Gauging the success of your blog can be a challenge. When you start from zero, any visitors or comments seem like a great victory.
I like to think, though, that being asked to write a guest post on someone else’s blog is a sign that you’re doing something right. So Torie and I were delighted when DeAnn from The SIP Project asked us to participate in her new initiative, Dish & Serve.
The concept is that you make a favourite recipe, then share it with someone as a random act of kindness. For our act of kindness, we gave these Chocolate-Dipped Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies to our friend Jess on her last day of work before starting a new job – read more about it in our guest post on DeAnn’s blog.
Whether you keep them for yourself or share them with someone else, these cookies are definitely worth making. They’re adapted from the ever-amazing How Sweet It Is.
When I saw this recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine, I knew I wanted to try it. In the past I have written about my dislike for substitutions, and I can be quite particular about substituting lower fat options, but yogurt and cake are not necessarily bitter enemies who should always avoid each other. Greek Yogurt + Pound Cake= BFF. Maybe? No. Ok, well, it just sounded like it made sense so I gave it a shot.
And it was good. Very good.
Now I actually had never made my own pound cake before. But comparing this recipe to store-bought ones I found that the texture was a bit different, but not bad-different. Just different-different. It’s not quite as sweet, which was surprising since it has an entire cup of sugar. It’s just got an overall lighter feel. Everyone who ate it though wouldn’t have known it was mostly yogurt if I hadn’t told them…but I’m the kind of baker who always tells her secrets. I would say this is such an easy recipe, and nice to know you’re getting something a bit healthier, that I would certainly use this again the next time I’m looking to make pound cake.
I am incapable of buying brown sugar. This should not be a difficult task – “buying brown sugar” is not complicated enough to ever be listed under Special Skills on a resume. But I can’t seem to do it.
Twice I have accidentally purchased demerara sugar instead of regular brown sugar. The first time was annoying; the second time I just felt like a complete moron because you’d think I’d have learned my lesson the first time.
Then, however, I learned to love demerara, in all its sticky, molasses-y goodness. So when I decided to make hermit cookies, it seemed like a great time to pick up some demerara and make some caramel-y cookies.
Except that I picked up regular brown sugar instead. Apparently I cannot tell the difference. In my defence, I was a bit frazzled by the time I got to the baking aisle – I literally just fallen over in the bulk aisle while buying dates. Some weird nerve things in my back have left my right leg a bit unpredictable at the moment and I stupidly crouched down to scoop some dates from the bottom row, putting all of my weight on my right leg, and toppled over. Have you ever looked at the floor of a bulk aisle in a grocery store? It’s dirty. Very dirty. And I had the pleasure of sitting on it. Ick.
Anyway, after that I just wanted to get the heck out of there. And in my rush to leave I grabbed regular brown sugar. Even after I got home I had to examine the package in great detail because I was so sure I’d picked up the right stuff. One day I’ll learn…
This is the best chocolate cupcake I’ve ever made. Apologies to the ones that have come before it. But wowza, I loved these little guys. The cake was perfect. The frosting was very sweet, which is not suited to everyone. I can consume copious amounts of sugar and barely notice, but this is not a universal trait. If you lack a serious sweet tooth I would recommend topping this cake with a different frosting but for something out of the norm, this chocolate chip cookie dough frosting is a great treat.
The keys to achieving a perfect cake comes down to a few simple tips.
Remove your eggs, buttermilk and butter from the fridge an hour or two prior to baking. Room temperature, folks.
Use real buttermilk.
When you alternate the buttermilk and flour mixture, start and end with flour. I don’t know why, Anna Olson told me to, and after making this recipe, I take her word as fact. I tried to find out exactly why this matters but can’t find an answer yet. Do you know? Pass along the info! Otherwise, just trust me and enjoy!
I don’t even know if I can call this a recipe. Because it’s so easy and takes less than 5 minutes to make. It doesn’t even use an oven. This is microwave- start to finish. It requires one bowl, a spoon, and a paper bag.
I’m having a busy, yet un-motivated week. So I ate a bunch of peanut butter popcorn. And now you can eat peanut butter popcorn and maybe later I will turn my oven on.
Unlike the regular S’more Popcorn, I choose to shape these into balls to create individual servings. This is helpful to keep oneself from eating an entire batch in one sitting.
I love these cookies. I love them a lot. I ate way too many of them. So often I give away baking, or I force feed my husband. Not with these bad boys. They have everything I love in cookies. Chocolate chips, peanut butter, oats, coconut and less guilt with the whole wheat flour and flax.
They have so many different names. Where we live this kind of cookie can be a Cowboy Cookie, or a Ranger Cookie but any name just means there are a lot of things tucked into one cookie. I called them Cowboy Cookies because I felt like it. Tried to come up with something snappy and new but didn’t get very far.
“They have peanut butter AND actual peanuts,” I stated, looking for advice.
“Call them Actual Peanut Cookies”
“Catchy, but no, and besides that ignores everything else in them.”
“Oh then I don’t know.”
Anyways, Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut, Flax, Peanuts and Chocolate Chips is way too long but effectively descriptive. So I present to you Cowboy Cookies.
Don’t you eat your cookies out of tiny casserole dishes?
I bought buttermilk for the first time ever. No more faking it with milk and vinegar substitution. Not that it’s not a valid substitution, however, real buttermilk has quite a different consistency. Liz and I both needed buttermilk for recipes last week so we went to a store that only sold buttermilk in 1L cartons. We have both been churning out buttermilk recipes to use up our cartons. I have made 2 batches of muffin, 2 batches of cupcakes, 1/2 batch of shortcake and a batch of scones and I STILL have some buttermilk left. It is like the never ending carton. But it expires tomorrow so no more buttermilk for the sake of buttermilk. Also, all those recipes will be coming up, so if you buy some buttermilk for one recipe, might as well try them all.
Once the buttermilk was in my house I knew I was going to make Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins. My husband loves them and buys them from Starbucks all the time. These were a superior muffin to their non-buttermilk counterparts, and now that I have started baking with buttermilk, I feel like it’s just better overall. That could also stem from the fact we drink skim milk, and in turn bake with skim milk, so that extra fat in buttermilk lends itself well to baked goods, as does most fat.
And those are my thoughts on buttermilk.
I started going to the gym about three times a week, starting about a month ago. My arms are getting some nice muscle tone, and my cardio endurance is up. I weighed myself today and found I had actually gained weight since starting the gym. I told myself that I weigh more because I’m gaining muscle. But now that I’m writing this post, I’m starting to question the actual source of weight gain.
Muscle mass or Nutella Brownie Cups?
Little bit of column A, little bit of column B.
Guess I better hit the gym.
Vanilla cake is not as easy to accomplish from scratch. Not the way chocolate cake is. It’s easy for vanilla to seem bland or dry. However, these cupcakes received a very good seal of approval. “I think this is the best vanilla cake I’ve ever had from scratch that didn’t come from a bakery.” I’ll take it.
But my favourite part of this recipe is the frosting. It’s half whipped cream so it’s light and fluffy and it perfectly complements the strawberry flavour.
Oh my other favourite part? These adorable cupcake wrappers, making them the perfect treat for Mother’s Day. We gave them to my mom early since it was her birthday yesterday (Happy Birthday Marm!) and she thought they were adorable.
Sometimes I want to bake treats that will make the people who eat them think I’m awesome.
Sometimes I want to set things on fire.
S’more cupcakes satisfy all three of these criteria. These cupcakes are a project (albeit not a difficult one), there was lots of fire involved, and I think I achieved a solid level of awesomeness. One person actually said these were the best cupcakes he’d ever had. I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’re almost bakery-worthy – these things are that good.
While I adapted the proportions and a few ingredients, all credit for this concept goes to Cookies and Cups. The cupcakes, the icing and the assembly are all from them, so go take a look. For the chocolate cupcakes and marshmallow icing, see this post.