October 6, 2011 § 3 Comments
Today, God taught me a lesson through baking. I was reminded that even in trials and mistakes, things can turn out alright. Heck, they might even be better than we expected. We need only to trust and be patient. Every Wednesday I bake something for my house church, so this week I went with brownies. Although I hate to admit it, I bought Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix instead of making them from scratch (it’s just so much cheaper and quicker — life of a college student). Don’t get me wrong, Betty Crocker’s mixes are all amazing, but I take pride in my family’s recipe.
Here’s where the problem came in; a dorm kitchen only supplies one pan, and people love to steal it. Since I was in a rush, I failed to make sure the pan was in the cupboard before I made the batter. The closest thing I could find was a cupcake pan, so I sprayed some Pam in each holder, I poured the batter in and sprinkled some marshmallows on top. While the recipe calls for 24 minutes, I thought I’d better start with 10. Unfortunately, by the time 10 minutes were up, the tops were over the edges but the middles were still gooey (to check, stick a toothpick in the middle and see what comes off). Fail. I decided to take them out before I made an even bigger mess. After a few minutes of cooling, I tried to pry one out of the pan and though the edges were cooked, the centers were still batter. Oh, well.
I apologized to my leader that I would not be bringing a snack since I messed up. He asked if they were still edible, so I thought I might as well try. I spread some frosting on it and ate a spoonful. I didn’t care how hard it was to eat or how messy it looked – I had to share it. I put a dollop of frosting over the melted marshmallows in the other cups, grabbed a handful of forks and watched as people struggled but loved this melty, chocolatey, delicious dessert that doesn’t really follow any sort of guideline.
So whether it’s in life or in baking, just remember that even when things don’t go according to your plan, something even better could come out of it.
What masterpieces have you accidentally created?
September 29, 2011 § 4 Comments
Now let’s celebrate the talent and ingenuity of some other bakers in an area that I have always struggled with: cupcakes! The cupcake is no longer just a “cookie-cutter” (pardon my pun) dessert with only one way to make it. People are getting crazy and creative with the recipes they are coming up with. Although I am partial to my grandmother’s cupcakes (a personalized version of Jiffy devil’s food cake and homemade chocolate frosting), I have been blown away by what others have concocted.
After spending over a year in Nashville, I finally made the trip to Gigi’s Cupcakes this past Saturday. I had heard about it numerous times and decided it was time to go. I am a chocolate lover through and through, so I was determined to get a traditional chocolate-on-chocolate cupcake. No exceptions. I underestimated Gigi’s; the only thing I love as much as chocolate is bacon. So what do I see in the middle of the cupcake display? A Canadian Maple cupcake with bacon baked into the cake and bacon bits sprinkled on top of the maple frosting. Heaven. It was honestly one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted. Some of the other inventive flavors were Hot Chocolate, Birthday Surprise and Champagne.
A large portion of my baking inspirations come from Pinterest, a website for anyone to post or “re-pin” recipes and creations. I urge any of you adventurous or curious bakers to check out the Food & Drink page for some awesome ideas. I’ve come across an Ande’s Mint Cupcake originally from Your Cup of Cake, a Mocha Cupcake with espresso icing from Brown Eyed Baker and a S’more Cupcake from Simply Pix. There are tons of other recipes I can’t wait to try!
What cupcake inventions have you tried or come up with yourself?
September 7, 2011 § 1 Comment
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies is a classic cereal. I watched my mom eat it every day growing up and it is definitely one of my favorites. It was just another cereal, however, until some culinary genius added marshmallows to the mix to transform this breakfast food into a dessert loved by all. Along with this original recipe, the Rice Krispies website contains many other fun and delicious recipes.
I’d like to share with you two of my personal and favorite variations of easy ways to use Rice Krispies in baking. They’re both quick and require few ingredients. Most importantly, they’re sure to be delicious!
1 cup Karo light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy)
5 cups Rice Krispies
1 generous cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 generous cup butterscotch chips
-Use large pan on stove
-Bring corn syrup and peanut butter to a boil while stirring with spatula
-Add Rice Krispies and stir thoroughly
-Spray Pam into a 9×13″ pan
-Before Rice Krispies mixture gets too cool, pour into pan and distribute evenly
-Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips in a bowl in microwave (usually about 1 minute, stir, 1 more minute)
-Spread on top of Rice Krispies, cool, cut and enjoy!
Seven Layer Bars:
1 1/2 sticks of butter
10 honey graham crackers (I use Honeymaid Original)
1 cup Rice Krispies
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I use Borden’s)
*1 cup shredded coconut (*I prefer no coconut!)
-Melt butter in saucepan (do not boil) *preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Pour into a 12×16″ cookie sheet (with edges)
-Crush graham crackers in a baggie with a rolling pin; consistency should be very small crumbs
-Pour crumbs evenly over butter; shake pan to make sure all butter is covered (use one more cracker if necessary)
-Sprinkle Rice Krispies evenly over crumbs
-Sprinkle chocolate chips and butterscotch chips evenly (I always use more than a cup of each!) 🙂
-Drizzle entire can of condensed milk over ingredients (tip: puncture a hole on one side of lid and a smaller one across from it to let air escape for easier pouring)
-Bake for approximately 13 minutes on 375; the condensed milk should be a caramel color and bubbly
-Cool, cut into squares and enjoy!
Do you have any delicious Rice Krispies recipes?