Whether or not you get the magazine, chances are you recognize Better Homes and Gardens as a reputable source when it comes to all things home, food and outdoors.  Leave it to one of the leading experts to come up with a new version of their baking book that will give you a recipe idea for any occasion from a picnic with friends to a fancy dessert for a special dinner party.

Better Homes and Gardens Baking:  More than 350 Recipes Plus Tips and Techniques is the book that I adapted these Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies from

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

as well as these Bourbon Pecan Brownies.

Bourbon Pecan Brownies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I would love to bake my way through this entire book that is filled recipes for cookies, tarts, breads, cupcakes, you name it, this book has it.  There is a whole introductory chapter that is a great education for any baker about things like what each ingredient’s purpose is in a recipe, proper mixing techniques, and different types of bakeware and equipment.  This chapter is filled with photos just like the rest of the book, so it is very helpful for learning techniques.

Each and every recipe has an accompanying photo and one of my favorite features of this book is that for recipes such as oatmeal cookies and blondies there is a “Make-It-Mine” recipe page for all kinds of ways to make the recipe original.

Whether it be various mix-ins you want to add or you want to use a different type of fat or flour than the original recipe calls for, Better Homes and Gardens Baking walks you through  how to totally customize the recipe, so the combinations are endless!

The Better Homes and Gardens Baking Book would be such a great book for someone who is just learning to bake or someone who is looking for new twists on classic recipes.

 *Better Homes and Gardens provided me with a review copy of this book but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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We are all screaming ice cream as the weather heats up so when OXO asked me to team up with them for their #IceCreamforOXO campaign, I could hardly contain my excitement and really had to reign it in so that I could choose what flavor to make!  Lucky for me, I have an ice cream expert in house, and when I asked him if there was any flavor of ice cream I could make for him what would it be?  Without skipping a beat he answered “Sweet Corn Ice Cream!”  Sweet corn??  Yes, imagine sweet, buttery almost caramel notes with creamy, dreamy ice cream and just the undertones of that sweet summer corn that we all wait for until it’s knee high by the fourth of July and I can assure you, you’ll be singing the same tune after you have your first bite.Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

 

A small cafe within walking distance from our house serves freshly made gelato and among other interesting flavors such as Blackberry Balsamic and Avocado, they have Sweet Corn flavored gelato during a short time each summer.  I am sure this is what inspired my husband to have such a quick answer when I asked him what flavor ice cream I should make.  Think of the best creamed corn you have ever eaten:  it is sweet, creamy and rich and that is the same idea with Sweet Corn Ice Cream.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I chose not to use my ice cream maker attachment for this recipe because I know that many people don’t have that kitchen appliance and so this Sweet Corn Ice Cream requires no churning or ice cream maker at all!  There are a few steps involved to make sure that the flavor of fresh summer corn shines through just enough, but each of the steps is super simple.  The hardest part will be waiting for the ice cream to set before you eat it!  See below for a step-by-step photo tutorial!

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

add 2 cups of heavy cream to the corn kernels to a medium pot and heat over medium heat to gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (Do not let the mixture boil)

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

remove the pan from the heat and remove and discard the cobs

place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl and pour the cream mixture through the strainer to remove the corn kernels

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com} 

allow the cream to cool for 10 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 1-2 hours

place the reserved corn kernels into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, then chill the blended corn in a small container

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}once the cream has fully chilled, use an electric mixer to whip the cream to firm peaks

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}
place the sweetened condensed milk and blended corn into a large bowl and mix with a spatula to combine

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

fold in the whipped cream until the mixture is well combined

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com} pour the mixture into a regular-sized loaf pan or another medium-sized plastic or metal container and place into the freezer for at least 5 hours

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sweet Corn Ice Cream (no churn)

Prep Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: about 3-4 cups of ice cream

Sweet Corn Ice Cream: No ice cream maker needed for this creamy treat that has just the subtle flavor of sweet corn with caramel highlights

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)

Instructions

  1. Shuck and clean 2 cobs of corn.
  2. Cut the kernels off the corn cobs and place both the kernels and the bare cobs into a medium saucepan.
  3. Add 2 cups of heavy cream to the corn and heat over medium heat to gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Do not let the mixture boil.)
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and remove and discard the cobs.
  5. Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Pour the cream mixture through the strainer to remove the corn kernels (do not discard the kernels).
  6. Allow the cream to cool for 10 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 1-2 hours.
  7. Place the reserved corn kernels into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place the blended kernels into a small container, cover and chill along with the cream.
  8. Once the cream has fully chilled, use an electric mixer to whip the cream to firm peaks.
  9. Place the sweetened condensed milk and blended corn into a large bowl and mix with a spatula to combine. Fold in the whipped cream until the mixture is well combined.
  10. Pour the mixture into a regular-sized loaf pan or another medium-sized plastic or metal container and place into the freezer for at least 5 hours or until the ice cream is completely set before serving.
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Sweet Corn Ice Cream {satisfymysweettooth.com}

*OXO provided me with some wonderful kitchen tools for participating in their #IceCreamforOXO campaign, but all opinions are, as always, my own. 

Here are some of my favorite OXO products that I personally use just about every time I cook and bake:

Small silicone spatula:  Amazing because there is no seam between the spatula surface and handle so it is super easy to clean!  And it is heat resistant to 600 degrees!

 

LockTop Containers literally will not allow anything to spill out, so they are my go to if I am bringing soup to work for lunch or transporting anything that I want to be absolutely leakproof.

 

Angled measuring cups:  I already had the 4-cup version and OXO sent me the 2-cup one and I was so happy to receive it!  It is so much easier to measure anything liquid when you can just look directly down on the measurement numbers.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.03.32 PM

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Just in time for the hottest dog days of summer, I have the most refreshing, easy breezy cool down drink for you.  I hardly feel like I can call this Strawberry Watermelon Cooler a “recipe” because it is so simple, but it is so delicious that it is definitely worth sharing with you.

Strawberry Watermelon Cooler {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Watermelon is hands down one of my favorite parts of summer.  I always have a tub of cut up melon in my fridge and it is the best way to quench my thirst and cool down after a workout or satisfy my hunger while I finish dinner.  I’ve told you a million times how much of a texture eater I am and that juicy light crunch of watermelon is pretty much what my dreams are made of.

Strawberry Watermelon Cooler {satisfymysweettooth.com}

As if the taste of this Strawberry Watermelon Cooler wasn’t reason enough to make it daily, it is basically like sneaking in several servings of fruit without even noticing.  Watermelon is receiving more and more praise for being one of the fruits that is highest in lycopene which is an antioxidant which helps to fight numerous diseases.  I was also surprised to recently learn how high in vitamin C watermelon is.  I think of citrus fruits instantly when I think of vitamin C, but watermelon is one of the fruits that has a very high amount of this immune-boosting vitamin as well.

Have I mentioned that there is NO added sugar in this Strawberry Watermelon Cooler??  But you’d never know it by how sweet and tasty it is.  The watermelon and strawberries are sweet enough to shine on their own which is a bonus because I try to avoid sugary overly-sweetened drinks.

Strawberry Watermelon Cooler

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve.
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I hope you all had a festive and fun-filled July 4th weekend!  I had a great time with family and friends at our lake cabin and I am back to help you get through the post-holiday work week with Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Is there anything more perfect than the sweet and salty combination of a chocolate-covered toffee bar?  Heath bars have always been a favorite of mine because I am such a texture person and I love their crunch.  When I saw a recipe that reminded me of this famed candy bar, I couldn’t wait to put my own twist on it!  Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies have the texture of a perfect sugar cookie:  slightly crispy on the outside edges while thick and soft in the middle.  I couldn’t resist tossing in some miniature chocolate chips in addition to Heath bits because there has never been a case of too much chocolate.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The fact that these Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies only have brown sugar in them coupled with the mixed in toffee bits give these cookies such a rich buttery flavor that dunking them in a cold glass of milk just may be the ideal way to eat them.  Or I mean it is summer after all, why not sandwich some vanilla ice cream in between two Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies for a hot summer afternoon treat?

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 26 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Buttery sweet and slightly salty toffee flavors shine through these crackled cookies that are slightly crisp on the edges but soft in the middle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Heath Bits
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well blended.
  4. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt until combined.
  5. Finally, mix in Heath Bits and mini chocolate chips.
  6. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  7. Place the granulated sugar into a small, shallow bowl. Press the bottom of a small juice glass into the bowl of cookie dough (to grease the glass so that the sugar sticks to it) and then into the sugar.
  8. Gently press the sugared glass onto a ball of cookie dough to flatten lightly. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
  9. Bake 14-18 minutes or until edges are firm.
  10. Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Baking
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With the 4th of July holiday weekend approaching, I find myself wanting to share the most colorful and festive recipes with you.  I began the week with the most delicious Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches that were bursting with colorful M&M’s and now I have perhaps the most colorful creation I have yet to make:  M&M Rainbow Cake!

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Every person who saw this cake immediately asked, “how did you make that?”  So I have a full photo tutorial of how to make a rainbow cake for you.  I promise it is super simple, yet the results are so bright and vibrant.  I love that you can customize this technique to coordinate with whatever event you are making a cake for.  I will tell you how to customize the cake a little later.

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

For now, let’s run through the steps of how to make a rainbow cake so that you can see how truly easy it is.

We begin with a classic butter cake recipe.  I used my favorite butter cake recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book, but here’s where you could make it even simpler and use any white or yellow box cake mix if you want to.  Once the cake batter is well combined, you simply divide the batter evenly into as many medium-sized bowls as colors of cake you want.  I divided the batter into six bowls because I wanted all of the colors of the rainbow:  red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.  (If, for example, you wanted to make a red, white and blue cake for the 4th of July, you would divide the batter into only three bowls.)  When I say divide the batter “evenly”, I mean roughly evenly.  I didn’t measure or weigh my bowls to be exact when dividing the batter I just eyeballed it.

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Next you will mix a different color food coloring into each bowl.  I like the gel food coloring because the colors are so potent and vibrant.

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}Now it’s time to put the colored batter into your pans.  For this cake, I used two 9-inch round cake pans.  Pour half of your first color (red in my case) into each pan.

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Next, take your second color (orange for me) and pour half of that color batter slowly into the center of the first color in each of the two pans.  The first color will slowly spread into a wider circle as you pour your second color in the middle of it.

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Proceed with the remaining colors until it looks like this:

 

That’s it as far as the color layering goes!  I told you it was easy!

Now off to the oven with the cakes to bake.

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Once cooled, you frost and decorate the cake any way you like.  For a tutorial about how to frost a layer cake CLICK HERE.  I used Mega and regular-sized M&M’s for my decorative pattern.

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to make Rainbow Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 24 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 24 minutes

Yield: 1 2-layer 9-inch cake

How to make a rainbow cake: A step-by-step tutorial with photos that will show you how truly easy this colorful cake is to make

Ingredients

    For the cake
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into Tbsp-sized pieces
  • food coloring
  • For the buttercream frosting
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

    For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour 2 8 or 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, or liquid measuring cup, combine the half and half, eggs and vanilla, set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine.
  5. Drop the butter into the flour mixture 1 piece at a time and mix using an electric mixer until the mixture resembles a coarse crumb.
  6. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the egg mixture and mix until combined, about 1-2 minutes. It's fine if the batter has a few clumps.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into six small bowls.
  8. Add red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food coloring to one of the bowls. Mix to combine.
  9. Pour half of the red batter into the center of each pan.
  10. Slowly pour half of the orange batter into the center of the red batter in each pan.
  11. Slowly pour half of the yellow batter into the center of the orange batter in each pan.
  12. Slowly pour half of the green batter into the center of the yellow batter in each pan.
  13. Slowly pour half of the blue batter into the center of the green batter in each pan.
  14. Slowly pour half of the purple batter into the center of the blue batter in each pan.
  15. Bake the cakes for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cakes comes out with only a few crumbs on it.
  16. Cool cakes for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the pans to release the sides of the cakes.
  17. Invert cakes on to cooling racks to remove from pans. Peel parchment paper away from bottoms of cakes and cool the cakes completely.
  18. For the buttercream frosting
  19. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add milk 1 Tbsp at a time until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
  20. Frost cake and decorate.
  21. Cake recipe adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
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Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

How to make a Rainbow Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

 

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