ALL the Baked Goods!

So it’s been a while since I’ve bored you guys with the random details of my life, but thankfully the semester’s out and I survived – yay! I’m also super jazzed to be transferring next semester so that’ll bring a lot of new experiences, which should be interesting. In the interest of sharing (because if I haven’t already pulled this line out for you guys, sharing is caring, unless it’s AIDS in which case … not so much) I bake when I’m home. I bake a lot. So here are some lovely catch-ups on my baking adventures, recipes included so we can all share in the baked-good love.

Also, just because I’m super awesome like this, I’ll start out with my backlog of baking from Thanksgiving break – yeah, this is gonna be a long one kids, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Over Thanksgiving I started the break out with a nod to my waffle obsession by making peanut butter waffles for breakfast on Wednesday morning. They were good, but I think I want to either find a different recipe or play around with the one I used because I feel like peanut butter waffles have potential to be really awesome and while the waffles I made were good, I just feel like they could be better somehow, so I’ll have to mess around with that some more.  Wednesday afternoon I started making whoopie pies, the same pumpkin peanut butter ones that I made over fall break and also when I went to visit Andrea a couple of weeks ago. I feel like they get better every time I make them too, which is awesome because they were one of  our desserts for Thanksgiving, so I wanted them to be really good since this was my first time going solo on a contribution to Thanksgiving. I mean I usually help a lot in the kitchen, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever made anything entirely on my own for this particular holiday before. While I was baking off the cookies for the whoopie pies, I started our applesauce too. I mean I just cut up the apples and put them on the stove with the various spices and such that we use and then I kept an eye on them to make sure they didn’t get burned or anything. Andrea finished the applesauce though, actually putting them through the hand crank food mill thingy, so it was a team effort. By the time that was all done it was time for dinner and I threw together a salad to go with our frozen pizza because we had some good stuff in the fridge so I figured why not. Okay so I know salad isn’t baking, but still it was actually good and I’m not really too big on salads either. It was really simple, just some spinach, dried cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese and then a light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. That was Wednesday’s food adventures then of course we had Thanksgiving and more baking ensued.

I made the filling for the whoopie pies in the morning and filled them and then I pitched in on the dressing and rolls too. The dressing wasn’t a big deal, pretty straightforward chopping up some veggies, cooking them down a bit in vegetable stock and then mixing that deal with some spices and bread and more stock and baking the whole thing for a bit. The rolls were my other baked good contribution and I made the stuffed cheese buns that I also made over fall break I believe. They were such a hit the first time that we decided to make them part of our Thanksgiving and they went over really well with everyone, so that was pretty cool.

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On Friday I made rolls again for dinner, using the pretzel roll recipe from Yammie’s Noshery that I’ve used before, but this time I took some spinach that we had left in the fridge, wilted that down with some olive oil and garlic, mixed that up with some feta cheese, and stuffed that into the rolls. I just baked them off as usual and they came out really good. I can say this with a good amount of confidence too since my brother gave them the seal of approval and he doesn’t like spinach or feta, so that’s big stuff right there.

Saturday I had cinnamon roll adventures. I was meeting up with some high school friends at 11 so before leaving I started some dough in our bread machine. Or so I thought. I’m going to be honest here, I had never actually used the bread machine before, I just make my doughs by hand, so I had no clue how the thing works and I don’t know what went wrong, but I came home to … well, not dough. I really had my heart set on cinnamon rolls though, so I found a recipe for quick rolls that didn’t need to rise for very long and whipped up some cinnamon rolls. So worth it too, they were pretty swell. I’m going to post the link to the recipe I used down at the bottom with links for my other recipes, but just for the record, I didn’t follow the icing directions at all. I basically just made up my own, consisting of:

about four ounces of honey walnut cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

A splash of milk

2.5 tsp. of honey

Just mix all of that together and pour it over your cinnamon rolls the second they come out of the oven – the heat makes it a bit more liquid-y and it spreads really easily so that it gets on all the rolls really nicely.

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Moving on to post semester baking now; there will of course be much more baking over break, especially since Andrea is coming home either tonight or tomorrow, so of course much baking will occur when that happens. So far though, I’ve whipped up some pretty tasty stuff if I do say do myself. First I made a death by chocolate trifle for my mom’s birthday which was just ridiculous. Layers of brownie, pudding, and whipped cream, all from scratch. We got the worst stomach aches but it was so worth it. Don’t worry kids, I wouldn’t dare not share this one with you, so the recipe is down below.

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Oh, and did I mention that I crushed up some heath bars to put on top? Yeah, I went there. All of these lovely components combined to form this beauty

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The other day my mom and I made some peanut butter blossoms and I’d be lying if I said they weren’t the best we’ve made. We tried out a new recipe, courtesy of Yammie’s Noshery and it’s just ridiculously easy and crazy good – I mean who knew that flour just really isn’t necessary? Yesterday I did double baked goods goodness; I had a couple of old friends over for brunch-ish, so I made some whole wheat peanut butter muffins with chocolate chips and cheddar scones, both of which came out really well. I was pleased with the muffin recipe especially because it was a new one, so I wasn’t entirely sure how it would be but I figured not much can go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate chips. Plus they’re whole wheat so you’ve got fiber and protein and all sorts of good stuff going on in there – relatively healthy for a muffin.

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Oh, and just for funsies, I think at one point or another I mentioned the ridiculously adorable apron I made a couple years ago that I like to wear sometimes when I bake. Well here it is kids, the least functional apron known to mankind – but so cute!

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As promised, here are my recipes:

Peanut Butter Waffles:  …oops, just kidding, I actually didn’t keep that one, I’m on the hunt for a super fabulous peanut butter waffle. Don’t worry though, when I find it I’ll totally share.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies: http://www.eatrunread.com/2010/10/cake-of-week-pumpkin-and-peanut-butter.html

Stuffed Cheese Buns: http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2012/08/peetas-stuffed-cheese-buns.html

Pretzel Rolls: http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2012/05/pretzel-buns.html

Cinnamon Rolls: …uhh, this is awkward, I actually can’t track down a link to the recipe I used …

Death By Chocolate: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-thornton/death-by-chocolate-recipe/index.html

Peanut Butter Blossoms: http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2012/12/five-ingredient-peanut-butter-blossoms.html

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Muffins: http://www.culinaryadventuresinthekitchen.com/2012/02/09/whole-wheat-peanut-butter-muffins/

Cheddar Scones: I used the “Buttermilk Biscone” recipe from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook and just threw in a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Yum. Just a tip though, I don’t know if there’s really that much variance between ovens, but I found that baking the scones for 17 minutes was plenty, even though I think the recipe called for 20-24 minutes or something like that. Not sure if that would hold true for everybody, but just thought I’d throw that out there.

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