Dessert: Zucchini Muffins

Original Recipe: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/zucchini_muffins/

I normally don’t bake in the middle of the week, but I didn’t want the zucchini to go bad, so I decided to make some zucchini muffins on a Tuesday.

First, we need to use our cheese grater to grate all the zucchini that we have on hand.

I wish there was an easier way to grate them.

I had to use 6 small zucchini to make the 3 cups necessary for this recipe. I recommend doing this first because how much grated zucchini will have will determine how many muffins you make (if you want to maintain the right ingredient ratio).

After grating the zucchini, you need to remove all the water by putting itin a towel that you don’t care about, and squeeze all the water out of it. Then you can measure how much you still need. Luckily, I got the 3 cups necessary.

Not sure what to make of this…

Next, you need to add a couple of eggs into the bowl of your stand mixer.

Yep, I took a picture of this.

Then you need to measure your sugar. Luckily this recipe gives you the weight in grams of how much sugar you need.

I didn’t need to pull out the 1/3 cup measuring cup for this…

Add the sugar to the stand mixer and then add your 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

This mixture will mix better than just the eggs.

While this mixing is taking place, prepare your 1.5 sticks of butter. The butter doesn’t have to be at room temperature since you’re going to melt it in the microwave anyways.

I’m not really sure why I took a picture of butter.

Melt that in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Add your shredded zucchini to the stand mixer, followed by the melted butter.

Plop

Mix on low for about 2 minutes.

At this point, you will want to preheat your oven to 350F.

While the stand mixer is…well, mixing, prepare your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Start off with your 400 grams of flour.

I love exact measurements!

After the flour is weighed, add your baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg.

Yeah, just throw it in there…

Whisk it together.

Smells like…nutmeg…

Once the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, pour it onto a sheet of parchment paper. Also, attach the feeder cover for your stand mixer so the dry ingredients don’t go all over the place.

Ready for action!

As the stand mixer is on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the mix.

Forbidden guacamole…

While the ingredients are mixing in the stand mixer, prepare your muffin pan, and add some cupcake liners for good measure.

Why make your job difficult later when you can make it easy?

Fill all the cupcake liners with the zucchini dough.

Messy and tasty. Mesty?

Once the oven is ready, place these in the middle rack for 30 minutes. After the time has passed, check with a toothpick to make sure it’s clean.

The utter magnificence!

Let them cool off for about 10 minutes before taking pictures for your blog or social media.

Ready to serve!

Overall, this is a pretty simple recipe that you can make on impulse, as long as you have all the ingredients. You don’t really need to prep any ingredients ahead of time for this, so it works well if you’re in the mood for a different type of muffin. Plus, it’s very tasty, and they taste good with a bit of butter after being reheated.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup (270g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups packed grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 3/4 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your shredded zucchini with your cheese grater. After grating the zucchini, squeeze the water out of it with a towel you don’t care about. Place it in a small bowl and move to the side.
  2. Break open two eggs and place them in the stand mixer. Mix up the eggs.
  3. Add sugar and vanilla and mix on low for one minute.
  4. Melt your 1.5 sticks of butter and pour into the sand mixer.
  5. Add the grated zucchini and mix on low for about 2 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven for 350F.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg).
  8. Place the dry ingredients onto a sheet of parchment paper, and slowly feed into stand mixer while it is on low.
  9. While mixing, prepare a muffin tin and place your cupcake liners in it for easy cleanup afterwards.
  10. When all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, slowly fill the muffin tins with the mix.
  11. Place in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Ensure it is baked completely with a toothpick.
  12. Let sit for 10 minutes before eating.

Source

Dessert: Cookies & Cream Brownies

Original Recipe Here:
https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/cookies-cream-brownies/

This weekend, I decided to make brownies, but I wanted to do something different. I was in the mood for something along the lines of cookies and cream, and I wanted something with Oreos in them, so I found this recipe for a cookies & cream brownie.

Alright, so we need to start with a brownie base:

Here we go! Regular good ol’ fudge brownie base.

You’ll follow the recipe on the back of the box, which is illustrated below:

Yes, we’re going to follow instructions on a box for brownies…for the most part…

Alright, so you have your brownie mix in your medium-sized bowl, go ahead and throw in 3 tablespoons of water, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, and 2 eggs. It should look like the mess below:

Trust me on this…

Once it’s all mixed up with your spatula (or whatever mixing device you use, although a hand mixer would be overkill), it will look like this below:

You almost want to eat all the batter right there and then…

Set the bowl aside, and grab that 9″ x 13″ pan that we all totally have in our kitchens.

For the record, I’ve had this pan the whole time! Seriously! No joke!

After grabbing your giant brownie pan, preheat the oven to 350F.

Line the pan as best as you can with a giant sheet of parchment paper and then pour the brownie mix into it. Distribute it as best as you can while making sure the parchment paper lines up against all the edges.

This might be the most difficult part of the whole recipe…

After you’re satisfied with your distribution of brownie mix, slowly add in your double-stuff Oreos. For the record, you will need a total of 30 of them for this recipe, and 24 of them will go into the brownies themselves.

Try not to eat too many of them…

If you’re wondering, yes, someone at the factory put one of the cookies on the sandwich upside down. I had nothing to do with that.

Once that’s done, the oven should be ready for baking, so go ahead and throw it in the oven. I recommend about 35 minutes for these, despite what the box says.

Not done yet!

Alright, so once that’s done, you’ll have to let the brownies cool off. You will need a few hours to refrigerate the brownie mix so that you can spread the next layer of goodness on here.

*In a French accent* “Several hours later…”

Now we’re ready for the next layer of brownie goodness. First, you’ll need a stick and a half of butter to put into your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

It’s a buttercream base, so we need to start with…well…butter.

Soften it up as best as you can with your stand mixer.

Eh, close enough.

Next, you’ll add your sugar, milk, and vanilla extract, and then mix it up.

That doesn’t look right…

Did I intentionally put pictures of myself screwing up on my own blog? Yes I did. As it turns out, if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, you probably wouldn’t have realized that you didn’t read the recipe correctly and put in regular sugar instead of confectioners’ (powdered) sugar.

Alright, anyways, let’s start over, and put powdered sugar in there instead. Throw in a pinch of salt for good measure. I used about 1/8th of a teaspoon.

That’s more like it!

So now that you’ve been doing this correctly the whole time, and didn’t put in the wrong sugar, go ahead and turn your stand mixer on to low, otherwise you’ll get a cloud of powdered sugar in your kitchen. After it has started to mix up, crank the little booger up to maximum.

While the stand mixer is going, you’ll need to cut up the 6 Oreos I told you about earlier.

Almost…
There we go!

Once the frosting actually looks like frosting (and not clumps of sugar and butter), remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the Oreo bits.

Do your best to not lick the buttercream frosting as well…

After you feel satisfied with your mixing, go ahead and bring it over to your cooled-off brownie slab and evenly add the buttercream frosting to the brownie.

Yes I know I need to clean my stovetop…
It tastes better than it looks.

Refrigerate the pan for another half an hour for the buttercream to solidify.

After the buttercream is nice and solid, it’s time for the final layer of chocolate! This step is pretty easy, as you just need about 200g of semi-sweet morsels, and one stick of butter cut into quarters.

One heaping cup!
I feel like I’m channeling Paula Dean at this moment.

Throw the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, pull out, and stir.

I was a bit nervous about this as well, as I thought it was going to be way too much butter…

I put it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds, and mixed it up again. This was the final result:

Yes that toothpick was for the brownies.

Go ahead and spread it on top of your brownie stack by just pouring it on and evening it out.

It’s not pretty…

Let that refrigerate some more, and then you’ll have a completed recipe!

Yep, pastry chef of the year!

Here’s how it looks on a cross-sectional view:

There’s an Oreo cookie in there somewhere…

All and all, this is a great recipe that requires a lot of time, so if you’re going to make this for a dinner dessert, start early in the morning, or make it the day before. These took a lot of time, but honestly they’re worth it. It’s actually pretty easy, and doesn’t really use anything weird. The only thing you might not have on hand are Oreos, but everything else is stuff you can find in a normal kitchen, even in my tiny apartment.

Ingredients:

Brownies

  • One box of brownie mix from your local grocery store (9×13 inch pan brownie batter)
  • 24 Double-Stuf Oreos

Cookies & Cream Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup (one and half sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Double-Stuf Oreos, chopped (I use Double Stuf Oreos)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

Chocolate Topping

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 heaping cup (around 200g) semi-sweet morsels (or melting chocolate)

Directions:

Brownie Base

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Prepare the brownie mix in a medium bowl as per the instructions on the box.
  3. Get your conveniently placed 9″ x 13″ pan and line it with parchment paper. This will make it easy to remove the brownies when done.
  4. Pour the brownie mix into the parchment paper-lined pan.
  5. After evenly distributing it, add 24 Oreos in a neat 4×6 pattern.
  6. Bake the brownie mix for about 35 minutes.
  7. Remove and let cool for a few hours at minimum.

Cookies and Cream Buttercream

  1. Prepare your stand mixer and throw in your 1 1/2 sticks of butter into the bowl.
  2. Run the stand mixer on medium to get it softened up a bit.
  3. Add three cups of confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, along with the 2 tbsp of milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  4. Start the stand mixer on low so it doesn’t throw powdered sugar all over the place and make a mess for you to clean up.
  5. After the butter and powdered sugar come together, add in the 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and turn the stand mixer to high. Let it run for about a minute or two.
  6. While that’s going on, get your 6 Oreos and cut them into pieces.
  7. Turn off the stand mixer after a minute or two, remove the bowl, and pour the Oreo bits into the buttercream. Mix it nicely with a spatula.
  8. After you’re satisfied with the mix, spread it on top of the giant slab of a brownie.
  9. When you’re done, refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Chocolate Topping

  1. Grab a microwave-safe bowl, and add in about 200 grams of semi-sweet chocolate for melting.
  2. Take a stick of butter, cut it into quarters, and put it in the bowl.
  3. Microwave the mix for 30 seconds on normal.
  4. Pull the bowl out and mix the butter and chocolate a bit.
  5. Repeat step 3.
  6. Pull the bown out again and aggressively until you get a picture-worthy bowl of melted chocolate.
  7. Pour on top of the buttercream and even it out as best as you can.
  8. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes at minimum.
  9. Enjoy!

Source of original recipe: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/cookies-cream-brownies/

Cookies: Butter Cookies

Funny enough, last year when I was doing my cookie challenge, I never once did a butter cookie, and someone suggested I try making on, so here’s my attempt at a butter cookie.

To start things off, we need two sticks of butter, and 140 grams of sugar.

Add the sugar to the butter, along with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Run them in your stand mixer.

Once you’ve got the butter and sugar mixed up, add in the two egg yolks and 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla.

The good stuff!

Also, on an unrelated note, I emptied out a container from Kirkland vanilla.

This is the second time I’ve done this in two years since I’ve started baking.

Next, you’ll need to measure out your flour. Luckily, we can measure out an exact amount of 283 grams. It’s always confusing when recipes tell you to “spoon and level 2 cups”. The weight makes it easier so there’s no discrepency.

I love these precise measurements!

Add it to your stand mixer as it is running, and make sure you have the cover on otherwise you’ll get flour all over the place. After the flour is mixed in, add 2 teaspoons of milk. If you feel it needs to be a bit softer, you can add a couple more.

I kinda want to eat it all before it is used for baking.

Once the dough is ready, get your two cookie sheets and line them with some parchment paper. While that is being prepared, set the oven to 350F.

Ready for easy cleanup!

Now, for the part that I failed miserably at: putting it in a bag and piping it out.

Yeah, it didn’t work…

I didn’t have the large enough tip for it to make the wonderful aesthetic of the cookies. When I extruded it out, it was about the thickness of a straw, and I didn’t feel like putting forth that kind of effort, so instead I took my trusty 1.5Tbsp cookie scoop and did it the old-fashioned way. Also, maybe don’t use a ziploc bag…

Can’t go wrong with trusty 1.5Tbsp cookie scoop!

The oven was ready to go, and each sheet was baked for 16 minutes. With aluminum cookie sheets, and their inability to retain heat compared to their steel counterparts, I usually put the cookies in at the maximum, or add a couple of minutes.

Done!

Once the cookies have cooled off, it’s time to dip them in some chocolate. Luckily my past self is much smarter than my current self, and I had some melting chocolate ready to dip the cookies in.

Melt the chocolate, and dip each cookie halfway.

A few of the cookies broke when I dipped them in because they weren’t baked enough. They were pretty flimsy and so I had to get the spoon to pull them out safely.

In the end, here’s the result:

The utter majesty!

In the end, this is a pretty easy recipe to make. The only thing you might need is a kitchen scale to ensure that your measurements are accurate. If you’re going to melt chocolate for these cookies, I’d just use a bag of morsels from the grocery store instead of some sort of specialty thing like these melting chocolates. If you always have milk on hand, along with a bag of morsels, you should be able to make these fairly quickly. There’s no need to refrigerate the dough, so these can be made on impulse in very little time.

If you don’t have any piping mechanism, a cookie scoop works just fine, and they still come out amazing, despite my utter failure of my piping setup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (226g, two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp (1/2 tbsp) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 2 – 4 tsp milk
  • Chocolate or candy melts, optional

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, sugar and salt until combined.
  3. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla.
  4. Add flour and mix until crumbly then add in 2 tsp milk, if needed add in another 1 – 2 tsp milk for a more pipe-able consistency – add as little as possible for less spreading though.
  5. Transfer to a 16-inch piping bag fitted with a very large open star tip (or just using your cookie scoop).
  6. Pipe dough into rounds onto two ungreased baking sheets
  7. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven until golden brown on bottom, about 12 – 16 minutes.
  8. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. 

Notes:

  • If you’d like to dip in chocolate or white chocolate, melt 10 oz chopped chocolate, chocolate melts, or white chocolate melts in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power in 20 second intervals until melted and smooth. 
  • Dip half of cookies into chocolate let excess run off (while also brushing some off bottom across bowl) then transfer to a sheet of parchment paper. Immediately add sprinkles if using then let set.

Source

Bread: Keto Zucchini Bread

The guy I get lettuce from at Farmer’s Market had his first batch of zucchini for the season, and you know what that means? Zucchini bread time! For this entry, we’re going to make a zucchini bread that is not only tasty, but…keto-friendly!

For the record, I have made this previously in a post, but I wanted to go into more detail with some more pictures.

Alright, let’s start with the most annoying part of the recipe: grating the zucchini.

My rotary cheese grater wouldn’t have been very useful for this recipe.

Because this requires one and a half cups of grated zucchini, I ended up using two of them to get the necessary amount, and that is after squeezing all the water out of it.

Zucchini doesn’t look as good in this form…
It took two zucchini to make this happen.

Once the zucchini is ready, put it aside. In a medium bowl (I used a large bowl, and it was a bit much), mix the 2 cups of almond flour, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup sweetener, and 1 teaspoon baking soda together.

Once the dry ingredients are whisked together, then you’ll go ahead and add the grated zucchini to the mix.

Plop!

Once the zucchini is in place, you’ll need to beat a couple of eggs and pour them into the bowl.

I think I need to use a bowl that is a little less like a mirror and something more solid. That polished surface is a little distracting.

The last ingredient you will add is some melted butter. Take half of a stick of butter, melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and pour it in.

Sweet, all the ingredients are in. Now for the fun part…

Once everything is together, mix it all up with a spatula of sorts.

Ignore the spoon.

Once it’s mixed up, get your 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and coat it with cooking spray.

Take my word for it, it is lined with cooking oil.

Once you have your loaf pan ready, pour the mix into it and level it as best as you can.

Do your best to smooth it out on top.

With your oven at 350F, place the pan in the oven for 1 hour.

After an hour, it should be ready.

Handle with care.

After you have let it cool off, make sure you gently remove it from the pan. You might have greased it well, but it might not unstick easily.

Zucchini bread!

This recipe is pretty simple, but it requires quite a bit of effort to grate the zucchini. As for ingredients, Costco seems to be amazing when it comes to a ketogenic diet, as I was able to find my almond flour and monkfruit sweetener there. It’s also very tasty and makes for a great breakfast with some butter in the morning. This can be made on impulse, but you will need to put in some extra effort to make it happen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups almond flour (click here to see my favorite on Amazon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Granular Sweetener (Click here to see my favorite on Amazon)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/4 Cup Melted butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups Grated Zucchini with peel

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 9×5 loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, cinnamon, swerve, and baking soda.
  3. Wrap the grated zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Discard liquid and add zucchini to the dry ingredients followed by the eggs and melted butter. Stir batter until combined. See notes for instructions on adding walnuts, chocolate chips, or blueberries.
  4. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake in the 350F oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before serving. Slice into 12 slices. See notes for freezing, making muffins, and for a savory bread.

Source

Cookies: Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Cream Pies

It’s been a while since I’ve done a cookie, but these ones were so good that I needed to try them out. This is another one of those cookie recipes you can make on impulse if you have all the ingredients.

Alright, let’s get started with the fun stuff.

You will need two and a half sticks of butter for this recipe, so make sure they’re at room temperature already.

Paula Dean would approve.

Make sure you mix your white and brown sugar before adding it to the butter. Mixing the sugars ahead of time ensures good cookie consistency.

Once the sugars are mixed up, dump that bowl into the stand mixer and mix them up!

Once the sugar and butter are mixed together, add the egg, vanilla extract, and molasses.

Mix it all up.

That’s the good stuff…

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and your quick oats..

Whenever I need to add dry ingredients to the stand mixer, I always take the mixture and put them on a sheet of parchment paper and slowly pour it into the stand mixer as it is mixing. I don’t have video of this because I don’t have a tripod for this kind of thing. Plus, I don’t have a YouTube channel to show how all this is done, since I’m a one-man crew.

Believe me, this is flour mix.

After mixing for a while, you can stop the mixer and gaze at the magnificence that is the raw cookie dough…

This is some tasty dough, lol.

Scoop it out using your trusty 1.5Tbsp scooper from Oxo, unlike their crappier 1Tbsp scooper. Make sure your cookie sheets are lined with some parchement paper for easier cleaner up. To make your life easier, I’d recommend using two cookie sheets to get the baking done quicker.

Our favorite cookie scoop!

Make sure your oven is at 375F. I baked the cookies for 12 minutes despite the recipe calling for 10 minutes. The aluminum cookie sheets require a little longer since they don’t absorb heat as much as their steel counterparts.

While cookies are baking, it’s time to get the filling ready.

For the filling, beat the butter with your hand mixer.

Next, add the powdered sugar.

To thicken it up, we need to add some heavy cream.

Now that’s the good stuff!

Once the filling is complete, it’s time to make the sandwich cookies!

I don’t think I’ve ever used those BB-8 measuring cups in the back…

I had a lot of filling left over, and had to do my best to not eat it with a spoon.

In the end, this is the result:

Tada!

These cookies are a lot of work, but they’re so good and worth the effort. As long as you have the 4 sticks of butter at room temperature, this won’t take too long to make.

Do I recommend these? Absolutely! This is definitely something worth your time, and they’re so good. The recipe calls for each cookie size to be 3Tbsp, but using the 1.5Tbsp size makes the cookies just right. Plus, at 1.5Tbsp, it’s still chewy.

Ingredients:

COOKIES

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter softened at room temperature (2.5 sticks)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats NOT whole-rolled oats

CREME FILLING

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature (1.5 sticks)
  • 3 cups Powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt, as needed

Instructions:

Instructions

  1. For the cookies: With a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars together at medium speed until light and creamy. Add egg, vanilla, and molasses, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Whisk it all around. Add the quick oats and combine.
  3. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients. The dough will be quite thick and you may have to mix it all by hand after a few seconds in the mixer.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat. Drop dough with a large cookie scoop, or make sure each ball of dough is 3 tablespoons in measurement. Cookies will spread in the oven, so drop each ball of dough 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. For the filling: With a stand or handheld mixer, beat butter for about 1 minute until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Pour in heavy cream and vanilla extract. Mix on high for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Taste and add a pinch or two of salt, as needed. If filling is way too thick, add a couple more teaspoons of heavy cream.
  7. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream filling on the bottom side of half of cookies; top with remaining cookies, right side up.

Source

Bread: Pretzel Buns

My phase of making bread/biscuits continues, and today we’re going to talk about something fun and tasty: pretzel buns!

This isn’t as time consuming as the Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks, but some work still needs to be done. It’s actually pretty simple to make, and I’ll give some tips on how to make it easier for yourself if you decide to make this recipe.

It first starts off with getting a large mixing bowl (you’ll see why later). Once you have your bow, you need to warm up 1/2 a cup of water. While the water is heating, measure out your white sugar and active dry yeast. To make it easy, use two packets of the active dry yeast that comes in the 3-pack.

To save yourself the frustration, use two of these packets for 4 1/2 teaspoons.

You’ll put the warm water in the bowl and add the sugar and yeast together. Let them do their thing in the bowl for 5 minutes.

After the five minutes are up, add in the milk, shortening, eggs, vegetable oil, flour, more sugar, and salt.

All ingredients added together.

Then you need to get your hand mixer and start it up while adding the rest of the flour (1/2 cup at a time). This will get a little messy, because the dough will bunch up in your mixer.

This isn’t going the way I had hoped…

Once you’ve had enough of your hand mixer, you’ll need a surface that is lightly floured, and you’ll need to knead the dough for about 5 minutes.

I had to wash my hands to get this picture.

Once you have kneaded the dough enough, spray another bowl with cooking oil and place the dough in there. Cover it with plastic wrap and put the bowl in a warm environment for an hour.

Ready for action!

After an hour, the dough should look like this:

The dough has risen!

The recipe tells you to pull out dough balls the size of baseballs, which will make them large (I guess hence the name “buns” instead of “biscuits”).

It’s about the size of a baseball.

You’ll need to make the dough lengthen like a breadstick, and then you roll it like a cinnamon roll.

This picture makes me slightly uncomfortable.

Do this so you end up with 12 buns.

I’m making snail shells!

Make sure your oven is preheated to 350 degress for these. If you’re like me and put the oven on at the last minute, preheat the oven while you do the next step.

Get 4 cups of water and heat it up. Put that in a bowl and mix it with 1/2 cup of baking soda. With the water-baking soda mix, dip the buns into that water before placing on the cookie sheet. Put 6 on a cookie sheet at a time, and use aluminum ones so you don’t burn the bottoms too quickly. Once on the cookie sheet, spread melted butter on each bun and top with a little bit of sea salt.

My very basic setup.

Bake each set of 6 for about 22 minutes in the oven.

Fresh out of the oven!
The Instagram picture.

Overall, I would say that this is a keeper. I’d recommend this recipe for anyone, but just make sure that you have an extra hour set aside for the dough to rise. These are delicious and very fluffy. One of my coworkers saw me eating one, and was extremely jealous. Now they want me to make them some, although if I were to do this again, I would make them smaller and more along the lines of a pretzel biscuit.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs 
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 4 cups water
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • sea salt

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over 1/2 cup of warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 100 degrees F (40 degrees C). Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.
  2. Add milk, shortening, eggs, oil, 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Blend with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix in remaining 3 cups of flour by hand, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (80 to 95 degrees F (27 to 35 degrees C)) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Uncover the dough and punch it down.
  4. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Pull off baseball size portions of dough and roll into “snakes” about 6 inches long. Roll each “snake” into a spiral to give the tops some texture. Set each formed bun aside.
  6. Mix the baking soda and 4 cups hot water in a bowl. The baking soda does not need to dissolve completely. Dip each bun in the baking soda solution before placing on a baking sheet. Brush each bun with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the preheated oven until brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack or brown paper bag.

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Bread: Olive Garden Breadsticks!

After too long of a hiatus, I’ve decided to do some baking again. I decided to start doing breads that go with dinners, and this weekend I decided on Olive Garden breadsticks.

After several weeks, and contemplating what to do this year, I decided on biscuits, and the first one I wanted to share was the recipe for Olive Garden breadsticks, and they turned out amazing.

The recipe is pretty simple actually. You first start things off by combining warmed water, instant yeast, granulated sugar, and melted unsalted butter. You can combine all these in a stand mixer with your bread dough hook attachment.

First time using the dough hook on my stand mixer!

After the first bit of ingredients are mixing, you need to slowly pour in the bread flour little by little. I use a piece of parchment paper to slowly add the bread flour in little by little. After a while, the dough starts to stretch out little by little.

This will become something beautiful…

After being in a stand mixer, make sure you have a greased bowl for the dough to rise.

Greased up bowl!

Put the dough in the greased bowl and cover it in plastic wrap. Then put it in a warm environment. I had to improvise, so I used my laundry closet. Luckily, my dryer hose has a hard time staying attached, so it warms the closet. You need to let this sit for an hour and a half.

After that, you need to measure 2oz portions of dough, and stretching it out to a length of about 7 inches. Then you need to cover them up and let them sit for another hour. I had to cut it short to 45 minutes, and it seemed to work.

I got 13 instead of 12 that the recipe calls for. Yay baker’s dozen!

I used aluminum cookie sheets because they won’t burn the bottom of the breadsticks.

After the time, the oven was heated up to 400F and they were baked for exactly 12 minutes, and they came out perfect. Then I brushed some melted butter on top and sprinkled a kosher salt/garlic powder mix on top.

They look and taste amazing.

This is a good recipe to make if you decide to make these ahead of time. I recommend this recipe because it was so good, and it was a hit with my family for dinner. The recipe is a keeper!

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 16 ounces (about 3 1/3 to 3 1/2 cups) bread flour

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and butter. Add in the salt. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and begin to gradually add the flour on low speed. Increase speed to medium and knead the dough for about 7 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic.
  2. Remove the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Divide the dough into 12 (2 ounce) portions. Roll each piece of dough into a 7-inch log. Place the dough logs on nonstick baking mat or parchment-lined baking sheets, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter. Combine the salt and garlic powder and sprinkle evenly over breadsticks. Serve warm.

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Week 52: Berger Cookies

Well, we did it: 52 weeks of cookies. Fifty-two weeks of cookie recipes I haven’t made.

We’re closing out 52 weeks of cookies with something fun called a Berger Cookie. It’s pretty simple to make, and requires no prep work as long as you have all the ingredients.

For starters, you need to place a sheet of parchment paper onto a couple of cookie sheets. I cut them to exact size to make sure there’s the right amount of heat for each cookie.

This picture wasn’t really necessary, but I felt like putting it in.

Once the cookie sheets are ready, get your stand mixer and put in the butter, sugar, baking powder, and vanilla extract. This recipe seems a little backwards considering you normally combine the sugar and butter, eggs, and then all the dry ingredients, but this recipe says otherwise.

I don’t like how the vanilla looks in the sugar…

Then you get to combine all the good stuff!

The good stuff combined.

Then you throw in the egg.

Yep, like that.

Then you combine them and you should get a little more doughy of a mixture.

Looking better!

This is where it gets weird. You need to alternate adding flour and milk. The recipe calls for you to add 1/2 cup of flour at a time and then add some milk. I alternated by doing flour, milk, flour, milk, flour. Then it comes out like this:

The dough honestly tastes like cake dough.

Unfortunately, the cookies require the use of the terrible 1Tbsp scoop that we’ve all come to know and hate. This time though, I have a plan…

We have ways of making you talk…

Unfortunately, that means I needed to apply cooking spray for each scoop. Luckily the dough actually came out of the scoop (for the most part) every time. The issue is that the scraper that goes along the inside only goes halfway, unlike the 1.5Tbsp one that goes all the way.

That took way more effort than you think…

Then you have to flatten them by taking a measuring cup and spraying the bottom of it with cooking oil.

Yeah, I had to do this a few times just for a dozen cookies.

Once that’s done, you get a dozen flattened cookies!

Somehow I ended up with 27 cookies instead of the 24 the recipe calls for.

Because I’m running aluminum cookie sheets, they were in the oven for 12 minutes at 400°F.

While the cookies are baking, it’s time to start making the chocolate frosting by first combining one cup of bittersweet chocolate chips and one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Also makes for a great snack!

Once the bowl is ready, you microwave 3/4 cup of heavy cream until it is boiling. Then you pour it into the bowl with the chocolate chips. Then add some light corn syrup. Lastly, add 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.

Mmmm…chocolate frosting…

Once the frosting is made, you dip the cookies from the baking side down. I recommend putting the dipped cookies onto wax paper.

Dip dip, and swing…

Once they’re dried off, they’ll look like this:

That decadent frosting…

From the side, they will look like this:

They’re floating!

Overall, this is a simple, but tedious, recipe to make. The frosting is very fudgy, and despite forgetting to add the vanilla frosting to the cookies, they tasted great.

Well, this is it…52 weeks of cookies, and we end with these amazing fudgy cookies.

Now for the real question: what to do in 2022? Should I continue to do something new every week? Should I bake something different like brownies, muffins, cupcakes, cakes (please not cakes), or something else? I’m open to ideas and I think I’m up for a new challenge.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour
  • 1/3 cup Milk

ICING

  • 1 cup Bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Semisweet Chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon Light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set to the side.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer beat together butter, vanilla extract, baking powder, and sugar.
  4. Add the egg and beat until the mixture just starts to come together.
  5. Slowly add the flour a ½ cup at a time alternating it with the milk.
  6. Scoop about a tablespoon of cookie dough and drop it on the baking sheet. Repeat this step spacing the dough about 2 inches apart.
  7. Lightly grease the bottom of a measuring cup and press it gently down on the dough balls, flattening them slightly so they are about 1 1/2 inches across. You will need to grease the measuring cup several times during the process so the dough doesn’t stick to it. I just used a little non-stick spray.
  8. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. This cookies are cake-like so you don’t want the bottoms getting fully brown. They are done when the bottom is a mottled brown.
  9. Once cookies are done remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack.
  10. Make the frosting by placing the two types of chocolate chips in a bowl.
  11. In a separate, microwave safe bowl, add the heavy cream and microwave it for 30 seconds at a time until it begins to boil.
  12. Pour the boiling milk over the chocolate chips and let it sit.
  13. Add the light corn syrup to the chocolate and stir until it is smooth.
  14. Stir in the powdered sugar and let them mixture sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  15. Take each cookie and turn it over, dipping the flat bottom in the chocolate icing.
  16. Let the chocolate mixture continue to cool and then using a knife scoop up more chocolate and spread it over each cookie. If you can see swirls in the icing after you spread it over the cookie then it is the right consistency. In the end the chocolate should be about the same thickness as the cookie.
  17. Let the chocolate set and then store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  18. Enjoy!

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Week 51: Cinnamon Roll Cookies

I know I’m doing this pretty late, but it’s been a crazy week, and it was a crazy weekend.

I’ve wanted to make this recipe for a while, but I guess I had been putting it off because it didn’t seem like it fit the theme of the season. I decided to do it anyways, and it was a pain in the butt to make. At least the end result was good. I’m always afraid that one of these recipes is going to take a lot of time and turn out to taste horribly.

The first step is pretty simple; you just need to melt half of a stick of butter and mix it with the brown sugar and cinnamon. The recipe calls for dark brown sugar, but you can get away with using either one.

The good stuff!

In your stand mixer, throw in 3/4 of a cup (one and a half sticks) of butter with 3/4 of a cup of white sugar.

Costco is finally selling unsalted butter in stick form, so this is the last time you’ll see a picture of a brick of butter being cut.
Butter and sugar!

Once those are mixed, you throw in the egg, vanilla, heavy cream, baking powder, and salt.

Sweet sweet dough…

Once it’s mixed, it should look like this:

The good stuff!

Next, you’ll slowly pour in flour while it is mixing. I use a sheet of parchment paper to slowly pour the flour in.

In any other context, this would be a questionable picture.

Once the flour is poured in, you will have your dough ready in a bit.

Probably wouldn’t hurt to eat it…

So this is where the difficulty comes in. This is where you need to roll the dough, and I had a lot of issues doing so.

Not my proudest work…

Honestly, I would recommend probably refrigerating the dough for about half an hour before rolling it because this was infuriating to roll. It was so sticky and it kept getting stuck on my roller, hence the massive amount of flour on the dough.

Once you’ve decided you’ve had enough of rolling, you slowly apply the cinnamon sugar mix and spread it all throughout.

Then you cut it into 10 slices.

They taste better than they look, trust me.

Then you roll the dough like Fruit by the Foot, and then roll it into a ball. Then you place it on a floured cookie sheet and freeze them for 20 minutes.

The flour honestly felt pretty useless…

I baked the cookies for 18 minutes on aluminum cookie sheets with a sheet of parchment paper on them, and they came out perfect…and huge.

You can tell which cookies were made correctly…

After the cookies have cooled off, you get to make the icing and top the cookies off.

Cinnamon roll icing!

In the end, you get these amazing cookies!

Tastiness!

In the end, the cookies were very tasty and got positive feedback.

If I were to change anything in this recipe, I would highly suggest refrigerating the dough for a while like you would with any sugar cookie dough. It will make it a lot easier to flatten the dough, which was the hardest part of this recipe.

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 1/4 cup (half of a stick) butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cookie Dough

  • 3/4 cup (one and a half sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1–2 tablespoons milk

Instructions:

  1. For the filling, in a medium bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the butter and the granulated sugar, mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, cream, baking powder, and salt.  Mix for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until just combined.
  3. On a lightly floured piece of wax or parchment paper, press the dough out into a 15×10 rectangle. This doesn’t have to be exact or neat.
  4. Spread the filling mixture on top of the dough, leaving about an inch at the edges. Roll the dough up tightly from the long edge.
  5. Cut the dough into 10 equal slices. Roll each slice into a ball and place on a lightly floured plate or baking sheet. Place into the freezer for 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Place 5 of the dough balls onto the prepared pan, leaving space for them to spread. Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator while the first batch bakes.
  8. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  10. For the icing, in a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar, butter and 1 tablespoon milk. Whisk until no lumps remain. Add more milk if a thinner icing is desired.
  11. Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the icing, or drizzle on top. Allow the icing to set.

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Week 50: Dipped Gingersnaps

We’re almost to the end, and this week is something that seemed appropriate for the holidays while still giving those fall feelings: Dipped Gingersnaps!

This recipe requires a little bit of prep as you need to make sure your eggs are at room temperature. Also, you need to make sure you have canola oil, molasses, and shortening. Hopefully you have molasses on hand because I had a heck of a time trying to find molasses in any of my local grocery stores.

At first, I wasn’t going to make this recipe since the yield was listed as 14-1/2 dozen. For those who don’t care about measuring things in dozens, that’s 174 cookies. I read the recipe further down, and that’s assuming a ball of dough that is 3/4″ in diameter, so I decided to use my favorite cookie scoop to make larger cookies instead. Needless to say, that idea paid off as I ended up making 45 cookies instead.

The recipe starts off easy enough: you throw in 2 cups of sugar and 1-1/2 cups of canola oil into the mixing bowl and stir it on low.

It doesn’t look much better in person.

While the canola oil and sugar are being mixed up, you put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together.

When the canola oil and sugar are well mixed, you throw in the 2 eggs and the 1/2 cup of molasses and run it on low for a couple of minutes.

Once all the wet ingredients are combined, then you throw in the dry ingredients and let it mix on low for a while as well.

It actually smelled pretty good considering the molasses.

Once all the ingredients were combined, I called upon my trusty 1.5Tbsp Oxo Cookie Scoop to get me the cookie sizes I wanted. Make sure your cookie sheet is lined with parchment paper.

No way in hell am I making 174 cookies…

I baked them for between 15-17 minutes, and they came out perfect.

The cookies were getting a little too close together…

Once the cookies have cooled off, you need to melt your white chocolate and shortening together. I used two smaller bowls to do this.

Yes that’s shortening, not marshmallow cream, although that gives me an idea…

What I did was run the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, but only did that twice. After the second 30-second run, I ran it for 15 seconds, and it came out perfect.

I took the cookies and dipped them halfway to get the look that we want.

Half moon cookies? Not quite…

Make sure you line your cookie sheet with wax paper to let the white chocolate dry.

Luckily only 45 cookies…

Once they’re dry, they look even better.

Tasty…

All and all, this wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and the cookies taste so good. I recommend this for holiday parties and for cookie plates, or if you’re in the mood for something different. It does take some initial prep, but overall I think it’s worth it.

As I’m reading this, I forgot to roll the dough in sugar, but they still came out amazing.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Additional sugar
  • 2 packages (10 to 12 ounces each) white baking chips
  • 1/4 cup shortening

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil. Beat in eggs. Stir in molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Shape into 3/4-in. balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° until cookies spring back when touched lightly, 10-12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  3. In a microwave, melt chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip cookies halfway into the melted chips or drizzle with mixture; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.

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