Posts Tagged Baking
When I decided to start offering cooking classes at our little guesthouses in the Flint Hills of Kansas, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I sort of figured that interested folks would go to one class and see what it was about and that would be that. But that wasn’t how is was to be. I have been very blessed that every time I offer a new cooking class, I have more people wanting to attend than at the last one! There seem to be two distinct groups who attend . . . my lovely regulars . . . and my ever-interesting newbees. In fact we are considering presenting one or two of our regulars with a perfect attendance award . . . but alas . . . the two top contenders have each missed one class! Perhaps a “Near Perfect Attendance Award” would be in order!
The classes are so much fun and exciting because the dynamics of the people attending is always different. Different levels of cooking skills and knowledge and . . . whooda thunk it . . . different people!
I don’t intend this as an advertisement but as friendly advice . . . if you are ever thinking about being in our area . . . Check our Cooking Class Schedule . . . see if it works with yours. You owe it to yourself to come to one of our cooking classes . . . it is soooo much fun!!
OK, enough about that. Let’s make some Mixed Berry and Thyme jam!
MIXED BERRY AND THYME JAM
PREP: 8 MINUTES
COOLING TIME: 1 ½ HOURS
SERVES – 1 ½ CUP
- 1 pound medium strawberries, hulled and quartered (about 4 cups)
- 8 ounces blueberries (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 a large lemon)
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours (the jam will continue to thicken as it cools). Refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.
Pretty Simple huh.
This jam is good on nearly anything. In fact one of my lovely people in one of our classes said: “This would be good on a roof shingle!”
I think that pretty well says it all!
As always, thank you so much for reading!
LA BREA BAKERY CHOCOLATE-WALNUT SCONES
PREP: 20 MINUTES
CHILLING TIME: 1 HOUR
BAKING TIME: 30 MINUTES
OVEN TEMP: 350 DEGREES
SERVES – 12
1 ¼ CUP TOASTED WALNUTS, DIVIDED
7 TABLESPOONS GRANULATED SUGAR, DIVIDED
2 ¾ CUP UNBLEACHED PASTRY FLOUR OR UNBLEACHED ALL- PURPOSE FLOUR
1 TABLESPOON PLUS 1 TEASPOON BAKING POWDER
PINCH OF SALT
½ CUP (1 STICK) PLUS 2 TABLESPOONS UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO 1 INCH CUBES AND FROZEN
1 CUP (6 OUNCES) FINELY CHOPPED BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE
1 CUP PLUS 2 TABLESPOONS WHIPPING CREAM, DIVIDED
¼ CUP CRÈME FRAICHE OR SOUR CREAM
1 TABLESPOON VANILLA EXTRACT
1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine 1 cup of the nuts with 3 tablespoons sugar and process until the mixture is the consistency of fine meal. Add 3 more tablespoons sugar with the flour, baking powder and salt and pulse to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off until the mixture is the consistency of fine meal.
2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the chocolate pieces. Make a large well in the center and pour in 1 cup whipping cream, the crème fraiche and the vanilla. Whisk the liquids together. Using one hand, draw in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The mixture will be crumbly.
3. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently a few times, then gather it into a ball. Roll or pat the dough into a circle 1½ inches thick. Spray the inside of a 1½ inch round cutter with nonstick spray and cut out circles, cutting them as close together as possible and keeping the trimmings intact.
4. Gather the scraps, press them back together and cut out additional circles. (If the dough gets too soft to cut refrigerate it for 15 minutes) lace the circles in groups of three on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing the groups 1 inch apart and gently pressing the edges together to form clovers. Freeze until firm about 1 hour.
5. Brush the tops with the remaining 2 T. cream and sprinkle with the remaining 1 T. sugar and ¼ cup ground nuts. Bake for 30 -34 minutes until light brown and slightly firm to touch.
These scones are very large and rich. In our second cooking class, because of the amount of food we prepared, we opted to bake these as each individual circle rather than the clover cluster of 3. This might be something for you to consider if you are serving these with other foods. If they will stand alone . . . I vote for the clover clusters.
For information about our upcoming cooking classes or for awesome accommodations in the picturesque Flint Hills of Kansas, Visit our Website!
This Citrus Compote with Honey and Golden Raisins is excellent served on its own for a weekend brunch, this compote can also be warmed over low heat and spooned over ice cream or sorbet. For the best flavor and most juice, choose pink, red or white grapefruits that are relatively heavy for their size and springy to the touch. The compote can also be made with tangerines, tangelos or blood oranges in place of the oranges and grapefruits.
Let’s get started!
CITRUS COMPOTE WITH HONEY AND GOLDEN RAISINS
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 15 MINUTES
COOLING TIME: 30 MINUTES
2 cups sweet dessert wine, such as late-harvest
Gewürztraminer, late-harvest Riesling, French
Sauternes or Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise
2 Tbs. honey
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup golden raisins
5 seedless oranges
In a saucepan, combine the wine, orange juice and honey. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and, using the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds into the pan. Add the pod and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the raisins. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Using a sharp knife, cut a thick slice off the top and bottom of each orange to reveal the flesh. Then, standing each orange upright on a cutting surface, cut off the peel and white membrane in thick, wide strips. Working with 1 orange at a time, hold the orange over a bowl and cut along either side of each segment to free it from the membrane, letting the segments drop into the bowl. Repeat this same technique with the grapefruits, using the tip of the knife to remove any seeds.
To serve, spoon the fruit into individual bowls. Serves 6.
Excellent served on its own for a weekend brunch, this compote can also be warmed over low heat and spooned over ice cream or sorbet. For the best flavor and most juice, choose pink, red or white grapefruits that are relatively heavy for their size and springy to the touch. The compote can also be made with tangerines, tangelos or blood oranges in place of the oranges and grapefruits.
As always, thank you for reading!
Tell your friends, we will be starting our series of grilling classes at our Lark Inn Cooking Classes in May. Visit our website to learn more.
Ever hear of tea and crumpets? At our “Lady’s Tea” cooking class at The Lark Inn we had tea and made wonderful crumpets. They involve a yeast batter and while they are not particularly difficult, they do involve a couple of extra steps to produce these delectable treats! Let’s make crumpets!
PREP: 15 minutes
GRILLING TIME: 7-8 minutes
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: CAST-IRON SKILLET OR GRIDDLE AND 4 CRUMPET RINGS OR 4 TUNA CANS
SERVES –12 CRUMPETS
2 cups (230g) unbleached white bread flour
1 2/3 cups (230g) unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 cups lukewarm water
3 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup lukewarm milk
Sift together the flours and cream of tartar into a large bowl. Mix the dry yeast, mixing the granules and the sugar with 3/4 cup lukewarm water and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining lukewarm water.
Mix the yeast mixture into the flour to make a very thick, but smooth batter, beating vigor
ously with your hand or a wooden spoon for two minutes. It should have the consistency of batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap
and let stand in a warm spot until the batter rises and then falls, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Add the salt and beat the batter for about 1 minute. Then cover the bowl and let stand in a warm spot for 15 to 20 minutes, so the batter can rest.
Dissolve the baking soda in the lukewarm milk. Then gently stir it into the batter. The batter should not be too stiff or your crumpets will be “blind” — without holes — so it is best to test one before cooking the whole batch.
Heat a very clean griddle or frying pan over moderately low heat for about 3 minutes until very hot. Put a well-greased crumpet ring on the griddle. Spoon or pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the ring. The amount of batter will depend on the size of your crumpet ring.
As soon as the batter is poured into the ring, it should begin to form holes. If holes do not form, add a little more lukewarm water, a tablespoon at a time, to the batter in the bowl and try again. If the batter is too thin and runs out under the ring, gently work in a little more all-purpose flour and try again. Once the batter is the proper consistency, continue with the remaining batter, cooking the crumpets in batches, three or four at a time. As soon as the top surface is set and covered with holes, 7 to 8 minutes, the crumpet is ready to flip over.
To flip the crumpet, remove the ring with a towel or tongs, then turn the crumpet carefully with a spatula. The top, cooked side should be chestnut brown. Cook the second, holey side of the crumpet for 2 to 3 minutes, or until pale golden. The crumpet should be about 3/4 inch thick. Remove the crumpet from the griddle. Grease the crumpet rings well after each use.
The only even slightly tricky part of the actual crumpet-making is that you have to remember to butter the crumpet rings (or tuna cans or whatever) very well inside and on the edges between each batch. When you’re ready to turn the crumpets, though the recipe suggests using tongs, it’s just as easy to use a flat knife to nudge the rings up and off the crumpets as soon as the outsides are solid. That way you can set them aside to cool so you can handle them as soon as the crumpets presently in the skillet or on the griddle are done.
Pour a nice cup of tea and enjoy your crumpets . . . slathered with butter and jam!
Thank you for reading!
CHECK OUR WEBSITE for availability of room at our next cooking class or availability of our get-a-way guesthouses in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
If you are going to have a tea, there are certain minimums which, in my opinion you have to include. The first is finger sandwiches (which we gave you the first recipe for a couple of posts ago) and the second is scones. This recipe for Toasted Oat-Walnut Scones is my mom’s and is the first of three different scones we did at our Lady’s Tea.
TOASTED OAT-WALNUT SCONES
PREP: 15 MINUTES
BAKING TIME: 12 – 15 MINUTES
OVEN TEMP: 425 DEGREES
SERVES – 8
1 1/3 CUPS TOASTED OATS (DIVIDED-1 CUP FOR DOUGH 1/3 CUP FOR TOP OF SCONES)
1 ½ CUPS FLOUR
3 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
¼ TEASPOON BAKING SODA (HEAPING TEASPOON)
1 TEASPOON CINNAMON
¼ TEASPOON (SCANT) NUTMEG
½ CUP SUGAR
½ TEASPOON SALT
1/3 CUP BUTTER
¾ CUP BUTTERMILK (IT MAY TAKE A 1-2 TBSP MORE)
¾ CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS OR CHOPPED DATES (OR ½ WALNUTS AND ½ DATES)
1 TEASPOON VANILLA
1. To toast oats place in 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt.
3. Blend flour mixture with butter, when the size of meal mixture, add oats then add walnuts and dates (if using).
4. Add milk and vanilla with rubber spatula until all liquid absorbs and all dough clings together.
5. Roll as for biscuits, ¾ inches thick, then scatter the 1/3 cup of oatmeal over top. Cut with biscuit cutter and place on parchment lined paper. Bakes at 425 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes
6. Alternatively – if you want scones to split easily, roll to 3/8 inch thickness melt some butter and spread on half and double the dough back over, then sprinkle on the oats and roll a little to right thickness – cut with biscuit cutter and bake at 425 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes.
Thank you for reading!
Spring is the perfect season to spend time in The Flint Hills of Kansas . . . the hills are super green and the sky as always . . . goes forever. CLICK HERE to learn more about our upcoming cooking classes, guesthouse stays and cooking weekend packages.
You can’t have a lady’s tea without tea sandwiches! At our “Lady’s Tea” cooking class at The Lark Inn we made three different tea sandwiches. They were all very simple to make and these Avocado-Green Pea spread sandwiches were no exception. This spread is also very versatile . . . I challenge you to experiment and find different uses for the spread. In the meantime . . . let’s make some sandwiches!
AVOCADO-GREEN PEA SPREAD
PREP: 10 MINUTES
SERVES – 6
INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS:
Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice.
Put the avocado, peas and lemon juice in the food processor.
Spread on whole grain white bread, top with radish slices and snipped chives or other vegetables and herbs. Put the bread together and trim the crust.
Cut in half diagonally to serve.
This is really good as a dip with radishes, carrots, zucchini or whatever vegetable you would like.
As always thank you for allowing me to share. VISIT MY WEBSITE for more information about Cooking Classes at The Lark Inn and killer get-a-ways!
The last cooking class at The Lark Inn was “Lady’s Tea”. We just had a fabulous time! We enjoyed wonderful teas, special appetizers, finger sandwiches and various types of scones. My next several postings will be sharing those recipes with you!
Light Thousand Island Dressing with Crispy Green Bean Appetizer
This recipe makes for a very nice dipping sauce for veggies and as we discovered at one of our “cooking class after parties” a very nice dipping sauce for nearly everything! It will pack a little bit of heat with the chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce. I only used one and the heat was perfect tending on the almost too warm side.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Light Thousand Island Dressing with Crispy Green Bean Appetizer
PREP: 15 minutes
SERVES – 10
- 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons nonfat milk
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt
- 1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 3 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
- 8 oz fresh or frozen green beans
Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the chipotle in a blender; pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the relish and bell pepper.
Prepare a large mixing bowl with iced water. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop the green beans into the boiling water for 2 minutes. After two minutes of boiling immediately remove the green beans and place them into the icy water. This will stop the cooking process of the green beans, retain the vibrant green color and preserve their crunchiness.
Arrange your dressing in a small glass or dish with the green beans in a fun and creative arrangement.
Thank you as always for reading and supporting these postings. What a blessing it is to do what I love to do and be able to share it with others!
For information about our next cooking class at The Lark Inn Guesthouses or a fabulous get-a-way/cooking weekend in picturesque Flint Hills of Kansas please, VISIT OUR WEBSITE. We’ll see you there!
Morning Glory Muffins are super easy to make and will delight anyone who tastes them. They are light, not too sweet and go perfectly with a cup of hot tea or coffee in the morning. Because they are so simple and tasty, I often make them for our guests at The Lark Inn Guesthouses. This Recipe may also be found in our recipe book: Wedding Week at The Lark Inn. Let’s make some muffins!
MORNING GLORY MUFFINS
PREP TIME: 15 Minutes
BAKING TIME: 20 – 25 Minutes
BAKES: About 36 Miniature Muffins
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 Cups Sugar
¾ Cups Canola Oil
3 Large Eggs
2-1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 (8 oz.) Can Crushed Pineapple, Undrained
2 Large Carrots
1 Cup Golden Raisins
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 15 minutes).
Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
Whisk together sugar, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla extract; fold in crushed pineapple and carrots.
Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Fold in toasted pecans and raisins.
Spoon into greased miniature muffin tins.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Thank you for reading.
The Lark Inn Guesthouses are starting to fill up for the summer. If you are thinking about taking some much needed time off just to relax and regroup . . . please consider us . . . you will be glad you did! Click here for information: THE LARK IN GUESTHOUSES
OK everyone, sit up and take notice. These brownies have quite a history; who knows how many zillions of pounds we have gained and lost because of these brownies! Also, I have actually received numerous marriage proposals from men in a brownie induced stupor/coma. Our rule is that my husband Pat is not allowed to be in the same room with buttermilk brownies . . . fresh or 5 days old . . . without adult supervision!
KRIS’ WILL YOU MARRY ME BUTTERMILK BROWNIES
PREP TIME: 15 Minutes
COOKING TIME: 20 Minutes
SERVES – 20 – 25
2 Cups flour
2 Cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda
2 Sticks butter/margarine
1 Cup water
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1-1/2 Cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick of butter/margarine
4 Tablespoons cocoa
6 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Box powdered sugar
Bring to boil: butter/margarine, water and cocoa. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients, add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla – mix well. Pour into a greased and floured large jelly roll pan. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.
ICE WHILE WARM!!!!
Slowly bring to boil: butter/margarine, cocoa and buttermilk, stir constantly, remove from heat and pour over the powdered sugar – beat well. Add vanilla. Spread on warm brownies, sprinkle nuts over icing.
Ladies beware! Even wearing your wedding ring will not be a deterrent to marriage proposals!
As always, thank you for reading. It is an honor to share my favorite recipes with you!
For information about our upcoming “Lady’s Tea” Cooking Class, please visit my website!
Also, spring is the perfect time to visit The Flint Hills of Kansas . . . the scenery is fantastic . . . accommodations are not full . . . you owe it to yourself! See The Lark Inn Guesthouses.
“The Flint Hills not only take your breath away . . . they make it so you can breath!”
William Least Heat-Moon
As I talked about yesterday, here is the missing recipe from our Knute Rockne dinner. These Sorghum-Glazed Baby Carrots are supper easy to make and they really help to round out our “vintage” dinner.
SORGHUM GLAZED BABY CARROTS
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 pounds baby carrots or small carrots (such as Thumbelina), trimmed, peeled, halved lengthwise
- 1 6″ piece of ginger, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/2″-thick rounds
- 1/2 cup sorghum syrup or honey
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 6 tablespoons bourbon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and sauté until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add ginger and sorghum. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in orange juice and bourbon. Return to heat; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are fork-tender, 5–7 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid has been reduced to a syrupy consistency and carrots are nicely glazed, about 6 minutes. Discard ginger. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enjoy your vintage Dinner!
As always, I thank you for reading my blog.
Visit my website for menus from our past Cooking Classes as well as information on my upcoming class: “Lady’s Tea”