Monday, June 28, 2010

Blueberry Galette

Blueberries are here! Our local Henry's Market has big fat juicy organic blueberries just begging to be eaten! After satisfying my initial gluttony with a few handfuls, I said to myself; "Self, why not turn the rest of them into an easy rustic tart?"

I could think of no reason to disagree with myself, so that's what I did.

1-1/2 cups of blueberries
1/4 cup of flour
2-3 tablespoons of sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup of cold Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup of cold Water
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1- 1/4 Cups all purpose Flour

Cut the butter into small pieces (approximately 1 tablespoon in size). Dissolve the salt into the water and put aside. Measure the flour into the bowl, and using a pastry cutter combine the flour and butter. Make a well in the mixture and pour in the water. Continue to combine with the pastry cutter to form a dough. Turn the dough out on a floured surface, sprinkle with flour and roll out to form a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Fold the dough in half and roll out again. Repeat this step 3 or 4 times, then fold the dough and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Take out the dough and roll into a circle or rectangle depending on the shape you want for the galette, about 1/8 inch thick. Mound 1-1/2 cups of blueberry filling in the middle, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Fold in the border to partially cover the fruit.

Whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, then brush lightly over the dough/crust and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 50 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool, Cut and Enjoy. Vanilla ice cream would be really good on top. I'm going to get some now!

Makes a 6 x 6 inch tart. Serves 4.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sopapilla Cheesecake squares

This recipe was adapted from a recipe on the Dave's Garden site. They have a separate division just for recipes. I've been making this for a few months. My only adaptation was to peel and dice one apple, add cinnamon and sugar, and put it in with the cream cheese filling. This is extremely yummy, with or without the apple. Using the Pillsbury crescent rolls as the pastry base makes it real easy too.... but you really can't tell by tasting it that there's any shortcuts being made. Here we go:

2 cans crescent rolls (original with 8 in each can)
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened.
1 Cup of Sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Spread 1 package of crescent roll dough on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. (Not greased)
Cook for 6 minutes and remove from oven.
Let it cool for 5 minutes.

Blend 1 cup of sugar, cream cheese and vanilla
Spread the cream cheese mixture on the bottom crust.

Then put the 2nd roll of crescent roll dough over the cream cheese mixture.

Topping: Melt 1 stick of real butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix well and sprinkle over the top crust

Cook for 25 minutes in a dark metal pan at 350 degrees. If using light metal you may have to increase the cooking time for a few minutes

OPTIONAL: Peel, core and dice one medium apple. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix well and put on top of the cream cheese filling before putting on the top crust and topping

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Quick & Easy Chunky Spaghetti Sauce

No more Jars of Sauce for me!

2 tablespoons of olive oil into a saute pan. Once the oil is hot add:
1/2 chopped, sliced or diced medium onion. Cook over medium heat until the onion starts to brown.
Add in 3 minced cloves of garlic and cook for just another minute. Careful - garlic burns easily.
Now toss in 2 cans (14 oz. each) of diced tomatoes (I poured out half the liquid in the can, but you could add a can of tomato paste instead of doing that, if you'd like to extend the sauce)
Add 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon of anise seed
Let sauce cook until the liquid is reduced enough to have the right consistency.
Add a handful of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Pour over cooked spaghetti and enjoy. It's great the next day too.
This made enough sauce to make 2 individual size pizza and spaghetti the next day.

The measurements are approximate as I don't actually measure the herbs/spices. You can adjust to taste and smell. I do use exact measurements when baking, but my cooking is more by smell and taste than a science.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Day Cupcakes with Lemon Curd

Sweet cupcakes with a filling of tart Lemon Curd. I love this combination. Almost any classic yellow cupcake will do, so first I'll give you the Lemon Curd recipe and follow with the Happy Day Cupcake recipe.

Feel free to substitute your own favorite cupcake recipe.

Lemon Curd

Makes approximately 3 cups.

1 1/2 Tablespoons of freshly grated Lemon Zest
1 Cup of freshly squeezed Lemon Juice (This took 6 lemons for me)
1 1/3 Cup of Ultra Fine Bakers Sugar (Like granulated sugar, only finer. Okay to use regular)
A Pinch of Salt
4 Large eggs (eggs should be at room temperature)
3/4 Cup of unsalted Butter, cut up into tablespoon sized pieces (1 1/2 sticks)

Whisk the lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs together with the pinch of salt in a heavy saucepan. Add the butter and then cook over low to moderate heat while constantly whisking until it starts to lightly bubble and become thicker. (Approximately 10-12 minutes.) Then immediately pour through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover and chill before using.

Note: This will not thicken enough to use as a pie filling, but will be perfect as a filling for cake, or spread on cookies. Europeans like to use Lemon Curd as a spread on Scones. Anything where you'd like a sweet and tart combination. For the cupcakes I cut out a piece of cupcake, filled the hole with the lemon curd, put the cut out piece back on top like a little hat, and then sprinkled with confectioners sugar.

Happy Day Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a Bowl:
2 1/4 Cups of Flour
3 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1/2 Cup of Shortening

In a Cup:
1 Cup minus 2 tablespoons of Milk
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
2 Eggs, unbeaten

Stir shortening to soften, Add dry ingredients
Add 3/4 of the milk mixture
Beat 2 minutes at low speed.
Add eggs and remaining milk mixture. Beat at medium speed for 1 minutes

Line cupcake tin with paper cup liners. Put approximately 1/3 cup of batter in each.
Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chocolate Crispers

The title of this is a little deceiving. While the nuts make the top seem crispy, the brownie underneath is all that you'd want a brownie to be. Moist and chocolaty. I'm thinking, what could be better for a chocoholic like me. Can't help it, it's in my DNA.

My sister Liz reminded me of these family favorites yesterday. These brownies are for chocolate and nut lovers only. If you were to leave out the nuts, they just wouldn't be the same. I had some finely chopped walnuts that I sprinkled all over the top of them before putting them in the oven. If you really dislike nuts they'd be easy enough to scrape off. Just don't let me see you do it, or I might accuse you of being ..... Nuts!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare an 8 inch square pan. *

In a large mixing bowl
2 eggs, beaten
1 Cup of sugar
1 Teaspoon of vanilla
Mix well

Melt together
1/2 cup Shortening and
2 squares of of unsweetened chocolate
Add to first 3 ingredients and mix well.

1/2 cup flour and mix well.

Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Bake at 325 degrees for 28-32 minutes. Dark metal pans took 28 minutes. Light aluminum took 31 minutes in my oven.

*Labor saving method: To prepare pan: Line the pan with aluminum foil and then spray with a butter flavored spray such as Crisco butter flavored no-stick spray. When the brownies have cooled pull them out by lifting up the aluminum foil. Put them on a cutting board and cut them there. I love to cook, but I'm not too fond of cleaning up afterward.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Aunt Rika's Sour Cream Apple Nut Coffee Cake

Can you say scrumptious? This wonderful moist coffee cake remains on the top of my all time favorites. My husband likes it so much that it's what he asks for as his birthday cake. Yeah, that's a little weird, but am I going to argue with a delicious idea? Not a chance! It's layered and topped with a filling of diced apples, chopped walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar ... and makes your house smell divine. My apologies to the Yankee Candle Company - I don't need your apple cinnamon candle anymore.

Aunt Rika's Sour Cream Apple Nut Coffee Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 Cup of Real Butter, softened to room temperature
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 Pint (1 cup) of Real Sour Cream
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
2 Cups of Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda.


1/2 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of chopped Walnuts
1 Cup of Diced Apples
2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon

Grease an angel food cake pan.
Mix cake batter in the order given. Mix the filling/topping separately.
Layer batter first, followed by the filling, another layer of batter, and top with the filling mixture.

350 degrees 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the batter comes out clear.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

No Secret Recipes!

This guy says it better than I ever could. Be sure to visit his site.

From "How to Cook like your Grandmother" by Drew Kime

Coke has their secret recipe, though it’s not quite as secret as people think. KFC has their 11 herbs and spices.

But you ain’t Colonel Sanders. (I’d give a shout out on the off chance Harlan dropped by, but he died several years before I got my first internet connection.) So there’s not much chance you’ve got some secret recipe that’s going to make you rich.

Oh sure, you might, but it’s kind of like planning to win the lottery: You better have a plan B.

So why do so many people have “secret recipes” that they won’t share with friends and family? Does Aunt Betty’s peach cobbler taste better because you don’t know how to make it? Does Cousin Frank think people are going around talking about how good his chili is when he’s not around?

Instead of explaining this over and over to people, I’m just going to say this one more time. Anyone who agrees, feel free to point to this page.

  1. If you share your secret recipe, your version will still taste just as good.
  2. If you leave out one or two ingredients so mine isn’t quite the same, I won’t be grateful. I’ll be pissed.
  3. Yes, I like your cooking, but I visit for the company. If the only reason to visit you is for the food, you’re not a friend: You’re a restaurant. I’ll be sure to leave a tip.
  4. If I make your recipe and people pay me compliments, I’ll tell them I got it from you.
  5. If you make me figure it out on my own you get no credit.
  6. If your recipe really is that great, you could be remembered as the person with the best cookies in the church bake sale. Or if you share it, you could be the person who invented chocolate chip cookies.

Let’s share, people. It’s the right thing to do.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jelly Cookies

Mom used to make these for us when I was a kid, and they're still a favorite at all of our family parties. These are a shortbread type of cookie that you'll bake until they're light golden on the bottom but just barely golden on the top. Be sure to let them cool completely before eating so you don't burn your tongue on the hot jelly. I say this from experience. Patience isn't a virtue that I've earned yet.

Jelly Cookies

375 degrees 12-13 minutes

1/2 Cup of Crisco Shortening
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 Egg, beaten
1 1/2 Cups of all purpose Flour

Cream shortening, add sugar and beat well. Add vanilla and beaten egg and mix. Add flour and mix well, using your hand if you need to.

Drop by rounded teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet or one that's lined with parchment paper. Dip a finger in flour then press in the center of the cookie. Fill the indentation with jelly. (I used grape jelly)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

SweetsSuccessBaking Start-up

From my first Easy Bake oven in the late 50's to now. Every Blog must have a beginning. This is mine. Baking is a passion of mine that I'm happy to share with all who allow it. It's something I'll go on and on about until I see my friends eyes glaze over.

We'll start this with some family recipes. The type that have been written on paper that has yellowed from the years, and has at least one food stain on it. Recipes that might start a family disagreement when we try to track down which relative it came from. True treasures!

This is me, from that Easy Bake Oven era.

This little Ditty is by an unknown author.
Remember,substitute at your own risk.


I didn't have potatoes,
so I substituted rice.
Didn't have paprika,
so I used another spice.

I didn't have tomato sauce,
so I used tomato paste.
A whole can not a half can-
i don't believe in waste.

My friend gave me the recipe-
She said you couldn't beat it.
There must be something wrong with her,
I couldn't even eat it.