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French Macarons August 24, 2012

Filed under: Baking/Cooking — heycollegesreadthis @ 7:54 pm
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Notice how perfect, adorable, and girly they look? Who wouldn’t want to bake them?!

Well, since the moment I saw them scattered throughout the internet, all I’ve heard was horror stories of people failing at creating their own from scratch.  If amateur bakers were having trouble with them, I feared the worse from my own limited baking skills—as in catching my kitchen on fire horrendous. Granted, at that point in my life, I feared taking things out of the oven.

I began reading up on these suckers almost the instant I was free of sophomore year. I researched cooking and baking methods until my head exploded with terminology, français, passion, and motivation to bake. And after consuming both the worst(Patisserie Valerie) and best(Harrods) macarons of my life in London, I was practically running off the plane in RDU to the nearest grocery store to buy almond flour(pstt! Trader Joes sells it $6 cheaper than your average grocery store).

Let’s just say I’ve caught the macaron fever as now I feel like one of my life goals is to perfect them.



Death By Chocolate and Sugar “Brookie” July 15, 2012

That’s not my kitchen counter.

And this isn’t labeled something along the lines of “Europe Trip”.

If you recall me stating a while ago that I tried writing a food blog on Word Press and kept one for Creative Writing, [ginger]snaps for you as you’ve probably figured this one out for the most part.

Since arriving home from Europe; I’ve spent around three to five hours a day working on the blog interface(new layout,organization, the like) and writing these plus thousand word posts. Writing wasn’t the awful part(I won NaNoWriMo ’09 in 19 days—first attempt; “come at me bro”); jetlag was…I’d wake up before 4:45 am then pass out like a log sometimes before 7:30am. I even calculated I spent 25% of my hours awake on Friday writing. If it sounds like I’m asking for a pity party because I was privileged to spend 15 days in Europe then “force myself” to blog about it, I’m not—I’m just showing my respect for people who write wholesome, decadent posts daily…they’re three times the writer I’ll ever be.

One of the first texts I received after coming home was from my friend LC. She wanted to have a sleepover…not a slumber party; a sleepover. I spent the night at her house giving her the firsthand scoop on the Europe trip as she vented out her frustrations towards life/society/people; something all realists do.

Chances are if you know who I am in real life, you know I bake. I’ve had people request me to bake certain things for them or to bring in food to share with a class but LC is different. As everyone else just wants the finished good, LC wants to learn how to make it…she wants to learn how. This kinda struck me as odd at first considering my perception on baking(following the recipes directions, making changes as needed, instinct) but then again, we became friends the moment I returned some bullshit right back to her. We didn’t really know each others name yet we knew something more important at that point—we could put up with each other as strangers so why not as friends?

LC had one request for the recipe; chocolate. Brownies with Hershey’s frosting are easily the most fool-proof recipe one can come across yet I wanted to do something more—add perhaps cookies?

As we scurried through her kitchen, we realized our improper ingredients(some sort of odd vegetable oil spread in stick form and egg substitute ) kinda backfired on us;

the brownies turned out mushy with a crisp top as the cookies baked out their indentations

so we mashed the brownies into something like a crust and re-dented the cookies.

the frosting was thinner than normal from my lazy hand whipping skills

so we opted to refrigerate the finished project over night.

we couldn’t find caramel chews

so we melted down the next best thing; Sugar Babies and Rolos. 

The result? Sugary sweet chocolate breakfast.

For your own personal sake, I’d advise to use the proper type of butter and eggs and either strength or a stand mixer.

Death By Chocolate and Sugar “Brookie”

From Cooking For Justice: North Carolina Association of Assistant and Deputy Clerks; submitted by Phyllis Faulkner- Joes County-Assistant Clerk

2 cups sugar

1 cup margarine/butter/spreadable vegetable oil crap you’re not 100% of

½ cup cocoa

3 eggs

1 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*1/4 cup nuts, if desired

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Bake at 325ºF for approximately 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool then mash into pan.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Sugar Babies
  • 10-12 Rolos
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined. We beat the egg/sugar with a hand mixer then just stirred the rest by hand.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray one baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  3. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough
  4. Using a teaspoon measure spoon, make indentation in center of each ball. Bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking.
  5. While cookies are baking, microwave candies  and heavy cream in medium bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes; set aside until a firm liquid.
  6. Once cookies are removed from oven, gently press existing indentations with a spoon. Fill each indentation with a nice blob of the mixture. It’s okay if the mixture is a bit runny and goes all over the cookie—going to taste the same anyways. Set aside until cool.

Hershey’s Chocolate Frosting

Taken from the back of Hershey’s Cocoa

½ cup(1 stick) margarine/butter

2/3 cup Hershey’s Dark Cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in coca. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating until spreading consistency . Add small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Makes about 2 cups of frosting. Set aside.

To assemble everything:

Cover brownie with frosting then frosting with cookies.

Refrigerate until firm.

Eat whenever you want as long as you enjoy the massive sugar rush.

Life isn’t perfect nor is this recipe. But hey, you can’t say you started your week enjoying an surprisingly tasty treat of many mistakes.


Happy 50th Birthday Dad! June 3, 2012

Filed under: Baking/Cooking,Editorial — heycollegesreadthis @ 5:14 pm
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“Hey Dad, can you help me with Chem?”

“Well…you see, I was never that great with Chem but I did take a class in college that I had to calculate time travel Physics equations with.”

Happy (day late) birthday to the man that not only allowed me to sign up for Honor’s Chem, but also reassured me that there’s more difficult parts of physical sciences than the Orbital Configuration, Stoichiometry, and various laws I’ll eventually have to face as a Biology major. I promise I love him more than the combined amu’s of the Periodic Table it’s just my mind is currently spazzing over my Chem final on Tuesday.

German Chocolate Cake

(recipe from http://foododelmundo.com)

4 oz German Chocolate (Sweet Baking Chocolate)

1/2 Cup Milk

2 1/2 Cups cake flour (or 2 1/4 all purpose flour)

1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 sticks (1 cup) Butter – room temp

1 3/4 Cup sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Cup Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 350° F

Microwave chocolate and milk in microwave safe bowl for 1:30 on high

Stir until chocolate is melted, set aside

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together in a different bowl, set aside

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy

Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition

Add 1/2 the flour mixture to the egg mixture, beat until well combined

Add vanilla extract and chocolate mixture, beat until smooth

Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat

Add sour cream, beat

Scrape the bottom the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients then beat some more

Divide batter between 3 cake pans

Bake 25-30 mins until a skewer stuck in the center comes out with only a few crumbs but no sticky batter

Run a knife around the inside of the pan, wait 10 mins before you flip cakes out onto cooling racks.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 Cup water

3 egg yolks

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Cup Pecans chopped

2 Cups Sweetened Coconut Flakes

pinch salt

Stir condensed milk, water, and egg yolks together in a saucepan

Add butter and cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until butter is melted and the mixture bubbles

Turn stove down to low and cook another 5 mins stirring constantly

Add remaining ingredients until evenly combined

Let cool but put on cake when still warm

Traditionally the frosting does not run down the sides, if you want it to then double the recipe