Molasses Cookies

Last holiday season I was challenged by my roommate to find the perfect molasses cookie recipe. It was a staple of his childhood, and I am the baker of the house.

It took probably 3 jars of molasses before I was satisfied, (don’t worry, all the cookies got eaten…except maybe two batches that I forgot about and burnt to a crisp)

 

Here it is, the ultimate molasses cookie recipe!

3/4 c melted butter
1 C brown sugar
1/4c molasses
2c all purpose flour
2tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Pie spice to taste
Granulated sugar

Stir the melted butter and sugar together, add in the egg and then the molasses. (Depending on how hot the butter is, I add the molasses first just so I don’t accidentally cook the eggs).

Pour in the flour, baking soda, salt and pie spice, and stir it together until it’s just combined. I don’t even bother with a mixer, just a sturdy spoon or rubber spatula.

Chill for at least an hour

Roll into 1-1&1/2 inch thick balls, and roll those in the granulated sugar. Bake at 375F for about ten minutes, just until the tops are crackled.

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Pirate Ship Cake

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So I made a thing.

I rarely do anything by degrees, especially baking. My nephew just turned three, and part of my gift to him (Aside from the Batman action figure and the giant box of Playdough) was a pirate ship cake.

I nearly quit twice.

The cakes were from scratch https://rattledup.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/katies-chocolate-cake/

and while it only took two 9X13 cakes to make, I ended up having to make three.

Mostly because the second one turned out HORRIBLY. Awful. IT was an abomination, not worthy of the term “baked good”. Somehow the cake turned into jello in the oven.

We’ve got three theories as to why that happened.

  1. all the milk accidentally got added at once, because I noted how that messed with the texture of the batter.
  2. I may not have scraped the bowl adequately enough.
  3. There was a casserole in the oven at the same time and it probably didn’t bake evenly.

It was gross. I made everyone try it, and everyone who put it in their mouths spit it back out and shivered because of how wrong it was.

Then I almost quit again when the third cake broke while I was trying to get it out of the pan. I almost cried.

I marched into the livingroom, picked up the phone and when Noah asked what was wrong I said, “It broke. I quit. I’m telling Anna it’s a 2D cake.”

He stood up, took the phone from me, and together we got the cake out of the pan. It was broken, but he stood by and started being my cheerleader while I cut and arranged the pieces together.

I cut them both about 6″ wide lengthwise. (So then I had 2 6X13s) and stacked them on top of each other, then I cut the remaining chunks into 6X3s and stacked two in the back, one in front of that, and one in the very front.)

I used a store bought frosting for the glue, and once it was all put together, I slid it in the fridge for an hour so it’d hold together while I carved. Which was pretty much cutting the front into a point.

I found the Jolly Roger from an image on Wikicommons that worked, and just taped it to a chopstick.

Then I frosted, and we took the cake over to the party. My sister ad got a bunch of candies and I just went nuts. I put a little frosting on the base so the sprinkles would stick, lined the base with the gummy sharks, and had a lot of fun with it.

When my nephew blew out his candles and realized he couldn’t have the WHOLE THING he was very upset. At least until he got to eat all the gummy sharks with his cake.

For all the headache, I’m really glad I did this one. It was my first ever 3D cake, and it’s really pushed the limits for what I think I can do now. I can’t wait for my niece’s and my son’s birthdays to see what I come up with for them!

It happens to the best of us, My Cupcake Fail

So this happened

 

So this happened to me today.
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it took me a few minutes before I could figure out what was up, I peeked in on them and my jaw dropped. What had happened? I’d done everything right! My science should not have been compromised.

I was irritated.

Once I calmed myself down a little and studied them, what I know of baking, and my recipe I figured out the trouble.

I’d used nearly two TABLESPOONS of baking soda, rather than a scant two teaspoons. that’s what I get for measuring right?

 

“Katie’s Chocolate Cake”

If you’re looking for a great stand-by chocolate cake, look no further than this.

The first time I ever made this cake it was for a new friend named Katie. She runs the comic book shop in town with her husband, and they were hosting a movie night, the same night as her birthday. Naturally, I was appalled at the idea of a birthday without a cake. So, I took it upon myself to rectify the situation. I’m sure it would’ve been just as well received if I I’d simply gone to the bakery or made a box mix. But, as I am myself, that would not satisfy.

So I made it first for her and her husband, though for once, I left myself time to tweak and adjust the recipe before sharing it.

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These are from my niece’s birthday. I found a great teddy bear shaped cake pan at a second hand shop, and after a good bleaching and rinse in the dishwasher, it was perfect.

The first time I made the cake it seemed a bit thin in a 10 inch pain, so much so that I made an entire nother batch for the second layer. For this cake, I doubled it. That’s something I almost regret. I had enough to make the birthday cake and wonderful mini bunt cakes. So maybe I don’t regret it.

The third time I made the cake, I used the un-doubled version in 2 9 inch pans and it turned out wonderful. I’m sure I could half over it again and get a three layer cake. But if you’re going to do that, why not just go the distance and make a four layer cake? I believe in you, let’s make this happen.

Are you ready for the recipe? Here goes:

3/4 C butter (one and a half sticks)
1 and 2/3 C sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/4 tsp baking soda (do not skimp and go with just a teaspoon, it’s crucial.)
1 tsp salt
2C flour
1 and 1/3 cup water

 

Cream the butter and sugar together, add the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Flour, Baking soda, salt

Then, with the mixer on low alternate adding the water and the flour mixture until it’s all combined and to a smooth not-lumpy consistency.

Pour into a cake pan and bake at 350F for about 25-30 minutes, though I’d check it at about 20 and be aware that flexibility is a good thing.

I’ve served this with a whipped cream topping (though it was more like a chocolate milk topping lol), a regular canned frosting, and a buttercream. Each has drastically changed the cake and made it wholly unique. I figure I’ve got three or four more makes of this cake and I’ll be beyond needing the recipe. I’ll have this one as close to my heart as my chocolate chip cookies.

Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love to bake. I love to do lots of things, but I really love to bake.

My favorite recipe is my chocolate chip cookies. I don’t even bother looking at a recipe card anymore. I just dance around my kitchen singing along to my spotify and whip up a batch in maybe 7 minutes. I haven’t timed myself, but I’m betting on under seven minutes.

3/4 cups of brown and white sugar, 2 sticks of butter, 3 eggs, salt, vanilla, baking soda, 3 cups flour, 2 cups chocolate chips.

Pretty standard stuff.

BUT

I bake with my niece a lot. She’s going to be five in a few weeks, and likes to help me. So that basically means every time she’s over here we are expected to bake.

So, I’m looking to make healthier choices in what we’re baking together.

And I’ve become fascinated with the avocado. It’s incredibly good for you, plant fats (which I hear are great?) like in the avocado tote all kinds of good vitamins and minerals that I could use a lot more of.

It’s also cheaper than butter. A pound of avocado costs about 77 cents at the grocery store, and a pound of butter costs about 4 dollars.

So, for my delicious avocado chocolate chip cookies (which don’t taste at all like avocado.) take the recipe listed above but instead of using two sticks of butter, use one stick of butter and half an avocado.

If you’re more adventurous than I was try replacing all the butter with avocado. Once I run out of these cookies I’m going to try replacing all the butter with the pretty green stuff. So if you’ve done it, please let me know!

I’m excited to find all kinds of delicious substitutions that make baked goods both healthier and preferably cheaper!

Angel Food Cake

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a new recipe with you guys. I was preparing to share my adventures in gnocchi, buttttt long story short
no go on the homemade gnocchi bro. I’ve got quite a bit of altering to do on that recipe before I’ll be able to share it with you.

Anyways.

It was my friend Josh’s birthday yesterday and as Josh is one of our best friend’s in the world we threw together a day of shenanigans.  All of which were custom tailored to what we knew were his favorite things, and the one thing he requested for dinner.

To make it extra special, instead of buying an Angel Food Cake (his favorite cake ever) which would’ve I’ll admit have been the SMART thing to do…I decided to make one.

I’m now a pro egg separator, and it will probably be a long time before I buy one of these guys again. Once you taste a homemade one of these guys…there’s no going back.

  • 1cup cake flour
  • 34cup sugar
  • 2tablespoons sugar
  • 12large egg whites, MUST be room temperature
  • 1 12teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 14teaspoon salt
  • 34cup sugar
  • 1 12teaspoons vanilla
  • 12teaspoon almond extract

Ok, straight up, I didn’t have cake flour or almond extract.

To substitute All Purpose Flour for cake flour it’s 2tablespoons of cornstarch in the bottom of a one cup measuring cup, and then level off the flour on top of that. If you’d doing more than one cup of flour it’s a  14   cup for every two cups of flour.

I replaced the almond extract with imitation raspberry, if you have nothing else it’s okay to leave it out, it just won’t have that amazing depth of flavor the second flavor will give it.

 

 

  1. DO NOT GREASE PAN.
  2. Heat oven to 375°.
  3. Sift the cake flour and 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar; set aside.
  4. Combine the extracts in a small bowl; set aside.
  5. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until it forms peaks. Once it starts to stand up on the whisk is fine. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t try to do this by hand unless you’re a certified beast…and if you do show me your certification.
  6. Add the other 3/4 cup of sugar slowly, then beat on high until stiff peaks form. This takes longer than you’d think, it’s probably safe to go pee during this part.
  7. Beating on LOW, add flour mixture and extracts slowly. I did this by hand and it took forever, but I think it was worth it because Angel Food Cake is really delicate. There’s no leavening agent so if you damage and accidentally deflate the egg whites…oooh boy you’re doomed.
  8. Move a knife through batter to remove air pockets.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly with finger.
  10. Invert pan onto a tin funnel to cool completely. I propped mine up on a bottle of hot sauce. The lid fit perfectly in the little hole and kept it balanced while I let it cool overnight. You want to
  11. To remove the cake from your pan run a knife around the rim of the cake pan just to get the ‘crust’ away from the pan. Then pull the detachable middle part out and run a knife along the bottom so as to disconnect it from that. BE INCREDIBLY CAREFUL MINE BROKE APART. (Into three neat pieces that nobody noticed but it was still insulting to me.)

We topped it with a peach and pear compote my fiance made, and a homemade whipped cream I made. It was glorious.

Give this re

Adventures in Vegan baking

No, I’m not vegan. Spend a few minutes on this blog and you will quickly discover how vegan I am not. I love meat. All kinds of meat. My favorite is cow meat. (And cows are my favorite of the traditional meat animals. Cows are cute. Pigs, chickens, and turkeys are creatures out of my nightmares)

But I’ve become bored with baking, and trying to blog excitedly about baking. Everybody bakes it seems. There are also a lot of vegan baking and cooking blogs, but at least it’s different and a challenge for me.

Tonight was accidentally the beginning of this escapade.

Weeks ago I promised Noah peach cobbler and pineapple upside down cake. And for weeks a can of peaches and a can of pineapples have been sitting on our shelves. So tonight, I decided to do something about it.

I got some hardened brown sugar from my mom (it was the only kind she’d part with) and after I went through the torturous process of softening and breaking it apart.

I drained the juice out of the peaches into a bowl, added about two cups of bisquick, (which is just a naturally normal vegan product. I googled it and was really surprised.) and about a third of a cup of brown sugar and stirred it all together. I added some pumpkin pie spice.

Then I took the peaches and dumped them into a rather small but deep baking dish. Drained the pineapple juices into a cup (Noah likes to drink it) and dumped the pineapple into another small but deep baking dish.

That is when I did something a little different. I added about a teaspoon of salt to each dish of fruit, stirred it around, and smooshed them down as much as possible.

Split the topping mixture between the two dishes, and top them with more brown sugar, and some oats if you are into that sorta thing.

Bake at about 350, and it’s really going to vary depending on the density of the batter, and the depth of it.

 

This is a great last minute throw-together dessert. If you’re baking vegan on purpose top with some coconut whipped cream (a can of full fat coconut milk and powdered sugar whipped together) and if you’re not baking vegan on purpose, do coconut whipped cream or regular whipped cream! It’s delicious either way.