Baking

Orange Cornmeal Cake

Orange Cornmeal Cake! Like a cross between coffee cake and cornbread. Light and moist, not too sweet.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Serves 8

When we first came across this recipe in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine we had to try it out. We’ve made it several times now, and every time with great results.

It’s sort of a cross between a coffee cake and cornbread with a light orange flavor. Unexpectedly good. Light, moist, and not too sweet. Be careful not to overcook.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup for the topping
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (or dry white wine)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 large orange

Method

1 Preheat oven and prepare baking pan: Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan with oil (can use butter for this too); line the bottom of the pan with wax paper or parchment paper, and brush the top of the paper with oil.

2 Make cake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, 1 cup of the sugar, and orange juice until smooth. Add flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and orange zest; whisk lightly to combine.

3 Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan; sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar.

Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes.

4 Cool: Cool the cake in the pan 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to separate it from the edge of the pan. Invert the cake gently onto a plate, and remove the parchment paper. Re-invert the cake onto a rack to cool completely before serving.

Posted by gen_gen - 2019 at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: , , ,

Gluten-free Pumpkin Cupcakes

Spicy, moist, sweet pumpkin cupcakes with a cream cheese maple syrup butter frosting. Uses Red Mill gluten-free flour mix made from potato starch, garbanzo flour, tapioca flour, sorghum, and fava.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 16 cupcakes

Many people are sensitive, some extremely so, to gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. As someone who had to give up wheat for 10 years, I can tell you that it isn’t easy, living without pizza, bread, and pasta.

We still don’t eat much wheat around here. Many of the pasta recipes we make with rice pasta. The hard thing is finding good gluten-free baked goods. So many of them really taste awful, the consistency of sawdust. Fortunately, the wheat/gluten alternative flours appear to be improving.

I found a bag of Wheat and Gluten Free Baking Flour from Red Mill in the health food section of our local grocery store and decided to try it out on a batch of pumpkin cupcakes.

I had low expectations for this experiment, and thought it would help to dress up the recipe a bit with nuts and raisins, molasses and honey, anything actually, to help the cupcakes be more edible.

The result surprised all of us; the cupcakes were delicious! Really good. Sort of like carrot cake, a good carrot cake.

Note that Red Mill’s Gluten-Free Flour contains the following ingredients: garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sweet white sorghum flour, fava bean flour.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature (I only had 3/4 of a stick so I used that and added 2 Tbsp of olive oil. It worked fine.)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups Red Mill’s gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup raisins

Frosting ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup confectioner’s powdered sugar, sifted

*Note to make your own buttermilk, combine 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 Tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let stand 10 minutes before using.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature (I only had 3/4 of a stick so I used that and added 2 Tbsp of olive oil. It worked fine.)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups Red Mill’s gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup raisins

Frosting ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup confectioner’s powdered sugar, sifted

*Note to make your own buttermilk, combine 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 Tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let stand 10 minutes before using.

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven.

2 Beat sugar and wet ingredients, add eggs, then pumpkin: In a mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, molasses, and honey together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. (Start on low speed and increase to high speed to get the mixture light and fluffy.)

Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and pumpkin purée. Beat until well mixed.

3 In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients — the gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.

4 Combine dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and buttermilk to make the cupcake batter: Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

5 Add pecans and raisins: Use a wooden spoon to mix in the pecans and raisins.

6 Portion out batter into muffin cups: Arrange paper cupcake holders in a muffin tin. Portion out the batter into the cupcake paper cups, filling them close to the top of the cups.

7 Bake: Bake at 350°F for about 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven to a rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

8 Make the frosting: In an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add maple syrup and confectioners’ sugar and mix to combine.

Once cupcakes have cooled, apply the frosting.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: , , ,

Giant Ginger Cookies

Extra large ginger cookies, with ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and molasses.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 13 minutes
  • Cooling time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: Makes two dozen 4-inch cookies

My friend’s daughter Audrey loves to cook. When Audrey and I were first getting to know each other she made me a batch of her favorite giant ginger cookies. (She thinks she got the recipe from an old Sunset magazine, but I haven’t been able to find the actual source.)

The first time Audrey made these cookies for me she was about 10 years old. Now she’s almost 15 and still makes these fabulous cookies. Here’s what she told me about them when she was 10:

“I wanted to make these cookies because my mom always made these cookies when I was little and they tasted soooo good. The first two times I made them they didn’t turn out so good (forgot to add the baking soda). The third time’s the charm though. This time they turned out perfectly. I made them all by myself, without any help from mom.”

Ingredients

  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger*
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup coarse sugar or granulated sugar

* Can substitute the ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves for an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice.

Ingredients

  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger*
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup coarse sugar or granulated sugar

* Can substitute the ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves for an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice.

Method

1 In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, ground ginger, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

2 In a large mixing bowl beat together butter with the 2 cups granulated sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses. Beat in the flour mixture, using a wooden spoon.

3 Shape dough into 2-inch balls using 1/4 cup dough. Roll balls in the 3/4 cup coarse or granulated sugar. Place about 2-1/2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.

4 Bake in a 350°F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are light brown and puffed. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: , , ,

Bisquick Shortcake Biscuits

Quick and easy biscuits for shortcake recipes using Bisquick baking mix. Comes together in minutes!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6 biscuits

Bisquick baking mix has been a pantry staple in my parent’s kitchen for as long as I can remember. You can use it for making pancakes, coffee cake, or savory biscuits. When my parents use it, it’s usually for sweet biscuits for strawberry shortcake. 

Shortcake biscuits are easy to make with Bisquick because you don’t have to worry about leavening (it’s already in the mix), or cutting in cold butter (stir in melted butter instead). All you need is some sugar, milk, butter, and a baking pan.

Drop spoonfuls of dough on a greased baking pan, and bake in a 425°F oven. They’re done in about 10 minutes!

For some odd reason, Bisquick no longer shows the sweet shortcake biscuit recipe on their box. So here it is, the original Bisquick biscuit recipe for strawberry shortcake.

I also made a vegan and dairy-free version which tastes as good, if not better than the original! Just swap out the butter with coconut oil, and milk with almond milk.

A delicious vegan and dairy-free variation of the basic Bisquick biscuit recipe is to swap out the milk with almond milk and the melted butter with melted coconut oil.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted (can sub coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup milk (can sub unsweetened almond milk)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Method

1 Heat oven to 425°F.

2 Make the dough: Whisk together the baking mix and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in the milk and melted butter just until a soft dough comes together. Don’t over-mix!

3 Portion out dough and place on cookie sheet: Grease a cookie sheet with butter. Divide the dough into roughly 6 equal portions and drop them on the cookie sheet.

4 Bake: Bake at 425°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on a rack.

5 Serve: Either break up into big chunks or slice horizontally with a bread knife to serve with berries for shortcake.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: ,

Gingered Lemon Bars

Like lemon bars? Try this delicious lemon bars recipe with candied ginger in the shortbread crust.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 36 lemon bars

“I can’t wait for you to get here Elise. We can cook! We can make pies and cakes and cookies and more yummy things,” exclaimed my young friend Alden as we were talking on the phone last week.

Between Easter, a Patriots Day parade and museum trips, we finally got a chance to do some baking. Reilly (8) and her sister Alden (6) helped me make scrumptious lemon bars that have candied ginger in the crust from a recipe in a 1987 issue of Gourmet magazine.

To make the bars first you make and pre-bake the shortbread crust with specks of candied ginger. Then you make the lemon filling, pour into the pre-baked crust, and bake again, until the filling has set. The original recipe called for sprinkling the whole thing with powdered sugar, which we didn’t feel was necessary.

Ingredients

The Crust:

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

The filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredients

The Crust:

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

The filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

1 Make the crust batter: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter. Add 1/3 cup of sifted powdered sugar, and beat until light and fluffy.

Beat in half a teaspoon of the lemon zest, the ground ginger, the crystallized ginger, and a pinch of salt.

Add 1 1/2 cups of flour in batches, a 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Continue to beat the crust batter until it is well combined.

2 Bake the crust: Spread the crust batter evenly over the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until browned lightly around the edges.

3 Make the lemon batter: While the crust is baking, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest, 3 Tbsp of flour, the baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until well blended.

4 Pour batter into pre-baked crust and bake: Pour the lemon batter over the pre-baked crust.

Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden.

If you want, sift a little additional powdered sugar over the top.

Let the lemon bars cool in the pan on a rack. Cut it into 36 pieces.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: , , , ,

Lemon Ginger Muffins

Light and fluffly lemon ginger muffins, with fresh ginger and lemon zest, and a lemon juice sugar glaze.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Makes 12 muffins

I’ve been experimenting lately with lemon ginger muffins, looking for just the right recipe.

Unfortunately, with all the heat we’ve been having around here lately, my experiments took a hiatus for a couple of weeks. Who wants to turn on the oven when the AC is struggling to keep the house below 80°F?

In California we’ve finally had a break in the hot weather (my apologies to those of you on the East Coast who are getting it now) and I got up early this morning to bake these muffins.

So good! The yogurt in the batter helps create an especially light and fluffy muffin.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 1/2-inch cubes of peeled, fresh ginger
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup sugar -divided into 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick), softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt

Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 1/2-inch cubes of peeled, fresh ginger
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup sugar -divided into 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick), softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt

Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)

Method

1 Preheat oven: Adjust the oven rack to the middle-lower part of the oven. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2 Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

3 Make paste with lemon zest, ginger, sugar: Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the lemon zest from one large lemon (avoid the white pith). Coarsely chop the zest. You should have approximately 1/4 cup of chopped lemon zest.

Add this zest, the cubed fresh ginger, and 1/4 cup of sugar to a food processor. Pulse until a paste forms.

4 Beat butter with sugar, add eggs, then zest ginger paste: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar together, beating until fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each one.

Beat in the lemon zest and ginger paste.

5 Alternate adding dry ingredients with yogurt: Beat in one half of the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Beat in one third of the yogurt. Beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients. Beat in a second third of the yogurt.

Beat in the remaining dry ingredients and then the remaining yogurt. Again be careful to beat until just incorporated. Do not over beat.

6 Fill muffin tin with dough: Use a standard 12-muffin muffin pan. Coat each muffin cup lightly with olive oil or a little melted butter using a pastry brush. Distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups.

7 Bake: Bake at 375°F until muffins are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a long toothpick (we use a thin bamboo skewer) to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool.

8 Make glaze: While the muffins are cooling, in a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice for the glaze. Add more lemon juice if necessary.

9 Brush muffins with glaze: While the muffins are still a bit warm, use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over each muffin. The muffins will absorb some of the glaze, so you add more glaze to each muffin if you like.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: , , ,

Rustic Onion Tart

Rustic onion tart with caramelized red onions, Gruyere cheese, and a butter crust.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Is there nothing better than caramelized onions?

Yes, they take some time to make, but they’re not hard to cook, and it’s so so worth the effort.

Here is great way to enjoy them—in a simple rustic tart, with some shredded Gruyere cheese and a sprinkling of thyme.

You can either use a ready made frozen crust (the flat or folded kind), or make your own crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe for butter sour cream pastry dough* or 1 packaged, flat pie crust (Trader Joe’s has one in their frozen section)
  • 3 medium sized red and/or yellow onions (enough for 5 to 8 cups, sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup (not packed) roughly grated Gruyère Swiss cheese

*Sour cream pastry dough:

  • 1 1/4 cup (160 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces of butter (1 1/4 sticks, 10 Tbsp, 137g), cubed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe for butter sour cream pastry dough* or 1 packaged, flat pie crust (Trader Joe’s has one in their frozen section)
  • 3 medium sized red and/or yellow onions (enough for 5 to 8 cups, sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup (not packed) roughly grated Gruyère Swiss cheese

*Sour cream pastry dough:

  • 1 1/4 cup (160 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces of butter (1 1/4 sticks, 10 Tbsp, 137g), cubed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Method

1 Prepare the dough: If you are making a crust from scratch, prepare the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator while you are cooking the onions.

To prepare the dough, whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with your hands or with a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Add the sour cream and use a fork to incorporate it into the dough. Gather the dough into a ball and shape it into a disk. Wrap it with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

2 Peel and slice the onions, lengthwise from stem to root. (See How to Slice an Onion)

3 Caramelize the onions: Heat olive oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and sprinkle a little salt over them.

Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened and are translucent.

Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are well browned.

Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 10 minutes more, until onions are completely caramelized. Remove from heat.

4 Roll out the dough: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes before rolling it out.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch diameter. Transfer the crust dough to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

5 Layer the cheese and onions onto the dough: Place all but a couple tablespoons of the cheese in the center of the dough. Spread to within 1 1/2 inches from the edges. Add the caramelized onions, layering them on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with thyme.

6 Pleat the edges: Fold the edges of the crust dough over so that a small circle of onion is still showing in the centre of the tart. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the tart.

7 Bake: Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: , , ,

Apple Turnovers

Simple apple turnovers with diced tart apples, currants, walnuts, sugar and cinnamon, baked in puff pastry.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

Apple turnovers are easy to make! The biggest decision one needs to make is how to do the pastry crust.

If you use an already prepared frozen puff pastry or folded pie crust, the apple turnovers will be a snap to make, they will look pretty, and the crust will lots of buttery layers.

If you use a homemade butter crust (pâte brisée) which is really not so hard to make, your pastry will taste wonderful, and may even be flaky, but not filled with puffy layers.

If you make your own homemade puff pastry dough, which requires technique and steps beyond a simple homemade pie dough, you will have a truly delicious and gorgeous pastry.

Since I have yet to master this last technique, I am obliged to use either a homemade butter pie crust, or a frozen prepared puff pastry sheet. I’ve made apple turnovers with both, and I can say that the homemade butter crust is light years better than the frozen puff pastry, but is obviously a bit more work.

So, what I have here is a recipe that calls for either using a frozen puff pastry sheet or homemade pâte brisée dough.

The inside of these apple turnovers include apples, of course, but also dried currants, walnuts, apple sauce, a little sugar and cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla.

Ingredients

  • 1 large tart baking apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed OR 2 pâte brisée dough recipes (enough for a double crust pie)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon milk

Ingredients

  • 1 large tart baking apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed OR 2 pâte brisée dough recipes (enough for a double crust pie)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon milk

Method

1 Prep baking sheet, preheat oven: Put oven rack in lower third of oven and pre-heat oven to 400°F. Butter a large baking sheet (or use Silpat).

2 Make filling: In a medium bowl, mix together apples, currants, and walnuts with the sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch, making sure the fruit and nuts are well coated. Mix in the apple sauce and vanilla.

3a If using puff pastry: Unfold the thawed pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Depending on the size of your puff pastry sheet you are going to want to cut the sheet into either four 5-inch-by-5-inch or six 4-inch-by-4-inch squares.

3b If using pie dough: Roll out your pie dough on a lightly floured surface to a 16×11 inch rectangle. Trim the edges to 15×10 inches and cut into six 5×5-inch squares.

4 Add filling to pastry squares: Divide the apple mixture among the squares, leaving a 1-inch border. If you are using an already prepared puff pastry sheet, dot the mixture in each pastry with a little butter. (If you are using a butter pie dough, you can skip adding the extra butter.)


5 Brush egg mixture on pastry edges: In a small bowl mix the beaten egg with a teaspoon of milk. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg mixture on the border of the pastry. This will help the pastry seal.

6 Fold and crimp, add steam vents: Fold each pastry into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and crimp edges with a fork. Brush the tops of the pastries with more of the egg wash. Cut 2 or 3 small steam vents in the top of each turnover.

7 Bake: Place the pastries in the oven and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Cool turnovers to warm before serving.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: , , ,

Homemade Light Rye Bread

Light, soft inside, crusty crust, homemade rye bread, with or without caraway seeds.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Makes 2 loaves

For as long as I knew my friend George he was an enthusiastic bread maker. Often when I visited his home in Carlisle, Mass, he had a freshly baked loaf of rye bread for us to enjoy.

One time when George came to visit my family in Carmichael, I put him to work, showing me the way he makes his rye bread.

The following is a recipe that will yield two loaves.

Actually, I don’t think one can easily learn to make bread by reading about it.

It really helps to get your hands in it and learn directly from someone who can say, “See? This is the right consistency for the dough.” If you are interested in learning more about bread making there are a few links at the end of this post that you may find useful.

As for the bread? It was wonderful. Light, soft inside, and a crusty crust. My father doesn’t like caraway seeds so they were kept out. I love them so the next time I make this bread they’re going in.

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water (just barely warm to the touch)
  • 2/3 cup molasses (regular unsulphured, not blackstrap)
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water (just barely warm to the touch)
  • 2/3 cup molasses (regular unsulphured, not blackstrap)
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

Method

1 Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the molasses. Put yeast mixture into a large metal bowl.

2 Add caraway seeds, salt, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, 2 cups of rye flour and then 2 cups of bread flour, mixing into the yeast mixture after each addition with a wooden spoon.

3 Add more bread flour, a cup at a time, until the dough is not so sticky and it is too hard to mix it with the wooden spoon. At that point, spread a half cupful of flour onto a large, clean, flat surface and put the dough onto the surface.

4 Knead the dough by pressing down with the heel of your hand, stretching it, turning the dough a quarter-turn, pulling the dough back toward you and then pressing and stretching again. Knead additional bread flour into the dough until it reaches the right consistency. Knead for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

5 Spread some vegetable oil around a large bowl and place the dough in it, turning it so it gets coated in the oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about an hour and a half.

6 Gently press down on the dough so some of its air is released.

7 Knead the dough a few turns and then divide it by cutting it in half with a sharp knife.

8 Shape each half into loaf. Place dough loafs into either oiled bread loaf pans, or onto a flat baking sheet or peel that has been sprinkled with corn meal, depending if you want to cook the loaves in pans or directly on a baking stone. Cover with plastic or a damp cloth.

9 Let rise again, this time not doubling in volume, but rising by about half of its volume, about 45 minutes, half as long as the first rising. The dough should be peeking over the top of the loaf pan if using a loaf pan.

10 If you are using a baking stone, place the stone in the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F for at least half an hour before baking.

11 If baking on a stone, score the dough a few times on the top of the dough right before putting it in the oven.

12 Put dough in the oven. If you have a mister, mist the dough with a little water the first 10 minutes of baking. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until done. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: ,

Simple Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies with a sweet almond flavor are easy to make, and festive for any occasion!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Dough Chilling time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes 2 to 3 dozen

What better way to welcome a special occasion than with festive sugar cookies, right?

This is a family favorite sugar cookie recipe from my dear friend and Alabama-native Steve-Anna. The almond extract in the dough and the icing gives the cookies a wonderful sweet almond flavor.

Use your favorite cookie cutters to make playful shapes!

Bake, cool, and then dip one side in the icing to coat.

Ingredients

Cookie:

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (a dry acid sometimes used in baking)

Icing:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Food coloring

Ingredients

Cookie:

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (a dry acid sometimes used in baking)

Icing:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Food coloring

Method

1 Make the cookie dough: Beat the butter and sugar together for 1 minute. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract, beat until incorporated. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter, stirring to blend.

2 Chill the dough: Divide dough in half, form 2 balls. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

3 Roll out the dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters: Using a rolling pin, roll out dough (about 1/2 of one dough ball at a time) on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8″ thickness. Dip cookie cutters into flour; cut out shapes.

4 Bake: Place cookies on silpat lined or lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375°F for 7-8 minutes.

5 Make the icing: Combine the sugar, almond extract and just enough milk (about 1/4 cup) to make the frosting the consistency of thin glue. Pour icing into shallow bowls wide enough for dipping cookies. Add food coloring.

6 Decorate the cookies: To decorate, dip the topside of each cookie into the icing. Remove quickly and let icing drip of excess back into the icing bowl. Let dry. Pour additional colored frosting into pastry piping, or use a plastic sandwich bag with the tip of one corner nicked off. Gently squeeze frosting on to cookies in whatever patterns you choose.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Baking   Tags: ,

Next Page »