Friday, November 30, 2012

Profiteroles (Cream Puffs)

Adapted from Joy of Baking 

1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg, beaten (for brushing)
Filling:
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup icing sugar
Topping:
dusting of icing sugar

1. In a small bowl mix together flour, salt, and sugar. Set aside. In a pot over medium heat, place water and butter and bring mixture to a boil, making sure the butter is completely melted before it boils.
2. As soon as the water/butter boils, remove from heat and stir in flour mixture all at once until a thick ball of paste forms. Place back on the heat and continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
3. Transfer dough into the bowl of an electric mixer or a food processor. Blend mixture on low speed for 1-2 minutes to release steam and cool to lukewarm. Once mixture has cooled blend in the 2 eggs until smooth.
4. Transfer mixture to a piping bag or a large ziploc bag with the corner cut off. On a parchment lined baking sheet, pipe 12 mounds. Brush with the remaining beaten egg.
5. Bake cream puffs for 15 minutes at 400°F then reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking 30-35 minutes until golden all over and dry and airy in the center. Poke holes in the bottom of each puff (I used my flower nail) and let them cool completely in the oven with the oven door ajar.
6. For the filling, in a large bowl or food processor, mix together the whipping cream, vanilla, and icing sugar. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small piping tip.
7. Fill the cooled puffs with cream, you will feel the puff become heavier and excess cream will spring back, indicating the puff is full. Standing the puff in a small bowl or egg cup makes them easier to fill.
8. Place cream puffs into an airtight container and chill until ready to serve to allow the filling to firm up, minimum 2 hours. To serve cream puffs, top with a dusting of icing sugar. Enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker

6 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups icing sugar
pinch salt
whipping cream
sprinkles

1. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until smooth and combined.
3. On low speed, mix in vanilla and sour cream. Blend in flour mixture, a bit a time, until thick dough forms. Switch to a spoon and stir in the remaining flour to form a sticky dough.
4. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and shape into a large square, about 1 1/2" thick. Divide into 2 and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill dough until firm, about 2 hours (or overnight if desired).
5. Preheat oven to 425°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4" thick. Cut out into desired shapes and place onto baking sheet.
6. Bake cookies for 5-7 minutes until pale on top and golden brown on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. For the buttercream, in a large bowl cream together butter and vanilla. Blend in icing sugar until smooth and combined, adding whipping cream, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, if needed to reach desired consistency.
8. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost with buttercream and top with sprinkles. Let buttercream set before storing in an airtight container. Serve & enjoy!

Makes about 6 dozen. These cookies taste better the day after baking!





Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bailey's Cheesecake

Adapted from In The Mood For Food by Jo Pratt. Again, get out your scales! I'm enjoying this one from Ikea.

Crust:
250 grams plain cookies (I used Social Tea Biscuits)
100 grams ground almonds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
75 grams butter, melted
Filling:
675 grams cream cheese
200 grams caster sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs
125ml whipping cream
125ml Bailey's Original Irish Cream

1. In a food processor, ground up plain cookies then mix in ground almonds, ground ginger, followed by melted butter until mixture is the texture of wet sand.
2. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom and half way up the side of a 22 to 24 cm springform pan. Cover and chill until firm in the fridge while preparing filling.
3. In a food processor, or use a hand mixer, mix cream cheese until smooth then blend in caster sugar and cornstarch. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Blend in whipping cream and Bailey's until mixture is creamy and smooth.
4. Pour filling into prepared crust and then place pan into a roasting pan. Pour some hot water into the roasting pan, about 1-2 cm deep. Bake cheesecake at 350°F until no longer jiggly and golden brown on top, about 45-60 minutes.
5. Let cheesecake cool completely and then chill in the fridge 4 hours or overnight. Slice & serve!

Serves 8-10.



Friday, November 23, 2012

Cranberry Scones

Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 cups flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup milk
Topping:
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons sugar

1. In a large bowl or food processor, place flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined. Cut in butter until the size of small peas then mix in cranberries.
2. Add milk and mix until soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and pat into a 7" round circle, about 1" thick. Brush with milk and sprinkle over sugar.
3. Cut circle into 8 wedges and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet then bake at 425°F for 12-14 minutes until golden brown on top and browned on the bottom. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 8.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Lightly adapted from the Food Network

1 cup warm water (110°F)
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup currants
For Boiling:
12 cups water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
Topping:
1 tablespoon melted butter

1. In a large bowl combined water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually mix in 2 cups of flour and the salt.
2. Stir in additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until no longer sticky, smooth, and elastic, about 5 minutes.
3. Place dough into oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Punch down dough on a lightly floured surface, and press out into a 1" thick rectangle. Sprinkle surface with cinnamon. Fold over sides over dough to cover cinnamon and then knead until cinnamon is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
5. Again shape the dough into a 1" thick rectangle, this time sprinkle the currants over top, fold over the sides, and knead in the currants until evenly distributed. Shape dough into a log and slice into 8 pieces.
6. Shape each piece into a ball and then push a hole through the middle of the ball and form the bagel shape. Place onto a greased baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
7. In a large pot, bring water and sugars to a boil. Reduce heat to low for simmering water. In batches, add the bagels to the simmering water and keeping turning them for about 30 seconds to a minute. Remove from water (use a slotted spoon to drain water) and place back onto greased baking sheet.
8. Brush tops of bagels with melted butter. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top, browned on the bottom, and hollow sounding when gently tapped. Let cool then serve & enjoy!

Makes 8.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Loaded Rocky Road

1 bag (300g) semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped glacé cherries
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups crushed cookie pieces (I used social tea biscuits, any plain cookie will do)

1. Grease 8x10" pan with butter and line with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal.
2. In a large bowl melt the chocolate chips then add the cranberries, cherries, almonds, walnuts, marshmallows and cookie pieces. Stir well until everything is coated with chocolate.
3. Press mixture into the prepared pan, press some remaining cookie crumbs on top if desired. Cover and refrigerate until chocolate has set, about 2 hours. Remove from pan and slice into pieces. Serve & enjoy!

For best keeping, store in the refrigerator.



Dorset Apple Cake

Time to get out your scales! Adapted from Cook Britain

225 grams flour
pinch salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
40 grams ground almonds
210 grams sugar
170 grams unsalted butter, melted
zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 8 and mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I used Gala)
2 tablespoons flaked almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line bottom of 8" round cake pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, ground almonds, and sugar. Blend in melted butter, lemon zest followed by eggs, one at a time, and milk, until smooth batter forms.
3. Spread half of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange apple slices over top of batter and then spread over remaining batter to cover apples. Sprinkle on flaked almonds.
4. Bake cake for about an hour until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely in the pan then slice & serve!

Serves 8. For best keeping, store cake in the refrigerator.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grandma's Plum Pudding (Christmas Pudding)

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup golden seedless raisins
2/3 cup seedless raisins
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup chopped glacé cherries
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract

1. In a bowl mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, nuts, raisins, currants and glacé cherries. 
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar; add molasses and blend until smooth. Beat in eggs and extracts. Stir in dry ingredients followed fruit mixture, stirring until well combined.
3. Spoon batter into a well greased (I used vegetable shortening) 8 cup pudding mold. Cover top with a circle of greased parchment paper, pressing down batter, and secure greased lid tightly. 
4. Place pudding into a large pot, and fill with water two-thirds of the way up the side of the mold. Bring water to a boil and boil steadily, with the pot lid on, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (mine took 2 hours). Top up water as needed. 
5. Pudding is done when toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove lid and let pudding cool to room temperature then refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. If frozen, put pudding out at room temperature overnight to thaw.
6. On Christmas Day, resteam the pudding for about an hour, or until heated through. Turn pudding out onto serving plate. Serve with custard or hard sauce!
Serves 8-10. Happy Holidays!





Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jumbo Cookies

Adapted from Cooks.com 

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together rolled oats, flour, sugar, brown sugar, coconut, chocolate chips, baking soda and salt.
2. In a small bowl whisk together eggs, canola oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out batter and place onto baking sheets, spacing about 3" apart.
3. Press down cookie dough until about 1/2" thick. Bake cookies for 18 minutes until browned and set. Let cool on pans a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve & enjoy!

Makes about 15.