Baking


I make a lot of scones. Some I post about (20 anyway). Some I don’t. I have to tell you, these are definitely in my top two recipes. Thank you, Marion Cunningham! I made the whole batch because I had been invited to a friend’s house for tea. She is from Scotland so she is my taste tester when it comes to scones. She agreed, these were very, very good ones.

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They rose beautifully due to the Buttermilk AND baking powder AND baking soda! They were sweet but only a little. They were delicious with just some Irish butter or with jam and butter. I was wishing I had some clotted cream, but…alas…it is all gone.

I went to her house with 12 scones. I came home with 4 and just barely had a chance to photograph them before they disappeared. Guess I will just have to make more!! Twist my arm!!!!

I did make a couple of changes – minor. I didn’t have any zest so I left it out. I made the dough in the food processor. I also patted the dough out into circles and used sugar instead of flour on the board, so both sides got sugared. They turned out just fine.

The recipe is on page 210 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Julia but you can also find it on line – Buttermilk Scones

This was our ‘assignment’ this week for the Baking with Julia group so drop on the other BAKERS and share their scones.

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Mushrooms, cheddar, and red peppers. Is there any better combination for a tart? Nope, I didn’t think so. But then you add the cheese IN the crust and it really takes it to another level. I was soooo glad I bought the Vermont Cheese Powder on a whim one day!

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    Mushroom Cheddar Tarts

As I was enjoying the tarts I was thinking – what is missing? Plenty of ‘shrooms, plenty of peppers, plenty of cheese, yet I still thought something was lacking. So before I baked a second batch I added more salt and thyme and a little cayenne to the filling. BINGO!! That did the trick! AND they were better at room temp then they were just baked. And by the next day the filling had had time to blend together more. They were so much better the next day.

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I only made 1/2 of the recipe and I made them in 4″ tart pans rather than the muffin cups. 1/2 of the recipe yielded enough dough for 6 4″ tarts, enough filling for only 4. I also used Egg beaters for part of the eggs. Trying to lower our calories and cholesterol and fat. The recipe is from King Arthur Flour

And you can find the other Avid Baker Challenge Tarts on the ABC website after March 3, after everyone has posted their tarts. And if you want to join in – the rules are there.

see you next month with – 100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread.

    Vitam vas!
    Nazdar! a vítat až k Únor Má KuchynŘ Má Svět. My ar být na návštěvě Czechosolovia

And in case you don’t speak Czech:

The Czech Republic was my choice for this month. I live in Kolin, a community that was originally settled by Czechs in the early 1900s. Our home is one of the original homesteads in the area and is actually listed as a Louisiana Cultural Heritage Property.

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The original owners – Francis and Christine Welchech – built a good sized chicken house first. This is where they lived while they built the small barn,

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and the large barn in 1917. {For many years when the community was young dances and gatherings were held on the top floor of this barn.

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and finally the house in 1926 (top picture).

If you notice the high sloping roof on the barn it is because where the people originally lived and migrated to (Kansas) had lots of snow and the snow would easily slide off the tall gabled roof. {Just a wee bit of history}.

Every year there are two festivals in Kolin. In the fall there is the Kolache Festival. In March there is the Czech Festival. The fall festival is simple and is mainly based on the sale of kolaches. The larger festival in March is filled with dancing, history, pictorals, tours of the area, and lots of hearty food. Pork. Cabbage – usually in the form of sauerkraut – and, of course, KOLACHES (Koláče). It was these bakery treats that pushed me to choose Czechoslovakia for this months MKMW visit.

KOLACHES (Koláče). is not really just a single sweet treat, it is a generic term for baked pastries. But in the US it refers to a yeast bread with a pocket of sweet filling – Poppy Seed, Cream Cheese, Apple. There is a nice definition HERE!

I have a good basic sweet dough recipe I used for King Cake so I adapted it for the bread machine and used it to make the Kolache.

    1 cup milk (at room temperature)
    1 tsp. flavor (lemon, orange, vanilla, or butter)
    4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup all-purpose shortening
    2 large eggs, beaten
    4 cups all-purpose flour

Mix the milk, flavoring, and yeast in the bread machine container. Let sit for about 5 minutes until foamy.
Mix the eggs, sugar, and shortening in a small bowl. Then add to yeast/milk mix.
Add flour.
Use the dough cycle to mix/raise/punch the dough. When done remove dough to a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into 12 – 15 equal sized pieces and roll into balls. Press each ball into a fairly flat disc. Let rise until about doubled in size.
Make deep indentations in each disc using your fingers. The indentation must be deep and strong or the dough will pop back up when baking.

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Fill with whatever filling you are using. I prefer the apple, cream cheese, or cinnamon crumble.} Gently brush the dough with melted butter.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Filling:

    8 oz cream cheese, softened (230 grams)
    1 egg yolk
    1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Use a heaping tablespoon for each kolache
Popsika: (Crumble Topping)

    1/2 Cup Sugar
    1/4 Cup flour
    1 Teaspoon cinnamon
    2 Tablespoons of melted butter

Mix together with fingers or a fork until well mixed and crumbly. Use a heaping tablespoon for each kolache.

With lots of practice my Kolaches looked like they were supposed to.

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We are honorary Czechs because our barns have been used for tours and we participated in the festivals for many years. Sadly there are only a few of the original community members left, but with the festivals successive generations learn about and keep the culture going.

Check the My Kitchen My World blog for a round-up of the Czech recipes in early March.

I know I have said it before. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert. Ever! The creamy concoction of cream cheese, flour, eggs with various and sundry other ingredients depending on whose recipe you use. I have my faves – Junior’s is always good. AB has a good one. And I have one I found EONS ago that has become my go to. Dorie’s is also good. I haven’t found a cheesecake yet I don’t care for. This weeks Tuesday with Dorie/Baking With Julia recipe was a cheesecake with an ingredient I have not used before – Mascarpone Cheese. It is not something I buy very often. Not unless I have a recipe that actually calls for it. I had a potato recipe that called for 2TBL so when I bought it I knew eventually I would use the rest. So thank you BwJ for this weeks cheesecake.

I usually make 1/2 or 1/4 of baking recipes these days because with just the two of us we don’t need a lot of sweets. But we were going to friend’s for dinner so I made the full recipe. Instead of one cake I made 12 bite-sized and a 4″. Perfect!

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While good, it wasn’t my fave. And it rose so much it just about overflowed all my pans.

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You can see it cracked. A lot! So no party for this cake.

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The recipe called for all the chocolate to completely mixed into the batter until no white showed, but I like a swirled cheesecake so I only mixed it some. It didn’t affect the taste, just how it looked.

I don’t think I will make this one again. But visit with the other Doristas and see how they liked it.

The recipe is on page 256 of Dorie’s Baking with Julia and was contributed to the book by David Ogonowski

It has been cold in the Deep South for the last month. In fact, we have had snow and ice four times. Unheard of in the Deep South. So I was looking for something warm and comforting for dinner and beyond. Thank goodness for Secret Recipe Club because I found more than enough tasty dishes to keep us warm and cozy for a few meals. How, you ask? Because I was lucky enough to be matched with Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen for this month’s SRC!!

Vonnie lives in Coastal Virginia with The Hubster, a beauyiful teenage daughter, two turtles and a cute little dog, Meeka. She says she is, ‘a work in progress’, a food writer, and blogger (obviously), and self-taught cook. She taught me a thing or two with all her tempting recipes. To keep us warm. But to cool us off in the hot summer as well.

I have been making potato soup for several years. It is B’s favorite. But I never thought to make it in the crockpot until Veronica showed me how.

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    6 large baking potatoes peeled cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    1 large sweet onion
    1 quart of vegetable broth homemade or canned
    3 garlic cloves minced
    1/4 cup butter
    1 tablespoon salt
    1/2 tablespoon pepper

Put these ingredients into the crockpot and cook for 6 – 8 hours on low until potatoes are tender. Mash the cooked potatoes leaving some chunks. {I used my immersion blender}

    1 cup half and half or cream
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    3 tablespoons chopped chives
    1 cup sour cream

Now mix in these last four ingredients. Serve garnished with additional chives, cheese, and, if you wish, crumbled bacon.

Definitely going to keep you warm on a cold night. It is filling, comforting, and delicious.

We are actually trying to watch what we eat. Maybe a few more veggies, a little less sugar, fruit for breakfast. If I can combine some good ingredients together it is definitely a positive thing. Like making Vonnie’s Breakfast Banana Muffins. Moist and tasty. I made a couple of subs just trying to make them a little healthier.

    5 ripe bananas
    1 1/4 cup All Purpose flour {I used 1/2 AP and 1/2 Whole Wheat Flour}
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup sugar {Splenda}
    1/2 cup shortening {used 1/4 cup shortning and 1/4 cup applesauce}
    2 large eggs beaten {1/2 cup egg beaters}

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray the muffin tins with cooking spray or put liners in each of them. I used some heart shaped silicone holders. These are supposed to be more heart healthy!!
Peel the bananas and place them a bowl and mash them up well. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the sugar, shortening, apple sauce, and eggs to the mashed bananas then stir in the flour mixture just until the batter is blended.
Pour the batter into the muffin tins to about 2/3 full and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Perfect for Breakfast. Or a snack.

And then, because I am always looking for new dishes to make in the slow cooker I tried Vonnie’s Slow Cooker Chicken BBQ. We love BBQ chicken and always make extra for sandwiches. But since the weather has simply been uncooperative I decided to try this version instead.

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    8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    1 cup ketchup
    1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 Tbl Seasoning Mix {I used Toni’s.}
    1/2 cup cider vinegar

Place chicken in the slow cooker.

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Mix the ketchup, Worcestershire, sugar, hot pepper and vinegar together and pour sauce over chicken. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours. Remove and shred the chicken then mix it back into sauce. If it seems a little dry you can add some water a little at a time.

Served on a toasted bun it was perfect for a quick lunch – several lunches actually.

Okay, that’s three of the 15 recipes I ended up Pinning. There are so many more but somewhere along the line I just had to stop reading and start cooking. But in the future look for her Garlic Cheese Biscuits, Vodka Sauce, Baklava, ………
It’s All Good.

Speaking of good, you really need to hop over to the SRC Members and check out their ‘assignments’ this month. They are below.


It is cold outside. There is ice on the trees. For the first time in many years. Matter of fact, we have actually had four Winter Events this year. All in the space of one month. ONE MONTH!! THAT is unheard of in the Deep South. Louisiana with snow/ice. FOUR. TIMES!!

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So what am I drinking? Lots and lots of hot tea. Oh, and this HOT CHOCOLATE from Donna Hay

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Such a simple way to get warm. Simply pour very hot milk over some chopped chocolate. How easy is THAT?? Of course I couldn’t leave it at that. I added some cinnamon. Just a pinch. Just enough to make the hot chocolate even better!! Yes!


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The idea of how to make Donna’s chocolate is on page 138 of new food fast. What are the other peeps of IHCC drinking? Check it out at…..

    IHCC

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    Let’s just call these…….Bialy Towers.
    See the small picture behind them? They are SUPPOSED to look like those!!

They tasted like Bialys. There was a nice subtle onion flavor IN the bread. Unfortunately the similarities end there. They rose, and rose, and rose in the oven even though I depressed them and pricked them – more than once.

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The onions fell off, after they burned, but the bread was delicious.

Once the sponge is made and risen, sautéed onions {I couldn’t find my Poppy Seeds even tho I KNOW I have some!!} are added into the mix just before the flour is added to make a nice soft dough. With just the right amount of crispy crust.

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I KNOW the other Bialys baked around the world for today’s Baking with Julia came out beautifully. So go check them out.

The rceipe was contributed by Lauren Groveman and is on page 90 of Baking with Julia in Dorie Greenspans compilation of the recipes from Julia’s television series.

….and so do our Olympic Themed posts for Lets Lunch. This is exciting. All those countries. All those sports. All those colors!!! And all the wonderful dishes that are about to appear at our Lunch this month. We could chose a dish from a country that is competing and bring it along. I thought about it for a long time before I decided on … no real country at all.

It is the beginning of the Mardi Gras season in Louisiana. That means King Cakes. So how about an….

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    ….Olympic King Cake

    4¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided
    1 cup sugar, divided
    1½ teaspoons salt
    2 (¼-ounce) packages fast-rising yeast, such as Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise
    ¾ cup warm whole milk (120 to 130°)
    ½ cup warm water (120 to 130°)
    ½ cup butter, softened
    2 large eggs
    ¼ cup melted butter
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    Sugar Glaze, recipe follows
    Colored Sugars, recipe follows

1. In a large bowl, combine 1½ cups flour, ¼ cup sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast. Add milk, ½ cup warm water, and butter to flour mixture, and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed with an electric mixer. Add eggs and ½ cup flour. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2¾ cups flour to make a stiff dough. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.*****

2. Place 5 round containers on a lightly greased cookie sheet. (I used 3 inch ramekins and they were too large. I would use nothing bigger than a 2 inch round.}

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3. Punch dough down, and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 5 equal portions. Roll the 5 pieces into 5 balls and then into 5 long pieces. Wrap the five pieces around ramekins or another small round dish. Brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, Remove from oven, and let cool completely on cookie sheet 10 minutes. serving plate; drizzle each with Sugar Glaze, and sprinkle with Colored Sugars

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Sugar Glaze
MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS {Which is WAY more than you will need.}

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and milk until smooth.

Colored Sugars

    1 cups sugar, divided
    16 drops red food coloring
    8 drops blue food coloring
    8 drops green food coloring
    8 drops yellow food coloring

1. Place 1/3 cup sugar in each of three small resealable plastic bags.

2. In a small bowl, combine red and blue food coloring until it turns purple. Add purple food coloring to one bag, green coloring to another bag, and yellow coloring to third bag; seal bags, and shake each until sugar is even in color.

So I guess I did chose a country — the US! But good luck to ALL the extraordinary and brave athletes.

Look for the round-up on Betty’s Blog Asian in America.

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join. The theme is posted at the first of the month for the next month. You can visit us on FaceBook.

*****I made the dough in the bread machine. Use the dough setting. Same ingredients. Place the liquid ingredients in the machine first and then the mix of dry. I added the 1/2 cup of butter in pieces right after the other ingredients had mixed into a ball. When the dough cycle ends then transfer to the lightly floured surface and continue with the recipe in step 2. I also had more dough than I needed so I made 5 rolls in Texas Muffin Tin.

Here are the Olympic Dishes: Enjoy!

Cheryl’s Homemade Vegetarian Poutine

The other Cheryl’s Russian Beef Soup

Anne Marie’s Sochi Sliders

Nancie’s Russian Hamburgers

Jill’s Honeybell Chess Pie

Mai’s American Chocolate Guiness Whoopie Pie

Grace’s Coconut Hot Chocolate

Betty Anne’s Ham Garlic Pineapple Rice

Lucy’s Russian Tea

Annabelle’s Flaming Cheese

Linda’s Guinness Stout Ice Cream

Lisa’s Hot Borscht

Linda’s Meyer Lemon Cake

Once a month the Avid Baker’s Challenge ‘assigns’ something fun to bake from the KAF website. Last month it was Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. This month it is Tuscan Coffee Cake. Not real sweet but really delicious. Perfect for toasting or eating plain with a cup of tea or coffee. It is fulled with nuts, fruit, and flavor.

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The recipe on the website called for a starter and an over night wait so I pulled out my ingredients and got ready. This was the first time I had had a chance to use the European Flour from KAF so I was excited. I turned the package around and on the back was the Tuscan Coffee Cake recipe – with NO STARTER. All the ingredients were the same. Everything except the lack of a starter. I decided to go that route as I was running out of time to make the cake on time. Hope that’s okay with you, Hanaâ? Anyway…. I put all the ingredients together with only some minor changes. The recipe called for walnuts. We are NOT fans so I subbed in pecans. AND we really don’t like raisins so I subbed in dried cranberries. I liked the little sweet/tart flavor they added. Also, the recipe on the flour bag suggested using fiori di sicilia instead of the vanilla. THAT was a good idea. I used it in the drizzle on one of the cakes instead of the vanilla as well. Can I tell you how wonderful the kitchen smelled?

European flour is softer than all purpose, the other choice, so the cake was wonderfully soft. Not like a yeast bread at all. I ended up making two loaves from the recipe, placing 1/2 of the dough in each of two 6 inch cake pans. They baked for only 25 minutes.

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As you can see they rose beautifully One will go in the freezer for gifting later.

You should go check out the other coffee cakes at ABC_Badge

I have only made one other cake roll. Well, ALMOST made. Chocolate. For my Mom’s birthday. Years ago. It didn’t work out. At all. So I was a little leery about this weeks cake – a chiffon cake roll. The chocolate one completely fell apart as I tried to roll it. Whatever I did wrong was major. MAJOR!! So I never tried it again. UNTIL….NOW.

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You can see that it worked out just fine.

What you are looking at is a simple, okay, not really simple, vanilla chiffon cake that is rolled around a nutty chocolate mousse. The recipe called for walnuts but we aren’t fans so I used pecans instead. That worked out well.

The cake is 17 inches long so I immediately cut it in half and froze part of the cake. Sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with some chocolate ganache it was pretty and tasty. I did make one change. I used 1/2 cup of Splenda subbed in for an equal amount of the sugar in the cake. It came out just fine. I would also advise you to chill the cake a little before you roll it up with the mousse. Some of the mousse was pushed out.

This would be an easy cake to roll around other fillings – ice cream, lemon curd, the possibilities are endless. Guess I will be making more rolled cakes now that I know I can do it.

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The recipe was contributed to Baking with Julia by Mary Bergin. You can find the recipe HERE and there is also a video of the cake being made. But you really need to buy the book – Baking with Julia and try all the recipes in it along with the members of Tuesdays with Dorie..

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