Baricat Recipe Reviews (Pg. 3) - Allrecipes.com (131039)

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Greek Style Garlic Chicken Breast

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2012
Very good! The taste was neither too garlicky nor too lemony. I did reduce the olive oil. Half was perfect for four boneless breasts. Other than that, I stayed faithful to the recipe. Since our palates missed the anticipated tart boost from the lemon, it fell just short of perfection in our purview. Be aware that with the slits cut in the breast, cooking time should be reduced accordingly. We grilled over charcoal and the taste was top-notch.
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1 user found this review helpful

Country Apple Dumplings

Reviewed: May 30, 2012
Let me preface this review by saying I'm no fan of pre-fab ingredients. Between all the stellar reviews and the use of an unconventional ingredient (soda) I had to try it. But because I'm diabetic, that necessitated a few changes. However, I'm happy to report that even in a more streamlined incarnation, it was no less spectacular, and I'm glad I didn't let the inclusion of a dairy-case roll dough put me off. I rolled the apples in a mixture of Splenda, some cinnamon and a few shakes of nutmeg. The sauce was made with half the butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 1-1/4 cup Splenda, fortified with 1 Tb honey, 1 Tb rum, and several shakes of freshly grated nutmeg. The honey and rum lent a lovely complexity of flavor. I only had Fresca on hand (well, it was either that or Coke Zero!) It's no exaggeration to say that there's no way you could tell this was a "light version." Whereas it's debatable to say that since I didn't make it exactly as the recipe states I'm not rating the recipe, it shows how flexible this recipe is, and how easily tailored it is. Because of medical necessity, I have to change recipes often. Some can be be adapted, some can't. This one rolls with the proverbial punches, and emerges a champ, the mark of a great recipe that can assume a place of honor in your baking repertoire.
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24 users found this review helpful

Grandpop's Special Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: Mar. 7, 2012
A truly excellent chocolate cake, in that it's easy to throw together with items you are likely to have in your pantry, in flavor, which is deep and round due to the coffee which can't be tasted but which brings out all the best in chocolate, and in texture, which is moist. It is everything that your grandma's chocolate cake brings to mind. I needed to serve several people, so I baked it in a 15"X10" jelly roll pan or cookie sheet, and was surprised that there was too much batter to fit. I baked the remainder as 6 cupcakes. The sheet cake was baked to perfection in 22 minutes, the cupcakes in 18. Topped both the cake and cupcakes with a glossy cross between a glaze and a frosting, consisting of 4 Tb cocoa, 1/2 a stick of butter and 6 Tb milk heated just until boiling, then combined with 4 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla, all poured over the hot cakes. Next time I need a big cake, I'll put all of it into an 11"X17" jelly roll pan, and it will fit the full recipe perfectly. Thank you for a keeper that I'll turn to again and again.
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6 users found this review helpful

Richard's Chicken Breasts

Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2012
A stand-out recipe! I have to admit to changing the procedure just a bit, in that I cooked the onions immediately after frying the chicken breasts (removed them from the pan first) then deglazed with Marsala after everything had been fried off. Since my husband is always looking for sauce, after the deglaze and reducing the wine by half, I added 1 cup of chicken broth into which I had whisked 2 Tb flour, in order to give a light liaison to the sauce. Brought everything to a simmer for about 5 minutes in order to cook off the flour, then added the breasts back, topped with the cheese and proceeded as indicated in the recipe. The chicken was tender and succulent. Awesome, simple recipe. Thank you for posting it! Edited to add: Have made this several times, using different wines and cheeses. I've used dry sherry, Madeira, dark rum. All were fabulous. Have subbed Brie or Jarlsberg for the mozzarella. Delicious! Adding 1/2 Tb tomato paste lends a lovely blush. This recipe is easy to tailor to what you have on hand or what you like.
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14 users found this review helpful

Spring Biscotti

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2012
Three words: Ah. May. Zing. These were pitch-perfect in every possible way! I made them without the nuts, since it was for a shower, and many can't eat them. I had made a cookie bar with 17 varieties for the guests to take home as favors. The absolute only kind that went completely was the biscotti! I painted the flat side with melted white chocolate, and for presentation, stood them on end in a tall crystal vase. Perfectly crunchy with a fresh, clean taste. My nonno and nonna would have loved these with their afternoon espresso. Phenomenal!
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6 users found this review helpful

White Chocolate-Cranberry Biscotti

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2012
There were good, but not exceptional in any way. I have a hunch that incorporating some finely grated, fresh orange or lemon zest would improve the flavor which, as is, is bland. Good light, crispy texture.
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1 user found this review helpful
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Perfect St. Patrick's Day Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2012
Who'd ever guess that a recipe for chocolate cake that uses Guinness would turn out to be the best darned chocolate cake I've ever tasted?? Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? From here on, I'm going to keep a bottle of Guinness in the fridge, and I detest beer of any kind! This is now my go-to chocolate cake recipe. And that's no faint praise, coming from a pastry chef of many years! The stout really complements and rounds out the flavor of the chocolate, plus lends a lovely reddish hue. You never taste it, but it's there, lending its incomparable support to the star of the show (chocolate.) This cake is blow-your-socks-off good, incomparably moist with a very fine, tender crumb. I spiked the ganache with a Tb of Jameson's Irish Whiskey. I cut the centers out of each cupcake (mmmm...chocolate cake scraps to eat!) and filled the holes with the ganache, opting to use it as a filling rather than as a drizzle. I doubled the amount of Irish Cream in the frosting, as well. Served to ooohs, aaahs, moans, groans, swoons, and general paroxysms of pleasure.
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26 users found this review helpful

Zesty Tomato Soup for One

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2012
Absolutely delightful! So much better tasting than the canned stuff, which is loaded with sugar, starch, and salt. I disagree with those who found it flavorless or bland. This is a celebration of the simple, glorious flavor of burstingly ripe tomatoes, period. Very low in calories and naturally fat free. Heart-healthy stuff, with a nice dose of lycopene and vitamin C galore! The second time I made this, I put in a dab, about 1/2 tsp, of Minor's chicken base, which couldn't be tasted exactly, but which lent a nice depth of flavor, and salted it just right. Additionally, I like to peel and seed the tomatoes before I blend them, as I find both to be a detraction. What you taste is exactly what you get, uncomplicated and wholesome.
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2 users found this review helpful

Danish Pastry Apple Bars I

Reviewed: Feb. 18, 2012
Oh. Wow. Yum. Unbelievably delicious. I had to put them in the freezer so I'd stop helping myself to "just one more piece." The cornflakes are not at all discernible once it bakes. I used 10 cups of apples, and 1/2 cup brown sugar, plus 1/4 cup white sugar, plus 1/2 tsp of freshly ground nutmeg. That addition was the only deviation I made from the recipe. Don't skip the nutmeg - it adds depth of complexity to the flavor. Outstanding! The pastry, which is made with milk in classic Danish style (and which differentiates it from classic American pie dough) is tender. The egg white wash makes for a glossy, professional, Kodak-moment finish. I made them to serve at my daughter's bridal shower (if I can keep my fat mitts off of them, that is!) The lovely aroma hung heavy in the air for hours after they were out of the oven, driving everyone crazy. This is a showstopper recipe, any way you look at it. Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing.
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9 users found this review helpful
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Monkey Bread

Reviewed: Feb. 16, 2012
Very good with the refrigerated biscuit dough, but a whopping, off-the-charts TEN stars if you can afford the time to sub Colleen's Potato Crescent Rolls recipe from this site. Just mix, allow to rise, punch down and shape into the balls, dip them, throw them into the bundt pan. You can make them the night before this way, and let them rise in the fridge, covered. Or you can give them the second rise immediately and bake. The "dip" for the dough is a nice change from the more traditional, straight cinnamon-cum-sugar mix. Lovely presentation.
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2 users found this review helpful
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Petits Fours

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2012
This recipe is too flimsy for petits fours. A more substantial cake is needed stand up to cutting without crumbing so that when you pour the fondant over them, they stay nice and smooth. Best bet is a moist pound cake recipe (a good choice is Grandmother's Pound Cake II from this site.) A sponge cake just isn't as successful for this purpose. AR, please note: The link in the recipe for frosting does not work.
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1 user found this review helpful
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Grandmother's Pound Cake II

Reviewed: Jan. 17, 2012
Yes, this is the formula for a classic American pound cake as it has been made for well over a century and a half (1:1:1:1 or 1 pound butter, 1 pound sugar, 1 pound flour, 1 pound eggs.) I used this as a base for petits fours, and the texture stood up to repeated cuts (I halved the recipe, and baked in a 9"X13" pan, then cut 7X10 into (70) 1-1/4" squares) and didn't shed crumbs, neither when it was cut, nor when the fondant was poured over it. I did, however, add more milk. This was so short on liquid that the result was closer to a dough than a batter. I added 50% more milk, and added extracts (combo of almond, vanilla, orange, lemon , maple and coconut) as I needed the cake to have sufficiently assertive and complex flavor to stand up to the uber sweet fondant. The 9"X13" was done in 27 minutes. I cooled it in the pan for about 13 minutes, and it released beautifully onto the rack to finish. This cake is appropriately dense, sturdy and velvety moist (with additional liquid.) It's a 4-1/2 star recipe as is, but a 5 with additional milk and flavoring, which yields distinct sensory improvement.
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40 users found this review helpful
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Baked Alaska

Reviewed: Jan. 17, 2012
Just browning the top on broil doesn't make it baked. As written, this is just a ho-hum ice cream pie topped with meringue. Graham cracker crumbs and vanilla ice cream, topped with almond-flavored meringue just didn't do it for us. A genuine Baked Alaska is made with cake as a base, not crumbs, and it's baked in the oven, not merely broiled (meaning heat source only applied to the top.) We didn't care for the meringue with its heavy almond flavoring. A more suitable meringue for this dish uses brown sugar for appealing color and full flavor, and a dash of vanilla. Although quicker and easier to put together, we felt it was a poor substitute for real Baked Alaska, and it only served to make us long for the real deal.
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7 users found this review helpful
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Chocolate-Mint Brownie Cookies

Reviewed: Jan. 13, 2012
Wonderful! Someone before me commented that these turn out flat, but that was not the case with mine, which turned out nicely rounded (see picture.) Flattening can happen when butter is substituted for shortening or when too little flour is used, but I have no idea if either of those is what happened with the reviewer's cookies. Just two things to watch for if you prefer nice, plump hemispheres. As they emerged from the oven, I topped each with an Andes mint, allowed them to rest for 2 minutes, then swirled the melted candy on top. The result was serendipitous. These are just lovely, with a perfectly fudgy, brownie-like inside and a firm outside. If you like brownies and Girl Scout Thin Mints, you'll love this hybrid that represents the best of both.
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12 users found this review helpful

Mini Cheesecakes

Reviewed: Jan. 10, 2012
Fabulous and wonderfully versatile! I have made Bailey's Irish Cream cheesecakes by omitting the lemon juice, adding 3 Tb Irish cream, and 2 Tb sour cream. After they cool, I brush the tops with a little more Irish Cream, and no one can get enough! Of course, the fruit topped minis are lovely, as well, made according to directions. They can be made chocolate by sprinkling the bottoms of the papers with crushed Oreos, eliminating the lemon juice and stirring 1/2 cup of melted chocolate chips and 1/4 tsp vanilla into the filling. To dress those up even further, I have been known to top the Oreo crumbs with 1 tsp hot fudge sauce, then pour the topping in. Also lovely is a grasshopper version, using the Oreo crumbs, and in place of the lemon juice, add 2 Tb green creme de menthe and 1 Tb creme de cacao. I will sometimes even fold mini chocolate chips into this one. The possibilities are literally limitless. Simple to make, even simpler to eat! These freeze like champs. A+++
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19 users found this review helpful
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Buttery Yeast Spritz

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2012
Normally, spritz cookies are boring, dry, forgettable (but cute) little bites. This is the recipe that puts an end to all that. They're everything we love about butter cookies, on steroids!! I, too, did a double-take at a cookie recipe that uses yeast. But I'm so glad I tried it. They're absolutely WONDERFUL!! The yeast does unparalleled wonders to point up the buttery nature of these gems. I have found that they benefit from a couple of pinches of salt, particularly if you use unsalted butter, and a dash of extract. I have used vanilla, almond and coconut on various occasions, and even a mixture of those three, which gave an inscrutable, but delectable result. The texture is of a fine crumb: not dry, not crispy but tender and delicate. These actually taste as good as they look!
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3 users found this review helpful
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Cherry Winks

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2012
This recipe was the grand prize winner in the 2nd (1950) Pillsbury Bake-Off, and has graced many a family's Christmas cookie tray for decades. It's wonderful to see it here for another generation to enjoy. Tried and true, it never fails to please. In reference to the complaint about maraschino cherries being too wet, there is a crucial omission from the recipe. The cherries must be drained before inclusion. Placing them in a single layer on about 3 thicknesses of paper towels for 30-60 minutes is sufficient. Over the years, we have morphed the recipe to using half almond extract in place of half of the vanilla, because it fortifies and underscores the flavor of the cherries. Cheerful and always festive, they'll disappear fast.
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8 users found this review helpful

Whipping Cream Pound Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2012
An AR search for a pound cake that didn't need sour cream, like my usual recipe (because I was all out) turned this up, and what a fabulous find! It's everything a pound cake should be: dense, moist, buttery rich with a tender crumb. This is it. The recipe is basic, as well as quite forgiving. I only had half the whipping cream called for, so I subbed 1/2 cup of buttermilk for the missing cream, and added a couple of pinches of baking soda, which neutralizes the acid in the buttermilk. I stayed with the 2 tsp of vanilla extract, but also added a dash each of almond, maple, coconut, orange and lemon extracts. The result was a delightfully, subtly complex flavor. It made an outstanding base for pureed strawberries and ice cream, and turned the ordinary into a memorable dessert. Subbing Splenda for half of the sugar (equal measurement) turns out just the same as if you had used all sugar. I sprinkled the pan with sugar after greasing it, and the crust was attractively shiny, giving a little punch of sweetness. Note: Cutting the ingredients in half fits perfectly in a 9"X5" loaf pan. A++
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Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Perfection

Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2012
Tres chic!! The chicken was simply outstanding. Only three relatively minor changes. Since I make all salad dressings in this house, I never have bottled Italian dressing. I subbed a homemade vinaigrette for marinating the chicken, and left it to soak for about 24 hours. The second change was that we're not fans of sundried tomatoes, so I left them out. In the past I've put in chopped artichoke hearts in their place, which was fabulous. I've also subbed fresh peeled and seeded, chopped tomatoes, which gave a nice color contrast to the spinach. Third change was to pre-cooked the mushrooms by chopping, microwaving, and draining before incorporation in the stuffing, which sped up the process. The spinach punctuated the mix with festive bits of green. Phenomenal results, and not all that difficult to put together. This can be served confidently to your most discriminating guests, yet it's simple enough for a nice weekday dinner surprise for your family when you want to do something a little special, just "because."
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9 users found this review helpful

Fudge Puddles

Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2011
Superb concept. As many others have noted, you must have patience and not try to take them out of the tins too soon. I found that waiting about 10 minutes allowed them to pop out easily by simply inserting the tip of a knife between the outside of the cookie and the tin. Only 4 stars because we disliked the artificial taste and megawatt sweetness imparted by the condensed milk. Having a hunch as to how to improve the filling, I heated about 1/3 cup of heavy cream until the edges got bubbly, adding 2 Tb butter and 6 ounces of milk chocolate and 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, both Ghirardelli. Stirred it until the chocolate was melted and the mixture was perfectly smooth and shiny, then filled. OFF THE FLIPPIN' HOOK'!! The tender cookie acts as the perfect vehicle for fudgy truffle/ganache filling. You can easily adjust the sweetness by changing the proportion of milk chocolate to semisweet or bittersweet chocolate you use, according to your taste. The proportions above represent a more adult, sophisticated version of the cookie, not sickeningly sweet as the written filling is. Rich, sinfully chocolate. Now THAT's what I'm talkin' about!!! NOTE: The easiest way to fill is to put your filling in a zip-lock sandwich bag, cut one of the corners off by snipping a small piece of the plastic, and squeeze to fill. If the filling gets a little thick, microwave for 10-15 seconds and it should loosen up enough for you to resume filling. Easy and no mess!
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