Shortcrust Pastry

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As a pie over cake lover, it doesn’t need to be fall to enjoy a homemade pie. However something about going into the apple orchard in mid September to hand pick the perfect apples for your next delicacy makes it that much more lovely about fall baking.

Many folks prefer to buy store made crust and for timing reasons I understand, no judging here. I am however disciplined in making everything from scratch, even the dough, so i’m always making sure there is plenty of time, even if that means making the pastry a day in advance! A shortcrust dough is typically used in tarts, quiches and pies. Pate Brisee is the French version of classic pie or tart pastry

What I love most about this style of crust is the flaky and buttery goodness you get off each bite. It is the same recipe you would use for a basic pie dough. The only two things that differ is the type of flour you use and the method of preparation. The key to keeping a flaky crust is making sure your dough and ingredients that go into the preparation stay cold! Give yourself a day and a half to make this recipe and you wont be disappointed! This is also a great dough for savory dishes as well.Β 

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Yield: 2 Single Crust Pies

Mise en Place:

  • 500 Grams Bread Flour
  • 410 Grams Butter, cubed
  • 6 Grams, Salt
  • 110 Grams, Ice Cold Water

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Method of Prep:

  • Place all ingredients into mixing bowl including paddle attachment. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • On medium low setting begin to mix ingredients together until butter and flour are combined and resemble a course meal.
  • Slowly begin adding in ice cold water and continue to mix until a dough forms scraping the sides of the bowl in between.
  • Remove dough from bowl. Form into a large round disc and divide into 2 sections. Wrap each individual disc (not ball, keeping them flatter will allow to chill faster) and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours up to 1 day.
  • Remove one disc at a time and on a heavily floured surface, begin rolling out to a slightly thin dough. Once rolled out to desired thickness, place bottom layer in a greased pie dish and par bake in the oven on 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Remove crust from oven and allow to cool. Prepare desired filling and once crust has cooled, layer on top of pre-baked dough.

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  • Turn oven to 425 degrees.
  • Remove second crust from the refrigerator and roll out on floured surface to desired thickness (I prefer a thinner crust about 1″).
  • Place top crust on pie and cut to fit. Pinch sides shut.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 Minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue to bake until crust is golden brown, approximately 35-40 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.
  • Enjoy!

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**Keep all ingredients (include dough) wrapped tightly and chilled until ready to use for a buttery, flaky crust!**

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Basic Pie Dough

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Its a wonderful 25 degrees outside with a wind chill of 11. A light coating of snow is on the ground and the sky is grey. With that said, I think winter has finally arrived. This time of year is very popular in baking for the holidays and I can’t wait to share some baked goods and recipes for the gluttons out there reading this.

I’m keeping those post short and sweet. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I have a ton of cooking and baking I still need to get done before I head off to work for the evening. If you’re planning to make a pie (perhaps a pumpkin or apple) I really recommend you make your own pie dough. If you’re in a hurry or really can’t find the time to do so and decide to get the pillsbury ready pie crusts then no worries. You know how I am with making everything from scratch. You can make this dough ahead of time and freeze it until future use. This only takes about an hour and half to make (most of the time goes into the dough resting in the fridge). You will be happy you took the extra time to make the dough yourself in the end.

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Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 Minutes

Mise en Place:

-2 1/2 Cups AP Flour

-1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Sugar

-16 Tablespoons Butter (2 Sticks), cut in chunks

-1/4-1/2 Cup Ice Water

Method of Prep:

-In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine dry ingredients. Blend in the butter until flaky.

-Slowly add water until the dough forms. (You can switch to the dough hook attachment if you find that works easier.)

-Roll the dough into a ball and cover in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling to make it easier when rolling.

Enjoy!

**I usually par bake my crust before inserting pie filling. Just bake about 20 minutes or until lightly colored on 350 degrees. If you choose not to do so, just bake according to pie recipe instructions.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

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Cookies are as a rule, off limits for me. The holidays are always the hardest for me and well pretty much everyone else on a strict diet. Seeing all the yummy posts on other blogs and via internet of the trillions of different cookies to bake and other fun winter treats to get crazy with, makes it real tough not to give in to temptation of fresh baked goodies.

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Of all the delicious confections and holidays treats that everyone is sharing this season, my absolute favorite would have to be peanut butter blossoms. You may have had this cookie before using a different cookie dough (ie: sugar). This recipe is flawless and I can guarantee you everyone will enjoy them. You don’t need to wait for a holiday to bake them either! Add this into your cookie baking for Christmas. Just do it.

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Active Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Mise En Place:

-1 Cup Shortening

-1 1/2 Cups Peanut Butter

-2/3 Cup Sugar + 1/3 Cup

-2/3 Cup Brown Sugar

-2 Eggs

-1/4 Cup Milk

-2 Teaspoons Vanilla

-3 Cups AP Flour

-2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

-1 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

-1 Bag Hershey Kisses (Any kind will work)

Other Tools:

-Sheet Trays

-Mixer

-Small Cookie Scoop

-Spatula

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Method of Preparation:

-Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

-In a large mixing bowl combine Shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar and 2/3 cup sugar. Mix on medium speed until combined. Approximately 3 minutes.

-Add in one egg at a time then pour in milk and vanilla. Mix for another 3 minutes.

-Add in baking soda, salt and flour (pouring in 1 cup at a time). Continue mixing until well incorporated.

-In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/3 Cup of sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

-Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough (making sure each scoop is level). Scoop into your hand and roll into a nice ball formation. Drop ball into cinnamon/sugar mixture and coat evenly on all sides. Place on a sheet tray keeping some space in between each ball.

-Place tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

-Remove tray from the oven and place a Hershey kiss in the center of each one.

-Let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Enjoy!

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**Quick Tip: While waiting for cookies to bake, unwrap kisses into a small bowl that way whenΒ  cookies are pulled from the oven you can quickly and efficiently place kisses on them!

Cocoa Cookies

Is it possible that food can be better than sex? Yes it is. If the item is properly executed and the person has put a lot of love and passion into their cooking, I feel just about anything you eat can give you what I like to call a “mouth gasm” also know as an orgasm in your mouth, that immediate reaction after taking a bite of something and going MMMM OMG! uuugggghhh nomnomnom…yep an orgasm. Now, I’m not saying these cookies are better than sex or fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, however they are pretty damn good. It doesn’t take a master chef to make a good batch of cookies, but it does take one awesome recipe to create the best cookie. I’m willing to share this recipe with you because its that good and I’m positive everyone will enjoy.

These cookies are Brandon’s favorite so I make them frequently. The fact that they are made from pure cocoa and are soft make them that much better to enjoy. I kept this recipe plain and simple without adding in nuts or chocolate chips. If you want to make these cookies have more personality, feel free to include walnuts and white chocolate chips into the batch. Pour yourself a glass of milk or some hot chocolate and grab a good book. Sit back, relax and enjoy life and these cookies for a little while. πŸ™‚

Active Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 20 Minutes

Yield: 12 Cookies

Mise En Place (Ingredients):

-1 Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature

-1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar

-1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

-1 Egg

-1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract

-1 Cup AP Flour

-1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder

-1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

-1/8 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Cup Chocolate chips (optional)

-1 Cup Walnuts, chopped (optional)

Additional Tools:

-Sheet Tray

-Parchment Paper

-Cookie scoop

-Electric mixer

-Spatula

-Sifter

-Mixing bowl

Method of Prep:

-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line sheet tray with parchment paper.

-In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

-In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

-Add the egg and vanilla extract. Continue mixing until incorporated.

-Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and continue mixing until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts if needed.

-Using a small cookie scoop, scoop batter onto prepared baking sheet spacing cookies 2 inches apart.

-Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are soft in the center and firm on the edges.

-Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to finish cooling completely.

Enjoy!

Beer Bread

I love beer and I love bread. The two together are almost as awesome as my best friend. This recipe is fabulous in many ways. For example you only need 3 ingredients to make this bread, you can use any kind of beer you like or have in your fridge that you need to use up, and the outcome of this bread is delicious. My cousin gave me this recipe when I was visiting family back home last month. I’m always open to testing new recipes for the blog and was blown away by how amazing this recipe is. Since the first time I made it last month, Brandon and I have made it a few more times with different beers and playing around with adding other ingredients to the bread. Although I did enjoy the foccaciaΒ  style loaf we made last week adding onions and garlic to the batch, I prefer just the plain bread and spreading butter or jam on it.

You don’t need to love beer to like the bread. Depending on the style of beer you use (ale, stout) will determine the flavor of the bread (sweet, hoppy) For this batch I used up the last of my pumpkin seasonal beer. This bread is a nice addition to add to your holiday baking list. You more than likely already have all the ingredients need to make this bread in your house so why not give it a try. If you’re feel extra spontaneous, try making a beer and cheese soup to dip your bread in πŸ™‚

Active Time: 5 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Ingredients:

-3 Cups Self Rising Flour

-1/2 Cup Sugar

1 12 oz beer of choice (I used a Pumpkin Seasonal)

Additional Tools:

-Large Mixing bowl

-Mixing spoon

-Bread pan

Method of Prep:

-Heat oven to 325 degrees farhenheit

-Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until incorporated

-Spray bread pan with nonstick spray. Place bread batter in pan and place in oven until cooked all the way through. Approximately 1 hour possibly less if your oven is better than mine.

-Once cooked all the way, pull from oven and let bread sit for 5 minutes.

-Dump bread out of pan and cut into even slices.

-Grab a bowl of soup or a nice seasonal beer and Enjoy!