Monday, June 28, 2010


I finished Vanity Fair. :)

Like a Giant Peanut Butter Cookie

I know this looks like a giant peanut butter cookie. Let me reassure you--it tastes like one too. I tried this delicious peanut butter bread warm and with just a little butter spread on top, and I'm not sure it could get better than that. However, I bet it would be tasty with a little jelly on it or a bit of honey. I found the original recipe here.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the peanut butter until crumbly. Combine the egg, milk and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Transfer to a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Now for some other news. Drumroll...this blog might finally be seeing some of the "pages" part that I originally intended! I'm finally finishing Vanity Fair tonight, and I'll be starting Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey tomorrow. I can't wait to move on to some new reading for my thesis, and actually just some new reading in general.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Crumbly Muffins

Yesterday morning I made these spice muffins to replace the scones that I didn't really like. I wish I had a few more spices on hand (mainly cloves) to add to them, and I also wish that I had included a little brown sugar and/or cinnamon in the crumb topping. However, they were pretty good and provided me and Katie Corr an adequate breakfast (and snack...and dessert...).

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter or margarine
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute)
1 egg, lightly beaten
In a bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside 1/2 cup for topping. Add baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg to the remaining crumb mixture. Stir in buttermilk and egg just until moistened.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Busy Days

It's been a busy couple of days, so I haven't updated in a while, but I haven't stopped baking. Pat's grad party was last weekend, so I was busy with the family and friends from out of town, but I made these oatmeal raisin/chocolate chip cookies with my cousin Marissa.

On Monday, I moved out to my house in South Bend semi-permanently. When I finally got my power back, I made some scones so I'd have something to eat for breakfast.

To be honest, these were not that good. Since I'm still a little sparse on ingredients in the house, I had to substitute for baking powder, and I think that really messed with the taste. I have made these before, however, using the same recipe, and they turned out delicious, so I'm posting the recipe here.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter. Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl, and stir into flour mixture until moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll dough out into a 1/2 inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Change of Address

Kelly McGauley
Lula's Cafe
South Bend, IN

Starting the day with Vanity Fair, an "ebony and ivory" scone (dark and white chocolate chips), and a petite vanilla nut coffee. I'm moving in to Lula's this summer.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mini-cinni Rolls

This morning I had jury duty, which was overall not so bad. I got a lot of reading done, and I got to witness stupidity in adults to a level that I feel should not exist. It was quite the interesting experience, and for a while it even looked like I might end up on a case, but in the end I got to go home after about five hours.

When I got home, I made these cinnamon rolls. They're mini, so they could be served almost like cookies, but they were pretty tasty and really easy.

I'm sure they'd be good with some sort of frosting or glaze, but I don't like mine quite that sweet, so I left them alone.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet, or use parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in milk and vanilla. Knead briefly on a floured surface. Roll out into a large rectangle, 1/2 inch thick. Spread softened butter onto surface of dough. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over butter. Roll tightly, and cut into 12 equal slices. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Berry Good Quick Bread

I looked for recipes this morning that would use some of the berries we have in my house, because I'm feeling really summery today and I thought that would be a good plan. The recipe I went off of called their finished product "squares," but either because of the alterations I made or because of their descriptive error, mine turned out much more like a cake or a quick bread. I was a little disappointed but only because this was not quite the light, fluffy, berry dessert I had in mind. However, it was delicious nonetheless, and it was very easy. I think it would make a good breakfast/coffee cake type thing. The recipe I've included here has the alterations (and there were quite a few) that I made already included, but I started with this one.

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup orange juice
1 1/4 cups fresh blackberries
Preheat oven to 325 degrees C (165 degrees C). Lightly grease one 8x8 inch baking pan.
In large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.
Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir to combine. Mix in the vinegar and juice. Fold in the blackberries.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool.

On another note, I'm obviously I'm moving very slowly on Vanity Fair. It's not that I'm not enjoying it or that I'm not interested, I'm just not as involved in it as I usually get into a book.

In other reading news, on my way back from South Bend Thursday, I listened to the first six chapters of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, which I am really liking. I will finish it between my drives there and back this coming weekend. I've also been reading bits of the beginning of The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which is written beautifully. I think I am so focused on finishing Vanity Fair, though, that I'm having trouble letting myself become really immersed in any "fun reading" at the moment.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Really, there are few things better in life than homemade chocolate chip least as far as foods go. A friend from work asked me to make her some chocolate chip cookies and bring them in so I have "an excuse" to come visit her, so I did. I thought about finding a new recipe for them, or altering the one I know so that it's a little more personalized, but like I explained to my mom while I was making these, it doesn't get better than the Nestle Toll House recipe.

Monica: What about friends of your grandmother's? Wouldn't they have the recipe?
Phoebe: Well, you know I may have relatives in France who would know. My grandmother said she got the recipe from her grandmother, [trying to pronounce the name in French] Nestlé Toulouse.
Monica: What was her name?
Phoebe: [again trying to pronounce it in French] Nestlé Toulehouse.
Monica: Nestle Toll House?
Phoebe: Oh, you Americans always butcher the French language.

There's a reason Monica couldn't find a better recipe even after making dozens upon dozens of trial can't beat perfection ;)

..the only thing I bake that I can't resist eating every step of the way.

"S'more" Treats for Colin

I've been at school for the past couple of days trying to figure out my summer plans and setting up my house a bit, but before I left I made some brownies for Colin because he'd been bugging me to make them. I used boxed brownie mix that we had in the pantry because we have so much of it that no one ever uses (I prefer to bake from scratch and the rest of my family is lazy...just kidding guys), but I wanted to spice them up a little. I made them into "s'mores" by adding a layer of chocolate chips and then a layer of mini marshmallows when they were right out of the oven, baked them for a few more minutes and topped them off with a graham cracker. They were a little too sweet for my taste, but my family loved them, and Colin said they were exactly what he wanted.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Delicious Mess

"You know, you said this didn't really turn out, but I think it's delicious." -My Brother, Pat

Tonight I decided to try to make a banana roll. As you can see, the cake part of it didn't stay quite as separate from the filling as I would have hoped, and the cake itself kind of sunk in upon rolling it, but nevertheless it turned out really yummy. I think eventually I'll probably try it again and make sure that the egg whites are as stiff as they need to be before I bake. Also, though the recipe says to roll the cake immediately upon taking it out of the oven, I think that might have added to the sinking problem.

Mine did not turn out as pretty as the one here.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
4 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Sifted powdered sugar
1 recipe Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
Chocolate-flavored syrup (optional)
Lightly grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Line bottom with waxed paper; grease paper. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
For filling, in a small mixing bowl combine cream cheese and the 1/2 cup granulated sugar; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add whole egg and milk; beat until combined. Spread in the prepared pan; set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl beat egg yolks and vanilla on medium speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved. Stir in banana and nuts.
Thoroughly wash the beaters. In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold yolk mixture into egg whites. Sprinkle the flour mixture evenly over egg mixture; fold in just until blended.
Carefully spread the batter evenly over the filling in the pan. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched.
Immediately loosen cake from sides of pan and turn out onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully peel off paper. Starting with a short side, roll up cake, using towel as a guide but not rolling towel into cake. Cool completely on rack.
Spread top with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. If desired, drizzle with chocolate-flavored syrup. Makes 10 servings.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: In a small mixing bowl combine half of a 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 cup unsifted powdered sugar. Beat in enough milk (1 to 2 tablespoons) to make a frosting of spreading consistency. Makes about 1/2 cup frosting.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Break from the Cupcake Craze

Good morning :)

This morning I wanted to make something a little different since I've been going a bit cupcake crazy lately. We had a lot of cream cheese around the house, so I made sort of cheesecake-cookie bars.

My dad is so mad at me for constantly baking and tempting him with all the delicious treats that I had to do something to take the temptation out of this recipe for him--I added blackberries because I know he doesn't like them, and they also added a little more color and flavor to the cookies. I was really really happy with the way they turned out--they were really easy and tasty. I'll definitely be making them again.

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pkg. blackberries (or another kind of berry)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour. Pat into a 9 x 9 pan. (Reserve some for top.) Bake for 12 minutes.
Chop blackberries and sprinkle over top of crust.
Cream together cream cheese, sugar and add remaining ingredients Pour over berries. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool.

I cut mine up into bars, but they could also easily be left as a full cheesecake or pie. I found the recipe that I started with (and eventually changed around quite a bit) here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spice Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 pinches ground nutmeg
4 pinches salt
12 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 12 muffin cups with paper muffin liners.
Combine ingredients until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes.

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

This morning I made these spice cupcakes, adapted from a recipe I found here. They turned out more like muffins for me, and they were a little dry (next time I may use a little less flour), but after adding this delicious cream cheese frosting, they were much more delicious. I'm not sure that I'll make the cupcakes again with this recipe--it just wasn't my favorite. However, I've got a lot of extra frosting that I can't wait to use, and I'll definitely make that again. Not only was it super easy, but it was also incredibly tasty. Not a great recipe if you're looking for super sweet icing, but perfect to cut into sweet or spiced cakes. Happy June! :)