Sunday, April 10, 2016

Very Cherry Pie

Tried making a cherry pie for the first time after having found nice tasting frozen, pitted, dark cherries at the local grocery. They've been a pleasant change to oatmeal in the morning. Normally cherry pie is too sweet or too gloppy but I found a combo of recipes that I wanted to try. This comes out not too sweet at all, and the crust is fun to eat in star form. I probably over mixed it but given the hint of coconut and the thick shapes it was a bit like shortbread. Yes those are little stars around big stars around a sweater vest!

Crust

  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c coconut flour (or substitute almond flour)
  • 1 c butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t sugar
  • 6-10 T water, ice cold

Filling

  • 32 oz pitted frozen dark/sweet cherries
  • 8 oz mixed frozen berries (I used strawberries and raspberries)
  • 3 T sugar
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 4 T tapioca flour (can sub cornstarch)
  • ~1 t butter
  1. Cut the butter into 1/2" cubes and freeze for 15-30 min.
  2. In a food processor, mix the flours, salt and sugar.
  3. Pulse the butter in just until lumpy.
  4. Add a 1/4 c water and pulse. Add in remaining water through spout until finely coarse. 
  5. Turn out into bowl and divide into 2 uneven pieces. Place each piece in saran wrap and flatten to disc. Refrigerate at least 30 min.
  6. For filling, thaw berries in large bowl.
  7. Add the sugar, juice and tapioca flour. Stir well. Let sit 15 minutes.
  8. Roll larger dough piece into pie plate. Smooth out edges.
  9. Fill with cherry mixture. Dot with butter.
  10. Roll the smaller dough piece and cut out shapes, placing on top of filling.
  11. Cover edges with foil. Place tray with parchment paper on lower rack.
  12. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes on middle rack. Remove foil and continue to bake until bubbly and crust is nicely browned. NOTE: This took well over 40 minutes for me at 350. It could be my oven runs low. I was out of patience waiting for it. A toothpick test showed some of the cherries were done and others were al dante. I was not too particular about having a perfect pie so a pie with bite is ok with me.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Craisin Chocolate Brandy Bread

Based on Cranberry Eggnog loaf from 300 best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes book. Used maple syrup instead of honey, replaced some of craisins with chocolate chips and used raspberry brandy. Tastes great day of - brandy is noticeable, nutmeg was not. Chips melted in and turned bread brown, craisins stayed bigger.

  • 3/4 c milk, room temp
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T brandy
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 T butter, room temp
  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1.5 t nutmeg
  • 1 t yeast
  • 3/4 c craisins and chocolate chips
  1. Measure all ingredients except craisins and chips into bread machine. Set to Sweet Cycle, 1.5 pound loaf.
  2. Add sweets at beep signal.
  3. Let cool.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies

Based on a recipe from a healthy cookbook. Didn't have whole wheat flour or wheat germ, and ran out of canola oil so used part vegetable oil that someone left in the house. They are only lightly sweet. A chunky pb might add a nice texture for next time. Just plopped dough for the first batch (top of picture) and rolled and fork flattened for second batch (bottom of picture).

  • 3/4 c natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  1. Combine pb and oil. Use electric mixer to combine well.
  2. Mix in egg.
  3. Add brown sugar and mix.
  4. Add water and vanilla. Mix again.
  5. Add cocoa and stir gently. Mix on low speed (to prevent cocoa spraying out).
  6. In separate bowl, combine flour, soda and cinnamon. Stir into wet ingredients.
  7. Spoon onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Optional: Roll lightly and flatten with fork.
  8. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Remove to cooling rack.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Challah

This one is based on the Challah from the best canadian bread machine recipes book. XBD requested French Toast for breakfast so we made the bread the day before (since shops are closed on Easter). Turned out pretty well.  Very easy to throw together in separate stages built around XBD and MM life. Made 4 eggs worth of french toast. ****
4/23/16 Made this again and used 2/3 T water for the glaze and it came out a nicer, darker color. Also baked at 400 for 20 min before noticing it was too high a temperature. Was done after 30 min. Used for french toast in the morning again.
  • 1 c water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1.25 t salt
  • 3 T butter, room temp
  • 3 2/3 c flour
  • 1 t yeast
  • Glaze: one egg yolk + 1 T water
  1. Add ingredients to bread machine pan and set to dough cycle. 
  2. Turn out onto well floured surface and let rest covered for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Divide into 3/5 and 2/5. Divide each into 3 strands about 1" in diameter. Braid each set with tapered ends. Place bigger braid on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Place smaller braid on top. 
  4. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30-45 min). 
  5. Preheat oven to 375F. 
  6. Combine one egg yolk with 1 T water (or try less next time). Brush dough.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  8. Let cool. 
  9. Slice for French Toast in the morning or eat plain.

Challah by starter *

3/31/16 Based on recipe from Rustic European Breads From Your Bread Machine. The appeal is using a starter dough done in the bread machine that has lots of flexibility on timing. Fun to make, however, the taste is not to my liking. I like a deeper colored bread and wouldn't use so much water in the glaze next time. It came out very pale. ...after more than a week no one finished this bread. Reducing to 1 *. Will not make again.
  • 3 c flour, divided
  • 1 c water
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 T yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T butter
  • glaze: 1 egg yolk + 2 T water
  1. Add half the flour, water, sugar and yeast to bread machine. Set to dough cycle. Then let sit for 8-24 hours.
  2. Add remaining flour, egg, salt and butter. Set to dough cycle again.
  3. Remove to floured surface and lightly knead for a few seconds. Cover with bread pan for 10 minutes.
  4. Divide into 3 pieces. Shape into 16" long strips about 1" in diameter.
  5. Braid on top of parchment paper.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
  7. Brush with glaze just before baking.
  8. Bake at 350F for 40-50 min until golden. *Note, I raised temperature to 375 for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool on rack.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Berry Pie

Made a pie on pi day finally. Easy and delicious. Only had a handful of blueberries so subbed more frozen strawberries and raspberries. Not too sweet.
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2/3 c butter
  • 6-8 T water
Filling
  • 2 c raspberries
  • 1 c sliced strawberries
  • 1.5 c blueberries
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 cornstarch
  • cinnamon
  1. If using frozen berries, measure berries and let sit in large bowl.
  2. Combine flour and salt in food processor. Briefly blend in butter. Add cold water and blitz until powdery but not lumpy. Smoosh with hands, separate in half, wrap pieces in saran wrap and chill for at least 30 min.
  3. Combine sugar and cornstarch. Set aside ~1 T. Sprinkle remaining over [drained] berries. Sprinkle in cinnamon. Mix to combine. Let sit 15 minutes.
  4. Roll one dough piece to fit pie pan. Return to fridge.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F. Place lined baking tray on lower shelf to catch drippings.
  6. To finish, sprinkle 1 T sugar mixture on bottom pie crust. Pour in berries and spread evenly. Roll out second dough piece. Layer on top and seal edges.
  7. Cut out vents. Cover edges with foil. Bake for 25 min [or 40 min if using frozen fruit].
  8. Remove foil and bake an additional 30-40 min until filling is bubbling and crust is golden.

Variations

Use blackberries.
Lemon juice.
Cut out shapes from top crust or do lattice.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Swedish Cinnamon Star Bread

Such a beautiful bread, had to give it a try. Very easy to put together as long as you don't have kids on you.
12/18/16 Made this again. Did not bother with cutting out circle shapes - just made as close to circle as I could for each of 4. Turned out great. Needed a bit of extra milk.
Jan 2017: Made again, using simplified method. Updating below.
  • 1.25 c milk, warm (orig 1c + 2-4 T)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T butter, softened
  • 3.5 c flour
  • 2 t yeast
  • 1 egg white (for topping)
  • 1/3 c butter, softened
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 3 T cinnamon
  1. Place milk through yeast in bread machine and set to dough cycle. Add more milk or flour to get soft dough. Optional: take a 1.5-3 hour nap.
  2. Prepare filling: mix butter, sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Divide dough into 4 pieces. 
  4. Roll each into large circle the size of a plate (or larger).
  5. New: Place circle on parchment paper on baking sheet.
  6. Spread 1/3 filling onto one circle. Layer each circle on top, alternately spreading filling, and ending with one dough circle.
  7. Optional: Put plate on top and cut off excess edge.
  8. [See step 5 instead: Move to baking pan lined with parchment.]
  9. Place small lid in center and cut from lid to edge into 16 equal pieces.
  10. Grab 2 side by side pieces and twist in opposite directions, flipping twice. Repeat all the way around.
  11. Join pairs by the edges and seal. 
  12. Take cut off edge and twist together to make another bread.
  13. Brush with beaten egg white.
  14. Bake at 350F for 25-30 min, or until lightly browned.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

Had some leftover pumpkin puree so decided to make this baked version of french toast. Parents left super early so had time to preheat the oven and stick it in for the hour before waking up for real. Turned out delicious. Would definitely eat it again. Having to bake it for an hour takes up a lot of time so don't see this as a regular go-to breakfast item since I like to eat within 20 min of waking up. Leftovers were great. This recipe is a combo of multiple recipes, but without the streusel topping. I don't like super sweet breakfasts. Even the 1/3 c sugar was a bit much. Other recipes had up to 1 c sugar in the batter plus 1/2-1 c in the streusel!
2/27/16 Made this again adjusted and came out better. Would increase milk even more next time. Editing below and putting old amounts in brackets.
5/10/16 Made this with a partial loaf of bread in a smaller pan but same amount of filling. Tasty!
  • 1 loaf egg bread (like the Challah loaf from Metro), can be old and dry
  • 6 eggs
  • 1.5 c milk (could try increasing to 1.75 c next time) [1 c]
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 t cinnamon [1/2 t]
  • 1/3 t nutmeg
  • dash of cloves
  • 1 c pumpkin puree [3/4 c]
  • 1/4 c sugar [1/3 c]
  1. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Cut bread into large cubes. Place in baking dish.
  3. Beat eggs, milk, pumpkin, sugar and other spices in a large bowl.
  4. Pour over bread.
  5. Cover in saran wrap and let sit overnight.
  6. In the morning, bake at 350F for 55 minutes.
  7. Let cool until warm. Serve with fresh fruit.