Sweet

Snickerdoodle Cookies!

As much as I love to bake my more complex and involved cookie recipes, sometimes you just need something quick and easy and delicious. That’s where these snickerdoodles come in. They take 30 minutes (including baking time) and honestly, if my future kids spring it on me that they need cookies for class the next morning I’ll probably make these or no bakes. They’re a crowd favorite and you’ll find yourself grabbing for more until you realize they’re all gone!

The trick with these is to make sure you have room temp butter and eggs, that you cream the fat and sugar well together, and most importantly that you DON’T over bake them. I promise you’re going to think they’re not done and you’re going to want to leave them in but trust me, they will be perfect if you follow the recipe! Without further adieu, here they are (I made the recipe in terms of common baking volumes instead of grams this time for all of you looking to do something fun and easy without having a scale at home).

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (room temp)
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar 
2 eggs (room temp)
2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cup flour 
2 tsp cream of tarter (or 3tsp baking powder)
1 tsp baking soda 
1/4 tsp salt 
2 tbsp white sugar 
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F 
  2. Cream together the butter, shortening and sugar until completely combined. 
  3. Mix in the eggs, one at a time until completely combined. Finally add the vanilla to complete the wet mix
  4. Sift flour, cream of tarter (or baking powder), baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. 
  5. Mix dry ingredients in with the wet in 2 batches until completely mixed together, but don’t over mix.  
  6. Add in some cinnamon (optional) into the finished batter and give a few turns to incorporate. 
  7. Pinch off and roll ~2 tbsp dough at a time into balls and roll them in cinnamon sugar mix
  8. Place these on silpat or parchment paper on cookie sheet ~2 inches apart. 
  9. Bake for 7:30-7:45 minutes and then once done, take out of the oven and let cookies cool briefly on the baking tray for 2 minutes before removing them to cool completely on wire rack.
  10. The cookies will deflate somewhat from their puffy height out of the oven and residual heat will finish the bake. Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Pie is one of those things that I love to make and it always seems to go fairly well! Pie dough is pretty easy and quick to throw together and then it’s just a matter of making a delicious filling to put inside! Plus you can always have fun with different dough designs for the top! For this one, I decided to have some fun and die half of the top dough with dragonfruit powder to make it pinkish/purplish which you can’t really see that well after the bake but will be evident in the before picture.

Strawberry rhubarb pie just screams summertime to me and once I saw the local bakeries incorporating it into their bakes and treats, I knew that I needed to make a pie. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and sour in my opinion and it’s delicious on it’s own or pairs well with some whipped cream or ice cream!

Ingredients (pie dough for bottom and top):
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Ice water

Steps:
1 . Dice the butter into small cubes and freeze for 20 minutes prior to making the dough
2. Measure out the flour and put it into a food processor with the sugar and salt
3. Add the butter cubes evenly throughout the flour before closing the processor
4. Pulse the butter and dry ingredients together until small pea-sized pieces of butter remain
5. Slowly stream in the ice water as the machine is pulsed, 2 tbsp at a time until the dough just barely comes together and is still a little dry and crumbly (do not add too much water!)
6. Pour the dough out on a lightly floured bench and divide the dough into two halves (one for bottom and the other for top) and form 2 discs of dough
7. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for ~30 minutes before rolling out
8. Check with your recipe but usually you can preheat the oven to 400-425F at this point
9. Prepare filling (recipe for strawberry rhubarb filling below) while the oven heats up and the dough chills
10. Once filling is prepped and oven is preheated, take out the first disc and roll it out evenly on a lightly floured work surface (ensure it doesn’t stick to the counter) until approximately 1/3″ in thickness. Be sure to use a pie dish to measure the size you need to fill and go all the way up the sides of the pie dish
11. Trim and save any excess dough before pouring the filling on top
12. Take out second dough disc and similarly roll it out to the same thickness and either drape on top of the pie as such or cut out lattice strips or other decorative shapes before covering the top and baking

Ingredients (strawberry rhubarb filling):
1. 3 cups of rhubarb washed and cut into small chunks
2. 3-4 cups of strawberries cut into wedges
3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
4. 1/4 cup tapioca pearls (thickening agent)
5. 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)

Steps:
1. While pie dough is chilling, wash and cut the fruit and add in to large bowl before adding sugar and tapioca
2. Toss ingredients together to ensure even coating before setting aside for 15-20 minutes while dough finishes chilling
3. Once pie dough is rolled out, fill with the whole filling quantity and then place lattice strips on top
4. Bake at 425F for 40 minutes, checking after 20 and 30 minutes to make sure crust isn’t burning on top
5. If crust is getting charred, cover with aluminum foil until the bake is finished and the filling is bubbling softly on top
6. Remove from the oven and let cool completely (a couple hours) before slicing into and enjoying!

Crêpes

You ever make something you love that’s not that hard but requires overnight planning and so often times you just don’t get to it? Well that’s how it is with crepes for me! My sister got me a crepe-specific heating element a few years ago for my birthday and I’ve only broken it out a few times but after having these this past weekend, I’m sure it’ll be making a repeat appearance soon!

These crepes were so delicious and delicate and I think I’ve gotten a much better handle on how far to cook them since my first ones were always dark brown. The batter comes together really easily and I highly recommend you make them and try them out at home! You don’t need a special heating element, a stove and a sautée pan to cook them on. I have always loved sweet crepes and so this weekend I made chocolate hazelnut spread (less sweet than nutella) and strawberry banana crepes for Amanda and I to enjoy! It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty and a little bitterness and before we knew it, we both had 3 of them and were in a food coma! Below is the recipe I used and each one of these batches makes roughly 6 full-sized crepes! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
3 tbs melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
powdered sugar to dust on top (optional)

Steps:
Blend everything together completely and thoroughly, and strain the batter through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap tightly.
Rest batter for minimum 30 minutes in the fridge, preferably overnight.
Heat up the pan or element (I don’t use any nonstick or butter on the pan) and add 1/3-1/2 cup of batter/crepe.
Cook the first side until you start to see little bubbles forming and as soon as you can lift the edges with your fingers, flip over the crepe carefully to cook the other side.
Add the filling of choice while the other side cooks and then fold, dust with some powdered sugar if you like and enjoy!

Tartine Morning Buns

Ever have a recipe that you keep coming back to over and over meaning to make it but never like prep enough and then realize you don’t have the time when you just try and “decide” to do it? Well these morning buns have been that for me for many months! Ever since I got the Tartine baking book and saw these buns on the cover, I have wanted to try them! They just looked so flakey and sweet and delicious and I finally set the time aside to do it.

First of all I have to say that while they did take a good deal of time, I did work on them while I was mixing and working on sourdough so it didn’t really take up that much more time on its own. That being said, I did almost smoke out my whole house BUT I would like to say that the fire alarm DID NOT go off….luckily :).

It really was just a matter of making a batch of croissant dough and then rolling it out wide, sprinkling a mix of cinnamon, sugar, and orange zest all on the inside, rolling it up into a log just like cinnamon rolls, then letting prove and then bake. The only difference was the dough being croissant dough and not just a sweet brioche.

The process was going so incredibly well up until the bake, where the excess butter from the dough leaked out of the dough (like it was supposed to) and landed on the bottom of the oven, and sorta, smoked up a lot….BUT I did just open up the windows and the front door and aired it out and it was fine! It was all worth it though because the bake came out so incredibly well! These buns are obviously sweet being coated in cinnamon sugar and them being basically an orange cinnamon roll and being made out of croissant dough, but they were surprisingly well balanced in my opinion!

I as usual, will not share the recipe and method here because this one came from their book (which you should absolutely buy just for this recipe alone), but I can assure you it’s not as scary as you might think! Just follows the basic rules of pastry….keep things cold, and work quickly!

Once the buns were finally baked and finished in the smoking oven, I took them out and let them cool just enough to handle before I tossed them (gently) in a bowl of cinnamon sugar to coat! I could tell right from there that they had the amazingly thin crispy layers that croissants do and hearing the crunch when I cut into them was oh so satisfying! I ate two of these massive buns right after they were tossed in the sugar (really wanted to nap after that) and was happy to see the flaky layers inside!

This recipe may take some time, but wow was it worth it. Can’t wait to tuck into these again for breakfast today! Hope you all had a great weekend and a great Mother’s Day!

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Caramel tart

Sometimes you just want to make something fun and fancy! I had been wanting to spend some time making a fun tart and my friend Michela’s birthday seemed to be a great excuse to get into the kitchen! She said that her favorite flavors were chocolate, peanut butter and caramel and so I thought of a way to try and incorporate them all into one dessert!

I found a recipe in the Tartine dessert book for a einkorn and buckwheat flour chocolate tart shell so I modified it to use just einkorn and almond flour along with the cocoa and it was incredibly easy and delicious! I also knew that I wanted to make a peanut butter feuillitine layer that was similar to a component in my birthday tart! This was very similar in construction, just swapping peanut butter in for the hazelnut paste component. It did freeze less solid so it was tricky to work with but provided a nice crunchy peanut butter component in the bottom of the tart.

I also made a caramel jam from the Bouchon Bakery book to layer on top of the peanut butter feuillitine layer and let that all chill in the fridge overnight. Finally, I made a dark chocolate ganache and poured it over the whole thing to finish! And of course, which birthday dessert would be complete without a little gold leaf?

Overall, it was a really fun dessert to make and I know Michela enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed our mini tart I made on the side!

Ferdberry Pie for Pi Day!

Growing up, there was this amazing little sandwich place near where we had our cottage called Cormack’s Deli. While they have amazing sandwiches, they also had a great dessert counter just around the corner from the soups that my Mom loves. I’m not sure when we tried this particular pie for the first time, but I do know that once we ordered our first “ferdberry pie” we were hooked as a family!

Food memories are among the strongest for me and every time I think back to that pie, it reminds me of the amazing times we had together as a family up north with friends or just by ourselves by the lake. I knew that I wanted to take pi day this year as an opportunity to make my own ferdberry pie! I realized several years ago it was called ferdberry because it had four different berries in it: blackberry, cherry, blueberry, and raspberry (yes I know cherry isn’t a “berry” but it’s northern Michigan which has the best cherries ever so get over it).

Of course I had to incorporate a simple pi day design for the pie art collab my wonderful friend and host Mary and I organize, but for me it was all about that nostalgic flavor. With the first bite, I knew that I had it. It took me back straight to lake in the summer with my family playing blokus and euchre and I was very sad to see this pie quickly disappear! I guess that just means I’ll have to make another! Hope everyone has the chance to make some pie for themselves today!

Mexican Wedding Cookies!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0005.jpeg

I was fortunate enough to have my parents and one of my sisters visit Amanda and I in Cincy this past weekend so I of course had to make some great food for them! Cooking for friends and family is one of my all time favorite activities and for dessert I threw together these mexican wedding cookies from Tartine! Because I used the recipe from the book I won’t be sharing it here but there are numerous other recipes for mexican wedding cookies online that are great! The one big difference was in the book, they recommend putting the walnuts through a food processor not just cutting them into small pieces before folding them into the cookies and I definitely think that’s the way to go!

These cookies are simple and delicious and I absolutely recommend making them for yourselves sometime!!! I’m going to link another recipe that is free online that is close to the Tartine recipe so you all can try them out soon!!!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 7edd59ae-3c3b-4fcc-a4f8-badd7c10eb99_1_105_c.jpeg

This past Valentine’s Day I decided to go with something simple for dessert since I was making croissants and I had enough pâté sucrée left from the previous birthday tart to make another! I didn’t really put too much thought into this since I knew I was going to fill it with a chocolate ganache which Amanda loves, and so it was left to figure out what fruit I wanted to incorporate with it! When I went to the store honestly I was in search for strawberries, but I’m very glad that I found raspberries instead! They packed quite the delicious tartness to cut through the rich chocolate and it was a wonderful pairing to balance out the dessert!

Hope you all have been able to stay warm in these frigid days!

Sourdough Croissants!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0047.jpeg

This month’s sourdough group challenge was laminated dough!! I told myself at the beginning of the year that croissants were one thing I wanted to try and get more proficient at and this was the perfect opportunity to begin that road. I had attempted croissants a while back and had a very poor result, so this time I wanted to try a different recipe.

I had kept my eye on Dominique Ansel’s recipe for a while since it also used sourdough starter but I hadn’t used it because it was a three-day recipe! But I finally got my act together and planned accordingly and took on these bad boys. I knew that the keys to flaky pastry was to keep it as cold as humanly possible, and to use really good butter. So I got a couple block of Kerry Gold unsalted butter (not an ad just a fan) and wow did that help to change the game! I found it relatively easy to incorporate the butter block into the dough and even though I worked as fast as I could, I thought I would have some butter leakage while I was doing the folding and laminating steps, but I didn’t! I think that the higher fat content in relation to normal butter helped to maintain its solidity and helped the lamination process!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0021.jpeg

The one thing about this process I didn’t like was the instruction on how to bake them. It was greatly lacking and I had to bake for much longer and at higher temps than it said so next time I make them I’ll know, but the flavor and the crunch was amazing! Still far from perfect once you see the inside but definitely something I’m proud of at this point! Also it definitely didn’t hurt to dip a few in the leftover chocolate ganache from the Valentine’s Day tart I made for Amanda and I that I’ll share later this week!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0054.jpeg

Chocolate and Cocoa Nib Praline Tart

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is e7cf46e9-b230-4ca6-8d6b-6e687211d7c4_1_105_c.jpeg

So every year I always make a special birthday dessert treat for myself and this year I wanted to do something a little challenging! So I flipped through my bouchon bakery book that I once was going through recipe by recipe and found this beauty! I had been in awe of the photo in the book for as long as I’ve owned the book and decided this was the time to take on this one!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_1073.jpeg

It started off with the tart crust (which yes is a little overdone on the edges with some issues getting the parchment paper off the bottom but I promise it didn’t change the flavor. I followed the instructions from the book on how to lay the tart dough in the ring but I think next time I’m going to try a different method where you cut a circle for the base and then you cut a strip to lay in the inside and just connect it instead of trying to lay the whole thing down and fold it in, I think it’ll help with uniformity and give me a cleaner look and more control over the thickness.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_1074.jpeg

Next was to put the praline layer in the bottom! I had made this feuilletine layer the night before and since I didn’t have room in my freezer I actually had to chill this overnight outside on my porch (completely covered). It did the trick though and kept things cold enough for me to work with it the next morning!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_1075.jpeg

Once the praline layer was down, I then had to make a quick ganache with some glucose (couldn’t find trimoline but still turned out fine) and thankfully this came together just as easy as I’d hoped it would. I poured it over the praline layer and kept meticulously trying to even it out with an offset spatula until I finally had to step back and let it be finished. The final thing I had to do was to make a hazelnut and cocoa nib dentelle (which I didn’t burn this time like last time) and it was also a lot easier the second time than the first time! I actually didn’t obsess too much over the placement and more just set it down off center just like that the tart was done!! I shared it with some friends and it disappeared without any complaints! Definitely something I’ll think of making again in the future!

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 4fcd8e0a-12a6-45cd-807e-32cb620ad748_1_105_c.jpeg

If you love peanut butter, boy have I found the perfect recipe for you! I love peanut butter cookies and growing up (including now) I thought that the peanut butter blossom cookies were by far superior. There are, of course, just plain peanut butter cookies that don’t have the chocolate kiss on top as well, but sometimes those seem like they are missing something when they aren’t topped with chocolate. Now, you no longer have to have that empty feeling!!!

These salted peanut butter cookies couldn’t be easier to make and they’re so so delicious! They have no flour and are entirely dairy free so they are a good choice for those who have certain dietary restrictions! A friend of mine showed me this recipe and trust me when I tell you, you’ll want to whip these things together. They’re incredibly dense and rich with peanut butter that one will absolutely be enough even if you’ll want to grab a second (which you will!). Hope you all have a great weekend!

Claire Saffitz’s Pecan Brittle Oat Cookies!

So I love oat cookies. I know it’s a polarizing opinion but they’re amazing. And these cookies that Claire made in her new book Dessert Person are sooooo so incredibly tasty. Usually oatmeal cookies are accompanied by raisins, which I also love. I’m actually fine that a lot of people aren’t huge fans of them because more for me! In all seriousness though, these cookies are incredibly. The brown butter, the pecan brittle, and the oats combine to make a truly delicious cookie with butterscotch tones that will leave you reaching for more. They also have a great texture being just chewy enough to make you slow down enough to savor every single one of the complex and delicious flavors. These cookies are bit of a labor of love and you will have to clean a few dishes, which we all hate, but I promise it’s worth it. Not much more to say about these beauties but check out her video where you can find the recipe and the method to make these!!!!

Winter Themed Apple Pie!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0036.jpeg

I’m convinced everyone needs more pie in their life. When I asked Amanda what she wanted this past weekend she just said “Apple!”. Normally I would also make a salted caramel to help fill and provide some great sweetness and flavor, but this time she wanted a pure apple pie. I had a lot of fun with the various shapes I cut out to decorate and I think it turned out very well!

The flavor was incredibly warm with some added Christmas spices that I added to the filling and it’s great to heat up and tuck into! Love the pure apple pie flavor that this came up with and added to the buttery, flakey pie crust, it’s exactly what you need on a cold day.

I used my standard pie dough for this pie, and it’s always served me well (and had people asking for the recipe), so you definitely need to try it for yourself!!

Ingredients –
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, cold cut into small cubes
1 tsp kosher salt
Ice water (add only enough to combine)

Steps:
1. Make sure butter and food processor are chilled thoroughly
2. Add butter, flour, and salt to the food processor and pulse until pea sized pieces of dough/butter are left
3. Add ice water, tablespoon at a time while pulsing the processor just until the dough comes together
4. Take the dough out and turn it on to a lightly floured surface. Bring the dough together until it can form a disc, adding more water if necessary (just be careful)
5. Cover tightly in cling wrap and let chill in the fridge for 30 min – 60 min at the minimum.
6. Take it out of the fridge, and roll it to desired thickness on a floured counter top and use as needed!

Rye Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Okay so rye flour is something I haven’t really experimented with before. I didn’t realize just how drastic it would change the texture of these cookies as well as the flavor! The recipe was gifted to me by one of my foodie friends and because it’s from a cook book I am not going to post it on here but it’s from 177 Milk Street. They have amazing instructional videos and recipes and I highly encourage you check them out sometime if you’re looking for a fun baking project for the weekend.

Anyways, the cool part about this recipe that makes it so different is that you toast the rye flour (which is half the flour for the recipe) in a cast iron before adding the butter to it to create this like slurry, for lack of a better term, which gets folded in and incorporated into the rest of the cookie dough. From there you don’t have to rest the dough for more than 5 minutes according to the recipe before baking these cookies off. I should absolutely have taken them out of the oven a couple minutes before but when I tell you that they darkened by 4 shades after they came out I was shocked! Unfortunately some of them were inedible as they were (aka the dark brown ones you can see in the picture) but what I was able to do was to drop them in ice cream and let them soften while the ice cream melted around them and that my friends, was a stroke of delicious genius! I hope you all have had a great week and are looking forward to some fun baking and cooking projects for the weekend!

Cranberry Curd Tart from NYT

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0009.jpeg

Cranberry curd tart!! It’s Thanksgiving Day and I wanted to try out something new for the first time! My family growing up would always have a pumpkin pie and usually a key lime pie to have something sweet and something tart. Well this year I wanted to do the tart one a bit different so I found a new recipe! Once I ran across the NYT Cranberry Curd tart I knew that I had to make it! Such brilliant and vibrant colors, and my first ever gluten-free crust using hazelnuts and rice flour! I can’t wait to cut into this guy later once it’s dinner time!!!

I hope you all are having/had a great and safe Thanksgiving Day with your loved ones!!!

Sour Cherry and Blueberry Pie

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0019.jpeg

Pie art is one of those things that can start off being scary but is so much fun! I have been interested in getting more involved with pie art and thankfully my friend Mary agrees! We set up a collaboration day on instagram and this was my contribution! I was so happy to finally buy Lauren Ko‘s Pieometry and when I was rifling through the book, I found this one to catch my eye!

The design seemed so intricate and elaborate so when I read through the steps I was very happy to see it was actually quite simple! It just requires a little bit of patience and time but once you get the hang of the angle and spacing for the strips it goes quite fast! Looking forward to baking a couple more pies this week for thanksgiving so stay tuned for more fun holiday bakes!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0049.jpeg

Smitten Kitchen Brownie Cookies!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0061.jpg

Cookies are great. Brownies are great. And Smitten Kitchen has this amazing recipe for combining the best of both worlds! I am basically eating everything in sight leading up to my race this weekend and while I baked a pie (stay tuned) last weekend it wasn’t enough desserts for me and I had to whip these together.

They’re incredibly balanced between cookies and brownies with the flavor of brownies and a mix of texture between cookies and brownies. I had to use chocolate bars chopped up instead of chips to create nice chocolate pools in the cookies and boy was that a great decision! Also I love this recipe because it’s so easy and basic I didn’t even need a stand mixer!! I haven’t whipped any baked goods together recently without using my stand mixer but with a little bit of hand whisking, it turned out perfect! Highly, highly recommend making these simple but delicious cookies if you ever can’t decide between eating a brownie and a cookie!

Macaroons – Great British Baking Show Technical Challenge

Macaroons!!! These cookies are so simple and easy to make, I did it half asleep on a Sunday night. This post is going to be short and sweet because honestly, there’s not too much to say about this one.

I enjoyed throwing these together quickly and had just as much fun devouring them and thankfully they had chocolate in them to make them more exciting but I was a bit disappointed in the GBBO that they didn’t have something a bit more complex. You can find the recipe for these amazing cookies here and honestly, it could go into your mid-week sweet tooth craving arsenal because as long as you have the ingredients (which I don’t normally have coconut or sweetened condensed milk), you can easily have these ready to eat in a hour after you start!

The one “technically” challenging aspect to it was that my piping bag clogged up when I was trying to pipe the chocolate on top (kinda easy to see oops). But other than that, it was super easy and super fun to throw together and now I have a delicious treat for the next couple days!

Maple Brown Butter Shortbread with

Brown Sugar Caramel Sauce

Brown butter shortbread is the new standard for shortbread. I’ve made shortbread a few times before, most recently for my bouchon project (which has stalled a bit), and each time I always think about how much potential it has. Even at it’s buttery, flakey best, it’s still not something I’m going to go “yeah, I want to make THAT”. Well, all that has changed ladies and gents. I present to you, the maple brown butter shortbread.

Baking it in a sheet like this and not pre-cut shapes helps to keep the edges softer and more flakey

Adding browned butter that has solidified and caramelized the milk solids with maple syrup is all that it takes to take these cookies from tame, to one that you’ll devour as quickly as you can. They’re still buttery and flakey, but this time, there is a warm, nutty, rich flavor from the brown butter as well as flecks of finely diced caramelized milk solids throughout that add a nice textural component. One of the tricks that I was reading about is to not cut the shortbread into pieces until after they’ve come out of the oven. This helps to keep the edges softer and less baked, but lends towards a more flaky and buttery shortbread. Once out, I just used the longest knife I had to create rectangles that would be perfect for dipping into the caramel sauce that was on its way.

I mean just look at those flaky layers!

Once the cookies were out, and cut and cooled, I turned my attention to the brown sugar caramel before I completely forgot about what I was doing and just started eating shortbread (trust me, it’s going to happen you gotta fight it).

I was debating about having a thick caramel layer to sandwich in between the shortbread to make little cookies but then ultimately decided to make the shortbread their normal thickness so they wouldn’t get too brittle and over-baked. Instead, I made a more fluid (still thick enough) caramel with brown sugar that was super simple and incredibly delicious.

It’s just a simple matter of melting 1 stick of butter, then adding 1 cup of brown sugar in it to melt. Then add 2/3 cup of heavy cream (it’ll bubble up here so be careful), and then add a pinch or two of salt to finish it. Finally, just cook it down for a few minutes until it’s your desired consistency. Then voila! You’re done! Take your shortbread and dunk it in your caramel sauce until you go into a sugar coma and then repeat until finished, or at least that’s how I did it!

Here is the main recipe for the shortbread to get you going on your journey to sugary bliss!

Maple Brown Butter Shortbread:

Ingredients:
1. 2 sticks of butter to brown
2. 1/4 cup maple syrup
3. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
4. 2 cups all purpose flour
5. 1/2 tsp salt

Steps:
1. Place both sticks of butter in a sauce pan and allow to melt. Once melted, stir with silicone spatula and once bubbling/foaming beings, add in the maple syrup.
2. Continue cooking the butter until it has completely browned (but don’t burn it) ~5-6 minutes. Then pour into a heat-proof glass container and cover it before chilling it 1 hour or preferably overnight in the fridge until solid.
3. Take the butter out and let it completely come to room temperature before moving forward. The caramelized maple-milk solid component will likely be solid at the bottom of the container. Simply remove the two layers and with a knife, carefully chop and dice the caramelized layer until it is the consistency of wet sand before putting it into the mixing bowl with the brown butter and powdered sugar.
4. Beat the butter and powdered sugar with the caramelized milk solids until creamy and evenly distributed. Then sift flour and salt into the bowl and gently mix in to incorporate the flour. Do not over mix here, we don’t want gluten development.
5. Transfer the dough to a parchment paper and work it with your hands into a rectangle (roughly 8″ x 6″ with a ~1/2″ of thickness). Then wrap the dough carefully into cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 300F while the dough chills and then bake the shortbread as one whole sheet for 55-65 minutes until baked. Once baked, take out of the oven and let cool for a minute or two (not all the way) before slicing in desired shapes. Let pieces cool entirely on wire wrack until ready to use.

Sourdough Peach and Plum Galette

Galettes. One of the simplest and most delicious quick pastries ever. Free form pies can come together in no time at all with the most basic of baking supplies. All you need to make one of these is a bowl, and a baking tray. Now of course having other things like a food processor to help bring your pie dough together quickly is helpful, but galettes are truly the purest expression of rustic, sweet, deliciousness for me.

My crazy sourdough friends set challenges every month where we all create something with our own flair that fits the theme for the month. This challenge was to create something that incorporated fruit. Some people made loaves with fruit in them, or babka, but I knew immediately I wanted to make a galette. They come together so fast, and for my schedule, having a quick dessert is key. The trick with galettes as well as any pie dough is to keep everything as cold as possible. Cold butter incorporated throughout the pie dough is essential to create delicious flake once the galette goes into the oven. I was also very excited for these flavors because the plums and peaches were in season when I made this, which made snacking on the leftover sliced fruit a very delicious treat.

Once the pie dough was formed and chilled and the fruit was ready, I took it out, rolled it to the proper thickness (which I just eyeball) and then filled the center with as much fruit as I thought I could fit. After that point, I started to fold the galette into its classic shape, before dusting with a bit of buttermilk and some Demerara sugar before it went in the oven (pictured below is the mini personal one I made with the leftover dough since I forgot to take a before baking shot of the cover one).

The final step was just bake this bad boy and then top it with some fresh whipped cream before devouring it as quickly as humanly possible before I went to a workout (don’t recommend). This delicious treat never stood a chance with Amanda and I and even the bigger one only lasted a couple days before it was devoured entirely.

This was the sourdough pie dough recipe I used for this pie but for all other pies I use the following every time and it works out great!

Standard Pie Dough Recipe:

Pie Dough 

  • 1-¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes

MAKE THE DOUGH: Either place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, or into a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. If using a mixing bowl, use a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers to cut or rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture. Stir and fluff the mixture with a fork until shaggy clumps form. Pick up the large clumps and squeeze to test for moisture. If clumps hold together, transfer them to a work surface and continue adding tablespoons of ice water and stirring. 

If using a food processor, add the cut butter to the flour and pulse mixture until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Drizzle in ice water and pulse until the flour holds together. 

Gather the clumps of dough together on a work surface. If the butter feels soft, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before proceeding. If the butter still feels cold, knead the dough gently 4 or 5 times. If dough falls apart, return it to the mixing bowl and sprinkle teaspoons of ice water and mix with a fork until dough holds together when squeezed. 

Flatten the dough into a disk about 6 inches wide, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

%d bloggers like this: