Tag Archives: baking

Butter Pecan Biscotti with Chocolate Drizzle

Butter Pecan BiscottiButter Pecan Biscotti are perfect for holiday cookie exchanges and for sharing! One of my favorite ice cream flavors is butter pecan, so I wanted to turn it into a biscotti for giving away as homemade gifts for friends this holiday season.   

Normally, I am too busy to do much baking during the holiday season.  This year is different. We just moved to a new city and I am still healing from surgery so my time in the kitchen is limited. Baking loads of Christmas cookies is something that I really enjoy and these biscotti are going to be in the regular rotation. They received rave reviews around here and this house is well versed in cookie consumption.  Biscotti are an excellent option if you ship cookies to friends and family, like I do.  They hold up well and remain fresh much longer than normal cookies. 

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Baked Eggs in Mini Bell Pepper Cups

baked-eggs-pepper-cupsI had bell peppers on my list.  Not these sweet little things, but the grown up kind. When I laid eyes on these, somehow the big guys lost their appeal.   I’m a sucker for cute little things.

As soon as I got them home, I started thinking about what I could do with them.  The obvious was mini stuffed peppers or filling them with dip and sticking a few veggies in them.   Then I went a completely different direction…  I love the idea of these for a brunch.   With the holidays right around the corner, these would be a perfect bite for Christmas morning or the day after Thanksgiving when any major cooking is off the table.  The evening before, slice the lids from your peppers and wrap them up for the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, crack an egg into each pepper and slide into the oven.  How’s that for easy and minimal cleanup?!

These are also perfectly portable, just toss a couple in a container and off to work or school you go! I’d much rather eat this than a dry granola bar.  Looking for a light meatless supper?  It’s got you covered there too!  They are also a good size for little hands, no silverware necessary.  

baked eggs - Pook's PantryBack to brunch: I love the idea of a platter filled with a dozen of these, with different spices or seasonings, on a bountiful table for everyone to help themselves.  (READ: I’m not waiting on you!)

Small servings work especially well for someone like me who is perfectly content to make a meal of several appetizers.  I like to taste a few different things instead of having one entree!  This allows me to have one baked egg and also a few other treats, which is really my goal in life…  to try everything I can get my hands on.baked-eggs-in-mini-bell-pepper-cups
Be creative!  Try different combinations, different herbs, etc.  Scallions, tarragon, chives and dill are great herbs for eggs.  Curry powder, hot sauce,  HP sauce (from UK) and of course hollandaise, if you’re feeling fancy, are delicious on eggs.  Another option is putting a little cheese or bacon in the bottom of the cup, or whisking it all together and making an omelet baked in the pepper cup.  Whatever your favorite egg combination, make it delicious!Baked Eggs - Pooks Pantry

Baked Eggs in Mini Bell Pepper Cups
Yields 4
Individual Baked Eggs in Mini Bell Pepper Cups
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
23 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
23 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Mini Bell Peppers
  2. 4 Medium Eggs
  3. seasonings of your choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice top off pepper and set aside. Remove seeds and membrane from pepper. Crack 1 medium egg each into mini bell pepper.
  2. Set on a baking sheet or in a glass baking dish and bake for 16 - 18 minutes, until whites are set, but yolks are still a bit runny.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, curry powder, herbs, hot sauce, etc. Whatever tickles your fancy!
Notes
  1. Small or medium eggs work best in mini bell pepper cups. Large eggs will overflow!
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
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11 of My Very Best Fall Recipes

fall-recipe-roundup

Crisp fall air and leaves turning shades of red and burnished orange, the crackle of them under your feet as you walk down the street with hands snuggled deep inside your pockets.    Autumn is by far my favorite season.  The temperatures begin to cool down at night, calling for an extra blanket or a down comforter.    This is something I miss now that I live south of the Mason Dixon line.  It’s only been 3 and a half years, but I doubt I’ll ever really get used to the lack of (distinguishable) seasons.

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Fig Puff Pastry Tarts

Fig Puff Pastry Tarts - Pook's Pantry

Labor Day weekend is behind us, and for me that marks the “unofficial” official end of summer. I’m not quite ready to “pumpkin spice all the things”, and I’m grasping onto the last ripe tomatoes, corn and veggies that summer has to offer, but fall is right around the corner.  This summer has brought sweltering temps with it and I for one, am ready for it to cool down just a bit.  

This recipe came to fruition based on 2 things:  I had puff pastry in the freezer and I had figs that were on the verge of being too soft.   Wasting food is a Cardinal Sin in my book, and I needed desserts for a client so it was a no-brainer.   I looked through the fridge to see what I had on hand to make this come together; it wasn’t much.  Luckily, I had cream cheese and I figured if I sweetened it up just a touch, the finished product would be almost Danish-like.

You want dessert, but you don’t want to spend hours making it…   However, if said dessert gave the appearance you had spent all day making it that would be a bonus.  Amiright?!

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Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake

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Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

I love my “swirly” bundt pan, but it’s a tad smaller than the average bundt and I always have leftover batter.  This may not seem like an issue, but sometimes I don’t want to make extra cupcakes or little cakes.  I just want One Big Bundt!  So, after dropping a few subtle hints and finally telling my Mom that I was planning a heist and the prize was her Classic Bundt pan… Voila!  She told me that one was on it’s way to me!  Thanks, Mom!  (sometimes, a girl needs to resort to extreme measures) Continue reading

Potato Dill Biscuits

Potato Dill Biscuits

Remember a few months ago when I went to a food conference and was assigned as brand ambassador for Idaho Potatoes?  They asked me to come up with a recipe using dehydrated potatoes and after bouncing around a few ideas, we settled on this biscuit.   Biscuits

When I was in the “testing phase” of this recipe, The Girl asked me why would I use dehydrated potato instead of leftover homemade mashed potato.  She had a good question and I figured if she was wondering that, someone else would be too.  Here’s the answer:
Other than Thanksgiving (when all of us make extra on purpose), when do you have extra mashed potato hanging around?  Not very often, I’m guessing.  Also, I don’t want to wait for the occasion to have them just to make these biscuits and furthermore, I don’t want to make them just to wait for them to get cold so I can make biscuits out of them.   All that being said, the biggest reason for using the dehydrated potato instead of leftover mashed:  THEY WORK BETTER!  I kid you not,  the biscuits are amazing.
If you’ve had potato bread or rolls, you know that sweet smell and soft, fluffy texture that can only be found by using potato. It works in breads, so it stands to reason that it would be great in a biscuit as well. And it is.

I wanted to flavor these biscuits with some kind of herb and dill was my first choice.  If you aren’t a fan of dill, swap it out for rosemary, thyme or whatever herbs you prefer.Potato Dill Drop Biscuits PP
The texture of the potato biscuit is fluffy and tender. The crust is beautifully golden and when you break them open, they smell of sweet, buttery mashed potato. You can’t beat that.

Potatoes do not have gluten (the protein that gives bread its chewy texture), so these biscuits remain tender and moist.  They are a smidge denser than regular biscuits, but are by no means heavy.  They are my new “go-to” biscuit.  They are easy as can be, because it is a simple drop biscuit, which means no rolling out and cutting dough.  I’ve made a rather big batch and froze about half of them to use in another recipe that will be coming soon!  I’ll give you a hint: breakfast.
I’m already planning ahead for the holiday season and these potato dill biscuits will be on our table this year. I can already imagine stuffing them with turkey for a little afternoon snack…
Potato Dill Biscuits PP
Thank you again, to Idaho Potato® for sponsoring this post! They are wonderful to work with and it allows me to share tasty recipes with you!

Potato Dill Biscuits
Yields 8
A simple and delicious drop biscuit.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1- 3.4 oz. package Honest Earth® buttery home-style dehydrated potatoes
  2. 7 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 ½ cups)
  3. 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  4. 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  5. ½ teaspoon white pepper
  6. 2 large eggs + 1 yolk
  7. ½ cup light cream + 2 tablespoons for brushing on top
  8. 1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
  9. 1 tablespoon dill
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl: combine cream, eggs and yolk. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment: Combine flour and diced butter and let mixer run until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add dehydrated potatoes, baking powder, dill, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix for a few seconds until it is combined.
  5. Pour cream mixture into bowl of mixer and mix until just combined, do not overmix.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and with a rubber spatula, fold dough from bottom of bowl to the top to make sure all of the flour mixture has been incorporated.
  7. Using a 3-ounce scoop, portion 8 biscuits onto the sheet pan. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired.
  8. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, cool on pan for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
Here are a few affiliate links to items used (and loved!) in this recipe.   Your price doesn’t change, but I get a few pennies if you purchase through the links below.

Sheet Pans
Parchment Paper
Kitchen Scale

Thank you for spending a little time with me today 🙂

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Potato Dill Biscuits - Pook's Pantry

Blueberry Crumb Cake

blueberry cake PP
Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month?  Let’s make a cake and celebrate!
Last week, I was flipping through an old book and 2 things fell out onto my lap: this recipe and an old black & white photo from a birthday party.

That’s the story of my life.  I’m usually a fairly organized person,  but little scraps of paper plague my existence.  I find them everywhere.  I mean, literally everywhere.  I scribble down notes or ideas and shove them into a bag or toss them onto the dining room table or kitchen counter.   I’m staring at a handful of them as I type this…crumb cake
I’ve given this recipe a permanent home now, which makes me quite pleased because this cake happens to be one of my very favorite things in all the world.   In my humble opinion, crumb cakes are absolutely one of the recipes that should be in everyone’s back pocket.  A good crumb cake is a crowd pleaser. Have you ever met someone that didn’t like crumb cake?  Me either.  
It almost guarantees you’ll get another invite if you bring it to someone’s house.  Ask my friends, I’ve taken it a few times  😉Blueberry Cake
This cake has a Very Generous crumb topping, which is mandatory in my book.  The cake itself is surprisingly light, but sturdy enough to support a hefty amount of fresh blueberries.   Get them while they are in season, because those plump little blueberries are best in the summer months!

Blueberry Crumb Cake
Serves 9
A fruit-packed cake topped with a buttery, crunchy crumb
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
For the Cake
  1. 1 1/2 cups AP flour + 1 tsp for blueberries
  2. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp vanilla (preferably vanilla bean paste)
  6. 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4TB), softened
  7. 2/3 cup sugar
  8. 1 large egg
  9. 1/3 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
  10. 2 cups blueberries, washed and patted dry
For the Crumb Topping
  1. 1 cup AP flour
  2. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Make the Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl- mix flour, sugar and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the mixture until you have large crumbs. Do not make them too small! Otherwise, the topping will not be crunchy, yummy chunks of buttery goodness on top of your cake... It will melt into the cake.
  2. Chill until you are ready to sprinkle on the cake.
Make the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9x9 baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beat until just combined. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, beat until combined. Repeat once more, ending with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, toss blueberries with the teaspoon of flour and gently fold into the batter.
  6. Batter is thick, so being gentle is important! Spoon batter into the baking dish and use an offset spatula if necessary to level the top.
  7. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the entire cake and bake for 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely before slicing!
Notes
  1. This is a versatile cake, the blueberries can be swapped out for other berries (like blackberries!) or even stone fruits like cherries or peaches.
  2. It also freezes beautifully for those days when you need just a little something.
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
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Holiday Recipe Round-Up

Holiday Round Up Collage.jpg

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually a blur for most of us, which is why I’ve complied a dozen recipes that could come in handy for this time of the year.  There are cookies, cupcakes, homemade sanding sugar, hot chocolate and an adult beverage or two to enjoy. 

Happy Holidays to you & yours!  Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

Cranberry-Orange Upside Down Cake

 

cranberry orange.jpg

I love desserts, this is not a secret.  Some people like over the top, more is better, super rich desserts.  These are not for me.   We were recently doing a cake tasting and the chocolate cake was so rich that I could only eat one bite.  Literally.  I don’t mean, “Oh, I couldn’t possibly…”  I mean it was so sweet that I could not eat more than a single bite.  Who wants ONE BITE of cake?!  Needless to say, some changes were made.  I need something to counter the sugar. It could be something tart like lemon or cranberry, salt to balance out the sweet or even something as simple as almost unsweetened whipped cream.   Unless it’s little pink piglets frolicking with puppies and baby monkeys in a field of wildflowers, I can’t handle that much sweetness.

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Chocolate Buttermilk Bundt Cake

 

swirly pan choc cake

A few years ago, my “wish she were my sister” friend Jenni of Pastry Chef Online, started tossing around the idea of this project. The idea was to bring people together through baking and therefore build a community. You know I was game right from the get-go. Firstly, because I would always entertain anything that Jenni wanted to do and secondly, because something like this is right up my alley.
I am a firm believer in connecting with people through food. It is a common denominator. No matter who you are, where you live or what language you speak… We all gather around a table.

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