Baricat Recipe Reviews (Pg. 10) - Allrecipes.com (131039)

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Pasta Strega Nonna

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2009
Good premise, but dry. Perhaps reducing some white wine is a possibility or wine plus a Tb or two of the shrimp cooking water might work. Another option might be to saute some mushrooms or chopped, peeled and seeded tomatoes. Something - anything - to increase the moisture would represent a big advance in sensory quality.
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7 users found this review helpful

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2009
This was good, but lacking flavor because of the absence of spices. The addition of cinnamon and fresh nutmeg helped. Although I folded 2/3 of the sauce into the apples before putting them into the crust (then poured the rest over the top as directed) it failed to penetrate the apples evenly. The consensus was that a conventional apple pie, in which the sugar/flour/spices are mixed with the apples, then dotted with butter, tastes much better and yields better general sensory results. Also, I bake my usual apple pies at 425 the whole time (about 45 minutes.) I backed it down to 350 at the time the recipe specifies, and the apples were too al dente. Not sure what all the feedback fuss is about, as a conventional preparation will yield better results, and all the extra steps take longer, generating more clean-up for inferior results.
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1 user found this review helpful

Grandma Ople's Apple Pie

Reviewed: Mar. 17, 2009
This was good, but lacking flavor because of the absence of spices. The addition of cinnamon and fresh nutmeg helped. Although I folded 2/3 of the sauce into the apples before putting them into the crust (then poured the rest over the top as directed) it failed to penetrate the apples evenly. The consensus was that a conventional apple pie, in which the sugar/flour/spices are mixed with the apples, then dotted with butter, tastes much better and yields better general sensory results. Also, I bake my usual apple pies at 425 the whole time (about 45 minutes.) I backed it down to 350 at the time the recipe specifies, and the apples were too al dente. Not sure what all the feedback fuss is about, as a conventional preparation will yield better results, and all the extra steps take longer, generating more clean-up for inferior results.
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2 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Crinkles II

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2009
Should be called "Brownie Crinkles." Used canola oil and added 1/2 tsp soda to alkalize the acidity of the Hershey's cocoa - would not add soda if using Dutch cocoa, as it is already alkalized. Baked for 10 minutes exactly and texture was like fudgy, mini brownies. Added 1 cup chopped white chocolate. Excellent in every way!
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15 users found this review helpful
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Raspberry and Apricot Rugelach

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2009
Superb rugelach. Actually 4-1/2 stars, only because the dough is one of the most difficult I have ever worked with. Two things necessary, however, when working with it - speed and patience. It needs to be chilled thoroughly at all times. As suggested, I rolled it into rounds (used a pot lid to mark the 9" circle on the waxed paper) between two sheets and refrigerated the sheets for over an hour. Once spread with jam and filling, the dough warmed fast and became sticky, so I couldn't roll the crescents at that time. Had to put the filled circles back into the fridge for another 20 minutes, and halfway through shaping each circle, had to re-chill for 5-10 minutes. Just know that these are labor-intensive. But you'll be rewarded with a lovely, tender pastry, better than any rugelach from a bakery. Buying parchment is not necessary. You can easily use foil instead, shine side DOWN. Gently loosen them from the foil as soon as they get out of the oven, as a bit of the jam and/or sugar will melt out. If you have lots of time, you're going to be very happy with the result.
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22 users found this review helpful

Cherry Cheesecake

Reviewed: Feb. 21, 2009
Like so many others, I too had trouble getting the filling to thicken up to the proper consistency to hold its shape. So what I did was freeze it without the cherry topping, and spoon the refrigerated cherry filling over the slices, which I dubbed, "Frozen Cherry Cheesecake." Flavor was quite good, consistency was perfect, and it was a hit. One guest said it reminded her of her college days when she'd crave Sara Lee cheesecake, but couldn't wait for it to thaw and ate it frozen. So remember to check the consistency about an hour or two before serving and if it's still too soft to cut, don't despair. Just throw it in the freezer and rename it!
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3 users found this review helpful

Hasty Chocolate Pudding

Reviewed: Feb. 19, 2009
I make this frequently, but using Splenda in place of the sugar. About 1 cup of it gives the right degree of sweetness. Often I find that I need more Splenda than the equivalent measure of sugar, especially when the dessert is to be refrigerated. I always put a very tiny pinch of baking soda in with my Hershey's cocoa in order to neutralize some of the acidity. It makes an excellent sugar free treat, and using skim milk keeps the calories down, too, without sacrificing flavor. If you fold in some sugar free Cool Whip, it can be transformed into a respectable sugar free mousse. Additionally, 1 tsp of vanilla is usually sufficient. Nice recipe for a quick chocolate fix.
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2 users found this review helpful
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The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

Reviewed: Feb. 13, 2009
Add my voice to the Greek chorus praising this excellent recipe! Reading past reviews, I can understand why some find this recipe "bland." There really isn't a whole lot of flavor, but that's just the nature of sugar cookies. Their flavor is appropriate for the type. The flavor can be pumped up for those who want a more assertive flavor by using lemon, almond or orange extract. For a plain cookie, adding a dash of maple extract to the vanilla makes the flavor sparkle. No one will know what the something special is, but it adds a bit of dimension to the plain vanilla. The dough is so easy to work with after an overnight chilling. Only take out of the fridge the portion you can roll, cutting each piece as you go before retrieving the next chilled piece. These don't puff up much during baking and are sturdy, once baked. I accidentally dropped one, and was amazed, since my floor is ceramic tile, that it didn't break. One hint for those who don't have parchment and don't want to spring for it; use foil, shiny side DOWN. The cookies release easily, just like with parchment, no greasing whatsoever needed, plus no cleanup. I rolled to 1/8" so I could sandwich them, cut into 2-1/2" hearts, then cut a smaller heart out of the centers of half of them. Painted the solid ones with colored glaze, then set the cut-outs on top of the glazed cookies. (See picture) My friends said they were (almost) too pretty to eat. Superb recipe!
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12 users found this review helpful
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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Reviewed: Feb. 11, 2009
Don't know where I went wrong, since everyone else is raving about this. I baked mine for 60 minutes. I cooled, then chilled it for 24 hours. When cut, the center was very mushy. It's like the raspberry sauce had soaked into it. On top it looked beautiful (see picture) so I was very surprised that it didn't hold its texture well. I served it at a guild function, and there wasn't one "swoon" which these ladies do for great, decadent desserts. Not one request for the recipe, which is always the usual course of things (as a chef, I hate being asked to give out recipes. It's like asking a doctor to give out free prescriptions. But with this recipe, I didn't have to worry - no requests.) It tasted fine, though nothing spectacular. The white chocolate cannot even be tasted, especially disappointing since I used expensive, imported Belgian white chocolate. I shouldn't have bothered. I've made many other cheesecakes, including just straight ones with no specialty flavorings, that were much better. I'm a chef, and have worked extensively as a caterer and pastry chef, so no rookie here. As cheesecakes go, this was merely OK. Not bad, but certainly not exceptional. I know that flies in the face of all the other glowing reviews, but I'm being completely honest. At best, I'd describe this as aggressively mediocre.
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55 users found this review helpful
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Secret Kiss Cupcakes

Reviewed: Feb. 8, 2009
5 stars for a fabulous idea! I did not make the recipe for the cupcakes because I wanted yellow cupcakes. So I made the Golden Rum Cake recipe on this site. The kisses were the caramel filled ones. I frosted with a creamy chocolate buttercream, an wow! What a treat! A couple of recommendations. Fill the paper liners no more than a little over half full, since when the kisses displace some of the batter, you don't want an overflow mess. Secondly, I didn't push them into the batter, but halfway through baking, gave them just a hint of a push downward. The cake rose up to cover them completely, with just a hint of a dimple at the top of the kiss. And the kiss remained fully suspended midway through the middle of the cupcake, which makes for the perfect presentation. I baked them for only 18 minutes, which was perfect. Only the barest hint of an indentation should remain when you touch them lightly. This way, they won't be dry. A+ idea - thank you!
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32 users found this review helpful
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Cream Filled Cupcakes

Reviewed: Feb. 4, 2009
Just to be clear, I'm not reviewing the cake part of the recipe, just the filling and the idea of a technique for applying it inside. The cake you use doesn't matter. The filling and technique will work with any cupcake recipe. The filling is light and sweet. Instead of milk, I used coffee creamer and the texture and flavor were just perfect. As for putting the filling into the cupcakes, I went from the top instead of breaking the bottom paper, (which makes for an unholy mess on your serving plate.) I was going to frost them anyway, so it didn't matter that a dot of white filling showed through the top. I used a pastry bag with a #22 tube. Buried the tube all the way to the coupler into the cupcake. I squeezed until the cake started to expand, then eased off the pressure as I withdrew it. Worked very well, and it's infinitely easier and faster than cutting the core, removing it, filling and replacing the core. No need for any such gyrations. If you have cake decorating equipment, I recommend this time-saving technique.
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46 users found this review helpful

Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2009
No one liked this one. For starters, real Alfredo sauce (from Alfredo's in Rome, Italy) does NOT have garlic, let alone garlic powder. Cream cheese also adds a strange, unreal tang. Genuine Alfredo sauce uses only butter, cream and freshly grated Parmesan. Simple and incredibly easy. What's hard to understand is, real Alfredo sauce takes little more time to make than this does. Why not just make the real thing?? This looks like Alfredo, but that's the closest it comes.
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10 users found this review helpful
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Jammin Good Bars

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2009
Very, very good bar! 4-1/2 stars, since they're delicious, but didn't rock our world or make us crave them. I made easy even easier by combining all ingredients in the food processor. A few pulses and you're done! Good, short texture to the cookie part. Used 1/3 butter and 2/3 margarine in order to give a little more flavor. I multiplied the recipe by 1.5 and made in two 9" square pans, one with raspberry and one with strawberry. Both are tasty. Because eggs don't divide well, I couldn't use 1-1/2 eggs. I used 2 eggs and the dough wasn't crumbly at all. I flattened pieces to lay on top. Both varieties were done at 30 minutes. Sprinkled with powdered sugar for a pretty finish. Note: These bars can be made with fresh berries, too. See Berry Crumb Bars on this website, which is almost identical (with the exception of replacing preserves with fresh fruit.)
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5 users found this review helpful
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Aunt Teen's Creamy Chocolate Fudge

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2009
NOTE: To those who think it's too sweet so they cut back on the sugar then wonder why it comes out soupy, be aware that sugar is the structural element. It's the process of heating the sugar that makes fudge solidify later on. Fudge, by its very nature, is very, very sweet. If you don't like sweet candy, make something else - don't complain about the recipe. That said...Excellent fudge, smooth as silk. There are some distinct advantages of this recipe, most notably that the cooking is timed, rendering it possible to make without a candy thermometer. No need to watch that thermometer for what seems an interminable length of time while the mercury rises sooo slowly. I had trouble with the result being crumbly the first time I tried it. I couldn't get out of my mind all the glowing reviews praising the creaminess, and figured I must have done something wrong. The only thing that could have accounted for such a big difference was my fluff, which was a store brand. So I tried this again today with the REAL marshmallow fluff. SUCCESS! This time the result was perfectly, unbelievably creamy. For those who had trouble with crumbly, oily, or dry fudge, the most common cause is heating the sugar mixture too rapidly, meaning at too high a temperature. Before you begin, know that fudge is a process. It appreciates patience. Put your burner on medium-low, no higher. It will take a little longer to achieve the rolling boil, where you begin your 5 minute timing. Patience pays off big time!
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66 users found this review helpful

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2009
I'm scratching my head over the glowing reviews. To my palate garlic powder tastes nothing at all like garlic! To me, the flavor is plain nasty. I can't understand why anyone would use a fake-tasting product when the real thing is both inexpensive and readily available. If you want to make this dish worlds better, mash 3-4 garlic cloves to a paste. Apply to the chicken with the spices. For the sauce, mash another clove or two of garlic (or to taste) and replace that awful powder. Infinitely superior, fresh, and tasty. Try it this way - you won't believe the difference!
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92 users found this review helpful
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Caramel Date Pinwheels

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2009
Very good - 4-1/2 stars. The texture is nice and chewy. Tastes better with the addition of 1) 1/2 tsp cinnamon in the dough and 2) 3/4-1 tsp finely grated lemon zest in the filling. Baking for no more than 8 minutes keeps these appealingly chewy. Beware of overbaking. It's true that this dough is very soft and sticky. Roll between sheets of waxed paper and use the paper to help roll the dough. Lift and peel, so that it falls on itself. Continue lifting and peeling to make a compact roll. This way you won't have to use extra flour which will toughen your finished product.
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3 users found this review helpful
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Date Nut Pinwheel Cookies I

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2009
Wow, wow, and WOW!!!! These manage to be deicate and chewy at the same time. Luscious filling. The lemon offsets the sweetness of the dates to perfection. The only change I made is to add a tsp of cinnamon to the dough, because that's how my mom made them and I knew from experience that the subtle spice showcases the date flavor and lets it shine. Toasted pecans make a tasty substitute for walnuts. A hint to keep the round shape of your rolls. Wrap the rolls tightly in plastic wrap,then put each end into a tall glass (mine are 16 oz) and lay the glasses (with the dough in them) on their sides in the freezer. The rolls will stay perfectly round. Yes, of course it's true that these are a little labor-intensive, but that was pretty clear to me before I even started making them, just from reading the recipe. If I wanted fast and easy, I'd make a drop cookie. These are well worth the time. Besides, the filling can be made one day, the dough made, filled and frozen the next, and then they can be baked anytime afterward, up to a month or even longer if tightly wrapped airtight. Take it in steps if you don't want to make a career out of them. Once you bake them, you'll want to do it again.
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27 users found this review helpful
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Best Cherry Pie

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2009
This is an old chestnut of a recipe. I've been baking it using this same formula for over 30 years now, with the exception of using 1-2 Tb fresh lemon juice, added along with the cherries and extract. Using the lemon juice avoids the cloying sweetness that some have found objectionable. Those who think it's the same as canned cherry pie filling have to be kidding! That stuff is bright red goo with a few cherries floating around in it. This produces a cherry-packed filling that fits best in an 8" pie pan. For a 10" pie I always double this recipe, and it comes out nice and full. For those who have trouble with the crust browning too much or burning, just crimp a 2" strip of foil (you will need 3-4, depending on the size of pie you're baking. Join the strips end-to-end by folding thinly together to make one long strip) around the crust edges. Remove for the last 15 minutes of baking. Voila! Perfectly baked crusts every time. This filling recipe also works beautifully as a topping for cheesecakes, pound cakes, ice cream, etc. Provided you make a quality crust, this truly does produce the Best Cherry Pie you'll ever eat.
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208 users found this review helpful

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter

Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2009
We didn't care for this in the slightest. The overwhelming taste of fake garlic from the garlic powder ruined a perfectly good strip steak. Why not use just fresh garlic for the whole thing, since you're using that ingredient anyway? Dehydrated, polyester ingredient=polyester taste. Never again.
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9 users found this review helpful
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Butter Crunch Cookies

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2009
Oh my word!! These are absolutely irresistible! Use unsalted butter for depth of flavor. I toasted the pecans (spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, flip the nuts over using a pancake turner, and bake 5 minutes more, or until they become fragrant. Watch so they don't burn.) Also added a slight dash of real almond extract. Both these measures really make the flavor pop! I've made both with all white sugar as written and with half brown sugar, and the consensus here is that the brown sugar flavor is richer. The ingredients might not sound like much, but believe me, the flavor really is all that. They're nice and crunchy, making for an extremely satisfying cookie experience. NOTE: To the reviewer who found her product too salty, I'd guess it's because she used salted butter. I've never had a problem with excess saltiness with this recipe, and I've made it many times. I do, however, always use unsalted butter (as is recommended with any baked product.) If you only have salted butter, I'd recommend cutting the additional salt back to 1/4 tsp (or even 1/8 tsp if you're salt-sensitive.) NOTE: To correct the review dated 12/28/10, baking powder is NOT just baking soda and cornstarch. It's 1) baking soda, 2)acid (like cream of tartar, which she notes she used, but failed to note in the ingredients) and 3) starch to absorb any moisture and prevent it from activating before it's used. Ratio is 1:2:1 in the order given above.
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