COWABUNGA RABBIT


Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake
Monday 31 March 2008, 8:28 AM
Filed under: cake, fruit

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The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. I made this cake three times because I’m an idiot. Making the buttercream definitely has its issues, but overall the cake was very good. Maybe a little too sweet with a little too much frosting, but very good nonetheless since I still ate it, haha.

Ingredients [Cake]

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Ingredients [Buttercream Frosting]

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Butter two 9″x2″ round cake pans and line the bottom of each one with buttered/greased parchment paper or wax paper.

Directions [Cake]

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Whisk together the egg whites and milk.
  3. Put sugar and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and rub together until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
  4. Add the butter until mixture is light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in extract and 1/3 of flour mixture.
  6. Beat in half of eggs-milk mixture, then half of the remaining flour mixture.
  7. Add remaining eggs-milk mixture and beat until batter is homogeneous.
  8. Add in the last of the flour mixture and beat until smooth and then for an additional two or three minutes so that batter is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  10. Cool in pans for five minutes.
  11. Run a knife around the edge and remove cakes from pans and peel off paper liners.
  12. Cool right side up on cooling racks until cakes are room temperature.

Directions [Buttercream Frosting]

  1. Put eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Whisk continuously until all the sugar is dissolved (it should look like watered down, but smooth marshmallow cream).
  3. Remove bowl from heat and using the whisk attachment of your mixer, beat on medium speed until meringue is cool.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add in the butter, one stick at a time, until smooth.
  5. Slowly incorporate the vanilla and lemon juice.
  6. Beat the buttercream until it is thick and smooth (6-10 minutes). It may curdle or separate, but just keep going.

Cake Assemblage

  1. Split each cake in half so that you have four layers.
  2. Line a cake platter, plate, or cardboard round with wax paper.
  3. Place one of the layers on your surface.
  4. Spread 1/3 of the raspberry preserves.
  5. Spread some of the buttercream over the preserves.
  6. Repeat for the next two layers.
  7. Use the remaining buttercream to frost the rest of the cake.
  8. Gently press the coconut into the frosting.
  9. Decorate however you desire.

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Blueberries-and-Cream Mall Muffins
Friday 28 March 2008, 4:06 PM
Filed under: fruit, muffins/scones

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I don’t really know why these are called ‘mall’ muffins, but I had the itch to bake so I chose this recipe from Marcy Goldman’s A Passion for Baking. Yields 24 standard sized muffins.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon each lemon and orange extract (optional)
  • 5 cups all purpose flour (approximate)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray a 12-cup large or standard muffin pan or a 24-cup small muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the tins with paper liners. Place the tins on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  2. Blend sugar with oil and butter.
  3. Fold in 4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend a little, then add in buttermilk and sour cream. Batter should be thick; if not, add more flour.
  4. Fold in berries with a spatula.
  5. Load muffin cups as much as possible.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 F, then reduce temperature to 350 F and bake until muffins are golden brown and spring back when gently pressed with fingertips (about 12-16 minutes more). Cool in pans for 5 minutes.

Modifications

  • I used 1 3/4 cups of sugar.
  • I totally did not read the directions and added in the full amount of flour instead of what was written. The batter still came out thick and it looked fine. Nevertheless, read the directions first, kids.
  • My Safeway does not carry whole buttermilk which I think is really weird. I had to use reduced fat. No biggie.
  • I used fresh blueberries and tossed with them flour so that they wouldn’t sink in the batter.
  • I only used 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract.

After Thoughts

The cut down on sugar was such a wise choice because the muffins had just the right amount of sweetness. They weren’t terribly dense and I could really taste the lemon extract. The blueberries were tart and juicy and pretty well distributed throughout the batter. Basically, they were really good, so definitely give this recipe a try. These muffins are a WINNER and I say that because my mom ate more than one. She usually thinks all of my stuff is way too sweet, so I was thrilled when she munched away on her second one.

And the whole parchment-lined baking sheet? Not totally sure what it does exactly, but supposedly it helps with preventing scorched muffin bottoms. I gave it a try and my muffins came out the BEST LOOKING EVER in my short baking career, so I’m sold.

Marcy Goldman makes a note that you can obviously use frozen blueberries if fresh aren’t available. In that case, just thaw them out a little bit so that they’re easier to work with and still give them a flour toss.

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My First Comic
Wednesday 26 March 2008, 8:16 AM
Filed under: art, comics

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This shit is old! Hahaha, I drew this like five years ago with no rough draft or anything… I just had two Sharpies, a ruler, and computer paper. I am proud of this baby.

I need a big scanner too, if anybody cares, haha.



Dark Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
Saturday 22 March 2008, 3:45 AM
Filed under: cookies/bars

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These are for my sister, adapted to her non-sweet tooth tastes. The recipe is from Marcy Goldman’s A Passion for Baking, with some changes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted, softened butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugars.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs.
  4. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop out 2-3 tablespoons of dough and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 10-18 minutes (depending on size). Cookies should be browned around the edges, beginning to color on top and seem dry to the touch.

Modifications

  • I had a brain fart and added in uh… 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda…hahaha.
  • My sister hates all things sweet, so I got 100% cacao and 60% cacao chocolate bars from Ghirardelli and chopped them up. I ended up using about 1 1/2 cups of the 100% chocolate and 1/2 cup of the 60% chocolate.
  • I excluded the 1/2 cup of white sugar.
  • I added 1 cup of chopped pecans.

After Thoughts

These cookies are not sweet so it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. As a chocolate-hater, I would prefer these over a standard chocolate chip cookie. The cookies are a little dense (one will hold you over for awhile). I was afraid of what the extra baking soda would do to the cookie, but it only seemed to make the cookies rise, rather than spread. I’d recommend the recipe; it’s not half bad. In any case, my sister approved of them so my job for the day is done.

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Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sunday 16 March 2008, 10:16 PM
Filed under: cookies/bars

I got bored a couple of nights ago and decided to bake. These are from Martha Stewart’s website with some modifications.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted, softened butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugars.
  3. Add egg and vanilla.
  4. Combine flour and baking soda.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet.
  7. Dip a fork in water and lightly press the back of the fork into the dough to flatten them.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Modifications

  • I used crunchy peanut butter and golden brown sugar (the original called for dark brown).
  • I added about a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • I don’t know if it was my oven or what, but these cookies baked really fast, so the cooking time ended up being around 15 minutes for me.

After Thoughts

Well, I did not have a chance to taste them, but the roommates’ consensus was that they were good, haha. They smelled good and looked good, so I generally take that as a very good sign. :P




Banana Nut Bread
Saturday 8 March 2008, 5:18 AM
Filed under: bread, fruit

This is from Martha Stewart’s website. Yields one 9″x5″ inch loaf.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter/sugar mixture.
  5. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla.
  6. Stir in nuts.
  7. Pour into a greased 9×5 loaf pan.
  8. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Modifications

  • I mashed up three, very ripe bananas and that yielded way more than a cup.
  • I had no sour cream, so I used nonfat vanilla yogurt.
  • I used pecans.

After Thoughts

I usually use the banana bread recipe from Joy of Baking (it’s very good), but I decided to try something a little different just for the heck of it. There’s NO CINNAMON in this recipe and it breaks my heart, but the bread is quite good, especially the crust. It’s sweet and very moist. The extra amounts of banana make the bread a little mushy, but it tastes so good warm. Good job, Martha.




Peanut Butter Bars
Thursday 6 March 2008, 3:22 AM
Filed under: cookies/bars

This is from the Williams-Sonoma website. Yields around 12 bars.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease an 8″ square baking pan, then line with parchment paper, letting it hang over two sides.
  3. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Combine butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until creamy.
  5. Add egg and vanilla.
  6. Combine the two mixtures until just blended.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
  8. Cool completely.
  9. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
  10. Lift from pan and cut into bars.

Modifications

  • I used a mix of dark brown sugar and regular brown sugar.
  • I used a mix of crunchy peanut butter and creamy peanut butter.

After Thoughts

Mm… very, very good. The powdered sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the bars and they’re perfectly chewy. It’s like a giant, dense peanut butter cookie. You may think you are not in the mood for peanut butter, but once you try these, everything changes, ha.