I went to school in Virginia briefly when I was in high school. I was lucky enough to have cooking/baking class as my elective class of choice. The counselor asked me a few questions about interests/hobbies and asked me to choose my elective. Kitchen it is!
It was my favorite time of the day! I learned to make lots of food (sugar cookies, lasagna, manicotti, Welsh Cakes…) and we get to keep a portion to take home, or eat at lunch. I still have a few recipes I copied from that time in a blue notebook that I still make frequently.
One of the things we made was spoon bread. I didn’t quite understand it at that time, but yes, just as the name implies, it is a soft, moist quick bread that you’ll use a spoon to scoop up to eat. It is soft like pudding but with a little more structure that you can cut it.
In this recipe, I used a readily available cornbread mix to make life easier. And the amount of the ingredients are adjusted to fit the big ELB bowl.
*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*
Strawberries are pretty tasty this time of the year. I had been purchasing them from farmer’s stands and farmer’s markets as they are always good, unlike other places where it’s hit or miss.
They’re quite expensive though, at $5 -$8 per green basket, but totally worth it as they are sweet and delicious all the way through. I like eating them just as is, after washing. No need for anything else as they are very tasty…and fragrant.
There are no green sour patches on these at all. And since they are so good, I decided to make a cake for my mom’s birthday. I have quart of whipping cream and a dozen home grown eggs in the fridge so I’m all set.
I had been trading loaves of sourdough bread for eggs with my co worker once a week, so the eggs I have are really fresh. Which is important, as the cake is a simple sponge cake recipe where in your ingredients need to be really good and fresh for it to taste great. The frosting is a simple, lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream, and topped with the best tasting strawberries you can find, this will be a cake you will make over and over.
We had to go to a soccer game at 9 am so I baked the layers and let it cool upside down for 20 minutes while we got ready, turned them right side up to cool completely while we were gone. I then whipped the cake, sliced the strawberries, and put the cake together after lunch, then chilled it for an hour before driving it over to my mom’s. Busy day!
I did not expect a lot of requests for this recipe so I did not photograph anything while whipping up the first, full sized cake. I did not have the time to either as I was rushing to get it done before we had to leave. However, since I did get a few requests, and since there was no left overs after it was demolished at my mom’s, I decided to make another, smaller cake for our home.
I halved the recipe and baked them in two 5-inch round cake pans. They were filled and frosted the same way as the full sized 8/9 inch cake. It was just enough for 6 slices, 2 each for me, my husband, and my son.
So here it is. There are a lot of steps but it is easy and the results are more than worth it. Feel free to break the steps down like I did to fit your schedule. I promise you will be amazed with the end results.
These make amazingly delicious cookies! I already had a staple recipe for chocolate chip cookies (The Original Toll House recipe of course!) but, like I mentioned before, I love to experiment. I am so glad I did, as this just might be my new favorite!
I made the dough twice, using half of the ingredients for each. One batch was made using sugar free chocolate chips, sugar and brown sugar substitute, sprouted spelt flour and added walnuts. The other half was all regular ingredients, without nuts.
Funny thing is, the sugar free version looked a lot prettier! Enjoy both!
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
3 cups flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars for around 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating for about 1 minute.
4. Blend in flour, baking soda, and salt.
5. When a dough forms, stir in chocolate chips.
6. Measure 1/4 cup dough and form into balls, pull them apart and place the halves next to each other, torn side up. Press together to adhere, then place on the cookie sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Or make smaller ones using a tablespoon of dough for each.
7. Bake 10 – 12 minutes, just until set and very lightly browned. Rotate cookie sheets, top to bottom and front to back, halfway through baking.
8. Cool on the cookie sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Or even just enough to not burn your tongue and enjoy! These are absolutely amazing warm when the chocolate chips are still gooey and soft! Yum!
We have been trying to use sugar substitutes to reduce my husband’s sugar intake lately.
As you can imagine, I am up to the challenge to create sugar-free sweets as he loves baked goods almost as much as I do.
Chocolate chip cookies are a favorite in my home (as with most homes, I would guess!) so this is the first recipe I tried making. We went to the grocery store and I found our that Hershey’s made sugar free chocolate chips! Hurray! And on the back of the package, there is a recipe for sugar-free chocolate chip cookies that I decided to try, with some modifications.
Most of the sugar-free sweets I had before are dry, and compared to my regular cookies this is a little on the dry size. But my husband loves it so I’m sharing it here in case you’re looking for sugar free chocolate chip cookies recipe as it made delicious cookies.
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sucralose granulated sugar substitute
1/3 cup sucralose brown sugar blend, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla paste, or extract
2 large eggs
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup spelt flour(I used sprouted spelt this time)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar-free chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s brand)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Beat butter , sugars and vanilla in the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
3. Add eggs and beat well.
4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Stir in walnuts, if using.
7. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto 2 large ungreased cookie sheets.
8. Bake 10 minutes at 375F until edges are lightly browned.
9. Cool for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Enjoy! This recipe makes 4 dozens so feel free to share!
This is a variation of my usual sourdough recipe. Filled with Pickled Jalapeño and cubed Cheddar Cheese, it is delicious on its own and makes awesome grilled cheese or turkey, or ham sandwiches!
Start by feeding your starter in the morning. Then prepare your dough after dinner, stretching and folding an hour later, 30 minutes apart, for about a couple of times.
Then you leave it on the counter till the next morning when you’ll work in the cheese and jalapeños, shape, let proof and then bake.
Just want to mention that you want these to cool completely before slicing, otherwise your bread might get gummy inside. It is hard not to devour a hot, fresh baked bread but it’s worth it, believe me!
1/2 cup starter
3 cups water
4 2/3 cups bread flour
3 1/3 cups all purpose, kamut, or spelt flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sea salt
2/3 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
2 cups cubed (1/4 inch or so) cheddar cheese
1. Start by mixing your starter into the water until it breaks up. Add your flour and salt and mix just until you have a ball of dough coming together.
2. Cover and set aside for about an hour.
3. After the first rest, stretch and fold for at least 2 times, 30 minutes apart. If you can do 4 stretch and folds, it’s better, otherwise 2 sets will do.
4. Cover and set aside overnight at room temperature.
5. The next day, prepare the cheese and jalapeños.
6. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Working with 1 part at a time, stretch your dough on the counter and place half of the cheese and jalapeños on top. Fold 1/3 into the center, from both sides, then turn over and fold top part down, bottom part up. Pinch edges to seal and place in a floured banneton.
7. Repeat with the remaining dough, cheese, and jalapeños.
8. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2-4 hours.
I recently got back into making cake pops, as I discovered a whole bunch of molds made of silicone and plastic.
I ordered a lot of them to start experimenting again after not making it for about 5 years. I also ordered some fondant molds and luster powders for decorating.
It was an easier process back then. Just mix up a box of cake mix and bake as directed. Cool and crumble into little pieces, mix in about half a tub of ready made frosting and make little round balls. Dip into melted candy melts and cool.
Nowadays there are an infinite number of shapes and designs, one much more detailed than another.
For this post, I am using my bunny mold and heart mold, making cake pops without sticks. I will post a photo of my other cake pop with sticks at the bottom.
A box of cake mix, any flavor you like (I used chocolate)
The ingredients needed to prepare the cake (usually eggs, oil, and water)
A tub of ready made frosting (I used Butter Cream and Cream Cheese flavored frosting)
Chocolate or candy melts
Sprinkles, edible glitter, metallic spray, any other decoration as desired
1. First, you prepare the cake mix according to the directions provided on the box.
2. Pour into a greased 13×9 pan and bake as directed on the package.
3. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.
4. For these type of molds, you’ll first coat them with a layer of melted chocolate or candy melts, fill it with cake pop mix after it sets, then add another layer of chocolate or candy melts to seal.
5. To do that, melt some chocolate or candy melts in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring until melted and smooth. Pour about 1 tablespoon into the mold and work it up the sides with the back of a spoon. Try to coat the inside of the mold evenly. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or so to set. You can add another, thin layer to reinforce the shell if needed after it has set. Return to the fridge to set again.
6. While the shell is in the fridge, place the completely cooled cake, cut into pieces, in a food processor and pulse until finely crumbled.
7. Transfer to a bowl.
8. Add about half of the frosting and mix well. You want it to have a consistency similar to play dough.
9. Take the chocolate shells from the fridge and fill with cake pop mixture.
10. Press gently but firmly to fill throughout the mold.
11. Make sure to leave some space on top for another layer of chocolate or candy melts.
12. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate or candy melts over the filling.
13. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon then a straight edged spatula to remove excess.
14. Place in the refrigerator to set, about 30 minutes or so.
15. Carefully unmold the cake pops. Tada! Aren’t they beautiful?
16. Pictures at the bottom are the traditional cake pops that have sticks.
These make the perfect birthday cake for our current Covid-19 situation. They’re individually portioned and easy to wrap up and give out.
A peanut butter cookie rolled in granulated sugar, and topped with a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kiss!
This was one of my favorite cookies growing up. I think I first saw it in a magazine, a Betty Crocker Cookbook, or in a Hershey Chocolate Cookbook. I love milk chocolate so I made it, and again, and again.
I haven’t made it in a long time (maybe over a decade!) so since I was off for 5 days partly because of my second Covid-19 vaccine, I planned on baking a batch, excited to see if it still tastes the same as it did before. I wasn’t well after my Thursday vaccination (like the first dose, only not as bad) but was well enough on Valentine’s Day, so I made it then.
It didn’t disappoint at all. My son peeled the kisses but needed to do some math problems so I made the cookies myself. It was quick and easy, although I would recommend using an electric mixer because the dough is quite stiff.
For the peanut butter, feel free to use crunchy or smooth, whichever you like or have on hand. I like crunchy but keep some smooth PB in the pantry to use for sate sauce and Asian noodles. I used crunchy PB, as I like the crunch it lends to the cookies.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Sugar, to roll dough in
36 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. In a bowl, place butter,
4. Brown sugar,
5. Peanut butter,
6. And egg.
7. Beat well using an electric mixer , until combined and smooth.
8. Add flour,
9. Baking soda,
10. And baking powder.
11. Beat well until mixed.
12. Scoop up about a tablespoon dough and roll into a ball.
13. Drop into a bowl with granulated sugar. Roll to coat.
14. Place in an ungreased cookie sheet.
15. Repeat with remaining dough, making 36 balls.
16. Line them up 2 inches apart on 2 cookie sheets. They will spread a little as they bake.
17. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown.
18. Immediately press a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie.
20. Remove cookies from cookie sheets and onto wire racks.
21. Cool completely.
22. Serve! You can also drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate. Makes 36 pieces.