Monday, June 25, 2012

Boredom hits the baker - prepare yourselves

So this is what happens when I, Sarah, get bored. Mike usually will ask what is wrong if I've been baking since I'm usually upset or in a mood to bake. There are times I bake for a reason but typically there are a few things that trigger a bit of a worry. The movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and random baking.

So this and last week I've been bored and I have also had to bake for a co-worker.

So a couple nights ago I made sugar cookies, of course I had run out of sugar. Great...didn't want to go to the store so I subbed brown sugar (light) for the white sugar. A little experimentation never hurt. These type of sugar cookies are meant to be chilled and cut out. I didn't care to go through that process (I do that once a year at Christmas time). So I just did drop sugar cookies.

As you can see I frosted them with a chocolate frosting. What you cannot see is that it is not just chocolate. It is a mocha frosting. I made a standard butter cream with cocoa powder to make it chocolaty and then added a little bit of instant coffee (I use Starbucks via, Colombian blend, since I have a crap load in my cupboard from working there for a year).

Here is the recipe:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, soft
1 cup sugar, white or light brown
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp milk

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder. Blend thoroughly. Chill in fridge for 1 hour. (or just drop by tablespoons on a greased baking sheet)

Once chilled roll out on floured surface with a floured rolling pin, to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out into desired shapes. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

OK, so there are those, I took them to work and left them on the coffee maker (our water cooler). I get to work at 8, these were gone by 9 and I had a note in the container asking for the recipe. Glad people enjoy them :)

So tonight I'm bored and a bit on the meh side so I came home, worked out and then proceeded to bake while NCIS is playing in the background. Aren't I exciting on a Monday night?

So I was looking through one of my cookbooks and found a "Peanut Butter Ball" recipe. Basically a buckeye for those that are familiar with those. Or as my co-worker Mai says "Peanut butter balls of death!"
Due to the sugar content. ;) At least the other recipe I used. This one doesn't make as many. About 30 balls.

This recipe comes from the "Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook 12th Edition."

Start to finish, according to the book, is 1 hour. However, if you have to run out to get ingredients to finish these "Peanut Butter Balls of Death" and beer bread, it's more like 2 hours.

1/2 cup peanut butter of your choice
3 Tbsp butter, soft
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
8 oz chocolate flavored candy coating (chocolate chips work too)

1. In a bowl stir together PB and butter. Gradually add powdered sugar, stirring until combined. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls; place on waxed paper (tin foil is what I used because I don't have waxed paper right now). Let stand for 20 minutes.

Sent this pic to Mike and all he said was "Yum"
He is visiting his parents for the week so no baked goodies for him 

2. In a heavy saucepan, melt candy coating over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Cool slightly. Dip balls, one at a time, into coating. Let excess drip off (use a fork, it's easier). Place balls on waxed paper. Let stand until firm. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

I sent this pic to Mike and he immediately started making jokes ;)

(per piece 92 calories, 6g fat. 32mg sodium, 9g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g protein)

Delicious, simple and super easy. Great for kids to help with if you want to bake/cook with your kids.

OK final thing I baked tonight/this week - so far.

Beer bread. I have, for whatever reason, an over abundance of beer in my fridge. People would bring it over and I already have beer and it just keeps coming. Ugh, I drink beer but not that much and Mike hates beer. Great mix there right? So let's make beer bread :)

Super simple recipe that my mother passed to me.

3 cups flour, sifted
3 tsp baking powder, sifted
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar, again I used brown because I'm cheap and haven't bought white sugar yet.
1/4 cup melted butter
1 - 12oz - can/bottle of beer (darker beer makes tastier bread)

Oven at 375 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients, sift flour. Add beer. Put in loaf pan. Pour butter on top for a crunchy crust or mix into batter for a softer crust.
Bake for 1 hour.
Cool for 15 minutes before turning out of pan.

I double this recipe and use a 9x13 pan sprayed really really well with PAM/Non stick spray. I also have an abundance of beer. So if you have beer and are trying to get rid of it, here you go. Quick, easy and soooo tasty!!

Mixing, using Bud Select - not a lot of flavor
Baked up :) I put butter in and on it, so tasty
- do it!!!
Perfect snack or breakfast or sandwich bread
- if you use a loaf style pan
So I have had a productive night I would say, I even made myself some dinner, yes I too cook - not just bake. Mike does a lot because I say he's better at it than I am. I like to cook too though.

Red, yellow and orange peppers, onion, garlic
 and sweet and smokey, I then added tomato
sauce and made it a BBQ style with the shrimp
Peeled and deveined shrimp and tails popped off
So busy night but productive. Now I think it's bed time for my burnt raccoon self. (I spent 6 hours in the pool outside in the 99 degree heat at a friends yesterday, Sunday) Guess I didn't put enough lotion on. It was hot but the water felt good. 

There will be more food this weekend with my grandmother coming to town. 75 yr old German lady cooking at my mothers huge kitchen. Yeah, there will be food! Get ready to loosen your belt Mike. 
Mike and the Hyvee guy say it's not so bad
You can just see the red arms and red face