Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lattice Apple Pie

Flaky Pie Crust

(makes two 9" pie crusts-- either 1 double crust/lattice pie or 2 single crust pies)

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled butter (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tbsp salt
3/4 cup ice cold water

1. Mix together the dry ingredients. Using either a food processor or a pastry cutter, cut butter and shortening into the dry ingredients. 

2. Once it resembles crumbles, slowly add the ice cold water. It may not take all of the water. Once it is sticking together, it's done! 

3. Form it into two discs, flattened out until they're about 1" thick. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. 

Apple Pie

10 apples (about 4 lbs), peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk
2 tsp granulated sugar

1. In a large pot over medium-low heat, stir together apples, sugars, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cornstarch. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

2. After about 20 minutes, take the top off, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 7-8 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and let it cool for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. 

4. While the apples are cooling, roll out one of your pie crust dough discs on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out until it's about 13" in diameter. Using the rolling pin, transfer the dough to your pie pan. Trim the edges, leaving at least 3/4" overhang around the entire edge.

5. Roll out your other pie crust dough disc until it's about 12" in diameter. Cut it into 3/4" strips with a pizza cutter. 

6. Pour your apple filling into the bottom pie crust. Dot with cold butter. Start with the middle strips to make the lattice. I used this tutorial to make my lattice. Press the outside overhang onto the edge. 

7. Beat the egg and milk. Brush it atop the dough on top. Sprinkle with sugar. 

8. Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for about 35-40 minutes, or until golden on top. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

November is a great month. The holiday season is magical, and November is the real beginning of that season. 

I was craving cookies the other day. I didn't have any vegetable oil, so I texted my visiting teacher. She didn't have any veggie oil either, so I had to wait a few days to make the delicious cookies I wanted. Torture. Absolute torture. 

I wanted triple chocolate chip cookies. White chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. 

I tweaked this recipe from Lil Luna

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields: 3 dozen cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cornstarch 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Cream butter, oil, and sugars for 3-5 minutes.

2. Add eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly. Add the chocolate chips. 

4. Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 7-8 minutes. I usually bake mine on a silpat or parchment paper. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is here. It's lovely. I haven't blogged in a while. I've been busy.

Here's Austin. He's great. 

The leaves are covering the ground all around Provo and they make a very satisfying crunch when I step on them. It's time for pumpkin flavored everything.

Recipe tweaked from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Yields 24 muffins

8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 can pumpkin purée 
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 cups AP flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup sugar
5 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces

1. Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Set aside. 

2. Preheat oven to 350. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and veggie oil.

3. While that's beating, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Slowly add this to the wet ingredients. 

4. Using a food scoop, scoop batter about halfway up muffin papers in a muffin tin. Make small indents  in the batter and add about 1 tsp of the cream cheese mixture. Cover the cream cheese with about 1 tbsp more of the pumpkin batter. 

5. Using a pastry cutter, cut together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter until it resembles crumbs. Sprinkle atop the unbaked muffins.

6. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. 

Bon appétit!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Puff Pastry Apple Tarts

Puff pastry. 


It's amazing.

This evening, I opened the windows in my house and a gloriously crisp fall breeze blew right through into my kitchen. It's time for fall desserts. 

I can't wait for the leaves to turn colors. I love when the mountain is covered in the falling leaves. 

What better way to welcome autumn than by making an apple tart?

Puff Pastry Apple Tart

Yields: 2 medium tarts (about 8 servings)

1 sheet Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
2 large apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
powdered sugar for dusting
creme fraiche 

1. Thaw out puff pastry. It's best to let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours before using it, but if you forgot, just leave it out of the freezer for 30 minutes before trying to unfold it. 

2. Preheat oven to 400 degreed fahrenheit.

3. Peel, core, and slice apples into very thin slices. Put the sliced apples in a bowl and top with brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir it around. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

4. Cut the puff pastry in half. Put it on a cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper. 

5. Arrange the apples on the puff pastry, leaving about 1" on the perimeter of the puff pastry so there will be a crust when it puffs up in the oven. 

6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with creme fraiche. 

Bon appétit!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream

Well, blog readers, I'm finally back! Back to the blog, and back to BYU!

My gorgeous roommates and crappy-yet-cute house

I forgot how much I love Provo. Seriously. Yesterday I went to SLAB Pizza (This awesome pizza place that gives you a quarter of a giant pizza and a drink for $5) and after I walked in, I saw Stephanie Nielson. I recently finished her book and I am in love with her story. She's one of the most inspiring people I've ever seen. You can see her story here

So I've made this cake many times over the past few years. I'm not sure exactly when I discovered the recipe, but it's been a favorite for quite some time now. 

The only reason I haven't blogged about it yet is because it's usually gone within an hour or two of baking it. Recipe tweaked from Butter Yum

Banana Cake

Yields: 8x8 cake

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream (or buttermilk)
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, softened
2-3 overly ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 for glass pan) fahrenheit.

2. Cream together sugar, sour cream, egg, and butter for about 3 minutes. Add mashed banana and vanilla and beat. 

3. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add them slowly to the wet ingredients.

4. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake. 

Brown Sugar Buttercream

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk, optional 

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the brown sugar for 5 minutes, or until most of the graininess of the sugar is dissolved. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla slowly. If the frosting is too thick, add milk slowly. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chocolate Nutella Banana Bread

No one really cared about hazelnuts before Nutella was invented, right? They were just like any other average nut. They were as inconsequential as a cashew.

Nutella reinvented the hazelnut. Aren't we glad Nutella happened? I am. 

Chocolate Nutella Banana Bread

Yields: 1 8x4 loaf

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup veggie oil
2 eggs
3-4 mashed bananas (the browner the bananas the better)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp Nutella 
1/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease a 8x4 loaf pan. 

2. Mix sugar, veggie oil, and eggs. Add bananas and vanilla. 

3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips and mix in. 

4. Pour half the batter into the loaf pan. Melt Nutella in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Pour in on top of the batter and swirl in. Pour the other half on top and swirl a little more. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

5. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the baking pan. 

Bon appétit!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Copycat Bonne Maman Raspberry Jam

We've all seen the Bonne Maman (pronounced "bun mahmah") jams and preserves at the fancy supermarkets, right? It's so good. It's the stuff of dreams. When a loaf of hot bread comes out of the oven, the first thing I do is reach for the raspberry jam. Bread and jam are one of the quintessential combinations in life.

We had 3 containers of raspberries in the fridge and I wanted to use them up so they wouldn't go bad. I had only tried to make jam once in my life before and I had a bad experience.  I made it so thick it wasn't even spreadable! That's hardly appetizing.

I looked for a simple recipe. I found one that has 3 ingredients. Simple enough! Best part? NO PECTIN! That stuff is expensive!

Copycat Bonne Maman Raspberry Jam

Yields: 2 pint jars or 4 half-pint jars

4 cups raspberries
4 cups sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Sterilize your jars, lids, and rims in simmering water.

2. Put your raspberries in a 2 quart pot on medium high heat. Stir constantly. Let the juices come out and add sugar and lemon juice. Let it boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Ladle it into your jars, leaving 1/4 inch at the top of empty space. Put the lids on and return to hot water bath on high heat with at least 2 inches of water on top of the tops of the jars. Boil for 15 minutes and remove from the water.

4. Let the jars sit out on the counter for 24 hours. If the tops on the jars popped in, they should be sealed correctly. They're good to sit out on the counter for up to 1 year!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Soft Sandwich Bread

Carbs, glorious carbs!

I went on the lookout for a recipe that would make perfectly soft sandwich bread. I found it. Simple as that.

I want to try it next time with whole wheat flour and increase the honey so I would have a honey whole wheat! Yum! Because you roll it up, you could probably roll just about anything in it. You could make a delicious cinnamon raisin bread, or orange craisin bread or whatever you want! Don't worry, I plan on trying all of these combos.

This recipe hails from Delia Creates.

Soft Sandwich Bread
Yields: 2 9x5 loaves

2 1/2 cups hot water
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp salt
6 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tbsp dry active yeast

1. Whisk together water, oil, honey, and salt.

2. Add 3/4 cup flour and the yeast. Mix until it's mostly incorporated. Add half the remaining flour and knead in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. You don't necessarily have to use a stand mixer-- you can do it by hand. Just knead normally. Add the remaining flour and knead for about 5 minutes.

3. Let rise in a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap for 30 minutes in a warm place.

4. Plop dough out onto a floured surface and divide in half. Roll each until it's 9 inches wide by about 30 inches long. Roll it up and put it into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Let rise, covered, for 30 minutes in a warm place (or about 2 hours in the fridge if you want to slow down the rising time... I did this and it rose beautifully!)

5. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you tap the tops of the loaves.

6. Optional: brush finished loaves with butter (This probably shouldn't be optional because... butter)

After second rise

With homemade raspberry jam... recipe coming soon!

Bon appétit!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lemon Sponge Cake with Raspberries

Who doesn't love lemon when it's sweltering outside? 

Lemon is one of those flavors that savors strongly of summertime.

I found a cool pan in my kitchen. I wanted lemon cake. I like raspberries. This is the result.

Lemon Sponge Cake

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
[I halfed the recipe]

Beat egg yolks with sugar until lightly colored. Alternate adding lemon juice and flour and mix until incorporated.

Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until they're stiff. Add baking powder and salt and beat until the egg whites hold a stiff peak. 

Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Put into two greased and floured 9" pans and bake at 325 for about 20 minutes. 

Remove from pan after cooling. Top with pastry cream and fresh raspberries. 

Pastry Cream

  • From Martha Stewart

    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tbsp flour
    2 tbps cornstarch
    2 cups whole milk
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Beat egg yolks and sugar until they're lightly colored. Beat in flour and cornstarch. 

    In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil, making sure to whisk constantly. Remove from heat and add the milk slowly into the egg mixture.

    Put the mixture back into the saucepan and bring it to a boil while whisking. Keep whisking and let it boil until it is thick (about 3 minutes). 

    Remove from heat and return mixture to the mixer. Beat it with a paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and beat it for about 5-6 minutes, or until it's down to room temperature. Store it in the fridge to cool it down. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Crusty French Bread

I've been on a bread baking binge. 

This recipe is so crusty and the inside is so tender. It tastes almost like a sourdough to me, and it was so good. Also. . . it's the easiest bread ever. No knead?! Count me in!

I really can't praise this bread highly enough. It's the Crusty Bread recipe from Simply So Good and it really is that good. I know that I can't even begin to do this bread justice, so I'll just give you the recipe. 

Crusty French Bread

Yields: 1 loaf

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp active dry yeast (rapid rise)
1 1/2 cups water (room temp or a little warm will do)

1. Mix together the flour, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and stir until it's all incorporated. It will be a sticky mess in the bowl.

2. Let the bowl sit for 12-18 hours. 

3. Heat your oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Pour the dough out onto a heavily floured counter. Cover the top with plastic wrap to let it rest for 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, put a cast iron skillet or casserole dish or le Creuset in the oven to heat up. 

4. Take the baking dish out of the oven and drop the dough into the bottom of the dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. After about 20 minutes, place a pan filled with water in the bottom of the oven and take the foil off of the bread. This will crisp the bread up. 

5. Take the bread out and let it cool on a cooling rack.

Bon appétit!