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Ok, this recipe needed a “do over.”  A huge part of the online bak­ing com­mu­nity is about shar­ing, that’s a large part of why we do this: a shared love of food and cook­ing it.  We all see recipes and foods online or in cook­books that we like and it’s per­fectly fine to go ahead and make them and then to write about your expe­ri­ences.  But, and here’s the point… I saw this recipe for yummy cook­ies on Caroline’s Choco­late & Car­rots blog and thought I’d see how they turned out since I have more than one friend these days who has a reac­tion to flour prod­ucts but still likes a sweet, baked treat.

In my haste yes­ter­day to:

  1. Gather up two dogs to take them to the vet for shots
  2. Wash my car and vac­uum the inside in 105 degrees
  3. Go to the post office, video store, bank, City build­ing, library
  4. Get Star­bucks
  5. See what Hobby Lobby had on sale
  6. Buy lunch
  7. Gro­cery shop for our healthy eat­ing lifestyle change
  8. Go to the gym
  9. Do some work for a client or two (need money from time to time…LOL)
  10. Remove the cov­ers from both air con­di­tioner con­densers to clean them and help Hubby(and about destroy both in the process),

I hit the “pub­lish” but­ton on my Word­Press post instead of “save draft” which inad­ver­tently posted a half baked arti­cle which didn’t give any credit to Car­o­line and her recipe at all.  Luck­ily for me, she was very under­stand­ing and polite about it… Sorry Caroline..

Any­way, here is the recipe and they are really great cook­ies so you must bake them!

One of the first things I do before I bake is set all my ingre­di­ents out and all of the equip­ment I’m going to be using… This is called mise en place or putting every­thing in it’s place. You can read more about that term here…

Mise en place - putting it all in order ready to bake!

Mise en place — putting it all in order ready to bake!

Ingre­di­ents:

  • 3 Cups pow­dered sugar
  • Cups of dark or Dutch Processed cocoa powder
  • Tea­spoon salt (we use Kosher)
  • 3 to 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 Table­spoon of GOOD vanilla (I use Madagascar)
  • ½ cup choco­late chips (I used good ‘ol Nes­tle Semi-Sweet)


Method

  • First off, pre­heat your oven to 350°F (180°C) (F to C temp con­verter here)
  • Pre­pare your bak­ing sheets with sil­i­con mats or sprayed parchment
  • Com­bine all dry ingre­di­ents into a bowl (flour, cocoa pow­der and salt)
  • Fold in 3 egg whites and then vanilla
  • Only beat until mix­ture is moist and fudge brownie like.  If it’s too dry then add an addi­tional egg white.
  • Fold in choco­late chips
  • Using a table­spoon, place cookie mix onto pre­pared bak­ing sheets, leav­ing room as they will spread. (I got 12 on a half pan sized bak­ing sheet)
No flour, no fuss, fudgy chocolate chip cookies

On the tray

Bake for approx 14 mins or until the tops begin to crack. They will have a shiny gloss fin­ish to them.

No Flour, No fuss, fudgy chocolate chip cookies by Cake Artisan

Fin­ished Cookies

Haha… my first embed­ded video..

 

Points to consider:

If you are using a con­vec­tion oven adjust the tem­per­a­ture down by about 25 degrees and you can usu­ally reduce your bake time by a minute or two.  Keep an eye on your cook­ies as all ovens vary a little.

Many vari­ables can affect your bak­ing… humid­ity, alti­tude and the age of your prod­ucts.  For exam­ple, the older the flour  is the drier it can be, there­fore often requir­ing the addi­tion of more liq­uid than nor­mally called for just to get it to the right con­sis­tency… don’t panic, there is NO FLOUR in this par­tic­u­lar recipe, this was just an exam­ple of a variable.

Enjoy and happy baking!

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Egg Nog from scratchThis quick post is so a friend can share in this recipe… but hey we are all friends here on the inter­net so give this yummy egg nog recipe a shot!  It does have alco­hol in it so beware.

Ingre­di­ents:

1/3 Cup + 1Tbs. Sugar

1 Pint Whole Milk

1 Cup Heavy Cream

3 Oz Bourbon

1tsp Grated Nutmeg

4 Large Eggs

 

 Method:

The parts are made in stages and then com­bined, so firstly:

Sep­a­rate Whites from Yolks. Yolks into one bowl and whites into another.

Whip yel­lows at high speed until they lighten in color.

Add 1/3 cup sugar.

Add Cream to Milk and then the entire mix­ture to the yellows.

Add nut­meg.

Mix.

Add Bour­bon

 

Chill mix­ture while clean­ing mixer and then do this bit:

 

Whip whites at high speed to soft peaks

Add sugar and whip to stiff peaks

 

Then:

Inte­grate the yolk mix­ture with the whites by care­fully stir­ring in.  Don’t destroy all the whites fluffy good­ness as they give a light­ness to the nog.

 

ENJOY!

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My hus­band men­tioned that he’d seen a Paula Deen recipe for pink lemon­ade cake.  I thought that sounded really nice and would be a great Sum­mer­time dessert.  After look­ing at Paula’s recipe online and the com­ments by users who had found it “too dense” “too this” or “too that” I decided to run with her basic flavour idea but to tweak it and hope­fully turn out some­thing really nice.

This is what I did.  It’s really easy and very tasty.

Pink Lemonade Cupcake Batter by Cake Artisan

Pink Lemon­ade Cup­cake Batter

I took a box of white cake mix and pre­pared it as directed on the box except that I don’t like to use oil in my cakes so I replaced the 1/3 cup of oil with an equiv­a­lent 1/3 cup of nat­ural, unsweet­ened apple sauce.  To the mix I then added three heaped table­spoons of the Coun­try Time Pink Lemon­ade drink mix and also added a dash of Mada­gas­car Vanilla and about a table­spoon of lemon zest.  I decided I wanted my cake to be more pink than the pale colour it was cur­rently so I added a dash of pink food colour­ing until it was pink enough for me.

Ingre­di­ents so far:

1 box of Moist White Cake Mix

3 egg whites (no yolks)

1/3 cup nat­ural, unsweet­ened apple sauce

1 & 1/4 cup of water

3 heaped table­spoons of Coun­try Time Pink Lemon­ade drink mix pow­der (not diluted)

1 tsp of Mada­gas­car Vanilla or Vanilla Essence

1 table­spoon of fresh lemon zest

Country Time - Pink Lemonade

Coun­try Time — Pink Lemonade

Pink food colouring

 

(Bak­ing purists are prob­a­bly rolling their eyes at my sug­ges­tion of using a box mix and then the addi­tion of pink food colour­ing.  It worked for what we were doing here so I’m ok with it.  If you aren’t, there are plenty of from scratch white cake recipes out there to delight your pure lit­tle baker’s hearts.)

Even though I have a pas­sion for bak­ing we try not to keep too many good­ies in the house because we both could stand to lose some weight.  So we send our good­ies off to work with my hus­band and I’ve heard his cowork­ers think this is ok.  Since they are headed for the office I decided to make cup­cakes as they are far more man­age­able than need­ing to find a knife and plates for carv­ing up a larger sin­gle cake.

Next I cre­ated a tasty com­ple­men­tary frost­ing.  I pretty much always go for my basic cream cheese frost­ing and just change it up a lit­tle to suit what it is that I’m making.

Frost­ing:

Crust­ing cream cheese buttercream

5 heaped table­spoons of Coun­try Time  Pink Lemon­ade Drink Powder

Pink Lemonade Cupcake by Cake Artisan adapted from Paula Deen's Pink Lemonade Cake

Pink Lemon­ade Cupcake

After the cup­cakes came out of the oven and cooled I frosted them with a gen­er­ous swirl of but­ter­cream and some sugar sprin­kles just to make them shiny.  So that’s it folks.. really a quick and easy recipe and per­fect for sum­mer meal­times or snacks.  Enjoy!  And remem­ber if you have any ques­tions don’t hes­i­tate to email me.  I try to answer all emails even if they may take a cou­ple of days to get you your response.

~ Colleen

 

 

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Red vel­vet, while syn­ony­mous with Valen­tines Day and now pop­u­lar for wed­dings, is just plain gor­geous to look at.  To be totally hon­est, red is my absolute favourite colour and any chance I get to wear it, look at it or eat it I do.  Not that many red foods around when you think about it… and I don’t really eat very much red meat.

Sooo let’s get busy and make some deli­cious red vel­vet cook­ies to be enjoyed and shared all year around.  But wait, just think how cute they would be for Christ­mas or Valentine’s Day as well!

This recipe calls for Dutch Processed Choco­late.   So what’s the dif­fer­ence between that and reg­u­lar unsweet­ened cocoa pow­der you ask?   First off, Both types of cocoa pow­der are unsweet­ened and there­fore bit­ter when tasted alone.

Dutch-Process Cocoa or Alka­lized Unsweet­ened Cocoa Pow­der:

Has been treated with an alkali to neu­tral­ize its nat­ural acid­ity. Because it’s neu­tral and doesn’t react with bak­ing soda, it must be used in recipes call­ing for bak­ing pow­der, unless there are other acidic ingre­di­ents in suf­fi­cient quan­ti­ties used. It has a reddish-brown color, mild fla­vor, and is easy to dis­solve in liquids.

Hershey Dutch Processed Cocoa
Hershey’s Dutch Processed Cocoa

 

Ghirardelli Sweetened Cocoa
Ghi­rardelli Cocoa
Unsweet­ened Cocoa:

Has a com­plex choco­late fla­vor while the Dutch-process is darker and more mel­low. Its intense fla­vor makes it well suited for use in brown­ies, cook­ies and some choco­late cakes. When nat­ural cocoa (an acid) is used in recipes call­ing for bak­ing soda (an alkali), it cre­ates a leav­en­ing action that causes the bat­ter to rise when placed in the oven.

Ok, on to our recipe:

Ingre­di­ents:

3 1/4 cups (355 grams) all pur­pose flour
1/4 cup (75 grams) unsweet­ened Dutch processed cocoa pow­der
1/2 tea­spoon salt
1 tea­spoon (4 grams) bak­ing pow­der
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted but­ter, room tem­per­a­ture
1 3/4 cups (350 grams) gran­u­lated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tea­spoons pure vanilla extract
3 Table­spoons of Red Food Col­or­ing.. I used the gel type

For Red Vel­vet Cookies:

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa pow­der, salt, and bak­ing powder.

2. In the bowl of your elec­tric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the but­ter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 min­utes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beat­ing well after each addi­tion. Add the vanilla extract and the food col­or­ing then beat until combined.

Red Velvet Cookie Dough by Cake Artisan
Red Vel­vet Cookie Dough

Add the flour mix­ture and beat until you have a smooth dough.

3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plas­tic wrap. Refrig­er­ate for about one hour or until firm enough toroll.

4. Pre­heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the cen­ter of the oven. Line two bak­ing sheets with parch­ment paper.

5.    Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrig­er­a­tor and, on a lightly floured sur­face, roll out the dough to a thick­ness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turn­ing the dough as you roll, mak­ing sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired

Red Velvet Cookies by Cake Artisan
Red Vel­vet Cookies

shapes using a lightly floured cookie cut­ter and trans­fer cook­iesto the pre­pared bak­ing sheet. Place the bak­ing sheets with the unbaked cook­ies in the refrig­er­a­tor for 10 to 15 min­utes to chill the dough which pre­vents the cook­ies from spread­ing and los­ing their shape while baking.

Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cook­ies, you may want to sprin­kle the unbaked cook­ies with crys­tal or sparkling sugar.

Bake cook­ies for about 10 — 12 min­utes (depend­ing on size) or until they are firm around the edges. Remove from oven and let cook­ies cool on bak­ing sheet for a few min­utes before trans­fer­ring to a wire rack to fin­ish cool­ing. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure that the frost­ing on the cook­ies dries com­pletely before stor­ing. (This may take sev­eral hours.) Frosted cook­ies will keep sev­eral days in an airtight

Red Velvet Cookies Iced by Cake Artisan
Red Vel­vet Cookies

con­tainer. Store between lay­ers of parch­ment paper or wax paper.

Makes about 36 — 4 inch (10 cm) cookies.

BEST frosted with a cream cheese frost­ing.  I use the recipe on my site here and thin it with some milk to make it more like a glaze if I don’t want heavy frost­ing.  Also, I have rolled out fon­dant into the same shape as the cookie and placed it on top of a thin layer of the frost­ing which gives a nice finish!

For a final fin­ish on my fon­dant cov­ered cook­ies I used an impres­sion mat to make pretty pat­terns.. and then dusted with pearl dust.. there is no limit to what you can do with these or any other cook­ies!  Happy Baking!

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In response to a ques­tion today I thought it might be inter­est­ing to visit why some recipes use mass (weight) instead of by vol­ume (cups) or by count.  Bak­ing is a sci­ence peo­ple. Unlike a lot of savoury recipes, adding a dash of bak­ing soda or a smidgen of yeast prob­a­bly won’t get you the best pos­si­ble baked prod­uct.  Baked goods rely on chem­istry and the cor­rect ratios of leav­en­ing agents to do the job.  You don’t guess at the tem­per­a­ture of the oven and con­sider near enough to be good enough.  No, we fol­low the guide and hope like hell we have it right.  We have ALL read our ingre­di­ent lists incor­rectly.  Heck, it seems the older I get the more often I am likely to for­get an ingre­di­ent altogether!!

For most of his­tory, most cook­books did not spec­ify quan­ti­ties pre­cisely, instead talk­ing of “a nice leg of spring lamb”, a “cup­ful” of lentils, a piece of but­ter “the size of a wal­nut”, and “suf­fi­cient” salt. In Europe, cook­books used mass (“weight”) rather than vol­ume, though infor­mal mea­sure­ments such as a “pinch”, a “drop”, or a “hint” (soupçon) con­tinue to be used from time to time. In the U.S.A., Fan­nie Farmer intro­duced the more exact spec­i­fi­ca­tion of quan­ti­ties by vol­ume in her 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.

Today, most of the world prefers mea­sure­ment by weight, though the pref­er­ence for vol­ume mea­sure­ments con­tin­ues in North America.

Flowers measuring cups

So pretty!

In domes­tic cook­ing, bulk solids, notably flour and sugar, are mea­sured by vol­ume, often cups, though they are sold by weight at retail. Weight mea­sures are used for meat. But­ter may be mea­sured by either weight (14 lb) or vol­ume (3 tbsp) or a com­bi­na­tion of weight and vol­ume (14 lb plus 3 tbsp); it is sold by weight but in pack­ages marked to facil­i­tate com­mon divi­sions by eye. (As a sub-packaged unit, a stick of but­ter, at 14 lb [113 g], is a de facto mea­sure in the U.S.)

Cook­books in Canada use the same sys­tem, although pints and gal­lons would be taken as their Impe­r­ial quan­ti­ties unless spec­i­fied oth­er­wise. Fol­low­ing the adop­tion of the met­ric sys­tem, recipes in Canada are fre­quently pub­lished with met­ric conversions.

Dif­fer­ent ingre­di­ents are mea­sured in dif­fer­ent ways:

Liq­uid ingre­di­ents are gen­er­ally mea­sured by vol­ume worldwide.

Dry bulk ingre­di­ents, such as sugar and flour, are mea­sured by weight in most of the world (“250 g flour”), and by vol­ume in North Amer­ica (“1/2 cup flour”). Small quan­ti­ties of salt and spices are gen­er­ally mea­sured by vol­ume world­wide, as few house­holds have suf­fi­ciently pre­cise bal­ances to mea­sure by weight.

Meats are gen­er­ally mea­sured by weight or count world­wide: “a 2 kg chicken”; “four lamb chops”.

Veg­eta­bles may be mea­sured by weight or by count, despite the inher­ent impre­ci­sion of counts given the vari­abil­ity in the size of vegetables.

Chopped or cut-up meats and veg­eta­bles are gen­er­ally mea­sured by weight, except in North Amer­ica where they are mea­sured by volume.

Met­ric measures

In most of the world, recipes use the met­ric sys­tem of litres (l, some­times L) and mil­li­l­itres (ml, some­times mL), grams (g) and kilo­grams (kg), and degrees Cel­sius (°C). The word litre is always spelled liter in the USA.

The English-speaking world fre­quently mea­sures weight in pounds (avoir­du­pois), with vol­ume mea­sures based on cook­ing uten­sils and pre-metric mea­sures. The actual val­ues fre­quently devi­ate from the uten­sils on which they were based, and there is lit­tle con­sis­tency from one coun­try to another.

Most blog recipes tend toward the home-based cook and most of our recipes use vol­u­met­ric mea­sures.  How­ever, from time to time you are going to come across a recipe that is based on mass or weight.  Most of the West­ern world uses mass mea­sure­ments and with our world becom­ing such a small place through the use of tech­nol­ogy it helps to know how to deal with alter­na­tive mea­sure­ments and why it’s a good idea.

Mass or weight mea­sure­ments tend to be far more accu­rate than a cup o’ this or that.  This is largely due to the fact that a lot of the bak­ing cup sets are just not accu­rate, hav­ing been designed to look pretty rather than to be com­pletely precise.

Ref­er­ences:

Grif­fin, Mary Annarose; Gisslen, Wayne (2005). Pro­fes­sional bak­ing (Fourth ed.). New York: John Wiley. p. 6. ISBN0-471–46427-9. Retrieved 2010 Dec 15. “Vol­ume mea­sure is often used when scal­ing water for small or medium-sized batches of bread. Results are gen­er­ally good. How­ever, when­ever accu­racy is crit­i­cal, it is bet­ter to weigh.”

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Thank you to all who dropped an email won­der­ing where I’d gone from the blog.  Well the quick answer is my Dad passed away after bat­tling can­cer and I just needed some time to get going again.  Thanks again.  Colleen

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