Posts tagged ‘Baking’

December 23, 2011

A Christmas Tradition | Santa Cookies

We’ve been making these in my family as long as I can remember.  Even when Momma’s old cookie cutter was almost broken in half, we – but perhaps more kindly she – still managed to turn out dozens upon dozens of these intricate, almond-y cookies.

Fast forward to the age of the internet and a quick Google search can help you turn up just about anything.  Even a replacement (or three – one for her, one for me and one for my sister) for a thirty-year old cookie mold.  The Merry Christmas set has this mold in it.

So start a tradition in your house with these.  Charming as well as tasty, they are entirely worth all the effort.

Playlist included Little Saint Nick, by She and Him.

August 17, 2011

New Friends, New Endeavors | Baking Brioche

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I have, admittedly, had trouble baking bread.  After a couple of missed attempts, I now tend towards simple recipes that are somewhat fail proof.

I am grateful to Dave, my new friend who is quite the talented baker (and thinker, improver and eater) for offering me a lesson.   So this past Saturday morning, he opened his kitchen (and his home, quite frankly, because Cherub tagged along and she explores just about everywhere) and gave me a course in bread baking 101 (he also fed me and Cherub lunch, natch, lucky us!).

I choose to tackle brioche.  Because I mean, come on.  Butter, eggs.  In bread?  It’s heaven.  It makes the most fabulous toast.  Not to mention French toast. 

July 18, 2011

Sweet Bites | Sour Cream Cherry Pound Cake

This is the last of them.  I think.  Well, there are still some in the freezer.  But there were twenty pounds of them (just my portion).  And this cake – maybe – is my favorite way to eat them.  The cherries, that is.  But I do love them pickled, too.

I made this last night after Cherub went to bed.  It was my way of unwinding after kind of a tough day.  I find satisfaction – if not a bit of peace – in the measuring, pouring, mixing, folding, testing, cooling, wrapping that it takes to make this cake.  Or any cake, really.  It takes only a few minutes to measure things out, then an hour in the oven to home-baked goodness.  The crumb is dense, the cherries jammy, the crust golden and crisp.  It’s a classic pound cake.

I originally came across this recipe somewhere in the depths of the interwebs, but halved it to fit in one 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 loaf pan and subbed fresh cherries for (gasp!) jarred maraschinos.  A bit more fiddling and I had cake.

Sour Cream Cherry Pound Cake, makes one 9.25 x 5.25 loaf

1 1/2 c all purpose flour

June 13, 2011

Backyard Foraging | Juneberry Muffins

It is a great pleasure to identify edible plants, trees and flowers to include in my culinary endeavors.  Most recently I rang my neighbor’s doorbell to ask if he wouldn’t mind if I picked a few bowls of berries from his Juneberry tree (a.k.a., saskatoon, shadbush, sugar plum, service berry, et al) in return for some baked goods and perhaps a cocktail, some jam and maybe some ice cream, or a cobbler.  The possibilities are endless.  He didn’t say no.

This recipe is not for a sugary sweet cupcake that masquerades as a muffin.  No, these are delicate-crumbed cakes – almost savory –  plump with jammy berries and a whisper of almond, echoing the notes of the berries’ seeds.

Old Fashioned Juneberry Muffins, makes 10, adapted from James Beard

2 c. sifted flour (I used unbleached all purpose)

1/2 c sugar

1 T baking powder

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