Tag Archives: Almond

Sourdough and Sugar

I finished the recipe for my multi-grain sourdough bread. I decided that I wanted a variety of grain to be included, more than just the usual whole-wheat flour.  I looked in the pantry and saw corn meal and oats. I ground a cup of oats and used that in the first 2 1/2 cups of flour; in that first dough, I also used about 2 tablespoons of cornmeal. In the second dough, I used 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of whole rolled oats, 1/4 cup cornmeal and 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour. The dough was very easy to knead and was not very sticky(probably due to the oats). The recipe calls for dividing the dough in two and shaping into free-form, flat loaves. I followed this for one of the loaves, sprinkling the top with oats, but for the other half of the dough, I decided to try something different. I rolled the dough out to a 16 by 13 inch(approximately) rectangle, then sprinkled it with a cinnamon and sugar mix(about 1/4 cup sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon). I then rolled it into a roll, tucked in the edges ad placed it in a lightly greased 9×5 pan. The top of this loaf turned out spectacular, as I slit it once lengthwise and the inner layers flayed outward. I did not brush the loaves with water as much as I probably should have, because they turned out softer than previous loaves. Another thing that I did differently this time was I added 1 tablespoon of brown sugar for 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. 

Tonight, I am also making sugar cookies, once again for my father’s sunday school class and snickerdoodle blondies, for my family. I used the Betty Crocker Recipe for Sugar Cookies and Brown Eyed Bakers recipe for the blondies. Both recipes can be found below.

~thechildcooks

Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread Two Ways

1 cup sourdough starter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup ground oats

2 tablespoons cornmeal

Handful of rolled oats

2 cup warm water(105-115F)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoon vegetable oil

Cold water for baking

Start the night before you wish to make the bread or start in the morning and bake at night.

Mix sourdough starter, flours and 2 cups warm water in 3-quart glass bowl with wooden spoon until smooth. Cover; let stand in warm, draft free place for 8 hours or overnight.

Add the grains, the sugar, salt, baking soda and oil to the mixture in the bowl; stir with wooden spoon until smooth and flour is completely absorbed. If necessary add some of the remaining 1/2 cup flour.

Turn dough onto heavily floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turn greased side up and cover. Let rise in warm, draft free place for 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough; divide into halves. Shape each half into a round, slightly flat loaf. Place loaves on parchment lined baking sheets and score each loaf 3 times on the top. Or you can roll one half out into a rectangle, sprinkle it with 1/4 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, roll, seal and place in a greased 9×5 pan.  Let rise until double, about 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375F. Brush loaves with water and place into preheated oven. Bake, brushing occasionally with water for 50 minutes or until loaves sound hollow. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Note: Because you used your sourdough starter, you should feed it 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup water by stirring it in and letting it set on the counter for 12 hours. Return to refrigerator and use once a week to 10 days.

Sugar Cookies

From Betty Crocker

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup softened butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix powdered sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract. Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Heat oven to 375F. Divide dough into halves. roll each half 3/16 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shaped.

Sprinkle with granulated sugar; place on lightly greased sheet. Bake until edges are light brown, 7 to 8 minutes.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

From Brown Eyed Baker

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated.

4. Spread the dough evenly into the pan (I found an offset spatula was the best tool for the job, as it’s a thick batter). Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Makin’ Macarons(A First and Hopefully Successful Attempt)

Macarons in a variety of colours.

Image via Wikipedia

Approximately one week ago, I wore capri shorts to school. Today school was canceled because it is snowing polar bears and penguins. I have been wanting to make macarons for some time now and after I tried my first one yesterday, I knew that the time to make them was now. I had to work around a few problems before I could make them, however. The first setback was that we did not have any ground almonds/almond flour. I first ground them in our food processor then spent half an hour trying to grind them through a sifter. Another thing that I do not do well with in the culinary world is whipping and folding egg whites. I really hope that I did get them to the right consistency. Once I did that, I had to pipe bunches of little evenish circles which turned out pretty well, but then they were too close together and now some of the macarons are touching. Right now, they are developing their skin and should be ready soon. I just made plain vanilla flavored macarons, but so they wouldn’t be blah, I added some green food coloring which gave them an interesting hue(I am now slightly regretting doing this). The recipe that I used is from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. I was happy to find that recipe because most of the recipes that I had found on fellow food blogger’s websites were all in metric, this one is not. Her recipe, though, did not mention letting the macaron develop a skin, but I have read that this is a crucial part in having them turn out right and to have the all-powerful feet. I will post pictures later whether they turn out or not(so be prepared for carnage).

Edit: Well, I just looked in the oven and this was a fail! They are all cracked and collapsed(not anything like the picture above). If anyone has made macarons before, please tell me what I did wrong.

~thechildcooks

French Almond Macarons

Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 cups(4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground or almond flour

3 large egg whites

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Food Coloring(optional)

Filling(Frosting, jam, jelly etc.)

Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds; set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mats, and mark circles using a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter dipped in flour(I drew circles with marker then flipped the paper over).

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy; add salt. Gradually add granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the whites reach medium-soft peaks. Transfer to large bowl.

Add food coloring, sprinkle half of the sugar-almond mixture over the egg white mixture. Using a large rubber spatula, fold until just incorporated. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and remaining sugar-almond mixture, folding until just incorporated. Firmly tap the bottom of the bowl to eliminate any air pockets.

Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheets.

Let sit for 20 minutes. At the end of the 20  minutes turn the oven on to 300F and set timer for 10 minutes(or until your oven heats up). By this time your macarons should have developed a skin. Bake, 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Macarons will be able to be lifted off the sheet and bottoms will feel dry. Let cool 5 minutes on baking sheets and then transfer parchment and macarons to cooling racks until completely cool. Using a small spatula, carefully remove macarons from parchment. Fill with 2 teaspoons of desired filling sandwiched between 2 cookies. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving. Filled cookies can be kept in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for up to 2 days.

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