I have been known to do a fair bit of cooking in my toaster oven. Since I have a small family, it usually works out well. But never have I attempted to bake in it before.
For the second time since we have purchased it only 5 months ago, our range is pretty much out of commission. Only the two loser burners at the back are working. My two favorite front burners and both ovens are down, and will be for a few more days. But instead of relying on microwave meals and salads, I took it as a challenge to see what I could do with the tools I have.
I have been scouring Pinterest for weeks now trying to find some fun Valentine’s day baked goods to make – one for my family and one to send with Hubby to his work. Just when I had my recipes all picked out, I found I no longer had an oven. But, according to Hubby, when I get my mind on something, I won’t give up until it’s done. I figured “why not make them in the toaster oven?” It has temperature and time settings just like my real oven, it’s just smaller. So I searched my pantry for bakeware that would fit. Jackpot!
The first goody I made was this Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry Almond Glaze. When I saw the recipe, I knew it would be perfect for Valentine’s day – such a pretty color!
I was able to make 2 loaves at the same time. The only problem I ran into was that the loaves browned on top a little too quickly because the toaster oven heats from both the top and bottom. Reducing the temperature slightly fixed that problem. After glazing, you couldn’t even tell!
As soon as I popped the loaves out of the oven, I made a Chocolate Cherry Cake. I have been wanting to try this one for a long time, but was waiting for a special occasion. This time I had to bake the two layers separately, but that was okay. I had already learned my lesson about keeping the temperature slightly lower, so it came out perfectly. More about this cake later. Both the cakes and the cherry loaves finished more quickly than the recommended time in the recipe.
Now it was supper time. I decided to make these yummy Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins. This is something that I would normally have made in the toaster oven anyway. The only problem I ran into is that since I was running short on time, I had to cook the chicken in the toaster at the same time as the skins. The pan got a little crowded and some of the skins got a little squished. All around, they turned out great.
Then I started getting a little overconfident and tried to make sourdough bread. This is where I failed. I figured “If cake works, why won’t bread?” I didn’t consider how much taller the bread is. It definitely burned, and now my house smells like a smoker – gross. The top kept rising into the elements, and I’d have to pull it out, which ended up ripping the top off, twice!
So okay, a toaster oven can’t do everything a regular oven can do, but if yours is broken, or it’s the middle of summer and you don’t want to turn it on, or you live in a tiny apartment in Asia and you don’t have one, a toaster oven is a viable option for baking many things.
What unconventional uses have you found for your kitchen tools?