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Gail Simmons Pregnancy Food Aversions

Gail Simmons Serves Up Easy Bake Oven Recipes and Pregnancy Food Aversions

Who would have thought that a Top Chef judge and an editor of Food & Wine magazine got her start with something as simple as an Easy Bake Oven? It's hard to believe, but it's true, as Gail Simmons revealed to us at a 50th anniversary celebration for the iconic brand. That simple, light-bulb-powered oven may also be responsible for the star's famous sweet tooth based on the recipes she cooked as a kid.

Now six months along in her first pregnancy, Simmons just finished filming the 11th season of Top Chef in New Orleans, where she had to hide her pregnancy while shooting. Though Simmons isn't experiencing any real food aversions, she told us that raw animal proteins aren't very appealing right now, so she's sticking with a more fruit- and veggie-based diet. She lucked out on the set of Top Chef when none of the food bothered her — "just the volume of food and having to try 13 different dishes!" In terms what she can't wait to start eating again after she's given birth, we wouldn't be surprised if her first postbaby meal includes some runny eggs and good sushi!

In honor of the classic toy's big birthday celebration, Simmons went back to her roots to create two recipes using the oven and its cooking packets: a Humming Bird cookie inspired by the cake's popularity in the '60s, when the Easy Bake Oven made it's debut, and a Rocky Road cake that reached the peak of popularity in the '80s when Simmons was baking in her oven.

Keep reading for the recipes you and your tot can try out in your Easy Bake Oven.

Hummingbird Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

For cookies:
1 Pink Sugar Cookie Mix
1 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 ripe banana, thinly sliced then quartered into small pieces
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

For cream cheese frosting:
1 Vanilla Frosting Mix
1 1/4 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

OR

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 1-inch chunks fresh pineapple, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Plug in Easy Bake Ultimate Oven, and turn it on. Preheat for 20 minutes.
  2. Spray baking pan with cooking spray, and spread it evenly. Set aside.
  3. Make the dough: Pour 1 Pink Sugar Cookie mix and 1 teaspoon of water into a bowl, and stir to combine. Add vanilla, banana, and pecans, and mix well.
  4. Press the mixture together to form the dough.
  5. Sprinkle flour on your hands, and roll the dough into a ball. Then split it evenly into 12 smaller balls.
  6. Place six of the dough balls on the baking pan, spreading them out as much as possible, and lightly press each one to flatten.
  7. Follow Easy Bake direction for cookies through step 11. Baking time: 15 minutes (instead of 9).
  8. Hand-wash the baking pan, spray again, and repeat with the other six dough balls.
  9. While cookies are baking, make the frosting: Pour vanilla frosting mix and 1 1/4 teaspoons of water into a small bowl, and beat with a fork until smooth. Then beat in cream cheese. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  10. Alternatively, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with a fork until smooth. Sift in confectioner's sugar slowly, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  11. When cookies have cooled, spoon the frosting into a plastic sandwich bag, and cut one corner with scissors.
  12. Squeeze a large drop of frosting onto each cookie. Top with a slice of fresh pineapple before serving.

Double Chocolate Rocky Road Layer Cake

Ingredients

2 Devil's Food Cake Mixes
12 teaspoons water, divided
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided

3 Chocolate Frosting Mixes (water as per directions)
1/2 cup minimarshmallows (approximately 40 pieces), 20 cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Plug in Easy Bake Ultimate Oven, and turn it on. Preheat for 20 minutes.
  2. Spray baking pan with cooking spray, and spread it evenly. Set aside.
  3. Make the cake batter: Pour 1 Devil's Food Cake Mix and 6 teaspoons of water into a bowl. Break up any lumps, and stir until smooth. Add chopped walnuts and chocolate chips, and mix well.
  4. Spoon the batter into the baking pan. Spread evenly using the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula.
  5. Follow Easy Bake Baking Basics directions. Baking time: 20 minutes (instead of 16).
  6. After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool completely. Once it's cool, slide a butter knife around the edge of the cake, and remove it from the pan onto a flat plate, upside down. Set aside.
  7. Hand-wash the baking pan, spray again, and repeat with the other Devil's Food Cake Mix.
  8. While the cake is baking, make the frosting: Pour three chocolate frosting mixes and 3 teaspoons of water into a bowl. Break up any lumps, and stir until smooth.
  9. Using a small spoon or offset spatula, frost the top of the first cake with about 1/3 of the frosting mix in an even layer.
  10. Place the 20 halved marshmallows, in four lines of 10 halves, across the cake, flat side down. Top with the second cake, upside down, pressing lightly to secure it. Frost the top of the cake using another 1/3 of the frosting mix. Then carefully frost all sides. Scatter the remaining marshmallows over the top of the cake, and gently press the chopped walnuts against the sides to cover before serving.
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