Posts tagged ‘recipes’

Homemade Oreos

Aah, oreos. I’ve been known to down a pack or two at a time, and the numbers just double if you add some milk to dunk them in. Still, when I saw the website for homemade oreos on Smitten Kitchen, I knew I must try it out, regardless of how much flab I still need to sweat off of me.

The entire process took me one and a half hour, which is way more time that it would’ve taken had I had access to an actual cookie baking sheet, a food processor and a decent oven. Still, I baked the cookies in batches of 12, with a total of 4 batches. Now while my (admittedly weak) math says that should have yielded 24 cookies, I only managed to make 21. Go figure..

The original recipe says you can reduce the sugar if you want the actual cookie to be slightly salty, but I didn’t (reduce sugar, what?!, blasphemy!) so the cookies are very sweet. Still, they taste yummy and I don’t think they’ll survive more than a few hours in this house.

For the cookies:

– 1.25 cups flour

– 1/2 cup cocoa

– 1 teaspoon baking soda

– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 1.5 cups sugar (you can reduce this to 1 cup too)

– 5 ounces butter

– 1 large egg

For Filling:

– 1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter

– 2 cups sifted powdered sugar (which I had) or confectioners’ sugar (which is what the recipe called for)

– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. (Anyone who’s read my whining before knows that I have NO idea what temperature my oven is on since the numbers are all faded and it doesn’t work properly)

Using a food processor (or your hand, like I did) mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add butter and egg until the dough comes together.

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Take teaspoonfuls of batter and place on baking sheet. I did this two different ways. The first time I placed it and then flattened the crap out of the cookies, making them too large and very thin and soft. The second time, I barely pressed them with my fingers, just to take the complete-roundness out of them, this worked better. Make sure you place them about 2 inches apart, otherwise they will expand, stick to each other and make you want to kill yourself. Bake for 9 minutes and then cool completely (completely!!) before handling. IMG_0224

For the filling, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla together till the mixture is light and fluffy.  Put into a pastry piping bag (or clean plastic bag, like I did) and cut the end off.

Place all the cooled cookies in a row, making sure you know which ones are the same size (so important!). Place as much frosting as you want (recipe says teaspoon-sized blobs, I put tablespoon sized blobs) on one cookie, place the other cookie on top and lightly press.

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Voila…homemade oreos. In two hours or less. You can keep them in an airtight container for three days or so, if they survive that long.

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August 12, 2009 at 8:52 am Leave a comment

Banana Muffins

Ever seen a shit-load of bananas. Not literally, but just so many bananas that you wonder how they are going to get finished. To make things worse, they aren’t the normal bananas you see. They’re smaller, slightly tougher…all round I-don’t-want-to-eat-this kinda bananas.

187952Well, I have. We got a whole tree worth (it seems like) of bananas recently and my mind immediately sprung into what-will-I-bake-them-into mode. After having made Banana Bread I was looking to go through my list of Banana Muffins recipes and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Banana Muffins (from AllRecipes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Instructions:
The key to making good muffins (I’ve learnt) is to refrain from over-mixing the ingredients. When you mix the wet and dry ingredients, mix just enough to get all the mixture wet, but don’t over-mix. Over-mixed batter = tough muffins

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare your muffin pan by spraying with oil/butter or using liners.

Mix the dry ingredient, i.e. flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt together.

In another bowl, mix the bananas, egg and butter.

Add the dry ingredients to this slowly. Scoop into your muffin pan, about 3/4 full. 

Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes for mini-muffins, 25-30 minutes for larger ones. You’ll know they’re done when the top set and spring back lightly once pressed.

We still have a good 3 dozen bananas left, so I’m probably going to try out some other Banana Muffin variations (with chocolate chips, peanut butter, and possibly some desserts too).

August 10, 2009 at 8:44 am Leave a comment

World Peace Cookies

For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a huge fan of Smitten Kitchen. I subscribe to the RSS feed, have gone through the archives, and have a hundred recipes (or nearabouts) bookmarked. Most recipes I’ve tried have turned out awesome, the biggest disaster to date (technical, not taste-wise) was the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake (which actually has a much longer and much more technical name in reality).

Anyhoo, Deb goes on and on about how this one recipe for double chocolate chip cookies is totally awesome and to die for. I’m thinking, “right, they’re just cookies with chocolate and chocolate chip, how awesome CAN they be.” Still, I had a good 7 ounces of chocolate chips to finish up (leftover from the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Bread) and since the only other way they were going to finish was by me eating them off every time I was bored, I decided to just go ahead and bake something that would use them up, then foist the baked goods onto friends.

World Peace Cookies

Smitten Kitchen

Italics = My comments

Makes about 36 cookies (I can’t vouch for this yet. My count is a bit off considering I ate 1/2 the dough uncooked)

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
11 tablespoons (150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (120 grams) (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (normal salt works just fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips (I used seven ounces since that’s what I had to use up)

Mix the flour/baking soda/cocoa together. Beat the butter till it’s creamy, then add both the sugars as well as the vanilla extract and salt. Beat for about 2 more minutes. I did this by hand, but the recipe calls for a mixer.

Next, start adding in the flour mixture. I did this about half a cup at a time. The first cup or so was easy to mix in, then it got more and more difficult and the dough got very crumbly and tough to work with. At this point, I put in the chips and mixed as well as I could. I’m sure this would work a lot easier if you had some form of a food processor, which I didn’t have, and sorely need.

Take the dough out onto a work surface and divide it into half (believe me, it’s easier to work with that way). Then take each half, and roll it into logs about 1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, or freeze. The recipe says 3 hours in the fridge or half hour in freezer, but I froze them overnight before I baked them cookies the next day.

To bake, take out the log (15 minutes before you bake them) and cut the logs into 0.5 inch thick slices. They will crumble, and I was sure my cookies would look ugly, but don’t worry about the crumbling. Just put the dough back together and bake on cookie sheet/wax paper/whatever you have. The oven needs to be at 325 degrees, but since I have a crappy oven, it’s set on the highest temperature possible and it worked just fine.

Bake each batch for 12 minutes. When you pull them out, they will soft to the touch, but leave them out till they cool down a bit and then put them into a container.

I did all the baking part just before I went out with Naila for the evening (since I wanted to pass the no-electricity hour somehow) but only made six (since I wanted to see how they turned out first). Safdar tested one (while still warm) and declared them a success, Naila/Vex/Andre all said they were really good. Andre put in some requests for cookies/brownies which I might or might not honor and Naila said I’m very sughar now 🙂

Now you may have noticed that no where did I mention having eaten the baked cookies. Besides a small bit that Naila practically forced on me, I avoided the temptation. But, (and this is embarrassing) I did eat half the cookie dough in one sitting while watching “The Uninvited”. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, half the frikkin dough! Clearly I shall be baking the rest tomorrow and foisting them off on any remaining friends that I encounter tomorrow.

July 20, 2009 at 8:55 pm Leave a comment

Chocolate Chip & Peanut Butter Bread

After the success of the Banana Bread, I got my first ever request to bake something, Chocolate Chip Bread. Weirdly enough, I – the banana lover – have a sister who doesn’t like them so much. Thankfully she likes chocolate or we would’ve had to disown her me thinks.

Now, there are no recipes out there that I could find that have just chocolate chips involved with the bread, but I found several variations (Banana/Choc Chip, Prune/Choc Chip, Zucchini?!?/Choc Chip). I finally found one recipe (with a footnote saying it wasn’t a real recipe) which had Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips in it, and despite the footnote decided to give it a whirl.

As of right now, the bread is baked and in the fridge, but no one has tried it yet since Api is sleeping and I guess she should do the honors. I’ll post an update on taste, but I already think that there might not be enough sugar in it…

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Bread

– 2 cups flour
– 1/2 cup sugar
– Dash salt

– 4 teaspoons baking powder (I know, it sounds like too much, but the bread rose just fine)

– 1.5 cups milk

– 1/2 cup peanut butter

– 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet and added a bit more than 1/2 a cup)

Just mix the wet and dry ingredient separately, then together till the mixture is wet (but don’t over mix). Put into bread pan and cook for about 50-60 minutes. My oven doesn’t really have proper heating, so I can’t say what temperature, but I’d say about 350 or so should do it.

July 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm 2 comments

Banana Bread

Once, when I was a kid…alright, not really a kid, but in A-levels and still very much in awe of people who could make things like bread and muffins, a friend’s mom made Banana Bread and I was like, this is the shit! Combining two of my favorite things, bananas and well, flour 🙂 seemed genius. I couldn’t wait to bake it myself.

Fast forward to some 7 years later and the day finally arrived. Two days ago, I made Banana Bread in just under half an hour (not counting baking time). Turned out pretty good, and I am mucho pleased with myself and looking to now bake some Chocolate Chip & Peanut Butter Bread tomorrow (on Api’s request). Now if only I could figure out a way to finish off all the stuff I bake without having to eat it myself…

Banana Bread
Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (I used just 4, that’s all I had, still turned out great)

Directions:

My patience being what it is, I didn’t really read the instructions and went ahead mixing everything in randomly, but not over mixing it as I might have done in the past. The bread turned out great (I don’t have a bread machine, but this wasn’t the kinda mixture you need to knead anyway).

I suppose you could make it the intended way, dry ingredients mixed separately, butter and sugar creamed in one bowl with eggs and mashed bananas added in and finally all the wet ingredients added to the dry, but it seems like a waste of effort to me. It needs to cook for about 60 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Next on my list of things to bake are the Chocolate Syrup Brownies (again, but with the Chocolate/Peanut Butter Ganache from the Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cake), Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Bread, and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (I think).

July 11, 2009 at 10:59 pm 2 comments

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I swear, I feel like I’m suffering from PTSD. I spent over seven hours in the kitchen today (it’s like 40 degrees nowadays, much hotter in the kitchen) and all I managed to make was a mess.

I now know exactly what I did wrong (hindsight = 20/20). Here is a laundry list:

– To start with, I didn’t have the right cake pan. The one I have has a hole in (I think it’s called a bunt? pan). Anyway, that’s where the trouble started. The layers kept getting stuck to the bottom and kinda fell apart when I was getting them out.

– Then I didn’t freeze the layers as recommended. I just let them cool in the fridge for a while

– I used the frosting at a cooled state, when it should have been room temperature

These reasons are why the cake looks like it does (like a bomb went off in it, and I tried to cover it with chocolate). There were some taste issues, mostly that it’s really heavy (really, really) and that there is too much sugar in the peanut butter frosting.

Will I try it again? Maybe, someday. Not with three layers, maybe just two. But not for another two odd months. I’m going back to brownies/cookies for a while.

June 25, 2009 at 6:09 pm 3 comments

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cake

I’ve been dreaming about baking this cake for a while, but never really had a reason to, till now. Since my mom asked me to bake this for an upcoming event at her work, I have to make sure it’s perfect, which means I get to make it twice (yay!!) to make sure it’s not a messed up katrina’s-best-brownie-type disaster. To that end, I went out today and got all the ingredients (down to driving waayy out of my way to get light corn syrup) as well as Pillsbury Chocolate Cake Mix (at my mom’s insistence) in case I fail to make the cake right.

Anyway, with Api arriving tomorrow, I won’t get a chance to put up the recipe later, here it is right now, along with pictures (as I told a friend, looking at pictures of this cake makes me want to eat my laptop!!) and the link to the original recipe from SmittenKitchen (of course!)

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake

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2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosting, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

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Yumminess!! Will post more after attempt #1 is complete tomorrow night.

June 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm 6 comments

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