7.23.2016

Strawberry Snack Cake


Snack cakes are the answer in summer...take to a picnic or pot luck, give as a hostess gift, freeze for future company, just about anything you can think of. And so simple to make, too. This strawberry one is delish.  If you'd like your cake to appear more pink and summery, use a drop of red food coloring in the batter. The redder the berries, the more pink the batter. But I used ripe red strawberries and while the batter looked pink before I baked it, the baked color was not very pink. Didn't bother me...I'm all about the flavor. Up to you.

Strawberry Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted From Chocolate Moosey


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature


Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting:
1/4 cup (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8x8 pan.
In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup strawberries, water, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes or until the strawberries cook down. Remove from the heat and cool at least 15 minutes.

In a bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch. Stir in the baking powder and salt.
In your mixer, beat together the butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until creamy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg and egg whites, one at a time, until mixed in then add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternating with the milk, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions. 
Stir in the cooked strawberry mixture by hand and the remaining 1/2 cup chopped strawberries.
Spread the batter into the pan and bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

For the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese for 30 seconds or until combined then add the powdered sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Spread on top of cooled cake. Store covered n the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.


7.14.2016

Emeril's Mini Rosemary Biscuits


Have you made these yet? I saw Emeril serve them to the contestants on an old Top Chef episode and was intrigued. Went online and found them everywhere....usually served with soup or a  salad...but that time, Emeril served them with a barbecued shrimp recipe.
They are so simple to make (I just love mini anything.) and are the perfect addition to any dish you're serving. Besides, I don't know about you, but sometimes I absolutely crave biscuits. And I don't want the big ones. Sort of like mini muffins...you never think you're eating as many. LOL. 
These are so tiny and so very flaky. I think you can see how small they are next to the rosemary sprigs in the photo. Little gems!


Emeril Lagasse's Rosemary Biscuits



Ingredients:
1 cup bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/3 to 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg for egg wash, optional

Method:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. 
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix the butter into the flour using your fingers or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the rosemary. 
This next step will make all the difference in how flaky your biscuits are. Add the buttermilk a little at a time and work it in lightly, just until the milk is thoroughly incorporated and the dough holds together. You may not need all of it or you may need a bit extra. I did it with a fork until the dough barely held together, then used my hands. Don't overwork or the biscuits will be tough, rather than light and airy. 
On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll out the dough into a circle about 7 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, press out twelve rounds. 

Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with an egg wash and bake until golden on top and lightly brown on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes





7.04.2016

Strawberry Slab Pie


Don't you love slab pies? I think I've made them with every fruit there is! This strawberry one is from Joanne Chang via Food and Wine. It's kind of sticky....which I loved....so think you'll need a plate and fork to serve this one. Use some lovely fresh, ripe strawberries and everyone will be drooling. I'm not as tidy with my crust as some of you are, but it sure didn't affect the flavor.

Strawberry Slab Pie
From Joanne Chang via Food and Wine



Ingredients for the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 
4 teaspoons sugar 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and chilled 
2 large egg yolks 
1/4 cup cold whole milk 

Baking spray 

Ingredients for the pie:
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered (4 cups) 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup cornstarch 
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 large egg, beaten 

3 tablespoons sanding or turbinado sugar 

Method:
For the pastry part:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour, sugar and salt and mix at low speed. Add the butter and mix at medium speed until almost incorporated, with some pecan-size pieces remaining, about 1 minute. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the milk. With the machine on, drizzle the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until the pastry just starts to come together, about 30 seconds; it will be crumbly. Scrape the pastry onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it together. Using the heel of your hand, smear the pastry against the work surface to work in the butter. Form the pastry into a 1-inch-thick disk, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving 3 inches of overhang on all sides. 

Cut one-third of the pastry off of the disk. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the smaller piece of pastry to an 8-inch square; transfer to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and refrigerate. Roll out the larger piece of pastry to a 12-inch square, about 1/4 inch thick. Ease the pastry into the prepared pan, pressing it into the corners and up the sides; trim the excess pastry, leaving no overhang. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for about 30 minutes, until just pale golden and set. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the crust cool completely. 


For the filling:
In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the granulated sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and salt. Spread the filling in the pastry crust. 

To bake the pie:
Cover with the chilled piece of pastry crust, gently pressing it down around the edges. Brush the top with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sanding sugar. Using a sharp paring knife, make six 2-inch-long slits in the top pastry. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the crust is deep golden. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool, at least 3 hours. Carefully lift the pie out of the pan and transfer to a platter before serving. 

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