Caramel Popcorn

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I know you are thinking I’m cheating again because this is not baking, but you would be wrong! Hehe! This was another recipe we did when my friend was in from Korea, since we were going to the drive in you have to have popcorn! So you pop just plain popcorn, no butter, not salt, (confession, I cannot pop popcorn on the stove burn it every time, its embarrassing, and I am greatly ridiculed by my sisters) and let it cool. Next you make the caramel sauce, you mix butter and brown sugar and corn syrup together over the stove. Add salt and pour over popcorn and stir together to coat. Now here comes the sneaky baking part, you lay it out on a sheet pan and bake stirring every fifteen minutes until it hardens up. So a little cheating on the baking but not too much! Caramel popcorn is so tasty and is highly recommended for your next drive in movie night!

Strawberry Pistachio Profiteroles!

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So these have a very fancy name but it’s basically are really really good cream puff! Some of my friends were getting together for dinner not long ago and asked if I would bring a dessert, of course I said would. With nothing in my mind I wanted to make, I flipped through my Baked from Scratch cookbook, I wanted to make everything, and landed on the page with this recipe. Have you ever seen a dessert and just thought I have to make that, it looks so good if I don’t I will regret it for the rest of my life (ok thats extreme, maybe). So the recipe first has you making a pastry creme and then adding chopped pistachios and rose water, well I’m not a huge fan of rose water and they didn’t have it at the store so I decided instead to add some chopped strawberries, cause they were going on top so why not in as well. Then you make the chouix  pastry and pipe them in golf ball sized circle (or guess like I did cause I don’t keep a golf ball handy lol), and bake them. Next you make a strawberry syrup out of fresh strawberries and add it to powdered surgar  with some milk(again supposed to be rose water but see previous reasoning) to make a glaze. You pipe the cream into the center of your pastry then dip in the glaze! These were so good, so pretty and now I don’t have to regret not skipping this recipe!

 

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Brownie Cookies

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This week was a fun week! One of my friends from Korea was back in town and we got to bake together again! Mina and I met while she was getting her masters and we started doing weekly baking sessions together, and it was always so much fun! Well she came back for a week and we scheduled a baking day together!
She wanted to make Brownie cookies so we could take them to the Drive-In that night. The cookies involved a lot of melted chocolate, sugar, eggs and flour. Super simple to make and so yummy to eat! Getting to hang out and bake together again was great and I can’t wait for her to come again so we can bake!!

Viennese Whirls!

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Who watches the Great British Baking Show? If you don’t you should! I love it, and every week the contestants are given a technical challenge, which basically means they have to follow a not complete recipe and make it as good as the professional judges do! As a baker I would like to think this wouldn’t be a problem for me, but I would be wrong. I will be honest and say I have tried a few and not always gotten stellar results. Well in honor of the show, this week I decided to make one of these said technical challenges. The Viennese Whirls! And to spoil the cliffhanger here, they turned out!

So for these little cookie (they would say biscuits) sandwiches, you first make a raspberry jelly. You combine raspberries and sugar and boil them together then let that set up. Then you make the biscuits as they say, which is powdered sugar, butter, cornstarch and flour. Pipe them into circles and bake them. They are very soft when they are done and are easily broken, I may have lost one or two due to clumsiness. Then you make the buttercream frosting, which is supposed to be just powdered sugar and butter but I added a little salt because I always do to buttercream. (Sorry Mary Berry!) Then you spread jam on a biscuit and pipe in buttercream and sandwich them together and enjoy. They were very yummy.

I don’t know if they would have one me Star Baker but I like to think they would have!

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So I usually make a pie for the 4th of July and since I was traveling I missed it, but pie cannot be missed! I decided I needed to to make it anyway! I’m always trying to perfect fruit pie, so I decided I would make raspberry pie since raspberries are one of my favorite fruits. I have had a love affair with pie ever since I watched the show Pushing Daisies, if you haven’t seen it you need to, it’s the best! And every time I make a pie I almost always watch and episode or two.
So this pie I used a Pâte Brisée crust, no idea what that means but it’s a really great recipe I found from Martha Stewart, I trust Martha, she generally knows what she is doing. Then I mixed up the berries with sugar, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, salt and a little vanilla powder(cause why not). Mixed it all together then put it in the pie shell. Next I took the extra dough and did several small braids and cut out some flower shapes for the top. I did a lattice pattern with the braids and placed the flowers in between the lattices. Next I brushed with cream and sprinkled sugar on the top and baked! The finished product was great, just enough tartness and sweetness and the crust was great!

4th of July!

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The 4th of July is my favorite holiday right next to Christmas.  I love everything about it.  It is in the middle of summer which is my favorite season.  I love the food, fireworks, swimming, parades, and the time with family and friends.  I am so thankful for the freedom that we have to be able to celebrate like this.  Actually as I write this now I realize I will be traveling on the 4th this year.  This will be the first year that I won’t celebrate with family and friends.

To all out there celebrating today Happy 4th of July!

Chocolate Salted Caramel Birthday Cake

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I made this Chocolate salted caramel cake for a birthday. A friend who lives in Nicaragua is back home for a week and her mom is throwing her a belated birthday party so she asked me to make a birthday cake for her.

She decided she wanted a chocolate salted caramel cake. I made my chocolate cake and made a chocolate buttercream frosting to top it. I also made a salted caramel sauce and caramel simple syrup. I first put the simple syrup on each layer of the cake, then topped it with the chocolate buttercream and then the salted caramel. I did this on each layer then put chocolate buttercream on the outside, I used the rest of the salted caramel sauce as a drizzle for the top. I then used caramel popcorn to decorate the top and some dark chocolate with salted caramel bits inside!

It was actually hard to give this cake away it looked so good, I just wanted to eat it!!!