Archive for ‘that’s what she baked’

April 19, 2011

new-to-me ingredients

Today, I made the trek to Whole Foods to get some ingredients for a couple recipes. It’s been a while since I’d been there! Actually, that’s a lie. I was just there on Sunday, but it was somewhat of a failure of a trip because I didn’t find what I was looking for at that particular Whole Foods. So of course, I went again today to a different Whole Foods. And I made sure to go Jeff-less – so I could take allll the time I wanted.

These are some of the things I came home with.

There is a common theme with all these ingredients (except for the whole wheat pastry flour in the back) – this was the first time I ever bought any of these products!

Ginger Chews: Deliciously chewy!

Garlic Gold nuggets: I’ve been wanting to try these but only saw them online, so I was ecstatic to see them on SALE at Whole Foods! They are crunchy and perfectly garlicky. I could finish this container in one sitting – so good!

Garbanzo Beans: I was surprised to find how hard chickpeas are!

Curry Powder: There were quite a few curry powders to choose from, but this one had the deepest color and just looked so delicious! It also helped that it was on sale (thought it still wasn’t cheaper than the cheapest one).

Nutritional Yeast: I’ve heard people describe this looking like fish food. And, it REALLY does.

The last three products, Garbanzo beans/chickpeas, curry powder, and nutritional yeast, I bought specifically for this recipe – Mama Pea’s MMMM sauce!

It’s strange, I’ve never heard of Yummm sauce, and never tasted yet alone seen/smelled/heard/touched nutritional yeast before, but I had a very strong urge to make this sauce. I guess Mama Pea just puts something into her writing that lures whoever reads it into making whatever she’s writing about.

And the magic worked!

This sauce is MMMMMMMM.

And this is what it’s made of:

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, except made a few changes out of convenience and what I had on hand. Here are a few changes that I made from the original recipe:

-I used nut butter (Nuttzo specifically) in place of almonds because I didn’t have any. I could’ve easily bought almonds but I was making this sauce in a single-serve blender and thought that the nut butter would blend in better than the almonds.

-I used lime juice in place of lemon juice because I have a lot of limes.

-I used extra virgin olive oil in place of canola oil (Mama Pea says any oil is fine)

-I used fresh cilantro in place of dried cilantro because I had fresh and I am OBSESSED with cilantro. I put about 1/4 a cup.

-I didn’t use dried oregano because I didn’t have any.

-I used about 3 times as much garlic because I’m obsessed with garlic too.

And now, I need to find more recipes including nutritional yeast.

Because it sure made a beautiful sauce…

I drizzled the sauce on veggies…and said MMMMMM….

And drizzled it on my dinner…and continued to say MMMMM….

Which reminds me, I tried Wild Alaskan salmon for the first time tonight! (boy, there really were lots of new ingredients for me today!)

The verdict? I was pleasantly surprised! It wasn’t toooo different from farm-raised salmon, and it was still delicious. The texture was a little different though – not sure how to describe it – not as flaky and more meaty? It definitely had less fat than the farm-raised salmon because when I went to sautee the spinach, which I usually sautee in the leftover salmon fat, I had to add in more oil because there was hardly any in there from the Wild Alaskan salmon!

That’s a clean plate. But it’s not cleaned with a sponge – it was cleaned with my tongue. Yum. I mean, oops!

Head to Mama Pea’s blog for the original recipe!

March 29, 2011

that’s what she baked: blueberry-and-cream cookies

I’m sorry Malt Chocolate Chip Cookies, but there’s a new favorite cookie in town and it’s name is Blueberry-and-Cream cookies.

This famous recipe is of course by Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York. But I credit my going out to buy dry milk, light corn syrup, and white chocolate chips (I had all the rest of the ingredients!) entirely to Darjeeling Dreams. When she posted about these cookies I just knew I had to make it. And make it I did – the very next day!

This cookie is awesome not only because it is ridiculously delicious (probably the best cookie I have ever eaten or made) but because it is so unique.


Milk crumbs anyone?

I mean, just the name “milk crumbs” is awesome. I want to put milk crumbs in everything now. And I just might.


This is the milk crumbs pre-baking. Basically, a mixture of dry nonfat milk, butter, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.


Then once baked and cooled, it’s mixed with more dry nonfat milk and melted white chocolate…


And voila – milk crumbs!

This is what turns these cookies from fab to fabulous! Huh? Is that a saying?


The only difference I made from the original recipe was I used fresh blueberries instead of dried blueberries.

But…I’m pretty sure that’s okay. ;)


Oh yeah, and I also used light corn syrup in place of glucose because…I have no idea where in the heck to get that. It was a perfectly perfect substitute.

As usual, I used a cookie scoop to scoop out this beautiful dough. They recommend using an ice cream scoop, but I liked them just as I made them with a cookie scoop.

I can’t wait until I can visit Momofuku Milk Bar and try these cookies there! I guess I should plan my first visit to New York first though eh? The “east-est” I’ve ever been in the U.S. is Chicago!

Give these a try for yourself! These cookies are so good I think I’ll be happy never making another cookie again! Okay, that might not be the truth, but I know I’ll be making these cookies for a long, long time!

Nutritional Information for 1 cookie: 160 calories, 7g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 97mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 10g sugar, 2g protein

You can find the original recipe here!

March 28, 2011

that’s what she baked: cake pops

I may be the last one on earth to try making Bakerella’s cake pop’s, but I finally did this past weekend. Better late to the party than never right?

To be honest, the first time I had a cake pop was when Starbucks was giving them out for free, which was a few weeks ago. I never really had a desire to try a cake pop – let alone make one myself. But Jeff and I fell in love with cake pops at first bite.

And there was no more holding me back to making it for myself.

Jeff and I may be in the minority here, but both our favorite flavors at Starbucks (note: Starbucks is our first and only experience with cake pops!) was the pink Birthday Cake flavor. I was surprised because I was sure he’d love the Rocky Road one, but nope, for once we were in agreement with our food preference!

But cake pops from Starbucks cost about $2.50 for two of them. After doing the math I realized I could make about 50 cake pops for less than $10! Sure, I’d need to do the work, but it’s fun work. =)

I wanted to make a cake pop as close to the Birthday Cake one as possible so I started with Yellow Cake cake mix and Buttercream frosting.

Yellow cake…I love it.

And this is why I love parchment paper. Just lift and transfer the whole cake in one swoop.


After cooling, crumbling, and mixing in3/4 a can of frosting, I got to rolling…


Then I dipped each lollipop stick into the melted pink candy melts before sticking them into the balls…

I’m not sure if this¬†actually helped with the stick staying more secure in the ball, but it couldn’t hurt!


And then I got to dipping and sprinkling…

I even made my own DIY cake-pop-holding-mechanism. It worked, but next time, I’ll invest in some styrofoam. ;)


I also dipped some cake pops into white “confetti” candy melts.

They were cute, but hands down I will be sticking with the pink candy melts. For some reason, even though the ingredients and nutrition and everything was practically the same between the white and pink candy melts on the package, the white candy melts had a much thicker consistency. That almost made it easier to dip the cake pops because it didn’t drip as much, but the end result was more thick and “chunky.”


The verdict with these cake pops? Well, we did a taste test between these and the Starbucks ones (yep we actually went to Starbucks to get their cake pops so we can do a side-by-side test!). And here are our thoughts:

1. The homemade ones had a much more “bready” texture inside. This may be because I added as little frosting as possible to the cake crumbs, while still having the dough stick. This “bready” texture wasn’t better or worse, just different.

2. Starbucks’ cake pops were bigger than the homemade ones. We both liked that. Next time I will be making my cake pops bigger.

3. We both agreed that the homemade cake pops were richer and sweeter than Starbucks’ cake pops. Jeff didn’t think that was better or worse, just different. I thought that was worse. I enjoy Starbucks’ cake pops more because it’s not so rich and sweet. The outer shell is already sweet, so I thought it would be fine – in fact better – if the insides were not so sweet too. I think the richness and sweetness is due to the frosting, so next time I will try an alternative to the frosting to make the dough stick. What that alternative is, I’m not sure. But I’m willing to experiment!

4. I think I will now stop talking about our unnatural obsession with studying cake pops.

I can’t wait to keep experimenting with these. What is your experience with cake pops?

March 8, 2011

That’s What She Baked: Malt Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the best cookies to come out of my kitchen. And there has not been one person who has tried it that has not loved it. And I know they weren’t just being nice! How do I know? Well…I don’t know, I guess they could be really good at acting…but whatever, they liked it!

They are not my cookie recipe though. They are none other than Pioneer Woman’s Malt Chocolate Chip Cookies. And I didn’t change one thing about it because I’m a firm believer in: don’t change what’s not broken!!!

And let me tell you, these cookies are most definitely not broken…

I love these cookies so much that they were the subject of conversation that I chose to bring up to Pioneer Woman when she was here a few weeks ago. We had a little bonding moment over them. And her tiramisu (go make this ASAP too!).

Love her! And her cookies.

The secret to these cookies is that instead of wet milk, you use malted milk. And that makes all the difference in the world.

I love the flavor of malted milk. It’s not overwhelming and if no one were to tell me that there’s malted milk in these cookies, I might not know it. But I would know that there is something unique about them and a wonderful milki-ness to them. Of course, this scenario has never happened so it’s all hypothetical what I would’ve thought, but lets just say that’s what would happen…

Not only are these cookies so ridiculously yummy, but they’re really easy too! PW does suggest sifting the dry ingredients, and honestly sifting is one of my favorite things to do!

I do have a traditional sifter. You know — one of those sifters with the crank on the side? But I enjoying sifting with this kind of sieve 100%¬†more. It’s much more fuss-free and so much fun!

I usually use a cookie scooper to scoop out the dough onto the pan.

Now, don’t make the same mistake as me in the above photo. I forgot how much these cookies spread (which is what I adore about these cookies!) and this really should have been 2 columns of cookies instead of 3. I quickly learned after the first batch and switched it up to 2 columns.

And, if it were up to me, this cookie sheet would’ve gone into the oven straight like this, but since Jeff probably would’ve killed me for skipping the chocolate chips, I compromised by putting 4 on each one. The actual recipe says to fold 1 whole bag of chocolate chips into the batter!!! If you love chocolate (like Jeff) by all means, do that!

I really like this method though because there’s no chance the chocolate chips will end up at the bottom of the cookie and melting onto the sheet. And instead of a whole bag of chocolate chips, I probably used 1/4 a bag…if even that!

And just 10 minutes in the oven, and you’ll get the most perfect cookie:

They’re thin, chewy, and absolutely perfect even days later! If you want to make a definite crowd pleasing cookie, head over to The Pioneer Woman’s blog and make her cookies!

You won’t regret it. =)

Nutritional Information for 1 cookie: 140 calories, 6g fat, 4g saturated fat, 56mg sodium, 19g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 12g sugar, 2g protein

P.S. that’s what she baked is a series for recipes that are completely followed to the T and I find no reason for changing! i have a whole slew of recipes that I’d love to try and when I make something for the first time, I usually like to follow the recipe as is. And if the recipe is perfect, I see no reason to tinker with it!