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Tag Archives: #baketogether

September #Baketogether Party–Pumpkin Spice Latte Pop’em Tarts

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Hello #baketogether Party!  As you may know, I can be counted on to show up at pretty much any party where I am welcome–and even some where I’m not, which is a story for another day! And, as usual, I am arriving on the cusp of being fashionably late, one day left to post and still be in the running to win Abby’s latest book!

This month, Abby set out as a template a lovely hand pie with a classic apple cinnamon filling wrapped in an amazing browned-butter pastry crust.  This pastry is destined to become a regular part of my baking repertoire–right along with the famous truffle tart and the easy classic boule(baking powder! who knew?!)

I tweaked Abby’s recipe as follows: For sweetener I used a blend of brown sugar and maple syrup. To the crust I swapped out ½ cup of the AP flour for ½ cup of graham cracker crumbs, adding a nice toasty flavor, a bit of sandiness to the texture, and offsetting the extra moisture added by swapping in the liquid sweetener(syrup).Image

For the filling, I combined mashed roasted pumpkin, maple syrup, cream cheese, Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice, and a pinch of Chinese 5-spice powder.  This, according to my resident member of coffee-shop society(the 11-year old), smelled just like a pumpkin spice latte! So. . .what the hay, I went ahead and added yet another layer of flavor with two generous pinches of espresso powder.  After all, what is better than a yummy coffee at the end of the party?Image

My first thought for presentation was to make ultra-mini rectangles and call them pumpkin ravioli, I was going to try (a few at least) deep-fried(the fryer came out this weekend for football snack purposes) and serve them with a creme anglaise as the “pasta sauce.”  Big ideas! =D
But somehow once the espresso entered the mix, I changed gears and went with a cute jack-o-lantern shape. Image Which, I guess, makes ME the #baketogether betty who makes cutesy shapes out of stuff.  When you consider my audience. . . I guess that makes sense.Image

I didn’t keep track of any measurements, I just kind of flung this one together, basing proportions on Abby’s original recipe and tasting as I went along.  ‘Cause here on Country Road, that is How We Doooo!

Thanks and #baketogether love! It’s been a great party, I wish each and every one of you could have been in my kitchen for the baking, jack-o-lantern design, tasting, and dancing–the boys and I had a blast.  And I wouldn’t have minded a hand with the clean up either!

xo
~Nancy

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May #Baketogether: Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Mini Muffins

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This month, #baketogether Goddess Abby Dodge asked our loyal group of bakers a question for the ages:  are you sweet  or savory?  Abby posted a morphic muffin blueprint featuring buttermilk and cornmeal which is wide open to interpretation, be it a sweet version or a savory one.  As May progressed, I hopped back and forth from sweet ideas to savory, then back again.  Finally, Team Savory posted so many amazing riffs on this muffin  (check out the links on Abby’s post here), that I had to do my part to prop up the underdog by lining up with Team Sweet.

These Lilliputian Lovelies were inspired by a set of berry-licious mini muffin papers which jumped into my basket in TJMaxx the other day(does this happen to you? The merchandise in that store is downright aggressive, I swear).  They just NEEDED something raspberry in there! Image 

Fresh berries were both expensive and mushy looking in my market, so we will wait another month until my backyard bushes begin providing those–today I used good ol’ Polaner Spreadable Raspberries(no straining seeds=bonus!), plus cream cheese, roughly chopped white chocolate and toasted pecans.  This decadent flavor profile  was saved from being too sweet by the cornmeal-laced base.

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My recipe made 24 mini-muffins.  Well, 23 actually–my sous-chef got a little over zealous with the filling and topping there, so we suffered one casualty.  Such losses are perfectly acceptable in the pursuit of happy sous-chefs!

ImageThe muffins came together in a snap, this recipe(which yields 6 standard size muffins) is an asset to anyone’s repertoire.  Quick.  Easy. Yummy. And oh, so changeable!  Make them sweet, make them savory, Lilliputian or Brobdingnagian, the world is your oyster, er, corn muffin!Image

Look at that beautiful, slightly shaggy crumb.  That is because I did not mix them into oblivion.  Seriously, people, it’s like pancakes: Over mix at your own peril.

Lilliputian Raspberry Cheesecake Corn Muffins

(adapted from Abby Dodge)

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup (3 3/8 oz) all purpose flour

1/3 cup (1 1/3 oz) finely ground yellow cornmeal

1/3 cup (2 3/8 oz) sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp table salt

1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 large egg

3TBSP melted unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 oz. cream cheese

1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves

2 oz best quality white chocolate, roughly chopped

1/3 cup toasted pecan pieces, roughly chopped

MAKE THE MUFFINS

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F, or 325 F if using convection bake.  Line 24 mini muffin cups with cute paper refugees from your local discount store.

2. Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Measure the buttermilk using a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Add egg, melted butter and vanilla and mix with a table fork until well blended. Prepare raspberry filling: blend cream cheese and raspberry preserves thoroughly (I placed both in the cup from my stick blender, softened for a few seconds in the microwave, and blended. Easy Peasy.) and fill into pastry bag fitted with plain tip. Keep at the ready as you don’t want to overmix these babies!

3.  Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and fold together BRIEFLY until evenly moist. A light touch is best. Do not over mix. 

4. Fill muffin papers about 3/4 full.  Pop a squirt of raspberry cream cheese filling into each cup.  Top with chopped white chocolate and toasted pecans.

5.  Bake about 9-11 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Image

 Cool on wire rack for as long as you can resist eating one.  If you wait 10 FULL minutes, the muffin will come away from the paper nicely.  I know it’s hard to wait, but a hot muffin sticks to the paper and you don’t get to eat as much.  It took me until I was about 41 years old to get this right. . .  Maybe one day I will learn not to burn the roof of my mouth on the pizza!  Hope springs eternal.

Thanks to Abby Dodge and all the #baketogether beauties for the inspiration!  Thanks to sous-chef Bijou for assistance and comic relief, and special thanks to my mom for help with the housework this week so I ended up with a free hour to bake and post these!  Can I pay you in muffins, Mom?