Category Archives: Baking

Looking Pretty

sconesRoasted Onion and Cheese Scones

Time for October’s Secret Recipe Club recipe – which was originally going to be the final post on this blog (at least for the near future.  However, it was announced yesterday that next month will be the final month for the Secret Recipe Club, so there will be at least one most post!  When it was time for me to pick my recipe I thought it was going to be my last so I decided to go BIG.   I wanted a recipe that was going to push me and WOW was I assigned the right blog!  Baking Fanatic is a blog stuffed with delicious baked goods that I tend to avoid for fear of destroying my kitchen.  Based out of Surrey, Philip is a math teacher with a passion and INSANE talent for baking.  Reading his blog posts I couldn’t help but hear them in the voice of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (RIP GBBO) due to his use of “bakes” as a noun.   This was one of the hardest picks ever as every deliciously amazing bake seemed better than the last – at one point I had over 20(!!!!) recipes marked to try.

In the end reason, and having a nine month old, won out and I went with a recipe that was somewhat familiar in that I had worked with each of its “parts” before.   Philip’s  Roasted Onions (done that) and Smoked Cheese Scones were my first attempt to ever make a savory scone and oh my goodness were they worth all the dirty pans.   The original recipe is gluten free but I went the gluten way using the direction provided in the original post.  I did debate caramelizing the onions on the stove for fear of overheating the kitchen but fall has finally decided to arrive – so was able to open the windows and get a nice cross breeze going.

Looking Pretty

Serves: 15 small scones (about 2.5 inches)

Ingredients

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped – about 200g chopped weight

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp fresh rosemary

salt and freshly milled black pepper

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (250g)

3 tsps baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup smoked Cheddar grated- plus extra (2 tbsp) for topping

1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten

1/2 cup milk

2 tsps grain mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 320. Coat the onions in the olive oil along the rosemary and toss into a roasting pan. Bake for 45, stirring halfway thru to make sure onions are browning and not burning. Remove to a plate and place in fridge to cool.
  2. Turn oven to 360 and place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet.
  3. Sift the flour, baking power, and salt into a large bowl.
  4. Cut in the butter until the dough resembles bread crumbs then stir in the cheese along with the chopped (cooled) onion.
  5. In a small bowl mix together the mustard, milk, and egg before quickly mixing with the dry ingredients until just combined. Kneed until smooth, adding more milk if needed.
  6. Break dough into 15 balls of roughly the same size and place on cookie sheet leaving at least 2 inches around. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown in color.
  7. Remove to a wire cooking rack then enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/10/looking-pretty.html

My scones are not nearly as pretty as the originals since I had to do a drop method for lack of a biscuit cutter.   The end result however was fantastic, beyond fantastic even.  The sweetness of the onions partnered so well with the smokeyness of the cheese – every bite was just packed with flavor.  Since I went grated the cheese was pretty evenly melted but every now and then there was a pocket of gooey “nuggets” of awesome.

What’s This

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

pudding_cookies

Even tho I am retiring from the “blogging life” or at least taking a hiatus.  I couldn’t pass as the opportunity to adopt an orphan blog from Group B of the Secret Recipe Club.   A Spoonful of Thyme is a blog I have purused before so I was more than happy to pick out a goodie.  Since it was hubby’s birthday on Friday and I knew there would be lots of family gatherings I decided to head straight to the sweet stuff.  I came ever so close to making her Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding until a quick double check indiciated that it had been a SRC post making it ineligible.   Thankfully there were a few DOZEN other recipes to select from and in the end I went with her Sprinkle Pudding Cookies.  I’m not a stranger to using pudding mixes as part of cakes in order to make them extra moist but this was a first for cookies and WOW!!!!  They cookies were so soft and moist – total melt in your mouth deliciousness.  I did have to swap out the sprinkles for chocolate chips as apparently most sprinkles taste nutty – which makes them a no go for my family.

What’s This

Serves: Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, plus 1 yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 (3.5 oz) box Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding

2 cups flour

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or sprinkles)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 10 minutes or until fluffy. Add the egg, plus the additional yolk, vanilla, and salt - mix until well combined.
  3. Add the Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding along with the salt and mix before slowly adding the flour and mixing until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop and drop walnut size (2 tbsp) dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes until the cookies are almost set and just turning a light brown around the edges. DO NOT over bake!!!!!!
  5. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/09/whats-this.html

These were a huge hit with everyone – so much so that it’s a good thing we kept a few at home otherwise they would have disappeared before it was time for the picture!

Better Place

Apple Crisp

 apple filling

Hello August!!!  Hello Monday!!! Hello Secret Recipe Club reveal day!!!!  This month I was partnered with the incredible Andrea of Adventures in all things Food – which has got to be one of the best blog names EVER.   Andrea’s blog has a bit of everything, from vegetarian goodies to desserts to crafts fit for the entire family.  I’ve been a sweet kick lately so I went straight to her dessert section, trying to avoid eye contact with her peanut butter icing because OMGoodness chocolate donuts with PEANUT BUTTER – nom nom nom.  However, in the end I was won over by her fall ready Apple Crisp.  I’m normally a summer girl but I’m ready for cooler temperatures!   Didn’t even make any changes to the recipe – it’s perfect already!  While Andrea didn’t specify what type of apple, I went with Pink Ladies since they offer a great combination of sweet and tart.  Plus they hold up well when it comes to baking.

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

6 cups apple, peeled and sliced (about 3 large)

1/4 c. unsweetened apple juice

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 c. flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 stick unsalted butter, cold

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter up a 9x9 baking dish
  2. Put the sliced apples into a large bowl buttered then add the apple juice along with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss well then pour into the baking dish
  3. In a separate bowl mix combine the flour, brown sugar, and remaining cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or with two knives.
  4. Stir in the oats and sprinkle this over the apples.
  5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the apples are bubbling and topping is golden brown. Allow to set for 5 minutes then Serve!!!!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/08/better-place.html

I also went with old fashioned oats, tho quick oats would also work well.  I just prefer a crisper crisp!  For a vegan option, switch out the butter for earth balance or a similar spread – easy peasy.   Since there are 5 Mondays in August – there will be another secret recipe club post at the end of the month so hope to see everyone then (if not sooner).

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

Best Oatmeal Cookies EVER

oatmeal_cookies 

Welcome to a bonus July SRC recipe!!!!  When I saw the call to adopt an orphan from group C I was super excited as I love exploring the other groups that make up the Secret Recipe Club.  Anne’s Simple and Savory (and sometimes sweet) is a blog stuffed to the brim with healthy and delicious recipes – including an entire section devoted to vegan and vegetarian food.  Since I only had a few hours to pick, make, and blog I went straight to work finding the perfect recipe.  I flagged two different coconut cookies, a spicy buffalo cauliflower dish, and two perfect for baby recipes: applesauce and hummus.  In the end however Joe decided he NEEDED to try her “best oatmeal cookies” recipe and so that was that!  I didn’t have any raisins so I switched for semi-sweet chocolate chips – not the healthiest option but I was on a tight schedule.  I also used unsweetened  flaked coconut in place of shredded since that’s what I had on hand.

Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever

Serves: Yields 30 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon table salt

¾ Cup Honey

¼ cup greek yogurt (I used Wegmans Brand)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1? cups uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips

½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silione mats
  2. In a small measuring cup whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt - set aside
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the honey, Greek yogurt, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined before stirring in the oats, chocolate chips, and coconut.
  4. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and drop of the lined cookies sheet then bake for 9 - 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Note: they will be soft in the middle
  5. Remove baking sheet from oven and place on a cooling rack for two minutes before removing and placing the cookies directly on the cooling racks to finish cooling.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/07/wiggle-wiggle-wiggle.html

Easily the moistest oatmeal cookies I have EVER had!  If I was aiming for a standard chocolate chip and got one of these instead I would still be a happy camper – they are seriously that good!   The base recipe would also work well with craisins, going back to the healthy roots of this recipe.  Actually, any dried fruit would probably do well in this dough…thinking I need to get some dried cherries!!!!

Can Dream

Cheese Sticks

Cheese Sticks

Happy May Reveal Day!  This month I was once again partnered with Erin of Making Memories with My Kids for Group A of the Secret Recipe Club.  Her blog is full of fantastic recipes and awesome science experiments – so lots of awesome things to look at.  I was apparently craving carbs when I was checking out her blog as every recipe I flagged was hardcore sinful.  Top of the list were (and are) her apple fritters but every time I got to the store I was unable to nab some Pink Ladies.  Luckily I was able to find some awesome cheddar cheese allowing me to make her fantastic Cheese Sticks!!!   These delicious treats are made using ingredients that I normally have on hand but decided to go the distance and get some really good cheese.  I went for some Vermont Extra Sharp as well as some Vermont Mild White – which is why mine aren’t as vivid as Erin’s!  I also added minced garlic in place of the garlic powder as I prefer the fresh stuff, no risk of vampires in this house!

Cheese Sticks

Serves: Makes 45 three inch pieces (9 snakes)

Ingredients

3 10 ounce bricks sharp Cheddar Cheese, room temperature

1 cup butter, softened

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Put softened cheese and butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and beat for 30 minutes or until mixture has consistency of whipped cream.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Sift 3 cups of the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Gradually add the seasoned flour to the cheese mixture by large spoonfuls, beating well after each addition. Add until the dough is somewhat stiff - adding the final 1/2 cup of flour if needed
  4. Portion the dough into nine balls - one at a time roll out into a snake formation going the length of the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. While still on the sheet cut into three inch strips and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/05/can-dream.html

Lesson learned on this: read the recipe all the way!  My sticks weren’t nearly as pretty or evenly cooked as I missed the part about having a cookie press which is one of the few kitchen tools I don’t own.   These disappeared pretty quickly here, with both of us enjoying these with dinner and then again for breakfast!  I enjoyed them slightly warm and toasty while Joe was eating them however they were available. Needless to say another successful SRC recipe! I can’t wait to see what June has in store – but first there will be a bonus BBQ and Picnic SRC recipe at the end of the month.