Tag Archives: easy

Pecan Bars

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photoThese Pecan Bars are one of the most used recipes from the Culinary Institute of America. I have seen various versions of these Pecan Bars but this one is the one we used in the bakery. The key is to boil the filling to 240 degrees or the filling will sag when it is cut.   Otherwise this is the easiest of recipes to make.

While the CIA cuts these Pecan Bars into diamonds, we cut them into bars or into squares to avoid any loss of product.  We used the squares for petit fours and they never failed to please.  The baked bars or squares may be frozen.

For these Pean Bars, I don’t toast the nuts before using them as they bake in the oven.  Make these once and I’m sure you will be adding them to your favorites  list. Continue reading

60 Second Brioche

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Fiinished photoThe title, “60 Second Brioche” (pronounced BREE-ohsh) comes from the article title as it appeared in Bon Appetit Magazine.  While it takes a few minutes to prepare the ingredients, it does indeed come together in about sixty seconds in the food processor, making it the fastest brioche around.

In my first book, “The New Pastry Cook”, the theme was to take a basic dough and make 10 to 12 items using that dough. When I first started learning to make the classic doughs I thought it a shame to spend the time to learn them and then use them for just one or two things.  In the Bon Appetit article, they used the 11 recipes I developed for my book and an additional one I developed for them as they wanted an even dozen.

I learned to make many of the traditional French pastries from Andre Gotti, a marvelous French pastry chef.  After I learned the traditional method, I became a consultant to Cuisinart specializing in pastry using the food processor. I modernized many of the traditional French techniques without sacrificing quality. Brioche was among them. Continue reading

Chocolate Strawberry Pie

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Strawberry PieIf you love chocolate covered strawberries this Chocolate Strawberry Pie is the one for you.  Gorgeous looking and delicious, it is a snap to make.

A blind baked pie or tart crust is another basic technique of pastry. Essentially it is a baked crust with no filling in it.   While not difficult,  a few pointers will give you a perfect crust every time. While these pointers will apply to any crust, the one I have used is mine.   I have no idea why it is referred to as blind baked.  So if anyone knows, please tell me.

While we no longer have Big Boy restaurants in my area, I, like Rose Levy Beranbaum, remember their strawberry pie.  I would rather have eaten that than anything else I can remember at the time.  It was a simple pie consisting of a baked pie shell into which fresh strawberries were placed standing up and the whole was covered with a sweet, shiny glaze. I swear I can still taste it. Continue reading

Tropical Shortbread Cookies

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photoThese delightful, thin, chocolate coated Tropical Shortbread cookies are of the European variety and couldn’t be easier to make.  The method of putting them together is a bit unconvential and the ingredients, or lack of them, is interesting.  The cookie uses no egg, depending instead on butter to hold them together – a true shortbread cookie.  Powdered sugar is used as opposed to granulated and not much of that.  European cookies are generally, much less sweet than their American cousins which lets the flavors really come through.  These particular cookies are actually best eaten the day or days after baking and coating. Continue reading

Quick Macadamia & White Chocolate Brownies

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Lightening Fast BrowniesHonestly, these Quick Macadamia and White Chocolate Brownies come under the category of embarrassingly easy to make.

So easy in fact that when my grandson was five, he  made these.  He kept whisking and whisking and as we neared the end, he looked up and offered, “These are really hard, grandma.”  But whisk away he did and was very proud of the baked brownies. They are mighty good just by themselves.  Or, maybe with a scoop of ice cream and fudge sauce! Continue reading