"Baker Babes" is an ongoing collection of interviews from ladies that know how to use their oven like a champ. Ashley blogs at Chronicles of a Foodie!
---------------------------------Name: Ashley Khawsy
Occupation: Cubicle Occupant, Food Blogger, Contributing Writer for Foodbeast & Cupcakes Take The Cake
Dream occupation: Running my own bakery/being a successful food writer
What was your earliest memory about baking? It would probably be licking the brownie batter off the spoon or sneaking cookie dough out of the bowl when no one was looking.
Howd’ja get started baking? My stepmom used to bake all the time; cookies, pies, you name it. One day I asked if I could help and it evolved from me cracking the eggs to scooping the dough and then to me making my first solo batch of chocolate chip cookies!
When you picture “a baker” what do you see? Someone with a cute apron that you can’t really see because it’s caked in flour, splattered with chocolate and probably has some dried flecks of dough all over it. Or is that just something that happens to me?
What qualities or skills does it take to be a baker? Bakers absolutely need patience and some basic math skills. Baking in general is just a more meticulous and precise process. If your measurements are off even by a teaspoon, your oven is too hot, or you added a hair too much butter you could end up with a baking disaster.
What was the biggest baking FAIL you ever had? My biggest baking fail was not too long ago. I tried to make Banana Nutella Macarons. I had made my first batch of macarons about a month before and considering it was my first time, these turned out to be little macaron miracles. I figured that once you conquer the beast that is the finicky nature of macarons that you’d always be able to make them. NOPE. My Banana Nutella Macarons ended up looking like puffy, flat, hot cross buns that wouldn’t even peel off the parchment paper. Even though they looked terrible and was my biggest baking fail, they tasted amazing! So the lesson here is, don’t judge a cookie by it’s puffy hot cross buns.
How do you feel about Martha Stewart? I guess she’s okay? I’m not too keen on her crafts but she’s got some pretty good cake recipes.
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from: How Sweet It Is)
makes about 18-20 cookies
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together cooled peanut butter and butter with both sugars until combined. Whisk in egg yolk and vanilla extract until smooth. Add in the mashed banana and mix until combined – mixture will not be smooth. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing with a large spoon until a dough forms – I even use my hands to bring it together sometimes. Fold in chocolate chips.
If you're interested in becoming a Baker Babe (and have the patience for a waiting list!), you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org