Tag Archives: Baking

Peach Galette

Even though both my grandmothers loved to bake pies, I always feared them and loved cake baking instead. Until, I found the Galette. They made me change my mind and this Peach Galette is no different. Both true masters at pie baking, but have different approaches for the pastry. Now that I am venturing more into pie making, I realize that my Grandma Flory prefers a flaky buttery crust, and my Grandma Lucy was more of a shortbread kind-of-girl. I find that depending on my mood (and the filling), I can do either. Both always ruled on one thing: rolling out the perfect circle with just the right excess around it to fold it in and make the best pie decorations. Grandma Lucy was more of a free style decorating: either with a fork or just pressing the sides of the pie crust with her fingers. Grandma Flory is a different story: she has endless pie crust cutters (apples, pumpkins, strawberries), and absolutely rules the lattice top on her Pineapple Pie.

Me, I am absolutely loving Galettes, and even more this Peach Galette. Galettes are like the first cousin of Pies. They are so forgiving. You don’t need to be exact in the shape when rolling out the dough. You need to place the fruit in a pretty design and just let the fruit do the work of looking pretty. You don’t need to add a top to the galette, since the pretty arranged fruit does its job. Sprinkle some sugar on the pastry crust. This will add a beautiful golden color and sweet touch to the dough. This open pie lasted just a few days at home. Store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap to avoid the galette drying up. If it dries up, you can brush a little mango or apricot jam on top! 

Since these peaches were extra juicy, I placed the galette in a baking dish rather than a baking sheet. But, if you want you can also bake it in a baking or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. That will make it easier to remove it and to clean up if the juices overflow. 

Kitty

Peach Galette Continue reading

Honey Spritz Cookies

I really wasn’t planning on baking spritz cookies this year. I’ve made them several times already, and they aren’t exactly the most flavorful cookie around.  A big plus for spritz cookies is that you get a ton of them from one recipe, which is handy if you’ve got plenty of cookie eaters around, and they are pretty which makes them a good choice for gift baskets.

I got Food Network’s December issue last month, and found this recipe. Honey Spritz Cookies sounded good to me,  they were definitely going to taste better than the regular kind, I thought.  I was right.  The added honey makes them bake to a deeper caramel color than you would get from the regular kind, and you do taste and smell the honey in there.  These would probably taste even better if you drizzle melted semi-sweet chocolate on top… if you have the time.  I opted for a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon.

Helga

Honey Spritz Cookies

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Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog cookies. Of course I had to try them this year!  This recipe was part of my cookie repertoir this year, which included Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies, German Chocolate Cookies, Honey Spritz Cookies and my classic Gingerbread Cookies. Both Kitty and I always prepare our cookie doughs days in advance and keep them in the freezer, that way the whole baking process is much easier. You bake when you’re ready and the dough is there waiting for you.  I had my daughter Kristen help me out this year, as usual.  But this year she really helped out and was with me in the kitchen on our entire day of baking…. which also included us building and decorating a gingerbread house we got from a kit. I’m really enjoying our time together in the kitchen!

These cookies have a delicate eggnog flavor, but it is still noticeable.  My tip for this recipe is to leave room between the unbaked cookies as these do grow and expand quite a bit.  When they cool off, they “de-puff” and the result is a thin, crispy round cookie. I put 10 on each cookie sheet and some of them did en up touching each other.  Also, watch for the timing.  The recipe says 20-23 minutes, but I kept mine in for as long as 28 minutes.  Keep an eye on them and take them out when they start turning golden brown around the edges.  And lastly, I did not sprinkle nutmeg on top but a mixture of sugar and cinnamon I have in a grinder. It’s a great tasting cookie, and a definite keeper.

Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog Cookies

Yield: About 30 cookies
Recipe from Social Couture

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Cream sugar and butter until light. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.
  6. Bake 20 to 23 minutes until bottoms turn light brown.

Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog Cookies

German Chocolate Cookies

I saw a photograph of this recipe and when I followed the link and found it came from the Disney Family page, I had my doubts.  I decided to try them out anyway, the recipe made sense. I went to the store to get all my baking supplies, and was about to grab the bag of pecans, when I checked for the price – Enter car break sound here -  Expensive!

Ok, so no pecans for this recipe.  I have a long list of ingredients for a lot of different goodies and meals I’ll be preparing for this season, and I need to keep my budget in check, so I just substituted almonds.  If you can find pecans at a reasonable price then by all means, use them.  This cookie recipe is a take on the German Chocolate Cake recipe, which contrary to popular belief, did not originate in Germany. Its roots can be traced back to 1852 when American Sam German developed a type of dark baking chocolate for the American Baker’s Chocolate Company. The cake is a layered chocolate cake filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting.

I used a tablespoon to scoop the dough into my baking sheet.  It is important that you press down on them to help their shape.  These do not spread out, or grow a lot as other cookies would, they just puff up a little bit.  As for the flavor: Fantastic!  They are chewy, coconutty and chocolatey.  They ended up being one of my favorites.

German Chocolate Cookies

German Chocolate Cookies

Yield: About 30 cookies
Disney Family

Ingredients
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (or almonds)
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1 large egg
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped or grated

Procedure

  1. Heat the oven to 350 and grease 2 baking sheets or cover them with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the coconut and pecans (or almonds) on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Set them aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set it aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, on medium speed, beat together the brown sugar and the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg, corn syrup, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat in the flour mixture, then use a rubber spatula to fold in the coconut, pecans (or almonds), and chocolate.
  5. Drop the dough onto the baking sheets by the heaping tablespoonful, spacing them a few inches apart, and use a table knife to flatten them slightly.
  6. Bake one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven, for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden all over and lightly browned at the edges (you may want to reverse the sheet from front to back during baking to ensure even browning). Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand a minute or two to let the cookies firm up, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool

German Chocolate Cookies

German Chocolate Cookies