Friday, October 28, 2016

Pretzel Rolls

I've been on a bit of a pretzel kick over the last, I don't know, 8 years maybe. I think it all started when I was working the 2nd of my two food service jobs (the concessions stand at a water park in Renton): one of many snacks served was soft pretzels so I would occasionally get one for a snack (or lunch). Been hooked ever since. Every time I'm at the mall or a baseball game, I often have to pull myself away from the stands that sell soft pretzels. Not sure what it is - a different taste maybe? Currently one of my snacks is a serving of SnackFactory's Pretzel Crisps. And back when I lived with my parents and joined my mom on her Costco runs, I would occasionally grab a bag of pretzel rolls instead of regular rolls to go with my Easy Mac. I have yet to find them at the regular grocery store.

Which brings me to these (somewhat flat) lovelies. When I ran out of the King's Hawaiian Rolls, I decided to try and make my own pretzel rolls. So I scoured my Pretzels board on Pinterest (yup, the love is that major) and finally decided on Pretzel Rolls from Tasty Kitchen.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

French Macarons

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again"

As a stubborn person, this is one of my mottos. Granted, there have been times when I've given up after the first try (e.g. I switched majors after failing student teaching and I gave up on my writing dream before I even considered putting my short stories together for a publisher) but those were things that I knew I realistically couldn't succeed at.

French macarons, however, are another story: I've tried 6 times to make them, usually after baking a present and I have leftover eggs.

  1. May 2015: Batter was too thick; I can't even remember how. Probably because I used liquid egg whites instead of fresh egg whites.
  2. June 2015: I didn't whip the egg whites long enough nor did I let the shells rest before baking them. And I used liquid egg whites.
  3. February 2016: After a lot of research and a lesson from Mom (and the internet) on how to whip egg whites properly for meringue cookies, I still got the same result as in June 2015 because I didn't let the shells rest.
  4. June 2016: I whipped the egg whites correctly. I let the shells rest. But when I pulled the baked shells off the parchment paper, they came apart. I think this was because I didn't let the shells cool first, something the recipe left out.
  5. August 2016: I might've over-whipped the egg whites because when I was folding them into the dry ingredients, the batter became thicker and lumpier than it should have been. And it stayed that way.
  6. September 2016: Success? I think so!

(It's quite possible that I had at least one other attempt but I can't seem to remember it)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Caramel Apple Cookies

I don't know why but I keep forgetting that my cousin/bestie/fellow September Girl Chiara loves fall. The flavors, the fashion, the scenery outside - it's her favorite time of year. But it's one fact about her that I can't seem to remember. Fortunately, I do remember that she loves caramel apples. I even have the pictures to prove it:

Taken at the Washington State Fair in 2014
So when I decided I was going to bake her a present this year I immediately started keeping an eye out for caramel apple desserts on my Pinterest feed that were giftable. I decided on Caramel Apple Cookies from the blog House of Yumm.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Marshmallow Stuffed Cookies

Over the past few years my parents have had friends and family over for a Labor Day BBQ. This year my mom asked me to bake a dessert, something easy to grab like cookies. Since I had mini marshmallows leftover from some s'mores bars I made last month, I decided to look for recipes with them so I could try and use up the bag (didn't succeed; I still have about half the bag). I eventually found a recipe for Marshmallow Stuffed Cookies on Smart School House. Who doesn't like finding a surprise in their cookie?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

(Milk) Chocolate Cheesecake

My cousin Chiara is one of my favorite people. She's pretty much the closest thing I have to a sister. So when she graduated from the high school/running start program she's been part of the last few years, I volunteered to bake some treats for her graduation party. She wanted 2 things: 1) Chocolate Chip Cookies (simple) and 2) the chocolate cheesecake I'd made Matteo and Declan for their birthdays. I told her I'd make a chocolate cheesecake since I wanted to make a different recipe (although I did keep the original in mind just in case I couldn't find what I wanted). I did find a Bittersweet Chocolate Cheesecake in the Betty Crocker Best Desserts 2011 magazine. To change things up, I decided to switch the bittersweet chocolate out for milk chocolate (I've noticed that for the most part you can pretty much switch out one type of chocolate for another. Obviously there are some exceptions, like milk for unsweetened and vice versa).


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