Flour Child Bakery opens in Virginia Beach!

My mom and I just opened a bakery in Virginia Beach!! "Like" us to stay updated! If you care to read our blog, it's flourchildbakery.blogspot.com.



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge - Opéra Cake

All I have to say about this challenge is... I tried. It tasted good, but I didn't go back for a second piece. Maybe I just don't dig on French desserts with fancy French names... Or is it Italian? Blah, who cares. I don't like desserts I have to think about! On the bright side, I'm happy this month's challenge was a cake. The frosting recipe was awesome. I'll definitely use the frosting again! Thanks to Lis, Ivonne, Fran & Shea for hosting! PS: Check out the new Daring Bakers' forum!


Ingredients!Butter the corners of the pan to help the parchment stick.
With 6 eggs in the cake, it's no wonder it smelled like an omelette while baking!
Wrapped and ready for the next day.
Melting white chocolate in a double boiler.
Whipped cream with soft peaks.
Soupy "mousse"...
TRASHED! Hahaha oh well...
The butterscotch buttercream was the best part! It should look like this when finished (no need to refrigerate it to make it thick). It's the texture of very soft butter.
Frosting the layers...
1/4 of the doubled recipe on each layer...
Then the other 1/2 of the doubled recipe covers the whole cake!
Finished product! Let this baby come close to room temp before eating,
unless you like the texture of cold butter...

Recipe (see other people's creations at Daring Bakers' Blogroll):
Opéra Cake (My adaptations are in ORANGE!)
This recipe is based on Opéra Cake recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets and Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty’s Chocolate Passion.

For the joconde
(Note: The joconde can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept wrapped at room temperature)

What you’ll need:
•2 12½ x 15½-inch (31 x 39-cm) jelly-roll pans (Note: If you do not have jelly-roll pans this size, do not fear! You can use different-sized jelly-roll pans like 10 x 15-inches.) (I used a 10x15 pan)
•a few tablespoons of melted butter (in addition to what’s called for in the ingredients’ list) and a brush (to grease the pans)
•parchment paper
•a whisk and a paddle attachment for a stand mixer or for a handheld mixer
•two mixing bowls (you can make do with one but it’s preferable to have two)

Ingredients:
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp. (30 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (225 grams) ground blanched almonds (Note: If you do not want to use almond meal, you can use another nut meal like hazelnut. You can buy almond meal in bulk food stores or health food stores, or you can make it at home by grinding almonds in the food processor with a tablespoon or two of the flour that you would use in the cake. The reason you need the flour is to prevent the almonds from turning oily or pasty in the processor. You will need about 2 cups of blanched almonds to create enough almond meal for this cake.)
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
6 large eggs (at room temperature)
½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. (1½ ounces; 45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Divide the oven into thirds by positioning a rack in the upper third of the oven and the lower third of the oven.
2. Preheat the oven to 425◦F. (220◦C).
3. Line two jelly-roll pans with parchment paper and brush with melted butter.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. If you do not have another mixer bowl, gently scrape the meringue into another bowl and set aside.
5. If you only have one bowl, wash it after removing the egg whites or if you have a second bowl, use that one. Attach the paddle attachment to the stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer again) and beat the almonds, icing sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes.
6. Add the flour and beat on low speed until the flour is just combined (be very careful not to overmix here!!!).
7. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture and then fold in the melted butter. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.
8. Bake the cake layers until they are lightly browned and just springy to the touch. This could take anywhere from 5 to 9 minutes depending on your oven. (The cake in the top 3rd of the oven was done about 1 minute before the other)
9. Put the pans on a heatproof counter (or cooling rack) and run a sharp knife along the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Cover each with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the pans over, and unmold.
10. Carefully peel away the parchment, then turn the parchment over and use it to cover the cakes. Let the cakes cool to room temperature.

For the syrup
(Note: The syrup can be made up to 1 week in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.)

What you’ll need:
•a small saucepan

Ingredients:
½ cup (125 grams) water
⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. of the flavouring of your choice (i.e., vanilla extract, almond extract, cognac, limoncello, coconut cream, honey etc.) (I used 1/2 teaspoon almond extract to enhance the flavor of the almond meal)

1. Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

For the buttercream
(Double this if you plan to frost the whole cake)
(Note: The buttercream can be made up to 1 month in advance and packed in an airtight container. If made way in advance, you can freeze the buttercream. Alternatively you can refrigerate it for up to 4 days after making it. To use the buttercream simply bring it to room temperature and then beat it briefly to restore its consistency.)

What you’ll need:
•a small saucepan
•a candy or instant-read thermometer
•a stand mixer or handheld mixer
•a bowl and a whisk attachment
•rubber spatula

Ingredients:
1 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 grams) water
seeds of one vanilla bean (split a vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the seeds) or 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract (Note: If you are flavouring your buttercream and do not want to use the vanilla, you do not have to. Vanilla will often enhance other flavours but if you want an intense, one-flavoured buttercream, then by all means leave it out!)
(I used 1 tbsp butterscotch liqueur)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¾ sticks (7 ounces; 200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
flavouring of your choice (a tablespoon of an extract, a few tablespoons of melted white chocolate, citrus zest, etc.) (I used 1 teaspoon butterscotch liqueur)

1. Combine the sugar, water and vanilla bean seeds or extract (or liqueur) in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves.
2. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 225◦F (107◦C) [*Note: Original recipe indicates a temperature of 255◦F (124◦C), however, when testing the recipe I found that this was too high so we heated to 225◦F and it worked fine] on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Once it reaches that temperature, remove the syrup from the heat.
3. While the syrup is heating, begin whisking the egg and egg yolk at high speed in the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment. Whisk them until they are pale and foamy.
4. When the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature and you remove it from the heat, reduce the mixer speed to low speed and begin slowly (very slowly) pouring the syrup down the side of the bowl being very careful not to splatter the syrup into the path of the whisk attachment. Some of the syrup will spin onto the sides of the bowl but don’t worry about this and don’t try to stir it into the mixture as it will harden! (After this, get that saucepan in some hot water, because that sugar syrup dries hard as a rock!)
5. Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the eggs are thick and satiny and the mixture is cool to the touch (about 5 minutes or so).
6. While the egg mixture is beating, place the softened butter in a bowl and mash it with a spatula until you have a soft creamy mass. (This step isn't necessary)
7. With the mixer on medium speed, begin adding in two-tablespoon chunks (Wait about 10 seconds between each addition). When all the butter has been incorporated, raise the mixer speed to high and beat until the buttercream is thick and shiny.
8. At this point add in your flavouring and beat for an additional minute or so.
9. Refrigerate the buttercream, stirring it often, until it’s set enough (firm enough) to spread when topped with a layer of cake (about 20 minutes). (If you make the buttercream properly, it does not need to go into the refrigerator. It thickens up just like Swiss meringue buttercream. If it's too soft you haven't whipped it long enough on high speed.)

For the white chocolate ganache/mousse (this step is optional – please see Assembling an Opéra Cake below)
(Note: The mousse can be made ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.)

What you’ll need:
•a small saucepan
•a mixer or handheld mixer

Ingredients:
7 ounces white chocolate
1 cup plus 3 tbsp. heavy cream (35% cream)
1 tbsp. liquer of your choice (Bailey’s, Amaretto, etc.)

1. Melt the white chocolate and the 3 tbsp. of heavy cream in a small saucepan. (I did this in a double boiler because I've always heard not to put chocolate in contact with direct heat.)
2. Stir to ensure that it’s smooth and that the chocolate is melted. Add the tablespoon of liqueur to the chocolate and stir. Set aside to cool completely.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form (You should probably whip it almost to stiff peaks, but be careful not to over mix or it will become butter).
4. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate to form a mousse.
5. If it’s too thin, refrigerate it for a bit until it’s spreadable. (I refrigerated mine for 1/2 hour and it never thickened. I might not have whipped my cream enough.)
6. If you’re not going to use it right away, refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

For the glaze
(I skipped this)
(Note: It’s best to make the glaze right when you’re ready to finish the cake.)

What you’ll need:
•a small saucepan or double boiler

Ingredients:
14 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream (35% cream)

1. Melt the white chocolate with the heavy cream. Whisk the mixture gently until smooth.
2. Let cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the chilled cake. Using a long metal cake spatula, smooth out into an even layer.
3. Place the cake into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.

Assembling the Opéra Cake
(Note: The finished cake should be served slightly chilled. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day).

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
2. Working with one sheet of cake at a time, cut and trim each sheet so that you have two pieces (from each cake so you’ll have four pieces in total): one 10-inch (25-cm) square and one 10 x 5-inch (25 x 12½-cm) rectangle.
Option A (if using buttercream only and not making the ganache/mousse):
3. Place one square of cake on the baking sheet and moisten it gently with the flavoured syrup.
4. Spread about one-third of the buttercream over this layer.
5. Top with the two rectangular pieces of cake, placing them side by side to form a square. Moisten these pieces with the flavoured syrup.
6. Spread another third of the buttercream on the cake and then top with the third square of joconde. Use the remaining syrup to wet the joconde. Spread the remaining buttercream on top of the final layer of joconde and then refrigerate until very firm (at least half an hour).

Continue to #8.

Option B (if making the ganache/mousse):
3. Place one square of cake on the baking sheet and moisten it gently with the flavoured syrup.
4. Spread about three-quarters of the buttercream over this layer.
5. Top with the two rectangular pieces of cake, placing them side by side to form a square. Moisten these pieces with the flavoured syrup.
6. Spread the remaining buttercream on the cake and then top with the third square of joconde. Use the remaining syrup to wet the joconde and then refrigerate until very firm (at least half an hour).
7. Prepare the ganache/mousse (if you haven’t already) and then spread it on the top of the last layer of the joconde. Refrigerate for at least two to three hours to give the ganache/mousse the opportunity to firm up.


8. Make the glaze and after it has cooled, pour/spread it over the top of the chilled cake. Refrigerate the cake again to set the glaze.
9. Serve the cake slightly chilled. This recipe will yield approximately 20 servings.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

For the past few weeks, I've been haunted by a major craving for cinnamon rolls. Every time I passed the biscuits in the refrigerator section at the grocery store, I could see that little dough boy staring at me from the can of sweet sticky cinnamon rolls. I never bought any because I wanted to try making them from scratch. Finally this morning I didn't have anything to do, so I began searching food blogs for a great recipe. Much to my chagrin, all of the recipes called for yeast. Now excuse me while I go off on a rabbit trail... Last year, I bought some of those little yeast packets. I put them in the cabinet where we keep all the baking powder/soda, corn starch, gelatin, etc. A few months later I wanted to make something with yeast, so I searched and searched and searched and could not find those freakin packets. To make a long story short, I bought them and they disappeared before I got to use them. That's why I didn't have yeast this morning! Great story, eh? Anyway, I decided to use a simple biscuit recipe but tweak it a little, and this is what I came up with. They are really delicious. I ate two while they were hot out of the oven!
Mini Cinnamon Rolls (10-12 small rolls)

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cut into 8 cubes
1/2 cup COLD whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened, to spread on the dough
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in hot water until plump, then drained
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2-3 teaspoons warm water

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 8x8, 9x9, or 13x9 baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor or in a bowl. Mix well. Add cold butter and pulse in a food processor (a pastry cutter or a fork will work also) until the butter is the size of small peas. Pour in milk and mix just until dough comes together.

Working on a well-floured surface, knead dough 4 or 5 times. Roll into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Using your hands or a pastry brush, smear butter over dough. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over butter and pat it down so it sticks. Sprinkle walnuts and raisins evenly over dough. Starting on the long side of the rectangle, roll into a long log. Cut ends off, and cut remaining log into slices about 1 inch thick.

Place rolls cut side down into a small baking pan about 1/4 inch apart if you want them to touch. Place rolls in a larger baking pan 1 inch apart if you do not want them to touch. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and make glaze.

Whisk together confectioners' sugar and water together to make a paste (add more water 1/2 teaspoon at a time if it's too thick). Spread glaze over warm rolls. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sprinkles® Vanilla Cupcake Mix

Don't get caught in the hype and waste your money. These cupcakes aren't very delicious, and the mix takes all the fun out of making them yourself. The thing I said about the Sprinkles Red Velvet mix goes for this Vanilla mix too; Betty Crocker cake mix tastes 1 million times better and costs less than $2/box (Betty Crocker makes 24 cupcakes, and Sprinkles at $14/box only makes 12-16). So anyway, that's my review. Here are the photos. Oh yeah I topped these babies with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting to cover up the flavor of the not-so-yummy cupcakes.
EDIT: After actually eating one of these and not just nibbling on crumbs, I change my opinion from "not very delicious" to barely edible. Sick. Really, please don't waste your money! For some reason my mom's co-workers liked them. I have a feeling they were just being nice.


Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese.
2. Slowly add sifted confectioners' sugar and salt and mix until smooth.
3. Add melted chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined.
4. Add heavy cream and mix on medium-high for 30 seconds.


Overall rating on a scale of 1-5
Moistness: 2
Tenderness: 2
Frosting: 4

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Looking for a Lurker to De-Lurk!

Amanda! I met you over the weekend on my way to the Greek Festival. Will you leave a comment or send an e-mail so I can contact you? It was great to meet you, and I'd love to chat more!

Thanks! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (From Scratch)

Mother’s Day weekend, my mom and I went to my grandma’s house in North Carolina. Saturday, we had a surprise baby shower for my cousin and a 4th birthday party for my second cousin. I made Cookies and Cream cupcakes for both; Blue and green minis for the baby shower, and hot pink and lime green cupcakes for the birthday party! The cupcakes were okay, but I like the kind made with cake mix a little more (Ahh blasphemy! Oh well…). Then for Mother’s Day I made a “Better Than Sex” layer cake. It was yellow cake, layered with pineapple and vanilla pudding, and topped with whipped cream, coconut, and walnuts (Sorry, no picture). I finished it off this morning for breakfast!
IngredientsReeeaaally delicious batter!
Baby shower minis
Birthday cuppies
The cupcake recipe is from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella. I think this recipe was written wrong. It’s not the first typo I’ve noticed in this book. The first recipe below is copied straight from the book. The italicized instructions are the way I made the cupcakes. If anyone has made these exactly how the book tells you to, let me know that it’s not a mistake. It just seemed very odd to me.

I frosted them with vanilla buttercream. Most of you probably know how much I hate regular buttercream, but I was making them mostly for children who LOVE sweet frosting. I searched allrecipes.com for the highest rated buttercream frosting. I came across a recipe for "Special Buttercream Frosting." Guess who doesn't hate buttercream anymore!! It's really delicious!

MY NOTES: I got 16 regular sized cupcakes and 21 minis. The frosting recipe makes enough to frost them all and have about 1 cup leftover. Keep the frosting refrigerated.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup chocolate sandwich cookies (about 10), lightly crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl cream together the butter, milk, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in the sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 30 sec­onds. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in the crushed cookies.
5. Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 min­utes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Slowly add egg whites to butter mixture, mixing well between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until only a few streaks of flour remain. Stir in the crushed cookies until batter is evenly blended.
5. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake for about 15 min­utes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes. Finish cooling on a wire rack.


Special Buttercream Frosting
2 cups shortening (I used butter flavored Crisco)
8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract
6 fluid ounces heavy cream

1. Cream shortening until fluffy. Add confectioner's sugar and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream blend on low speed until moistened. Add additional whipping cream if necessary (up to 2 ounces).
3. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.


Overall rating on a scale of 1-5
Moistness: 4
Tenderness: 3
Frosting: 4

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Yummr Contest: Win a Copy of "Hello, Cupcake!"

EDIT: Congratulations to Yummr member allknames! She was the first person to sign up and leave a comment (about 2 minutes after this entry was posted... NICE!) Thanks to all who participated and joined Yummr!

Recently, I was contacted by a spokesperson for a cool new online community for foodies called Yummr. When you sign up at Yummr.com you can create a profile, upload pictures, write recipes, create cooking videos, etc. I joined yesterday (click here to see my profile), and I'm hooked on the surveys and polls! And it's all free!

If that news isn't good enough, the kind woman from Yummr asked me to partner with them in order to host a contest for YOU GUYS! Yes, MY READERS!! Isn't that terrific? You can win a copy of Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson courtesy of Houghton-Mifflin Books. All you have to do is join Yummr (Why not? it's free!). Then leave a comment on this blog post, and tell me what your Yummr username is (Make sure you spell it right!). You must be a U.S. resident to be eligible. The first person who does this will be the proud new owner of a copy of this adorable book.

If you don't win the contest here, you can still win 1 of 5 cookbooks (courtesy of Houghton-Mifflin) up for grabs at Yummr in the "Cookbook A Day Giveaway For the Month of May!" To participate, all you have to do is join Yummr, and either upload a photo, participate in a forum, or tell a friend to join Yummr. You could be randomly chosen to win one of the following books:
  • Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
  • The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great by Pam Anderson
  • A Great American Cook by Jonathan Waxman; foreward by Bobby Flay
  • Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard; foreward by Wolfgang Puck
  • Hello, Cupcake! Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson.

Why are you still reading this? Go sign up at Yummr.com and try to win something! :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sprinkles® Red Velvet Cupcake Mix

The winner by a LANDSLIDE of 117 votes is Red Velvet! Thanks to everyone who participated. If you voted for vanilla, no worries. I'm making them next Tuesday, but don't expect vanilla buttercream. ;)

As for these red velvets... what a mess. Sprinkles is trying to sabotage home bakers with this stuff. As soon as you pour the mix into the mixer, be prepared to be engulfed in a red cloud. Then be prepared to have your kitchen counters covered in red streaks. Then be prepared to have red fingers and hands. Then be prepared to have a red dish cloth, sink full of red water, red, red, red, EVERYWHERE! In the end it's not even worth it. I didn't have a problem with the cupcakes being dry. But I did discover that this mix can be stretched to make 16 cupcakes, and they only bake for 14 minutes (not 20 like the recipe says!). I just didn't like the flavor. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something just wasn't great. I did follow the recipe for the frosting, but I only made 3/4 of the recipe. It was plenty to cover 16 cupcakes, and it was tasty.

All things considered, I would not recommend this flavor of Sprinkles Cupcake Mix. It's definitely not worth the $14 price tag. Go buy the Betty Crocker stuff, or use Chockylit's fabulous recipe.
Ingredients Cream the butter; add the mix
Beat on medium for 2 minutes (this is where it goes everywhere!)
The finished batter (this is when you get red hands!)
16 cupcakes ready to be baked
Perfect domes cooling
Almost cool enough to frost...
Tada! This is when you get a red tongue!


Overall rating on a scale of 1-5
Moistness: 3
Tenderness: 3
Frosting: 4

Friday, May 2, 2008

Kitchen Sink Cookies


These cookies are called Kitchen Sink Cookies because everything is in them except the kitchen sink! That's totally an exaggeration of course. I'm not sure how delicious they'd be with wooden spoons and paper towels mixed in. Anyway, I'm not usually a cookie person. If I am faced with a decision, I'll always choose cake over cookies. But yesterday the mood struck me to bake cookies. I searched and searched for a recipe, but nothing was jumping out at me. Finally I just took a bit from a few recipes and came up with these yummy masterpieces this morning! Some bites taste like an oatmeal raisin cookie. Some bites taste like a tollhouse chocolate chip cookie. Some bites are chewy. Some bites are crunchy. But all bites are fantastic! These are most delicious if you microwave them for a few seconds before eating them.
ingredientscookie dough (no walnuts, read to the bottom to find out why)
ready for the oven
cooling
Soooooo tasty!!
After the first 9 cookies were in the oven, I noticed the bowl of chopped walnuts still sitting on the counter! So I added half of them to the second half of the cookie dough. It was a miracle that I ended up with 9 cookies w/o walnuts and 9 cookies with walnuts. Almost like I did it on purpose... almost.

MY NOTES: I used 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp vanilla butter nut flavoring. I used a cookie scoop that holds 2 tbsp of cookie dough.

Kitchen Sink Cookies (my recipe adapted from like 5 other recipes)
Makes 18 cookies

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped and toasted walnuts

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup raisins

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add egg and beat until fully incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract. With the mixer on it's lowest speed, slowly add the flour until almost incorporated. Mix in oats, then with a rubber spatula fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, coconut and raisins. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake one sheet at a time for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets. Transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cupcake Poll #18 - Sprinkles Cupcake Mix

One of my favorite birthday presents from last year was definitely the Sprinkles Cupcake Mixes, one vanilla and one red velvet. I wanted to save them for a special occasion, but everytime a special event came up I thought of something else. So now I'm going to use them before they begin to fossilize. I'm leaving it up to you to decide which one I use first, but both will be used within the next 2 weeks. Feel free to comment here, but votes only count in the poll on the left-hand side!
"Savor a Sprinkles cupcake from the comfort of your own kitchen!
Introducing Sprinkles Cupcake Mixes made from the finest ingredients,
including Callebaut cocoa and Nielsen-Massey vanilla,
and complete with our trademark modern dot decorations."