It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who has made him. ~Abraham Lincoln
Question #89557 posted on 04/29/2017 10:35 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If you were competing on the food competition of your choice, what would your signature dish (or bake!) be?

And will you share the recipe?

-Lefty

A:

Dear Lefty,

I consulted a couple of my old roommates and apparently my signature dish would be pancakes.

Y'all...it's just plain, old Bisquick batter (with chocolate chips or blueberries of course) that you refrigerate before slapping it down on the griddle. I usually combine all the listed ingredients, stick the batter in the fridge, and then start heating up my pan so that the batter has a few minutes to chill before the first round of pancakes starts. Keep the batter in the fridge while you're not scooping it out. Pretty easy!

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear Lefty,

Oh man I'd love to be on The Great British Baking Show! Except I'm not British, and the show will never be the same now that it's been bought by a different channel and Mary, Mel, and Sue are gone. *sob*

Anyway, I have a few different signature bakes, depending on what week it is, of course! The first, which I've shared on the Board before, is my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

For cake week, I'd make my Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cupcakes. The only problem is I'd have to cheat and use a box mix, because living in Utah at high altitude, I've yet to find a chocolate cake recipe that doesn't collapse sink in the middle. If any readers at high altitude do have a recipe that's delicious and consistent, I'd love it if you'd email me and share! Anway, I take a box of Devil's Food cake mix and mix as directed on the box, with the exception of replacing the water with milk. I also add a package of instant chocolate pudding mix to the batter. After baking and cooling, I core the cupcakes and add 1-2 teaspoons of seedless raspberry jam to the middle of each cupcake. Last, I top the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and decorate with a fresh raspberry.

Finally, for pie week, I'd probably make Mr. Maven's favorite Cherry Pie. Here's the recipe:

Cherry Pie

Pastry Crust (10-inch Two-Crust Pie)
 
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter-flavored shortening
7 to 8 Tbs ice cold water
  1. Mix flour and salt.  
  2. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two forks.  
  3. Add cold water until dough is just combined.  
  4. Divide dough into two equal portions and roll out each portion in a 10-inch circle.
  5. Refridgerate dough until ready to use.

Pie Filling 

1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 (1 lb) cans pitted red tart cherries, drained well
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prepare pastry.
  3. Stir together sugar and flour; mix very gently with cherries. Too much stirring will bring the juice out of the cherries and make a runny pie filling.
  4. Turn filling into pastry-lined pie pan; sprinkle with almond extract and dot with butter.
  5. Cover with top crust and cut slits for venting. Seal and flute.
  6. Cover pie edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking.
  7. Bake 10 inch pie 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. 

--Maven

A:

Dear Lefty,

I'm mostly a dessert guy. Most of the time I will look at two or three different recipes and aim to do something right in the middle. Salted-caramel apple pie is a favorite. The secret is to use at least two different types of apple and put a bunch of corn flour in the bottom of the pie to keep it from becoming soupy and moist. Creme brulee is also not as hard as I thought and even though I feel like I got kicked in the chest after eating more than a small amount of it, it's probably my favorite dessert. But probably my favorite are pavlovas. I usually make a lot of little ones, rather than one large one, and fill them with whipped cream, creme patisserre, lemon curd, etc. Anything that involves meringue just feels magical when you whip it up and then pipe or spoon it out. Pavlovas are right over the edge of being really impressive to look at but not that difficult to make. 

- Rating Pending (who also suggests, if you are baking bread, to use a probe thermometer instead of relying on crust color or time. More consistent results.)

A:

Dear Doctor,

I don't do a lot of fancy baking (because college/depression/getting married/moving), but I make a really really good peanut butter coffee cake.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup margarine or butter
 
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. For topping, in a bowl stir together 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup all-purpose flour, cut in 1/2 cup peanut butter and 6 tablespoons margarine or butter. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl stir together 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add milk, ½ cup peanut butter, the eggs and ¼ cup margarine or butter.
  4. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended and then on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently.
  5. Pour batter into greased large jelly roll pan, spreading evenly.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Lefty,

Ted Allen: Welcome back to this week's episode of Chopped. What do you have for us today, chef--wait, is that... is that cereal? Is that Cheerios... with milk?
 
Me: No...
 
Ted Allen: The ingredients were avacado, himalayan goat cheese, and calamari.
 
Me: ... it's Honey Nut Cheerios.
 
Ted Allen: We don't have Cheerios on hand in the kitchen. I don't understand. Is this a joke? 
 
Me: And also a banana. Chopped, like... it's chopped on top of the cereal. Get it? It's a... it's a pun. 
 
Ted Allen: You had thirty minutes. Thirty minutes and you...
 
Me: ...
 
Ted Allen: ...
 
Me: You should get on that... it's going to get soggy. I poured it twenty-five minutes ago.
 
Ted Allen: Are you even a chef?
 
Me: I knew I should have applied to Cupcake Wars.
 
Ted Allen: Get out of my show right now. 
 
And that's the story of why I left my catering job in high school.
 
-Van Goff
A:

Dear yosef,

I definitely thought this question was going to be about eating, not cooking. So...pass. 

-AS

P.S. Zedability reminded me of a recent Board gathering when I came to her house to make everyone food, and then she made the food and I ate it along with everyone. So apparently this is just my life now?

A:

Dear Lefty,

I consider myself to be a decent cook and a pretty good baker. I also enjoy hosting the occasional semi-fancy dinner or brunch. My signature dish (though not really a dish) that I'm always getting compliments on are my cheese boards. The great thing about them is they're so flexible and no two are ever the same. Also, you don't have to actually make anything but it does take quite a bit of planning and preparation. Here are two samples from Thanksgiving dinner:

IMG_1848.JPG

As a bonus, I'm also pretty well-known for my cupcakes. I make all different kinds but my most popular is probably chocolate with peanut butter frosting. Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Cupcakes:

1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cocoa powder (I like to use dark cacao powder)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vinegar

Mix all ingredients well. Bake for 25 minutes @ 350F.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 c. powdered sugar
4-5 Tbsp. heavy cream or milk

Cream butter using paddle attachment. Add vanilla and peanut butter and beat until well mixed. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream/milk. Whip on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

I also recently altered this recipe to make it dairy-free/vegan for my coworker's birthday (she's lactose-intolerant). In the cupcakes I substituted water for the buttermilk. In the frosting I substituted coconut oil (about 1/2 cup I think) for the butter and coconut milk for the heavy cream/milk. They were surprisingly good, too, and my coworker was very appreciative which gave me warm, fuzzy feelings.

-Sky Bones