Friday, July 31, 2009

Cheesecake Brownies and My Famous Oatmeal Cookies

Originally posted on Facebook May 11, 2009

Cheesecake Brownies

3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup softened cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 350. Melt together butter and cocoa. Whisk into a bowl with sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour half into a 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper. In another bowl cream together cream cheese and sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla and flour. Pour oven bottom brownie layer. Drop in the rest of the brownie goo and swirl with a knife or fork. Bake for 35 min. Let cool, refrigerate for 4-8 hours, or more. Cut into squares.

Mmmm, cheesecake and brownie together....

Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together sugars and butter. Stir in eggs, vanilla and milk. Add in flour, soda and powder. Mix in rolled oats. Mix in chocolate chips and stir until well blended. Bake for 10 min.

This is the traditional recipe I've been making for years. And I forgot to take a picture, but chances are most people I know have had them once before. EDIT: Picture now added.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Butter Tarts and Homemade Candy

These were originally posted on Facebook May 11, 2009. I just made the candy again last night, with a twist!

Butter Tarts

1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
Frozen tart shells (unsweetened)

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs. Add other ingredients and mix well. Spoon into tart shells. Bake at 425 for 10 min and then reduce heat to 350 and bake for a few more minutes until pastry is lightly browned.

Homemade Old Fashioned Sugar Glass Candy

2 cups white sugar
1 cup water
2/3 cup corn syrup (you're supposed to use light but I used regular)
1 tsp flavouring
A few drops of food colouring
Candy thermometer

Cover cookie sheet in parchment paper. In a heavy bottomed saucepan stir together sugar, water and syrup until sugar has dissolved. Then bring to a boil and cook until candy thermometer reaches 300-310 F or 149-154 C. Remove from heat and stir in flavouring and food colouring. Immediately pour onto cookie sheet. Break into pieces when cool.

This was my first attempt at making candy and I didn't expect it to turn out well. But it did! It was tasty, although I didn't put in any flavouring or food colouring but I will next time.

I made these again only this time I mixed some Kool-aid powder in with 1 1/2 tbsp of water and then mixed that in instead of the food colouring and flavouring. Mmmmm, cherry candy

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vanilla Pretzels

Originally posted June 8, 2009

I made these this afternoon because I had 3 egg yolks left over after the cupcakes I made on Saturday. The recipe's out of my Christmas cookies magazine and I've been eying it for a while.

Plain Vanilla Pretzels

6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp water
Pearl decorating sugar (I don't know what this is but it's just for decoration so I used icing sugar instead)

Beat butter and flour together. Add in baking powder and salt. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Then gradually add milk and flour. Gather the mixture into two balls and chill for 4-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Pinch off a bit of dough at a time and roll into a rope about 9 inches long on a lightly floured surface. Twist dough into pretzel shape. Beat together final egg and water and brush over pretzels. Sprinkle with decorating sugar. Bake for 13-15 min.

I made these again a few weeks later and I dipped some in chocolate and covered some in sprinkles. The results were pretty tasty.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crepes and Crack Bars

Originally posted on Facebook June 28, 2009

This morning I was up a little early. So I made Crepes. Crepes have always been a special treat breakfast in our house because they take so long to make. When I was little I always thought that was because they took hours to chill. But it turns out it only takes one hour to chill. Anyway, so if you're up early and want to make a tasty breakfast or brunch, these are pretty awesome. (Although not filling at all)

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl beat together eggs, milk, water and butter. Then add flour, sugar and salt. Stir until smooth. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Stir before cooking.
(I don't actually know how to do the cooking part, the following is my best description of how my parents cook these things) Drop a small amount of batter into the pan. Tilt the pan around to spread the batter. Cook until bubbles form on one side. Carefully flip and brown the other side. Transfer onto a plate for serving. Serve with lemon juice and icing sugar. (Or your favourite crepe toppings)

These are amazing and get eaten far to fast for a picture to be taken.

Originally posted on Facebook, June 7, 2009

These are a family favourite of ours. The boys and their friends call them crack bars because you can never eat just one. They're good for breakfasts, lunches and swapping with your friends to get better lunch food. They're great because they're so tasty and filling.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup margarine
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. Beat together peanut butter, sugar, syrup, margarine, egg and vanilla until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bake for 20 min, cool before cutting.

All the ingredients after the rolled oats are optional. I usually use sunflower seeds, wheat germ and chocolate chips.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cupcake Fest: Part 3

Part 3 of the Cupcake Fest is entirely devoted to Grad Cupcakes. The idea for these cupcakes came from the immensely talented Bakerella. I made two rounds of them with two different flavours of cupcakes each time.

Decadent Brownie Cups
1 cup butter (margarine)
* 4 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
Mini peanut butter cups

*Each Unsweetened chocolate square can be substituted with 3 tbsp of cocoa powder and 1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 18 muffin cups. Melt together chocolate and butter. Remove from heat and mix with sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Then add flour and salt. Spoon into muffin cups. Press a peanut butter cup into the centre of each. Bake for about 18 minutes.

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
**8 (1 oz) squares semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

**I substituted 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips for the semi sweet chocolate squares. They can be easily melted in the microwave

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 18 muffin cups. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add oil, milk, eggs and vanilla. Stir until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate until well mixed. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Bake 25-30 min.

Chocolate Surprise

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites
1 cup chocolate chips, melted
30 mini Reeces peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 30 muffin cups. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. In another bowl beaet sugar and butter. Add milk and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture slowly. Add egg whites. Stir in melted chocolate. Spread one heaping tablespoon of batter into the bottom of each muffin cup. Add one mini peanut butter cup and then cover with more batter. Bake 24-26 min.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup margarine
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 18 muffin cups. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Beat butter and peanut butter together. Beat in sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add in flour mixture and milk alternating in small batches. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake 23-25 min.

For the peanut butter frosting I just added an extra 1/2 cup or so of peanut butter to my regular frosting recipe.

For the grad hat toppers. Take a mini Reeces cup, turn it upside down. Put some frosting on the top. Top with a square chocolate. Then add a Reeces pieces and a licorice, securing with more frosting.

Oh, and as a note, I think I should add my frosting 'recipe'

I don't really have a recipe for icing. Basically you start with 1/4 cup or so with butter and stir in a cup or so of icing sugar. Then you add a teaspoon of vanilla, a few tablespoons of milk and enough icing sugar until it is the consistency you want. For chocolate icing just add 1/3 cup or so of cocoa powder to the second batch of icing sugar addition.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cupcake Fest: Part 2

I made these for a youth group get together a few weeks ago, originally posted June 14, 2009

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

1 package of white cake mix
1 cup water
3 egg whites
2 tbsp vegetable (canola) oil
1 can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
Red food colouring

Preheat oven to 350, prepare 24 muffin cups. Mix together cake mix, water, egg whites, oil and and some of the pink lemonade. (The recipe book says 1/3 cup but I didn't think that tasted very pink lemonade-y so I used about half the container, basically put in as much or as little as you want) Add in some food colouring to make them as pink as you like. Spoon into muffin cups, bake for 18-22 minutes.

For icing, I just made my basic icing and added some of the pink lemonade until it tasted pink lemonade-y then I added more icing to thicken it up. But then I was running out of icing sugar which is why the icing in the pictures doesn't look very solid.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

2 1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (margarine), softened
2 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites
1 cup crushed Oreos (about 10)

Preheat oven to 350, prepare 24 muffin cups. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in sugar. Add milk, butter and vanilla. Add egg whites and stir. Mix in oreos. Bake 20-25 min.

I iced these with just regular vanilla icing and topped them with more crushed oreos.

I made these for my Young Adults group a week or so ago. Originally posted July 12, 2009

Hazelnut Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup butter (margarine), softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk

More Nutella

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 18 muffin cups. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl combine Nutella and margarine until smooth. Beat in sugar then eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Spoon butter into muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes. When cooled, frost with Nutella. Top with chopped hazelnuts.

These were pretty amazing. Although I think it was entirely the amount of Nutella involved. The cupcake parts weren't particularly special but with the Nutella frosting they were pretty tasty. I think in the future I'd just make regular chocolate cupcakes, throw hazelnuts into the batter and then frost with Nutella. But still, they went over well at YA, one person I know at at least 3.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cupcake Fest: Part 1

I've made a lot of cupcakes since I started with my bake-a-thon. So I'll post them all in a row over the next few days, starting with the first ones I made.

Froot Loop Cupcakes - originally posted March 6, 2009

This week I thought I should make some kind of cupcakes and I wanted to try some non-chocolate ones. I found this recipe in the LiveJournal community bakebakebake.

Froot Loop Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter (I used margarine)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Zest from 1 Lemon
Zest from 1 Orange
1 1/2 cups Froot Loops
(Optional, but recommended) Icing Sugar

Preheat oven to 350, Line 12 muffin cups
Cream butter. Add sugar to butter and continue to cream. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla.
In another bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with milk. (ie mix in some flour then some milk then more flour then more milk ect.)
Add the lemon and orange zest.
Spoon batter into muffin cups and then sprinkle generous amounts of Froot Loops onto each cupcake.
Bake for 20-25 minutes then let them cool completely before sprinkling icing sugar on the tops.

So, I really like cupcake part of this recipe but unfortunately baking the Froot Loops makes them a little dry and stale. I think little kids would probably love these and they're really easy to make but I'm not sure if I'll make them again. I'll probably use the cupcake part of this recipe again because they were very tasty cupcakes.

Sorry about the quality of the picture, I didn't have a camera so I had to angle the webcam on my computer to take a picture without getting icing sugar all over it.

EDIT: Okay, I felt I had to add this. These cupcakes are good the first day you make them only! The cake part is still good the next day but the Froot Loops turn into these weird chewy soggy fruit loops. So I would suggest only making these the day you plan to eat them. They are not good after that.

These cupcakes are, however, amazing, if instead of Froot Loops, you top them with:

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz (half a package) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Icing sugar (about 3 cups)
Yellow Food Colouring

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Beat in about a cup of icing sugar and the lemon juice. Continue adding icing sugar until it is the desired consistency. Then add some yellow food colouring.

This is pretty tasty icing! I liked it, its lemony and sweet and pretty good. But it made too much for the dozen cupcakes that the froot loops recipe made so I decided to make some more cupcakes. So I found this recipe.

Lemon-Lime Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups butter (or margarine), softened
3 cups white sugar
5 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon extract
3 cups flour
3/4 cup of lemon-lime pop (ie Sprite or 7-Up, I used Sprite Zero because its what I had)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add in the lemon extract and some of the flour. Add the rest of the flour and the pop in small bits alternating between the two. So add a little flour, a little pop, a little flour, a little pop ect. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Decorate with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nanimo Bars

Nanimo Bars are a Canadian Classic, I love them.

Originally posted on Facebook May 11, 2009

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp cocoa
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first three ingredients over double boiler. Add egg and cook to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Press firmly into ungreased 8x8 pan.

1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp and 2 tsp cream
2 tbsp custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Cream together and beat until light and then spread over bottom layer.

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp butter

Melt together and spread over top.

This recipe is from the official City of Nanimo website. They are pretty tasty, although I think I'd use a bit more chocolate in the topping.

Monday, July 20, 2009

More Cakes... less epic but with a recipe

So I realized I forgot to post the recipe with the Homestar cake this morning. So I thought it would be the perfect time to post the other cakes I've decorated recently, along with the recipe I used for them all. It's my new favourite cake recipe, its really moist and turns out so well.

So this cake I made for my other brother's birthday. I received my cake decorating kit for my birthday (the day before his) so this was my first attempt at cake decorating.

It wasn't so great, I didn't get the icing consistency right and I didn't have a great idea for it. Also, I just used a boxed cake mix because I hadn't found my awesome cake recipe yet.

This was for my best friend's birthday. She loves cephalopods (ie octopi) and so I figured I couldn't pass up the chance to make an octopus cake.

This was the second cake that I decorated and it turned out much better than the first. I drew the octopus myself, then I traced it onto parchment paper and cut out the basic shape. I put the parchment paper on the cake and outlined it with the yellow, then I filled it in with the purple. As a finishing touch I added the eyes and mouth freehand.

This cake was the first one I made with my awesome cake recipe and it was a big hit. There were fifteen people at my friend's party and so this cake was gone in a snap.

This cake was made for another one of my good friends. I didn't really have any idea for him and then this was suggested to me.

Transformers... Robots in disguise....

This one I printed out the design, traced it onto parchment paper and cut out the parchment paper with an exacto knife so that I could fill in all the holes with white icing. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and it turned out quite nicely.

And now... onto the cake recipe that I love. This is the Hershey's 'Perfectly Chocolate' Chocolate Cake recipe from their recipe.

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir well. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be very thin. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 35 min or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Homestar Runner Birthday Cake

My little brother loves the site. The rest of the family finds it a little obnoxious but he loves it. So for his birthday, instead of buying something for him this year I decided to bake him a cake and cover it in Homestar characters.

The Homestar Cake

The Homestarrunner Logo




The Cheat and Strongbad

The Cheat

Coach Z

Pom Pom

Homsar (he was made before I perfected my technique)

The characters were all done with buttercream transfers, an amazing method for cake decorating. Here is the basic idea:

  • If you're copying/tracing an existing image (as I did) print off the image flipped horizontally (mirror image) from how you would see it regularly.
  • Tape the image to a portable, flat surface. I used a granite slab that we use on our kitchen table to keep hot things off the wood. A pane of glass will also work or a sturdy cutting board.
  • Cover the image and work area in waxed paper.
  • Make some buttercream icing with your favourite recipe, separate and dye into the colour scheme you need for the image(s)
  • Using the smallest decorating tip you have start with the bottom layer of icing with all of the small details. The first layer you decorate will be the front layer when the image is on the cake. (I will use Stongbad as an example, for him I did the eyes and the 'V', mouth and the blue bit. Then I did the black mask.)
  • Continue with all of the layers until the image is done. (For Strongbad, the next layer I did was the body and pants, followed by the gloves, boots and face.)
  • Freeze the entire workspace surface, workslab and all, for about 30-45 minutes.
  • Cut out each image with an excess of wax paper around the edges and stick onto the cake.
  • Freeze the whole cake (with images and wax paper attached) for another 20 min or so
  • Take the cake out of the freezer and begin peeling the wax paper away from your images
  • If the images are sticking to the wax paper this is because the icing is softening, so just stick it back in the freezer for a while.
  • When all the wax paper is off, stand back and enjoy the amazing decorations you have created.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Toad in the Hole

This was my brother's special birthday breakfast request. He found it in the cookbook that I was given for my birthday decided the he had to have it. And so... onward with the weird British food!

3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tbsp oil
8 sausages (or more or less depending on the size)

Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Whisk in eggs and 1/2 cup of milk. Gradually whisk in the rest of the milk until smooth. Let stand for 30 min.

Preheat oven to 425. Pour oil into 9x13 pan, turning to coat all sides of the pan. (More oil may be needed, we used 3 tbsp) Add the sausages and turn to coat in the oil. Bake for 5-10 min ntil they are coloured and the fat is hot.

Reduce temperature to 400. Carefully pour the batter around the sausages. Continue baking for another 30 min or until the batter is golden and crisp. Serve hot.

Batter can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.

These were pretty tasty. Sausages in Yorkshire pudding basically. We've decided that these are going to be our new Christmas morning breakfast, replacing sausage rolls from a box which not everyone likes. They were a hit, my brother loved his birthday breakfast and everyone was happy. There were 6 of us and this made the perfect amount of breakfast food, not too stuffing and greasy but not too light that you're hungry in an hour.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cherry Ice Cream

My family has owned an ice cream maker since before I was born but I can't remember ever actually using it. So, when someone suggested that I make cherry ice cream as one of the uses for the 30 cups of cherries I had, I decided to go for it.

For this recipe an Ice Cream maker is required.

1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup cream
1 cup chopped cherries

Beat egg and sugar until thick and cream coloured. Add vanilla, cream and cherries. Mix well. Chill and then follow the instructions for the ice cream maker.

Mmmmm.... home made ice cream. This was very very tasty. It didn't make a lot but enough for 3-4 people to have dessert. And it was so good.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Toffee Bit Triangles

Originally posted on Facebook March 30, 2009

Well, Saturday afternoon was spent helping the some friends move and so as a housewarming treat I baked them some "Toffee Bit Triangles". I have to admit this recipe came from an ad in a magazine but it was quite tasty.

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
1 (200g) package of Toffee bits
2 cups chocolate chips*

Preheat oven to 350. Line rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in flour and 1 cup of toffee bits (set the rest aside for later). This dough will be very crumbly. Press the dough evenly onto the cookie sheet. Try to get it to stick together as much as possible.
Bake for 18-20 min until golden brown. Then remove and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let the chocolate chips sit and melt for 5 min or so and then spread the melted chocolate all over the base. Sprinkle the rest of the toffee bits all over the melted chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate has set. Then cut into triangles (or whatever shape you find easiest).

* For future reference, chocolate chips means semi-sweet chocolate chips unless otherwise specified

These were pretty tasty. There was some debate as to whether the edge pieces or middle pieces tasted better. The edge pieces had a crunchier base which I liked but other people liked the softer middle base.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cola Cake

The recipe for these came off of the Coca-Cola website. My family has been calling this my mystery dessert because I listed the ingredients that we needed from the store without saying what I was making. My family was confused as to what recipe would call for mini marshmallows, Coca-Cola and buttermilk.

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup margarine or butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Sift together sugar and flour. Mix in marshmallows. In a sauce pan mix together butter, cocoa, oil and Cola and bring to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients. Mix well. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and mix in with the other ingredients along with the eggs and vanilla. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. (I poured it into muffin cups and baked for 20 minutes)

For frosting take your regular recipe and use Coke instead of milk.

I didn't like these very much. I thought they were too moist, more on the gooey side of moist and I couldn't taste the Coke or cocoa at all. But that might be because I'm coming down with a cold. My family could taste the Coke though and they said the cupcakes were pretty good. I don't think I'll make them again anytime soon though.

Bing Cherry Pie

Bing Cherry Pie

2 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup lard
1/3 cup cold water
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and slat. Cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Stir into flour mixture. Chill and allow to rest for 15 minutes before rolling out. Makes enough for a double crusted pie.

Bing Cherry Filling
4 cups bing (or other sweet) cherries, pitted
2 tbsp orange juice (fresh squeezed)
2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
2 tbsp corn starch
1 - 1 1/2 cups sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 450. Place cherries in a large bowl. Mix orange and lemon juices with corn starch, then combine with sugar cinnamon and salt. Toss with cherries. Let rest for 15 minutes (I didn't do this) Add the almond extract, toss well. Prick the bottom pie crust. Spoon in filling. Dot all over with butter pieces. Put on the top and cut holes in it for air to escape. Bake for 10 minutes at 450, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 45-55 minutes.

Okay, well I messed this one up and forgot to reduce the heat. So it kind of boiled over and the crust was a bit crispier than expected. But it was still an amazing pie. I will make this again for sure. The pastry was very tasty (even when burnt) and the filling was amazingly cherry-y. Soooo good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Classic Brownies with a Twist

Originally posted on Facebook June 30, 2009

I still haven't used up all the ingredients I bought when I was baking for my Grandma's birthday. The nuts will probably be going bad soon, so I decided to use them. I made my classic brownie recipe but then I added a twist. I took them to work today and they went over very well.

1/2 cup margarine (or butter)
6 tbsp cocoa powder (when doubling the recipe this equals about 3/4 cup)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8x8 pan. Melt margarine and cocoa powder. Set aside. Beat eggs. Beat in vanilla and sugar. Add cocoa mixture. Mix well. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into pan. Bake for 25 minutes.

I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9x13 pan. For nuts I used walnuts and for a twist I threw in about half a package of white chocolate chips for an extra surprise. They turned out rather well.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Homemade Fish and Chips

My brother's been asking for these for at least 2 months. He loves fish and chips and ever since I saw a show on the cooking network about how to make them without a deep fat fryer he's been begging me to have some.

I will have to admit I did not expect these to turn out at all. And they didn't start off well. My first recipe for fish batter turned into more of a dough than a batter (I'm not posting that recipe). So I tried a second recipe. Anyway, so this meal is more of instructions than a recipe so here goes..
Cut as many (russet) potatoes as you like into slices. 'Parboil' them for 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Make the batter by whisking together 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt.
Using a deep fry (candy) thermometer heat a pot of oil to 360 F. Preheat oven to 250 F.
Drop in potatoes a few at a time for 4 minutes or so. Then place them in a bowl lined with paper towel to soak up the grease. When you have finished frying all of the potatoes put the bowl in the oven to keep warm.
Cut up about 500 gr of cod into pieces the size you want to eat.
One piece at a time dip the cod in batter and then lower into the oil. When it is browned on one side, turn over to brown the other side.
Place on a plate with paper towel until you have finished frying all of the fish pieces.
Serve fish with the chips and also vinegar and tarter sauce or whatever you like.

These were AMAZING. Very worth the time to prepare. So very tasty. Very greasy as well but very tasty. They turned out so well, I was surprised. But yes, I can't really describe how tasty they were... you'll just have to make them yourself. :-P

Welcome to my blog

Hi everyone out there in internet-land.

Welcome to my baking blog here at Engineering the Taste. I am a third year Electrical Engineering student who uses baking as my escape from school work. I love to bake and I love to give away what I've baked and make someone elses' day a little bit brighter. Because of this I also love to give away my recipes so that other people can pass on the baking to those they know.

I've been posting my recipes over on Facebook for the past few months but I thought that creating a blog would help me share my recipes with more people. So for the first few weeks I will be mixing recipes I've already posted over there with new ones I will be posting here.

So thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the food!

The Sweet Engineer