Posts tagged ‘baking’

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ohmigosh, I feel so accomplished, or something, after successfully cooking a whole Thanksgiving dinner for 6 adults and 2 kids yesterday.  I made a turkey (of course, and it was my first ever,) stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, and cranberry glop for dinner, and for dessert I served an apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake (recipe below.)  I got this recipe from a woman I worked with a few years ago, swapping my families mondel brodt recipe for it, and I’ve been making it since (though with a couple changes worked in over time.)

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients (crust):

  • 4.5 dl/ 2.25 cups Nilla Wafer or Graham Cracker crumbs
  • 1 dl /0.5 cup chopped pecans
  • 1dl/ 0.5 cup melded butter or margerine

Cook:

  1. Preheat oven to 170’C /350’F
  2. Mix crumbs, pecans, and butter together and press onto the bottom and up part of the sides of a spring-release pan.  It won’t go all the way up, and it won’t be perfectly smooth- no worries.
  3. Bake 10 minutes before adding filling.

Ingredients (filling):

  • 3 (200g/8oz) containers of cream cheese, softened
  • 2dl/1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 dl/1 cup canned pumpkin (I actually altered this recipe here and used a small, softened, peeled, pureed, and strained fresh butternut squash.  But not everyone wants to go through all that effort.)
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or clove to taste

Cook:

  1. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.
  2. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Remove about a third of the batter to another bowl and mix in pumpkin and spices.
  4. Pour batters onto the crust alternatively and run through with a knife to marble.
  5. Bake for about an hour.  The center will not fully set in this time.
  6. Run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen and refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving.

-Ariel

November 23, 2009 at 10:03 am 1 comment

Simple Chocolate Cake

I have not converted this recipe to US measurements, but a deciliter is about half a cup, so I would use that as a general basis.  I used deciliters for the entire recipe.  I made three small cakes with the batter (so my HM could take one with her to Berlin, and the kids possibly to bring another to their grandparents house.)  Overall this was very easy, quick to make, and all the ingredients are things we generally tend to have on hand anyway.  The batter was a bit runny but it rose quickly in the oven and came out perfectly (pics below.)

Simple Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 slightly overflowing dl cocoa
  • 2 dl flour
  • 2.5 dl sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • salt (a pinch or so)
  • 1.5 dl milk
  • 0.5 dl oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.25 dl hot water
  • chocolate chips (a handful or so)

Cook:

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C/350’F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients together, then add to the dry ingredients.  Toss in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour into a papered or greased pan and bake for 25+ minutes (more time for larger pans, possibly less for cupcakes.)  Let cool in pan.

To top it off I glazed the cakes with a frosting-glaze made of a tbsp butter, 2 tbsp milk, 5 tbsp powdered sugar, and 1 tbsp flour (to make it thicker without adding more sugar.  I’m working with diets here.)  Anyway I mixed the glaze and brushed it on the cakes, then added shaved chocolate for a decorative touch.  It came out very moist and delicious.

 

-Ariel

November 7, 2009 at 5:26 am Leave a comment

Chili Chocolate Brownies

(I think) these brownies need work.  My host dad and friend both liked them, and they do taste good, but they did not come out as soft or fudge-like as I generally prefer.  Instead they were a bit dry and crumbly.  So I am going to consider them a work-in-progress and will try them again when I have the time and materials.  Suggestions and advice are, of course, welcome.  Here’s what I did:

Chili Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 350g/I don’t know how to convert that one.  About 2-3 bars of quality chocolate?:  finely chopped/shaved dark chocolate
  • 125g/1 stick: butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 g/ between a third and half a cup?: sugar
  • 130g/ 1 cup: flour
  • 2 chili peppers, finely chopped/very nearly pureed

Cook:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180’C/350’F and grease a pan.
  2. In a saucepan melt chocolate and butter.
  3. Remove from heat and add sugar, eggs, flour, and chili.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then let cool completely before cutting/serving.

-Ariel

October 27, 2009 at 8:14 am Leave a comment

Banana-Chocolate Marbled Muffins

I know I’ve already done the banana-chocolate muffin thing, but even though my last recipe tasted good it wasn’t muffin-y enough for me, so I’ve done some research on the internet about the properties and uses of baking soda and have made a new, deliciously moist recipe.  And I decided to marble it because that always looks impressive (I think.)

To being honest (and because you’ll find this out anyway when you check out the pics below) I was a bit lazy when making these (plus I had a three year old ‘helping’ so I couldn’t get too complicated) so I did not make many normal-sized muffin.  I made one massive cake-muffin.  Still delicious, we’re eating it by the slice, but you may have to adjust the cook time.  Maybe, I don’t know.  It’s done when it looks done and passes the toothpick/knife test.

Banana-Chocolate Marbled Muffins

Ingredients:

  • Batter:
  • 125g/1 stick: butter
  • 200g / about one and a quarter 6oz tubs: banana yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g/ a little over half a cup: white sugar
  • 100g/a little under half a cup: brown sugar
  • tsp vanilla
  • tsp baking powder
  • less than half a tsp baking soda
  • 250g/2 cups: flour
  • Marbling:
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp banana yogurt

Cook:

  1. Pre-heat oven 170’C/350’F ish and grease or paper muffin pans
  2. In a large bowl, mix the batter in the order listed
  3. In a smaller bowl, mash the bananas and stir in other ingredients
  4. Layer batter with marbling mixture in pans.  Run a knife through it for marbling effect  (Heres a video on how to. Skip to the 4:30 minute mark for the part on marbling.)
  5. I baked my massive muffin-cake for 40 minutes and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Your mileage may vary.  I’d start with 30 minutes and poke the muffins every 5 minutes after to see how they are (thats what I did.)

-Ariel

October 20, 2009 at 2:41 am Leave a comment

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had originally intended these to be pumpkin and walnut cookies, but the kids out-voted me.  I made this recipe for our Halloween ‘Boo’s’ (an American tradition I’m trying to bring to Denmark) out of salvaged pumpkin from the jack-o-lantern we made.  Its a soft-cookie recipe, very yummy, very Autumn-y.  Oh, and just to repeat myself yet again, my metric-US system conversions are not exact and the US version will be slightly sweeter as a result.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 150g /a stick and a half, butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g/ half a cup, white sugar
  • 100g /half a cup, brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract (or 2.5 tsp vanilla sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (and/or nutmeg, and/or clove, and/or pumpkin pie spice.  Whatever you like and/or is available to you.)
  • 320g/2.5 cups, flour
  • 25g /probably about a cup, finely chopped fresh pumpkin (for those of you not making jack-o-lanterns or otherwise cutting up pumpkins this year, canned pumpkin should be fine, though I would use less than a cup if using canned and US measurments.)
  • chocolate chips

Cook:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170’C/350’F ish
  2. Mix ingredients in a large bowl roughly in the order listed
  3. Drop cookies onto a parchment lined or greased pan and bake 10-12 minutes
  4. Cool on a cooling rack

Yields about 30 average-sized cookies.

-Ariel

October 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm 5 comments

Adult Chocolate Chip Cookies

No, not the X-rated kind (although they do keep their shape fantastically with cookie cutters…)  These chocolate chip cookies taste a bit more mature (for lack of a thesaurus on hand) than the usual sugary make-with-your-kids tollhouse versions.  Though honestly I did make these with kids, and they loved them even though there is no butter in the batter and about a third less sugar than most recipes I’ve seen.  The parents loved them so much that Friday they let me swap my chores to bake 90 of these cookies (and a coffee cake whose recipe I can’t share on implied death threat from my grandma; you know how secret family recipes are) for a party they had Saturday night.  I’ll take baking over vacuuming any day.

This batch is scaled down from my 90 cookie recipe, but it’ll still yield 30 spoonful-drop sized cookies.  (Pics below.)

Adult Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2.33 deciliters /1 cup vegetable oil
  • 100g /half a cup white sugar
  • 100g /half a cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla (and/or almond extract, delicious)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 385g / 3 cups flour
  • chocolate chips

Bake:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180’C / 350’F
  2. Mix ingredients in the order listed into a large mixing bowl
  3. Shape and drop on a baking pan (I line mine for easy clean up, but it isn’t necessary to line or grease the pan, there is enough oil in the cookies as is.)
  4. Bake 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the cookies.  Remove from pan and place on cooling rack when done.

Important Things to Note:

  • Before adding the flour, this is the ugliest looking batter I’ve ever come across.  It is oily and brown and strong-tasting.  Don’t let this stop you!
  • Because of the high-oil content, it is very difficult to shape by hand.  It’ll roll out fine for cookie cutters (and keep the exact shape it has when going into the oven) but if you want round cookies, use a spoon to scoop out the desired amount and another to scrape it off.  It WILL stick to your hands, much more so than other recipes I’ve used.
  • This cookie will not turn golden brown the way buttery, sugary recipes will.  The edges will brown slightly, but the cookie is done when it no longer looks wet on top.  Unless you are shaping massive cookies, take it out of the oven after 12 minutes.  After the first batch you’ll get a good feel for it.

Please don’t let my notes scare you!  This is a very easy cookie to make and a very delicious one at that!  (If it wasn’t, would I have spent Friday morning baking 90 of them?  Especially since Thursday I’d baked a batch with the kids?)  Anyway, here are some pics:

-Ariel

October 4, 2009 at 4:20 am 2 comments

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

I seem to have a thing for bananas; this is the second baked good I’ve incorporated them into in two weeks.  I put them in a little pan to yield more so that the kids could grab them and run, as they do.

P1010516

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 220g flour
  • 160g sugar / about 3/4th of a cup (I did half brown, half white)
  • 1 stick of butter / 125g butter
  • 200g cream cheese / 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp milk
  • 3 tsp oil
  • Tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • Chocolate chips

Cook:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170’C/350’F
  2. Mix butter, cream cheese and sugar together.  Add wet ingredients, then dry ending with the flour.  Fold in bananas and chocolate chips.
  3. Pour into a papered muffin pan (about 3/4ths full) and bake 20-22 minutes (done when a knife, stuck in the middle, can be removed cleanly.)

I am quite proud of these little muffins, I wrote the recipe with only a vague understanding of what goes into muffin making -but please don’t let that discourage you from trying them out!  Everyone loved them (especially the kids) though I did think they were a bit thick for a muffin.  Does anyone have any tips on how I can make them fluffier?

-Ariel

Update: My grandmother says that by adding an additional egg the muffins will be fluffier.  I haven’t had a chance yet to give it a try, but as eggs do work as a leavening agent in cakes, it makes sense.  Why didn’t I think of that?  (Because I tend to think of eggs as binding agents as they are in cookies, probably.)

September 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

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