Archive | Baking Adventures RSS feed for this section

S’more Pie

5 Jan

Let’s be real here.  You’re not interested in New Years Resolutions, counting calories, losing weight, self-control, all that nonsense  – that was so 4 days ago.  You’re interested in warm, gooey comfort foods that make your mind and belly happy.  Which, of course, makes 2 of us.  So let’s get on with it! (PS – Yes, I already published a lengthier version of this post (with pics) – I’ve got sugar brain.  Just take it as a hint to make it already if you haven’t yet!)

S’more Pie

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients

For crust
5 tablespoons salted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (10 graham crackers or 24 small gingersnaps; about 6 oz, pulsed in a food processor until finely ground)
2 tablespoons sugar

For chocolate cream filling
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not more than 70% cacao; not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, at room temperature for 30 minutes

For marshmallow topping
1 bag marshmallows  – I used the big puffy ones but I’m sure the little guys would do :)

*Got a wicked sweet tooth?  Go crazy and incorporate a light and fluffy peanut butter frosting.  NOM.

Directions

Make graham cracker crust: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter pie 9- to 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.  PS) Feel free to use a premade crust – I won’t tell:)

Make chocolate cream filling: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put chocolate in a large bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in egg until combined and pour into graham cracker crumb crust (crust will be about half full).

Cover edge of pie with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is softly set and trembles slightly in center when gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool pie to room temperature on a rack (filling will firm as it cools), about 1 hour.

Optional Step: Love peanut butter?  Add a layer of peanut butter frosting.

Top with marshmallows.

Brown topping: Preheat broiler. Transfer pie to a baking sheet protect crust with foil/pie shield. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, until marshmallows are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Cool pie on a rack 10 minutes. Slice pie with a large heavy knife dipped in hot water and then dried with a towel before cutting each slice.

Please note, this is a messy one, messily delightful – not the prettiest but worth every sticky bite.

Note: Pie (before browning topping) can be chilled up to 1 day.

Advertisements

Fall Fest – Recipe #2 – Stupid Easy Donuts

27 Oct

I always thought that making donuts at home would be an messy, time-consuming, disappointing endeavor.  

Turns out, my waist-size was in a much better place because of this false belief.

This past weekend (henceforth known as Fall Fest weekend) I made donuts at home using a recipe I’d stumbled onto on good ol’ Pinterest.  My personal donut belief system came crumbling down around me in a pile of hot fluffy frycakes.

As far as that recipe…

Guess how many ingredients?  3.  

Guess how many steps? 3.

Guess how delicious?  CRAZY.   Continue reading

Planetary Cupcakes

19 Oct



Who says science can’t be delicious?  Not moi!

Sometimes us teachers have to be creative.  You know, how can we call goodies in the classroom educational.  Er, I mean, how can we make learning fun…

So anyways… I made these a couple of years ago (back in my earlier cupcake days) for a bunch of adorable 2nd graders who had stolen my heart and were studying the solar system at the time.



There’s not necessarily a recipe that goes with this post… I used my favorite cupcake recipe, and then tweaked the sizes the best I could to parallel planet sizes.  (Obviously, these aren’t even CLOSE to ‘to scale,’ but I focused more on relative size [you know, Jupiter being the big oaf of a cupcake and Mercury the bitty baby]).  I made a double batch, partly to feed all the hungry mouths, and partly so I would have enough cupcakes to make a whompin’ sun.


I also know Pluto is no longer a ‘planet.’  ‘Cept I had a cutie-pie little guy in my class who was outspoken on his love for Pluto.  A little guy who didn’t say much else.  It was almost like he related with that little guy on the outside of the planet clique.  So in his honor, I make a tiny bitty cupcake with a tiny bitty candy representing ‘Pluto’ on it.  And that particular little kiddo just about exploded with joy when he saw that ‘Pluto’ cupcake, in turn melting my old, mushy heart.

Back to the topic at hand.  You’ll also need copious amounts of food coloring.  Yeah, yeah, I know – dyes and badness.  Pish, posh, all is forgiven in the name of learning silly kittens!

Plus, this way licking knives results in awesome (makeupless) pics with a sexy blonde;)


Go get your learning cupcakes on!

Nutella Cookies – Soft, chewy and easy peasy!

16 Oct

If you don’t follow me on Pinterest (what your deal be?) then perhaps you haven’t noticed my obsession with Nutella.  Nothing new really, just now publicly visible.

Nutella on toast, nutella on crackers, nutella in pies, nutella snack-packs, apples dipped in nutella, it’s all just so dreamy.

I even made my own Nutella a few weeks ago (but that’s a story for another post kids).

My latest Nutella victory came in the form of one of the simplest cookies I have EVER made…  You best be making these ASAP:

4 Ingredient Nutella Cookies

Recipe adapted from A Busy Nest

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Nutella
  • 1 cup sugar (plus about 1 c. for rolling)
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend all ingedients together well.
  3. Form into 1-inch balls.  Roll balls in sugar (I did some in regular white and some in fun fall colored sugar)
  4. Place on cookie sheet. Criss cross with a fork pressing down gently.
  5. Bake 7-8 minutes or until set. Cool (or devour right out of the oven if you’re antsy in your pantsies).
You’ll be totally astounded at how freakin’ delicious these are and how well they keep their light, soft and yet chewy texture.  They’re not the type of cookie that hardens up when they cool.  In fact, you’ll probably be left thinking…
where have you been my whole life?
PS) Special thanks to Miss Oyin for the lovely autumn sugar via super-cheer-inducing care package:)

Fresh Strawberry Cuppycakes with Strawberry Buttercream

10 Jul

It’s entirely possible that I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a year.  Uhg, shame on me. It’s just that I’ve spent the past year contemplating the best way to share this heavenly recipe.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not here to brag on myself… but for someone whose pretty dedicated to sticking to recipes *perzactly* (just ask my friends – I get SO much grief for my obsessive compulsive baking tendencies – as seen here: Box of Valentine’s Chocolate Cupcakes ala Hello Cupcake!) this is just ca-razy for moi.

And this recipe, it’s different, quite special actually.  I totally jumped outside the box and pretty much made what sounded good to me at the time, with the ingredients I had on hand.  Radical eh?

Granted, I’d spent hours beforehand searching for a perfect strawberry cupcake recipe with complimentary frosting (sounded reasonable to me?) but *no such luck.*  There was nothing that sounded good and used normal ingredients.  And to waste all of these glorious, in season, local berry beauts – I wouldn’t have it.

The best part?  They turned out picture perfect (well, almost – you’ll see) and positively scrumptious.  With a sweet, yet delicate flavor, bursting with strawberry goodness, they were moist and perfect for any summer picnic or get-together:)  Personally, I didn’t use any food coloring because I was going for that au-naturale kinda result, but feel free to throw in a bit of red or some pink into either the cupcakes or the buttercream

Enough chitter chatter – let’s cut to the chase!

Continue reading

How to Host a Bake Sale

28 Jun

This post has been a year in coming…  Don’t ask me why – alls I had to do is upload some pictures and give you a brief rundown, but somehow I just never got around to it.  Story of my life!

So, anywho – about a year ago at this time hubs and I were in an incredible small group at Crosswinds which decided to have an event to raise money for Love146.  We had read a great book called The Hole in Our Gospel  by Richard Stearns (who also happens to be the CEO of World Vision) and were propelled into motion.  The book is an amazing, yet uncomfortable, read which is nicely summed up by Chuck Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship: “With passionate urging and earnestness, Rich Stearns challenges Christians to embrace the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ by embracing the neediest and most vulnerable among us. After reading the moving stories, the compelling facts and figures, and Stearns’ excellent application of scripture and his own experiences at World Vision, you will no doubt be asking yourself: What should I do?”

For us, our answer to that question was raising some cash moneys and awareness for Love146, a beautiful charity dedicated to the least of these.  Innocent women and children who have been sold into human slavery and undergone horrors most of us can’t even fathom.  I can’t say it enough, what they’re doing is Jesus’ own work and you absolutely MUST check it out.

Continue reading

Homemade Twix – The Remix (featuring Peanut Butter and/or Nutella = WINNING.)

17 Apr

Back around Christmas-time I made these delish-looking homemade Twix for the first time. And although it pains me greatly, I’m going to shoot you straight… it was an epic fail.  The shortbread was too dry and crumbly, the caramel ripped your teeth out and the chocolate wasn’t even sweet enough to fill that  ‘dessert-shaped’ hole in my tummy.  Not to mention the endless hours of arduous commitment wasted (during the busiest time of year nonetheless!).

But enough whining… all has been rectified!  The pure genius that is Pinterest.com helped me to stumble upon this about-a-million-times-easier version.  Please see also IT’S AMAZING.

Because here’s the thing – these things are *better* than the real thing.  I know that’s a big compliment to give one’s own creation… but I swear, that was quote/unquote what a lovely lady said about my Twix!

These babies utilize simple, delicious and readily available ingredients, thus saving you hours in the kitchen.  We’re talking honey wheat pretzel sticks and those little caramel squares,

Which are complimented by Nutella (or peanut butter – your choice!), chocolate (dark or milk – again, go wild), and sea salt.  Really, with that ingredient list, how could you possibly go wrong?

Personally, I think Nutella should be spread on everything.  Really – the world would be such a happier place.

I feel the same way about peanut butter.  But I suppose those with allergies wouldn’t appreciate my covering the world in the stick stuff, so I’ll refrain.

Obv. by this point in our relationship you all know how I feel about chocolate.  And, yes, everything should DEFINITELY be dipped in it. And then sprinkled with sea salt.  Oooooo baby.

What’s that you say?  You’d like some mouthwatering labels?  Why, of course – I’d love to!

But let me warn you, this recipe is not for germaphobes, carriers of communicable diseases, or those prefer not play with their food.  It requires caramel squishing, pretzel squeezing, chocolate swimming and LOTS of finger licking.  So if you’re lucky enough to mow through one of mine just consider it a little kiss from me:)

I’ll stop blabbing now and let you get to work.  Where work = sticky, delicious, play.

PS – I made a ginormous batch, using 2 bags of caramels and 2 bags of pretzels (with just a few left to snack on!).  Let’s pretend it’s because I’m a generous soul who wants to share my sweets with the world.  K thanks!

Homemade Nutella or Peanut Butter (Or Plain!) Twix Bars

Adapted from Savory Sweet Life
Makes: 40 bars
Ingredients
  • One 14 oz.  bag square caramel candies, cut in half  (I used Milk Maid)
  • One 10 oz. bag 4 inch honey-wheat pretzel sticks like Rold Gold or Trader Joes
  • 2/3 cup Nutella or peanut butter
  • 1 12 oz. bag dark (or milk!) chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. shortening (optional)
  • optional: sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place caramel halves on a plate in a single layer. Microwave the caramels for 10ish seconds, just until they are pliable but still firm. Squish 3 caramel halves together the long way and then gently press two pretzels towards eachother around the caramel ‘pinching’ the caramel in between the pretzels.  3 halves = a pretty chewy candy bar, stretch out 2 to fit if you prefer lighter on the caramel/have loose teeth;)
  2.  Repeat this with all the pretzels and caramels.
  3.  Spoon the Nutella (or pb) into a sandwich bag and cut the tip off. Pipe a pea sized line of your delish topping of choice on the non-caramel side of the pretzels. Carefully spread the Nutella/pb across the top surface (I used a offset spatula). Try not to eat them yet.  I know it’s hard.
  4.  Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe container for 1 minute and stir until smooth. If necessary, microwave for an additional 30 seconds to get the chocolate smooth and a thin enough consistency to effectively coat the bars.
  5. Place your creation on a fork and carefully dip it in the chocolate, covering all sides. Lift the bar from the chocolate and allow any excess chocolate to drip off/ tap fork lightly on the edge of the bowl to assist in this process.
  6. Place bars on a plate or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.* Place them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or the freezer for 10 minutes to help harden the chocolate coating.
  7. INHALE.  But not too many, and not in conjunction with Nerds and Starburst jelly beans.  Because that will make your tummy sad.  
*If you prefer your sweets salty like moi… sprinkle some sea salt on ’em after dipping and before the fridge.
**And if you’re obsessive like me, feel free to print this sign to stick up by your creation (lays out all the variations;]).
Best.Call.Ever.