Huckleberry Bagels



HUCKLEBERRY BAGELS watermarkChewy on the outside and soft on the inside, studded with little wild mountain huckleberries – these bagels will not be found in the bakery section of your local grocery store! Nope…you’ll have to work for these babies.

If you live near mountains where huckleberries can be found, put on your hiking boots and grab your bear spray, because trust me…they are worth every back breaking, ankle twisting, bear encountering, mosquito biting moment. They truly are!
huckleberries
If you don’t have access to them, frozen huckleberries can be purchased on the Internet. They aren’t cheap, but they’re so flavorful that just a few berries can really make a flavor statement in a recipe. Of course you can substitute blueberries instead, and still have a wonderfully delicious batch of bagels.

Bagel dough is very VERY easy to make, and the rest of the procedure is a lot of fun. This is a bit of a shortcut version, since I’m always too eager to get warm bagels to opt for the “rise overnight” method. I also was a little reluctant to go with the lye bath; nor did I think my readers would want to try that. But either I’m not much of a connoisseur or I’ve never tasted an authentic New York bagel, because these tasted plenty good to me!

Huckleberry Bagels - The Rowdy Baker

To make bagels you take a simple yeast dough, let it rise, divide it into 8 pieces, (or 12 if you like sissy bagels) boil them, and bake them. Of course I had to complicate things a bit by adding huckleberries, especially since I didn’t have dried huckleberries which would have been a slam-dunk. I used frozen huckleberries and had to do some fancy footwork to keep them from turning the bagels purple. Here’s what I did:

Heat berries and strain them. Don't mash!! Be gentle.

Heat berries and strain them. Don’t mash!! Be gentle.

I put a cup of frozen huckleberries in a bowl and microwaved them for 1 minute. After stirring, I microwaved them for 1 more minute. This softened them so they would release some of their juices. The berries went into a strainer over a small bowl until they were cool. The juice was set aside for making huckleberry butter to top the bagels, and the berries (strainer and all) were set in the freezer while the bagels were being made. When I was ready to use them, I took them from the freezer, broke them apart, and dredged them in a tablespoon of flour. They weren’t mixed into the dough, they were added at the very last, right when the bagels were being formed. Worked like a charm!

Not that I wouldn’t have wolfed down purple bagels, of course.

Cream cheese is lovely to top bagels with. Butter is tasty too. But best of all is huckleberry butter. I made my own butter for this, but you are welcome to use regular butter. To make it, add enough water to the reserved berry juice to make 1/4 cup of liquid. Put it in a small pan with 3 tablespoons sugar and bring it to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook and stir for 1 minute. Chill. Beat 1/4 cup room temperature butter with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Add as much of the chilled berry syrup as you’d like. The color will get pretty vibrant if you add it all, but OH, the flavor! If it isn’t thick enough, add a little more powdered sugar. That’s it!

Cream separating. It's okay - this is what you want! BUTTER!

Cream separating. It’s okay – this is what you want! BUTTER!

Now…just for fun, you could do it my way. I admit, this was less because I’m a purist and more because I was out of butter, but I think I’d do it this way again; the butter is so sweet and good. To make homemade butter, simply put 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a small bowl and beat it on high with an electric mixer until it looks like it’s curdled and liquid appears in the bottom of the bowl. (I used a wimpy mixer and it still only took about 5 minutes.) Strain out the liquid (that’s buttermilk, folks!) and stir with a spoon, pressing and mashing gently. Again, pour out liquid. Cover the butter with cold water, mash a few more times with a spoon, strain out the water, and *voila!* you have butter. Add a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of powdered sugar, and berry syrup and mix until combined.

Oh, beautiful huckleberry butter...where have you been all my life?!

Oh, beautiful huckleberry butter…where have you been all my life?!

You’re WELCOME!

Before I give you the bagel recipe, I need to make a disclaimer. If you noticed that my finished bagels were a little dimpled, I have to admit I did something kind of brainless. I knew better, but it’s been a while since I’ve made bagels, and hey – it happens. I put the egg wash on the bagels before they rose, instead of after they came out of their bath. It probably kept the crust from forming, which made them look a little different, but they tasted great and were nice and chewy. Just not as crusty on the outside as usual. So if you like soft bagels, you might want to try my new “method”.

Huckleberry Bagels
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Author:
Makes 8 large or 12 small bagels
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen huckleberries
  • 1¼ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon flour to dredge berries in
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 egg, and 2 teaspoons water for egg wash
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, heat berries in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Place in a strainer over a small bowl to drain. Don't mash them. When all of the juice has drained into bowl, place the berries in the freezer (it's easiest just to leave them in the strainer) and set the juice aside if you plan to make huckleberry butter. (See below)
  2. In a large bowl (a stand mixer is best) combine the water, white sugar, and yeast. Let it sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Using your dough hook, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and 2 cups of the bread flour. Mix well.
  4. Add the remaining flour and knead by mixer for 7-8 minutes, or by hand for 8-10 minutes. Bagel dough should be very elastic and shouldn't break apart easily when you stretch it.
  5. Form dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow dough to rise until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Punch down dough and on a lightly floured surface, separate into 8 (or 12 for smaller bagels) equal pieces.
  7. Remove berries from the freezer and dredge them in 1 tablespoon flour, breaking them up as you work. Shake out the extra flour.
  8. Flatten one piece of dough at a time and sprinkle with berries. Bring the edges up toward the center and pinch to close.
  9. Turn the dough over so the pinched side is on the flat surface, and pull the ball of dough towards you, tucking sides under a little as you pull. This will create a very round, uniform ball of dough. Push your finger through the middle to create a hole, and then with both thumbs in the hole, twiddle your thumbs until a large hole is created. Try to keep the bagel as uniform as possible, but don't worry if a berry or two peek out of the middle. Bagels are rustic, not perfect.. Repeat until all bagels are formed, Leave them on the floured surface, covered with a towel, for 30 minutes.
  10. While the bagels are sitting, Preheat oven to 450 F. and lightly grease a baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal.
  11. When the 30 minutes is almost up, fill a very large pot half full of water. Add 1 tablespoon baking soda and bring to a boil.
  12. Drop bagels into boiling water in batches, a few at a time, giving them enough room to move around without touching the other bagels. Let them boil for 90 seconds on each side, then gently remove one at a time with a slotted spatula, let it drip over the pan, and set it on the prepared baking sheet. They can go fairly close together since they won't rise while baking.
  13. Whisk the egg and water together and brush the top of each bagel.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a rich golden brown.
  15. Move to racks to cool.
  16. ***
  17. To make huckleberry butter, boil ¼ cup of huckleberry juice (add water if necessary) with 3 tablespoons of sugar, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring for 1 minute. Chill mixture. Beat ¼ cup soft butter with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and add as much huckleberry syrup as desired. Beat until combined.

 

Dough is ready to rise

Dough is ready to rise

Dough, risen and ready to shape

Dough, risen and ready to shape

Pull edges of dough up over the berries

Pull edges of dough up over the berries

Give it a pinch or two and flip it over.

Give it a pinch or two and flip it over.

Scoot the dough, creating a round ball.

Scoot the dough, creating a round ball.

Poke a hole in the middle.

Poke a hole in the middle.

Use both thumbs and twiddle!

Use both thumbs and twiddle!

A steamy hot bath...

A steamy hot bath…

A little egg wash

A little egg wash

...and bake them to a glorious, shiny brown.

…and bake them to a glorious, shiny brown.

Huckleberry Bagels

Huckleberry Bagels

I love these toasted, with a thin scraping of butter. Oh, who am I kidding? I love these slathered in cream cheese, huckleberry butter, regular butter, or even plain. I’ll eat them stale!

I hope you’ll give them a try. Maybe I’ll see you in the woods!
Lorinda

Star Spangled Cookies

Each month a group of crazy food bloggers gets together to make theme-related recipes. This month we’re running with a rousing patriotic Red White and Blue theme! After you’ve read this post, click on the links at the bottom of the page to see what the other gals have come up with. There are still a few to come, so check back every morning for the latest creation.

Can you hear the John Philip Sousa march playing in the background? Smell the burgers on the barbecue? See the kids lined up at the fireworks stand? Independence Day is right around the corner, and do I have a fun recipe for you! Kids will love to help with this one. Presenting…Star Spangled Cookies!



Star Spangled cookies I used cinnamon Jolly Ranchers for the red cookies. You’ll find lots of hard red candies to choose from, and may prefer cherry or strawberry flavors. Your biggest challenge will be finding hard blue candy. I used Dum Dum suckers from the dollar store, but found that there was blue and then there was blue.

My first batch turned green when they baked. Apparently blueberry flavored suckers held their color, and blue raspberry didn’t. I recommend that you test one or two cookies first, just to be sure they’ll turn out a nice, patriotic blue. Red white and green just doesn’t have the same impact. Unless you’re Italian.

I have two more options for you. I tried baking the cookies until they were almost done and then pulled them from the oven and VERY carefully dropped the crushed candy in the centers, returning them to the oven just until the candy was melted. That worked quite well. The candy didn’t cook as long, so it didn’t get that amber tone to it. (Yellow + blue = green, as I found out.)

The other option is to make your own hard candy. It’s really very easy to do. Here’s a simple hard candy recipe from Lorann Oils. I would recommend making the candy, letting it harden, and crushing it. Pouring hot candy into the small star centers would be very tricky. If you have better hand-eye coordination than I do, you might be able to pull it off. I’d make a mess of that!

Whoops…did I say two options? I have one more, though it’s a little artsy-fartsy. I think it’s pretty, and you could mix colors this way too. Bake your cookies and as soon as they’re done, add the crushed candy. The heat from the cookie and the baking sheet will partially melt the candy. It won’t be smooth and flat, but as long as the candy is touching the sides of the cookie in a few spots, it will stay put. Kind of interesting, huh?

This is fun, too!

This is fun, too!

I used a strong freezer bag and a hammer to crush my candy. It worked like a charm and got some of that aggression out! Star Spangled Cookies horizThe cookie itself is a sturdy shortbread. If you have a favorite sugar cookie recipe that doesn’t spread too much, that would work well too. You’ll need two star cookies, one large and one smaller. Here’s my recipe and easy instructions.

Star Spangled Cookies
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Author:
Festive, summery shortbread cookies with a stained-glass candy window in the center. Makes about 36 cookies, depending on the size of your cutters.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (clear vanilla, if you have it)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup crushed blue hard candy
  • ½ cup crushed red hard candy
  • For decorating: ½ cup white chocolate chips, sprinkles, nonpareils.
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl (a stand mixer is best) beat the butter and powdered sugar together until creamy.
  2. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Add the flour and cornstarch. Mixture will be stiff - switch to a dough hook or stir by hand if necessary. Cover and chill for one hour.
  4. Heat oven to 350 F.
  5. Roll dough out to ¼-inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Using a large star cookie cutter, cut out stars and place them on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  6. With small cookie cutter, cut a star out of the middle of each.
  7. Carefully put enough crushed candy in the center of each cookie to cover the parchment, but don't overfill or it will bubble up the sides. Use a toothpick to distribute the candy evenly. Make sure there are no little bits of crushed candy on the cookie dough. (Use the toothpick to flick them down where they belong!)
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes. Place baking sheets on cooling racks and let the cookies cool completely.
  9. Drizzle the cookie with white chocolate or royal icing if desired, and sprinkle with sugar decorations.

 

Here's what you'll need (plus fun decorations)

Here’s what you’ll need (plus fun decorations)

Distribute the crushed candy.

Distribute the crushed candy.

Just think of how pretty these will look in a basket on your picnic table this Fourth of July. They’ll be a hit with young and old alike. Now strike up that band and march over to these blogs to find some other great recipes!

Lorinda

Devilish Buffalo Eggs From Tampa Cake Girl.
(deconstructed) Berry Pies From An Affair from the Heart.
Double Decker Patriotic Pizookie From Cooking From a Stay at Home Mom.
Berry Pound Cake From Moore or Less Cooking Blog.
Red, White (chocolate) and Blue Trifles From Aunt Bee’s Recipes.
Red White and Blue Berry Poke Cake From Crumbs in My Mustachio.

Fly on the Wall – June

 

Fly on the Wall

Each month a group of bloggers gets together to write about the little things that happened in their homes that you’d only know about if you were a fly on their walls. This month there are 15 of us, so you have your choice of drama! As for me, I’m not happy with you at all, little fly.

This month, I have a bone to pick with you. Why can’t you earn your keep instead of being a freeloader on my wall? Now I’m going to have to buy some ladybugs to help out with the bug situation in the garden. You can eat poop, right? Then WHY can’t you eat Colorado Potato Beetles? Or at least the eggs. Here I am, welcoming you into my home every month, and you won’t even help out? Pfffft.

colorado potato beetle PUBLIC ENEMY

These little guys are back this year. It was an ongoing war last gardening season, with hundreds and hundreds of beetles picked off the potato plants by hand. They were moved to a bucket of soapy water lovely house with a pool. It appears this year will be more of the same. Picking off the bugs is the easy part (if you don’t consider my permanent stoop from bending over like that). It’s those darn eggs they lay under the leaves. Hard to find, and when you DO find them they have to be (eeeeeuw) squished. Ugh.

This is war. WAR, I say!

fly1gifcropped
I belong to a Homemakers Club, which is something you probably won’t find if you live in the city. Here, it’s a thing. We have a token youngster or two, but most of us are well past middle age, with many women in their 80′s and even a couple of ladies in their 90′s. I love them all dearly, but as you can imagine, our meetings are pretty sedate. Uneventful…

Until the last one.

For an activity, one of the ladies was showing us how to fold hand towels like they do on the cruise ships. My partner and I were given instructions for making a monkey, and after 10 minutes of frustration I gave up. She tried a little longer, but we both finally admitted defeat, though we got a lot of laughs out of the attempt. One lady was making a swan. She held it up for all to see, and either I was the first to notice, or just the first to say it out loud, but it looked exactly like…well…something that could have used a little blue pill.

I started laughing and delicately choked out something about a “phallic symbol”, worried that I would shock some of the more elderly members. I obviously didn’t give them enough credit, because let me tell you…that thing made the rounds! Everyone at our table had to have a turn playing with it, posing it in different ways. Hysterical (and surprisingly earthy) conversations made for a refreshingly fun meeting!  And everyone thinks we just read minutes and have bake sales. Hah!

fly1gifcropped

Anyone who knows me well would describe me as “organized”, “meticulous”, “efficient”…even “tidy”.
Excuse me while I clean up the wine that I just snorted out my nose!
I thought you might want to take a look at my awesome filing system. You know, for bills, receipts, etc.
Behold, my purse. It’s not a big purse; I bought it at a children’s store! It was, however, getting a little heavy. Makes for a sore shoulder, you know?

My poor, little, abused purse.

Here is what came OUT of that purse. I haven’t had the courage to sort through it yet. I’m pretty sure I will find grocery lists ranging from yesterday back to Christmas. The Man wanted me to plant some funny stuff in there, but I think this is horrifying enough.

My purse, deconstructed.

My purse, deconstructed.

You know what’s really bad? I have a similar purse hanging in the closet that should be thrown away, but I haven’t done that because it has all of my 2012 “filing” in it.

I need an intervention.fly1gifcropped

Three weeks ago I took a picture of the garden after the tomatoes were planted. The rows looked nice and clean, with very few weeds…so glad I took a picture of that, just as a wonderful, wonderful memory. June bites me on the butt every year. I get stuff planted and then the weather takes a dive, with torrents of rain, thunderstorms, hail…you name it. So while I’m huddling inside and the veggie plants are sulking outside, the weeds are taking advantage of the water and cool temperatures and exploding. By the time the sun comes back and I go out to survey my beautiful garden, the weeds have taken over. Every.Single.Year. I fight a good battle but never, ever win the war.

Today I worked on the onions. Here is what I got weeded:

So pretty after they've been weeded.

So pretty after they’ve been weeded.

And here is what I have left to do:

There really are onions between those weeds!

There really are onions between those weeds!

Pray for me.

fly1gifcropped

I love getting mail. Well, real mail that doesn’t have “final notice” printed on it in red, or “Lorinda, please come back to us” on it. So when I got an unexpected package in the mail from my friend Mary, I was really excited…and rightfully so! She brought THIS back from her vacation to Hawaii. 036

She and I now have two matching Christmas tops! There is nothing she could have brought me that would have been more thrilling (well…maybe a huge box of those chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Are you getting this Mary?) because I rock Christmas shirts.

If you were following me last Christmas, you’ll know that I have enough Christmas shirts to wear a different one each day of December – kind of like a Nativity calendar. That is, I did have that many, until my evil daughter made me throw away the one with the fake collar. I admit, it was pretty lame.

So now I’m back in action. And do you know what????

Plugin supplied by Your Christmas Countdown

Bwa ha ha ha. Only 187 days left ’til Christmas!

It’s pretty much been all work, no play this month. But next month my grandkids will be here visiting, so I should have LOTS of great material for you. For now, here are some other places to buzz by and check out. See you next month!
Lorinda

Baking In a Tornado
Just a Little Nutty
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
Spatulas on Parade
Stacy Sews and Schools
The Momisodes
Someone Else’s Genius
Battered Hope
Menopausal Mother
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Juicebox Confession
Black Sheep Mom
Go Mama O
elleroy was here

GINger Lime Buzz



GINger Lime BuzzYou know I’m all about baking. I seldom branch out into the world of meals and liquid refreshments, though of course I indulge in both regularly.  I made an exception today, because I wanted to create a drink for a good friend, Cydnee of Tampa Cake Girl and was shocked to find that I not only liked it, I LOVED it.

And here I thought I hated gin.

I’m on a bit of a ginger kick right now, so it features prominently in this drink. If you’re wild about ginger, add up to a teaspoon of juice. And if you’re wondering how to get ginger juice, you can either process it in a food processor and press out the juice in a sieve, or scrape the peel off with the edge of a spoon and grate the ginger, then press it through a sieve. Do NOT do what I did last night and squeeze a handful of grated ginger with your bare hand. I don’t have any lasting scars, but I can tell you I had a hot hand for hours!!!

I also recommend that you process a whole lot of ginger juice. It can be frozen in a bag and little pieces can be broken off whenever you are hot and sweaty and MUST have one of these!

GINger Lime Buzz
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Author:
Serves: 1
Tart and fizzy and completely satisfying on a hot day! Leave the ice in if you wish, but you might want to compensate by using a little more gin. *wink wink*
Ingredients
  • 2 ice cubes
  • ½ teaspoon ginger juice (from fresh ginger root, grated and pressed)
  • Juice from one Key lime
  • 1 ounce lime flavored gin
  • lemon-lime soda to taste
Instructions
  1. Place ice cubes in a glass
  2. Pour the ginger juice, lime juice, and gin over the ice cubes.
  3. Stir well to chill the liquids, and remove the ice.
  4. Add soda to taste

Happy summer!
Lorinda

Sugar Cookies – Straight Up!

My father liked his cookies just the way he liked his martinis: straight up! He’s been gone for years now, but Father’s Day (closely followed by his birthday) is coming soon, which always makes me nostalgic.



Here's to you, Pop!

Here’s to you, Pop!

So I’m bringing you his favorite treat, my grandma’s Sugar Cookies. No sprinkles, no frosting. But just as a martini needs an olive, he insisted that this cookie needed a single raisin right in the middle. I’ll admit, I like to put a very thin sugar glaze on mine, or a light dusting of sugar, which doesn’t overpower the sugar cookie experience at all. But I’ll leave that up to you.

Glazed, sugared, or adorned with a raisin...your choice!

Glazed, sugared, or adorned with a raisin…your choice!

These aren’t crunchy sugar cookies that can be cut into shapes; they’re soft and sweet and puffy. For Christmas and Dad’s birthday I would make four or five different types of cookie dough and freeze cookie-sized scoops of dough in zipper bags. Dad loved being able to bake a few cookies at a time. But without a doubt, the sugar cookie dough was eaten first! Sugar cookies glazed horizontal

Here’s Grandma’s recipe. Don’t leave out the nutmeg – it really adds a lovely, light flavor. And yes, Grandma…I measured my ingredients. Pretty much.

Soft Sugar Cookies
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Author:
No bells or whistles - these sugar cookies are the real deal. Soft, tender, and sweet. A little plain, but that's what makes them so charming. Add a thin powdered sugar glaze when cookies are cool, or sprinkle them with sugar before baking if you'd like. Makes about 4 dozen.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4¾ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Raisins
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  3. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg.
  5. Beginning with the flour mixture, and ending with the sour cream, add alternately in three increments to the creamed mixture in the bowl. Cover and chill for an hour (or more).
  6. Heat oven to 375 F.
  7. On a floured surface or between two pieces of parchment, roll the dough out to a thickness of ¼-inch. Cut into circles using a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press one raisin directly in the middle of each cookie. (Sprinkle with sugar if you wish.)
  8. Bake 11-12 minutes, until barely golden on bottom edges.
  9. Cool on a rack.

 

Cream the butter and sugar.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Sift the dry ingredients.

Sift the dry ingredients.

Add one third of the dry ingredients...

Add one third of the dry ingredients…

Add one third of the sour cream....etc.

Add one third of the sour cream….etc.

Roll and cut.

Roll and cut.



...and sit on the porch with a cold glass of milk and a plate of cookies!

…and sit on the porch with a cold glass of milk and a plate of cookies!

Ginger Chews



Ginger chews horizontal biteI can’t begin to tell you how excited I am right now! The men in my life just don’t get it, and are watching me jump and squeal with looks of alarm on their faces. Pffft. This is my happy dance and I don’t care who’s watching. Can you keep a secret? I have this little addiction that I’ve been trying to curb because it gets so expensive. Have you ever eaten ginger chews? Spicy, chewy, tummy-warming ginger chews? I buy mine at the local health food store, and can easily wipe out the handful of candies that come in the box before I even make it home. I love, love, love them. And yet, I could never find a recipe for them. When I have a recipe idea in my head but don’t know where to begin with the ingredients and measurements, I do what every other person with a computer does: I Google it! I find several recipes, get a general idea of how they’re made, and then experiment until I make it my way. But no matter how hard I hunted, I couldn’t find one single recipe that sounded right. I tried one that seemed to have potential and ended up with a ginger hard candy. A very good ginger hard candy…but I wanted chewy. With bits and pieces from many recipes, and my last piece of ginger root, I crossed my fingers and finally met with success! Take THAT, Google! I’m not claiming that they’re healthy. I plan to try a batch using agave or honey in the future, but these are basically sugar and ginger, and I.Don’t.Care. Ginger chews watermark

Disclaimer: An hour after I posted this recipe I made yet another batch (thank goodness for frozen ginger juice) because the guys said it wasn’t chewy enough. An additional tablespoon of cornstarch and 5 more degrees made all the difference! After the chews have sat out for 12 hours they are very firm, but after a minute in your mouth they soften up. If you prefer your chews softer, only use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and bring the mixture up to a temperature of 260 F.

Here, at a fraction of the cost of imported chews, is my recipe for Ginger Chews.

Ginger Chews
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Author:
Spicy, chewy, ginger candy.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 5-6 ounces of fresh ginger root, or enough to make ¼ cup juice
  • 1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger root (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare a mold. You can use a pan lined with parchment paper sprayed lightly with oil, hard candy molds lightly sprayed with oil (not chocolate molds – they melt!), or combine 2 cups cornstarch and 1 cup powdered sugar and put it in a cake pan. You can adjust the amount if you want deeper molds. Make holes in it with your finger or spoon handle, or press designs with small objects. In the photos I used a star shaped ice cube tray.
  2. Juice the ginger root. I use a food processor and process the ginger skin and all, stopping to stir it several times. You could also scrape the ginger root with a spoon to remove most of the peel, and finely grate it. Place the processed or grated ginger in a small sieve and press out the juice with a spoon. The quantity of juice will vary depending on the freshness of the ginger. Extra can be frozen for another time.
  3. In a medium pan combine sugar, corn syrup, and corn starch. Turn the heat to medium. Stirring often, bring the mixture to a boil and watch the temperature carefully, using a candy thermometer. When it reaches 265 F, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ginger juice and grated ginger (if you like it very spicy). Be careful and use a long spoon! It will sizzle and spit while you're stirring in the ginger juice.
  4. Pour into the mold of your choice. If you are using the cornstarch/powdered sugar method, pour carefully into each cavity. Pour any extra onto a lightly greased piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with some of the cornstarch mixture if desired.
  5. Allow the candy to sit for several hours to firm up, then dust with cornstarch and wrap each piece in a square of waxed paper or parchment.

 

Pressing ginger for juice.

Pressing ginger for juice.

Combine sugar, corn syrup and cornstarch and bring to boil

Combine sugar, corn syrup and cornstarch and bring to boil

Bring mixture to 265 degrees.

Bring mixture to 265 degrees…almost there!

Poured into cavities in cornstarch and powdered sugar.

Poured into cavities in cornstarch and powdered sugar.



Ginger Chews plated vertical on blue

Whether you eat them as an aid to digestion, to curb seasickness or morning sickness, or just because the hot gingery taste is amazing, these little candies will hit the spot. Excuse me while I go gloat.

Lorinda

Fly on the Wall – Rated “R” for Rowdy

 

Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 12 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes, and I’m one of them. Come on in and buzz around my house.fly1gifcropped

I LOVE May, for so many reasons. My favorite holiday is in May. Would you like to take a guess at what it is?

No, it’s not Cinco de Mayo, though I did enjoy a lovely huckleberry margarita with my enchiladas.

No, it’s not Mother’s Day, though I had a very nice day.

No, it’s not Memorial Day. Besides, that hasn’t even happened yet.

Give up?

in the green house naked gardening day

Planting

It is NAKED GARDENING DAY!  Last year I declined to participate. In all fairness, the weather was pretty crappy. This year I had no excuse, so…yeah…well, at least long enough for The Man to get some pics. He had great fun trying to get the least flattering angles (and positions) possible. Thanks, big guy.

Tilling

Tilling

Um...tractoring?

Um…tractoring?

There are much worse pics, but I’ll “draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene” and spare you. Oh, wait…one more! I made a dirt angel. And then soaked in a bath.dirt angel

 

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On Mother’s DayThe Man made me breakfast. We had toast, fried eggs, and thin-sliced venison steaks. Delicious! And he didn’t leave much of a mess. I felt spoiled, especially since he reminds me that I am not his mother. Hmmm…sometimes I wonder.

When I told him the one thing I wanted for Mother’s Day was for him to pet our cat (He doesn’t like cats, and suffers because I insist on letting them in the house.) he looked at her and said: “She has venomous eyes.” Seriously? She has CAT EYES! She got insulted and wandered off. Maybe next year.

cats with snake tongues for fly on wall


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My baby chicks aren’t exactly babies anymore. They’ve officially reached the gawky adolescent stage that we all remember so vividly. I let them loose in the greenhouse on a nice overcast day (so we wouldn’t have a lot of roasted game hens for dinner; it gets hot in there!) and didn’t think it through. Getting them from their little brooder box into a tub to haul out to the greenhouse was pretty easy, though they screamed like I was killing them. Getting them from the greenhouse back into the tub was a challenge. I think a few of them gave themselves concussions trying to escape through the greenhouse walls. No more outings for them! By this time next month they will be in the “Big Girl Coop”. Sigh…..they grow up so quickly.

Speaking of chickens:two stupid chickens


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The Man takes great glee in pointing it out to me when I leave the oven on. He doesn’t merely turn it off, he barks loudly:
“Oven off?”
And though I hate to give him the satisfaction, I then have to admit I forgot. (I do this often.) So the other day we were having a very early dinner because I had to get good pictures of the meal for a column I was doing, and when he went back in the kitchen for a second helping, this is how the conversation went:

“Oven off?”
“I thought I DID turn it off!”
“It says 350”
I blinked, confused. Then I looked up at the clock.
“Um. That’s what time it is.”
Hah! Take THAT! He had the decency to look a little embarrassed. Fist pump! Small victories…
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I was making homemade tomato sauce, an all-day project. I tasted it and said “yummm. I could just eat THIS for dinner.”
Him: if you add meat, cheese, and noodles, I could too.”
He loves his spaghetti.

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My Rowdy Facebook page hit 4,000 likes this month. That was HUGE for me – very exciting! (If even 10% of those people actually read my blog I’d be in hog heaven, but I’m still glad to see them on my page.) I finally produced a cake I’d been dreaming about for months, just in the nick of time to celebrate the milestone. I’ve got to tell you, I put a lot of time and effort into that cake.

4000 likes horizontal

But here’s what kills me. Last Fall I did a simple Pumpkin Dump Cake, not thinking it would get much interest. I got thousands of views, and a whole lot of shares. The most I’ve ever gotten for anything. This cake? This cake I slaved over? Maybe 40 views altogether. So, take pity on me and at least go and see my Apple Blossom Cake. You don’t have to read the whole thing, but it would sure boost my morale to see it do better than the dump cake for just one day. Otherwise I’m going to start making more dump cakes. Every flavor known to man!!

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Russ: “So here’s something. The word “plus”. P-L-U-S”

I nodded with a quizzical look on my face. He often asks me to confirm spellings, but this seemed awfully basic. Then he continued: “I guess if you remember that, you won’t spell “pus” wrong.”
Um…got it. Thank you.

This was actually not quite as random as it seemed. Someone on Facebook had asked her readers to give their most despised word. The word we could go our whole life without hearing again. I wrote “puss” (meaning “pus”) and then realized I’d misspelled it, so I was freaking out loudly as I scrambled to edit my comment. Obviously, he noticed. I don’t like either word, but “pus” is definitely the worst. I probably will remember how to spell it from now on.

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Crazy Daisy loves water. I mean, this girl love love LOVES water. She goes nuts when I’m trying to water the garden. I have to keep stopping so I can aim the hose at her. She prefers it full blast, so she can open her mouth and drink it, making disgusting slurping and snorting sounds. I don’t know how she can do that (the water comes out fast), but she does. She’s easy to amuse, anyhow.

I spent about 3 hours of total frustration trying to load a video of her on here. I may be stubborn, but there are limits and I hit mine. So you just get a photo. Crazy Daisy Hose collage

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The Man was cooking breakfast (yes, twice in one month!) and made a disgusted sound. He invited me to come in the kitchen and look at the gross egg he had just cracked open. I was busy and did NOT want to see a gross egg right before we ate, so I declined. He threw it away. Then another. And another! What the…I should have gone in there at that point, I guess. Later when I went to pull out the store bought eggs for a cake (older egg whites whip up better) there were some missing. He had thrown them away because the yolks were weird. They were pale, as store bought eggs are. We are so used to our orange colored yolks that he thought something was wrong with them! Yep…I think we officially just shed our “Coastie” status and should now be considered country folks. But if he starts calling me “Mother” he’s out on his ear.

The sun’s out and the chicken poop is warming up, little fly, so you might want to go buzz around outside for a while. Or better yet, try these fun blogs:

Baking In a Tornado
Just a Little Nutty
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
Spatulas on Parade
Stacy Sews and Schools
The Momisodes
Someone Else’s Genius
Battered Hope
Menopausal Mother
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Sorry Kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others

 

Apple Blossom Cake

Apple blossom cake horizontal close of side and bluebirdMy head is always swirling with little bits and pieces of recipes. Sometimes they come together into something I can work with, and sometimes no amount of brainstorming will make them turn into a cohesive recipe. For months now I’ve had an idea for a cake that’s been haunting me. I got out the colored pencils and put it down on paper (and I’m no artist) to exorcise the demons, but this cake demanded to be baked!

My original concept. Time was not a consideration, apparently.

My original concept. In a perfect world where free time is not a consideration…

If I sound a bubble off of level, you are very perceptive. I think this passion for baking has turned just a wee bit obsessive. Not “They’re coming to take me away, ha ha” obsessive…just a teensy weensie bit neurotic. Cool, huh?

I thought I would make this cake a couple of weeks before Easter in case anyone else was crazy enough to attempt it. I also imagined it with many different gum paste birds and cute little bees with slices of jelly beans for the wings. I had made a test bee, and loved it, but life and deadlines got in my way. I made the cake, but it was after Easter, and there were only two kinds of birds and NO bees. I’d run out of time and I’d eaten all of the jelly beans.



Apple Blossom Cake

Apple Blossom Cake

So much for my “Birds and Bees” cake. I did, however, manage to make pretty little apple blossoms out of gum paste. Oh, and my cookie branches turned out well, if you don’t count the ones that broke as I was moving the cake from counter to table. Several went crashing to the floor, blossoms and all. I may have had a few choice things to say about that, and swear I heard Austin Powers chastising me:

My concept was to make part of a tree, seen from a viewpoint high in the branches. So the frosting would be in glops (that’s a fancy-shmancy baking term I learned at Cordon Bleu somewhere) to represent clusters of leaves, and I would have branches coming out from all over the cake, loaded with nests, birds, and bees. I stayed fairly true to the original idea except I decided I should add a large trunk coming out of the middle. In retrospect, the cake would have been prettier without it.

Apple blossom cake vertical outside cropped

The branches were the hardest part of the cake. I used the recipe for Nonpareil Cookies, (without the last 3 ingredients, of course) and they held up pretty well, except when they were loaded with flowers and sticking out of the cake at an angle. The cake originally had several long, dainty branches coming from the sides where you see only stubby branches now. So go easy on the flowers unless the branch is upright, and make sure you bake them long enough. You want them hard and crunchy!

Roll the dough into “snakes”, narrower at one end, and snip with a scissors to create branches.

Forming chocolate cookie branches

Forming chocolate cookie branches

Lots of branches

Lots of branches

I have a thing about making everything on my cakes edible. I wouldn’t want to pull a toothpick or a piece of floral wire out of my mouth mid-bite! This can be challenging at times. Gum paste is almost perfect – it is edible and dries like porcelain. Unfortunately, it doesn’t taste very good. But…it was my best option for flowers.

Shaping gum paste apple blossoms

Shaping gum paste apple blossoms

I took a lot of photos of the apple blossoms in progress, but they are nowhere to be found. My best guess is that I didn’t have the SD card in my camera at the time. Sigh. There are really good tutorials for flowers online, but it isn’t that hard, really! I cut them out with gum paste cutters (like little cookie cutters), used a round tool to thin and shape them a bit, and then put some yellow royal icing in the middle of each one. Some were left open in full-bloom; on others I pressed the petals toward the center to look like a bud.

Gum paste is fun to work with, but it dries very quickly when you’re working. The trick is to only work with a little at a time and to keep the rest of the dough in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Then let the flowers dry thoroughly before using them. Overnight is best! If flavor and texture is important, you could also use candy clay. Wiltons candy melts work well for this. Here’s how you make it: Wiltons Candy Clay

Leaves were cut with gum paste cutters also, and bent into different shapes. Attach leaves and flowers to the chocolate cookie branches using royal icing or melted chocolate and let them set until firm before sticking them into the cake.

Leftover apple blossoms

Leftover apple blossoms

So…you’ve made your branches, flowers, and leaves. The nests were made from meringue and the birds were made from gum paste. Here’s the link for the nests from Mom Foodie. You could skip the gum paste birds and just make meringue ones as shown in her post.

All that’s left is the cake and icing. I used buttercream frosting, and LOTS of it! Those thick green branches really go through the frosting. However much you think you might need, double it! I won’t bother with the recipe for buttercream – I’m sure you have a favorite recipe – but I must mention that I added the grated peel from a couple of limes, a little of the lime juice, and some green food coloring.

That leaves us with the cake itself. I made two batches, which gave me three layers (with one leftover cake to put in the freezer) and baked them in deep 9-inch cake pans. Seriously, any cake will do. If you have a favorite cake recipe, by all means use it! I wanted a little lemon flavor, so here’s what I came up with:

Lightly Lemon Cake
Print
Author:
Makes two 9-inch layers
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shortening (or coconut oil), room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • grated lemon peel from 2 lemons
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup milk
  • yellow food coloring if desired
  • 5 egg whites
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the grated lemon peel and mix well.
  5. In a small bowl combine the buttermilk, lemon juice, and milk.
  6. To the large bowl with the shortening and sugar mixture, alternately add the dry ingredients and milk mixture, beginning with the flour and ending with the milk mixture, adding about a third of each at a time.
  7. Beat for one minute at medium speed.
  8. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into cake mixture.
  9. Divide between the cake pans. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on a rack and then turn out of the pan to finish cooling completely.

I used the smooth side out, of course.

My “Big Bubba” pastry tip. I used the smooth side out, of course.

Whew. I think that’s it!  I just iced the cake with a thin coat of frosting and let it sit until firm, then used a huge tip (Wilton #789) to glop on the green frosting. I think a metal spatula would have worked well too – just slap it on like plaster!  The rest is up to you. Just let your artistic side take over and decorate your heart out.
Apple blossom cake cut vertical

My next post will be something simple. Honest.

Mother’s Favorite Dish: Crab Bake Royale

collage for may finalFor the month of May, eight bloggers and I are posting “Mother’s Favorite Dish”. There were a couple of ways this could be interpreted: a dish my mom loved to eat or a dish my mom loved to make. I agonized over this, because I truly couldn’t remember what my mother loved to eat.

I know that she liked raspberries and cream, but that wouldn’t make a very good recipe. She liked anything with butter on it. GOBS of butter. When she was a little girl, visiting a friend of the family with her mother and father, she was asked what she would like to eat. Her answer was: “I’d like some butter with some bread under it.” That was my mom.

She didn’t have a sweet tooth at all (probably the reason I learned to bake for myself) so desserts weren’t an option. I guess as a typically narcissistic child/teenager I just didn’t pay attention to what Mom ate!  And sadly, she’s no longer here to ask.

I would just have to think this one through, because it was important to me that I came up with the right answer. Hmmmmm.

cookbook photo

My mom was a young housewife in the 1950′s, inundated with advertising that created rigid standards for young women. Spotless homes, starched aprons, pearls and heels. If you’re old enough to remember “Leave it to Beaver” you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Did we ever see June wearing anything but a dress and pearls?

Giving a party was serious business; a husband’s job could depend on the gracious hostessing abilities of the “little woman.”  These were the years of cocktail parties, hors d’oeuvres, and aspic coated everything. Talk about pressure!

Mom was a very good cook. A very good basic cook. She was a left-brained kind of gal – the one you’d go to if you needed something organized. Efficient, capable, but for the most part not creative. She followed recipes exactly, just like her mother did, so all of her “best” dishes turned out perfectly each time.

She was the queen of roasts and gravies, something I’ve never mastered. And oh, Lord, did she have the whole lime jello thing down pat. Ugh. We entertained often, and company dinners were usually roasts and jello. Pretty predictable.



Crab Bake Royale

But…the one casserole that I remember helping Mom make was a “company casserole”. In other words, it was expensive, and not an everyday treat. I found the recipe recently in one of her old recipe boxes, and am proud to pass it on to you. I agree…it’s not something I’d make often. I figure it cost me about $16 to make this dish – a little pricey for my budget. But it really is good! I am going to give you the recipe exactly as it was written, but I do have some suggestions for improvement:

  1.  Use fresh crab and shrimp. Seriously. If you can’t afford that, make something else! Where we live, there really is no fresh or even frozen crab available. I turned my nose up at snow crab (though later I regretted that), refused to even consider “Krab”, and even checked out canned crab as a last resort, but it was from overseas and I just couldn’t make myself buy it. I grew up in Seattle and the farthest our crab ever traveled was from Alaska.  So I went to the last grocery store in the area and they had refrigerated crab from the Philippines in little tubs. I was desperate and bought it, but was sorry later. The flavor was very fishy. Fresh crab would have made ALL the difference. Go for dungeness if you can get it.
  2. Garlic. I think this would really be good with a little fresh minced garlic. Not necessary, but yummy.
  3. I used the buttered breadcrumbs for the topping, and they were very good, but I’m a big fan of Panko and would probably just use that next time.

Here’s the recipe:

Crab Bake Royale
Print
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
This is a very rich casserole, so this should be plenty for 6 people. Serve it with a big salad and crusty french rolls!
Ingredients
  • 1 can (7½ oz.) crab meat, or 1 package (6 oz) frozen
  • 1 can (4½ oz.) shrimp
  • 4 sliced hard-cooked eggs
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup sliced ripe olives
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • dash pepper
  • ½ cup buttered crumbs and parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Drain and slice canned crab, reserving whole leg piece for garnish if desired. or, defrost, drain and slice frozen crab.
  2. Drain shrimp.
  3. Combine crab and shrimp with remaining ingredients, except buttered crumbs and parsley.
  4. Place mixture in shallow, buttered, baking dish. Sprinkle buttered crumbs on top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes.
  5. Garnish with crab leg and parsley. Makes 6 medium size servings.
  6. Note: don't use too big of a casserole dish because the mixture should be at least 2" deep.)

 

 

Getting soft bread crumbs from day-old French bread.

Getting soft bread crumbs from day-old French bread.

Combine and place in casserole. I used a deep pie pan.

Combine and place in casserole. I used a deep pie pan.

I hope you’ll enjoy this casserole from the past. It’s just as rich and hot and appealing as it was in the ’60s!

You can consider yourself lucky, because originally I was going to include her favorite jello salad. It had lime Jello, walnuts, shredded cheddar cheese, and pear halves. Seriously. To this day I can NOT eat canned pears. Slimy, grainy things. Fortunately, I didn’t put the ingredients on my shopping list, because I was positive I wouldn’t forget them. Hah! What would Freud say???

Here are links to the bloggers who have already posted their special dishes, and dates for those yet to come. Please come back and follow along with us!

May 6, Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach from Baking In a Tornado

May 7, Hummingbird Cake from Crumbs in my Mustachio

May 8, Berry Tart from Tampa Cake Girl

May 9, my Crab Bake Royale

May 13, Caramelized Onion, Tomato & Goat Cheese Focaccia from Hun, What’s for Dinner?

May 14, Banana Cream Jelly Roll from An Affair From the Heart

May 15, White Wine and Fontina French Onion Soup from Cooking from a Stay at Home Mom

May 16, Aunt Bee’s Recipes

That’s it for May, but I hope you’ll come back next month when we crack out the Red, White, and Blue!!
Lorinda

Tres Leches Cake Shooters



Tres Leches Cake Shooters watermark
Though Cinco de Mayo isn’t something I get very excited about, and I really don’t like tequila at all, I do appreciate any excuse to run with a theme, especially when it involves baking. So I’m adding my two bits dos pesos to the festivities with these Tres Leches Cake Shooters.

No, you can’t actually tip up the little paper holder and dump the cake in your mouth, but each one packs a small hit of tequila. I don’t recommend going with the expensive stuff, either; even though it’s smooth and less painful to barf back up the next morning, it doesn’t have that knock-you-upside-the-head cheap tequila flavor needed to make these babies scream “Cinco de Mayo!”

I used 1.25 ounce paper Jello shooter cups. These are great to have around for so many things: spice portion cups, condiments, dips, nut or mint cups, medicine cups, and for craft items like beads. They’re also known as souffle cups, but as small as these are, that would be a very small portion…especially since souffles are mostly air.

Two little shooters, in their cups.

Two little shooters, in their cups.

I think the little shooters are easiest eaten with a spoon, but they willingly come out of the cups and can be eaten like a normal mini-cupcake if you can tear the cup off. The cups I bought are surprisingly strong, with a hard to tear rim, so you might want to use a small pair of scissors and just give each cup a tiny snip on both sides before you add the topping. Or you can watch people struggle with it…which could actually be pretty entertaining.

Tres Leches Cake Shooters
Print
Author:
Makes approximately 48 mini-cupcakes.
Ingredients
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 small can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons tequila (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • .................
  • TOPPING:
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • thin strips of lime peel for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue beating, and add sugar a tablespoon at a time. When all the sugar has been added, beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat the egg yolks until thick, about 4-5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla and stir to combine.
  4. Add the egg whites to the yolk mixture and fold in carefully.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt over the egg mixture and fold in gently.
  6. Set 1½ ounce paper souffle cups on baking sheets, leaving an inch between each cup to allow heat to circulate. For best results, spray with a flour/oil spray like Baker's Choice.
  7. Fill each cup no more than ½ full and bake for 12 minutes. Cool on a rack.
  8. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream, tequila, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  9. Poke holes in cooled cupcakes with a fork, just to break the surface and allow the milk mixture to be absorbed, and pour a scant tablespoon of the milk mixture slowly over each cake.
  10. When all of the cakes are done, cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let them chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  11. To make the topping, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Add the tequila slowly, whipping continuously. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe topping onto each cake. Garnish with thin slices of lime peel if desired.

 

Bake the little cups directly on a baking sheet.

Bake the little cups directly on a baking sheet.

Poke holes with a fork.

Poke holes with a fork.

If you are careful and tidy, you can soak them like this.

If you are careful and tidy, you can soak them like this.

If you are impatient like I am, you'd better soak them over a bowl!

If you are impatient like I am, you’d better soak them over a bowl!

Honestly? I didn’t think I’d like these very much. My enthusiasm usually grows proportionally with the amount of chocolate in a dessert, and these had none. But I was very pleasantly surprised, and “tested” them more than I should have. The Man seems to be appreciative too, so I don’t think the chickens are going to get any of this experiment!

Speaking of experiments, Mother’s Day is coming soon and I believe that for the sake of nostalgia I will make something I’ve never ever EVER made before. My mom’s green jello salad with pears and walnuts and cheddar cheese. Sure hope the chickens like pears…

Lorinda


Tres Leches Cake Shooters vertical close watermark