Baking up a storm!

Cooking

Life has been a bit hectic lately, but that hasn’t stopped me from baking up quite the storm. It doesn’t help that I’ve fallen in love with the Great British Bake-off. Whenever I see someone making delicious food on tv, it always gets me excited to be in the kitchen. Hubby enjoys this, at least at first. After multiple sweet treats in a row… he may wish I’d stop watching such shows!

Baking Pies:

First I went through a pie making craze.

apple tart

Old fashioned apple tart.

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Apple Pie

British Apple Pie (Less sugar, no spices)

I used a British style pastry, which was so much easier to work with! It allowed me to practice some of my pie decorating without having to worry about it crumbling on me.

At our church, we do a monthly seniors luncheon. Well, this past month the lady who usually runs it was away and the lady who usually makes the desserts was terribly sick. I volunteered to make the pies since I was in this pie-making craze. I made 8 pies, 4 different kinds. Coconut cream, Apple, Custard, and Pecan. I’m told they turned out well.

Tasty Pies

A few of the pies.

BAKING OTHER THAN PIES:

I also made some blueberry muffins, pesto biscuits, and chocolate eclairs during this time. These were purely selfish bakes! 😊 I’ve tried a few different scone recipes as well, but don’t have pictures. Our favorite is a Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Scone. The Eclairs went over quite well with hubby. We may have eaten all twelve within 4 or 5 hours.

Baking

Blueberry muffins

Baking

Pesto Scones

baking

Eclairs!

The baking has settled down a bit… mostly due to an increase in my weight! But I still have a few more treats I want to try out. I just need to find some people willing to eat a few so that hubby and I don’t eat them all.

Volunteers?

French Macarons

Cooking

Have you ever attempted French Macarons? Or tried one? They are ridiculously delicious! This is another one of the desserts I learned to make from one of the Craftsy courses.

My husband absolutely loves them. So today I decided to whip up a batch and surprise him.

Of course, I had some help!

First, Lil Miss and I weighed out all of our ingredients. This is a recipe that can go very wrong if you don’t weigh everything accurately, and sometimes even when you do! 😳

Next, we layered our icing sugar and almond meal in the food processor and pulsed it until blended.

Up until this point, Mr. Moo had been napping. Of course, once he woke up he had to help too. My mother-in-law got this adorable Cars apron and chefs hat for him because he is obsessed with vehicles and cooking!

Next, we whipped our egg whites and cream of tartar until it resembled foam and there were no liquid eggs. Then we rained in our sugar slowly.

It takes quite a while to get this beat to stiff peaks. The kiddos started to lose interest around this point. Which was really for the best.

After the meringue is whipped it’s time to gradually fold in the almond meal/icing sugar mixture. In the course, you are taught to do this in three increments using a J-fold. Then comes painting the mix up the sides of the bowl a few times until it slowly slides down the sides.

Pop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe your circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Typically I use a template under my parchment, but today I freehanded it.

This next part is fun! Slam the pan on the counter six times, then punch the underside twice on each end. Then let the pans sit for a minimum of 15 minutes to dry a bit before baking at 330F for 11-13 minutes. The first picture is what they should look like, with a few that cracked or went a little wonky. The second shows when something has gone wrong. Not sure what happened to those ones today, but they still taste good! 😊

The Macarons need to cool 10 minutes on the tray before being moved to a cooling rack. While they cool you can make your filling. I’ve done a rosewater buttercream, salted caramel, and others but today we went for a simple chocolate buttercream. You just pipe some on a cooled shell, and top with a shell of similar size. Here’s our finished macaron.

They were enjoyed by all!

Want to try a Craftsy Baking course? Check them out here. Online Baking Classes

Naan Pizza

Naan Bread Turned Pizza!

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Have you ever tried making Naan Bread?

There’s a great recipe on All Recipes. I’ve made it multiple times now and have even used it as a pizza crust.

You start by proofing yeast.

Next, you mix in the dry ingredients and knead. Then allow it to rise until double in size. This takes about an hour. While you are waiting you can chop up your garlic. I just popped mine in the fridge until I needed it. Once your dough has risen you flatten it and knead in your garlic. Break your dough into golf ball size balls and allow to rise for another half hour. I have a cast iron griddle that is flat on one side and is more of a grill on the other; find one like it here Cast Iron Griddle – Amazon. About half to two-thirds of the way through the second rise I pop my grill onto the two burners and start preheating. When the dough has finished the second rise, you shape it and pop it on the grill. Brush butter on the exposed side and let it cook a minute or two before flipping and brushing butter on the cooked side.

Repeat until all of your dough balls are shaped and cooked.

To make it into a pizza, I preheated my oven to around 350 F. I then topped it with a bit extra butter and garlic powder. Next, I sautéed some veggies in a bit of oil and added salt, pepper, cumin, curry powder and turmeric to taste. Once my veggies were tender and aromatic I spread them onto my naan. We follow a vegetarian/vegan diet most of the time so instead of using cheese on our pizzas we sometimes take panko bread crumbs mixed with a little olive oil and spread that on top. You could season your crumbs with herbs or garlic powder as well. Bake for 5-10 minutes until the breadcrumbs have browned. Keep a close eye on it, so they don’t burn.

This makes a super tasty pizza! Tweak it to your tastes or top with your favorite traditional pizza toppings. It would also make excellent garlic fingers if topped with butter, crushed garlic, garlic salt, onion salt, oregano and nice gooey cheese,

What toppings would you put on a naan pizza?