Saturday, May 12, 2012

A quick recipe, a few tips, and an apology.

I again, suck. I haven't posted anything for close to four months, and for that, I am sorry! I have been baking away, working away and planning away!

Weddings are not fun. I don't know who decided that all this stress was something every girl should want to go through, but it's lame. Seriously. 
I always thought my wedding would be an event. Lots of my friends and family, big poofy off the shoulder gown, a bridal party of no less than six, and tons of food.

That is not how this is ending up to be. I have a guest list that is pretty average, it would of been bigger but unfortunately there is a TON of people I was unable to invite because of space and budget. Please tell me how much it sucks when I want everyone there, and only 100 people will fit in the hall! >_< My dress, while GORGEOUS, is quite simple. No big poofy mess that would cause me to hold my pee all night in fear of messing up the dress. My bridal party? One. My best friend is my maid of honor, and that's it. 

Oh, but we're still having tons of food. No worries there.

So during this craziness that is planning this wedding, I have been working. I love working, I love the people I work with, so to thank them for being so incredibly awesome to me, I bake. Well, like I always do...

So recently I made these adorable and yummy little cheese cakes! They were SO easy to whip up and (since it was incredibly hot out that day) I didn't need my oven!


1 8oz block cream cheese
1 8oz tub cool whip (thawed)
1 11oz box Nilla Wafers
1 tub strawberries (or fruit of your choice)
mini muffin tins**

(**Use aluminum! the filing doesnt stick as bad))


Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy (about two minutes)
Start by folding in the cool whip to get it incorporated a bit
Once cool whip is incorporated, beat on low about 30 seconds
Your filing is done!

Take your mini muffin tins and line them up on a baking sheet. 
Place one Nilla wafer in the tin, flat side down.
Once all your tins are lined, put a small dollop of the filling in each cup. You can also pipe it in until it looks about full. 

Wash and chop us your fruit to whatever size you prefer and put it on top. 
Keep them refrigerated!! And keep them in there about an hour before you serve them, giving them some time to stiffen up. 

See what did I tell you? Super simple.
I also have a few newer tips I would like to let you all know! I really have been baking a lot, and I've been learning quite a few different things..

Know thy frosting: Learn when it's the best to use for different things. If it's super thick and stiff, it's perfect for holding up on elaborate designs. If it's a little looser, use it for basic coverage.

Every oven bakes differently: Have you ever baked over at someone elses house for them? I recently did this, and it was horrible. Ovens are like people. Every single one is completely different. So when your mom asks you to bake a cake, or a friend wants something special for their birthday and you have to use their kitchen, don't be overly frustrated. Just know that it may not bake the same as it does at home. Make a test batch first!

Find a good basic recipe: Obviously, I am extremely partial to yellow cake being a base recipe. You can add things to make it chocolate, or take away to make white. Whatever you choose to be a basic recipe for you, KNOW IT. And know it well.

Don't over beat!: It is CRUCIAL to beat your ingredients for the listed time. That two minutes will make your batter beautiful, fall short by a mere thirty seconds, and you have lumpy cake. But just as important as it is to beat sufficiently, your cakes (and frosting) will go horribly wrong if you over beat it!

It's a science.: Just because Martha Stewart and Paula Deen doesn't always use a measuring cup, doesn't mean that you should follow in their foot steps. Baking is a science. An exact science to be honest. You mess up your batter with an eighth of a teaspoon too much of baking powder and you've totally ruined your cakes. Please take caution and use a measuring cup!

Well there you have it!
Happy Mother's Day to all the ladies who are moms!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I am such a slacker!

So I suck.
Sorry, it's taken me FOREVER to post again. Hope everyone had a great christmas and new years? I did! No, I didn't get my stand mixer D: But, I did get a baby cakes maker from my mom, and it came with this great little recipe book :]

Also, I started a new job a couple of weeks ago. I finally decided I was sick of being broke and having to ask jeremy to pay for my things, so I work at Pizza Hut now, which is actually a lot of fun :]

Speaking of Jeremy...
We're finally getting married :D So between work, cleaning, and planning for this wedding... I haven't had much time to bake. Although, I baked my ass off at christmas :]

So with that being said, I don't have any new recipes to post again. Don't look at me like that, I'm sorry!

BUT I'll leave you with some extra tips to make your baking extra delicious...

1. If you're using a box cake mix (especially chocolate) and wanna keep it moist and spruce up the flavor::
-The BEST chocolate mix is Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge- can't go wrong with that.
-Wanna add a little extra oompf? Throw a couple of tablespoons of chocolate frosting (I use Pillsbury chocolate fudge) in the microwave and then pour it into the batter, make sure you mix the batter really well when you put it in.
-The frosting added will make the batter SUPER thick, so you wont get as many cupcakes out of it, but it still makes a decent cake.

2. When using ANY box mixed cake mix, be SURE to mix the ingredients for the time on the box. I know a lot of the time, we get lazy and if it looks mixed enough, we stop. DON'T. Mixing it the right way for the right amount of time makes a HUGE difference.

3. I get a lot of compliments on my frostings. That's definitely one thing I can bang out pretty well. Want some advice?
- DON'T use the crisco-butter ratio for butter cream. Especially if it's hot out. The butter will melt, and the criso will stay, so it causes your frosting to separate.
- Instead, try using Light Corn Syrup. 2 sticks of butter, a tablespoon of milk, 1 tsp of vanilla, and 4 cups of powdered sugar.
Mix the butter, vanilla and milk until creamy. Scrape the bowl, add powdered sugar, mix until JUST mixed, then scrape the bowl again and keep mixing. Once it's all combined, add a tablespoon or two of corn syrup. It'll help thin it out and bind it together, keeping it from separating.
- Don't be afraid to play around with frosting. Add some different flavorings, try piping some cool designs or try changing the thickness around. Frostings can be very forgiving and usually it's what makes the cake so good!

4. I know I've mentioned this before, but if you're using a yellow cake mix, Add a drop or two of butterscotch oil. It really brings out the flavor of the cake, but be careful not to add too much!

5. Another mix you can play with? White cake.
-Instead of using eggs and oil, try using a can of your favorite soda.
-Try different extracts- Peppermint, almond, and banana all work well. (especially with chocolate frosting.)
-Add fun little sprinkles to the mix!

6. Making chocolate chip cookies?
-I've found that using the mini chocolate chips (bittersweet) are the BEST! You get chocolate in every bite!
-Instead of using tons of brown sugar, try using a little molasses and half the brown sugar. This will give your cookies a warmer and chewier taste.
-Add all sorts of chips, not just chocolate! Heath bar, peanut butter, and white chocolate work really well with the bitter sweet chips.

7. Don't be afraid to experiment a little! Sometimes you find the best recipes by tweaking and playing with the base line of the one you have!

8. Find a guinea pig! Find someone who will be honest with you about your goodies, and feed them every time you make something new. They'll tell you whether or not it's good. Then, try to figure out how to fix it or make it better!

Hopefully some of this will help you on your baking endeavors! :]