Do you have a sweet tooth? Well, you won’t after you eat this cake, because all your teeth are gonna fall out.
This masterpiece is made with two pounds of butter and more than 6 cups of sugar. It’s got rum, it’s got corn syrup, it’s got whipping cream, it’s got diabetes written all over it. And damn, diabetes, you’re delicious.
I don’t have a stand mixer so I made this cake completely by hand, (with the assistance of a sad hand mixer that I thought was going to die on me) and it was exhausting! I don’t recommend it unless you’re a badass. Although… I am developing a sweet baker’s bicep.
Also, I carried this cake around on the TTC for an hour. It’s like 5 pounds! I need a nap, now.
So, I made this cake for Bossman’s 40th birthday. He’s a butterscotch guy. He told me a story once about how his favourite flavour is butterscotch (some tart tried to sell him caramel ice cream instead of butterscotch. No dice, sweetheart. It’s not the same!) and I stored it away in my baker’s brain. You’ve got to know your audience: Dad is cheesecake, Mom is strawberry rhubarb and classic pies, Sarah is lemon, Macaroni Rascal is pecan pie and other corn syrup relatives, Abrubipityboo is chocolate and peanut butter, and of course Polish Prince is pumpkin.
Bossman was so excited when he saw his cake that, when he hugged me, he nearly broke my ribs. And this cake is SO good. I almost skimped out on the pecans, but I’m really glad I didn’t, they add an excellent dimension to the dense cake and super sweet butterscotch buttercream. I highly recommend that you make this sugarbomb showstopper for your next big soiree.
Man Rating: Marry me.
CAKE 1 1/4 cups butter, softened 2 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed 2 tablespoons canola oil 4 large eggs 2 tablespoons dark rum 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 cups sour cream 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 325F degrees and grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter and flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the oil until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the rum and the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the batter in two additions, alternating with the sour cream. Mix in the chopped pecans until combined.
Divide the cake batter among the pans, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until it is golden brown and a cake tester inserted emerges clean. Transfer both the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
BUTTERSCOTCH BUTTERCREAM 1 pound butter, softened 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoons dark rum 2-2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it turns deep golden brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes.
Add the brown sugar, cream, and salt, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 minutes longer.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat it at high speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch, 8-10 minutes.
Beat in the rum.
With the mixer running on medium speed, add the remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until incorporated. Continue to beat the mixture until it is smooth and creamy. Add enough confectioner’s sugar to the mixture to achieve a thick and spreadable consistency. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE 3/4 cup dark brown sugar 6 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup light corn syrup 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup heavy cream
Place the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove the mixture from the heat and mix in the cream. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook for 2 minutes more; let cool to lukewarm.
Once everything is completely cooled, place a layer of frosting on one top of a cake, followed by a thin layer of the butterscotch sauce. Place the other cake layer on top, and spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake. Refrigerate for at least one hour (this will help “glue” crumbs down and serve as a nice, smooth canvas for you to apply the “real” frosting later.) Once set, finish frosting the cake. Drizzle with butterscotch sauce and garnish with extra pecans.
COFFEE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES with BAILEYS IRISH CREAM FROSTING
Last night I bought a cupcake out of a truck.
It was Nuit Blanche. I was intoxicated. I was freezing. I was pretentious. I was being my usual self, when I saw, to my delight, Curbside Bliss Cupcakes. There’s something about a bakery that’s so damn charming and romantic I can barely stand it. And this one was on wheels!
Okay, so the fact that it’s a truck takes away some of the whimsy, but whatever. I was down to cupcake.
(DTC.That’s what the kids say.)
Long story short: it sucked. You could taste the sugar particles in the frosting. The chocolate cake was bland. I’ve eaten more glamorous cupcakes made from a box mix. (That’s right. I went there. BOX MIX.)
So, why don’t I have truck?
Because I made these cupcakes and they were bad ass. The chocolate cake was moist and fluffy, and the frosting was so sweet, and bursting with so much Baileys flavour, it could stop your heart.
I bring up the baking biz because these cupcakes were actually commissioned for a coworker. My first time baking for pay! But as it turns out, baking for money has an extremely low, if any, profit margin.
So why don’t I have a truck? Um, probably because I don’t know how to make 60 cupcakes in 11 minutes?
But I’m pretty sure mine are actually worth $2.75 each.
COFFEE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup buttermilk 6 heaping tbsp cocoa powder 1 cup unsalted butter 1 cup coffee 2 cups sugar 2 cups flower 1/2 tsp salt 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a small bowl dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt butter and cocoa powder at a low temperature, stirring occasionally. When smooth, add coffee.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt. With a hand mixer on low speed, beat in the cocoa mixture and egg. Add buttermilk mixture and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Is it odd that I treat myself by baking something new? Buying life supplies has really gotten in the way of buying baking supplies. Socks or cream cheese? Shampoo or semi-sweet chocolate? Tampons or unsalted butter? When you’re an independent woman you’ve got to prioritize.
Anyway, we had a company barbeque this week. It was thrown by Italians, so instead of hamburgers, there was pasta. It also rained that day, so instead of socializing in a backyard, we just had free food and beer at the office.
…So, it was like every other night!
The point is, it was an excuse to bake something.
At first I was overwhelmed. What to bake? What to bake! I have a never ending to-do-list and I wanted to splurge on ingredients.
Then I realized my hand mixer is broken. Which meant whatever I was going to bake had to be made completely by hand.
(By the way, I’ve been pulling 14 hours at the office and didn’t have any time to make this pie and ended up whipping it together over my lunch break. No big deal.)
So, I wanted to try something a little different than a basic pie. This recipe really jumped out at me. It’s a little more time consuming, but worth it. The flavours are complex, warm, and so delicious. (Although, I realized, even though it’s an unexpected combination of ingredients, all pies look the same with a lid. Dang.)
As I was scooping pie onto the Polish Prince’s plate he said, “Not so much, what if I don’t like it?”
Oh how I laughed and laughed.
PEAR, FIG & WALNUT PIE 1 recipe Pâte Brisée 3/4 cup Marsala wine 6 black figs, stemmed and quartered 3 stars of anise 3 lbs (about 6) barlett pears 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted 1 lime, juiced 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 tsp salt 3 tbsp. cornstarch 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 egg yolk 1 tbsp. heavy cream Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Bring wine, figs, and stars of anise to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer figs to a large bowl. Cook reserved liquid over medium-high heat until reduced to a syrup, about 3 minutes. Discard stars of anise. Pour syrup over figs.
Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disc of dough to a 13-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Roll out second disc to a 13-inch round. Lay dough round on a sheet pan and refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
Peel and core pears, slice into 1/4-inch thick wedges. Add pears, walnuts, lemon juice, granulated sugar, salt, and cornstarch to figs and syrup and stir until combined. Spoon into dough-lined pie plate, piling high in centre. Dot with butter, and lightly brush the edge of the dough with water. Drape second disc of dough over rolling pin, centre over the filling, and gently press the dough around the filling to fit. Trim the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the edge of the top crust under the bottom one, and crimp to seal. Combine yolk and cream together. Brush mixer all over the dough, and sprinkle the pie generously with sanding sugar. Freeze the pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, with rack on lower level.
Transfer pie plate to a parchment or foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, and bake until just golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Bake until juices are bubbling and crust is deep golden brown, about 1 hour (if edges brown too quickly, cover with foil). Let pie cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Why do I torture myself? Chocolate and mint are one of my favourite flavour combinations. I must be a masochist. These brownies tempted me all the way to the office. Of course I had one. For science.For the blog. Because I have no will power. But I regret nothing. They’re really chewy and have lots of mint flavour. (So if you have one for breakfast you won’t need to brush your teeth.)
Now, before I go into more brownie detail, I must geek out and tell you, this was the first time I used my new electric hand mixer! (Please read that as a high-pitched girlish squeal.) It was an apartment warming gift from Abrubipityboo and it’s amazing.
You know, some people think that baking gifts have a somewhat dubious motive, and aren’t really gifts for me. It’s the type of gift giving akin to a man buying his girlfriend lingerie. But I think it’s a win-win situation. Buy me pie plates and panties. I dig it.
So, I came across the chocolate used in these brownies in a fun and unconventional way. Our agency recently finished a promotion for Philips shaving and grooming products at NXNE, where we gave away free chocolate mustaches to the audience. (Actually, if you saw the Philips tent at NXNE, you might have noticed that photos of the Polish Prince and I were used in the POS. Shameless, isn’t it? But we can’t help it if we’re the office eye candy.)
Anyway, a bunch of those mustaches broke during shipping and handling.
Hm. What to do about that?
Give it to the office baker of course.
And now I have 40oz of chocolate in my fridge.
So, I’ve been thinking up tons of ways to transform all this chocolate into different chocolate desserts. Please prepare yourself for a slue of chocolate delights.
BROWNIE LAYER 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped 1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1/2 cup all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325ºF and place the rack in the centre of the oven. Prepare a 9 x 9 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil across the bottom and up two opposite sides of the pan. Set aside.
In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt and beat mix until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan (about one minute). Pour the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges of the brownies are just beginning to brown. A toothpick inserted in the centre of the brownies will come out almost clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to completely cool.
MINT FROSTING LAYER 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup confectioners sugar 1 - 1 ½ tbsp heavy cream ½ tsp peppermint extract or 1-2 tbsp creme de menthe green food colouring (optional)
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat all the ingredients until smooth. Add a few drops of green food colouring if you want the frosting green. If the frosting is too thick, add a little extra cream. (The frosting should be just thin enough to spread.) Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled brownie layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes or until firm.
In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread over the mint filling and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate glaze starts to dull.
Note: I poured the chocolate glaze over the mint layer before it was completely set. This softened the mint layer and they began to mix together. If this happens to you, take a toothpick and make sexy swirls like I did.
To Serve: Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into bars. It’s a good idea to wipe your knife between cuts with a damp cloth. These brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for several days or else frozen.
If you still have your innocence, or you’re easily offended by lewd humour, turn back now. In fact, why are you even here? This ain’t yo’ grandma’s baking site and I have some uncouth wisdom to share.
Here it is: The quickest way to a man’s heart is baking and blow jobs.
So when I seriously offended the Macaroni Rascal and needed a quick fix back to his heart - while still remaining a fucking lady - I knew what I had to do.
(… Bake. In case that wasn’t clear.)
The Macaroni Rascal loves gooey buttery treats. Back in December I made him a Pecan Pie for his birthday at his overzealous and endearingly boyish request, and Butter Tarts are sort of like Pecan Pie’s cute Canadian brother, so I knew I was wandering into forgiveness territory.
Why was he so angry with me? There might have been an incident or “assault” involving a Glade aerosol can. But let’s not dwell on the past. Let’s look forward to the sugary future.
These butter tarts are awesome. I made half of them with chocolate, which might have been an error in judgement, but the plain ones got rave reviews.
Now, I’ve been on baking hiatus since May because I moved into my new apartment and I’ve been busy buying actual groceries and life supplies. But, at last, I’ve popped my kitchen’s baking cherry. Here is the result of that delicious affair:
BUTTER TARTS 1/2 Pâte Brisée recipe 1/4 cup soft butter 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 pinch salt 1/2 cup corn syrup 1 egg, lightly beaten 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Options: 1/2 cup of raisins or chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400ºF
Roll out the pie dough and cut out round or fluted circles with a with a 4-inch cutter. Fit dough circles into muffin cups and set aside in fridge until ready to fill.
If you’re using raisins, place them in a small bowl, cover with hot tap water, and let stand on the counter for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the soft butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved and butter is creamed.
Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
Retrieve tart shells and, if you’re using any optional ingredients, divide them equally into all shells; then add butter mixture.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Filling will be lightly browned but still bubbling.
Now. Do you like your butter tarts runny or firm? If you like them runny, the type that dribbles when you bite into one, bake them for 15 minutes. If you like them firm, bake them for the full 20 minutes and even a couple more if you wish.
Let the butter tarts cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove and place on racks until completely cool.
Last year for Christmas, my uncle bought me this strange contraption. It peels, cores, and slices an apple in like… 20 seconds. It’s AMAZING. I love it. You need about 12 apples to make an apple pie, and if you’re peeling and coring every one manually, you’re going to start hating life pretty quickly. I did it once and thought, “Yeah. That’s enough apple pie for me.” But now what excuse do I have?
I’m pretty sure it was my uncle’s plan all along.
Rating: Great pie!
(That’s what all the boys say. Ba-doom tssh! )
APPLE PIE All-purpose flour, for dusting Pâte Brisée 3 pounds (about 12) apples, such as Empire, Granny Smith, Gala, Cortland, Winesap, or a mix 3 tbsp all purpose flour 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 egg yolk, for egg wash 1 tbsp heavy cream, for egg wash sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 450º F with rack set in lowest position. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to a 13-inch round, about ⅛ inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Place lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel, core, and cut applies into 1/4-inch-thick slices; halve crosswise, and add to bowl with lemon juice (to keep them from turning brown) as you work. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt; toss to combine.
Combine egg yolk and cream to create your egg yolk.
On a lightly floured surface, roll our remaining disk of dough to another 13-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick.
Remove your dough-lined pie plate from refrigerator. Fill with apple mixture, gently packing apples and mounding slightly in centre; dot with butter. Lightly brush rim of pie shell with egg wash. Lay your second circle of dough over apples; press along moistened rim to seal. Using kitchen shears, trim overhang to 1 inch.
With floured fingers, fold overhang under itself to form a thick rim; pinch between thumb and forefinger to form a uniform edge around the rim of the pie plate.
To crimp edges: With thumb and index finger of one hand, gently press dough against knuckle of other hand; continue around pie. (Deep indentations anchor dough on rim and prevent it from sliding down sides of pie plate during baking.)
With a floured paring knife, cut 5 to 6 slits in top of pie, radiating from centre.
With a pastry brush, douse your pie with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Put your pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 60 to 75 minutes more. If edges brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
Cool completely, at least 3 hours, before serving.
I made these pumpkin cupcakes for his birthday party. Also known as “The 34th annual drinking contest” where all the winners are really losers. The next morning I woke up dying of thirst but everything hurt so bad I couldn’t muster up the strength to walk one minute to the kitchen sink. So I just lay on (the wonderful) Nancy’s couch thinking things like, “Dammit, I shouldn’t have done that.”
(Which is Hungover for “Dammit, that was fun.”)
One of my favourite parts of the night was when Nancy pinned me down and forced one of these delicious cupcakes into my face. Bitch is strong. I’m pretty sure there’s a slutastic photo of me with frosting all over my face… With ladies licking it off? God, we’re obnoxious. (EDIT: There is!)
We also bounced on the trampoline! (Which is a fantastic idea when you’re full of beer and vodka). And some handsome police officers stopped by around 4am to tell us to shut the fuck up.
We also broke the trampoline…
Anyway, I don’t think I “won” the contest, but I was definitely in the running.
The important thing is that these cupcakes are yummy. I doubled the recipe to make 24 and sprinkled half with toasted walnuts. They’re a great alternative to pumpkin pie. They’ve got a super moist pumpkin flavour and the frosting is killer. KILLER.
Rating: EAT YO CUPCAKE, BITCH.
PUMPKIN CUPCAKES 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup granulated white sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 3/4 cup solid packed, canned pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place rack in the middle of the oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with a non stick vegetable spray.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground spices, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and pumpkin puree, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Fill the muffin cups evenly with the batter using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and beat until incorporated and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar and beat until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes.
OPTIONAL GARNISH 1 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Cool completely and then chop coarsely.
Sugar cookies are cute as shit. I usually only make them during Christmas, because the season calls for whimsical treats. But like I mentioned before, Abrubipityboo HAD A BABY, and I thought they would be sweet in the baby basket we put together for him. (Our baby basket also included Threadless onsies and Starwars Yoda slippers. Teehee babies.)
Sugar Cookies are great because you can customize them for any special occasion. I obviously picked baby themed cookie cutters. At Christmas I make snowmen, snowflakes, stars, trees, blah, blah, blah. My friend is throwing a bachelorette party soon and plans to make penis cookies. There’s something for everyone!
These cookies are time consuming. It took me about four hours to bake and decorate 30 cookies. If you want to cut down the decorating time, you can use coloured sanding sugar instead of Royal Icing. Just sprinkle it over your cookies before you pop them in the oven.
Royal Icing is applied wet and will dry to a hard matte sexy finish. You’ll know your Royal Icing is the right consistency when it “ribbons.” To test, dip your beaters in the icing, it should fall back into the bowl like a ribbon and sit on the surface for a few seconds before disappearing. When you’re not using it, cover it with plastic wrap so it doesn’t crust out on you.
If you’re using multiple colours, the easiest thing to do is to set up a decorating station. Divide the icing into separate bowls and add your food colouring. Gel food colouring is best. You can find it at Michaels, Bulk Barn, or other baking stores. But if you only have liquid food colouring, it’ll get the job done too.
To pipe, you don’t need to worry about special decorating tips or bags, you can just use regular ziplocks. Fill your ziplock with each colour, cutting a tiny hole in the corner, and use it to pipe an outline around all your cookies. Allow to dry.
Now add a little water to all your colours. Your going to flood the cookies and you want the consistency to be runny. I use a tiny tiny spoon to flood the icing, so… go find a similar novelty utensil. Spread it over the cookie. While it’s still wet, use a toothpick to add whatever designs your heart desires. Let your cookies harden overnight.
Rating: These cookies are too pretty to eat!
SUGAR COOKIES 3 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup granulated white sugar 2 large eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract
In medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
Preheat oven to 350º F and place rack in centre of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to baking sheet.
Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking. Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sanding sugar.
Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
ROYAL ICING 2 large egg whites 2 tsp fresh lemon juice 3 cups confectioners sugar
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more sugar or water. Add food coloring, if desired. The icing needs to be used immediately or put in an airtight container as it hardens when exposed to air.
Frost cooled cookies. Be sure to let the royal icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours or overnight.) Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.
Makes about 36 cookies depending on your cookie cutter size.
I have a big book of pie recipes, but no one gives a damn. The people want what the people want and the people want Blueberry. (Or Apple.) The classics always win. I made this blueberry pie for Mother’s Day. The recipe calls for fresh blueberries, which I’m sure is awesome, but I used frozen. In fact, I’ve only ever used frozen blueberries because you need 2 pounds worth. There’s two and half bags of blueberries in this pie! (But they were on sale. Hah.) Maybe in the summer I’ll take a road trip to St. Jacobs and buy a shit load of fresh fruit and bake my heart out.
A lattice top looks super fancy and complicated, but the weave is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. If you’re making your pie dough from scratch (which you should) it’ll be very delicate and annoying, much harder to handle than if you use store-bought dough, but it will also taste ten times better. I was looking for instructional videos on “The YouTube” to demonstrate the way to weave and it took forever, because so many people were doing it the hard way. The hell? I was thinking about making my own video, but I finally found a good one. Check out the link above and you’ll be solid.
All-purpose flour, for dusting Pâte Brisée 2 pounds (about 7 cups) fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed ½ cup sugar ¼ cup cornstarch ¼ tsp ground cinnamon 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 large egg yolk, for egg wash 1 tbsp heavy cream, for egg wash Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400º F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to a 13-inch round, about ⅛ inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate.
In a large bowl, toss together berries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon juice until combined. Pour mixture into pie plate, piling in centre.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining disk of dough. To make lattice, cut dough into ten 1-inch-wide strips using a fluted pastry wheel. Lightly bush edge of dough in pie plate with water. Carefully arrange dough strips on top, weaving to form a lattice. Trim dough to a 1-inch overhand. Fold edges under as desired, and crimp with a fork. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream for egg wash; brush on top of dough strips and edge of pie shell. Generously sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes.
Transfer pie plate to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, and bake until crust begins to brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350ºF. Continue baking until crust is deep golden brown and juices bubble, 55 minutes more. (If crust browns too quickly, tent pit with foil.) Transfer pie to a wire rack; let cool completely at least 3 hours, before serving.
Pumpkin for a pumpkin. Tart for a tart. It was the Polish Prince’s birthday! Now the relevant 34.
I find it a little funny that our Peter is such a pumpkin eater. It’s okay though, I’ll make him all the pumpkin he likes, because he’s one of my favourite people ever. (Get over yourself.)
The night before I had a dream that he didn’t like my pie? I don’t even want to know what Freud would have to say about that.
…But seriously, baking dreams are a new low. Maybe I should explore new hobbies? I was talking to this guy once and he asked me, “So what do you like to do for fun?”
I talked about baking and drinking.
Then he said, “Well, do you have any hobbies?”
And I said, “Yeah… Baking. And drinking.”
Or I could have gone with my ACD’s mantra, “Sweets, sex, and creative is all I think about.”
ANYWAY. This tart is awesome. It has a layer of chocolate on the bottom of the crust, which gives it a dense candy bar sort of texture, almost like a Skor bar. I pulled the recipe out of my Martha Stewart Pies & Tarts book, where it was featured as a Halloween themed pie with a spiderweb design. I guess you could do that if you’re feeling haunted.
CHOCOLATE CRUST 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 large egg 4 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Add butter; mix on low speed until butter is the size of small peas, about 5 minutes. Add egg; mix until ingredients come together to form a dough.
Preheat oven to 350º F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to just thicker than 1/8 inch. Brush off excess flour; transfer dough to a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press dough into bottom and up sides of pan; trim excess flush with edge. Lightly prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Bake shell until firm, about 15 minutes. Immediately sprinkle chocolate over bottom of shell; smooth with a rubber spatula.
PUMPKIN FILLING 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar 8 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350º F. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, creme fraiche, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves until smooth. Pass mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl (discard solids). Pour filling into prepared crust, just to top edge.
Bake until filling is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool at least 30 minutes.
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of barely simmering water; heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Transfer chocolate to a parchment paper cone or resealable bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner. Design however your heart desires. Refrigerate tart until set, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day).
These muffins are packed full of healthy, delicious ingredients: nuts, seeds, dried fruit, carrots. I found the recipe at the All Bran website, which has tons of awesome fibre recipes. (I also love the cereal on its own, even though it’s “plain,” because I have the taste buds of an old man. Mustard! Onions! Werther’s Originals! Yeah!)
You can replace the nuts and dried fruit with any combination you like, walnuts, pecans, cranberries, apricots, blah, blah, blah. The recipe uses oil instead of butter, so don’t expect to get that fluffy cake texture. It’s going to be dense and chewy. Nom.
Anyway, because these muffins are pretty healthy, and in case you care about that kind of thing, I’ve added the nutritional information below.
Man Rating: Now I can poop!
MORNING GLORY BRAN MUFFINS
1 1/4 cups All-Bran Original cereal 1 cup milk 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar 1 tbsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt 1 egg 1/4 cup canola oil 3/4 cup shredded carrot (about 1 large carrot) 1/2 cup raisins 1/4 cup chopped, unsalted almonds 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut, divided
Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly coat muffin tins with cooking spray.
In medium bowl, combine cereal and milk. Let stand for about 2 minutes or until cereal softens.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
Add egg, oil and carrot to cereal mixture; beat well. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, stirring only until just combined. Fold in mixture of raisins, almonds, sunflower seeds and ¼ cup coconut. Portion batter evenly into 12 non-stick muffin pan cups. Sprinkle each with portion of remaining coconut.
Bake for 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.
Nutrition Information 190 Calories 4 g Protein 27 g Carbohydrate 9 g Fat 4 g Dietary Fibre
The first time you make your own pie crust you’ll want to pull out your hair. It’s fickle. Patience and practice is key. But the result? “OMGTHECRUST!!!1!!”
Yup. The crust makes the pie. I’m going to give instructions on how to make your pie crust completely by hand. Because that’s what I do.
…But only because I don’t have any fancy-schmancy equipment.
One time I was at a client’s office and she invited us to her desk to try some pie she had baked. I asked, “Oh! You make your own pie crust?”
And she said incredulously, “No! Who does that?”
And all these women laughed.
Bitch, I do.
PÂTE BRISÉE 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp salt 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes. 1/4 -1/2 cup ice water
Whisk together flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
Add butter and combine with your hands until dough resembles coarse meal.
Add ice water intermittently and mix together with a fork until dough just comes together. Pie dough should be crumbly and stick together when pressed together with two fingers. Roll into two balls and wrap loosely in plastic wrap. Flatten into disks with a rolling pin. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
Will keep in the fridge for a week or the freezer for 3 months.
Yields 2 pie crusts or 1 double crust for 9-inch pies.
Once upon a time I made macarons and they were a disaster. I brought my sticky, deflated macaron stillborns into work - which were only sincerely loved by the Polish Prince because he’s a fan of anything mushy - at the same time that Abrubipityboo brought in macarons made by his mother, highlighting my baking failure and establishing my disdain for the adorable French poofs forever.
But, I was convinced by another French poof to have a baking date on the weekend, and to try try again. We spent the day hunting down ingredients, almost dying in a car accident, and playing video games.
Rosewater is really hard to find. We eventually found it at Whole Foods (I like going to Whole Foods because I find the people there ridiculously happy and attractive) for nine dollars. (The fuck?)
So, we planned two batches of macarons, which should have yielded 100 cookies. But due to unfortunate events - two burned batches and one batch eaten by my mischievous puppy - we only ended up with 16. But those 16 were perfection.
We made two flavours: a chocolate ganache and a rose ganache. I’ll add the recipe for the rose, but it’s an odd flavour. I think it tastes like a Glade Plugin.
Go for the chocolate if you want a showstopper.
Not So Humble Pie goes through the macarons process in insane detail. Definitely read it if you’re attempting this dessert.
Prep two half sheet pans with parchment or silicone baking mats.
Pre-heat your oven to somewhere between 290-300°F.
Start by weighing out your sugar and egg white powder into a small bowl. Mix with a fork until uniform and set aside.
Sift together your almond meal and powdered sugar.
Weigh out your egg whites and begin beating them on low speed until foamy. Begin slowly sprinkling in the powdered egg white and sugar mixture as you beat. Then increase the speed to medium and beat until a firm meringue forms.
You want firm, glossy peaks in your meringue, you don’t want to beat all the way to stiff peaks. So hold yourself back.
Beat in food coloring gel now and then add 1/3rd of the almond mixture. Folding it in gently. Once combined, add another third of the almond mixture, and so on.
Add your batter to a piping bag with a round tip (any size bit under 1cm works fine) and pipe rows of macarons.
Pick up the pan with both hands, and holding it level, tap it firmly onto the counter several times. This will bring up any air bubbles in the cookies. Pop the bubbles with a toothpick if they don’t break while tapping.
These cookies NEED to rest on the counter. Between 30-60 minutes depending on the humidity.
Bake the cookies for roughly 15 minutes. One sheet at a time.
Fill cookies with ganache and placed in refrigerator to mature for two days.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate 1/2 cup whipping cream 2 tbsp butter
Chop chocolate and place in a small bowl.
Heat whipping cream in a sauce pan until just boiling. Pour over chocolate and stir until blended completely. Add butter. Place in fridge for 30 minutes or until a spreadable consistency.
ROSE GANACHE 4 oz white chocolate 1/2 cup whipping cream 2 tbsp butter 3/4 tsp rosewater
Chop chocolate and place in a small bowl.
Heat whipping cream in a sauce pan until just boiling. Pour over chocolate and stir until blended completely. Add butter. Add rosewater. Place in fridge for 30 minutes or until a spreadable consistency.