Cupcakes – By Heather and Lori

September 28, 2014

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I was at the Baking and Sweets Show in Toronto today (I won’t go back, it has really gone down hill.  I was quite disappointed!).  As soon as I walked in the doors I see Cupcakes!  They were the cupcakes from the T.V. Show, The Cupcake Girls. I assume they are not well known in the States.  Cupcakes by Heather and Lori is a Vancouver based bakery.  They made a T.V. show on the Food  Network, following them from the beginning though their ups and downs of starting the bakery and opening a franchise.  I personally can’t stand the show, but the cupcakes were here, how could I not try them!

They had a large booth.  They were selling aprons, shirts etc with their logo as well as the cupcakes.  When I was there, they only had 4 flavours available.  I went with chocolate, it was $4.00.  Most were astounded with the price.  I thought it was reasonable. Baking is not cheap! Most people expect to pay very little for something tasty, it rarely happens.  I was fine with paying $4.00, I figured if they are on T.V. and have all these franchises they must be good.

Came in a fancy  box with their logo

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The bag was even covered in their signature cupcake

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Excuse the look of the cupcake, I made it all the way home, only to drop the box on the kitchen counter.

 

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The two bites I took were plenty – very disappointed!  There was virtually no flavour in the cupcake itself or he icing.  If blindfolded I am convinced no one would be able to detect chocolate.  They claim “Cupcakes bakes their products from scratch and use preservative-free, basic ingredients, offering customers fresh batches of yummy goodness daily“, well if this cupcake was fresh baked today, I’ll eat the box!  Yuck!  I was really hoping it was going to be good.  I think the $4.00 was for the fancy box.

Why do bakeries have such boring cupcakes? Honestly, mine are better!

Dose anyone know where to get a good, moist, flavourful cupcake??


Back up and Running!

September 28, 2014

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I’m baaaaack!

Finally, I am back up and posting!  It has been well over a month since I have posted, crazy!

I could not post because my blog was full!  I’ve made some upgrades, hopefully there will be no changes or glitches in the upgrade of space.

Looking forward to baking and filling up the much needed new space

Happy Baking :)


OCC #6

August 19, 2014

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Have you ever wanted just one homemade cookie? As much as I LOVE to bake, my weakness is eating it, all!!  I keep saying how I wish I could make just a few cookies, get the fix over with and they are gone!  Then there are not 35 other ones sitting on the counter calling me.  Seriously, I can hear them! If they are in the house, I will eat them.

While wasting enormous amounts of time on Pinterest today I found this, “Recipe for One Oatmeal Raisin Cookie“.  I have tried the ‘One Serving Chocolate Cake in a Mug’ (don’t do it, it’s awful!) so I wasn’t terribly optimistic. The cookie looked delicious!  I had to give it a try.

One Oatmeal Cookie

Adapted from Cooking Classy, Jaclyn has some fantastic recipe, check them out!

 

2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup (scant) packed light-brown sugar
1 Tbsp whisked egg*
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick oats
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
2 Tbsp raisins

 

Directions

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. *Prepare egg – To get this, just crack an egg into a bowl and whisk until well blended, then measure out 1 Tbsp. Reserve remainder in refrigerator for another use.

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3. Place butter in a medium microwave safe mixing bowl. Heat in microwave on HIGH power until almost fully melted

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4. Add brown sugar, 1 Tbsp egg, flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt

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5. Stir until well blended (it will seem dry at first but it will start to come together). Add raisins and mix.

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6. Shape dough into a 4 inch cookie parchment paper lined baking sheet

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7. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes until edges are golden but center is still soft.

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Cool slightly and enjoy!

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Looks good! Stayed nice and thick, didn’t fall

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Just look how big this cookie is, that’s my kind of cookie! (an I have BIG hands)

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Quite possibly, this could be the best oatmeal cookie I have ever had, let alone made!  It was perfect!  Thick and chewy in the centre, crispy on the edges and it’s huge! The texture was perfect, and the oat flavour really came though.  I didn’t have quick oats, so I used regular, I also didn’t add the cinnamon.

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I can see making this recipe quite a bit.  I makes just enough to have a treat, but not go overboard.  Also, regardless of its size, It’s only one cookie!! ;)

It seems as though I MAY have found “My Favourite Oatmeal Cookie”.  It would be a shame if the OCC was over.  I wonder if this recipe multiplies well to make a batch…hmmmm

Give this cookie a try, it is wonderful!  Thank you Jaclym for such a wonderful recipe.

 


Butter Tart Tour – Iron Bridge Bakery

August 13, 2014

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Stop #19 on The Butter Tart Tour was at the Iron Bridge Bakery in Youngs Point.  I had never been to this bakery, never heard of it actually until the Tart Tour.  It was more than a bakery, more of an “All in one store”.  They had everything from Real Estate, fishing tackle, grocery items and liquor.

The Tart

First Impressions – looked good, a lot of crust

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The Verdict

- crust was thick and tough
– filling kind of bland, tasted corn syrupy
– I would not have another
– 3/10

**not to say others would not like them, just not what I look for in a butter tart


Celebration Baking

August 10, 2014

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I am always looking for an excuse to bake.  Today’s excuse? Erica’s Edibles has had over 100,000 views! What?!? I can’t believe it!

Back when I started blogging, honestly, I didn’t think anyone other than my parents and maybe a few friends would have read.  It is so exciting that people actually look at what I bake!

Now the big decision is to pick a recipe!  There are so many I have Pinned and saved that I want to make.  I tried to find one that would please everyone, no peanut butter and chocolate (crazy I know! My parents hate that combination) and no coconut!  This was hard as just about all of my favourite included chocolate peanut butter or coconut.  I had to start a new search.  The recipe I chose was from The Bitter Side of Sweet, Chocolate Pretzel Pecan Shortbread Bars.  The name pretty much says it all.

Chocolate Pretzel Pecan Shortbread Bars

Crust

2 cups flour
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ cup pecans, chopped
1 stick butter, cold

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by lining with a piece of parchment paper. Then spray the parchment paper.

3. Mix the flour and brown sugar together

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4. Cut into mixture the butter till it looks crumbly

 

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5. Stir in pecans. Spread into pan and bake for 10 minutes (I got a little worried at this point, seems a bit dry to bake)

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6. When done allow to cool while you prepare the filling (still looking kind of dry)

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Filling

1 cup sugar
1 cup white Karo syrup
½ cup butter, melted
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup pretzels chopped

Directions

1. In a large bowl combine sugar, syrup and butter

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2. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs

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3. Add to sugar mixture and stir.

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4. Pour over shortbread and spread evenly

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5. Evenly spread pecans

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6. Top with layer of chocolate chips

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7. Finish with layer of chopped pretzels *tip* When I tried to chop the pretzels they were bouncing everywhere! I found it much easier and less messy to put them in a baggy and break them up

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8. Press the pretzels down lightly into the batter

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9. Put back in oven and cook for 30 minutes or until middle no longer jiggles, *mine took nearly an hour

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10. Cool at room temperature.

11. Then chill bars for 4 hours or overnight. ENJOY!

The next day

They look fantastic!

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These were OK.  I found them to be a little on the dry side.  Between the pretzels and the shortbread crust, don’t plan on whistling a tune.  The centre was not bad, could have been sweeter and didn’t have a lot of flavour.  Everyone that had them said they were good, but I was unimpressed.  I wouldn’t make them again.


Banana Muffins

August 6, 2014

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My freezer was starting to look like I was stock piling bananas for monkey’s at the zoo.  I love bananas, but there is a point where they just get too ripe, blah!  As soon as they go beyond being edible (for me) I throw them in the freezer, I hate wasting them.

As much as I wanted to make my ‘go to’ banana cake, I knew if I did I would have, more thank likely, eaten the entire thing! It has happened!  Trying to be adventurous I went looking for a new banana bread recipe.  Not having much experience with making banana things I really didn’t know what I was looking for.  I find banana bread is either really good or is just awful, there isn’t much of a middle ground for me.  Usually they are very bananay (is that a word?) and wet, almost rubbery, or they are flavourless and dry! I want something in the middle, flavourful and moist.

After reading many recipes I realized I should not have taken ALL of the bananas out of the freezer!  Most recipes were calling for 3 or 4 bananas, I had 8 that were semi frozen, so I chose 2 recipes to try! Problem solved!

The first recipe I tried was adapted from Perfect Banana Bread from Your Cup of Cake

Banana Bread

2 eggs beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup oil
1 ¼ cup mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Directions:
** If your bananas are frozen take them out of the freezer with plenty of time to thaw, I forgot to do this!  I also did not peel the bananas before freezing them.  As my hands are freezing while I tried to peel/cut the peel off of the bananas I hear Gina, as she dashes to the freezer at work, “always peel the bananas before freezing!” I know understand!!**
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1. Preheat oven to 340ºF

2. Prepare your loaf pan or muffin tins

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs.

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4.    Pour milk into a measuring cup, not quite measuring 1/3 and add lemon juice to the milk to let sit for 2 minutes.

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5.    Add oil to eggs and beat again.  Add milk and vanilla and beat again.

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6.   Mash bananas thoroughly and add to eggs, oil and milk.

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7.    In a separate bowl, sift sugar, flour, baking soda and salt together.

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8. Slowly stir into wet ingredients.  Mix only until incorporated.

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9.   Pour into prepared loaf pan or muffin tins

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10. bake until tooth pick comes out clean, approx 35 mins

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11. Let cool until able to handle then remove and cool completely on wire rack

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These are delicious! I was not thrilled with their appearance, but the taste won me over.

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The centre was perfectly moist. The crumb was just right, not dry and not rubbery, as some banana muffins are.

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The banana flavour was spot on.

These muffins got rave reviews, everyone loved them!  The only thing that could have made them a tad bit better is chocolate chips! :)

Thank you Lizzy of Your Cup of Cake!

 


Flower Cupcakes

July 30, 2014

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I was asked to made a flower pull apart cupcake cake, for a little girls 6th Birthday.  They sent me a few ideas and this is what I came up with. Hope she liked it!


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