UBC Cinnamon Buns Recipe

Review: The UBC Cinnamon Buns Recipe!

When I was about 11, I remember pulling out the Joy of Cooking cookbook to decipher recipes (often) and decide what to bake next. One recipe fail I recall rather vividly is the first time I ever made cinnamon buns.

It was an event. They were tough as rocks, sweet, and somehow edible to my family. I followed the recipe, and perhaps not paying attention to the time it takes to let dough ferment, or kneading the dough as little as possible to avoid too much gluten development and all that technical stuff I was naive to. I was a kid in the kitchen, standing barely above the counter level having a blast with a new recipe. No fear of failure, just pure excitement at the thought of baking amazing cinnamon buns. Who doesn’t love Cinnamon buns? Filled with a gooey cinnamon centre, and covered in that sweet cream cheese frosting. They are decadent and deadly.

Fast forward a couple decades, and I’ve learned a thing or two about bread making.

Now with this rainy weather in Vancouver, we could call it cinnamon bun season year round really. Despite spring being around the corner, today was a fairly cold day. I love this time of year.

In the winter months, it is my baking season and I love to test out new recipes and see how they work for me.

One coveted recipe on my list to try has been the UBC Cinnamon Bun recipe, which I found online last year. I have been meaning to test it for quite some time, after hearing other bakers rave about it. Finally I got down to business and made the recipe happen in my own kitchen. Continue reading

Back-to-School Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

The William-Sonoma Baking Book's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is a success!

The William-Sonoma Baking Book’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is a success! I love how these turned out, chewy inside and crisp outside. A perfect lunch box treat!

It’s that time again, back to school for lots of kids today. Even though I am not in school, I still feel that new-beginnings energy and love this time of year. Fall is my favourite season, and it is upon us very quickly.

Heading off to school for me always meant new school gear, stationery (my favourite part), clothes, and packed lunches. If I were going back to school today, I’d enjoy having a classic chocolate chip cookie in my lunch as a treat sometimes.

And I have just the recipe for those of you at home looking for a new one to try.

Recently I tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe for me, and rather than searching the internet, I went back to my library of baking books. I selected the trusted Williams-Sonoma Baking Book [Amazon.ca], on page 14, I found their Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, it was too my liking so now I must share it with you. Continue reading

Chocolate chip cookie dough balls

My new favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe

As you likely know by now, I spent a lot of time looking at food websites in my spare time, whether it’s through Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter each of these channels brings me new ideas every time. Well, recently, I came across the NYTimes Cooking best chocolate chip recipe. I was intrigued because generally NYTimes Cooking is a great source for quality recipes, and I wanted to try this one.

I was immediately in love with the recipe, after reviewing the ingredients and method. I had to made a few small tweaks based on ingredients I had at home though, and in the end, accidentally didn’t include the granulated sugar #bakingfail (I was feeling a bit under the weather and just plain old forgot). Their original recipe is linked above, but I’ve listed the adjustments/error I made below.

Quickly though, I want to highlight why I love this cookie: 1) It’s not too sweet, just the right sweet, because I forgot one of the sugars; 2) it’s a nice texture, not chewy (although I do like chewy) it’s a bit more crumbly – perfect for a sandwich; 3) there is a high chocolate to cookie ratio so you get chocolate in every bite; and 4) I liked the method they used, simply following the creaming method (The Pastry Chef online defines it well) to letting the dough rest overnight.

Here is my version of the recipe.

Perfect with a cup of tea or glass of milk, a mini chocolate chip cookie sandwich

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour** (see note, I used all-purpose flour)
1 ⅔ cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour**(I used all-purpose flour)
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces)granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate (I used 54% chocolate chips, or use your favourite)
Sea salt (for garnishing on top, flake salt is ideal) Continue reading

My Cake Fail Stories & Life Lessons Learned

This past year, I have made countless cakes and desserts, and I while I still have much to learn, I know I become a better baker each time I bake. I have also learned a lot about life from baking. It might sound simple, but it is true, there is a lot to learn from cake and baking in general.

Recently, I realized there are a few tips for baking and life that I would like to share with you. To the budding bakers out there who aspire to be better, this is how I recommend you approach your baking efforts.

Life lessons learned from cake fails: MY 5 tips to bake better

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My Perfectly Imperfect Nostalgic Chocolate Chip Cookie [Recipe]

[Warning: this post may induce intense cookie dough cravings. Read at your own risk.]

The other week I was seriously craving some cookie dough. Like, Cookie Monster craving. I could have eaten an entire batch if it was before me at the time. I have no shame in admitting this because I know some of you have likely had a similar craving!

Cravings happen. You know you want to eat some of this…

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My first sculpted cake: a skull!

A few weeks ago a friend from my old running group asked me to make her husband’s 60th birthday cake. She requested a skull, after explaining it might be unusual, but her husband would love it. At first I didn’t know if I could, but then I researched it a bit, and realized I could definitely do this. I had not made a sculpted cake before but learned a bunch of tricks over the past few months that I knew would help.

So I said yes, I will make your skull cake. Fortunately they only needed to serve about 10 people, so I did not have to make a lot of cake.

I will share some tips in this post from what I learned while making this sculpted cake and share some photos I took throughout the process.

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Be Mine Valentine cake in a jar!

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Valentine’s Day is coming! Another holiday full of love and chocolate, my favourites. So, I wanted to try something simple, sweet and fun using recipes i’m already familiar with, and that are easy.

I also wanted it to be portable, so I decided to bake the cake in mason jars. This is a great way to travel with cake, because you can ice it and seal it with a lid. Then take it where you need to go, serve it up and eat it straight out of the jar! It’s really fun to see people enjoy eating cake in a jar. Continue reading