Category Archives: 52weeksofbaking

52 Weeks of Baking – Week 10: Book or Movie Inspired – Strawberries and Cream Pie

Here’s the second of the recipes I’ve chosen from Diane Mott Davidson’s Dying for Chocolate.  She calls it a Strawberry Super Pie, but my title is a bit more descriptive.  Once again I took the recipe from Life Happening and Fun on the Farm because I couldn’t find the book.

The crust is a nut shortbread, and instead of just pecans, I used a toasted almond and pecan mixture that I had leftover from making baklava.  The filling is cream cheese and whipped cream mixture that is very light tasting and goes well with the sweet strawberry topping.  I took this pie to our Wednesday night church meeting at Les and April’s house, and it was gone very quickly!

My rating: 6 out of 10.  I’m not a big strawberry fan, and this would have been much better if the strawberries were in season.  The cream cheese mixture was difficult to fold with the whipped cream, so I think I’ll “lighten” it with some of the whipped cream first next time.  Also, the whole strawberries were a bit tart, so I’ll halve them next time.

Hubby’s rating: 7.5 out of 10.  He thought the texture of the crust was funky (no one else did, so maybe he’s just weird)  He also thought the whole strawberries were a bit too tart.  So not his favorite dessert, but he did like it.

Difficulty rating: 6 out of 10.  This has multiple steps that could be messed up, from cooking the strawberry goo to whipping the cream.  Experienced cooks will find it no problem, but beginners could have a difficult time.

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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in 52weeksofbaking, Good


52 Weeks of Baking – Week 9: Homemade Samoa-like Cookies

These took a lot of work for a very sub-par presentation.  Nevertheless, it was a very fun experiment!  First you make a shortbread cookie.  Then you top it with a toasted coconut and caramel mixture.  Dip it in chocolate and pipe some chocolate on the top, and you’re supposed to have a cookie that looks and tastes like a Girl Scout cookie.

I used this recipe for the cookies. Notice how mine look nothing like theirs.  To fix this, I need to roll the cookies out thinner, use a smaller cookie cutter, thin out the coconut mixture with more caramels and dip the cookies deeper in the chocolate.  But hey, nobody’s perfect.

My rating:  Oops.  I haven’t eaten one yet.  Hold on…

My rating: 6 out of 10.  The cookies were too soft.  The coconut mixture was too think and chewy.  The chocolate was sub-par.  The whole cookie was too sweet.

Hubby’s rating: 8.5 out of 10.  He agreed that the caramel mixture needed to be spread out better.  He was also distressed by the lack of hole in the cookie.

Difficulty rating: 7.5 out of 10.  These were pretty ridiculous as far as number of steps goes, and there were A LOT of places to mess up.

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Posted by on March 10, 2012 in 52weeksofbaking, Try Again


52 Weeks of Baking – Week 8: Candy Decorations – Embarrassing Reese’s Pieces Cookies

So a rather long story goes with these cookies.  I’m woefully behind on the 52 weeks of Baking.  I was going to make these delicious looking cookies from the Pioneer Woman when I went to Tennessee to visit my sister.  Instead, I caught a nasty stomach bug that changed our plans!  So I made the cookie dough last week to make at home.  It has to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Those hours turned into days as plans changed and Nick got sick.  By the time I got back to the cookie dough, it had gone bad.

So I made some Toll House cookies and replaced the chocolate chips with the mini Reese’s Pieces that I was going to use in the PW cookies.  I’m leaving this week behind without looking back.

I’m not rating these cookies.  Just look on the back of Nestle’s chocolate chips for the recipe.  Meh.

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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in 52weeksofbaking


52 Weeks of Baking – Week 7: Love-inspired – Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

What do Hostess cupcakes have to do with love, you ask?  Well….I love them.  And my belly baby has been craving them, and I love my belly baby.  And…that’s it.  These were pretty tasty!

I used a recipe from one of my new favorite blogs, Bake at 350.  Of course, mine don’t look nearly as pretty as hers do.  She wrote cool messages with the icing and everything.  I tried to do just a regular Hostess swirl on mine and that didn’t work out, so I just put a little blob on the top of each cupcake.  Mission accomplished.  Next time I’ll just leave the white icing off, as it doesn’t add much to the final product when you suck at cake decorating.

My rating:  6 out of 10.  (I’ve expanded the range from 5 to 10 as 5 seemed too confining.)

Hubby’s rating: 7 out of 10

Difficulty rating: 8 out 10 if you want them to be beautiful, unlike mine.  4 out of 10 if you don’t care that they look like cow pies.

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in 52weeksofbaking, Good


52 Weeks of Baking – Week 6: Elegant – Pots de Creme

Before anyone asks, no, these are not baked.  I completely forgot that this was supposed to be baking or I equated baking with desserts or something.  But if you want a really elegant dessert with very little effort, gives these a shot!

I used this recipe that I found along time ago from The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  If you have a blender at home and a few hours to kill waiting for these things to chill, this recipe is super-easy and tastes pretty good.  That is, it tastes pretty good if you like coffee.  Some of the commenters on the website say that you can’t taste the coffee, but either their taste buds are dead or I brewed the coffee WAY too strong.

Hubby’s rating: Hubby unavailable for comment at the moment; I’ll update this when he lets me know.

My rating: 2 out of 5.  I don’t like coffee.

Difficulty rating: 1 out of 5.  Maybe lower. This recipe is just ridiculously easy for what you get!

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in 52weeksofbaking, Good


52 Weeks of Baking – Week 5: Breakfast – Cinnamon Chip Scones

When I saw that week 5 was breakfast week, I was in a bit of a quandary.  I could have just picked a new variety of muffin or something like that, but I wanted to try something that I had never made before.

Enter the scone.  I have eaten a few scones in my day, but they were always from Starbucks or a bakery or OBU’s cafeteria.  I didn’t really care for them, but I figured that fresher usually equals better, so I went searching for a scone recipe.  Following my own advice in my “I can’t cook” post, I went to Taste of Home’s website and entered “scones” in the search bar.  I sorted the results by rating, and this recipe came out on top.  I knew Adam would like these particular scones, as he has a particular love a cinnamon, so I decided to give it a go.

These were quite easy.  A tip from my kitchen: My friend April gave me the idea to grate butter instead of cutting it into little cubes in order to cut the cold butter into the flour.  It makes the process quicker and easier, especially if you don’t have a pastry blender (or if you’re too lazy to dig yours out of the drawer).  When I mixed up the dough, I realized it looked a bit dry (it should look like biscuit dough), so I added a splash more buttermilk than the recipe called for.

The scones are HUGE if you only cut the dough into 12 pieces.  I think that 16-20 pieces would be better for a proper serving size, but they are very pretty at the size the recipe calls for, so use your best judgement.

Hubby’s taste rating: 5/5 (I knew he’d like them!)

My taste rating: 4/5 (Still not my favorite breakfast item, but they were much better fresh than from Starbucks)

Difficulty rating 2.5/5 (If you’ve made biscuits from scratch successfully before, then drop the difficulty rating to 1/5.)

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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in 52weeksofbaking, Good


52 Weeks of Baking – Week 4: Frosting/Filling – Blackberry Cream Cheese Danishes

Breakfast in bed for the hubby today!  He’s REALLY enjoying this new cooking venture.  He hasn’t liked every single dish (I haven’t either), but he really likes trying new foods.

These danishes are not really danishes.  More like blackberry cream cheese turnovers. Adam really liked them, but I found the filling to be a bit grainy.  Maybe I’ll like them better when they’re cool.  I used this recipe from the Food Network and added a small spoonful of blackberry jam to each danish before sealing them.  The filling wasn’t actually supposed to bleed through the seams, but they’re actually kind of pretty that way!

This recipe was not very complicated at all.  The biggest things to remember are that you need to let your cream cheese soften, and you don’t need to over-beat the filling.  In reality, this will take you about an hour the first time you make them, so give yourself enough time!  I suggest finding a thin icing to pipe on the top, as they could have used a bit more sweetness.  As far as the folding goes, be creative!  I think the recipe intends you to fold them into triangles, but where’s the fun in that?  I liked the ones where I folded all the corners to the middle, but have fun!

Hubby’s rating: 4 (out of 5)

My rating: 2 (out of 5)

Difficulty rating: 2 (out of 5)



Posted by on January 29, 2012 in 52weeksofbaking, Good, Not Good