Category Archives: Baked Goods

Strawberry Pie Cakes with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

When I saw this recipe on Pinterest I just couldn’t resist. What’s not to love? It’s pie, it’s cake, it’s Pie Cake! I also have a special place in my heart for all things mini and these are the perfect individual size treats. Creating the lattice topping was a bit tedious so I did it on half of the pie cakes and created a typical pie type topping for the rest. If you wanted to cut down on some of the prep time you could use pre-made dough but this dough recipe uses more sugar than a typical pie dough to sweeten it up a bit.

The original recipe was for a Vanilla Peach Pie Cake but peaches are definitely not in season and the strawberries I’ve been finding have been super yummy so I decided to shake it up a bit. I also just picked up my free Penzey’s cinnamon sugar with a catalogue coupon so I added it to the whipped cream.

Strawberry Pie Cakes 
Makes 24 standard sized pie cakes

Ingredients

FOR THE PIE CRUST
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons shortening, cold
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small chunks
6-8 tablespoons cold water

FOR THE CAKE
2 egg whites, at room temperature (save the yolks to use in an egg wash, if desired)
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon1 baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING
1 quart strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced thin
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons corn starch

To make the crust: In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients for a couple of seconds to combine, then drop the shortening evenly on top in chunks. Process until the mixture looks like wet sand. Evenly distribute the butter on top and pulse until the mixture has pea sized chunks in it. If mixing by hand, cut the cold shortening in with a fork or dough blender, again until it resembles wet sand. Then cut the butter in until you have pea sized pieces.

If using a processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Add about 6 tablespoons cold water and begin mixing with a spatula. Using a spatula, mix the dough by ‘folding’ from bottom to top and pressing down with each fold, adding more water if the dough is too dry.

Once the mixture has just formed a dough, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface. As quickly as possible, finish bringing the dough together by hand, kneading as little as possible.

Divide the dough in half evenly and shape into two disks, roughly 4 inches across. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or over night.

Once chilled, make cake filling: Lightly coat muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl, and whisk together; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Beat in the butter on low speed until the mixture looks like soft wet sand or until there are no longer any large chunks of butter or streaks of dry flour, about three minutes. Add the egg mixture in two small batches, beating on low until combined in between each batch. Scrape the bowl and mix for another 15 seconds. Set aside while you prepare the pie crusts.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove your one of your disks of pie dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to a little less than 1/4-inch thick. Cut several 4 to 5-inch circles out of the dough, re-rolling the remaining dough, as needed. Place each circle into the cup of the prepared muffin pan, pressing gently into the corners and trimming any excess dough away. Bake for 10 minutes.

While baking, make the pie filling: Combine the strawberries, sugars, and spices in a medium bowl, tossing to coat the strawberries thoroughly. Stir in the lemon juice and corn starch until well combined. Spread in a glass baking dish; set aside to bake with the piecakes.

Remove the pie crusts from oven and immediately fill each muffin cup with 1 tablespoon of the cake batter.

Bake the filled pie crusts and the pie filling for 10 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom, halfway through baking.

Remove the piecakes and filling from the oven and place about 2 tablespoons of the pie filling on top of each piecake. Roll out the remaining pie dough and cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch strips and weave the pieces into lattice tops on each of the piecakes. Return to the oven and bake until lattices are light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the cream on medium high speed until it begins to thicken and form very soft peaks. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top of the cream and continue whipping until firm peaks form. Stir in the vanilla. Chill until ready to serve.

Source: Bakingdom.com via Pinterest

Irish Soda Bread

Time to make something Irish. I am terrified of corned beef and cabbage, and believe it or not, I had not tried Irish Soda Bread until about 2 weeks ago. I am not sure what I was afraid of, but I was pleasantly surprised with the small sample I ate at the grocery store. Gwenny also seemed to enjoy it.

Be sure that the room is warm that you are leaving your bread in to rise. It took mine about 2 hours to rise the first time because the room was on the colder side. This recipe makes two loaves, so you can share with a friend!

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of coarse salt
  • 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of instant yeast
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups of raisins

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and yeast. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and using your hands, mix until the dough just comes together. Mix in the raisins. Using a plastic bowl scraper, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and supple, 3 to 4 minutes. Shape into a round loaf.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm location until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down to deflate it, reshape it into a round loaf, and let it rest again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. With a bench scraper, divide it into two pieces, and shape them into two round loaves.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Dust the top of each loaf with flour, and with a bench scraper, form an X through the center of the bread, pressing down deeply in both directions with the scraper, almost cutting through the loaf. Place the loaves on a lightly floured baking sheet.

Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the crust is deep golder brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the bread to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Source: The Sono Baking Company Cookbook

Matcha Cookies

My friend recently bought me some matcha powder to make some green tea cupcakes. Well, I never got to making the cupcakes but I made these matcha shortbread cookies instead to go with some nice hot tea. They were pretty simple to make and had great green tea flavor. I highly recommend giving them a try. They might be a nice addition to a St. Patty’s Day party! I found this recipe on another blog via Pinterest.

Matcha Green Tea Shortbread Cookies
from Lovescool

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 tbsps matcha green tea powder
10 tbsps unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cup flour
3 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar (to coat the dough)

Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and matcha powder together. Beat the butter and matcha sugar mixture together in a stand mixer (use paddle attachment) until the butter is smooth and light. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Mix in the egg yolks until they are incorporated and the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it into a thick disc. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until it is firm. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness. Use a small cookie cutter (about 2-inches) to cut shapes from the dough (I made mine a little smaller and used a 1 inch star cutter). Roll the cut shapes in granulated sugar and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until they begin to turn golden at the edges. Makes about 5 dozen 1-inch cookies (probably 3 dozen 2-inch cookies). Store in airtight container away from sunlight as the color will fade with exposure to sun.

Source: userealbutter.com
Photography by Chris Davis

Cinnamon-Swirl Raisin Bread

I can’t imagine that there could possibly be anyone out there who doesn’t like cinnamon raisin bread. While I would agree that making it at home might seem like a daunting task, this was surprisingly easy. I am thankful that Lindsay and I decided to make this together because there is a lot of down time waiting for the dough to rise, and we each got a loaf!

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves)

  • 2 cups of dark raisins
  • Canola oil for greasing the bowl
  • 4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour; more for dusting
  • 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 packet (1/4 oz.) of instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 7 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened; more for greasing the pans

Mix the Dough

Put the raisins in a small bowl and add enough hot tap water to cover them. Let sit for 5 minutes; drain and set aside.

Lightly oil a large bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, 2 tablespoons each of sugar and cinnamon, the yeast, and salt. Combine on low speed, about 1 minutes. Add the milk, egg, 3 tablespoons of butter, and 3/4 cup room temperature water. Mix on medium speed, scraping the bowl as necessary, until the dough comes together, about 1 minutes. Increase the speed to medium high and continue to mix until the dough is smooth, slightly sticky, and clinging to the hook, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the dough hook with your hand, and remove the bowl. Gently knead in the raisins by hand, just until incorporated.

Let the Dough Rise

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, roll it into a ball, and put it in the oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until the dough looks slightly puffy, about 30 minutes. Pour yourself a nice cup of coffee, and wait.

On a well-floured surface, use your hands to flatten and spread the dough out until it’s about 3/4 inch thick. Fold the dough in half from top to bottom, then in half again from left to right. Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let sit until it has risen slightly, about 30 minutes more. Get that second cup of coffee ready.

Make the Cinnamon Filling

Generously grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans with butter. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons each of cinnamon and sugar; set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Divide the dough in half. Roll each ball into a rectangle large enough to fit into your pan when rolled. Once you have two rectangular pieces of dough, brush each with the melted butter and divide and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Grease the bread pans. Roll the dough to form a log and place in each bread pan.

Let the uncooked loaves rest at room temperature for 60 – 90 minutes. By this time you might be getting impatient with all of the waiting. I suggest drinking something stronger than coffee to help pass the time, like a nice bottle of wine.

Bake the Bread

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375.

Bake the loaves, rotating and swapping the positions of the pans halfway through baking, until dark brown and hollow-sounding when thumped on the top, about 30 – 35 minutes. The bread will be very hard. Don’t get scared. Transfer the loaves in their pans to a rack and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

When cook enough to handle, remove the loaves from the pans.

Source: Fine Cooking Magazine – Feb/March 2012

Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Chips

To say that we go through a lot of bananas in this house would be an understatement. They are one of Gwenny’s favorite foods, but since some weeks are crazier than others, we don’t always get to them. I started making banana muffins and banana bread so that the over ripe bananas would not go to waste. Once I had found a recipe for the bread that was fast, easy, and addictively delicious, I decided to make it a little bit more interesting by adding some peanut butter chips. They were calling my name at the grocery store and I was determined to put them into something. And as you can see by the picture below, Gwenny also approves of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter chips (can be increased to your desired level of peanuttiness…I just made a word!)

Preheat the oven to 350.

Butter a 4×8 inch bread pan.

If you have a mixer, you can be lazy like me and use it. If you don’t have one, you can certainly mix all of this by hand and give yourself a nice little arm workout.

Mix together the melted butter and mashed bananas. Once well mixed, add the sugar, egg, and vanilla and stir. Add the baking soda and a pinch of salt. Incorporate 1/2 of a cup of flour at a time and mix in between each addition until you have added all 1 1/2 cups. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for an hour. I noticed my bread was getting a little dark after about 45 minutes, so I covered it with aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. You can check the doneness by use the same method of checking any other baked good and insert a toothpick in the center to make sure it comes out clean.

Once the bread is finished baking, let the pan cool on a rack until cool enough to handle. Flip the pan and let the bread cool on the rack until you are ready to eat. The bread will keep in a plastic bag or container for several days…but it won’t last that long.

Source: simplyrecipes.com