Warm Apple Dumplings

These warm apple dumplings are juicy, filled with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins all wrapped in tender flaky crust.

Apple DumplingWe made these in bakeshop this week and students discovered how tasty and delicious they are.

For each apple you will need:

  • Granny Smith apple (green)
  • A mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and butter, combine these ingredients to use to fill the hole where the core used to be
  • lemon juice
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (1 sheet can cover up to 4 apples)
  • Egg wash (egg beaten with water)
  • Peeled Apples

    Peeled Apples

Method:

Peel and core the apple, drizzle it with lemon juice.

Core the apples, drizzle with lemon juice.

Core the apples, drizzle with lemon juice.

Fill the center with the brown sugar/raisin mixture

Fill the center with the brown sugar/raisin mixture

Cut the puff pastry to fit the apples; egg wash.

Cut the puff pastry to fit the apples; egg wash.

Wrap each apple in the pastry and egg wash again. Bake at 375 F Degrees for 35-40 minutes. Pierce the pastry with a knife or toothpick the see if the apple is tender, if it is, it is done. Remove from oven. If not allow to cook until the apple is tender. If necessary cover the pastry loosely with foil to prevent it browning too much.

Wrap each apple in the pastry and egg wash again. Bake at 375 F Degrees for 35-40 minutes. Pierce the pastry with a knife or toothpick the see if the apple is tender, if it is, it is done. Remove from oven. If not allow to cook until the apple is tender. If necessary cover the pastry loosely with foil to prevent it browning too much.

Serve warm with whipped cream and caramel sauce. A few fresh berries add color to the plate.

Serve warm with whipped cream and caramel sauce. A few fresh berries add color to the plate.

Stuff the cinnamon sugar into the center of the apple.

Wrap the apple in puff pastry, seal seams tightly.

Bake at 375°F for 35-40 minutes.

The Apple Dumplings are done when the apple is tender inside.

Serve warm with vanilla and caramel sauce and a few berries for garnish.

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Hamantashen! Shortbread and Jam Filled Cookies

Hammentashen

Hamentashen

Hamantashen are lovely cookies that can be a bit of a challenge to get the hang of making. These tasty morsels are made for the Jewish celebration of Purim. Since I’m not Jewish, I’ll not attempt to tell you the story, I’ll show how to make the cookies instead.

I have several Jewish friends so making these was fun and a nice surprise to give away.

Some basic notes, the cookies are cut out of circles that are folded into triangles to resemble hats. Who wore the hats, I’m not sure but they are part of the celebration.

Notice the direction say “folded” not pinched! For some odd reason if you pinch them, they open while baking; folded, they turn out perfect.

Here is what you need:

Hamantashen

  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces butter at room temperature
  • (6 ounces or 1-1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup of butter)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the soft butter and sugar with a paddle until incorporated, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture a third at a time to the butter, sugar and egg mixture, process just until the mixture is combined. Don’t mix it a long time as gluten will develop resulting in a tough cookie rather than a tender one.

IMG_5201Divide the dough in half and roll it out on a lightly floured surface.

Cut 3-4 inch circle, brush with egg wash, add your filling and fold the circles into triangles.

Roll out the dough and cut circles (3 or 4 inches)

Roll out the dough and cut circles (3 or 4 inches)

Lay the disks on a parchment lined baking sheet and add the filling of your choice: Any fruit jam, peanut butter, chcolate chips, poppy filling, prune filling, raisin filling etc.

Lay the disks on a parchment lined baking sheet and add the filling of your choice: Any fruit jam, peanut butter, chocolate chips, poppy filling, prune filling, raisin filling etc.

 Egg wash the edges, Fold the circles into a triangle;  bake in a 400 F degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Egg wash the edges, Fold the circles into a triangle; bake in a 400 F degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

It is important to note do not pinch the corners, FOLD them!

Egg wash the outsides of the triangles and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.

Cool and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Purim cookies

Folded edges

Folded edges

DSC_0051 DSC_0043

Versatile Gluten-Free Almond Cake

Almond Cake with Raspberries

Almond Cake with Raspberries

This Gluten Free Almond Cake is easy to make and can take on many flavors. Depending upon what gluten-free flour you choose, the cake can be quite different each time you make it.

You can add fruit, nuts or chocolate chips for greater variety. Glaze recipes are at the end.

You will need:

      • 2 eggs
      • ½ cup milk
      • ½ cup honey
      • 2 ounces melted butter  (1/2 stick)
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2-1/2 cups almond meal* (see note below)

    1-1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
    1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Spray a 7″ tubular or bundt cake pan with pan spray set aside until ready to use.

Combine the almond meal with the salt and baking powder, mix well, set aside.

Combine the vanilla, eggs, honey, melted butter and milk in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. The consistency is cake batter. If what you have is too thin, add more almond meal.

Pour into prepared cake pan; bake for 30 minutes or longer. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.

Glaze with honey or fondant glaze

Chestnut Cake with Almonds and Blueberries; Honey Glazed

Chestnut Cake with Almonds and Blueberries; Honey Glazed

Honey Glaze:

Melt 2 ounces of honey with 2 ounces of butter, drizzle over cooled cake

Fondant Glaze:

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-2 drops vanilla

 Chocolate Fondant Glaze:

Pistachio Cake with Chocolate Drizzle

Pistachio Cake with Chocolate Drizzle

Add 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder to the fondant glaze recipe above. Mix the cocoa powder with the confectioners sugar for an even blend.

Special Note:

By changing the gluten-free flour used from almond to pistachio, or chestnut, you can produce some really nice and different cakes.

You can also use Splenda in exchange for the honey. Additionally, you can use agave syrup as well.

Enjoy!

Pistachio cake with chocolate fondant and toasted chopped pistachios

Pistachio cake with chocolate fondant and toasted chopped pistachios

Chestnut cake with honey glaze

Chestnut cake with honey glaze

Almond Cake with raspberries, fondant drizzle and toasted almonds

Almond Cake with raspberries, fondant drizzle and toasted almonds

i-Phone Camera Lens!

I bought some lenses for my i-phone recently. While I don’t expect to use them a lot, they are fun and take good pictures.

i Phone lenses

i Phone lenses

The lenses attach to the phone via a small metal ring with adhesive on one side. The lenses attach to the ring magnetically.

I need to find a cover that allows the metal ring to stay on the phone. Right now, the case I have does not fit over the ring nor is the camera opening in the cover large enough to go around the ring.

There is a macro lens, fish-eye lens and a wide-angle lens.

Each of the lenses were used to take the following photographs.

Succulent flower;  i-phone macro lens

Succulent flower; i-phone macro lens

Using the i phone macro lens

Using the i phone macro lens

Wide angle lens

Wide angle lens

Fish-Eye Lens

Fish-Eye Lens

Macro with wide angle(they can be attached or used separately)

Macro with wide-angle
(they can be attached or used separately)

 

In My Kitchen February 2013

I missed out on last months post, mainly because I ran out of time and the other was due to being “suspended “ on WordPress. (Yeah, I’m such a bad girl!)

This In My Kitchen posting neatly summarizes what has been happening in my kitchen over the last month.

At Soup in Sunday I bought another bowl, for condiments this time.

The new bowl

The new bowl

There has been lots of information going around on how to grow things from kitchen scraps. I love scallions and have a hard time getting them to grow. My dad on the other hand gets things to grow for him just by thinking about it.

"Hydroponic" Scallions; They will need dirt soon!

“Hydroponic” Scallions; They will need dirt soon!

So scallions are now growing in vases for easy clipping and almost instant regrowth. They will need soil soon, I’m sure

In my kitchen this month are these lovely measuring cups.

Hedge Hog measuring cups

Hedge Hog measuring cups

You can use them as scoops too

You can use them as scoops too

How cute are these? They were a Christmas gift from Robert’s daughter Kim. Aren’t they adorable!

I started taking a class (just because) on Nutritional Concepts and Medical Nutritional Therapy so the awareness of what we eat has been in the spotlight. Eating/using  a lot of butter (I love butter!) is one thing that has changed. I used to keep at least 5# of butter on hand for baking but now, I hardly have any. If I want to bake, a to run to the store would be required. This step alone has really put a damper on the treats available in my kitchen.

So now baking sweet treats involves some actual thinking about it rather than just jumping in and baking my heart out.

I am teaching a baking class this semester so the advantage of this is I get to play with tons of dough and make all kinds of things all day long. When I come home, the treats aren’t staring me in the face demanding “eat me!”

However, Celia’s Chocolate Nutella frogs had me locating the jar of Nutella and slathering it on to  a Trisket and topping that with a few pistachios. Thankfully there are no incriminating photographs!

In my kitchen this month is a  new (to me) book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice  authored by Peter Reinhardt.

I find it fascinating. Additionally, I bought a couche for when I make bread. the need has been there for a while, I’m just getting around to buying one.

Bread Baker's Apprentice and floured couche

Bread Baker’s Apprentice and floured couche

One of our friends is a friend of Peters. I am hoping to get the book signed one day.

In my kitchen are some great new lenses for the i phone!

i Phone lenses

i Phone lenses

There are three of them, wide-angle, fish eye and macro lenses. I am really looking forward to having the time to really learn how to use them effectively.

I’ll do a post on the shots the camera makes with the different lenses.

Here is a shot using the macro lens

Using the i phone macro lens

Using the i phone macro lens

So, now it is time to go make bread for the week. Celia’s pain-viennois and Richard Bertinet’s method of kneading the sticky dough mass until smooth and elastic seems just like the therapy I need today.

I’ll make some with chocolate!

Gratitude goes out to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this fun series of peeking into one another’s kitchens each month.

Promise, I’ll get back on track and not be so late  submitting next month.

Pain Chocolate

Pain Chocolate