Great Hershey’s Cupcakes! :)

These cupcakes look absolutely amaxing-and that is a lot to say from me because I don’t even like chocolate (I know,  its unbelieveable)!  One of the resons why I love this blog is because it has lots of pictures to guide you throught the recipe.  I tend to get lost when I bake and ask my self “does this look right?”  With these pictures the recipe is much more clear and it is easy for you to tell if you did something wrong in the recipe. 

Also this blog tells the journey through the recipe and the outcome.  In this particular recipe, the cupcakes were being made for her 17 year old cousin.  When she delivers them to him, he is in love with them!  I think it is very cute 🙂

I love this blog and the recipes as well!

here is the link-check it out! 

http://sweettreatsbakingblog.blogspot.com/2008/04/hersheys-chocolate-caramel-cupcakes.html

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May 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm 3 comments

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Hand mixing is a drag, and is tiring.  With an electric mixer, it is much easier and gets the job done fast.  The KitchenAid stand mixer is a great mixer for baking.  It is capable of mixing large batches of cookie and cake dough-as well as other treats.  It is simple and effective to use.

            The mixer comes with 3 interchangeable beaters, whisks, mixing blades and a dough hook.  With the extra attachments that are available, there is nothing you can’t make.  There is even a pasta shredder attachment to make your own pasta and/or raviolis.  There is also a juicer attachment to make your own fresh juice and an ice cream maker.  Can somebody say YUM?  

            The tilt head design of the mixer allows the head of the mixer to tilt up for easy removal of the mixing bowl.  IT also locks in place for the mixing process.  The 5 quart mixing bowl also locks in place.  You can do this by simply turning the mixing bowl while its on the base of the mixer until it stops.  When the bowl needs to be transferred, just turn it the other way and voila, the bowl is unlocked and ready to go.  The mixing bowl comes in the perfect size for small batches and large ones.  It also fits into a standard dishwasher for easy cleaning.

            The KitchenAid mixer is equipped with 10 speeds.  The first speed is for slow continuous stirring and the 10th speed is for very fast beating.  Personally, the 10th speed scares me a little bit.

            Who says that the appliances in your kitchen have to be boring?  This mixer comes in fabulous colors that will go with any kitchen.  Here is a list of the awesome colors:  white, cobalt blue, yellow, empire red, imperial black, persimmon, onyx balck, tangerine, white on white, cornflower, caviar, silver metallic, green apple, almond cream, imperial grey, ice, metallic chrome, majesty yellow, pistachio, gloss cinnamon, blue willow, bayleaf, boysenberry and pear .  I have one in imperial red that i got for Christmas and I absolutely love it!

This is the imperial red

This is the imperial red

            Customers love this mixer saying “One of the finest mixers in the market.”  This mixer is a little pricey, but definitely worth it.  It is available at Amazon.com, for $254.99.  This mixer is essential for making complex and simple recipes.  I absolutely love it and it gets the job done when you need it.  

            This mixer is also reliable.  One customer says; “I have had my mixer for several years and it continues to work like new.”  My mixer still works like new even through all of the failed recipes I have put it through.

            I would recommend this product to beginner bakers like me, or experienced bakers.  On viewpoints.com, this mixer received a 4.82 out of five for the overall rating.  That is probably because of its quality, versatility and simplicity.  There are endless possibilities for what you can make with this mixer, and with all of the available attachments, the possibilities grow even more!

            Once you get this mixer, you are guaranteed to love it at first sight.  I rate this mixer with a 5 because I love it!

Until next time my baker buddies!  Go out and buy this mixer!

May 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

Martha Stewart

martha-stewartMartha Stewart is one of the most successful and famous chefs ever.  She has written dozens of cookbooks, with a wide range of recipes for baking and cooking.  Many of those books were also bestsellers.  Martha Stewart rose to fame in the cooking world and has continued to gain fame and success with each new book she writes.

Martha Stewart was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Martha’s mother taught her how to cook and sew, and saw her strong passion for activities at home.  She graduated high school with straight A’s and went to Barnard College in New York, on a partial scholarship.  Initially, she was going to major in chemistry, but then switched to art.  Martha took a break from college for a year and married, but returned a year to graduate with a double major in History and Architectural History.  After college she worked on her business skills as a stockbroker and was very successful.  She left the business world in 1973 in order to focus more with her daughter, and this is when she started focusing on cooking.  In 1976, Martha started a catering business in her basement with an old friend.  She bought half of the business and was hired as the manager of a gourmet grocery store, The Market Basket at the Common Market which she later turned into a booming success. 

Martha began writing cookbooks, her first success was Entertaining.  In 1990 she signed with Time Publishing Ventures to develop the magazine Martha Stewart Living which she was the editor in chief for.  The first issue was released in 1990 and had an opening rate base of 250,000. In 2002 it rose to more than two million copies per issue! Following this, she became a frequent guest on TV shows and prime time holiday specials including CBS’s The Early Show.  In the May 1995 issue of New York Magazine, she was declared as “the definitive American woman of our time.”

Martha was later able to purchas the various print, television and murchandising ventures related to the Martha Stewart brand.  She incorperated them into her new company, Marth Stewart Living Omnimedia.  Martha served as the chairwoman, president and the CEO of her new company.  She also launched her website to the magazine, marthastewart.com.  Martha is currently woking on projects including books.

Martha Stewarts Baking Handbook is one of her popular cookbooks, featuring dozens of delicious deserts.  This may be a little advanced but it has great ideas.  That doesn’t mean you can’t try a couple of the recipes out!

Martha Stewart has risen to the top of the cooking world, with all of her successful books, TV shows and magazines.  She started out just like you and me, but she kept on practicing, and look where she is now!  It took her many years to earn her success and become an amazing chef!

May 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

Top 10 Baking Tips

  1. Do not overmix and do not overbake.

 

This can be particularly devastating if it occurs because it could ruin your recipe.  For instance, if you whip the heavy whipping cream for too long, the outcome will be butter, not light and fluffy whipped cream.  Also, if you bake the recipe for over the recommended time, it could become soot.  When baking constantly check your recipe in the oven, because one minute over could end in DISASTER!!!

 

2. Carefully read the recipe before proceeding. Use the specified ingredients, and pre-measure them.

 

When reading the recipe, everything need to be followed exactly for a tasty outcome.  Putting too much or too little of an ingredient messes up the balance of the flavors.  For instance, vanilla is a common over done ingredient.  Vanilla is very tasty, and very strong.  You may think, “WHAT!?!?  One teaspoon of vanilla!  That can’t be enough, lets make it two!”  Trust me, one teaspoon is plenty.

 

3. Always use metal measuring cups for dry ingredients and a glass measuring cup for liquid ingredients.

 

When measuring liquid ingredients, use glass so you can see how much you are pouring so you don’t add too much or too little.  This can taint the recipe as I stated above.
4. Take your time to properly preheat the oven, and practice safety.

 

People pre heat the oven to ensure it is the right heat for the recipe.  The required baking time labeled on the recipe does not include the preheating time.  You are supposed to preheat the oven, then put the recipe in to bake. 
5. Measure flour according to the recipe.

 

Flour is like vanilla, too much makes the recipe too dry, too little makes the recipe too liquidy.  If you follow the recipe, the amount of flour will be just right.

 

6. Check expiration dates!
7. Properly store ingredients and use the highest quality and freshest ones possible.

To make sure they don’t go bad
8. Use metal nonstick baking pans, not thin disposable aluminum ones. Glass pyrex pans are preferable for pie baking.

 

Non stick is great so you don’t have to spray the pans before hand!

 
9. Let your recipe cool on a wire rack for a little bit before unmolding/taking off of cookie sheet

 

This will let them sit for a little bit so when they unmold, they don’t fall apart.  Same with cookies; let them sit for a minute or too before taking them off of the cookie sheet.
10. Before baking, always wash your hands and carefully wash any fruits and vegetables used in the recipe.

This will keep bacteria from getting into your recipe.  Also when someone wants to dip their finger into the cookie dough, make sure they have washed their hands.  I have three brothers, so I experience this, a lot.  Also make sure to wipe down your workspace when needed to keep it tidy!

Top ten tips to follow!   I know I will!

May 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm Leave a comment

Pre Baking

Before you start to bake, there are a few steps that need to be completed to have a tidy work-space and the right supplies. 

The first thing you will need is an assortment of wet and dry measuring cups.  The measures you will need for dry measuring cups are: 1/8 cup, ¼ cup, 1/3 cup. ½ cup, ¾ cup and 1 cup.  The recipe will say what specific measurements you will need, but these are the basics.  

A liquid measuring cup is usually in the shape of a cup or bowl with a handle.  It has little lines on the side that say what the measurement is.  They come in metal, plastic and glass, but I would recommend plastic, because you can see the liquid when you are pouring it and it won’t break when you drop it.

Measuring spoons are very handy for small amounts of dry and liquid ingredients.  The measurements are in teaspoons and tablespoons.  You will need: 1/8 teaspoon, ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, ¾ teaspoon and 1 tablespoon measuring spoons.  I would recommend buying them in sets, because then they are always together.

This is a baking spatula-very handy.  They also come in cool colors too!

This is a baking spatula-very handy. They also come in cool colors too!

A spatula is also a great baking tool.  No the kind of spatula you use to flip pancakes, this spatula usually has a wooden handle and a rubber flat scooper on the end.  These come in handy for scraping the sides of cookie and cake dough mixing bowls.

A sifter is also good to have.  A sifter is great for mixing the dry ingredients together so the ingredients aren’t clumped together.  It helps evenly mix all of the dry ingredients.   I think they are also fun to use too 🙂

Here are some other good supplies to have:

  • Rolling pins
  • Baking pans (desired size)
  • Electric mixer (if you cannot afford it, then mix by hand)
  • FLOUR*
  • Baking powder*
  • Eggs and milk*

*these are the most common ingredients in recipes, but others may be needed too-it depends on the recipe.

Baking recipes also require some type of flavoring, whether your bakinga cake, or a batch of cookies.  Most of the time, they will need some type of flavoring, llike chocolate or vanilla.    You should always have these on stand-by.  Also, if stored properly, these can last indefinitely, so I would recommend buying a bigger bottle rather than a smaller one.  Some of the main flavorings are: Vanilla extract, Lemon extract, salt, light and dark corn syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, almond extract, semi-sweet, dark, melting and unsweetened chocolate and yeast.

Make sure to always keep your workspace tidy and clean to prevent germs from sneaking into your recipe!  Wipe down the workspace (when needed) after each step.  Also when baking make sure to have all of the ingredients out, you don’t want to be halfway through the recipe and realize you don’t have any eggs!  Trust me, it happens a lot.

Now you are ready to start baking! 🙂

Stay tuned for the next post and have fun! I know I will

 

 

 

 

May 12, 2009 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Hello world!

Hello, my name is Nina and I am a freshman at a pretty cool school in northern CA.  I love to bake, but I wasn’t born with the natural talent that some  have for baking.  I still love to bake, but most of the recipes that I have tryed to bake turned out to be a DISASTER.  So I stuck to baking from prepackaged cake mix and cookie mix.  These treats were satisfying, but my tummy was longing for the nice warm feeling in your belly that you can only get form home-made treats, made from scratch.  So now, I begin my journey to become a master baker with an empty stomach and a mind open with ideas and promise, that these next recipes will turn out better than a disaster. 

Come and read my blog if you want easy recipes that won’t make you sweat. 🙂

May 7, 2009 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

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