Baking

Blueberry Crisp

A few weeks ago, we had family visiting from New England.  They brought some lovely New England blueberries.  Yumm!  I made this very easy blueberry crisp from my favorite baking book, The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.  According to them, crisps and crumbles are not the same.  A crumble has oatmeal in the topping, while crisps do not.  I love that I don’t need to bother with pastry.  This was so quick and easy. Click on the title for a printable version.

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Blueberry crisp

Filling

2 pints (4 generous cups, about 24 ounces) blueberries, cleaned and stemmed

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar

1/4 cup (1 ounce) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons lemon juice, or 2 drops of lemon oil

Topping

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 5 ounces) butter melted

1 cup (3 1/2 to 4 ounces) walnuts or pecans, chopped

Grease and flour a 9-inch ie pan.  Preheat oven to 350°F

Filling: Put the berries in the pan.  Mix the sugar, flour, salt, and lemon together, and sprinkle this mixture over the berries.

Topping: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, melted butter, and nuts.  Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.

Bake the crisp for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden and the filling is bubbly.  Cool slightly, then serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or pouring cream.

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Baking

Our Favorite Pancakes

This is for my sister-in-law who has just moved to the US from the UK.  She was asking me for a good pancake recipe.  This is our all time favorite version.  It is from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion, one of my favorite cookbooks.  They call it “The Simple But Perfect Pancake”, and it truly is.  Because I work, I usually make the batter the night before.  It keeps well in the refrigerator over night.  I have actually left it a few nights, and it has still been okay.  It is best used the same morning, but my life does not usually lend itself to that.  So, here it is… (Click Simple but Perfect Pancakes for a printable copy)

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract  (not the imitation kind, but the true vanilla extract)

3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter, melted (I usually use unsalted)

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour (I usually use the King Arthur Flour make)

3/4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

I usually start by melting the butter in the microwave, so it is slightly cooled before I add it.

Beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla until light and foamy, about three minutes at high speed of a stand mixer or hand mixer.  Stir in the butter.

Wish the dry ingredients together to evenly distribute the salt, baking powder and sugar.  Gently and quickly mix into the egg and milk mixture.  Let the batter relax while the griddle is heating (or overnight in the refrigerator).  The batter will thicken slightly while resting.

Grease and preheat the griddle.  The griddle is ready if a drop of water will skitter across the surface, evaporating immediately.  If you have an electric griddle (I do not), set the temperature between 325° and 350°F.  Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the lightly greased griddle.  (I use my cupcake scoop).  Cook on one side until bubbles begin to form and break.*** Then turn the pancake and cook the other side until brown.  Turn over only once, and resist the urge to push down on the pancake with spatula.  you do not want to squish out air, as these are so light and fluffy from the beating of the eggs and milk.

***the pancake is ready to turn when the edges begin to look dry and bubbles form and start to break.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do, and I hope my sister-in-law enjoys making them, maybe with a little help from my nephew.

Baking

Tie dye cupcakes

My daughter is obsessed with the Cake Boss. She has also started watching his offshoot show, Bakery Boss, I think it is called. Last week she was watching one where Buddy went into a bakery in Endwell, NY, near Binghamton, my old college stomping ground. Their signature look is tie dye! Well, who wouldn’t want to try that? So today, we attempted tie dye cupcakes. As time was short, and these were just on a whim, just for fun cupcakes, I have to admit I bought a box of cake mix and frosting. The objective was tie dye cupcakes, not quality baking. Sophia gets these ideas, and needs to execute them on an almost immediate basis. Patient, she is not.

Batter
Batter

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Tie Dye cupcakes
Tie Dye cupcakes
Baking · Cookie of the Week · Every day life

First blizzard of 2014

Last night brought in blizzard Hercules. My kids are still in winter vacation, but for me, it was a true snow day. No snowmen this time as it is terrible packing snow, but it was great for sump sledding, hot tea, and home baked cookies.

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Baking · Christmas · Cookie of the Week

Peppermint bark and cookies

I found this lovely looking recipe for peppermint cookies on bakerella. No doubt about it, this was going to be my cookie of the holidays! I went to target, and bought many bags of M&Ms. Then I read the recipe. Two tablespoons of coffee. Oh well, my kids were not going to be sleeping much this vacation anyway! I made some for the Christmas party at work, along with peppermint bark. I always make lots of peppermint bark at Christmas. Three batches this year. It is so easy. I line a rimmed cookie tray with aluminum foil. Then I melt two bags of chocolate chips over a double boiler. I add two tsp. of pure peppermint extract, and pour it onto the lined cookie tray, spreading it around. Pop it into the freezer for an hour. Crush four or five candy canes. This year I did it in my little chopper. I used to put them in a zip lock bag and hammer with a rolling pin, but the bag always got holes. Once the chocolate has hardened, I melt two bags of white chocolate, pour in half of the crushed candy cane, and pour on top of the milk chocolate. Then I sprinkle the rest of the peppermint on top, pushing it into the soft white chocolate. Back into the freezer. After another hour or so, you are ready to take it out an break it up. Yumm!

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Baking · Cookie of the Week

School cookies

For today, our first day of school, we have these for snack. The cookies that I let dry for a full day have a much smoother icing. Some, the squares, I iced after a few hours. You can see the difference. Let’s hope this is a good year for all of us.

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Baking · Cookie of the Week

Lemon and lime cookies

It was my plan to conquer a lot of my craft ” to do” list this summer…you know, actually make some of those things I pinned! Well….that didn’t work out. Mostly because I was busy with my graduate classes. But they are done, and I have one more week of summer vacation. <<<>>>. As I try to hold on to summer just a little bit longer, I present these: lemon and lime cookies to go with the gin and tonic. I am hoping to improve my cookie decorating skills in the months and years to come, so they are not perfect. The sugar actually distracts from the imperfections a little. What do you think?

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