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Lorin at From Lorin’s Kitchen ! Congrats!  I need your mailing address via email please!  I will get your goodies out to you this coming week.  Lorin made several of the recipes for July’s challenges and you should go take a look at her heart shaped cream wafers! A-dorable!

Now just some FYIs and then I have to get busy today.  Going to a ball game this afternoon with my kids and little grandson, Sam.  Fun to be had! My brother (the one that just had the triple bypass) is general manager of the BattleWings arena football team and you know you gotta support the team! Go WINGS!

Also, don’t forget the JULIE & JULIA Book and Apron Giveaway!

And stay tuned because next week you will be getting more information on the up and coming International Overalls Day in November.  I will be uploading pictures to our flickr account (today if my internet allows it!).

Have a great weekend!

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Well, sort of book/movie notes & book & apron giveaway.  Is anyone else looking forward to seeing Julie & Julia???

jj

Oh I cannot wait!  I have two friends who want to go so I will see it at least twice and then I know I will have to see it with Husband!  It is about the LATE GREAT Julia Child and an author named Julie Powell and the intertwining of their lives. I read the book a couple of years ago simply because it was food related novel and I love those!  Now I am listening to the book on my ipod on my morning walk.  My favorite still from the upcoming movie:

mrandmrsCAnyone who takes food photos or provides food for food photos, or watches pictures being taken of food can’t help but appreciate this scene.  Stanley Tucci plays Mr. Child in the movie.  YAY!

Julia Child had a long love affair with food. Good food.  And I respect that.  And I expect to see a lot of aprons in this flick as well.  Gotta love a woman in an apron, right?

Oh I almost forgot!  In celebration of the opening of this movie I am giving away a copy of Julie Powell’s book Julie and Julia ~ my year of cooking dangerously. Oh…and yeah, an apron too.  Duh!  You didn’t think I could actually have a giveaway and NOT include and apron did you?  Fun huh?  How do you enter to win?  Well, leave me a comment telling me why you need a copy, a favorite Julia Child quip or quote if you have one and then consider yourself entered!  I will draw a name on Monday, August 9th.  Foregoing any unforeseen problems, I will have seen the movie by then.  At least once.  Man, I so don’t want to be disappointed!  You can see the trailer here. Just the scenes of the streets of New York and Paris are worth the price of the movie!

By the way, in amongst all my other projects, I am designing MY PERFECT APRON.  No, it will not be frilly, or cute (well maybe cute) but it will be what I consider PERFECTION in an apron.  Full coverage, straps that stay put, big enough to cover the sides of me so when I wipe my hands down the side of my hips (I can’t break myself of this habit), I won’t be wiping them on my clothes.  Pockets, oh yeah pockets!  And at least one loop for a dish towel.  Heavy enough so that when I step up to the sink and splatter myself with water or stand next to the stovetop tasting something and dribble it down my front, it will catch the spill and not let it soak thru to my clothes. There may be an apron similar to what I want out there, but I have yet to find it so…I will make it!  I have found ones that might do, if the dang straps would adjust without me pinning or sewing them shorter or folding the bib part where it will tie in the right place.  Not everyone is 5’6″ you know?  Therefore our torsos are a bit shorter.

So there you have it.  Happy Saturday EVERYONE!  And in the words of one of my heros….

BON APPETIT!

JJ_wallpaper_03_1024x768That’s a lot of onions!  And one pretty cute apron!!

Eat something good today!

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Time once again for new recipes!  The deadline for getting your name in for this past week’s challenge is 8 am today. Next Friday will be pretty special.  Not only will you get another set of recipes but it will be the last day of the month, therefore, we will draw a name from the jar for the winner of July’s goodies!  Good luck to all of you!  And Happy Baking!!

Our first recipe this week is a family favorite.  My oldest daughter mastered this recipe when she was about 15 I believe.  Her first “real job” was baking these for a local cafe…yes, at such a tender age! Posting this recipe is a good excuse for Rachel and I  to make these – we have to have a picture you know!

Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is for a crowd.  Maybe a holiday breakfast.  But, take heart, it is very easily halved. Though you could make the full recipe and surprise a friend with half.

  • 8-8 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP yeast
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs

Filling:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar

Glaze:

  • 2 pound bag powdered sugar
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 2 TBSP butter, softened
  • Enough milk for desired consistancy

Combine 3 cups of flour and the yeast and set aside.  In a saucepan, heat and stir the milk, sugar, salt and butter just until warm (120-130°).  Add to flour mixture.  Add eggs.  Beat with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds.  Beat on high for 3 minutes.  Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.  On a floured surface, knead to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic.  This might also be accomplished in your mixer if you have a dough hook and it is capable of kneading dough – if so about 8-10 minutes. Shape into a ball.  Place in a greased bowl; turning once to coat the surface of the dough.  Cover and let rise until doubled – about 1 hour.  Punch down dough.  Turn out on a lightly floured surface.  Divide in half.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Roll each half into a rectangle about 18″ x 10″.  Spread 1/2 filling over first half of dough.  Starting at the 10″ side roll tightly.  Using heavy duty sewing thread, slice into 15-18 rolls.  Place in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Repeat with remaining dough in a second pan. Cover pans with waxed paper and then plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 2-24 hours.  Let stand 20-25 minutes before making in a preheated 375° for 20-25 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Glaze.

Recipe two is your savory challenge for this week.  And another family favorite.  Why not have a tribute to Jess’ Mad Baking Skills this week? 🙂

You may already have a favorite dinner roll recipe but give this one a try anyway.  These are very very much like School Rolls.  You know, the rolls you smelled when you stepped off the bus every morning at Elementary School?  Mmmmm.

Jess’s Good Potato Rolls

rolls

Again, this recipe is for a large family or gathering.  It is also easily halved.

  • 10 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP yeast
  • 1 cup potato water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2/3 cup butter flavored Crisco, melted

Scald milk. To this add your potato water, Crisco, salt and 3/4 cup sugar.  Set aside to cool to lukewarm.  In a separate bowl, add 1 tsp sugar to warm water (110°) and stir in yeast.  Let stand until proofed.  Combine with other mixture in a large bowl.  Add eggs and 5 cups of flour.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time.  Knead to elastic and smooth with either your mixer with dough hook or by hand on a lightly floured surface.  Let rise in a greased bowl, covered until doubled.  Form rolls, desired size and place in a greased pan with 2″ sides, close together but not touching.  The shape of the pan isn’t important. This recipe if not halved makes several pans of rolls depending on the size of the pan.  But at least two 9 x 13s. We make ours about 3 inches around.  Cover rolls with a cloth and let rise until they touch and are to the top of the pan.  Bake at 375° until golden brown.  If you like, you can brush the tops with melted butter as they come out of the oven.

I am having a bit of a hen party tonight and serving Chicken and Dumplings – these rolls sure would go well!  Dessert: Buttermilk Pie! I can’t make Chicken and Dumplings without getting a little nostalgic.  My Ganky~my mom’s only sister and one of the biggest influences in my life, made THE BEST.  Pretty much the best everything. I don’t have her recipe, probably because she never had a cookbook that I am aware of.  I don’t remember ever seeing one in her house.  She cooked from scratch and memory.  The recipe I use though, came from Mrs. Pinkye.  Mrs. Pinkye and her husband Papaw Minkye (Ben’s names for them) built the house we live in.  They were friends, though much older, of my parents and sold my dad the land they built their house on.  When Papaw Minkye passed and Mrs. Pinkye went to live closer to her daughter, this place, right across the road from my parents, came up for sale and we bought it.  My mom got this Chicken and Dumpling recipe from Mrs. Pinkye probably 30 years ago and passed it on to me.  It’s a winner!  You can tell from the comments the original post got, that I am not the only one that thinks so!  And this is one of the greatest posts I was ever honored to be linked to. I still smile everytime I think of it. Thanks Sher.

Well, how’s all that for getting sidetracked!  Have a great weekend and bake something good!


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Welcome to this week’s challenge recipes!  All the same rules apply. You have until 8a.m. CST to get your recipes from the last challenge posted.  I am a little early with these but we have a slightly busy weekend ahead!  As I am sure you do too.  Have a LOVELY 4th of July.  Be safe.  Eat too much.  Take a nap.

If you have a sec click on the Madsen Cycles link in my right side bar and help me enter to win that VERY cool bike! You can read all about the contest when you get to their website.  Heck, you may want to throw your name in the hat as well.

Oh…and one more thing.  BIG Vintage GiveAway will be announced Monday…so stay tuned! This giveaway has nothing to do with the Friday Baking – its a just because giveaway!

First up the savory recipe.  Thanks to Rachel I can tell you these are some fine pretzels. Why don’t you mosey over and take a look at her blog while you are at it?  Great photos and some awesome recipes.

pretz

Soft Pretzels

Makes 12

* 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (1/4 ounce)
* 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1 cup warm water
* 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
* Vegetable oil, for baking sheets
* 3 tablespoons baking soda
* 1 tablespoon pretzel salt
* Assorted mustards, for serving

Directions

1. Mix yeast, coarse salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix flour and cayenne in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Slowly pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring to combine. Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic, and let rise for 30 minutes.
4. Cut dough into 12 pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portion backward along center of U shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Return to baking sheet, sprinkle with pretzel salt, and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pretzels will keep, uncovered, at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Rewarm in a 250-degree oven if desired, and serve with mustards.

Now for your yummy sweet recipe…German Chocolate Cake.  I picked this because I am constantly amazed at the peeps who only ever use cake mixes.  Don’t get me wrong…cake mixes are GREAT and I do use them.  I have about 3001 Bundt cake recipes that use cake mix.  Plus cookie recipes and cake pops.  But you really should have a repertoire of good from scratch cake recipes for special occasions.

germ

This is usually the cake we make for Husband’s birthday. It just maybe his favorite.

* 4 ounces Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, melted and cooled
* 2 1/3 cup cake flour
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup butter, room temperature
* 1 cup buttermilk, divided
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 eggs
* Coconut pecan frosting and filling, below

Grease two 9-inch layer cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter; add flour mixture, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened; beat at medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes, scraping bowl from time to time. Add melted chocolate, eggs, and remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. Beat 1 minute longer. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack for 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely on racks. Frost with coconut pecan frosting, below.

Coconut Pecan Frosting and Filling

* 3/4 cup evaporated milk
*1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
* 1 1/3 cups Baker’s Angel Flake coconut (3-ounce can)
* 1 cup chopped pecans

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugars, butter, and vanilla. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat (mixture might appear a bit curdled). Quickly stir a small amount of the hot liquid into the beaten egg yolks; return egg yolk mixture to the hot mixture in saucepan and blend well. Return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to spreading consistency, beating occasionally.

NOTE: The original recipe called for 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar for the frosting.  HOWEVER, Rachel found the frosting gets too hard if you use brown sugar.



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We are rocking right along now aren’t we?  Week four of the new (and hopefully improved) Friday Baking with  NotQuiteJuneCleaver.  Lots to talk about this morning, but first, “THANK YOU” to all who are participating in this little event.  As always comments for the “RedNeck Macaron/Challah” week ends this morning at 8 a.m. CST.  Your new challenge recipes are YUMMY so… HAPPY BAKING!

In honor of Independence Day our theme this week is Red, White and Blue.  One ingredient in each of the three recipes ~ one savory, one sweet and the Bonus Recipe will be either Red, White or Blue. And since July is National Blueberry Month your first recipe is for one amazing Fresh Blueberry Pie!

Recipe One: Fresh Blueberry Pie

blueberriesIf this recipe were any easier, it would have come in a box!  Simple ingredients, simple directions, AMAZING pie!  And before you ask…Rachel took these photos and I know I am biased but aren’t they beautiful? I am so excited that she and my older daughter are doing all the photos for our cookbook project…which by the way is going slower than I would like…but you expected that by now, right?  But it is coming together!  Without further delay here is your recipe for Fresh Blueberry Pie

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • juice and grated zest from 1/2 medium lemon
  • 5 cups fresh or frozen thawed blueberries, rinsed well
  • pastry for 2-crust pie (my favorite recipe, you can cut it in half or freeze the extra for later)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut in small pieces


Preparation:
In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, lemon juice and grated rind, and blueberries. Roll out half of the pastry; line an 9-inch pie pan and trim edges. Pour berry mixture into pie crust and dot with small pieces of butter. Roll out remaining pastry to about 1/8 inch thick. Cover pie; trim, turn edge under and crimp. Cut a few vents in top of crust to allow steam to escape (didn’t think about it in time or I would have used one of my pie birds). Bake at 425° for 40 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned. For best slicing results, let the pie cool before slicing.  We couldn’t wait!pairofpies

Recipe Two: Stuffed Tomatoes

TOMAAAAHTOES

This is a recipe I have not made before this week.  I have tomatoes EVERYWHERE!  And this sounds so good! I love stuffed bell peppers so why not tomatoes?  I can tell you right now there are members of my family who will remain nameless :cough: Hannah and Husband :cough: who wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole and would likely get “the look” on their faces if I suggested it.  However, I think they sound YUMMY!  So I made them before Husband arrived home.  Plus, I wanted to be sure they were as good as they sounded.  I cut the recipe by 2/3s  since likely Rachel and I would be the only partakers. And we LOVED these.  They are definitely a “make again” recipe!  Just had no idea baked tomatoes would takes so good.

  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped (I used about 1/2 a jalapeno and a few tsp diced chillies…much more mild)
  • 3 cups cooked rice (great way to use leftover rice)
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, crumbled
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • soft buttered bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese ( I used Mozzarella and it was terrific)

tom1


Cut off top of tomatoes and scrape pulp out of inside, leaving a firm shell. Add pulp to skillet with the bell pepper, onion and jalapeno pepper. Cook covered over low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add rice and bacon and season to taste. Stuff this back into the tomatoes and sprinkle with bread crumbs and shredded cheese. Place tomatoes in a casserole or baking dish with about 1/4 cup of water to keep them from sticking. Cook in oven at 425° for 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes are tender.
Serves 6.

tom2

Now for your Bonus Recipe!

This is absolutely the most simple bread recipe IN THE WORLD!  And represents the WHITE in this weeks theme.

My French Baguettes

baguette

* 2 cups very warm water
* 1 package dry yeast (Rapid Rise)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 4 cups flour

Run the water in your faucet until it gets very warm. Many people worry that water that is too warm will kill the yeast and keep it from rising, but in his book The Complete New Book of Breads, Bernard Clayton, Jr. said that with today’s fast-rising yeast, the water temperature can be between 120 and 130 degrees. The warmer the water is, the faster the dough will rise. Pour 1/4 cup of water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Mix and let the mixture set while you measure and mix the flour and salt into the bowl for your mixer if you have a mixer with a dough hook and a large bowl if you plan to hand knead.  Make a well in the flour and pour the water and yeast mixture in the hole. Slowly pour another 1 3/4 cup of warm water into the flour and mix well. With a dough hook, knead the dough for ten minutes, until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should feel damp and slightly firm, but not sticky. If it’s sticky, add a little more flour and continue kneading.  If hand kneading put a little flour on your counter or cutting board. Pick up one side of the dough and push it into the other side with the heels of your hand. Rotate the dough and repeat the action. Continue rotating and pushing the dough with your hands for ten minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place until it doubles in size. Press the dough down and divide it into two pieces. With your hands, make two long, smooth loaves about two inches thick and about twelve inches long. Place the loaves on a greased pan and let them rise again for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°. When the loaves have doubled in size, make three or four diagonal slashes with a sharp knife. About five minutes before the loaves are ready to cook, put about 1/2 cup of water in a pan on the lowest rack of your oven. Place the loaves in the oven and bake for 25 or 30 minutes.

If Husband is making this bread he uses an egg wash and spritzes the loaves with water every 10 minutes during baking and they ARE CRUSTY.  I usually just bake it.  I don’t mind the softer crust.

This is simple enough to do several times a week.  Which I don’t…but always plan to!

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Hello again! Just a couple of things before we get started this morning.  First, you still have until 8 a.m. CST to get your recipes posted for the Brioche, Cream Puffs or Focaccia.  Second, a big hug and thank you to everyone who left me a sweet, supportive comment yesterday.  I don’t want anyone to get the impression my feelings were hurt over anything that was said before.  I was mostly “laying my cards on the table” and coming to the defense of anyone who takes the time and effort to keep a blog and has met with the same or probably worse behavior.  Nonetheless, THANK YOU for being so kind and I do appreciate the time you spend here.

Now without further ado, here are your new recipes. Comments will be closed on the recipes posted on June 12th for the week of June 12-19 at 8 a.m. CST this morning (can you believe I am a little ahead!? Me either!). Thanks to those who participated! I hope you enjoy the next two recipes PLUS a Bonus Recipe! As last week, one is sweet, one is savory.  If you have any questions that cannot be answered by reading the Friday Baking page, email me or leave a note.  Happy Baking Everyone!

Recipe One:

Rachel’s Redneck Macarons

redneckmacaroons

Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted  butter at room temp
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift both flours, cornstarch, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, at medium speed, beat the butter and powdered sugar until smooth and lightened slightly in color (about 1 minute).  Stope the mixer and scrape the sides.  Add the vanilla and mix until blended.  On low speed add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated and smooth.

For each cookie, roll a level teaspoon in to a smooth ball.  pLace the cookies on the parchment lined baking sheet spacing them two inches apart.  Use a fork and gently flatten the cookies into a 1 1/4″ disk.  Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and the cookie bottoms are slight browned – about 30 minutes.  The tops of the cookies should not color.  Repeat with the second pan.  Cool on the pan 10 minutes and them using a wide spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling: In a medium bowl use a wooden spoon to stir the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth.  Stir in chips.

Turn half of the cookies bottom side up and using a thin spreader, smooth a rounded teaspoon of filling gently and evenly over each one.  Place the remaining cookie halves right side up on the filling and press VERY gently.

What a sandwich cookie!! The name just popped out of Rachel’s mouth when we asked her what they were.  The do resemble the lovely and delectable French Macarons which is your Bonus Recipe for this week!

Recipe Two:

Challah

5 cups unbleached white bread flour
2 tsp salt
2 TBSP yeast
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup plain yogurt or sour cream ( I almost always use homemade yogurt)
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup butter softened
1 egg beaten for glaze

Warm the milk/yogurt together to 90 degrees. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Put the yeast in the well and add the warm milk/yogurt mixture. Mix to disolve with your fingers. Add the beaten egg and butter. Mix to form a dough. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until soft and shiny. Let the dough rise in a greased bowl covered with oiled plastic wrap, in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface, punch down and form into a ball. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each piece into a rope about 10 ” x 1 “. You may have to work slowly with a little rest in between so as not to stretch the dough to quickly.

To make the dough into a braid, press the four ropes together on one end, giving them a little twist and tuck for neatness.

100_2626
Counting from your left, fold strand 1 over strand 2, 3 over 1 and 4 under 1 and 4 over 3. Repeat until you reach the end. As you work the strands will probably lengthen. Nip and tuck the second end in the same way you did the first. Place finished loaf on a greased baking sheet, cover wtih oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile heat the oven to 400.

Brush loaf with the second beaten egg and bake in the center of the oven for 35-45 minutes

Cool on wire rack.

100_2632

This bread but lovely served with any meal. We spread with honey butter. Delicious! If there is left overs it makes great toast or sandwiches, or even French Toast!

floline


Bonus Recipe: French Macarons

(this is a previous post from back in Jan ’08 – there is a short update at then end after we ate REAL Parisian Macarons)

Not the “pour one can of sweetened condensed milk over 5 cups of coconut, stir and drop by tsp onto cookie sheet” macaroons. The REAL macaroons. The macaroons like people stand in line for in Paris. Now I won’t lead you to believe that I would know if my macaroons were as good or even close to the same as THOSE macaroons. But I will say this…if THOSE macaroons are better than MY macaroons well, no wonder people stand in line for them. These were delectable! Hey! Ladurée has been making macaroons since 1862 and I have been making them since…Sunday morning so why not compare????

Now a small confession: I almost croaked from eating them. Yep, severely allergic to almonds – only the KEY ingredient in macaroons. I think if I had just eaten a baked and filled one, slowly savoring every bite, I might not have had to pop two Benadryl and take a sleep in the middle of having dinner guests. But nooooo, I had to lick the bowl after we had them in the oven. Look, they were amazing, okay? Truly the best cookie or cake as Ladurée calls them. This is from their website:

The story of the Macaroon

These small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, are the most famous creation of Ladurée.

The story of the Ladurée macaroon starts with Pierre Desfontaines, distant cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée, who at the beginning of the 20th century first thought of taking two macaroon shells and joining them with a delicious ganache filling. The way of making them has never changed since that time.

These small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, are made every morning in Ladurée’s “laboratory”. The pastry chefs measure out very precisely the required amounts of almonds, eggs and sugar, before adding one final ingredient, a pinch of unique “know-how”, essential to the making of such a delicacy.

Once cooked and filled, the macaroons are put to one side for 2 days before going on sale, the time it takes to achieve a perfect balance between texture and flavour.

Macaroons come in two sizes: the mini-macaroon or “gerbet” and full-size macaroons.

With each new season, Ladurée pays tribute to this its most famous creation by creating a new flavour.
The existing range of macaroons is always the starting point when a new one is created, as the variety of colours is as important as the range of flavours and a vital part of their appeal.

I don’t really know how they wait two days to eat them but whatever.  There aren’t any more here!  Below is the recipe I used with a few pictures of the process.  A tutorial if you like.  In the next week or so I am going to make some using pecans instead of almonds and just see if it works and what the differences are.  I want so much to enjoy these cookies periodically but don’t want the whole allergic reaction, pop benadryl, become comatose for 2-5 hours, feel like I have been hit by a truck for 12-18 hours, all the while making 15-20 trips to “the little girls’ room” .  So I must improvise.  Then again maybe moderation would help.  So do you think a town of 2889 is ready for a Macaron Shoppe??? Me neither.   Until they are I will keep just making them for my friends and family.  Though at $2 each in the few US bakeries I could find that made them…it might be something to think about!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
• 4 large egg whites
• 3 sticks (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
• 1-1/4 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ( I used vanilla bean paste and it was yummy!)

Macaroons
• 1-3/4 cup confectioners sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or other flavoring or combination (again I used vanilla bean paste – I love the pretty brown flecks)
• 1-1/2 cups (4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground, or almond flour
• the whites of 3 large eggs
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 recipe Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds; set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

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 a large bowl.

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 on a counter or work surface to eliminate any air pockets.

Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (I didnt have a tip this size so I just use the coupler without a tip…worked fine – or so Rachel said! ). Pipe mixture into 1 1/2  – 2 inch circles on parchment lined baking sheet.

macaroons2.jpg

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until macaroons feel slightly firm to the touch and can be gently lifted off the parchment (the bottoms will be dry), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer parchment and macaroons to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Carefully remove macaroons from parchment. Spread Swiss Meringue buttercream on the flat sides of the half of macaroons; sandwich with the other halves, keeping flat sides down.

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Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving. Filled cookies can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (This is comical isn’t it? The recipe made about  48 halves or 24 filled cookies so, I have no idea how long they will last in the frig!)

Isn’t this a beautiful cookie????

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And I was right…they weren’t nearly as hard to make as one would imagine.   Family consensus – they were lovely, delicious, oh so good but Cream Wafers are still the favorite.

When we were in Paris we did eat Macarons…and honestly…liked ours better.



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Yet another update: Monday 1:25pm  Our plans for today change til tomorrow so we are in the process of making the brioche.  Our ingredients are out and coming to room temp and I will keep you posted on how it’s going!

I am having issues with the dough too!  So I am taking the Brioche Recipe down…leaving you two others…the Cream Puffs and the Focaccia.  So good luck and I will keep you posted!

5:40 pm Yeah the dough is sticky…but supposed to be.  Kinda hard to handle…but won’t it be worth it!?  It is just out of the oven…let it cool and I will cut it and let you know ALL about it.  I used the original recipe and finally decided it WAS supposed to be JUST THAT STICKY.  So…update and pictures soon.

Please NOTE: The Brioche Recipe below has been called into question now twice.  It is a recipe I have had for a long time but had not made.  I have done some research via baking websites and I have found that brioche dough is indeed sticky dough.  It would almost have to be with the fat content.

You might wonder why I didn’t try the recipe before posting it. Well, basically, I wanted to “play along” with everyone else!  I wanted us all to have a challenge.  I didnt want to post recipes that I could make in my sleep!  The whole idea behind Friday Baking With NotQuiteJuneCleaver was to also challenge myself to try recipes I had never made.

If you would prefer NOT to risk the loss of ingredients for this recipe until I have tried it, I completely agree.  SO in light of the possibility that this recipe is inaccurate, I have added another “savory” bread recipe at the end of this post for you to try.  One I KNOW works because I have made it MANY times.  I will report back as soon as I have results.  Which likely will be tomorrow afternoon.  I had hoped to make it today (M0nday) but something has come up and I won’t be home all day.  I want to give myself plenty of time to work this out!  So please see the bottom of this post for my Focaccia.

Welcome Back! Below are your next two recipes. Comments are closed on the recipes posted on June 5th for the week of June 5-12. Thanks to those who participated! I hope you enjoy the next two recipes! As last week, one is savory, one sweet…but the beauty of them is they can go either way! Read the full recipes for alternative versions! Fun huh???? Happy Baking Everyone!!!

Simple Brioche (one loaf)

use a 9″ bread pan or bigger

  • 8 3/4 ounces (1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 oz butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 2 Tbsp fine sugar
  • 2/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 egg yolk for glaze

In a bowl, mix the flour with the yeast, make a hole in the middle. Add the warm milk mixing with the tip of your fingers (if using a stand mixer, pour the milk slowly and steadily while mixing, with the hook attachment.) Add the sugar and a pinch of salt, then add the soft butter, piece after piece, waiting each time that each piece is absorbed.

Then one by one, add the eggs, mixing well between each. Work the dough until it is elastic and detaches from your fingers more easily (or from the bowl of the stand mixer). Cover and let rest in a warm place, away from drafts, for two hours, until it doubles in size.

Work the dough again for 10 min and divide it in four balls. Place them in a greased rectangular bread pan ( and cover. Let rise for an hour again.

Preheat the oven at 400 F.

Brush the brioche with the egg yolk mixed with a dash of sugar. With a pair of kitchen scissors, make small cuts at the top of each ball.

Place in the oven to bake for 10 min then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for about 20 to 30 min.

Remove from oven and pan and let cool on a rack.

Obviously the above recipe is the “savory” version…now to make it sweet:

Brioche French Toast (using leftover broiche – assuming you will have leftovers!)

1 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1 pinch salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 loaf day old brioche

Warm the milk and sugar together, either in the microwave for about a minute or over the stove top, until just warm to touch. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar in the milk. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks, egg, salt and vanilla together in a medium-sized bowl. Then whisk the egg mixture  in the warmed milk. Slice the bread into ½-inch thick slices. Dip the slices into the warm custard until they are well-drenched.

Heat the griddle or a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. If the skillet is not non-stick, after it is preheated add a tablespoon of vegetable oil or clarified butter or spray with vegetable spray. Place the slices of bread on the griddle and cook for two to three minutes, or until they are nicely browned. Then flip them with a spatula and continue to cook on the other side for another couple minutes until both sides are nicely browned. Remove from heat and serve with warm maple syrup.


Recipe Two:

This recipe is always a winner!  People will be overly impressed – ’cause these are SO easy…but one of those things that everyone thing is anything BUT easy!

Cream Puffs

Preheat oven to 350. Just a few things up front.  You MUST use a wooden spoon and NOT your mixer. EVER.  This is a “by hand” recipe only.  And parchment is practically necessary.  Actually, I don’t know how anyone bakes without it!

Puffs

  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp superfine or caster sugar
  • 1 all-purpose flour
  • 4  large eggs


Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the flour and eggs in a saucepan and heat to boiling over medium heat.  As soon as mixture boils remove from heat, stir in flour all at once with a wooden spoon.  As soon as mixture is smooth, return to medium heat and stir continuously for about a minute to dry out the mixture.
Let cool about 3 minutes. Then place in a mixing bowl.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon.  Once the eggs are all incorporated, the mixture should be smooth and shiny, with a think constitency. Using a spoon or a small scoop, shape small balls about 1 inch in diameter. Drop these onto the lined baking sheets leaving an inch of space around each. You may also use a piping bag and large tip and pipe them onto your parchment lined sheets.  Do one pan a time, cover and refrigerating dough between batches. The mixture should hold its shape and should not spread. You should get about 40 using a teaspoon size bit of dough.

Bake 20 minutes until golden and puffed. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR during baking or these will fall! When they are done, turn the oven off and prop the door open just a crack and leave the gourgeres in for another 5 minutes. This is to prevent a sudden drop in temperature when might cause them to deflate.  After you remove them pierce the sides of each to further prevent deflation. Transfer to a  wire rack  to cool completely.  They may be frozen after this to use up to 2 months later.  Be sure and put them in a plastic container that will not squish them!

To use immediately:

They can be filled with your favorite custard filling, pudding or favorite ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce or other favorite sauce.  Simply cut the top 1/3 off with serrated knife, fill and replace the lid.  If you want my custard recipe I will be happy to post it later.

And now the savory version:

Substitute the dash of salt for 1 tsp, OMIT the sugar and add your favorite spice or herb or no herb is still delish. Ground cumin is excellent (you might remember my posting of a recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini for Gougères which also has cheese).  These savory puffs can be filled with your favorite salad…chicken, salmon, tuna…YUMMY!

Happy Baking!

Focaccia (added Monday June 15th as an alternative to the Brioche recipe)
There are so many variations…unlimited actually. Add herbs, or cheese to your taste.

  • 3 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup plus 3 TBSPS warm water (110-110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup white wine room temp
  • 5 cups white bread flour
  • 2 TBSP olive oil plus more for sprinkling and oiling pan
  • 2 tsp salt (for dough)
  • sea salt for sprinkling
  • Fresh herbs to taste (optional)

In a large bowl, stir sugar into 1/2 cup of the water, and sprinkle in yeast. Stir well; let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Add remaining water, wine and olive oil, and mix well. Add flour a cup at a time, mixing well. Add salt in with last cup of flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes in an electric mixer fitted with a dough-hook attachment, or 8 to 10 minutes by hand.

Form dough into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Spread dough evenly onto an oiled baking sheet. (if the dough resists being pulled and stretched, let it rest 10 minutes). Not necessarily to the edge of the sheet.  Cover with a damp towel or oiled plastic wrap, and let rise for 30 minutes. Dimple surface of dough with your fingertips, leaving deep indentations. Cover with towel again, and let rise at least an hour no more than 2.

Heat oven to 425°F. Drizzle oil on top of dough, allowing dimples to fill. Gently brush remaining oil over surface without deflating dough. Then sprinkle with salt and herbs, if desired. NOTE: I love the lemon infused olive oil on this bread.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and slide onto a wire rack. Serve as soon as possible, but really quite good completely cooled.

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