Friday, March 9, 2012

Quick & Easy Cookie Dough Brownies

Do you need to prepare a quick dessert for a party or gathering? Although I prefer to bake from scratch, sometimes an event will arise that a cake mix comes in handy. This recipe is so quick and easy and adds a little flair to the plain brownie recipe.

Follow the directions of a brownie box mix of your choice and pour the mixture into a baking pan. You can make your own cookie dough or simply buy a package of prepared cookie dough from the store.  Pull apart chunks of the cookie dough and throw pieces throughout the brownie mixture. Bake as directed on the box.

A great way to dress this simple recipe up is to make a chocolate glaze to top of the brownies with.

Here's a simple recipe:

3/4 cup of heavy cream
6 ounces of chopped, bittersweet chocolate (choose a high quality chocolate for best flavor)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon instant coffee

Mix all of your ingredients in a saucepan. Use low heat until the sauce is a smooth texture. Remove from the heat. The mixture will begin to harden if cooled too long. Simply apply to low heat again until you get a smooth consistency.
You can use the glaze to drizzle over any cake or dip the tops of cupcakes directly into the mixture to create a smooth topping.

Once the brownies are finished baking, smooth glaze over the top and return the pan to the oven to bake for 2 minutes further.  Remove from the oven and serve warm or refrigerate to serve later.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Strawberry Topped Cheesecake

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.  I have made this cheesecake for birthdays, holidays, and so many special events I've lost track.  I was not the biggest lover of cheesecake but this recipe made me change my mind.  This classic traditional cheesecake with fresh strawberries as a topping, makes this the center of attention at a table. The graham cracker crust is unfortunately quite addicting by itself!  Take this cake to a party and make friends quickly!



20 whole graham crackers
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks), chilled butter, diced
1/2 cup brown sugar


4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 3/4 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt


2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 16-ounce baskets of strawberries, hulled
1 18-ounce jar of raspberry or strawberry jelly (other berry jelly would work also)



1. Heat the oven at 350 degrees F.
2. Wrap the outside of a springform pan with foil
3. Combine graham crackers, butter and sugar in a food processor until it begins to stick together
4. Press crumbs to the bottom and and insides of the pan, making sure you press well
5. Bake crust for 10 minutes and remove from the oven and cool while the filing is prepared.

*Place a large pan under the crust while it bakes in order to catch any excess butter from dripping onto the oven.


1. Beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in a mixer until well blended.  Add flour and eggs and beat until mixed.
2. Pour batter into the prepared crust and bake for 1 hour or until the crust is a golden brown.
3. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the topping


1. Whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl.
2. Using a spoon, cover the top of the cake with the sour cream topping.
3. Place the cake back into the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool before releasing the springform pan
5. Cool the cake overnight in the refrigerator or for at least a few hours until set.

After the cake has been removed from the pan and it is on a serving dish of your choice, place strawberries (with the top cut off) upside down onto the cake, starting with larger ones on the outside and working your way to middle with smaller strawberries. In a saucepan, warm jelly until it is a liquid consistency and pour over the strawberries.  The sauce should drip down the sides of the cake and in between the strawberries. 

Any remainder jelly can be served on the side.  Make sure to refrigerate any cake or jelly leftovers.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fast & Easy Butter Chicken

One of my favorite food is by far Indian! I love all of the warm spices and flavors.  I have a handful of my favorite Indian restaurants in the area, but I wanted to find a recipe for my husbands favorite, Butter Chicken, to make at home.  This recipe is extremely easy and fast which makes it a perfect weeknight dinner.  


2 cups butter
2 onions, diced 
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (15 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
6 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garam masala
3 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
1/4 canola oil
1/4 cup tandoori masala*

*Tandoori masala can be purchased in the spice isle or ethnic foods isle of most grocery stores.  If not, make it at home.

Tandoori Masala Spice Recipe:

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon mace
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Store remainder in an air tight container.


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2.  Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a pan. Add onion and garlic and cook slowly on medium low until the onion carmelizes.
3.While the onions and garlic cook, combine the remainder butter, tomato sauce, heavy cream, salt, cayenne pepper, and garam masala in a large saucepan.  Allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring periodically.  Lastly, add the onions.
4. While the sauce is simmering, evenly coat the chicken in the oil and the tandoori masala.  Spread the chicken out on a baking dish and bake for 18 minutes.
5. Add the chicken to the simmering sauce and simmer for 10 more minutes.

This dish is great over rice or can be served with Naan or Roti.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Spicy Parmesan & Seaweed Chex Mix

When you want a crunchy snack full of flavor but not full of calories, sometimes it seems your options are limited when you are browsing the grocery isles.  Along with baking bread during this snow storm, I thought it was the perfect time to create the perfect crunchy snack!  Two of my favorite things are cheese and spice and this snack has both and takes just minutes to prepare.


8 cups Chex (corn or rice)
10 cups low fat popcorn (popped)
4 tablespoons canola oil
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 small packages of seaweed snacks (any flavor)


1. Combine popped popcorn and Chex into a large microwavable bowl.  Mix the oil with the popcorn and Chex.
2. In a small bowl combine the cheese, chili powder and garlic powder and pour over the popcorn and Chex mix and stir well.
3. Microwave the mix for 4 minutes, stopping each minute to stir.
4. Break apart the seaweed snacks into small pieces and mix into the snack mix.
5. Pour the mix onto a baking sheet to cool down and then place the snack mix into an airtight container for storage.

*If you prefer to use the oven instead of the microwave, follow the same directions and instead of microwaving the snack, set the oven for 250 degrees F and bake the snack for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Whole Wheat Oat Bread

The thought of baking your own bread may seem too complicated and time consuming, but it is much easier than you may think! It has been snowing here in Seattle for almost a week straight and the thought of homemade bread was too unbearable to pass up.  With limited ingredients and walking my only means of transportation to the store, I made a quick, simple and most of all healthy bread in less than 30 minutes with only a handful of ingredients.

I hope this recipe will encourage all of you who have steered away from baking your own bread due to time, to open your pantries and try this one out!

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon oil (olive or canola, or your choice)
2 cups of milk (milk of your choice)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C)

2. You can keep the oats whole or grind them into a powder form in a blender or food processor.  Combine oats with whole wheat flour and baking powder and salt.

3. In a large cup or bowl warm the honey until it is a liquid consistency and then add the oil and milk.  Combine the liquid mixture and the flour mixture, mixing well.

4. Grease a loaf pan and pour the dough into the pan and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.

5. Allow the bread to cool for 5 minutes on a baking rack and then serve warm with you favorite jam, jelly or butter.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oops! Let Me Introduce Myself!

I realized that I was so excited to start writing that I didn't get the chance to introduce myself!

Lets begin! My name is Elizabeth and I have been planning to start a baking blog for quite a long time now.  I figured I needed to just jump in and do it, so I did!  The blog name "Peti Baking" comes from my Tongan name Peti which is short for Elizabeth. It is pronounced Beh-tee.

I have loved baking since I was a little girl, learning from my mom and my grandma. I now bake as a hobby, passion and past time.  I am a middle school teacher, teaching reading and writing to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.  Outside of the classroom I love to find new recipes from across the world.  I also love to travel and baking foods from the around the world helps me satisfy my cravings to explore the world during the school year! Photography is also a passion of mine so I will try and lure you in not only with my writing but also my photos!

I hope that this blog will be a place to explore unique recipes, healthy options, share your love for baking, baking products, bakeries and all things baking!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Skinny Baking

Just because it's your New Years resolution to loose weight doesn't mean you need to store away your mixer and baking pans until you reach your goal!  There are easy tricks to continue baking the treats you enjoy but transform them into healthier, weight conscious recipes without compromising the taste.  Here's a few!

1. Skip the oil and replace it with pureed fruit or vegetables. Depending on the recipe, you can replace oil with applesauce, a can of crushed fruit (I love using crushed pineapple), mashed banana and even pureed vegetables.  Sweet potatoes, zucchini and carrots all work great for keeping baked good moist and the taste is so mild, for those who don't love vegetables, they won't even know it's there!

2. Skip the whole milk and substitute with almond milk, rice milk or even hemp milk.  There are so many milk alternatives that are available, try them out!  If you are loyal to regular milk, use non-fat instead to trim back fat and calories. You will be surprised that you can't even tell the difference.

3. Skip white flour and use anything else!  Like milk, there are so many different types of flours on the market, explore and test out something new.  Whole wheat flour is an easy substitute, but you could also pick from buckwheat, teff flour, brown rice flour, corn flour, chapati flour, cassava flour, coconut flour, the list goes on and on. 

4. Grease the pan with cooking spray and skip the butter.  This is a no brainer, but often times we think it's better to be safe than sorry and just use butter.  To be honest, I have never had a time where I substituted cooking spray for butter and ended up disappointed.

5. Sugar, sugar, sugar!  You definitely need it but the type you use can be substituted easily.  I don't personally like to use sugar substitutes such as Splenda or Stevia in baking as it leaves an aftertaste, but there are so many other options.  There is turbinado sugar, date sugar, Sucanat, honey, agave, maple syrup, and even molasses.  Each have a unique flavor so it is fun to try different sweeteners with different recipes to produce slightly different variations of your recipe.

This New Year, try one or all the substitutes for healthier baking, but remember to keep on baking!