Sweet and Savory Corn Fritters

In a very rare moment yesterday, my sweet tooth was really trying to get the better of me. We usually keep a stockpile of cookies from my previous job in the freezer, but my sister likes to eat my favorite double chocolate ones for breakfast…so alas, we were out! Even our refrigerator and cupboard were seriously lacking ingredients to conjure up something sweet. Time to improvise!

It’s funny how some of the random kitchen staples use the word sweet, i.e.- sweet cream butter, sweet yellow corn, sweet clover honey. Yeah, none of those are going to make my double chocolate cookies, but they have the potential to come together and make something amazing. I had to think outside the box and hop a few state lines back to good ol’ Texas. I swear, I draw so much inspiration from my roots. Thus, a sweet and savory dessert found its beginnings.

Think donut + elotes + sopapilla.

I really just meshed  my recipes for corn and flour tortillas and my pie crust together to create something resembling a pastry dough. Once fried up, it was ever so sweet! For this particular recipe, I filled these fritters with a corn and tomato mixture,seasoned more on the savory side. At first my sister complained about the corn filling, but once she took a bite she quickly shut up. In all actuality, these would probably taste just fine without a filling, drizzled with some honey and maybe a sprinkling cinnamon sug. See churros and sopapillas. In the future I’d like to try out different fillings like jalapeno cream cheese, or chorizo and apple/pear (sounds weird but I bet it would be great!). Corn just seemed fitting since I was using maseca and sweet was right there, smack dab on the label. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Sweet & Savory Corn Fritters

For the dough:

1 1/2 cups maseca flour + 1 tbs for rolling

1/2 cup all purpose flour + 1 tbs for rolling

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp granulated sugar

5 tbs butter (sweet cream!) at room temperature

1-1/4 cups warm water

For the filling:

1 can of (sweet yellow!) corn, rinsed and drained

1 large tomato, diced

savory seasoning to taste; I used cumin, s&p, chili powder, and cayenne pepper

vegetable oil for frying

honey for something extra

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the  dry ingredients to make your dough. Using your hands, work the butter into the dry mixture until it takes on a mealy appearance. You should be able to form a ball in your hand. Slowly add the warm water in increments of 1/4 cup. The final product should be slightly firm while slightly sticky. For your dough into 8 equal sized balls. Cover with a damp cloth until it’s time to roll out.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for your filling: corn, diced tomato, and seasonings to taste. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  3. Time to roll these babies out! Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with the leftover dry mixture: equal parts maseca and flour. Roll out a circular shape about 6-7″ in diameter and a thickness a bit more than a 1/4″. You just want to make sure it isn’t too thin, otherwise the filling may leak out! Spoon your filling right into the center!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  4. To fully form your fritter (alliteration!) fold the edges over the top and press down. This is a two hand job. form your fritters into a biscuit like shape. You may have to use some of the dry mix to keep everything in place. Oh yeah, it is totally okay if there are some cracks! Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  5. Heat up your oil in a pan and fry these babies until they are golden on both sides. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and brush each fritter with honey. You can even sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt and sugar. I sure did!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  6. Note: I only baked these fritters for their second half of cooking because I knew ahead of time I did not have enough oil to do the deed. Bake your fritters at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Yeah, that did the trick! Let cool for 5 seconds and then drizzle with more honey if you’re feeling sweet, Cholula if you’re feeling saucy. Pick your poison!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Seriously, who needs a freezer burned cookie when you can have something just as sweet, if not -er and maybe a tiny but healthy? Oh yeah, and it’s got a little bit of spice on the inside! Ha, that kind of sounds like my personality!

Thank goodness for those Texan roots and the Mexican food mart in the Strip District. God knows where I’d be if I was unable to find that giant bag of masa mix!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

 

Papa Don’t Peach (Pie)

Let’s rewind the clock and really even flip the calendar back a month to June. I don’t normally like to go back in time, but pie is involved so I’ll make an exception.

The Monday beginning Fathers Day week I found myself lying in bed not being able to sleep and thinking about food, per usual. I swear, all of my best ideas come to me via delirium. This one also came courtesy of Madonna, an earlier trip to my butcher crush’s establishment, and the onslaught of summer. PEACHES AND BACON – I had the perfect pie any pops would like on their day.

When I shared this bright piedea with friends, theladies were like “that’s a strange combination” and the dudes were like “fuck yeah, bacon”. From their responses I knew I was on the right track. I used the same all butter pie crust recipe I’ve grown accustomed to, with the addition of 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Crust is always my favorite part of the pie so I love making minor adjustments to the recipe in order to bring out the flavor in the filling. As for the peaches, cream, and bacon, I took the local route. I love any excuse to visit my local butcher (I have the biggest crush on that man) and farmers markets are a no brainer.

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Papa Don’t Peach Pie

For the Filling:

8-10 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp vanilla + 1/2 tsp maple syrup

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs + 2 tsp corn starch

1 1/2 tbs tapioca 

pinch kosher salt

  1. Peel and slice peaches and place into a large mixing bowl. make sure your peaches are ripe, otherwise this is a pretty arduous task….it really is the pits. (Ha!) Try brown bagging your fruit for a day or 2 beforehand. Toss in and coat the peaches with the fresh lemon juice, vanilla, and maple syrup.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  2. In a separate smaller bowl, combine all of your (other) dry ingredients. Lightly toss the mixture in with the peaches with a rubber spatula.  This is why I love making fruit pies, so simple! Processed with VSCOcam with e8 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  3. Lightly fry up a few slices of bacon in a skillet. Then dice those babies up. We will dot the filling with bacon instead of butter!Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  4. When assembling your pie, a double crust is the way to go. I would recommend either a tight lattice crust or small vent slits. Peaches are more on sensitive side. You don’t want to end up scorching your fruit or hurting anyone’s feelings. I have a love for latticing things, so duh, I went with a fat, tight, and diagonal weave. Before adding the filling, I like to dust the bottom half of the pie shell with a mixture of equal parts sugar and flour. This helps to thicken up any juices during the baking process. Yum! Finally after spooning your peaches into the shell, dot with the little cubes of bacon before starting to weave the top crust layer. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  5. Pop your assembled pie into the freezer for about 30 minutes. This help the crust to maintain its shape during the baking process. No one likes a droopy crust! After freezing, brush the top layer of crust with a mixture of equal parts heavy cream and whole milk. Another trick for the books, this gives you a soft yet flaky and goldenly delicious pie crust. I used local dairy products, too! Happy cows=happy pies, right? Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset
  6. Bake this baby for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees, rotating every 20 minutes. Let cool for an hour before delving in. I served the pie with homemade coldbrew coffee, but I can only imagine the amazingness of a la mode! Next time, next time.Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

 

If and when I finally make that pie shoppe dream come true, this will definitely be on the menu come fathers day. It may have to become a summer staple, because who doesn’t like peach pie? (Answer: weirdos/people who are not my friends)

 

***Because bacon is involved, this also makes a great breakfast choice!***Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

For the Love of Lattice

It is no secret that I absolutely love to bake. Let it also be known that pies are my favorite thing to make. For such a proficient pie slinger, it pains me to admit that I had not made a lattice crusted pie until recently- in the last year to be exact! Since making my relationship with baking official, I’ve recently put a lot of thought into why this was so. I love to braid hair, and this is basically the same thing if not a million times easier.

These days I get urges to lattice. I want to do it to everything! Fortunately enough, the opportunity presents itself on the regular.

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Over the weekend, we celebrated the birthday of one of my good friends. To no one’s surprise, a whole bunch of baking was involved, including a birthday pie!

The pie crust i decided to go with is probably obvious after reading this posting’s title and further along ramblings. I used the same dough recipe from Hoosier Mama, blogged here. I changed things up by using lavender infused salt rather than the regular kosher.

Blackberries have been cheap at my local supermarket, so of course this was my go-to filling. Cherries or blueberries would work just as well. The following recipe is as easy as pie!

Blackberry Pie

4 cups fresh blackberries 

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tbs corn starch

1 tsp tapioca starch

pinch lavender infused (or regular ol’) kosher salt

2 tbs butter cut into tiny pieces

1 tsp flour + 1 tsp sugar for crust dusting

1 egg + 1 tbs water for crust washing

coarse grain sugar for sprinkling (pre-bake) OR powdered sugar for dusting (post-bake)

  1. In a large bowl, combine blackberries, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix the dry ingredients into the larger bowl with the berries.
  4. Dust a prepared pie shell with crust dust, then add the pie filling. The flour and sugar combo actually helps to thicken out all the berry juice upon cooling!
  5. Using a pastry cutter, pizza cutter, knife, or anything sharp, cut out dough strips for your lattice. Thick or thin. Thick and thin. Over-under. Under-over. There is no real right way to weave your lattice crust. Be creative! I have a problem with cutting straight lines, so I went with bigger and fewer strips.
  6. Once finished with your weave, roll and crimp your edges and brush with pie wash.
  7. Sprinkle or dust with your chosen sugar before or after baking. Or not at all! This last step is for aesthetic purposes only.

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I urge you to go ahead and try latticing something! Then go braid your hair!

Happy baking.

52 Weeks of Baking: Buttermilk Buttermilk

Never had I ever eaten a slice of buttermilk pie until last summer when a coworker brought some to the office. As a huge fan of anything buttermilk, I devoured my slice and went back for seconds. Buttermilk pie is a dessert indigenous to The South and Texas. How was I just tasting it at the ripe age of 24?

My dad loves pumpkin pie. I would always bake him pies straight from the can come Thanksgiving time. I would occasionally have a slice of pecan or coconut cream pie from Bill Miller’s if my grandpa had a craving. I was never really a fan of apple pie. GASP! How un- American of me, right? Needless to say, I grew up very sheltered from the amazing types of pie out there in the world. Buttermilk was one of these!

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Upon opening my Hoosier Mama cookbook for the first time, I landed on page 174, pretty much the centerfold, a recipe for buttermilk pie. The rest is history! I have since adapted Paula Haney’s recipe a litter here and a little there to satiate my cravings. My two favorite versions include the addition of cocoa powder, extra lemon, and frozen berries. You wanna know what makes this pie the best things ever? This.

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar

6 tbs butter

the zest of an entire lemon

2 large eggs, separated

3 tbs all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk

***for chocolate buttermilk pie: 3 tbs cocoa powder

***for berry buttermilk pie: 1 1/2 cups frozen berries, preferably black, blue, or raspberries

The Process 

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and lemon zest.ImageImage

2. Whisk together the egg yolks and add to the sugar and butter.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together four, nutmeg, salt, and *cocoa powder. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter, combining thoroughly.

4. Slowly pour in the lemon juice, followed by the buttermilk. Mix together on low. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl, being sure to incorporate everything.

5. In another separate bowl, beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Fold 1/2 of the egg whites into the batter using your rubber spatula. Once fully combined, fold in the remaining egg whites. *If making a berry buttermilk pie, stir in the berries at this time.Image

6. Gently pour the batter into a blind baked pie shell. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Image

Let your pie cool for about 30 minutes to an hour after baking. For a little extra sweetness, I dusted the tops with powdered sugar! ImageImageImage

Buttermilk pie, and especially these variations, has wiggled its way to my top favorite desserts, coming in second to pecan pie! I can’t wait til the holidays so I can make/maybe sell some of these bad boys. Until then, they will suffice for Sunday Breaking Bad watch parties.

XOXOXO

The Best Pie Dough for the Best Pie Crust

Until recently I used to pretend like I was Martha Stewart when working away in the kitchen. These days, I find myself relating more and more to Paula Haney. While she may not be the queen of arts & crafts, the woman sure as hell knows how to make a pie! I bought Haney’s cookbook as an early birthday gift to myself and have since gone pie crazy. Off the deep end into a wonderful land of butter, butter, and more butter, plus some flour. And don’t you dare let your brain start along the path of Paula Deen.

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I love this cookbook because it tells Haney’s story. Almost every recipe is accompanied by an anecdote about either her family way way back or something that happened in the shop. It’s very personal, and that Midwestern hospitality (it’s a real thing, y’all) is evident in her writing. The recipes are also very easy to follow, which is good for professional and novice bakers alike. She begins her recipes for pie dough with a warning: making good pie dough is hard. I made a perfectly poached egg on the first try. I was up for the challenge.

The Hoosier Mama’s All-Butter Pie Dough

To start things off on a good note, I absolutely loved making this dough. Honestly, I love making all kinds of dough, and the process for this crust was actually fairly similar to the one I used for my empanadas. (Would ya look at how much my blog has improved!!!) The key here is keeping things “chill”. My kitchen does not come equipped with a food processor, but fortunately for me, I have what they call pie maker hands! This means that my hands are cold. Actually, honestly, my hands are not cold during the summer months (June-September for Texas) so this is a half truth. Anyway. I had to mix the dough by hand for this recipe because I lack a food processor. I am totally alright with this though. My grandma and her mother and even her grandmother did not use a food processor, and pie has a long long history. What the hell, a dough blender and 10 fingers work just the same!

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Before I begin relaying the recipe to you, please note that a good pie crust takes time. The dough must rest in order to be its best! The same goes for me!

Ingredients

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, divided

1 tbs red wine vinegar

1/2 cup very cold water

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tbs granulated sugar

The Process

1. After cutting into cubes, freeze 5 tbs of your butter for any amount of time between 20 minutes and overnight. I went with an hour. Chill the remaining 1 1/8 sticks until ready to use.

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2. Stir the red wine vinegar and water together and set aside as well.

3. In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients.

4. After your declared amount of freeze time, add the CHILLED butter to the dry mixture first. Work the butter into the flour with either your hands or a dough blender (or both!) until it resembles a coarse meal. Image

5. Next, add the frozen butter. Cut into the dough until the frozen pieces are pea sized. These pieces will eventually turn into butter pockets, making the crust ever so flaky, delicious, and, well, buttery!

6. Add 6 tbs of the chilled vinegar water to the dough and mix together with your hands. If the dough holds together in your hand after squeezing a small amount, you are good to go. If not, add more vinegar water to the mixture, little by little.

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7. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough together until smooth. Divide the dough into two equal parts and roll each into a ball. You can then lightly flatten them and wrap in plastic wrap. From here they must rest in the refrigerator, preferable overnight.

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8. After an extended period of time in the refrigerator, your dough will be ready to work with. Dust your work surface and a rolling pin liberally with flour.

9. Place your chilled dough onto your surface and partially flatten with the heel of your hand. To get the dough even flatter, beat with a rolling pin. This was a fun process! Image

10. Now you can begin rolling out your dough. Dust your pin and even part the dough with flour and make long strokes out from the center making sure the dough does not stick to the surface along the way. The final product should be about 1/8 inch thick. Image

11. Cut a 14 inch wide circle out of the dough. I guestimated with a dinner plate! Image

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12. Softly settle the dough circle into a greased and floured 9 inch pie plate. You may have to tap the plate ever so gently on the table until it settles. Then, lightly press the dough into the corners of the pie plate.

13. If you are continuing on to make a single crust pie, begin the crimp process by folding the dough edges under. Work the edges in opposite directions, squeezing little points on the outer top of the pie plate. This did take a while to get the hang of. My later pies looked much better, and they all tasted equally amazing! ImageImageImageImageImage

As you can see, I have definitely gotten better with practice!

Since purchasing this book, I have made 6 pies. Some were recipes straight from the Hoosier Mama, while others mere varieties. Each one has tasted delicious. I documented the process for a buttermilk pie (along with chocolate and berry variations) that will knock your socks off. Expect many recipes in the coming days, weeks, and months!

With a different work schedule and school back in session, life is a bit more hectic. But, I can always make time for pie! And so begins a new love affair!

XOXOXO

52 Weeks of Baking

At some point in my future, I would love to enter the world professional baking. Unfortunately, being a full time library girl doesn’t translate, in my opinion, to mass cupcake production that well on a resume. I have read that a degree in culinary arts is not necessarily a necessity, and I really like being debt free! Why not use my blog as a portfolio? Hence my reason to bake for 52 weeks.

Over the next year I plan to challenge myself as a baker. Some weeks it may be making my own pastry dough while other will be making myself get in the kitchen!

In the spirit of New Orleans and wine night, I decided to start off on the easy side with brownies. Cafe du Monde brownies!

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Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 1/4 tsp vanilla

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chilled Cafe du Monde coffee

powdered sugar for dusting

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  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet.
  4. Once batter is prepared, stir in the chilled coffee.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
  6. Let cool. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve. Voila!

These brownies were a hit at my first wine night! So much that I didn’t get to take any photos/enjoy any leftovers! Next time, I would love to experiment with different types of chocolate! Decadence.

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I would love to get your input about baking! Is there anything you would like for me to try to attempt, excluding French macaroons?

Happy Baking!

Black and Blue Banana Bread Bunt

Whooooa, talk about alliteration! I think my I will credit my baking/cooking inspiration over the next week to my upcoming move. I want to quickly but surely get rid of a lot of the items in my freezer, fridge, and pantry. I hate wasting food, so expect some creativity with my upcoming recipes! Kamikaze pastas dishes, probably a few more tarts, and quinoa salads/stuffed peppers galore! Oh yeah, and more than likely a tilapia overload.

Today’s post is brought to you by all the fruit I had stashed in my freezer! If I know something is going to go bad, I normally stick it in the freezer as a last change of saving grace. I had a plethora of blue and blackberries as well as a few bananas, and wanted to try subbing coconut oil for butter.

By now you should know I am a fan of subbing things. In this particular instance, I subbed butter with coconut oil and buttermilk with Greek yogurt (that one was a given). This batter. Oh my Lawwwwwwwd! I could have eaten this batter straight up in a mug. If it were not for the raw eggs, there may not have been enough for my bunt pan.

Black and blue normally makes me think of bruises, not berries. I added these little pops of color for the sole purpose of getting rid of them. Turns out they added to the sweetness and alliteration!

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Ingredients

2 eggs

1/2 coconut oil, slightly melted

1 tbs 2% milk

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbs vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg

a dash of cinnamon

a pinch of salt

4 rip bananas, mashed (I used frozen)

1 cup frozen black and blueberries (totally optional, nuts would also be a nice sub)

1 tbs large sugar sprinkles (optional)

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The Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, coconut oil, milk,  Greek yogurt, sugars, and vanilla. ImageImageImage
  3. In a separate bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Incorporate your dry ingredients into your batter. Be sure to not beat the two together. Incorporating evenly distributes all ingredients and will make the final product lighter and less tough. ImageImage
  4. Stir in your mashed bananas and your frozen fruit. ImageImageImage
  5. As a final touch, I stirred in about 1 tbs of large sugar sprinkle. Just something extra! Image
  6. Pour your finished batter into a greased pan. I used a bunt. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees until an inserted toothpick or butter knife comes out mostly clean. ImageImageImageImage
  7. Once finished baking, let your bread cool for about 20 minutes before flipping out of your bunt pan. Image See ya on the flipside! Image

I think I can honestly say this is the best banana bread I have ever made, Is credit due to using coconut oil instead? Or do I owe it all to using Greek yogurt in everything? Who knows! This was some damn good bread! I can’t wait to enjoy it for breakfast tomorrow!

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Ah, the joy of baking. Hope you all had a lovely Monday!

Blackberry & Lemon Cream Napoleons

My current roommate’s future roommate is opening a coffee shop/bakery in the future. Haha, try saying that five times fast! She is looking for a baker, and while I wholeheartedly wish I could take the position, it is only part time. Unfortunately anything part-time will not cover my bills, even with me living the Denton lifestyle. I have had pastries on the mind ever since! Last night I dreamed of making eclairs!

A coworker and I were talking about desserts last week and she told me that Napoleons were her favorite. Being the Francophile that I am, I immediately began looking up recipes. Did you know that I was only 6 credits short from being a French major? Oh la la la la la! Oui! C’est vrai!

I let the summer season dictate the direction I would take with this recipe, coming up with blackberries and lemons. I just love the combination! Image

Once again I used store bought puff pastry dough. One of these weekends I will make it myself from scratch, but during the week ain’t nobody got time fo dat!

Ingredients

1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed

1 tbs butter, melted

1/2 cup blackberries, halved then put in freezer to keep stiff

1 cup powdered sugar for dusting

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 1/2 tbs granulated sugar

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

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The Process

Have you ever made whipped cream from scratch? I do it all the time if I have the time. It tastes so much better than that crap in an aerosol can, let me tell ya! It is also a wonderful arm workout! I may or may not have used an electric mixer this time around. I’ll never tell and you’ll never know!

  1. While your pastry dough is thawing, whisk together the 1 tbs of freshly squeezed lemon juice with your vanilla. Add your heavy whipping cream and beat it, just beat it until it becomes noticeably thicker (right before peaks start to form). Add your granulated sugar and continue to beat until firm, resembling whipped cream. put in the freezer until ready for use. ImageImageImageImage
  2. By this time, your puff pastry dough should be defrosted. Using a pizza cutter, cut along the seams to make three long rectangles. Cut these rectangles down the middle, vertically. If we were in elementary school, I think it would be hamburger?Image
  3. Take your blackberries out of the freezer and slice each one in half lengthwise. I put them in the freezer to keep them from berry bleeding all over the place. Image
  4. Melt your tbs of butter in a small cup and lightly brush each rectangle of puff pastry dough with it. Image
  5. Place between 7 and 10 blackberry halves in the center of each buttered rectangle and dust with powdered sugar. The sugar helps almost caramelize the berries while baking! Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. ImageImageImage
  6. When finished baking, remove from oven and let cool for about 2 minutes. Then, give all of your rectangles a good dusting with powdered sugar. Let cool for about 15-20 more minutes.ImageImageImage
  7. Once your dough is completely cooled, you may begin layering. Fruit pastry, whipped cream, fruit pastry, whipped cream, pastry topping, a thin lemon slice, and one last dusting of powdered sugar.ImageImageImageImage

If not serving right away, chill immediately. Side note: I think my whip cream malfunctioned a little bit, or maybe my dough was not completely cooled. Either way, it still tasted wonderful! Next time I will be sure to have some white chocolate on hand. Wouldn’t that be delightful drizzled on top?

Another side note: Sunday is Bastille Day! Maybe I can make it to the festivities in Dallas’s Bishop Arts Neighborhood.

Until then, au revoir!

Tea Party!

Oh man, moving is tough! (I helped my boyfriend and his mom carry two boxes inside to store in my back room.) I don’t move into my cute yellow house until the end of summer, but it’s beginning to drain me mentally. Time for a break!

Time for a tea party!

I may be one of those weirdos who slurps down a hot bowl of soup during the warmer months, but I am not a fan of hot drinks. In fact, I only make myself drink hot beverages when there is snow on the ground or when I have the flu, neither of which are in my life currently. Summertime in the South calls for ice cold lemonade or super sweet tea. I actually like to combine the two. Teamonade!

Blackberry Teamonade & Lemon Shortbread Cookies.Image

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Spike with vodka and I found the perfect way to break in my Ball Heritage Blue masons. What goes well with tea? Why cookies of course! In this case, I decided to make lemon shortbread cookies to match my drink. The following are my recipes for both the cookies and cocktails. 

Lemon Shortbread Cookies Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened 

2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

2 tbs finely grated lemon zest

2 cups all purpose flower

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The Process

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Does it not smell like you just walked into Williams-Sonoma? ImageImage
  2. Slowly add flower in parts incorporating as you go. The final dough product should not be sticky.Image
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll out with a floured rolling pin to a 1/4 inch thickness. use a champagne glass to cut the cookies into small, uniform circles.ImageImage
  4. Place cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Put chocolate chips in the center and press with a fork on each side. Image
  5. Bake in a preheated over at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Look how cute!Image

Blackberry Teamonade Ingredients

4 black tea bags, brewed

zest & juice of 1 large lemon

1 cup fresh blackberries

1 cup granulated sugar

3 cups water

Sparkling soda

Vodka

The Process

  1. Brew 4 tea bags. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, muddle together 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Image
  3. Add sugar and water to a saucepan over medium-high heat stirring constantly to create a simple syrup. Add the muddle fruit to make a flavored simple syrup. Image
  4. In a chilled martini shaker halfway filled with ice, add 4 shots vodka, 1 cup sparkling soda, 1 cup brewed tea, and fruit syrup. Give a good shake. Pour into glasses over ice. Top with one more tablespoon of the simple syrup and garnish with a lemon wedge and fresh blackberries. Image

I made the cookies first so I would not get too tipsy and burn them. This beverage is as refreshing as could be! It perfectly compliments the hint of lemon in the shortbread cookies. Tuesday Boozeday done right!

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Grapefruit Bars

You know, honestly, my grapefruit obsession is fairly recent. Until I built up my relationship with the Texas Ruby Red, grapefruit, to me, was just another diet food served alongside a bowl of 0% cottage cheese. Ugh gag. Makes me think of breakfast after an early swim team practice.

As the spring starts its transition into summer, I find myself liking grapefruit more and more! Mix it with champagne for a more airy mimosa. Squeeze juice over tequila, ice cubes, and soda water for a delightfully refreshing Paloma. Or, just eat a half with a piece of toast for breakfast! Let’s not even get me started on Shiner’s summer brew- Ruby Red Bird.

I found inspiration for this post after looking over one of my favorite blogs. Grapefruit cookies, which sound and look droolworthy, made me think of lemon bars. I thought to myself, “why not switch fruits?” Oh yeah. I did just that.

Initially I wanted to use a recipe published by David Lebovitz, but alas I left my food journal at work and was too lazy to find the recipe online via my phone. The following recipe was adapted from a basic lemon bar recipe via Allrecipes.

Here is what you will need for this oh-so easy dessert:

Crust

1/2 cup butter (2 sticks) softened

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla

Filling

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit juicen(2-3 grapefruits)

2 tbs grapefruit zest

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

The Process

Prep time for this dessert is probably 15 minutes tops for both the crust and filling combined! You also won’t use a ton of dishes, making cleanup a breeze! Starting by making the crust is the best decision because it can be refrigerated for later use if need be. Also, you can work on the filling and watch your dog nap while it is baking in the oven.

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  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together your sugar, butter and vanilla. slowly work the flour in with a large spoon or spatula until it resembles a texture similar to cookie dough. ImageCongratulations! You just made shortbread!
  2. Pat your dough onto the bottom and sides of a baking dish (I used a glass pie dish) as you would if you were making a cheesecake crust. I wanted the crust for these bars to be thick, so don’t worry! There will still be room for the filling!Image
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. ImageGypsy napped while I started the process for the filling, which took a whole 5 minutes. Image
  4. In a large mixing bow (I used the same bowl to lighten my dish load) whisk together the eggs, grapefruit juice and zest, and vanilla. Add your dry ingredients and whisk together until smooth.Image
  5. Once the crust is finished, let it cool for about 5 minutes.Image
  6. Pour your grapefruit filling into the semi cooled crust and pop in the oven for about 40-50 minutes.Image
  7. You might want to use the ol’ toothpick trick to make sure the center is completely finished. ImageIt may look a little wobbly, but once completely cooled, the bars will firm up.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into 2×3 inch squares, and try not to fight over who gets and end piece!ImageImageImage

There you have it, a grapefruit bar! I personally think they are a million times better than a lemon bar because they lack the tartness. Kudos to my bright idea of adding vanilla! Oh yea, Allrecipes said these were “low calorie”. I say it’s dessert and it doesn’t matter.

P.S. Even my non grapefruit and sweets fans adored these tasty treats!