Saturday, December 4, 2010

Apple Banana Cupcakes

 I was seated down for breakfast when I noticed 3 overripe bananas in our fruit basket. Being a person who was never comfortable with being wasteful, my first thought was to make some banana bread. But the recipe I used needed around 7 or 8 bananas, so I decided to make muffins instead.

No, this was not a recipe from Lola's collection. A few months ago, while browsing through, I came across this recipe for Apple Banana Cupcakes. It was well-reviewed by other bakers so I decided to give it a whirl.

At first I was a little intimidated since the recipe called for buttermilk, which isn't very common here in the Philippines. But a substitute could be made by simply putting together 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and a cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes.

Mixing my batter I could already get a glimpse of the final product, thanks to the pungent smell of the nutmeg and cinnamon. Baking each batch for a little over 20 minutes, the recipe yielded 32 small cupcakes, which were really more like muffins I think.

It was a really good recipe. The cupcake was soft and light, not as heavy as a regular muffin. It was the "melt in your mouth" kind. I also chose to omit the frosting, since I deemed them sweet enough as is. It's a perfect pastry (or is it bread?) for the holidays! :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recipe #1: Oatmeal Crispies

1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Reading this recipe made me imagine the Thin Oatmeal Crisps of The Blue Kitchen. It was that Pastry shop that gave me a taste of these really light and thin yet surprisingly sweet cookies that melt in your mouth.

It was with this particular cookie in mind that I decided to give this recipe a whirl.

After combining all the ingredients together and refrigerating it for about an  hour, the dough was shaped into balls.

My favorite part of the whole thing was rolling the dough and pressing them with the bottom of a glass.

Pressing each ball with a glass. Maybe next time I can roll it out a bit more?
The cookies didn't come out the way I had in mind. For one, they were a bit thicker than I wanted them to be and second, they weren't as sweet as I had imagined. They were still good though, so they definitely wouldn't be wasted.  These cookies are best served with hot chocolate or coffee (I ate them with hot chocolate after dinner, woohoo!)

Oatmeal Crispies, alongside the Apple Strudel Muffins I had baked that time too! :)

So recipe # 1 was unexpected, but still a success. Maybe if I made them with milk instead of water next time? :) 

More to come! I can't  wait for the next recipe that finds me.

The Quest

I've baked quite a few things since I started about a year and a half ago. I started with cookies and my lola's (grandmother's) recipe of apple pie.
Apple Pie! My lola's recipe (yum yum!)

When my lola was still with us she lent me a scrap book filled with recipes. Some were cut out from newspapers and magazines, others were penned in. I must have gotten my "sweet tooth" from her, as most of the recipes were of pies, cookies, cakes and other pastries.

A page from one of her scrapbooks

After she passed away, I was surprised to discover that there were about 5 scrap books all filled with recipes. Later on, I was handed more recipes in the form of 3 wooden boxes filled with index cards.

A hand-written recipe of Praline Meringue Cake

Browsing through the scrap books and boxes, I decided to start this blog to document the recipes I will try from her collection. 

So here starts the adventures (or should I say, misadventures!) of an amateur baker. 

Let's get bakin'! :)