Category Archives: baking

easy as 1, 2, 3

I made these for Valentine’s day for my son’s 2nd grade class.  They were a huge success, and he asked for them again for his birthday instead of the usual cupcake.  It’s a great alternative and a great end to a meal.  Everyone loves these and they are simple and easy to make…and a nice treat for those watching their weight.  These were made with Valhrona Chocolate.  It just so happened that my local grocery store had these beautiful huge chunks of fine chocolate on sale so I grabbed a few blocks.  Just chop the chocolate small and put place in a glass bowl.  You can either melt it over a double boiler or even at a low temp in the microwave for 40 second intervals.  I add a few tablespoons of light corn syrup and you are ready to dip!  The oversized long stemmed strawberries work really well.


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italian easter ring

2 pkgs active dry yest

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup scalded milk, cooled

1/2 cup soft butter

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups sifted flour

3/4 tsp salt

4 egg yolks slightly beaten

2 TBS slivered citron

1 TBS slivered orange peel

1/2 cup raisins

8 hard cooked eggs colored (i use less, maybe 4)

1 cup confections sugar

1 TBS milk

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl soften yeast in warm water.  Scald milk and cool.  In mixer gently beat butter, sugar, salt yolks, citron, orange peel and raisins.  Add to this 1 cup flour.  Add softened yeast.  Beat in remaining flour.  Toss on a floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic.  Shape into a ball.  Place in an oiled bowl.  Brush the top of the dough with oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, divide into 2 or 4 pcs.  (can make two rings if you like with 4 pcs)

Shape each pc into a long roll  that can either be twisted together or braided together.  Shape into a circle and nest the colored eggs in between the dough.  Brush top of dough with melted butter.  Cover.  Let rise until it doubles in bulk.  Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes until golden.  While warm brush (or drizzle) top with the combined confectioners sugar and milk.

First rising time: 2hours  Second rising time:  1 hour

(will post pics in a few days)

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puppy cupcakes

 

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angeletti or anisette cookie

I am quite fond of this soft pillow-ey Italian cookie.  I made them last Christmas and decided to make them again this year, but when I started out to make the recipe I did not have enough baking powder.  This recipe calls for a wopping (no pun intended) 6 tbls of baking powder!!  So instead, I found another recipe as a substitute. Not as good!!   So I am going to share with you my favorite recipe for angeletti.   I believe the  transaltion is “little angels”.

4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, large

6 tbls baking powder

3/4 cup oil

1 1/2 tbls anise extract

Icing:

1 tsp anise extract (and hot water as needed) to 1 cup confectioners sugar to make icing smooth.

yield: 40 cookies or so

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the oil milk anise and eggs  Mix together with a wooden spoon.  With oiled hands roll into 1″ balls and slightly flatten top.  Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.  Dip cookies into icing while still warm.  Buon Natale!

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my very first buche de noel

I have always wanted to make a bouche de noel and every christmas my mom and I agree to make one, and then chicken out.  so this year I decided I would give it a go.  I think I did ok.  I made a few mistakes that I will share with you.  First, it really helps to watch a few videos (youtube has many).  I watched several.  I chose to use  a recipe from marthastewart.com compliments of Johnny Iuzzini from Jean Georges in NY.  http://www.marthastewart.com/recipes/buche-de-noel

I changed it a little..I  did not make the chestnut cream filling, I used chocolate mousse instead.  Johnny’s genoise recipe is great and easy to roll, the ganache is great too.  You might want to double the ganache recipe, it makes it easier to have extra.  OK, so here is where I screwed up, my mousse was too soft and oozed out a bit, next time I will pop it in the freezer to really thicken it.  Also, after filling and rolling do the following :

1) pop it in the FREEZER for 1 hour.

2) then slice the ends…

3) pour ganache over cake-roll over a sheet pan with rack,

4) adhere stump ends

5) more ganache over cake-roll over a sheet pan with rack,

5) then decorate on serving platter with meringue mushrooms.

I also did not use his swiss meringue recipe.  I whipped up 6 egg whites in an electric mixer (whisk attachment!!) added 1 cup sugar and about 4 tbls of meringue powder…whipped until stiff peaks form.  Use a piping bag and tip #12 to make mushroom caps and stems.  Bake on parchment at 200 for 1 hour.

Happy Holidays!!

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mini vanilla cupcakes with chocolate ganache center

I love Mrs Millmans recipe for chocolate ganache or frosting:

This will last in the fridge for about 5-6 days in a plastic container.  I had some leftover so I decided to inject my vanilla cupcakes with it.  I used my piping bag.  Use a tip that you can easily pierce through the cupcake with.   You want a decent size tip opening to allow the ganache to flow… don’t go too small, it will take you forever.  I used a #21 star tip. They do make a tip for this very purpose(# 230).

Makes 6 cups

  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

Directions

  1. Put chocolate and cream into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat; stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until thick, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in corn syrup. Transfer to a large, wide metal bowl. Refrigerate until frosting is cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 minutes. Use immediately

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pumpkin cupcakes for halloween

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i made martha stewart’s pumpkin cupcake recipe this morning to bring to my daughters class party.  they are very light and tasty.  i made minis.  i just find that the mini cupcakes are better for the little ones.  they can have just one, or 2 if they like.  one batch made about 48 minis AND one small loaf pan of pumpkin bread.  i was going to use my mom’s banana bread recipe (which i LOVE and the kids just adore!!) just substitute the bananas with pumpkin (or zucchini, sweet potato…whatever) but I thought i would try Martha’s new recipe…  it’s definitely good.  and maybe it would have been better with cream cheese frosting.  but I do think i like my moms better.  much better.  my best, and most sincere recipe taster,  my 6 year old agreed that grandma’s “pumpkin bread” is better!!  again, Martha’s is not a bad recipe, by any stretch…my husband and myself have had about 5 so far and it’s only 2:00 pm

martha’s:

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/pumpkin-cupcakes

moms:

https://butterygoodness.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/never-get-caught-without-a-banana/

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