Chocolate Cookie Bowls

Chocolate Cookie BowlsI have seen this idea on Pinterest and kind of fell for it: Small bowls made of cookie dough. All you need to do is turn your muffin pan upside down and place round cut cookie dough on there. I must confess I tried a lot of those life hacks you find on Pinterest with mixed results. Most of the things I tried did not come out as good or easy or at all. But this time it actually worked though I improvised. I was invited to a Party with a Sports theme, so I wanted to bring something cool, awesome to impress but also a little healthy. After consulting Google, this sugar cookie recipe was picked. But I was set on chocolate so I varied the recipe slightly. Continue reading »

Swedish for beginners

KanelbullarEaster is a typical time for  buns, wreaths and other fine goodies made with yeast. I wanted to make a breaded bun filled with plum jam anyway and as I am smart enough to buy everything double when attempting to prep something on a bank holiday, I had leftover yeast and decided to try out some little swedish delights. It is one dough, that can be varied to different shapes and flavours. I found the recipe in Lecker magazine, written by the one and only Frau Horstmäään from Zucker, Zimt & Liebe.  She has a thing for Scandinavia, that is obvious. And in the last Lecker Bakery, there was a special on her scandinavian recipes. I have tried out Kanelbullar and Kanelknuter, both made from the same dough with different fillings and shapes. Yeast doughs are very easy, when you follow some simple rules.

KanelknuterMake sure, that the milk is not warmer that lukewarm, otherwise it might kill the yeast bacteria and your dough will be hard as stone. Do a pre-dough, even though most recipes don’t say so, Grandma taught me, so I’m doing it. Grandma also taught me never to use metal bowls or mixing appliances. Once you’ve mixed everything together, knead for 3 minutes longer. Then give your dough some rest at a warm spot, be patient and let the yeast do the work. There are some shortcuts like filling a bowl with warm water and put the bowl with your dough in there, sprinkle with a little flour and cover with a tea towel. Now on to the recipe, I have made some small adjustments. Continue reading »

Cupcake vs. Muffin

People keep asking me what the difference between a muffin and a cupcake is. Some believe the frosting makes the difference, others think it’s the measurements. However I always try to explain them with two simple German words: Muffin=Kuchen (Cake) and Cupcake=Torte. But I learned that this is only half of the truth. The main difference is the method of preparing the dough. While for Cupcakes all ingredients are creamed together,  the “wet” ingredients are mixed separately from the “dry” ingredients and only brought together very shortly before baking the Muffins. When creaming things together you try to beat in as much air as possible to “fluff” up while the muffin method relies on a raising agent (mostly baking soda).

Blueberry MuffinI must confess I haven’t baked muffins in a long while because they were often too dry, never rise too much and turn more broader instead of having the typical hat. With all those little bits and pieces of knowledge I acquired over time I finally managed to bake muffins that were well risen and moist, even though they still don’t look like store-bought ones. I totally forgot to take a picture of my blueberry muffins. I took this recipe and made some variations. My brother left a 125g pack of blueberries in the fridge, but some of them were already over ripe. I tossed those, added a little dried super-fruit-mixture (dried cherries, cranberries and arionaberries) and replaced the baking powder by baking soda. I also added a spoonful vinegar with the berries as I once read that baking soda needs acid or at least other sour ingredients to react with in the dough, there again goes chemistry (:

After Brownies the Muffins seem to be the next recipe to reconcile… I am pretty curious what’s next!