Cooking MacGyver Style

Creative Cooking
I’ve been getting creative with various household items to get some cooking done recently. I like to call it cooking, MacGyver style. (If you’re not familiar with MacGyver, he was a television character famous for getting out of tight situations with a bit of creativity, some duct tape, and a Swiss Army knife.)

One of my regular improvs is my version of a cooling rack. You see, in the past, it seemed that a cooling rack invariably seemed to come with any house we bought, so I never had to buy one. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring them with me when we moved, and I haven’t seen any on the few occasions I think to look for one here. As a result, when it comes time to cool some sort of baked good, I’ve had to get creative. My go-to way of working these days is to take a handful of metal skewers we have and spreading them out across a plate. I don’t bake in large batches, so this usually fits my rare baking needs. It’s surprisingly effective!
Going MacGyver
It also takes up very little storage space when not in use, so I’m tempted to not bother buying a proper cooling rack any time soon. If I plan to do any larger batches of baking, I could just buy more skewers! One of my favorite tv chefs in the US was Alton Brown, who always insisted that any kitchen tool should be able to serve more than one purpose. I think he’d be proud of my ingenuity!

As for the cupcakes in my shots, they’re not going to be as good as those made by American Baking Company, but they are on the healthier side of the cupcake divide. They’re an old Weight Watchers recipe that I have and now know by heart. They suit my need for a little bit of something chocolate on occasion.

Chocolate Cupcakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2-cup brown sugar + 1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup apple sauce (no sugar added) (I use the individually portioned apple sauce cups)
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I tend to just use natural vinegar now)
1 1/2 tsp melted butter (I use the liquid stuff)

First combine the dry ingredients and mix them together well. Then add in the liquid ingredients and stir just to combine. Then spoon the filling into a prepared 12-piece muffin tin and bake at 350F/180C for around 18-22 minutes.

I eat them plain, although they’re also good spread with a bit of Nutella. You can also add in a 1/4 cup or so of chocolate chips/pieces. Or sprinkle some hagelslag on top before baking. I’ve also used this recipe to make regular cakes. They’re not the end-all and be-all of chocolate cake, but they’re not bad when you want something chocolate, but also want to avoid lots of calories.

9 thoughts on “Cooking MacGyver Style

  1. I think you’ll soon have a crowd of your blog readers outside your door, asking for a share of these wonderful chocolate cupcakes!! 😀 Wow!!! I just love your cooling rack! It is creative and it looks great on your photos.
    I got mine at “Dille & Camille” – the one you have in U. is huge, you should be able to get one there, I suppose?

  2. These look so good! Question though: where did you get your baking soda? I can’t find it! When I saw it on the shelves in Switzerland, I bought it immediately, and brought it back.

    • You have to go to the tokos (the little Asian shops) to find baking soda. I think most tend to carry it. I was so relieved when I found it, since it’s just not something used in Dutch baking.

  3. I love reading your blog! And I’m happy to know there’s a place that sells baking soda…I’ve been substituting my cookies with baking powder. Do you know where I can buy chocolate chips? I’m guessing maybe that Toko store would have it, but I don’t need it to be Nestle or anything, just whatever the Dutch uses would work!

    • Hi! I’m glad you’re enjoying it and finding it useful. Unfortunately, for the chocolate chips, I’ve not come across any here, although I’ve heard that some Lidl grocery stores sometimes carry chocolate chips in their “foreign foods” aisles. I’ve ended up justing using chocolate bars and chopping them up to get my “chips”. It does a pretty decent job. I posted about it here, and some people made a few suggestions in the comments section about possible sources of chocolate chips. Good luck!

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