The End of My Learning Project!

This is it the end of my learning project, I started baking knowing nothing about how or what you do in baking with little knowledge of baking procedures. Throughout the project, I came across many terms that I had to research about like why you sift ingredients before starting to mix them in.

Week 0: You Burned the Cookies!

Week 1: The Smell of Brownies in the Air!

Week 2: Ryan vs The Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Week 3: The Struggle of Rolling Dough!

Week 4: The Greatest Baking Tool!

Week 5: Halloween Sugar Cookies!

Week 6: The Cupcake!

Week 7: The Brownie and the Bread!

For My last week, I created my very own cupcake! I combined Oreos and cupcakes, first I used a chocolate cupcake recipe from my favourite site for recipes Allrecipes. The next step I took was placing an Oreo at the bottom of each before I pour the batter on top of them baking for a minute or two less and when a toothpick test comes out clean. When it came out I cut a hole in the centre using a straw to cut it out until it reached the cookie at the bottom. I used the creme of the Oreo after melting it a little to pour in the centre then plugging the hole with part of the cutout piece of cupcake. Next was the frosting, where I added crushed up Oreos into the frosting, I found that you needed to pick a frosting tip big enough for the crushed pieces to pipe out of the bag. These were perfect for Oreo lovers like myself and let me be a little creative and adventuring in creating a cupcake.

 I started out as being completely incompetent in making cookies without burning them to become charcoal, but now I feel a lot more confidence in baking anything that I want to make. I had a problem with rolling dough for my pumpkin pie, but I learned that when you roll the dough using plastic wrap to not have to flour a rolling pin worked incredibly well then refrigerating for a while to make the dough sturdier to handle by hand. My main source for recipes came from Allrecipes a great site that I use because these are tried and true recipes that others who know they work to put on the site for others. I also ran into many apps that were pay to gain access to the full cookbook even for on the free apps, many of these apps gave simple recipes before bringing up a pay to gain the access of the rest of the ingredients. This is where the Allrecipes app was the coolest, it had the ability to change the serving size of the recipe by itself. The app held a shopping list that gave you a checklist and a map to what stores had the ingredients, the app also has a meal randomizer that I sometimes use if I get stumped in making food.

Baking is something that even after this semester of learning to bake I have still a lot to learn and while continue to increase my ability to create more great baking treats in the future. With the winter holidays coming up fast I plan to show off my skills as a baker and make the baking for christmas this year. I hope everyone enjoyed my baking posts and gave a few of the recipes a try, but this is Ryan signing off for the last time. Have a good Winter break before the next semester.

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The Brownie and the Bread!

Chocolate chip layered banana bread

This week I decided to turn my final learning project into 2 parts, this week I made a chocolate banana bread, changing how it was made and a brownie recipe. This week was all about adding different ingredients to recipes that I found on Allrecipes and Pinterest. For my banana bread recipe I changed a regular recipe, but added about 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and then poured half of the batter into the pan. Then adding a layer in between of unsweetened chocolate chips and then pouring the rest of the batter and baking. I also tried making this loaf by adding the chocolate chips to the batter and mixing them in first, this made the loaf have more pockets of chocolate, but the areas of chocolate where scarce or huge pockets of chocolate.

Chocolate chips mixed in the batter.

The next creation I tried out was using a brownie recipe and adding salted caramel to the mix as a layer, just like the banana bread. This was a horrible idea to combine these two things the brownie turned out to look like a brownie, but the taste of it was overly sweet and way to salty. This showed me that somethings work out when changing recipes and adding different ingredients, but its a process of trying different things out and finding out what works and what doesn’t work. Next is the finally of the learning project.

The Cupcake!

This week for my baking adventure I continued tested my decorating skills and tried making something new. For my first try at making a cupcake I made a vanilla flavoured cupcake that I found on Allrecipes.  I had a hard time finding a recipe that didn’t have a crazy amount of ingredients this one was perfect to start out with. 

So for me I knew a lot about eating cupcakes and not a lot about making cupcakes and I knew my sister knew a lot more than me on making cupcakes. I learned from her that when you make cupcakes to not fill the cups fully, but only half way so when they rise there won’t be a mess of overflow to clean up after. So piping the cupcakes was the second best part of making the cupcakes (first of course was eating them). I used the a whipped cream cheese frosting that tasted great and piped really well through the piping bag. My first cupcake came out a little shaky, but I found myself getting better at piping the frosting the more cupcakes I got done.

For next week I am going to continue with the cupcakes and change up a recipe and try something that might work or might not, but we’ll see how it goes and if I made a cupcake or a Franken-cake.

 

Halloween Sugar Cookies!

This week I tested my skills on learning how to decorate cookies that are halloween themed. I learned that sugar cookies made an level cookie and would make the decorating process less of a hassle. I found an awesome recipe from Allrecipes and found the perfect sugar cookie that were light and soft. I also got the chance to roll out the cookie dough and try out putting it between 2 pieces parchment paper. It worked alot better then when I tried rolling my pie dough a few weeks ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I learned decorating is a lot harder than it seems when its done on tv and that when you make icing(Icing sugar, milk, vanilla extract,butter, food coloring) its important to know the amount needed, so you don’t make twice what you need. If you add more milk to the icing the consistency of it becomes able to pour on the cookies rather than spread with a knife. This made it easier for when I put a boarder of thicker icing to make a shape and would spread more evenly making it take the correct shape without using a knife to spread. I’m still new to using a piping bag and was really strange to draw on the cookies, but got easier the more cookies I decorated.

The Greatest Baking Tool!

This week I made 1 of my favorite types of cookies, the peanut butter cookie. I found a recipe on Allrecipes,(recipe in link) it is an easy recipe that I found that had me sift the dry ingredients before mixing. I learned that sifting ensures your dry ingredients are spaced out and breaks up any lumps, so its easier to mix. This week I also bought a hand mixer that is the greatest tool for baking. It takes off a huge chunk of prep time that would be taken up by mixing by hand and makes mixing ingredients evenly, something that is very hard to do by hand.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my cookies they came out really well and tasted like any peanut butter cookies should. I had enough cookie dough left for a few more cookies and had some inspiration from my fellow classmate Jadon’s learning project who baked jam drop cookies. I gave me a great idea to hollow out the middle of the cookie and put jelly in the center, creating a PB&J cookie and the cookie if you love PB&J its for you. For next week I’m going to make sugar cookies and hopefully figure out how to decorate and make frosting.

The Struggle of Rolling Dough!

This week I decided for my learning project to bake a pumpkin pie. This was something I’ve never done before and found out it’s harder than it looks to roll dough. I came in thinking all it takes is a rolling pin, a little force, and walla the crust is done. Nope, my first attempt the dough was too thin and broke when I picked up to put it in the pie plate. This took a few more try’s at it and I gave up using a pre-made crust for the pie.

Into the Oven!

I failed at doing the crust, but want to try it again later down the line when I feel up to trying again. The pumpkin pie filling gave me the easiest time to make. I put out all the ingredients out before starting and prepared all of the measuring cups, utensils, and bowls before starting made it easier to mix everything without having to measure the ingredients after putting 1 ingredient at a time.

For this week I want to try out making different types of cookies like peanut butter, sugar cookies or try making my favorite cookie, the gingersnaps.

Ryan vs The Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Coming into week 3 of my learning project I tied up the score against the chocolate chip cookie and learned that sometimes listening to how much ingredients needed might be to much. When I started making the cookies it was a task of preparing the ingredients by measuring them out before mixing them together. I learned preparing the ingredients before starting the oven would be a good thought. Due to mixing the ingredients and forming the cookie dough into balls take around the time needed for the oven to heat up, but I didn’t and took sometime measuring the amount needed and mixing one ingredient in at a time.

The problem I found out was I had to much cookie dough left over, which wasn’t as bad as I thought. I had no idea of what to do with it and it hit me, make a giant cookie! I threw the dough in a pie pan and leveled it out and through it in the oven. It over all turned out fine, but had trouble with how long it would take to bake (around 17 minutes to bake). I was constantly checking it, but it turned out for the best and looked kind of like a pie. Its interesting making something out of the recipe that I’ve never done before and a little nerve racking, thinking about what might go wrong or how it might turn out. In my books this time around I can call this a win against the cookie who I burnt before.

Next week with Thanksgiving coming up I want to challenge myself and do something I haven’t done before. So I decided to bake a pumpkin pie for the dessert.