Archive for July, 2013

Chocolate Cake (or Cupcakes)

I am not sure where I originally found this recipe.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3. Combine cocoa powder, water and milk in a saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat, add oil and let mixture cool until lukewarm.
4. Stir in egg and vanilla to the cooled cocoa powder mixture. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, beating until smooth.
5. Pour into pans (original recipe said it would make 2 8-inch round cake pans. We made 2 dozen regular sized cupcakes and 2 cupcakes in a specialty teddy bear mold). Bake 25-30 (our cupcakes needed about 20 min).

Chocolate Cake

Verdict: These were pretty bland tasting, unfortunately. Considering the amount of sugar in the recipe, I was surprised that they weren’t particularly sweet tasting. Neither did they have a rich chocolate taste. The best part of the cupcakes was the blue icing we used as frosting.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omitted because we use salted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 2/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking sheets.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt (if using) and cinnamon. Add to wet ingredients. Stir in oats, raisins and walnuts.

4. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets (we made about 20 large cookies). Bake 10-12 min.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Verdict: These were very tasty cookies. They had a nice mix of crunchy on the edges, but with a moist centre. I would probably have added more cinnamon, as I thought the taste got lost with the raisins and walnuts.

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Bacon and Potato Breakfast Pizza

This is a Pillsbury recipe.

  • 1 can of Crescent Dinner rolls
  • 1 9 ounce box of Frozen Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs (we don’t have this where I live, but we found a similar product: microwavable Garlic and Parsley potatoes, though they weren’t frozen
  • 4 eggs (because we made ours in a traditional pizza shape, instead of the square as recommended with raised edges, 4 eggs was probably too much. There was too much liquid on top of the pizza)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (we didn’t use because the potatoes we had already had parsley)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 13×9 inch cooking pan (or pizza sheet). Unroll the dough and press into prepared pan, pressing perforations to seal. Bake for 5 min.
2. Prepare the potatoes as directed on the package. Cut any large potatoes into smaller pieces.
3. In a bowl, beat eggs. Stir in milk, bacon, 1 cup of the cheese and potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Spoon potato mixture onto crust. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and parsley (if using).
5. Bake 20-25 more minutes, until edges are golden and egg has set (ours needed 30).

Bacon Egg Potato Pizza

Verdict: This really did taste like breakfast in a pizza form. You have the bread (crescent rolls), eggs, bacon and home fries. I didn’t think the tastes would work together, but I guess it make sense that they do.

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Caramel Brownies

I found this recipe online.

  • 14 ounces of individually wrapped caramel squares (that’s about 54 squares)
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13×9 inch cake pan.

2. In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix, remaining evaporated milk and butter, until a dough forms (this was definitely a lot thicker than most brownie recipes I’ve tried. I don’t think using an electric beater would be a good idea). Spread half the batter into the prepared pan (as it is so thick, it was pretty easy to spread with a spatula). Bake for 10 min.

4. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over base. Pour caramel mixture over and spread evenly. Drop by spoonful the remaining batter on top of the caramel sauce (don’t worry about covering everything, the batter spreads in the oven).

5. Bake for 15 to 18 min. Place in refrigerator so that the caramel sets before cutting into bars (must also be stored in the refrigerator if the weather is very hot outside, or else the bars will melt).

Caramel Brownie

Verdict: These were very good and very easy to make. I like my brownies to be on the gooey side. While the actual brownie part was crispy, the caramel sauce in the middle made up for it. I also like the crunch of the chocolate chips in the middle. The hardest parts of the recipe were unwrapping the 54 caramels and waiting for it to finish setting in the refrigerator so we could have a piece. I also loved how it looked when it just came out of the oven, with the caramel sauce bubbling under the top layer that the spooned batter formed; it was like an edible lava.

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Light Brioche Burger Buns

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups bread flour (we just used all purpose flour for a total of 3 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we used salted butter)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • Sesame seeds (optional, but we used)

1. Combine 1 cup warm water with milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand 5 min or until foamy.

2. Beat 1 egg and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt (if using). Cut in butter until crumbly. Add yeast and egg mixture and stir until dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes until elastic. Dough may be sticky, but try to minimize the flour used in the kneading process as these will make the buns tougher.

4. Shape dough into a ball and return to mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1 – 2 hours (ours doubled in 1 hour).

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut dough into 8 equal parts and roll each into a ball. Place on baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise 1-2 hours (ours only needed 1 hour).

6. Preheat oven to 400F. Set a large oven dish with water on the lower rack of the oven.

7. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water (we didn’t) and brush on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake 15 min until golden brown.

Brioche Buns

Verdict: These were very good with homemade burgers. I am always a tough critic with homemade bread, because I have become too used to store-bought bread. To me, these were not as sweet as I would have liked. My sister loved them and has added this recipe to her ‘keep’ list.

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Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

I found this recipe on the Better Homes and Garden site.

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup blueberries

1. Prepare muffin cups (the recipe said it would make 12 regular sized muffins or 36 mini muffins; we made 6 large muffins).

2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the centre.

3. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, brown sugar, oil and vanilla. Add all of the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffins cups.

4. Bake at 400F for 16 to 18 min, if regular sized (our larger muffins needed only 18 min to cook completely).

Oat Blueberry Muffins

Verdict: While they were not my favourite recipe, I liked the taste of these muffins. I will need to try some other oatmeal-blueberry muffin recipes to find a really amazing recipe, because the flavour combination was once I liked. I think the batter was just missing something.

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No Fail Bacon & Cheese Soufflés

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup combination of mozzarella and cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons bacon, crumbled
  • 4 eggs, separated

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir for 1 min. Gradually add milk, stirring until well blended. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in mustard and bacon. Stir in egg yolks, 1 at a time.

3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into cheese-egg mixture. Pour into 12 lightly greased muffins cups (we made 6 large ones).

4. Bake 25 min until puffed and set (ours deflated as soon as they came out of the oven).

Bacon Cheese Souffle

Verdict: Even though I probably used more cheese than the original recipe, these had no taste at all. They were pretty disappointing.

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