Baker at Heart ♥

Archive for February 2013

I made these awesome cookies for my office-mates last Thursday. Thursday wasn’t as awesome as I expected it to be. Our boss gave us donuts and that was it. Saddest Valentine’s day ever, LOL! Friday night, my best friend and I went to a buffet because we were feeling lonely and we thought food would be the only thing that would cheer us up. We  had three rounds (last round was dessert) but we felt like we had only eaten half of what people usually get for their first round. I think I had a buffet hangover. When I got home, I was so sleepy and bloated I just changed into my sleeping wear and jumped into my bed. Next thing I know it was already 9 AM!

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Okay back to the cookies. These are thick and chewy and full of chocolatey-oatmeal goodness. It is love at first bite, I swear. It screams I’m healthy but not really! I will definitely make these again.

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker / makes 2 dozen cookies or more, depending on size / bakes in 12-15 minutes at 350F (180C)

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks (I chopped my chocolate bars for this)

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookies sheets with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.

2. Mix or dry whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Cream the sugars and butter for 3 minutes using a stand mixer or hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Mix in the vanilla extract.

4. Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix. Add remaining half and then mix until combined.

5. Using a large spatula, fold in the chocolate chunks and the rolled oats.

6. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon or your hands (I used a small cookie scoop), roll the dough into balls and place them in the cookie sheet. Make sure you are spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 12-15 minutes (I baked mine in 13 minutes). Place the cookie sheets in a wire rack for 2-3 minutes then take the cookies out of the sheet and place them in a wire rack to cool for about 30-45 minutes.

As you can see in the photo, the top cookie is paler than the bottom two. The top cookie baked in 13 minutes, the other two maybe about 15. But that’s just because the timer went off and I was still in the bathroom and no one was able to pull them out on time.

These can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days. I’m sure that these won’t last for 5 days though. They’re THAT good. 🙂

I find making homemade caramel sauce quite difficult. I have tried making my own when I was on my ‘salted caramel’ everything phase and it was a disaster. I can’t buy the canned stuff because caramel is something that can’t be found easily on this side of the world. Caramel syrup is everywhere but the sticky, gooey stuff is elusive. I have searched the interwebs for other ways to make caramel sauce and luckily, I have found two easier alternatives. The first one involves dark brown sugar and boiling all the ingredients for around 3 minutes. The other one, which is quite more expensive, is buying Kraft caramel candies (who knows we have these candies in the supermarket?!) and melting them with milk or heavy cream. Last week, I made caramel sauce using the Kraft candies as a topping for my chocolate malt cupcakes. They tasted okay but the caramel just flowed on the sides of the cupcakes and most of it went under the cupcakes instead. Fail.

I had some leftover caramel sauce, so today I decided to make caramel cupcakes. The recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery’s cookbook Cake Days. The recipe states that the yield is 12-16 cupcakes but I have gotten 22. The notes on the back of the book say that they use a 50ml scoop and that’s the same scoop that I have. The ingredients are also listed in weight, which is really easier as you can just put a bowl on top of your digital scale and then weigh away. Anyhow, those 22 cupcakes are now down to 11, six hours after baking them cupcakes. My mom, who is my most highly regarded critic, says that these cupcakes are almost perfect. Not bad, eh?

caramel cupcake

Caramel Cupcakes

adapted from Cake Days / makes 12-16 as per the book / bakes in 18-20 minutes at 375F (190C)

You’ll need:

80g unsalted butter, softened

280g granulated sugar

240g all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

240ml milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

150g caramel sauce

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375F or 190C. Line a muffin pan with liners.

2. Mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt using a hand-held whisk or stand mixer on low speed until crumb-like in consistency.

3. Mix the milk, vanilla extract and eggs in a small bowl until combined.

4. Pour 3/4 of the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour in the remaining 1/4 of the milk mixture and the caramel sauce and mix until incorporated and the batter is smooth.

5. Scoop into the muffin pan and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in the muffin pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool further.

6. Serve and smile! 🙂 Best eaten with a tall glass of cold milk!