Archive for November, 2008

Homemade Nilla cookies

Here are some images and the recipe for my own personal take on the Nilla cookie that I grew up with and am soo darned fond of.

Orange Nillas

Orange Nillas


4 Tbsp Milk
1 c. Butter
1 c. Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 c. Cornmeal
1 c. AP Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
Zest of Whole orange, Juice of half
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt

Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition. Next, incorporate the vanilla and orange zest. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Begin to add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk and orange juice, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Spoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet by teaspoonfuls. These babies will spread like crazy, so give them space. Bake in an oven at 375 for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are browned. Let them cool completely and enjoy with tea or milk.



November 30, 2008 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

November: Daring Bakers

It’s been quite a while since I posted on here. I apreciate your patience and will reward you kindly… In the next few days I’ll be putting some posts up that might bring this blog back to being something worth looking at. Hopefully I haven’t lost all of you… but I wouldn’t be surprised if you started to read something else in the meantime! All is well, I don’t mind; this blog was meant to record and share all of my recipes and baked goods, so here I am, recording and sharing my goods:

Daring Bakers Challenge November:

Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake


10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for “stopping” the caramelization process)
In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light


November 29, 2008 at 12:01 pm 5 comments

Dear Martha Stewart,

In 8th grade I remember making fun of Martha. Little did I know, I would be reading her Magazine routinely and making her featured recipes and even *thinking* about making her Christmas decorations. I know. I’ve turned to the sweetside.. It would have happened a little earlier if I had just let myself succumb to the wonderful baked goods and colored papers inside those pages of Living mag. The only saving grace that I can find is that I know that there’s no way that Martha writes and makes all this junk on her own. She pays many many talented people to come up with these things to share with us, and luckily… they do just that. They bring us beautiful holidays and delicious cookies and wonderful photography (another perk of having bukoodegobs of cash in your pocket.. thanks to insider trading.

NONETHELESS! I have made two of Martha’s pies for Thanksgiving. Sadly. And they were delicious.

Pumpkin Pie: Here —– Actually.. I had my Fiancee make this pie to practice his baking skills. He rocked. Scroll down for an exclusive pic of him in his delicious apron.
Cranberry Cinnamon Almond Pie: Here
Below are the recipes for my own personal favorites, the Chocolate Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies… Yummi.

Cranberry, Cinnamon & Almond

Cranberry, Cinnamon & Almond

Chocolate Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Chocolate Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Zach's Pumpkin Pie


Chocolate Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

1c. Butter, room temp
1 c. Granulated Sugar
1 c. Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 c. Cocoa Powder
1 3/4c. AP Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
3 c. Oats
1 pkg Butterscotch Chips

Cream the butter and the Sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating them completely. Add the salt, vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon and baking soda. Then add the flour, Oats and chips. Mix completely and using a #30 disher, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Let them cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

What a cutie.

What a cutie.

November 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm Leave a comment