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Baking Test

So I love baking. I’m not a big sweets eater, but I love baking. It’s so fun to me. I bake and then I bring it to work or give it to B to take to the fire station. I have been planning to make a few things for valentines day for B’s station and wanted to get started on a few of them last night. I found all the recipes on pinterest, and many things on pinterest don’t come out looking like that when you actually try to make it yourself. Alas, I made a few things last night, and three were winners, one is meh, and one is a failure. I also like testing out recipes before I give them to B and he is SO picky about food. His mom is an AMAZING cook, and all the cooks at the firehouse are expected to cook pretty elaborate meals, well elaborate meals in my mind. If I make something with a sauce from a can I never hear the end of it. Oh well, it is what it is, and if he wants to eat he can eat what I make. :) Luckily last night  he wasn’t home for the dinner fail.

Before dinner, I put the Chocolate Covered Peanut Clusters into the crock pot. I was pretty excited about these and hope they go over well at the station. There was A TON of them and they are delicious and easy! I think you can add a lot of different things to the mix as well, different kinds of nuts, peanut butter, etc. It also looks like you spent a ton of time on it and could be great at a ton of parties. So I’m happy with those came out. After 3 hours, they came out, I scooped them onto foil and let them sit over night. They are perfect this morning! I would call this winner #1.

When all the ingredients are in the crock pot, it starts to smell realllllllly good… and it’s really easy. I love crock pot recipes.

So I realized, after the fact, next time I make these, I will make the clusters much smaller. Mine are HUGE haha. I need to make them smaller and there will be a billion more. I have like 70 of these things.

And here is the picture of the person who posted the recipe, which you can find here. I feel like mine look pretty similar!

I started off making dinner. I am usually making pretty boring dinners when B is gone at work, so last night I just threw together a small salad and attempted to make these Baked Zucchini Chips. They actually look great, but their taste. BLAH. They were so disappointing that I THREW SOME AWAY. They do look like the picture though, so I did good there. This tallys up at Failure #1

Here are my Zucchini chips. They look pretty good, and seriously, I was so looking forward to them. Below, are the chips that I based mine off of.

If you want to try to make them, maybe yours will come out better than mine! Here is the recipe.

Then after dinner I made these cupcakes that I saw on Pinterest. This was the recipe I was most skeptical about. The recipe calls for you to remove the eggs and oil that you normally put into cupcakes and replace it with 12 oz of Diet Soda. I did this with strawberry cake mix and cherry 7-up. I must admit,  mixing it together was pretty scary. It was foaming and I just kept thinking that something was not going to work out, they wouldn’t rise or something in the oven, or they would explode, who knows. Alas, into the oven they went and I impatiently checked on them numerous times. They were looking perfect! I made a half one to try to make sure they were good, and to my complete surprise they were great! I am not really into super dense cupcakes and these were nice and light, and at only 100 calories per cake without frosting, they are a great light treat. I frosted them and took them to work today. They are cute and pink too. :) I am excited to try to make other ‘soda’ replaced cakes in the future! I’m not the best at making even cupcakes, but they look pretty much like the picture on Pinterest! This is Winner #2!

Before going into the oven! Looking pretty good thus far, and I must admit, tasting the batter, it tasted good, so I had hope.

Out of the oven and they rose nicely! They taste good and besides the fact that I can’t get them all to look the same if my life depended on it, I think they came out just like the picture, well minus the fact I didn’t put strawberries on top.

Then I made Strawberry Lemonade Bars. They look pretty terrible, but they actually are good! I didn’t have powdered sugar to put on top of them, that’s why they look so different, but it was fairly easy. I think they’d be much better in the summer and I also realized you could make the ‘glaze’ on top, which was strawberry lemonade in this recipe into a ton of different things, you could use coconut and oranges, bananas, kiwi, anything! I did everything in my blender instead of my food processor because I didn’t want to deal with cleaning the FP and it worked out well! These don’t look pretty, but they actually are good! So they are a winner!

Will it blend?! HA! I was scared that it would jack up the blender but it worked well. Don’t mind the giant mess happening here. The crust was baked and I had to pour the ‘glaze’ over the top of it and then bake it more.

So it looks nasty! This was right before it went in the oven and I had poured the mix over top of the crust.

TA DA! So they aren’t the prettiest thing, and I could have added more lemon juice to make them more tangy, but I do like them, and think if I put some powdered sugar on them they’d look way nicer. Just the pink looks gross. I also like how versatile the recipe is and I know I will use it again. If I do make these again, I will put down parchment paper in the pan because getting them off the pan after baking them was tough. So here’s the original picture, which is somewhat comparable and also the original recipe can be found here.

Finally, I made cucumber boats for lunch today. They were REALLY easy and I can’t wait to eat them later today for lunch! :) I’m sure, like the Strawberry lemonade bars, they will be delightful in the summertime! I love all the fruits out right now and am enjoying morning smoothies as well! I haven’t tasted them yet but I do think they will rank in the winning section as well.

Here is the original picture and the original recipe. I forgot to use dill so that’s probably why they look a little different. Oh and my ‘boats’ aren’t that great, scooping that stuff out it hard!

I’m making a few more things this weekend that I haven’t ever made before so we shall see how they all turn out. Tomorrow morning is the grand opening of the newest local running store and I’m going to bring George and run with the group there and then I have to work a clinic tomorrow afternoon. I’m looking forward to this weekend and next week. Valentines day, baking, running, working out. Just a few of my favorite things!



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  • Reply Kathy

    I actually think those strawberry lemonade bars look delicious – I bookmarked the recipe so I could make them!

    I tagged you for 11 things:

    February 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm
  • Reply Kristin Miller

    OMG that all looks amazing!!! I can’t wait to make the cucumber boats in the summer! Definitely not the time here on the east coast with a snow storm approaching tomorrow! We’re in pancake land over here ;-)

    February 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    I LOVE baking!!

    February 12, 2012 at 10:59 am
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