Baricat Recipe Reviews (Pg. 9) - (131039)

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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

Crunchy Cheesecake Bars

Reviewed: Sep. 26, 2009
Nice cross between cheesecake and a cookie, meaning that it makes cheesecake become finger food. Not too sweet. The filling translates nicely to sugar-free by using Splenda. No one could tell. I put in a dash of almond extract and a dash of maple extract (a drop of each) to increase the complexity of flavor. The lemon complements the taste. Be sure to store leftovers in the fridge, as the filling is mainly dairy.
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3 users found this review helpful

Pumpkin Pancakes

Reviewed: Sep. 7, 2009
WOW!!! Nicely spiced vehicles for your maple syrup. This recipe works equally well with cooked, pureed sweet potato. I nuke them for 4 minutes, scoop out the flesh and mash it well before incorporating. Also, I use buttermilk in place of the milk and vinegar. I find that I end up using the same measure of buttermilk as of flour, otherwise the batter is too thick and the pancakes won't cook well in the centers. It's easy to tinker with the spices to suit your taste. I like to add a dash of cloves as well as those in the recipe, plus I double the cinnamon and ginger. These puff up nicely and come out tender and oh-so-tasty!
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5 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

White Layer Cake

Reviewed: Sep. 2, 2009
Excellent texture, very moist with substance, but not dense, if that makes sense. Keeps its shape well with little tendency to crumb, so it looks professional when frosted. I have made it both as an actual layer cake and also as cupcakes (see picture.) Baked cupcakes for 22 minutes. To give it a little more flavor I mixed extracts - 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp lemon and 1/2 orange. This made for a lovely taste. A+
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8 users found this review helpful

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2009
Thickness is absolutely imperative to sweetened condensed (the operative word) milk. Genuine condensed milk had half of its liquid content rapidly evaporated in order to concentrate the milk solids significantly. Be aware that this recipe only provides for the sweetness of the canned sweetened, condensed milk, but does nothing to actually condense it. Hence, it will not work in recipes designed for sweetened condensed milk. This is nothing more than milk with sugar dissolved in it, and other than the sugar bears no resemblance to sweetened, condensed milk.
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71 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Ninety Minute Cinnamon Rolls

Reviewed: Aug. 30, 2009
FABULOUS!! I subbed shortening for the margarine, as I find there to be little discernible difference in your product between using margarine, butter or shortening in yeast doughs. I do, however use only softened butter in the cinnamon sugar mixture that gets spread over the dough before rolling up. That's where the flavor matters. I baked them for only 18 minutes, and they were absolutely perfect. Light in texture, and they baked up super high. Put raisins in half of them when rolling the dough. We're not fans of cream cheese frosting on cinnamon rolls, so I made a plain glaze (see picture) out of 1 Tb softened butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, a dash of vanilla extract and 1 Tb milk, so that it was fairly thick. Topped each roll with a small dab (go easy so as not to overwhelm the rolls with megawatt sweetness) when they were just fresh out of the oven, which melted and drizzled over each roll attractively. I took them to a quilt guild cutting party, and they were scarfed up, the silence of collective eating punctuated only by appreciative moans. As good as any roll that takes 3 times as long, and so easy you can throw them together to make any weekend morning a delightful event for the family.
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51 users found this review helpful

Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

Reviewed: Aug. 15, 2009
Excellent in every way! Using shortening preserves that nice, crispy S-N-A-P when you bite into them. I baked for 12 minutes, which gave the perfect crispness throughout, with no chewiness. A genuine gingersnap should not have a buttery taste - and I'm an advocate of butter MOST of the time when baking cookies. But not here. In great-grandma's day, they were made with lard. To us, a proper gingersnap needs robust ginger flavor and a warmth left on the palate after eating them, so I increased the ginger to 1 tablespoon and added a few shakes of cayenne pepper. Also, laced the sugar in which I rolled the dough balls with more ginger. Perfect in every way. Absolutely addictive - A++!
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18 users found this review helpful

Crispy Gingersnaps

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2009
I've been looking for a gingersnap recipe that makes a crispy, crunchy cookie, and I'm happy to report that this is DEFINITELY it!! A few notes for those who are looking for that familiar degree of spiciness that leaves a bit of warmth in your mouth after the cookie is gone; add a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper to your dough and mix well. You can also use ground white pepper. Many folks think they need to use more ginger, but 1 Tb is plenty for the size of this recipe. More ginger won't give you that zing, but pepper will. The recipe made 40 perfect little disks. I rolled them in sugar laced with more ginger, and flattened the balls slightly. They baked up nice and flat, looking much like the commercial variety, with a far superior flavor. Thank you SOOOOoooo much for this wonderful recipe. The one I've been searching for for decades!
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39 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Spiced Banana Cake

Reviewed: Aug. 12, 2009
Excellent, forgiving recipe. I was halfway through making this when I discovered that the two big bananas I had the day before had mysteriously become just one. Not wanting to have to go to the grocery store, I used 1/2 cup pureed, cooked sweet potato in place of the other banana. The cake came out FABULOUS, with a mere hint of banana taste, making this perfect for those who think they don't like banana cake. I added 1 tsp cinnamon, because it complements the flavor of banana anything. I used dark brown sugar, as well, since that was all I had. In a 10-cup bundt pan, it took 50 minutes to bake completely. I glazed it with a cream cheese glaze (1 Tb softened butter, 4 oz softened cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 Tb milk.) It came out tremendously moist, and received rave reviews. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!
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20 users found this review helpful

Belle's Hamburger Buns

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2009
Lovely soft, ethereal, yeasty pillows that will elevate your burgers well beyond the ordinary. Perfect exactly as written. Just be mindful not to add too much flour. The dough should feel ever-so-slightly sticky to the touch, so go somewhat light on your first flour addition. If you squeeze some in your hand, it should adhere just for a second or two before falling when you release it. If using a bread machine, check it after the initial kneading, while it rests, before the long knead part of the cycle, and add flour if too sticky, add a few drops of water if the dough seems heavy or dry. Check again 2-4 minutes into the second knead and adjust again, as necessary. The complaint that these rolls are too "dense", providing sufficient rising time is allowed per the recipe, is because of 1) insufficient kneading 2) insufficient rising time or 3) too much flour in proportion to liquid. The amount of flour when baking breads is not a precise science. Think of it as an "area" and not a "point." The amount can vary from one time to the next, depending on the humidity, altitude, barometric pressure, accuracy of measurement, if you've sifted, age of your flour, etc. Work by feel and don't consider any measurement to be carved in stone, if you want to produce perfect yeast breads of any kind. Use the minimum amount of flour necessary to achieve the above-described feel to the dough, and you'll make the most heavenly bread on earth, each and every time.
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253 users found this review helpful

White Brownies

Reviewed: Aug. 7, 2009
Relentlessly, overwhelmingly sweet with a pronounced "processed" flavor.
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2 users found this review helpful
Photo by Baricat

Rick's Special Buttercream Frosting

Reviewed: Jul. 28, 2009
I used half butter and a mixture of clear vanilla and lemon extracts, which maintained the white color, yet lent a more complex, less cloying flavor. Perfect for decorating. Be very sparing when you add the cream, as you can then stop when it comes to the thickness you want. If you're piping, you'll want to use less liquid. My Westies turned out so cute. Be aware that if you're piping for a long time, the heat from your hand might make it too soft. In that case, 5 minutes or so in the fridge will bring it right back. Great for decorating and delicious!
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5 users found this review helpful

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reviewed: Jul. 16, 2009
Very good, but definitely not the best IMHO. They do not come out as chewy as my long standing recipe that I've been making over 40 years. The main differences are that this recipe has 25% less fat. mine uses half butter and half shortening, and the addition of water with the soda. These lost what chewiness they had by the next day and became crisp. Good, solid recipe, not bad, but you can do a whole lot better.
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26 users found this review helpful

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Cupcake = The BEST Cupcake. Ever.

Reviewed: Jul. 14, 2009
Very good. Be aware that you need to start these several hours before you need them, since you will have to freeze the cookie dough for a couple of hours in order for them to become firm. I put the frozen dough balls onto the batter at the very last minute, and by baking 16 minutes exactly, the dough stayed properly "doughy" (unbaked) in the finished product. That, however, was the problem for us. Between the lightly baked cake part, the soft cookie dough and the mound of frosting needed to cover up the crater left in the middle from the sinking dough ball, this was just a bit over-the-top gooey for our tastes. No doubt many people will love it for exactly this reason, but it was just a bit much for us. We'd rather have a plain, frosted cupcake and keep the dough in the freezer to add to impromptu sundaes. BTW, because of wanting to avoid consumption of raw eggs, I used the frozen cookie dough recipe on this website, because it does not call for eggs. This is strongly advised if you intend to serve the cupcakes or dough to young children and babies, the elderly, pregnant women, or anyone with a compromised immune system.
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9 users found this review helpful

Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Reviewed: Jul. 11, 2009
Superb frozen treat. For those who found it to be too bland, add 1/8 tsp salt, which will bring the flavor to life. Also added a pinch of soda, since all chocolate chip cookie dough recipes have soda, and it tasted like the real thing. It was very soft, but I had no problem rolling into balls. I used them to bake into the cupcake recipe on this site (long name, like Choc. Chip Cookie Dough + Cupcake...) because the dough mixture in that recipe features eggs, and since it is not supposed to bake all the way through, I used this one instead as it does not feature the use of raw eggs. Absolutely perfect.
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92 users found this review helpful

Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Biscuits

Reviewed: Jul. 9, 2009
Westie approved! I wanted to beef things up even more, so I added 1/4 cup whey powder, added 2 more Tb peanut butter, and replaced half the wheat germ with rolled oats. Omitted the honey, as the whey powder was non-calorically sweetened. Rolled into 1" balls and flattened onto the sheet. It made exactly 35 this way. My dog went NUTS!! She sat her butt down next to the oven and wouldn't move until I gave her a couple, and I finally had to shoo her out of the way. It's great to know that all the ingredients are good for her, and they contain no preservatives, which means BTW that they'll have to be stored in the fridge so as not to get moldy. Thank you for the recipe, a sure-fire way to make your favorite canine very, very happy.
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4 users found this review helpful

Perfect Berry Shortcakes

Reviewed: Jul. 4, 2009
Very good. If you like a true shortcake with a somewhat traditional, dry, biscuit-like cake, you'll go for this in a big way. The sugar crusting on the top was perfect. I pureed half the berries to make sure there was enough moisture to soak into these. If I had just sliced up the berries, it would have been a little dry for our taste. Like shauna85 said, similar to a scone - a very dry scone.
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5 users found this review helpful

Cherry Cheese Pie I

Reviewed: Jun. 30, 2009
The best I've tried of its type. True, it's not exactly what you could call a cheesecake, so "Cheese Pie" is appropriate. This recipe sets up much more predictably than the one made with sweetened, condensed milk and lemon juice. The texture is light and creamy when served cold - tends to get a little loose as it comes closer to room temperature. As a consequence, it may be frozen, and when allowed to thaw for a few minutes, can be cut and served that way. To give the cheese layer a little more interest, I added about 1/4 tsp lemon extract, plus a dash each of maple and almond extracts. These complemented the cherries perfectly. A+ for a simple recipe that tastes luscious and takes only minutes to throw together.
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11 users found this review helpful

Gingerbread Biscotti

Reviewed: Jun. 11, 2009
Nice crispy, crunchy, spicy little treats. I followed the recipe as written with the oil, because butter is not normally used in genuine Italian biscotti, which never have a buttery taste. Those who think these taste bland might benefit from the addition of 1/2 tsp salt. Also, adding 1/4 tsp baking soda will keep the spices from giving a slightly bitter edge. If you want the spiciness to have a kick, 1/8 tsp black pepper or a couple of good shakes of cayenne will accomplish what you're looking for. I baked for exactly the time specified (25 minutes,) sliced and baked another 7 minutes per side. They came out properly light, dry and crunchy. Also avoided overmixing, which kept them from turning out tough. Painted the bottoms with white chocolate. Also, used half Splenda and half sugar. Delicious!
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98 users found this review helpful

Old Fashioned Prune Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 10, 2009
Absolutely wonderful! Nice spicy cake with moist texture. I diced the prunes finely and called this "plum cake" since so many have a knee-jerk negative reaction to the word "prune." It was served to rave reviews all the way around. I added 1/2 tsp baking powder to lighten the texture, which I often do with oil-based cakes, as otherwise, they can tend to bake up overly dense. This was just perfect in every way.
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7 users found this review helpful

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