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Oct 1, 2011 04:56 PM

What are you baking these days? October 2011, part 1 [OLD]

Hey there all y'all - nice and cool today in the Northeast, perfect baking weather, and me with an oven the gas company has counseled I better not use (it's been discovered to be the best little carbon monoxide generator you could ever want). New stove to be delivered next Thursday and I can not wait! Watch out next weekend. So, those of you with working equipment, what are you baking these days?

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  1. I made The McG Scones today. Added 2 oz raisins, because I like raisins in my scones.

    I got twelve 2-inch scones; they were a bit thicker than 1/2 inch. Brushed the tops with milk.

    The scones were puffed and high and tender, and separated easily through the thickness (a must for me).

    The bottoms were a bit overdone, so the next time I think I'll bake them at 400 instead of 425. Also, I felt I could taste baking powder, so will reduce it a bit.

    I prefer these to the ones I normally make, so this is my new recipe; less time to make too.

    Thanks Caitlin!

    Buttertart, you linked this thread from the September one incorrectly, so the link does not work.

    11 Replies
      1. re: souschef

        I saved this recipe and I might mix everything but the cream tonight and make them for my son's breakfast tomorrow morning. I'm thinking pecans and maybe currents...

        1. re: roxlet

          When you mix it, the batter is at first very sticky, so you may be tempted to add more flour, but it does come together okay so you can roll it out.

          1. re: roxlet

            I think you'll have better luck with currants :)

            How did they turn out?

          2. re: souschef

            Mmm, scones.

            Until I started using a Silpat mat, I always, and I do mean ALWAYS, burned the bottoms of my cookies, biscuits and scones.

            It's the weirdest thing, I tried light-colored sheet pans, air-insulated pans, greased, not-greased, parchment paper, lowering the temp etc but no matter what I did, the bottoms were always too dark.

            Silpat has saved my biscuits. lol

            1. re: souschef

              If you can taste baking powder, check what kind you are using. Non-aluminun BP is a must-use. Rumford brand is the best one in my area.

              1. re: sandylc

                I don't taste baking powder in my old scone recipe, so it's not the baking powder that's a problem, it's the quantity. Funny thing is that my wife said she could not taste it. She also prefers this recipe to the old one.

                I'm planning to make them again for breakfast tomorrow, but I have only 1 cup of cream, so I'm planning to use 1/4 cup of buttermilk too, and throw in 1/4 cup of cornmeal. I'll also try 2-1/2 teaspoons of BP instead of 3 (1 Tbsp). Or maybe an egg yolk with buttermilk to make up the 1/4 cup ?

                1. re: souschef

                  I think you need a bit of baking soda when you add a cultured product like buttermilk. The salt needs to be reduced just a bit to compensate sodium-wise. I'm not sure what adding the egg would change...

                  What kind of scone are you going for? Fluffy or shortbready?

                  1. re: sandylc

                    Sorry I only just saw this post; darn CH marked it as read - not the first time.

                    I'm going for fluffy. I like shortbread, but dislike shortbready scones. I think the egg would make it a bit cakey. This is in keeping with my love of cake, and that I'm not a pieman.

                    1. re: souschef

                      I experimented a bit with scones a few years ago, and more butter seemed to translate into more shortbready. A half stick (4 T.) of butter to 2 cups of flour seemed to be fluffier; any more butter than that and you're headed into shortbready land. I liked both, actually.

                      I've never thought that eggs belonged in scones, although I know many people do that. Yes, it would make them more muffiny/cakey.

                      Hey, they're all good when made with real, lovely, fresh ingredients, though, aren't they?

            2. i made a coconut cake today as well as cook's illustrated's old fashioned chocolate layer cake. i also made their frosting but didn't really like the consistency so i added it to the leftover buttercream i had and it was perfect after a little stint in the fridge. ain't nothing like removing everything in your fridge so that you can take out all of the shelves to fit in a 4 layer cake. :) wah.

              1 Reply
              1. I just made a batch of Apple Cider Caramels using this recipe:


                They're still cooling in the pan, but what I scraped off the spoon and pot was *delicious*! The apple flavor really does come through.

                I always add a little bit of salt and a little bit of acid (cider vinegar, in this case) to any caramel recipe, but otherwise, I followed the recipe and instructions exactly. Oh, and I always use a silicone pan rather than buttering and lining a regular pan. I don't use my silicone pan for much, but wow, does it make caramels and bar cookies a breeze to get out!

                11 Replies
                1. re: modthyrth

                  Good to know about that. Do you do a lot of candymaking? I have a bee in my bonnet about trying it. I've only ever made fudge and peanut brittle.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    My candy-making experience is very limited, I'm afraid! I make caramels and English toffee at the holidays, and that's pretty much it. But I'd love to do more! I failed spectacularly the one time I tried to make real fudge.

                    Those cider caramels are soooooo good. I brought a baggie to my friend this evening, who demanded I email her the link the moment I got home. They are the perfect fall candy.

                  2. re: modthyrth

                    Those sound great! Will definitely have to try them.

                    ETA: Go for it Buttertart. Candymaking is fun!

                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                      Twist my arm! Somebody should start a candymaking thread, that'd really be fun.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Mm, and I was just thinking of making my snickerfudge again.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            Snickerfudge?? I'll second buttertart.. recipe??? Please???

                            1. re: rstuart

                              cckt, could you please post the recipe itself and put us out of our misery? thanks!

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Here you go ... let me know if you make it. :)

                                Kt's Snickerfudge

                                1 c semisweet chocolate chips
                                1/2 c smooth peanut butter (don't bother to measure ... a big scoop is fine)

                                4 T butter
                                1 c sugar
                                1/4 c evaporated milk
                                7 oz marshmallow fluff (one jar)
                                1/3 c peanut butter (another scoop)
                                1 tsp vanilla
                                2 c peanuts (no need to chop)

                                *approx 3/4 of a recipe of caramel (recipe below, make a few hours ahead if possible)

                                1 c semisweet chocolate chips
                                1/3 c peanut butter

                                Prepare a 9x13-inch baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil and lightly coating it with an unflavored vegetable oil.

                                For the first layer, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter on very low heat til smooth. Pour into the pan, spread evenly and refrigerate while you prepare the next layer.

                                For the second layer, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, let it come to a boil, and then cook for about 5 min., stirring constantly. Add the marshmallow fluff, the peanut butter, and the vanilla. Then add the peanuts and mix well. Quickly spread onto the now-chilled first layer and refrigerate again.

                                For the third layer, take the cooled but still pourable caramel and spread evenly onto the marshmallowy layer. Use as much or as little as you want, but make sure it covers the second layer completely. Refrigerate for at least 30 min. so it sets up a bit.

                                For the final layer, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter on very low heat til smooth. Pour on top of the chilled caramel and spread evenly.

                                Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, til the candy has completely set up. When you're ready to slice, lift the candy out of the pan by the foil edges and lay it flat on the counter. Slice off uneven edges if you're a perfectionist. Using a sharp knife, cut into small squares (it's rich!) and put into a container for refrigeration. Enjoy!

                                Classic Cream Caramels
                                (based on the recipe from Truffles, Candies and Confections)

                                This recipe is intended to make caramel candies. For the purposes of the recipe above, I want the caramel liquid, but you can spread this out on a foil-lined, lightly oiled cookie sheet, let it cool, and slice into pieces for traditional buttery, chewy caramels, too. Make sure to use a large enough saucepan when making this (at least 4 qts)--or else you'll find yourself scrambling to find something larger halfway through the cooking process, and possibly ending up with almost-caramel bubbling up and over the top of the pan. Ahem. Making caramel is not hard, but you do have to be careful when you're making this, or anything with hot sugar, not to get it on your skin, as it's one of the worst kinds of burns you'll find. I sometimes wear oven mitts while stirring just in case the caramel starts to bubble a bit too energetically.

                                2 c sugar
                                1 c light corn syrup
                                2 Tbs unsalted butter, in pieces
                                2 c heavy whipping cream
                                1/2 tsp salt
                                2 tsp vanilla

                                In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix the sugar and corn syrup, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, about 5 min. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to keep sugar crystals from forming on the sides of the pan.

                                Increase the heat to medium-high, attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and cook the mixture without stirring (yes, it's hard to do) until the temperature reaches 305 degrees F.

                                Remove the pan from the burner, and stir in 1 Tbs of butter. Return the pan back to the heat and add the last tablespoon of butter in pieces, letting the mixture continue to boil.

                                Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil and then slowly add it to the caramel mixture. Be careful, as the mixture will bubble even more ferociously at this point, but keep stirring to mix it all together. Continue cooking and stirring til the thermometer reads 250 degrees F, maybe 10 min.

                                Remove the pan from the heat, place the pan on a folded towel (to protect the countertop), and let sit about 5 min. Add the salt and vanilla, and mix well. Pour the caramel into a metal bowl (or onto a cookie sheet, as described above) and allow to cool. Do not touch the bowl -- it will be very hot! When the caramel has cooled but is still pourable, use in the snickerfudge recipe above.

                    2. Just made Patricia Wells’ Winemaker’s Grape Cake"from her At Home in Provence cookbook.This cake is an annual treat for us when the grapes from our vine are ripe. I have also made it subbing fresh mission figs for the grapes and it is fantastic and beautiful, I might add.

                      42 Replies
                      1. re: lovetocookPEI

                        Recipe, please. I've never baked anything wiyh fresh figs (which I love), so would like to try it out.

                        1. re: souschef

                          That does sound great (with grapes or figs) and the figs are nice right now.

                          1. re: souschef

                            I followed a link here one day last week and found this variation on my usual recipe along with a photo. I reserved three of the figs and made some attractive slices for the second addition when the cake is partially baked.
                            Figs are a rarety/novelty here on Prince Edward Island Canada..I suspect it's because they don't travel well.

                            1. re: lovetocookPEI

                              Hey PEI, souschef and I are both Canadian too!

                                1. re: lovetocookPEI

                                  Kind of a giveaway to those in the know. I live in NJ and the butter tart is pretty much unknown in the US and A.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    Wait, buttertarts are a Canadian thing?? I just asked my (American) boyfriend and he confirmed that he's never had or heard of them here on the west coast either.

                                    I've been considering having a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner later this month and I think I've just found my dessert.

                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                      I suggest that you make a test batch beforehand; I find them too sweet.

                                      1. re: souschef

                                        I live in California now, but I'm originally from BC and have eaten many a buttertart in my time. Only reading this thread did it sink in that I haven't seen one in years!

                                        You're right though. They do tend to be very sweet. Maybe that's why there aren't any butterpies -- it would just be too much. I've been looking at recipes tonight and found one that suggested using chopped apple instead of raisins. I wonder if a good tart apple might help cut through the sweetness.

                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                          No Butterpies? Well, there is something called Sugar Pie here in Canada , in Quebec mainly where it is called Tarte au Sucre. I think historicly it must have been made with Maple sugar but today it is usually made with brown sugar. It is very sweet but it is a tradition at Christmas in Quebec.I would say it resembles butter tarts without the raisins or pecan pies without the pecans.It definately goes back to a time when cooks had very basic ingredients on hand. My grandmothers sugar pie recipe is very similar to this one which I have just found from the grand dame of French Canadian cooking Mme Jehane Benoit
                                          1 – Cover an 8-inch pie plate with dough. Spread with 1/2 inch of brown sugar or maple sugar. Wet with 3 tablespoons of cream or milk; dot with a few small dices of butter.
                                          2 – Cover, to taste, with a few strips of dough and bake in a 400F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

                                          1. re: lovetocookPEI

                                            There is a pie in Indiana called Sugar Cream Pie. It is essentially cream, white sugar, vanilla, butter, nutmeg, and a bit of flour to thicken it. Surprisingly, no eggs. One of the richest, sweetest things you'll ever eat. Next time I make it I'll buck tradition and top it with fresh berries to cut the sweet.

                                            1. re: sandylc

                                              I've always wanted to try that Indiana pie.

                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                My mother (who is from Ohio) makes a version of this that she just called Sugar Pie - sugar, flour, milk, butter, a little cinnamon and nutmeg - incredibly sweet, although a little less rich than the Indiana version, I would assume, since she used milk instead of cream. I loved it when I was a kid but I haven't had it in years.

                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                  Sounds like what I know as Hand Pie from my Iowa parents and grandparents. I think ours was made with cream, though.

                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                    It's funny what's in a name - we grew up having something my Dad called Sugar Pies, which were just the leftover scraps of pie crust dough rolled out super-thin and then sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and baked. Great way to repurpose dough scraps.

                                                    My dad said his mom made them as a treat for him and his brothers when they were kids growing up in a farm during the Depression. So, really, 3 good reasons not to let a scrap of food go to waste, ever.

                                                    1. re: BabsW

                                                      When my mom made those, she called them tootsie rolls! Go figure.

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                        My mother also made those, with butter and cinnamon-sugar, and rolled up and baked in the oven. We called then "cinnamon twistie things" because they didn't have a name!

                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                          HA HA HA! Very descriptive, at least! :)

                                                      2. re: BabsW

                                                        Yum. We had those, too. I still make them occasionally.

                                                        1. re: BabsW

                                                          They didn't have a name in our house, but they happened. The other thing my mother did, and still does on Thanksgiving is to roll out the scraps and cut them in long strips about 3 inches wide, then add grated cheese and herbs (whatever's on hand), fold the dough over the long way and crimp shut, and bake, sometimes with a sprinkle of plain or smoked paprika. When they're baked, she cuts them across in bite-size pieces and serves them with the hors d'oeurves.

                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                            Those sound good! We all have such sweet tooths in my family, we would have rebelled if they hadn't been baked with cinnamon and butter!

                                                    2. re: lovetocookPEI

                                                      Tarte au sucre. Huh. Wow. I'm really not as up on my Canadian desserts as I thought I was. Perhaps it's because I'm from the west coast and we really only take credit for Nanaimo bars.

                                                      I would love to try that recipe with maple sugar, but I doubt I can find any here that's reasonably priced. I bet it would be really good with fresh pears and whipped cream to cut through the inch of sugar!

                                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                        Nanaimo bars really only hit Ontario in the 70's and I still think of them as a West Coast thing. Butter tarts are Ontario and then some to me. There's a pastry chef here who does a "crack pie" that's a bit on ther butter tart line taken to ridiculaous extremes...

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          Ah yes, I've heard of the crack pie, although I never tried it myself. I lived in Brooklyn for a few years before moving out west.

                                                          I always associate buttertarts (and buttertart bars) with Christmas cookie trays and bake sales. Nanaimo bars were everywhere though. And trail mix cookies. The closest I've seen since leaving BC is a granola cookie, which really wasn't the same thing.

                                                      2. re: lovetocookPEI

                                                        Checking Nana Helen Gaudette was from Tignish in PEI...wonderful cook. Cheers to you buttertart and lovetocook! She also made a real mincemeat pie every Thanksgiving (with real meat/suet) that was tough to beat/replicate

                                                        1. re: lovetocookPEI

                                                          Aah Mme Benoit, I can still hear her voice.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            In the 60's, in Montreal,( showing my age here) as a young newly-wed, I got to know Mme Benoit. Her cookbooks were available in sort of an installment mode at Steinberg's, a local grocery chain. The segment of her cookbooks were available on a monthly(?) basis and each segment was a chaper with a different topic. These were my bed time reading for years and my introduction into cooking. I learned all the basics from Mme Benoit and still admire her no-nonsense recipes and cooking methods.I go back to her time and again for some fave recipes. The only thing I regret is getting rid of the original cookbook sometime in the 80's or 90's when I began to condsider her old fashioned!! LOL
                                                            Anyone else remember these?

                                                            1. re: lovetocookPEI

                                                              How nice, she always struck me as a very sweet person. My mom loved her. I remember those cookbooks (and Steinberg's) and still use her Mme B Cooks at Home book. The Greek crema dessert from that is lovely.

                                                              1. re: lovetocookPEI

                                                                I used to love her books. I lived in Plattsburgh then. I used to wait table at one of the Howard Johnson's near the beach in the summer. To tie in with the discussion above, a lot of Canadians who came down used to ask for " Sugar Pie". The closest I could come up with was Pecan Pie. I never got any complaints

                                                    3. re: buttertart

                                                      This sub-thread has me dying to make a butter tart. I Googled it and it sort of reminds me of Shoofly pie, though that has molasses in it, and pecan pie minus the pecans.

                                                      And then I thought, "Hmm, how about a maple-walnut version?"

                                                      Because that is how my baking/cooking stream-of-consciousness thought process works! I know I should try a straight butter tart recipe first though. :)

                                                      Any recommendations on the best recipe? Best crusts?

                                                      1. re: BabsW

                                                        I tweak Martha Stewart's recipe, a sweet crust. I sub brown sugar and salted for sweet butter.

                                                        2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                        1 teaspoon salt
                                                        1 teaspoon granulated brown sugar
                                                        1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
                                                        1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

                                                        1. re: pinehurst

                                                          Here's my mom's:
                                                          We had them in the house pretty much all the time.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            This looks great, Buttertart! I can;t wait to make one now. :)

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              Buttertart, Babs' comment about this being a sub-thread makes me think that you should start a new thread with the recipe. It would make a search much easier with your name actually in the title - something like, "Buttertart's Buttertart" ?

                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                A bit presumptuous of me, but considering what today is, maybe I'll do just that!

                                                            2. re: pinehurst

                                                              That's pretty close to the crust recipe I use. I might sub in my maple sugar and add ground walnuts when I make it. I really have maple-walnut on the brain lately.

                                                            3. re: BabsW

                                                              I've seen maple butter tarts.. have also seen them with or without raisins (I prefer with), and with or without nuts
                                                              another Canadian..

                                                      2. re: lovetocookPEI

                                                        Figs are available for what seems like 5 minutes here in Central Alberta, when across the Rockies, Kelowna still has them til at least mid-late September.

                                                        I'd love to do more with dried figs/fig jam this winter. I've made fig truffles and a copycat fig newton but that's about it.

                                                        1. re: lovetocookPEI

                                                          Made the cale again today using grapes as in the original recipe

                                                        2. re: souschef

                                                          fig pinwheel cookies are nice - make a sugar cookie rollout (you can flavor it with orange zest :)) dough and chill... heat fresh figs with sugar or honey and some water (I added Baileys Irish cream :)) reduced to a jam consistency. roll out dough to a large rectangle and spread the fig love and roll - chill for an hour - then slice and bake 375 for about 7 to 11 mins depending on oven - then drizzle with vanilla confectners glaze ... nice....especially with a cuppa.

                                                        3. re: lovetocookPEI

                                                          I'm currently working on a fresh fig version of fig newtons with a cinnamon flavored dough.

                                                          1. re: MichaelBeyer

                                                            That sounds just ducky! Sorry, your avatar made me say it like that. Sincerely, bet they're fab!

                                                        4. Savory kugel--the one my mom has always made--but topped with crushed cornflakes. Thanks, Chocolatechipkt! Love the extra golden-ness and crunch! Here's before and after!

                                                          2 Replies