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Cranberry White Chocolate Tart

Cranberry White Chocolate Tart

Cranberry White Chocolate Tart

 

crust

1 1/2 C. gluten-free oats

1/2 C. raw almonds

5 T. coconut oil (melted)**

2 T. maple syrup

 

cranberry layer

2 C. cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1 C. water

1/4 C. maple syrup

1 tsp. agar agar (substitute with gelatin powder 1:1 ratio)

 

white chocolate layer

⅔ C. coconut milk (sub with cashew milk)

1 C. raw cashews (soaked*)

¾ C. cacao butter (sub with vegan white chocolate), melted and cooled

1/3 C. maple syrup

Pinch of salt

4 T. vegan white chocolate, melted and cooled

 

For the crust add oats and almonds into a food processor. Pulse until combined and add maple syrup and coconut oil. Process into a moist mixture. Firmly press dough into the tart and press up on the sides as well. Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes until crust appears golden brown. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes and then transfer onto a cooling rack. In a small saucepan add cranberries, water and maple syrup. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes over low-medium heat until cranberries have broken down. With a hand mixer puree cranberries and add a little bit of water if sauce is too thick. Add 1 tsp. of agar agar powder (or gelatin powder) and simmer for another 5 minutes over low-medium heat. Set aside to cool for a couple minutes, then spread cranberry jam/sauce into the crust (½ way full) and let set in the fridge for another 15 minutes. In the meantime prepare the white chocolate layer. Melt white chocolate and cacao butter in a small saucepan over low heat and set aside.  In a food processor or high speed blender add cashews, maple syrup and coconut milk. Process until completely smooth. Add melted chocolate/cacao butter and process until combined. Pour white chocolate mixture into the tart and let set in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours. Garnish with sugar coated cranberries and white chocolate chips and serve immediately. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Notes

*soak cashews in water overnight or for at least 3-4 hours.

**use refined (vs unrefined) coconut oil to avoid coconut flavor

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3/4 C. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp

1/4 C. cream cheese, at room temp

1/2 C. sugar

1 C. packed light brown sugar

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, light brown sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture, beating to combine, then stir in the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 3 days. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Drop 2- to 3-T. mounds of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing the mounds at least 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pistachio Cake with Pomegranate

Pistachio Cake with Pomegranate

Pistachio Cake with Pomegranate

100g green pistachios

35 grams of all-purpose flour for a dense nutty cake or 70 grams for a fluffier cake

1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature (8 TB)

100g caster sugar

zest of 1 lemon

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted if organic

2 tablespoons of pomegranate arils, plus more for garnish

pinch of salt

drops of lemon juice

some green pistachios, chopped or kept whole

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan with butter and flour. Pulse your pistachios with the flour until finely ground. Beat the butter for a few minutes then add the sugar and zest and beat until light and fluffy add eggs one at a time, while mixer is running and beat until combined. Add the pistachio and flour mixture, the salt and baking powder to the wet mix and fold with a spatula until combined. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when pressed. If you are making the glaze: do so by pressing pomegranate arils through a sieve to release about 1/2 tablespoon of juice. Add the lemon juice, powdered sugar and the salt and mix to combine.  Once the cake is cool, drizzle with the glaze and top with pistachios and more arils.

Rhubarb Chess Pie

Rhubarb Chess Pie

Rhubarb Chess Pie

single-crust pie pastry

2 C. (½‑inch thick) slices rhubarb

1 ¼ C. granulated sugar (divided)

2 tsp. unsalted butter (at room temperature)

3–4 pinch kosher salt (divided)

4 large eggs (lightly beaten)

½ C. heavy cream

¼ C. melted unsalted butter

2 T. white vinegar

1 T. cornstarch

1 T. cornmeal

1 tsp. vanilla

 

Set oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 12-inch circle, a generous ⅛‑inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9‑inch pie plate and gently press it up the sides. Drape any excess crust over the edge, then fold under and crimp decoratively. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom of the dough. Line the dough with parchment or foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 8 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and parchment or foil, then continue baking for another 5 minutes, or until the crust is dry and pale colored. Remove from the oven and set aside on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. Meanwhile, toss together sliced rhubarb, ¼ C. granulated sugar, butter, and a big pinch of salt on a separate rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, until just tender, about 12 minutes. Scrape the rhubarb, and any juices, evenly across the bottom of the prepared pie pastry. Lower the oven temperature to 350ºF. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, remaining sugar, cream, melted butter, vinegar, cornstarch, cornmeal, vanilla and 2 or 3 big pinches of salt. Once well-combined pour the mixture over the rhubarb in the pie pastry. Place the pie, on the rimmed baking sheet, in the heated oven and bake for 40 minutes., or until the center of the pie is just set. If the crust get too brown lightly tent it with foil for the last 10 or 15 minutes of baking. Cool on a wire rack 2 hours. Cover and chill the pie at least 3 hours. Allow the pie to sit at room temperature 15 or 20 minutes before slicing.

Peach Tart with Basil and Mascarpone  

Peach Tart with Basil and Mascarpone  

Peach Tart with Basil and Mascarpone

1 C. mascarpone cheese

1/4 cream (possibly a bit more)

½ C. basil chiffonade (leaves rolled and cut into very thin ribbons) plus more sprigs for garnish

¾ C. sugar

1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal

1/4‑teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2‑teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

4 large peaches

 

Prepare Filling::  Using a hand mixer or whisk whip together the mascarpone cheese, cream, and 1/4‑C. sugar. Add the cream a little at a time. You are looking for a sour cream consistency, very smooth with no lumps. Mix in 1/4‑C. basil chiffonade at the very end until just incorporated. Refrigerate filling, covered, until you are ready to assemble the tart.

 

Make Tart Shell: Whisk together the flour with the cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl mix egg yolk, cream, and vanilla. In a 3rd bowl cream the butter and 1/4 C. sugar together using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix them together on medium speed until they form a pale and fluffy paste, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk mixture and mix them together on medium-low speed until well combined. Working in 3 additions, add flour mixture to the bowl until just combined. I find these additions easier to work with using a wooden spoon so as not to over mix the dough. Working on a piece of plastic wrap shape the dough into an oblong shape that is roughly the size of your tart tin (13 3/4‑by‑4 1/4‑by-1-inch). Add an additional piece of plastic on top and roll a rolling pin over the top to form a smooth flat piece of dough about 1/4‑inch thick. Close up the plastic wrap and move dough to the refrigerator. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes, before using. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Invert the dough into the tart tin. It does not matter if it breaks or does not fit perfectly. Because you can press dough together and finish the shaping in the tart tin. The type with a removable bottom works best. Trim edges of dough flush with pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake about 18 minutes until golden and crisp. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Make the Peaches: Peel the peaches. This can be accomplished easily if you blanch the peaches first. This will loosen their skin and the task is not nearly as messy as it would be with a knife.

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl large enough for all the peaches. With a paring knife, lightly score an X onto the bottom of each peach. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop the peaches into the water for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, move the peaches into to an ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Once the peaches have cooled, the skin should peel off easily. You may need to get it started with a paring knife, but most of the skin can be removed with your hands. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Cut each half into 4 or 5 evenly sized wedges. Stir together the peach wedges, remaining 1/4‑C. sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and remaining 1/4‑C. basil in a medium sized saucepan with a lid, set over medium heat. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until the peaches have softened, become a uniform color and released their juices, about 6 minutes. Let the peaches cool completely in the syrup.

If necessary, right before assembling remove the peaches using a slotted spoon and continue to cook the juices until they have thickened to a syrup.

 

Assemble the Tart: Spoon mascarpone filling into tart shell. Top with the peaches in an attractive manner, spooning the thickened juices over the top. Garnish with more basil sprigs or leaves.

Salted Margarita Bites Cookies

Salted Margarita Bites Cookies

Salted Margarita Bites Cookies

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix

1 T. slightly packed grated fresh lime peel

1/3 C. butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt

 

In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and lime peel until blended. Add butter, egg and lime juice. Beat with electric mixer on medium-low speed until blended and soft dough forms. On 17-inch piece plastic wrap, shape dough into 12-inch log. Wrap tightly; freeze at least 30 minutes or until firm enough to slice. Heat oven to 375°F. Unwrap dough; cut into %-inch slices. On ungreased cookie sheets, place slices 2 inches apart, reshaping if necessary; lightly sprinkle with salt. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until pale brown on bottom. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely before storing in airtight container. If desired, garnish cookies with freshly grated lime peel just before serving.

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

6 C. rhubarb, chopped into 1” slices

zest and juice 2 medium orange

3/4 C. granulated sugar

1 2/3 C.  self-rising flour

6 T. butter, cut into pieces

2/3 C. milk

 

2 T. flaked almond

Mascarpone or crème fraîche, to serve

 

Heat oven to 350. Place the rhubarb in a pan with the orange juice and 2/4 C. of the sugar. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then cover and cook for a few mins until the rhubarb is softened but still holding its shape, about 5 mins. Tip into a 1.5 quart gratin dish.

 

Put the flour, orange zest and remaining sugar in a bowl, add the butter, then rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the milk to make a soft dough. Drop 8 spoonfuls of mixture over the rhubarb and scatter with the almonds. Bake for 25-30 mins until the topping is crisp and golden. Serve warm with mascarpone or crème fraîche.

Milk and Honey Baklava

Milk and Honey Baklava

Milk and Honey Baklava

1/2 C. unsalted butter, cubed (this can be a rough cube, ain’t got to be perfect)

BAKLAVA:

1 C. walnuts

1 1/2 C. shelled pistachios

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 pound phyllo

SYRUP:

3/4 C. sweetened condensed milk

1/4 C. boiling water

2 T. honey

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

 

I used a 9×13-inch/quarter baking sheet. You can also use a baking dish or even a round cake pan (but you’ll have to cut the phyllo dough to shape).

 

CLARIFIED BUTTER: In a small saucepan, set over medium-low heat, add the butter. When the butter has melted it will begin to bubble and the milk solids will rise to the top. Using a spoon, skim the top of the melted butter and discard the milk solids. Run the butter through a small sieve or a cheese cloth to remove any excess milk solids. We want to do this so the butter doesn’t burn in the oven. Set the warm butter to the side.

 

TO MAKE THE BAKLAVA: My phyllo dough came in a 1 pound box. I used a pair of scissors and cut my phyllo dough in half (1/2 pound). (I saved the other half in the freezer for another time.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, add the walnuts, pistachios, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until very ground, about 1 minute. Next, grab a clean kitchen towel and dampen it, being sure to wring out any excess water. Place it over the thawed phyllo dough as you assemble the baklava. (Phyllo dough tends to dry out very quickly and assembling the baklava takes a bit of time. The damp kitchen towel will help with this.) Brush the first sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter and transfer it, buttered-side down, into the baking dish. Add a tsp. or two of the walnut mixture. Repeat by buttering a sheet of phyllo dough and then spreading a T. or two of walnut mixture. Continue until you’ve worked through the phyllo dough/filling. Using a sharp knife, slice the baklava into 1-inch diamonds or squares. Transfer to the oven to bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and crisp.

 

TO MAKE THE SYRUP: While the baklava is baking, let’s make the syrup! In a measuring C., whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, hot water, honey and vanilla extract. When the baklava comes out of the oven, drizzle the syrup on top. Allow it to sit for 1-3 hours so it has a chance to marinate! Serve.

Fancy Apple Gruyere Tart with Caramelized Onions & Pancetta

Fancy Apple Gruyere Tart with Caramelized Onions & Pancetta

Fancy Apple Gruyere Tart with Caramelized Onions & Pancetta

1 yellow onion, sliced (or you can use store-bought caramelized onions or onion jam)

2 ounces pancetta, cooked until crispy

Flour, for rolling out the puff pastry

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge

1/4 C. creme fraiche

1 tsp. orange zest

1/2 apple, I used fancy pearl apples but honey crisp, gala or pink lady would be great, cut into sliced

3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed

3/4 C. shredded Gruyere cheese

1 beaten large egg, for egg wash

1/2 C. arugula microgreens or just regular arugula, for topping

1 tsp. olive oil

Salt

 

Do a bit of prep by caramelizing the onions, in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, about 30 minutes. You could also buy caramelized onions or onion jam. Cook up the pancetta in a small skillet until crispy and evenly browned. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly flour your work surface. Unfold the puff pastry (mine was a rectangle, yours might be a circle!) and roll it out with a rolling pin until it’s a bit thinner in height. Transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Using a knife, score a 1/2-inch perimeter onto the puff pastry, all the way around. Poke a bunch of holes in the center, too. Add the creme fraiche mixture to the center and smother all around until there’s an even layer. Add the apple slices, caramelized onions, thyme leaves, Gruyere and pancetta. Brush the edges with the egg wash. Transfer the tart to the freezer for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. While the tart is in the oven, toss the arugula with a tsp. of olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Top the tart with the arugula once it comes out of the oven. Slice up and serve!

Lemon Upside Down Cake Loaf

Lemon Upside Down Cake Loaf

Lemon Upside Down Cake Loaf

2 C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp. fine-grain sea salt

4 ounces 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 white granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 T. lemon zest, from 1 lemon

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 C. buttermilk

 

3 T. unsalted butter

2 T. dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp. fine-grain sea salt

1 lemon, thinly sliced

 

Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment, butter once more and dust with a T. of flour. Set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Next, in a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, lemon zest and vanilla; and then mix until the mixture is smooth. To the butter and sugar mixture, mix in half of the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Then, mix in the remaining flour mixture, being sure not to over mix. In a small skillet, melt the 3 T. of butter over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the butter begins to brown and then mix in the brown sugar and salt; stir until the sugar begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes to cool slightly. Pour the butter/mixture into the loaf pan, spreading it around evenly. Arrange the lemon slices atop, keeping in mind how it’ll look when you flip the cake over.  Pour the batter over the lemons and spread the batter gently so it’s nice and even. Transfer the loaf pan to the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. To invert the cake, place a cooling rack on top of the loaf pan and turn both of them over; lift up the loaf pan, take off the parchment and voila! Your cake! Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before slicing.

Cheddar Bread with Bacon and Sage

Cheddar Bread with Bacon and Sage

Cheddar Bread with Bacon and Sage

 

1 T. olive oil

4 slice thick cut bacon (sliced crosswise into ½‑inch strips)

1 ¼ C. all-purpose flour

1 T. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

3 ounce English white cheddar cheese (cut into ½‑inch dice)

1 large egg

1 C. whole milk (plus more if needed)

1 T. loosely packed minced fresh sage leaves

 

Set the oven rack in the center position and preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 3 C. loaf pan or ovenproof terrine mold. Line with parchment overhanging both long sides by about 2 inches. Grease the parchment and set aside. Place the oil and bacon into a 10 to 12-inch cast iron or heavy bottom non-stick skillet, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until crisp on the edges but still chewy, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Add cheese, bacon, egg, milk, and sage; stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. You may need up to an additional 2 T. milk to achieve a consistency that remains thick but falls from the spoon when tested. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. It should come to the rim for best browning. Tap the pan a few times flatly on the counter to release any trapped air. Bake until slightly puffed and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes depending on size and shape of pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out very clean and nearly dry. Remove the bread from pan and allow it to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve alone, with butter or jam, or as the base for a savory appetizer. I suggest spicy, sautéed shrimp.  Try at breakfast with a poached egg.

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

 

2 ½ C. flour

Dash salt

2 sticks butter, softened

½ C. sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

12 mini-candy canes

 

Sift flour and salt into a bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar; beat until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add yolks and vanilla; beat until smooth. Slowly add flour mixture; beat until dough comes together. Wrap in foil; chill 1 hour. Meanwhile, put candy canes in a zip-close bag and crush them. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1-inch thick, press out shapes, and place on cookie sheets. Press candy pieces on top. Bake 10 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from sheet; cool.

 

Yield:  48 servings

Calories:  73

Fat:  4g

Fiber: 0g

Christmas Tree Squares

Christmas Tree Squares

Christmas Tree Squares

1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

11 T. (about 2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 C. granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 T. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

 

8 T. unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp. almond extract

pinch salt

4 C. confectioners’ sugar

3 to 4 T. milk

red and green food coloring

 

To prepare the dough. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Scoop mixture into a 10″ x 15″ baking pan coated with cooking spray, then spread to an even thickness. Place into the oven and bake until set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set pan on a wire rack to cool completely. To prepare the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, almond extract and salt until smooth. Mix in confectioners’ sugar. Gradually add enough milk until you get a spreadable consistency. Scoop out 1/2 C. frosting and set aside. Spread remaining frosting over the cooled slab of baked bars. Slice into 24 bars. Tint half of reserved frosting with red coloring and the other half with green. Pipe a tree design in center of each square, alternating colors every other bar.

Cinnamon Cardinal Cookies

Cinnamon Cardinal Cookies

Cinnamon Cardinal Cookies

½ C. butter, softened

½ C. packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 C.  all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon or cardamom

1/3 C. whipping cream

48 miniature chocolate chips

Red, black and yellow decorator sugar crystals

 

In large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy; stir in vanilla. In small bowl, stir together flour, soda and cinnamon. On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with cream. Divide dough in half. Wrap halves in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray or grease 2 large cookie sheets. On lightly floured surface, roll half of dough at a time about 1/8 inch thick. Using 3-inch lightly floured cardinal-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on cookie sheets. Place miniature chocolate chip on each for eye. Sprinkle top of back, crown, tail and wing of each bird with red sugar crystals, neck and eye with black sugar crystals, and beak with yellow sugar crystals. Leave bottom breast of bird without sugar. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown and set.

Ombre Sugar Cookie Bars

Ombre Sugar Cookie Bars

Ombre Sugar Cookie Bars

 

1/2 C. Butter, softened

1/2 C. sugar

1 large Egg

1 T. milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

 

2 1/4 C. powdered sugar

3/4 C. Butter, softened

1/8 tsp. salt

1 to 2 T. Heavy Whipping Cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Green food color

 

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine 1/2 C. butter, sugar, and egg in bowl. Beat at medium speed, until creamy. Add milk and 2 tsp. vanilla. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add flour and baking powder; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.  Spread into bottom of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake 23-26 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely. Combine powdered sugar, 3/4 C. butter, and 1/8 tsp. salt in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add whipping cream and 2 tsp. vanilla; continue beating until smooth. Divide frosting in half. Tint one-half with 30 drops green food color. Divide remaining white frosting in half again. Tint one-half with 6 drops green food color. Leave remaining frosting white. Dollop white frosting into center of cookie. Dollop light green frosting around white. Dollop dark green frosting around light green. Using offset spatula, carefully spread frosting in a circular motion to create ombre pattern, wiping off spatula every time it’s lifted off cookie.  Cut cookie into 12 wedges to create Christmas trees.

Baby Polar Bear Shortbread Cookies

Baby Polar Bear Shortbread Cookies

Baby Polar Bear Shortbread Cookies

1 C. butter, softened

¾ C. granulated sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon salt

2 ¼ C. Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

 

1 C. powdered sugar

3 to 5 teaspoons milk

¼ teaspoon vanilla

 

¾ C. grated white chocolate baking bar (about 1 oz from 4-oz package)

76 white vanilla baking chips, tips cut off (about 1/4 cup)

76 mini semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 teaspoons)

19 small round chocolate-covered creamy mints, cut in half

1 pouch (7 oz) Betty Crocker™ Cookie Icing chocolate icing

 

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt; beat until blended. Beat in flour gradually on low speed until soft dough forms. Shape dough into ball. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 38 circles, gently pressing together and rerolling scraps as necessary. Onto ungreased cookie sheets, place circles 2 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until edges are just beginning to brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely before decorating. In small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, 3 teaspoons milk and the vanilla until blended. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and desired consistency. To Decorate Cookies: Using knife, spread icing over cookies in thin layer. For each cookie, immediately sprinkle about 3/4 teaspoon white chocolate evenly over icing. Press into icing 2 vanilla baking chips, cut side down, for ears, 2 chocolate chips for eyes and 1 mint, cut side down, for nose. Using chocolate icing, pipe mouth.

Gâteau Breton with Raspberry Jam

Gâteau Breton with Raspberry Jam

Gâteau Breton with Raspberry Jam

1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

2 C. superfine sugar (process granulated until it is finer but NOT powdered sugar)

5 T. unsalted butter cut into small pieces and then held out of the refrigerator to soften.

5 large egg yolks

Zest of 1 orange

Several spoonfuls of your favorite jam, I didn’t measure how much I used, since this part wasn’t in the recipe. I just put some good dollops on the first layer and spread it around.

 

Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter or spray a 9 or 10″ tart/cake pan with a removable bottom and set aside. Put the flour, sugar, butter, egg yolks and orange zest into a large bowl and work all of the ingredients together with your fingers until the mixture is blended and start to hold together in a sticky dough. Divide the dough in half. Press half of the dough into the prepared cake pan. Spread several good dollops of jam on top of the dough in an even layer. Carefully press the remaining half of the dough on top of the jam, making sure it reaches to the edges. Just press in small-ish pieces of dough as you go, like you’re patching it together. Don’t just dump the dough in the center and try to press it out, or you’ll get a jammy mess. Bake for 35 minutes until it is a golden-brown color and the sides start to release from the pan. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing the bottom from the pan. Serve the same day it’s made.

Welsh Cranberry Skillet Cookies

Welsh Cranberry Skillet Cookies

Welsh Cranberry Skillet Cookies

2 C. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 3/4 C. sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick unsalted butter, diced, plus 4 T. melted

3/4 C. dried cranberries

2 large eggs

2 T. heavy cream

 

Whisk the flour, 3/4 C. sugar, the baking powder, lime zest, cardamom and salt in a medium bowl. Work in the diced butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks sandy. Stir in the dried cranberries. Lightly beat the eggs and heavy cream in a small bowl, then stir into the flour mixture to make a shaggy dough. Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap; shape into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a generously floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out circles with a 1 1/2- to 2-inch round cookie cutter; arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to cook, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Put the remaining 1 C. sugar in a medium bowl. Working in batches, brush the skillet with melted butter, then add the dough rounds. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (Brush the skillet with more butter between batches.) Toss the warm cookies in the sugar, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days; the texture actually improves after a day.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Squares

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Squares

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Squares

 

1 1/2 C. vanilla wafer crumbs

scant 1/2 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

pinch salt

6 T. unsalted butter, melted

 

1 1/4 C. mashed pumpkin

1/2 C. granulated sugar

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 C. heavy cream

16 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 large eggs

3/4 tsp. vanilla

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together wafer crumbs, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt until combined. Add butter and stir until moistened. Scoop crumbs into an 8″ square metal cake pan – firmly press crumbs down to form an even layer over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place into the oven and bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. In a medium saucepan, add mashed pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt – place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar and spices have thoroughly warmed through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cream – scoop into a small bowl and set aside until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each. Mix in vanilla. Scoop one-quarter into the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Pour back into the bowl with the cream cheese and mix just until combined. Scoop batter into the crust, smoothing the top. Place into the oven and bake until the edges are set and browned, but the center is still a bit wobbly, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Cover and place into the refrigerator to chill until firm, at least 2 hours, before cutting into squares.

Everyday Bread Dough

Everyday Bread Dough

Everyday Bread Dough

1 C. warm whole milk

1 packet instant dry yeast

1 tsp. honey

2 large eggs, beaten

4 tsp. salted butter, melted

3 1/2 to 4 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the milk, yeast, honey, eggs, butter, 31/2 C. of flour, and the salt. Beat until the flour is completely incorporated, 4 to 5 minutes. If the dough seems sticky, add the remaining V2 C. of flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 3. At this point, the dough can be used as directed within any recipe of your choice.

Ginger-Lemon Bars

Ginger-Lemon Bars

Ginger-Lemon Bars

2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

3/4 C. granulated sugar

2 T. ground ginger

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

16 T. (2 sticks or 1 cup) unsalted butter

1 large egg

1/4 C. finely chopped crystallized ginger

2 T. honey

2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

 

2 C. confectioners’ sugar

3 T. fresh lemon juice

water, if needed to thin

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder and salt. In a small saucepan, add butter and place over medium heat – cook just until melted. Immediately pour into the dry ingredients, mixing until the dough is combined. Mix in the egg, crystallized ginger, honey and zest, beating vigorously to make a smooth dough. Scoop the dough into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan coated with nonstick spray, pressing it over the bottom to form an even layer. Place pan into the oven and bake until the top is firm to the touch and lightly golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, as the bars bake, place confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl, stirring until smooth. If the glaze seems too thick to spread, stir in 1/2 tsp. water at a time, until it becomes a spreadable consistency. When the bars are done, remove the pan from the oven and place a cutting board directly on top of the pan – carefully invert the hot bars onto the board. Lift the pan away and immediately pour glaze over the bars, spreading it evenly on top. Cut into 2″ bars to serve.

PB & J Sandwich Cookies

PB & J Sandwich Cookies

PB & J Sandwich Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb. 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ peanut butter cookie mix

Vegetable oil and egg called for on cookie mix pouch

1/3 C. Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting (from 1-lb container)

2 T. peanut butter SAVE $

1/3 C. favorite jelly, jam or preserves

 

Heat oven to 375°F. Make cookies as directed on pouch, using oil and egg. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. In small bowl, stir frosting and peanut butter until smooth. For each sandwich cookie, spread generous teaspoon frosting mixture on bottom of 1 cookie; spread scant teaspoon jelly over peanut butter mixture. Top with another cookie, bottom side down.

7 Minute Crock Pot Bread

7 Minute Crock Pot Bread

7 Minute Crock Pot Bread

1 pkg. active dry yeast or instant yeast

1 T. honey

1 C. warm water

2 3/4 C. all-purpose white flour

1 T. white sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 T. olive oil

 

Parchment paper

3 paper towels

 

Mix together warm (not hot) water, yeast, and honey, and let sit for a minute for yeast to foam. Stir together flour, sugar, salt, and then mix with yeast mixture and olive oil.  Stir together with a wooden spoon. Knead for 5 minutes, either by hand or with a stand mixer and hook attachment. Do not short cut this time. Check the dough, it should be elastic, and not stick to your hands too much, and should form a nice ball. If this does not happen, knead a little longer until it reaches this stage. Line a crock pot with parchment and place ball of dough in center. Put paper towels over the top, and put the lid, very slightly ajar over that, this will help absorb some of the moisture so the top of your bread is not mushy and wet while the bottom is crispy and hard. Cook on high for an hour and a half, or until bottom is browned (You can just lift it out with the parchment to check how brown the bottom is) Remove from crock pot, put on a baking tray, and into a preheated oven set to broil on high. Broil 2-3 minutes or until you reach the desired golden brown.

Pan Bread

Pan Bread

Pan Bread

2 C. warm water

1 T. sugar or honey

1 T. yeast

4 C. flour

2 tsp. salt

melted butter

 

In a bowl dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes. Stir in flour and salt. Dough will still be sticky. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until double in size. Grease a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan. Spread dough flat onto sheet with palm of hand. Put melted butter on top. (can also sprinkle Garlic Parmesan blend, herbs, or sesame seeds on top) Cover with waxed paper and let rise again. Bake 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cut into squares.

Giant Witch Cookies

Giant Witch Cookies

Giant Witch Cookies

1 C. sugar

1 C. butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 C. Gold Medal™ flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting

3 or 4 drops green food color

3 or 4 drops yellow food color

1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting

Assorted candies for decorating, as desired

 

In large bowl, beat sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Divide dough in half; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling. Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper. Shape half of dough into 10 (1 1/2-inch) balls. On parchment-lined cookie sheets, pat each ball of dough into 4-inch circle, using floured fingers if necessary. Place 2 or 3 circles on each cookie sheet, about 9 inches apart. On floured surface, divide remaining half of dough into 2 portions. Roll each portion into 9×6-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into 4 whole triangles and 2 half triangles (see diagram).

Press 2 half triangles together to form fifth whole triangle. Cut 1/2-inch strip from top edge of each dough circle on cookie sheet; set aside. Place triangle over each cut edge of circle, covering 1/4 inch of cut edge; press to seal, aligning edge of triangle with edge of circle. Slightly bend point of “hat” if desired. Roll each 1/2-inch strip into 2 (1-inch) ropes; attach to either side of “hat” for brim. Bake 7 to 11 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden and surfaces look dry. With broad metal pancake turner, remove cookies from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Tint vanilla frosting green with green and yellow food colors. Spread on circles for witches’ faces. Spread chocolate frosting on hats. Make faces using candies.

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

2 1/2 C. cake flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 C. buttermilk, room temperature

3 T. grated lemon zest (about 3 lemons)

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3/4 C. granulated sugar

12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature

 

3 C. confectioners’ sugar

3 T. lemon juice

2 T. buttermilk

 

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a glass 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Combine flour, powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat granulated sugar and lemon zest until moist and fragrant, about 1 minute. Reserve 1/4 C. of sugar mixture; cover and set aside. Add butter to remaining sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, until incorporated. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions. Mix until smooth about 30 seconds. Scrape batter into prepared pan an smooth top. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes. For the glaze: While cake cools, whisk confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice and buttermilk until smooth. Gently spread over warm cake. Sprinkle evenly with reserved sugar. Cool completely, at least 2 hours.

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

 

2 C. (254 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C. (200 grams) granulated sugar

1 C. (200 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter

1/2 C. (120 ml) buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 C. (200 grams) peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium apples)

For the glaze:

1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter

1/4 C. (60 ml) milk

3 C. (375 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 C. salted caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)

 

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter or oil a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan or a 16-3/4 by 12-inch sheet pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter with 1 C. water and heat until the butter melts. Bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, remove from heat and add in the flour mixture. Add in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Gently stir in the apples. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 20 minutes if using a jelly roll pan, and about 17 minutes if using a half sheet pan, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 to 15 minutes. Make the glaze: Meanwhile, combine the butter and milk in a large heat-proof bowl. Microwave until the butter is melted. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until combined. Stir in the vanilla and caramel until combined. Pour evenly over the warm cake. Let set for about 15 minute before slicing and serving.

Instant Pot Proofed, No Knead Bread

Instant Pot Proofed, No Knead Bread

Instant Pot Proofed, No Knead Bread

2 C. all-purpose flour

1 C. white whole wheat flour, or regular whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt, not regular table salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast, I use fast rise yeast

1 1/2 C. lukewarm water

 

Whisk together flours, salt, and yeast in a bowl (one that will fit on the trivet in your instant pot, 1 1 ½ qt. glass pyrex bowl). Stir in water until dough comes together in a shaggy mass. Don’t stir it too much! Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in your Instant Pot on the trivet set down inside. Set Instant Pot to the “yogurt” setting (about 3.5 hours). When the time is up, place a Dutch oven (or similar oven-proof pot) in your oven and set to 450 degrees. Turn dough out of bowl onto a well-floured surface. It will be very sticky, and you may need a spatula to scrape all of the dough from the bowl. Form dough into a ball with floured hands. Loosely cover the dough ball with plastic wrap while your oven preheats. When the oven reaches 450 degrees, carefully remove the pot from the oven, place a small piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pot, and set the dough on top of the paper. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the off the lid and bake an additional 7-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Lemon Ricotta Sheet Pan Pancake

Lemon Ricotta Sheet Pan Pancake

Lemon Ricotta Sheet Pan Pancake

2 eggs

1/3 C. granulated sugar

2 T. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. vanilla

3 T. butter, melted

¾ C. milk

2cups Original Bisquick™ mix

¾ C. whole milk ricotta cheese

 

1 ½ C. heavy whipping cream

3 T. powdered sugar

1 T. orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier®

3 C. mixed fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries)

1 tsp. lemon zest

 

Heat oven to 425°F. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix all Pancake ingredients except ricotta with whisk until blended. Stir in ricotta; pour batter into pan, and spread evenly. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown and top springs back when touched in center. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix whipping cream and powdered sugar, whip to soft peaks with hand mixer. Add liqueur; whip to medium peaks and refrigerate until ready to serve. Spread whipped cream mixture over baked pancake. Spoon berries on top of whipped cream, and garnish with lemon zest; serve immediately

Savory Chicken Pocket Pies

Savory Chicken Pocket Pies

Savory Chicken Pocket Pies

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped carrot

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1 heaping cup shredded cooked chicken meat

1 large egg

1 tablespoon water

 

In a food processor, add butter, cream cheese and cream – process until smooth and combined. Add flour and salt – pulse mixture just until combined. Scoop mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to finishing bringing the dough together. Evenly divide dough into 2 pieces, then flatten each into a disk – cover both with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high. Stir in onion, celery and carrots – season with salt, then cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth – cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in cooked chicken and Parmesan cheese – remove from the heat and scoop mixture into a bowl. Place into the refrigerator to quickly cool down. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece to a large circle. Using a bowl, about 5″ across, cut out as many circles as you can. Gather all dough scraps, reroll and cut out as many circles as you can once more. Remove chilled filling from the refrigerator and place roughly 1/4 cup of the filling on one side of a dough circle. Lightly wet the edges of the dough with the water, then fold the unfilled side over to form a half circle – seal the edges together with a fork. Repeat process until all the filling and dough circles have been used. Place the assembled pies onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place into the refrigerator and chill for 10 to 15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash. Remove pan from the refrigerator and prick the top of each pie twice with a fork. Brush the egg wash over each individual pie. Place pan into the oven and bake until golden brown, about 18 to 25 minutes. Remove and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Cherry Cobbler

Cherry Cobbler

Cherry Cobbler

 

1/3 C. sugar

2 T. margarine or butter, softened

1/2 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 C. low-fat milk

2 1/2 C. fresh sweet cherries, pitted

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat sugar, margarine, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and milk in mixing bowl.  Place cherries in lightly oiled 9-inch square baking pan.  Spread flour mixture over cherries.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is brown.  Serve warm.

Peach and Thyme Polenta Tart

Peach and Thyme Polenta Tart

Peach and Thyme Polenta Tart

 

Polenta Pastry Shell

1 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 C. polenta (cornmeal)

1/4 C. white sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2/3 C. butter (11 T.), chilled and diced

1 egg, beaten

 

Filling

1 C. heavy whipping cream

10 fresh thyme sprigs

1 lemon

3 egg yolks

1/4 C. sugar

Pinch of salt

2 large firm-ripe peaches, pitted and cut into very thin slices

 

5 fresh thyme sprigs

2 T. cornmeal

1 T. sugar

 

Mix the flour, polenta, salt and sugar. Using your fingers or a food processor, work the flour mixture into the butter until the texture is coarse and crumbly, like small peas. Mix in the egg. Mix lightly until smooth, then form into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the yellow peel from the lemon, trying to avoid the white pith. Bring the cream to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Add the thyme sprigs and lemon peel. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 400°F. When the dough has chilled, work into a greased 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Let it rest for a few minutes, then bake for about 8 minutes or just until golden. Let cool. Lower the oven heat to 325°F. Strain the cream and discard the thyme and lemon peel. Whisk in the egg yolks, sugar and pinch of salt. Take the remaining 5 sprigs of thyme, and using your index finger and thumb, peel off the tiny leaves. Mix with the cornmeal and sugar. Add a splash of water and mix until loose and crumbly. Starting from the center, arrange the peach slices in an overlapping pattern in the baked tart shell. Pour the prepared custard over them and sprinkle the top with the cornmeal and thyme mixture. Bake at 325°F for about 35-40 minutes or until the peaches are tender and custard is set and slightly browned. Let cool and set for at least an hour before slicing.

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

Whether it conjures up a crusty, flavorful loaf of bread or a bubbling crock of flour/water starter, sourdough is a treasured part of many bakers’ kitchens. But where does the path to sourdough bread begin? Right in your own kitchen, with your own homemade sourdough starter.

Sourdough baking is as much art as science. The method you’ll read here for making sourdough starter isn’t an exact match for the one you read on another site, or in a cookbook, or in your great-grandma’s diary

Getting it started takes a lot of steps, but once its established, its easy to maintain and use.

1 cup (113g) whole rye (pumpernickel) or whole wheat flour

1/2 cup (113g) cool water

 

To feed your starter

 

scant 1 cup (113g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup (113g) cool water (if your house is warm), or lukewarm water (if your house is cool)

 

Day 1: Combine the pumpernickel or whole wheat flour with the cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass, crockery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic all work fine for this. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter as it grows; we recommend at least 1-quart capacity.

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 1

Stir everything together thoroughly; make sure there’s no dry flour anywhere. Cover the container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature (about 70°F) for 24 hours. See “tips,” below, for advice about growing starters in a cold house.

 

Day 2: You may see no activity at all in the first 24 hours, or you may see a bit of growth or bubbling. Either way, discard half the starter (113 grams, about 1/2 cup), and add to the remainder a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) cool water (if your house is warm); or lukewarm water (if it’s cold).

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 3

Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.

 

Perfect your technique

How to make sourdough starter-1

BLOG

How to make your own sourdough starter

BY PJ HAMEL

 

Day 3: By the third day, you’ll likely see some activity — bubbling; a fresh, fruity aroma, and some evidence of expansion. It’s now time to begin two feedings daily, as evenly spaced as your schedule allows. For each feeding, weigh out 113 grams starter; this will be a generous 1/2 cup, once it’s thoroughly stirred down. Discard any remaining starter.

 

Add a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water to the 113 grams starter. Mix the starter, flour, and water, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for approximately 12 hours before repeating.

 

Day 4: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6.

 

Day 5: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6. By the end of day #5, the starter should have at least doubled in volume. You’ll see lots of bubbles; there may be some little “rivulets” on the surface, full of finer bubbles. Also, the starter should have a tangy aroma — pleasingly acidic, but not overpowering. If your starter hasn’t risen much and isn’t showing lots of bubbles, repeat discarding and feeding every 12 hours on day 6, and day 7, if necessary — as long as it takes to create a vigorous (risen, bubbly) starter. Note: see “tips,” below.

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 8

Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but 113 grams (a generous 1/2 cup). Feed as usual. Let the starter rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours; it should be active, with bubbles breaking the surface. Hate discarding so much starter? See “tips,” below.

 

Remove however much starter you need for your recipe — typically no more than 227 grams, about 1 cup. If your recipe calls for more than 1 cup of starter, give it a couple of feedings without discarding, until you’ve made enough for your recipe plus 113 grams to keep and feed again.

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 10

Transfer the remaining 113 grams of starter to its permanent home: a crock, jar, or whatever you’d like to store it in long-term. Feed this reserved starter with 1 scant cup (113 grams) of flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water, and let it rest at room temperature for several hours, to get going, before covering it. If you’re storing starter in a screw-top jar, screw the top on loosely rather than airtight.

 

Store this starter in the refrigerator, and feed it regularly; we recommend feeding it with a scant 1 cup (113 grams) flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water once a week.

 

Tips from our Bakers

Why do you need to discard half the starter? It seems so wasteful… But unless you discard starter at some point, eventually you’ll end up with a very large container of starter. Also, keeping the volume down offers the yeast more food to eat each time you feed it; it’s not fighting with quite so many other little yeast cells to get enough to eat. You don’t have to actually discard it if you don’t want to, either; you can give it to a friend, or use it to bake. There are quite a few recipes on our site using “discard” starter, including pizza crust, pretzels, and waffles, and even chocolate cake. If you’re still uncomfortable dealing with discard, though, try maintaining a smaller starter: the smaller the starter, the smaller the amount of discard.

 

Why does this starter begin with whole-grain flour? Because the wild yeast that gives sourdough starter its life is more likely to be found in the flora- and fauna-rich environment of a whole-grain flour than in all-purpose flour. What if all you have is all-purpose flour, no whole wheat? Go ahead and use all-purpose; you may find the starter simply takes a little longer to get going. Also, if you feed your starter on a long-term basis with anything other than the all-purpose flour called for here, it will probably look different (thicker or thinner, a different color) and act differently as well. Not to say you can’t feed your starter with alternate flours; just that the results may not be what you expect.

Hawaiian Guava Cake

Hawaiian Guava Cake

Hawaiian Guava Cake

2 1/2 C. cake flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 C. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 C. sugar

6 large egg whites

1/4 C. neutral oil

1 C. whole milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 C. guava puree or guava concentrate

3 squeezes of red gel coloring (optional)

 

for the frosting:

1 C. heavy whipping cream

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 C. sugar

pinch of kosher salt

2 squeezes of red gel food coloring (optional)

1/2 C. guava puree or guava concentrate

 

  1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with parchment, leaving some overhang on the long sides.

 

  1. In a bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and kosher salt, whisking until combined. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add the egg whites, in three additions, beating each addition until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the oil and mix until combined, about 1 minute more. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla, guava puree, and food coloring (if using). On low speed, alternate between adding the wet and dry ingredients, mixing each until combined before adding the next addition.

 

  1. Pour the mixture into the parchment-lined pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

  1. To make the frosting, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until frothy. Gradually increase the speed to high and whip until it’s light and fluffy with stiff peaks, another 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t overwhip! Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl. Replace the bowl on a stand mixer and fit the machine with the paddle attachment; there’s no need to clean the bowl. Place the cream cheese in the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth. Add the sugar and kosher salt and increase the speed to high. Beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the food coloring, if desired. Gradually pour in the guava puree in four additions, making sure the puree is fully incorporated after every addition. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula after the second and final addition. Increase the speed to high and beat until smooth and well incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the stand and, using the spatula, fold in the whipped cream in three additions, incorporating completely after each addition.

 

  1. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake, using an offset spatula to smooth it over the edges, and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Cut into twenty-four pieces and serve immediately.
LTS Apple Coffee Cake

LTS Apple Coffee Cake

LTS Apple Coffee Cake

 

1 C. dried Apple Slices

Water for Soaking

3 C. Flour

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/3 C. Whole Egg Powder

1 ½ C. Sugar

½ C. Shortening

1 ½ C. Water

 

Topping:

2/3 C. Brown Sugar

½ C. Flour

¾ C. Butter Powder

1 tsp. Cinnamon

2 T. Water

 

 

Break up apples into small pieces. Cover with 1-2 C. boiling water, let sit, covered, 15 minutes until softened.  Meanwhile, make topping in separate bowl.  Combine all dry topping ingredients, and mix in water with a fork until topping is crumbly like coarse meal.  Drain apples and return to bowl. Blend in all remaining cake ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle the top with topping mix. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

Perfect Pear and Vanilla Muffins Recipe

Perfect Pear and Vanilla Muffins Recipe

Perfect Pear and Vanilla Muffins Recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. sea salt

2 large eggs

1 1/2 T. vanilla extract

1 T. lemon zest

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

11 T. unsalted butter, melted

1 cup unsweetened applesauce or pear sauce

1 to 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced, for muffin tops

2 T. vanilla sugar, for muffin tops

 

Position an oven rack in middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin pan or line with paper cups. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest and brown sugar until blended. Stir in the melted butter, a little at a time, whisking until mixture is creamy. Stir in the applesauce, then fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined. Divide batter among muffin cups then lightly push a few slices of pear into the top of each muffin. Sprinkle tops with a dusting of vanilla sugar. Bake the muffins until risen and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack.

 

LTS Bread Sticks

LTS Bread Sticks

LTS Bread Sticks

 

3 ½ C. Flour, Divided

2 T. Sugar

1 tsp. Salt

1 T. Yeast

1 1.2 C. Hot Water

Shortening for greasing pan

Toppings, optional – seeds, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, etc.

 

Add sugar, salt, and yeast to 2 cups flour and toss.  Stir in 1 ½ C. hot water.  Slowly add 1 ½ C. more flour.  Knead 10 minutes.  Allow to rise until double.  Roll into rectangle, cut in 1 inch strips.  Twist and place on greased baking sheet.

LTS Whole Grain Bread with Barley Flour

LTS Whole Grain Bread with Barley Flour

LTS Whole Grain Bread with Barley Flour

Good, heavy, dense bread for open face sandwiches and fancy toast.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups barley flour

2 to 4 cups whole wheat flour, divided

1 tablespoon shortening,, melted (butter is better flavor, if it’s on hand)

In a small bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast in the warm water and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, or until foamy. Stir in the honey and salt until incorporated. Using a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the barley flour, 2 cups of the whole wheat flour, yeast mixture, and the butter for 5 to 6 minutes on medium slow, or until all the flour is incorporated. Remove the dough from the mixer and put it on a well-floured (with whole wheat flour) work surface. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes, until the dough is elastic and smooth. Add as much whole wheat flour as necessary, but don’t incorporate more than another 2 cups here. The dough will be tacky to the touch. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel, and set in a warm spot until it doubles in size, usually about 2 to 4 hours. Punch down the dough and place it in a loaf pan (approximately 9 inches by 5 inches). Cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel and let the dough rise a second time, until it hits the top of the pan, usually another 1 to 2 hours. (If you do not have a loaf pan, free-form a batard-shaped loaf, put it on a sheet pan, and cover as directed.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the loaf pan on the center rack and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes, or until the bread browns lightly. The loaf should fall easily from the pan when tapped and sound hollow when you knock on the bottom. Cool slightly before serving.  PANTRY NOTE: When possible, store baked whole grain bread in a plastic bag in your fridge, where it will keep for about two weeks. If the bread turns stale, slice it thin and bake for 7 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees for a crispy homemade crostini. You can also store baked bread in a plastic bag in the freezer, where it will keep for two to three months.

Key Lime Cake

Key Lime Cake

Key Lime Cake

Cake:

1 package moist deluxe yellow or lemon cake mix

1 small package lemon instant pudding and pie filling

4 eggs

1 C. vegetable oil

3/4 C. water

1/4 C. key lime juice, fresh or bottled

Glaze:

2 C. confectioners’ sugar

1/3 C. key lime juice

2 T. water

2 T. melted butter

Garnish:

Confectioners’ sugar

Key lime slices

Mint

 

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt or tube pan. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, water and 1/4 C. key lime juice in large bowl and beat with electric mixer on low speed until ingredients are moistened and mixed well. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 20 minutes, invert cake onto cooking rack and poke holes with skewer or long tined-fork. Place cake on cake plate or serving plate. Combine glaze ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour glaze slowly over top of warm cake. Finish cooling cake. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Garnish plate with key lime slices.

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

4 large Egg Whites

¼ tsp. Cream of Tartar

1 ½ C. Sugar

2 ½ unbleached All-Purpose Flour

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1 ½ tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

1 ½ C. Buttermilk

¼ C. Canola Oil

1 T. Vanilla Extract

1 C. mini Dark Chocolate Chips, divided

2 T. 1% Milk

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly oil a 12 C. bundt pan. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer on low speed until foamy.  Add cream of tartar, increase speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add ½ C. sugar, beating until stiff, but not dry, about 5 minutes.  In another bowl, combine remaining C. sugar with flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  With mixer on medium speed, beat in buttermilk, oil vanilla, and a heaping spoonful of egg whites.  Fold in remaining egg whites and ½ C. chocolate chips.  Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until skewer inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Invert onto rack and let cool completely.  To make icing, combine 1/3 C. chocolate chips with milk in small saucepan.  heat over very low heat, stirring until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Drizzle over cake and let stand about 30 minutes before slicing.