Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pinwheel Cookies

I've made these twice now and I'd have to say they are really not my favourite to make. There's a lot of rolling out and chilling and rolling out again. It takes a long time, too long in my opinion.

The recipe calls for them to be made into corners which is how I made them the first time. The second time, however they were for a fundraiser at my dad's work and so I dyed them the colours of the fundraising organization.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 egg

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup Irish cream flavoured coffee whitener (I didn't add this)
1 tbsp cocoa

Beat butter and icing sugar. Stir in egg. Then add in 1 cup of flour and the salt. Mix well. Mix in the second cup of flour until is is completely incorporated, then add the final cup of flour. Mix in the rest of the flour well.

Divide dough into two or more sections. (I'm going to just use 2 for an example but extras are easy to add in) If desired, mix coffee whitener and/or cocoa into one portion. Mix until evenly coloured. Shape each portion into a log, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours or so. Roll out between two sheets of wax paper until it is about a 4x24 inch rectangle. Do this for each portion of dough. Then stack the sheets of dough on top of each other. Roll the stack of dough-sheets together. Roll the dough from the short end (if you're making corners, if making circles, roll from the long end) like a jelly roll. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill for 6 more hours or overnight. Cut roll into 1/4 inch slices. Then, if you like, cut each slice into quarters. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

If you wish you can make a chocolate coating to dip the quarters in.

Melt 1 cup milk chocolate chips in the microwave (or however you prefer). Toast some almonds and/or coconut. Dip the rounded edge of the cookies in the chocolate and then in the nut mixture.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Toy Story Cupcakes!

So, I saved the best for last this week. I made these cupcakes for a friend who was having a birthday over the weekend, you may remember the cakes I made for her last year. This summer I posted on Facebook asking for suggestions for what to make for my brother's cake and this particular friend suggested Toy Story characters. Those weren't exactly what I was thinking of for my brother but I made a note of her suggestion for when her birthday rolled around.

I'm still working on perfecting the art of buttercream transfers, so there are some issues with the eyes and also with the alien's ears and half of Woody's hat being missing, but overall I'm really happy with how these turned out. And I had so much fun making them on Sunday, it was great! Plus the look on my friend's face when she saw them was priceless. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Long, Long Time Ago, in a Kitchen, Far Far Away...

So the second item I bought at the Williams Sonoma was a set of pancake molds. And not just any pancake molds, they were Star Wars Pancake molds! They are so much fun to make, even if it is a little time consuming.

Start with a Pancake recipe - this is my family's favourite:

3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
3 cups milk
4 tbsp oil

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In another bowl (preferably one with a spout) beat together eggs, milk and oil. Add dry ingredients to liquid and whisk until almost smooth.
Pour onto grill 1/4 cup a a time. Cook until bubbles break through on the top side, flip and cook until the other side is brown.

Then, instead of using the regular grilling instructions, take your pancake molds and grease them. Then put them on your pancake grill and pour in enough batter so that it will spread to fill the mold (you may need to thin out the batter a bit with a tablespoon or so of extra milk) and use a knife to make sure batter gets into all the corners.

Then wait until the bubbles come through to the side you can see, remove the mold and flip the pancakes over. Wait until they brown, then serve them hot or put them in the oven (on warm) to keep them warm until everyone is ready to eat!

And enjoy biting off Yoda's ears!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Message in A Cookie Cutters

So I haven't posted in over a month, mostly because the day after my last post, I came down with pneumonia. Pretty much I was unable to get out of bed for a week and a half and then the entire month since then has been spent recovering and trying to relax, right in the middle of back to school. So I haven't had a chance to bake anything, until this weekend! I've made 3 new creations in the past week and I can't wait to post them all.

I'm going to start with the cookies I made on Thursday for my co-workers.

So, a few weeks ago (while I was still sick and should have been resting instead of going on a marathon shopping trip) I managed to take a day trip down to the States where I got to visit one of my favourite stores of all time - Williams Sonoma. It is where I got my Star Wars Cookie Cutters and my Apple and Star Pie Molds. On this trip I bought four items, each of which will have its own blog post soon.

The first are my Message In a Cookie Cutters...

What are Message in a Cookie Cutters you ask...

Well, you start with some letters for a message...

And a cookie cutter...

Then you put them together...

With some sugar cookie dough...

And start stamping away!

And Voila! Personalized cookie cutters for any occasion! I made these ones to thank my co-workers for the wonderful Get Well Card and Gift that they sent me while I was sick!
These cookie cutters are really great, the set also came with Star and Heart shapes, as well as a few pre-formed words and also 3 of every letter, plus a few extras! These cookie cutters are so customizable and sugar cookies are so fun to decorate. And of course you could use gingerbread, or shortbread or any similar cookie of course!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Have a slice of Watermelon - Cake!

I found this idea from a Livejournal community a year ago. I have a friend who loves watermelons, kind of like how my other friend loves cephalopods, and I knew as soon as I saw this cake that I had to make it for her. More than a year later, I finally got the chance to!

The inside looks like a watermelon as well! (Even though the chocolate chips sank to the bottom of each cake)
And it even tastes like watermelon!
The original recipe called for Watermelon Kool-Aid but considering I couldn't find any, so I threw together a different recipe from a modification of my Great-Granny's Lemon Cake recipe.

1 box yellow cake mix (I use the dry ingredients from this recipe instead)
1 pkg Watermelon Jell-O
1 cup water
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
2 drops red food colouring
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour cake pans. Mix cake mix with Watermelon Jell-O. Mix well. Add water, eggs and oil and beat with electric mixer for several minutes. Stir in food colouring and mix a little more. Carefully, but quickly, stir in chocolate chips, then immediately pour into cake batter pans. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on the top and then pop in the oven (again, quickly, you're trying to make the chocolate chips not sink to the bottom) Bake 30-40 minutes.

Ice with Pink and Green icing and top with more Chocolate Chips to make it look like a watermelon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Super Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

Exactly as the title says, super simple, no flour, peanut butter cookies. And yes, they do turn out just fine.

1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together. Drop spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake 6-10 minutes depending on how done you want them.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cherry Nut Muffins

I made these last week for my early morning prayer group. Just the thing to get you awake in the mornings, Cherry Nut Muffins!

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tbsp butter, softened
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cherries (The original recipe calls for canned sweet cherries, but I used some that I froze last year, or you could use fresh ones, also I used close to 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups nuts (I used pecans, you could also use walnuts or something else if you liked)

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 24 muffin cups. Mix together eggs and sugar. Add in butter. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture slowly, alternating with milk until all the ingredients are well combined. Stir in cherries and nuts. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How NOT to make Cherry Tarts

Step 1: Make your favourite cherry pie filling using this recipe.

Step 2: Make your favourite pie crust dough using this recipe.

Step 3: Attempt to make star shaped cherry pies:
Step 4: Fail miserably

Step 5: Attempt to make apple shaped cherry pies:
Step 6: Fail miserably.

Step 7: Give up, decide to make Cherry Tarts the way your Grandmother used to make them...

With a coffee mug...
And a simple cookie cutter...
And a muffin tray...

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes and then at 350 for another 10 minutes or until pastry is brown-ish...

And now you have some tasty cherry tarts!
Step 8: Eat your tasty new creations and forget all about the fact that the day started with a much different pie-related project!

Almond Sandwich Cookies

I made these with a friend a few weeks ago. They were pretty tasty...

Almond Sandwich Cookies

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup slivered almonds

Vanilla Cream
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Line cookie sheet with tin foil and then lightly grease (or spray with PAM) the tin foil. Mix together oats, sugar, flour, cardamom, baking powder and salt. In another bowl stir together egg, butter and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture until well combined. Mix in the almonds. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets (mixture will be very runny so leave lots of room). Bake 10-12 minutes. While cookies are baking make the cream. Beat the butter with 1 cup icing sugar. Mix in vanilla and then the last 1/2 cup icing sugar. Mixture wil be very thick, I think I added a bit more vanilla to make it a little less thick. When cookies come out of the oven wait for them to cool completely and then peel them from the foil. Place cream filling between two cookies, squish together and enjoy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We all live in a...

So last year for my brother's birthday you may remember that I made him a Homestarrunner Cake.

And this year I figured I had to some how top that. Now, my brother is probably the biggest Beatles fan this side of the 1960s and so I figured I could do something involving that...

I found a promo image for the Yellow Submarine movie and decided to recreate that.
Right down to Ringo's massive nose!

I also had some leftover cake which I used to make a replica of their album 'The Beatles' - more commonly known as 'The White Album'. It was a little difficult though, due to trying to put perfectly white icing on a chocolate cake.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Personal Sized Apple Pies

So today, I made some Apple Pies. And not just any apple pies, personal sized mini-apple pies. And if you'd like I can show you how to make them too...

First, you need one of these...
I got it from Williams-Sonoma (the same place where got the Star Wars Cookie cutters)

Then you make your filling and pastry crust. I used this recipe for the pastry and this recipe for the filling. Although I had to make the pastry recipe twice to use up all the filling. In the future I'd probably half the filling recipe.

Then you roll out the filling and cut out one half of the apple shape

and then the other.
Then you put the piece of pastry with no hole in it in the bottom of the machine. Then fill add some filling, top with the other piece of pastry and squish!

Open it up and, Voila!
A nice apple, shaped personal size apple pie. :)
Sometimes they fail...

But most of the time they work just fine!

Then you bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes.

And then you have a tasty little apple pie!

Or a dozen of them.

You can also top the pastry with an egg wash and some sugar and that makes them extra tasty!

And if you'd like you can make other types of pies, just to trick people. Because cherry pies that are shaped like apples are always fun! :D

I think I need much more practice, and possible a recipe that stands up to rolling out and being worked with well. But I really like my pocket apple pie maker. And what you could do would be to freeze the unbaked pies and then whenever you want a snack you can pull one out and have your own pie in the same amount of time it takes to cook a mini-pizza!

Monday, June 21, 2010

May the Cookies Be With You

I promised epic and now I will deliver on that promise...

Yes, that's right, a table full of Yoda, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Stormtrooper Heads!

Here's a more detailed view...
Bakerella posted these a few weeks ago and I just HAD to have them!
They come from a fancy kitchen store in the States called Williams-Sonoma and they're Limited Edition for the 30th Anniversary of the launch of Empire Strikes Back. The store has a branch in Vancouver and so I got my Grandmother to pick me up a set when she was there.
Cutting out some Yoda heads

A Tray full of Stormtroopers
Then we glaze them...And they're tasty and ready for eating!

Of course you probably want the recipe and instructions. These cookies are pretty great and simple to make, although its a little time consuming.

2 cups butter (it must be butter), softened (Naturally softened makes the dough easier to work with)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 cups flour
4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp baking soda

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and then add slowly to the creamed mixture. Chill in the fridge for an hour or so. Grease cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 350. For the general cookies you just roll them out and cut them the way you like with whatever cookie cutters you have (my dad and I always make these for Valentines Day and top them with pink icing and cinnamon hearts) Bake 10-12 minutes.

For the Star Wars Cookies:
Divide chilled dough into four parts. Leave one part plain. To each of the other parts add the colouring for the character you like and knead it in like dough. It is best to use gel colouring because it doesn't thin out the dough, I used Wiltons Teal for Boba Fett, Kelly Green for Yoda and Black for Vader. Chill the dough again after you have added the colouring. Roll out, cut into shapes and bake 7-9 minutes depending on which cookie cutter you are using and the thickness of the dough. I then glazed them with the same glaze from this post.