Tag Archives: baking

rhubarb.pie

You know what makes a great pie crust? Lard. Don’t tell my husband that’s what he’s about to eat. 

Rhubarb from the backyard and the last of the freezer strawberries…I can’t wait for it to rest and no longer be lava hot. 

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mmm.bread

Tried my hand at whole wheat baguettes today. They turned out omgyum. 


They will be sliced up and used in some homemade french onion soup. Can’t wait!

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strawberry.rhubarb.cobbler

To be fair this recipe comes from one of those community compilation books. In fact, the recipe comes from my 90 year old grandmother’s good friend Marion. Now, I have never actually seen Marion smile, but she makes a damn good fruit cobbler. 


This latest batch is strawberry and rhubarb – about 2 1/2 cups worth of fruit. And it is amazeballs. Add some vanilla ice cream? And you will verbalize things like “insert eye roll here.”

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whoopie.pies

Apparently these things are The Thing for many people. Where I come from, we called them Gobs, but it seems most of the world knows them as whoopie pies. Whatever they are, they are dangerously delicious. When I was 5 or 6 I ate approximately 5 or 6 of these at a family picnic and a great family memory was made (sorry about that Uncle Mark). Now, if that isn’t a resounding “these things are awesome” I don’t know what is. 

  
You can easily double the batch. And if you can’t eat them all (see above – I tried…terrible results) they freeze very well. Bonus: they thaw really fast as well – perfect when you need a sweet treat. 

  
  
I have even made these to sell and folks go crazy. Great bake sale item, and since they are so meaty, you can charge $3 for a small pie and $5 for a large. 

So, have at it. They are amazeballs. 

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applesauce.cupcakes

I wanted to make some pumpkin cupcakes for an event my little store had last weekend. But somehow I was out of pumpkin – the horror!! As I was totally fixated on the idea of these cupcakes, I decided to modify the recipe a bit and came up with applesauce cupcakes instead. And they were pretty mind blowing.

  • Cream 4 eggs and 1 & 2/3 cup sugar in a mixing bowl
  • Add 1 1/2 cups chunky applesauce (I used the stuff I canned from local apples last year – I know. I hate myself for being such a hipster too) and 1/2 cup oil and mix
  • Add 2 cups flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking soda and stir
  • Add to lined baking tin and bake for 12-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Frosting:

  • Beat 3 ounces of cream cheese, 1/2 cup soft butter, 1 tsp vanilla and 2 cups confectioner’s sugar until smooth. I prefer to mix until whipped and fluffy
  • Add to ziplock bag, seal, clip corner and pipe like a professional
  • Eat remaining frosting directly from the piping bag

They turned out super moist and delicious. I almost like them better than the pumpkin muffins! Almost…

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irish.soda.bread.facts

I made some homemade butter last week, and the by product is always buttermilk. So of course that means I get to treat myself to some fabulous toast this week in the form of Irish Soda Bread. It’s one of the easiest recipes for bread and bakes up into a fabulously wonky peasant loaf.

  • Mix 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda & 3/4 tsp salt* in a bowl (*note: if you are using the buttermilk remaining from your homemade butter, skip the salt as your milk will already be salted)
  • Add 1 cup buttermilk to the mixture and stir to form a soft dough
  • Either knead on a floured surface or in the bowl for 2-3 minutes
  • Form the dough into a round loaf about 8 inches across – cross hatch with a knife to spiff it up
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 350*
  • The bread is done when it sounds hollow after a light thump

 

For a softer crust, wrap in a clean tea towel and set the bread on it’s side to cool.

I did a little research into the history of soda bread while the bread was baking and it’s pretty interesting stuff! Did you know that the cross hatch on the bread is considered “blessing the bread” and is meant to let the fairies out and keep the household safe?  The cross also allows the bread to be broken easily in the hand in the event that an unexpected guest arrived – breaking bread to share. It is a bread based in poverty as it is made with the simplest of ingredients – the baking powder replaces yeast – and is formed in different shapes based on region? Interesting!

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victoria.sponge

I have been on a Great British Bake Off bender for weeks now and can’t stop talking about it and wishing I were adorable and British and lived in a land where tea and cakes all the time is totally acceptable. Despite the fact that I live in Alaska and not the land of shires and queens, that hasn’t stopped me from going on my own baking bender. Last week I made a few batches of scones, and this week I am trying my hand at the fabled Victoria Sponge. This is the easiest dessert in the GBBO repertoire, but one feels so accomplished making it.

  • Cream 1 cup room temperature butter in your stand mixer. Once light and fluffy, slowly add 1 cup sugar until incorporated.
  • Beat 4 room temperature eggs one at a time into the mixture until incorporated (the room temp thing is key – cold eggs will harden your butter and it turns into a mess. So, trust me on this one.)
  • Sift 2 cups flour and 2 teaspoons baking soda into a bowl.
  • Slowly fold flour mixture into fluffy egg/butter/sugar mixture.
  • Add to 2 greased 8 inch round pans.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes at 325* – cake is done when it comes away from the sides of the pan or tester comes out clean
  • Cool.

When your cake is cool, whip up a batch of homemade whipped cream, slather some jam or fresh fruit inside and layer your two cakes like a giant sweet sandwich full of delicious. Now, brew some tea, don a giant hat, and talk smart about cool things like cricket and the queen mum.

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