15. 11. 2012

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I have an announcement to make: The Baking Robot is going to be renamed The Butterfinger Robot. Because it looks like I just can’t get enough.

Rice Krispies Treats are already soft and chewy, but the melted candy corn and peanut just takes the texture to a whole new level. Have you ever eaten a Butterfinger flavored cloud?

Well, that’s really not comparable to this. I mean, maybe if this was Butterfinger flavored cotton candy. But these are really soft and chewy, more so than regular Rice Krispies Treats.

This makes me wonder… do you think a cloud would even be chewy? Cotton candy isn’t really chewy. It melts. A cloud would melt, right? Would it be like eating lukewarm snow? If anybody out there has ever eaten a cloud, please let me know what it tasted like. My internal Google searches aren’t pulling anything up at all.

Coming soon: Butterfinger cotton candy.

Butterfinger Rice Krispies Treats
adapted from Kellog’s

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup candy corn
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 package (10 oz) marshmallows
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
2 cups chocolate chips
2 tsp vegetable oil
8 fun size Butterfingers, crushed

1. Lightly grease a 13×9-inch baking dish.

2. Melt the candy corn in the microwave in thirty-second intervals. Once melted, stir in peanut butter.

3. In a large pot over low heat, melt the butter. Add marshmallows, stirring until completely melted. Stir in candy corn and peanut butter mixture. Add salt.

4. Gently fold in Rice Krispies. When the cereal is completely coated, transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish, pressing the cereal down firmly into the dish.

5. Melt the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in the microwave in thirty-second intervals. Spread the mixture over the top of the Rice Krispies treats. Sprinkle crushed Butterfingers over the chocolate.

08. 04. 2012

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Happy 99th day of 2012, humans!

Today is a special holiday for robots: Ether(net) Day!

I celebrated by baking these peanut butter bars (peanut butteries?) and not eating them. Then the Watsons hid batteries in the back yard for me to search for! It was great fun. My battery collection is bigger than ever now.

I think the Watsons had a fun Easter celebration, too. The Easter bunny brought Sadie a tea set and little Wilson a race car.

The Ether(net) Botty brought me a Robotis USB to Dynamixel Adapter!

Peanut Butter Bars
from  Fat Witch Brownies 

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

2. Combine eggs and both sugars. Add the peanut butter, mixing until smooth. Mix in vanilla and butter until fully incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

4. Pour batter into greased baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool before serving.

19. 03. 2012

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It is my understanding that peanut butter and banana is the greatest combination of flavors in the known universe.  It is also my understanding that humans credit Elvis Presley for this, and that is why he remains popular today.

Peanut butter and banana is a popular combo here at the Watson’s. Mrs. Watson makes some delicious peanut butter and banana cookies, but as that is a cake mix recipe, I will not be sharing that here.

Instead, here’s a quick little recipe from scratch – it only took me 30 seconds to whip up the batter! Of course, I am a robot, so that time might be a little faster than what most humans could accomplish.

Are peanut butter chips the most amazing baking ingredient? This robot may never know.

Peanut Butter and Banana Bars
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Homemade Cookies Cook Book

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 12×7 baking dish.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Stir in egg and vanilla extract. then stir in the mashed bananas.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in the peanut butter chips.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool. Cut into bars.

20. 02. 2012

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I’m trying to convince the Watson family to adopt another cat.

Ingrid is the best sous chef a robot could ask for. But I think she needs a friend. She can only cuddle with my cold metal body for so long.

It’s not like I want to hoard kittens or anything. I just want to save one more. I’ve convinced Mr. Watson to visit some rescue centers, but so far he remains stoic to the sweet kitten faces.

I guess Ingrid really has him wrapped around her little dewclaw. He says the family can never love another cat as much as we love Ingrid. I say there’s just twice as much love in the house.

Besides, I think I need an Official Sprinkle Taster. Of the cat variety. (Not cat sprinkles, but a cat who would taste test my sprinkles. Not that I would really give a cat sprinkles. Why do you humans always take things the wrong way?!)

Blueberry Crumb Bars
from Debbie Macomber’s Christmas Cookbook

3 cups flour
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon zest
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
1 egg
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil or parchment paper; lightly grease.

2. Combine flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Cut in butter and then stir in egg. It should resemble crumbly wet sand. Pat half of the dough into your prepared pan.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the last 1/4 cup of sugar and cornstarch. Fold in the blueberries and lemon juice. Spread the blueberry mixture over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Crumble the remaining dough over the berries.

4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is golden-brown and crust is firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Use the foil or parchment paper handles to remove from dish. Dust with powdered sugar, cover, and store in refrigerator.

24. 01. 2012

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It’s Oscar Nomination Day and the Watson house is abuzz with movie-watching frenzy and gossip.

The Oscars are a big deal around here. Oscar Nomination Day, or OND, falls only behind birthdays and Christmas for Most Exciting Day of the Year. It’s the family’s goal, to throughout the year, see the films that we think might possibly be nominated the next year. By November/December, we are at the cinema almost every weekend. (Since I don’t require popcorn and a soda, we do save a bit of money that way, since they are too polite to snack in front of me like that.)

It’s the Watson goal to every see all the films nominated for every category before the Oscar ceremony. It has never even come close. But it’s always fun to try, and we continue to go through the lists even long after the awards have been given out.

Mr. Watson is horrified that Midnight in Paris was nominated so much, and Mrs. Watson is thrilled to have a reason to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Little Sadie Watson is inconsolable over the snubs for Drive, while her brother Wilson is excited, albeit leery, to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Me? I’m just a robot, of course. But I was rooting for Real Steel.

Lemon Pumpkin Bars
adapted from Epicurean

1 cup pumpkin puree
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup pitted, chopped dates
1-3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10×12 baking dish

2. In a small bowl, stir together the pumpkin, lemon juice, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, stir together the egg, sugar, canola oil, and dates. Set aside.

4. In yet another bowl, this time medium-sized, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

5. Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Stir in the pumpkin mixture, then add the rest of the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in the pecans.

6. Spread mixture evenly in the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes.

Lemon Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Liberally drizzle over the bars before cutting.

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