Saturday, November 8, 2014

Homemade Marshmallows

I love marshmallows. I like to eat them as a snack while watching TV or reading.
S'mores are good too.
Melted in my hot chocolate is also great.
I love them so much that I decided to make them myself. And what I found out is that they are slightly sweeter then the store bought ones.


thick ooey gooey yumminess


2 1/2 Tablespoons of Unflavored Gelatin {approximately 3 1/2 envelopes}
2 Cups Cold Water
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
Confectioners’ Sugar (powdered sugar for dusting)

Combine unflavored gelatin and half of the cold water (1/2cup) into the mixing bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and the rest of the 1/2 cup of water. Over low heat, stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
Turn the heat to high and boil mixture, do not stir, until it reaches 244°on a candy thermometer. (Approximately 12 minutes) 
Immediately remove pan from heat.
Mix on low speed, slowly pour the syrupy mixture into the gelatin.

Turn up the speed to high and beat until very thick, white and nearly tripled in volume. (About 15 minutes) Add vanilla, mix until incorporated.

Now the, ahem, the fun part.

Spray a 13 x 9 glass pan with non-stick spray and dust with powdered sugar.  Pour marshmallow mixture into pan and sift/sprinkle a good layer of powdered sugar on top. Wet your hands (to prevent sticking) and gently press on mixture, making sure it is even in the pan and somewhat smooth. Sift/sprinkle another coating of powdered sugar on top and place uncovered in the fridge for about 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
Or until firm.

Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and flip it over. You may need to use your fingertips to pull the marshmallow out. Be gentle or you may rip the block of marshmallow.

With a knife, cut into squares. Dust the knife before each cut with powdered sugar. A clean dry knife helps keep the cuts clean and square. Toss the cut marshmallows with powdered sugar to fully coat in a large gallon sized zipper baggie (or large bowl, but that tends to get messy). This helps to prevent them from sticking together. 
They will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.

I tried them out at a friend's house by making s'mores.
They were a hit!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


One of my childhood memories is my mom would make popovers in the morning for special occations. 
Although these are easy to make they do take a while to bake, but totally worth it. 



Preheat to 400 degrees.

2 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
(1 tablespoon shortening or cooking spray)

You can use an actual popover pan or muffin pan, grease (or spray) each cup, bottoms and sides.

Now start in a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs first, then add milk and oil until combined the add the flour beat until smooth. The mixture will be runny.

Fill the prepared cups half full with batter.

Bake for 40 minutes or until very firm.

Remove immediately from oven and prick the tops with a fork to let the steam escape (the trapped moisture will soften the popovers and make them soggy).

For crisper popovers, return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove popovers from cups and serve immediately.
I used a muffin pan so it made 10 popovers, with a popover pan it should make about 6.

The version that I made are made with cinnamon.
Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the flour before pouring into the wet mixture.

Finally, you can fill with butter, jam or honey. Really, pretty much whatever you want.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are one of my favorite cookies. EVER.
I may or may not have eaten half the batch already.

Here is a classic recipe of these yummy yum delicious cookies.

 Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins

*I tend to put more cinnamon then what the recipe calls for. I'm a cinnamon freak.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, and both sugar until smooth.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy.

Next, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.

Finally fold in the oats and raisins.

Use a cookie scoop or drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake 8-10 minutes, I like my cookies on the soft side so I bake mine just until the start to brown around the edges, yet still soft and a tiny bit gooey in the middle.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Homemade Graham Crackers

I love graham crackers, but since I stopped buying stuff with high fruictous corn syrup, i stopped buying graham crackers. They are my favorite snack and I was very sad about that.
I came across a recipe on Pinterest, and modify it. These are made with brown sugar and honey.
They turned out soooooo tasty. The next time I make this I will roll of the dough thinner to feel more like the store bought ones.

Graham Crackers

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teasspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry indregients,
Then add the cubed butter and use a pastry blender (or fork) and blend the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

Then add the honey, water and vanilla and mix until incorperated.

Remove the dough and shape it into a large ball.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough like you would cookie dough, roll out until it's less then 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out into crackers or cut out into shapes. Re-combine the scraps and roll out, cut out, repeat until all the dough is used up.
You can use a pizza cutter to make straight lines and a pointed skewer tto poke holes into the crackers.
Place the crackers on a lined (baking mat or parchment paper) cookie sheet and bake for 15 mintues.
To achieve the crispy cracker crunch, let cool completely.

These are super easy to make and super tasty. Enjoy!

*edited 7/1/2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies

No-Bake Cookies! This is essentially my childhood in a nut shell. Easy and no oven! No worrying about burning and they stay soft.
I put my own spin on this classic recipe. It calls for sugar, A LOT of it. But, I really don't like sugar alternatives so I just left it alone.

 No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned oatmeal (not instant)

Mix the sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Be careful to to not scorch the milk. Stir continuously.

Boil for 1 minute. keep stirring.

Add the peanut butter and vanilla. Mix quickly until peanut butter melts,
 then add the oatmeal until well blended.

Drop spoonfuls on tin foil, wax paper or parchment.

Allow to set and cool completely.

 (Sorry for the off color)

Makes 2 dozen 3 inch cookies.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Oven Baked French Fries

I love starch. Potatoes are my weakness. I don't think I can live without them. There are so many ways to cook them. But whenever I get the chance, I like them nice and crispy. I love french fries, but I don't love the oil. Baking them is the healthier option.

The key to crispy baked fries is to soak them in water for a while. The more moisture pulled from the the potato, the crispier they get. So good!

Oven Baked French Fries

3 to 4 baking potatoes
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Salt and Pepper to taste

 I say the bigger the potato, the better.
Clean the potatoes under cold water with a soft bristle brush.

 Next, cut the potato in half and the slice the halves into 1/4 inch thick pieces, as shown.

Take the slices and lay then down flat and cut lengthwise to make sticks.
Next fill a large bowl of cold water and add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir until it has dissolved.
Now place the potatoes in the salt bath and let sit for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 410 degrees.

Drain the water and lay out the potatoes on a kitchen towel and pat dry, but not completely dry.
Transfer them to a large greased baking sheet and lay out so that none are on top of each other.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to liking. With the potatoes being wet, the spices adhere better.

Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, while taking out half way through to flip over to get even browning on both sides. Additional time may be needed for crispness.

These turned out pretty good. I will be making these a heck of a lot more. So yummy!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love cinnamon. I love it so much that I named my cat Cinnamon. I love the scent, and taste, everything about it!

Many times when I bake and a recipe calls for cinnamon, I add a little extra. I little extra never hurts, I say.

I wanted to make cinnamon rolls, but I didn't want to make the icing and I didn't want something super sweet. This bread has a great flavor, color and texture. It's an easy to make bread, so any level baker can easily follow the directions.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread


1/4 oz. packet of active dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
or 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

7/8 to 1/18 cups lukewarm water (around 85 degrees)

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes


1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water (to brush onto the dough)


If you are using the active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of of sugar in about 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water. Let it sit for 15 minutes. In that time it will bubble and rise. (Skip this step if you are using instant yeast)

While the yeast is bubbling, combine all the rest of the ingredients for the bread itself into a large mixing bowl.

(ignore the two extra eggs)

Next, combine the dissolved yeast into the rest of the ingredients and mix (by hand or mixer or the dough setting on a bread machine) till the dough becomes smooth. If it is too dry, add very small amounts of water until smooth, or if too moist and sticky, add small amounts of flour at a time until smooth. But any way you mix it, you should end up with a nice smooth round ball.

Doesn't look like it, but it's the right consistency.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it's doubled in size. This should take an hour or so.

 I didn't make mine into a ball because I'm a rebel.

While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Mix the egg and water in a small dish and set aside right before handling the dough.

Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 6" x 20" rectangle.

Brush the dough with the egg mixture before sprinkling on the filling. Save the remaining egg mixture to brush on the dough before placing in the oven.

Start with the shorter end, and roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends and the long seam closed to seal.

Transfer the log, seam side down, to a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan. (I only had a 8" x 4" pan and it was a little snug) Tent the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap. Allow to rest and rise for another hour or until it rises an inch above the rim of the pan.

When bread is almost ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

 Brush a layer of the egg mixture you saved on top of the dough. This helps it achieve a nice golden brown color. Tenting it lightly with tin foil for the first 15 minutes and then remove it for the remained of the time left in the oven.
Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and gently loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula. Turn it out of the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

I used it to make really yummy french toast. Oh, man! It' was DELICIOUS!