Thursday, March 27, 2014

Funfetti Mug Cake for one.

What do you do with funfetti cake mix when half of the box was already used? Make a cupcake! I've seen a lot of recipes for making muffins in mugs and have yet to try one, but with this half box of cake mix predicament in front of me, this was the perfect opportunity to try to do some baking in my microwave. It came out amazing!

What could be better then the perfect cake portion for one that took a minute and 30 seconds to make? I'm sold and will be trying more recipes similar.

Here is the one I following, which I got from here.


- 8 Tablespoons Funfetti Boxed Cake Mix 
- 1 whole Egg Beaten 
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil 
- 3 Tablespoons Water
 1. Beat Egg
2. Add the rest of the ingredients in
3. Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

New York Bagels not in New York

In college I had a friend who used to make bagels. I somehow have put off until now trying for myself. Amanda and John are always making crazy homemade concoctions, so I thought she would be a good partner in crime for making bagels.

The process is slightly more involved then baking bread, so you have to be pretty committed to take on this project. We were skeptical for a moment we were doing something wrong and they weren’t going to come out good, but we were just uselessly worrying. Bagels are so much denser then regular bread, so as we were kneading, the dough felt really stiff and I thought maybe we were doing something wrong. This is normal though due to the denser end product.

They came out awesome and you should try making them for yourself.
Here is the recipe:

- 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cups of warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup more, I know I did)
- 3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour or high gluten flour(will need extra for kneading)
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- Any toppings you want to add

1. In ½ cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.
2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl forming a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. You may have to add a little extra water. You want to end up with a moist and firm dough.
4. Knead the dough on a floured counter trying to add in as much flour as possible, kneading for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into as perfect round balls as possible. (This was a slightly stumping step for us. Smitten Kitchen made it seem really easy. My balls weren’t perfect, but this does not effect taste.)
7. With a flour coated hand work to form each ball into a ring by gently pressing your finger into the center. 
8. Stretch the ring to about 1/3 the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
9. Do the same with all the dough balls.
10. Place rings on a cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
11. Bring a large pot of water to a boil then reduce the heat.
12. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water.
13. Boil as many at the same time as you are comfortable with and your pot can fit. (We started with one, but got up to 3!)
14. Boil them for 1 minute, and them flip them over and boil for on the other side for a minute.
15. When they come out of the water, that is when you want to add any topping. You can use an egg wash to make them stick.
16. Transfer all boiled bagel to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
17. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
18. Cool on a wire rack and/or eat immediately

Inspiration came here. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Toll House Cookie Bar

Cookies tastes really good in bar form. I think it is because it allows them to be thicker which allows for more of the soft gooey center to live. It is kind of like why Levain Bakery makes the best cookies weighing in at 6 ounces. Today I made your standard toll house recipe, but through it in a casserole pans. I also switched out the chips for peanut butter M&M's in lovely season Valentines Day colors.

Toll House Cookie Bar


- 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour

- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

- 3/4 cup granulated sugar

- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 2 large eggs

- 1 cup of chocolate chips or M&M’s (I used Peanut Butter ones!)

I got the recipe inspiration from here.

1.     Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease 10 x 10-inch casserole dish 
2.     Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  
3.     Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl.

4.     Add in the eggs,

5.     Then gradually beat in flour mixture.

6.     Fold in goodies

7.     Spread into prepared pan.

8.     Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Superbowl Sunday!

My sister has gotten into coconut oil, so when I saw this recipe I forwarded it along to her and my mom. They both were pretty amped up to try it, so when we were all together at the holidays we made them and I have to say, they were an epic hit. They have just the right amount of spice. Sometimes Gingersnaps can be too intense, but these are spot on. This was my first endeavor baking with coconut oil. It provides a great taste and texture, but you have to be patient. It add in the extra step of having to chill the dough, so if you need instant cookie gratification this isn’t the right cookie for you.

Because they were so tasty and because this dough is darker in color I was inspired to use it for my superbowl treat. Pictured is my second batch made to look like footballs!

My friends and coworker also provided rave reviews!

Here’s the recipe:

Soft Molasses Coconut Oil Cookies:


- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup coconut oil in liquid state
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves (Second
batch I left this out and didn't miss it a bit!)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda

For cinnamon sugar coating:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon


1. If your coconut oil is solid, microwave enough so that you get 1/2 cup at liquid state.
2. Combine the egg, brown sugar, coconut oil, molasses, and vanilla.
3. Beat on medium/high speed until well mixed and the mixture looks glossy, about 4 minutes.
4. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. 5. Beat on medium-high speed for another minute.
6. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour and baking soda. Mix again for about 1 minute.
7. Spoon dough out into two tablespoon mounds.
8. Place mounds on a large plate, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. (Dough is too soft to bake right away. If you do they will be limp and flat and not cookie like. The coconut oil needs to re-solidfies.)
9. Preheat oven to 350F.
10. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
11. Roll each ball of dough through the sugary goodness.
12. Place balls on a baking sheets and bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, if you like a soft cookies or 9-10 minutes if you like firmer cookies
13. You are supposed to allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling, but sampling one is allowed!

 Molasses cookie actually are one type of cookie that taste better cooled. Naturally I eat a few warm, but the next day you will be even more pleased with your product!!

Averie was the genius behind the original recipe!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Homemade Soft Pretzels!

I kind of hate hard pretzels. They are so boring. The salt on them is the only saving grace. But that isn’t enough to win me over. They have to be dunked in peanut butter, frosting, or covered in a yogurt candy coating for me to eat them. Or honey wheat; they aren’t bad. Those along with string cheese got me through the month leading into fashion week where I worked an inhumane amount of hours. I digress……
Soft pretzels are another story. And this brings me to my story about the time I visited Adrienne and made her make pretzels with me. They came out awesome. They didn’t have that pretzel look with a slightly browner shiny outside and white inside. They were more of a wheat roll shaped like a pretzel. They came out a little more bread-like and doughy than an authentic pretzel, but who can complain with a homemade bready baked good? We had a lot of fun rolling them, shaping them, and eating them. Jeff also made a cheesy dipping sauce, which was also amazing. We made half savory with just sea salt on top and them half cinnamon sugar. Auntie Anne would be proud. Here’s the recipe:

- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water.
2. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
3. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.
4. Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan. Line 6 baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces.
6. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner.
7. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution.
8. Place onto parchment covered baking sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.
9. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
10. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt or cinnamon sugar.

Recipe was borrowed from here.