Tag Archives: baking

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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Filed under Cake, Cookies, Sweet

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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Got Cake?

As part of my cake decorating project for 4H, I had to show someone how to bake a cake. I chose to show my sister, who is also taking a cake decorating project, how to make a marble cake. I didn’t realize how some things just come naturally to a person who has been baking for a while, like how I know exactly where things are and how to measure them out. I really enjoyed teacher her though and had a good time doing it. Another thing that I have to do is donate cupcakes to a 4H garage sale, I think I am going to do more of an exotic flavor than vanilla this time. As for my yeast bread baking project, I am also donating bread to the garage sale, but  haven’t decided which recipe I am going to make. Today or tomorrow, I think I am going to make soft pretzels for the project. I will put some pictures of the finished decorated cake up when it gets there.

~thechildcooks

Marble Cake from the Family Fun website

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

Lightly butter a 9- by 13- inch cake pan and dust it with flour, knocking out the excess. Heat your oven to 350º.

Combine the dry ingredients by sifting the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Set the mixture aside.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on the stovetop according to the package directions. (Chocolate chips retain some of their shape when melted, so be careful not to overheat or burn them.) Stir the chips until they are smooth, then cool them to lukewarm, about 9 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed, adding the sugar gradually, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, first breaking them into a separate dish to ensure that no eggshells get in the batter. Add the vanilla extract and blend briefly.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, beating on low speed until the batter is evenly blended. Next, beat in half of the buttermilk until it is evenly blended. Continue in this manner, adding another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the buttermilk, then the rest of the dry ingredients, beating well after each addition.

Transfer the chocolate to a medium mixing bowl, then add 2 cups of the batter. Thoroughly fold in the chocolate.

Transfer a little more than half of the remaining plain batter to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with the back of a spoon. Using another large spoon, make 3 wide, lengthwise rows of chocolate batter on top, as shown. Switch back to the plain batter and use what’s left to fill between the chocolate rows.

To create a swirled pattern in the batter, draw the top edge of a table knife across the rows, working from side to side. For best results, be sure not to remove the knife from the batter as you work.

Bake the cake on the center rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes

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Filed under 4-H, Cake, Cake Decorating, Sweet, Yeast Bread

Enough Said

I will graciously bestow unto you the recipe later.

~thechildcooks

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Filed under 4-H, Breads, Meals, Yeast Bread

Please Sir, May I Have S’more?

Two days ago, I made homemade graham crackers. They were certainly more crackerish than the last recipe that I had used. Today, I wanted to made an easy and fun twist on s’mores. I looked around on the internet and found a few recipes for a s’more pie. I decided to use these recipes as a starting point for my dessert and off I went. I used my graham crackers and some chocolate animal crackers for a base crust. Then, in the last first minutes of baking, I added some marshmallow and let them melt over it. As the crust was cooling, I made a homemade chocolate pudding and poured it over the base. And voila, S’mores Pudding. This was my first time making a pudding from scratch and it turned out pretty well. There were no clumps or lumps and the flavor was pleasing, so I would say it was a success. Tomorrow, I am having a real s’mores roast, sans chocolate,for me.

~thechildcooks

S’mores Pudding

1 cup crushed graham crackers(crushed chocolate animal crackers mixed in are optional, add to your liking)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 jumbo marshmallows or about 30 minis

1 recipe chocolate pudding

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl then press into the bottom of a 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake for 5 minutes. While the base is baking, tear the jumbo marshmallow into bits slightly smaller than your thumb(if using minis, leave untorn). After 5 minutes take the crust out and sprinkle the marshmallow evenly over the top, bake for 5 more minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool. While the base is cooling, make the chocolate pudding and then pour over the base. refrigerate until set.  

Chocolate Pudding from Betty Crocker

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 cups milk

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in 2-quart saucepan. Stir in milk gradually. cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir some of the mixture into the eggs, then blend into the mixture in the saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into dishes. Cool slightly and refrigerate.

Graham Crackers from King Arthur

2 cups (8¼ ounces) whole-wheat flour
¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
¼ cup (1¾ ounces) vegetable oil
¼ cup (3 ounces) honey
2 to 3 tablespoons (1 to 1½ ounces) milk (approx.)
additional milk for glaze
cinnamon-sugar (optional)

1. In a mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat egg till light, then add oil, honey and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir into dry ingredients until you have a fairly stiff dough, adding additional milk if necessary. Wrap dough in waxed paper and chill until firm, about 1 hour (or longer, if it’s more convenient).

2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until it holds together. Roll dough out till it’s about 1/16-inch thick; make sure rolling surface is well-floured, or you’ll have trouble transferring crackers to baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

3. Cut dough into 3-inch squares, prick each square several times with a fork, and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Brush the tops with milk, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if you’re so inclined, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crackers are lightly browned. Remove crackers from oven, transfer to a wire cooling rack, and cool completely.

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Back in the Kitchen, At Last!

I have been so very busy lately and haven’t been able to make it into the kitchen very often. I think in the last month, I have only made about 5 things. That is enough to go on your average hand! Unacceptable! Today, I change that. It came to my attention that one of the book that I have borrowed from the library is about to have to be returned. I flipped through it and remembered that I wanted to make one of the recipes inside: Cinnamon Raisin Bread. The book in question is Amy’s Bread by  Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree, so the recipe should be very reliable. I mixed up the biga last night and put it in the refrigerator to do its thing. This morning I started mixing it when I woke up at 8 and was done with baking by . I only put raisins in one of the loaves and cut them back to 1 cup. It feels so good to be back in the kitchen!

~thechildcooks

Cinnamon Raisin Bread with Biga Starter

Biga Starter

Makes 1 3/4 cups

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons very warm water

1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purposed flour

Mix water and yeast together and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour and vigorously stir with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape into a container and mark the time and height of the mixture on the side so you can measure how much it rises.

Let rise at room temperate for 6 to 8 hours. Or let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature, then chill it in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. If using cold, use warm water in the recipe instead of cool water. Use before it deflates.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

1/4 cup very warm water

1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 3/4 cups biga starter

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water(cool or warm, depending on your biga)

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons kosher salt

3 cups raisins(I used 1 cup in one loaf and left the other plain)

1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Combine the very warm water and yeast in a bowl and stir with a fork to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for 3 minutes.

Add the biga and water to the yeast mixture and mix with your fingers for 2 minutes, breaking up the starter. The mixture should look milky, chunky, and slightly foamy. Add the flour and the salt and mix with your fingers until the dough forms a shaggy mass. Fold the dough over onto itself and knead briefly in the bowl.

Move the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and supple, about 4 minutes. If it feels stiff our dry, add cool water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Put the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover, and let rest for 20 minutes.

Return the dough to the lightly floured surface and knead it for 5 to 7 minutes. the dough will become silky and elastic. Do not knead extra flour into the dough.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover, rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Turn dough in the mixing bow;. Gently deflate the dough with your fingertips, the fold the left side in and repeat with the right, fold the dough in half, gently pat it down and turn the dough seam face down.

Let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When the dough is fully risen, an indentation made by your fingers poking the dough will not spring back.

With the dough is rising, place the raisins in a bowl and add warm water to just below the top of the raisins. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate the dough and pat into a 14×12 inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 2 equal rectangles 7×12 inches. Sprinkle each pice with the cinnamon sugar mixture and the drained raisins. Spread evenly across the dough and press them in. Starting at the short side of the loaf, fold the dough tightly into a log without stretching the dough. Seal the seam tightly using your hands or pinching with your fingers.

Place each loaf seam side down in lightly oiled 9×5 pan and press them down to fill the pan. Cover and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Thirty minutes before baking preheat the oven to 450F and place a cast iron skillet and mini loaf pan on the lowest rack possible. Place an oven rack above with room for the loaves of bread. Have a spray bottle, kettle of water ready to be boiled and a metal 1 cup measure nearby.

5 to 10 minutes before the loaves are ready to bake, turn the water on to boil and place 2 to 3 ice cubes in the small loaf pan.

When the loaves are ready, quickly fill the 1 cup measure with boiling water and place the loaves in the oven, then mist them with water. Pour the water into the skillet and immediately close the oven door.

Bake for 15 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 375F and bake for 18 tp 25 minutes longer, until the crust is brown and the loaves sound hollow. Watch the oven carefully and cover with foil if the tops are browning  to fast.

Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing or the bread will fall apart. Keeps well for at least 2 days.

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My Summer Plans…

Emblem of the 4H organisation.

Image via Wikipedia

…include a lot of baking/ cake decorating. I know this for a 100% true fact because those are the projects that I am taking for 4-H. More Specifically, I will be making yeast breads in multiple manners, and trying out new cake decorating techniques. As part of the two projects, I will post some recipes and decorating tutorials here on thechildcooks. Since next week is my Spring Break, I hope to be doing some baking to get a jump-start on my projects; they are due in the middle to end of July, but it is never a bad thing to finish early. 

Also, if things go as planned, I may, hopefully, possibly be looking at having a bakery job. But the probability of that is slim, as people tend to not hire 14 year olds. Never the less, I have picked up an application and found some people to be my references. Another plus would be that the bakery is within running/ biking distance of my house. I figure the sooner I can start getting experience in the real food industry, the closer I am to my dream of one day owning a restaurant.  

‘Til my next baking adventure,

~thechildcooks

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Filed under 4-H, Cake Decorating, Uncategorized, Yeast Bread