Category Archives: Cookies

Been Awhile…

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted anything food related. Today, I made some white chocolate chip cookies and vanilla cupcakes. I will post the recipes and some pictures today or tomorrow.

~thechildcooks

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Proud Baker

Are there times when you feel expecially proud of something that you have made? Is it becuase it looks picture perfect, or becuase it tastes so good, or becuase you made the recipe yourself? I feel proud of these cookies. I made them a few weeks ago and was in awe about how cute and tasty they came out. I made them again tonight with a few variations.  I made some  blue colored sugar and rolled the cookies in it, I pressed chocolate chips onto the tops of the cookies and I also made jumbo cookies. I was most proud of the jumbo cookies, they looked like they could be sold in a bakery and they taste delicious. I think this is going to be one of my go to recipes for cookies. What food do you make that you are proud of? Feel free to post the recipe.

Also, I have made a poll below for you guys to tell me what I should make next.

~thechildcooks

Sugar Cookies from the Always with Butter blog

2 cups flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup sour cream or 1/4 cup greek yogurt and 1/2 tablespoon water

Cinnamon sugar or sprinkles  

Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a separate, larger bowl cream the softened butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. alternating with the flour mixture then sour cream(or yogurt) add the remaining ingredients. Scoop onto baking sheet with a spoon of your size choice(I made 1/2 tablespoon sizes) leaving room for ample spreadage. Now is the time to add sprinkles or cinnamon sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes removing from the oven when lightly browned. Cool on wire racks and consume.

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Boredom and Butter

Two very dangerous thing, though when utilized correctly can be very productive, and yummy. While looking through our old Cook’s Illustrated magazines, I came across a recipe for sugar cookies. Well, the picture looked yummy and I made a mental note to make them sometime when I was bored. Tonight, I was bored. However, the recipe called for cream cheese and we were out of it. Instead, I hopped on the internet and found a new recipe. I looked at the picture and was saw that we had all of the ingredients and printed it out. But, when I looked in the refrigerator, I found out that the sour cream had not been opened yet and I knew that if I opened it, it would spoil. So, innovating a little, I substituted greek yogurt and about 1/2 tablespoon water for the sour cream.  I made some of the cookies with sprinkles on top and some with cinnamon sugar as snickerdoodles. They turned out wonderfully despite the change I made to the recipe. Now I have 4 dozen cookies sitting around waiting to fulfil their purpose in life. Wait, now there are 47…46…45, they really are good cookies.

~thchildcooks

Sugar Cookies from the Always with Butter blog

2 cups flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup sour cream or 1/4 cup greek yogurt and 1/2 tablespoon water

Cinnamon sugar or sprinkles  

Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a separate, larger bowl cream the softened butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. alternating with the flour mixture then sour cream(or yogurt) add the remaining ingredients. Scoop onto baking sheet with a spoon of your size choice(I made 1/2 tablespoon sizes) leaving room for ample spreadage. Now is the time to add sprinkles or cinnamon sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes removing from the oven when lightly browned. Cool on wire racks and consume.

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Incognito: English Muffins Disguised as Bread

After looking through my Yeast Breads on the Rise 4-H project book, I decided that this morning I would make English Muffin Bread. English Muffin Bread is a batter bread, which means that you do not knead the bread, but instead stir together a loose dough. The recipe is quite simple to follow and the process would be a good first attempt at making bread for someone who has not baked before. However, I did find one slight flaw with the recipe as written: the instructions call for two 8×4 pans and after looking at the amount of batter I had, I opted to put it in two 9×5 pans. I am glad I did, because after the second rise, if I had put the bread into the 8×4 pans, it most likely would have overflowed.

Last night, after many requests by my mother, I made a batch on Snickerdoodle Blondies. Since we had some brown bananas sitting on the counter, I split the recipe between two pans and added a banana filling to one of them(similar in method to my Apple Pie Blondies). Both pans turned out nicely and after tasting, the banana version was approved. I am really beginning to enjoy using the Snickerdoodle Blondie recipe as a base for more exotic bars. Have a super Saturday and I hope you can get into the kitchen to bake, or do whatever you like doing!

~thechildcooks 

English Muffin Bread

5 cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 packages active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

2 1/2 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon baking soda( I used baking powder by accident, don’t be like me!)

1 tablespoon water

In large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, sugar and salt. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Heat milk until warm and combine with yeast. Add to the flour mixture. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour to make dough stiff. Cover, let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1  hour. Dissolve baking soda in 1 tablespoon warm water. Stir down yeast batter, blend in soda mixture until well blended.

Divide batter between two greased 9×5 pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes.

Bake in 350F oven for 40-50 minutes. Remove from pan and cool.

Banana Filling for Snickerdoodle Blondies(1/2 recipe)

2 medium bananas

1 teaspoon brown sugar

dash of cinnamon

Cook on medium low heat, while stirring and mashing bananas. Cook until emits a pleasant caramel smell and turns golden. Use a filling like in Apple Pie Blondies.

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Filed under 4-H, Breads, Cookies, Sweet, Yeast Bread

A Good Idea

Ok, so you know when you get an idea for changing a recipe or creating a new one. And it just sounds so very good in your head and as you make it things are just great. Well, that does not always happen, as most of us know, but today it did. Yesterday I made a simple apple cobbler because my mom bought too many apples at the store for baking and it was getting time to use them or loose them. Today I was thinking about how i could incorporate them into something like an apple pie but without the hassle of a crust(don’t get me wrong, I love making a good pie crust, but sometimes time and kitchen space does not allow for it). I was thinking about how a few weeks back I made these snickerdoodle blondies and then it hit me. Take the topping and cook it with apples and then sandwich that between the blondie layers. I was slightly apprehensive as I was looking at my creation as it was baking, but once it came out and I tasted it all doubts were gone. This is a really easy and yummy snack on the go and is similar to a blondie, but has a slightly snack cakeish look. The only problem that I really had was spreading the cookies in the pan because the dough was slightly sticky. I will probably be making some banana bread or sourdough sometime this week. See you then fellow bakers!

~thechildcooks

Apple Pie Blondies

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker’s Snickerdoodle Blondies

4 cups of baking apples, peeled and chopped

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the apples:

1. Mix granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of apple juice and apples in a saucepan.

2. Cook until soft over medium heat for about five minutes.

For the blondies:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated.

4. Spread half the dough evenly into the pan (I found an offset spatula was the best tool for the job, as it’s a thick batter). Top with apple mixture and cover evenly with remaining dough.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Sourdough and Sugar

I finished the recipe for my multi-grain sourdough bread. I decided that I wanted a variety of grain to be included, more than just the usual whole-wheat flour.  I looked in the pantry and saw corn meal and oats. I ground a cup of oats and used that in the first 2 1/2 cups of flour; in that first dough, I also used about 2 tablespoons of cornmeal. In the second dough, I used 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of whole rolled oats, 1/4 cup cornmeal and 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour. The dough was very easy to knead and was not very sticky(probably due to the oats). The recipe calls for dividing the dough in two and shaping into free-form, flat loaves. I followed this for one of the loaves, sprinkling the top with oats, but for the other half of the dough, I decided to try something different. I rolled the dough out to a 16 by 13 inch(approximately) rectangle, then sprinkled it with a cinnamon and sugar mix(about 1/4 cup sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon). I then rolled it into a roll, tucked in the edges ad placed it in a lightly greased 9×5 pan. The top of this loaf turned out spectacular, as I slit it once lengthwise and the inner layers flayed outward. I did not brush the loaves with water as much as I probably should have, because they turned out softer than previous loaves. Another thing that I did differently this time was I added 1 tablespoon of brown sugar for 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. 

Tonight, I am also making sugar cookies, once again for my father’s sunday school class and snickerdoodle blondies, for my family. I used the Betty Crocker Recipe for Sugar Cookies and Brown Eyed Bakers recipe for the blondies. Both recipes can be found below.

~thechildcooks

Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread Two Ways

1 cup sourdough starter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup ground oats

2 tablespoons cornmeal

Handful of rolled oats

2 cup warm water(105-115F)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoon vegetable oil

Cold water for baking

Start the night before you wish to make the bread or start in the morning and bake at night.

Mix sourdough starter, flours and 2 cups warm water in 3-quart glass bowl with wooden spoon until smooth. Cover; let stand in warm, draft free place for 8 hours or overnight.

Add the grains, the sugar, salt, baking soda and oil to the mixture in the bowl; stir with wooden spoon until smooth and flour is completely absorbed. If necessary add some of the remaining 1/2 cup flour.

Turn dough onto heavily floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turn greased side up and cover. Let rise in warm, draft free place for 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough; divide into halves. Shape each half into a round, slightly flat loaf. Place loaves on parchment lined baking sheets and score each loaf 3 times on the top. Or you can roll one half out into a rectangle, sprinkle it with 1/4 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, roll, seal and place in a greased 9×5 pan.  Let rise until double, about 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375F. Brush loaves with water and place into preheated oven. Bake, brushing occasionally with water for 50 minutes or until loaves sound hollow. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Note: Because you used your sourdough starter, you should feed it 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup water by stirring it in and letting it set on the counter for 12 hours. Return to refrigerator and use once a week to 10 days.

Sugar Cookies

From Betty Crocker

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup softened butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix powdered sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract. Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Heat oven to 375F. Divide dough into halves. roll each half 3/16 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shaped.

Sprinkle with granulated sugar; place on lightly greased sheet. Bake until edges are light brown, 7 to 8 minutes.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

From Brown Eyed Baker

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated.

4. Spread the dough evenly into the pan (I found an offset spatula was the best tool for the job, as it’s a thick batter). Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Makin’ Macarons(A First and Hopefully Successful Attempt)

Macarons in a variety of colours.

Image via Wikipedia

Approximately one week ago, I wore capri shorts to school. Today school was canceled because it is snowing polar bears and penguins. I have been wanting to make macarons for some time now and after I tried my first one yesterday, I knew that the time to make them was now. I had to work around a few problems before I could make them, however. The first setback was that we did not have any ground almonds/almond flour. I first ground them in our food processor then spent half an hour trying to grind them through a sifter. Another thing that I do not do well with in the culinary world is whipping and folding egg whites. I really hope that I did get them to the right consistency. Once I did that, I had to pipe bunches of little evenish circles which turned out pretty well, but then they were too close together and now some of the macarons are touching. Right now, they are developing their skin and should be ready soon. I just made plain vanilla flavored macarons, but so they wouldn’t be blah, I added some green food coloring which gave them an interesting hue(I am now slightly regretting doing this). The recipe that I used is from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. I was happy to find that recipe because most of the recipes that I had found on fellow food blogger’s websites were all in metric, this one is not. Her recipe, though, did not mention letting the macaron develop a skin, but I have read that this is a crucial part in having them turn out right and to have the all-powerful feet. I will post pictures later whether they turn out or not(so be prepared for carnage).

Edit: Well, I just looked in the oven and this was a fail! They are all cracked and collapsed(not anything like the picture above). If anyone has made macarons before, please tell me what I did wrong.

~thechildcooks

French Almond Macarons

Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 cups(4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground or almond flour

3 large egg whites

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Food Coloring(optional)

Filling(Frosting, jam, jelly etc.)

Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds; set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mats, and mark circles using a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter dipped in flour(I drew circles with marker then flipped the paper over).

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy; add salt. Gradually add granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the whites reach medium-soft peaks. Transfer to large bowl.

Add food coloring, sprinkle half of the sugar-almond mixture over the egg white mixture. Using a large rubber spatula, fold until just incorporated. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and remaining sugar-almond mixture, folding until just incorporated. Firmly tap the bottom of the bowl to eliminate any air pockets.

Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheets.

Let sit for 20 minutes. At the end of the 20  minutes turn the oven on to 300F and set timer for 10 minutes(or until your oven heats up). By this time your macarons should have developed a skin. Bake, 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Macarons will be able to be lifted off the sheet and bottoms will feel dry. Let cool 5 minutes on baking sheets and then transfer parchment and macarons to cooling racks until completely cool. Using a small spatula, carefully remove macarons from parchment. Fill with 2 teaspoons of desired filling sandwiched between 2 cookies. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving. Filled cookies can be kept in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for up to 2 days.

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