Tag Archives: Baking

The Queen Mum’s Fave Cake

Just in time for our Royal Wedding Sleepover!

My aunt invited me over to watch the Royal wedding and have brunch in our pjs so I thought it would be fun to bring something along to share. My grandmother gave me my great-grandmother’s little box of recipe cards last year and it’s full of classic British meals so I figured I’d try one of them – low-and-behold, one jumped right out at me:

I just love how this card was put together: typed (with a correction made), and the specifications re: “Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother’s” (incase you weren’t sure who she was) and then the added note at the bottom: “Note: This is the Queen Mother’s favourite recipe” – and yet there are no real directions. Nothing is written on the back of the card and I didn’t see a second one in the box to explain what temperature to bake everything at or for how long (I usually require very specific directions when it comes to cooking/baking and even then I tend to get it not-quite-right) Continue reading

Mountains of Cookies

The other day I decided to make cookies. And, boy did I make cookies. I have a friend (ahem, let’s just call her “j”) who loves iced sugar cookies. Well, mainly the icing. In any case, I decided sugar cookies were to be made. But, I also wanted to make something else. Which led me to the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that my grandmother has been making forever. It never fails that whenever anyone heads over to visit, she’s got these cookies on hand. That, in a nutshell, is the story of how I came to make cookies. The mountains of cookies part comes in purely because I have an irrational fear of not making enough baked goods to share. So I doubled the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe and ended up choosing a sugar cookie recipe that was undoubtedly doubled at some point in the past. The end result – hundreds of cookies covering every counter surface in my kitchen.

Technically the sugar cookies were supposed to be rolled out and then cut out. Not owning a rolling pin, I usually use an empty wine bottle to roll out these kind of things. But, I had no wine bottle, empty or otherwise on hand. So, after trying and failing to roll it out with a can of tomato sauce (not a good idea. the can crushed. oops.), I opted to roll the dough into balls and then press the balls down with the bottom of a cup. The perfect solution. Continue reading

Forgiveness through Cookies?

I was a grump today and T got the brunt of it so I decided to make cookies for him while he’s out (forgiveness is through the stomach, right?). We don’t have much in the way of groceries at the moment so I had to do some scrounging through the cupboards: I came up with enough to make The Delicious Life‘s Oatmeal Cranberry cookies (recipe).

I didn’t have a full cup of dried cranberries so I mixed in a generous cup of chopped dried prunes. I also don’t have an electric mixer of any sort so I just threw all the ingredients in a bowl and stirred – wasted a bit of oatmeal at the bottom of the bowl but nothing major. Baked up nice but took a bit longer than the “9 minutes 45 seconds” the recipe calls for (I’m not that exact – I played on my computer, forgot about the cookies, remembered them, opened the stove and poked them, and then sat back down again only to repeat the process a little bit later…). First batch I baked from ball form but the rest of them I squished down with a fork – they seemed to bake through better.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi all. j2 here joining the original j in her blogging endeavor. We’re really going to have to work on these code names.

I have a meeting in the morning and decided to bake cookies for the occasion, something that has become a regular occurrence for these meetings. My search for a chocolate chip cookie recipe led me to one of my favourite food blogs: Smitten Kitchen. Although she has a few different chocolate chip cookie recipes on her website, including chocolate chip meringue cookies (gluten free and therefore perfect for a friend of mine!), I settled on these ones. The deciding factor? I already had most of the ingredients in my cupboard. I also opted to double the recipe, thinking that the 20 cookies the original recipe was supposed to make might not be enough for the hungry hoards I’ve been known to encounter.

I took Deb from Smitten Kitchen’s suggestion and toasted my walnuts before adding them to the dough. To toast the nuts, just throw them in a frying pan and turn on the heat. Make sure to stir to avoid burnt nuts. Once they start to smell like roasted nuts they’re done. Or, if you’re me, once you loss patience with the whole nut roasting process, they’re done. Still being impatient, I then threw the still warm nuts into the cookie dough, causing the chocolate chips to melt slightly. Not a catastrophe. The cookies turned out fine. But for future reference, let your nuts cool before adding them to your dough!

These cookies are big on chocolate (and nuts) and light on cookie dough. This was slightly concerning when I began since the dough was pretty crumbly.

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Mmm chocolate!

I have people coming over tomorrow night and I wanted some sweets to add to the cheese and crackers that I’m putting out – but after an extended holiday season filled with chocolate making I was a bit stumped as to what to make. I ended up coming across recipes for Chocolate Espresso Cookies from Bake or Break and Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers from Smitten Kitchen…but I had a few hitches along the way…

Chocolate Espresso Cookies

I tried to follow the recipe as closely as possible but I had a few hitches: first, I ran out of eggs. I had miscounted how many I had left vs how many I needed to make the two recipes and was short. My solution was to use the 4 egg whites called for in the gluten-free financiers (below) and put the 4 remaining egg yolks in the cookies to use as the “2 large eggs” that the recipe calls for. Well I’m not sure if it was the eggs or the recipe itself but I got a very, very dry mixture:

A second, confounding factor may be the fact that I don’t own an electric mixer – I just have a hand chopper/beater thingy (how’s that for descriptive eh?). But I was able to save the cookies! I added 1 cup of cold, brewed coffee to add some liquid in (3/4 cup may have been enough in retrospect). The dough mixed up to a sticky paste which I wrapped in saran wrap and stuck in the fridge.

Continue reading