Sometimes it just doesn’t turn out – Shortbread fail

I wanted to share one of my fails with you today because it’s just real life as I see it.  Not everything turns out perfect all the time, at least not for me.  I have begun my looming task of sifting  through my haphazardly stored hand written recipes and saw one for shortbread  I just don’t remember but it was in my handwriting.  I suspected right off the bat that there was something not quite right about it.  It required vegetable oil instead of butter.  Oh well,  I tried it anyway.  It looked okay although I do not have the correct size pan but found one that was similar.  See they look okay, they are quite flaky and do melt in your mouth ….

That is where the problem came, what an awful taste!! OMG  where did I get this recipe? Or did I write it down incorrectly?  I honestly don’t remember, I have so many!

I happily tossed this piece of paper in the recycling.  From now on, I think I will stick with shortbread recipes that require butter.

Does anyone else have a recipe fail they would like to share?  I would love to know that I’m not the only one this happens to!  🙂

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Simple things – new kitchen stuff & snack cake

It obviously does not take very much to make me happy.  Case in point – Saturday I came home from TK Maxx with 2 brand new Cuisinart dish towels and a cookie sheet.

In fact, it was Happily Mr. that saw the dish towels, which were on sale for only 3€!  He actually noticed that my dish towel supply was quite sad and diminishing.

The cookie sheet – well, it’s quite an amazing story.  I did not bring any kitchen things with me when I moved overseas and they just don’t sell or use cookie sheets here.  I have been looking for an “American Style” cookie sheet for six years!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to bake my White Chocolate Chip cookie recipe for you all tomorrow using this new cookie sheet.

I am really glad they put in a TK Maxx in our small town.  Oh, in case those of you who live in America are thinking I misspelled the store name, I didn’t.  For some reason TJ Maxx is called TK Maxx over here.  I wonder what it’s called in Canada?

My other simple pleasure this past week was enjoying a slice (okay… 2) of this delicious chocolately and easy snack cake.

It so quick to make and also does not require eggs, if you prefer eggless recipes.  I found the recipe years ago here at BettyCrocker.Com.  

I was really craving something chocolate and don’t keep much in the way of snack or junk food in the house.  It was the perfect addition to a little coffee break!

Sometimes the simplest of things are just so satisfying and make a day, perfect!

Merken

I know…. right?

What else can I say? Mia so long…. I could make excuses but I wont. We have been traveling quite a bit these past two months, Coburg, The Ammer See, baseball games in Regensburg, Spring training at the Tegernsee again for soccer and a 5 hour Cruise down the Danube River to Linz Austria.  We have been taking advantage of sporadic days off which have been very welcome in the heat we are having this summer.  I did suffer a slight injury to my shoulder in May which I am happy to announce seems to be on the mend finally, or I would not be chatting with you at this moment.

I finally got back to hanging out in my kitchen and have in fact discovered a most delicate and delicious cookie recipe.  If you love white chocolate you will love this and I will be baking a batch next week to share with you.  Also and I mean a BIG also, I have missed cooking in the Chaotic cooking-through challenge and this month is a Wildcard month which means I will be trying a few new recipes that I have never tried before.

I have missed you all & reading about what you all have been up to and look forward to catching up.  Can I just apologize for not popping in quickly to say hi and let you know I am fine?!  If I made you a cup of your favorite brew and gave you a heart-shaped cookie or two, would you come back for more?

Merken

I tried it! – (No-Bake Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles)

I am one of those people who will read a post or see a video about a recipe and think, Oh I want to make that, but sadly, never do.  Thanks to my daughter urging me to try pinterest, I found it is so easy to save those recipes and not forget about them.  So, this is my first “Tried it!” recipe ever.

Need I say more?!  As a lover of cookie dough, chocolate and truffles, this was a win win recipe for me.  I found it on the blog, Diva’s Can Cook.  

Love this gals recipes, and her videos are so easy to follow.  You know, this is not the first recipe I tried from her, come to think of it.  Her Buttermilk Pancake recipe is the one I use most of the time.

Back to the truffles.  I should mention, they are eggless and  that I had to find alternate ingredients as usual.  Luckily, thanks to a friend of mine, I did have chocolate chips on hand (they aren’t a german thing) But for the melted chocolate, I find this amazing product.

You just warm it in very hot water for 10 minutes and you have a perfect melted chocolate and it is very good milk chocolate.  Although, if you are in Germany and you make this recipe, you will need 2 packages of this.  I only had enough to coat half of the cookie dough balls, but…. I added the rest to vanilla ice cream, hence, making my own chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.  My husband raved about that!

I will definitely be adding these truffles to my christmas baking as well, I think they will make a nice addition to my arrangement of baked seasonal goods.

Hopefully, I will continue to try more recipes that I have found through blogs.  At least now, I can keep them organized on pinterest when I find them.

Merken

A Quick Dessert – Chocolate Chip Honey Squares

I really do bake every week.  First of all, I find it quite relaxing, the  measuring of ingredients, mixing and creating something that smells and tastes delicious.  (If all goes as planned.)  I have learned discipline and can actually just eat one of something.  This is a newly learned trait though.  My husband likes to have cakes or cookies in the house and enjoys dessert most evenings.  Extras, I give away.

So at the beginning of the week I always make sure to bake something.  Sometimes, by the end of the week, the cookie jar or cake plate has barely a crumb left so I find myself looking at the ingredients I have on hand and finding or making up something to bake.

That is a long introduction to this recipe, which I found in my Fantastic Fifties cookbook.

It was a first time for making this recipe and I must admit, I was a bit leary at the thick consistency which looked like this.

Of course it wasn’t until after I popped the pan in the oven that I realized I had used a thick type of honey.  I will try these again using normal honey and see if there is a difference.

All in all they came out very delicious!

The recipe called for nuts, but I didn’t have any.  Also, since it was just a small recipe, it was the perfect amount. Oh, and if you are wondering, if I actually sift my flour? If a recipe calls for it I do.  (I will be talking about this topic in a future post even.)

To make Chocolate-Chip Honey Squares, here is what you will need.

  • 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate pieces
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

The Directions:  Sift flour, baking soda and salt together.  Combine honey and egg; mix well.  Add butter, chocolate, nuts and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add sifted ingredients and beat thoroughly.  Turn into greased 8″x 8″ pan.  Bake in moderate oven (350°F.) 30-45 minutes.  Cut into squares.

Serving size:  about 24

Recipe from: The Fantastic Fifties Cookbook (1,000 classic recipes by Mary Margaret McBride)

To print this recipe, click the link:  Chocolate-Chip Honey Squares

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Quick chocolate chip muffins

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Tuesday evening, I was talking to a friend an invited her over the next morning for coffee, a good “natter” as she calls it.  Translated, that means coffee & chatting with friends, about anything or everything.  I didn’t give much thought to what little thing I would bake to go with the coffee till later that evening.  There was a honey muffin recipe I wanted to try that I found in an old vintage cookbook.  Yup… I tried it and it was a total flop!

While I was washing up the dishes I was trying to figure out what I could bake with the ingredients I had on had.  The stores were closed by now (yes everything closes by 8 pm during the week).  Even if they were open the temperature was -14 Celsius, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about bundling up and heading out on foot, in the cold in the dark to buy butter and more eggs.

My last-minute solution is always to run to the bakery on the corner first thing in the morning and pick up a delectable treat but of course I had to stay home to wait on a delivery.   Isn’t it always something?

The next morning came, and I still did not have an idea of what I could bake.  I really need to go shopping and replenish a few items in my pantry too.  My mess of recipes had failed me so I headed over to google and typed, muffins, easy, few ingredients and voila!  There it was!  The recipe that I would bake.   Allrecipes has saved my coffee chat!  I only had 2 hours now.  The only ingredients I altered was the last part.  The recipe says to sprinkle a mix of brown sugar and sugar to the top of the muffins.  Since the brown sugar available in Europe is a slightly different consistency than in America, I just stuck with the brown sugar.

The muffins were really moist and delicious.  I nice accompaniment to coffee.  Here is the link to the recipe.

I will definitely be adding this muffin recipe to my recipe box/binder/folder, which ever way I come up with to organize them.

So… we went on to enjoy a good “natter”,  as they say in England.

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Delicious, light, creamy & vintage Butter Cream Icing

Ok, maybe I did over do the title of this post, but…. If you have ever tasted this frosting, slathered on any cake, you will know what I mean!  Let me rewind just a bit here, to the 1950’s and talk about my Mom’s hobby.  Making & decorating cakes.  She had such amazing talent and was so creative with her decorations.  I spent many an hour kneeling on a kitchen chair, leaning on the counter watching her decorate hundreds of cakes.  From a simple dessert for dinner, birthdays, anniversaries and yes, even wedding cakes.

Here is a sample of one of her cakes from a family celebration in the 1970’s.

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So, let’s go in for a closer look – here is the original recipe she wrote out for me when I was 20 years old.

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Here is what we need to make this melt in your mouth, icing:

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And you do need a little bit of time.

You can see the full recipe by clicking here –  butter-cream-icing.

Now for a few notes that will make all the difference in the texture and flavor.  You need to use Crisco, the original, not butter flavored.  As for the butter, in the United States I would use Land of Lakes.  Unfortunately, the water consistency  in butter is different in Germany, but I find that the Kerrygold brand works very well.

About the milk,  technically you do not need to scald milk in these modern days, but… and I do mean but… the scalded milk is what helps to achieve the unique  flavor.  This is a very important step.  Be sure to let it cool, like the recipe indicates.

Although this icing may require a little bit of time to make,  you can do it ahead of time.  It keeps well in a sealed container in the refrigerator, for about a month actually.  Do make sure when you are ready to frost that cake or those cupcakes that the icing is room temperature.  We do not refrigerate cakes and cupcakes once decorated, they taste best at room temperature!

The final light, creamy & delicious product!

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In that photo I frosted light yellow cake cupcakes.  ( an old Betty Crocker recipe I have, also vintage)  This icing tastes best on the following cake flavors, Devils Food, Yellow, Prune Spice, Butter Pecan & Cherry Chip.  Although, I think it is very compatable for just about any flavor of cake.

I hope you give it a try! 🙂

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies & Saving Grace

I just finished a wonderful book by Jane Green titled Saving Grace.  I LOVED this story!  I highly recommend reading this book.  Normally, I can figure out what is going to happen in a book, but It took me almost to the end of the story to do that.  It was suspenseful at times, romantic and I truly enjoyed the adventure of reading it.

A unique thing about this book, is she shared recipes throughout that pertained to some parts of the story.  There was only one other book that I read that did the same thing (another fabulous book, I will be sharing with you soon).

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This recipe for  The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie caught my eye.  I honestly never even thought about trying a different version of a chocolate chip cookie.  I always just followed the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip package.  Can one really use chocolate chips in other recipes?! 😉

Recently, a friend of mine brought over two bags of chocolate chips which was so very sweet.  That is an item that is not sold where I live so it was really a treat to make these.

One other thing I found is I love recipes with the measurements in grams and celsius, since that is what is used in Europe.  It was nice not to have to do math and conversions.  Honestly, using a scale for measuring ingredients makes baking simpler and you know the measurements to be exact.

Here is the recipe I  from the book….

     Ingredients:

     200 g butter

     150 g white sugar

     120 g brown sugar

     2 eggs beaten

     2 teaspoons vanilla extract

     300 g plain flour

     1 teaspoon baking soda

     1 teaspoon salt

     320 g chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.  In a large bowl cream together butter, white and brown sugars until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs, a little at a time, beating well with each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda  Gradually stir into the creamed mixture  Finally, fold in the chips.

Place rounded spoonfuls  on a greased or silicone baking sheets.  Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until light brown.  Place on wire rack to cool.

The result: very easy to make and delicious cookies.

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A tip – since there are only the two of us.  I rolled half of the dough and wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer to bake another day.  Easy slice and bake.   I have no idea why I never thought of doing that before.

Anyways another awesome read and amazing cookies to boot.  If you are curious what other recipes she shares along with her story, you will just have to get the book. 😉

Happy reading & snacking!


This is not a sponsored post.  All are opinions are entirely my own.

 

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