Classic Puff Pastry

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Here are some beautiful fireworks over Chicago to get you through until tomorrow…

Today, I decided to do something I wanted to do for such a long time – make homemade puff pastry.  In class, I LOVED making croissants – seeing the multiple layers and the flakiness of the end product made all of the hard worth it – and made me amazed at my own abilities!  Puff pastry has even MORE layers in it than croissant dough, so I was eager to jump right in and try to impress myself again 🙂

This puff pastry was made to use for some turnovers that I’ll post about tomorrow – but I thought that this would be too much to post about in one day!  Continue reading

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Donuts!!

One of my favorite memories from childhood was getting to pick out a donut for breakfast once every other week or so – we’d be grocery shopping, and it was always a huge treat.  I would almost always pick the regular cake donut with chocolate frosting and sugar sprinkles out the wazoo – because as a kid you can NEVER have enough sugar – and every time it was amazing.  (Except for the time my cat ate through the wax paper bag and subsequently ate most of the donut… what a disappointing morning).

We made mini-donuts one time in my third quarter at Kendall – I made mine tossed in a combination of rosemary/salt/pepper/sugar/cayenne, and they were pretty good.  This time I decided to go for classic, with a supposedly yummy donut and plain sweet glaze.  I also decided to make a few with a cinnamon sugar coating, and then add a little chocolate to the mix as well.  Unfortunately, I only had bittersweet dark chocolate in my kitchen, which didn’t work out too well for an overall coating – but was perfect for a garnish to the glazed donuts! Continue reading

Gum Paste Hydrangeas: A Beginner’s Guide

Well, it’s into week two of no baking as I’m prepping myself for finals and spending almost all of my free time cutting, forming, or coloring hydrangea blossoms.  Since I didn’t have a baking post for my blog, I thought I would share my newfound hydrangea knowledge!  You will need gum paste, a small rolling pin, a hydrangea cutter and veiner, a gum paste ball tool or bone tool, egg whites or gum paste glue, small paint brushes, a foam shaping set, and an empty egg carton.

Below are the steps I took to get these beautiful little guys.

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Blueberry/Raspberry Yogurt Pie

It’s been a sugar-filled weekend… lots and lots of baking (well, and freezing).  It started with the Strawberry Rhubarb Tart, then the Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake, now my dad’s traditional birthday/Father’s Day pie.

This pie has been made since before I was born (I think)… and when I became old enough to hold a spoon and stir things, my mom turned over the pie duty to me. Continue reading

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

Well, the beginning of an extreme baking weekend!

My company has summer hours, and that means that the Friday before this holiday weekend was a full day off – a complete welcome surprise!  My dad’s birthday is always over Memorial Day weekend, so I knew I would be going home for the weekend, and decided to surprise my parents with a little baked treat to get the weekend started. Continue reading

Buttermilk Pancake Cupcakes, Maple Frosting, and Bacon Crumble

This week, while waiting for a bus on my daily commute, I decided to see if there were any little cookbooks I could download to my Kindle.  The first thing I found was The Sweet Little Book of Cupcakes by Nicholas Peruzzi.  And man, were there some yummy-sounding cupcakes in this book, with some flavor combinations I had never thought of before!

The first cupcake that immediately drew me in (there were many) was  Buttermilk Pancake Cupcake.  It is exactly what it sounds like – buttermilk pancake batter, tweaked slightly, and then baked just like a cupcake.  And, of course, if you have pancakes you just MUST have syrup, so I added some maple syrup frosting on top.  Not one to let breakfast just glide away so plainly, I decided to add some crumbled crunch bacon on top, because bacon makes EVERYTHING better! 🙂 Continue reading

In honor of mothers everywhere… Monkey Bread!

Totally running late this week on my updates… but have another one coming soon!

This year for Mother’s Day, my mom told me I wasn’t allowed to bake – after all, I had Chocolates class the night before until 11 pm, and my cousin’s family was coming over the next morning to celebrate around 8 am.  I managed to finagle a little something though – even though it’s not really made from scratch, I got to make the delicious, not-nutritious Monkey Bread 🙂

 

For those of you who don’t know, Monkey Bread is a pull-apart cinnamon sugar gooey baked good – it’s not really a cake, it’s not a bread… it’s just delicious.  Half the fun of this one is eating it with your fingers and getting to lick all the cinnamon stickiness off your fingers afterwards. Continue reading