Vanilla rhubarb ice cream

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Yesterday Maui and I made ice cream together! I was so excited to make ice cream again. I found out she hadn’t seen Labyrinth (imagine) so we watched that while we waited for the ice cream to finish.

Before you get started: These instructions are written for using a Kitchen Aid ice cream maker. You need to freeze the bowl at least 24 hours in advance, and make the base of the ice cream the day before.

Yields: 16 servings of approx 120 mL (½ cup) per serving

Ingredients:

  • 590 mL Half and Half (2½ cups)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 200 g granulated white sugar (1 cup)
  • 590 mL Heavy Cream 35% (2½ cups)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scrapped
  • 0.5 g salt (⅛ tsp)
  • 200 g chopped rhubarb (2 cups) + 25 g white sugar (2 tbsp)

Instructions:

1. In a sauce pan on Medium, heat the Half and Half until it’s steaming but not boiling. Stir often. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In mixing bowl, whip the yolks and sugar until just combined.

3. Gradually add the heated mix to the sugar, (I used a strainer since a skim developed). Once all the hot mixture has been added and the mixture is combined, return it to the sauce pot.

4. Add the vanilla bean to the pot.

5. Cook on Medium until small bubbles form at the edge and mixture steams, don’t boil it.

6. Transfer to mixing bowl with a spout  (I strained it again), stir in whipping cream and salt. Using a bowl with a spout is the best thing you can do since you’ll be pouring this into a moving mixer later which you cannot stop as you pour.

7. Cover and chill overnight.

8. Half an hour before you’re ready to start the ice cream, turn the rhubarb into jam-like consistency. Put the chopped fruit and the sugar in a sauce pan, heat on Medium for a bit until it starts to break down, then keep on Low until it’s pulpy, stirring often. Once the fruit is broken down, set it aside.

9. Time to churn ice cream! Put the drive assembly in place and set the dasher into the frozen bowl. Turn mixer on to Speed 1 BEFORE you add the cooled mixture. Churn at least 20 minutes until the machine makes a clicking noise.

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Churn it up!

10. Spoon the rhubarb into the ice cream and stir a bit more.

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11. Store in air-tight container and freeze.

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Enjoy!

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Verdict:

Delicious!  I will add an extra cup of rhubarb next time, since I can’t see much pink in the ice cream. I can taste it but I was envisioning striations of fruit through the ice cream which didn’t really happen.

I will also churn the ice cream for longer, I found that the bottom of the bowl was still soupy and hadn’t firmed up.  That fixes itself once you freeze it, but to enjoy it right away I think you do need to churn it longer, or maybe risk stopping the bowl and using a spatula to scrape it up from the bottom?  I don’t know. Last time I stopped the bowl while ice cream making everything immediately froze to the side of the bowl.

Raspberry cranberry muffins

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I am so glad my friend Mary turned me on to muffins for breakfast. SO DELICIOUS.

This recipe was adapted from Cat Can Cook’s amazing banana muffin recipe.

Time required: 30 min

Yields: 12

Cost per muffin: 45 cents

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $46

Ingredients:

  • 25 g Splenda
  • 2 eggs
  • 76 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 oz water
  • 188 g flour
  • 5 g baking powder
  • 5 g baking soda
  • 0.5 g Half Salt or salt
  • 150 g frozen raspberries
  • 150 g frozen cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 176°c / 350°f. Generously grease the muffin tin.
  2. In a mixer, combine all wet ingredients (except the fruit).
  3. In a new bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  4. Gradually add dry to wet.
  5. Add the fruit. If you want blue muffins like me, beat the batter until it turns bright pink. Spoon into muffin tin.
  6. Bake 24 min and transfer to baking rack.

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Verdict:

I love this muffin recipe!! It’s so versatile, it makes fantastic banana muffins, blueberry muffins, and now these. I am in heaven.

 

Chocolate protein one-bite brownies

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Experiment # 2 was a success. I took a recipe posted to the Dr. Poon page called Phase 1 “Poonified” protein chocolate cupcakes by Cintia P. and made a few tweaks.

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Before you get started: I’m working with carbalose flour to reduce the net carbs in my baked goods. I used vanilla protein powder because I’ve got a 2 lb jar of the stuff and I don’t like it, and baking with it seemed like a good way to use it up.

Yields: 20

Cost per brownie: 13 cents

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $71.22

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175°c / 350°f and put paper liners into mini muffin tin.
  2. Beat egg, vanilla, and half of the water. Reserve remaining water.
  3. Combine dry ingredients. Pour into wet, half at time.20160604_100319
  4. Mix in remaining water and stir until combined.
  5. Pour into muffin tin, filling about three quarters. 20160604_101021
  6. Bake 12 min then cool on rack. 20160604_102941

Verdict: These were very easy to make and I’m pleased with the flavour and consistency. The outer layer of the brownie stuck to the liner.

I think they’d be much better with chocolate protein powder, but I like drinking the chocolate so I’m stuck using the vanilla to get rid of it.  I might add double the amount of cocoa power perhaps.

So far baking with Carbquik seems easy and it’s a nice challenge to find recipes and adapt things to the Dr. Poon lifestyle.

Vegan banana muffins, experiment # 2

I didn’t set out to make a vegan muffin. It just happened during the course of testing out ingredient substitutions.  This muffin had some improvements over the previous effort, the inside was a lot closer to a regular muffin than the 1st healthy banana muffin experiment.  But I’ve discovered something disheartening during these substitution tests.

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An ingredient that reduces calories will up the sodium or the fat, or an ingredient to replace dairy will raise the values I’m trying to lower.  It seems you can have one or the other, but not both.  (Not that I’ve tried everything, but based on my experiments so far, when something goes down, something else goes up.)  It’s rather annoying.

These new muffins weight in at:

nutrition

This is still much better than a muffin from a fast food restaurant, but it has more calories, fat, carbs, sodium, and sugar than it’s non-vegan predecessor.  Wuah!

Before you get started: There’s a thorough explanation on substituting flaxseeds for egg whites on this great resource Vegan Baking.

Time required: 30 min

Yields: 12

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients:  $45-ish

Cost per muffin: 52 cents

Ingredients:

  • 4 large bananas
  • 188 grams organic sprouted spelt flour
  • 25 grams granulated Splenda
  • 60 grams red palm oil + 4 oz water
  • 5 grams baking powder
  • 4 grams pure vanilla extract
  • 10 g ground flax seed + 1.5 oz warm water

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 176°c or 350°f.  Grease the muffin tin well.

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2. Whisk warm water into the flaxseed and let stand 10 min.  It will turn into sludge. Yummy!

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3. Meanwhile mash the bananas, then beat in the Splenda, red palm oil, water, and vanilla.  Once the flaxseed sludge is ready, add it to the wet mixture and beat until combined.

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Wowzers this looks vile.

4. In a seperate bowl, stir the baking powder into the spelt flour, then add gradually to wet mixture.

5. Bake 24-26 minutes. Tah-dah!

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Verdict:

Loved these.  The consistency isn’t overly chewy like last time.  There’s a very slight graininess to them, which I suspect is the flaxseed.  The muffins rose quite high in the oven and collapsed to hockey puck height when they came out.

I let them sit out overnight and in the morning, the outside was firm but not hard, the inside was still moist.  This was definitely a muffin that impressed more when it was oven-fresh, but still good the next day.

I don’t foresee making them this way again due to the calorie and fat content. They were really good though!

Do you know of any ingredient substitutes that improve the nutritional values?

Raspberry…danish-like thing

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Huh.  In my head this looked different.  I was bored and curious what would happen if I shoved a fruit and cream cheese filling into phyllo pastry and didn’t even pretend to arrange it nicely?  Would it collapse?  Would it leak everywhere?  For science.

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Made a filling of cream cheese, greek yogurt, sugar, fresh lemon, and egg yolk.  Threw on some frozen berries I’ve been trying to get rid of for ever.  Gave absolutely no fucks as I “folded” the pastry.

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Bake!

As it turns out, phyllo will stay slightly upright!  The centre was wobbly like a jellyfish.  I let it sit for 10 min and drizzled icing over it.  It didn’t taste horrible, but definitely not great. Way too much filling.  Looked like a hot mess haha!

It did turned out more edible than I predicted, but I definitely would not do this again.  For something thrown together in 10 minutes on a whim I’m satisfied.  I suppose one has to bother with all the little knife cuts and the elegant folds.  Eheu.

Devil’s food cupcakes with chocolate buttercream

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So these were delicious, if not quite as expected. I’ve made these before and went for the double chocolate experience this time. I skipped most of the pictures for this one since I’ve done it previously.

The cake and frosting recipe are included in Good Housekeeping Chocolate!: Favorite Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Puddings & Other Sublime Desserts which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca and one day I swear I’m going to test every frosting recipe inside.

As usual, go big or go home. I used Callebaut Belgian chocolate for this.

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Time required: 2 hours

Yields: hopefully 24 cupcakes

Cost per cupcake: $2.16

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $42-$52 depending on the quality of vanilla extract and the chocolate

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • KitchenAid mixer
  • incorrectly sized-muffin tin! (don’t do this)

Cake ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 C unsweetened cocoa
  • 1½ TSP baking soda
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ½ C unsalted butter (one stick), room temp
  • 1 C golden brown sugar, packed
  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 1½ TSP vanilla extract
  • 1½ C buttermilk  (or add 1 TBSP of vinegar to regular milk, stir and let sit)

Frosting ingredients:

  • 2 C icing sugar
  • 1 C butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 3 TBSP milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet Belgian chocolate, chopped

Cake instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 177°C / 350°F. Place cupcake liners in trays.

2. In a medium bowl combine: flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl at low speed, beat: butter, brown sugar, and white sugar, until blended. Increase speed to high: beat 5 min until it’s light and fluffy.

4. Reduce speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time.

5. Beat in vanilla.

6. Add the dry mixture and buttermilk alternating like so: half of the flour, all the buttermilk, and the rest of the flour. After each addition beat until just combined. Scrape the sides a few times and make sure the batter is smooth.

7. Bake about 18 minutes for full-size cupcakes or 14-15 min for minis. A toothpick inserted should come out clean.

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UGH WHY!! Not again. What the hell is this? This is what happens when you use a small muffin tin instead of the right size pan. Ugh.

8. Let cupcakes cool in pan one minute before removing from pan and placing on rack.  Cool before frosting. Judiciously select which ones to use in final photo.

Frosting instructions:

1. On low heat melt the chopped chocolate, stirring occasionally, then set aside to cool 5 min.

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2. Beat together until smooth: icing sugar, butter, milk, vanilla.

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3. Add chocolate and keep beating until well-combined. Beat on High about 2 min.

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Scrape down the bowl every 30 seconds.

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It lightens up quite a bit.

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Verdict:

I love this devil’s food recipe, it’s delicious. There are lots of ways to frost it and this is my first go at chocolate buttercream. It tasted great. I was surprised how soft this frosting was, it’s not runny, but it’s not suitable for piping. It is delicious however.

I’m not sure what happened to my cupcake pans, must have misplaced them in the move. This muffin tin is too shallow. I was conscious of not over-filling them and they still went kaboom.

I’ve been toying with the idea of reverse-engineering a Joe Louis for awhile and this frosting consistency has convinced me I can do it. Stay tuned.

Playlist:

Type O Negative – Love You to Death

 

Washington Pie

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I made Washington Pie for my mother’s birthday, which is a frosted yellow cake with a jam filling (shares traits with Boston cream pie). My Nanny used to make it and it’s been a long time since we’ve had it. I figured nostalgia would gloss over any technical errors on my part. This was served partially raw and uh, note the ratio of frosting to cake in the centre is not same on the outside edge? More on that later.

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This recipe comes the red and white Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, but I’m not sure which edition, ours doesn’t have it but Mom’s did.

Working in a different kitchen is always weird. I got to use the Onyx Black KitchenAid, which is just as reliable as my precious Nemo (if not quite as beautiful). I’m not used to this oven and that may have contributed to one of the problems with this cake.

Time required: 2 hours

Yields: 12 slices

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $45

Cost per slice: $3.75

Kitchen implements I used:

  • KitchenAid mixer
  • two 9″ round pans

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ C white sugar
  • 2¼ C cake flour
  • 1 C white sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅓ C vegetable oil
  • 1 C milk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 TBSP pure strawberry or raspberry jam

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 176°C / 350°F. Grease and flour two 9″ rounds.

2. Separate the eggs, put the whites into the mixing bowl and put the yolks into a small bowl for later.

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Beat the whites until soft peaks form (when you remove the beater they’ll sink down).

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3. Gradually add ½ C sugar, beating until very stiff peaks form (you remove the beater and see little mountains of foam that stay upright).

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4. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Having a second mixing bowl saves you a lot of time.

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5. Add: vegetable oil, vanilla, and half the milk to the dry ingredients. Beat 1 min on Medium, scrap sides 3 times. (If I had a DeLorean, I’d have used the bowl with higher sides, since this led to a face full of wet cake and that is as vile as it sounds.)

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6. Add remaining milk and yolks. Beat 1 min, scrape sides 3 times.

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I always enjoy watching one of these in action. I realize they all do exactly the same thing but I will just happily observe for awhile.

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7. Unless you made a colossal error you should have two bowls like so:

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Gently fold the egg white mixture into 2nd bowl, turn the bowl and use a down, up, over motion

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You don’t want to stir it like crazy.

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You want it to look like this.

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8. Divide batter into pans, bake 25 min.

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9. Ask Spousal Unit to remove the cake from the oven and test. Believe that toothpick test was successful. Cool in pan 10 min before removing from pan and transferring to wire rack. Well damn. That’s not supposed to happen.

“Did you test the middle?”

“Yup, it came out clean.”

“Why is the middle raw then?”

“I don’t know.”

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Throw back in for another 5 min and pray.

10. Cool one hour.

11. Speed to birthday party. Position one cake so that the rounded side is facing down and you have a flat surface. That was the plan anyway. This cake has no true flat surface.

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12. Place a few tablespoons of jam in a glass bowl and microwave 40 seconds, spread warm jam over the flat cake surface.

13. Place the second cake on top (again round side down) so you have a flat surface to frost. What the hell went wrong here??

14. Cram frost with vanilla buttercream. I didn’t get a picture of the completed cake but the frosting hid the majority of the gaps. This picture is not the most appetizing but it was good. The centre of the cake was… not ideal, but the outer edge was bang on. See how much frosting is in the centre as opposed to the edge? Oh well. Good thing I love buttercream frosting.

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Verdict:

Never trust someone else to take your cake out of the oven. That’s what I learned from this experience. At least Mom was happy and that’s what counts. Next time I’ll try lining the pans with parchment paper.

Playlist:

Buckethead – White Wash

Cinnamon streusel coffee cake

I love coffee cake. Especially Starbucks’ coffee cake. I found this recipe and tried it out, and it’s delicious. I screwed it up and did it backwards but it still turned out marvelous!

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Time required: 1 hour

Yields: uh, it’s hard to tell cause it’s round, a fair amount?

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $62

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Kitchen implements I used:

  • Nemo the Kitchen Aid
  • two 9″ round pans
  • tin foil

INGREDIENTS:

Streusel topping:

  • ⅔ C granulated white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ C flour
  • ½ TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 C dark brown sugar
  • 1½ TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Cake:

  • ¾ C butter, softened
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ C granulated white sugar
  • ⅓ C golden brown sugar
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coffee extract
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1¼ C milk
  • 3¾ C flour

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 176°C or 350°F. Line pan with foil and grease it.

2. Make topping; in a bowl combine sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add melted butter, stir and set aside.

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3. Make filling; in a bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder, and set aside.

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WTF. Okay, next time check if your brown sugar has solidified. Toss a piece of bread in and hope for the best. We’ll come back to this later.

4. Make the cake; this is where I screwed up. You’re suppose to cream everything except the flour and eggs together. I put all the dry ingredients plus flour together first. Ooops. Then add the eggs one at a time.

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5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt and milk till well combined, don’t worry if it’s lumpy.

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6. Add half the flour (hah) to butter mixture, half the milk, repeat. Beat til just combined. Get a face shot of milk when the mixer goes crazy.

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7. Spread half the batter into the pans. Shake it to even it out.

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8. Sprinkle the filling on top.

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9. Add the rest of the batter.

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10. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.

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11. Use a butter knife and swirl it through, don’t worry about being even.

12. Bake 55 min if using 2 rounds (or 55-60 if a 9 x 13).
When it’s done, if you lightly press on the top it will spring back up.

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13. Leave in pan, place on wire rack for 20 min to cool before slicing.

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Verdict: This was great. I didn’t realize how much sugar was in coffee cake. Also surprised by the high cost of ingredients. You could omit the coffee extract but I wanted to try it. I’d use more of that next time, and I’d check the brown sugar first and soften it ahead of time. Chipping out brown sugar like you’ve got a pickaxe is lame.

Playlist:

Corey Hart – Sunglasses at Night

“If you want to conquer the world, you best have dragons.”

These didn’t come out quite as intended but they were delicious any way. I wanted to make Mini Egg cookies for Easter, and a test run was needed. (I was surprised how easily Boyfriend Unit accepted this flimsy excuse as justification to add a jumbo bag of Mini Eggs to the grocery list, but there you have it.) On a whim I dyed them green because I thought they would look cuter, like dino eggs in grass.

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Except now that I’m more awake, I remember that dinosaurs roamed before grass covered the ground, which I learned from the making-of features in Walking with Dinosaurs. Whatever. The grass effect is artistic. Moving right along.

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Time required: 1 hour

Yields: 24?

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $40

Cost per cookie: $1.70

Ingredients:

  • 1 C butter, softened
  • 1 C brown sugar, packed
  • ½ C white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 2 C white flour + 1 C cake flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • drop of kelly green fondant colouring
  • 1 C of Mini Eggs (do not use “Eggies” they are not the same)

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat to 176° C / 350°F.

2. Beat the butter until it’s fluffy. When Boyfriend Unit comes to photograph for me I will always give a thumbs up. Cause I am a very cheesy person.

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3. Before you add the eggs, beat them (one at a time) in a small cup, then pour in, and blend. Hmm. Something’s not right here. Attempt to cream the sugar now and fail miserable.

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Cheer on glorious mixer, spin like a hurricane! (Yes, I really talk to my appliance, in exactly that tone.)

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4. Hmmm, actually it seems salvageable now. Meanwhile…

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… combine the dry ingredients (both flours, baking soda, baking power, salt), give it a stir, and then add it to the wet in thirds.

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Struggle to mix it. Nemo started to make a chugging sound, this dough was very thick.

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5. Almost add the eggs. Change your mind.

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Add fondant colouring instead.

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6. Introduce your dragons! Giggle like a fool.

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7. Bake 12-15 min, checked at 10 but too jiggly, gave them another 2-3 min. Cool on rack a few min and consume hot.

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Verdict:

Hmm. These are pretty good! And fun to make. I wasn’t sure how a Mini Egg would hold up to being baked in the oven, they still had the snap when you bit into them although the shells cracked in the oven.

“He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.”

I intended to cream the sugar into the butter before adding the eggs but I forgot. I’m not sure yet how these feel or taste after cooling, I only made 4 to test them.

I added cake flour to regular flour because I’ve had cake flour sitting around forever not doing anything with it and was curious how it would affect texture. It gave the cookies a nice consistency. I think I will tinker a bit and add some more flavouring, maybe cardamom. Something spicy for dragon eggs. A cookie fit for a khaleesi.

Playlist: Lit – My Own Worst Enemy

Great Aunt Lucy’s tea biscuits

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I love tea biscuits. Most everyone in my family does. Perhaps it’s genetic. It’s dreadfully cold here and I thought Sunday would be improved greatly if we had a slow-cooked dinner with tea biscuits. Prior to rolling up my sleeves, I called Mom to inquire about some of the finer points of biscuit-making since this was new territory for me.

“Now hunni, it’s a very wet batter. And if it doesn’t work out, don’t get discouraged.”

“That sounds ominous. Are these really tricky?”

(insert pause)

“No… just… don’t get discouraged, that’s all.”

With that fateful prediction in mind I got to work.

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Time required: 1  hour

Yields: 9  (supposed to be 12)

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $24

Cost per biscuit: $2

Kitchen implements I used:

  • Nemo the KitchenAid
  • baking trays lined with parchment paper

Ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 TBSP white sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ C white shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C milk

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F / 204°C and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine the dry stuff. Now, if you have never run a stand mixer with only dry ingredients: DON’T. I forgot this crucial information.

3. Beat in the shortening until coarse crumbs form.

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4. Add beaten egg and milk, stir in with a fork.

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5. Turn batter onto floured surface. Get caught in the act of making mildly sorcerous hand gestures. WARNING. WARNING. Do not set wax paper on the surface. Put the flour right onto the cutting board or the counter top. Or you will be sorry.

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Puzzle over next part of the instructions.

6. Knead 20 times. Knead?

“Boyfriend, what does knead mean here? What do I do?”

“Um… it’s what the cat does when he sits on your lap, just try that.”

“Okay then!”

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7. Cut out biscuits with a roundish shape. I didn’t want another dish to clean so I didn’t do that, and tore off pieces by hand, and plopped them onto the trays.

8. Bake 10-14 minutes. I checked at 10, not done. Gave it 2 more minutes, 2 more, 2 more, and at 16 they finally had that golden edge.

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9. Remove from oven and immediately take off tray and transfer to cooling rack. Wait 5 min before eating.

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Very nice with a cup of tea. Or with dinner.

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Verdict: Success!  Thank you Aunt Lucy.

Playlist: Vampire Hunter D, OST