Tag Archives: Baking and Confections

Freezer Pie

Well, you know how about three hours ago I said I had no idea what I was going to make next? I figured it out; I was really bored and then I remembered that we had some frozen fruit in the freezer. I had wanted to make a rhubarb pie with rhubarb from our garden, but since last time I made one nobody ate it, I decided not to. Instead, I made a blueberry peach pie. I didn’t really have a recipe for the filling, just some basic guidelines, but it turned out well. For the crust I made a shortbread cookie type crust and then crumbled some on top of the pie. The amount of filling I had was to much for the pie pan, so I topped the leftovers with an oatmeal sugar crumble mixture. The color of the filling is like an amathyst and looks pretty speckled with the crumble. I think I am done baking for today, but you never know!

~thechildcooks

Frozen Blueberry Peach Pie

Based loosly off a recipe from The Joy of Cooking

2 cups frozen blueberries

2 1/2 cups frozen peaches

2/3-1 cup sugar

3 1/2 tablspoons cornstarch

In a large saucepan, heat the fruit with the sugar until it begins to lightly bubble. Add liquid if neccessary to prevent from burning. Add the cornstach and stir in until it dissolves. Leave on low heat sirring occasionaly while you make the crust. 

Short Bread Crust

1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cups sugar

Pinch of salt

8 tablespoons butter cut into 8 pieces and slightly softened

2 egg yolks

In a bowl, whisk together the flour sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until it resembles large crumbs. With the back of a spatula mix in 1 egg yolk until the crust holds together. Hold back 2 tablespoons of dough for the crumble. Pat into a 9 inch pie tin that has had the bottom greased and floured. Prick holes in the bottom of the crust and bake for18-20 minutes at 400F. Brush the second egg yolk on the bottom of the crust and bake for 3 minutes.

 Add the filling and crumble the remaining crust on the top. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes longer or until the topping is cooked. Cool and enjoy!

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Filed under Pie, Sweet

Not Just White Bread

The recipe for Not Just White Bread from my 4-H book is a winner. The bread is light and tasty, not to mention easy to make. It is similar to the recipe for white bread in the Betty Crocker cookbook, but calls for making a sponge instead of mixing everything together at once. The method for shaping the loaves is also different, Not Just White Bread does not get rolled before placing into the pans, you just put it in. All in all, I will be making this recipe again.

For those of you wondering why I have not posted in a while, I am fine, I was just on vacation on the Atlantic coast. While there, I dicovered that eating crabs freshly steamed out of their shells seasoned with liberal amounts of Old Bay is awesome. I packed away about 36 in one sitting at an all you can eat place and it has enlightened me. I also visited two Indian restaurants where I stuffed myself with deliciousness. My father told me, that this summer, we might have a seafood boil similar to the east coast steam pots. It was really relaxing to be on vacation, but I missed baking in m kitchen and need to make up for lost time. Tomorrow, I plan on making graham crackers, in order to start experimenting for the best s’mores. Hope you all are have a good summer!

~thechildcooks

Not Just White Bread

Yeast Breads on the Rise

Sponge

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 package active dry yeast

2 cups all-purpose flour

Dough

1 cup warm milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

3 tablespoons shortening

5 cups all-purpose flour

Use a large bowl to make the sponge. Measure the water and 2 tablespoons sugar into the bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and stir until smooth. Beat in the 2 cups flour by hand until the mixture is smooth. Let the mixture rise in a warm place until light and spongy, about 1 hour.

While the sponge is rising, combine sugar, salt, and shortening with warm milk, cool to room temperature.

Stir the sponge down when light and spongy and sitr in the milk mixture. Stir in additional flour until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn dough onto a lightly floured boar and knead until smooth, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add small amounts of flour while kneading if dough is too sticky.

Place in a greased bowl and brush with shortening. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Punch down and turn out on a lightly floured board. Divide in half, let rest 15 to 20 minutes.

Shape dough into two loaves and place in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Cover, let rise in a warm place until the center is slightly higher than the edge of the pan, about 1 hour.

Bake at 400F about 50 minutes. Remove from pan and cool.

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Filed under 4-H, Breads, Yeast Bread

Steaming My Buns

Steamed buns for the "Bun Mountain",...

Image via Wikipedia

No, I did not go to a sauna. The bun in question are the light, fluffy, awesome and all-around yummy Chinese steamed buns(or Mantou     饅頭). I had seen recipes for them before and thought to myself that there was no way for me to make them and why would I be making them in the first place? I had never had them before and thought that they were only a savory application. That being said, ehrn I went to a local Chinese place I did not take one becuase I thought it would be filled wiht meat. To my surprise, when I went there again today, it was filled with a sweet yellow paste. It was so good and my sister and myself really enjoyed them. So much in fact, that I decided to see if I could make them at home. I remembered the recipes that I had seen and checked some of them out. The first one that I found used a bread machine. That one was out. The next one made eight rolls with 4 cups of flour. That one was out because, well that sounded like a really big roll. The others took types of flour that I had never heard of, let alone had in my pantry. The one I finally found was from allrecipes.com . The reviews on it were all good and the process looked simple enough: made a dough let it rise, add more flour and the remaining ingredients, knead, let rest, knead, shape, let rest and steam. The only problem I had was with the very last instruction-steam. How to steam them without a steamer was my dilemma. I finally ended up constructing one out of a stainless steel bowl and pie-cooling rack with another bowl overturned on top as a lid. The steaming process takes a long time as my bowl is small and you must leave adequate space for the buns to expand. I can fit about 4-5 in at a time and they have to cook for 15-16 minutes. I made 18 bun and am still cooking the second batch; this might take awhile. As I mentioned above, the bun that I saw online were mostly meat filled. The one I had today and the ones I am making are filled with sweets for a more dessertish end product. I filled them with peanut butter, grape jelly, strawberry jelly, cinnamon sugar and a lemon puddingy filling. My dad just tried one of the cinnamon sugar filled buns and said it was really good. Even though he did not have one at the restaurant, he said he was surprised at how close to the restaurant’s buns that they looked. He also commented on the fact that the texture was fluffy and not doughy as he thought they would be. I also made a shamrock green pudding pie for my fathers Sunday School class. Shamrock green because it is close to St. Patrick’s Day and pudding pir becuase kid like pie and monday is Pi day. I just made a simple graham cracker crust and box pudding. I would have liked to make my own pudding or custard filling, but I could not justify using four egg yolks because I know that at my house the whites will not be used. Oh well, maybe next time. I am not sure what else I will make this weekend, but it should be yummy!

~thechildcooks 

Chinese Steamed Buns

From allrecipes.com

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon white sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup warm water

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

Mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Mix in 1/2 cup warm water, flour, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts, and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide each half into 12 parts. Shape each part into a ball with smooth surface up( if you want a filling, roll the ball flat and put about a teaspoon of filling in the gather and pinch to seal). Put each ball on a wax paper square. Let stand covered until double, about 30 minutes.

Bring water to a boil in wok, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place steam-plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the wok. Transfer as many buns on wax paper as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate leaving 1 to 2 inches between the buns. At least 2 inches space should be left between steam-plate and the wok. Cover wok with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 minutes.

REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto bun surface and produce yellowish “blisters” on bun surfaces. Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked. Enjoy hot or reheated with a steamer.

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Filed under Breads, Sweet, Uncategorized

The Fabulous and the Flubs

I have wanted to make baked doughnuts ever since I saw doughnut pans on a website and the really yummy looking pictures on Foodgawker.com. I tried to make doughnuts this way back in November, but didn’t have a pan, so I made them into muffins. They turned out all right, however, they were not quite what I was looking for. They were too muffiny and not fluffy or any other doughnut qualities that I was hoping for. I tried a new recipe today that does not require pans, instead you roll them out and cut them.  The recipe was printed, the kitcken was ready for me to concure it and I was ready to sieze control of the oven. However, I was not ready to read the recipe. Using half a cup of milk makes a dough, 1 cup of milk  makes a batter. That was my mistake. In remedy, I let the batter rise for 15 minutes then spooned it into muffin cups. In hindsight, I should have sprayed the muffin cups instead of using paper liners. They rose beautifuly in the oven and turned out like little dinner rolls. I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on some of them while baking and filled one with jam by spooning half of the batter, then jam, then the rest of the batter. While those were baking, I restarted the process, this time using the proper amount of milk. After I baked them, I made a simple glaze with powdered sugar, water and vanilla. I also took a decorators tip and bag, then used them to inject the doughnuts with grape jam. The recipe works really well both ways and produces similar yet different results depending which way you make them. The batter produces a heavier, more bread-like baked good and the dough version is fluffier and harbors more doughnut qualities under the sugary glaze. Either way you make them, I think you will be pleased with the results.

~thechildcooks

Baked Doughnuts
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks

Makes about 1 dozen

For the dough:

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm milk, divided, 95 to 105 degrees (take its temperature–too hot and it will kill the yeast)
1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast (about half a packet)
1 tablespoons butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup sugar
1 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Place 3 tablespoons of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the yeast and set aside for at least five minutes. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of warm milk in a small bowl, stir in the butter and sugar, and add it to the yeast mixture. On low speed, stir in the egg, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until the flour is incorporated. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. At this point, make a few adjustments – if your dough is seriously sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add a little bit of milk. Eventually, you want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and become soft and smooth. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface, knead it a few times by hand, and shape it into a smooth ball.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl (cooking spray works great here), cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place. Let the dough rise until its doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on a floured work surface. Using a 2-3 inch cookie cutter, stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut holes in the centers with a smaller cutter, about half the diameter of the first–remember the hole will close up on the second rising if it’s too small, so make it a little bigger than what a finished doughnuts would look like (alternatively, use a doughnut cutter, if you actually own one). Cover the baking sheet with a clean cloth and let the doughnuts rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes – start checking around 8. Better to underbake then overbake here–pull them early if in doubt.

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Filed under Breads, Sweet

Hello All!

Well, this is my first post and I really don’t know what to say. In a few minutes I am going to make some cookies and will let you know how those turn out later. But, first, I will share one piece of cooking information:homemade marshmallows are the most AMAZING thing in the world. Yesterday I made some and was cutting them out today. The scraps did not last long. 🙂 Marshmallows are super easy, the only thing to remember is let the alloted time pass or else they will fail and you will be mad.
When I post the cookies, I will try to post some marshmallow pics too. Toodles!

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Filed under Candy, Sweet