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What I've been baking lately...

Via: Just a taste tutorial found HERE!

Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Yield: Makes 10 (3-inch) hand pies
Prep Time: 1 hour (includes chilling)
Cook Time: 15 min


For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold sour cream

For the filling:
2 cups small diced (peeled) Granny Smith apples (See Kelly's Notes)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
8 store-bought soft caramels, roughly chopped
Large flake sea salt (See Kelly's Notes)
Egg wash (1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water)
Crystal sanding sugar (optional)


Make the dough:
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 8x10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8x10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
Make the filling:
In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Assemble the pies:
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14x14-inch square. (See Kelly's Notes.)
Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles. (You should have approximately 20 3-inch circles.)
Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt. Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.
Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional).
Bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough circles.

Kelly's Notes:
The cubed apples should be no larger than the size of corn kernels to ensure they become tender during the quick 15-minute bake time. If the dough is too firm to work with after refrigerating, allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting out the circular shapes. If the sour cream in the dough makes it too sticky at any point in the rolling out process, just simply sprinkle a pinch of flour atop the wet areas and continue rolling.

Via: Allrecipes found here

The Mall Pretzels (makes 6)
adapted from Jeannie Yee

¾ cup warm water (110°F)
1 ¼ tsp of active dry yeast (half of a .25 ounce package)
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water (110°F)
2 tbsp baking soda (for soaking)
½ tbsp butter, melted
coarse kosher salt (or pretzel salt)
mustard, for dipping (optional)

Pour ¾ cup warm water into a mixing bowl. Dissolve yeast, brown sugar, and salt into the water. Stir in flour. When mixture comes together, dump onto a floured surface. Knead dough about 8 minutes, until smooth. Pour a few drops of olive oil into mixing bowl; place dough in and turn to coat surface. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
When dough is ready, cut into 6 pieces. Roll each into ½ inch thick ropes. Shape pretzels by forming a U, then twisting ends and flipping over onto itself, gently pressing overlapping dough to seal. Let rise for 15 minutes.
Fill a bowl with 1 cup warm water. Add baking soda and stir. Soak each pretzel for 30 seconds, flipping over halfway through if not fully submerged. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle coarse salt over top. (If you prefer sweet pretzels, use cinnamon sugar instead of salt.) Bake at 450°F for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. For an extra buttery flavor, brush on a little more melted butter when the pretzels come out of the oven.

Via; Sweet Paul found Here!

Strawberry Butter
This butter tastes amazing with anything freshly baked.

Makes about 2 cups
1 cup salted butter
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup chopped strawberries

1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy.   
2. Add strawberries and beat until mixed.  
3. Refrigerate until serving.

For the Popovers:
Makes 6
Butter, for greasing 6-cup popover tin (You can also use a muffin tin.)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs

1.Preheat oven to 425ºF 2.Grease popover tin. 3.In a medium bowl, stir together flour, milk and salt. 4.Add eggs, one at a time to combine. (The batter can be a little lumpy.) 5.Pour cup of batter into greased popover tin. 6.Bake for 20 minutes. 7.Reduce heat to 350ºF and continue baking for another 20 minutes. 8.Remove from pan and serve.

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