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Archive for the ‘snack’ Category

Well. A lot of life has been lived since I last popped in here! 

A sugar shack has been built. 

We’ve been collecting sap. 

And look! Syrup! And sugar. And sugar bears!

Last spring my brother tapped a tree up at our cabin and just for fun boiled down a cup or so and made a thin syrup. That was all that was needed to get my dad’s wheels spinning and around Christmas, he and Brad and some of my brothers started a sugar shack. Mid February they purchased an evaporator and we’ve been learning the syrup details ever since. 

What hard work! I’ll never again complain about the price of real syrup. It’s worth every penny. 

I’ve been learning so much about trees, sap, and syrup the last few weeks. This week we made maple sugar and today I baked with it. 

Whoa. So wonderful!! I never purchased maple sugar before so I don’t know if ours is the same but it made some fabulous muffins. 

We also made some maple sugar candy and the leftover wet sugar I ground up and used in these muffins. I’m guessing these would be just as yummy using regular maple sugar but for now I’m writing the recipe exactly as I made it. 


Maple Streusel Muffins 

Topping:

1/3 cup moist maple sugar

1/4 cup fine maple sugar

3 T all-purpose flour

1/4 t cinnamon

2 T melted butter

Mix all together and set aside.

Muffins:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 T moist maple sugar

1 T baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup melted butter 

1/4 t salt

Mix floors, sugar, and baking powder in large bowl. 

In small bowl mix egg, milk, butter, and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and divide between twelve greased muffin tins. Sprinkle topping on evenly. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 15-18 minutes or til toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 

Remove from tins and place in a cloth lined basket. Eat immediately with a smear of butter. Swoon and repeat. 

Yield: 12 regular muffins 

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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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  I’m not in my normal kitchen today. The pantry is a bit sparse but don’t worry, we didn’t starve.  I brought along the dry ingredients, premixed, for simple muffins to go with the jar of soup I also toted with us.   The muffins were delightfully simple and satisfying.   The type of fat you use here will really change the end flavor. I used olive oil and loved the slightly earthy undertone it brought. Butter would be delicious, too, of course. Bacon fat or lard could be nice if you want a meaty flavor.  

 And these guys could be the base for a myriad of add-ins. Fruit, veg, protein, take your pick…whatever is floating around in your fridge or pantry! 

 Simple Muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 T sugar

1 T baking powder

1 egg 

1 cup milk

1/4 cup fat, melted if necessary 

1/4-1/2 t salt (depending if fat is salted)

In a large bowl, mix flours, sugar, and baking powder. 

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, fat, and salt until combined. Add to dry ingredients and only mix until barely combined, no more. A few lumps are fine. 

Divide between 12 greased and floured muffin cups. Bake at 400F for 12-15 mins or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

Enjoy warm with toppings of choice. 

Yield: 12 regular muffins

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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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I thought I didn’t like mashed potato pancakes. Turns out I was doing it wrong. The egg in the batter is important. And by all means, please fry them in lard. Mmmmmm.   

Mashed Potato Pancakes

2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 large egg

Handful of grated cheese

Salt/pepper

Flour (whole wheat, white, or a combo)

Mix everything together, using enough flour to make a thick batter. It will depend how much milk you used in your mashed potatoes. Fry in 1/8-1/4 inch hot lard. Be sure to let them brown well on both sides. Don’t mess with them prematurely or you’ll break the seal of good taste! Serve hot with sour cream or ketchup. 

Yield: about a dozen 3-inch cakes

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I never knew what to do with leftover oatmeal. There wasn’t ever enough to feed all of the kids leftovers the next morning (and heaven forbid one of them gets the oatmeal while the others are left with eggs!). I dealt with tears for a while until it dawned on me that hey, leftover oatmeal sets up so let’s make a cake!   

And the kids adore it. Win!  

Sliced Oatmeal

(I used dried blueberries in the cake pictured.)

Cooked oatmeal (I cook mine with milk)

Dried fruit (raisins, craisins, blueberries, chopped apple snitz, etc) 

Sweetener of choice (maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.)

Mix all together, preferably while the oatmeal is still warm. Smash into a casserole dish or small round cake pan. Chill thoroughly. Serve cold, plain or with milk. 

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