Tag Archives: baking

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…


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 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.


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


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…


Dragon Cupcake Cake

24 Oct

The title says it all! lol

My dragon boat team had our season end party and I made a dragon cupcake cake for one of the desserts.

I would like to stress I didn’t come up with this idea on my own. I saw a video 6 months ago about making a pull apart cupcake cake in the shape of a unicorn and I thought it might be fun to make but instead of a unicorn make a dragon. About a month ago I googled “dragon cupcake cake” and found plenty of images of amazing looking dragon cupcake cakes. I took the two I liked best, and used their images as inspiration to make my own version.

He came out like this…

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You want to start out by making a double batch of chocolate cupcakes. I used 24 for the dragon, I had 3 that were throwaways because they were the first three I frosted, I don’t have experience frosting with a bag and tip and let’s just say there was a learning curve lol

I attempted to make red frosting as one of my team colours is red but even though I used a “true red” no flavour gel dye from Wilton the best I could get was pink. sigh. The frosting tip was borrowed from work and I have no idea what size or number it was, it was star shaped though…in case that is something that interests you. πŸ˜›

I baked the cupcakes on the Wednesday and waited until the Thursday for frosting and decorating, partly because of time constraints and partly because you want the cupcakes to be completely cooled before moving them around and frosting them.

To make the dragon it is just a matter of having an idea of the shape you want and placing the cupcakes down in that shape, moving and tweaking as necessary until you get a shape that looks right. Then frost the cupcakes, which I quickly learned is harder and yet easier than I thought it would be. Once I got the hang of things it was fairly easy, but it took a bit to feel like I knew what I was doing.

The frosting is a simple buttercream frosting, made to be a bit on the firm side, so it would hold its shape for a while – I was worried about what would happen during transport.

I wanted to distinguish the back from the legs and head so I put a bit of black frosting on those pieces. The claws are made from soft licorice that I cut in to triangles. The eyes are a marshmallow that I broke in half and then flattened, the pupils are brown mini m&m’s that are stuck in to the gooey side of the flattened marshmallow. The nostrils are also brown mini m&m’s, the mouth is made of white chocolate chips, and the whiskers are Twizzler Pull ‘n Peels that I pulled apart so I could get the red strips.

It was a lot of fun to make the face, as it came together it made me smile. Its kind of hard to resist a smiling dragon lol

For transport I dismantled the dragon, the cupcakes just barely fit in to my rectangular cake holder. Once at the party it was quick work to put the cupcakes back in order so the dragon was once again a dragon. I had placed marks on the tray he was going to be displayed on so I knew where some of the body pieces went, making it even easier to get him back together quickly.

The team seemed to like him, pictures were taken, comments were made about how cute he was, he was a hit! πŸ™‚

I’ve got to say, of the desserts I have made for the season end party over the past three years this one is my favourite, and I think the easiest to make…I would have thought he’d be harder, or more work, because it seems a more finicky thing to deal with – all those cupcakes and the decorating and the placement of them, but nope, super easy, and fun! Makes me wonder what other shapes I might try making…

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

13 May

Note to self:

When you decide to make your banana chocolate chip cake in to muffins check to see how many muffin trays you have before committing to that choice.

I baked a double batch of my banana chocolate chip cake / bread last night after work but chose to make them in to muffins. Sounds great right? Well it would be except it turns out I have two muffin trays, each makes 6. The muffins take 20 minutes to bake. So at max capacity I was able to bake 12 muffins at a time.

A double batch of batter. Twelve muffins at a time. Twenty minutes for each dozen. I was baking for-freakin-ever!

I mean yeah, totally worth it, but eesh. *rolls eyes*

I think my next baking investment will have to be another muffin tray…

banana chocolate chip muffins

Late Night Baking

11 Nov

Most people, when they notice it is 12:30am think, “hmm, maybe I should go to bed” I noticed it was 12:30am and thought “hmm, maybe I’ll try out that new recipe I’ve been staring at”.

Which is why, at 1:15am I was comfortably seated in the living room with a cup of tea and two muffins fresh from the oven. Mmm! πŸ˜€

Now, before anyone thinks I am claiming this recipe as my own, this is NOT my recipe! It is from the website so go there to see it in full. πŸ™‚

The recipe I tried out is Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffins. Quite the mouthful to say! lol

These are a Weight Watcher friendly recipe, each muffin is 3SP. For those not on Weight Watchers, each muffin has a breakdown of:

Calories 103, Fat 3.9g, Sat Fat 1.2g, Carbs 14g, Fiber 1.8g, Sugar 3.4g, and Protein 3.8g

It is important to note that nutritional information doesn’t include the bananas – don’t ask why, its a Weight Watchers thing lol πŸ˜›

The muffins have egg, egg whites, brown sugar, plain greek yoghurt, mashed banana, light peanut butter, vanilla, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and mini chocolate chips.

I made some minor changes, of course! lol I used PB2 instead of real peanut butter. I also took regular chocolate chips and chopped them down instead of buying mini chocolate chips, that is mostly because I am cheap and didn’t want to buy mini chocolate chips when I had perfectly good regular sized ones in my pantry lol. I used a mixture of dark chocolate and milk chocolate chips because in my opinion the mixture of the two tastes better than using just one.

Oh, one other thing I did differently, but by accident, I kinda, sorta, forgot to put the vanilla in. Oops!

I don’t usually make mistakes when baking so I’m kinda shocked I forgot the vanilla…guess that is what happens when I bake at 12:30 in the morning…though I’ve done that plenty of times so I guess it isn’t really an excuse…*rolls eyes*

The strongest flavour is the chocolate, so if you like chocolate you’ll probably like these. The texture is more moist than what I am used to with muffins, not in a bad way, just something to get used to. I think if I make them again I would keep them in the oven an extra minute or two, or put in a bit more oatmeal or use slightly smaller bananas, to make them a little less moist. It is all about tweaking, so it is an easy fix, just fiddle till the batter seems right. πŸ™‚



yes those are halloween muffin papers, don’t judge! and of course the pic isn’t in focus, sigh.

Chocolate Cake In A Mug

7 Feb

I was having a chocolate cake craving and reverted back to primate level thinking…I neeeeed chocolate. Find chocolate. Kill for chocolate. Chocolate is vital for survival.

Stuff like that… πŸ˜‰

My only options were:

(1) go to the store and buy a cake, which I am too lazy to do

(2) make a cake, which I have the ingredients for but am so not gonna do just to satisfy a craving

(3) google and hope for a better answer

Damn internet, it makes things too easy sometimes!

So I googled chocolate cake in a mug. I don’t know why I did it, over the years I have tried a couple different chocolate cake in mug recipes and they always suck.Β This time though my googling brought me to this…

The Moistest Chocolate Mug Cake

The blog post swore this chocolate cake in a mug recipe would be moist, and delicious, and better than any of the others I may have tried.

It is simple enough of a recipe so I figured why not give it a go. If it sucks it isn’t too many ingredients wasted and I will have learned my lesson – no more cake in mug recipes!

Well, happy news, the author was correct and it is a deeeeeelicious cake in a mug! As in, so good it easily competes with a full sized home made chocolate cake or a cake bought from the store. I don’t know why this particular combination of ingredients somehow combined to create cake magic but they did and I am oh so grateful for it…while also being aware this is a very dangerous thing I have come across.

With great power comes great responsibility and now that I know I can have an easy serving of chocolate cake whenever I want, well damn, I’m gonna have to use willpower to over ride the cravings and be a good little healthy-lifestyle type of person. Ugh. Not looking forward to that but since it is a problem for another day lets forget about it for now! πŸ˜‰

I was going to post the recipe here but I think it would be better if you follow the above link and check out the blog I found the recipe from, the Chef deserves the visits to her blog after all.

I did however nab a picture from her post so you can see what it looks like, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words! Just remember, it is her picture, and her cake, all I did was copy exactly what she said to do and made chocolate cake magic, Mmm!



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