Category Archives: baking

apple tart

Simple and elegant. Apples neatly tucked into each other on a bed of shortbread.

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Here’s the recipe:

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Blend well and add:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Press the dough into a springform pan.

Peel 4 apples and slice then thinly. Arrange them on the dough.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and slivered almonds.

Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.

 

HAR

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peanut butter cookies for grown-ups

Since becoming empty nesters, I keep way less stuff in the cupboards. Last week when I really wanted to bake something but realized I had no flour…I had to get creative.

It didn’t take long to find a recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Salted Peanut Butter cookies that had only 4 ingredients – peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla! A quick scan of the cupboard and I knew I was in luck.

Here’s the recipe:

1 3/4 cups (335 grams) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (450 grams) smooth peanut butter 
Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smooth and completely incorporated.

Scoop the dough into balls. Place on prepared pan.  Place the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. (My cookie sheet doesn’t fit in the freezer, I just put them in the frig)

Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

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These tasted like very grown-up peanut butter cookies. They were chewy and intense and the flavour improved with age. I brought some with me on our flight to LA last weekend and shared them with family. My daughter-in-law liked them so much she made a batch in the house we rented and even though the oven didn’t work and she had to improvise with a toaster oven, they were delicious the second time around. Try them and let us know what you think!

HAR

shortbread

I love shortbread. I’m not fussy. It can be plain, with nuts or as the crust for a gooey fruit topping.

And as if someone can read my mind, a recipe appeared in my inbox this week for sugared shortbread.

I didn’t have rice flour in the house or I would have made the shortbread as soon as I read the recipe. I contemplated making my own rice flour in the food processor but I only had brown rice and wasn’t sure how that would taste. So I did what people who can delay their gratification do and added it to my grocery list.

What I like about this recipe, besides the obvious fact that it produces shortbread, is that you melt the butter and just pour it in the bowl with the dry ingredients. It was really quick to throw together and the shortbread was delicious! Here’s the recipe:

  • 240 grams all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 36 grams rice flour (1/4 cup)
  • 62 grams sugar (1/4 cup), more as needed
  • 2 grams fine sea salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 cup), melted and cooled

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar and salt. Stir in the butter. Press dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with sugar while warm and slice; cool completely.

HAR