Baricat Recipe Reviews (Pg. 8) - Allrecipes.com (131039)

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Smooth and Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2010
Only improvements I made to the recipe were to use real whipped cream (1 cup whipping cream plus 3 Tb powdered sugar, whipped until stiff) in place of the Cool Whip, which always imparts an artificial taste, and add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. With the real cream, this was sublime! I topped with chocolate syrup and quartered peanut butter cups. Easy, but fabulous flavor!
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14 users found this review helpful

Honey Oatmeal Bread II

Reviewed: Feb. 9, 2010
Meh. I had a very different take on this recipe from most. Incorporating the suggestions of many reviewers, I used half whole wheat and half bread flour. The bread was good, not great, certainly nothing that rocked my world. It was moist and the flavor was OK. However, I'd suggest that the last 1/2 cup of water is unnecessary and contributes to a very sticky dough. Even after adding another 3/4 cup flour to try to give the dough some body, it was still soft. I went ahead with it, which I now know I shouldn't have done. There wasn't sufficient structure to support the loaf when it rose (I did not experience the problems others reported of the dough not rising.) It looked gorgeous, nice and high. But as soon as the heating element kicked on in the bread machine, POOF! it all deflated. The result was a relatively flat loaf - the outsides were higher than the middle, which was less than attractive. That aside, as I said, the flavor was still reasonably good, and let's face it: homemade bread, even so-so homemade bread, still tastes wonderful when fresh. I suspect that if I had left out the later addition of water, the results would be a lot lighter and higher. Because of the extra pain-in-the-butt step to allow the oats to steep for an hour, this is just too fussy a recipe for me to want to try again. I'm going to cut my losses on this one and move on.
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12 users found this review helpful

Beth's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2010
This recipe is practically verbatim from the 1969 Betty Crocker cookbook (only exception is that back then they didn't make butter-flavored shortening, so it just calls for "shortening,") and I've been making it for more than 30 years. It's an awesome recipe that will get lots and lots of praise. It calls for a higher fat ratio than most, which makes it more tender and slightly chewier than most. You can count on these remaining fresh for a few days. They freeze perfectly for up to 3 months. Everyone goes crazy for these.
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10 users found this review helpful

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread

Reviewed: Jan. 17, 2010
The best cornbread I have ever had, bar none. I added 1/2 tsp baking powder to further lighten up the texture. Made it with an equal measure of Splenda in place of the sugar. Added a Tb of honey, as well. Lightly sweet this way. I found 27 minutes in the oven to be perfect, yielding a light, moist texture. Perfect served piping hot with loads of butter. Pieces can be split and warmed in the toaster later on.
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13 users found this review helpful

Traditional English Muffins

Reviewed: Jan. 7, 2010
Absolutely wonderful! I reduced the honey to just 1/2 cup, and you could just barely taste a hint of honey flavor. I let the dough rise 3 times, punching it down after 1 hour the first time, about 35 minutes the second and 25 the third (it rises faster each successive time.) By doing that, it increased the lightness. Then, after cutting I allowed the dough rounds to fully rise before baking. VOILA! Nooks and crannies. Whereas this takes time to do, if you are looking for English muffins that look more like Thomas', then there's no way to skip the prolonged, multiple rising. Excellent flavor and texture. The open crannies make for great places to soak in butter - yum! The only difference I encountered was that this recipe only made 20 muffins for me, not 36. I used a 4" biscuit cutter, and if you roll the dough the full 1/2" thick indicated in the recipe, I don't know how you'd ever get 36 out of it. In order to give the requisite finish that we associate with English muffins, I sprinkled the baking sheet liberally with cornmeal and sprinkled more of it on the tops before baking.
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59 users found this review helpful

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

Reviewed: Nov. 26, 2009
Absolutely terrific! Light. moist texture and perfect level of sweetness. The cranberries contributed the ideal, festive tart counterpoint. As I was making for a crowd and didn't know tastes, I topped each with a pecan half after sprinkling with the sugar mixture, so that those who don't like them could easily take it off before eating. They disappeared fast. Note that mine browned more than those in the picture, and I only baked for 19 minutes. After running a knife blade around the muffins, I could remove them much more easily from the pans. A+
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2 users found this review helpful

Chicken Breasts in Caper Cream Sauce

Reviewed: Nov. 18, 2009
I'm with Naples 34102 on this one. Sauce amount is just right for 2 chicken breasts. I also deglazed the pan with about 3 Tb Chardonnay, and reduced it quickly until the vapors ceased to tingle the nose. Omitted the garlic powder because its taste is so polyester! The flavor of this dish is so nuanced that it doesn't need garlic, but if you like it, then I'd recommend sauteeing it crushed and finely minced before you cook the chicken. I added the juice of half of a lemon and added some finely grated zest, which gave a nice zing. Right before serving, I stirred in the tiniest dollop of Dijon mustard, maybe 1/2 tsp. It gave a little indefinable je-ne-sais-quoi. The dill blends beautifully with the lemon and capers, making this special enough for a company dish.
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5 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Fudge Frosting

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2009
Perfectly fudgy with just the right level of sweetness. Many frostings tend to be way too sweet. This one has a nice, full chocolate flavor. It develops a beautiful sheen and will do your cake, cookies, brownies or cupcakes proud. I didn't even use my mixer. Just beat it by hand for a minute or so. Be aware that it will thicken as it sets. I didn't have to add any water - the consistency was just perfect as is. No trouble with its being granular. Easy, too, with a minimum of ingredients. What more could you want? A surefire winner.
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33 users found this review helpful

Pecan Pie Bars I

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2009
Very good, but I found the crust to be a little too thick and dry. We would have preferred a thicker filling in proportion to the crust, which I made using butter. I did like many reviewers and cut it back to 24 servings, baking it in a 9" X 13" pan. Next time I'll cut the filling back to 30 servings, while keeping the crust at 24 servings to improve the filling:crust ratio. Second bake time was 32 minutes. A Tb of Kentucky bourbon added to the filling gives it that authentic southern flavor. Lovely, buttery taste. No real problem in getting the bars to release, although it did take a little more pressure than with most recipes.
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3 users found this review helpful

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

Reviewed: Nov. 7, 2009
Good, but not stellar. The best pancakes are always made with buttermilk or sour milk to achieve maximum tenderness and flavor. Truck Stop Buttermilk Pancakes on this site is much better. That said, they're dependable and won't disappoint. But to dazzle 'em with your kitchen prowess, sour that milk up (1 Tb vinegar or lemon juice, add milk to make 1 cup, allow to rest at room temp 10 min, or zap for 20 seconds in the micro) before you use it in pancakes. Add 1/2 tsp soda when using buttermilk or sour milk to neutralize the acidic taste.
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3 users found this review helpful

Truck-Stop Buttermilk Pancakes

Reviewed: Nov. 7, 2009
Light, melt-in-your-mouth tender. Definitely needs the salt for flavor. If you leave it out, you'll know it's missing something. If making the full recipe, 1/2 tsp salt is about right (not a pinch.) So quick and easy (and cheap!) to throw together that you'll never so much as think of buying Bisquick ever again.
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3 users found this review helpful

Banana Cake VI

Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2009
I was tempted to bake in the conventional way (350 degrees for about 30 minutes) but in the end, the curiosity about the low temp and freezer cooling got the better of me. I'm glad it did. This is spectacularly moist and delicious. The only changes I made was to halve the recipe and bake it in a 9" square pan for an hour, added 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and subbed Splenda for 2/3 of the sugar. Phenomenal!!! Because it's baked at such a low temperature, the top doesn't get brown like other banana cakes, so frosting adds a lot for eye appeal. Also used Splenda in the cream cheese frosting (I'm diabetic.) I've never had such a super moist banana cake, and I've made some incredibly moist banana cakes before. With the Splenda, it doesn't cause my blood sugar to spike, a huge bonus because even we diabetics crave a baked goodie now and then.
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2 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Spooky Witches' Fingers

Reviewed: Oct. 11, 2009
Uncomplicated flavor and low sweetness quotient makes this recipe a winner for adults. Kids would probably prefer something sweeter. They're just a plain butter cookie with a sable texture. Of course, it's got creative impact up the yin-yang, too! I think I've figured out how to stop them from blowing up and out of shape. Cutting the baking powder in half, from 1 tsp to 1/2 tsp did the trick. I used red gel to simulate blood, and they made quite a splash. Guests were totally grossed out - my daughter could only eat them if she turned them upside down so she didn't have to see the "blood" and "warts" (little tiny balls of dough that I applied before baking.) Thank you!
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23 users found this review helpful

Mom's Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2009
Woefully bland. Tasted like Campbell's soup and nothing else. After an endless parade of additions, including a tiny dab of mustard, some freshly grated nutmeg, a dash of cayenne, several splashes of half-and-half, a heaping spoonful of sour cream, a generous handful of grated extra sharp cheddar and some grated Parmesan, this finally came around to tasting respectable. Much better and infinitely easier just to make your own white sauce and add grated/shredded cheese plus seasonings you like, stirring until cheese melts, then combining with the elbows. Unless you're into the flavor of Campbell's soup, throw this one back.
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11 users found this review helpful

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

Reviewed: Oct. 7, 2009
Makes a wonderful crust. Dough is very, very sticky, however. I added a bit more flour, maybe 2 Tb, and although it was still sticky, it was workable. The stickiness is a big part of why it doesn't need rising like a conventional crust. With less flour in proportion to the yeast, it rises more easily and quickly when exposed to oven heat. Nice soft texture when baked. Adding 2 Tb finely grated Parmesan boosts flavor, as well as adding 1/2 tsp basil and 1/2 tsp oregano. A preheated baking stone is a necessity to ensure a crispy, well-baked crust. Just be sure to sprinkle your peel very liberally with cornmeal or flour to allow for a smooth transfer to the stone. No worries about it sticking once it bakes on the stone. It will release easily when fully baked.
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17 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Best Ever Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake

Reviewed: Oct. 5, 2009
It's good, but it had the definite, unmistakable flavor of a mix. The texture is super moist with a nice, fine crumb. If you want that true, clean chocolate flavor, however, you gotta bite the bullet and make the cake from scratch. It really doesn't even take that much more time than this one does. The glaze/frosting was not too sweet, which we like. It's a glaze if you don't refrigerate it. If you want it to be more spreadable than drizzly, then refrigerate it for 10 minutes or so. If you like mixes and don't mind the artificial taste, then this is a favorable option, I suppose.
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13 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Apple Hermits

Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2009
WOWsers!!!!! These are awesome! Moist and spiced just right. I baked for only 12 minutes and they came out perfectly. They truly don't need the glaze, as they are quite sweet without it. I baked them on foil, shiny side DOWN (as always) and after they cooled, I had only to slide my hand under the foil and peel it gently away from the cookie (as opposed to peeling the cookie off the foil, which you don't want to do because these are delicate and will break) and they released beautifully. I had a big bag of Craisins that had seen better days, so before I began making the dough, I put a heaping cup of them into very hot water and let them stay for about 20 minutes, then drained on paper towels before stirring them into the dough. They add a lot to the cookies, as I'm sure raisins do, as well. I chopped the apple finely, as many reviews said that they found them to not look very pretty, and that's probably because of large apple chunks sticking out here and there. These looked fit for the cover of Bon Appetit. Thank you!
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8 users found this review helpful
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Caramel Frosting V

Reviewed: Sep. 29, 2009
Five stars for its decadently luscious flavor and murderously silken texture. But only two stars for insufficient instructions and difficulty. One pound of brown sugar equals 2-1/4 cups, packed. This is a large amount, so the last thing you want to have to do is add powdered sugar to get the proper consistency. That said, the instructions should say that the brown sugar/cream mixture needs not only to "cool" but to be refrigerated until ice cold. Mine was cool, 2 hours at room temp and 1 hour in the fridge, but not completely chilled. And I beat it for over 10 minutes in my KitchenAid mixer, with no thickening. So I added a yolk (not advised for pregnant women nor young children) and this helped it gain some body. But the real thickening came when I refrigerated it for 6 hours. Success! Needs to be stored in the fridge, as well (on your baked good, as well as the leftovers) to avoid its becoming too soft. Fabulous taste, but way, WAY too fussy for most.
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8 users found this review helpful

Date Bars II

Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2009
These were good, but not fabulous. The main reason is that we felt there was too much crust in proportion to the date filling. I even upped the chopped dates to 2 full cups instead of 1-1/2 and still felt the crust overwhelmed the filling. Perhaps tinkering with the crust ingredients by calculating with a couple fewer servings, while adding a couple of servings to the filling might work. Tasty, however.
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2 users found this review helpful

Cheesecake Bars

Reviewed: Sep. 26, 2009
The operative word here is "bars." It's not meant to be a cheesecake. The filling is purposefully made thin. Think of it "finger-food cheesecake." I usually save out about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the crumb crust mixture, and sprinkle it over the top of the filling before baking. This gives a crunch when you bite in, which supplies delightful counterpoint to the soft filling. These always go super fast.
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7 users found this review helpful

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