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Old 02-17-2012, 06:14 PM
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Default Cookies and Cakes and Pies! Oh my! - A Baking Thread

This forum was spawned by Bakespite but there is no baking thread? Unacceptable!

I don't cook a whole lot but what I can do is bake. I think it's a combination of being one of the more exacting of the cooking arts combined with the fact that I really enjoy the results.

I figured I'd start this thread with something simple. It's a simple fruit faux cobbler, crumble thing colloquially known around my family as fruit 'stuff'. If you can turn on an oven, you can bake this.

Quote:
2 cans fruit pie filling (substitute 1 can for frozen fruit)
1 Jiffy yellow cake mix (9 oz)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 stick butter

Bake 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees or until top starts to bubble and brown
Start with 2 cans of the fruit pie filling of your choice in an 8x8 or 9x9 dish. Cherry is my personal favorite but peaches or blueberries also work great. For more fruit flavor, substitute 1 can of pie filling for a bag of frozen fruit from your grocer's freezer.



Next, mix together an 9oz yellow cake mix with 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. A box of Jiffy cake mix is perfect for this, but a half a box of a regular size yellow cake mix works just fine too.



Spread the mix over the top of the fruit in the baking dish. Drizzle 1 stick of melted butter evenly over the top. Feel free to adjust the amount of butter to taste. I think 3/4 of a stick tastes just fine and gives you a little more crumbly top. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour in a 350 degree oven. It's done when the top turns a nice golden brown and the fruit starts to bubble up from underneath.



Serve with ice cream or cool whip and enjoy!

So how about it Talking Time? What are your favorite baked goods?
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:26 AM
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My wife (with my assisstance) just made some lemon bars which are quite tasty. Unfortunately I don't have access to the recipe from here, but it was pretty darn easy - the only labor intensive part was zesting and juicing a couple fresh lemons. You just mix up some basic batter and smash it into the bottom of a baking dish for the crust, then while that's baking a bit you make a mix of the lemon parts, sugar, eggs, flour, and a few other things, then open the oven and just pour it onto the crust and bake a while longer.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:42 AM
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While not on the dessert side, a coworker gave me a ridiculously easy recipe for beer bread. It's a really hearty bread, I highly recommend it with potato leek soup!

3 cups plain flour
3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 bottle beer
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 10x5 loaf pan.
Stir flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
Open beer and pour in, note that the mixture will possibly double in size at this point!
Stir briskly until combined, about 20 strokes, batter should be slightly lumpy
Place batter in loaf pan, pour melted butter over top
Bake for ~40 minutes until center is clean and top is crusty.
Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes, then place loaf on cooling rack. Slice and serve!

A couple notes:
-The best way to melt butter is to chop it into tablespoon sized bits and microwave it for a couple 20 second bouts, stirring in between.
-The recipe originally called for a 9x5 loaf pan, but almost every time I made it there would be overflow of butter or batter and then the house was smoky!
-I tend to do 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour to 2 cups plain flour, makes the bread heartier. I keep meaning to try making all three whole wheat but forget.
-Instead of stirring for a bit I've kneaded the bread until completely mixed. I think it's better.
-The beer is what makes or breaks this. Keep a list of the beer you've tried!
  • Coors (I had some in the fridge and figured why not) makes a very basic bread, it's a great way to finish off terrible beer like that.
  • Blue Moon's Winter Abbey Ale made the best bread by far.
  • Deschute's Jubelale made the bread too hoppy for my taste
  • Deschutes' Mirror Pond was a nice one
  • Full Sail Brewery's Drifter IPA was nice as well
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:57 PM
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VV, your recipe was so inspiring that I went and made it tonight!



It was pretty good! I used a St-Ambroise Pale Ale, which lent a slightly fruity taste to the bread. The end result was a little on the crumbly side, at least on top, but quite tasty. Had it with some tomato soup for dinner and it was lovely.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:23 PM
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Nice! We tried the all whole wheat flour version last night, I wouldn't do that again. Too crumbly and not as tasty as the 2 to 1 mix.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:39 AM
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I have a request, give unto me your best white cake recipe! Preferably something moist.

I wanna bake one this weekend for a reason. I've done a chocolate cake before, but I'm not sure if just stripping the cocoa out of that recipe will necessarily yield a delicious cake, and I thought it best to ask for advice and recipes here, since from-scratch cakes are not a forte of mine.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:04 AM
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I've been experimenting with frostings the past two years and my latest turned out really well. Measurements are all approximate because I just eyeball things.

- raspberry jam (about 1/3 the jar)
- half a stick of butter
- confectioners sugar (most of a bag)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- milk (until the consistency is good for spreading)
- 4 drops red food coloring

The jam on its own made things really thick so I had to bring the milk into the equation. I might drop the butter next time around and just use more milk. It was a drab pink until I added the food coloring, which brightened things up to that nice raspberry shade. It was really rich and yummy.

I used store-bought jam this time but when farmer's markets open for the summer I'm gonna look around there. This was by far the best fruit frosting I've managed so far (previous attempts used: juice, extract, yogurt, and flavored cream cheese.)
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:30 AM
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I made a lime curd tart for a 4th of July BBQ tonight. It came out really well! I did use a storebought pie crust since I'm really bad at pie crusts, whatevs.

Does anyone else feel like limes are shockingly inconsistent in terms of the amount of juice they generate? Some are bone dry and others have tons. At least it seems that way to me.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:51 PM
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I made cinnamon oatmeal cookies today and they turned out pretty great. I stuck to the recipe except for letting the dough sit in the fridge for an hour and cooking them 12 minutes instead of 10-11. I might add some water in the next batch because the dough seemed a little dry despite the fact the cookies turned out soft and chewy.

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Old 08-05-2012, 05:04 PM
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Those look awesome and I will have to try them in a few months when the concept of turning the oven on isn't horrifying.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:24 PM
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My friends and I got together and had a baking day! We made:

Gluten-free peanut butter cookies. I think it was just eggs, PB, sugar, some chocolate chips (which were unnecessary) and vanilla?

Gluten-free microwave coffee-cup chocolate cakes. My friend's secret(?) recipe (guess what kind of allergy she has). They were OK, but kinda too rich. Took me a while to get through mine.

Banana bread (GLUTENFUL). Could've used some walnuts and maybe a little less time in the oven, but came out well!


Next up: apple pie with cheddar cheese.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:12 AM
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Man, my grandma used to do apple pie with cheese on the side. It's a good combination.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:30 AM
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I have a question for this thread regarding the recipe in the first post! If Mr Bean is still watching (or maybe someone else can advise)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bean View Post
Next, mix together an 9oz yellow cake mix with 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. A box of Jiffy cake mix is perfect for this, but a half a box of a regular size yellow cake mix works just fine too.
Do you mean to prepare to cake batter per the instructions on the box, adding the wet ingredients, or just use the dry powder and the chopped nuts, and have the juices from the berries and the melted butter serve to moisten the mix? That seems kind of odd to me, but I've seen weirder and the pic you used just had a bowl of the dry mix.

Basically I'd like to try and make this today and I don't wanna mess it up.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:49 AM
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We made strawberry cobbler last night.



It was sublime.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:47 PM
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Made some pumpkin pies and brought them into work today! Mmm, pumpkin. Making pies is way harder than making cakes or cookies, and I don't do it often enough to get comfortable with the process. Plus, my pie crusts always shrink as they cook and I end up with pies that are smaller than their pie plates. I make a pretty tasty pie, if I do say so myself, but man they are not much to look at.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:49 PM
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Default Baking for dummies is hard!

My mom gave us a bread maker, she was trying to be helpful, and boy are these finicky little fuckers!

You've got to measure everything precisely and don't think about making substitutions!

The first loaf I tried came out a collapsed, sticky, undercooked mess.

Hopefully take two will be better...
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:55 PM
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The first rule of baking is follow the damn recipe. Even slight deviations can really mess up your baked goods, so don't start playing around with proportions or ingredient substitutions until you have a better idea what you're doing.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:20 PM
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Unfortunately, in my experience, the second rule of baking is bread machines kinda suck. The ability to set stuff on a timer sounds AMAZING (warm cinnamon-raisin bread for breakfast hooray!), but in practice I think that the crust is... off, and I don't think the kneading or rising is quite up to par. Plus they take up so much space!

Bread's so simple to make that i'm surprised that a couple who loves to cook as much as you guys would even bother with a machine in the first place.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upupdowndown View Post
Unfortunately, in my experience, the second rule of baking is bread machines kinda suck. The ability to set stuff on a timer sounds AMAZING (warm cinnamon-raisin bread for breakfast hooray!), but in practice I think that the crust is... off, and I don't think the kneading or rising is quite up to par. Plus they take up so much space!

Bread's so simple to make that i'm surprised that a couple who loves to cook as much as you guys would even bother with a machine in the first place.
It was a gift so I figured I'd give it a go.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoonyBardOL View Post
I have a question for this thread regarding the recipe in the first post! If Mr Bean is still watching (or maybe someone else can advise)

Do you mean to prepare to cake batter per the instructions on the box, adding the wet ingredients, or just use the dry powder and the chopped nuts, and have the juices from the berries and the melted butter serve to moisten the mix? That seems kind of odd to me, but I've seen weirder and the pic you used just had a bowl of the dry mix.

Basically I'd like to try and make this today and I don't wanna mess it up.
Yup, you just mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then spread it out over fruit. You don't make a batter, the mix by itself with the butter on top and fruit on bottom will turn it into a nice crumble crust. Hope it turned out OK if you already tried it.

To atone for ignoring my own thread, let's make some pie! Key lime pie! A summer favorite! I made this two weekends ago when I was craving something sweet and it came out great.

1 small (~9") graham cracker crust pie shell
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup of key lime juice
touch of lime zest

Mix the milk, eggs, lime juice and zest together until it's nice and smooth. The zest is optional, but I think it gives it a nice little extra tang. Pour into the pie shell and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let cool on the counter for another 10-15 minutes and then refrigerate for a least a couple of hours, but the longer the better to get everything nice and chilled. Top with a little whipped cream and dig in! If you can't get key limes or a bottle of key lime juice at the supermarket, regular limes work just fine, but the pie will be a little sweeter and may not have that nice tang. The hardest part of this whole endeavor is if, like me, you have troubles getting a nice clean break on your eggs to separate the yolks.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bean View Post
Yup, you just mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then spread it out over fruit. You don't make a batter, the mix by itself with the butter on top and fruit on bottom will turn it into a nice crumble crust. Hope it turned out OK if you already tried it.

To atone for ignoring my own thread, let's make some pie! Key lime pie! A summer favorite! I made this two weekends ago when I was craving something sweet and it came out great.

1 small (~9") graham cracker crust pie shell
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup of key lime juice
touch of lime zest

Mix the milk, eggs, lime juice and zest together until it's nice and smooth. The zest is optional, but I think it gives it a nice little extra tang. Pour into the pie shell and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let cool on the counter for another 10-15 minutes and then refrigerate for a least a couple of hours, but the longer the better to get everything nice and chilled. Top with a little whipped cream and dig in! If you can't get key limes or a bottle of key lime juice at the supermarket, regular limes work just fine, but the pie will be a little sweeter and may not have that nice tang. The hardest part of this whole endeavor is if, like me, you have troubles getting a nice clean break on your eggs to separate the yolks.
Huh... so.... key lime pie is a sweet, fruity quiche without egg whites. I assumed gelatin was involved!
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Droewyn View Post
Huh... so.... key lime pie is a sweet, fruity quiche without egg whites. I assumed gelatin was involved!
Nope. Key lime pie came about because it was a dessert that sponge fishermen and other inhabitants of the Keys could make from ingredients that didn't need refrigeration. The original recipe actually didn't even have you baking the pie, instead just relying on the acidity of the key lime juice to "cook" the yolks and canned milk. We bake it nowadays to give a firmer texture and also for food safety concerns.

The most traditional version involves you taking the leftover egg whites and making a meringue to put on top. :9 But it's delicious even without, and it's probably the simplest possible pie to make. you definitely need actual key limes though, they're tarter than regular limes.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:47 AM
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A coworker brought in cake batter cookies for Christmas and I finally got around to attempting it myself. Recipe I used except I used strawberry cake mix (only one I had on hand) and white chocolate chips. Result is very sweet and pretty. Very likely to make an appearance at my daughter's birthday party some year.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:09 PM
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Yesterday the girlfriend made a batch of these, and I helped by eating two of them. She used the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, while that link is someone's personal adaptation, so I can't say what the differences may be. In any case, they were amazing, and not at all difficult to make. Highly recommended.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:08 PM
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I made Kolache (a Czech poppyseed pastry). They came out much larger than expected but they taste great!

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Old 02-17-2014, 08:26 PM
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decided to try making a bread for the first time. I probably could have picked something simpler than brioche, but it sounded good at the time >:[

anyway, it is setting up and man my hands hurt!
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady View Post
decided to try making a bread for the first time. I probably could have picked something simpler than brioche, but it sounded good at the time >:[

anyway, it is setting up and man my hands hurt!


it tastes great! Didn't quite bake it long enough, and I think I let too much of the carbon dioxide escape, since the crumb looks finer than in the pictures online.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:47 PM
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We had leftover lemongrass so I made lemongrass bars tonight, came out great. I skip the coconut in the crust since I hate the texture of coconut but if you like coconut go for it.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violentvixen View Post
We had leftover lemongrass so I made lemongrass bars tonight, came out great. I skip the coconut in the crust since I hate the texture of coconut but if you like coconut go for it.
hooooooooooooomg that sounds amazing
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:09 PM
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Default IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN

I finished carving the pumpkin tonight and actually thought ahead to separating out the different parts! I have one dish full of roasted pumpkin seeds (yom), another full of pumpkin guts (ehhh), and two more of pumpkin flesh.

I tried making pumpkin bread with the guts last year, but it never got done in the middle which lead to some hilarious shenanigans where I tried to nuke the center in the microwave and the microwave is still tarry with the residual vapors
I'll probably use the flesh for pumpkin bread this year and bake it up as muffins instead of a loaf; I have a better idea for the guts. I got this crazy idea a few months ago of a pumpkin sauce that would be a sweet accompaniment to some meat dish. Basically just a really cooked down purée, right? kinda syrupy. . . I know, it's insane, but I can't stop thinking about it, so I have to try. Worst case I'm out some cuts of meat and some pumpkin guts. whoop

THEN the question is what do I do with the rest of the flesh? I remember doing . . .something? with it last year, but maybe it was just incorporated in the ill-fated bread.

Suggestions solicited and appreciated~
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