one baker's humble attempt to change the world one cupcake at a time

Posts tagged ‘peanut butter’

Strawberry Lemonade

The other day, my roommate asked me how I decide what to bake next. It’s a good question, and one that I can (sort of) answer. I told her that I decide based on what ingredients I have in the house, but this is only halfway true.

A lot of what I bake on a whim depends on what I have at hand — for instance, I currently have several lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits leftover from a citrus craving two weeks ago that was sparked by the discounted price of lemons at the Produce Station. However, I bought the lemons specifically to bake and cook with. The limes were purchased impulsively today because I can never get enough lime (and because I found a cookie recipe I want to try that calls for lime juice and zest!)

So to sum up, I’m going to be baking with lemons and limes (and potentially grapefruits and oranges) because I have those ingredients in my house, BUT lets not forget that I also purchased said fruits in the first place because I wanted to be able to bake with them. Catch 22?

I guess that I would say I try to be inspired by what I have at hand, but I also try to buy flavors I want to bake with in advance.

Today I took a walk to the farmer’s market, bought a quart of strawberries, and spent the rest of my shopping time and 20 minute walk home trying not to squash them — I wasn’t entirely successful.

Not wanting my new berries to wind up in the trash, I picked out all of the squished berries and deiced to muddle them and use the juice to make strawberry lemonade. I also used the remaining strawberry pulp as a quick sugar-free jam on top of a piece of toast with peanut butter. The end result was a refreshing summer afternoon treat!

To make one serving of strawberry lemonade, I smashed about six or seven strawberries with a spoon to get the juice out. That many strawberries yielded about:

this much juice

I then juiced the three lemons that I had left over from making cupcakes (I needed a lot more zest than juice for those), which yielded about half a cup of lemon juice.

The next part I would suggest you do slowly, tasting along the way. I ended up adding 3/4 cups of water (adding 1/4 cup at a time) and 2 teaspoons of sugar (1/2 a teaspoon at a time) because I wanted to maintain some of the tartness of the lemon flavor.

all the ingredients

I topped off the drink with a handful of flower shaped ice cubes. No promises, but I imagine any shape of ice cube would yield the same cooling effect — it will just be a little less summery looking.

P.S. My blog has moved! For more yummy recipes, check out www.youngidealisticbaker.com!

            

Peanut Butter Baby Steps

While ultimately I would LOVE to turn a few batches of cookies into thousands of dollars raised for charity, I am accepting my limitations and starting small. Raising awareness or paying homage to some often forgotten causes will be my starting point.

But the real first step: improve baking skills. Yes, this is the fun part!

In the spirit of starting small (and making my way up of course), I decided to whip up a batch of the smallest and cutest little peanut butter button cookies I’ve ever stumbled across on this Internet.

Found at 17andbaking.com, this recipe promised bite size peanut buttery goodness that I just couldn’t resist.

I followed the recipe exactly as its written adding an extra 10 minutes to chill (I was multitasking as I often find myself) and made about 10 dozen button sized cookies, 1 dozen slightly bigger ones with Hershey’s kisses instead of chocolate chips, and 4 basic peanut butter cookies.

The whole process took me the better part of two hours, but the payoff was great. The little cookies were a big hit at my sister’s and my joint graduation party — Go Blue! (and now Go Gators as well for the little one!)

The cookies with chocolate chocolate chips disappeared especially fast.

Photographing these cookies was fun as well!

 

I also brought a plateful of cookies outside to capture some natural sunlight.

Guess what happens when you mix chocolate with Florida sunshine?

IT MELTS!! (in under 5 minutes!)

Woops! Lesson learned

P.S. My blog has moved! For more yummy recipes, check out www.youngidealisticbaker.com!