Monday, April 16, 2012

Nutella Craze

We're 2 weeks from finals here, and that means stress baking and more blog posts.  My current fascination is Nutella and whatever I can put it on or in.  First, Michael and I made Nutella cookies and Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies. The straight Nutella ones were delicious. I tried to steal them all but Michael caught me. The Peanut Butter ones are alright, but if you spread them with Nutella, they are awesome.

That's probably a good estimate for how many I ate...

 Our next adventure, that caused some burns in the kitchen last night, were Nutella Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies.  We baked with one of Michael's roommates, Jake, in one of the least well stocked kitchens.  That should seriously be a TV show. Bake something in a kitchen that doesn't have the proper utensils. Seriously, I used a fruit bowl as a mixing bowl... and they didn't have a 1/4 cup measuring cup, so we had to do tablespoons instead. Needless to say I'll be glad to be back in my own kitchen baking tonight.
Jake with his tbsp earring of pain.
These brownies were seriously worth driving across campus to raid my kitchen for ingredients and avoiding homework for a little bit. I mean look at these things!
I will say that making them, most of the ingredients looked like poop. But it's okay, because it's not poop, it's brownies. And brownies are delicious.  Word of caution: let them cool before you try to eat them. I burnt my hand and my mouth because I was over-excited and so did the guys.

See ya'll soon with some Samoas!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Belated Birthday Pibb

Just because we've done awesome cakes before, doesn't mean that all of them come out pretty. This one came out pretty ugly. But delicious!

It was someone's birthday last Thursday, but he didn't really let us know till it was too late to do anything.

So it good friendly spirit, Steph and I decided we needed to make him a birthday cake. Who cared if he wanted it or not?

Now, Wes really likes Dr. Pepper. It's an addiction, and sadly Steph & I only fueled it. But it was such a delicious fueling! Unsure if he liked chocolate or vanilla cake more, we just went with the Dr. Pepper cake. Now, our campus is supported by Coca-Cola, so we actually used Mr. Pibb. The difference is basically lost in the cake.

Adjusted slightly from here.
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup Mr Pibb (left open and covered for around 3 hours, to become somewhat flat)
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 buttermilk***
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
***Instead of buttermilk, put 1/2 tbsp white vinegar into a 1/2 cup, then fill the rest of the 1/2 cup with milk and let sit around 5 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Heat butter, Mr Pibb, and cocoa in microwave until the butter has melted. Mix well and set aside.
  • Cream eggs, sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda.
  • Combine cinnamon and flour.
  • Alternately add flour and Mr. Pibb mixtures to the sugar mixture while mixing, then add vanilla.
  • Pour into greased 9x12 pans or two 9x9 pans then cook for 25-30 minutes.

Let the cakes cool after you remove them. Next comes the icing, also loosely based off the linked recipe.

Mr Pibb Icing

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup Mr Pibb
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 16 oz powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Heat butter, Mr Pibb, and cocoa until butter is melted.
  • Gradually add in sugar, mixing as you go
  • Add in vanilla before all of the sugar is added, so that you don't end up too wet or too dry
  • I added too much sugar at first, so I splashed in more Pibb. Then had to add more sugar, but it turned into a solid, easy to spread icing.
  • And because I'm addicted to food coloring and I've always associated Dr. Pepper/Mr Pibb with a brown-red color, I added about 7 drops of red, until I was happy with the color.
The cake is predominantly chocolate, but the cinnamon and other "23 flavors" do snap out at you. If you like chocolate but would enjoy something with some extra bite to it, I'd strongly suggest this cake! 

The orange and blue were vaguely supposed to be Portals. They were also a replacement for candles since we aren't allowed to have lighters in our apartments. Whoo birthday!

Friday, March 30, 2012

We don't need no stinkin' Girl Scouts

We broke out the food processor from 1979. Hoping that the nearly 33 year old machine wouldn't decide to die mid-process. Then Kate put the wrong thing in the bowl and we got sidetracked and had to make muffins really quick.

Finally, we were back to making Tagalongs and counting out the pulses for the food processor. Then almost dumped dough all over the kitchen before I realized I should put the cutting board on top of the bowl and then flip it to form a ball and roll it into logs. Kate's Angry Monster oversaw our baking to make sure we were doing things correctly. He's very mean, but I think if I had arms like that I would be mean too.

Then you have to let the cookies chill in the fridge for a while and hope your other two roommates don't come home, look in the fridge, and think you're keeping sex toys in there...

Cut 'em up, place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (because we are lazy here and we like cleaning to be super easy.) Now bung them in the oven for 8-10 min, until they are golden brown around the edges, and try not to dump some off the tray into the oven like Kate did. It's very depressing when that happens...

After the wafers have cooled, make the peanut butter filling and top each cookies fairly generously. You can always do an extra layer if you have extra filling left after you do all of them.

Alright, time for the fun part. Now, we aren't fancy and we didn't have any of that chocolate couverture the recipe calls for, but we do have a 4lb bag of chocolate chips. Just get a bowl that will hold the 1.5 lbs of chocolate chips you'll need and start melting them in the microwave. Make sure to do it gradually so you don't burn the chocolate, and be sure to stir between each heating.  Don't worry about splitting the chocolate in to 2 bowls, that's just making a mess of a bowl that you don't even need. One bowl works perfectly well.

You can go back to following the instructions now. Just drop the cookie in the chocolate, drizzle about a tablespoon of chocolate on top of it, then pick it up with the fork and tap on the side until the excess chocolate is off, and finally drag the fork on the side of the bowl and place the cookie on parchment paper. Put your sheet in the fridge to chill, and then enjoy your hard work!

Kate and I found that ours melt really easily, so we are storing them in the fridge. But they are delicious regardless of how messy your fingers will be. Next up in our baking adventure: Homemade Samoas.

This is your hand when you use it to make puppy chow.

Yo dawg...

I heard you like blog posts so I got you a blog post in a blog post, so you can read a blog while you read a blog.  Yeah, this is what happens when we don't blog about anything in months. Deal with it.

In all seriousness, we started out our baking by getting ingredients ready to make these tasty little devils: Homemade Tagalongs.  We got out the food processor, Kate put in the flour, and then she put in sugar. Then I hear, "Crap, that was supposed to be powdered sugar."

So, we put the Tagalongs on hold for a minute to find a quick recipe that we could use the sugar and flour in, and decided on muffins, but of course we had no fresh fruit to go in them. The best we could do was dried cranberries, which turned out just horribly...I'll just take these with me and handle them. Kay? Kay.

They look awful, don't they? :D

Okay, fine...They aren't defective. I'll put them back on the counter and share... *sigh*

The Recipe!
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs, beaten
-1/2 cup milk
-2 cups AP flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
- dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
-2 cups dried cranberries, tossed lightly with powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Beginning and ending with flour, alternatively add the flour and milk to the butter mixture, until well combined. Fold in cranberries.

Muffin Batter!!
Fill muffin tins 2/3rds full, using either paper cups or a greased pan. Then pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges.

Kate just a'mixing away.