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.

Rocky Road Freeze

I made this for some friends a few days ago. They were coming over for dinner one night so I planned on making my dessert the day before because I had to work the day of our 'dinner party'. Unfortunately though, I didn't realize that Cool Whip had to be thawed for 4-5 hours before you can use it and I bought it at 6 pm the night I was planning on making the dessert. So I ended up having to get up at 5:30 AM the morning of the party to make my dessert. But it was worth it! :D

Rocky Road Freeze

1 pkg cream cheese (250g)
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding (one that makes 4 servings)
2 cups Cool Whip
3/4 cup marshmallows
1/3 cup peanuts
1/4 cup chocolate chips
25 Nilla Wafers, chopped

Line circular cake pan with plastic wrap. Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until creamy. Slowly beat in milk. Add pudding mix, beat until blended. Stir in (by hand) Cool Whip, marshmallows, peanuts and chocolate chips. Pour into cake pan. Cover in Nilla wafers. Freeze for 4 hours or so. Thaw for 15 minutes before serving. Turn out onto plate (so that the wafers are on the bottom) and serve with more Cool Whip.

This was amazingly tasty. I think next time though I will make it with a graham cracker crumb or Oreo crumb crust rather than the wafers. I also threw in more peanuts and chocolate chips than the recipe recommended. SOOOO TASTY! It impressed everyone!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Easter Treats

These were originally posted on Facebook April 12, 2009. I did an insane amount of Easter baking/cooking this year so this will be a huge post. I ended up giving quite a bit of this stuff away.So for the last several days there have been strange tin foil covered cookie trays in the fridge at my house. There was a sign on them saying "No Peeking, if I find out you get NONE!" Today my family got to find out what was under the tin foil. Amazing amounts of Easter Treats! Because I'd made them all in small batches, I didn't realize how much I'd made until this morning when I finally was able to pull everything out and take a look.

So here goes....

Chocolate Covered Easter Eggs

My Grandma's Recipe

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 lb butter
3 lbs icing sugar (or more or less depending on the dough consistency that you want)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate Chips

Cream together butter, condensed milk, vanilla and salt. Slowly add in icing sugar. You may need to use your hands near the end. Knead until smooth. Divide into 2/3 and 1/3. Dye one part yellow and form into balls, these are the egg "yolks" Wrap the plain dough around the yellow dough and place on cookie sheet. Refrigerate 1-2 days or more. Then melt some chocolate in a double boiler and dip the "eggs" in the chocolate, roll them around with forks until they are well coated and then pull them out and put them on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is hard.

My grandma made these for us when we were little kids. My dad loves them, but they're really really sweet and so my Mom doesn't make them and my grandma doesn't make them anymore either. Anyway, I decided to make them for my Dad as a surprise this Easter so I called my grandma and got the recipe. I also promised my uncle I'd freeze some for him when he comes for birthdays in a few weeks. Anyway, I did cut the recipe in half though but it still made a couple dozen and because they're not my mom's favorite I tried another recipe as well.

Allrecipes Chocolate Covered Easter Eggs

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese
2 1/2 lbs icing sugar (Again, more or less depending on the consistency of the dough, I don't actually know how much I used I just kept dumping in sugar until it felt right)
Add ins (Optional):
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup coconut (RJ hates coconut, so I didn't use this one)
Sliced Almonds
Almond Extract
Chocolate Chips

Mix together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Slowly add in icing sugar until it is the right consistency. You will probably need to use you hands near the end. Split into parts for add ins. Leave one part plain. Add peanut butter to another. Add cocoa to another. Add almonds and almond extract to the other part. Roll dough into egg shapes and put on cookie sheet. Refrigerate for a few hours until hard. Melt some chocolate in a double boiler then dip in the eggs, make sure they are well coated and then pull them out. Refrigerate until the chocolate is hard.

I haven't had a chance to try these yet but apparently the peanut butter ones taste exactly like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and my brother's friend says the cocoa ones are amazing. These aren't nearly as sweet as my grandma's ones.

I also made some fudge for my mum.

Triple Chocolate Fudge

This recipe I created by modifying/combining a bunch of Allrecipes fudge recipes.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Line a 8x8 pan with tin foil/parchment paper/wax paper. Heat 1/3 of the sweetened condensed milk with the semisweet chocolate chips until smooth. Remove from heat, stir in half the vanilla and spread into pan. Heat another 1/3 of the milk with the milk chocolate chips. Remove from heat, stir in the rest of the vanilla and spread on top of the dark layer. Heat the rest of the milk and white chocolate chips. Spread over top of the milk layer. Refrigerate until hard.

Allrecipes Foolproof Chocolate Fudge

3 cups chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup nuts (optional)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt together sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips until smooth. Remove from heat and add in vanilla and nuts. Spread into lined 8x8 pan. Refrigerate until hardened.

This recipe I halved because I had to use up the other half can of sweetened condensed milk from halving my grandma's recipe. It turned out nicely.

Anyway, so long story short we have about 6 dozen chocolate covered sugar eggs and two pans of fudge in our house. But it's all tasty.

And I made truffles a few days earlier. But I can't find the photos to go with.

Chocolate Truffles

3 cups chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Your choice of: Chopped Walnuts, almonds, sprinkles, coconut, whatever you can think of for toppings.

Melt together chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk on low heat until well combined. Put into a bowl and if you want to make some almond flavoured ones, separate dough into a separate bowl. Add vanilla to one bowl and almond extract to the other. Cover and chill in fridge for an hour or so. Then form into balls and roll in your choice of toppings

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Raspberry Jam Bars

This is one of my favourite recipes that I've made so far. Originally posted on Facebook April 21, 2009

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Bars

1 cup flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup butter (margarine)

1/3 cup raspberry jam
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 package cream cheese
2 tbsp milk (or light cream)

1 cup chocolate chips
3 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 9x9 baking pan with Pam (I don't own a 9x9 so I used an 8x8) Combine flour and icing sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Press into pan. Bake for 15-18 min. Spread jam over warm crust. Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions (My package said microwave for 2 minutes but that burnt some of then so I think next time I would microwave them for 1 min, stir and then microwave for another 30s or so) Beat cream cheese and milk. Add in melted chocolate, beating until smooth. Spread mixture over jam. Chill for about an hour. Melt together chocolate chips and butter. Spread over filling. Chill until set. Allow to thaw a little before cutting.

These were pretty tasty. My brothers didn't really like them though. I took them to YA and they were a hit there.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Butter Tart and Magic Chocolate Toffee Bars

Originally posted April 30, 2009

I got this recipe for butter tart bars from a family friend. It's modified a little from her recipe so that it fits in a 9x13 pan.

Butter Tart Bars

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 cup flour

3 eggs
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 + 1/8 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan. Mix together crust ingredients and press into pan. Bake for 20-25 min. Mix together eggs and brown sugar. Beat in the rest of the ingredients in order. Pour into crust and bake for another 30 min or so. It should be lightly brown and puffy all over. Cool and cut into squares.

These are tasty, although I think I still prefer butter tarts the original way. I used less raisins and more walnuts than the original recipe called for because I'm not a big fan of raisins. Also, you may have to fiddle with the cooking times a bit.

These are Magic Chocolate Toffee bars I made some modifications to the recipe so I'll post the original and then my changes at the bottom.

Magic Chocolate Toffee Bars

1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup Toffee bits
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter (or margarine)
1 can sweetened condensed milk

My Modifications
Replace the coconut and almonds with about 1 cup of pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 pan with PAM. Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press firmly into pan. Bake for 12 min. While waiting, mix together all other ingredients (except for sweetened condensed milk) When the crust is done pour the condensed milk over the crust. Sprinkle with chocolate chip toffee nut mixture. Press down firmly. Bake for another 25-30 min. Cool and cut into bars.

These were so tasty my dad banned me from ever making them again.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cajun Potato Wedges and Butter Tarts

Originally posted on Facebook May 11, 2009

Cajun Potato Wedges

4 potatoes, unpeeled
3 red onions, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
12 cloves of garlic
4 bay leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the potatoes into thick wedges. Parcook in salted boiling water for 3 min. Combine the potatoes, onions, lemon, garlic and bay leaves in a large roasting pan. In another bowl whisk together oil, lemon juice, tomato paste, paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne and cumin. Pour over potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 min, turning frequently until potatoes are tender and have absorbed the liquid. Serve hot.

Okay, so not baking but I made them for my mom for Mother's Day. Everyone else liked them but I'm not big on spicy.

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.

I may have posted this during the Christmas bake-a-thon but its worth posting again. And its one of my Mom's favourites.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

Yesterday I made two different types of blueberry muffins, one from my muffin cookbook that my grandma gave me and another that was an adaptation of my mother's blueberry lemon cake.

Blueberry Muffins from the 'Mad about Muffins' cookbook

1/2 cup margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare 18 muffin cups. Cream together margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix in the flour and milk gradually, alternating between the two. Stir in the blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Lemon Blueberry Cake - in cupcake form

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp lemon rind (about how much comes off one lemon)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups blueberries

2 tbsp lemon juice (about how much comes from juicing one lemon)
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 24 muffin cups. Beat butter until creamy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir into the liquids alternately with milk. Stir in lemon rind and vanilla. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or so. While they are baking stir together lemon juice and sugar and let stand while the cupcakes bake. Spoon over warm cupcakes when they come out of the oven.

I took the cupcakes to work today and they went over quite well. Of course it took everyone most of the day to figure out who brought them. Apparently one of the guys tried to take credit for baking them, until his girlfriend pointed out that he probably doesn't even know how to turn on an oven. :P Finally someone figured it out at about two in the afternoon. So I heard people telling me how awesome they were both before and after they knew I'd made them. :D

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Red" Velvet Cupcakes and Homemade Pizza

I'd never heard of Red Velvet Cupcakes until I started baking and reading baking blogs and websites and stuff. Apparently they are a big deal in the American South. They sounded interesting, basically chocolate cupcakes dyed bright red. So I thought I'd give them a try. I found one of Allrecipes' top rated recipes to try.

4 tbsp cocoa
2 ounces of red food colouring (I have no idea how much this is, so I just dumped in everything I had)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin cups. Make a paste of the food colouring and cocoa. Combine buttermilk, salt and vanilla. Set aside. In another bowl mix together oil and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in cocoa mixture. Beat in the buttermilk mixture alternately with flour until just incorporated. Then mix together the baking soda and vinegar and gently fold into the batter. Spoon into muffin cups and bake 20 min or so.

Okay, well I should have known this recipe was going to turn out weird when I read that one of the steps involved recreating everyone's favourite first grade science experiment. I also didn't have near enough food colouring to use so they turned out as kind of brown-y, pink-y velvet cupcakes. But they were pretty tasty! Although one of my friends told me I was not allowed to call them Red Velvet Cupcakes, so we just started calling them The Special Surprise Cupcakes.

Then some friends and I made pizza for dinner.

Homemade Pizza

1 cup warm water
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine in listed order. Set to 'Dough' Press start... wait 2 hours, you have pizza dough. Roll out onto greased pizza pan. Top with pizza sauce and your favourite toppings. Very tasty.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Cherry Sauce

Yesterday for breakfast my family made buttermilk pancakes with cherry sauce. Don't they look delicious, all that's missing is the whipped cream.

Buttermilk Pancakes

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

3 eggs
3 cups buttermilk
3 tbps oil or melted butter

Preheat pancake grill. Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, whisk until well combined. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto pancake grill, cook one side until it begins to bubble then flip it over and cook until the other side is golden. Serve with syrup of cherry sauce.

Cherry Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp corn starch
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp grated orange zest

In a saucepan combine sugar, corn starch and cinnamon. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil until thickened.

This was pretty good but the orange flavour overpowered the cherry. I think next time I make it I will omit the orange zest and cut down on the orange juice. It is pretty good though.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Toffee Bars and Sugar Cookies

I made these last week but I hadn't had a chance to download the pictures onto my computer yet. I had three bags of toffee bits in my baking cupboard so I figured I had to use them for something. So, I went to the manufacturers website for ideas and found this...

Rich Chocolate Cup Toffee Bars

2 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup margarine
1 egg
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (I used pecans)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 package toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. Combine flour and sugar. Cut in margarine. Add egg, mix well. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and all the nuts. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of this mixture. Press the rest of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the hot crust. Then sprinkle 1 cup of toffee bits over the sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle the rest of the crust mixture and the rest of the chocolate chips over top. Bake for 25 - 30 min. When it comes out of the oven sprinkle the rest of the toffee bits over top. Cool completely before cutting.

Basically I've decided that when you combine chocolate, toffee and sweetened condensed milk you can't go wrong.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter (accept no substitutes)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, beat until light and fluffy. Combing flour, soda and cream of tartar. Gradually beat into butter mixture. Chill, roll out and cut into shapes. Bake 10-12 minutes (depending on thickness of cookies).

My dad and I usually make these for Valentines cookies. My friend and I made these last week to go along with a major baking project that was stopped short by a storm and power outage. No I'm not going to tell you what the project was I may try it again sometime. Anyway, these cookies are great, its an easy recipe to double or triple or whatever. I frosted them with the icing left over from the Pink lemonade cupcakes I made a while ago and it turns out great! Just as a note: Icing freezes really well and then you always have some in a pinch. :)