Ummmm cheesecake – everyone’s favorite. But getting it to come out is another matter. Do you use a water bath or not? How do you prevent it from cracking? Or do you just give up and buy one? What if you could make a great cheesecake and not have to worry about the baking part? We’re not talking about just any cheesecake, but rocky road with chocolate, salted peanuts and marshmallows finished with a gravel top of peanuts and chocolate and caramel sauce? Now there’s no reason not to make one. Oh, and you can tell everyone you baked this perfect cheesecake and soak in all the compliments. No one will know this was a no bake cheesecake except you and me!! And I’m not tellin’!! Continue reading
Hand Pies have been around as long as people have been cooking. Anything enclosed in bread or pastry that can be eaten out of hand qualifies. It can be a turnover, English pasty, a calzone, or Russian pierogis. Every culture has a hand pie no matter what they call it.
While many hand pies are savory, sweet hand pies qualify and have been front and center of late. Any pie filling or sweet filling can be used as long as it isn’t runny. A number of pastries can be used but I particularly like this Mock Puff Pastry. The recipe has been around a long time. I remember seeing it first in the ’80’s. It combines two techniques – pie crusts and the laminating of doughs. This dough contains no water. It is held together with sour cream which makes a very tender, as well as tasty, pastry.
It is important when making the pastry to make sure the butter stays in pea size piece as in a pie crust. The pastry should not come together in the mixer. It should be removed as soon as it clumps together. It is pushed together into a cohesive dough on the work surface and rolled into a rectangle. I fold mine into what is called a book fold as has more layers than the traditional three fold laminated pastry. Continue reading
Orange Bread Pudding with Orange Cream Sauce is the type of dessert I once joked about. I was going to write a book named, “363 Bread Puddings and 252 Crème Brulees” because almost every restaurant in business serves these two desserts. But none of them comes close to this different take on everyone’s favorite dessert.
While technically any bread can be used, Challah or Brioche are my breads of choice for this bread pudding. Challah is the Jewish Bread rich in egg and braided. It’s very close to Brioche. Pecans and raisins work well with the orange flavor of the bread pudding. The Orange Cream Sauce accentuates the orange flavor while adding the perfect balance between sweet and tart. Continue reading
Every once in a while I get a hankering for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. So recently I had one. I don’t know if it was me or if the formula was changed but it seemed gritty and not at all smooth like I remembered it.
So I set out to capture the taste I remembered and low and behold, I think it’s better! And not only better, but really, really easy. For ingredients for the peanut butter and two for the chocolate. So there’s no excuse for not making these.
The small paper liner cups can be found in grocery stores, party stores, and kitchen stores. They need to be small and just fit the cups. It is ok if they rise slightly above the cups. Continue reading
I have been asked on more than one occasion how I write Pastries Like a Pro. It’s so automatic, I have never really given it a lot of thought. So basically it goes like this.
There are several scenarios I follow. When I knew I would be moving from my house of 47 years late last year, I worked furiously to finish my blogs almost through the month of February. I knew the day of the move was the start of an intense period of change for us and we both looked forward to it. But Wow! did I ever under estimate the time to get settled in and unpacked. The good news is, we are comfortable and loving our new home. But now it’s time to get back to a normal life and that includes blogging.
I usually set up my list for 3 to 6 months ahead. This is for self defense. I don’t want to get to Monday or Tuesday of the week and realize I do not have a blog for that week. It also helps me organize the blogs so I am not doing chocolate, or cakes, cookies or anything else too many times in a row. It often takes a simple shifting of blogs around to make the list more interesting. Continue reading