Loading...

Follow The Vanilla Bean Blog | A Baker's Soliloquy on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
Or

Valid


I was recently on Twin Cities Live and made the chocolate bars pictured. They are based on a recipe from my cookbook: chocolate brownie base, buttercream filling, then topped off with chocolate ganache. Indulgent, but delicious. I made them for Valentine’s day with edible rose petals, which made them pretty and terribly precious, but if you’re not into that sort of thing, plain tops will work just fine. You can watch the video of me making them here.

I’ll have some chocolate hazelnut bars for you later this week, and hopefully the lemon pull-apart bread I had on Instagram that so many of you asked about. I’m still tweaking that recipe just a bit. And the rectangle cake, too! So many recipes, so little time.

I hope your weekend is full of good things. I am currently watching the snow fall down and trying not to think of my parents headed to the east coast for weeks on end while I pine for spring. I did start reading I Capture the Castle yesterday and can’t put it down; it’s delightful. xx

Chocolate Bars
Adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book.

Brownie base
4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, cold
4 ounces (113g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons (13g) Dutch process cocoa powder
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (80g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup canola oil
¾ cups (149g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling
1 cup (2 sticks | 227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
Pinch salt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2-1 teaspoon flavored extract (whatever you prefer! I like mint)(optional)
2 cups (226g) confectioner’s sugar
A few drops of food coloring (I used pink) (optional)

Ganache
4 ounces (113g) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/2 cup heavy cream
Edible rose petals and chopped cacao nibs, if desired

For the brownies
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking pan and line a parchment sling (a 9 by 9-inch pan will work, too).

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and the bittersweet chocolate until both are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 22 to 27 minutes, until the sides of the brownies have set, the top is beginning to crackle and look glossy, and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with crumbs. The batter on the skewer should not be wet, but should have a good amount of crumbs clinging to it. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Place in the refrigerator and chill for an hour.

For the filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Scrape down the sides and add the vanilla, mint, and salt. Mix on low until combined and then beat on medium for 1 minute. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the confectioner‘s sugar, a little at a time, mixing until combined, and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 6-8 minutes until light and fluffy.

For the ganache
Place the chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it is simmering and just about to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the plastic and whisk until completely smooth. Let cool to room temperature before using.

To assemble the bars
Spread the mint filling evenly across the chilled brownies. Return the pan back to the fridge and chill for 1 hour.

When the filling has chilled, pour the cooled ganache over the top, and using an offset spatula, spread the ganache in an even layer (decorate with edible rose petals and cacao nibs, if desired). Put the pan back in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove the pan from the fridge, and wait 10 minutes before cutting, to allow the glaze to soften slightly. Cut the squares and serve.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

***ENTER THE JK ADAMS GIVEAWAY BELOW***

It took me a long time to feel confident making pies. I never actually made one until my late twenties, as they had seemed so daunting and time consuming; so much work for something that had such a high percentage of not turning out right. My first attempt actually was incredible: I made a perfect apple pie. The crust was flaky and golden brown, the filling perfectly cooked, with apples soft but not mushy. I remember bringing it to my Grandma’s house, and she raved and raved about it (she may have mentioned it was better than the pie my mom made) and I’m pretty sure she ate the rest of it for dinner that night. Brimming with confidence, I made another pie the next day: same recipe, same apples, same kitchen equipment, and alas, it was a total disaster.

I’ve discovered I often have beginners luck with baking, only to completely mess up whatever I am making the next time I go to bake it. I think it’s the grace of the kitchen gods: they know of my love and need for baking, but also my lack of patience and follow through. I’m notorious on giving up on something if I don’t get it right away. They let me succeed once, giving me false confidence of my abilities, and then the next several times I just can’t get it right. I know I can make a pie, and make it well, but now I have to work for it. This then triggers my OCD and anxiety (both of which I’ve been diagnosed with), and now I cannot rest until I get it right again. It’s actually maddening, but after weeks and months of testing a recipe, I walk away pleased with my outcome, and confident about sharing it with others. It’s rather a daunting process (I should have just gone to pastry school?) but I’ve always learn best from my mistakes, and also repeating something over and over until I really understand it.

I made pie after pie after that first round, but never found any consistency. Pies are tricky that way – so much depends on the fruit, and fruit isn’t consistent. Fruit changes; it’s taste and texture evolves as it sits, and this can effect how the filling tastes and thickens. At the time, I wasn’t ready in my baking journey to mess around with that extra element, and so I threw in the towel and moved on to something else.

But pies came back into my life when I decided to write a cookbook. There was to be a whole chapter on pies and tarts, and so I was going to have to figure out how to make a pie that was worth making and eating. I had made plenty of tarts, and crisps and crumbles in my baking career, but was able to avoid pie successfully. Now I had to face them. I spent months (and months) making pies. I checked out every possible pie making-book from the library, and read and watched everything I could. Nothing was working well for me. Sometimes the filling would be perfectly cooked, but the crust would be soggy. Sometimes the crust would be flaky and buttery, but the filling under baked and runny. I finally decided to try a method I had been putting off – a method that Rose Levy Beranbaum came up with in her cookbook, The Pie and Pastry Bible. It involves tossing the peeled and sliced fruit with sugar, and letting it sit until the fruit releases its juice. After straining the juice, it is then boiled down into a syrup and then mixed back in with the fruit. I hadn’t wanted to experiment with this because it seemed like so much extra work, but when I tried it, something clicked. Releasing the fruit juice and then cooking it down helps control how much liquid is in the filling, which solves so many problems. The fruit syrup also is a much more concentrated flavor, which is another added benefit. I played on Ms. Beranaum’s idea, and added a bit more sugar to the syrup as it cooked, and then added liqueur, vanilla, and a little butter. Sometimes heavy cream was mixed in, to balance the fruit’s sweetness or tartness. I was also able to taste the syrup as I added things, so I could balance flavor before adding it to the fruit, which ensured a perfect filling.

This method, (as with anything) isn’t completely fool-proof; there are of course variables that can sneak up and ruin a pie. But I’ve found it gives me the most consistently delicious pies, and gives me room to play with different fruits without worry. Also, there are plenty of people making great pies without this method, and I don’t doubt it can be done. But I’ve found for myself that the extra work involved here was completely worth it, and I finally feel passionate about making pies, and sharing pies.

A few other things I learned along the way: overall I like cornstarch as a filling over flour and tapioca. Flour seemed to muddle the flavor, and and tapioca made the filling too jelly-like for my tastes. Cornstarch kept the flavor pure and thickened without being gummy. I also add a grated Gala apple to every pie I make (except, apple pie, ha). This is a trick I learned from Cooks Illustrated: a peeled, grated apple contains a good amount of pectin, which helps thicken the filling. This means I don’t have to use as much cornstarch. The sweetness of the apple also balances any tart flavors in the filling without having to add extra sugar. I find it a win-win situation, and no one ever notices the apple in the pie.

I also use an all-butter crust. I prefer the flavor of the butter, and didn’t miss the shortening when experimenting. I like a little sugar in my dough, for sweetness and browning, and I fold the dough a bit at the end to help ensure flaky layers. A glass pie plate and a preheated baking sheet ensures a crisp, golden brown crust (the glass also helps me peek at the crust to see when it is done).

***GIVEAWAY***

To celebrate the making of pies, I have a giveaway with JK ADAMS! Three winners will receive a heart cutting board, a rolling pin, and a bottle of beeswax. This is my personal favorite rolling pin, and use it for making all my pies and tarts. The food safe Beeswax is a wonderful way to condition your wooden cutting boards, rolling pins, and the like. To enter, click here and fill out the form! That’s it! Winners will be announced next Monday.

CHERRIES + CREAM SLAB PIE

Adapted from my cookbook, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. I almost always recommend fresh fruit for pies, but I’ve found frozen cherries to consistently work well for me (especially in the winter months). If using frozen, toss the cherries with the sugar and salt frozen, and let them sit until they come to room temperature (this may take a few hours). If you like some tart cherries mixed in, you can use a mixture of each (although you may want to add a little more sugar, a tablespoon at a time – taste to see.) If your cherries are still releasing a lot of juice when the cooked juice is added back to them, add an extra tablespoon of cornstarch (for a total of 5 tablespoons) to the fruit mixture.

1 double crust pie recipe (see below)
10 heaping cups (1300g) pitted sweet cherries
1 cup (150g) peeled and grated Gala apple, about 2 small apples
1/2 cup (99g) granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup (50g) plus 1-2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons kirsch (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons cornstarch (see note)
1 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Egg wash (1 egg, 1 tablespoon water, and a pinch of salt whisked together)

For the Filling
Combine cherries, grated apple, 1/2 cup of sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Let sit 30-45 minutes at room temperature.

Strain the sugary juice from the fruit into a medium saucepan (you should have at least ½ cup of juice). Return the fruit to the large bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar to the juices in the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to a scant 1/2 cup, about 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to stir. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Stir in the kirsch and vanilla, then the heavy cream. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sprinkle the cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon over the cherries and toss to coat. Pour the slightly cooled fruit juice mixture over the fruit and stir gently.

To Assemble and Bake
Lightly flour a large sheet of parchment paper, and roll one piece of dough into a 17 by 13-inch rectangle. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Using the parchment paper, transfer one rectangle to a 13 by 9-inch jelly roll pan or quarter sheet pan. Press the dough into the pan; discard the parchment. Pour the filling on top of the dough and spread into an even layer. Using the parchment paper, place the second rectangle of dough on top of the filling; discard the parchment. Trim the dough overhangs to 1 inch past the lip of the pan. Pinch the dough together and tuck it under itself. Crimp the edges and cut several x-shaped vents across the top of the dough. Place the pan in the freezer for about 20 minutes while the oven is preheating. You want the crust to be nice and firm before you bake it.

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a baking sheet large enough to hold the jelly roll pan on the oven rack (the preheated baking sheet helps crisp the bottom of the pie crust and catches any leaks and drips).

When ready to bake, brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with 1 or 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Put the pie plate on the preheated baking sheet and bake 25 minutes. Reduce the oven to 375ºF and bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble.

Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before serving.

Pie Dough
18 tablespoons (255g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 16-24 pieces
3 1/4 cups (g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Put the butter in a small bowl and place it in the freezer. Fill a medium liquid measuring cup with water and add plenty of ice. Let the both the butter and the ice water sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, sugar, and salt on low until combined. Add half of the chilled butter and mix on low until the butter is just starting to break down, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the butter and continue mixing until the butter is broken down and in various sizes (some butter will incorporated into the dough, some will still be a bit large, but most should be about the size of small peas). Stop the mixer and use your hands to check for any large pieces of butter that didn’t get mixed or any dry patches of dough on the bottom of the bowl; break up the butter and incorporate the dry flour as best you can. With the mixer running on low, slowly add water a few tablespoons at a time and mix until the dough starts to come together but is still quite shaggy.

Dump the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and flatten it slightly into a square. Gather any loose/dry pieces that won’t stick to the dough and place them on top of the square. Gently fold the dough over onto itself and flatten again. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times, until all the loose pieces are worked into the dough. Be very gentle with your movements, being careful not to overwork the dough. Flatten the dough one last time into a rectangle and cut into 2 pieces. Form the pieces into 6-inch discs and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

(For the fold-over pie crust shown above, instead of dividing the dough into two pieces, pinch off one-quarter of the dough, and save for another use. Pat the rest of the dough into a disc, and wrap with plastic until ready to use.)

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

‘I’m all over the place, up and down, scattered, withdrawing, trying to find some elusive sense of serenity.’
‘The world can’t give that serenity. The world can’t give us peace. We can only find it in our hearts.’
‘I hate that.’
‘I know. But the good news is that by the same token, the world can’t take it away.’
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

I come to you with a recipe for turnovers filled with jam and cream cheese filling. I love puff pastry filled with fresh fruit, but, well, it’s January.

I often turn to jam when all my summer berries are not in season. I have mixed feelings about jam in baked goods; often it’s just too sweet, and then I regret using it. Here I’ve paired it with a tangy cream cheese filling, which balances the sweetness. I also try to use jams with a bitter or tart edge; orange marmalade and blackberry jam are two favorites. The combination of the flaky, buttery pastry, tart-but-sweet jam, tangy cream cheese, and a crunchy, sugary top is a great idea on a bitter, cold winter morning.

(Also, I couldn’t quite find words this morning to how I was feeling, but then remembered I already had said them here.)

Turnovers with Jam
Notes: The turnovers may leak a bit in the oven – this is normal, and nothing to worry about. I used the rough puff pastry from my cookbook here; if you are going to use store-bought puff pastry, use a brand that uses butter instead of oil if possible. In the directions below I’m assuming you are using store bought, which usually comes in two 1/2 pound pieces. If you are using homemade, you will need to cut your puff pastry into two 1/2 pound pieces to roll and shape the turnovers. I like to use a fruit filling that is on the tart/bitter side, as it balances nicely with the cream cheese (but sweet filling will taste good, too). You can omit the cream cheese filling and just use jam if you prefer. I also have recipes for sour cherry turnovers on my site, and for strawberry turnovers and apple turnovers on Handmade Charlotte. Occasionally the bottoms of the turnovers can bake faster than the tops, which is why I have you bake them with two baking sheets stacked on top of each other.

1 pound puff pastry (store bought or homemade, see notes)
Jam, marmalade, fruit butter, etc
Cream cheese filling (recipe follows)

Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces (113g) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Make the filling
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice, and mix to combine. Taste filling – you are looking for the lemon juice to brighten the filling, but not make it taste like lemon. Add more juice if needed. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the turnovers
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees, with the oven rack in the middle position. Stack two baking sheets on top of each other and line the top sheet with parchment paper.

Gently flour your work surface, and roll each piece of the pastry dough into a 10-inch square. Cut each square into four 5-inch squares, for a total of 8 squares.

Place a dollop of cream cheese and a dollop of jam on each square (about a tablespoon of each). Brush the edges of each square lightly with water.

Fold each square of dough to make a triangle, and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Move the triangles to the prepared baking sheets, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Brush the tops of the turnovers lightly with water and generously sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake the turnovers until golden brown (20-25 minutes), rotating the pan halfway through. Move the turnovers off the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool slightly. Serve warm.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

So far, I’ve spent most of January freezing. It’s not that unusual for me to be constantly cold, but here in Minnesota we’ve had a long string of below zero days, which means I’m wearing several pairs of socks and shivering under blankets. I’ve done quite a bit of baking this month, and hope to have more recipes for you soon. In the meantime, here’s a list of things I’ve been enjoying.

Elizabeth by Sarah Bradford – I often make a quick stop at my local thrift store and browse the books; there’s usually a treasure or two tucked away in there. I picked up this book last week and have been reading it before bed (trying to stay away from Twitter after 9pm) and have been enjoying it.

Ella and Louis Again – Somehow I missed this! I am in love with their first duet album, and have spent countless hours singing along to it. I’ve been listening to this all week.

I’m working my way through Parks and Rec again, and have been laughing so much. Here’s the best of Ron Swanson.

It was just Martin Luther King Jr. day. It’s still not too late to read his leader from Birmingham Jail.

The greatest dance number ever filmed (according to Fred Astaire).

The Onion’s food videos are rather funny.

Why you should care about Bob Newhart.

How the 25 greatest stories ever told would be ruined by technology.

The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, sung by Leonard Nimoy

Spatula City

Coconut-Almond-Chocolate Cake

Cake
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (297g) sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks | 227g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup (85 g) chocolate chips, chopped small
5 ounces (141g) sweetened shredded coconut, plus more for decorating the cake (I used 2-3 cups worth)

Cream Cheese-Coconut Buttercream
The coconut extract is optional, but I really liked the bump of coconut flavor it gave the buttercream.

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks | 339g) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces (170g) cream cheese, room temperature
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups (452g) confectioner’s sugar

For the cake
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 8 by 2-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, almond extract, sour cream, and buttermilk.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low until combined. With the mixer running on low, add the butter one piece at a time, beating until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the mixer still running on low, slowly add half the wet ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. with the mixer running on low, add the rest of the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 20 seconds (the batter may still look a little bumpy). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and use a spatula to mix the batter a few more times. Add the chopped chocolate and coconut and mix to combine.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Tap the pans gently on the counter 2 times to help get rid of any bubbles. Bake 35 to 50 minutes (see note above), rotating the pans halfway through, until the cake are golden brown and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and let cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the salt, vanilla, and coconut extract. Mix on low until combined and then beat on medium for 1 minute. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time, mixing until combined, and stopped to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat 6-8 minutes until light and fluffy.

To assemble
Cut each cake layer of the cake in half horizontally, to make a total of four layers. Put one layer, cut side up, on a serving platter, and top with 1/2 cup of the buttercream. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly over the layer. Repeat with two more layers and then top the cake with the remaining layer, cut side down. Frost the cake, and then coat the sides with shredded coconut.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

A month ago I got to take a quick trip to New York City, and hang out at the FeedFeed studio. They had a cookie exchange (sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill) and I brought a long some of my pan-banging chocolate chip cookies to share. I had a great time – there were a lot of other food bloggers there that I had wanted to meet forever and finally got to, and also met a lot of lovely bloggers that were new to me. Everyone brought cookies to exchange, and there were several demonstrations (including my pan-banging technique), a cookie decorating station, a wreath making station, and tons of great food. My husband got to tag along as well (yay, frequent flyer miles!) and we spent a total of 40 hours in NYC – mostly just walking around neighborhoods and eating great food.

Thank you so much FeedFeed and Bob’s Red Mill! You can find the recipe to my cookies here.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Somehow we are already on the front steps of 2018. The door is open, and another January welcomes us in with a glorious smile, reassuring those waiting out in the cold that right inside, just through that open door, things will be better. The new year will bring hope, and change. So we resolve to evolve, and put our faith in the dropping of a ball, a countdown from ten, and then number one. Two weeks in, however, we realize it’s still all the same, January is December, minus the Christmas tree. The list of resolutions gets shoved in a drawer, we turn on the news and are still groaning, trying to find our voice. There was no wizardry to wash away the sins of the previous year. We remember about the importance of time, and hard work, and continuing to keep at something even though no one is watching.

But although the New Year doesn’t contain magic, it’s a good idea to make a cake at the end of it all anyway. We can still celebrate the previous twelve months: observe how far we’ve come, make plans for the coming days, or just share time, enjoying ice cream, with those we spend our days. And while I walk into this next month knowing everything is not new and fresh, I will still look around for hope, and change, and progress, and help propel those things forward as best I can.

***************************************************

I’ve teamed up with Land O’Lakes for a few posts over the rest of the year. I’ve been a big fan of their butter for years; I love how my baked goods turn out with it, and as they are a Minnesota-based company, it seemed like a natural fit. I’m happy to report that the Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream is delicious, too – here it’s used in the chocolate no-churn ice cream, but I also use it in whipped cream, cheesecake, and any other application, both sweet and savory, where I need heavy cream.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

-Neil Gaiman

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake with Mint Meringue
For a slightly taller cake, use a Pullman pan and double the chocolate ice cream. This recipe gives you directions for making the ice cream ahead of time and then assembling the cake. You can just pour the fresh  made ice cream over the cookie crumb crust and then freeze, but you won’t be able to do the double layer of cookie crumbs because the ice cream will be too soft and the crumbs in the middle will just mix into the ice cream.

Chocolate No-Churn Ice Cream
3 ounces (85g) bittersweet chocolate
One 14-ounce can (396g) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces (57g) cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream

Cookie crust
25 chocolate sandwich cookies (not double stuffed)
4 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter, melted

Mint Meringue
5 large egg whites
1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon mint extract (more if desired)
1 tablespoon crème de menthe

For the ice cream
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of boiling water, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl, and stir constantly until just melted. Cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, the cooled chocolate, vanilla, and salt until completely combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the cream cheese on medium until smooth. Turn the mixer to low and add the heavy cream in a slow steady stream, mixing until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and whisk until stiff peaks form, 3-4 minutes.

Add half the whipped cream mixture to the sweetened condensed milk mixture and whisk until completely combined. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining whipped cream mixture until no streaks remain. Pour into a 9-inch loaf pan or Pullman pan and freeze until firm, 6 hours or, covered, up to 1 week.

For the crust
Place 25 chocolate sandwich cookies in a food processor, and process until they are broken down into crumbs.

In a medium bowl stir together the cookie crumbs and melted butter until evenly coated.

Line a 9-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting the wrap hang over the sides (this will help easily remove the ice cream cake).

Use a measuring cup or spoon to press 1 cup (100 g) cookie crumbs evenly on bottom of the prepared Pullman pan or loaf pan. Top with half the chocolate ice cream, pressing it into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs evenly over the ice cream and top with the remaining chocolate ice cream. Place the ice cream cake in the freezer and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight before topping with meringue. Let ice cream sit out at room temperature about 20 minutes before assembling the cake.

For the meringue topping
Put about an inch of water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir the egg whites, sugar, and salt to combine. Place the bowl over the saucepan, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula until the sugar is completely melted and reaches a temperature of 160°F, 4 to 5 minutes. While you are stirring, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula—this will ensure no sugar grains are lurking on the sides and also help prevent the egg whites from cooking.

Remove the bowl from the heat and place it in the stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk on medium-high until stiff, glossy peaks form, 8 to 10 minutes. The bowl should have cooled down to room temperature at this point. Add the vanilla and mint extracts, and crème de menthe, and beat until combined.

Use the plastic wrap to gently remove the cake from the loaf pan. Working quickly, remove the plastic and set the loaf cake on a serving platter.

Use a spatula to spread the meringue evenly over the top of the ice cream cake and, if desired, use a spoon to create curls. Hold a kitchen blowtorch 1 or 2 inches away from the cake and touch the flame down in between the curls. The curls will toast and brown (if the curls set on fire, you can blow them out). Slice the cake and serve immediately. (Because this is ice cream, an oven broiler won’t work here to toast the meringue – you will just have a melted puddle. If you don’t have a blow torch, you can serve the cake without toasting it – it will still taste delicious.)

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

(The text for this post is taken from an old post with no recipe. I was feeling similar this year, and decided to share it again, along with a recipe.)

I spent ten Christmas Eves in a row working various retail jobs, everything from barista to Barnes and Noble. The holiday season started the day after Thanksgiving, with mile long lines continuing to Christmas Eve at 4pm, when the store gates finally clanged shut and stayed that way for one whole day. Work shifts in December were spent answering the constantly ringing phone, running around the store trying to find would-be presents, standing at the cash register hour upon hour swiping credit cards, dreading every 30 minutes when Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime would come on again, and cleaning up gigantic messes left by frantic customers. Then, at last, the night before Christmas, when the store gate was shut (although often people were begging outside it: please, can I buy just 1 pound of coffee? I just need one more book for my sister-in-law, will you let me in?) all the employees would feel that smack of exhaustion, the same one that comes at the end of finals week, when you are finally driving home for spring break. It would take hours to clean the store, and almost everyone could feel a serious cold coming on. Someone would order a pizza, and we’d munch in silence before taking off to our various celebrations, usually arriving sneezing and crazy-eyed, just wanting to crash into a bed.

I’ve now had ten years off on Christmas Eve. It is spent at home, quietly listening to holiday music, baking a batch of cookies, snuggling with my little ones watching White Christmas, and heading to my parent’s house early for festivities. I have a no-shopping on Christmas Eve rule for myself, but I must admit I feel something lacking each year without the craziness. The month of December doesn’t feel as sparkly and exciting to me without all the noise, the crowds of people, Mariah Carey singing Christmas songs through loud speakers all day long, racing up and down stairs trying to find books for exasperated customers. The thing I didn’t want to make the holiday about has now ended up defining the holiday to me. Those formative years of my teens and twenties, working hard all December long now shape how I need Christmas to feel to me as an adult. I can’t escape that, somehow.

I remind myself each year that just because something feels a certain way, it doesn’t mean that’s how it actually is. This is usually easier said than done. As a parent, I now determine how the holiday will look for my children. I start traditions and routine both for enjoyment and for recognition. I see my kids feeling so many things, and getting swept up in what makes Christmas so exciting. But my mission as a caretaker is more than that. It’s to teach what the reason behind this month long, money-spending, jingle-belling really is. At the very core, it’s to look to others, to give with no expectation of getting anything in return, and to remember that we all belong to each other, all of us, across this spinning round snow globe that’s so easily shaken. No matter how the actual days of December end up shaping my two little ones, I want them to still always be able reach past how they feel, and know, deep down, the joy and hope of Christmas, and their capacity to bring it everywhere they go. “If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.” —Lucy Larcom

Peanut Butter Cups
I don’t know if the world needs another recipe for peanut butter cups, but I had several people ask on Instagram for the recipe, so here it is! It’s a mash up of recipes, inspired/adapted from Sprouted Kitchen and Taste of Home. Peanut butter cups are my most favorite candy, and these are rich and delicious. To get the nice shape and glossy chocolate, I used this silicone mold from Leuke. It was my first time using a silicone mold for these cups, and it worked beautifully. I’ll never go back to paper. This mold is deeper than a normal mini muffin pan, so if you are going to use that instead, you will probably use less chocolate and peanut butter filling than called for here. If you want detailed directions for making these in a regular mini muffin tin, you can find some on the Sprouted Kitchen’s post. If using natural peanut butter here, please remember that not all peanut butters are created equal, and use a brand you know works well in baking.

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
13 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao)

In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt until combined and completely smooth.

Melt 12 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate (I used the microwave) until smooth, stopping to stir the chocolate occasionally. Add the last ounce of chocolate and stir until it is melted and all the chocolate is completely smooth.

Place about a tablespoon of chocolate in the bottom of each circle in the mold. Tilt and twist the mold around so the chocolate coats the sides of the circle. Scoop out a scant tablespoon of peanut butter and gently roll it into a ball between your palms (if it is too sticky to do so, refrigerate for 10 minutes to help it firm up). Place it in the center of each circle. Top each circle with the remaining chocolate and smooth out the top (I gently tapped the mold on the counter to do so). Chill in the refrigerator to set. Once set, pop each peanut butter cup out of it’s mold.

To top with cacao nibs: Melt 1 ounce of chocolate. Place about a half teaspoon of chocolate on top of each peanut butter cup, and carefully smooth out. Sprinkle with chopped cacao nibs and let set.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you follow along on Instagram, you know I’ve been working on a ginger-molasses version of my pan-banging cookies. I finally have the recipe for you, although I’m going to be completely honest – I’m so nervous to share it! I’m terrified you won’t love them as much as the chocolate chip version, so I’ve been obsessively  making them trying to get everything just right. I also know that most everyone has a strong opinion on how they want their molasses cookie to be (soft! hard! chewy! dense! coated in sugar! no sugar! fresh ginger! just ground spices!) and this cookie will not appeal to everyone. I did make my dear friend Zoë test them out and she gave them her approval, so I’m going to go ahead and put the recipe out into the world.

Some good news: this particular version doesn’t need to be refrigerated. The molasses and butter in this cookie helps them to spread just fine without the added chill. I also make these a little bit smaller – 2 ounces, instead of 3 ounces. A few things to note: these taste best when the centers are under baked, just like the chocolate chip cookies. Because they are smaller, I bang the pan only 3-4 times instead of 5-6. If you do cook the centers, the outside will be slightly tough when they cool, and they don’t taste as good on the second day. If you get things just right, the outside will be crispy, the centers soft and slightly chewy, and they will still taste great the next day. If you try them, let me know how they turn out for you!

Pan-Banging Ginger Molasses Cookies

NOTES : These cookies are a little different than the chocolate chip cookies – you don’t have to chill them, and they require a little less banging. You really don’t want to overcook the centers here – the cookie edges will get a little too tough. Just like the chocolate chip cookies, the center needs to be under baked (if you look at the photo, there is quite a bit of un-banged surface area). The cookies will still cook on the pan after you take them out of the oven, so the centers won’t be raw, but if you are looking for a completely crispy cookie, this isn’t it. The edges will be crispy, and the centers a little chewy and very soft.

Make sure your cookie batter is completely combined – molasses likes to hang out on the sides of the bowl and streak in the dough, so use a spatula at the end and make sure the batter is uniform.

You don’t have to roll them in sugar, but I prefer them that way.

You can play around with the spices if you want. I only like the teensiest bit of cloves, but you could add a bit more if you like.

These cookies are rather large, but to get the edges to spread out and crinkle, they need to be on the big side. If you want to make the cookies smaller, you won’t get as many ridges on the outer layer, and your center won’t be quite as gooey. They will still be delicious, but not quite what I intended for you.

There is a minimal amount of molasses in these cookies, but adding more makes them really chewy and a little tough.

I think they keep best in the fridge, but I like to eat them at room temperature.

1 3/4 cup (249g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch cloves
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup (297g) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
2 tablespoons mild molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla, and mix on low to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and using a spatula, make sure the molasses is completely combined into the dough and that the dough is a uniform color.

Form the dough into 2-ounce balls (I use this cookie scoop). Roll the balls in granulated sugar to coat. Place 4 balls an equal distance apart on a prepared pan.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake 8 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4 inches and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down (this will feel wrong, but trust me). After the cookies puff up again in about 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat 3-4 more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake 13 to 16 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I have a two-part gift guide for you. Today is favorite baking books and favorite kitchen items, next week is more cookbooks and Holiday music. So let’s get to it. First up, the baking books I use all the time in my kitchen.

***(Also: Holiday Playlists! My Holiday Mix from last year is here. My Classic Christmas Mix is here. And my Quiet Christmas Mix is here.)***

FAVORITE BAKING BOOKS

The Village Baker’s Wife  by Joe Ortiz and Gayle Ortiz – This book is a classic, and you can only find it used, but there are so many great recipes among it’s pages. I highly recommend seeking it out. From the Library Journal: Here are recipes for the croissants and Danish pastries, pies and tarts, cookies, muffins, and other delicious delicacies sold at Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola, California. The recipes are well written and thorough, and techniques are often illustrated with whimsical but very clear line drawings. Highly recommended.

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Kieffer – Yes, I snuck my own book in here. But, it does contain all my favorite recipes, and I use them all the time in my own kitchen. You can find my Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies in here, but my other favorites are Pumpkin Scones, Burnt Honey Buttercream, Quick Danish Dough, and Peach Caramel Pie.

Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich – Alice Medrich is the baking cookbook queen. I appreciate all her books, they are so well done: flawless recipes, and solid writing and research. Pure Dessert is the first Medrich cookbook I ever owned – all the rest had been checked out time and time again at the library, when I couldn’t afford my cookbook habit. This one is special, and helped pave the way for baking with alternative flours as flavor flours. The Nibby Buckwheat Butter Cookies are holiday favorites.

Sweeter Off the Vine by Yossy Arefi  – Here are beautiful photographs, recipes that always work, and a unique perspective on baking. I absolutely love Yossy’s book, and turn to it often. Favorite recipes: Yossy is known for her pies, so anything involving pie crust is a winner (see Cherry and Rhubarb Slab Pie, Pear Pie With Creme Fraiche and Caramel, and Tangerine Cream Pie),  I also love her Old-Fashioned Blood Orange Donuts and Apricot and Berry Galette With Saffron Sugar.

Sarabeth’s Bakery by Sarabeth Levine – This might just be my favorite baking book. It’s definitely the one that made me fall in love with laminated doughs. The photographs are quiet and beautiful, there are process shots to help with complicated recipes, and everything I’ve made has turned out perfectly. I’m especially smitten with the puff pastry dough as well as the danish dough. It’s a gorgeous book, and a good addition to any baker’s library.

Handmade Baking by Kamran Siddiqi – Another really great baking book. Kamran’s Quick Puff Pastry recipe is fantastic, and his Everyday Chocolate Cake is A++. The photographs in this one are stunning, and the recipes are classy but approachable, which sort of reminds me of Kamran. (We’ve never met, but he comes across online as kind and classy and thoughtful.) Another book I use all the time.

New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois – If you’ve been following along here for awhile, you probably already know that I contribute to Jeff and Zoe’s Bread in Five site quite frequently. I worked on this book with them as well – a week long photo shoot in Zoe’s house with lots of baking and food styling and washing dishes and laughing hysterically. It was a blast. This edition is revised and updated with new recipes. I use this book all the time, and am obsessed with the Challah dough – it’s perfect.

Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book – I appreciate Cook’s Illustrated and all the rigourous testing they do to make sure a recipe is fool proof. I turn to this book often when trying something for the first time or if I’m stuck on a recipe in another book. There is good advice and helpful hints among the pages, as well as recipes for all the classics.

Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller – I’m slowly working my way through this book. It’s gorgeous, and inspirational, and can double as a coffee table book.

Mauviel 10.2-inch Round Copper Pan  – This pan by Mauviel is gorgeous, and I use it for everything – baking, cooking, serving. I’ve made buns, cinnamon rolls, gratins, crisps, and all kinds of other goodness in it.

Nordic Ware for Amazon Kitchen – I’ve been using Nordic Ware Bundt pans for years and years (and love that they are a Minnesota-based company!). They just came out with these pretty colored Bundts – blush pink, champagne, and metallic blue. I have two pans in this series and my pound cakes have turned out perfectly every time I use them.

Kitchen Aid Pro Line Copper Mixer – This is the Queen of mixers. I recently upgraded to this beauty, and have found it to be worth the extra price. It is much quieter than the 5-quart (which I had previously), the the 7-quart bowl fits everything nicely. Also, the copper finish looks amazing in any kitchen space.

Linen apron from Enrich & Endure – Aprons handmade in Northern Ireland, made with quality materials, longevity, local craftsmanship and top-class design. The colors are gorgeous and vibrant (I have one in lava).

Bake Tea Towel – I love tea towels, and baking, so this is a perfect addition to my kitchen.

Le Creuset Oval Dutch Oven – A good Dutch oven is a great tool to have in the kitchen; I use mine several times a week. If you haven’t invested in one yet, I highly recommend doing so.

The Weekender from Blue Bottle Coffee – This is the perfect gift for any coffee lover – neatly packed in this custom Timbuk2 bag is everything you need to make delicious coffee during any weekend getaway.

Star Wars spatulas  – I have a lot of spatulas from Williams-Sonoma, and use them on a daily basis. This Star Wars edition with Princess Leia is on my wish list – I’ve got a family full of Star Wars fans who are all eagerly awaiting episode 8 .

Breville Ice Cream Maker – An ice cream maker may not be a necessity, but it sure is a nice piece of equipment to own. This fancy machine is a welcome addition to my kitchen – it produces velvety frozen treats with no prefrozen bowls required. If you love making your own ice cream, this is for you. (Pair it with David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop or Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream by Dana Cree).

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

It’s my favorite time of year: THE HOLIDAYS! The snow is snowing, the bells are jingling, and there is a constant buzz of excitement everywhere. The 10 year old in me still tends to get caught up in all the buzz; often forgetting to focus on the present, and enjoying each moment with gratitude. Often the Christmas season is about what we get, instead of what we give. The older I get, the more I let go of the getting aspect, and am working on teaching my littles the same. It’s a work in progress.

One thing that helps me in this regard is baking. I look for pastries with multiple steps that require some focus, and I find that the act of concentrating on a specific task not only helps me slow everything down, but also opens up an important door – the door that cares about the quality of my soul. I find myself thinking through things that often get pushed aside in the rush of life. Pie is one of these solaces; while it is a slice of self-care, it also is the best way to share. My family alone can’t (well, shouldn’t) eat an entire pie, so sharing some is a great way to interact with family, friends, and neighbors. It’s the perfect way to give.

I’ve teamed up with Land O’Lakes for a few posts over the rest of the year. I’ve been a big fan of their butter for years; I love how my baked goods turn out with it, and as they are a Minnesota-based company, it seemed like a natural fit. I often use their butter in my baking, and find the flavor to be heads and shoulders above other grocery store brands. The pie crust for this apple crème fraîche pie was made with Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter, and as usual, it was a hit. The crust was tender and flaky, and held up well to the gigantic pile of apples placed upon it. My children declared it their favorite pie, ever, which is saying something.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus

Apple Crème Fraîche Pie

1 double crust pie recipe (see below)
8 heaping cups (1135g) sliced Gala apples (peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces), 7-8 apples
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/3 cup (66g) brown sugar,
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar, plus 1-2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup crème fraîche (store bought is fine, or you can make your own)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Egg wash (1 egg, 1 tablespoon water, and a pinch of salt whisked together)

For the Filling
Combine sliced apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Let sit for 2 hours at room temperature (You can also wrap the bowl with plastic and let the apples sit overnight in the refrigerator).

Strain the sugary juice from the fruit into a medium saucepan (you should have at least ½ cup of juice). Return the fruit to the large bowl. Add the granulated sugar and apple cider to the juices in the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to a scant 1/2 cup, about 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to stir. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Stir in the crème fraîche and vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sprinkle the cornstarch and cinnamon over the apples and toss to coat. Pour the slightly cooled fruit juice mixture over the fruit and stir gently.

To Assemble and Bake
Lightly flour a work surface and roll out one piece of the dough into a 12-inch circle about ¼ inch thick and place it into a 9-inch pie plate. Place the plate in the fridge and let chill while you roll out the second piece of dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the second piece of dough into a 12-inch circle about ¼ thick. Set aside.

(For the fold-over pie crust shown above, roll the dough out into an 18-inch circle and fit it in a 9-inch pie dish, allowing the excess pastry to hang over the edges. Fill the dough with the apple mixture, and fold the edges up over the top, overlapping as needed and leaving the center open.)

Fill the prepared pie shell with the apple mixture. Top with the second crust. Trim the dough overhangs to 1-inch past the lip of the pie plate. Pinch the dough together, and tuck it under itself so it’s resting on the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the edges of the dough and cut at least 4 vents in the top, each about 2 inches long. Place the pie plate in the freezer for about 20 minutes while the oven is preheating. The crust should be nice and firm before you bake it.

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a baking sheet on the oven rack (the preheated baking sheet helps crisp the bottom of the pie crust and catches any leaks and drips).

When ready to bake, brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with 1 or 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Put the pie plate on the preheated baking sheet and bake 25 minutes. Reduce the oven to 375ºF and bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble.

Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before serving.

Pie Dough
18 tablespoons (255g) Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter, cold, cut into 16-24 pieces
2 1/2 cups (355g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Put the butter in a small bowl and place it in the freezer. Fill a medium liquid measuring cup with water and add plenty of ice. Let the both the butter and the ice water sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, sugar, and salt on low until combined. Add half of the chilled butter and mix on low until the butter is just starting to break down, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the butter and continue mixing until the butter is broken down and in various sizes (some butter will incorporated into the dough, some will still be a bit large, but most should be about the size of small peas). Stop the mixer and use your hands to check for any large pieces of butter that didn’t get mixed or any dry patches of dough on the bottom of the bowl; break up the butter and incorporate the dry flour as best you can. With the mixer running on low, slowly add water a few tablespoons at a time and mix until the dough starts to come together but is still quite shaggy.

Dump the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and flatten it slightly into a square. Gather any loose/dry pieces that won’t stick to the dough and place them on top of the square. Gently fold the dough over onto itself and flatten again. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times, until all the loose pieces are worked into the dough. Be very gentle with your movements, being careful not to overwork the dough. Flatten the dough one last time into a rectangle and cut into 2 pieces. Form the pieces into 6-inch discs and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

(For the fold-over pie crust shown above, instead of dividing the dough into two pieces, pinch off one-quarter of the dough, and save for another use. Pat the rest of the dough into a disc, and wrap with plastic until ready to use.)

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free year
Free Preview