Sweet 16 Cake

February 21, 2014

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This is my 4th cake in 3 weeks!  I have not made very many in the last while, thought maybe the theme cake was going out of style.  I am quite happy to be back in the kitchen whipping up some new creations.

I was asked to make a Neon Sweet 16 Cake.  They showed me kind of what they wanted, but said to just do what ever!  Very difficult when everyone has such different taste.  What I think is cute, someone else may hate!  Anyways, I stuck to ideas that they showed me.  Had to turn to my cake making friend Christine (who makes awesome cakes!) for advice on the accessories (for lack of a better term?) for this cake.  I had never done a cake with things coming out of it before, but I do love the challenge!  It was a chocolate cake with vanilla icing.  I hope the Birthday girl likes it.


OCC #5

February 17, 2014

 

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It is Family Day long weekend here in Ontario, what better way to spend it than baking! As I was unimpressed with my last attempt in the OCC I decided I needed to try again.  This time I went with Ina Garten’s Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies.  I can remember watching her cooking show, The Barefoot Contessa, on the Food Network.  She always had such amazing looking food and desserts!  I have made a few others things of hers and they were all successes, so I had high hopes for these cookies.

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
2 heaping cups of Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

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3. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

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4. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl.

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5. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.

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6. Add the oat and chocolate chips

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7. Mix until just combine

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8. Using a small scoop or a tablespoon drop dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a damp hand.

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9. Bake until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.

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These were good!  They had great flavour and did not fall when they cooled.  I substitute the raisins with chocolate chips so I omitted the cinnamon.  The true flavour of the oatmeal was wonderful.  The outside had a slight crunch but the inside was soft and chewy.  I do think I over baked them slightly, next time I would bake them a few minutes less.

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They were a huge hit! Everyone loved them! I even made ‘smaller’ ones to please everyone – those weirdos who say my cookies are too big!

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Thick and chewy and delicious!

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These are definitely a runner-up….

Thank you Ina!


Crossword Puzzle Cake

February 17, 2014

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I was asked to make a crossword puzzle cake for an eightieth birthday.   They sent me a picture of her usual crossword which had hundreds of clues, I had to scale it down a tad, but this is what I came up with.  Apparently, it was a huge it! :)


What does the Fox Say?

February 9, 2014

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What does the Fox Say? Could there be a more annoying song? Hear it once, it is in your head for days!!!  Honestly, I must have sung this song 58 times while making this cake… ring-ding-ding-a-ringerding blah blah blah….

This cake was for an adorable little girl turning 2!  Apparently, she just loves this song.  A bit of a different theme from last years cake.

Hope she liked it!


Toffee Chocolate Bars

February 7, 2014

Erica’s Edibles

Turns

5!

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It’s my blogaversary! Silly, I know, but I like to make something on the anniversary of the day I started my blog.  I honestly did not think I would be still blogging 5 years later.  I figured it would be something fun to do for a few months as I posted about my baking adventures with the Daring Bakers.  I have been slacking on my Daring Bakers participation, I need to get back to that!
This years blogaversary treat is Toffee Chocolate Bars.  I saw a picture of these bars on Pinterest a while ago and thought they looked sinful!  They had to be delicious!  This seemed like the perfect occasion :)

Toffee Chocolate Bars

Adapted from Robin Hood

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar – packed
1 cup flour
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
2 T butter
1 pkg Chocolate Chips
1 pkg Toffee Chips

1. Preheat oven 350ºC

2. Combine butter, sugar and flour

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The original recipe said to ‘cream’ the ingredients.  Mine did not cream, this is as good as it got, more of a crumble…

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3. Press into a 9×13 inch pan and bake until golden, approx 20 min.  Set aside on a wire rack to cool

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4. Heat Eagle Brand Milk and 2 tbsp of butter on medium heat in a heavy sauce pan.  Heat until thick 5-10 min (mine did not thicken, but was starting to burn so I stopped after 8 min).  I panicked when it started to burn and forgot to get a picture haha

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5. Pour over crust

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6. Bake until golden, approx 15 minutes

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7. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake for 2 more minutes until chips are soft

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8. Spread chocolate

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9. Sprinkle with toffee bits – press down slightly

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10. Allow to cool – may need to chill

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These were delicious!

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Everyone loved these!  They were sinfully sweet and delicious!  I really liked the base layer – the brown sugar really brought a simple crust to a new level.  It was not crunchy but firm enough to hold up without breaking or crumbling.  The soft filling and the crunch of the toffee really complemented each other.

This is one of those treats that make your mouth water, literally!  With each bite it seemed to get better and better.  I simply could not stop!  After 4 squares I had to give them away in fear that I would eat the entire 9×13 pan.

I would definitely make these again, but next time I would use 2 cans of Eagle Brand milk to make the filling that much gooier!


OCC #4

February 5, 2014

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As promised, more baking in the new year!  I have revisited my OCC (Oatmeal Cookie Challenge) as I have yet to find my favourite.

I found this recipe at Give a Blonde a Kitchen.  They looked delicious so I thought I would give them a try!

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)*

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

2. Melt butter and let cool slightly.

3. While butter is cooling, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

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4. In a medium bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.

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5. Beat in vanilla, egg, and egg yolk for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy.

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Scrape down sides when necessary.

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6. Gradually add the flour oat mixture and mix until just blended.

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7. Stir in the raisins and nuts.

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8. Scoop about ¼ cup of dough and form into balls.

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Bake for 14-16 minutes.  The edges will look lightly browned and the centers soft.  Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes  and then transfer to a cooling rack.

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I thought these cookies were ok.  I liked the flavour, but I found them to be quite dry.  They did not spread at all.  I’m all about a thick cookie, but these were still ‘ball shaped’. Everyone else said they really liked them, but to me they were just ok.  I won’t make them again.

The search continues….


Baby Cake

February 2, 2014

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It seems like forever since I have made a cake! I was thrilled when I was asked to make this baby cake for a baby shower.  They showed me a picture of what they kind of wanted and I put my own touches on it.  Apparently it was a huge hit!  Love to hear that :)


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