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  #101  
Old 06-21-2010, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Excellent! I still have time to drive down there for brownies!

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  #102  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Okay, the marbled brownies are in the oven. Now to wait at least 60 minutes and probably moar on account of it's a double recipe.

You guys seriously, baking is such a gigantic pain in the ass. I'm sweating, painted in various batters, and anxious as a motherfucker. I don't know how the June Cleavers of the world managed to do this every day, and with coiffed hair no less. That ozone-devouring AquaNet shit has gotta be made out of horse's hooves.
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  #103  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:30 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

In constructive news, the batter was soooo much silkier with the chocolate than with the all-cocoa brownies. The next time I make the cocoa brownies I might try melting the butter and cocoa together in the double boiler first, and then adding the sugar after I take it off the heat. The sugar doesn't melt anyway because it needs a lot more heat than a bowl in an inch of barely simmering water can produce, and it makes things slower and harder to stir.

Tonight's brownies added the sugar after you take the melted butter and chocolate out of the pan. The texture after I did that was grainy like the cocoa brownies when I take them off the heat, so I'm thinking there may be no point to the sugar in the double boiler up front.
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  #104  
Old 06-21-2010, 03:14 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

I wish it wasn't so cool that I could dry strawberries, make strawberry cake and biscuits all in one day. I still have my hoodie on indoors, too.

Biscuits, not that you asked.

1/2 cup butter divided
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450║
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a baking pan, sift dry ingredients, blend in 4 tablespoons of butter until it looks like coarse cornmeal. Make a hole in the middle, pour in buttermilk, stir lightly then knead a few times. Roll out into about an inch thick, cut out biscuits. Dip tops into butter then bake 12-15 minutes.

For sweeter biscuits add one tablespoon sugar.
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  #105  
Old 06-21-2010, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

I've never made rolled biscuits. I are :chicken:. I also genuinely love the rugged texture of the drop biscuit.

So the brownies are cooling. I ended up cooking them about an hour and a half. Two things I can tell you off the bat I'll do differently next time: 1) make a layer of the cream cheese mixture instead of dollops, and 2) swirl less. The dolloped areas sink a little lower than the rest of the brownie on account of the brownie batter has a leavening agent, and the top has a pretty marble pattern but it's not white and brown so much as brown and lighter brown.
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  #106  
Old 06-21-2010, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Drop biscuit? Do tell.
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  #107  
Old 06-21-2010, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Here ya go.
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  #108  
Old 06-21-2010, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Verdict: they're a little overdone. Not much, like 5 minutes maybe, but enough so that the end pieces are a little dry. They're super tall and handsome and tangy and delicious in every other way.
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  #109  
Old 06-21-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

:cheer:

Dry ends are why god made milk!

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  #110  
Old 07-01-2010, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

I'm psyched because I modified a recipe of mom's and it came out really great. Since it's pretty much the only baking I really remember from my wayward youth, I actually felt comfortable modifying it right away instead of trying it the standard way first.

They're called Karithata and they're a very basic wedding cookie kind of deal made with butter, sugar and ground nuts. My modifications were to add a couple of hints of chocolate, a dash of cinnamon and to dry toast the pecans before grinding them. They added a surprising depth of flavor to a lovely basic cookie.

As much as I loved being able to produce tasty brownies, these are definitely my proudest baking accomplishment so far.

Chocolate Karithata

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped, toasted and then ground
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
about 3 squares bittersweet chocolate, cut into 4 dozen raisin-sized bits

Coating
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder

With a an electric mixer beat butter until light and fluffy. Add 3/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar and cream together. You could do it by hand with a wooden spoon, but I were lazy.

Combine flour, salt and nuts (if using) in a separate bowl. Mix in 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in vanilla.

Shape the dough into a rounded mound, cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour (or as long as 2 days).

Heat the oven to 350 degrees░.

Scoop up two half spheres of dough with a teaspoon, place chocolate chunk in the middle of one half and place the other half on top. Pinch the edges together, roll the disks together into a ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (Silpat is your friend, but they won't stick even without a Silpat) an inch apart.

If you don't have a round teaspoon, you want to make balls that are an inch in diameter, so just grab what looks like a half-inch hunk of dough, add the chocolate chunk to the middle, the grab and another half-inch hunk and roll together. I used the teaspoon method because I completely blow at eyeballing measurements.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until they're set on top and golden-amber on the bottom. The color will just have begun to be visible as it creeps up the bottom to the sides.

Put the coating sugar in a shallow bowl. Add in the cocoa and mix thoroughly.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheet until you can just handle them, 5 minutes or so. Roll each cookie in the coating mixture and put on rack to finish cooling. Try to handle them as little as possible, because the heat of the cookie melts the chocosugar so it forms this delicious skin which easily peels off onto your fingers. I shoved them around with a spatula.

Once cool, roll them in the sugar mixture again and try to refrain from double-fisting them 6 at a time.

Makes just about 3 dozen. My teaspoon method produced exactly 3 dozen and 2 cookies.
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  #111  
Old 07-01-2010, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

I've probably said it before, but baking is more chemistry than anything else. So the accurate measurements are important in baking, far more so than in other types of cooking. I find baking comforting because I simply have to read and follow directions, have an accurate understanding of my oven's heating behavior, and I can come up with delicious foods. To me, all other cooking is a loosey-goosey, if it tastes good, it's right, sort of activity. Techniques matter more than measuring quantities.

I was wondering, did any of you folks take home ec (home economics) in school? We had that in jr high, and I learned basic cooking theory and methods there. It was a required course. I wonder if they have that sort of thing nowadays.
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  #112  
Old 07-01-2010, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Yep, as a freshman (so.. 1999-2000 school year). Half the semester was cooking, the other half was learning to sew and money management.
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  #113  
Old 07-01-2010, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Home ec was not offered at my school. I learned the rudiments of cooking by osmosis when I was a kid but didn't really start cooking for real real until after college.
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  #114  
Old 07-01-2010, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

We had home ec in middle school (7th grade IIRC) as part of a 4 piece program. 1 unit (quarter) of home ec, health and 2 other subjects that completely escape me at the moment.

Home Economics included cooking and sewing. Yes I learned some sewing and can still sew on a button or a hem, by hand.
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  #115  
Old 07-26-2010, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

You guys, seriously. Seriously you guys. I made oatmeal raisin cookies only using dried blueberries instead of raisins. They're so stupid good they make oatmeal raisin cookies taste like Vegemite.
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  #116  
Old 07-26-2010, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

They're not bad using dried cranberries either.
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  #117  
Old 07-27-2010, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

I made a hazelnut cake this weekend. Lately I've gotten into entering Better Homes and Gardens monthly recipe contest. This month's categories are nut desserts and sausage - not together mind you, two different kinds of recipes. The cake turned out just as I wanted, except for all the nuts settling at the bottom.
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  #118  
Old 07-31-2010, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet View Post
(snip)The cake turned out just as I wanted, except for all the nuts settling at the bottom.

You should turn it over half way through cooking, then.


(this is stupid baking, right?)
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  #119  
Old 07-31-2010, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Coat them in flour.
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  #120  
Old 08-01-2010, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

[Tangent--Ed.]This thread is awesome. Every time I see the title with it makes me laugh, then there are great recipes :yum:[/Tangent--Ed.]

--J.D.
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  #121  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

I made several loaves of zucchini bread and a batch of chocolate chip cookies today. I really should have just cut out the middle man and made chocolate zucchini bread, which is awesome, but hindsight and all that.
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  #122  
Old 08-07-2010, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

I've heard about the flour coating thing. I will try it next time.
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  #123  
Old 08-08-2010, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

I'm making a quiche with Pate Brise pie crust, to use up all the eggs and broccoli I've got around the house.
My dad has been giving me about 24 eggs a week.
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  #124  
Old 08-08-2010, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Bought chicken pot pie (9") from Nettie's Bakery next door to Amish Cheese House in Chouteau, Oklahoma yesterday. Baked it at 350░F for 1-1/2 hours until crust was brown. It is simple, but heavenly. Their crust rivals that one perfect crust I made back in 1998.
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  #125  
Old 08-16-2010, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Stupid Baking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmion View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensign Steve View Post
Yay Walnuts! :cheer:
I prefer walnuts in my brownies. I always request chopped walnuts when I order a hot fudge sundae. I prefer them to peanuts.

I'm not sure but I think this is the same recipe my mother used for brownies. I know that she used Baker's unsweetened chocolate. I've never had brownies that I liked as much as my mother's.

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1910...226201,00.html
I'm more convinced than ever that my mother's brownies are the absolute best. I tried one of the Simply Divine Brownies and they're not divine at all. They're too gooey and they stick to your teeth. Try the recipe at the link above using the Baker's unsweetened chocolate. That's the only brownie that's worth eating.
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