Tag Archives: baking

Homemade Twix


Followed this Serious Eats recipe. It was amazing. I never want to eat a “real” Twix bar again. Now just to figure out how to make Butterfingers…

The base shortbread was fantastic — no need for caramel or chocolate.

Adapted from the Serious Eats page above:

2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) steel-cut oats
7.5 ounces (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour (I subbed for a half cup of whole wheat, just because I want to use it up)
1.5 ounces (1/4 cup) cornstarch
3 ounces (2/3 cup) confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into halfinch-ish chunks

Dump all the dry ingredients into a food processor, then add the butter. Process until a dough forms. Then roll it out into cookies! Bake at 450F for ten minutes, then 300F for another 15 minutes, rotating halfway.

I made both cookies as detailed in the link above, and a tray of Twix. Half a recipe of the dough filled an 8×8 pan. I had a hard time getting an evenly thin layer of chocolate in the tray though.

Would (will) make again! Maybe just the cookies.

I baked too much.

And here’s the evidence…DSC_0828





Total list of things prepared:
Turkey + swiss filled croissants
Cheese & mushroom quiche with a ritz crust
Fried mini donuts (misshapen donut holes?)
Awesome brownies
Smitten kitchen brownies
Other brownies
Brownie mosaic cheesecake
Spiced TKOs
Passionfruit meringue pie
Chocolate blueberry mochi cake
Chocolate chip yogurt coffee cake
Blood orange marmalade yogurt coffee cake
Slutty brownies

I was left with a batch of croissant dough and a lot of cookie dough in my fridge. My eyes are bigger than my friends’ stomachs.



Soft-boiled Eggs in Cake, Part 2

Frozen eggs

After being defeated last weekend by the Chocolate Egg Cupcakes, Shamiq and I tried again. This time, we started with two sets of frozen eggs — softboiled for four minutes, and raw.

Corn batter

Plus some Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix…

Warming up a frozen egg

For the softboiled then frozen eggs, I dunked them in hot water for a little bit to warm up the outside. My thinking was that an icy egg may release too much water and interfere with the corn muffin’s baking. The texture of a frozen egg white is pretty weird. It’s almost spongy.

I put the eggs in the corn muffin batter, then baked…


Lo and behold! A runny yolk. Victory was delicious.


Another shot of the runny yolk, because… why not?

Documenting the science:

Eggs used:
Egg 1: Soft boiled for 4 minutes, then refrigerated
Egg 2: Soft boiled for 4 minutes, then frozen*
Egg 3: Frozen raw
Egg 4: Refrigerated raw egg straight into the batter

Results: (After being peeled, and baked into corn muffin batter)
Egg 1: Yolk was more set than I’d like, but not quite hardboiled. It was at that… pudding like stage. 17 minutes.
Egg 2: Runny yolk! Hurray. Muffins baked for about 17 minutes to reach this state.
Egg 3: After about 20 minutes, the yolk was starting to set, but there was still some raw batter under the crackly surface of the top of the muffin. I scooped it out and the remaining muffin was pretty good. But raw batter is meh.
Egg 4: Yolk gets pretty set, and the egg white disappears into the corn muffin, for the most part.

Shamiq’s Notes on Peeling Frozen Eggs:
1. dip egg in tap water
2. crack shell by whacking with edge of a spoon
3. whack one particular part with rounded part of spoon until shell is removed, then “push” upwards.

* There was a second round with an egg that had been in the freezer for a few days, the muffin baked and the yolk came out still-frozen. I think freezing for a few hours is probably the sweet spot. Clearly more science is needed.

Disappearing Marshmallows

My hands

After my round of eggs-in-cupcakes, I had some chocolate cake batter left. I thought I’d make them into smore-cupcakes.


From the left, graham crackers + mini marshmallows, just mini marshmallows, half a large marshmallow & a whole large marshmallow.


Topped off the batter, you can still see the shapes of the fillings.


Finished cupcakes! I was excited to bite into them… I figured I’d get a mouthful of gooey marshmallow & warm chocolate cupcake…


Nope! The marshmallows melted into the cake. I guess this makes sense when I think about it…


But darn, the cupcakes looked misleadingly gooey.

Upside, the melted marshmallows made the chocolate cupcakes incredibly gooey and moist.

Egg Cupcake Science

While reading 7×7’s The Big Eat 2013, I stumbled upon this particularly interesting listing — Rebel Within, from Craftsman & Wolves. I love putting edible things inside other edible things, and the idea of an egg, yolk still running inside a savory biscuit or muffin is just… awesome.

Try as I might, I haven’t been able to find a recipe online, so it’s science time…

Shamiq and I tried boiling eggs for 2, 3 and 4 minutes, and then putting them in chocolate cupcake batter (just out of laziness, I wanted to figure out the eggs before tackling a savory biscuit/muffin). This is what we found.


2 minute boiled eggs are too raw. Also, torching egg shells can cause exploding egg shells.


3 minutes seemed about right, if you’re willing to lose some of the white.

We baked two cupcakes with 4 minute eggs (easy to peel) and six with three minute eggs (harder to peel, but much less done).

And the results?


Slicing open a three minute egg cupcake…


Dangit, the yolk was cooked through. But not overcooked.


The yolks in the four minute eggs were definitely overcooked.


Oh well. And, in case it’s at all questionable, hard boiled eggs don’t go well with chocolate.


Cheesecake Brownie Science

I tried to make cheesecake brownies following the idea of black bottom cupcakes. I went for Smitten Kitchen’s “Favorite Brownies” and doubled the cheesecake section of her Black Bottom Cupcakes.

Results: Cheesecake takes longer to cook than brownies. By the time the center of the cheesecake was set, the edges were cracking and the bottom of the brownies had overcooked to a crust.

Next up: Try this in a cupcake pan, where the heat is more distributed.

Parmesan Cookies

Parmesan Cookies


I made these to accompany the appetizers we served on Christmas dinner. They’re delicious.

2 sticks unsalted butter

1/2 lb grated Parmesan cheese (I grated mine freshly, I don’t know if it makes a difference)

1 3/4 flour

1. Heat the oven to 350F

2. Beat together the cheese and the butter

3. Add in the flour to form a stiff dough. (The second time I tried this recipe, I had to add in some melted butter. The cookies turned out just fine, but spread a little more)

4. Roll the dough into three logs, and slice the logs into cookies 1/4th in thick.

5. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

Chocolate Souffles

Chocolate Souffle


Before the supposed end of the world last December, I told some friends that my pre-apocalypse goal was to make a souffle. So make a souffle I did. I’ve followed the same recipe thrice now (once with my roommates for a pre-apocalypse snack, once for Christmas dinner, and once just because I was hungry) and it’s been consistently reliable.

I made a few changes to the recipe — first, I don’t add the lemon juice. I have nothing against lemons, but I’m lazy and haven’t had lemons. Second, I add spices — a few teaspoons between cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, allspice and ginger. And lastly, I whipped the egg whites ahead of time, they dried out a little, but the souffle was still fine.

It pairs great with Brandy Cream.

Coffee Cake

Sourcream Coffee Cake

I’ve never understood coffee cakes. They contain no coffee and seem no different from any other cake except that they aren’t frosted. But Shamiq found Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake really interesting and asked me to make it. So I did. The result is amazing. The cake itself is moist and easy to eat (I usually find cakes too dry and crumbly). I’m excited to try the basic cake batter with different toppings. Perhaps candied orange peel or ginger. Or a hint of marmalade?

Coffee Cake Base (from Smitten Kitchen)

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (I used a little less)
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt

I also added: 1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of allspice and black pepper

Coffee Cake Filling (also from the link above)

2 cups or 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

The recipe has you cream the butter, then add the eggs yolks, then the dry ingredients. Lastly, whip the egg whites to soft peaks and fold the yolks in. Pour half the batter into a buttered 9×13 pan, then spread half the topping/filling, then add the other half of the batter, then the remaining half of the filling/topping.


Maybe a candied bacon and chocolate coffee cake?

Pictures to come. They’re still on my camera.

Banana Bread Science

(left to right, banana breads 1, 2& 3. recipes below)

Before the Thanksgiving break, I took home all the bananas the snack staff at work had on hand since they were going to throw them away in anticipation of the holiday. What better to do with over a dozen bananas than some banana bread science?

Recipe 1: Courtesy of my roommate, http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread/ – 3 bananas

Recipe 2: Cook’s Illustrated’s “Ultimate Banana Bread” (membership required) – 6 bananas

Recipe 3: Cooks Illustrated’s “The Best Banana Bread” (membership also required) – 3 bananas and yogurt

I took half of each loaf to work and had people take small samples of each and cast anonymous votes. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of banana bread 1. Banana bread 1, however, also has the most sugar, so that very likely affects peoples preferences.

Other notes, banana bread 6 had more banana flavor than 3, but probably needed more sugar. 3 was the clear loser.

I’ll try this again with even amounts of sugar.

Science is a good reason to stuff yourself with banana bread.