I Can Bake! Who Knew?

Last Saturday

I almost forgot. So sorry that my “amnesiac tendencies” made me tardy in saying this;

Thank you! Danke! Merci beaucoup! Arigatou gozaimasu! Grazie, Vet bella! Without your tolerance, and oven, this experience(s) would not have been made possible. Thank you kaayo, Vet! Sa uulitin! 😀

I have always wanted to bake. So when I heard that Vet bought an oven, I was ecstatic. Hahaha! I got even more ecstatic when she informed me weeks after she purchased the appliance that she finally figured out how to turn it on. LOL! So last Saturday, my co-workers and I wasted no time in visiting Vet’s new abode…and tinkering with her new oven. I think I got a little carried away with buying supplies because I could hardly carry everything the first time we went there.

Preparation. The first thing I did was check out recipes on the net last Friday. Then I went to the mall and frantically searched for the ingredients. The “buttermilk” had me stumped, but Yam said that “skimmed milk” would be okay so that’s what I bought. (However, I wasn’t able to use this ingredient because I wasn’t able to bake buttermilk cookies…yet. LOL!)  I put all my ingredients and baking tools in one huge backpack that Friday night. Then on Saturday, we went to the mall and did some last minute shopping. Everything set, we hailed two taxis and gave the drivers the directions to Vet’s place. Luckily, our driver recognized the place and we didn’t get lost. We couldn’t say the same for Juliet and her gang though. Hehehe! Peace, Juliet!

I was only able to bake sugar cookies that Saturday because we were pressed for time. We had to exit Vet’s place early so we could visit a friend at the hospital who just had a cute baby girl.  We brought her some of the cookies and she said they were yummy (Yay!)… but then she also complained that they  were too thick all in the same breath. So much for compliments. Hahaha!

Well, we had lots of food that day. Yam made spaghetti. Juliet bought roasted chicken and pizza. Mine was the least of the contributions. I just baked Sugar Cookies. But I had fun baking them, despite the pain in my arms afterwards, and they were delicious. When time came that we had to go, Vet lamented that we left her with too much food and even complained about it until Monday morning. Hehehe! . . . Ay, sorry diay, Vet! 😀

The Sugar Cookies

[I used my plastic animal cookie cutters here. There used to be six but now I only have a toucan, a pig, a kitten, and a puppy.]

The Recipe (from Epicurious)

Servings: Makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Special equipment: 3- to 4-inch holiday cookie cutters; several small heavy-duty sealable plastic bags (not pleated) if icing cookies

Garnish: decorating icing (optional); food coloring (optional) *[In this part, the amnesiac side of me prevailed and I just used confectioner’s sugar for this part instead of buying “icing”.]

Whisk together flour and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer or 6 minutes with a handheld. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. *[We didn’t have an electric mixer yet when we did this so I opted to use my hands. No worries, I washed my hands quite thoroughly before i touched the dough. I swear!]

Form dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a 6-inch disk. Chill disks, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. { size: 8.27in 11.69in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>

Roll out 1 disk of dough (keep remaining dough chilled) into an 8 1/2-inch round (1/4 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, rewrap in plastic and chill until firm.) Cut out as many cookies as possible from dough with cutters and transfer to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging cookies about 1 inch apart.  *[I didn’t want the cookies to stick to Vet’s pan so we greased the pan with butter left from the ingredients.]

Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, gather scraps and chill until dough is firm enough to reroll, 10 to 15 minutes. Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps (reroll scraps only once) and bake on cooled baking sheets.

If using icing and coloring it, transfer 1/4 cup icing to a small bowl for each color and tint with food coloring. Spoon each color icing into a sealable bag, pressing out excess air, and snip a 1/8-inch opening in 1 bottom corner of bag. Twisting bag firmly just above icing, decoratively pipe icing onto cookies. Let icing dry completely (about 1 hour) before storing cookies. *[I didn’t use any icing because I didn’t have enough time. Next time, maybe I would.]

More Pictures from Saturday;

Yam and Jen in Vet’s mini gym

Moi, Candice, Raf, and Lex

Yam making spaghetti and Juliet ordering people around

Vet – The proud homeowner…Hehe!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Wednesday

The second time I went to Vet’s place, I didn’t bring much because I left most of my stuff at her house. Hehehe! This time I baked Chocolate Chip Cookies and Devil’s Food, which were both yummy! Our number also dwindled and there were only five of us this time. Incidentally, we got lost on our way to Vet’s house this time. I bet Juliet would find it really funny to know that what happened to them last Saturday was what happened to us yesterday. Jen and I just laughed. Then we told the taxi driver to go back the way we came. Hahaha!

I cheated with the Devil’s Food. I was afraid to bake a cake from scratch the first time so I bought a cake mix and ready-made chocolate frosting. Next time, maybe I’d be brave enough to make one from scratch. *crossing fingers*

Devil’s Food

It was relatively easy. I just followed the direction at the back of the box of the cake mix, and “whala!”… we got two 8-inch discs of moist chocolate cake!

By the way, I used Pillsbury Devil’s Food Cake Mix

and

Betty Crocker’s Whipped Milk Chocolate for the frosting.

*~*~*

Now for the cookies. I had fun making these because I was the first one to use Vet’s new electric mixer. Hehehe! Then Jen and I had fun making dough balls of the sweet-smelling dough and putting them on the pan, preparing them for the oven.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Recipe (from Epicurious)

Servings: Makes about 28 large (4 1/2-inch) cookies.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (16 oz)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or wax paper.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly beat 1 egg with a fork in a small bowl and add 1 3/4 tablespoons of it plus 2 remaining whole eggs to butter mixture, beating with mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture until just blended, then stir in chips.

Scoop 1/4 cup batter for each cookie, arranging mounds 3 inches apart, on 2 baking sheets. Flatten mounds into 3-inch rounds using moistened palm of your hand. Form remaining cookies on additional sheets of parchment.

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool and continue making cookies in same manner using cooled baking sheets.

If you want to get delicious recipes of any dish or dessert just check; http://www.epicurious.com

More pictures;

Getting my hands dirty

Jen greasing the pan

Choco chip cookie rows!

Jen helping out

Flattening the dough

Cookie dough in the oven

They look so yummy, don’t they?

The yummy products of our toil!

Itadakimasu, everyone!

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