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Tag Archives: baking from scratch

Oatmeal Squares

2 Sep

Do you have a recipe that you have always wanted to try but are sure it is too complicated and too much effort to be worth it? My mom’s Oatmeal Square recipe is that recipe to me. I have asked her for it I don’t know how many times, and each time she has emailed it to me, and then I don’t print it out, I lose it in the dark void that is my Inbox, and I never attempt to make the squares. Which is ridiculous because I love them, but there ya have it.

Every Sunday evening I talk with my parents on the phone, it is a habit we got in to when I moved a province over and it has stuck.ย My parents are currently in Europe, lucky so-and-so’s (I can’t call them lucky bastards, they are my parents! lol), so no Sunday evening phone call tonight, or for a couple more weeks to come. I was thinking about them this evening, hoping they are having a kick ass time, and for some reason my neurons fired and boom! Oatmeal Squares are forefront of my mind.

oatmeal squares 4

Figuring it was a sign I braved the dark void of my Inbox with a well worded search and found the recipe. I then wanted to hit my head against the wall because oh man is it an easy one.

I can’t believe I haven’t made them all this time because I thought they were hard when they have only 4 ingredients and a child could make them. smh.

The ingredients are:

1/2 Cup butter or margarine

1 Cup brown sugar

2 Cups oats

1 tsp vanilla extract

Ready for the directions? Brace yourself!

(1) melt the butter in a sauce pan

(2) once butter is melted take it off the heat, mix in the brown sugar, oats, and vanilla extract

(3) put mixture in to an 8×8 baking pan

(4) put in oven for 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees

(5) cool for 5 minutes before cutting

That’s it.

That is all there is to it. I can’t believe I put off for years making these! Note to self, and all of you, before deciding a recipe is too hard maybe take a couple minutes to ya know, read it. *rolls eyes*

Mom’s notes did mention that sometimes the mix stays cohesive, sometimes not. That is something I remember, that they are crumbly and messy, but also delicious and worth cleaning up every crumb you make.

I put them in a circle cake pan because my square pan is 9×9 and I worried the extra space would make the mixture too thin. I timed them for 12 minutes since I didn’t know how long this oven would need on the above mentioned 10-15 minute range and I have no idea how to tell if an oatmeal square is cooked. I still don’t know so if anyone wants to share their tricks feel free to leave a comment!

oatmeal squares 1

Started cutting before I took a picture, I’m such a bad food blogger lol

I left the squares a little longer than five minutes before cutting but even with that extra time they ended up looking like this when I tried plating them…

oatmeal squares 2

oops?

After that disaster (visual disaster only, the taste was perfect) I let the rest sit in the pan longer before plating in the hopes a longer cooling time would help the squares become more solid and less granola-esque.

My plan worked! I left them in the pan for a couple hours, and the remainder of the squares came out much better. I didn’t want to risk trying to cut them smaller and making another mess so I cut the remainder in to two large triangles. When I cut them in to the large triangles they were fine, when I tried cutting them smaller they tended to crumble so they are staying large…for now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

oatmeal squares 4

Final product!

I know the recipe is simple, only 4 ingredients and barely any time in the oven, but I think that is what makes them great. You probably have the ingredients lying around the kitchen, it is quick and easy, and most importantly they tasted like home…er, I mean delicious. They tasted delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Soft Oatmeal Cookies

23 Aug

A classic is a classic for a reason, and sometimes, when you feel like baking you don’t want to fiddle with some annoying recipe but you want a forgiving one, that yields an almost guaranteed tasty treat. A classic.

I really wanted to bake oatmeal cookies, just plain, nothing fancy, old school, soft oatmeal cookies. Thing is, I don’t have a recipe for that. I have oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I have cranberry oatmeal, chocolate chip oatmeal, walnut oatmeal, and more. Many of those also come with the option of drizzling melted chocolate on top, or melted peanut butter, or melted whatever you think sounds good.

But none of those were what I wanted to bake. So I did what anybody in need of a new recipe would do, I googled. A lot of the oatmeal cookie recipes I found included other things, mostly chocolate or nuts, but eventually I found a soft oatmeal cookie recipe that wasn’t plain sounding, but also not a fidgety annoying recipe I would regret trying.

They turned out great!

IMG_2149

The Recipe:

  • 1 Cup butter, room temp
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 Cups quick cooking oats

In a large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars. Beat in eggs. Beat in vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add this mixture in to the creamed mixture.

Mix in oats.

Cover and chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, place two inches apart on the cookie sheet. Dip a large fork in to white sugar and use to flatten each cookie.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before lifting them off and placing on a cooling rack.

This is the recipe I found, and I would provide you a link to it but I found this recipe when searching on another computer and I can’t seem to find it again. If I find the original I’ll add a link to it in an edit on the bottom of this post.

Some things I noted when I was trying this recipe out: My oven took 8 minutes for all but the last sheet of cookies I put in the oven (that last sheet took 10 minutes). You don’t need to grease the cookie sheet after each batch. On one cookie sheet I used a silicone mat so I didn’t need to grease that, on the other sheet I greased once and after that each batch lifted off just fine. Don’t flatten the cookies too much, you still want them a bit thick. The flatter the cookie the less chewy / soft it will be.

Oh, and it makes a lot of cookies! I don’t have an exact count because as soon as they were cooled I packaged the majority of the cookies up and gifted them to my landlords as a thank you present (they took care of my cat while I was away a couple weekends ago). The original recipe says it makes 24 cookies, I used a cookie scoop, like an ice cream scoop only smaller and meant for scooping cookie dough, and I got a heck of a lot more than 24 cookies. Next time I’ll count them.

So there we have it, a good ol’ fashioned soft oatmeal cookie recipe. A definite keeper!

IMG_2152

Cherry Chocolate Trifle

13 May

I experimented on some friends a week or so ago and made them Cherry Chocolate Trifle. It was a spur of the moment thing, mostly I came up with it because I needed to do something with a bunch of left over chocolate cake.

The cake was also a bit of an experiment…what can I say, I was in an experimenting kind of mood, shrug.

So the trifle!

I’ve never made a trifle without alcohol in it but the only alcohol I have ever used in a chocolate trifle is either Baileys or Kaluha and since I don’t like either of those, nor have them on hand, these trifles ended up being non-alcoholic.

I ripped the left over chocolate cake in to small-ish pieces then mixed in cherry pie filling. This is normally where the alcohol would be added, instead I just used all the cherry pie filling, which full disclosure, I was lazy and bought a can of pie filling instead of making some. Hey, don’t judge! We’ve probably all been there at some point!

Once the pie filling and cake are well and truly mixed I put equal amounts in to these clear plastic cups I had on hand. I bought them from the dollar store for a different layered dessert I was going to try and commandeered them for this instead. You could put the entire cake & pie combo in to a large serving dish, preferably one with clear sides so the layers can be viewed, but I wanted these to be easy for my friends to take home, hence the individual cups.

The next layer is chocolate pudding – fairly self-explanatory.

The final layer is whipped cream, which yes I whipped myself, I didn’t buy the stuff in the can or use cool whip. Not that I am dissing cool whip, I love the stuff! I know that not everybody does though so I went with whipping cream instead, seemed easier, even though I swear eons pass while you are beating the stupid stuff and turning it in to, ya know, whipped cream.

I was going to finely chop some chocolate and sprinkle it on top of the whipped cream, more for the visual than taste, but I was running late (thanks to how long it takes to whip the cream!) so it didn’t get done. Ah well, not everything can be perfect every time!

I forgot to take any pictures of the final product so my amazing friend kindly sent me a couple that she took. It is hard to see the different layers, but trust me, they are there! The feedback from all who ate it was two thumbs up, so I’m labeling it a keeper!

I would say don’t make your A-Level chocolate cake when doing this trifle, after all, the cake gets mixed with so many other things it stops being the main part of the dessert and becomes one of many parts. One of many yummy parts. Mmm! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and in case it didn’t work out I made my A-Level chocolate cake for the same night…and not to be all braggy or anything but it turned out amazing, as it always does. For such a delish cake it sure has an easy recipe…which is probably one of the reasons I love it so much lol I however didn’t have anything summery to decorate it with so the red and green sprinkles got pulled out and well, made it look a bit Christmas-y. Ah well, who says you can’t channel some Christmas vibes in May? Not me! After all, there are only 226 days until Christmas (as of May 13th)…not that I’m counting or anything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Triple Berry Cobbler

25 Mar

Last week I went to a pot luck and me being me I took a dessert.

The only rules were not to bring too large of a dish as it was a smaller sized gathering and to bring something healthy.

A healthy dessert. That soooo isn’t how I bake lol One of the other people going suggested cobbler and that was the end of my hunt for a food idea. Of course it immediately started a hunt for a new recipe, but hey, who doesn’t like scouring through recipe ideas online until they find the right one?

I didn’t want to spend a lot on fruit, unfortunately for me it is not optimal fruit season so all fruit is expensive, all fruit except frozen! Well, to be fair some frozen fruit is stupid expensive, it should be illegal how much I spend on one bag of frozen raspberries. *sigh* WalMart came to my rescue though and I was able to buy a bag of frozen berries in a family pack size, which means I now have frozen berries for the rest of my life…or a month or so…ya know, if you want to get technical. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The recipe I found is from Pinterest and is specifically for frozen berries. Yay for cobbler recipes that are specifically for frozen berries! Way to make my life easier lol

I’ll leave a link to the original site but fair warning, her post goes on forever about her dog and school and vacation and omg it takes her ages to get to the recipe *rolls eyes* To save you scrolling through all that I’ll write the recipe here…says the lady who wrote forever about potlucks and online recipe searches ๐Ÿ˜›

Berry Filling:

4 cups frozen mixed berries, not thawed

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

3 Tablespoons all purpose flour

zest from one lemon

pinch of salt

Oat Crumble Topping:

1 Cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 Cup brown sugar

6 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 Cup salted butter, cold, cut in to small cubes

The Deets:

Preheat oven to 350C

Make the berry filling by combining all ingredients and tossing.

In a separate bowl make the oat crumble by combining all ingredients. Use your fingers to pinch the butter and incorporate it with the dry ingredients. Keep pinching and mixing together with your hands until evenly combined. You will have some pea sized pieces of butter in the mixture, that’s ok.

Pour the berry filling in to a 1-1/2 quart baking dish (or 8×8 baking dish, a pie baking dish, basically anything that can go in the oven). Top with the oat crumble topping, and spread to an even layer.

Bake uncovered until the berry filling is bubbling, and the oat crumble is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Let cool for 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temp with ice cream. It will keep covered at room temp for about 3 days…if it isn’t all eaten by then.

The berry mixture I used had strawberries, blackberries and blueberries but really, you can use whatever fruit you want.

I’d love to be able to tell you how this dish turned out but I didn’t actually get to eat any of it. I had to leave before we got to the dessert section of the evening so I left it with the group and crossed fingers it was edible. I did tell them to feel free to compost it if they wanted, I wouldn’t be offended.

I got a text later that night that all but one serving was gone and three people were eyeing it and by the next day I had a text saying it was gone. I guess it can’t be all that bad if it was eaten in under 24 hours lol

I baked it the day before, let it get to room temperature for an hour than covered it and put it in the fridge over night. We left it on the counter at the party so it could come back up to room temp but I’m sure you could warm it in an oven so you could serve it warm with some ice cream melted on top, yum!

It was super easy to make, which means I’ll probably end up baking one again, if only so I can try a piece!

 

Here is the link to the original recipe:

https://www.tasteslovely.com/triple-berry-crumble-made-with-frozen-fruit/

More Baking!

2 Oct

Someone who wanted to try a brownie last week but couldn’t (because they all got eaten lol) was joking with me about what I was going to bring to work this week. For some reason I said Banana Bread. Throughout the rest of my work week they periodically reminded me that I said I was bringing Banana Bread and I feel that if I don’t take it to work tomorrow I may be letting that person down.

Never let down a senior citizen, you don’t know how much more time you will have with them and you might not have a chance to make it up to them! And frankly, that goes with anybody, not just seniors, cause who knows what horrible thing might happen tomorrow?

Well this started heading towards a dark place rather quickly lol

Back to Banana Bread!

It is a standby for me, I can practically make it in my sleep, the only thing that ever stops me from making it is having some dead bananas in the freezer. Lucky for me I had enough dead bananas, and then some!, so banana bread became a thing in my kitchen today.

Mmm!

One batch makes two loaves and as always I added walnuts to one loaf. Personally I love walnuts in my banana bread but not everybody does so I leave one loaf without, cause ya know, I am accommodating like that lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

My Banana Bread also has chocolate chips in it, always, no matter what! That is one thing I will not alter because frankly, chocolate makes everything better! ๐Ÿ˜›

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The loaf on the left is Banana Chocolate Chipย Bread, the one on the right is Banana Chocolate Chip Bread with Walnuts. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Classis - Banana Chocolate Chip

The Classic – Banana Chocolate Chip

Banana Chocolate Chip with Walnuts Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip with Walnuts Bread

So yeah, my apartment smelled delicious today lol I ate one slice for quality control purposes and I must say, it turned out quite well. I know people shouldn’t say things like that about their own baking but it did turn out well so what else am I supposed to say? Not like I am going to lie and say it ended up tasting gross lol

I gave a couple of slices to a friend this evening and the rest is packed away in tupperware containers waiting for me to take to work tomorrow.

My co-workers are gonna hate me lol two weeks in a row bringing in goodies, I’ll be the one blamed if they gain weight! lol

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