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Kentucky Butter Cake

Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2010
This is basically a poundcake with a buttery glaze. I used cake flour & it made my cake have a much lighter & finer crumb than if I had used all purpose. I also sifted all of my dry ingredients before putting them in the mixing bowl (but I didn't sift the sugrar). I think sifting really helps create a soft & fluffy texture. I think it could use a little bigger splash of vanilla or maybe even a vanilla bean but otherwise, this is a great and simple recipe. I DID follow the odd instructions that tell you to place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and THEN add the buttermilk, butter, eggs & vanilla. That is a really strange process for a cake but ya know, it worked well. I don't think it would have worked well if my butter had not been super soft so make sure your butter is very soft. I put my butter in the microwave on defrost. I made my cake in mini bundt pans. They turned out so cute and moist and make a perfect individual dessert. The glaze is buttery and delicious but I'm sure this cake would be great with a berry sauce on top. So for a really basic, easy, delicious pound cake - this is a great recipe to try. Make sure to keep your oven on the low temp suggested in the recipe - 325 degrees.
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Pineapple Coconut Zucchini Bread

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2010
This recipe is wonderful but I think it need more spices. Not different spices, just more of what it already calls for. I added almost twice as much and it was still pretty subtle spice flavor. I made some into muffins and some in mini loaf pans. I added walnuts on top of some and left others without. It's definitely ultra moist, it would almost be difficult to overbake this. I like my quick breads really moist and tend to take them out earlier than most people - before the toothpick comes out clean. With this bread, make sure it's all the way done otherwise it turns kind of gummy after sitting overnight but still really really delicious.
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6 users found this review helpful

Crisp Sugar Cookies

Reviewed: Aug. 10, 2010
I did not care for this recipe. I agree with one of the reviewers that there is too much flour in this recipe. After baking 2 pans of very dry cookies, I added some extra milk but it did not help the texture much. I pretty much bake every day and have tried many sugar cookie recipes and although this isn't the worst, it's certainly not the best.
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Pastry Cream

Reviewed: Aug. 3, 2010
I bake all the time - almost every day but I don't often make pastry cream. The only reason I made this recipe was because I had a lot of egg yolks leftover from a cake I had made. This recipe is very simple and rather quick to make. I followed all directions except that I added an extra splash of vanilla at the end. My pastry cream is in a bowl chilling in the refrigerator right now with plastic wrap on top. After I had cooked it, I left it in the pan for a bit so I would not be putting hot pudding directly into the cold fridge but it quickly started developing a skin. So make sure you get that plastic on there quickly. I think I might have to push it through a sieve before I use it. It's certainly not lumpy but I think it could probably be a bit smoother. The vanilla beans are a nice touch - flavor wise and visually. It's nice to see those little dark specks in the cream. I used whole milk and I think it might even be better if you were to use half n half. I can't imagine that 2%, 1% or especially nonfat would be very good. Maybe 2% but not less than that. The pastry cream really benefits from the fat that the milk adds and also the butter. Don't leave out the butter. I can eat this right off the spoon and it's certainly delicious but I don't think it's quite sweet enough to pass as pudding. As a filling it would be great. I'm not sure what I'm going to use it for yet. Maybe as a filling for a Boston cream pie?
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White Almond Wedding Cake

Reviewed: Jul. 28, 2010
Although this recipe has a cake mix base, it's kind of a "from scatch" reicpe. I've always loved the tenderness of cake mix cakes but I'm also a fan of baking from scratch. I think this recipe takes the good qualities from the cake mix and combines them with the good flavor of a scratch cake. And this recipe is not nearly as quick to put together as a regular mix cake. It takes a while to gather all the ingredients - especially separating the 8 eggs (I made double recipe) - but it's worth it. It really is a spectacular cake.I've been looking for an excellent white cake recipe forever and I think this is it. It's very white - make sure you use CLEAR vanilla extract and only the egg WHITES. The texture is very tender but not so light and fluffy that you can't easily work with the layers. It's rather sturdy. It's just moist enough. It's certainly not dry at all but it's not so moist that it's sticky at all. Some reviewers claimed that it was crumbly - mine was so far from that. Not crumbly at all. To ensure even baking, I used my baking strips on each of my cake pans AND I baked them on a double layer of baking sheets. I doubled the recipe and it made four 9 inch pans - pretty thick layers. I did not want such a strong almond flavor so I used more vanilla and less almond. The 2nd time I used cake flour instead of AP. I prefer the cake flour, it made it incredibly tender. It's excellent. Be sure to use a cake mix with NO added pudding. Like Duncan Hines White.
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28 users found this review helpful
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Buttermilk Pound Cake II

Reviewed: May 23, 2010
This pound cake was good. Not excellent but very good. It's rather dense - like a pound cake should be. It's moist but it could easily be overbaked and become dry so be sure to watch it closely in the oven. I found it good plain but even better with icing. Just a powdered sugar, vanilla & milk mixture for the icing. I bet it would be pretty with a touch of pink food coloring in the icing. I made a double recipe (because I had so much buttermilk to use up) and it made 8 mini loaf pans PLUS a full bundt pan! I have a LOT of pound cake to eat! AND I used 1 dozen eggs for the double recipe! For the bundt cake I scraped a fresh vanilla bean into the batter. Wow, that was terrific! This is a nice basic pound cake. It would make a wonderful base for some strawberry shortcake. Just make sure you watch it closely in the oven. Oh, I think it could use a bit more extract than the recipe calls for. Vanilla, lemon or even almond extract would work really well.
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Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2010
I'm rating the actual cheesecake part because I went with a traditional graham cracker crust instead of the vanilla sandwich cookie crust. I had just found a super good buy on fresh vanilla beans and was searching for the perfect recipe to showcase them. This is the recipe I chose and it is delicious! It's a somewhat dense cheesecake - not light or fluffy in any way. Even though I put the seeds of 3 whole vanilla beans into my cheesecake batter, the telltale black specks were not evident. But even so, the flavor was out of this world. I must comment on the baking time though. My cheesecake ended up being in the oven for close to 2 hours even though the recipe states 1 hour 20 minutes. I was so worried it would be dry but I shouldn't have worried. I turned off the oven when the very middle of the cheesecake was only slightly still jiggly and then left it in the turned off oven, with the oven door ajar, for another hour. Then I wrapped it well (still in the unmolded springform pan) in plastic wrap and placed it in the fridge overnight. Let me add that after it had cooled all night the middle was slightly lower than the sides so it wasn't the prettiest cheesecake and I'm not sure what caused that sinking but it didn't effect the texture or flavor. In fact, the texture of the cheesecake was very even throughout - whether next to the crust or in the middle of the cake. I topped mine with a lovely seedless raspberry sauce. Delicious!
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25 users found this review helpful

Too Much Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: Jan. 19, 2010
I've made this several times. What a fantastic and quick recipe to throw together. This is a doctored cake mix but tastes like a completely homemade cake. When I need a cake or cupcakes in a hurry, this is the recipe I turn to. I pretty much follow the recipe to a "T" BUT, for a more intense chocolate flavor, replace that 1/2 cup warm water with a 1/2 cup strong coffee or even espresso. That really brings it over the top. I rarely bake this cake in a bundt or tube pan. I usually make it in cupcake or layer cake pans. I have even baked this recipe in mini loaf pans. It's wonderful with just powdered sugar sprinkled over it after baking, or with a rich chocolate glaze or ganache or with a silky chocolate frosting. But my favorite way is with a nice sweet white buttercream icing. I bet it would be delicious with a peanut butter icing also. One thing to mention though, after mixing all the ingredients together, sometimes my cake batter tends to look greasy (but not other times?? not sure why) but the cake always ends up perfect after baking it.
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Kathy's Delicious Whole Slow Cooker Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 19, 2010
This was ok. I followed the recipe except for adding sesame oil - because I didn't have any. You know what I found odd - the sauce part didn't have enough salt in it even though it contains 1/3 cup soy sauce. I think I used the low salt chicken broth though so maybe that was why but I ended up salting the chicken more after cooking it. The flavor almost tastes teriyaki like. My whole chicken was 3 pounds and I planned on cooking it on the 4 hour high setting but mine was done after 3 hours. So check the chicken plenty of time before you think it will be done. This is the first time I've cooked a whole chicken in the crock pot and it was indeed very easy but I think I might have to find another recipe. This one isn't bad but it's not exciting either.
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Spritz Cookies IV

Reviewed: Jan. 12, 2010
I didn't care too much for this recipe. I should have stuck with my usual spritz cookie recipe but I need to use up some egg yolks that I had remaining so I chose this recipe. First of all, the temperature listed is WAY too high. Even though I raised the oven rack, the bottom of my cookies got way too dark. I kept lowering the temp until I put it down to 340. That temp resulted in perfectly baked cookies. I guess my displeasure is with the texture. Kind of cakey like. No "snap" to the cookies. They almost taste like they have cream cheese in them. Kind of blah tasting. I won't make these again. BUT, after I settled on the correct temp, the cookies were very attractive.
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Scrumptious Frosted Fudgy Brownies

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2010
Yeah, these are awesome. I left out the walnuts though since no one in my family would eat them if they had nuts in them. For the frosting I had to go with some semi-sweet & some milk chocolate because the brownies themselves were almost too dark chocolate for me. I loved the texture and creaminess of the frosting. I've never made a brownie frosting like that before. Easy and delicious. Probably could make a triple batch and frost a cake with it. The brownies developed that wonderful flaky top after baking. The edges were slightly crunchy and the middle was nice and fudgy. This was a very easy recipe to put together. I did not use my Kitchen Aid mixer. I just used a large bowl and mixed by hand and it turned out just fine. I will definitely be making these again but I might have to use semisweet on the brownies next time so they won't be quite as dark.
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Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2010
These are so easy to put together and really moist and delicious. I made them once exactly as the recipe stated and then I made them again with part wheat flour & a splash of vanilla. I think the vanilla added wonderful flavor but the wheat flour, although undetectable by taste, I'm sure it added some nutritional benefit. One thing that I can't understand, is how can you distribute such a little amount of streusel on all of the muffins? I doubled the streusel recipe and it came out perfect. BUT, my muffin batter filled 23 regular size muffin cups - not 18 like the recipe states. I definitely think the streusel recipe needs to be doubled. I also suggest that you don't cut the apple chunks too small because they seem to kind of disappear when cut too small.
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Delicious Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Reviewed: Jul. 5, 2009
I had a recipe like this years ago that I loved and had misplaced it. So when I found myself with a lot of leftover raspberries & blueberries from our 4th of July bbq, I found this recipe and went to work. I had so many berries that I made two 13x9 inch pans so that means I made TWO double recipes. One pan was raspberry & the other was blueberry. I made the berries into a jam like sauce first. This recipe is so simple and so delicious. I can imagine this with so many different jams. I bet pineapple or apricot jam would be delicious. Lining the pan with sprayed foil sure makes life easier. I feel like I'm being somewhat healthy when I eat these. Oats, berries...it's almost health food really! Yes, I highly recommend these. I recommend doubling all of the ingredients and making a 13x9 inch pan. They do not last long.
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4 users found this review helpful
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Blue Ribbon Apple Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 30, 2009
This recipe is a wonderful way to use up some apples that have gotten a bit soft. I made mine in mini loaf pans instead of a bundt pan. I also topped the baked loaves with a vanilla icing. Great recipe. Be careful not to bake too long. The top still looks a bit wet when I removed them from the oven, even though they were thoroughly baked. Besides the peeling and slicing of the apples, this is a quick recipe to put together.
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38 users found this review helpful

Chicken Milano

Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2009
I chose this recipe because I had a carton of cream to use and a family pack of chicken breasts. What a perfect recipe this was to try! This was definitely a tasty dish. You won't get by with just one or two dirty pans - it produces a lot of dirty dishes! Before I made this recipe, I checked out the other reviews and took notes. You MUST make a double recipe of the sauce. The sauce would be enough for maybe just the chicken by itself but if you serve the noodles underneath the chicken, more sauce is needed. I agree with others that the sauce DOES need to be thickened. I followed a couple of suggestions - I added two big handfuls of parmesean cheese - plus I used cornstarch to thicken it. Both worked wonderfully. I also added some mushrooms to the sauce when I added the sundried tomatoes. I might think of cutting back on the sundried tomatoes next time. Although they do contribute delicious flavor to the dish, there are just a bit too many of them. I liked another reviewers suggestion about using fresh tomatoes but instead of putting them into the sauce, I sprinkled some chopped tomatoes on top of my chicken & pasta after I plated it. Yummy! This is a dish that the whole family will enjoy. It's like an alfredo sauce with a bit of spice added. I recommend it.
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Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2009
Easy peasy! You can get all the ingredients assembled and mixed within 5 minutes and they are probably ingredients that everyone already has in their kitchen. So simple. It's a very basic pancake recipe. I added about 1 tsp vanilla, which was wonderful. Next time I might play around a bit and add a handful of chocolate chips or blueberries. This will be a recipe I keep and make often. I highly recommend it.
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Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 30, 2008
These are definitely tasty! Such a unique combination of flavors. At first I thought it sounded strange but then I was intrigued and so I had to bake them. The only change I made was to add a splash of vanilla. It's kind of difficult to tell when these cookies are done since they are already such a deep brown color. My first batch was a little underdone in the middles of the cookies but I personally like them like that. The gingerbread is not very spicy and that is just how I like it. These are not crispy/crunchy cookies but nice and chewy. The edge develops a bit of a crunch but not much. My cookies came out rather flat - definitely not thick and cake like. The flavor combination is wonderful and rich. The dough itself is delicious. For people who prefer more spice, you can probably add quite a bit more. I think they are perfectly spiced as is. Your kitchen will smell heavenly while these are baking. I would make these again but not very often. I know that no one in my family would eat these because of the flavors. Especially not my children. Butterscotch doesn't go over very big in my house. But for the right person, these would be outrageously delicious. I think I will go have another one.
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Megan's Granola

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2008
This granola really didn't do it for me. I'm not sure what I expected but the flavor was kind of "off" to me. The only change I made was I added some dried cherries along with the raisins & cranberries. My kitchen smells wonderful but that was the only wonderful part. I was going to give some in gifts bags for Christmas but I think that I will forget that idea. The couple of people who have tasted it gave it a thumbs down. It makes a huge amount of granola - not sure what I will do with it. PLUS, it took a lot of ingredients and the ingredients were not cheap. Maybe you should start out making a half batch. That way you won't waste quality & pricey ingredients. I think you could find a better granola recipe than this. I was disappointed.
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Caramels

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2008
I'm so upset. I made a double batch of this caramel because I thought it sounded like a sure thing. I was going to include some creamy caramels in my Christmas goodie boxes that I give away each year. Well, I now have 2 large pans of toffee. It is THAT hard. I can chip away at it and get a little shard of toffee. I started by callibrating my thermometer. Then I read the reviews and decided to bring it to somewhere around 240-245 to make sure I get a soft & creamy consistency and I am not exaggerating when I say it took 2 1/2 hours to bring it to that temperature (and I started the caramels at 11:00 pm - I was not happy at the end). I stirred constantly for 2 1/2 hours! I had the heat adjusted to between 5-6 - I really wanted to prevent scorching. At the end I could tell it was not going to be creamy. I should have done the test where I drop a bit in cold water. I'm so disapppointed and TIRED. I guess I will have to find a recipe that takes a lot of toffee bits. I don't know what to assume about the suggested temperature for this recipe. It did NOT work for me.
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7 users found this review helpful
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Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies II

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2008
This is one of my very favorite cookie recipes. I always leave out the nuts though - just because I don't care for nuts and my family doesn't either. This is so easy to put together and has wonderful flavor and texture. I was not so sure about the coconut extract, I thought that sounded a bit odd but it's subtle and it's wonderful. Even my husband who does not care for coconut eats these cookies. I definitely recommend this recipe. I might even use the base of this recipe next time and use different flavorings - almond, lemon?
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