Monday, October 15, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies Treats

Well, you know how it is. One recipe flops (a batter that never is a dough, long story) and you run out of non-stick spray that you need before you can bake that cake - well, you did buy that bag of pumpkin spice marshmallows.

So here's some real-life, this is all I baked this weekend, completely processed food product "baked good." Sometimes that will have to do!



Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies Treat
(recipe from Kraft.com)

Ingredients

3 Tbsp. butter
1 pkg (8 oz.) jet-puffed pumpkin spice mallows
5 cups puffed rice cereal
1 cup candy corn


1. Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Spray with cooking spray.
2. Microwave butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 45 sec. or until melted. Add marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1-1 1/2 minutes or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 45 seconds. Add cereal; mix well.
3. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Decorate with candy corn; cool.
4. Use foil handles to lift cereal mixture from pan; cut into shapes with pumpkin shaped cookie cutters or use knife to cut into bars.



Notes from JennyBakes:

I saw many variations of this online, including several that incorporated coffee/espresso in some way in order to make pumpkin spice latte rice krispie treats. This might be tasty! I also saw some combined with marshmallow cream in the middle, others dipped in dark or white chocolate, others making pumpkin spice from plain marshmallows. You do you.

The contained that goes in the microwave needs to be larger than 4 cups, I learned through experience and a very sticky mess.

I found I needed less space than 9x13 so I put my empty nonstick spray can down in the 9x13 pan and pushed all the marshmallow mixture into the smaller space for more even, thick squares.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Lassie Tart

I read a lot of fiction, as most of you know. Recently I read Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper, about a dying fishing village in Newfoundland and the people who live there. Most of the residents are moving away for work. In one scene, the Mom from the central family sends her children, Cora and Jack, to buy something from the bakery to celebrate their last day as a family before the parents start trading off traveling "up north" for work.
"They got the only pie, dark berries and dark molasses crust, and continued on home..."
Their mother Martha approves of their selection.
"Lassie tart, she said. Good choice."
So this of course set me off on an internet research rabbit hole. There aren't many places online to find the recipe for a lassie tart, although if you just look for Newfoundland tart or Newfoundland molasses tart, a few more come up. They all agree the traditional berry (which is made into a jam before filling the tart) is the Partridge Berry, but that was not a berry I could get my hands on, not in frozen form or in jam. Several bakers who had made the tart used lingonberries, so I did that as well.



The tart has a lattice top so I was refreshing my skills by looking at tutorials for them, and encountered a "plaid" pattern with varying widths of lattice that I really liked. Unfortunately I didn't really pull it off; my tart just looks like I didn't cut my lattice evenly, not like I did so intentionally. This molasses dough is pretty soft and not as easy to work with as typical pie dough.

Ultimately I made the recipe from the Globe and Mail, and will include it in its entirety below, but should say that I used a 12 oz jar of lingonberry jam instead of making any (and that was just about right for one 8-inch tart. I can't see this recipe making enough pastry for 2 complete tarts as it says it will. In the end this is a fairly simple recipe, perfect for a place with a lot of molasses and jam on hand like Newfoundland. I wonder if this could be adapted slightly for Thanksgiving - I wouldn't use all cranberries, I don't think, but maybe half (or, you know, cranberry sauce) and maybe add some orange zest to bring out the orange pekoe tea in the crust. It's a keeper.


Murray McDonald's Lassie Tart
(from The Globe and Mail)
Servings: Two 8-inch tarts

 

Ingredients

1 cup butter
3/4 cup molasses
4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup brewed orange-pekoe tea
6 cups partridgeberries, also known as lingonberries (or substitute cranberries)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup brown sugar

 

Method

To make the pastry dough, cream the butter and molasses. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. In a small bowl or cup, stir the baking soda into the hot brewed tea, then add immediately to the butter-and-molasses mixture and stir well. Add dry ingredients to the same bowl and mix until just combined. Pat the dough into a ball and flatten, wrap in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours.

To make the partridgeberry jam, place the berries, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Set aside and let cool.
To assemble the tarts, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick and 10 inches round. Transfer to an 8-inch tart pan and trim the overhanging edges. Form a ball with the scraps, roll out the dough and cut out strips for the lattice top.

Fill tart with 1/2 inch of partridgeberry jam. Place the lattice overtop and use a fork to crimp the edges of the pastry.

Bake at 325 F for 35 minutes or until the top is dark brown.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Chocolate Pantry Cake

This cake is based on Deb-from-Smitten-Kitchen's chocolate olive oil cake, which I decided to make when I ran out of baking powder and didn't want to go to the store! We all have those days. This recipe also doesn't need butter, eggs, or chocolate that has to be melted (if you use her version with a glaze, you'll need chocolate chips at least, but since we buy the $7.50/bag stevia sweetened chocolate chips I wasn't going to use them for this! I decided it would be just fine with whipped cream.)

I didn't make this cake perfectly. I underbaked it, meaning I had a bit of a tiny lava cake situation in the middle. I didn't grease the pan high enough, so it stuck around the rim. I don't think I mixed it enough, in fear of overmixing, so one bite tasted like baking soda, whoops. It's a bit droopy in the middle. But you know what, it tastes good, the whipped cream is a nice pairing, and sometimes you just want something you can pull together quickly without special ingredients. Oh yeah, also this is a vegan recipe! It reminds me quite a bit of the flavor of the Morning Loaf recipe I've made a bunch since it originally showed up in JennyBakes, but it relies on coconut oil and espresso powder.



Chocolate Pantry Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (Deb likes olive, I used vegetable and olive half and half)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold coffee
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non stick spray (you can butter it but this will render it unvegan!)
2. Stir dry ingredients together with a whisk, knocking out any lumps in the brown sugar and cocoa powder.
3. Whisk in oil, then add in coffee and vinegar until smooth.
4.  Scrape into pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
5. Go to Deb's recipe for the glaze or just serve with whipped cream or dusted with powdered sugar. (Oh yeah and if you use real whipped cream, again, that renders it unvegan.)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hutterite Schuten Pie (Cottage Cheese Pie)

This was the other pie I made from Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen by Mary-Ann Kirkby. Partly, I was intrigued by cottage cheese in a pie. But she also mentions in passing that sometimes this is served for breakfast or the tea-time meal lunche.


It definitely tastes better cool than warm, in my opinion, kind of like a custard rather than a cheesecake, which I think I was expecting. I think in previous Hutterite books they may have mentioned using raisins in this pie, and while that sounded weird, now that I've tasted it, I can actually see that working. Maybe with a little bit of rum to soak the raisins in, you could have a rum raisin schuten pie!


Schuten Pie (Cottage-Cheese Pie)

1 1/2 cups dry-curd cottage cheese*
1 cup thick cream, or 1/2 cup whipping cream and 1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Golden syrup
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)

Stir all the ingredients together and pour into an unbaked pie crust. Bake at 350 F for approximately 45 minutes.

*I just put mine in a strainer for an hour or so and called it good.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Pumpkin Chestnut Flour Scones (grain-free)

I had leftover pumpkin and leftover chestnut flour, and thus these scones were born. I think I need a different flour combination because these were a bit overly moist, but better moist than crumbly, I suppose.  So this may not be final recipe but still passable!



Pumpkin Scones
(recipe adapted from Martha Stewart via Martha Bakes on PBS.org, which I made last year)

Ingredients 
 
1 cup chestnut flour
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Coarse salt
1 stick (1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter, grated on large holes of a box grater; plus 1 tablespoon melted
2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1 large egg, room temperature
1/3 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flours, coconut sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Stir in grated butter.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together cream, egg, and pumpkin; stir into flour mixture just until dough forms. Pat into a 6-inch round on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with cream. Using a knife or bench scraper, cut dough into 8 wedges, and pull 2 inches apart. If dough is too moist to do this, you may portion it into a scone pan or muffin tins.
  3. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until scones are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Zucker Pie (Sugar Pie)

I've been reading books from Canada and Alaska this year, and along the way I read a handful of books about Hutterites, a religious sect similar in belief to Mennonites and Amish, but different in the sense that they live communally.They are best known for their communities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, although there are still some in the United States as well. They use a lot of traditional recipes, and after reading Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen by Mary-Ann Kirkby, I wanted to try baking a few. Most of the recipes included in that book are as originally written - enough quantities to feed the entire community. 110 eggs... 24 cups of poppy seeds... etc. Luckily the author worked with others to convert a few into a quantity appropriate for the home chef!


The first recipe I wanted to try was the Zucker (or Sugar) Pie, one that the author had a fond memory of from her childhood in the community. It reminded me a lot of the Hoosier Sugar Pie we used to make at the tearoom I worked at in Greencastle, Indiana. It would not surprise me if that pie had Amish origins. Hoosier and Zucker do kind of sound the same. The baker I worked with at the tearoom had an unusual way of making that pie - she'd sprinkle the sugar, spices, and flour into the crust and pour the cream over it, barely mixing it before baking. This recipe has you mix all the wet ingredients together and pour into the crust. And just like the Hoosier sugar pie, it is not full in the crust. I also overbaked the edges on this one (that's what I get for buying a storebought crust instead of making my own. My non-Hutterite but skilled baker grandmother would be horrified!)


The cinnamon is nice but phew, this pie is SWEET. One thing that became clear in reading the Kirkby is that most Hutterites have a flat-out sweet tooth. They even use their allowances to buy commercial sugar snacks to multiply their sweet pies and cookies. I have grown to prefer a little more balance to the sweet. But if you are a straight-sweet person, this is probably for you.

Zucker Pie (Sugar Pie)

1 cup thick cream
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon

Beat all the ingredients together and pour into unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Brownie Crinkle Cookies of Internet Fame

Well here I am again, making the cookie that has permeated the internet, but probably months after I first saw them. The brownie crinkle cookies from The Boy Who Bakes have popped up on many Instagram feeds and blogs since he first posted his how-to video (available at the link above.) I finally made them to bring to share with library faculty and staff on the day before classes start - it's a super busy day full of advising, hiring, and last-minute preparation for classes.


I can tell I don't have my gram to cup conversion quite right because I think the batter is supposed to be thinner than mine was. Pictures he and others have posted make them a lot flatter and spread out. Next time I'll start by not adding the extra 2 tbsp of flour. Truth be told I could measure in a scale but find it easier to try to just convert to cups. I know this makes me a bad baker, perhaps, but convenience is going to win out. I also noticed a distinct difference between pan 1 and pan 2, since I left the batter in the bowl instead of scooping it onto 2 baking sheets (because I only have 1 flat cookie sheet!) - even though the recipe specifically tells you to do it immediately, I ignored it. So my first batch are shiny and pictured as you see above while my second batch are more knobbly, closer to the double chocolate oatmeal cookies I loved in childhood than how these are supposed to look. Still, they are tasty and I will bring them to work.


I will post the recipe directly from The Boy Who Bakes blog, but all recipe development and instructions belong to him. I will not provide my conversions as they are not quite there. Hopefully I can try this again and see if a few tweaks get it closer to his pictures.

Brownie Crinkle Cookies
Makes 10

200g dark chocolate (around 65-70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
125g unsalted butter, diced
150g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
130g plain flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder (dutch processed)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (plus flaked sea salt for sprinkling)

Temperature and timing is very important with this recipe so before you start get all the ingredients weighed out, two baking trays lined with parchment paper and the oven preheated to 180C (160C fan) 350F.

Place the butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan and gently simmering water. Allow to melt, stirring occasionally until fully melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside for the moment. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using an electric hand mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugars for exactly 5 minutes. Once the eggs have been mixing for exactly 5 minutes pour in the chocolate mixture and mix for a minute or so to combine. Meanwhile mix together the dry ingredients, sieving the cocoa powder if it has lots of lumps. Add the dry ingredients and mix very briefly just until combined. Use your spatula to give one last mix, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly combined. Use a ice cream scoop to form the cookies. The batter will be a little on the wet side, so invert the cookie scoop just above the baking tray to avoid spills. Make sure to leave plenty of space between each cookie as they will spread. Sprinkle each cookie with a little flaked sea salt before placing into the oven and baking for 12 minutes. The cookies will come out of the oven with that wonderful crinkled look and slightly domed. They will collapse a little as they cool but this helps form that perfect fudgy centre. The cookies will be very soft so allow them to cool on the baking trays for at least 20-30 minutes before removing from the tray to cool completely.

These cookies will keep for 4-5 days but will be best within the first 3 days.