Tag Archives: walnuts

Quick Easy Versatile Rugelach Bars

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

Rugelach BarsThese Rugelach Bars came about as a result of the cookie for the book.  This is just an easier, quicker version of this special cookie. Continue reading

Quick and Easy Two Step Banana Bread

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

Banana Bread for Two Step Banana BreadI’ve often wondered if the first person to make banana bread actually started out to make it or if the bananas sat in a corner, got overly-ripe and something had to be done with them, which is usually what happens in my house. That doesn’t make it any less wonderful – just necessary.

This Two Step Banana Bread is great as a quick gift to someone on your list or to yourself.  it is sure to be well received and appreciated.  It’s also great to have tucked away in the freezer for those times you need to have a bit of something for drop in guests or as a morning treat for house guests.

Bananas are actually one fruit that is picked green and best allowed to ripen off the tree. Produce wholesalers often have “banana rooms” where the fruit is purchased really green and then ripened in these 70 degree rooms to a yellow color with green tips. Continue reading

Caramel Apple Tart

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

Slice of Caramel Apple TartCaramel Apple Tart is everything you would want in an apple dessert.  Full of apples, spices, brown sugar and brandy, it’s covered with walnut streusel and caramel.

So you ask, what is the difference between a pie and a tart?  The answer is essentially nothing significant.  A pie is quite often covered with a pie crust.  Tarts never are and are generally baked in fluted tart pans with removable bottoms – think quiche pan only deeper.

That’s where the streusel comes in.  Something has to go on top of the Caramel Apple Tart to keep the filling juicy.   The caramel that tops this particular tart gilds the lilly even more.  This  was a favorite with my wholesale clientele.  So much so that we would have two 24 quart containers of caramel going at once to satisfy the demand. Continue reading

Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobbler

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

Streusel Topped Blueberry CobblerBlueberry Cobbler is great anyway you eat it, but top it with a Walnut Streusel and it takes it to a whole new level.

It has been beastly hot in St. Louis and the last thing I wanted to do was get into the kitchen with a hot oven going.  We love cobbler
especially in the summer when so much fresh fruit is available.  I was looking for something that would highlight the fruit but was easy, quick and a bit different from the usual cobblers.  This Walnut Streusel Blueberry Cobbler fits all those requirements.

This is a combination of a streusel topping from an old standby sour cream coffee cake.  The blueberry filling is the sauce from the Lemonade Cake with Blueberry Sauce and the base of the cobbler is the Cream Biscuits which are the easiest, lightest, best biscuits I have ever made.  Layer them together and you have a fast and easy summer delight.  The blueberry filling is great served slightly warm over ice cream.  

The choice of a baking pan is up to you, but I like a glass pan for this as I can see if the bottom has lightly browned as this is about the only indication the blueberry cobbler has baked through.

This cobbler would be amazingly good with peaches also.  Just skin the peaches, slice and substitute for the blueberries.  I would use white balsamic vinegar and add amaretto liquor in place of part or all of the water.

Walnut Streusel ToppingIngredients for the Walnut Streusel Blueberry Cobbler

3/4 cup walnuts  (85 grams or 3 ounces)
3/4 cup brown sugar (150 grams or 5 1/3 ounces)
3 tablespoons flour (28 grams or ounce)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut up and cold

Place the walnuts in a food processor and pulse to chop finely. Remove from the processor. Set aside.Walnuts for the Walnut Streusel Blueberry Cobbler

Place the sugar, flour, cinnamon in a processor bowl. Pulse several times to mix. Dry ingredients in processor for Streusel Topped Blueberry CobblerAdd the butter and Butter added to processor for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobblerprocess until it starts making crumbs. Crumbs for the Streusel Topped Blueberry CobblerAdd the walnuts Walnuts added to crumbs for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobblerand pulse several times. Set aside.Finished streusel for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry FillingSauce ingredients for the Streusel
1/3 cup sugar (65 grams or 2 heavy ounces)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (340 grams or 12 ounces)

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan; Water, sugar and cornstarch in pan for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobblerstir in the water and balsamic vinegar and mix well. Balsamic vinegar added for the Streusel Topped Blueberry CobblerAdd the blueberries. Blueberries added to the pan for the Streusel Topped Blueberry CobblerCook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking and stirring for 1 minutes more. Set aside to cool.Cooked filling for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobbler

If the filling is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water to thin it out.

Biscuit BatterBiscuit ingredients for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobbler
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
(150 grams or 5 1/3 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 to 7/8 cups 40% cream

Preheat oven to 425F. If using a glass pan, Glass dish for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobblerreduce the oven to 400°F. Spray an 8×8 inch square baking pan. Set aside.

Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.  Blend together.  Dry Ingredients in bowl for the Streusel Topped Blueberry CobblerPour in 3/4 cup of cream in.  Cream added for the biscuit batter for the Streusel Topped Blueberry CobblerMix the dough.  Mixing the dough for the Streusel Topped Blueberry CobblerThe dough should be somewhat sticky.  If it is not, add the remaining cream in  1 tablespoon at a time.Biscuit batter for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobbler

Pat the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.Biscuit batter pressed in for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobbler

Pour the blueberry filling over the dough and spread out evenly.Filling spread on for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobbler

Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the cobbler.Streusel on for the Streusel Topped Blueberry Cobbler

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until the bottom of the biscuit batter is baked. Lightly cover with foil about half way or three-quarters of the way through baking to keep the top from over browning.

This is best served warm.

Serves 9.

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The Importance of a Base Recipe in Baking

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

Single cookie for The Importance of Base Recipes in BakingThis is a perfect base recipe for cookies as it can be adapted endlessly and can be put together in a matter of minutes.

When baking professionally a base recipe is not only desirable but necessary. It is impossible to have 40 chocolate cake recipes or one for every chocolate cake you ever made. We had about 6 but our work horse was the cake for the Espresso Fudge Cake.

We could combine endless fillings and finishes as well as baking the layers thicker or thinner depending upon what we wanted when we used a base recipe.

I first used this recipe in “My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies”. I listed the following points that make this cookie a favorite.

The cookies shown in this blog are the Orange Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookie listed below.

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