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:
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…
Bake for approx 14 mins or until the tops begin to crack. They will have a shiny gloss finish to them.
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!
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.
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
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.
5 heaped tablespoons of Country Time Pink Lemonade Drink Powder
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.
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.
|| 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:
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.
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
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
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!
I’m always amazed at little ones! How in the world did my then 4yo daughter decide she wanted to learn to play the violin? While being exposed to lots of music I certainly hadn’t suggested she learn to play an instrument let alone a classical one. No worries we got her started and away she went with gusto… Well this post isn’t about music but recently I was asked by my friends to make their 3yo daughter a birthday cake. Apparently she had requested “a raspberry on the inside” birthday cake. I’d never made one before but love a challenge so this is how I did it.
WARNING – Heavy text as some dummy (me) forgot to take progress photos… but it turned out great so bear with me folks.
First off I thought I’d start with a white cake recipe and add my raspberry goodness to it.
White cake mix or this from scratch recipe…
Then To make it Raspberry Flavoured…
Ok.. great but it had to be raspberry flavoured… I could not for the life of me find fresh raspberries that day that weren’t growing fur, so my next best option was a heaping tablespoon of raspberry jam (jelly) with the seeds for authenticity AND I added a 1/3 of a sachet of Raspberry Jello Crystals dissolved into a half cup of water.
I figured it wouldn’t throw off the balance of the cake since it thickens as it sets up. My theory proved right and the cake was relatively dense (with a fine crumb texture like a Madeira or pound cake) but still light and very flavourful.
For this little lady’s cake I made two 6 inch and two 8 inch round cakes to stack.
In between each matching pair I spread a fine layer of raspberry jam (jelly) and then added raspberry cream cheese frosting (my original recipe with some raspberry jello crystals and a small amount of jam added to it).
I placed wooden dowels inside of McDonalds straws into the 8 inch stacked cakes and then placed the 6 inch stacked pair on top.
All of the cakes were covered in my crusting cream cheese frosting prior to stacking as they wanted it smoothed to look like fondant. I then cut out about one hundred or so purple and one hundred or so pink fondant flowers for decoration. This cake was to compliment a Tinkerbell cake topper.
The glitter is edible sparkle glitter. The cake was a lot of work but my friends loved it. Hubby enjoyed the crumbs I had cut off the top so much I made him his very own raspberry cake the next day. It was pretty much gone in an instant. Don’t forget to email me if you have any questions. Happy Baking!
This is the cake I made for my daughter Megan’s baby shower this past weekend. The cake on the bottom was yellow cake filled with white cream cheese frosting and then covered with the same frosting coloured blue. I added balls of chocolate fondant to the sides and for the circles.
The top cake was made using the good old Wilton Teddy Bear pan. I made this for her first birthday some 20+ years ago so thought it would be a nice touch for this cake. The cake is chocolate cake and is iced with a chocolate flavoured cream cheese frosting. The diaper is thinly rolled white fondant made using Carrie Biggers’ recipe. Sorry but I can’t give that to you here because Carrie sells it on her website as one of her product range. It’s a great recipe and tastes so much better than commercially produced fondant. I am always horrified when I see the fondant being torn off of wedding cakes by folks that have only had the shop bought kind. The home made stuff is so much nicer and very edible.
Ok, so I have to “fess up.” Even experienced bakers and decorators make mistakes. Stupid mistakes actually. That bear on the top took three attempts before I got it right. I can’t believe it since I’ve made it many times before but the first time around I didn’t add enough batter to the pan so when bear came out he had NO LEGS! Um no. That bear became chocolate cake balls that I put into the party favour boxes for our guests to take home with them, so not a total waste.
With my second attempt I totally forgot to insert the cone into the center of the pan which ensures even cooking. Not realizing my mistake I took the “perfect” bear from the pan and then wondered why his head was caving in. After a crack formed I could see that the batter inside was still liquid and not even close to being cooked. This poor bear met his demise down the garbage disposal.. sorry bear number 2.
So finally at 11:30pm on Friday night (the party was the next day) I baked off bear number 3. You might think this one worked out perfectly. Well not exactly. Probably due to the fact that it had been one heck of a busy week I did remember to insert the heat cone this time BUT forgot to spray it with cooking spray. As I pulled it out a crack formed across poor bear’s face. Thank goodness for buttercream which I used to patch him up with.
So next time you make a mistake or forget something, don’t worry too much, we all do it!
We’ve probably all sang that little ditty at some time in our lives. I know we did when we were kids growing up in Australia. Bread often plays a major role in holiday and religious observances. The hot cross bun is traditional Lenton bread, its exact origins unknown. Some say that it has pagan origins, the cross representing the moon and its four quarters. Anglo-Saxons ate the sacramental buns in honor of their goddess Eastore. When the Romans arrived in Britain, the clergy tried to stop the use of the sacramental buns, but could not. So they blessed them and gave the cross on the buns a Christian meaning. Traditionally these buns are decorated with dough piped across the top before baking, not a sweet icing as is commonly seen. A thin glaze brushed over the buns provides the added sweetness.
Yield: 30 Rolls
10 ounces Golden raisins
10 ounces Dark raisins
3 ounces Candied orange peel
2 lb. 4 oz. Bread flour
4 ounces Shortening
3 1/2 ounces Granulated sugar
10 grams Dough conditioner, optional
2 ounces Dry milk powder
2 3/4 ounces Compressed yeast
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Cardamom, ground
1 teaspoon Allspice, ground
2 teaspoons Ginger, ground
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon, ground
19 fluid ounces Water
4 ounces Pastry flour
3/4 ounce Shortening
3 1/2 fluid ounces Milk
6 fluid ounces Bun Glaze
1. Place the raisins and candied orange peel in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let soften in the water for 5 minutes. Drain the water and let the fruit condition for 2 to 4 hours before using. Set aside.
2. Place the flour, shortening, sugar, dough conditioner, if using, dry milk powder, yeast, salt, eggs, vanilla extract and spices in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the water and mix the dough on low speed for 3 minutes until moistened. Stop the machine and scrape the bowl. Add additional flour if necessary to create a soft dough. Mix the dough on medium speed for 6 to 7 minutes until it is soft and pliable.
3. Add the conditioned fruit and mix the dough on low speed until the fruit is well distributed in the dough. If necessary, dust the dough lightly with more flour to help the fruit incorporate.
4. Scrape the dough onto a flour-dusted workbench. Cover and ferment for 30 minutes. Deflate the dough and fold it into thirds then let it rest for another 15 minutes.
5. Divide the dough into 3-1/2-ounce (100-gram) pieces. Round the dough into tight rolls with a smooth top surface. Place the formed rolls, seam side down on a paper-lined half sheet pan. Position them in rows on the tray, 5 rolls by 6 rolls so that the rolls touch when fully proofed.
6. Proof the rolls with low humidity until doubled in size, approximately 50 minutes.
7. While the rolls proof, prepare the cross dough. Combine the pastry flour, shortening and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until the shortening is well blended and the dough is lump free.
8. When the rolls have proofed, scoop the cross mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Quickly pipe a cross over the surface of each roll.
9. Bake at 375°F (190°C) until the rolls are a rich brown color, approximately 15 minutes.
10. Brush the hot rolls generously with the chilled Bun Glaze, making certain they are well coated so that no dry spots appear when the glaze dries.