Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

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Yesterday in math class we were about to begin a new lesson and before we did, our teacher told us to take our plan books out and write down the homework. Someone jokingly said “ughhh we should just bake for homework” and my teachers response was “well why DON’T you just bake for homework?!” We were all caught a bit off guard and did not take her seriously for the first few minutes she presented the assignment to us. She told us though that we have to make some sort of food for homework and a grade is going into the grade book. If we didn’t bring anything in, that’d be a zero. There were mixed opinions about this assignment amongst the class, but of course I was ecstatic. 

My teacher made it difficult though because she had a few limitations. No chocolate and no bananas. Two of my favorite ingredients.  But I wasn’t trying to get a zero so I had to find a way to make this work.

From the last cookies I made, there was an enormous amount of leftover buttermilk in my fridge. I figured it’d be a good idea to use that up so I began the usual Pinterest search for a recipe with buttermilk.

I settled on Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake.  It was a pretty simple recipe and it didn’t require chocolate or bananas, therefore it was a win.

This recipe required lemon zest and neither my mom nor I knew how to zest a lemon. We do not own a lemon zester so I gave my mom the task of figuring out how to zest a lemon.

It occurred to me midway through making this that I would need blueberries. We have frozen blueberries (which I didn’t think were antiquate) but my mom refused to go to the store and pay $10 for a pint of organic blueberries. So I settled for the frozen blueberries, which turned out fine.

So I am officially convinced that anything with buttermilk tastes good.  The muffins were so moist and tasted great.

I had one this morning (after my moms failed, but kind, attempt at oatmeal and banana pancakes) but it wasn’t as good as last night because it wasn’t warm, yet it was still tasty.

Last night my dad tasted one and loved it. When I was younger we would go to this bakery down the street and get blueberry muffins. They are seriously the best muffins I have ever had. My dad told me that the muffins I made last night were pretty up there with the Night Kitchens muffins, which was quite the compliment. Did he really mean it? Or was he just trying to get me to give him another muffin? I’m not sure. But hey, I’ll take the compliment whether it was selfish or not.

Well, all in all, these muffins are great. They are a great quick breakfast treat and don’t require much effort. I would love anyone forever if I woke up on a Saturday morning with these in the oven.

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Here is the recipe from: http://www.alexandracooks.com/2011/06/29/buttermilk-blueberry-breakfast-cake/

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Serves 6-8

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk***

* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top
*** To make homemade buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Fill cup with milk until it reaches the 1-cup line. Let stand for five minutes.

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

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Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

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Yesterday when I got home from school Jessica told me she needed to bring in a treat for her advisory.  I was sooo happy that she asked me and not my mom. This means my baking isn’t thaaaatttt bad.

As usual it took us a decent amount of time to settle on a recipe.  We decided on “Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies” because who wouldn’t want to try a recipe with that title? This was the first recipe I have used that calls for buttermilk and cocoa. So yay for new experiences! 

I had no clue what buttermilk even was so I thought I minus well taste it. It was disgusting.  It is so bitter and gross and I can’t believe people actually like it.  Apparently it is great for baking and I’ve had buttermilk pancakes that were amazing, so there was no doubt the buttermilk would jeopardize the result of my cookies.

Overall, I think the cookies came out amazing! They were very quick and easy and came out perfectly.  Soft, chewy, and very chocolaty!  I have learned to make them chewy and soft you have to take the cookies out when they don’t look ready.  They have to look somewhat raw and puffy in the middle because eventually they will flatten out and become soft and chewy. 

This is the perfect recipe to cure any chocolate craving.

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Here is the recipe from http://bigflavors.blogspot.com/2010/08/melt-in-your-mouth-buttermilk-chocolate.html?m=1 ….

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup buttermilk

2 cups chocolate chips

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

Melt the butter in a small, microwave safe bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter (still warm) with cocoa powder and whisk until very smooth. Whisk in sugar, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop dough in 1-inch balls into prepared baking sheet, leaving about two inches between cookies to allow for spread.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set around the edges.

Cool for 2-3 minutes on a baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack with a spatula to cool completely.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

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I was given the best news ever during first period today.  My English teacher pushed back the deadline for the assignment originally due tomorrow, until Thursday.  What does this mean? I have three more days to put it off! More importantly, it means that I will have even more time to cook (well, at least until Wednesday evening).

 

Somewhere online I discovered today was National Cake Day. Well, this is probably the first you are hearing of this because everyone I informed was not aware of the holiday.  Then again, I feel like there are always “National _______ Days” that no one really knows about.  Sidetrack, on Instagram about a month ago it was National Sister Day…. like, who decides this? Was that a significant day in sisterhood? Does this mean the first cake was “invented” today? Well, I did a bit of research. Apparently, there are such things as national food holidays and almost every day of the year is devoted to a certain kind of food. Here’s the link if you’d like to read up about this insignificant topic: http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/National_Symbols/American_Hollidays.html

 

So, back on track. After school Gracie and I decided we would attempt at being somewhat productive by cooking and doing homework.  Novel idea, right? Well, I quickly searched for a recipe so we could go pick up the necessary ingredients before we got back to my house. We headed to good ole Weavers Way to pick up the bananas I need for the recipe I decided on: Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Half way into the store I realized I only had $3 on me.  Gracie and I stood near the bananas for a good five minutes trying to figure out how much four bananas would cost.  Once at the register, the man rang up the bananas and it came to a total of $1.37. Wait whaaaattttt? $1.37?! I had no clue that bananas were so cheap! So there you have it, my big and exciting “wow” moment of the day.  Btw, most likely you haven’t listened to this song in awhile and there has never been a more appropriate time to listen. Click on this click to relive the glory days. (the relevant part of the song comes on around 2:30) Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZHjRQjbHrE

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Anyways, we got home, pulled out our homework, and surprisingly I get through an entire assignment of history notes.  As a reward, I decided it was time to bake my banana cake.  The recipe was quite simple I must say.  The only minor roadblock I had was how to mash the bananas.  I first thought about putting them in the blender, bet then vetoed that idea because the blender is a pain in the butt to clean.  Then I thought about using my hands but realized my hands would get cold and mushy and I would probably just end up having way too much fun with it.  My last idea was to rummage through the cabinets to try and find something that would get the job done.  The first thing that caught my eye was an unidentified tool, which I later found out, was a meat masher. As odd as I may have looked smashing the bananas with the meat masher, it worked.  I wasn’t quite sure of the consistency the bananas needed to be, but they turned out a little chunky. Not sure if that was right, but I don’t think it made a difference. 

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I also discovered PAM! This cool non-stick substance that you put on the pan before you pour the cake batter in. I thought a selfie was the perfect way to capture my excitement.

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I told myself that all of my homework had to be done until I had a piece of cake.  This was the perfect motivation. I got all of my work done (except for a chapter analysis for the awful book I’m reading in English) and had a piece of cake.  I plan on bringing the rest of the cake to school tomorrow and giving a piece to everyone who had to listen to me describe my blogging passion today. 

 

So, the outcome. The cake came out very flat. I’m not sure if I added enough baking powder, but it was literally an inch high. I made the cream cheese icing which was superb (if I have to say so myself).  The cake itself was pretty good too actually. It was not at all what I had expected, but I’m always up for a surprise.  I envisioned the cake being light and fluffy but it was very dense.  I still enjoyed it, especially because I have a strange addiction to bananas.

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I am crossing my fingers that we have school off tomorrow because it is going to snow.  If that is the case, I will be eating the rest of the banana cake all by myself.  If we have a two-hour delay I will be satisfied because I will have time to make the chocolate banana smoothie I’ve been dying to do.  But, the more likely case, I will not have a delay or a cancellation, therefore I should plan on eating my cake and banana chocolate smoothie after school.

 

I should go… time to turn my pajamas inside out. Incase you didn’t have a childhood, wearing your pajamas inside out is suppose to conjure a snow day.  So go do it now!

 

~ Sweet Senioritis

 

This is where I got the recipe from: http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2011/12/banana-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting/

Cinnamon Roll Cake

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It was Tuesday afternoon and I had just gotten out for Thanksgiving break. I decided I should pre-game for thanksgiving dinner and since I was in the mood for something sweet (as usual) I headed to Pinterest for some ideas.  I found a recipe for a cinnamon roll cake and I was excited to discover all the ingredients were in my kitchen. 

 

I put a little pump up music on to celebrate the upcoming 5-day weekend and began cooking.  No one was home so the surround sound was all da wayyyy turnt up (excuse the ratchet music reference) and I was dancing and singing in the kitchen. I proudly wore my nerdy science leadership shirt and my favorite tie dye Soffe shorts from middle school that are strictly worn in only in the comfort of my home.

 

It was a pretty smooth ride making these.  The only problem I had was I didn’t know what a cake pan looked like. Clearly, I am quite the amateur. I wasn’t sure if I could use a glass pan or a non-stick one. It did not cross my mind to use the obvious resource, Google, so I decided to put the batter in cupcake pans.  This worked out perfectly actually and I think I will do it this way in the future.

 

Jessica and her two friends came over that night and were delighted to eat my cake…muffins…cinnamon rolls, what ever they are.  They really enjoyed them and then made me finish cooking the rest of the batter.  These were also a hit with Carol and Kenn, which was good, and this was probably my favorite recipe I have come along so far.  They were very rich, thick, and delicious. Definitely something I will be making again in the near future.

 

Go bake these now!!! You will not have any regrets.

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Cake:
3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

Topping:
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

Glaze:
2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

 

Coconut Vanilla Chai Milkshake (or so the recipe claims…)

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My english teacher decided to assign us homework over Thanksgiving break.  For the 12 years I have been in school, not once has a teacher tried to give us homework over this break.  It was simply to read and do an assignment I should’ve started a week ago, but none of that sounded very appealing to me. I am sitting at my computer in my kitchen with some soothing Classical music playing in the background, when I thought of the great idea to cook something. 

 

Chai is my coffee shop drink of choice.  I found this recipe for a Coconut Vanilla Chai Milkshake.  Now, first off, coconut is one of my favorite foods, vanilla is my favorite flavor for just about anything, chai lattes are my favorite drink, and who doesn’t love a milkshake? I was convinced that this is the recipe I would make the day the world ends. Unfortunately though, my hopes were set way too high.  

 

Once I added everything into the blender I began to have mixed feelings. It didn’t look like the most appetizing blender creation I’ve come across.

 

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I followed the directions exactly how they were presented to me.  The only difference was I used light coconut milk instead of regular coconut milk. Not sure how much of a difference this could’ve made, but something tells me it didn’t make or break my experience.  

 

I guess it wasn’t that bad, but it definitely is not something I am going to wake up in the middle of the night craving. It tasted like a creamy banana smoothie with seasonings.  I could definitely see someone enjoying it, but it just wasn’t for me. On the bright side, it did turn out a lot prettier then I had expected.

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If I could get the name and concept to coincide with how it actually tastes, I’d feel very accomplished.  I’ll save that for another day though. 

 

Incase you are curious and are one of those (sometimes obnoxious) people who must try things for themselves, the recipe is below.

~ Sweet Senioritis 

Coconut Vanilla Chai Milkshake

Inspired by the Amazing/Talented/Beautiful Mama Pea: Coconut Chai 

1/2 C. Coconut Milk

1 frozen Banana

6 Coconut Milk ice cubs

1 tsp. Ginger

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Spice (or Allspice)

1 TB Vanilla

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a blender until creamy. Reduce milk for a creamier shake, and add milk for a less thick shake.

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Take 1

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I’ll begin with a classic. Chocolate chip cookies. I’ve never liked my moms recipe so I decided to go on the quest and find my own.  I am very particular about chocolate chip cookies.  My mom refused to buy Toll House, and I was determined to create something just as good, if not better.  They must be chewy, soft, thin, and very chocolaty.  With that in mind, I found a recipe on Pinterest that claimed to meet all of my criteria.

I tried this recipe twice.  The first time I had a few problems.  The recipe calls for cake flour and pasty flour, neither of which we had in the house. And not surprising at all, Carol wasn’t willing to go out and get it.  Therefore, I was stuck with good ole All Purpose flour, which I learned yesterday can be abbreviated as “AP” (pretty cool!). Anyways, when I made the cookies the second time I did have cake and pastry flour and I think that really made a difference.

The biggest lesson I learned was never to use salted butter if the recipe calls for unsalted butter. This did not cross my mind once, but the first time I made these cookies they were disgustingly salty.  Of course Carol informed me of this prior to making the dough, but on the bright side, I got three things out of this:

1. Always follow the recipe.

2. If Carol is in a grumpy, lazy mood, don’t bother asking her baking questions.

3. Salted butter has salt in it, therefore, what ever you are making will turn out saltier then intended if the recipe doesn’t call for it.

So, knowing this, I was fully prepared for trial two of these chocolate chip cookies.  I do think these cookies turned out pretty well. Perfect and Toll House praise worthy? Not quite. But am I getting there? I’d say so.

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They were not as flat and chewy as I would have liked, but next time I will make modifications to this recipe in order to try and get them the way I would like.  I would definitely recommend this recipe and would stress the importance of using cake and pastry flour instead of AP (my new favorite baking abbreviation).  Also, don’t settle for cheap chocolate chips.  Make sure you get a bar of semisweet chocolate and cut it up into chunks.

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Well, this concludes my first blog entry. As of now I have 0 followers but I’m sure that’s how Rachael Ray began too? Well my point is, I’ll hopefully work my way up there and maybe someone other than my mom will read this.

Below is the recipe. Happy baking!

~ Sweet Senioritis

Jacques Torres’ Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Makes twenty-six 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4-inch cookies

Ingredients 
1 pound unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
– In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars.
– Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
– Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.
– Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
– Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies.
– Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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