Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Baking Groove~

In the last few weeks I have been baking more. My cornbread experience was just the start! It feels so good to be in the kitchen again with flour and a mixing bowl- knowing that unlike cooking- baking is about exacts and tweaking to get results that make you swoon. These are the recipes that were successful and will be added to the notebook I keep full of stained and destroyed printed out recipes. I am constantly touching my recipes with my baking hands all throughout the process and have come to cherish those stains and smile at them as evidence of the experience.

Sugar High Friday- Black-Bottom Cupcakes
Every Day with Rachael Ray
February 2007
Prep Time: 35 min Cook Time: 25 min

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper or foil baking cups. Using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add the egg and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, the baking soda and cocoa powder. Add 1 1/2 cups water, the oil, vinegar and vanilla and stir until smooth. Fill each baking cup two-thirds full with the cake batter and top with 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. Bake until the edges are firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.

* I added 2 tsp. of orange extract to jazz up the recipe and it resulted in a slight fun flavor. Maybe next time less vanilla and more orange? Also, I used Ghauridelli milk chocolate chips that I found at Cost Plus World Market- these are a little larger in size but the taste and quality is great for cooking. These are the cupcakes that I made for the blog event Sugar High Friday on Sept. 26th. My first attempt at homemade cupcakes and it was not more difficult then making cupcakes out of the box. The texture was definitely a little different but the result was very tasty.

Zucchini Bread
Yield2 loaves, 28 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
Cooking Light, APRIL 1996

2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Place zucchini on several layers of paper towels, and cover with additional paper towel. Let stand 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Set aside.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a large bowl, and stir well; make a well in center of mixture. Combine zucchini, applesauce, egg substitute, oil, and vanilla; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Divide batter evenly between 2 (7 1/2 x 3-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 128 (20% from fat)
Fat: 2.8g (sat 0.5g,mono 0.8g,poly 1.3g)
Protein: 1.9g
Carbohydrate: 23.9g
Fiber: 0.5g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 0.8mg
Sodium: 136mg
Calcium: 9mg

* I used 3 cups of zucchini in this recipe which was one LARGE zucchini from my mothers garden. I added about a tsp. of pumpkin pie spice to help the bread. My applesauce was made from pureed spiced apples that I purchase jarred at Trader Joe's. I found that the cup measurements before hand were about the same as after I processed the spiced apples in my mini food processor. Also, I used 2 8x5 pans instead so the time was about 45 minutes. The bread gets softer left overnight in saran wrap. It is great for breakfast and is a more heartier stiff bread vs. the moist moist Starbucks style kind.

Almost No Fat Banana Bread
READY IN 1 Hr 5 Min
Original recipe yield 1 - 8x4 inch loaf I

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg whites
1 cup banana, mashed
1/4 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add egg whites, bananas and applesauce; stir just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool before slicing.

*This bread is amazing. It is more than moist. I used 3 bananas and the same technique for the applesauce as I did with my zucchini bread. I also used 1/2 cup egg substitute instead of 2 egg whites. I have brought this bread for breakfast everyday this week and enjoyed my post workout cubicle snack. Watch out it is a little addicting. I have made this recipe in a 13x9 a couple years ago and remember it being very tasty in bar form- I am not sure of the the baking time I used though.

Cream Cheese Squares
Kraft Foods

2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Unroll 1 of the cans of crescent dough. Press onto bottom of greased 13x9-inch baking pan to form crust, firmly pressing seams together to seal.
Beat cream cheese, vanilla, egg and 1/2 cup of the sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Spread onto crust.
Unroll remaining can of crescent dough onto large sheet of wax paper. Pat out dough to form 13x9-inch rectangle, pressing seams together to seal. Invert over cream cheese mixture to form top crust; discard wax paper.
Bake 30 to 35 min. or until golden brown. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle over squares before cutting.

*I used reduced fat crescent rolls and 1/3 less fat cream cheese. I had a little trouble transferring the top layer and it got tangled in the cream cheese as it was placed- but the finished product turned out as expected. I was a little disappointed with the over browning. I baked it exactly 30 minutes and it was a little more deeply browned then I wanted. I made these cream cheese squares because my work is having a potluck and I did not have the time to be really consumed with making a dish. This recipe has been successful for me before so I thought to try it again. I will just have to wait and see what the feedback is this time.

1 comment:

Meg said...

So many yummy recipes! Thanks for sharing!