Posts in Baked

apple ginger scones

Apple Ginger Scones

October 30th, 2017 Posted by Baked, Breakfast, Brunch, Food No Comment yet

My first thought this morning at 5am after waking up with Libby was “oh crap I’m out of cloth diapers”. Quickly followed by, ugh I really need to get some quotes from local accountants. And then I need to pay that bill…. but first coffee

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Make and freeze cinnamon rolls

October 19th, 2017 Posted by Baked, Breakfast, Food, Kids and Family, Sweet Sundays No Comment yet

We’ve been having quite a few overnight house guests lately, with moving to Central Oregon, a few hours away from my family, and then with having a baby, there are plenty of reasons for folks to come our way and stay awhile. One of my favorite things about overnighters is making a big breakfast in the morning. I just love making breakfasts!

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truffle cookies valentines day

Salted Chocolate Truffle Cookies (Gluten Free)

February 13th, 2017 Posted by Baked, Desserts, Holidays No Comment yet

I love Valentine’s Day! I know it’s over commercialized, but I love finding ways to make it personal to me and Joel, and the other people in my life that I love. I believe it’s always a good thing to celebrate love and to share love with others.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies – Egg-F ree

July 7th, 2016 Posted by Baked, Desserts, Egg-Free, Food No Comment yet

I found out about 3 years ago that I’m egg intolerant. I didn’t know there was such a thing, and it came as quite a shock to me. I love eggs… but they do not work well with my digestive system.

I’ve been slowly working on my favorite recipes to make them egg free! This chocolate chip cookie recipe has become an egg-free stand by.

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The best homemade hamburger buns! By Pickle Jar Studios

Giant Hamburger Buns

June 27th, 2016 Posted by Baked, Bread, Food, Grilling, Sandwiches No Comment yet

Summer is here! And that means grilling, among other things, like sandals, shorts (gasp! yes, this year I am actually embracing the shorts), lemonade, and lots and lots of sunscreen. I’m very pale.

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Mini Strawberry Galettes

April 12th, 2015 Posted by Baked, Desserts 2 comments

mini strawberry galettes

Now. Now’s about the time when I want to eat all the things that aren’t ready yet. The tomatoes, the melons, the strawberries! I have bought tomatoes more times then I should have this spring, hoping they would be ripe and luscious, only to be greeted with mealy and lack luster flesh. Their red shiny skins trick me, and I’m always disappointed when I cut into them at home. Joel tells me to have patience. One perfectly ripe tomato is better then a million out of season tomatoes. 

Strawberries in Oregon fall into the same category. Red, fragrant even, and yet when they are revealed for who they really are under the edge of my knife, they are white straight to the core.

A trick for all the premature fruit? Roasting! Roasting brings out the sweetness of both these little sirens, coaxing something hard and bland into soft and sweet with concentrated flavors.

Because these little tarts are baked, the strawberries are better then if I had served them fresh!

The pastry I use here is what makes these so easy and fantastic. This is a pre-made puff pastry from Grand Central Bakery. I was so excited when I saw it at one of their locations in Portland. It’s in the ready made cases in all their locations (they have other fabulous pastry items too) and it’s made with all butter. It’s far better tasting and quality then what you get in that grocery store puff pastry, and it has all real ingredients! It’s my new secret weapon, and I’m not paid to say that. 

If you don’t have a Grand Central Bakery by you, check with your local bakeries. They might have something delicious too! You could also be super ambitious and make your own puff pastry.

the best pre-made puff pastrythe best pre-made puff pastryMaking these tarts just requires cutting up the berries, mixing them with some butter and sugar, and assembling the tarts. They bake up buttery and flaky and smell so maddeningly delicious while they are baking. 

To distract myself, I flipped through the cookbook I’m currently obsessed with, and from which this recipe was adapted: 
Huckleberry cookbook

I have the whole thing bookmarked. It’s a gorgeous book and really fun to read. Check it out: Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets and Recipes From Our Kitchen. You might like to know that this one was totally on my list!

When the tarts come out of the oven, you can let them cool and top with powdered sugar:

mini strawberry galettes

mini strawberry galettes-5
These are so flakey and buttery… 

mini strawberry galettes

 

Mini Strawberry Galettes
 
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Sugar Pickles
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1 package Grand Central U-Bake Classic Puff Pastry or 1 pound, 12 oz package other brand prepared puff pastry
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk
  • Powdered sugar for dusting, real whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Defrost puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for about 3 hours. The dough should be chilled but pliable.
  2. In a small bowl, crack the egg and add in the water or milk. Lightly whisk and set aside. This is your egg wash for later.
  3. Melt the butter and toss in a medium bowl with the strawberries. Set aside.
  4. Unroll the thawed pastry and cut in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out so that you have one side that is at least 14 inches. I like to roll it about 10-12 times, until it gets a couple inches bigger then it is out of the package. Cutting the sheet of pastry in half makes for easier rolling, but requires repeating the rolling and cutting steps. Do whatever works for you and your work surface.
  5. Cut the pastry into squares that are about 4 inches x 4 inches. Transfer each square to a parchment lined baking sheet, evenly spacing them on the sheet. Save any strips or scraps of puff pastry (see below for ideas).
  6. Toss the brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt in with the strawberry mixture. Evenly pile the strawberry mixture into the center of each puff pastry square, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Lightly brush, using a pastry brush or two fingers, the borders with the egg wash. Fold the pastry border over like a picture frame, and gently press down on the corners to seal. Freeze for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 month, tightly wrapped.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. When ready to bake, brush the crusts with the egg wash and sprinkle with more granulated sugar. Bake from frozen until deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to keep crisp.
  8. To serve, put in a low-sided bowl with whipped cream, ice cream or simply dust with powdered sugar.
  9. Save those puff pastry scraps!
  10. Joel made a wonderful and quick appetizer by brushing this garlic butter on the dough, and sprinkling grated mild cheddar cheese on top.
  11. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese when it comes out and add freshly ground black pepper.
  12. Another great way to use up puff pastry scraps is to make single crusted mini pot pies. Just fill small ramekins with chicken, turkey or beef filling, drape the pastry on top, arranging in an overlapping pattern and brush with egg wash.
  13. If you don’t want use the scraps up when you make the tarts, you can re-wrap them and re-freeze them for another day.
 

Resources:

Pitcher, from Home Goods by Dutch Wax, part of the Floral French pattern

Puff pastry, Grand Central Bakery

 

Classic Banana Bread

March 22nd, 2015 Posted by Baked, Snacks, Sweet Sundays No Comment yet

moms classic banana bread

Oh this bread. It’s like a friend.

Smells from my childhood, with this bread. Smells like home, like after school snacks, like Sunday afternoons with a cup of tea. It’s a classic, and suuuuper easy to pull off. 

This bread freezes well, smells richly of bananas, ships well and is so full of banana flavor, you will eat half of it before you can even stop yourself. Make two, mail one, and you’ll be the lady with the BEST banana bread!

Mom gave me this recipe and the one small trick that goes along with it. It uses three times the amount of ripe bananas then the recipe originally called for. This one also has chopped walnuts. You could add chocolate chips, coconut, cashews– anything you like! I experiment with recipes so much, I wanted to make this recipe straight up, just like mom made. 

Okay, so here’s the thing about me and bananas. Sometimes they get too ripe before I can eat them all. No biggie, I throw them in the freezer (peel on) and just let them hang out there until I want to make some kind of banana bread/cake/smoothie (not all at once) thing with them. They don’t come out looking like the most attractive things, but they taste AMAZING. For this bread, we use three over ripe bananas, thawed from my freezer. 

The rest is simple: flour, sugar, butter, eggs, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mash those ‘nanners with a fork! 

moms classic banana bread-1

Cream the butter and sugar. Mom always used a hand mixer. I have one, but I usually use my stand mixer. I thought for this recipe, what the heck? I’ll use the hand mixer. Butter and sugar ehhhvrewheree. Hmmmm. This is how my mom made cookies all those times? My heart goes out to ya, babe. 

hand mixer

We persevere  on, and add the eggs. Now things mix a little easier!

mixing in eggs

Then we add the flour in three additions, alternating twice with the banana mash.  

After first flour addition and with the first batch of bananas.

moms classic banana bread-6

Second addition of flour mixed, and add second batch of bananas. 

moms classic banana bread-8

Third addition of flour and the last. 

moms classic banana bread-9

Stir in walnuts. 

stir in the walnuts

Pour in to a buttered and parchment lined loaf pan, and bake until golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. 

buttered and parchment line your pan

It really makes a great breakfast or anytime snack with a little bit of butter. It’s so moist, you really can just eat it plain too!

moms classic banana bread-22

moms classic banana bread-14

Classic Banana Bread
 
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, thawed from the freezer if frozen
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9x5x3 loaf pan well and line with parchment. Butter the parchment for extra insurance.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs and beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Mash together the three ripe bananas. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating in 3 additions with the mashed banana, blending well after each addition, ending with the flour. Stir in the nuts.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the pan to cool on a rack. Serve when cooled, at least 40 minutes, or wrap in plastic to store in the fridge for up to a week.
 

 

Raspberry Buttermilk Pie

March 15th, 2015 Posted by Baked, Desserts 1 comment

raspberry buttermilk pie-26

It’s Sweet Sunday time! Since yesterday was Pi Day, it only seemed right to keep the pie love going! 

I have been in the kitchen a lot lately and I really wanted something easy and delicious. I considered making tons of different pies, but I landed on this one because I could use this fabulous jam I made last weekend, and it looked easy! A creamy, custard pie without standing over a stove with a double broiler. I’M IN! 

I used a special pie crust for this pie. Because it’s only a single crusted pie, I used a butter and lard pie crust. YEP. Lard. It’s actually pretty awesome. Check out my pie crust recipe.

I have never actually had a buttermilk pie before. I really like it. I’m thinking this could be a great method to use for a lazy banana cream pie. And the filling on this pie came out perfect, thick, not runny at all. Admittedly, my pie cutting technique could use a little work though. 

We need to do a par-baked, or blind baked crust for this pie: 

pie crust blind baked with dried beans

I like to use dried beans for this. They are cheaper then pie weights and re-usable as well. Just line your pie crust with parchment before adding the beans (I think this is close to two cups of beans) and make sure they fill up the crust to the edges, or else your edges will slump down. I also “dock” my crust, which just means pricking it all over (sides too!) with a fork so that you don’t get any large steam bubbles in the crust. This one is ready to fill: 

ready for filling

 The filling couldn’t be easier. Mix together buttermilk, eggs yolks, sugar, flour, vanilla, salt and melted butter. 

ready to pour into the crust

Ready for that oven: 

raspberry buttermilk pie-22

So now we bake. Just keep an eye on the crust and use a pie crust shield or strips of foil in case it is getting too brown. If you plan on baking a lot of pies, invest in a shield! They are way easier to deal with then foil, and less wasteful. 

When it comes out of the oven, let it cool, then chill for 4-5 hours or overnight before decorating with the roasted rhubarb and raspberry jam and toasted sliced almonds. 

decorating the pie

Slice it up. 

pie slice

 This recipe is slightly adapted from Real Simple and I strongly recommend their article: 10 easy pies to try this weekend.

Raspberry Buttermilk Pie
 
Recipe Type: Desserts, Pie
Author: Sugar Pickles
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pie crust disk from my butter and lard piecrust post
  • 1/2 cup roasted rhubarb and raspberry jam or any good jam you have on hand
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. To par-bake the crust: Preheat the oven to 425° F. Put your rolled out crust in to the pie plate and crimp or decorate the edge as desired. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans (any kind) or pie weights.
  2. Bake until the crust is just beginning to brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper with the beans out of the crust and set to the side to cool before putting away to use again. Let the crust cool completely.
  3. To make the pie: Preheat oven to 325° F. Whisk together buttermilk, sugar, butter, flour, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and salt.
  4. Pour the mixture into the piecrust and bake until the center is set but still slightly wobbly, 40 to 50 minutes. Keep an eye on the edges of the crust, if they get too brown, use a pie shield or tent with foil to prevent them from burning. Let cool, then chill until firm, 4 to 5 hours.
  5. Top with raspberry jam and toasted sliced almonds before serving.
 

 

Lard and Butter Pie Crust

March 7th, 2015 Posted by Baked, Desserts, DIY No Comment yet

crust gets decorated

So, Monday! Life seems hard sometimes when your cat wakes you up all night and then your alarm goes off at the crack of dawn. Bills, taxes. Blech. Right about that time in my life, when things are frustrating, annoying me, difficult and just plain not fun, I need something simple I can do that I know will turn out just the way I planned it to. I need to give myself a win! A win feels good, a win keeps us going, and a win means we get to eat butter. Win-win!

 I like to keep simple things simple. Like making my own pie crust. It only takes about 10 minutes! This crust is extra flaky because we use two secret ingredients: lard and vodka! 

rendered pork leaf lard

Here’s a couple reasons I like to use lard!

  1. It makes for an ultra flakey pie crust.
  2. It is healthier then you might think! Actually, it has half the amount saturated fat then butter. Crazy, right? 

If the thought of lard makes you cringe, no worries, you can sub a non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (I like Spectrum Organic brand) or you can make the same crust with all butter. But I would encourage you to check out this article, where the benefits of lard are explained. And this one here too.

I found some great lard (ha! feels weird to even type that) at my local farmer’s market (pictured above, Heritage Farms Northwest Leaf Lard.)

This pie crust starts out like many others… in the food processor. Mix up those dry ingredients! Just sugar, salt, and flour.

ingredients in the food processor

I love doing pie crust this way, rather then cutting in the butter with knives or a pastry blender. I think it is so much faster and the butter and fats stay cool and in little pieces (that’s the goal!). Get those cold fats ready!

ready to add to the mix

Top the dry ingredients with the cut up pieces of butter and lard:  

butter and lard go in

Pulse until it looks like cracker crumbs.

Pulse until it looks like this

 With the food processor on, blend in the water and the vodka. The vodka is another trick to keeping a crust flakey. It has to do with gluten molecules and how they bind when liquid is introduced. You can read more about that in detail here: How Alcohol Makes a Flakier Pie Crust.

after you add the water and vodka

Now that it’s all combined, turn out onto a lightly floured counter, form into two balls and wrap loosely with plastic wrap, then flatten each into a disk. 

ready to be shaped into a disc

ready to be refridgeratedRefrigerate for 45 minutes. When you are ready to roll out, lightly flour your surface and roll the dough out. ready to use lard pie crust

You can now use this in any recipe! This lard pie crust recipe makes two crusts, so you can make a double crust pie or keep one crust in the freezer for another day. I love the thought of knowing I have a pie crust ready and waiting for me in the freezer. That alone is sometimes all the comfort I need when I’m paying my bills and doing other terribly adult and boring things. 

You might want to try it with my Raspberry Buttermilk Pie, where I use a single crust and blind bake it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, never fear, I explain it well in this post. 

Lard and Butter Pie Crust
 
Recipe Type: Baking, Dessert
Author: Sugar Pickles
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 crusts
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or 1 tablespoon if making a savory pie)
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup cold leaf lard
  • 1/4 cup cold vodka
  • 1/4 cup ice water
Instructions
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar until combined, in short pulses.
  2. Sprinkle the butter and lard pieces over the top and process until the mixture looks like cracker crumbs or clumpy sand, some larger pieces and some smaller.
  3. With the processor running, pour the cold vodka and ice water through the feed tube, in a steady stream, until the dough is together in a ball and holds together. Do not process for longer then 30 seconds. If it doesn’t look mixed together enough, you can do short pulses to combine more.
  4. Dump out onto a slightly floured surface and gently knead to get the dough to come together. Divide into two balls and wrap loosely with plastic. Flatten each ball into a disk and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days. You can also freeze this crust, well wrapped and in a zip lock bag, for up to 2 months. A pie crust in the freezer is like money in the bank!
 

 

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

February 27th, 2015 Posted by Baked, Desserts, Snacks No Comment yet

I missed cookies. When I was a kid, mom always had cookies in this glass crazy shaped cookie jar we had on our counter. I was often the one to help her make the dough, or at the very least, I got to lick the beaters (that was the best part!) Somehow, with all my lemon bread and tart making, I kinda forgot about cookies! They are simple, basic, and so good.

I want to keep my cookie jar full of cookies! 

peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

These cookies are irresistible to boys and men. They are up there with Joy the Baker’s Peanut Butter Bacon cookies– what she says is true, guys LOVE peanut butter! 

For these cookies, you will need natural peanut butter, old fashioned oats, and whole peanuts. That’s real stuff! We can do this. 

peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

My house is only two people, so we baked half this dough and froze the other half for the next time my brothers-in-law come over. Feeding 3 men is a challenge sometimes (pro tip: ALWAYS make extra gravy/biscuits/dessert, no matter what diet they say they are on), but taking seconds is the biggest compliment ever. 

I think freezing cookie dough in rounds or logs wrapped in plastic wrap is the best trick ever. It freezes beautifully, you can bake the dough straight from the freezer (just add on a minute or two to the baking time) and slicing rounds of homemade dough and popping them in the oven is no work at all and you feel super smart for your preparedness. You are so smart, in fact, that you deserve a cookie. 

This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Cookies book. 

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
 
Recipe Type: Dessert, Snack
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 dozen
Ingredients
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups salted whole peanuts
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put sugars, butter, and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture, and mix until just combined. Mix in peanuts and chocolate chips.
  4. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop balls of dough 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.
  6. To freeze dough, either form cookie dough in to a flat disk and wrap with plastic wrap then put in a plastic bag or freeze the balls of dough for at least 3 hours before transferring to a zip lock bag. Cookie dough will last in the freezer, well wrapped, for at least 3 months. Label your cookie dough balls or rounds with the baking instructions and recipe source.
 

Looking for more cookies? Try my triple ginger snaps or the soft and large lemon and greek yogurt cookies.  

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