I think I could almost say I am studying baking as a second language right now. I won’t say it’s easy, but I will say it is very rewarding (even if only in the “kitchen smells good all the time” sense). Anyway, I thought I might share with you some of the things I’m learning in BSL. I hope, if you ever choose to take on this delicious course, you’ll take note of this extremely important advice so it doesn’t become painfully obvious that you’ve enrolled in said course.
Do NOT brew a fresh pot of coffee while the cookies are in the oven
Make sure you begin the cookie process just after you’ve filled your tummy with good things, not before
While the dough is rising in the oven, throw some green beans on the stove – fresh, crispy green beans with salt, pepper, and a bit of butter. Then MUNCH on those instead of the “broken cookies”
Hide the milk!!
Entice your friends into the kitchen with the job of “taste-tester” and then TRUST them!
Remind yourself with each batch or finished cake that these items are going to be sold – and that finger-licking isn’t necessarily professional.
Intentionally plan a workout following your baking session so you can’t over-indulge… you know you will regret it later.
(This is my favorite) Allow yourself to lick the cake pan, once the cake is safely on its serving plate. There’s no point in completely denying yourself the good stuff!
That’s all I got for now. Any other suggestions from fellow bakers-in-distress?
Last night, we experimented with a recipe from my Good Housekeeping Healthy Choices cookbook. The recipe was for tortillapizza, but we transformed it into a lasagna and it was so wonderfully delicious! My roomie is a veggie (my affectionate term for the vegetarians in my life), so I’m always on the lookout for recipes that we would both like. This one turned out to be the BOMB!
Then, for dessert, I made baked apples with a recipe from the same cookbook in an effort to welcome fall to the rain and sun of this country that knows not the four seasons.
Tonight, I’m having my high school girls over for movies and THIS incredible apple cinnamoncupcake dessert! Doesn’t it look amazing?
Here’s the description from the website:
Shredded apple replaces some of the oil and keeps the cake moist in these cinnamon-spiked cupcakes. There is a generous amount of fluffy marshmallow frosting to mound or pipe on top for a festive look.
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
To prepare cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cupcake liners or coat with cooking spray (I made about 17 cupcakes with this recipe)
Combine shredded and dried apples in a bowl with 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside. Beat oil and the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined. Add vanilla, increase speed to high and beat for 1 minute.
Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the batter, starting and ending with dry ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. Stir in the reserved apple mixture until just combined. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. (The cups will be full.)
Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before frosting.
To prepare frosting: Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler. Combine 1 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup water in the top of the double boiler. Heat over the simmering water, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reconstituted egg whites, cream of tartar and pinch of salt. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the mixture is glossy and thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the top pan from the heat and continue beating for 1 minute more to cool. Add vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and beat on low just to combine. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle cinnamon on top, if desired.