Palecintas- Hungarian Crepes- and Jordan!

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Yesterday, Jordan and I made two batches of these lovely little pancakes!  About 55 of them- we only ate about 8 of them- the rest are going to a diversification meeting at his workplace.  That is why HE made the second batch and cooked them himself.  I love this wonderful delicious treat- but making them by yourself is tedious.  So making them with him was a lot of fun and good times.

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He had a good time, as well- even though I gave him a hard time about his first couple of tries and made him eat them rather than allow them into our pile of possibles for the dinner.

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Here’s the recipe

Ingredients:

3 whole eggs, beaten

1 cup milk, scalded, cooled

1 1/4 cup AP flour

1 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

1 cup of carbonated water(club soda)

Method:

add sugar and salt to eggs and beat up again.  Add small amount of milk to eggs, whisk, then add rest of milk and whisk until smooth.  Add flour- whisking continuously – about !/4 cup at a time, until batter is smooth .  Then add the club soda and mix together until smooth and slightly bubbly.

Heat up crepe pan until hot – water skidding across surface when you place a drop or two into the pan.  Drop a small pellet of butter- less than 1/4 tsp – into pan and turn to coat bottom, immediately  pour a little less than 1/3 cup of batter and turn skillet around to coat the bottom forming a thin pancake.  Allow to cook for about 45 seconds to a minute- the top of pancake should appear dry and then turn it over and cook another 45 seconds or so.

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Spread with nutella, or creamed cottage cheese mixed with honey , or whatever you prefer in the center and roll up.  Then top with syrup or fruit or just confectioner’s sugar.

And enjoy!

Meyer lemon and cardamom cookies/biscuits- recipe

This is one of those cookies that you taste and seek the recipe for – immediately!

I love cardamom and I love lemon- so when I saw this recipe I went for it.

Meyer lemon and Cardamom tea biscuits.

 

ingredients

  • 9 ounces  all purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups), sifted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Zest of 4 Meyer lemons
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • pure vanilla extract
  • Method
  • Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  • Place flour, cardamom,baking powder,lemon zest and salt into bowl
  • and mix together with whip, then set aside.
  • Cream butter and granulated sugar together until creamy and very smooth.
  • This is a very important step- don’t stint on it- use a mixer if necessary but
  • the light texture of the cookies is dependent on this step!
  • Scrape down the bowl and add eggs, one at a time , beating well after each one, then add the vanilla and mix well.
  • Scoop the cookies out into small balls and roll in powdered sugar and place on cooking sheet lined with parchment paper – about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden but not quite brown.
Cool on rack and store in air fast container.

Bread- texture and crumb- plus a recipe.

Poppyseed rolls using stamp

Poppyseed roll using a stamp- it looks fancier than it tastes!

I have been making lots of bread since the new year started.  And playing around with recipes and methods- because I want the bread to be to my liking.  I don’t really care too much about how it looks- I want it to taste and feel right in my mouth.  I’m looking for a slightly yeasty, stretchy dough similar to those I remember from my youth when we would get a loaf of Vienna bread from the bakery in Akron on the way home from church on Sunday.   That loaf never made it home.  We ripped off pieces and ate them in the car- oblivious to the crumbs on our Sunday dresses- passing the loaf from hand to hand and tearing off a chunk of crust and delectable crumb that stretched as we pulled it off.

I’ve been making bread since I was 18 years old and have only now come close to that

bread.

Sourdough lof raised in a banneton

This looks right- but the texture isn’t quite stretchy- although the flavor is wonderful!

I love the bread I make- especially the sourdough- but like I said- the texture isn’t quite right.  And I don’t think it is about the recipe, either-  flour,yeast, salt olive oil and water- in varying amounts is what I’m using- usually with a cup or less of sourdough starter mixed in.

Poppy seeds and slashes make this loaf appealing.
The crumb is acceptable and great for sandwiches and toast.

So if the recipe is good- then it is about the method.  And I’ve been playing about with using old dough ( which is adding a piece of yeasted dough that has been saved in the refrigerator from a previous bread session- this adds to the leavening process and brings a flavor akin to sourdough ) and adding to the raising times.  I’ve been doing two raises- punching the dough down and letting it raise twice before shaping and allowing the final raise before baking and those two have added up to being very close to what I’m looking for in texture.

Knotty Italian rolls- twice raised and twisted into shape.

Finally the stretchy crumb I’ve been looking for!

 

 

 

I’ve been making these for years, but the addition of the old dough has made a significant difference in the crumb!

When pulling them apart there is that stretchy quality and that extra give upon biting into the roll.

Here is the recipe for the Italian rolls-  http://www.heidiannie.com/baking-day/   – you have to scroll down a bit to get to the recipe- I was rather chatty the day I posted this!  :)

 

 

 

 

And I also found another recipe I had forgotten about-  I really like these bread sticks- but I had misplaced the recipe and hadn’t made them for a while.  I’m going to post it here so I can find it later even if I misplace the card again!!!

These also have a very nice stretchy quality to them-they are delicious by themselves- great with a dip or pate` and freeze beautifully!

Salted breadsticks!
Topped with sesame seeds, Parmesan cheese, and black salt and poppyseed.

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 sticks butter

2 egg yolks

1 cup sour cream

2-3 tsp salt ( I like salt- you might want to use the smaller measurement)

2 tsp. dry yeast proofed in 1/2 cup warm water.

Method:

Bring all ingredients to room temperature, then mix all together in large bowl.  Depending on the flour and the type of day, you may need to use a little extra water- you are looking for a fairly sticky dough- but still dry enough that you can shape into a ball.  When you have a ball with all the ingredients well mixed, place on floured counter and cover with the bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.

Lightly whip egg whites until they are just frothy and set aside.

Roll out dough 1/2 inch thick, brush on half of the egg whites, fold dough and let sit for an additional 30 minutes.

Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick again and brush on egg white, add salt, cheese or seeds on top.  Cut into sticks , twist and place on baking sheet.Bake at 350 degrees F until golden- about 15 minutes.

 

Sesame seed breadsticks- so good!

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut sheet cake with cream cheese frosting- recipe

Coconut sheet cake with cream cheese frosting- a moist dense cake.

I love coconut cake.

I love chocolate and yellow cakes, as well.

I love cake, period.

But coconut cake has such a clean edge to it- the flavor is permeated within the cake itself and then you have a bonus of toasted coconut on top, mmm!

But it is hard to find a homemade cake that has the right flavor and mouth feel.

I like the Sara Lee frozen coconut cake- but I wanted to make my own so I went to the recipe index on the internet and combined and played with the ingredients and amounts and came up with this winner!!!

Notice that there is no leavening agent in the ingredients- the eggs are used to raise  the crumb – and this is a rather dense cake- more like a pound cake than a sponge cake.

Ingredients:

1 cup soft butter

6 ounces soft cream cheese

6 eggs, separated

1  tsp vanilla extract

2 cups plain or A/P flour

1/3 cup coconut flour (if you can’t find flour, put some in the food processor until it is quite fine

1/4 cup coconut milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x 13 in. cake pan.

Cream sugar into cream cheese and butter.  Add yolks, one at a time, until batter is

smooth and light.  Whip egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside.

Add vanilla and mix well,  Add coconut milk, mix- then add plain and coconut flour and

mix well.  Fold egg whites into mixture – carefully- you want it well mixed but still with lots of air in the batter.  Gently scoop batter into greased pan and bake in pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.  The cake should raise slightly whilst baking and will be a little browned on the edges – check doneness by inserting a clean knife or toothpick in center- when it comes out clean, the cake is done.Allow to cool completely and then ice with cream cheese icing.

I used 1/2 cup butter

6 ounces cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups 10x or confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup coconut flour

and beat it with a hand mixer until it was creamy

.Then topped the frosted cake with 1/2 cup toasted coconut.

I think the icing was a little too thick, but Frank likes more icing than I do.  Half the recipe if your tastes run along with mine!

Baking Spree!

I’m going to Long Island tomorrow for a week of little boys and

much fun with my daughter in law, Willow.  Luke is off visiting churches

and going on youth trips- so I get to spend time with his family while

he is gone.

I’ve been getting ready to go – laundering clothes, picking up small items

to take for the boys and making sure I have luggage that hasn’t bad zippers

or sprung wheels and intractable handles-  and by baking up a storm so that

Frank has plenty to eat while I’m gone!

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Cardamom/cinnamon buns- these are the best I’ve made in a long time!

I let the dough raise in the cold garage overnight- so the flavor is not just in the spices.

I’d like to give you an exact recipe but I just used the dump and hand measures.

It goes like this:

Pour a largish amount of AP flour in a large bowl- about 4 1/2 cups.

Add about 1 1/2 tsp of sea salt ( Pour into your cupped palm and fill the space that is

deepest- twice). Sprinkle the top with about two tsp cardamom.

Add a goodly cover of dried quick rise yeast on top – about 2 !/2 tsp.

Add about 1 cup dried milk- two  cupped handfulls and stir – making a well in the

center of your bowl.  Beat up an egg with 3 tablespoons of melted butter, and pour into the well,

mixi069ng just a little with the flour .  Then add about 1 1/2 cups of very hot water and stir the

entire mixture up into a moistish dough- if it is too dry add more water- if it is wet add some more

flour and then knead about 5 minutes until it is smooth and pliant.  Butter bowl,  shape dough into a ball

and place in bowl, cover and leave in cool temperature- (45 degrees F or less) overnight.

In the morning, bring in and let warm up to room temp, then roll out dough into a largish rectangle, spread warmish butter

over the top and sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar  mixture and fold dough over from the long sides and cut into

bars  about1 1/2 inches wide.  Twist the bars then wrap around your fingers and tuck the ends through the  hole that

results from wrapping them around your fingers.  Place on parchment papered baking sheet and bake for

about 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees F.

While still warm spoon a sugar glaze on top.

This makes about 2 dozen buns.

 

And I made some bread for him to use as toast.  He doesn’t like fresh bread for his sandwiches but for toast- his favorite!

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I also made some poppyseed rolls and twists.

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So he has lots of sweets and a couple of pizzas that I made last night for supper and then froze the left over

pieces for him to take for lunch.

We had snowfall last night so the view out my windows went from this-

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to this-

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and this-013

I probably won’t be posting for the next week or so- but rest assured- I’m taking pictures and having a marvelous

time with 2 little boys!

May your next week be one of great joy as well!

French Apple Cake- Happy October!

I’ve been planning on this cake for at least a month.

I saw it here , on America’s Test Kitchen, and wanted it.

They eat the cake right in front of you and my mouth watered.

When we went apple picking I was thinking of this cake.

On my son’s birthday I was thinking of this cake.

And today I made it!

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It is easy to make- has a custard layer, an apple layer and a light cake layer.  And-

it is as good as I hoped it would be!

So, “happy birthday!”  if you have an October birthday-  I’m celebrating with this cake!

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I raise my cup of deep plum cinnamon tea and salute Autumn, Apples, and Appetites

everywhere.  The recipe is   here – and they have some scientific stuff to explain

how this is as good as it is- I didn’t have Calvados to put into the apples so I used

brandy instead.

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This is , absolutely the best apple cake I’ve ever had.

Vanilla Rich!

I have pretty simple “happy” indicators.

A bowl of lavender, an unread book, a good cup

of tea, a visit from loved ones, and a handful of

vanilla beans-  add them together and I have had

a great month!

Meredith is my vanilla bean supplier.  She knows my

happiness level rises pretty high when I have vanilla

at hand- and last week I got a shipment of beans-  I AM

SO RICH!!!

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Tahitian, Madagascar,Ugandan, Indian, Mexican- so many exotic beans!

I decided to make some vanilla right away with the Mexican beans- they

are smoky and spicy with just a hint of cinnamon.

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I sealed up the rest of the beans in a glass container- they are vacuum packed-

and still soft in their packages, but vanilla beans dry out quickly, and keep better

in glass jars.  DON’T buy dried out hard beans at a cooking store.  If they aren’t soft

then the beans are pretty useless as the seeds are dried out and can’t be scraped

out!

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I had a small bottle of vodka- I like Grey Goose for distilling the

beans- but it is a matter of personal taste.

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I removed 5 beans from the package and slit them lengthwise to open

the bean and release the seeds.

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Drop them into the vodka and shake gently for a few seconds.

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I cut the label from the bean package since I already have a vanilla and

wanted to keep this one with just the Mexican beans.

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This is my working vanilla- I used Belvedere vodka and it is pretty smooth-

there are several varieties of beans in this extract- I like it for regular baking.

This is several years old- look how dark it is!

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And here is my latest- still not ready to use- but look how dark it got in

just a couple of weeks!  This is just a small bottle and I added a lot of

beans for the amount of vodka.

But I really like making my own extract- it tastes better-there are no artificial

coloring or flavors- and I get to play with vanilla beans! Plus, and this is a big

PLUS, it tastes better!

Best ever- Crispy Oat cookies- recipe

Some recipes are just too good to lose.

Meredith asked for these cookies last week and I couldn’t find

the recipe.  Sad smile  I was sure I had posted it here, somewhere, in the

archives.  But no.  I hadn’t.

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These really are the best oat cookies I’ve ever had.

The recipe however is hard for some people to see.

Once they’ve eaten the cookies they can overlook the amount of shortening

in them, but – well- see for yourself. And this makes over 9 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar (white, granulated)

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

3 1/2 cups AP flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup crushed corn flakes

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup nuts, chopped fine

Method:

Mix together butter and sugars until all sugar is incorporated into butter, add

oil and vanilla.  Beat together well, until fluffy, they add dry ingredients, stirring

together until you have a solid dough.  Make into 1 inch balls and flatten with fork,

I round up the edges to keep them from looking raggedy with the coconut.

Bake in preheated oven at 325 F for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Then leave on baking sheet for a couple of minutes before moving them to a

cooling rack.

At this point they are delicious and crunchy- but then I dip them in white chocolate

and sprinkle with chopped nuts.  So good- these are hard to keep in the cookie jar!

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Baking Memories- Elderberry Pie

I remember my mother making pie in the summer

and autumn.  There was no time to make pies in the

winter or spring because she had to transplant all those

little seedlings all day long.

But in the late summer and early fall- there was pie!

One of my favorite was the elderberry pies she would bake.

Since there were 9 of us in our family – it was never just one pie

– there were always at least two- more likely 4 pies to make at

a time- and they would usually be gone within  a couple of days.

But the elderberry pies were magical for me.

Elderberries grew in our backyard- and we waited  until

they were

heavy and purple and then we picked them by the armful.

The berries as small as bb shot- and the flavor raw too intense to really

enjoy- we would roll the heads clean into a stainless steel bowl out on the

picnic table and when we finally got enough to make a pie- one of us little

girls would run them into the kitchen and empty them into a bigger bowl and

then we would start over filling the bowl.  It took 4 cups of elderberries to

make a pie and our thumbs and forefingers would turn purple as we deftly

took hold of a small branch of berries and rolled them off the tiny little

twigs holding them on.  We would have to keep those little twigs out of the

bowl- as well as the tiny spiders that were hanging out on those branches.

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4 cups of elderberries, 1 cup of white sugar, 2-3 Tablespoons of lemon juice,

4 Tablespoons of cornstarch and a tiny bit of water cooked together until the

mixture boiled.  Then set aside to cool down.  Poured into a crust filled 9inch

pie plate, dotted with butter , lightly dusted with a teaspoon of cinnamon and

covered with a top crust.  Baked in a 375 degree F oven for 50 minutes until the

berries bubble up in the crust and it is all golden brown and purple.

 

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Elderberry pie.

Like my momma used to make.  Smile