Tag Archives: baking

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Somehow this post got erased, even though I wrote it before. No matter, I’ll write it again..

It started off with something to the effect of a rant about how almond poppyseed muffins and mixes aren’t available here, so I had to make my own. Lemon poppyseed isn’t the same. So I went through a few recipes and decided on this one with a few modifications. I also halved it to make 12 instead of 24 because 24 muffins would be so many.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups flour
1.25 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
~1/2 cup vegetable oil (this suggests much more oil, but I think that makes it too oily)
~1.5 eggs (as close as you can get)
1 teaspoon almond extract (or more)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or more)
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (or more, to your preferred amount)

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line your muffin pan. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

all the dry stuff

 

2. Add your milk, eggs, oil and extracts to preference. Add more for more flavorful muffins. Stir to combine.

mixxxxxxed

 

3. Stir in your poppy seeds.

poppies

 

4. Fill muffin pan carefully and bake for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Mine took about 27 minutes.

batter

 

baked

 

5. Enjoy! These are so easy to make. 😀

muffinnssssss

 

Post & photos by: Melissa

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Asiago Cheese Bagels (1st attempt at bagels)

I love bagels and asiago cheese. So asiago cheese bagels are the best! I’ve been intimidated by making my own bagels for some time, and interested in baking bread, so I thought I’d give it a try when I saw this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, How Sweet it Is.

I have to admit that as a first attempt this did not turn out perfectly. I also halved the recipe, because this was supposed to make 12-15 bagels and I certainly don’t need that many. I ended up with 6, though one was horribly misshapen and they all ended up more like mini asiago flatbreads. But they had the right texture and taste for asiago bagels, even though they did not have the full roundness of a bagel. I think I would try a different shaping method next time, but overall I’m satisfied with the flavor, if not the look, of these “bagels.” This is also the first time I’ve used bread flour. And as a last note on the recipe, I also do not have a fancy mixer (so I used a spoon.) Because I’ve posted the link to the recipe, I’m going to simply list the ingredients and my step-by-step simple instructions with pictures here, but recommend referring back to the original recipe for best results (hopefully even better than mine!)

Ingredients:

10-12 oz. grated asiago cheese
2 cups warm water
2 packets active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons honey
3 cups all-purpose flour
2.5 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
vegetable oil for brushing/coating

Recipe:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey and stir to combine. Let sit about 10-15 minutes, or until foamy. 

foamy

2. Once foamy, gradually add salt, 2 cups of all-purpose flour, and 2 cups of bread flour while mixing at a low speed. If dough remains sticky after around 5 minutes, add remaining bread flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and combine.

3. Remove dough from bowl and knead a few times, and form into a ball. Add remaining all-purpose flour if dough is still sticky. Brush a large bowl with oil and place dough inside, turning to coat. Leave in a warm place for one hour, until dough has doubled in size.

coated in oil

4. Once dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide dough into 12-15 equal pieces that are about 2.5-3 oz each. Roll dough into balls and place on oiled baking sheet. Cover and let rise about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. After 30 minutes, fill a large pot with water and the brown sugar and slowly heat it to boiling. While it’s not too hot, add a dough ball and poke  hole in the middle with your finger, then gently twirl to create a bagel shape. Re-place on cookie sheet while you wait for the water to boil. Repeat with all bagels.

6. After water is boiling, add bagel to water and boil 2 minutes on one side, then flip and boil 30 seconds on the other. Remove and press gently in the cheese to coat, then re-place on cookie sheet for final baking. Repeat for all bagels.

full of cheese

so cheeeeeesy

7. Bake for around 28-35 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bagels are done when dough is cooked and cheese is golden and crisp.

and here she is, ms. america (I mean asiago bagels...)

there they are!

Trust me, they taste great! I’ve had two already and it’s only been one day. But I won’t be continuing at this rate, don’t worry!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Macarons: Success

After the last attempt I decided to try a recipe that actually included the measures of ingredients in cups, as I don’t have a kitchen scale, and this time it worked out (for the most part, a few of the shells were still hollow so I’m in the process of perfecting it.) But I decided to do a post on the recipe, in the hopes that it will show how I’ve corrected from what I did last time. I made the same nutella-chocolate filling as last time, so if you’d like to see that click here. This time I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the cookies, although I altered the cooking time/temperature a little due to paranoia that I would burn them. This makes about 10 macarons (20 halves.)

Ingredients:

1.25 cups plus 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 cup (4 oz) almond flour
6 Tablespoons egg whites (3 large eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (although honestly how long does an oven take to heat up, I don’t think it’s necessary to do this as the very first step, considering how long it takes to whisk the egg whites, I think it’s a waste of electricity, just keep it in mind for a later.)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour and powdered sugar.

apart

 

together

 

3. Separate your egg whites into another bowl. Whisk until frothy/foamy. This time I was very careful not to get any yolk in here…

egg whites

 

4. Gradually add your granulated sugar while whisking (so much easier with an electric mixer than by hand) and continue whisking until the white mixture forms stiff peaks.

peaking

 

5. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into your meringue until fully incorporated.

folded

 

6. Pipe your batter onto  parchment paper/wax paper or a Silpat on a cookie sheet. Make evenly spaced, similar-sized circles. Lift the cookie sheet and drop it lightly a few times after you’re done piping, in order to spread and remove air bubbles from the batter. This makes about 20 cookies halves, or 10 macarons.

allow to rest

 

7. Allow to rest about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is no longer sticky/shiny and a skin forms over the tops. Then bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Check cookies every 3 minutes after that point. They are done when the top is hard and the bottom slides against the baking surface and removes easily (though you may need a spatula to remove them, still.)

baked them

 

they're cute

 

they're cute

 

8. Pipe/spoon in your desired filling and sandwich it up!

finished cookie

 

enjoy

 

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa


Chocolate chip cookies

Recently I made some chocolate chip cookies, inspired by this youtube video.

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly and I wasn’t able to make them as perfect-looking as he could, but I’m not a professionally trained chef and I will attest to the fact that they were the best-tasting chocolate chip cookies that I’ve ever made from scratch. If you’re interested in the recipe, keep reading!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup butter (8 oz=1 cup=2 sticks of butter) ROOM TEMPERATURE
2&1/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons of water
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or any amount you wish to use in the cookies)

Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugars (brown and regular granulated) together in a bowl (use a mixer if you can, otherwise this takes so much arm strength. I finally used a hand mixer after my arm started to hurt from using a fork, which works but is the wrong approach.)

butter in a bowl

butter and the sugars

mashed more than "creamed"

2. Add your flour and mix until lightly incorporated.

so much flour

incorporate that

3. Add your egg yolk and mix.

egg yolk

4. Add your vanilla and salt, and mix to incorporate.

vanilla smells so good

dough looks decent

5. Add your baking soda, stirred into/dissolved in the water.

just this much

6. Refrigerate dough if desired, around 30 minutes to make it easier to work with. If not, go ahead and roll out dough balls. I’m using my Silpat again here (as seen in use here) but you can use wax paper, pam, etc. to keep them from sticking.

dough balls

7. Flatten dough balls with the palm of your hand.

flat little cookies

8. Add your chocolate chips.

looks great right?

9. Now, I don’t know why, but these spread like CRAZY and didn’t look perfect. You’ll just have to see what works best for you… Bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes, I baked them for 10/batch and let cool on sheet for two minutes before placing on a baking rack to fully solidify.

why do they look so crazy

10. Let cool completely.

cool, cool, cool

11. Enjoy your cookies!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


SO MANY pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Recipe courtesy of George Duran: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/george-duran/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/index.html

I made these last year with Colin but we forgot to blog them, even though we took pictures! So I figured I would put them up this year as I bake them in the morning on Thanksgiving Eve (if that’ s a thing.) I did change the recipe just a little, so go ahead and read below if you want my slightly altered version.

Also, a word of warning YOU CANNOT BELIEVE HOW MANY COOKIES THIS MAKES. If you would like a reasonable number, halve this recipe. (In fact, the recipe says 60 but I think mine made slightly less because the cookies were of dissimilar sizes.)

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 oz. canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
11.5 oz bag milk chocolate chips, not semisweet

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven t0 350 degrees. Beat the softened butter.

2. Slowly add the white and brown sugar and combine with the butter until smooth.

3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix in.

4. Mix in the vanilla.

5. Add in your pumpkin (fresh or canned.)

6. Prepare the flour and spice mixture. (Flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg)
If you have a bowl, go ahead and use that. I have one large mixing bowl so I had to get creative.

7. Combine the flour mixture in, 1/3 at a time. Stir well. This gets really thick and hard to stir so take breaks or share the effort if you can.

 

8. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

9. Scoop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased or wax-papered cookie sheet.

10. Bake for ~15 minutes or until cookies are slightly browned around the edges and are not a big pain to get off the cookie sheet with a spatula.

Keep in mind they will expand, so make them smaller and farther apart than I did!

This recipe makes a bunch of cookies, so be sure to share!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Raspberry bars

As promised here are some delicious raspberry bars made with jam that we picked at a U-pick farm in Ferndale. These bars are the perfect snack, dessert or maybe even breakfast!

Ingredients:
2.75 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely chopped pecans (praline or normal)
1 cup melted butter
1 egg 

Step 1. Chop up pecans ahead of time. Make them pretty small like below. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2. Combine pecans, sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl.

Step. 3 Melt butter and add to mixture with egg.

Step. 4 Mix all ingredients together till it forms a crumbly, but moist dough that sticks together.

Step 5. Press mixture to bottom of greased baking dish. A casserole dish works great for this. Set aside 1.5 cups of the mixture to crumble on top.

Step 6. Add jam and spread to edges. Leave about 1/3 inch on the sides, the jam will spread to it.

Step. 7 Crumble 1/2 cup on top cover all jam and the sides.

Step 8. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until crumbs are golden brown. Check around 30 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning. After it’s done take out and let it sit for 3 hours and then cut in pan and enjoy.

Post by Colin
Photos by Colin and Melissa


Perfect Pie Crust! (With pictures)

I may have cheated, because this is from a book. I have no claim to this recipe, but as it is the best I have come across and produces the best results I thought I would share. Summer is perfect for pies! 😀

Cut the lard into the flour.

Add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough is non-sticky and easily holds together.

Flour the cutting board and place the ball of dough on top.

Roll out the pie dough very thin, but not to the point of breaking.

It should be larger than the pie pan. Fold in quarters gently and place in pan.

Spread the pie crust out and spread with egg to keep golden brown. Pinch edges to desired size. Then just bake it! Be clear that with 2 crusts you want to poke holes in the top crust to allow it to vent while baking and cool down after. Otherwise, have fun making pies! (Also, if you want to bake a sweet pie you can add cinnamon to the dough.) Another option is using this crust for mini-fruit pies which you could make in a cupcake pan.

Pictures by: Melissa Rook and Colin Diltz
Post by: Melissa Rook