Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jello Shots!

Not exactly baking, but delicious nonetheless! I made these for a party last night and they turned out really good, so I figured I should post the recipe because it's always good to have on hand!

3/4 cup alcohol of your choice
1 3 oz. package of Jello, flavour of your choice
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup cold water

Liquid measuring cup
Microwave safe bowl
Baking sheet
20 small paper shot cups - I usually buy these from the Dollar Store. They work much better than the plastic shot glasses because they allow you to squeeze the Jello out while you're doing the shot.


Evenly arrange the paper shot cups on the baking sheet. Pour 1 cup of water into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 and 1/2 minutes, or until the water comes to a rolling boil. Add the package of Jello to the boiling water and stir for approx. 2 minutes, until all of the gelatin has dissolved. Pour in the 1/4 cup of cold water and stir, then pour in the 3/4 cup of alcohol and stir. Evenly fill the paper shot cups with the Jello mixture. Chill the shots in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Don't try to speed things up by putting them in the freezer because the Jello won't set properly. This recipe makes enough for about 20 shots.

I made two different kinds of Jello shots last night. The ones on the left were made with lime Jello and vodka and the ones on the right were made with coconut Malibu and strawberry Jello. The strawberry ones were my favorite!

A pretty foolproof combination is to use a flavoured alcohol and then pair it with the same flavour of Jello - like Strawberry Vodka and Strawberry Jello. Here are some other recipe combinations you could try:

Orange Creamsicle - Vanilla Vodka or Amaretto and Orange Jello
Pina Colada - Coconut Malibu and Pineapple Jello
Porn Star - Blue Curacao and Cherry Jello
Margarita - Tequila and Lime Jello
Lemon Drop - Lemon Vodka and Lemon Jello
Jolly Rancher - Green Apple Sour Puss and Watermelon Jello
Strawberry Daiquiri - White Rum and Strawberry Jello
Peach Pie - Spiced Captain Morgans and Peach Jello
Chocolate Cherry - Black Cherry Vodka and Chocolate Jello (yes chocolate Jello exists)

Wood Buffalo Country Fair

This weekend the Wood Buffalo Country Fair was held in Fort McMurray. Residents were able to submit their own artwork, crafts, baking, preserves, produce, and flowers for judging. All of the entries were on display on Saturday at Heritage Park. When my sisters, cousins, and I were younger we would submit our arts and crafts every year. Now, I am more of a baker than an artist, so this year I baked two different kinds of cookies to enter into the Country Fair.

My cookies - all ready to go for judging on Friday night.

First I made some Pumpkin Pecan Cookies. Find the recipe by clicking here.

These won 1st place in the drop cookie category!

I also made some S'more Cookies. Click here to get the recipe.

These cookies won 2nd place in the rolled cookie category!

My cookies on display with all of the other baking entries at the Country Fair on Saturday afternoon.

Along with ribbons I received $25.00 in prize money. I know it's nothing crazy, but it will buy the ingredients to make a lot more cookies!

Congrats to all the other participants at the Fair!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Double Chocolate Walnut Cookies

These are pretty much a cross between a brownie and cookie. They're chewy, packed full of walnuts.. and very addicting!


2 ad 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 3.4 oz. pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
1 and 1/2 cups walnut pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.

Mix the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until well combined. Finally, stir in chocolate chips and walnut pieces.

Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Once out of the oven, leave the cookies on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Birthday Cake!

This cake was my third paid order I've done so far! It was for the 5th birthday of a little boy named Jordan. He specially requested that he have a chocolate, heart-shaped cake with blue icing. Apparently he wanted the same cake for his 4th birthday last year but wasn't very impressed when his parents took a shortcut and just got a blue heart drawn on a regular slab cake. So, Jordan, I hope this is the cake that you've been dreaming of since your last birthday!

For the chocolate cake I used the previously posted recipe for Black Magic Cake, and divided the batter between one 9x9" square cake pan and one 9x9" circle cake pan. To make the heart shape I posistioned the square cake so that it was a diamond, cut the circle cake evenly in half and then put a half-circle on each of the top sides of the diamond. I liked this method for creating a heart-shaped cake better than using a heart-shaped cake pan because it gave the heart a more definitive shape and also meant there would be more cake. For the vanilla icing I tried a new recipe which I absolutely loved. It is the perfect vanilla icing and definitely my new favorite!

Here is the recipe:

Vanilla Buttercream Icing


1 and 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
3 and 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract


Beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy (about two minutes). Add one cup of icing sugar, and continue beating until well incorporated into the mix. Repeat with the remaining icing sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, and continue beating until smooth. Spread out on a cooled cake or cupcakes. Leftover icing can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer until needed. Before using the icing just let it come to room temperature and beat it with a mixer until smooth.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Monday, August 9, 2010

Banana Muffins with Oatmeal-Walnut Crumb Topping

Oatmeal-Walnut Crumb Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces

Banana Muffin Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners.

To make the streusel, in a medium sized bowl, stir together walnuts, oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder and salt, until well combined. Knead in the butter using your fingertips until well combined and clumpy; set aside

To make the muffins, in a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together banana, egg, milk, butter, brown sugar and vanilla until well combined; whisk in dry ingredients until just combined.
Divide batter into muffin cups and evenly top with the prepared crumb topping. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and well risen. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Recipe from Sugar Plum

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread


1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Grease a loaf pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and yogurt. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined and batter is thick and chunky. Do not over mix the batter or it will result in a very tough, rubbery loaf. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

*Recipe from Joy of Baking