Tag Archives: spices

Time to Make Mincemeat

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

MincemeatThis Mincemeat is meatless and easily made.  Coming from England, it essentially consists of cutting up a lot of fruit and letting it age with citrus, spices, rum and brandy.  As the years have gone by, the meat has been removed and almost anything goes as far as what fruits to include.  This is my version but by far not the only one.  You can tell it comes from long ago when spices and alcohol were used as preservatives. Continue reading

Flavorings as Used in Baking and Pastry

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Meringue for Flavorings as used in Baking and PastryFlavorings are used to enhance, add to or change the taste of the base product, be it cake, cookies, sauces, yeast doughs, pastries, candies, etc.

Flavorings can come from extracts, emulsions, oils, compounds, powders, spices and herbs. Where to use what is another question. Each of these can be double or triple strength.  For professional baking purposes, we always checked to make sure they were bake-proof meaning the flavor would not disappear when heated. Continue reading

Hot Cross Buns Revisited

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally made during Lent.  Full of spices and raisins with a cross on top of the rolls, they are eagerly awaited during the year.  Hot cross buns are a welcome and tasty staple of Lent.   According to Wikipedia: “English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or mold during the subsequent year.”  Well, in my house they won’t last that long!

I posted these Hot Cross Buns five years ago but feel it’s worth repeating this season.

If you’ve never baked with a product by Sun-Maid called bakers raisins, you’ve missed the perfect raisin for baking.  They are moist and plump and don’t need any soaking to use.  A friend of mine introduced me a few years ago and I have been a fan every since.  I have included instructions for regular raisins that should be soaked to plump them before using in the Hot Cross Buns.   Continue reading

Honey Diamonds – A cookie? A small cake?

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Honey DiamondsHoney Diamonds were among my mothers unusual Christmas cookies.  I have no idea why we didn’t have them more often.  But Mom had a great collection of cookies served only at Christmas.  I have never seen most of them anywhere.  I noticed in years passed while blogging that for some reason, I have never shared Holiday recipes ahead of time.  I plan to rectify that this year as you will see them throughout the next few months.

A rare cookie with no shortening, these soft pillows of spiced chocolate are actually more little cakes packed with flavor that only get better when they sit. Its quick preparation is a boon to busy bakers and as a bonus they make the house smell wonderful while baking. Continue reading

Chocolate Spice Olive Oil Biscotti

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished PhotoChocolate Spice Olive Oil Biscotti cookies are an Italian specialty cookie that is a very  exciting recipe for me.  I love the combination of chocolate and spice and chocolate and heat which I combined here.  I first became acquainted with the spice combination from a cookie my mother made for Christmas, Honey Diamonds.  They contained no shortening and were soft and rolled in vanilla sugar.  I could easily eat the whole batch if allowed to. I have never forgotten the flavor and it is comfort food of the highest order for me.  I used the same spices for this biscotti plus a bit of cayenne for a marvelous warm finish.

Biscotti are twice baked cookies and come to us from Italy.  They are not too sweet and are simply addictive.  To make things better they are really easy to make. When we were shooting the photos for this blog, I looked at the number of ingredients in little bowls and almost panicked.  But then I realized you don’t have to put them in all these little bowls, so it isn’t nearly as bad as it looks!  The number of ingredients didn’t bother me, just the number of bowls.  This stretched my tiny bowl collection to the max. Continue reading