Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Peach Ginger Cobbler


After going to the grocery store and putting away the groceries, I noticed that I had four  peaches in the refrigerator that I forgot I had.  My first thought was to make refrigerator jam. Instead, I decided to make a cobbler.  Since I didn't have enough peaches, I pulled out the blueberries that I had handpicked and frozen.  I thought peaches and blueberries would go together!  And, they do!!!  You can make this cobbler using 8-10 cups of any type of fruit that is in season with excellent results.

It is best to make this cobbler in a cast iron skillet.  I love my Lodge cast iron skillet.  I used to rarely use it but now I use it all the time.  I just used it last night for a pork chop dish with potatoes and onions and a delicious gravy with few ingredients. Covered and cooked on the stove top for 40 minutes. Delicious!!  

This is the one I use:  Lodge Cast Iron Skillet  If you plan on getting this one, it is already pre-seasoned, which I greatly appreciated :).  I found a great site that told me how to care for it.  I actually clean it with salt (yes, salt) and water (never use soap).  It cleans up so easily.  I dry it with a paper towel (you will see some black on the paper towel, which is fine).  I pour a tiny bit of olive oil on the pan and rub it in with the same paper towel I used to dry it and you are all set to go until the next time you use it.

Here we go with the recipe.  Enjoy!  


Ingredients


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1/8 tsp kosher salt 
   (I use Himalayan, which has a saltier taste, 
   so I use a less, but also has a pretty pink 
   color)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 3 Tbs, 
   divided
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger 
   (I store fresh ginger in the freezer & take it
    out 15 minutes before I need to slice off a
    piece)
3/4 cup Turbinado sugar)
8 cups of fresh peaches (skin on, 8 slices each peach) or 8 cups of fresh fruit in season
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
granulated sugar (or any type of sugar of your choosing)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease skillet with butter. I like to take a sandwich bag, place it on my hand like a glove, grab a bit of softened butter and butter the pan with it.  If you have some leftover, invert the bag and zip it closed.  You now have a ready-made bag to grease something else in the future.

Beat softened butter, brown sugar and salt in a mixer with paddle attachment.  Add flour until just mixed.  Place dough on a lightly floured surface.   



Roll dough to a 1/4 inch.  Cut out shortbread shapes using 2 1/2 inch cutters.  You can use only one or multiple shapes, as I did.  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.




Place ginger and 1/4 cup Turbinado sugar.




Pulse until well combined.


In a large bowl, add mixed ginger/sugar with remaining 1/2 cup Turbinado sugar.








Add lemon juice, fruit and remaining
 3 Tbs flour.   
















Mix until thoroughly combined.



Pour into the skillet.


Bake for 15 minutes.


Grate lemon zest over the top.



Take shortbread out of the refrigerator.  Brush egg white on each one and sprinkle with sugar (your choice).




Lay shortbread cutouts on top of the fruit.


Bake 17-20 minutes or until brown on top.  This will taste delicious warm with vanilla ice cream.


I had a lot of  leftover shortbread dough.  If you also have a lot of leftover dough, try this:  

Roll the dough out and cut out larger rounds.  Place a little spoonful of your choice of jam in the middle of one.  Place a second one over the top and press down all around the edges with a fork.  Brush egg white on the top and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes.  Keep your eye on the oven so they don't get too dark.




Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ginger Cake with Lemon Glaze





Wow!  It has been almost 2 years since my last blog post.  There was a lot going on in my life at the time.  I moved back to Pepperell, MA about 1 1/2 years ago into a townhouse and I absolutely love it!  I guess I got out of the habit of blogging.  I also miss baking so this will definitely get me back into it!  I know some of you might consider ginger a Fall/holiday spice (along with the other warm spices included in this cake) but I definitely think the lemon brightens it up and you can make this cake any time of the year.   Thanks Debbie Macomber for the recipe in your Cedar Cove Cookbook.


INGREDIENTS

Cake

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs plus 2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted  butter, 
   room temp, plus more for pan
1 1/4 brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups molasses
1 cup boiling water


Glaze

1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 Tbs heavy cream
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice, or more as
    needed
1/2 cup chopped, crystallized ginger or    2 Tbs lemon zest (or both) 
   for garnish







Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter and flour a 10-cup bundt or tube pan.



In a large bowl, whisk flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and salt until combined.





Here is something that I like to do that you might be interested in doing as well.  I have started purchasing some of my baking ingredients in bulk online.  I have also been buying better quality ingredients that you can't find in the grocery store.  The problem is they usually come in a plastic bag.  Even if you keep the ingredient in the bag, it will never stay as fresh as it should be.  I've started collecting containers that work perfectly for storing these ingredients.  I buy Vietnamese cinnamon.  It is not your grocery store cinnamon!  It is stronger, sweeter and richer.  Once you try this cinnamon, you will never go back.  Here is the perfect container to store bulk cinnamon:  Have you ever tried this gelato?  I've tried at least 3 flavors and they are all delicious.  And, the containers they come in are perfect to store my bulk ingredients.  I filled three of these with the Vietnamese cinnamon I ordered online.  The plastic is thick and sturdy and the cover screws on tight.  I love when I can recycle!!  Okay, back to the recipe :)


  

Beat butter and brown sugar in a larger mixer on high, until thoroughly combined. 




Add eggs and beat until thoroughly incorporated.





Add molasses and boiling water. 




Beat until well blended.





Fold in dry ingredients until just blended.








Pour the batter into the bundt/tube pan.  Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes.




Check with wire cake tester or toothpick until no batter sticks.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack.  Let cool for 30 minutes.  



Turn upside down and run a butter knife gently around edges and middle to loosen from pan.  Continue to cool on wire rack.





While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze.  Whisk confectioner's sugar, cream and lemon juice.  Adjust with more juice or sugar depending on the thickness that you prefer.  Drizzle over the top of the cake.  Sprinkle with lemon zest and crystallized ginger (or individually, if you prefer).














Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ginger & Spiced Whipped Cream Sandwich Cookies



Today is National Sandwich Day!!  I thought about making a literal sandwich and putting something sweet inside, i.e., Nutella, chocolate or honey.  I changed my mind and decided to stick with the theme of this blog and go all out with a sweet baked good.  I have some candied ginger in my pantry that has been there awhile.  I saw it at Trader Joe's and decided to buy it.  The problem is I couldn't think of how to use it.  Even though today is an abnormally warm day at 71 degrees, it is still Fall.  When I think of Fall baking I think of warm flavors such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.  To stick with the sandwich theme, how about Ginger cookies sandwiched with a spicy whipped cream. I chopped the candied ginger into small pieces and added it to the ginger cookie batter.   I tweaked this recipe by using less sugar to compensate for the candied ginger but I did not add any more salt because I used unsalted butter.  These are literally one of the tastiest cookies I have ever made.  Just perfect! Yum!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Leftover Halloween Candy Bark




Every year I have to guess how much Halloween candy to buy.  It didn't use to be that way.  I lived in a very large neighborhood in a small town for 18 years.  You know, the kind of neighborhood where the parents drove to the end of your street from other parts of town, or even out of town.  We had hundreds of kids (I'm not kidding).  I have moved a couple of times since then so when Halloween rolls around, I have to guess.  This is my second Halloween living in a very large apartment complex.  Last year I bought candy, thinking that I would get a lot of kids.  I didn't get even one single trick or treater.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Chocolate Biscotti


Today is National Chocolate Day!  There are a lot of specific chocolate days throughout the year, but this day is a day for whatever chocolate you want to eat.  This cookie is so chocolately and delicious.  It's not too sweet and goes perfectly with a hot drink.  I can see me (and, of course you) on a freezing cold, snowy winter day with a plate of these chocolate biscotti and (for me) a nice hot cup of tea.  I almost took a picture of how much I trashed my kitchen making this dessert.  Usually, I clean up as I go.  But, I made this particular recipe at 12:30 in the morning.  I did not ice the bottoms until the next morning.  Let me tell you, it wasn't a pretty site to walk into.  These are well worth it though :)