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!

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A Bavarian Staple – The Pretzel

In Bavaria, you are apt to see this as a side dish to just about everything.  The Pretzel  (Bretzel, Bretzen or Brezn it’s all the same) has been around Southeastern Germany since the 1400’s and it may be surprising to learn the fat and calorie breakdown of this Bavarian staple.  These shown above,  I made here at home.  You can buy them pre-made in the freezer section of any grocery store and  pop them in the oven.

Not only is it a nice snack by itself, they are also used instead of bread for a sandwich even.  Lunchmeats or cheese are just layered on top of one.  Another common way to find them in the bakery instead of plain is sliced in half horizontally, with butter spread in the middle then replaced.  Just like a sandwich.  Instead of butter, I enjoy a bit of cream cheese in the middle like you would do with a bagel.  Really, the options of what you can do with a pretzel are endless.

Here is the breakdown:

1 Brezel (85 Gramm):

  • 804 kJ / 192 kcal (Calories)
  • 6,1 Gramm Eiweiß (Protein)
  • 1,6 Gramm Fett (Fat)
  • 38,5 Gramm Kohlenhydrate (Carbs)

Of course they are very popular at the Volksfests and Oktoberfest too.  Although they have a bit more calories as they are quite larger, but oh so good!

So, the next time you plan on using bread for a sandwhich, why not try replacing it with a pretzel?

 

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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.

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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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Joining the Chaotic Cooking Challenge – Cookbook Pick

I am guessing many have seen the movie Julie & Julia?  Yes, it is one of my favorite movies of all time.  Possibly because I adore Julia Childs.  If you have not seen it, basically it as about a woman named Julie who blogs her way through Julia’s cookbook, Mastering the art of french cooking, recipe by recipe.  This movie is what I thought of when I read the words cook-through challenge.

Just recently, I was reading a blog, Mary’s Chaotic White Space , and she thought about doing a “cook-through” one of her cookbooks and opening it up to all.  What a great idea and I can’t believe I never thought about doing this on my own before!

 

What it entails, is the first day of every month, she will provide a category in a blog post, “then challenge each of the participants who are following along to look through their book for recipes which could be included in that particular category and choose the ones to make in their own kitchen.” I should mention before hand, we are to pick the book we are choosing to cook through.

I have very difficultly picked my book.  It was not easy as I treasure all my cookbooks, in fact I have gone back or forth between using my mother-in-laws vintage german cookbook.  That would be a great challenge as it is vintage and written in german but I have a hard enough time reading modern-day german still.  It is something I want to do at my own leisurely pace so I decided to go with a newer book of mine although not a new book by any means.

I had been obsessed with the Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook for years.  It was only the end of last year when my husband tracked it down for me in England of all places.

As my favorite decades are the 1940’s & 1950’s, I  am excited to choose this book for my cook-through.  Along with the challenge of the cook-through, will be the challenge of finding like ingredients, if needed, here in Germany.  Although, I have been doing that for the past 6 years so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in doing or just following along with, please join us.  Go to Mary’s awesome blog and join in the challenge!  I am looking forward to seeing what cookbooks others choose and the recipes they pick and their experiences.

On the first day of every month I will tweet the category chosen by Mary, using #chaoticcookthrough  and then share my pick and my experiences in making the recipe, the following weeks Friday,  here on my blog.

If this sounds like something you would like to participate in or just want to enjoy reading about others’ cook-through experiences, head over to Mary’s blog so you don’t miss any updates.

Also be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss my chosen recipes for this cook-through challenge.

I hope you will join us.  I wonder what the first category will be?

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Quick chocolate chip muffins

choc-chip-muffins-2

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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White chocolate pecan cookies; truly decadent

010I have discovered a most decadent cookie.  Luxuriously, self-indulgent truly describes it.  I am happy to say that the discovery of adding pecans to this recipe was purely by accident.  This original german recipe called for pine nuts and I have made it true to that before and it is good.  Pine nuts have just been a bit too expensive lately but I really like that cookie.  I looked at the nuts I had on hand and decided to substitute the pecans instead.  I am so glad the pine nuts were too pricey!

Too make a long story short…. let’s get baking!

Here are the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

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pecans, white chocolate, all-purpose flour, sugar, egg, butter, salt, baking soda

First chop the chocolate into small chunks and set aside.

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Next, break or chop up your pecans into smaller pieces.

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Brown slightly in a pan.  Keep stirring them over medium heat because they will burn easily. Then also set aside.

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In a bowl combine your butter and sugar and mix until creamy.

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Then beat in the egg.

Now, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.

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It will become quite a thick consistency.

Stir in with a spoon the pecans and chocolate.

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It should look like this.

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Roll into balls about the size of a teaspoon and a half.  The dough is quite sticky.

Bake in a 300 degree (150 Celsius) pre-heated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden.

Then cool on parchment paper.

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Now the fun part, enjoy!

You can click on this link,  whitechocolate-pecan-cookies to find this recipe in Imperial and Metric measurements.

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