A Rainy Day is a Baking Day in my House

As usual it’s rainy and cold. This is the coldest spring on record for Germany. A BIG disappointment, the local pool is scheduled to open June 5th, but I doubt the weather is going to be nice. The brighter note is I leave in a few weeks to spend time in the states. Warm Weather is waiting for me.

 

Today I decided I was in the mood for a cookie. Although I wasn’t sure what. I am nostalgic when it comes to cooking. Oatmeal Raisin Cookie were something we always made when the weather was bad, or going on road trips. I whipped up a batch of oatmeal cookies (no raisins in my pantry), I love the texture of these lovely morsels. I prefer them Chewy in the middle and crisp on the outside.

Oatmeal

One thing you should always know about cookies they are finicky. Can’t always win with them. They either turn out or they don’t. Fortunately, I have a tip. Always pay attention to the first batch, you can adjust your dough depending on how the first batch turns out. This is a drop cookie therefore, you don’t need to handle the dough as you would cut out cookies.

If the Cookie spreads too much and is very thin, add more flour (can change the texture of your cookies),  or may need to be chilled for a few hours before baking. Some dough’s have a large liquid content and are meant to be chilled before using. The integrity of the cookie can slacken without the proper knowledge.

If your cookies come out too hard, and crumble, you either cooked them too long or too hot, check the temperature of your oven, as well as the amount of time you are supposed to cook them. Can also be a cause of overmixing. Dough is meant to just come together, and not be mixed too much.

If they break when being removed from the pan, Let them rest on the pan for a few minutes before removing and putting on a cooling rack.

If you want a chewy cookie, if it calls for softened butter, MELT it.  It will make the texture turn out chewy.

If you want a Crisp on the oustide cookie. Leave it in slightly longer than the recipe calls . Of course pay attention to it.

I will post the recipe I made on a future post.

Meanwhile as my dough was chilling I decided to make something else. I could’t decide what, but I saw the recipe on the side of the box of brown sugar.  Brown Sugar Pound Cake. It’s in the Oven as we speak (or type).

BrownSugar Pound Cake Meanwhile

Both of the recipes I have used have brown sugar. I guess it could be a theme.

 

I will post the recipes later.  I figured I would post something delicious and keep you hanging. 🙂

 

Have a good one and please come back to check out the recipes.

 

 

 

 

The Frustration of Sunken Cupcakes

See how it sunk in the middle..

See how it sunk in the middle..

I know it’s happened to everyone that has ever baked a cake (or cupcakes), the dreaded sinking or fall of the top of the cake.

It has happened to me many times…

It brings me back to Pastry and Baking at the Culinary School. I think I was the only one excited for the class. The majority of the students were horrified at the prospect of weighing, measuring ingredients as well as the exact science of time and how your caramel can quickly turn to candy if you aren’t watching it oh so carefully:

Reasons Your Cake has fallen or sunken in:

  • Proportions in your recipe are wrong: It would be pretty evident in the fall as well as the texture of your cake if your proportions were off. Make sure to read over your recipe before baking. Ensuring you have a leavening agent whether, its self rising flour, Baking powder and/ or Baking soda in the recipe.
  • Make sure to Scrape the bowl while mixing to ensure ingredients are distributed well.
  • Your oven is too hot or not warm enough. Check that the temperature is correct for the type of cake you are baking.
  • Did you beat the cake too much?  It can cause distribution of air in the batter which in turn will deflate when you pull it out of the oven.
  • Opening the oven door to check on the cake.  I suggest putting the timer on and only checking on it when it’s about 5 minutes from being done. Closing the oven door too hard can cause a rising cake to fall.
  • You did not leave the cake in long enough for the middle to finish baking.
  • Sometime Altitude can play a part, If you live in a high altitude location, make sure you add or subtract so much of an ingredient as needed. ( I will post something about altitude baking)

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Just remember to read the recipe before baking. Plan it out. Make sure you have all the ingredients and enough of them.  You can invest in a an oven thermometer if you aren’t sure your oven is heating correctly. And all I can say from my experiences in baking most of my life, try and try again. A Recipe does not ever turn out the same way twice, there is always minuscule difference, more moist, more dry, more crispy  more soft…Baking can be a pain but all in all it’s fun and the results are delicious.

And I was showing you for the benefit of a post. I pulled my cupcakes out earlier than normal, in this case they fell. My next batch looked like this:

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