Cranberry orange scones

In my newfound passion for scones, I have tried yet another recipe. In addition to the fruit flavors, this recipe has an option for adding allspice, which I liked well enough, but I plan on trying them without it next time.

Thanks to my silicone baking mat, I was able to get my dough into an exact 8″ round, the precision of which is pleasing to my inner baking perfectionist. The top is brushed with milk and sprinkled with sugar.

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Peach Clafouti

It’s peach season! What to do with all those fresh peaches (courtesy of my parents’ fruit trees)?

I looked up peaches in the indices of some of my cookbooks to get some ideas, and I settled on King Arthur Flour’s peach clafouti.

Baking temperature and time: 375°F, 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups peeled and sliced peaches
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a round, 10-inch oven safe pan or skillet (I used a deep pie dish).
  2. Line the bottom of the pan with peaches and sprinkle the brown sugar over them.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Blend thoroughly, and then gradually whisk in the flour mixture, smoothing out the lumps.
  5. Pour the mixture over the fruit and bake for 35-40 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the clafouti comes out clean.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. I would allow it at least and hour and a half to cool and set.

Snickerdoodles

These are delightfully chewy, buttery cookies, and very quick to make. Even after a couple of days, their texture is still good.

Baking temperature and time: 400°F for 8-10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To coat the cookies:

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together; add the eggs and beat them in.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. You can chill the dough or make the cookies immediately.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls and roll each one in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, bake the cookies at 400°F for 8-10 minutes

 

Cherry Pie

Another summer classic! A cherry pie. I used butter and lard in the crust, and the dough rolled out more smoothly than any pie crust I’ve ever made, and as a result, this pie may be one of the prettiest I’ve made. I brushed the lattice with cream and sprinkled it with sugar.

I am proud to say I pitted about 2 1/2 pound of cherries with my bare hand in less than twenty minutes.

Apple Pie

This pie was made using a recipe from The Joy of Cooking, one of my favourite baking resources. I tried the cream cheese crust, which I am not crazy about, but I’m willing to give it another try before I write it off. I used golden delicious apples, which bake very well: juicy but not soggy.

Grandma’s Christmas Sugar Cookies

Every year at Christmas, my paternal grandparents would drive up to our house and have Christmas dinner with us. Grandma would bring a box full of cookies, the highlight of which were the sugar cookies. She made trees for the boys and stars for the girls, and our names were written on them in icing.

In recent years, Grandma has not had enough energy to make cookies, so I thought I would step into the breach and make them myself. I love Grandma, Christmas, baking, and traditions, so it was a perfect fit!

Basic Sugar Cookies, Grandma’s recipe

  • 2 cups sifted flour (all purpose flour is fine)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick, 8 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat till smooth and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and milk.
  3. Add flour mixture to the mixing bowl and blend thoroughly.
  4. Chill cookie dough till easy to handle. You may cover and store it in the fridge for one or two days before using it.
  5. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface.
  6. Bake at 400°F for six to ten minutes. Never bake longer than ten.

Here are my tips: my dough was sufficiently chilled after 20 minutes in the fridge and 10 minutes in the freezer. I rolled out the dough on floured parchment paper, sandwiching the dough in between two sheets of it. Peel away one layer to cut out the shapes, and just slide the cookies on the baking sheet with the other!

If it becomes too soft, put it back in the fridge. To keep the cookies from expanding too much while baking, refrigerate them for 15 minutes after cutting them out. If the cookies are small, take them out after 5 minutes of baking so they will not dry out. Sugar cookies don’t look done when they are done, so don’t be afraid to take them out when they’re still very pale! They are tricky little things.

Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 1/8 cup milk (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, or other extract (almond, lemon, etc.)
  1. Cream together butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and milk. Put it one drop of food coloring for a pale frosting.
  2. Add more sugar to thicken or more milk to thin. Put it the fridge for 20 minutes if you want to stiffen the frosting.

I’ve made them for my family, and I’ve made sure to save some for my grandparents. I know Grandma is pleased I’m carrying on the tradition.