Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with Blueberry Glaze

In case you haven’t figured it out from my blog thus far, I like the simple things in life. Peanut butter cookies. Rich chocolate brownies. Lovely summer bundt cakes, like this one.

Cheers!

-C

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

To Do List of Recipes

One of my very favourite morning rituals is to check my Google reader to see what lovely recipes have been posted to the food and baking blogs that I follow. When one in particular catches my eye, I mark it as ‘starred’. Then whenever I am going to a party, feeling peckish, or just in the mood to bake, I check my starred posts list and choose one from it. However, life has been pretty crazy lately and that combined with the insane heat wave we are having in Montreal lately, has prevented me from doing much baking. So, I thought it would be a good idea to round up all the links of the cookies, cupcakes, etc that are waiting for me to try them out, and maybe it will prompt me to get that oven fired up.

Cookies

Chewy Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made molasses cookies from Martha’s recipe at Christmas and they were my favourite cookie of the year. I’ve since been a little bit obsessed with the idea of molasses in cookies, and combined with chocolate chips? I love you Joy!

Andes Mint Chocolate Cookies

Mint makes everything better, at least that is my philosophy. Also chocolate.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

I guess I’m on a thin, chewy cookie kick? All my recent recipe crushes seem to have that in common. I have some buttermilk left in the fridge though so these might get pushed to the front of the line!

Cupcakes

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Um…mocha? espresso? buttercream? drrooooool.

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I’ve made quite a few recipes using bananas and they are always a huge hit. The peanut butter frosting just pushes this recipe over the edge into fantabulous.

Other

Raspberry Crisp

Raspberries are delicious and in season right now, so it is a good time to use them in my baking. Plus Pioneer Woman never lets me down!

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats

Kind of a cop out, since they don’t really require any baking skill, but these remind me SO much of my childhood that they need to be on the list just for nostalgia’s sake.

Any recipes you all want to try? Recommendations? More to add to my list? I have a party this weekend where I am supplying dessert so I will be posting up my results soon enough.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Dorie’s Devil’s Food White Out Layer Cake

Ever since Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking: From My Home to Yours arrived in my house, I have had a slight obsession with the cake that graces its cover. I had my first family dinner in the new house not too long ago, and decided it would be the perfect time to whip up this gorgeous cake. There are a lot of ingredients and steps in this cake, but it wasn’t overly complicated, and the delicious results were well worth the time spent. The chocolate is deep and rich, and the icing is the perfect compliment.

No matter what I do, my cakes never bake up even. Is this normal? Is my house on a tilt and I never noticed? Anyway it is easily fixed with a large serrated knife, plus it makes for delicious scraps that just need to be eaten. You wouldn’t want to waste all that perfectly good food would you?

The icing was really fun to make, and a lot easier than I had anticipated. It turned out beautifully light and fluffy and smooth. I almost like the look of the cake without the crumb coat better, but it was too much fun to pass up.

As you can see, I put a layer of wax paper around the edges of the cake as I iced it to keep the cake stand clean. Once I was finished, I pulled them carefully away and voila! A Cake that looks like I have steady hands.

I definitely recommend putting it in the fridge before serving, it gets a fudge-like consistency and holds together much easier when slicing.

Devil’s Food White-Out Cake

Serves 12
From Baking: From My Home to Yours

For the cake:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup boiling water
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the filling and frosting:
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

GETTING READY: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans (I only had 9-inch).
TO MAKE THE CAKE: Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. At this point, the batter will be thick, like frosting. Still working on low speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably. Scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

If the cakes have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. With the same knife, slice each layer horizontally in half. Set 3 layers aside and crumble the fourth layer; set the crumbs aside.

TO MAKE THE FILLING AND FROSTING: Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer.

When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable — don’t try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Put a bottom layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a long metal icing spatula, cover the layer generously with frosting. Top with a second layer, cut side up, and frost it. Finish with the third layer, cut side down, and frost the sides and top of the cake. Don’t worry about smoothing the frosting — it should be swirly. Now, cover the entire cake with the chocolate cake crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the filling with your fingers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cakes

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

We are in the midst of a heat wave in Montreal. It has been too hot to do anything other than float around in the pool. Definitely not a good idea to be turning on the oven in this type of weather. However, we got a big thunderstorm a few days ago and things have cooled down to at least a bearable level of heat. So, I took the chance to get baking again. Even if I did do it in my bikini, between trips to the pool.

I recently discovered Framed, and have earmarked a ton of recipes to try. I started with baking, of course, and chose the Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies. They turned out delicious, with a little bit of bite from the coffee, and sweetness from a pound (!!) of chocolate chips. I would definitely make these again, except not in this type of heat. I had trouble during the mixing phase because the butter just mellllttteeeddd as soon as I took it out of the fridge. I was too anxious to refrigerate the dough overnight, and I think that would have made a difference because the cookies spread out A LOT.

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from Framed)

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound chocolate chips or chunks — any variety you like.

  1. Whisk the flour, coffee, baking soda and salt together.  Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter in a mixer until lightened.  Add granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds.  Add brown sugar and beat for another 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla and beat until blended.
  3. Turn mixer speed down and add flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.  Add chocolate and mix until evenly blended in.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for several hours to overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.  Drop a heaping tablespoon full of dough onto sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Cool on racks.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I have been thinking that I should change the title of this blog to “All the Recipes You Can Make with Chocolate and Peanut Butter” because seriously, it is beginning to be a problem. It is all I ever want to bake! I think about trying something challenging or different but as soon as I open that cupboard the chocolate chips look so happy next to that big jar of PB…I can’t control myself. So, here is another cookie involving Peanut Butter and Chocolate chips, except this time with oatmeal for good measure.

img_1140

Who could resist that? Look how delicious the peanut butter looks sitting there with all the sugar. Mmm, heaven.

img_1141

I also recently was given a gift of some real, gourment Mexian vanilla, from a lovely family who spoil me way too much! I have never baked with real vanilla, I am always too poor to shell out the big bucks. But this may change the way I bake! I was so excited to try it.

img_1142

Check out that dough. Doesn’t it look amazing? I bet it tastes good even before baking, not that I would know. I swear.

img_1144

I put the dough in the fridge before scooping them out, a habit I am developing because I love what it does to the cookies.

img_1145

This is how they turned out! Amazng. They don’t look like peanut butter cookies so it is a pleasant surprise when you bite into one! And I got to use these amazing chocolate chips from Bulk Barn that I will be talking more about in my next post. They are soooo good and not even that expensive!

Please try these cookies! Make sure to undercook them a little, if you are like me and enjoy that sort of thing.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, wheat flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Finally, mix in the oats and chocolate chips. If you want, put the dough in the fridge for about an hour to firm it up. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Let sit on cookie sheets for about a minute. Remove from sheets and place on wire racks to cool
  4. Enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Valentine’s Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

img_1937

Ok, so it is April and I am only just getting around to posting my Valentine’s Day baking…I am sorry. As you may now, we just bought a house and I am deep in the moving/decorating/cleaning/panicking/buying useless things on Etsy phase.

I wanted to make something cute and red for V-day, but in the end I didn’t have a ton of time to put anything elaborate together. I decided to use Bakerella’s easy idea and make some red velvet cookie sandwiches, since I had some of the cake mix on hand. They turned out delicious and very cute, but SUPER sweet, so I could only eat one (whereas my friends disagreed and had two or three or….you can imagine). I love red velvet, but Bakerella mentioned that any cake mix could do. I bet they would be delicious with a devil’s food cake chocolate mix!

img_1935

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

From Bakerella

Ingredients:

For the cookies
1 Box red velvet cake mix*
1/2 Cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 Eggs

For the cream cheese filling
1/2 Cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 8 oz. Package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1lb. Box of confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix ingredients until combined.
  • Drop spoonfuls of cookie batter onto baking sheet about two inches apart.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Cool.
  • In a mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla.
  • Gradually add sugar and mix until smooth.

Makes about 24 cookies or 12 cookie sandwiches

Enjoy!

img_1936

1 Comment

Filed under Cookies, Holiday baking

The Search for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie – Part 3: A Photo Essay.

img_1127

I think we may have a winner. Behold:

img_1113

img_11141

img_1115

img_1116

img_1117

img_1118

img_1119

img_1121

img_1123

img_1124

img_1125

I don’t know if the pictures do them justice. Just try them. Go. Trust me. (and yes, that is almost a quarter cup of dough per cookie)

Best Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookie

adapted from allrecipes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1 egg yolk (room temperature
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just
    blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. IMPORTANT: Put dough in fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. (I used my ice cream scoop and it worked perfectly)
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under Cookies