Thursday, November 25, 2010

Classic Pumpkin Pie

I was never a fan of pie, unless it were a chocolate pie then I was happy. But the chocolate pies I always got were the prepackaged stuff and now that I think about it, they weren’t that good anyways. However, last year I decided to try pumpkin pie for maybe the second time in my life? I don’t really know, all I know is that I really liked it, but it too was store bought. This year I wanted to attempt in making my own pumpkin pie and I had heard some horror stories about making homemade pies so I was very cautious. I think I rounded up about 5 pumpkin pie recipes before I chose this one, but only because it was the classic kind of pumpkin pie, maybe next year I’ll make that maple pumpkin pie that sounded to good. Well, enough of my babbling, this pie was actually really, really delicious! It was creamy, and it had a nice flavor, it was like Thanksgiving in a pie plate. The crust, however; left something to be desired, I had trouble with it in the first place and when I tasted it, it was okish, but what do I know about pie crusts, I’ve only ever had 2 maybe 3 slices of pie my entire life! Either way, this pie was very, very yummy and I’m pretty sure I’ll be making it again next fall!

Happy Thanksgiving!
before going into the oven, and yes, I was nervous
 in order to check if the pie was done I insertest a metal stick,
 now that I think about it I should have just used a toothpick,
or maybe just eyeballed it...
perfect pumpkin pie!

Classic Pumpkin Pie
from the Taste of Home
8 servings per pie

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water (I needed closer to 4 or 5 tbsp)

1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon each ground allspice, nutmeg and cloves
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Using a fork, stir in oil and butter until dough is crumbly. Gradually add enough water until dough holds together. Roll out between sheets of plastic wrap into an 11-in. circle. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap; invert pastry into a 9-in. pie plate. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Trim and flute edges. Chill.
  3. Roll pastry scraps to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a 1-in. leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 6-8 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg, egg white, sugars, salt and spices until smooth. Beat in pumpkin. Gradually beat in milk. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 375° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Garnish with leaf cutouts. Refrigerate leftovers.
Nutrition Facts
serving size: 1/8 pie
Calories 237.9 Total Fat 7.5 g Saturated Fat 0.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g Cholesterol 30.3 mg Sodium 266.2 mg Potassium 125.6 mg Total Carbohydrate 38.2 g Dietary Fiber 2.8 g Sugars 24.8 g Protein 5.8 g

Thanksgiving Honey Muffins

I found this recipe in a holiday Taste of Home edition and they seemed so good and I’m glad I bookmarked it because these things are fabulous! I have been making them for two Thanksgivings in a row and I was just reminded today how much I loved them You can taste just a hint of honey but it also seems to taste a little like cornbread (without the corn of course), which could mean one less thing going on and out of you’re oven next Thanksgiving. Also, these things a quick to make; prep time only takes about 10 minutes. Usually I take forever when baking things because I don't measure things in advance I just go with the flow and today I was shocked at how quickly these things took to prepare.

I ended up hading two today, even when I was stuffed with turkey and potatoes and whatnot, and I think I may have a third later on today ;). Seriously, make these; they are just that amazing!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I baked these early in the morning, that way the turkey
could have the oven for the rest of the day
a little toasty on the sides, but otherwise great!
and you can barely see the little flecks of honey that
didn't get incorperated all the way...mmm yum!

Honey Muffins
from the Taste of Home 
makes 12 muffins (I got 14)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup honey

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine the egg, milk, butter and honey. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
serving size: 1 muffin
Calories 143.0 Total Fat 3.9 g Saturated Fat 0.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g Cholesterol 25.2 mg Sodium 203.3 mg Potassium 27.4 mg Total Carbohydrate 25.5 g Dietary Fiber 0.6 g Sugars 12.9 g Protein 2.7 g

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nice Little Crumpets

Whoa, I’m on a blogging roll this week. Well yesterday I really wanted to make something with yeast because I love the smell of it (don’t judge me it’s a delicious scent, they should make it a candle) and I was thinking maybe I could make some kind of bread. Well, I also miss crumpets*. Whenever I go see my grandma and mom’s sister and her family in Australia I love to eat the crumpets because…well I don’t know they are just appealing to me and with a little bit of honey dripping off the side…mmmmm. Well first and foremost I wanted to make crumpets because I had never made them before and I wanted to see if I could and to my surprise they have yeast in them! So I’m killing two birds with one stone here.

The crumpets I made took forever (like about an hour and a half) but that’s because I only had one pasty ring, sad. But I made them anyways and they reminded me so much of the crumpets that I eat in Australia and they were yummy and they had the texture that I love. The only thing was that it didn’t form the bubbles at the top like a normal crumpet would, which was kind of a downer but I still love this recipe and I think next time I make them I’ll make them earlier in the morning so I don’t have to sit and wait with my tummy yelling at me all morning.

*Crumpets are a British yeast bread that looks kind of like an English muffin (only in my opinion, waaaaay better)

A little burnt, but that's ok...and yes with one pastry ring it took a loooong time to cook
see, no holes :(
but these were way too yummy to be preoccupied with holes

slightly adapted from great party recipes
makes 16 (I got 14)

1/2 cup warm water (105° - 115°)

2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups milk (buttermilk)

  1. In a large bowl, stir the sugar or honey into the warm water. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the top and let it sit until it bubbles, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and let it sit for about half an hour in a warm place.
  3. Grease a griddle or frying pan and the crumpet rings or cookie cutters. Place the rings on the cooking surface and preheat all.
  4. Pour about 3 tablespoons of batter into each 3" ring (you will probably need to spread the batter with a rubber spatula) and cook over medium low heat until set, about 10 minutes. (Avoid cooking them too quickly.) The top should be full of holes when they are ready to turn.
  5. Remove the rings from the crumpets, turn, and brown the other side, if desired, for a minute or so. Repeat until all the batter is used.
  6. Serve warm with butter and jam or clotted cream and jam or my personal favorite, honey! Makes 16 crumpets.
Nutrition Facts
serving size: 1 crumpet
Calories 84.1 Total Fat 0.2 g Saturated Fat 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g Cholesterol 1.1 mg Sodium 235.0 mg Potassium 68.2 mg Total Carbohydrate 17.5 g Dietary Fiber 0.7 g Sugars 2.5 g Protein 3.0 g

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cake Slice Bakers - November 2010: Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Last Week I made this thing called the Cinnamon Pudding Cake from Cake Keeper Cakes for the Cake Slice Bakers November cake, and let me tell you, it was superfanfreakingtasicly-delicious! I will start with the “topping”. Well it was on top when I put it on before the cake went into the oven but it gradually sank down to the bottom (maybe it was supposed to do that?) as I baked, well either way it was delicious! Its creamy and thick and when there’s leftover topping, I make sure to lick my fork clean before I take another bite, it’s just that good. I don’t know any other way to describe this sticky delicious thing so I will move on to the cake (by the way I’m eating my second helping of it just so I can describe it accurately for you, I know, my job is tough). Well at first glance the cake looks sort of dry, but let me tell you, it’s not. This cake is really dense and soft. It’s one of those cakes where you actually have to give a little push to get to the bottom on the slice (and I mean that in the best way possible not the, oh my god this cake is too hard kind of way. It has this great cinnamony flavor and it is just pure heaven on earth. I know some of the Cake Slice members had difficulty with this cake, they said they had to add more butter or milk and extra eggs to make it less dry, but after only adding an egg white I think this cake had the best consistency ever, no joke. It’s also the perfect size, too. Usually we have a lot of left over cake but tonight after four people eating it its about halfway gone. I strongly recommend baking this cake.
even the batter was rich and creamy
i was a little worried the topping ough go under the parchment paper lining, but thankfully it didnt
mmmm sticky gooey yummyness after cooling for a while
but as you can see, I didn't flip the cake out, so the "pudding" part isn't on top
beautiful little cake slice :)

Cinnamon Pudding Cake
slightly adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman
serves 9 (I personally think these are huge slices of cake so I cut mine into 16 slices)

For Caramel Topping
1 cup plus 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt

For Cake
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, soft
1 cup sugar
1 egg white
1 cup whole milk (used 2%)
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprey bottom and sides on an 8 inch square baking pan (I used glass, not sure if that did anything or not) with nonstick cooking spray. Then, just to make sure that I could take the cake out I put a sheet of wax paper ontop of the layer of spray.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, water, butter and salt in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Set aside to cool
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside
  4. Combine the sugar, butter and egg white into a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high for 2 minutes or until fluffy.
  5. With the mixer on medium-low speed add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Add half of the milk and vanilla. Add 1/3 of the flour, followed by the rest of the milk and vanilla. Add the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium for 30 seconds.
  6. Scrape the batter into prepared baking dish and smooth over with a rubber spactula. Pour the caramel topping over the batter (the dish will be very full). Place the baking dish into the oven and set the timer for 45-50 minutes (took me 40 minutes).
  7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then transfer cake into a serving dish, serve warm. The cake can sit out at room temperature in an air tight container for 1 day or in the fridge for 3 days.
Nutrition Facts
servivng size: 1/16 cake
Calories 172.7 Total Fat 2.4 g Saturated Fat 0.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g  Cholesterol 6.9 mg Sodium 219.4 mg Potassium 22.6 mg Total Carbohydrate 36.7 g Dietary Fiber 0.7 g Sugars 25.8 g Protein 11.3 g

1/9 cake
Calories 307.0 Total Fat 4.2 g Saturated Fat 0.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g Cholesterol 12.2 mg Sodium 390.0 mg Potassium 40.1 mg Total Carbohydrate 65.3 g Dietary Fiber 1.2 g Sugars 45.8 g Protein 20.0 g

Friday, November 19, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

For the past couple of days I’ve been itching to bake something, anything, as long as it wasn’t anything cake or cookie related…which does limit my options by a lot I know. Well I had seen Giada, from Everyday Italian, on the cooking channel last weekend and she had made these granola bars for these kids and I realized that’s what I was craving! I’ve never made homemade oat/granola bars whatever you want to call them so they were a first for me. I was a little confused when it was baking because it didn't seem to firm up, even after 25 minutes in the oven. Well, i decided that 25 minutes was long enough because I'd rather eat something under baked than over baked and waited for an hour for the bars to cool and once they did, the granola bars got firmer and didn't seem as squishy. In all these were pretty good, maybe a little too much butter so maybe I would cut that down by a tablespoon or two if I ever decided to make these again. Also, it was really chewy, which I liked, but I think it was missing a little crunch, despite the chunky peanut butter I used, so maybe I shouldn't have done half creamy half chunky.

This batter seemed like it would also form a nice oatmeal cookie
 this was the second pan, I thought I could fit it in a 9x13-inch pan but i was wrooooong xD 
 the worst part was having to wait an hour, I like trying things straight out of the oven.
 this really was yummy, I had too servings back-to-back
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bar
makes 24 (I got 16 because of the pan I used)

IngredientsVegetable spray
1 egg white
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (1/4 cup chunky, 1/4 cup crunchy)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 cups old fashioned oats (Quaker quick oats)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (omitted)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (regular chocolate chips)

  1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 7 by 10 3/4-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray.The closest thing I had was an 8x8-inch pan, so I used that. Lay a 6 by 18-inch piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing the excess paper to hang over the sides. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, using a hand beater, beat the egg white until frothy. Stir in the peanut butter, brown sugar, and honey. Add the melted butter, oats and almonds. Stir to combine, then add the chocolate chips.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, spread mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing lightly to form an even layer. Bake until the edge of the mixture begins to brown, about 15 minutes. It took about 25 minutes more mine to cook, even then it was still a little mooshy, but after cooling it became a little firmer. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 1 hour. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and serve.
Nutrition Facts
serving size: 1 bar (1/16)
Calories 189.0 Total Fat 11.6 g Saturated Fat 1.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g Cholesterol 15.0 mg Sodium 42.4 mg Potassium 3.4 mg Total Carbohydrate 19.7 g Dietary Fiber 1.8 g Sugars 11.9 g Protein 3.8 g

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Potoato Chip Cookies

I visited my ex-piano teacher a couple weeks ago and we got to talking about baking and recipes and such. Well, she pulled out her old recipe box and took out a couple of recipes, some old and some new. A Couple of them caught my eye, like the Lincoln log cake and a poke cake and these potato chip cookies. I hadn’t heard of it before and I thought I would try something new. I finally had time to bake this weekend and to say the least I couldn’t really taste to potato chips in them and they tasted more like a Mexican wedding cookie (maybe it was the almonds I used), but in all it was still really, really tasty and they were sweet but in a good way. In about 12 hours all of them were gone.

they were a fun thing to bake on some down time

Potato Chip Cookies
recipe from Beth-Ann Munson
makes about 4 dozen cookies (I halved the recipe and got 20 cookies)

1/2 lb (2 sticks) margarine (unsalted butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup potato chips (I used the original popchips)
1/2 cup nuts (slivered almonds)
powdered sugar (optional)

  1. preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cream the margarine, sugar and vanilla together until fluffy.
  3. Alternate the flour and the potato chips to the creamed mixture then add in the nuts.
  4. Form into small balls and place on an un-greased/wax paper covered baking sheet and press the balls down with a fork.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Once done baking transfer onto a cooling rack to cool. Once the cookies have cooled you can sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
Nutrition Facts
serving size: 1 cookie
Calories 79.2 Total Fat 5.3 g Saturated Fat 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g Cholesterol 12.0 mg Sodium 15.4 mg Potassium 10.0 mg Total Carbohydrate 7.1 g Dietary Fiber 0.4 g Sugars 2.7 g Protein 0.8 g

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