Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops- TWD

Welcome everybody! We are super excited to be hosting this week’s Tuesday with Dorie bakers. Like others in the group, we started Bake with Us for the very purpose of joining TWD. I (Caroline) had been given Dorie’s cookbook for Christmas one year and when I stumbled upon these fabulous bakers, I wanted in on the action. So I talked Claire into blogging with me and here we are today hosting. The highlight of being part of this group is that we get to try recipes that we never would have thought of baking and of course I mostly fall in love with them.

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops for my workmates

Like many other bakers we had a hard time picking this week’s recipe. For our visitors, Claire and I are sisters who love to bake and stay connected despite living five hours apart through this little project. It only took us a few emails back and forth to settle on these delicious cookies. I whipped them up on Valentine’s morning to bring to work. I am fairly new at this job and I hope that they don’t mind all the baked goods I bring in. There aren’t too many of us in the office so the jury is still out whether I make them happy or make them regret hiring me because of the calorie laden treats that I bring in;)

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops dry ingredients

Oatmeal Drops in heart cupcake liners

Thanks to all of you who baked with us and special thanks to Dorie for creating these delicious treats! I can’t recommend Baking: From my Home to Yours enough. Go check out your local bookstore and treat yourself today.

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

Getting Ready: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl and sprinkle over the 1 tablespoon water, then add the brown sugar, followed by the chocolate. Stir occasionally until everything is just melted. Don’t let the ingredients get so hot that the butter separates from the sugar and chocolate, and don’t be concerned if the mixture looks grainy.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs on at a time; the mixture will look shiny. Whisk in the dry ingredients, stirring only until they disappear into the dough. Stir in the oats. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each spoonful.

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until the cookies are dark around the edges and just slightly soft in the middle. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature. (If the cookies are difficult to lift from the baking sheet, wait a minute and try again.)

Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

A chocolate oatmeal drop

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is just a quick post (with a not-so-stellar pic) of what I made this weekend for a friend’s Valentine’s Day party.

This recipe is originally from Martha Stewart and I found it on Annie’s Eats. The top of the cupcake is supposed to be a swirl but as I started to swirl a few of them, I realized I could make hearts! How festive:) Not all of the hearts turned out but it was fun and one of my more creative baking moments!

These cupcakes were yummy and I definately will add them to my baking repertoire. I may even give them a go with different fruit toppings or perhaps add some chocolate!

Cheers,
Claire

Red Velvet Cupcakes Part Two

Last month I was browsing through some cookbooks and thinking about Valentine’s Day. Last year at Valentine’s Day there was a lot of red velvet posting on various blogs and since I have never had red velvet cake, I thought this years Valentine’s Day would be the perfect time to give them a whirl. Conveniently, I was invited to a party which meant that I would be able to share my treats and avoid eating them all myself.

Cupcakes with Leah's yummy chocolate cookies

 

Apparently, my dear sister and I are two peas in a pod because when I called her one evening she told me she was planning on making red velvet cupcakes for Valentine’s Day too! I had looked at the Martha Stewart recipe that she chose but had already settled on this recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery book. I chose this one because it didn’t require the gel food colouring, although it did require a heck of a lot of liquid food colouring!

Since I have never had a red velvet cupcake before, I don’t have anything to compare these with but as far as I am concerned, they were pretty darn good! I did have quite a few tasters who all enjoyed them too so I guess we will call them a hit! The cake was just right and the icing was very yummy.  I think these will definitely make an appearance next Valentine’s day or even sooner, perhaps a Canada Day party!?

Red Velvet Cupcakes
source: The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
150 g caster sugar ( i just used regular sugar)
1 egg
10 g cocoa powder
20 ml red food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120 ml buttermilk
150 g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 325.
Put butter and sugar in freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mier up to high speed and beat until ou have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low spped and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
Spoon the mixture into 12 paper cups until 2/3rds full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cupcakes to cool slighly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. When cooled completely, ice with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

300 g icing sugar, sifted
50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125 g cream cheese, cold
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

My good friends Rachel and George gave me Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes for Christmas. Rachel and I are old friends and she and her husband know how much I like baking and eating baked goods. In fact, they were the one’s who gave me my Dorie Greenspan cookbook, which led me to Tuesday’s with Dorie and in turn, Claire and I starting this blog. So all of you who benefit from our baking efforts, be sure to give a shout out to Rachel and George.

Anyways, when my co-worker and I decided to make our Snack Friday Valentine’s themed, I figured it was a perfect chance to try out my new cookbook. I find myself turning to Martha when I want to try a new recipe and I need it to turn out.

Red Velvet cupcake and candy hearts

The recipe is available on Martha’s website but if you don’t have a cupcake cookbook I recommend that you check this one out. I can’t wait to try more recipes from it. Now, I followed the recipe closely except when it came to the red food colouring. My grocery store didn’t have the gel-paste so I had to settle for the traditional food colouring. The bottle I bought wasn’t big enough so I didn’t get the deep red colour that is expected in a red velvet cupcake. I think I may look at using the beet juice the next time I try these,  seems a little more natural and healthy.

Red Velvet Cupcake minus a bite

All in all, these were a hit with the coworkers and with S. who loves red velvet cake. I was trying my hardest to avoid eating one as I seriously indulged in the sugar cookie extravaganza. For the sake of showing you the inside of my cupcakes, I took a bite and that was the end of that, I ate the whole thing. The cream cheese frosting and the chocolaty goodness made it impossible to have only one bite. If that’s not a sign of a good cupcake, I don’t know what is.

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day! I admit I am a fan of Valentine’s Day. I have spent many a Valentine’s Day single and many in a relationship so I get both sides of the story. I just think a day about love can’t be wrong. Whether you get wrapped up in the commercialism of it is your choice but devoting some time to sharing the love has got to be good for the world.

This past week was my Snack Friday and Jen, my coworker and Winner’s Buddy, agreed to join in on the fun. I think I have mentioned it in the past but my library celebrates Friday’s with eating and socializing, how cool is that? When I realized our Snack Friday was close to Valentine’s Day Jen and I decided to go with a theme. We thought we would bring out the kid in all of us by baking sugar cookies and having people decorate their own. To document the fun we brought along a camera and had people take photos of their creations. My coworkers are very creative and we had a great time decorating and documenting. I am lucky to work with such great sports!

Jen and I used Martha Stewart’s Sugar Cookies from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. You can find the recipe over here.

Valentine’s Cupcakes

So this was Valentine’s weekend and of course you need to have chocolate baked goods. The girls and I planned an evening of dancing and the best way to start that off is with pizza and chocolate treats. I searched and searched for appropriate chocolate recipes and ended up settling on cupcakes.  A cake was too big, cookies too small and thus the chocolate cupcake.

Valentine's Chocolate Cupcakes

Valentine's Chocolate Cupcakes

I got the recipe from the cupcake project who adapted it from Chockylit. Now the cupcake project made some additions to get these to Better than Sex Cupcakes, I thought that was a little too hot for us, so I made these traditional style without and filling etc.

Chocolate Cupcakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1-1/4 cups sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoons vanilla

2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Chocolate Frosting

5.3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar

Chop the chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl. Melt over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 – 20 minutes. Dissolve the cocoa powder in the boiling water in a small bowl. Set aside. In an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Scrape the bowl. Add powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add cooled, melted chocolate and beat to combine. Add cocoa paste and beat to combine.

 

Cupcake

Cupcake featuring a Cadbury Button

Well, I have to say that I loved the cupcakes, meh on the frosting though. I added more icing sugar than it originally called for in order to make it sweet enough for my taste buds. In retrospect I wish I had done a cream cheese icing or a seven minute icing. You bake and learn I say, gives me a good reason to make them again with a different frosting. Hope you all had a great chocolate filled Valentine’s Day.