Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grape Jelly Roly-Poly Pastry

He’s Rolie Polie Olie
He’s small and smart and round
And in the land of curves and curls
He’s the swellest kid around!

Ok, who remembers that show when it aired on Disney? Or is it still airing? I don’t know I don’t watch that channel anymore because- well I wont get into that rant today. The point is, it was an awesome show when I was a kid. And why am I telling you this, you ask? Well it has to do with this jam roll up thing that I made.

I got this cookbook about two weeks ago from Borders. (Did you guys hear? It’s closing forever!!! ;-; Everything is on sale and there are chalk outlines made of duct tape of “dead people” and it’s all just so sad.) It was in the bargain aisle for $2.99 and I figured why the heck not? This book is called Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Treats for Kids. Now you see where I’m getting at with the whole children’s programming and television shows?

The book itself is just so fun and adorable. The pages are cut in little ridges and each page is filled with so many colors. It’s a book that makes you feel all happy and giddy inside! There are three sections to this book: What’s Your Story, Morning Glory (treats for breakfast), Everyday’s a Holiday (simple, yet special treats), and Get This Party Started (cute sounding desserts). After flipped through and reading all of the recipes, a couple stuck in my mind that I know I have to bake at some point in my life, but this particular one stuck out even more.

It’s supposed to be called Holy Moly! Strawberry Jam Roly-Poly, but I changed that to Grape Jelly because that is the type of jelly I used, it’s my favorite. To be honest, I had a little trouble with this recipe, but I think it was mostly my fault. It calls for frozen butter, and I knew this, but I put the butter into the freezer only an hour before baking, so I don’t think it was completely frozen when I started grating it. The butter started getting soft in my hands and they turned into a slick, greasy mess. However, putting the grated butter and flour mixture in the freezer while I unloaded the dishwasher for ten minutes helped it a bit. The second problem was that I didn’t put enough flour on the counter, so when I went to roll out the dough, it was a little sticky, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Everything else went very smoothly, except when I was getting hungry and I didn’t wait long enough (only 30 minutes) for the roll to fully cool and the slices didn’t turn out at neat as they should have, but that’s ok.

Now, I will stop with the negatives and talk about how awesome this Jelly Roll thing is. I say it tasts pretty darned good. The crusty bit (is there another adjective that makes that sound, I don’t know, not weird?) on the outside is very crumbly and is fun to pick off and just eat. Then you get to the dough on the inside and it is so soft and chewy (in a good way). Finally, you get the hint of the sweet Grape Jelly rolled all around the dough. I was a little afraid I had squeezed all of the filling to the very end when I was rolling it, but no, it all stayed in a pretty even swirl. I just wish I had put a little more jelly as the filling because that would have made it even more “swell”.

Grape Jelly Roly-Poly
slightly adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Treats for Kids

2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, frozen
2/3 cup ice cold water (or more if needed)
½ cup grape jelly (or whatever jelly/jam you prefer)
1 tbsp milk for brushing

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.
  3. Using the large holes of a grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture. Be careful, because the butter may become slippery in your hands and no one wants skin chunks in their pastry, not to mention you could hurt yourself. Once butter has been grated it, lightly toss the flour and the butter together. If the butter starts getting a little soft, put the whole bowl into the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the ice cold water into the flour and butter mixture and gently work it with your hands until it forms a loose ball. Add more water a little bit at a time if the dough is too dry.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for 5 or 6 turns. Roll the dough out do it measures roughly 9 inches by 13 inches. Spread the jelly or jam in the center of the dough, leaving a 1 inch border on all sides. Take the long end of the dough and roll it up. Place the seam side down onto the parchment paper. Brush the top with a little milk and if desired, sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top for added sweetness.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry has puffed and turned golden brown. Cool on the baking pan for a few minutes before removing it onto a cooling rack. Let the pastry cool completely before slicing. Use a serrated knife and cut diagonally to get 6 portions. Serve, and enjoy. Maybe warm up some more of the same jelly or jam and pour over the top, or possibly add some fresh whipped cream?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Big, Fluffy Pancakes

Mmmm. Pancakes. Soft and fluffy pancakes. Soft and fluffy pancakes drizzled with pure maple syrup on the top. Mmm. Have I made your mouth water yet? No? Well how about soft and fluffy pancakes with a drizzle of pure, rich maple syrup running down the side and pooling all around said pancakes. Don’t forget that nice, tall glass of creamy milk seated right next to those sinfully delicious pancakes.

Yes, this is a pancake post. And yes, it’s from the Harry Potter Cookbook. Just because the movies are over, doesn’t mean July isn’t and I promised a Harry Potter filled July.

I have had the notion of making pancakes for lunch for a very long time and when I saw a recipe for Big, Fluffy Pancakes in the book, I new I had to try them out. I haven’t had pancakes in a long time because every Saturday, my dad would ask for pancakes in the morning. I do love eating pancakes, and yes, I do get up very early for a teen (7am on my own volition), but that doesn’t mean I want to start making pancakes as soon as I get the sleep out of my eyes. That is why I like having breakfast foods for lunch or dinner, I actually have time to prep and I’m not rushing to get breakfast ready. Besides, breakfast for breakfast is overrated; breakfast for lunch is totally in, am I right?

Now, these pancakes definitely live up to their big and fluffy name. I made them slightly less big than intended, but that means I can have more…right? And the fluff factor (yes…don’t look at me that way) was off the charts. When you take a bite, all you taste is cloud, that, and sweetness. I think that has to do with the 2/3 cup of sugar in the recipe. But the sweetness isn’t overtly so, it is there, but not overpowering and I think it’s because of the buttermilk that was added in to offset the amount of sugar.

These really are some of the better pancakes I’ve had in a while! So go ahead and make these pancakes, you wont regret it, seriously.

By the way, it is really hard to photograph pancakes prettily.Like seriously, and anyone that manages to capture the beauty of a pancake has my full respect.

Big, Fluffy Pancakes
slightly adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook
makes 11 really large pancakes

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 ½ cups buttermilk


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Pour the melted butter into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk vigorously. Keep whisking and slowly pour the buttermilk into the liquid mixture.
  2. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk the two mixtures until combined. The batter will look like it has too much liquid in it, but keep whisking. Keep whisking until the batter has come together completely.
  3. Spray an 8 inch skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Once the skillet has heated up, pour in half a cup of batter into the center and cook on that side until bubbles start to form and the pancake is golden brown on one side. Flip. Cook on the other side for another minute or so. Don’t forget about the first pancake rule. Your first pancake never turns out all that great (unless you are magical). It took me several tries to get nice golden brown on the top of my pancake. Medium heat may also be a little too much, so if you are having some burning issues, turn the heat down to low/medium-low.
  4. Serve pancakes any way you wish, with a pat of butter and some maple syrup, with some confectioners sugar, or plain Jane if that’s the way you like it. I like it plain, but that’s just me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cake Slice Bakers - July 2011: Zebra Cake

Are zebras white with black stripes, or black with white stripes? To be honest, I don’t know. To me, the concept seems weird of white stripes, black stripes just seems more…normal? I don’t know. If you’re wondering why I’m talking about zebras, it’s because for the month of July Cake Slice Bakers voted on the Zebra Cake from our book, Cake Keeper Cakes.

There was no picture, so I think some of us were worried on how this cake would turn out, or maybe I’m just speaking for myself.

It has been so long since I’ve made a full on round cake. I usually turn things into cupcakes for portion control or cut the recipe in half. However, because of the intricate design of this cake, I thought it would be best to keep it as a round cake.

But just because I decided to keep the traditional shape, doesn’t mean I didn’t do a few tweaks. You see, the original recipe called for both butter and vegetable oil and I don’t remember liking vegetable oil in my cakes, so I nixed the oil, but kept the amount of butter the same. The second major thing was the baking powder. Good Lord did this recipe call for a lot of baking powder; one tablespoon to be exact. Yeah, that really scared me, so I lowered that to two teaspoons.

The batter was kind of gloopy, but I expected that because I did not use the oil. The gloopyness made it a little hard for the batter to spread, but I made it spread using my forceful ways, mmwahaha.

When I cut into the cake, I was a little nervous because I was afraid that all of the jostling I did to the batter mixed us the chocolate and vanilla batters, but no. The cake turned out to look like a zebra, which was pretty cool. The final product was a very tall, dense, and moist cake. I’m not so sure about the flavor of the cake, I've had better. In the end, it was an ok cake. I can only speak for myself though because I’m sure the slight adjustments I made caused some sort of alteration in maybe the flavor or texture. To find out, visit the other bloggers and see how their zebra cakes turned out.

Fun fact: when zebras are in a cluster, their stripes create a dizzying effect on predators (such as lions) and therefore helps camouflage them because no one wants to mess with a giants black and white blob.

Zebra Cake
adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, soft
3 eggs, room temp

2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder


  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Grease and flour a 9 inch spring form pan (basic round pan will work too) and set that aside as well.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar until pale in color and fluffy in appearance. Slowly incorporate the eggs, one at a time, and beat them until fully mixed in with the creamed mixture.
  3. Turn the mixer to it’s lowest setting and slowly add in the flour mixture half a cup at a time. Alternate the milk with the flour, adding a touch of milk after ever addition of the flour until both the flour mixture and the milk have been used up. Add in the vanilla extract. By now, the batter should be smooth, yet thick. Transfer about a third of the yellow batter into another mixing bowl and add in the cocoa powder, mixing until the batter has fully accepted the cocoa and the color is a deep chocolate color.
  4. You were probably wondering what temperature the oven needed to be preheated to, weren’t you. Well, I would do it no sooner than this step, because the pouring of the batter will take a very long time. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Now for pouring the batter. Use a ¼ cup measuring device to transfer a little bit of the yellow batter into the center of the floured pan. Wait a little bit for the batter to spread and place two tbsp of the chocolate batter on top of the yellow batter. Keep doing this until all of the batter has been used up. If the batter doesn’t seem to want to spread after a few layers (and it probably wont) gentle shake the pan around in a circle a few times to help it spread. Doing this every few layers will help the cake reach the walls of the pan.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tooth pick is inserted into the center of the cake and it comes out with hardly any or no crumbs at all. Cool in the pan for about ten minutes. Release the walls of the cake (if using a spring form) and invert onto your non serving plate. Take the bottom layer off and flip the cake onto your serving platter. You can store this cake in a cake keeper or wrapped in plastic wrap for up to three days at room temperature.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hagrid's Rock Cakes

I know I am being a little redundant with the cinnamon flavorings, but I just couldn’t resist this time. I love the slightly sweet and warm sent and taste of cinnamon, not to mention the pretty speckles of brown it gives food.

These are Rock Cakes. Again, made from my little Harry Potter Cookbook, which I’m finding has some pretty good recipes in it for something based off of a fantasy series. The book mentions that these cakes (which are more like biscuits - the American kind) have been featured along side Hagrid quite a few times. It’s known that Hagrid doesn’t always have the best looking or tasty sounding treats, but these are actually really good.

These Rock Cakes are a bit sweet, which I don’t mind, and they have a nice little crisp outer crust that I’m especially fond of when biting into biscuits. Their insides are so soft, and have a great crumb. I loved tearing the cake in half and just nibbling on them. They are indeed the perfect afternoon snack.

I ended up making a half batch, since I wasn’t sure how these would turn out because last time I made a biscuit type thing they turned out like this. I expected to get sixish cakes out of these, but the more batter I added to the original six, the bigger they got and I didn’t know how much they would spread or rise or what. So I ended up making nine cakes and I willingly admit that I ate a third of them along with my lunch.

Hagrid's Rock Cakes
from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 stick cold butter, cubed
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. With your finger tips, rub the cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles wet sand. This will take a little while. I also tossed the flour around the butter too, to get it extra incorporated.
  3. Beat the egg and the milk together and pour into the flour and butter mixture. Use a rubber spatula or a fork to start bringing the mixture together. After a few mixes, ditch the utensil of your choice and start mixing the dough by hand. I found this to be a lit easier than just using a spatula to get everything well mixed. If you chose to use raisins (I did not) now is the time to fold them into the sticky batter.
  4. Roll the dough into one inch balls and place on the lined baking sheet, two inches apart. I made mine a little bigger than one inch and it still gave me 50% more biscuits, so make them a little bigger if you want less. Bake for 18-25 minutes (depending on the size).
"For rock-hard rock cakes like Hagrid's, just bake them for too long and eat them a week later at your own risk!" -This quote really amused me when I read the bottom of the page.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Magical Cinnamon Muffins

Let’s face it, when something doesn’t go as planned, it sucks and it can bring your mood from being super excited to being in a craptastic mood. However, I find that different kinds of failures receive different types of reactions. Some are just funny failures and you have to laugh at yourself and some, well, just puts you in a bit of a slump, even though when you look back from years to come, it didn’t seem all that bad. I’m sorry if this is making you depressed after reading the “magical” part of this post. But, it gets better, I promise (maybe).

Today, I was really excited about these muffins. Again, I’m using a recipe from my Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. These were originally called Oversized Blueberry Muffins with a Crunchy Top, but I was not in the mood to make blueberry muffins. Instead, I wanted cinnamon and brown sugar muffins because that flavor combo is just so darn good! I read and re-read the recipe and the instructions and set all of the ingredients I would need out like normal and waited for the egg and sour cream to come to room temp. I should probably tell you that I intended to cut this recipe in half because I didn’t want to make 12 muffins. Now, I beat the egg and added the sugar and as I was pouring in the melted butter, my face fell. “Well, poop.” Yes, I really did say that. I just realized that I had put in the regular amount of sugar in with the halved amount of egg and butter. I thought for a few seconds on what I should do, and coming to the conclusion that I did not want to start the room temp thing over again, I just kept mixing all of the ingredients, hoping everything would be fine and dandy. Well what a shock I got when I looked into the oven and I just saw a massive pool of batter coming from the cupcakes and I quickly took them out and just after a minute out of the oven, the muffins collapsed on themselves. In a panic, I pried off the muffins so the cooled batter wouldn’t stick the muffin pan. Well, I just had to laugh at myself for this. Well, first I was a little heart broken, but then I got over that. It took me a while before I decided to make the batter again, this time making sure that the sugar ratio was correct, but this time (afraid that the brown sugar had done something) I took out that ingredient and used regular sugar. I also downgraded the baking soda from 1 tsp to 2/3 tsp because I was afraid of that mess happening again. This time, the muffins came out way better and looked more muffin like.

These muffins have a nice warm, cinnamon flavor that helped make my day after receiving some not so great news in the mail (nothing good ever comes from opening mail). I ended up having two muffins to drown my sorrows. I may have over baked them, just a tad. Well maybe the tops because the tops turned out a lot firmer than the inside which was very moist and soft; it was very inviting. What I found funny was that the inside and the outside were completely different colors. The inside was a deep reddish-earth color whereas the outside was a simple light brown color. I liked the contrasting colors because each section I guess is how you’d describe it, had it’s own flavor to it, which was interesting.

So remember, when things don’t necessarily come out great (let’s be honest- when something just totally fails and you feel like crap), try to remember the good things in life, like warm, cinnamon muffins.

Cinnamon Muffins
slightly adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 egg, room temperature
½ cup sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
2-4 tbsp milk
Extra brown sugar for sprinkling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease and flour, whichever you choose. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg until smooth. Gradually add in the sugar and beat until it looks smooth and glossy. While whisking, pour in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the butter has fully integrated with the sugar and egg.
  3. Fold in a third of the flour mixture and add in a little bit of the milk. Keep doing this until the flour and the milk is gone. The batter will be stiff, but try not to add in too much liquid.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter into the muffin cups equally. The batter should take up to about half maybe 2/3 of the individual vessel. Sprinkle the tops with a little bit of brown sugar if the idea pleases you (and why wouldn’t it?).
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes. This really depends on your oven because I baked mine for about 22 minutes and the tops were on the verge of being way over baked. These muffins taste best when they are warm, so either eat them when they come straight from the oven, or you can microwave them for about 10-12 seconds and they will become soft and delectable again.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake

As I type this, the start of the 20th storm (or what seems like the 20th storm) for the week is starting. Everyday this week, the sky has gushed all of its rain onto us about three times a day. And it’s not little drizzles of rain either, it is a full on power shower of heavy drops. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain, but when you are caught outside when it is thundering and lightning and your clothes are getting drenched within a matter of seconds, it’s not all that fun. The good thing is though, the storms usually last about an hour at most, then there’s clear skies for a few hours and then the downpour begins all over again.

Now, on a completely unrelated topic: flourless chocolate cake! I have made flourless chocolate cake once before, and it was…well to put it plainly, it was a disaster. After about 30 minutes out of the pan it had become a rock. I can’t remember if it was because I baked it too long or what, but all I remember is that it was a very weird and not so good tasting rock. So that ended up being tossed. My mom recently went out of town to visit her long-time friend and when she came back, my mom raved and raved to me about this flourless chocolate cake that her friend had described to her and so she took the liberty in asking her friend for the recipe so I could make it. Skeptical because of my last attempt at a flourless chocolate cake, I made it to please my mom.

This cake came out so much better than that first one (maybe it’s like the pancake effect--your first flourless chocolate cake is the tosser-outer). The top was crunchy, like a chocolate meringue. I liked the flavor, but I wish the top was just a wee with chocolateyer. The cake itself was fairly nice too. I’m not sure if it was because of how long I baked it for or what, but the consistency was like a mousse, a very deep and rich mousse. There was even a little thin and crisp layer on the bottom which paired nicely with the moist and airy cake; together they created a very nice balance of soft and crunchy.

I don’t want to be a drag, but this cake (as with many flourless cake I assume) is very messy because of that top layer, it falls away like that (not that that is a bad thing, not at all). So, if you are a type of person that loves the way things look, I would make this cake into one serving ramekins. If you don’t care about looks and just like to eat fudgey, yet light chocolate cakes, then bake this one right on up, because I think it’s worth it just to try. Also, don’t forget the scoop of ice cream right next to it, my mom said she loved the cake with a serving of ice cream and I don’t think that would be a bad idea, just thinking about the contrasting textures makes me want to go back in for a second slice with ice cream.

Flourless Chocolate Cake 
slightly adapted from Jo Ann

3 ½ oz semi sweet chocolate
3 ½ oz bittersweet chocoate
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, soft
1 cup sugar, divided
4 eggs, seperated

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Jo Ann states that she uses convection bake, which is what I normally set my oven for, so if you end up using a convection bake setting then it will automatically set itself to 275 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the butter into the chocolate until smooth and creamy. While you are waiting for the chocolate and butter to melt, mix together ½ cup of sugar and the 4 egg yolks. Once the chocolate mixture has fully melted, add a little bit into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs and then add that mixture back into the rest of the melted chocolate and butter mixture.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium high until light and frothy. Slowly add in the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy peaks form. 
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg whites and gently fold in the chocolate, making sure to fully incorporate. If you see egg white, keep folding. The egg white will not just magically mix into the batter, you will get spects of egg white into your cake if you don't fold it in all the way.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes. It took me 46 minutes and 30 seconds to get the consistancy I got. The top of the cake will looked very cracked and may even be a little broken, that is ok, it's supposed to look like that. Once the cake has baked, let the cake cool on a wire rack while still in its cake pan for 30 minutes. Turn the cake out and then turn the cake over again onto your final serving platter so the cracked top is visible. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bewitching Sugar Biscuits

Happy Independence Day to everyone in America. I hope all of your BBQs and cookouts went well and everyone enjoyed the fireworks. I always like watching the fireworks here. Some of the fireworks even blow up in different and fun shapes, like I remember last year there was a purple octopus! I’m not entirely sure how you get a firework to blow up like that, but that would be so cool if the actual rocket was shaped like an octopus! So, again, I hope everyone had a splendid evening and made delicious things like burgers, ‘dogs, corn on the cob and more. Which brings me to why I am posting today.

Today was such a hot, hot, HOT day. I’m pretty sure it got very close to 100 degrees. However, this did not stop me from turning on the oven, so sir-e-bob. Today I bring you sugar coo-er biscuits from my Harry Potter cookbook. Yes, I know Harry Potter is British and it’s kind of ironic to make something from the country we are celebrating our independence from, but I don’t care.

These “biscuits” are your basic sugar cookie, I think at least. When baked, these beauties are the perfect size and are slightly crisp, but not overly so. I think I may have mentioned once or twice that I am not a thin cookie kind of person, but I will make an exception for these biscuits because they are just addictive to eat. And I was not disappointed in the size of the cookies either. Usually cookies tend to not spread as much as I would like and I end up getting a smaller cookie. That is not the case with these cookies, a two-ish inch cookie cutter will give you about a three inch cooked cookie, which makes for a happy girl. ;)

I have to warn you though, the dough needs to be verrrrrry well chilled or otherwise the dough will just get warm and unrollable. I should know; I waited just a tad to long while rolling out the dough and the first batch I could only get four cookies onto the sheet because the rest of the dough was getting too soft to be rolled out and transferred onto the baking sheet. I kept having to put the dough in the freezer and roll it out and hope that it wouldn’t get to hot. What may also help is after chilling the dough, as quick as you can, cut the cookies out and then put the rounds onto another pan to be transferred into the freezer, that way, the actual cookie is chilled as well. Despite the tiny bit of frustration I experienced with the chilled dough (probably to do with the heat outside) these are a delicious addition to anyone’s biscuit (cookie) repertoire.

Sugar Biscuits
from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook
makes about 4 dozen

3 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 sticks butter, soft
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Extra sugar to dust the top of the cookies with

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the two ingredients have combined and become light and fluffy looking, beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure that each egg has been fully incorporated before adding the next. Next, beat in the vanilla extract.
  3. Turn the electric mixer down to the lowest speed. Gently add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Once almost fully mixed, turn the mixer onto medium-high and beat for 15-30 seconds. Divide the dough into two portions and wrap each portion into individual pieces of plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove one chilled dough ball and quickly roll it out into ¼ inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out pieces of dough and place them on the cookie sheet. This is where things got a little tricky. You see, its probably best to divide one dough ball half into two and then roll that portion out as the other portion chills. Then stamp out the cookie and place on the baking pan. Lightly dust the tops of the dough with sugar.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes. I personally think this would be too long. I baked mine for 10 minutes and they came out perfect, however, they become a little tougher as they sit out, so if you want a really soft cookie, go for 8 or 9 minutes. Note: These are Hagrid’s cookies and they are supposed to be a little doughy, so if you want them like Hagrid, roll the dough to about ½ inch thickness and bake for about 10 minutes max. Remove the cookies from the oven and place on a cooking rack for about 3 minutes. Then transfer the actual cookie onto a cooling rack for the duration of the cooling process. Repeat steps 1-5 until all of the dough has been used up.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Something Lemony This Way Comes

Ok, so are there any Harry Potter fans out there? Yeah, I thought so; don’t try to hide your guilty smile, just be loud and proud about it. I am. I have read all of the books (and I’m working on re-reading them-theirs is just so much to read right now!) and I’ve seen all of the movies. Personally I liked Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban the most for the movie aspect and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for the books. When Dumbledore died, I cried my eyes out. My dad walked into my room to tell me good night and witnessed me sobbing into the book. When he asked what was wrong, I told him and I think he truly felt so bad for me because here is this little 10/11 year old girl crying because a character in a book died.

I was obsessed with Harry Potter for quite some time, and I still love the story. I know I’m dragging out the beaten horse here, but if given the choice to reread Harry Potter and Twilight-Breaking Dawn, I would hands down pick Harry Potter without even wanting to hear the second option. I would love to re-read the series, if I had the time. However, I can still feel like I’m that squealing 11 year old girl without having to read the books because I own The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. Yes, that’s right, someone made a cookbook for Harry Potter fans. When I first saw it, I thought it was really funny and depending on price I would get it, but I felt it was a little too expensive at the time, but I still kept the book in the back of my brain. Well, a while ago I found it on sale for like 40% off and I knew then that I would get it, so I did.

Now, this book has tons of stuff in it, ranging from Treats from the Train to Lunch and Dinner in the Dining Hall. It has everything (except Butter Beer, but that’s because it’s been copy written, I think). There is even a blurb before each recipe of where the author got the idea and where it can be located in the Harry Potter books. The first recipe I decided to make from this book was the Tripe Power Icy Lemon Pop found on page 5. This recipe is meant to be the Ice Pop that Harry was allowed to consume when he had to endure going with the Dursleys to the zoo after Dudley had been given a chocolate ice cream cone. This is all found in chapter 2 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (according to the book). These are lemony, but not too lemony, just the way I like it. I know many people put in food coloring to resemble what a Icy Pop is supposed to be flavored as, but I didn’t do that, and I’m glad I didn’t. If you do, then you don’t get to see the pretty specs of lemon zest in the pops. I also went all old school and used paper cups and popsicle sticks because I don’t own a popsicle molder thing, haha. But seriously, these are some pretty good pops, and if you leave them long enough, a little bit of lemon syrup forms near the stick which is super tasty to lick off (like how some factory popsicles have those sticky, syrupy, sugary stuff stuck to the wrapper).

Also, in honor of Harry Potter, a majority of my posts for the month of July will be coming from this Harry Potter cookbook. By the way, who's excited for The End?

Triple Power Icy Lemon Pops
from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz
makes 4 (4 oz) pops

Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp lemon juice
7 tbsp sugar
1 ¾ cups water
½ tsp lemon extract


  1. Place lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and water into a medium sized sauce pan and heat on medium/medium-high. Stir, and keep stirring until the mixture begins to simmer and the sugar has completely dissolved. Once sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the lemon extract.
  2. Pour into molds and set in the freezer for about 5 hours or until, well, frozen.
  3. Enjoy Icy Lemon op on a nice, hot, summer day.
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