As much as I love to bake, I really don’t love making pie crusts or other doughs like shortbreads because I have a terrible time getting the right consistency to the dough. When my grandmother taught me how to make a pie crust, she had this fantastic old pastry blender that looked a little like a wider, flatter whisk. But she told me that if I didn’t have one of those, I could use two knives or two forks to get “essentially” the same result when mixing butter into flour. Well, that knife and fork method just never worked that well for me and I usually ended up with a big sticky or crumbly mess.
Enter my new tool of the trade:
I recently received this beautiful new pastry blender as a gift and I have a feeling Thanksgiving pies will be a breeze this year. It quickly slices through squares of butter and distributes them throughout your flour mixture in no time. The handle is contoured so you have a nice little resting place for your thumb as you press down and the blades are just sharp enough to do all the heavy lifting for you. I am definitely one who believes in as little kitchen clutter as possible, but I’m sure this Tool of the Trade will be a helpful addition to my toolbox for years to come.
When I say Puff Pastry Palmiers, you probably think this is going to be an elaborate french recipe that requires tons of work. Au contraire, mes amis. This is one of the easiest recipes I have in my repetoire and it’s a snap to make any time your sweet tooth needs satisfying. Because this recipe relies on frozen puff pastry dough, the hard work is all done for you. Defrost one or two sheets in the fridge first, or keep a defrosted sheet on hand for this quick treat that is essentially homemade slice and bake.
Having semi-successfully conquered Celeste’s delicious stuffed bread, I decided to try my hand at some more yeast baking. Since this extended carnival season is starting to kick up, I thought it was more or less a no brainer to give king cake a try. The idea has been percolating in my brain for a little while now, ever since I saw this recipe posted over on Chef’s Lagniappe, a blog featuring recipes from Dickie Brennan’s restaurants.
Yep. It’s finally time for Cupcake to share a favorite cupcake recipe! But I can’t take the credit for this recipe. I found it on the Martha Stewart website a few years ago, and even good old Martha can’t take credit for this recipe. She credits this recipe to Sprinkles Cupcakes, the Beverly Hills cupcakery that seems to have started the whole cupcake trend. Candace Nelson at Sprinkles doesn’t seem to mind sharing though, and I certainly don’t mind borrowing! These Strawberry Cupcakes pack a double punch of strawberry flavor in both the cake and the icing. Keep reading for the full recipe and pictures. Continue reading
I love to bake. When I’ve had a rough day, I bake. When I want to celebrate something, I bake. When I’m bored at home, I bake. I really love to bake. My most recent baking project was the Barefoot Contessa’s Coconut Macaroons. Continue reading