Chocolate Chip Cookies 

20160617-094337.jpg

20160617-094441.jpg

20160617-094623.jpg

20160617-094647.jpg

20160617-094701.jpg

Good morning!!!

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you might remember that I did a post about chocolate chip cookie baking for one of the days of Blogmas. However, my friend Travis with whom I do most of the baking that appears on this blog, turned 28 on Thursday and we wanted to bake something classic. 

After whisking the batter for cupcakes and cheesecake with a manual whisk since we didn’t have an electric mixer, I got him a mixer for his birthday and we tested it out on this cookie recipe. I have to say, it worked pretty darn well and sped up the prep time by a good 15 minutes. 

Ingredients

20160617-094319.jpg

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  4. Add flour and chocolate chips. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Dollop cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

Notes

  • Because these were birthday cupcakes, I wanted to make a few that were special, so some of the cookies were slightly bigger. One had 28 spelled out in chocolate chips, another had a K on it for my name, a C for Travis’s brother’s name, a heart-shaped cookie, and a cookie with a smiley face. Had we not made these cookies slightly bigger, this recipe would have made around 4 dozen cookies.
  • I never realized how efficient an electric mixer was until we had made cupcakes using a whisk and then made these cookies with the mixer. The prep time is essentially cut in half, which was nice because it gave us more time to catch up. 
  • 20160617-094405.jpgAt the time, I found this hilariously funny: the oven, with the towels on either side, resembles a puppet show theatre. And at one point, some of the cookies were baking into each other so I accused them of kissing and pulled the towel curtains closed to give them some privacy. Gosh I am strange sometimes. 

img_1358

Advertisements

Vanilla Cupcakes

20160310-075933

20160310-075925

Hello there 🙂 🙂

 A few weeks ago, I learned that my friend Travis had never baked cupcakes before in his life. I was completely shocked that he had made it almost 28 years on this planet without ever making them, so we got together last Wednesday to bake. I loved this recipe I got from my grandmother so much that I wanted to share it here. I have no idea where she got it from, but credit to whoever came up with this perfect cupcake recipe. 

Ingredients: 

  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups milk

Steps: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring eggs and butter to room temperature. Insert cupcake liners into two pans. 
  2. Mix together the salt, flour, and baking powder in a bowl (dry mixture).
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter. Then add sugar and beat until combined. Continue to beat, and add eggs and vanilla (wet mixture). 
  4. Add part of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat. Then add some milk, and beat. Continue this alternation until all of the dry mixture and the milk have been added. Mix well. Then pour into cupcake pans (about half-full).  
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cupcakes are a golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the centre. 
  6. Cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from pans. 

20160310-075859.jpg

And now for the frosting!!!

Ingredients: 

  • ¾ cups butter, softened
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. Beat softened butter together with some icing sugar. Add the vanilla and some milk. Then alternate between adding sugar and milk until happy with frosting consistency. Note: If frosting is too thin –> add sugar    If frosting is too thick –> add milk

Cooking notes:

  1. Well, first off, my friend did not own an electric mixer so we picked up two whisks for $3.50, one large and one small, and beat everything together by hand. My arm definitely got a good workout, and by the end of it, only one whisk was left standing; the other was in pieces in the sink. Good to know though that hand beating can do just as good of a job; it just takes a bit longer. 
  2. We found that the cupcakes were not fully baked after 15 minutes, so we left them in for the full 18 minutes.
  3. We also didn’t have a toothpick, so the cupcakes were tested using a sanitized paper clip. Talk about high quality bakeware. 
  4. Finally, I wrote out the recipe wrong, with 8 cups of icing sugar needed for the icing, not 4. We got 4 in, but had enough icing to do probably another 24 cupcakes. Oh well, I can always make a cake and use it up. 

Let me know how you find this recipe if you try it out 🙂 🙂 What have you been baking these days??? 

Picture 19

Blogmas Day 8: Homemade Nanaimo Bars

nanaimobars

nanaimobars1

Good morning all!!!

For anyone who might not know, Nanaimo bars are a three layer dessert featuring a crumb-based layer, a butter icing layer, and to top it off, a melted chocolate layer. A super cool fact is that these delicious no-baking-required treats are named after a west coast city very close to my own home: Nanaimo, British Columbia!

Way back in 1986, the Mayor of Nanaimo, Graeme Roberts, started up a contest to find the best Nanaimo Bar recipe. The contest lasted a month, and almost 100 different recipes were submitted, but the winner was Joyce Hardcastle.

Now I don’t know if my family Nanaimo Bar recipe is the same as Joyce Hardcastle’s, and it hasn’t been recognized by any mayor, but it is the most delicious recipe I have come across, and as a Canadian, I have tried lots!!!

Ingredients: 

  1. Bottom Layer
  • ½ cup butter or ¼ cup margarine
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • I egg beaten
  • ½ cup chocolate chips semi-sweet or 5 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup coconut (finely ground)
  • ½ chopped nuts (optional)

2. Middle Layer

  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • 2tbsp vanilla custard powder
  • 2 tbsp milk (or cream)
  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar

3. Third Layer

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • ¼ cup icing sugar

Steps: 

Step 1: To make the bottom layer, mix butter, sugar, egg, and chipits in a heavy saucepan, and stir until mixed. Then add in crumbs, coconut, and nuts, and press into 9” square pan

Step 2: Cream butter, custard, milk, and icing sugar until smooth and spread evenly over crumb layer. Then chill these two layers in the fridge until set.

Step 3: To make the top later, melt butter and chipits over low heat, then allow to cool. Once cooled but still in liquid state, pour over first two chilled layers..

Step 4: Chill the pan in the refrigerator.

20151207-232950.jpg
Another special family recipe, handwritten by my grandmother

And voilà: a super-easy no-baking-required dessert!!! I love adding these to dessert platters, especially at family gatherings because they are the perfect size for snacking, and they always get eaten. The pictures above are of the last few that were left at the end of the day I made them. They went that fast!!! I had set aside a few for photos but somehow the “Do not touch-blog material” sign was misread as “Help yourself to these delicious treats.”

If you haven’t made Nanaimo bars before, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!!!

Blog logo

Blogmas Day 2: Christmas Baking

IMG_6260

IMG_6257

IMG_6254

Good afternoon all!!!

One of my favourite festive things to do is Christmas baking with my grandmother. Every year, we test out new recipes and make old favourites, and for this round of baking we wanted to make one of our traditional recipes: shortbread cookies. They are super easy to make, and so delicious to eat.

IMG_6245
My grandmother’s handwritten recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of butter
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 4 cups of flour

Step 1: Mix these ingredients in a bowl until they are smooth.

Step 2: Roll the dough into small balls and press with a fork to create a ribbed design, or cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Depending on how wide your cookie tray is, limit the number of cookies per row to about 4, as they will spread out in the oven and you don’t want them melding together. Although, that would make for one massive cookie . . .

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and then pop them in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Step 4: Enjoy your delicious, warm, home-made shortbread cookies with a cup of hot chocolate or tea.

I love giving these as presents to people, having them out when company comes over, and snacking on them while studying for final exams.

What are you baking this Christmas season???

Blog logo