Look grandma, no packets! chocolate cake edition

This series Look Grandma, no packets! Will be easy and dead simple recipes that substitute the boxed equivalent.With each recipe, I will ask myself if this is easier, faster, healthier and cheaper than the packaged alternative.

So I will start series with a simple recipe for chocolate cake! I’ve modified (by accident) Pioneer women’s excellent chocolate sheet cake.Ā 

In a large mixing bowl, mix one cup flour, one cup sugar and a pinch of salt (1/8 of a teaspoon if you want to be exact)

Melt butter and add in two heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder. Add in 1/2 cup of boiling water and let cool.

Mix chocolate liquid with flour.

Take 1/4 cup of milk and add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Or use 1/4 cup of buttermilk. I never have buttermilk so I usually do the milk and vinegar shortcut. However I did not have vinegar so I skipped this step. I would not recommend it though! It should make the cake more fluffy.

Add one egg and beat slightly, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Mix the milk egg mixture into the chocolate and pour into a pan. I used an 8×8 pan. I probably should of used a larger pan but I wanted to make a 4×4 cake.

It sort of scared me how liquidly the cake was but it all came out a-okay!

Here’s a close up look at the cake. I admit that the addition of two eggs made this cake sponge like, Sort of like a light brownie.

Not that theres anything wrong with brownies šŸ™‚

My cake decorating and icing skills can be critised in another post. On to the review out of 5! 5 being the best.

Easy 4
Theres a lot of small steps, like melting butter and boiling water. And I had to wash a saucepan and a bowl, the horror! Steps could be simplified.

Cheap 5
There are no additional ingredents that need a degree to understand (im looking at you xanun gum) and this recipe is very pantry friendly.

Healthy3
There is no oil added and you can reduce the sugar. I definately would if you are using icing. However by the scary nutritional factors that I found from here. You are still eating cake!

Time 4

20 prep 20 cooking, it is on par with box

RecipeĀ modifiedĀ from Pinoeer Women

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of buttermilk or milk with a touch of vingar
  • 1 egg (not two!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix one cup flour, one cup sugar and a pinch of salt (1/8 of a teaspoon if you want to be exact)
  2. Melt butter and add in two heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder. Add in 1/2 cup of boiling water and let cool
  3. Mix chocolate liquid with flour.
  4. Take 1/4 cup of milk and add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Or use 1/4 cup of buttermilk.
  5. Add one egg and beat slightly, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  6. Mix the milk egg mixture into the chocolate and pour into a pan. I used an 8×8 pan. I probably should of used a larger pan but I wanted to make a 4×4 cake.
  7. Bake the cake fro 20 minutes in a 350 oven or until cake is set
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Nutella Peanut Butter Bar/Fudge or I dream of nutella

What do you do when you realize you have guest coming over and JUST enough food to feed everyone? In my family… you make much more food.

So I frantically searched online for something that was easy to do, with ingredients in the pantry, and a potential crowd pleaser. I found these from Fresh and Foodie which I then changed it up a bit to reflect what I had in the kitchen. Please check out the original recipe to see their verison.

This is a no bake recipe, one pot and pan. Cleanup isĀ minimalĀ if you line your pan with parchment paper. Sounds easy right?

Grab some peanut butter, melted butter, icing sugar, graeme crackers, dump and mix. I used smooth peanut butter, but I would be tempted to use a nutty verision to give the bottom layer a bit more bite.

Next layer the peanut butter mixture in your lined pan. I used a square pan. Not the most attractive, I know! But next comes the nutella chocolate!

Melt the chocolate chips with the nutella until it is slightly melted. Try not to make it boiling hot or it may be hot for the bottom layer to handle.

Now spread the chocolate on top, trying to neat, balanced and all that jazz.

If you are like me and smear chocolate everywhere except on top the peanut butter its okay! You’re just going to cut it up and make it look pretty anyways.

See? All better šŸ˜€ happy eating

No bake nutella and peanut bars

Modified from this verison

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Ā melted butter
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Ā peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella

Instructions

  1. Grab some peanut butter, melted butter, icing sugar, graeme crackers, dump and mix.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips with the nutella until it is slightly melted. Try not to make it boiling hot or it may be hot for the bottom layer to handle.
  3. Now spread the chocolate on top, trying to neat, balanced and all that jazz.
  4. Place bars in fridge to chill and harden before serving. Best served cold



Peanut Butter Cookies!

I had a craving, a huge craving for peanut butter. I also had a dream about cookies. Thus I frantically looked online for a peanut butter cookie recipe and decided on this lovely recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. (Also I told myself it was healthy when there were oats in it).

Pull everything from your pantry! Wine for drinking when baking is not recommend, but some of us do it anyways…

Hmm does anyone like these ingredient shots? They look sort of messy to me. I love it on other blogs but maybe they arrange them better?

Anyways mix the wet ingredients in a small bowel, butter, peanut butter, egg, vanilla extract, sugar – cream it all together!

Mix the dry ingredients – oats, flour, chocolate chips, baking soda in a large bowl. Then pour the wet sugary slurry into the large bowl, mix and try not to eat all the raw cookie dough.

I tried the ice cream scoop approach toĀ  portioning cookies but I found that they were still uneven. I’ll stick to the two spoon method from now on.

Now that I’ve satisfied my raw cookie dough craving, I usually throw the cookies in the freezer and then throw them in a ziplock bag for future cravings.

When you are ready to bake, pop the cookies into a 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 mins or until golden brown. I usually put them into the toaster oven for about 10 mins straight from the freezer.

Forgive me for the bad lighting shot. I think I need a light diffuser or I should only take shots during the day.Ā  mmmmmmm cookie!

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Modified from Brown Eyed Baker

Makes about 16 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Ā¼ teaspoon salt
Ā½ cup butter, at room temperature
Ā½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Ā½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
Ā½ cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.Ā  mix the wet ingredients in a small bowel, butter, peanut butter, egg, vanilla extract, sugar – cream it all together!

2. Mix the dry ingredients – oats, flour, chocolate chips, baking soda in a large bowl. Then pour the wet sugary slurry into the large bowl, mix and try not to eat all the raw cookie dough.

3. fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and portion cookies on baking sheet This is the perfect time to freeze them as I usually do with my cookies

4.When you are ready to bake, pop the cookies into a 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 mins or until golden brown. I usually put them into the toaster oven for about 10 mins straight from the freezer at 350