Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rustic Apricot Peach Tart

The CSA bounty this summer included plenty of delicious fresh apricots:

I hadn't had anything but dried apricots for a long time, and really enjoyed the fresh fruit in hand, but when faced with a pint basket full that wouldn't last, I did what any reasonable baker would do and whipped up a crust:

Because I was making a free-form rustic tart, I cracked an egg yolk into a measuring cup and added water to come to about a 1/4 cup instead of just using cold water. The egg makes for a much sturdier crust:

After the dough chilled I rolled in out between sheets of waxed paper to keep my counter clean:

I then spread the crust with a mix of sweetened cream cheese and started topping it with chopped nuts and my apricots:

I added the peaches on top and glazed the result with a bit of warmed jam for shine:

And it baked into something almost like a fruit pizza:
This recipe was based on this one, but I used the homemade crust above, pecans, and added a few chunks of peach.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mint Brownies (or Brrrrrrrrrownies, if you prefer)

These may look like regular brownies...

But inside they are filled with chopped bits of minty dark chocolates:
See, I still bake when it's pretty hot out, and sometimes you want to bring something to friends that will be refreshing and chocolate-y, instead of heavy and overly rich. These are made from a recipe in Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home To Yours," a favorite among my baking volumes.

Your first step, as always, is to melt chocolate and butter. I like this recipe a lot because once that is done, you mix in sugar:
and then eggs, salt and flour, and your candy bits (the recipe actually calls for york peppermint patties, but I found the trader joe's chocolates above quite delicious and refreshing).

Less than half an hour later in a foil lined pan (easy cleaning!)'re done!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oatmeal-Molasses Bread

I've tried a lot of different oatmeal breads, but I am always up for another. Oatmeal bread is one that I've found to be a consistent - and tasty - loaf for sandwiches:

This one has a good dose of molasses and butter to flavor the oats:

The first step, however, does not look nearly as tasty. After letting oatmeal, molasses and butter steep in hot water, yeast is added and the mixture sits for a few more minutes:

After the mixture is nice and bubbly, flour and salt are added:

And stirred into a slightly sticky dough:

I did have to add more flour in the kneading process to get the dough to the right consistency:

But it rose beautifully!

I then split the dough into pieces and rolled them:

Into two loaves:

And here are the loaves ready to be baked - I topped them with a few sprinkles of raw oats as a quick finishing touch:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry pie is one of my favorites, and certainly my favorite berry pie:

With this one, I used a mix of butter and shortening for a tasty and flaky crust:

And once the crust was chilled, used my favorite trick to keep my butcher block clean - waxed paper:

I added lemon zest and juice to these sweet summer berries, as well as sugar, to provide a bit of tartness:

Here is the pie when it was almost done - I had to add a ring of foil to keep the edges of the crust from getting too dark:

Oh, and this? We always called these roly-polys (how we spelled, that, I'm not entirely sure). It is a bit of extra pie crust sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar and butter, baked alongside the pie for 10 or so minutes. Just try it. Yum:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bread I Like: Crumbs Bakeshop

I first went to Crumb's bakeshop when they had but one outpost on the upper west side. I had heard of the great variety:

But I can't really capture it in even two pictures:
And they come out with more flavors all the time!

Mom was visiting recently, and we selected an Elvis cupcake and a Pistachio cupcake:

and did I mention they're filled? mmmmm...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

Oreos. Yum:
I hardly ever purchase a package of Oreos, but as you can see, these cookies had a purpose - they were the crust for my latest cheesecake creation!

The recipe is from "Martha Stewart's Cupcakes," a new addition to my bookshelf full of cookbooks. The recipe is a fairly straightforward cheesecake - here, I've blended softened cream cheese, sour cream and sugar:

To this mixture, a few more chopped cookies:

And then the cupcake tins are filled:

The trouble with these cupcakes is that you have to wait for them to cool, and then chill them for a few hours before taking a big bite:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

I woke up on a weekend morning with some CSA blueberries in my fridge, and a desire to make something a little different - I decided on these blueberry cornmeal muffins:

The recipe pairs a little crunch of cornmeal with sweet berries - perfect for midsummer:

As with all quickbreads, this came together quickly - mix wet and dry ingredients, throw in berries...

scoop into muffin tins lined with papers...

and twenty minutes or so later, fresh breakfast!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Food Fail: The Seymour Milkshake

I'm lactose intolerant, not that that generally stops me and a few lactaid pills from consuming whatever dairy products I please. There is a vegan fast food place in my neighborhood, though, which means I have no need for lactaid when I have a yen for a delicious, delicious milkshake: Foodswings.

Some of the food is kind of suspect, but the milkshakes are usually excellent. Last time I visited it seemed...chunky. I walked home and opened the lid, expecting to find an exceptionally frozen chunk of vegan pistachio ice cream with maybe a large piece of oreo and frozen peanut butter. What I found was...a malfunctioning blender? I have no idea:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I still hate zucchini, so I shredded some more to add to a new recipe - cookies!

I had read about this recipe a few years ago when my mother bought me a copy of "Animal Vegetable Miracle." The recipe is similar to your average chocolate chip cookie, though it uses a bit of honey instead of all sugar, which makes it a bit easier to cream:

And, of course, you add a bunch of grated zucchini to the mix once your flour is incorporated:

After adding a good dose of chocolate chips and scooping them onto cookie sheets:

They baked into soft, cake-like (healthy!) cookies:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Anadama Bread

I used to really love the Anadama Bread we'd have once in a while from a local bread shop when I was little, so when saw a recipe, I decided it was destined to be in my lunchbox:

For a lovely looking loaf, this bread gets a fairly disgusting start. Here is a sponge of cornmeal soaked in water overnight mixed with a bit of flour and yeast:

Once that ferments (you can see that it is a bit more bubbly in the background) more flour, molasses and some salt are added:

And the mess eventually comes together and is kneaded into a smooth dough:

After the first rise:

Once the dough is shaped and rises once more, a quick dusting of cornmeal is added before sliding the loaf into the oven: