Fifth Tier Baking Studio

My wife and I celebrated our 12th Wedding Anniversary last Saturday. Oddly, we didn’t have our usual Anniversary Pizza. We did, however, celebrate by watching our daughter perform at a comedy show in town.

The day after our anniversary we met up with a friend of ours (Lyle) who is opening a bakery in town – The Fifth Tier Baking Studio. He had some treats for us – well, probably a little more for me since I have a sweet tooth.

The first treat was Ready-To-Bake chocolate chip scones.


Fifth Tier Scones 1He had just made them so they needed to sit for a few hours before I could bake them. That was a bit of a test for my patience, but I kept myself busy.

After dinner, I pulled them out of the fridge and started to prepare them. Lyle made this very easy. They came complete with a nice set of directions.

Fifth Tier Scones 2

Since they were already sliced, he suggested that I separate them out in groups of 3 or 4 and freeze whatever I wasn’t going to make. That seemed like a great idea so I kept 4 of them out to make for breakfast the next few days and froze the rest in smaller packages.

Fifth Tier Scones 3

I only very lightly greased the pan because we were just about out of baking spray.  For future batches, I should probably use a little more. The didn’t really stick, but they didn’t slide right off when they were done either.

Fifth Tier Scones 4

Next, I basted them with butter and sprinkled sugar on them. On one of them I also added a little confectioners sugar. That didn’t seem to make any difference so I think I’ll stick to regular granulated sugar and just use more of it. After 25 minutes in the oven, I rotated the pan and let them cook another 2 minutes. Then I pulled them out to cool.

Fifth Tier Scones 5

I sent Lyle a picture of them and he said they looked perfect. As you can see, he really puts a lot of chocolate chips in his scones. That’s just the way I like them.

That plan to save them for breakfast the next few days didn’t quite work out. Before I put them in a Ziplock bag for the night, I had one and it was delicious.

The next morning, I took another one into work. They pair very well with a cup of coffee. I finished off the last two this morning at work. I’ve already taken another pack out of the freezer to make up later tonight.

The second treat Lyle made for us was banana cream cupcakes. I guess one didn’t make it home with us.

Fifth Tier Cupcakes

I’m not a huge fan of banana, but these were really good. However, there were so many of them that I brought some in to work the next day. Several people asked who brought them in and where they came from. Needless to say, they didn’t last the afternoon.

Lyle said he was kind of experimenting a little with these and wished he had put cream inside as well. I think that also explains the various sizes. I could see putting the cream inside the bigger ones , but I didn’t think the smaller ones needed it. They already have a good cake to cream ratio.

Lyle’s bakery opens at the end of September and if these are any indication, I think he will do well. He puts a lot of care into his baking and it shows in the final product. I don’t know if he plans on taking orders outside of the area, but if you are in the area, be sure to check it out.



Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

My wife Linda recently picked up a package of whole wheat flour and has had great fun making dinner rolls and waffles. This time she made something a little more traditional – chocolate chip cookies. We weren’t quite sure if they would taste as good as “normal” chocolate chip cookies due to the wheat flour.

Whole Wheat Cookies - Mixing


Linda mixed up the ingredients, but our brown sugar had been sitting around for a while. On word of advice: If your brown sugar is all packed together in clumps, break it up BEFORE you add it to the rest of the ingredients. I cannot stress this enough. It was almost comical watching us try to break up the clumps in the mix. At least we didn’t have the chips in yet. Eventually, we ended up using a mashed potato strainer to break them up. It was quite a sight watching us scoop cookie batter into the strainer. It was oddly effective though.

Whole Wheat Cookies Out of the Oven

After we got everything all mixed up properly, the rest went flawlessly. They cooked up really well and smelled great cooking. I’m not sure, but I’d swear Linda used more chips than called for in the recipe. The cookies were loaded with them. Not that I’m complaining or anything. I love chocolate chips.

Whole Wheat Cookies Plated

Linda found the recipe on the Betty Crocker site, but here is is below for easy reference.


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)


  1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl.
  3. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff).
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).
  7. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

via Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Whole Wheat Rolls Recipe

On Friday night, Nemo came to town bringing a bit less snow that we originally expected. It was still a good 6 inches or so, but not the 18 we could have gotten. I have cousins in Connecticut who had closer to 30 inches. I’m glad we didn’t get anywhere near that. We have a rather long driveway and a few years back our snow blower died and I’ve been shoveling every year since.

Nemo - Driveway Before


What you can’t tell from these pictures is just how big the area at the top of the driveway is for the cars. We fit 3 cars across and have an area for backing up to turn around. I think that is probably more square footage than the rest of the driveway. It certainly takes longer. You have to walk the snow over the the side to dump it.

Nemo - Driveway After

Since I was going to be outside shoveling, my wife made hot cocoa for me during a break I took and also when I finished. She even puts little marshmallows in it. Because I was working so hard, she also planned a nice hearty dinner. There are a couple of meals she makes that I really look forward to and this was one of them – meatloaf with Betty Crocker’s  Butter & Herb Mashed Potatoes.

Nemo - Dig Out Meal

But, as if the smell of meatloaf in the house wasn’t enough, she went a step further. She made homemade whole wheat rolls to go along with dinner. They seemed pretty simple to make but do take some time to rise. They didn’t rise much during the first rise period, but the really did double during the second. Linda didn’t notice how many rolls it was supposed to make so she had 9 large rolls instead of 12 smaller ones. They cooked up quite large and nicely golden brown.

Whole Wheat Rolls Fresh From Oven


We think that because they were so large they came out just a little doughy in the middle, so we probably should have lightly covered them and given them a little more time. Still, they came out really delicious. There is nothing like a nice hot fresh buttered roll to go along with meatloaf. I was quite full then I was done.

Buttered Whole Wheat Rolls


My wife puts a lot of love into her cooking and it really shows. She has a bunch of wheat flour left over and plans on making a few more treats. I can’t wait. For now, if you want to make some whole wheat rolls yourself, here is the recipe.



  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Canola oil, optional


  1. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, yeast and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat milk, water and butter to 120°-130° add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened.
  3. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.
  4. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Punch dough down; shape into 12 balls. Place in a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Brush tops with oil if desired.
  7. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 dozen.

via Whole Wheat Rolls Recipe | Taste of Home Recipes.

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