Baking Bites by Nicole Weston.+Add.Feed Info1000FOLLOWERS
Baking Bites is a site for those who love cooking and baking, whether your preference is to whip up simple chocolate chip cookies, decorate fanciful cupcakes to slow-rising artisan breads. It is a resource for home bakers to learn about common baking techniques, how to use different ingredients and for hundreds of fantastically delicious recipes.
The Instant Pot might have been one of the popular holiday kitchen gifts last season, but the Dash Mini Waffle Maker has consistently been a best seller this year. The pint-size waffle maker is just a bit bigger than the palm of your hand and produce 4-inch waffles that are almost too cute to eat. It comes in a variety of colors and has a price tag right around $10 – making it a perfect impulse purchase, whether you’re shopping online or see it in the store. As a waffle fan with a Belgian-style waffle iron that I really like, I wondered how the Dash stacked up to its full size competitors and ordered one so I could give it a try.
The waffle iron is so small and lightweight that it almost looks like a toy at first glance, but the waffle iron has a surprisingly heavy duty nonstick iron inside once you open it up. It has an indicator light on the top that lights up when you plug in the machine, then clicks off when the iron is hot. It does not have a on-off switch or any audible indicator, but that is true of some larger machines and not something I mind much. It does, however, mean that you need to plug it in to preheat about 2 minutes before you’re ready to use it and that you must remember to unplug the machine when you’re done.
The Dash heats up quickly and the nonstick surface works very well. I found my waffles released easily from the iron both when I greased the iron and when I did not. It heated evenly and produced waffles that were uniformly brown, though the batter didn’t quite always make it to the outer edges (I chronically underfill my waffle makers, apparently) and the coloration was a touch lighter there.
It took about 4 minutes to cook my waffles until they were crisp on the outside and completely cooked inside. The waffles were completely cooked at about 3 minutes, but the exterior remained soft unless they got a little extra time on the iron. I felt it was worth a little extra patience to get that perfectly crisp outside, however if you are planning to pop your waffles in the toaster to crisp them up before serving (a handy trick for small waffles), letting them be a little less cooked might be better. Since there is no audible alert, I used a kitchen timer while I cooked.
All in all, the waffle iron performed extremely well and really exceeded my expectations. It produced evenly cooked waffles with a nice crispy surface and a moist interior. The 4-inch waffles were a great size for stacking, sandwiching or snacking. It does not save a lot of time over using a full sized waffle iron, however this gadget takes up almost no space in the kitchen, so everyone will be able to find room for it. You can use any traditional waffle recipe (the instruction booklet includes both sweet and savory recipes), but I would recommend cutting them in half because a little batter will go a long way here. For the price, you can’t go wrong – even if you already have a full size waffle iron in your kitchen.
Whole grains are an important part of a balanced diet, so it never hurts to include them into your recipes when possible. These Buttermilk Whole Wheat Waffles are made with white whole wheat flour, which makes them a better choice for your daily breakfast than some other waffle recipes. Despite their high whole grain content – something that might make you worry that these waffles with be dense instead of delicious – the waffles still bake up to be crisp on the outside with a fluffy interior!
The batter for this recipe is easy to put together and can be made up in just one bowl. It uses white whole wheat flour, along with a generous dose of buttermilk, vanilla, melted butter and a bit of sugar.
Whole wheat flour is made using the whole grain of the wheat, including the outer bran. The bran is typically brown or reddish, which gives whole wheat flour its brownish color. White whole wheat flour is made from a variety of flour where the bran is extremely light in color and has a much milder, sweeter flavor profile than that of traditional bran. This means that the flour itself is lighter in flavor and, though it packs in a generous serving of whole grains, it looks and feels more like all purpose flour in most recipes.
The waffles have a hint of whole wheat nuttiness, but you primarily get tangy buttermilk and vanilla in each bite. They’re very slightly sweet and perfect when topped off with maple syrup and fresh berries. The number of waffles that you get from this recipe will vary by the size of your waffle iron. If you have a Belgian-style iron, you may find that you get fewer waffles than you would with a flatter waffle iron (however they will probably be crispier due to the larger surface area of each square). If you have a mini waffle iron, cut the recipe in half and you’ll get about 8 mini waffles.
Buttermilk Whole Wheat Waffles
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in eggs, melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla extract and whisk until batter is smooth and uniform.
Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturers’ directions and, if it is not a nonstick iron, lightly grease with cooking spray. Fill waffle maker with batter (typically from 1/2-cup to 1 cup, depending on the size of the iron) and cook until golden on both sides, about 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately.
Skillet cookies – with their gooey centers, crisp edges and shareable size – have been steadily gaining popularity over the past year or so. They’ve gone from unusual dessert menu item to a treat that many people bake at home. You can make a skillet cookie with almost any cookie dough, including prepared dough, but Trader Joe’s decided to make things even easier with their new Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie. The 16-oz cookie comes frozen, in it’s own baking dish (not a skillet, but close), and ready to become your next quick-fix dessert.
The cookie is pre-baked and includes instructions for heating it up in either the microwave or in the oven. While I’m usually a proponent of using the oven to cook frozen foods, I strongly recommend that you use the microwave for this one. Since the cookie is fully baked before being frozen, baking it a second time in the oven tends to dry it out a little bit, making it more of a “large cookie” than a gooey-in-the-center “skillet cookie.” When you microwave it, not only does it take a fraction of the time, but the cookie is softer and gooier – just as it should be.
The cookie has a nice molasses and brown sugar flavor, and it is loaded with chocolate chips. All of the melted chocolate is what makes this cookie worth eating, filling your mouth with every bite. The fact that you can microwave this is a huge plus and gives you a good reason to consider it instead of baking a from-scratch skillet cookie. That being said, the from-scratch cookies will be gooier and will be better leftover (since leftovers of this cookie will find themselves in the oven/microwave for a third time to warm them up), but this one works extremely well and is ready to go in less than 5 minutes from frozen. Be sure to serve it warm and consider adding a scoop of ice cream to each serving/spoonful to make it truly decadent.
This beautiful Lemon Swirl Bundt Cake is perfect for those times when you want to bake a cake with a bit of a surprise to it. The vanilla bundt cake has a gorgeous swirl of lemon running through it – a swirl that is bright yellow in color, but all natural in both coloring and flavoring. As a bonus, this cake is quite easy to make, so it will look like you put more time and effort into baking it than you really did.
This cake uses one vanilla batter as a base. The pound cake-like mixture is generously flavored with vanilla extract and buttermilk, which gives it a buttery flavor and a tender crumb. The vanilla cake is very white in color because, like many white cakes, it only uses egg whites. The egg yolks are reserved and added to a small portion of the batter along with plenty of lemon zest, creating a batter with a sunshine yellow hue that is packed with citrus flavor! You will be surprised at how much color just a few yolks can add to your cake!
You should add the cake batters to your pan in layers to get a white-yellow-white effect in every slice of the bundt. I didn’t run a knife through my batters to really swirl them together because I prefer to see a bolder yellow stripe, but feel free to do so if you want a more intricate pattern.
This cake is beautifully sweet and balanced on its own and, since I wanted to show off the design of the bundt pan, I opted to leave it unfrosted. If you do want to finish it off with a little bit of glaze, I recommend using a vanilla glaze made with vanilla extract, milk and enough confectioners’ sugar to thicken it to a pourable consistency. This way the vanilla layers of the cake will be highlighted and the bright lemon swirl will continue to stand out. Frosted or not, the cake will keep well in an airtight container for several days after baking.
Lemon Swirl Bundt Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9 or 10-inch bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light. Beat in the egg whites, followed by the vanilla extract. Stir in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Stir in an additional third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining buttermilk. Stir in the rest of the flour and mix until no streaks of dry ingredients remaining.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, remaining 2 tbsp sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Stir in approximately 1/3 of the vanilla batter and mix until uniform.
Transfer 1/2 of the remaining vanilla batter into prepared bundt pan and spread into an even layer. Spoon lemon layer on top and spread evenly. Spoon remaining vanilla batter over the top of the lemon layer and spread as evenly as possible.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire rack to release the cake. Allow cake to cool completely before slicing.
Growing up, I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my lunch more times than I can count. I still love the combination of sweet, fruity jam and savory, sticky peanut butter whether I’m enjoying it in a sandwich or in a PB&J-inspired dessert. This Peanut Butter Coffee Cake with Raspberries is a brunch option that is inspired by this classic sandwich, featuring a peanut butter cake that is studded with fresh raspberries and topped with a buttery streusel.
The batter for this cake is very easy to put together and can be mixed up in just one bowl. That being said, a small portion of the dry ingredients should be set aside towards the beginning of the recipe so that they can be turned into a bit of streusel for the top of the cake. Coffee cake is always better with streusel, isn’t it? There is a nice dose of peanut butter in the cake batter and raspberries are folded in after the other ingredients have been combined.
I used fresh raspberries in this cake and prefer to use them, when they’re available. If fresh raspberries are not in season, you can use frozen berries. When using frozen raspberries, use them from frozen – not thawed – and try to get the cake into the oven quickly after mixing it up so that the berries don’t start to soften. In fact, if I’m using frozen berries, I would recommend making the streusel before finishing the cake batter and not the other way around. Your cake also may need an additional minute or two in the oven to bake through completely. Still, it will be just as tasty whether it is made with fresh or frozen berries, so feel free to use whichever is more convenient for you.
This cake is light and tender, with a nice balance of savory peanut butter and sweet-tart berries. It will absolutely evoke the flavors of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, even though it is a lot less sticky than the “real” thing. The cake can be served when it is still slightly warm from the oven, or allowed to cool to room temperature. The cake is best within a day or two of baking.
Peanut Butter Coffee Cake with Raspberries
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk (pref. whole)
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp butter, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch round cake pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, brown sugar and salt. Remove 1/4 cup of mixture and transfer to a small bowl, then set aside.
To the large bowl of flour mixture, add in vegetable oil, egg, peanut butter and milk and mix until well-combined. Stir in raspberries, then pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Add softened butter to small bowl containing the remaining flour mixture and use a fork to cut it in, until the mixture resembles wet sand. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the peanut butter batter.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
These tuxedo Black and White Chocolate Brownie Bars have something for every chocolate-lover, whether you prefer dark chocolate, white chocolate or love them both equally. The bars have a vanilla layer and a chocolate layer, with both dark and white chocolate chips packed between them.
The bars start with a blondie-like batter made with melted butter and a very generous amount of vanilla extract. This recipe is a great one to use vanilla bean paste in, if you have it, because the specks of vanilla bean will make the finished bars look even more delicious. That said, classic vanilla extract is fine, too. The batter is divided into two parts and cocoa powder is added to one portion, giving it a deep chocolate color and flavor. The chocolate batter makes up the base of the bars and the vanilla batter is spread on top – but not before a generous amount of white and dark chocolate chips is packed in between.
White chocolate chips work extremely well in this recipe because they have a creamy vanilla flavor that amps up the vanilla in the top batter of the bars, while contrasting nicely with the chocolate batter below. As always, use good quality white chocolate made with real cocoa butter and not with other vegetable fats. Dark chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips make up the rest of the filling, just to add another dose of chocolate and to keep the black and white theme of the bars going.
The finished bars have a brownie-like texture, meaning that they are dense and chewy. The chewy texture comes from the fact that there is no leavening in this recipe. They are indulgent enough to pass for a candy bar, though they feel a bit lighter – thanks to all that vanilla – than your average batch of traditional brownies. I baked these in a 9-inch square baking pan, however they can be baked in an 8-inch pan by simply extending the baking time for a couple of minutes.
Black and White Chocolate Brownie Bars
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark/semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch pan with aluminum foil
In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth. Add in flour and salt and stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and milk. Divide vanilla batter in half and add one half of the batter to the bowl with the cocoa powder. Stir until cocoa powder is completely incorporated.
Transfer chocolate batter to prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle white chocolate and dark chocolate chips evenly over the top of the cocoa layer. Spoon vanilla batter on top of the chips and carefully spread into an even layer.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bars are set and lightly browned at the edges. Allow bars to cool completely before serving.
Waffles are one of those breakfast foods that I used to save for weekends. My desire to turn them into a “special occasion” breakfast food stems from the fact that growing up, it was rare that we had waffles for breakfast. And when we did have them, we all knew that our old-school waffle iron was time consuming to use and difficult to clean (we had a stovetop waffle iron in addition to a plug-in version that did not, in hindsight, work particularly well). These days, I have a much better waffle maker in my kitchen and know that waffles are an excellent choice for breakfast any day of the week – particularly if you’re making a relatively healthy batch of waffles, like these Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffles that I’m sharing over on the Craftsy blog (it’s free!!).
These waffles are surprisingly light, given that they’re made with only whole wheat flour, with a crisp exterior and a tender interior. The whole wheat flour gives the waffles a slightly nutty flavor that, in my opinion, makes them pair even better with maple syrup than your average waffle recipe. You’ll be able to put the batter together in just a few minutes, which means that even on a busy morning, you can be enjoying fresh waffles in no time at all.
Crepes are a wonderful addition to the breakfast table, but the thin, tender pancakes are versatile enough that they can make an appearance at any meal. Crepes stuffed with ham and cheese can be a savory meal any time of the day, while cinnamon sugar crepes are a delicious breakfast or snack item. When it comes to dessert, you can make things a little more indulgent with these Chocolate Crepes instead of their plainer cousins.
Crepe batter is very quick and easy to make – and these chocolate crepes are no exception. The batter is very similar to that of traditional crepes, but it has a little bit of cocoa powder and vanilla added to it. The crepes can be whisked up in one bowl or made in the food processor. The food processor really streamlines the process, so I tend to use it when I need a double batch of crepes. You can use the batter immediately or let it sit in the refrigerator over night if you want to make it ahead.
These crepes are not particularly sweet on their own because there is very little sugar in the pancake recipe. Too much sugar in crepe batter can lead to crepes that are crisp, rather than tender. The chocolate flavor of the crepes starts to come through when you add fillings and toppings to the crepes – and there are many delicious ways to do that. The simplest way to serve these is to add a bit of butter and sprinkle them very generously with confectioners’ sugar. Another outstanding serving option is to fill the crepes with a bit of Nutella, then roll them up. The creamy, chocolate and hazelnut spread makes these crepes exceptionally decadent. Adding whipped cream and some chocolate shavings to any of these options will make your crepes even more memorable.
This recipe is relatively small and makes 8-10 crepes using an 10-inch nonstick skillet (approximately 8-inch crepes). You can definitely double or triple the recipe to serve a crowd. I highly recommend using a nonstick pan any time you are planning to make crepes to prevent them from sticking. If you use a larger or smaller skillet, your cooking time may be a little bit different than described here, but probably will not differ by much. The crepes should be served when they are fresh for maximum enjoyment.
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Add in eggs, milk and vanilla extract and whisk vigorously until batter is smooth.
Heat a nonstick 10-inch skillet on medium-high heat until water sizzles when dripped on the surface of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour approximately 1/3 cup of batter onto the pan and turn pan to allow batter to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook for about 60-90 seconds, or until crepe is set, then flip over and cook for an additional 30 seconds on the second side.
Serve immediately, filled with Nutella or dusted with confectioners’ sugar.
Skillet cookies have really taken off in popularity in the last year or so, and if you’re not making them at home already, you should definitely put them on your “must try” list. The huge cookies are baked in oven-safe skillets and are jumbo sized, with crisp edges and slightly gooey centers. You can wait for them to cool and cut them into individual slices, or you can serve them up while they are still warm, just as you might serve a fruit cobbler. Skillet cookies can also be packed with more add-ins than your traditional cookie. This decadent White Chocolate Raspberry Skillet Cookie is packed with white chocolate and bright, sweet raspberries.
Fresh and frozen fruits aren’t a typical addition to regular drop cookies because the extra moisture in the fruit leads to a soggy cookie. With the skillet cookie, since it can (and should) be served while it is warm and soft in the center, you can easily get away with adding fresh fruit. The result is somewhere between a cookie and a cobbler – and it is incredibly delicious.
For this recipe, I paired sweet-tart raspberries with creamy white chocolate. There is white chocolate both in the cookie dough itself and added in the form of white chocolate chips. As always, be sure to choose real white chocolate (not white “baking chips”) that are made with real cocoa butter and vanilla, not other vegetable fats. The real white chocolate has wonderful dairy and vanilla flavors that contrast well with the berries and melt beautifully in your mouth. I recommend using frozen raspberries here because they are easier to fold into the relatively thick cookie dough. Fresh berries can be used, but don’t worry if they get squished a bit when you mix them in.
You can bake this in an 8 or 9-inch oven-safe skillet. If you don’t have a skillet, use an 8- or 9-inch round baking dish, like I’ve shown here. Both will work beautifully, but you’ll get a slightly crisper edge on the skillet version due to the slant of the sides of the pan.
White Chocolate Raspberry Skillet Cookie
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
10 tbsp white chocolate chips, divided
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup frozen raspberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch round baking dish/cake pan or an 8-inch oven-safe skillet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together butter and 2 tbsp white chocolate chips. Stir until smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter mixture, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and almond extract until well-combined. Stir in flour mixture and mix until a thick dough forms. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and frozen raspberries.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cookie is deep golden around the edges and set in the center. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Cookie can be served directly from the pan.
The baking aisle is packed with a wide variety of cake and cookie mixes these days, when it seems like there were just a handful to choose from only a few short years ago. Cake and cookie mixes let non-bakers look like pros and give even seasoned bakers a quick, fun option when they need a treat on short notice, so I’m always up to give them a try. The Strawberry Thumbprint Cookie Mix from Betty Crocker is a limited edition flavor that will probably be on store shelves for at least a couple of months, making it a sweet option for spring and summer baking.
Thumbprint cookies are a style that you don’t typically find in a boxed mix. The cookies get their name because the dough is shaped into balls and a cavity is pressed into the top – usually with a thumb, hence the name – then filled with something delicious such as jam or lemon curd. This particular mix includes the dry ingredients to make the cookie base, along with a packet of jam for filling the thumbprints.
The cookie dough comes together quickly and easily with the addition of softened butter and it is simple to shape them into 21 (an unusual number) individual cookies, as specified on the box. The jam had a nice consistency, bright strawberry flavor and stayed in place nicely during baking as the cookie dough baked. Unfortunately, while the jam had a bright strawberry flavor, the cookie dough was very bland. It had a great texture that absolutely melted in your mouth, but didn’t leave much behind besides a vague butter flavor.
This isn’t to say that the cookies were bad, but I wanted the cookies to have a little bit more of a “wow” flavor to match their colorful look. After baking, I noticed that the cookies on the box were rolled in sugar before being filled with the jam and I think that this would have been a huge improvement in the flavor of the cookies, adding a little extra sweetness (which the dough needed) and a bit of crunch to contrast with the ultra-tender cookies.
Overall, I loved the ease of this mix and felt that it made thumbprints very approachable. I prefer to make my “thumbprints” using the back of a teaspoon so that they are even, rather than the oblong shape of my thumb, and would recommend that technique to anyone trying the cookies. I would also suggest rolling the dough in a bit of sugar as you shape them to give them more texture, or adding the zest of a lemon to create a strawberry lemonade cookie that will deliver a “wow” flavor to match the cookies’ colorful look.