One of the things I love about Valentine's Day is that I have an excuse to get into the kitchen and make cookies and cakes to enjoy with my sweetie. And, now that I have two daughters, baking is double the fun, as they are starting to help out in the kitchen. While Arabella is more of the taste tester and will lick the spoon and bowls clean, Savannah is learning more about measurements and ingredients (in addition to helping with the taste testing). Some of my favorite recipes require a kitchen scale to measure the flour accurately. But, due to limited time in the kitchen I have shied away from these recipes. That is until I recently was sent the EatSmart Precision Retro Mechanical Kitchen Scale to review. I have a kitchen scale that has been passed down from my grandmother, but it is not as accurate as it should be and takes up a lot of kitchen space -- which I don't have now, that half the counter space is filled with bottles, dishes and other kid stuff.
What caught my eye about this kitchen scale, beyond how affordable it was at only $27.95 at Amazon, was that it would fit nicely on my counter and not take up too much space. Also, the bright red color of the scale and shiny stainless silver bowl (which doubles as a mixing bowl) really pop on my counter, and a retro feel to the kitchen. :-) Another great feature of this kitchen scale from EatSmart is that the bowl the 1.5 quart stainless steel mixing bowl (which is also dishwasher safe) can be removed from the scale base and used to mix the ingredients together. And, with my oldest daughter helping in the kitchen, the less bowls I have to clean up the better. :-)
Oh, yeah, the numbers on the scale are easy to read, too -- which is a big plus! I don't know about you, but my eyes are not as good as they used to be, so I am always looking for easy to read displays, especially when purchasing kitchen gadgets. The last thing I want to do is add too much or too little of a necessary ingredient, or need to ask my husband to read a measurement for me.
Just this past weekend, I sifted through my favorite cookie recipes that require a kitchen scale to try out. What a blast the girls and I had baking together in the kitchen. Not only did the house smell good, but we were able to surprise Daddy with one of his favorite cookies. Here is the recipe for a great chocolate cookie, which is easy to make and tastes amazing -- in case you need inspire this Valentine's Day, in making a sweet treat for your sweetie and loved ones:
All Occasion Cookies1 pound (4 sticks) butter or margarine, divided (do not use vegetable oil spreads)
2 3/4 cups (11 ounces) flour
1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In small batter bowl, microwave 2 sticks of the butter on HIGH 1 minute or until melted. Using Paring Knife, slice remaining butter into 1/2-inch pieces; add to melted butter, tossing to coat using Classic Scraper. Allow butter to stand 3-5 minutes or until softened.
Meanwhile, accurately measure flour into large Colander Bowl by lightly spooning flour into Adjustable Scoop. Level off surface by scraping off additional flour using Handy Scraper. (For most consistent results, use Kitchen Scale to weigh flour.) Add cake mix to flour; blend well using Stainless Steel Whisk to break up any large lumps.
Using Stainless Steel Whisk, whisk butter until smooth and free of lumps. If necessary, return butter to microwave for 10 to 20 seconds or until creamy and pourable. Do NOT melt completely. Pour butter, all at once, into dry ingredients; thoroughly scrape butter from Batter Bowl using Classic Scraper. Using Bamboo Spoon, mix until dry ingredients are incorporated and dough is smooth. (If dough is too stiff to stir, knead until smooth by hand on Cutting Board.) Shape dough, bake and decorate as desired.
Substitute one box devil's food cake mix for the white cake mix. Add flour and butter as recipe directs.
Substitute one box yellow cake mix for white cake mix. Add 1 tablespoon Pantry Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend. Add flour and butter as recipe directs.
Substitute one box yellow cake mix for the white cake mix. Add flour as directed. Whisk 2/3 cup peanut butter into softened butter until smooth; add to dry ingredients as recipe directs.
This dough is versatile, can spread cream cheese on top, and add pie filling.
Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. The views above are mine and mine alone.