No Bake Cookies Recipe & Video Tutorial

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2021

No Bake Cookies

These No Bake Cookies contain Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa powder, a very fine chocolate that I’d bought a few months ago and just got around to testing. Even though these are what I refer to as ‘stovetop cookies’ as no oven is used, the rich flavor of this brand of chocolate stands out.

According to the company: “Our gourmet baking cocoa is Dutch-processed for rich flavor and appearance. Our cocoa contains one of the highest levels of cocoa butter on the market, ensuring superior chocolate flavor. From rich hot cocoa to fudgey brownies, Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa makes a difference you can taste.”

I also used a salted peanut butter so that no extra salt needs to be added.

This recipe is so easy to make, any time of the year. If you don’t want to turn your oven on this summer, and crave homemade cookies, I definitely recommend making these!

NO BAKE COOKIES RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 stick butter

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup coconut sugar https://amzn.to/3lyrPB8

½ cup milk

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted https://amzn.to/3CrpCNV

½ cup peanut butter https://amzn.to/3lvYuaa

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract  https://amzn.to/3yqnSC7

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats https://amzn.to/3Aq5aLx

Stovetop Temperature: Medium

In a large saucepan, add butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder. Mix until well combined. Boil for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove from heat.

Add vanilla extract and mix. Add peanut butter and oats and mix until well combined.

Use either a spoon or a cookie scoop, drop cookies on parchment or wax paper.

Let cool for several hours. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They probably won’t last that long.

Yield: makes about 25 cookies.

I provide links to items on Amazon that I’ve bought and used or have used in the past. For butter, I recommend Kerrygold, Plugra, Vital Farms or President. Perhaps there’s a dairy in your area and that would be the best for you. As always, the better the ingredients, the better the cookies!

Want gluten-free cookies? Make sure your oats are labeled as gluten-free.

If you want these to be vegan-friendly, use coconut oil or vegan butter.

Allergic to peanut butter? Substitute almond butter or sunflower butter.

Happy Cooking!

VIDEO

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Froot Loops Macarons Recipe & Video Tutorial

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2018-2020

This is for fans of Froot Loops or similar types of sweet and colorful cereal.

Froot Loops Macarons

INGREDIENTS:

160 grams powdered sugar, sift with almond flour
160 grams almond flour, sift with powdered sugar
150 grams egg whites
185 grams confectioners’ sugar, sieved
2-3 Tablespoons crushed Froot Loops cereal for sprinkling
1 Tablespoon [8 grams] arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon [3 grams] cream of tartar
Pink or purple gel food colorant

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300°F.
Sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar together into a bowl. Stir in the arrowroot powder and set aside.
Put a template on a baking sheet and place a silicone mat or parchment paper over it. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well combined.
Place bowl over steaming pot with just enough water, as you don’t want the water touching the bowl. Heat on medium heat until it steams. Test to make sure it’s hot enough by sticking your clean finger in the meringue near the center of the bowl. If using a candy thermometer the temperature should be about 130 F [54 C].
Remove from heat and place bowl back onto stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar.
Whisk on medium to high speed until firm peaks form. Egg whites should be glossy and if you flip the bowl upside down, nothing will come out.
Add food coloring and whisk until the color is incorporated.
Remove the whisk and add the paddle attachment [if using one].
Add the presifted almond flour and confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Turn mixer to low or medium speed and mix for up to 10 seconds. If that doesn’t mix the batter thoroughly, mix for another 10 seconds. Turn off mixer and with your spatula, run it around the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Test for the ribbon stage. When you lift your spatula above the bowl, the batter should fall back to the bowl as one continuous stream and create a ribbon pattern.
Pour batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
Pipe onto the silicone or parchment covered baking sheets.
When finished with each sheet, bang baking sheet on counter to remove air bubbles. If you see any air bubbles, pop them with a toothpick.
Sprinkle crushed Froot Loops on the macaron shells
Let shells rest on a flat surface in a cool, dry area for about 30 minutes. The surface will change from glossy to matte. To make sure they’re done, gently touch the edge of one with your finger. There should be no trace of batter on your finger.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. Carefully monitor the baking process and check your oven thermometer. After 8 or so minutes, rotate the tray to ensure even baking.
Macarons are done when you peel back the mat or the parchment paper and the shells don’t stick.
Remove from oven and gently slide the parchment or silicone mat onto a cooling rack. The shells should be cool enough to remove after 10 minutes.
Place macaron shells on a wax paper covered baking sheet or tray for filling. Match similar sized shells together. Pipe the filling on the flat side of one shell and gently place the second shell on top.

Froot Loops Ganache filling

For a sweet and colorful macaron filling, this easy to make white chocolate ganache only takes a few minutes to prepare. If you want a slightly thicker version, just add a little more crushed cereal.

INGREDIENTS:

170 grams [6 ounces] white chocolate chunks
473 ml [2 cups] heavy [double] cream
15 grams [1/2 cup] crushed Froot Loops cereal

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat the heavy cream in a microwave until it’s very hot but not boiling. Pour into the bowl of white chocolate chunks. Stir until smooth. Add the crushed Froot Loops, mixing until incorporated. Cover with cling wrap and put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, until it’s no longer runny. Spoon into a piping bag with no tip.

From the book BAKING MACARONS: THE SWISS MERINGUE METHOD. Available in eBook and paperback formats.

All stores: https://www.lisamaliga.com/book-baking-macarons-the-swiss-meringue-method

Amazon link: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
All other bookstores: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method

VIDEO TUTORIAL

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“Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide” Now Available in Paperback

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2016

acaimacaronsmed

I’ve owned and read many cookbooks over the years. Some have been leather-bound tomes dating back almost two centuries. Others have been spiral bound and contained gorgeous color photos. As a teenager, I used to look at the cake decorating books, admiring the artistry behind each unique design.

Until this year, I never thought I’d write a cookbook. Sure, I’ve shared recipes before, as soap is made in a kitchen. But soap is easier to make than macarons and even a small bar lasts a lot longer than these delicate desserts.

Before the November 1, 2016, release of Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide, I was trying to get the paperback edition properly formatted. Being on a tight budget, I went to Fiverr and found a formatter who would do a 155-page cookbook with 54 color photographs for $6, including the $1 processing fee. What a bargain! I was skeptical that the newly listed formatter could do the work in less than one day as he promised. A day after the promised delivery time, I received a message. “Hi Lisa, I am high sorry for the delay. I had delay of my new PC yesterday and I cannot continue using the old one. I was highly disappointed the time the agent came in. So, I am greatly sorry for this late delivery of your work.”

A few hours after sending the email, he sent me the .DOC and PDF files. He even changed the name of the file to end with the word GOOD.

The title now read Baking French Macaron: A Beginner’s Guide.

Continuing the singular theme, there was a Table of Content.

The headings were out of bounds and didn’t pass CreateSpace’s interior reviewer. Some of them began on the chapter page. Photos were less than the required 300 dpi. The “good” ones were stretched like in the following example.

cspaceexample
An example of bad formatting

I politely thanked him for his trouble and contacted someone else.

Jackie [not her real name] gave me a rate of $30. That still seemed reasonable. A few hours later, she had finished the project. I was very surprised in the amount of time it took and was naturally suspicious. It was formatted without headings but everything else looked nice; certainly no stretched photos. Before thanking her for a job well done, I uploaded it to the interior reviewer. All the images were less than 300 dpi. I contacted her and she said she’d fix it. A few hours later, I was sent another version. The same thing happened.

For the next four days, it went on. Some of the photos eventually were 300 dpi, others were under that ‘magic’ number. Finally, when all but 7 of the photos were considered good enough, I thanked her and decided to forego a paperback edition. Even if I had a less costly version with black and white photos, it wasn’t worth all the time and aggravation I’d gone through. I couldn’t compromise and publish a photo-less book. I’d spent way too much time and money into making my book the best it could look.

I’d noticed another scam cookbook that was doing well, even though it had no photos and the back cover was completely blank. Some of the recipes had ingredients only—no measurements. That book was selling several copies a day. I was motivated to figure out my photo problems, and eventually I did.

The eBook cover I’d designed was nice, but I knew a professional could do a much better job. Print covers needed strong typography so titles would show up well.

Using my own photos for the cover, I didn’t have to be concerned about copyright issues. I’d been checking out numerous cover designers and I went through their portfolios. I found a very talented artist. The book cover was far better than the one I made on Canva.

Here it is!

Baking French Macarons A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon UK paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Barnes & Noble paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

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 baking_french_macarons_a_beginners_guide_3d

real butter pound cake by lisa maliga

Real Butter Pound Cake Recipe

By Lisa Maliga copyright 2015

real butter pound cake by lisa maligaThis is an easy cake to bake. As I wanted it to be as rich as what my mom made, I used imported GMO-free butter, pure cane sugar, and eggs that come from chickens that are free to roam around outdoors. Using the best available ingredients will make a difference in how this scrumptious pound cake smells when baking and when removed from the oven.

Naturally, the taste will be better than any frozen pound cake which has preservatives, water, skim milk, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, and artificial coloring!

Ingredients:

8 ounces salted butter Kerrygold or President [or other organic non-GMO butter] softened to room temperature

1 cup pure cane sugar

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

4 large eggs free range or pasture-raised

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Oven Temperature: 300 Degrees Fahrenheit

Grease a loaf pan [9″ by 5″] lightly with butter.

Beat the butter for about a minute until you have a creamy texture.

Add the sugar. Beat the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes. Make sure they’re combined and whip a lot of air into the mixture to make the batter fluffy.

Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and mix for about 5 minutes.

Add  lemon and vanilla extract.

In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.

Add flour mixture to your mixing bowl.

Mix until the flour is incorporated and forms a stiff batter. Don’t overmix. 

Pour batter into your prepared loaf pan. With a spatula, smooth the dough down so that the surface is relatively flat and fills the pan.

Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.

You’ll know it’s done when: top is golden and edges are starting to brown. The crust will be fairly firm and the center may have a crack or two.

Let it rest in the pan for about 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and carefully turn it out of the pan. Place it right-side up on a rack to cool.

Serve as is or add ice cream, fresh berries, etc.

Love to bake? Check out my 2 cookbooks:
Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide

real butter pound cake by lisa maliga

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Sweet Dreams and Macarons

Copyright 2015-2016

by Lisa Maliga

sweet dreams a novella by lisa maliga ebook kindle smashwordsMacarons and sweet dreams? Yes, the two go together quite well. Macarons are sweet and somewhat crispy little cookies that can be filled with butter cream or chocolate ganache or various types of jams. They’re usually made with almond flour and are gluten-free. Macarons are often quite colorful, as you know if you’ve seen them. My opinion is that they’re the best kind of dessert—small and delicate. Fancy but not outrageously so. Yes, I’m so fond of macarons that I’m including mention of them in my sweet romance/cozy mystery, Macarons of Love: The Yolanda’s Yummery Series, Book 4.

But what started it all was a romance novella I wrote called Sweet Dreams. Brenda Nevins, the main character, is a romance author/baker. Although the macarons part isn’t at the beginning of the story, these tempting little cookies do have a costarring role. During the writing of the ebook, I got obsessed with macarons. I read several cookbooks on how to make them, visited numerous websites, and sampled quite a few tasty macarons. I bought some online and even tried the Trader Joe’s version[s] which were easy to store as they went from frozen to just right in about 30 minutes.

It was a tough job, but I gutted [pun intended!] my way through it.

macarons sweet dreams bakery fresh romance novella lisa maligaAnd now, I’ll be revisiting macaron-land for the next few months while I write my book. But that’s fine with me. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to these fine sweet treats. This board has 5000+ pictures and recipes. Check it out! http://www.pinterest.com/lisamaliga/sweet-macarons

NEW! Learn to bake macarons! Check out BAKING FRENCH MACARONS: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE.

 

What’s So Great About Brownies?

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2014-2016

brownies the great brownie taste-off by lisa maliga
Made-from-scratch brownies

There are books on the subject of baking the best brownies, along with dessert cookbooks that dedicate whole sections to brownies. There are websites that offer loads of brownie recipes—some of them quite scrumptious. And in any supermarket or bakery, and you can always buy fresh brownies.

Of course, people will debate whether to make them from scratch or from a mix.

Mixes are easier and definitely faster. They can also be enhanced with added goodies like marshmallows, shredded coconut, caramel, chocolate chips, and nuts. Once you take those brownies out of the oven and they cool off you can frost them and add some sugar sprinkles. Better yet, serve them with a scoop of ice cream–especially in the summertime.

I needed to bake brownies so I could photograph them for blog. Shopping for the mix, I bypassed the usual suspects of Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines for a more expensive alternative, Ghirardelli Chocolate Supreme Brownie Mix. Like the others, the additives were few—water, vegetable oil and one egg. It also contained a chocolate syrup pouch for added flavor. I’ll admit that the brownies were quite good after they emerged from the oven. They almost tasted like homemade brownies. Almost. The brownies in my book are baked from scratch and require a little more work than a mix brownie. Admittedly, they are more flavorful!

When you bake from scratch, you have total control over all the ingredients from the flour to the sugar to the type of chocolate and/or powdered cocoa you use. That was the fun part of making the brownies as I could use farm fresh eggs and my preferred Valrhona chocolate. While I’m not a pastry chef or even a baker, I really got to understand my main character a lot better after making “from scratch” brownies. I even tweaked the ingredients and baked a few other batches to make sure I got the recipe right!

If you like to read about bakers, or romantic fiction, check out The Great Brownie Taste-off. It’s the first book in the Yolanda’s Yummery series. Yolanda Carter is a self-taught baker who dreams of owning her own bakery, a/k/a yummery. Employed at a small cat shelter, she stumbles across a scheme that threatens all the employees and cats. Will her magical brownies save them? 

BONUS ~ Includes the winning brownie recipe! 

Read more about it here: The Great Brownie Taste-off  [FREE eBook!]

great brownie taste-off yolanda's yummery series book 1 free ebook