Cookie season is here, and it’s time to start baking for the holidays. Of course, I just had to try a “new” hundred-year-old recipe. I selected a recipe for Coconut Cream Cookies that was in a small promotional cookbook published in 1911 for KC Baking Powder. The cookies are an old-fashioned soft, chewy cookie, with […]
Nearly every Tuesday my cousin hosts a tea party with dominoes after. Seeing as she is nearly 77 years old and has a hard time standing for long periods and I am a much younger nearly 58 year old I was elected to bake weekly for the party. Today I chose a Walmart GREAT VALUE brand peanut butter cookie mix. It makes two batches of 3 dozen each. I was skeptical but I mixed the egg with the 3 TB of veg. oil and 2 tsp water. I ended up using my hands to break up the lumps and mix it better. Well the dough tastes just like my homemade! How about that. I have it in the fridge getting cold, since I chill all of my cookie dough before baking on my two lightly oil sprayed airbake pans. I can only bake one tray at a time since my old hand me down oven only has one rack. But that’s fine I would do the same in my old gas oven. I usually remove the cookies from the hot pan about 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven and place them on my large cooling rack and then I place the next tray in the oven and set the timer. Then after removing the cookies from the tray I take it to the sink and wash it with cold water, dry it well and add another light coasting of oil spray. I prefer to bake on cold cookie sheets so the cookies don’t start pre-baking on the bottom. I hope these turn out well.
I made a couple of apple pies over the weekend. I prefer to eat the leftovers warmed up but the microwave sogs up the crust. So today I placed the piece of pie on a small stainless steel baking tray, lightly sprayed with oil and heated it up in my counter top Oster Toaster/Convection/Broiler oven. This was set at 400 degrees and I didn’t preheat it I baked it for about 10 minutes and let me say it crisped up the crust and warmed the filling perfectly. It tasted like the pie fresh out of the oven!
NOTE: I tried doing it again and I had to heat it longer. Next time it’s 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
I just finished kneading my second batch of bread. I’m using a different kind of yeast this time. In the past I’ve had 1 LB packages of Fleishman’s Instant Yeast, bought at SAM’S Club. I take out 8 Oz and double bag and freeze the rest, taking some out as I need it. Recently I sent my son the the local Maine’s Food and Party Warehouse. http://www.mainesfood.net/locations/forty-fort-18704/ I LOVE this store. I don’t go very often but I do save a lot of money on certain food items. I sent my son to pick up my familiar gold and red package of freeze dried yeast, but he came home with a two pound package of Fleishman’s Active Dry yeast in a white and black vacuumed packed brick.Imagine my surprise when I opened it up and got a whiff and looked at the larger darker yeast granules. Hey! They smell and are the color of the rectangular cornstarch cake yeast grandma used when she taught me how to make bread 42 years ago at age 16. Back then I would crumble the soft yeast into some very warm water and stir in a tsp of sugar to proof it. As time passed and the yeast bricks were harder to find I switched over to Fleishman’s dried yeast. I used 3 of those connected packages for 4-5 loaves of bread. That adds up to 6 and 3/4 tsp of yeast. Today I used 3 and 1/2 tsp of the new yeast to make 2 loaves of bread, then I repeated myself because I usually make two batches and bake all four at the same time. Then I allowed the dough to rise in the fridge for several hours while I catch up on my laundry and get a shower. I swear the slower cold rise bread is better tasting than room temperature raised bread although grandma never put her dough in the fridge! This dough even smells yeastier than the instant yeast, it smells like the old cake yeast.
Grandma gave me a huge white, enamel flat-bottomed bowl to mix and raise my bread in, but it got a chip in the bottom which turned to rust. Since then I use a few smaller stainless steel bowls and divide up the recipe.
I made this coffee cake/muffin mix the other day, and I admit to leaving them cool completely in the cupcake pans. I had placed the batter in the oil sprayed aluminum cupcake liners I had on hand. Then I portioned out 12 muffins. Since I baked them in my temperamental electric oven which might have gotten too hot they got a little dry and crispy on the outside, but I placed them in a cake pan with a lid and refrigerated them until they were served the next day at our weekly Tea Party and Dominoes. Here’s my take on the flavor: BITTERNESS in every bite from the baking powder in the mix, and a dry texture, due to no fat added while making it. I really didn’t like it. Last year I was given an old waffle maker and I bought some KRUSTEAZ Waffle Mix and it too had the BITTER taste in every bite. I ended up throwing the rest of the mix out! Seriously, I hated it that much! The one good thing about the recipe was the nice amount of pre-made streusel mix they supplied, if only the cakes were MOISTER and less bitter I would have enjoyed them! I would not buy this mix or make it again.
On the other hand their KRUSTEAZ Lemon Bar mix was tolerable! It wasn’t as good as my homemade lemon bars which have a thicker, more buttery crust, but I did enjoy them with my tea.
We are having our weekly tea and dominoes party tomorrow, like we do every Tuesday, and I am making a Betty Crocker Pound Cake in a tube pan. The vanilla batter beats up so thick and creamy.. it’s a delight to lick the bowl! I think I’ll cut the cake into two layers and fill the pound cake with strawberry freezer jam!
I customized this tart recipe from the Tomato Quiche recipe I posted:
3 Cups AP Unbleached Flour
1 Cup plus 2 TB Crisco (Refrigerated, I always keep mine in the fridge).
1 tsp Salt
10 TB Ice Water maybe even more, if too dry.
Mix salt into the flour, add the Crisco and rub between your fingers, until a small crumb forms. Add the water a little at a time and lightly toss, adding more water until it’s very moist and no longer dry looking. I like a wet dough so I can wrap it in plastic and flatten into a disk. Now leave in fridge until ready to roll out. I add extra water because it tends to dry out a little in the fridge, even though it’s wrapped.
1 TB Olive Oil
1 and 1/2 Cup Onions, sliced thin or chopped (I omitted this due to fussy husband, and I forgot to add a tsp of onion powder to take it’s place).
1 clove Garlic minced
8 OZ Mozzarella Cheese, (I used Sharp Cheddar this time)
1/4 Cup chopped Basil. (I omitted since I didn’t have any, but I wouldn’t double it.)
1 and 1/2 Cups Evaporated Milk (1 can) or use whole milk or 2% or 1%.
1 TB Corn Starch
2 large Tomatoes, cubed about 1/2″ (2-3 Cups)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Salt
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook onions and garlic in oil until softened.
Roll out pie dough and place in lightly oil sprayed 15″ x 10″ jelly roll pan. Fancy up the edges.
Spread onion mixture on the pie dough, then sprinkle cheese evenly on top.
Beat the eggs and add the milk, salt, pepper, and cornstarch until smooth and pour to evenly cover the cheese.
Now sprinkle the cubed tomatoes evenly over the whole pan.
Lastly sprinkle the chopped basil (we liked it without) and then bake in the 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until set in the middle and the crust is browned nicely.
Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
NOTE: I usually make the Frugal Gourmet’s recipe for savory pie dough. Where you add a beaten egg and a tsp to a TB of vinegar to the water, but I didn’t do that this time. The egg actually makes it easier to roll out the dough. The vinegar is supposed to make it flakier, but trust me my dough is plenty flaky and tender.