Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chocolate Fudge

After 20 years of trying to make fudge I finally did it! The answer I'm sure is wrapped in science but it's manifested in the addition of treacle instead of corn syrup...allow me to introduce the magic ingredient: Lyles Golden Syrup!
Here is my formula:
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup treacle
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate- chopped
2 tablespoons butter

Now here is the method:
in a heavy bottomed 3 quart saucepan melt together the milk, cream, sugar and treacle
over medium heat, cook until sugar is dissolved. Add chocolate and stir until smooth.
Raise heat to med-high and attach a candy thermometer. boil until temp reaches 238 degrees
(firm ball stage) turn off heat and leaving thermometer in place put pats of butter on top and
let rest until mixture reaches 120 degrees. Do not disturb or jostle in any way...this is very important! Remove thermometer and using a wooden spoon
beat mixture vigorously (maybe 5 minutes?) until it just begins to loose it's sheen.
Quickly turn out into a buttered 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper. Let cool. Wrap tightly
Hide from the kids...Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies

One of our favorite Homer gardners, Dave Schroer, is notorious for many things...starting the local golf course (for which my husband is very grateful!) and his amazing sweet pea bouquets at the farmers market, most of all, though, when you mention his name to a longtime local they talk about his pumpkin patch. How he used to let the kids run through and scratch their name in a pumpkin early in the season and collect them up again come harvest time. His lovely wife Beth threw him an 80th birthday party this summer and we were honored to help her with the food. As a tip, Dave dropped off some pumpkins...with his grandkids names scratched in the side. First thing we did was roast them up for...Cookies!

Pumpkin cookies...the best part, besides eating them, is they make your house smell great!

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup white flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teasppon salt 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, beat well, then add pumpkin puree and vanilla...stir to combine.
in another bowl mix together all dry ingredients and toss well to combine thoroughly.
Stir dry into wet until well blended. drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
and bake until center is firm to the touch, 12-15 minutes. Let cool a bit while you mix the glaze.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons soft butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
mix with whisk, or even better in a cuisinart or blender
spread on slightly warm cookies
We like to use colorful sprinkles to jazz them
will pick a cookie with sprinles every time!
Chocolate chips are very popular also...!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vegan Muffins

Whatever Muffins...they can be whatever you want them to be!

4c whole wheat flour
1/2 c oats
1t salt
4t baking powder
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 c granola
1c fruit, carrot, zuke...whatever
3/4 c brown sugar

1 1/3 c rice or soy milk
1 c oil
2 c juice

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl...mix wet in separate bowl and then pour into dry. mix till just combined. spoon into greased muffin tins lined with cups.Top with a little brown sugar and oats.
bake 350 degrees...20 minutes

Chocolate Cake with a secret...

Vegan Chocolate Cake
this cake is so good you won't want to tell...

1- 10” cake-brush a 10" round cake pan with oil and line with parchment paper , preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon b soda
1 teaspoon salt
sift dry ingredients into a large bowl and then also whisk to ensure everything is well combined and lump-free BEFORE adding:

Wet: measure together,
2 cups cold water
1/2 cups olive oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
mix wet in measuring cup, then pour into dry whisking very well until all lumps of flour (for some reason the olive oil is very important to a lump free me on this one!) are absorbed and the batter is smooth, pour into prepared pan
bake at 325 dgrees for 30 min.
This cake is best with fresh berries and whipped cream, but then it wouldn't be vegan...perhaps a ganache made with milk-free chocolate and soymilk instead...yum!

Turtle Bars

Turtle Bars

Oven 350
9x13 pan
1 1/2c. Flour
3/4c. butter- cold cut in pieces
1/4c. Sugar
1t salt
This is best done in a mixer,( however I have done this by hand but it requires a lot of elbow grease). Mix until dough holds together in a firm ball when pressed together in your hands.
Press firmly into 9x13 pan and refrigerate while making filling

5 oz. butter
1c. brown sugar
1 cups granulated sugar
1/4 c. honey
½ c. Heavy cream

Cook all ingredients together stirring constantly with a wire whisk- cool slightly

Scatter 2c. Pecans over cold crust carefully pour filling over nuts. Bake 20-30 min. till bubbly in center.
Cool completely.

Chocolate topping
1 ½ c. semi sweet chocolate
¾ c. heavy cream
Heat cream to scalding and pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth pour over cooled pecan filling and spread evenly. Refrigerate till firm.



10 palm sized scones
20 min.- 350 oven

2 c. Flour
1T Baking powder
½ t salt
¼ c. Sugar
½ c. Butter- cold
¾ c. fruit – dried fruit of any kind or frozen berries of any kind(do not thaw)
2/3 c. buttermilk
1 egg

in lg mixing bowl, toss together flour, baking powder sugar and salt. Cut in butter to pea- like consistency. Add fruit in separate container mix together buttermilk and egg. Pour over dry mix and fold together until fully combined but DO NOT OVERMIX! Turn out onto a floured surface and press into a rectangle to 1 ¼ inch thickness. Using a long knife or bench scraper, cut dough into triangles. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until just golden on the edges.

White's not social commentary, it's just bread!

White Trash Bread...the story is, when the bakery first opened way back in 1993, we took on one wholesale customer... a local restaurant that was also revamping an old space. We made their desserts and developed a bread for them. In the process of finding out what it was they were exactly looking for in a bread,one of them said, "you know, like that trashy white bread you get in Texas." We thought," OK, we get it"...and when he picked it up we told him," Here's your white trash bread!"...and that was it, no judgements or social commentary...just soft, flavorful, slightly chewy white bread...silky in texture and a little bit sweet (just like the Texans we know!). It is by far our most asked for recipe...

White Trash dough

mix together in a measuring cup and 'proof' to test the liveliness of the yeast
2 pkg active dry yeast (1/2 oz)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup very warm water (not hot)

when this bubbles and looks healthy...hopefully in a few minutes, transfer to a mixing bowl.
and add:
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1/2 cup milk-whole fat
1 T olive oil (melted butter would be great, also)
1T Honey
5 cups (1.4 lbs.) unbleached white flour
mix this by hand or in a mixer until it just barely comes together..
.then cover and let rest for 20 minutes or so...this is referred to
as an 'autolyse' and it allows the flour to absorb the moisture without
the salt hampering the process. After time is up, stir in...
1 T salt and another cup (4.5 oz) of flour
the dough will come together into a medium soft dough that
stands up to kneading but is not too firm. Work until silky in texture
and thin bands form when pulling it apart.
Let rise, covered, until double in bulk.
You may now either form it into loaves to rise again and slash and
bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until internal temp is 195.
OR you can make dinner rolls or bread sticks...
this is also the perfect dough for STICKY BUNS!

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies


Every year at holiday time we make cookies...LOTS of cookies, a few dozen kinds, every year the list changes, we rotate out the least popular or difficult. By the end of the holiday season...we are so done with those cookies! This is one cookie, though that we (and everyone else) loved so much that we decided to let it grow up and become a real, year round part of our bakery case. I've had a special request for the recipe in time for mothers here it is!
Now get baking Daddy-o!

This is a larger than normal'll be glad.

1# unsalted butter...soft
1/4 cup fresh ginger, grated
2 cup brown sugar
2 cup light molasses
6 1/4 cup flour
5 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 tsp baking soda
2 Tblsp boiling water
28 ounces chocolate chips (sometimes we add 1/2 white chocolate chips)

preheat oven to 325 dgrees.
cream butter, fresh ginger, brown sugar and molasses.
Sift flour and spices and salt, Mix 1/2 into butter mixture
dissolve baking soda in water and add to above, then stir in rest of flour mixture
and chocolate chips. Chill dough....roll into balls and dredge in granulated sugar
bake on parchment lined cookie sheet for 12- 15, depending on the size of your balls.
if you make a larger sized cookie like we do, flatten slightly before baking.

Nettle Pesto!

Spring can be a stinging affair this far north, with temps still in the forties most days (look, the trees aren't even leafed out yet)...a little wind, a little rain, and yes, a little sun as well. Enough so that my nettle patch, on the western side of my lawn at home, is thriving quite nicely, thank you. It's the perfect time to cut back this itchy nuisance as the ball playing is in full force around here and looking for lost baseballs in a patch of nettles is, well, no fun! It's great that we get to take care of this pesky problem in such a tasty satisfying way. My friends Jenny and Sydney showed me this the past, we've gotten to make many different batches...but this year has been a little challenging to get us all together.
Since I am home today, I think I'll get things started.

I cut about 16 cups of nettles...enough for two batches

Drop 8 cups of the nettles into a large pot of boiling salted water and blanch for two minutes

Squeeze out excess liquid and give them a rough'll have about three cups

Into your food processor with approximately ( I say this because you can certainly
add more, less or delete altogether any of the proposed ingredients to your liking!)
1 cup grated Parmesean
1 cup walnuts (I prefer the flavor over pine nuts)
5 garlic cloves-peeled (obviously)
a splash of lemon juice
dash kosher salt
a few turns of the pepper mill
1/2 cup olive oil-the nicest you can afford - drizzle in as processor is running...again you can add more or less depending on how thick you want it.

I like to spoon it into glass jars and pour a little olive oil on top...refrigerate for up to four weeks or freeze in 8 0z wide mouth jam jars to save for the middle of winter when your dying for a little taste of spring.
Be sure to label and date the top so that when your rooting around in the freezer come February you'll know what tha funny green stuff is.
This first batch is packaged up and ready to pass out to my friends.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pastry Dough

Pastry dough
2/3 c wm water
5 t active dry yeast
1/2 c sugar
mix together well and set aside
1c milk
2 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
2t salt
add above to yeast mixture and blend well
5 c flour
2 c cold butter cut in pcs. 1/2” in size work butter into flour slightly with a pastry cutter or your hands. mix wet into dry and form into mass of dough, cover and chill 6 hrs or overnight. turn out onto well floured board and roll out into a long rectangle...fold over into 3rds. roll out and fold 3 times...cover and chill 6 more hours ...roll into desired shapes proof and bake

Pastry Cream

Pastry cream

6 c milk
3 c sugar
9 whole eggs
2 T vanilla
3/4 c cornstarch

scald milk and sugar together in medium saucepan...beat eggs cornstarch and vanilla together...temper into egg mixture...cook over med heat stirring constantly... until 1st bubbles.

Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

2 c butter
2c brown sugar
2c. granulated sugar
4 eggs

3 c flour
5 c oats
2 t baking soda

2 c raisins
2 t vanilla

cream butter and sugar add eggs one at a time...mix dry ingredients separately, then stir into butter egg mixture, add raisins. drop spoonfuls onto a sheetpan lined with parchment...bake at 350 for 10 - 12 minutes.

New York style Cheesecake

NY Cheese cake
2 sleeves lady finger cookies
1T soft Butter
Process till finely ground in food processor and press into the bottom of a 10” removable bottom cake pan.

3# cream temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 T vanilla
2T lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees...cream together cream cheese and sugar til smooth and well combined...add eggs one at a time. Mix until very smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of bowl often. Stir in lemon juice, vanilla and sour cream. carefully pour over bottom crust and bake for 45-50 minutes or until completely puffed up and a little brown around the edges. pull out of oven and let cool completely...refrigerate overnight. Top with whipped cream.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars
lemony, sticky and ...well...wonderful!
recipe makes 2 - 9x13 pans...'cause you'll want to make alot!
1 1/2 c cold butter
3/4 c powdered sugar
1 t lemon zest
2 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
in mixer work together above ingredients until mixture looks like into pans and bake for 20 min at 325..until just
12 eggs
3 3/4 sugar
3/4 c lemon juice
1 1/2T Lemon zest
1/2 c flour
whisk all ingredients together til smooth, carefully pour over crust...bake for 20- 25 minutes until center is thoroughly and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Green Tea shortbread

Green Tea Short bread

2 c all purpose flour
2 T green tea powder or lavender flowers
1/2 T sea salt
1 c butter...soft
1/2 c confectioners sugar
sift dry ingredients together...cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy add dry and mix to smooth dough. flatten on parchment to 1/4 inch thickness...chill til firm cut to score and bake at 350 degrees until center is opaque and not shiny. cool and recut scored lines. For a festive touch dip one side in melted white chocolate. Elegant and delicious!

Vegan Granola

2 c chopped nuts and seeds- pecans, walnuts, sunflower, sesame, flax
8 c oats
1/2 canola oil
1/2 c agave or maple syrup
toss together and toast in 350 oven 15 min or so.. add 2 c total dried fruit-

Gnarly White Cake

White Cake (gnarley)

2/3 c butter- soft
3 eggs
1 3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3 c flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla

cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy
add eggs one at a time...mix well!
sift together dry ingredients...add to butter mixture alternately with water and mix well.
transfer to greased 10’ cake pan that has been oiled and lined with parchment paper.

For Poppy seed variation soak 1/3 c poppy seeds in water and increase water to 1 3/4 cups.

Bake at 325 for 20-30 minutes.


Our favorite Fruitcake...Okay, so I have to give credit where credit is due, this is based on Martha Stewart's neighbor Mrs. Maus' recipe...she's right, people LOVE it!
Pan size depends on your desires...this recipe yields about 6 - 6" round cake pans. I like to use an 8' paper ring mold that I buy from Novacart. little loaf pans are nice too, just be sure to line with parchment paper. Adjust your baking time to accommodate the pan and also if you are using convection it will take less time. the key is that when they are vigorously tapped they bounce right back. Also, be sure to brush the brandy on while still warm! We just cracked open one from my batch made in November and it was Sooo Good!

1 # unsalted Butter...softened
2 c Sugar
12 large eggs
4 # Candied and dried fruits...apricots, pineapple, ginger, dates, candied lemon peel ,sour cherries,etc.
1/2 c molasses
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 T ground allspice
2 # asst nuts...walnuts and pecans
2/3 c brandy
1 c apricot jam
oven to 275...
cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy...add eggs one at a time...beating well after each addition. Mix in 2c of the fruit and the molasses...sift together flour and allspice and add to above mixture, one cup at a time mixing well after each addition. Add remaining fruit and nuts...stir well to combine. bake 3 to 3 1/2 hours...while cakes are still warm brush with brandy mixed with one tablespoon of completely decorate with dried fruits and then brush with warm apricot jam. Wrap tightly in plastic...shelf life...25 years.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
This is a chocolate chip cookie lovers recipe...sort of carmel-ly if you under bake them ever so slightly...but hey, We would never want to tell you what to do or anything.
2 1/3 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

1 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar

2 eggs
2 c. chocolate chips or chunk
(if you must add nuts..we suggest 1 cup of chopped pecans, but the cookies purists we serve would never go for that.)

mix dry ingredients and set aside...cream butter and sugar in medium bowl until fluffy...add eggs one at time and beat well...slowly stir in dry and then chocolate chunks. place by rounded tablespoon on cookie sheet lined with parchment and flatten slightly (if dough is sticky wet your fingers lightly for this task). Bake at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Carrot Cake

People really go crazy for this carrot’s so simple, and so versatile! Put in muffin cups for a healthy snack or bake in round cake pans and frost with Ginger whipped cream for an elegant birthday cake!
4 c flour
4 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 c sugar
2c brown sugar
2 t salt
4 t cinnamon
2 t cardamom
1 t nutmeg
8 eggs
4 c carrot - scraped and grated
1 can pineapple - drained and crushed or processed in food processor
1 c oil
2 t vanilla

Sift together dry ingredients and whisk together wet ingredients separately. Mix together well. Divide into 2 greased ten inch round cake pans, or about 24 jumbo muffin tins.  Bake at 325˚ for 45-50 minutes for cakes, 20-25 minutes for muffins.  Toothpick should come out clean and center of cake should spring back when lightly pressed.

Fudgy Brownies


3 3/4 c butter
12 oz. semisweet choc- melted
6 c brown sugar
10 eggs
1 1/2 c cocoa powder
3 c flour
2 1/2 t baking power
1/8 t salt
cream butter, sugar, melted choc in mixer-add eggs one at a time. sift together dry and add to butter mix...spread into 3 9x13 pans. sprinkle with choc chips . bake at 350 for 20 -25 min until still slightly jiggly in center

Boca Negra

Boca Negra
Spanish for ‘black mouth’ this can hardly be called a cake...but it fits the bill if chocolate decadence is what you’re goes especially well guessed it...Red Wine! One of our customers, a 70 year old gal, is so enamored with it she drives the 30 miles from Ninilchik to trade her raspberries (she picks them herself and freezes them in quart jars) for little Bocas that she cuts in slices and freezes to eat one piece at a time, all by herself. I love her.

12 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c red wine
1 c butter
5 eggs

melt together butter, sugar and red wine in saucepan until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. remove from heat and pour over choc. whisk til smooth. in a separate bowl whisk eggs and 1/3 c of the sugar...add to butter mixture whisk in flour and mix well. transfer to greased cake pans lined with parchment paper and bake in a water bath for 30 min in 350 oven. It should jiggle slightly but not be wet looking in the center. Chill completely. To de-pan, run a small sharp knife around the edge of the cake to separate the sides form the pan and invert on a plate. Carefully peel off paper and place serving plate on bottom, being careful to center it and, using a hand to support each side turn upside down so cake is sitting upright. At this point I like to pipe ganache in pretty concentric circles all over the top. You can also embrace the rustic beauty of it and just slice and serve with whipped cream. or you could just eat it off the plate, all by yourself.