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Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

I’ve always wanted to make hand pies but had a fear of there being too much crust and not enough fruit.

Turns out that if the crust recipe is good enough, I won’t care if there isn’t much fruit. 

Another fear I had was baking with sweet cherries. I made a pie using them about 8 years ago and it was awful. But they worked for these hand pies. Maybe it’s precisely because there is a high crust to fruit ratio?

Check out that crust flake. Mmmm. 
Update: I made these again this evening and used all whole wheat flour. Just as tasty, tho they don’t stay as crispy as the half white version. 

Sweet Cherry Hand Pies

Dough:

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat bread flour)

1/4 t salt

4 T cold butter

1/3 cup sour cream

1 T milk

Mix flours and salt. Using a small grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork, gently coating the butter strands with flour, and then smash around to evenly distribute the butter. Stir in the sour cream and enough milk to make a smooth but not wet dough. 

Roll out on well floured surface until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut 4 inch circles. Reroll scraps and cut again. I got 12 circles. 

Filling:

1 – 1 1/2 cups sweet cherry halves

Honey

Cream 

Place 3-4 cherry pieces on one side of each circle. Dot with a smidge of honey and fold circle in half, being careful not to tear dough. Crimp edges with a fork and brush tops with cream. 

Bake at 425 on parchment lined cookie sheet until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. 

Freeze any pies that don’t get eaten within a day. 

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I’m a sucker for baked goods with molasses. I just adore the deep, rich flavor. 

These bars don’t disappoint. I’ve made them several times but this last time tried all whole wheat flour. 

These are not an overly sweet bar. I cut back on the sugar quite a bit from the original recipe, which I don’t know where I got. 

A note about the sucanat: when creamed with butter, it takes ages to dissolve so I grind it in an old coffee grinder to a powder before using it.

A delicous snack with a cold glass of milk!

Molasses Raisin Bars

3/4 cup softened unsalted butter

1/4 cup white sugar

3/8 cup brown sugar (I use sucanat)

3/8 cup molasses, part black strap is fine

1 extra large egg

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sprouted if you have it 

1/2 t salt

1 1/2 t baking powder 

3/4 t baking soda

3/4 t cinnamon

1/4 t allspice

Heaping cup of raisins

Cream butter and sugars into smooth. Add molasses and egg and mix well. 

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Add to creamed mixture along with raisins and mix well. 

Spread into a greased 1/4 sheet pan (or 9×13). Bake at 350 for about 29 minutes or until set in center. Try not to overbake!

Cool in pan before cutting and serving. These freeze well. 

Yield: 20 small bars

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Lemon Curd

Hello sunshine! 

 When we first got married, my husband wasn’t too keen on drinking water. Since I wasn’t too keen on buying gallons of sugary drinks, I took it upon myself to make homemade ones. I figured at least I wouldn’t be bringing home lots of plastic bottles, even if I wasn’t saving him from a sugar overload. 

So I asked my aunt to buy cases of lemons for me every now and then, to turn into lemonade. She gets things super cheap from stores around where she lives. 

Fast forward to now and I no longer need to make gallons of drinks. Occasionally, sure, but not habitually. 

So yesterday I see my aunt and she hands me a bag of lemons. Maybe it was just in memory of what she used to hand me? I don’t know but at any rate, these were discounted ones and they need used as soon as humanly possible. So far I’ve used four of them in this spoon-lickin’ goodness.   

Lemon Curd

Zest of 3-4 lemons (depending on their size), finely chopped

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar 

5 large eggs

Pinch salt

1 stick butter 

Place everything except butter in a double boiler. I just use a glass bowl set over a sauce pot with a bit of water in the pot. 

Heat water and keep at a simmer while you whisk the lemon mixture. Cook and stir until thick, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Chill and serve however you like. I love it on toast or with vanilla yogurt. Tho if I’m being totally honest, a lot gets eaten straight from the jar with a spoon. 

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups 

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Look!

 It’s here in the flesh! My mom’s cookbook: Baking with Whole Grains. This is a good one, folks. I’m not biased at all, of course. Nope, not at all.

 It was an exciting day when the first box arrived. It was several years in the making and what fun to see it all finished.

 We got to do a lot of taste testing along the way and it was all delicious.

The other day I tried a recipe that I hadn’t tasted before. We weren’t disappointed.

 Perfect for fall and with soup. Won’t you make this for dinner tonight? Pretty please? And then love it and buy the book. You know you want to.

My mom knows a lot about wheat. If you are confused about whole grains, she’ll help you out. I promise. There are tips and tricks for baking everything from yeast breads to muffins. And even a section on what to do with your failures. I love that part.

PS. $20 for a signed copy. You may pick them up at my house or I can mail. Shipping charges apply.
 Apple Cider Spice Bread

From Baking with Whole Grains

2 eggs

1/2 cup apple cider

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 t vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup whole wheat bread flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

Scant 1/2 t salt

1/3 cup chopped golden raisins (I used regular)

1 cup grated apple

1 t grated orange zest

Whisk the eggs. Add the cider, yogurt, vanilla, brown sugar, and oil. Whisk well and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking  soda, spices, and salt. Mix and then add raisins, apple, and orange zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir, blending the dry ingredients up from the bottom. Don’t over mix. A few lumps are fine. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Yield: 1 9×5 loaf

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Apple Raspberry Pie

I made a pie recently. 

It was wonderful.  

 I never thought to combine apples and raspberries before but when you pick a handful of them, and decide you don’t feel like eating them on the spot, you throw them in the pie you happen to be baking. And if it ends up being a winning combination, you decide to tell people about it.   

Apple Raspberry Pie

(If you skip the raspberries, this is my normal apple pie recipe.)

5 cups peeled, sliced apples (a variety of sweet and tart is best)

3/4 cup sugar

2 T cornstarch

1/2 t cinnamon

Splash of water or cider

3/4 cup red raspberries

1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked

About 1/2 cup pie crumbs 

Cook the apples with the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and liquid of choice until just beginning to soften and the liquid is clear and thick.  Pour into prepared pie crust, sprinkle with raspberries and crumbs, and bake at 425 for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 30 or so minutes or until good and bubbly and crust is golden brown. Serve warm or cool with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. 

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Well. If you need dessert in 5 minutes and you happen to have cream, bananas, and apricot preserves, you really ought to try this.   

A sprinkling of granola would be spectacular, too.  As is, it’s a deliciously light summer dessert.  

I wish I could give you the apricot preserve recipe, too, but I forget what I did.   

Bananas with Spiced Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 t cream cheese

1/2 t vanilla

1 T cinnamon sugar

1/4-1/2 cup apricot preserves

5 bananas

Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Drip in a few drops of cream and work it around with a spoon. Repeat this several times until the cream cheese is thin enough that it will disperse evenly in the whipping cream when added. Add the remaining cream and beat a bit. Add the vanilla and cinnamon sugar and beat hard until medium-stiff peaks form. 

In serving bowls, slice bananas. Top with cream and apricot preserves. Serve immediately. 

Serves: 10

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Oh deary me. Having my brother around is not going to be good for my post-baby waist. Look at the things he requests!

 Here’s to practicing restraint and self-control!  

Cherry Squares

Adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals

1 cup + 3 T softened butter

2 1/4 cups cane sugar

6 large eggs

3/4 t vanilla extract

1 t almond extract

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

3-4 cups cherry pie filling

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each one. Add extracts and mix.

Stir flours, baking powder, and salt together. Add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Butter and flour a half-sheet pan. Pour batter in and spread it out. Drizzle/dollop cherry pie filling over batter. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in a cake-y part comes out clean.

Cool in pan. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving, if desired. 

Serves: 24

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