Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cupcakes of the Morning

I do like to balance all the sugary goods with the odd wholesome baking item every now and then. These muffins are a mix of a few recipes, basically adapted to what I had in my cupboards. They're perfect to take to school/work or throw into the boy's lunch. (Especially the minis!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Big congratulations to Brandy, the first winner of how sweet's
cookie giveaway!

(See how I said first winner? You are all sending me such awesome recipes I'm going to have to make more. Feel free to keep sending, too!)

This is a really good peanut butter chocolate chip recipe. I make mine with natural peanut butter (because Kraft are assholes that don't know what they put in their products-- seriously, they won't tell me what they use in their "vegetable oil" mix), and they still tasted sweet. They baked up big and chewy, but not cakey. And they were easy to make, too. Start to finish was less than an hour! I like that. I get to eat them faster.

PS. Join how sweet it is on facebook!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Country Inn Pancakes, Or: We Aren't in IHOP Anymore...

I've decided I'm going to try to expand a bit to include the odd breakfast post. I'm a firm believer that, if done right, breakfast is a lot like dessert.

So today I bring you Michael Smith's (love him) Country Inn Pancakes. AKA Crackcakes. Because these are ridiculous.

I can not even describe. They're fluffy and soft and taste like vanilla nutmeggy butter delicousness. No pancakes can compete. I recommend serving with a heavy slathering of real maple syrup.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cookie Giveaway

I'm giving away free cookies!

Here's the deal: Sometimes I bake so much I have trouble eating it all. So I give lots of it away. And I want to give some to you.

But... there's a catch. I want to know what some of your favourite recipes are, so I have lots of yummy things to bake coming up.

So just email me or comment with your favourite recipe (please, no tree nuts, or coconut), and if I make it, I'll send you some cookies. (Don't ask what kind yet).

Pretty easy, right?


I can't believe I've gone my whole life without these:

I hadn't heard of snickerdoodles until about a year ago, when I started checking out baking forums and websites. Apparently, they're pretty popular.

It's very odd for a sugar addict to have not heard of a fairly common type of cookie. My friends don't seem to know what they are either, so I'm thinking that maybe they aren't as popular in Canada as in the US. Regardless, I blame my mother.

Basically, snickerdoodles are kind of like gingersnaps minus the ginger-- a vanilla cookie covered in cinnamon sugar.

They're also really, really good. So if you've never had one, please make them. Or get someone to for you. Or come pick some up from me. Because it's very sad I've gone this long without them. Hate for it to be the same for you.

PS: Want some cookies? Good! Because I'm doing a cookie giveaway.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crumb Cake

crumb cake

It’s finals week over here, which means I have to bribe myself with baking to complete assignments and actually do something resembling studying. Last night, sweet thoughts of baking a crumb cake kept me powering through a final corporate research assignment.

crumb cake
Love this cake. It’s not too sweet, and would be perfect for an afternoon tea or brunch. Or, if you’re like me, it’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the snacks inbetween. (Cue my dentist weeping).

It was better tasting this morning than it was after I made it last night. I’d recommend making it up the night before you want to eat it so it has a bit of time to sit and gain deliciousness.

crumb cakeOh, and check back soon because there’s going to be a baked good give-away coming up. Either brownies or cookies; I haven’t quite decided yet.

Friday, April 16, 2010

S'mores Cookies

They're all the fun of camping, minus all the shit! (Camping is basically 1% S'mores + 99% awfulness).

Always looking for a way to add more sugar to stuff, this week had me contemplating how to liven up my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Tree nuts and other such atrocities were not an option because I wasn't up to battling hives and wheeziness right before finals. (Plus I had already used that excuse for mid-terms). Scouring the cupboards made me realize I had two options: 1. fruity cheerios, or 2. marshmallows. Battling my desire to add both, I went with the marshmallows. It was a good call.

They are so incredible; the marshmallows were the perfect touch. They're puffy and chewy with a little bit of crispiness, but not too sweet. Pretty much ideal.

I was originally planning to bring the cookies to share with my CMNS 362 class, but since my car was broken into the other night, they are going to my son's dad, who is kindly repairing my now-mangled lock. (Thanks, by the way).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Woody’s Lemon Luxury Layer Cake

This cake looks like happiness, non?

Woody’s Lemon Luxury Layer Cake

Because it is. And it tastes like happiness, too.

Woody’s Lemon Luxury Layer Cake

That's what you get with two bags of white chocolate chips and 17 eggs. And it’s not very sweet, either-- just amazingly rich, buttery, and creamy, with the perfect amount of lemon. The cake itself is white chocolate with lemon zest; the icing is a white chocolate and lemon buttercream (and the creamiest icing I’ve ever tasted); the cake is layered with said buttercream and a lemon curd. Served at room temperature, it just melts in your mouth.

I had a whole slew of snarky crap I was going to spew about making it, but tasting it gave me amnesia for the process. It was a bit labour intensive—making the curd, the buttercream, as well as the cake (there were a lot of wait times for each). A few blogs I’ve read have just skipped making the curd and bought it. But then this wouldn’t be leannebakes. It would be leannetakesshitoutofajar.

Woody’s Lemon Luxury Layer Cake

RLB is a goddess. If the rest of the cakes in Rose's Heavenly Cakes taste half this good, I'll... well, I don't know but I think I'll be fairly happy. (And maybe start working out, too).

Woody’s Lemon Luxury Layer Cake

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Detox, Or Banana Oat Muffins

banana oat muffin

I have been consuming a disturbing amount of chocolate since the weekend. I’ve been sneaking it from the boy’s stash, too, lying to myself that it’s to lessen the amount he’ll have to eat but really knowing its because I’m a) a gluttonous pig b) lacking all will power and c) a terrible mother.

To make up for all of the above (and because I had some bananas sitting in the freezer waiting to be used), I decided to make some quasi-healthy banana oat muffins. And to quell the voices in my head telling me to chop up and throw a Lindt bunny or three into the mix, I sprinkled a few muffin tops with brown sugar and oats.

They turned out yummy. I think in the future I'd add berries, and if you're lucky enough to not be allergic to nuts, some of those might be good in them, too.

banana oat muffin

Banana Oat Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed bananas


  • Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper bake cups, and divide the batter among them.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 16 to 18 minutes.

banana oat muffin streusel top

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Testing Eggs for Freshness

How do you test your eggs to see if they're fresh?

testing eggs fresh freshnessPut them in water, of course.

A fresh egg will lie flat on the bottom.
A week (or so) old egg will lie on the bottom but bob slightly.
An egg that is a couple of weeks old will balance on one end.
A bad egg will float.

The Best Pudding Ever

Okay. So I kind of dropped the ball in regards to Easter baking this year. In my defense, I was feeling a bit off since Brownie Fail, and really uninspired because I know any sort of cutesy egg basket cupcakes or sugar cookies with fluffy bunnies on them have nothing on Cadbury Cream Eggs. What was the point?

But I did get back on the baking horse with some pudding. The best pudding ever, in fact, regardless of this crappy picture:

best chocolate pudding
I don't have a go-to pudding recipe, so I had to google for one. I still had some eggs to use up before they went bad, and I wanted it to include a few of those. I found a recipe on food network that looked pretty decent, so I adapted it a bit and it ended up being amazing-- creamy and rich.

It was also really, really sweet, even though I substituted some of the milk chocolate for dark. Next time I'd either cut back on the sugar and still use 50/50 milk and semi-sweet, or all semi-sweet and the full amount of sugar-- if you try either please let me know how it works.

best chocolate pudding richHere it is in all it's adapted glory:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
4 ounces milk and dark chocolate, chopped
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter

In a nonreactive saucepan, combine 2 cups milk and sugar. Bring the liquid up to a boil to dissolve the sugar, reduce to a simmer. Whisk in the chocolate pieces and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. In a small bowl, whisk the yolks together.

Temper the yolks into the chocolate mixture. In another small bowl, whisk the remaining milk and cornstarch together for a slurry. Slowly add the slurry into hot chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly. Bring the liquid up to a boil and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.

Pour the pudding into a glass bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding to prevent a film from building. Place the pudding in the refrigerator and cool the pudding completely. Whisk the pudding until light and fluffy. Keep refrigerated.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

My kitchen is made for giants

What freak of nature did they build this stove for?

If I have something on the stove that I actually need to see or stir, I have to stand on my toddler's stool.

I like to think I'm average height for a North American woman, maybe a little bit shorter. Don't they build kitchens for us anymore?

Maybe there is a downside to gender equality.

Oh, and the blue bin on the floor? Full of baking supplies I have no where to put.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Brownie Fail

It's that magical time of the semester again where I get so crazy stressed that I start making bad choices. Choices that don't make sense and that are somewhat self-destructive. Like unprotected sex with a sex trade worker. Or marrying a professional athlete. (Although, I'm sure they're practically the same thing)

Today had me sitting on my couch, wasting perfectly good child-free hours trying to decide whether I wanted to go shopping at Winners (bad idea: I have no money, or sense of style) or bake something (somewhat less bad idea: I already have cookies). Since going to Winners meant moving more than 10 feet away from where I was already sitting, I decided to bake.

Like any sane person, I have at least 3lbs of butter and a bag of lemons sitting in my fridge on any given Thursday. So I thought that maybe I'd make lemon bars. But then I remembered that I don't have a stand mixer and I'll be f-cked in the ass if I'm going to stand there like a fool mixing shit by hand.

So lemon bars were out.

I started to scour my baking books for ideas but everything involved too much work, or too many ingredients I didn't want to go buy. Then I remembered these brownies that I bookmarked the other day that seemed like minimal effort and minimal ingredients. Well, you know what they say about things that seem too good to be true...

It might be due to my shocking incompetence, but these were a bitch to make.

Okay. So it might be a bad idea to distract yourself with texting and facebook chat while you're boiling sugar, water, and butter. It also might be a bad idea to go to the washroom, then when you come back out, forget you're even baking and start watching TV.

The pot will overboil and the ingredients might burn a little. It's also a bad idea to lick the now really, really hot sugar/butter concoction. But because I love sugar-butter more than pretty much anything, I couldn't resist.

Once I felt I had adequately cooled down the ferociously boiling mixture, I added the chocolate and it clumped up into nothing.

Cue me desperately calling my mom at work to ask her what to do. She asked about the consistancy and I told her it looked like a hard poo. Because it really did. Her solution was to add more butter. And I did. I added almost half a cup extra. (More butter = more delicious).

Back to normal.

The rest of the recipe came together pretty smoothly, because there wasn't a whole lot that I could screw up about adding two eggs and some flour. Well, except when I thought it called for 1/2 tbsp of vanilla and decided it would be awesome to double it, but then realized it only called for 1/2 tsp. But vanilla is forgiving; there can never be too much vanilla.

Just a little heads up: If you're greasing your pan (no, that's not a euphemism) and you can't figure out why the butter keeps melting, it's because you're an idiot and put the pan on top of the hot burner. Might want to watch out for that.

In the end they baked up pretty well, even though I forgot to use an oven mitt when taking them out of the oven. Yeah.

You, sir, are a jerk. A moist, fudgey, really delicious jerk.


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