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secretcookies13_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

These cookies are a little kooky for me, but I guess sometimes I’m as susceptible to the charms of decorations as anyone else! And, if you can’t go all out during the holidays – when can you?

These cookies are really all about fun, fun on the outside, fun on the inside. I’ve adapted a recipe from an article I cut out years ago from a magazine.

Secret Cookies, Makes about 30 3″ cookies

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/4 t. almond extract
  • Sprinkles or colored sugar for coating

Preheat the oven to 375. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl, cream well.

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Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

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Then the flour.

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Stir 3/4 c. of dough into the chocolate.

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Roll a 1″ ball of chocolate dough and then cover it with a thin pancake of vanilla dough.

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Then roll each ball in sprinkles or sugar.

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Put them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

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Bake for about 10 minutes.

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I added an extra white chocolate drizzle to the plain sugar ones to dress them up for a party!

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alsatiancinnamonrolls12_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I got a beautiful cookbook for Christmas, The Art of French Pastry, and I’ve read it from cover to cover. However, because we’ve all taken turns with colds since then it’s only now that I’ve actually gotten down to cooking from it. It’s a lovely book, very easy to understand with lots of great illustrations. While it does cover all the basics, the section at the end where Chef Pfeiffer talks about the pastries from his native Alsace is my favorite.

These rolls are from that chapter. They are different from American farmhouse cinnamon rolls in that they use a brioche dough and they have a layer of almond cream inside with the cinnamon. To keep this post a reasonable length I’m going to use my Julia Child brioche post for the dough, instead of the one given in The Art of French Pastry, and I’m adding a bit of orange to the glaze. If you use a quick-rise yeast you can have finished rolls in two hours, but a long slow rise for the dough in the refrigerator is even better if you have the time.

Alsatian Cinnamon Rolls, Makes about 24

One recipe brioche dough

Almond Cream

  • 1 c. + 2 T. almond flour
  • 7 T. butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. almond extract

2 T. cinnamon

Orange Glaze

  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. orange bakery emulsion or orange extract
  • 1 – 2 t. cold water

Make the brioche dough and set it out to rise until doubled. When it’s almost there start your almond cream.

Combine the ingredients for the almond cream in your mixer bowl.

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Beat them together until smooth and creamy, then set it aside.

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Punch down the brioche dough and divide it in two. Roll one half out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle.

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Top it with half the almond cream.

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Spread it out to cover the dough,

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and top it with half the cinnamon. You can add some dried fruit too at this point if you like. Raisins are a traditional choice.

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Roll it up like a jelly roll and cut it into segments 1″ thick. Nestle them into a lightly greased baking dish. Repeat these steps with the second half of the dough.

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Preheat the oven to 375. When the rolls have doubled in bulk put them in the oven.

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While they are baking mix up the glaze. Combine the sugar and the extract, then drizzle in the water until you have the right consistency.

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I took the rolls out when they were a medium brown, but the cookbook says its traditional to leave them in until the tops are very dark.

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Drizzle the hot rolls with the glaze.

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They are best warm, and they come apart easily.

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The brioche gives you the beautiful lacy texture.

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The almond cream bakes into the rolls and they are fantastic with a cup of hot tea.

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Store leftover rolls wrapped airtight at room temperature. I froze half our batch for later, even though the one pan didn’t last a full 24 hours!


Three years ago: Cake Cookies
Two years ago: Easy Almond Coffeecake
One year ago: Creamy Tomato Sauce


 

mixedberrypie7_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Since Saturday was PI day (3.14.15) and I live in a house with a bunch of math geeks/pie lovers pie there was no choice, pie had to manifest. The fresh fruit this time of year is somewhat expensive and questionable, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about the tricks of making pie with frozen fruit. Quick pie. Pie when you do not have the time to defrost because dinner is imminent. Pie when you want to clean out the freezer to get ready for spring.

Here I used a cup of small wild blueberries, about three cups of Montmorency cherries and one cup of raspberries – all individually quick-frozen last summer. Because you can’t tell with frozen fruit how much juice the berries will give off, things get tricky. So you guess at the start and then cheat if you have to later on.

I started this pie off in the oven without its topping. About halfway through the baking I checked to see if my initial guess was correct. Here I could have added in some cornstarch or tapioca flour, but I didn’t need to as you will see.

Mixed Berry Pie (with frozen berries), Makes one 9″ deep dish pie

  • 5 c. mixed berries of your choice, all individually quick-frozen
  • One unbaked deep dish pie shell (my recipe is above under Basics)
  • 2 c. streusel (my recipe is above under Basics)
  • 1-1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. small tapioca
  • 1 t. cinnamon

Mix the sugar, tapioca and berries together in a bowl. Let stand for about 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375.

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Fill the pie shell with the berries evenly.

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After 25-30 minutes, take the pie out of the oven. The berries should be giving off their juices and while it should be a bit watery (because the tapioca is starting to do its job) the berries should not be completely submerged.

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If you have too much juice at this point you can gently stir in some more cornstarch or tapioca flour mixed with cold water. Then proceed to cover the pie with the streusel.

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Return the pie to the oven and bake for another 25 minutes, until the streusel is nicely brown.

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The pie will thicken as it cools. I left it to cool at room temperature. Here it is six hours later.

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Serve slightly warm with vanilla ice cream.

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Two years ago: Cream Scones
One year ago: Key Lime Pie

cinnamonbread11_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

This is a great bread for toast and should any of it hang around long enough to get dry it also makes incredible bread pudding. It slices nicely thick or thin. I like to rub the hot crust with butter to keep it soft and add extra flavor. My grandmother used to keep empty butter wrappers on hand for that part, they usually have just enough butter left on them!

Cinnamon Bread, Makes two small loaves or one large loaf

  • 2 c. milk or 1 c. milk/1 c. water
  • ½ c. mashed potato flakes or leftover mashed potatoes
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 pkg. quick-rise yeast
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1/2 c. wheat germ
  • 4-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 T. flour

Scald the milk and stir in the butter and mashed potato flakes. When the milk has cooled to lukewarm stir in the yeast and 3 T. sugar, followed by the flour. Set the dough aside to rise until doubled in bulk.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured worksurface. Knead for about five minutes, until the dough is soft and no longer sticky.

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Divide it in half.

Take one half and roll it out into a large rectangle (about 11 x 17), ½” thick.

 

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Stir the last three ingredients together in a bowl.

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Spread half of the cinnamon mixture across the dough, then roll it up like a jelly roll.

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Place it seam side down in a greased loaf pan.

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Repeat with the second half of the dough if you’re making two loaves.

Preheat the oven to 375 and let the bread rise until doubled.

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Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap the top. Take them out and rub butter over the hot crust. Let the pans sit for about five minutes.

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Turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.

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Wrap in plastic wrap to store.

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One year ago: Dobos Torte

almondrolls17_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

All my fellow bakers out there probably understand what I’m talking about when I say I rarely make anything just to please myself. After all one of the greatest joys of baking is that you do it for other people, surprising them with the things they love. But there I was, with two rarities in my kitchen: a holiday afternoon and a can of almond paste. I’ve always been a complete pushover for anything almond, since it goes so well with tea. I’m not picky, I’ll take a storebought cookie turned out by the thousands or a handmade croissant. Despite their hefty size and appearance, these rolls are delicate with a strong almond flavor. I hope you’ll take this post as inspiration and bake something for yourself this week!

This recipe is from Beatrice Ojakangas Great Scandanavian Baking Book. It’s a slim, unassuming paperback and if you love baking you owe to yourself to get a copy. Ms. Ojakangas recommends baking these in paperlined cupcake tins, but my rolls seemed too large to fit. If you have larger muffin pans you might give those a try, as my rolls in the corners of my baking dish did rise higher than the rest.

Icelandic Almond Rolls, Makes 15 large rolls
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
3/4 c.  half and half, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
¼ c. softened unsalted butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3 c. flour, plus an additional ½ c. for kneading

Filling
1 cup almond paste
1 egg
2 T. sugar
4 T. unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Glaze
2 c. powdered sugar
2-3 T. cream
1 tsp almond extract

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

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Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, butter, sugar, salt and eggs.

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Add flour, beating well.

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Cover and let dough stand until doubled.

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Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead, adding the remaining ½ c. flour to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and satiny. While the rolls rise, prepare the almond filling. Process the almond paste with the egg, sugar, butter and vanilla until mixture is smooth and spreadable.

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Lightly grease your baking dish (see my note above.) Roll out the risen dough to make a rectangle about 24 inches long by 14 inches wide. Spread to within 1 inch of the edge with the almond filling.

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Roll so it makes a long log.  Cut into 1-inch pieces.

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Place in baking dish and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

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While the rolls are baking mix the powdered sugar, cream and almond extract to make a glaze.

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Move the rolls to a cooling rack and drizzle them with the glaze while they are still warm.

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As I mentioned, the rolls are delicate with the buttery almond filling all the way through. Once the glaze has set you can cover them lightly. These are amazing while they’re still warm but they’re pretty fantastic at room temperature too. If you’re keeping them for longer than a day or two I would store them in the fridge or freeze for longer storage.

One year ago: Berry Crumb Cake

peachturnover_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I thought this would be a good recipe for the upcoming holiday weekend. If you are making the Wild Mushrooms Florentine from my last post you’ll have a half sheet of pastry leftover to use in this recipe. A can of peaches and you can have fresh turnovers on the table in under an hour. I like to use peaches in 100% juice so the filling isn’t too sweet.

Quick Peach Turnovers, Makes Four Large Turnovers

  • ½ sheet puff pastry
  • 1 can peach halves or slices in 100% juice
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 T. water

Glaze

  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 T. milk

Preheat the oven to 400. Drain and chop the peaches, reserving ½ c. of the juice.

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Mix the cornstarch with the juice, and combine it the peaches in a saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring, until thickened.

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Stir in the cinnamon to taste and set aside.
Roll out the puff pastry onto a floured countertop to 12” square. Cut it into four 6” squares.

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Brush the edges all around with the egg wash and put a scoop of filling in the center.

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Fold the pastry diagonally, meeting the edges together along the egg wash. (The wash will seal the edges shut.)
Place the filled turnovers on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

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While the turnovers are baking, make the glaze: Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl. Drizzle in the milk until you achieve a pourable consistency.
Cool the turnovers on a rack and top with the glaze.

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Whether you’re celebrating Memorial Day this weekend or not I hope your weekend is a great one!

One year ago: Moroccan Baked Chicken

schnecken_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Whenever anyone asked my grandpa what he would prefer to be called (Alt, Alton, etc.) he always said the same thing, “Call me anything but don’t call me late for dinner”. These little rolls remind me of that because I don’t know what to call them (biscuit, scone, whatever) but no one will want to be late when they are coming to the table warm from the oven. I made them as a birthday breakfast for my cinnamon-loving son, but they are quick enough that you could throw them together anytime.

Since these were a birthday treat I used heavy cream, but you can substitute yogurt in for the cream. I do if I don’t have cream on hand.

Cinnamon Scones, Makes 16 3” scones

  • 4 T. butter
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2-1/2 c. flour
  • 1-1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. quick cooking rolled oatmeal

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter.

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Stir in 1 cup of the heavy cream and mix well. Depending on your flour, add enough of the remaining heavy cream to achieve a soft dough.

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Turn the dough out and knead it 6-8 turns. Roll it out into a rectangle about ¼” thick.

Combine the cinnamon, brown sugar and oatmeal. Sprinkle the dough, reserving 1/3 of the cinnamon mixture.

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Roll up the dough up starting on one of the long sides. Cut into 1” thick slices and place on a greased cookie sheet.

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Sprinkle the reserved cinnamon mixture on top of each spiral.

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Bake for about 15 minutes, until the scones are a light golden brown. Serve warm. Cover leftovers loosely with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

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One year ago: Hot Fudge Sauce

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by Heather Harris Brady

I made this cake for a very compelling reason: I had two servings of my favorite salted caramel double pecan ice cream left and couple of blackish-brown bananas hiding in the fruit bowl. They all played very well together, but this cake is moist, delicious and you can whip it up in five minutes – so there’s lots of reasons to love it.

You can use prepared dulce de leche, but it’s easy to cook up a batch of your own while the cake is baking.

Dulce de Leche Banana Cake, Makes one 8″ square cake

  • 3 T. soft butter
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • One egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. milk

Dulce de Leche Topping: One can of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Pour the condensed milk into a loaf pan and put it in the oven. Cream the butter with the sugar.

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Add the egg and banana.

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Stir in the baking powder and half the flour.

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Then stir in the milk, followed by the second cup of flour. Beat thoroughly until you have a nice creamy batter.

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Bake in a lightly greased 8” square pan for 20-25 minutes, until the center is firm.

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Check the condensed milk. It should be bubbling away and turning a nice caramel color. Stir it and remove your fresh batch of dulce de leche from the oven.  Let the cake and topping cool to warm. Then top the cake with the dulce de leche and a sprinkle of sea salt if you like.

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This cake is best eaten the day it’s made, when it’s supersoft and velvety but if you have a few pieces left over just warm them in the microwave for a few seconds. Store lightly covered at room temperature.

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One year ago: Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

lemonmacarons_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

If you like to bake like I do then you probably also love to spend time thinking about what to bake for your sweetie! I thought we’d have some fun today brainstorming Valentine’s baking.

For the you’ve-got-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter: Marbled Peanut Butter Pie

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For the gourmet: Macarons

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For the hipster: Irish Hostess Cupcakes

Chocolate Ganache, Little House by the Dunes

For the traditionalist: Dutch Apple Pie

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For the GF: Pavlovas

pavlova Easter Brunch

For the Chinese takeout fan: Ono butter mochi

butter mochi little house dunes

For the I’m-not-that-into-sweets: Berry Crumb Cake

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Lastly, my most popular dessert post of all time! Rhubarb Streusel Pie

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One year ago: Champagne Sabayon

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almondcoffeecake_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

You can throw this coffeecake together in about 10 minutes of hands-on time. It’s great for brunch or afternoon tea. I think it would be really yummy to knead some crumbled marzipan into the dough, to pump up the almond flavor, but I used all of mine at Christmas! This reminds me a lot of my DH’s favorite coffeecake (bienenstich) but without the vanilla filling in the middle.

Easy Almond Coffeecake, Makes one 9″ cake

Cake

  • (Have all these ingredients at room temperature.)
  • ½ c. milk
  • ¼ c. water
  • 1 pkg. yeast
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 c. flour
  • 1 t. almond extract

Topping

  • 2 T. light corn syrup
  • 1 c. sliced almonds
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 1 t. almond extract

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Warm the milk and water to lukewarm, add the yeast and sugar, then beat in the eggs and almond extract. Stir in the flour and let rise until doubled in bulk.

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Lightly grease a 9” pie plate. Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and knead it quickly 8-10 turns. Press it into the pie plate and dimple it all over with your fingers.

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Combine all the topping ingredients and pour it over the dough.

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Let rise until doubled in bulk.  Preheat the oven to 375. Bake the coffeecake for about 35-40 minutes, until lightly browned and firm in the center. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Store leftovers at room temperature lightly covered with plastic wrap.

One year ago: Preserved Lemons

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