Something sweet

Posted on | Wednesday, October 20, 2010 | 3 Comments

I am beginning to feel normal again. I still ache and my muscles are occasionally rebelling against me, but it's progress. Katy and I ended up canceling our Tuesday lunch date yesterday since I was still feeling yucky. However I couldn't let Tuesday pass without having some sort of culinary venture. So I decided to bake.

You have to understand how monumental baking is for me. I used to never bake, the concept terrified me. Unless it was store-bought and only required plopping it in the oven for fifteen minutes I avoided it. Measurements were always so precise and I had this idea in my head that any attempt at baking a cake would result in the kitchen catching fire. This isn't far from the truth; I have caught the stove on fire, and several bags of popcorn have lost their lives to the evils of my microwave.

Then one dark and stormy night (alright it was 10pm on a balmy summer evening) I suddenly and desperately wanted cookies. Kael was already asleep so driving to the nearest grocery store to buy a package of Nestle Toll House cookies wasn't an option. I looked in my pantry: I had flour, sugar, milk, eggs, butter, and chocolate chips... and I thought, why not? Amazingly I didn't burn the house down. Even more astonishing they tasted good!

Since then I've become engrossed in baking. It's not as terrifying as I thought it was. I've become motivated to not only learn to bake, but to bake well. Creating things equal to the pictures on Martha Stewart's website has become a culinary goal of mine. I won't lie, I obsess about it to an extent that might not be entirely healthy. Have I mentioned how lucky I am that Alex puts up with my special brand of crazy?

Even with this new-found passion I haven't baked very much recently. Mainly because I know a majority of said delectable creations would go to waste (or directly to my hips). But no longer! Instead of eating my way through a batch of cookies or muffins I've begun taking them to the coffee shop on campus where I work. It's just an added bonus that I get free coffee in exchange for my home made treats. It gives me the perfect excuse to bake like a fiend. And bake I have.

I know I have mentioned my Lemon Bars, but I have also made some scrumptious apple cinnamon bran muffins, confetti squares, mug cake, and most recently brownie candy cups and yogurt raspberry teacake muffins.

Oh yeah.

The recipes are simple enough. I don't have a mixer or a food processor (yet!) so anything I bake has to be made with the basic tools and basic ingredients. I am assuming that once I become the proud owner of a mixer the world will implode from my sheer force of baking and cooking. I apologize in advance for the ridiculous posts I will make with this happens.

To get the recipe for Lemon Bars just click the link above, for the muffins, squares, cake, and candy cups I will give a quick run-down:

Apple Cinnamon Bran Muffins

Yes, I know they look like cone heads in a muffin pan. They were still scrumptious!

The recipe is simple enough. I bought a pre-packaged mix from Bob's Red Mill. Their products get sold in most grocery stores around here though I find that Homeland and the local health food store carry a larger variety including things like quinoa and polenta. The recipe for the muffins is on the back of the package along with a recipe for apple spice cookies that I might try sometime in the near future.

To make the muffins you need eggs, honey/molasses, water, oil, and the muffin mix. I've made these twice and I find that adding in equal parts oil and applesauce makes them much more moist and adds to the apple-y flavor. I also add some allspice and cinnamon to give it some extra flavor.

You know that looks delicious.

Confetti Squares

I stole this from Martha's Website. Who would have thought Rice Krispie treats were gourmet? I have to admit making these bad boys killed my arms. After about the fifth cup of dry cereal the melted marshmallow goodness just didn't have enough liquid to mix the cereal together. The recipe calls for eighteen cups of cereal. What kind of Rice Krispie treat calls for nearly three boxes of cereal?! I called it quits at about twelve and they turned out great. The recipe also says that it will fit in a 9x9 pan, I ended up using a 9x13 pan and I assume that if I had used all eighteen cups of cereal it would have meant breaking out a second Pyrex to catch the overflow.

Maybe Martha's never made Rice Krispie Treats before? They are definitely a once-in-a-while fete considering each serving has about half a cup of marshmallows and a cup of cereal in it.

Mug Cake

What can I not say about this amazing concoction in a cup? It's delicious. It's deliriously simple. It's deadly.

Why deadly, you ask? Because I now am only three minutes from chocolate cake anytime I want it.

So so simple. All you need is seven ingredients that most of us already have in our pantry. Here's how it goes -- 4 tablespoons flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons milk, 3 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional), a small splash of vanilla extract. Mix all the ingredients together in a large coffee mug and pop that sucker in the microwave for about three minutes. And magically when the microwave chimes YOU HAVE CHOCOLATE CAKE IN A CUP!

Brownie Candy Cups

Brownies and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?! Holy mother. Thank you, Duncan Hines, for thinking up the very best ways to satiate my sweet tooth. This recipe is so so easy. And delicious. It comes together in just a few minutes so you have to work quickly with those miniature peanut butter cups! I found they tasted best after chilling in the fridge for a few hours.

Fresh out of the oven is delicious too. But be warned, you will burn your tongue. I speak from experience.

Yogurt Raspberry Teacakes

I think these are my favorite sweet snack. I found the recipe on The Purple Foodie's Blog. She lives across the pond so all the measurements are in metric. But do not fret! The internet is full of websites that will convert grams to cups so that you don't have to try and do the conversions in your head. Unless you are into that kind of thing.

Tart but sweet and perfectly moist. They will become a staple in my house. Oh yes.

Will I still bake with pre-packaged mixes once I get the hang of baking? Obviously. But I'm not terrified of breaking out the flour, baking soda and butter either. :)


3 Responses to “Something sweet”

  1. Anne
    October 20, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    The pictures all look amazing--very impressive! I keep meaning to introduce myself properly on facebook (I really want to chat about books- we have some favorite authors in common) but haven't had the time/guts. Anyway, I'm glad you're feeling better!
    --Anne S.

  2. Alisha
    October 21, 2010 at 7:54 AM

    Thank you, Anne! Don't be hesitant to talk with me, I would absolutely love to get to know you better!

  3. somethink.different
    October 26, 2010 at 8:34 AM

    I am going to come visit you, and we are going to make food. LOTS OF FOOD.


Photobucket I was born and raised in California. I have also lived in Hungary, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and I will be moving again this summer. Kael is my incredibly awesome kiddo who is growing up far too quickly, and Alex is my fiance who makes me happier than should be legally allowed. I write about them a lot. I'm mildly obsessed with cooking and photography. I write about those things, too.