar. Press firmly into pan.
Microwave caramels and milk in 1 min intervals, stirring between each until melted and wel mixed. Spread over crust to within 1 inch of edge. Beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in melted chocolate. Pour mixture over cooled caramel layer. Bake for 45-50 min. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake, cool completely. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

I also decorated mine with pecan halves in a circle around the edge and my own caramel glaze.
15 Caramels
2 tsp milk
2 tsp butter

Microwave together in 30 s increments, stirring after each until well melted and blended. Allow to cool slightly and then drizzle over cake.

My mom declared this to be the tastiest thing I've ever made. It was very rich and heavy and I think next time I would try making it in a larger springform pan so that it makes more and is less heavy for each piece. Still it was amazing! I will definitely make this again, possibly for my mom's birthday. Or if someone else's birthday is sooner and they request it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cupcake Pop Fail

So yesterday I decided to try Bakerella's cupcake pops as a birthday present for a friend. I started with 63 cake balls and ended up with only 26 presentable cupcake pops. (Of course it didn't help that I dropped about 20 cake balls on the floor before I'd even barely started and I had to throw them out)

Some of my cupcake pops turned out like the ones on the left (what they're supposed to look like) and the rest turned out like the ones on the right. (Impaled on the lollypop stick).

The basic instructions for cupcake pops. Full, illustrated instructions from the inventor herself can be found here.

1. Bake a cake in a 9x13 pan. I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe found here.
2. Make about 2 cups of cream cheese icing
3. Crumble the cake into little bits.
4. Mix the cake with icing.
5. Make the cake into little (1-1.5") balls
6. Freeze these for 15 min or so
6. Shape the balls into oblong shapes.
7. Using a small flour cookie cutter, press half the ball into the cookie cutter so that the top of the mini cupcake is rounded and the bottom has little waves. (Basically so it looks like a cupcake)
8. Freeze these for another 15-20 min
9. Melt some chocolate. I used dark and milk.
10. Dip the bottoms of the cupcakes in the chocolate.
11. Place the un-chocolated side down on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Stick lollypop sticks in the chocolated side.
12. When these have dried melt some coloured candy melts.
13. Dip the other side in the coloured melted candy.
14. Stick the sticks in a piece of styrofoam, decorate with smarties and sprinkles and let dry.

Here's how the nice ones turned out.
And the rest did something like this:

So here are some more pictures of my cupcake pop attempt.

Friday, August 28, 2009

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies are some of my favourite cookies but I'd never made them myself before. I found this recipe on Allrecipes and it turned out wonderfully. I love these cookies but Macadamia nuts are so expensive so I won't be able to make them often.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit this if the Macadamia nuts are salted)
1 cup coarsely chopped Macadamia nuts
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter, shortening and sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time and then stir in vanilla. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt (if using). The add in slowly in to butter/sugar/egg mixture. Mix in nuts and chocolate chips. Bake for 10 minutes.

So tasty!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cookies

Originally posted on Facebook March 15, 2009

A few weeks ago I bought a bunch of baking supplies and I was keeping them in the cupboard. But then my dad came home and started eating them, so I moved them to my room. Unfortunately, these supplies included caramels which I have been steadily eating since I moved them to my room. So this week I decided to use up these caramels so I would stop eating them. I also had an abundance of pecans so I thought I'd try something with caramels and pecans. I also wanted to bake something I could share with my research report group for our meeting on Saturday. So, I found a recipe for Chocolate Pecan Carmel Cookies.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cookies

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (margarine)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 oz chopped dark chocolate (you could probably use chocolate chips but I liked how the chopped chocolate turned out)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Caramels (those wrapped Kraft ones, or you can get them in bulk)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the sugars and butter together until fluffy. When mixture is light and fluffy, add egg and beat. Then add vanilla and beat.
In another bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Finally, stir in chopped chocolate and pecan pieces.
Form dough into balls and make a hole in the center with your thumb. Then place a caramel in this hole and close the dough over the caramel.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes about 20 cookies.

These were amazing! They were best just an hour or two out of the oven because the caramel was still melted. They were still really good after when the caramel had hardened, except then my brother couldn't eat them because of his braces. I think they would be good even without the caramel as well. But the caramel makes for an extra tasty surprise in the middle. When I make them again I will probably double the recipe and make some without caramels for my brother.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pecan Caramel Pie

NOTE: Since I originally posted this recipe I have found a much better pie crust recipe, it can be found in this post. Also, I have made this pie many times since I posted this recipe and it's one of my favourite recipes that I've found in all my baking experimentation.

Originally posted on Facebook March 20, 2009

Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
5 to 6 tablespoon cold water (I got cold water from the tap and then added ice cubes)

It is very important that the shortening and water are cold.
Stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry bender, cut n shortening until it looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in cold water 1 tbsp at a time until pastry just holds together. Shape into ball. Refrigerate. Divide into two sections. Roll out on floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Makes 2 single pie crusts or 1 double pie crust.

Pecan Caramel Pie

I came across this one while looking for recipes with pecans and caramels in them for last week but I didn't have the ingredients for the pie crust. I found it at

1 unbaked 9'' pie crust
36 individual caramels (unwrapped)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350. In a saucepan, stirring frequently, melt together caramels, butter and milk until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix in caramel sauce. Stir in pecans. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

This Pie is AWESOME! Caramel and pecans go so well together. The pastry wasn't great but it was okay for a first try. Next time I'll probably buy a pie crust, it makes everything much easier.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Originally posted on Facebook March 20, 2009

1 unbaked 9" pie crust (mine was 9.5")
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter (softened)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325. Beat eggs. Beat in flour and both sugars. Beat in butter. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

This pie was also pretty good, more like cake than pie. With lots of chocolate and mini bits of pecans. Mmmmm.... pie.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

French Bread

Originally posted on Facebook March 27, 2009

So I've never made bread before and I've heard it's tricky so I was very nervous and had no idea how this was going to turn out.

1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Grease or oil a bowl and grease a cookie sheet. Combine hot water, sugar and yeast and allow to proof (aka allow to rise, basically let it sit for 10 min or so). Then add salt then flour and kneed until dough is no longer sticky. Place in oiled bowl and roll around so the oil coats all sides. Cover and allow to rise for 30 min or until it has doubled in size. Punch down and roll out into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half along the 16 inch side so that you have 2 rectangles 8 x 12 inches. Roll up each rectangle and squeeze out any air bubbles, twist the ends to seal them. Make some diagonal slashes along the top. Place on greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise for 30 - 40 min or until it has doubled in size. While you're waiting for it to rise preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix together egg yolk and water and brush over the dough. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

This bread turned out so well. I was worried it was going to be doughy and disgusting because I know bread is tricky and I'd never done it before. Also, I used bread machine yeast but didn't use a bread machine and I didn't use bread flour like was called for in the original recipe. But it turned out just fine! I'm so happy that it turned out well. This bread was amazing straight out of oven with butter and honey but it would also be good for sandwiches and stuff. I loved it, I will make it again for sure.

Tunnel of Fudge Cake

Originally posted on Facebook March 27, 2009

This cake cooks in a bunt pan and is supposed to cook on the outsides but leave a bit of dough or a "Tunnel of Fudge" through the centre.

1 3/4 cups margarine
1 3/4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
2 cups icing (confectioners') sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups chopped walnuts (I used sliced almonds because that's what I had on hand)

3/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour Bunt pan (This is VERY important, grease and flour it thoroughly)
Cream together sugar and margarine. Beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually blend in icing sugar. Beat in flour and cocoa powder. Stir in nuts. Pour into bunt pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour in pan, then put on wire rack and cool completely.

For the glaze: Combine icing sugar and cocoa powder. Slowly add milk until at desired consistency. Drizzle onto cooled cake.

Okay, so this one didn't go too well. I don't think I greased the bunt pan well enough (It's a very old bunt pan, from long before the days of non-stick coating, my mom won it in a bike-a-thon when she was in elementary school) so the cake didn't come out of the pan easily. Basically it fell apart so there was the top, which was cooked and then the "fudgy" layer which oozed all over the place and then the bottom cooked part. My family decided to eat it right away so I didn't have a chance to make the glaze. Anyway, my family thought the cake was really good, I wasn't so thrilled with it.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Originally posted on Facebook March 30, 2009

These were a special request, well more of a strong suggestion, from one of my engineering friends. He's from Mauritius, a small island nation that was once a French colony, so there's a lot of French influence there. I was very nervous making them because I know how tricky cream puff type pastry can be to make. But I figured I'd give it a try. I found an excellent recipe at and got to work.

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400. Boil the water in a medium sized pot. Stir in the butter and salt until melted. Add the flour, all at once, stirring vigorously until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and stir in eggs, one at a time. Spoon in tablespoons onto cookie sheet (it may be a good idea to cover this in parchment paper) leaving lots of room in between pastries for expansion. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes and then turn heat down to 375 for another 10-15 min, until pastries are golden brown. Leave to cool completely.

1 package (250 g) cream cheese, softened
2 cups milk
1 package (30 g) instant vanilla pudding mix

Slowly beat 1/2 cup of milk into the cream cheese until creamy. Then beat in the remaining milk and the package of pudding mix. Stir until thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Cut cooled pasty shells in half and spoon pudding mixture in between the halves.

Chocolate Sauce
1 (1 ounce) square of unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons hot water

Melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat. Remove from heat and mix in icing sugar and hot water. Drizzle over filled eclaires. Mmmmmm, chocolate, cheesecake, pudding, pastries.....

I'd have to say these are the weirdest thing I've ever tried making. The pastry when it's in the pot smells and looks very odd. And then it gets even weirder when you add the eggs start to put them on the pans. They puff up quite nicely in the oven and smell great when they are finished. They also taste AMAZING when finished. A warning though, the filling part of the recipe makes way more than needed for what the pastry part makes. So I ended up making two batches of pastry and icing. Of course I ran out of icing sugar on the second batch of icing, but it still turned out okay.

My family (mostly, my parents) was commenting about the unnecessary calories they had ingested all weekend so I took these to school and handed them out to whichever engineers were sitting near me in my last class. And the friend I made them for managed to eat five.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Originally posted on Facebook April 10, 2009

Now, for my other recipe. I made these for dinner tonight, and they don't really count as baking but I thought I should post the recipe. I found it on my new favorite website - but I'm going to give you my modified version of the recipe, and my critique.

Homemade Perogies
5 Rusett potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 eggs
3 tablespoons cream cheese
3 teaspoons milk
2 cups flour
1 cup cottage cheese
Grated cheddar cheese
Bacon bits

Boil the potatoes as you would for mashed potatoes.
In a large bowl mix together 1 egg, 1 tbsp cream cheese, 1 tsp milk and 1/2 cup flour. When this is well mixed add 1 tbsp cream cheese, 1 tsp milk and 1/2 cup flour and mix some more. Then add 1 egg, 1 tbsp cream cheese and 1/2 cup flour and mix. Finally add in 1 egg, 1 tsp milk and 1/2 cup flour.
Roll out the dough until its as thin as you can make it. Then cut it into circles using the rim of a glass. Set these circles aside.
Mash the potatoes with all the ingredients you haven't used yet.
Then take each circle of dough and roll it out some more. Take a spoonful of the potato mix and place it in the centre of the circle. Then fold over the dough and press down the edges so that the filling is sealed inside.
Boil a pot of water and drop in perogies. When they are floating take them out and then fry them in oil or more butter.
Serve with ham or smokies.

My verdict on this one - perogies should be bought from a store. Preferably the restaurant at the Grand Forks Hotel but if that's not possible then any grocery store will do. Perogies - in my opinion, are not worth the time to make them yourself. Although I had lots of help from my little brother and my mom when it came to frying them, they still took a full three hours and were not that much better than store bought perogies. Of course it didn't help that my mom put them on a piece of paper towel before serving and they then stuck to it and we had to pull paper towel off our perogies. But basically this was not worth making.

Also, the recipe made WAY too much filling and not enough dough. I had to make 2 batches of the dough and we still have a bunch of filling left over. I think we're going to fry it up for lunch tomorrow. I would have made it with maybe 1 or 2 potatoes and it would have been plenty. I should also mention that I had already halved the filling recipe from what was given in the original.

So yes, final verdict. Perogies should be bought from a store. Or possibly homemade en masse with a lot of people helping.

Edit: But the goo tastes really good fried the next day!

Chocolate Butterscotch Ripple Squares

Originally posted on Facebook April 10, 2009

I recently cleaned out our recipe cupboard and found a bunch of "Robin Hood Flour's Baking Festival" catalog/brochure/recipe pamplet things. They had a whole bunch of great recipes in them. This recipe came from the 2000 edition.

Chocolate Butterscotch Ripple Squares

1 pkg (300g) butterscotch chips
1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp butter
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup melted butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup oats
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used almonds which I toasted first)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9x13 pan. Melt together butterscotch chips, sweetened condensed milk and 2 tbsp butter over low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Set aside. Mix together brown sugar, eggs, melted butter and vanilla until smooth. Then mix in the remaining ingredients. Pour half this mixture into the pan. Spread the butterscotch mixture over top. Drop the rest of the chocolate mixture on top and then spread it around so that it covers the butterscotch. Bake for 30-35 min. Cool completely and then cut into squares.

I'm not a big fan of butterscotch and I had some chips I needed to use up so this turned out to be a good way to do so. They were very gooey chocolate butterscotch brownies. I took then to my hovercraft group meeting and young adults and they went over well. So overall a good recipe to have on hand.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Brownies

This is my new favorite recipe. I haven't had a chance to post it yet though, I've made it three times so far, I think.

Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Brownies
(I made these ones with walnuts)

1 cup hazelnuts (or other nuts work well)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup melted butter (or margarine)
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
14 oz (about 400 g) caramels, unwrapped
2 tbsp milk
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. If using hazelnuts, toast the hazelnuts at 350 for about 10 minutes, turning once. Then rub off the loose skins with a tea towel. (This will be very messy) Chop hazelnuts. Line a 9x13 pan with tin foil and grease with PAM. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Mix together melted butter and sugar. Then add eggs and vanilla. Then slowly add the flour/cocoa mixture 1/2 cup at a time. When you are done the dough will be very thick. Spread the batter into the 9x13 pan. Put caramels and milk into a bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each, until they are well melted and combined. Mix in 1/2 cup nuts and then pour over batter. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let the chocolate chips melt for about 2 minutes then spread them melted chocolate with a spatula so that it covers the whole surface. Sprinkle the rest of the nuts on top of the chocolate. Allow chocolate and caramel to harden (this takes several hours, you may want to put it in the fridge) then cut into squares and enjoy.

Like I said, this is my new favorite recipe. Although it should be noted that you must bake this in a 9x13 pan, putting it in a smaller pan and then experimenting with the baking time does not work! Either the brownies don't cook thoroughly or the caramel overcooks and burns. But other than that I love these brownies. I've taken then to YA and to a party and shared them with people who come to visit and they always seem to be a hit. Although my brother can't have them because of the caramel and his braces.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cinnamon Buns

These nearly killed our bread machine this morning. It is one of the highest rated recipes on Allrecipes and it said to make it in a bread machine, so I did. Unfortunatly though the dough was really tough and the bread machine started making funny noises. So we took the dough out, kneaded it ourselves and the just let it rise for a while. It still turned out really tasty in the end. Although next time I think I'll make it by hand, following the guidelines in the Allrecipes comments.

1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine in order. Use the 'dough' setting. When the dough is ready let it rest for 10 minutes.

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Combine sugar and cinnamon. Roll out the dough to as large a rectangle as you can. Spread the butter all over the dough. Then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture all over the dough. Roll up the dough and then cut into rolls. Place the rolls in a 9x13 pan that has been lined with greased wax paper. Let rise for another 30 minutes or so, until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350. Bake the cinnamon buns for 15 minutes. While these are baking make the icing.

1/2 pkg cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine butter and cream cheese. Cream. Stir in vanilla. Then slowly stir in the icing sugar until smooth and creamy.

When the cinnamon buns are ready, turn the pan upside down onto a cookie sheet. Cut out each cinnamon buns and cover in the cream cheese icing, while they are still warm.

White Bread

I made white bread from scratch the other day while waiting for my family to come home. It turned out quite nicely.

4 1/2 tsp yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water
3 tbsp lard (or oil or butter, I used oil)
1 tsp salt
6 1/2 cups bread flour

In a large bowl dissolve sugar and yeast into warm water. Stir in lard, salt and some of the flour. Mix well. Slowly stir in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and kneed for 8 minutes or so, until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough in the bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Grease two bread pans. Punch down dough and divide in half. Place each half in a pan. Let rise for another 40 minutes until doubled again. While this is rising preheat oven to 425 degrees. When the dough is ready turn the oven down to 375 then bake the loaves for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.