What Makes a Spice Cookie

The Cookie

12 for me… 1 for you

Who doesn’t love a cookie? They are small hand-held tasty temptresses that can travel with you wherever you go. Unlike a cake they don’t travel awkwardly and, most of the time, they don’t have pesky frosting to get squashed and get all over everything. They come in all shapes and sizes and flavors. There is no such thing as the best cookie, but today we have decided to go with the spice cookie.

Spice cookies are similar to the spice cake we previously mentioned. The cookies have a combination of spices which gives them a whimsical woodsy flavor. One dimensional thing about spice cookies, that varies from a spice cake, is that they usually contain molasses. This gives the cookies a deep sweet flavor. To balance out the bitter taste of most of these ingredients, spice cookies are loaded with sugar. They not only get a dose of sweetness from the molasses, they also contain large amounts of brown sugar and white.

The Flavor

Molasses is a byproduct in the process of making sugar. It’s level of sweetness can vary depending on the amount of sugar removed from the product. It is very thick and syrupy and tends to have a strong and distinct bittersweet flavor.

Spices are the main source of flavor in a spice cookie. While the spices used can vary, most commonly used are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger.

The Additions

So tasty! As long as you don’t get bit during harvest… that could be bad…

The above simply depicts your average everyday basic spice cookie. As always, creatures love to make the dessert their own by adding their own special ingredients. Quite often, those ingredients are used by other individuals to make their own ‘creative’ cookie. Most commonly humans like to add seeds and nuts, such as sesame seeds and almonds. It is also common to add fruits such as oranges and often pumpkin is thrown in as well. A lot of the time, since humans don’t know when to leave well enough alone, the cookies can be found iced or dusted with powdered sugar. We do concur, sometimes, that with a crisp spice cookie the addition of icing can be delish. Down here in hell though, we like to add ghael. It gives such a nice flavor.

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What Makes a Devil’s Food Cake

 

The Cake

Make me cake!!!

One cannot talk about hellish desserts without a mention of the devil’s food cake. The devil’s food cake is a sinfully dark chocolate cake and favorite of hell’s own ruling devil, Lucifer. A lot of humans tend to get confused between a devil’s food cake and a regular chocolate cake. The main difference is that the devil’s food cake tends to have less sugar in its batter, making it dark chocolate. An easy way to tell if your about to eat a chocolate cake or a devil’s food cake is the color of the cake itself. Devil’s food cake is usually a much darker color sometimes with a hint of red, though too much red color means your eating a red velvet cake instead.

The Frosting

A sweet vanilla frosting is used by quite a few people to frost devil’s food cake. They choose vanilla for the added sweetness and the contrast between the white frosting and the near black cake. It can be a tasty and visually appealing combination.

Chocolate frosting is the other popular choice for frosting. Either milk or dark chocolate adds another level of chocolate flavor. Lucifer himself prefers to keep his cake chocolate through and through and seeing as we are out to tempt a devil, we will stick with the well-worn favorite.

Flavored frostings are not usually paired with a devil’s food cake. Not that you can’t make this flavor combination, but flavored frostings often have stong tastes and chocolate is supposed to be the star of this cake, not your pink strawberry frosting.

The Additions

Definitely made for cake

Classically, the devil’s food cake is a layered cake with a simple filling and few additions. As we have said, the star of this cake is meant to be the chocolate. This means that it is rather rare to find a devil’s food cake with added fruit or nuts. Not impossible mind you, just rare. This said, if you use an old devil’s food cake recipe you will often find they contain beets. They work much the same as carrots in carrot cake and add more of a red color to the cake. Another common addition to this cake is coffee. Coffee amplifies the taste of chocolate and adds another layer of complexity on the cake. It is often used in any chocolate themed baked good.

What Makes a Coffee Cake

The Cake

Need… COFFEE!!!!

Ah, coffee. It is the delicious nectar of the devil. We actually mean this literally. That guy downs around five cups a day. You really want to avoid him when he hasn’t had his coffee. Scary. Anyways… back on topic. Coffee cake actually does not contain any coffee. It is thus named because it is a cake to be eaten with coffee. It is much the same in concept as tea cakes. Except that it is a better tasting treat and served with a tastier beverage. Coffee cake can be sweet, or savory but it always has a nice tangy-ness to it which pairs nicely with coffee.

The Tang

Sour cream is used in baking to bring about a more moist cake and ands a slight, delightful tang. However, because it has this thing called fat, most people tend to replace it to be ‘healthy.’

Buttermilk, to continue the confusion, does not contain a lot of butter. It is actually the liquid left over after making butter. Buttermilk is used in recipes to tenderize gluten leading to a softer cake.

Yogurt is commonly used in baking to replace items high in fat, such as sour cream and butter. It is also a favorite in baking because it is full of calcium and protein. It adds a creamy texture to muffins and cakes.

The Extra

Coffee cake is almost always topped with a nice streusel. Sometimes it will also be glazed but it is never frosted. And no, we don’t hate frosting. We just think it has a place it belongs and you humans tend to put it EVERYWHERE. Nuts, fruits and spices (most commonly cinnamon) can often be found swirled into the coffee cake batter. While some people will fully mix these additions in, taking the easy route, the best coffee cakes show a swirl as the added ingredients are not fully mixed in. It makes the cake more visually appealing. Be you demon or human, we all eat with our eyes.

What Makes a Bownie

The Brownie

A brownie is a near flat square of chocolate-y goodness. It is also a short furred cleaning elf but that isn’t what we are talking about today. For the food brownie, there are quite a few beliefs about how they came to be though everyone agrees that the started in the U.S. Most believable, a woman knew what she wanted and demanded it, even if it didn’t exist yet.

There’s no chocolate!!!

Brownies can come in a variety of forms. They can be fudge-y or chewy. They can be filled with nuts, fruits an other variety of chocolate. They can even be made with vegetables like zucchini or carrots. Even rarely, they can be found to not have any chocolate in them at all!

The Chocolate

Despite the last comment, most brownies will contain some manner of chocolate or another. A lot of times people will use multiple types of chocolate in their brownies to incorporate the

Cocoa Powder is the powder left behind when cocoa butter is removed from chocolate liquor. It has a very bitter taste as it lacks any fat or sugar. It is commonly used for baking chocolate cakes and making hot cocoa for its full chocolate flavor and dark color.

Baking chocolate is cooled and hardened chocolate liquor. It is an unsweetened chocolate that does not taste good plain. As its name implies, it is used a lot in the baking of cakes.

Sweetened chocolate is not a very popular choice for baking. The sugar and other ingredients it contain often mess up the delicate composition of baked goods. Usually they are added in as extras, in much the same way fruits or nuts are added.

The Extra

Often times brownies will include extra ingredients like fruits and nuts. Nuts are a very popular ingredient to add to brownies to give the dessert some added texture while fruit are typically added for the addition of their flavor. Brownies can also be found glazed, frosted, dusted or plain. A glaze can add fruit notes to the brownie without adding chucks of fruit to the actual batter and a dusting can add some color to the otherwise plain-looking brownies. However, a good brownie should never need frosting. Here, it is a sin to mask the wonderfully balanced flavor of any good brownie with the addition of overly sweet frosting. If you want frosting, bake a cake.

What makes a spice cake

The Cake

Spice cake is a dense mass of delicious spices. That is really were any relevant definition for this cake ends. It is often iced, glazed or frosted. It can be baked alone or with any manner of fruits or, more commonly then you know it, vegetables. This cake can be tiered, loafed, cupcaked, bundted or any other form your heart desires. Not even a spice mix is mapped out for you. The only thing that makes your cake a spice cake is that you use spices to flavor your cake. You can go American and punch your eaters in the face with its awesome spice might or you can go a more classical French and woo them with a subtle spice serenade. Either way you’re still enjoying a splendid slice of spice cake.

The Spices

While there is no set in stone spice mix, there are a few favorites generally used in spice cake. Now don’t take this to mean that these are what you have to use in any form of the word, you could call them favorites to the spice cake genre. Nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves are the most popular choices for spice cakes.

Nutmeg has a woodsy slightly spice sweet flavor, most familiar to people as something to be sprinkled on eggnog. It is more often used in savory dishes but it does work well in sweets too.

Allspice is not a mix of all spices and people explaining its flavor as a mix of pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves doesn’t help to dismiss this. While this is true, allspice is a spice all its own with warm and slightly sweet notes.

Cinnamon is the most popular of all spices. No buts, everyone knows what cinnamon is, they are familiar with the sweet woodsy taste and most have baked with it before. It is used in a lot of baked goods and candies.

Cloves have a very pungent strong slightly sweet flavor and have a very bad habit of overwhelming other spices. Not to say cloves are bad, you just have to remember to tone them down a pinch though.

The Extras

As I have said, the above is enough to classify your cake as a spice cake. More often than not, people like to make their cakes more fancy with fun and tasty additions. When it comes to spice cake, people will most commonly add carrot, apple or pumpkin. Of course some will also add zucchini or oranges or dates, really anything that is complimented by their chosen spice blend.

Most people love a good carrot cake. It is the most commenly eaten spice cake in America. Don’t believe that it is a spice cake? Check out a recipe. Any good carrot cake calls for at least two of the spices listed above. That’s more then some fancy spice cakes. By far, my favorite would have to be an apple spice cake. Let’s face it, apples were born to be paired with spices. Their flavors marry so well and when caramelized before they are incorporated, fantastic.