Tag Archives: baking

Apple Crostata with Fig Glaze

Wondering what do do with those apples you just picked or bought at the farm stand ? This is a delicious and easy to make apple crostata with an easy glaze made from store bought jam. I picked fig jam for my glaze but apricot work work just as well. I love making this recipe the crust is simple and the rustic shape of the pie is part of the charm. You can use a box grater of a mandoline to slice the apples, but if you don’t have either just slice the apples as thin as you can with a knife. This is quick to assemble , bake , eat and enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you yummy apple food memories!

Maryann

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Apple Crostata with Fig Glaze


1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 stick butter diced and chilled
3 tablespoons ice water (approx.) mixed with 1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 large apple, like honey crisp
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fig jam
2 teaspoons water


Directions:
To make pastry place into a food processor the flour and 2 tablespoons sugar. Pulse to blend. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the texture is grainy . With the motor running add the water and vinegar mixture slowly, stop just when the dough comes together.  Remove dough onto parchment paper, flatten into a disk and cover. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. While the dough is chilling cut apple in half apples from the stem down. Using a mandoline slicer and slice apples thinly. Please apples in a bow ,adding the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix well. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Once the dough is chilled, remove  from the refrigerator and  keep dough on parchment paper and lightly flour top of the dough. Quickly roll out into a circle approximately 10 inch diameter. Transfer parchment paper with dough onto a baking sheet. Leave a 1/2 inch border of dough from the outer perimeter and arrange apples in a circle working from the outside in a concentric circle continue  towards the center until filled in.  In a small sauce pan heat jam and 2 teaspoons water and heat until combined. Remove from heat and brush the apples with the glaze. Place in the over and bake foe approximately 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Donut Muffins

It’s fall and it’s seems like there is pumpkin spice all around us……..there is a reason, pumpkin spice smells and tastes delicious, but use it where it’s makes a difference. There is no finer place than sugar donut muffins! These light as air muffins are a perfect fall morning breakfast. I’ve updated the recipes for the season using my own pumpkin spice blend. This sugared blend is also perfect for your morning coffee. Enjoy!

From my the bay wishing you sweet pumpkin spice food memories!

Maryann

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Pumpkin Spice Sugar Donut Muffins
Adapted recipe from Downtown Bakery and Creamery in Healdsburg, California
12 standard size muffins
Ingredients for batter
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup fine granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
Ingredients for Topping
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix ( see my pumpkin spice mix recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 Degree F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating to combine. Using a wooden spoon to mix, alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk and buttermilk. Make sure everything is combined, try not to over mix. Spoon the batter evenly, into each muffin tin, filling the cup almost to the top. Bake muffins in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly, and remove muffins from the tin. In a bowl mix the sugar and pumpkin spice mix together. Use a pastry brush to brush each muffin allover with the melted butter and then roll into the pumpkin spice sugar mixture. Serve warm or cooled at room temperature.

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Pumpkin Spice Mix

Ingredients

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions

Mix spices together .

Chocolate Sponge Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

My grandmother had a birthday tradition – she would make a sponge cake and serve it with whipped cream or chocolate whipped cream depending on whose birthday it was and their favorite! I went through all my grandmother’s recipes and never found her sponge cake recipe. After trying many recipes, I finally stumbled on  this recipe from Cake Boss, it’s as close as I could get to grandma’s recipe, it’s delicious, especially with whipped cream. I made this version, this past July 17th in honor of my father for his birthday!  It was wonderful to relive those special food memories from my childhood!

From by the bay, wishing you whipped cream food memories!

Maryann

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Chocolate Sponge Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

One recipe chocolate sponge cake, one recipe chocolate whipped cream, 1/2 cup crushed chocolate wafers to decorate the top of cake.

Directions

Ice cake with chilled chocolate whipped cream. Sprinkle crushed chocolate wafers one top of the cake and serve.

 

Chocolate Sponge Cake

Adapted from Cake Boss recipe

 

Ingredients
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole milk, less 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons fresh brewed coffee
1/4 cup butter (lightly salted)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Directions
1. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl with paddle attachment for 4 minutes. Do not skip this step!

2. Add sugar, and continue beating for another 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and stir on low until just combined.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add to eggs and sugar on low speed until just combined.

4. In a saucepan, heat milk, coffee and butter on low heat just until butter is melted. Add to batter, beat just until combined.

5. Pour into two greased and floured 8″ round cake pans.

6. Bake at 325 until the middle springs back when touched, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand in pans for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto wire cooling racks and cool completely.

Hint: Cakes are close to being done when you start to smell them about 45 minutes

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Ingredients

2 cups chilled heavy cream

1/4 cup Hersey Chocolate Syrup

 Directions

In a medium metal mixing bowl add the cream and using an electric mixer beat until cream is in stiff peaks. Fold in chocolate syrup gently until chocolate is incorporated through out.

Favorite Sugar Cookie

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Inspired by one of my favorite flowers, sunflowers, I grabbed my favorite sugar cookie recipe, thank you Alton Brown, and created a sunflower cookie to serve here by the bay while entertaining! Of course this recipe could be made in any shape that inspires you. Find the right cookie cutter and colored sanding sugar and start creating!

From by the bay, wishing you yummy sunflower food memories!

Maryann

 

 

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Sugar Cookies

From the Food Network, Alton Brown

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugar-cookies-recipe.html?oc=linkback

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Blueberry Boy Bait

I love looking around antique fairs for cookbooks and recipes. I stumbled upon the 1954 Pillsbury Grand National Baking Contest recipe book and was drawn to the recipe with the amusing title Blueberry Boy Bait. A young teenager won the 2nd prize in the Grand National Junior Contest  with this recipe she made her friends. There are many adaptions of this receipt from Nigella Lawson to Smitten Kitchen , sharing my favorite from Smitten Kitchen. With a name like Blueberry Boy Bait the cake is had to resist and so good you can understand why it is boy bait. too bad I didn’t find this recipe a long time ago!!

From by the bay, wishing you fond boy bait food memories!

Maryann

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Blueberry Boy Bait
From Smitten Kitchen , which adapted it from  the Cook’s Illustrated version, which was adapted from the original

 

Serves 12, generously

2 cups (250 grams) plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces or 225 grams), softened
3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup (235 ml) whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

Topping
1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Homemade Pita Bread

It’s summer and one of the perfect canvases for a summer meal is the reliable pita bread! Let’s all remember my mother is Greek!! Last weekend, I decided to tackle homemade pita bread, thinking it was a big chore and difficult to do, much to my surprise it was super easy. I know you’re thinking really how is this easy? It’s 5 steps –  measure, mix, rise, pull and grill. If you are like me , how many times have you watched Bobby Flay make flatbread or pizza or pita on the grill and wonder how is this not a mess. I’m here to tell you , Bobby speaks the truth when he says it’s easy. The key is to put  the dough on the grill and let it bake a a minute or two.  The dough pulls away naturally once it’s baked.  The taste of home made pita is so superior to store brought you will want to give this a try!  I’ll have a few recipes coming up that is the perfect complement to homemade pita! Yum!!

From by the bay, wishing you perfect pita food memories!

Maryann

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Home made Pita Bread

Adapted from mygreekdish.com as posted by

 

Ingredients

  • 17 1/2 ounces  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 glass of lukewarm water (40C)

 

Instructions

  1. To prepare this pitta bread recipe start by sieving the flour into your mixer’s bowl. Add the yeast, sugar and salt and blend with a spoon.
  2. Add a little bit of water and start mixing, using the dough hook. Pour in the water a little bit at a time, at a steady stream, whilst mixing. Wait each time for the water to be absorbed and continue adding some more.
  3. Depending on the flour, the dough may or may need a little bit less water than this pita bread recipe calls for. After mixing for a while, the dough for your pita bread should become an elastic ball. If the dough is still crumbled, you should add some more water. If it becomes too sticky, this means that you added more water than needed. In that case, add 1 tsp of flour and continue mixing.
  4. When done, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place, for at least 1 hour, until it doubles its size. This is an important step for this pita bread recipe, so that the pita bread becomes fluffy and soft.
  5. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead a little bit with your hands. Split in 6 evenly sized portions.
  6. To form the pita bread, you can either use a rolling pin, or stretch it with your hands for a more rustic look (and my preference actually ), about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Heat an outdoor grill.  Put the stretched dough on the grill and close the cover. Let bake a minute or two and flip the bread. Grill another minute and remove. If you don’t want to use the grill – heat a non-sticking frying pan to medium-high heat (with no grease) and fry each pita bread for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until slightly colored and still soft. To give more color, push the pita bread with a wooden spoon on the pan. Remove the serve.
 

Green Tea ( Matcha) Pound Cake

During my recent trip to Thailand , I came across desserts using powdered green tea or matcha. Matcha has been used over the years as a mood enhancer. It is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Using the powdered green tea as an ingredient to my pound cake lends a light green color to the batter. Once the pound cake is baked it lends slight acidic yet sweetness to the cake. The results using green tea in my pound cake result is a cake that is beautiful to look at and delicious to eat!

From by the bay, wishing you green tea food memories!

Maryann

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Green Tea ( Matcha) Pound Cake

Ingredients cake
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon matcha ( powdered green tea)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Ingredients Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon matcha ( powdered green tea)

Directions
Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°. Coat a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour; tap out excess.Whisk 2 cups flour, salt,  matcha and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until well incorporated, 1–2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add milk and vanilla; beat until well combined (mixture will look curdled) 2–3 minutes. Add dry ingredients; reduce speed to low and beat just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top.Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. Run a sharp knife around sides to loosen; unmold cake. Cool. Combine ingredients for glaze in a bowl and mix until smooth. Drizzle on top of cake. Let glaze harden and serve. Store airtight at room temperature.

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Slightly Salted Brownie Cake

I love recipes that are easy to make, impressive to serve and delicious to eat. This recipe delivers 100% and more. You can make the simple batter a few hours in advance, put in a ramekin and keep in the refrigerator. Bake at the end of your meal and serve warm! Perfection.

From by the bay, wishing you warm brownie cake food memories!

Maryann

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SLIGHTLY SALTED BROWNIE CAKE

Adapted from a recipe featured on Goop ” Date Night Dinners”

 

SERVES 2
2 ounces salted butter

2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao)

¼ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons flour

whipped cream, crème fraiche or ice cream, optional

1. Lightly grease two 6-ounce ramekins with butter or cooking spray.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate together over medium low heat, whisking every so often to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Once the mixture is melted and smooth, remove the pan from the stove and whisk in sugar and vanilla. Add the flour, whisk, then add the egg and whisk until everything is incorporated. Use a spatula to divide the batter evenly between the two ramekins. At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

3. To cook, bake in a 375 degree oven for exactly 18 minutes. Serve plain, with freshly whipped cream, crème fraîche, or your favorite ice cream.

 

Shamrock Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

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I love holidays! I’m not irish but my brother-in-law . On March 17th we all have a little bit of the irish in us. I like to make something to celebrate the holiday with the family and this shortbread recipe is perfect. The vibrant green makes you realize Spring is just a short few days away. These cookies are delicious plain but the chocolate and decorative green sugar makes the cookies more festive! Enjoy!!!

From by the bay , wishing you a very Happy and Green Saint Patrick’s Day.

Maryann

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Shamrock Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Makes approximately 24 cookies, depending on size of the cookie cutter

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened ( 2 sticks)
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate ( semi- sweet or bittersweet or mixed)
6 to 8 drops of green food coloring, or more if you prefer a more vibrant green cookie

To decorate

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate ( semi-sweet or bittersweet or mixed)
  • decorative coarse sugar , green

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use an electric mixer to beat together 1 cup butter, sugar and vanilla. On low speed slowly add the flour to combine. Add food coloring and mix well. If the dough is crumbly you use your hands to push together to combine. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Roll dough in one direction to keep the dough smooth. Use a floured shamrock cookie cutter. Place on non stick cookie sheets 1/2 inch apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set and the bottoms are golden brown. Remove from oven and place onto wire rack to cool, about 30 minutes. To decorate , In a small microwavable bowl add the chocolate and remaining butter. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove from oven and stir briskly. Repeat process until chocolate is smooth and melted. Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place on wax paper, sprinkle with decorative sugar and let dry until chocolate is set.

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Ginger Pear Cake

On the weekends, it’s nice to complete a meal with something sweet.  This is a really easy cake to make and the perfect finish to any meal. This recipe started as Mitzi’s plum cake a family favorite. The recipe was given to my grandmother over 50 years ago from her friend Mitzi and my whole family makes this recipe each end of summer using plums. I decided to use Mitzi’s recipe for the fall /winter using  pears on their own or with cranberries with great results. This is the perfect quick cake.  Enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you yummy cake food memories!

Maryann

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Ginger Pear Cake ( adapted from my Mitzi’s Plum Cake)

Ingredients
¼ pound unsalted butter softened plus 1 tablespoon
½ cup fine sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for topping the cake
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Bosc pear
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel, core and slice the pear. Place pear slices in bowl, cover with lemon juice, mix and set aside. Using electric mixer combine ¼ lb butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg and combine. Next add the flour and baking powder and combine. This makes a soft dough. Take an 8” non stick cake pan line with parchment and butter and flour the pan. Press the dough into the pan covering the bottom of the cake pan. Use a spatula to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Press plums into dough with the cut side facing up in a concentric circle. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with ½ teaspoon ginger, mix and sprinkle on top of the pears. Dot with extra butter. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until cake tester is clean.
Variations: replace pears and ginger with plums and cinnamon.

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