Tag Archives: strawberry jam

A Baker’s Dozen Holiday Food Gifts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee for Holiday Food GiftsHoliday Food Gifts are always welcome and say you thought of someone in a very special way.  My family is dispersed and I don’t always know what to give them…..but I know what food they like so, this year, they are getting their favorite foods.

Each of these Holiday Food Gifts has something noteworthy about it.  Some are really quick and easy, others have unusual flavor combinations but all are worthy of being given as a gift.

I wish you all Happy Holidays spent with those you care about.

Holiday Food Gifts

Chocolate Chocolate Truffles – During the span of my bakery, we made thousands and thousands of these, especially for the holidays.  The centers are very creamy thanks to an easy trick. Chocolate Chocolate TrufflesSalted Macadamia Rum Toffee – Macadamia nuts are my favs and you will see them twice in this listing.  This Toffee is a perfect Holiday Food Gift that says luxury!Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee for Holiday Food Gifts

Hot Peppered Pecans – These are not for the faint of heart but they sure are special.  Less than 30 minutes and you have a great Holiday Food Gift.Hot Peppered PecansTJ’s Cowboy Bark – This is a super quick and fun gift that is within anyone’s reach to make.  Melt some chocolate, embed a bunch of fun ingredients and you’re ready to go.TJ's Cowboy Bark for Holiday Food Gifts

Garlic Oregano Cracker Bread – This is one of my favorite food gifts.  It is unusual and isn’t the normal candy or cookie. Garlic Oregano Cracker BreadSweet and Hot Macadamia Brittle – Macadamias again but any nut can be subbed.  This is absolutely addictive. Macadamia Brittle for Holiday Food GiftsCranberry Strawberry Jam – Perfect for the season and really easy to make.  Sure to be welcome wherever you send it.Cranberry Strawberry Jam

Hot Curried Party Mix – Another really quick and easy party mix based on the Chex theme.  This will disappear fast!Hot Curried Party Mix

Granola – Measure a few ingredients, whisk together the magic sauce, bake, stir, bake and you’re done!GranolaCheddar Pecan Shortbreads –  These last forever in a tin but they go in a hurry when served.Cheddar Pecan Shortbreads for Holiday Food Gifts

Strawberry Balsamic Jam – Strawberries benefit from a touch of balsamic vinegar to sharpen their flavor.  See if you don’t agree.Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Puff Pastry Crackers – Be sure to watch the video at the end of this super easy recipe.  As you’ll see I couldn’t stop laughing – actually, no one in the studio could!Puff Pastry CrackersCandied Orange Peel – An unusual gift for a favorite person.Candied Orange Peel

May is Fresh Strawberry Month

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

strawberry-bread.jpegWhile the month of May is designated Fresh Strawberry Month, you can hardly miss it as you grocery shop.  We love strawberries and eat them plain, on ice cream, in smoothies, yogurt parfaits, on cereal – any and every way.

Here are some past blogs that highlight this favorite fruit.  Almost all can be made ahead and only one requires assembly the same day.

There’s something here for every part of the day so enjoy fresh strawberries at the height of their season.

Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Granita

This is an easy dessert that goes especially well with grilling.  The best part about it is it is waiting in the freezer so you don’t have to miss a minute of the get-together.

Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte  Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte

An intense chocolate mousse covers oodles of fresh strawberries sitting on a chocolate cake base.  This can be made days ahead.

Chocolate Strawberry Pie chocolate-strawberry-pie.jpeg

This is one of the easiest pies you can make.  Just bake a pie crust, fill it with whole strawberries and top it with chocolate. All the perks of chocolate covered strawberries but easier to eat – and better with the pie crust.  Bake the pie crust the day before or early in the morning, then fill it and top it the day you serve it.

Strawberry VerrinesChocolate-Strawberry-Verrines.jpeg

A layered dessert with chocolate mousse, pastry cream, and fresh strawberries.  These can be made ahead for an unusual treat.

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam strawberry-jam.jpeg

The biscuits are the best ever but the refrigerator jam is the real star here.  As you can see I love the combination of strawberries, balsamic vinegar and black pepper.  I think you will too in this jam.  It is very quickly made, ladled into jars and stored in the refrigerator for months.

Strawberry Bread 
strawberry-bread.jpeg

The strawberry quick bread included in this quartet tastes of fresh strawberries since that is what is used.  I recommend the food coloring or the bread comes out a rather dull off color.

Easy Holiday Food Gifts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Truffles for Holiday Food GiftsFood gifts are always welcome, but even more so during the holiday season.  Every year the holidays arrive faster and faster.  No matter how I try, there is no way to slow them down.  When I was a little girl, time could not go by fast enough.  Now that I am no longer a little girl, it goes all too fast.

Many of us, including me, have people on our gift list that we want to remember. There is no better way to let someone know you appreciate them or what they do than with food gifts you make.  So I drew together a list of quick to make and wonderful to receive gifts that are not cookies.  Don’t get me wrong, I love making and giving cookies, but they can be time-consuming if you work or are just busy. Continue reading

Make Ahead Breads For Easter

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Easter is a special time of year bringing joy to so many people around the world and Easter breads are distinctive.  Breads are of particular interest during this holiday with many nations having their own bread associated with this holy day.  I have collected these breads, sweet and savory from previous blogs that should fit right in.  There are breads for breakfast, brunch and dinner and there is time to make any of them.

All of them can be made ahead and frozen to ease the time crunch for Easter Day.

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic JamCream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Jam for Five Make Ahead Breads for Easter are a quick to make treat that fits right into any part of the day.  With only four ingredients, this is the easiest, most tender biscuit you are likely to encounter.  The Strawberry Balsamic Jam is a fast, refrigerator version that serves as the perfect foil for the biscuit.

Southern by region, beloved by the country, these biscuits and the jam can be made ahead.  The biscuits can be frozen and reheated by placing on a tray and heating in a 350°F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.  The jam can be stored in the refrigerator and brought to room temperature before serving. Continue reading

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Jam

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry JamIn my years of baking and teaching, I have found that people are leery of making pie crusts and biscuits.  The one thing both of these usually have in common is cutting in the butter.  How about a recipe for the best biscuits ever with no butter – period.

This has to be the easiest biscuit recipe ever with only 4 ingredients.  Cake flour is used to ensure tenderness.  The cream takes the place of butter. When you think of butter, it is only cream that is whipped to a solid state with the liquid being spun out.  So the use of all cream makes perfect sense.

The dough will be a bit wet and that it as it should be.  I learned the traditional way of making biscuits from Shirley Corriher, a biochemist who wrote, Cookwise and Bakewise.  With Shirley being from the south, I can’t imagine a better teacher.  She stressed the importance of the dough being very wet so the steam created in a hot oven would cause the biscuits to expand to great heights. Continue reading