Wine Country Foodie Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - (13338396)

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Jan's Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: Dec. 31, 2010
Let me start by saying I am a food writer and an excellent cook, but I am NOT a good baker. This recipe made me think I actually can bake...the cake is easy to make and tastes great! I followed the recipe as written, using two round cake pans. When they were done (about 36 minutes in my oven), I let them cool, then trimmed them and stacked them together on a cake stand. I covered the stacked cake with a large inverted metal bowl and let it sit overnight. The next day, I frosted the cake using the Special Buttercream recipe on this site and finished it with a dusting of cocoa powder. I was nervous that the cake would dry out overnight, but it turned out to be a stroke of genius. Letting the cake sit overnight fused the two layers together without me having to put any frosting in between them. It also made the cake more dense and fudgy, while still retaining a nice cake texture and good crumb. My husband always wants a "plain chocolate cake with white buttercream frosting" on his birthday, and this is THE recipe he now wants me to make him for all the years to come.
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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies III

Reviewed: Nov. 26, 2008
These verge on being too rich for me, but they are really good. I made using regular oats instead of quick-cooking, and half-and-half instead of cream, but followed the recipe as directed otherwise. I do recommend flattening the dough with a fork. The cookies still puff up some, but I found that tamping them lightly with a spatula as soon as they come out of the oven makes them flat. I used parchment paper as well and let them cool on the counter (on the paper) for a bit before moving them to cooling racks. That really helped them not crumble or break.
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