Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Baking.

  1. #1
    Mangina at large.
    Delores Mulva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    16,056

    Baking.

    My mom has been rather ill recently, and she's too sick to cook for herself and Dad. She was able to teach Dad to microwave prepackaged meals, but it's not the same. So I've started baking like I did back in grad school, using her old recipes, to give them treats that they remember and miss when I go over for dinner once a week. I'll do one post for each of the four recipes I've been making, with tips on how I do things. First off, something I just made this morning: chocolate chip cookies.

  2. #2
    Mangina at large.
    Delores Mulva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    16,056

    Re: Baking.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks)
    1 cup white sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1.5 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda or baking powder (I use powder)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    12 oz. package of dark chocolate chips (I use Chipits)
    1.25 cups quick-cooking rolled oats (I use Quaker Quick Oats)

    Setup: I have a mixing bowl with stirring spoon, 1/2 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon measuring spoons (can get away with just the 1/2), 1/4 and 1/2 and 1 cup measuring cups (can get away with just the 1/4), two standard size cookie sheets, and (optional) a small spoon, medium bowl, and two medium (the size up from teacup) plates. One of the plates is where I place measuring spoons after use, egg shells, and I measure things out above it so I don't make a mess on the countertop. I start with all my ingredients out, and put them away after use.

    Cream butter/margarine with sugar in mixing bowl. (Mix them together, stirring vigorously, until you have a homogeneous mixture. Since my butter is right out of the fridge and fairly hard, I like to put the butter on one of the plates, microwave it for 30 seconds or until it starts to melt, then put it in the bowl and mix it with the sugar.)
    Beat in eggs and vanilla. (Mix until homogeneous.)
    Stir together flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon. (I do this in the small bowl, using a small spoon. I start with the non-flour stuff, stirring until it looks mixed, then add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until mixed after each 1/2 cup.)
    Gradually stir into creamed mixture. (Add the flour and stuff into the butter and stuff. Add a little, stir until you can't see powder, repeat until all the flour mix is in and your dough looks homogeneous.)
    Add chocolate chips and rolled oats. (Stir until thoroughly mixed. Make sure to scrape any non-mixed ingredients off the side of the bowl and mix them in with the main mixture.)
    Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheets, bake in 375 degree F oven for 12 to 14 minutes, makes about 4 dozen. (I totally change this part of the recipe. I drop by double-tablespoons onto cookie sheets. I fit about a dozen cookies per cookie sheet this way, and the batch makes a total of two dozen cookies. Don't worry about using every last drop of the dough, but be sure that you've grabbed every last chip in the dough. Since my oven isn't big enough to accommodate two cookies sheets on the top shelf at the same time, I put one in, then fill the second cookie sheet and clean up the counter. I find if I start the oven right as I start, it's ready very close to when I'm ready to put the first sheet in, and the first sheet will be done very close to when I'm done cleaning up. I leave the sheets in for 12 to 12.5 minutes. Visually, you can tell they're ready if the top is white but there's a thin brown ring around the outside edge of the cookie. When you take them out, let them cool, and flip them over, there will be a little colour on the bottom, but not a lot.)

    The cookies made by this recipe are soft but with a crisp exterior, and have a fair amount of flavour to them. They aren't lumpy - you can barely tell the oats are in there. I like throwing them in Tupperware and sealing it as soon as they're cool, to keep them fresh. They do tend to crumble a little when eaten, so be prepared for crumbs. When I made them in grad school, people from all four floors of residence would come running to me to get some. One guy in the actuarial studies program even called me "Mom", perhaps foreshadowing my future endeavours as a mangina.

    Up next: a Quebecois recipe, tarte au sucre - sugar pie (also from France, and parts of the midwest US where it's called sugar cream pie). It should be called easy pie, because it's the easiest recipe you'll ever bake.

  3. #3
    Mangina at large.
    Delores Mulva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    16,056

    Re: Baking.

    Sugar Pie

    1.5 cups brown sugar
    0.25 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup whole milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 frozen pie shell (I use Tenderflake)

    Mix sugar, flour, milk, vanilla, and salt together in mixing bowl until you have a homogeneous mixture.
    Pour the mixture into the pie shell. For Tenderflake, it recommends having the shell out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes before use. I find if I get the shell out of the freezer, then go gather my ingredients and do everything else, the 10 minutes is up by the time I'm ready to pour the mixture.
    Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes.
    Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 25-30 minutes more. Visually, the crust should be baked and not burnt, and the filling should be set (solid).
    Let it cool before serving. I can't emphasize this step enough. Sugar pie is sticky, and if you eat it when it's hot it will be like napalming your mouth. Never eat this pie when hot.

    This is what your finished product should look like:

    tarte-sucre.jpg

    For something that's mostly sugar, it's not really, really sweet. Some Americans I know that tried it described it as being quite similar to pecan pie without pecans. It's a good pie with ice cream, since you don't want the filling to be hot anyways.

    Next up: a Canadian classic - butter tarts!

  4. #4
    Mangina at large.
    Delores Mulva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    16,056

    Re: Baking.

    Butter Tarts

    1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick)
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup corn syrup (I use Crown Golden Corn Syrup)
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup raisins
    1 package of 12 frozen tart shells (I use Tenderflake)

    Get a small bowl, put the raisins in the bowl, then add hot water until raisins are submerged.
    Mix butter, sugar, and syrup in mixing bowl. (Stir until homogeneous, I microwave the butter here the same way I do with the cookies.)
    Add egg, vanilla, drain the water from the raisin bowl, and add the raisins, then stir until homogeneous. (I cover all but a thin slice of the bowl with my hand, then pour the water into the sink. No fancy sieve setup here.)
    Place mixture in tart shells, place tart shells on cookie sheet. (Tart shells should be out of the freezer for 10-15 mins before use. Again, take them out as the very first step when gathering ingredients, and they should be ready to go by the time your mixture is ready. I find two large spoonfuls of mixture will fill a tart shell. You don't want to overfill them, or it will boil over and make a mess when you cook them. I have a little bit of the mix left when I'm done filling all 12 tart shells, having made sure that all the raisins got used. Useful tip - fill the tart shells over your mixing bowl, so you don't spill mixture onto the cookie sheet/countertop.)
    Bake at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is brown and filling is bubbly. (Brown, not burnt. I find mine are usually done at the 15-16 minute mark.)

    Once they're done, I find that the tins that they're in should be gently cleaned off with a paper towel, since there's usually some buttery residue on them and you want to get that greasiness cleaned up before putting them wherever you plan to store them. In case any of the tarts overflowed onto the cookie sheet during baking, you also want to clear the crusty residue off the tart tin.

    This is what the finished product will look like:

    buttertarts441.jpg

    The filling is very, very tasty, and if you used the Tenderflake shells, the shell will be crisp and quite thin - the filling is the star of this tart.

    The final recipe is, in my opinion, the best one of the bunch, the one where you get to customize it to your liking, the perfect summer dessert: refrigerator cake!

  5. #5
    Mangina at large.
    Delores Mulva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    16,056

    Re: Baking.

    Refrigerator Cake

    1 package of cake mix for an 9x13 sheet cake (I use Duncan Hines. For that brand, to prepare the cake you will also need 3 large eggs and 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, plus a small amount of flour.)
    1 package of gelatin, 4 serving size (I use Jell-o.)
    1 container of whipped frosting (I use Duncan Hines, 459 g. size.)
    1 package of instant pudding mix, 4 serving size (I use Jell-o.)
    1.5 cups of cold milk.

    Setup: you'll need a mixing bowl for the cake, a large, very cold bowl for the frosting (keep it in the freezer before using), an 9x13 cake pan (I use a glass lasagna pan), and a small bowl. If you have one of those long tine meat forks, great; if not, you can use a narrow, long knife for the hole poking part.

    Dissolve the gelatin in the small bowl in 3/4 cup boiling water (steaming hot tap water is fine).
    Add 1/2 cup of cold water to the gelatin mix.

    Prepare the sheet cake according to the instructions on the box. (You will want to prep the cake pan by oiling and flouring it. The first minute of this video shows how to do this. Don't do the foil part - you just want to oil and flour:



    Yeah, a video shot in portrait. The end product will be worth having to watch that!)

    Once the cake has been baked, let it cool for 20-25 minutes.
    Once the cake has been cooled, poke deep holes in the cake with the fork/knife. The holes should be one inch apart, cover the entire top of the cake, and not quite reach the bottom of the cake. Don't hollow the holes out - poke in, pull out, done. (No crude jokes here, please.)
    Pour the gelatin mix into the holes. (If your cake isn't completely flat, some of the mixture will run to the sides of the cake and pool. Use a small spoon to ladle it back on top of the holes, until there's no pools at the sides of the cake. You want it all sinking into those holes.)
    Place cake in fridge while preparing frosting.

    In your chilled bowl, blend together the frosting, the instant pudding, and the cold milk until the frosting is stiff. (I stir with a spoon, no blender. If the frosting doesn't stiffen, mix until homogeneous then put the bowl in the fridge for an hour or so.)
    Frost cake with the stiffened frosting mixture. Store the cake in the fridge. (When I say "stiff": it's soft, but it holds its shape when placed on top of the cake. I use a spoon to ladle it on top of the cake, then spread it out with a knife.)

    End result: a very moist cake, thanks to all the tiny bits of gelatin suffusing it, that is also very airy, with a topping that has a "dense whipped cream" texture. The cake has to be stored in the fridge - the frosting will melt if it's not.

    Now, you should have noticed something about that recipe: I didn't specify the flavours of the cake, the gelatin, the frosting, or the instant pudding. Remember I said that you could customize this cake to your liking? Well, this is where that comes into play! Some things to consider when you are deciding what flavours to put together:

    (1) When you cut the cake, you will see "streaks" in the cake that are the colour of the gelatin. Here's an example of a strawberry-strawberry cake (strawberry cake mix, strawberry gelatin) with vanilla frosting:

    d84fa6103fafa6967df294219de9c953.jpg

    So from an aesthetics perspective, remember that.

    (2) Odds are you want the instant pudding to be primary flavour of the frosting. If that's the case, use vanilla frosting. I'd only consider using a non-vanilla frosting if the flavour of the frosting was identical to what I wanted the end product to be (like chocolate).

    I gave this recipe to some EQ guildmates, sisters, that lived in Utah. I figured, hey, Utah is hot, this is a great warm weather dessert, they might like it. They ended up making one cake per week, every week, and every time it was something new. Strawberry-Strawberry with vanilla. Lemon-Lemon with lemon. Lemon-Lime with lemon. Chocolate-Cherry with vanilla (a black forest cake style). Chocolate-Strawberry or Raspberry with chocolate (lava cake style). They LOVED it, and would tell us every week about their new creation. It is my favourite dessert, and I hope you will love it too!

    (One final note: it's very difficult to find strawberry cake mix here in Vancouver, but I understand it's still available in the US. The version I grew up with was Strawberry-Strawberry with vanilla, which I love. The version I make for my parents is Lemon-Lemon with lemon, and it's amazing if you like lemon.)

    IMPORTANT EDIT: oops, should have mentioned. Leave the cake in the fridge for an hour or two before serving, to give the gelatin in it time to set.
    Last edited by Delores Mulva; November 14th, 2016 at 03:50 AM.

  6. #6
    Elder Arcanist
    Bonlainy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    4,649

    Re: Baking.

    Damn, those all look delicious. I am definitely going to make the Sugar Pie and Butter Tarts (sans raisins, though, maybe I will try using pecans).
    'This world may be another planet's hell.'{Aldous Huxley}
    'After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.'{Aldous Huxley}

  7. #7
    Mangina at large.
    Delores Mulva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    16,056

    Re: Baking.

    The butter tart recipe does have nuts as an alternate ingredient. One sec...

    Yeah, "nuts optional". I'd suggest 1/2 cup of chopped pecans if you're swapping out the raisins. The raisins are delicious, though, and I say that as someone who normally hates raisins in baking (can't stand raisin pie).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •