Monday, May 16, 2011

Adventures in Baking

I don't know if I've mentioned it but I do not cook. Well let me rephrase that... I DO cook... I just don't like to AT ALL and Ryan LOVES to cook. SO unless absolutely necessary I don't cook. I DO however LOVE to bake!!!

Two weekends ago we headed to Ryan's Godparents farm. They have a gazillion egg laying chickens so we always end up coming home with WAAAAY too many eggs! 10 dozen eggs is just ridiculous! After giving tonnes of them away we were still left with over 5 dozen eggs. I decided to get my bake on! Last week I made the following (I hadn't made any of these before):

Morning Glory Muffins
These were good but I found them greasy... could be the cup of oil in the recipe!! I don't think I'll make these again... I'll try to find another recipe that isn't as oily.
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 cups, plus 2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (I never add salt in recipes... so I omitted this)
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated (or finely chopped). I finely chopped and did not peel the apple, I like apple peel in recipes as it has more nutrition.
1. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs. Then add oil, vanilla and sugar and combine well
2. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. When well mixed add remaining ingredients
3. Pour dry-fruit ingredients into creamed ingredients. Blend just until everything is moistened.
4. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Banana Bread
This was FANTASTIC banana bread! However, it did take forever to bake.. the recipe says bake for 30 minutes BUT I had to bake it for almost 50 minutes and it was still a little gooey in the middle... could be because I used a double yolk egg by mistake and my bananas were extra large. It could also be because I omitted nuts from the recipe. I will definitely try this recipe again!!
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 bananas, mashed
1 cup jam (I didn't have any jam so I used blueberry baby food instead)
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup chopped pecans (I omitted this as I didn't have any)
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add mashed bananas, jam and eggs and blend well.
2. In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking soda together. Add to wet ingredients. When well mixed stir in nuts.
3. Line the bottom of a 9 by 5 loaf pan with waxed paper (I didn't do this and didn't have any problems)
4. Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then remove loaf an continue to cool on wire rack.

Cheesy Pretzels
I didn't overly enjoy these BUT Ryan and Dave LOVED THEM. They devoured them!!! So I will make them again!! I may use a flavoured cheese next time to add a little zing.

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg beaten
kosher salt (or substitute garlic or onion salt)

1. in a large bowl, mix the first 7 ingredients with a fork until blended
2. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. With your hands, roll each portion into a rope about 12-14 inches long. Lay them on greased cookie sheets, forming each into a pretzel shape as you do so.
3. Brush each pretzel lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt.
4. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Fruit Squares
These were surprisingly fantastic! Next time I would make a double batch in a 9 by 13 pan as the single batch is SUPER skinny, it would be better if thicker. I also decided to use dried cherries instead of dates and raisins.
2 cups finely diced unpeeled apples (I used granny smith apples)
1/2 cup raisins (I used dried cherries)
1/2 cup chopped dates (I used dried cherries)
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1. In a medium bowl, combine apples, raisins and dates. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. In a third bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon; add to egg mixture. Stir in fruit.
2. Spread in lightly greased or non stick 9 by 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 in preheated over for 25 minutes (Mine only took 20 minutes) or until tester comes out clean.

Ryan has been SO happy that I've been baking up a storm!! I plan on baking more this week as well! We'll see what I manage to make! I still have SOOOO many eggs left! I think tonight will be omelette for dinner night!!!

1 comment:

  1. Nice! You've got to add salt in recipes so that the food rises properly! If you want to leave it out, you need to replace with baking soda or powder - which is still sodium though, but not as "salty" in flavour! Happy baking!