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Tag Archives: baking

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.Β 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! πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜›

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/

A Little Bran

3 Mar

Bran muffins, I love em! I never make them, but I love em. When they are warm, fresh from the oven, ripped in half with a bit of butter melting on the soft middle. Mmm!

Since I love them, and most of the ones you find for sale have raisins in them, and I hate raisins more than any other food on the planet, I figured why not bake some?

I asked my mom for her recipe, and she sent me three. I had, unfortunately, already found one online before she sent her three so I stuck with the one I found, figured I’d give it a try, and next time I bake a batch I’ll try one of hers.

Really, I should have just tried one of her recipes, mom’s always know best, am-I-right?

It isn’t that there was anything wrong with the bran muffins, they just weren’t amazing, they didn’t live up to my expectation. They were a bit dry, kinda bland, I guess they perfectly fit the stereotype of a bran muffin…you know, created by those poor souls who have never gotten to eat a good bran muffin.

This recipe had such potential, sigh. I’m thinking that I should have replaced the raisins with some other fruit. The recipe clearly said I didn’t have to add the raisins and it would be fine…I think it lied to me…rude! πŸ˜‰

I won’t actually type out the recipe, since it didn’t turn out all that great, but I will bore you with some pictures of the finished product…

Ignore the different colours of the muffins, that is my poor kitchen lighting lol

Something fun that came from this little bran muffin experiment was that I got to use this lovely new tool…

IMG_0564

My new fave gadget!

I got this for Christmas and I love it! I’ve wanted one for a while but couldn’t justify buying one. I could of course justify putting it on my Christmas wish list! lol

So far I’ve used it for scooping cookie dough and the bran muffins and it is perfect. Everything being the same size without as much eye balling as in the past, I’m getting much more uniform batches of baked goods. Which is probably making you non-bakers roll your eyes but to me it matters. πŸ˜›

I believe the above one is from Michael’s, but don’t quote me on that. I found the same one, Wilton brand, on Amazon.ca and have put a picture just below. If you click on the picture it will direct you to the item on Amazon so you can check it out and purchase if you so desire.

So yeah, Bran Muffins: 1, Me: 0. But never fear! I will try again, and I will conquer the bran muffin challenge!

Accidental Brownie

21 Feb

Sooooo, I sorta made a brownie-in-a-mug this evening when I thought I was going to be making hot chocolate.

Oops?

Although, are brownies ever reeeally an accident? πŸ˜‰

My mom received a cute little jar with dry ingredients layered in it and instructions as to how to turn the contents in to a brownie-in-a-mug. She oh so sweetly gave it to me…mostly she gave it to me because she has stronger will power while I tend to go off the rails a tad more often, so really, I think it was to get temptation out of her pantry and put it in mine lol

For some reason when I read the tag I thought it said it was to make hot chocolate, which confused me because the instructions say to add melted butter, and why would I put melted butter in to hot chocolate? So instead of, oh I dunno, re-reading what it was, I just assumed it was some sort of fancy hot chocolate deal and tucked it aside for when I wanted fancy hot chocolate.

Today was the perfect day for hot chocolate! It was snowy, and chilly but not cold, a great day for being cozy inside with a cup of hot chocolate and a book. πŸ™‚

Again, without re-reading the name of what I was making I poured the dry ingredients in to a mug, added the milk and melted butter, popped the whole thing in the microwave and eagerly awaited my hot chocolate.

Now, the instructions say to let it cool because it will be very hot but you can’t let hot chocolate cool too much or it becomes not as yummy, plus I have noooo patience lol. So it was out of the microwave maybe 30 seconds and I took a spoon to it – I’m that weirdo that likes to drink my hot chocolate by the spoonful instead of sipping from the side of the cup.

I dipped my spoon in and came up with some mighty thick hot chocolate *rolls eyes at self* Not to be deterred, and hello, it is chocolate so no matter what it is going to be good, I tried it and oh man was it good!

Definitely not hot chocolate though! πŸ˜›

It turned in to a fudgey, gooey, chocolate brownie….that just so happened to be in a mug.

There were milk and dark chocolate chips in it, which did not melt, but they were soft so when you got one on the spoon that bite had a little extra Mmm! to it. The bottom part of the brownie was a bit more dry than the top part, but still delish.

I did go take a second look at the instructions that came with the jar and only then noticed that is clearly says “Double Chocolate Mug Brownie”…hey, I never claimed to be super observant…

cake in mug 2

How I thought “hot chocolate” after seeing this I do not know.

cake in mug 3

The little jar it came in. The doily was on top of the lid to make it cuter.

cake in mug 5

Trust me, it tastes better than it looks!

cake in mug 1

The back of the tag – who doesn’t go “awww” when seeing those two hug?

So yeah, not quite the treat I was expecting, but lovely all the same. Now if only I could figure out exactly what was in the dry ingredients and the quantities so I could make it again! I can figure out the basics, but I’ve had cake-in-a-mug before and it was never as good as this one so something is different here…just not sure what.

Looks like I’ll be forced to taste test experiments until I figure it out – oh what a hard life! πŸ˜‰

A New Cookie

1 Feb

A found a recipe for a cookie I wanted to try and oh boy were they a hit! I made them for someone at work as a going away present (so she got all the really pretty ones lol) and the rest I gave away, most of them to other people at work and some to my landlords.

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It’s actually a pretty easy recipe, which I will put right here…

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1 Cup Butter

2 Cups Sugar

3 Eggs

2 tsp. Almond Extract

4 Cups Flour

1 tbsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar

1/2 tsp Salt

Cream together the butter and sugar until blended.

Add in the eggs, mix well.

Add in the rest of the ingredients.

Don’t panic! The batter will be very thick!

Add in a few drops of red food colouring and stir through for a pretty pink colour. You don’t want to over mix at this point, you want the batter to have pink swirls in it, not be entirely pink.

Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Roll into balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly before baking. Or do what I did and use your snazzy new cookie dough scoop (think ice cream scoop) so your hands don’t get messy and your cookies are all the same size.

Bake in a Preheated 350 degree oven for around 10 to 12 minutes. Careful, they burn easy! (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything πŸ˜‰ )

Once removed from the oven, glaze the cookies with the following glaze recipe, make sure to do this while they are still warm.

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

1 to 3 Tbsp. milk

1 to 2 drops red food colouring – you want a pretty pink glaze

When making this glaze, if it is quite thick, add more milk or if too runny, add more powdered sugar, until you get it to a spreading consistency.

I don’t recommend topping with sprinkles, I tried that and they melted, making the cookie look like it had smeared drops of blood in the glaze (I used red sprinkles) lol When I tried topping a different cookie with sprinkles, once it and the glaze had cooled a bit, it was too late and the glaze wouldn’t hold the sprinkles. Finicky little things!

The recipe makes a huge amount of cookies, I burned one entire tray (oops!) and still ended up with more than I knew what to do with.

My dough ended up thicker and a bit dryer than the mixture I saw in the original recipe, and because of that my pink swirls ended up more like pink dots, which taste wise is fine, they were still good. But looks wise, could use improvement. I didn’t take in to account change in atmosphere, humidity, etc, when making the cookies. Next time I might make them a tad less dry so I can swirl the colour, see what result that gets me.

The cookie itself has a lovely soft middle with a slight crunch on the outside. The addition of the almond extract in both the cookie and glaze is what people love (I think), because it is different and not the flavour you are expecting when you bite in.

I think it would be a great cookie to make if you needed something to give away, say in a cookie exchange, or for presents, or even to take to a gathering, because it makes so many, isn’t overly sweet, and is pretty. πŸ™‚

Aaaaand because it is always important to give credit where credit is due here is a link to the YouTube video where I got the recipe from…

 

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