Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baked French Toast

I love breakfast! but.. I'm usually too lazy to make something spectacular in the morning.  That's what I love about this french toast recipe- you do the majority of the work the night before, so you can't back out of making breakfast in the morning :)  Since there's only two of us, I halved the recipe.  I cut my pieces a bit thicker than the recipe called for and added more cinnamon and almonds. They puffed up beautifully, but I'd probably scale back the size of the slices next time.  The raspberry sauce was sweet, but tasty.  I served this along with fresh cut mixed fruit.  It was a great Sunday morning :) 

Aunt Sassy Cake

When I first saw the Aunt Sassy cake in the Baked book, I couldn't wait for the perfect occasion to make it! I love pistachios, and the honey vanilla butter sounded devine!  When my birthday rolled around, I decided it was time to bake this 3 layer beauty. The instructions are pretty straight forward, and the cake smelled delicious when I pulled them out of the oven.  The frosting came together just fine, though I was a bit concerned that the frosting took on more of a yellow hue than white as it looked in the book (but after 3 sticks of butter, what else should I expect?).  The frosting was also my favorite part of the recipe. Very light and fluffy with the sweetness of honey.  While the cake was delicious, I was disappointed that I couldn't really taste the pistachio. Maybe it was because I used shelled pistachios that had been opened the week before (though the pistachios didn't seem to lack flavor when eating one after shelling).  It tasted like a basic vanilla cake.  I really want to try to make this again with pre-shelled fresh pistachios and see if the results are different. 

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

I enjoy baking for others, so I offered my husband's World History students the chance to pick any recipe out of the Baked Explorations book for me to bake for their end of semester party.  They chose Chocolate Whoopie Pies which was a great choice (especially for transportation and serving!).  The kids loved them, and I thought they were good, however, I had a few notes that I think could make them better.  I didn't think the pies were as chocolaty as they could have been (maybe it was the quality of the cocoa powder I used).  I also thought the filling was too buttery.  I would have almost loved the marshmallow icing (AKA Angel's Frosting) from the Devil's Food Cake recipe.  Other than that, I enjoyed baking these.  I used a tablespoon scoop with a release mechanism to make measuring the pies AND scooping the frosting.  I highly recommend investing in one- I use it frequently for scooping cookie dough quickly on the pan as well as measuring the peanut butter mixture for buckeyes.  Another thing about this recipe: it made a lot more than I expected (I used 1 tbs for the pies) It made around 20 small pies.  I also had lots of filling left over (note: don't overfill the pies because the soft filling will squish out on the first bite). I can't wait to try the red velvet whoopie pies!