Baricat Recipe Reviews (Pg. 7) - Allrecipes.com (131039)

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Peanut Butter Fudge

Reviewed: Jul. 19, 2010
Good, but not as creamy as I had hoped. For those who have had problems with it not firming up, be sure to start the 5 minute timing only after it comes up to a full, rolling boil, meaning one that can't be stirred down. Adding a bit of salt (1/8 tsp) helps make the flavor pop. Makes a nice, deep 8" pan.
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19 users found this review helpful

Cold Cocoa Smoothie

Reviewed: Jul. 15, 2010
Uh...isn't this just a...milkshake?? That's what it's called where I come from. Too much milk as written - makes it way too liquid. Cut milk back by about half and you should have just about the right texture...for either a milkshake or a "smoothie."
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15 users found this review helpful

BLT Salad

Reviewed: Jul. 13, 2010
We liked this OK, with the exception of the garlic powder. I don't know about you, but I don't put garlic or garlic powder on my BLTs. So why put it in a BLT salad?? As others have noted, be sure to serve dressing on the side, as it goes from well-dressed to soggy before you know it. Don't leave out the salt, which will save the dressing from blandness. Great summer salad when tomatoes are at their best and can hold their own against the bacon.
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6 users found this review helpful

Christmas Chocolate Town Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 25, 2010
This is originally from many of the Hershey's cookbooks, where it's known as "Hershey's Chocolate Town Special Cake." When you think of the chocolate cake from your childhood that your Grandma made, this is it. It's been my go-to chocolate cake recipe for many years, and never once did it fail to turn out and garner many compliments, as well as moans of near-ecstasy. From experience, I can tell you that both the taste and texture is slightly better when you use the actual buttermilk, as opposed to using fresh milk with added lemon juice or vinegar to sour it. But if that's all you have, rest assured it will still turn out very well - just a matter of tiny degrees, certainly not a deal breaker. It has a perfect chocolate flavor, and a moist, fine, velvety crumb. It stays moist for days, if kept covered (but it probably won't last long enough for you to put that to the test!) Frosted either with chocolate or vanilla buttercream (or even a whipped ganache,) this is a sure-fire winner that delivers dependably outstanding results.
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15 users found this review helpful

Easy Coq Au Vin

Reviewed: Jun. 2, 2010
A respectable jumping-off point - a good premise, but needs work. Here's what to do to improve it: If you are aiming at a fresh taste more reminiscent of the original, then throw out the garlic powder (To save time, mash/mince a whole head when you have time, stir a Tb or two of olive oil into them, and store in a small jar in the fridge. 1 clove=about 1/2 tsp) After browning the chicken pieces, put them on a plate while you saute 1-2 cloves (depending on size) of mashed garlic. Return the chicken to the skillet and proceed as written. Be sure to add about 1/8 tsp thyme, which is authentic in the native French dish. Also, adding about 1 Tb tomato paste along with the wine and stock will 1) tone down the purple color imparted by the wine, making the sauce a more appetizing chestnut color, and 2) round out the flavor of the sauce. BTW, may be done with boneless breasts, but don't cook the chicken in the sauce the entire time, as if you cook pre-sauteed boneless breasts in liquid for 30 minutes, they will be dry and tasteless from overcooking. After you saute them, put aside and simply add them to the sauce the last 5-10 minutes of simmering. The meat will be juicy and incomparably flavorful. These changes will result in not only an easy version of the classic dish closer to the original, but also a better flavor with greater eye appeal. Real coq au vin features a pearl onion garnish and mushrooms, either of which can be easily added at the end to this recipe if you like them.
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79 users found this review helpful

Lemon Square Bars

Reviewed: May 30, 2010
Nice re-write!! I followed the recipe with only one slight deviation. I substituted Splenda for part of the sugar, as I'm diabetic. In total, I added about 1/4 cup more sweetener, as I've found that acid ingredients diminish the sweetening power of Splenda. I tasted, and added more Splenda as tasted decreed. But other than that, I found the proportions to be excellent. Loved the increased lemon juice and lesser sugar amount. The crust was just perfect, and did not overwhelm the filling. Perfect in every way. Nicely done. Thank you!
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1 user found this review helpful

Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies

Reviewed: Apr. 27, 2010
Good, but not stellar by any means. I cut the flour by 1/4 cup, and baked them for 5 minutes less, hoping to increase the chewiness. It didn't work. Putting the word "Chewy" in the title is misleading. They're roughly akin to a short peanut butter cookie, just in bar shape. The texture is more sable (like Pecan Sandies) than chewy. Nothing wrong with a sable texture, but when the recipe is billed with the first word "Chewy,) that's what I expect to get. I added coarsely chopped dark chocolate and spread with a thin layer of melted dark chocolate while still warm. Might make them again, not sure. But if there is a next time I'll know what to expect. My peanut butter cookies are actually chewier than these, so although they take more time, we like the results better than these.
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1 user found this review helpful

Blueberry Buttermilk Coffeecake

Reviewed: Apr. 22, 2010
In a word? WOW! I made this into jumbo muffins (an even dozen) and they're spectacular. Moist and flavorful. I incorporated a tsp of freshly grated lemon rind and used lemon extract in place of vanilla (since I adore the combo of lemon and blueberry) and substituted Splenda for half the sugar (to make them more diabetic friendly.) They rose up nice and high. I skipped the crumb topping, opting to merely give a shake of pearl sugar instead for sparkle. I'm sure it would be fabulous with the streusel, but this recipe is so good, it makes a delicious product all on its own without any adornment. Be aware that your product will not get overly brown on top, so don't keep baking, expecting that to happen - you'll end up with a dry cake. Coat the blueberries with some of the flour called for. It will keep the berries from sinking to the bottom. Also, wait until the very last second to gently fold in the blueberries to avoid having a purple-blue "smurf cake."
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9 users found this review helpful

Oven Fresh Seasoned Potato Wedges

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2010
Loved the technique and the texture of the potatoes, so 3 stars. However, the garlic powder and onion powder ruins the taste for us. Those two ingredients appear in so many commercial products, which is why I believe people don't mind them, or actually develop a taste for them. I was raised a second-generation Italian, and we never even had ersatz ingredients like those in the house. When we wanted garlic or onion flavor, we used garlic or onions. As a consequence, I can't stomach the flavor of artificial stuff. Instead, rubbing the cut potatoes with a cut clove of garlic and a cut onion will give a far superior flavor. That said, it's brilliant to combine the oil, Parmesan, salt, pepper and any other spices you like in a bag and shaking the potatoes is a very neat, no-fuss way to dress them before roasting. We eliminated the garlic and onion powders, replacing them with finely chopped rosemary and basil from the garden. Boo-ya!!! Great flavor that will complement any roasted meat or poultry.
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28 users found this review helpful

Monkey Peanut Butter Bars

Reviewed: Apr. 20, 2010
Meh. The main detraction for us was the oats. We just didn't care for the texture of biting into something periodically that's semi-firm. I baked for only 18 minutes the first time, then another 5 after adding the chips. By underdoing them, I had no problem with their being dry. They were quite moist and chewy. Frosted it with the gooey boiled topping from the Peanut Butter Sheet Cake from this site, which ramped up the peanut butter flavor a few degrees. Very chewy and gooey that way, and they were gone in a flash. Others seemed to like them more than I did. Feedback I got said mostly that it was because of the Sheet Cake Frosting recipe I used. A respectable bar, good, but nothing exciting that I'd rush to make again.
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3 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Colleen's Potato Crescent Rolls

Reviewed: Apr. 4, 2010
Dinner roll nirvana. Light, tender, buttery, moist, yeasty little mouthfuls of deliciousness. The one and only recommendation I would make is to cut the sugar if you're looking for a dinner roll and not a sweet roll. I used 6 Tb, which gave a subtle hint of sweetness to the flavor, but stopped short of defining it as more appropriate for a sweet breakfast roll. Easiest way to cut? Use a pizza cutter to cut your rolled circle into quarters, then divide those quarters in half to make eighths, then subcut those in half to get 16. All cuts need to intersect at one point in the center of the circle. After cutting, spread with the butter (I don't melt - just use softened butter. Melting is an unnecessary extra step and one more item to wash) then roll up each wedge as described in the directions. Be sure to wait sufficient time after shaping the refrigerated dough into individual rolls for a complete rise. For me, that took about an hour and 20 minutes (your timing could be more because of kitchen temp. I'm in south FL, so it's always pretty warm.) This step yields the maximum lightness of texture, just as rushing things will contribute to a heaviness in your finished product. I've made these countless times now. Perfect every time. Superb heirloom recipe. Thank you for posting it.
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27 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

JIF® Buckeyes

Reviewed: Apr. 3, 2010
Don't know how these could possibly be any better. Murderously silken in texture and decadently smooth in peanutty flavor. Had no trouble dipping them in the chocolate after about an hour in the fridge. Messy work, but well worth the clean-up. I shaped them into eggs for Easter, dipped in bittersweet chocolate and then drizzled with white chocolate. Easiest way to dip: wear latex gloves. Put a Tb or so of melted chocolate in the palm of your non-dominant hand. Roll the refrigerated center around in it and place on waxed paper. Keeps the mess very minimal. This will give you a nice, light coating. If you want a thicker coat, wait until the first coat solidifies, and repeat. Double dipping gives a luxuriously thick layer of chocolate. Fast, fast, fast this way, and as painless as possible. For highest sheen, melt chocolate in a double boiler off heat. First boil the water in the bottom, remove from heat and place the top over the water. Reboil water as necessary (removing the top part) and put the chocolate back over after you removed it from the heat. Do this whenever the chocolate gets too thick, as well. BTW, don't omit the salt in the filling as it provides necessary counterpoint to the otherwise relentless sweetness. Tastes reminiscent of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but worlds better, like they came from an old-world confectionary! BTW, if shaping them as buckeyes, recipe only makes about 48 - 1" diameter balls. If you want 60, then roll to about 3/4".
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115 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Zucchini Brownies

Reviewed: Mar. 30, 2010
I just don't get those who say the zucchini taste is strong. Nonsense. Zucchini has NO discernible taste! That's the psychological effect of knowing ahead of time that there's a vegetable in these. Kind of like a reverse placebo effect. No one who wasn't told in advance knew. WOW!! These are perfectly fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I made exactly as written, except for omitting the nuts (allergies). Didn't add a thing. There's nothing you could add to make this recipe any better than it already is. No need to worry about grating super finely. I used the shredding hole on my box grater - perfect. No eggs needed. And the frosting recipe is fabulous, as well. Cut ingredients for both brownies and frosting in half to make an 8" square pan. Be careful not to overbake to retain that yummy, fudgy texture. A mere 21 minutes was absolutely perfect in my exactly-calibrated oven. 30 minutes would have been way too long, so be watchful on these. No need to tell anyone what's in it. If you do, there will ALWAYS be some in the crowd who claim to taste the zucchini, and that ruins it for them. If you never tell, no one will know. These can also stand on their own, with nothing more than a sprinkling of powdered sugar. The frosting is just gilding the lily. Thanks for a future heirloom recipe.
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46 users found this review helpful

Lemon Pie Bars

Reviewed: Mar. 28, 2010
Often times in the kitchen, you'll find that the simplest recipes are the best. This recipe proves that corollary. Beautiful, uncomplicated flavors that let the lemon, with exquisite tartness, shine through. Few ingredients, simple to whip up in minutes, you'll reach for this recipe again and again. A+
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9 users found this review helpful

Apple, Carrot, Or Zucchini Cake

Reviewed: Mar. 24, 2010
Only just misses 5 stars. I made it using 3 cups carrot and 1 cup zucchini. This recipe uses far less oil than most recipes of this variety, and I believe that's because it uses double the carrot (zucchini/apple) that other recipes do. The result is a super moist, yet not heavy, cake. Two things that need a little tinkering. First is sugar - 2 cups is WAY too much. I found 1-1/2 cups to be perfect. The second is the spice. As written, it was inadequate to my palate. I would up the cinnamon to 3 tsp (or one TB,) the nutmeg is fine when using apple, but I'd add 1/4 tsp allspice and 1/4 tsp cloves, as well, and get rid of the nutmeg altogether if using only zucchini and/or carrot (meaning when apple is not used.) The 40 minute timing was dead-on in my meticulously calibrated oven, using a 9"X13" pan. Frosted it when cool with a not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting.
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24 users found this review helpful

Zucchini Cookies

Reviewed: Mar. 24, 2010
AMAZING!!!! Made exactly as written, and these are absolutely fabulous. The dough is extremely soft, even after refrigerating 5 hours. I pressed on, however, and was rewarded with soft, perfectly spiced treats. Because my kids love glazes and frostings, I waited for them to cool 5 minutes, then brushed a thick glaze (1 Tb soft butter, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, a dash of vanilla, a dash of cinnamon, and 2 tsp milk) onto the top of each. Waited a minute for the glaze to soften and begin to melt from the heat still in the cookies, then brushed the glaze to distribute thinly and evenly over the tops. For my taste, however, they were excellent just plain. So long as you know that these are soft, cake-like cookies and aren't expecting them to be at all crispy, you're going to love these.
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8 users found this review helpful

Lemon Square Bars

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2010
Perfect blend of tart and sweet. This is exactly what comes to mind when you think of lemon bars. I added the finely grated zest of 2 lemons to the filling. I reduced the butter in the crust to 3/4 cup and that was plenty. The shortbread crust has a lovely sable texture and butter taste. Everyone goes crazy for these. I only bake for 25 minutes, and it's perfect. A quick sprinkle of powdered sugar after cooled, and they look as great as they taste. A+
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6 users found this review helpful

Movie Star Popcorn

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2010
Surprisingly when you consider all the stellar reviews, I was not impressed. It tastes like popcorn made by any other method (though the microwave variety contains that processed, fake-butter taste) at home. Because of the temperature the oil reaches, the butter molecules begin to burn, and the kernels were dotted with dark brown. I made both with vegetable oil and with coconut oil as suggested by another reviewer, and noted very little difference, if any, in taste. It's not bad in any way, just OK, but definitely nothing special.
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3 users found this review helpful

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2010
Fan-freakin-tastic!!!Add my voice to the Greek chorus praising this recipe. Super tasty, soft, moist cookies filled with a yummy, fluffy vanilla frosting. I used a scoop that holds about a tablespoon and a half of dough, and was able to make 37 "sandwiches" at that size, which were still pretty big. Enough filling that I had some left over, even after spreading it on generously, such that it oozed out when the two cookies were put together. Perfectly spiced (yes, spice is measured in tablespoons, not teaspoons. Hallelujah! I love spicy cookies!) they are good enough to stand alone without the frosting. Hint: Adding a big pinch of salt to the frosting helps round out the flavor for those who thought it tasted too much like shortening, and be sure to whip well, until fluffy. These treats are so outstanding that they are all but guaranteed to please even the fussiest cookie monster. Everyone at my husband's work went crazy for them.
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10 users found this review helpful

Dave's Big Raisin Cookies

Reviewed: Mar. 8, 2010
I have no idea why there are so few reviews for this recipe. It's phenomenal!! Hearty, homey and wholesome, full of flavor. Equally at home with a tall, cold glass of milk or a steaming mug of latte. I made two minor alterations. The 2 tsp of salt seemed too high to me, so I cut back to 1-1/2 tsp and the result seemed just right to my palate. I discovered I only had 1 cup of raisins, so I filled in with a cup mixed of craisins and cut-up prunes. I did allow them to cool before mixing them in, as directed, and I did chill overnight. However, the second time I made them, I didn't chill, and there was no discernible difference in the end product. They don't spread on the sheet, so what you see going into the oven is pretty much what you get coming out. Mine, therefore, were much puffier than those pictured. Lovely, chewy texture which equals a good keeper. The spice makes them irresistible. 10 minutes was perfect timing. The recipe makes a lot, so perfect for a crowd, one you'll be proud to serve. A fabulous heritage cookie jar filler.
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15 users found this review helpful

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