When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Nanaimo Bars January 27, 2010

Filed under: The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 11:00 pm
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The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.

I have never had a Nanaimo Bar.

If you are like me and you are wondering what it is, Lauren described it perfectly,  “Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert created in none other than Nanaimo, British Colombia…  3 layers: a base containing graham crackers, cocoa, coconut and nuts, a middle custard layer, and a topping of chocolate.”  I might add that they are a very tasty treat 🙂

This challenge was a two parter: Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars.  We had an option to make the Wafers Gluten-Free and I decided to just do it.  I have never experimented with Gluten-Free baking because of the obvious reason: no one in my immediate family or I has a gluten allergy.  What better time to start a new adventure. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Cocoa-Nana Bread January 26, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Quick Breads,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:37 pm
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This is weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Steph of Obsessed with Baking.  She chose Dorie’s Cocoa-Nana Bread which is located on page 46 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Two of the most perfect things in the world baked together in a breakfast treat.  Who doesn’t love a banana muffin in the morning, and who on God’s green earth doesn’t love a chocolate-chocolate chip muffin?

There is just something perfect about bananas and chocolate, and together it is one of the most perfect combinations.  YUMMY 🙂

This weeks challenge I actually made a couple of weeks ago because  I had some bananas that were perfectly ripe and everything.  I ended up making 1 small loaf and 6 giant muffins.  By the time I got around to taking the pictures, all the muffins were gone, and Mike walks in the room and asks what happened to them.

Uh, well we both have been eating them for breakfast.

Mike – “Those were really good and I was actually eating them.”

Me – “Wow, you didn’t leave any in your desk.” – which he does often

Mike – “No, but I would always forget they were banana until I started eating on.”

Me – “Me too”

Mike – “Can I take the loaf to work?”

Me – “I guess, but I need to take a picture first.”

I run to get my camera, slice up the loaf all pretty, and take some pictures before we go to bed.

As you can see, we both enjoyed the Cocoa-Nana Bread.  I particularly enjoyed it when it was warm, so I would usually pop it in the microwave for a few seconds.  It always caught me of guard when it tasted like bananas because I was never expecting it, bu t it was YUMMY!!!


Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars January 19, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:06 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Lillian of Confectiona’s Realm.  She chose Dorie’s Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars which is located on pages 114-115 in Baking: From My Home to Yours. Once I saw the ingredients in this bar, I knew that I would love them.

But we had a problem.

I just started the zone diet and knew that these could not be kept in the house for any period of time because I would munch on them.  The plan, make half a recipe and use a 8x8x3 pan, then give all of them away.  The plan worked.  I did however eat one just so that I knew what it tasted like 🙂  It was yummy, and I was in heaven.  I took them over to my in-laws and they loved them, and then Mike took them to work.  I would definitely make them again, but be care because they are addicting.


Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce January 14, 2010

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

This recipe was fantastic and it gave Mike an excuse to use his grill for the first time.  I pretty much had everything on hand that I needed to make the recipe except for fresh ginger and a lemon, but those are too expensive 🙂

Yesterday afternoon, I prepped all the ingredients: made the marinade, peanut sauce, and ginger salad dressing.  Everything was ready to go by the time dinner came around.  I think my favorite part was the little charred bits of chicken.  When you dip it into the peanut sauce it was out of this world.  The chicken by itself was good, but the peanut sauce just made the whole thing come together. (more…)


Tuesdays with Dorie: Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben January 12, 2010

Filed under: Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:42 am

First thing first, i love saying the word Scherben.

Scherben, Scherben, Scherben

It just gives me this nice feeling 🙂

Second, big FAIL because I never got around to doing it.  Sorry 😦 I hope everyone liked the recipe this week and had fun frying them up.  Check out the blog roll to see what everyone else did, and also check out Teanna of Spork or Foon? because she hosted this week.  Don’t you just love Teanna’s blog name.  It puts a smile on my face everytime I read it 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: 2nd Anniversary: Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake January 5, 2010

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by the members of Tuesdays with Dorie.  We were given the choice to either make Dorie’s Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake or Tarte Tartin, which are located on pages 256-257 and 312-313, respectively, in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I decided to make the Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake because who wouldn’t want a yummy piece of chocolate cake for their birthday/anniversary 🙂

Tuesdays with Dorie was founded by the wonderful Laurie of Slush.  She wanted to bake a recipe a week from Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and decided that she needed a little nudge and asked others to join her.  It has been 2  years since she started the group and I must say that I am so happy to be a member of this group.  When I started my blog 1.5 years ago, I was just searching the internet for ideas and came across this group and I haven’t looked back.  Each recipe is a chance to try something new and yummy. (more…)


Tuesdays with Dorie: Low and Luscious Chocolate Cheesecake January 3, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cheesecake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:51 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie is brought to you by The Tea Lady of Tea and Scones.  She chose Dorie’s Low and Luscious Chocolate Cheesecake located on page 243 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Because the holiday season is almost over and God knows I made a craptastic ton of desserts and cookies, I decided to only make half a recipe and make them small.  The recipe ended up making 4 small cheesecakes.  I think I should have dumped more batter in each, but then I would have only made two, but I think they would have turned out a little taller than they did.

For the crust I used left over molasses cookies that I had an incident with 🙂  Lets just say I made a double batch, and realized halfway through baking the first round that something wasn’t right and then realized, “Opps, I forgot the baking soda.”  I can honestly say that that was the first time that I have ever done that.  To salvage the rest of the dough, I kneaded in the correct amount of baking soda.  Granted, they didn’t turn out as pretty as before, but they still tasted good.  So the crispy ones with no baking soda turned into a cookie crust for the cheesecake.

You are probably wondering how the molasses cookie crust tasted with the chocolate cheesecake.  It was pretty good, but it would have been better with a graham cracker crust instead.  I didn’t want to waste the cookies, but I am still going to eat the cheesecake.  I discovered that if the cheesecake is at room temperature, it has more of a chocolaty flavor and is so yummy.  Oh, the cheesecake is really easy to make and turned out perfectly smooth and remember room temperature 🙂