Why This Blog?

Welcome!

Come in and make yourself at home. I'm so happy to be able to share my recipes here with you.

I bake mostly cookies, quick breads, muffins and scones -- sometimes pie, sometimes cake, but nothing too fancy. I prefer simple recipes that call for ingredients that I already have in my kitchen.

These are the recipes I will share with you. They come from family and friends, magazine clippings saved through the years, favorite cookbooks, and other blogs.

I'm so glad you came to visit. Enjoy your stay!

Michael Ann

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Shortbread Biscuits

 


Here's another yummy recipe from my little country cookbook, "Favourite Farmhouse Recipes."  It only has three ingredients! One of them is self-raising flour. DO NOT substitute regular flour for this. Self-raising flour contains salt and baking powder, so if you use regular flour your cookies will not puff up.  Because of the added salt in the flour, you also want to be sure to use UNsalted butter.  

I love shortbread plain, but I decided to add some icing just for fun. I just made a simple water icing. If you want a fancier cookie, you could add food coloring to the icing or add sprinkles or chopped nuts if you like, You could even dip the tops or 1/2 of the cookie in chocolate. 

I have converted the weight measurements to measuring cup measurements in case you don't have a scale.

Shortbread Biscuits
Makes ~30 cookies
Ingredients:

6 oz sweet (unsalted) butter  (1-1/2 sticks)
2 oz icing sugar (powdered, confectioners) (2/3 cup)
8 oz. self-raising flour, sifted (2 cups)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream the butter and icing sugar together until very soft and fluffy.  Gradually add the sifted flour and mix until combined.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a plain or fluted cutter. Bake on an un-greased cookie sheet for ~10 minutes, until pale brown.  Cool on a wire rack. 

Sprinkle with icing sugar or make a water icing to drizzle or spread on top.

Water Icing:
Mix icing sugar and enough water to make drizzle or spreading consistency. Add water a tiny little bit at a time so it doesn't get too runny too quickly.

Happy Baking!




Saturday, August 22, 2020

Orange and Walnut Cake

I have been obsessed with The Great British Bake Off and have been binge watching all the seasons on Netflix.  I admire those bakers, how they weigh everything and make their own jam for their cakes, and all the different meringues...  I think it's way more involved than American baking. 

I recently found these cute little cookbooks on the internet and bought them, mostly for the illustrations!

I found many recipes I do want to try, and one of them was this cake. I like simple, rustic cakes and this sounded so good. But I had to buy a kitchen scale! It was a little nerve-wracking baking this way, but I did it and the cake turned out great! 

I did convert it to American measurements if you'd like to make it and don't have a scale. But if you go buy a scale, it's pretty fun and it opens up a whole world of baking the British way!

Ingredients:
6 oz unsalted butter (1-1/2 sticks) softened
Grated rind of one orange
6 oz caster sugar (super fine) (3/4 cup)
2 eggs, separated
10 oz flour (2-1/4 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
2 oz orange marmalade (1/4 cup)
3 oz chopped walnuts (3/4 cup)
6 TB orange juice and water, mixed

WATER ICING 
  • Made with sifted icing sugar (confectioners or powdered sugar) and sufficient water and strained orange juice to give a good coating consistency. 
  • Walnut halves to decorate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour (or use baking spray) a round 8 inch cake tin and line the base with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, cream the butter, orange rind and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolks.  Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold into the butter mixture. (It will be crumbly and dry.) Add the marmalade, chopped walnuts and the water/orange juice and combine lightly. 

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they stand in soft peaks, then fold into the mixture. Batter will be thick!

Spread the batter in the tin.  The recipe says bake for 1 hour but mine was done in 45 minutes! Be sure to just check it with your finger tip. If it browns too quickly, cover with foil. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack. Ice and decorate with the walnut halves.

Happy Baking!




Thursday, August 13, 2020

Lemon Honey Mousse


Back in the early 1980s, when I was a vegetarian, I bought the famous Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. It is full of nutritious and very yummy recipes that I still enjoy making, and this mousse is one of them.  If you love your lemon desserts, you'll really enjoy this one. It is light and fluffy and the perfect level of sweet/tart. Ok, maybe on the tart side but I enjoy that!  It does take a little time to put together and you need to start it at least 5 hours before you plan to serve it. Such a perfect summer dessert!

Makes 8-10 individual servings

Ingredients:

3 large eggs, separated

3 TB cornstarch

juice from 6 large lemons

grated rind from 2 lemons

6 TBS honey

dash of salt

dash of cream of tarter

1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream

1/4 tsp vanilla or lemon extract (I use lemon)

1 TB honey

Separate the 3 eggs, putting the whites in a large bowl and yolks in a medium sized bowl. Let them stand until they come to room temperature. Lightly beat the yolks with a whisk.

Zest or grate 2 of your lemons onto a sheet of waxed paper or dish, and juice all six lemons.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, lemon juice, 6 TB honey and the lemon rind. When the mixture is smooth, cook it over low heat, whisking continually, until it starts to thicken (6-10 minutes). Remove from the heat.  Beating furiously with the whisk, pour the hot lemon mixture slowly into the egg yolks. This is so that you do not cook the egg! Beat until smooth. Refrigerate.

When the lemon-yolk mixture has cooled and begun to solidify (about 45 minutes), start beating the egg whites with an electric mixture. Add a dash of salt and a dash of cream of tarter.  When the whites form stiff (but not dry) peaks, fold them gently but thoroughly into the chilled lemon mixture.  Refrigerate it while you prepare the whipped cream.

Make sure the cream, bowl and beaters are cold. Add vanilla or lemon extract and whip on high, drizzling in the 1 TB honey while mixing.  When the cream is thick, fold it into the mousse.  Spoon the mixture into individual ramekins or pretty dishes and chill for several hours before serving. Top with berries if you wish, or a mint sprig and lemon slice.

Happy Baking!





Saturday, August 8, 2020

Fresh Fig Crumb Cake

Oh my goodness, is this coffee cake DELICIOUS! I couldn't wait to blog about it. It's soft and moist and has a streusel topping! How can you not love a streusel topping? 

I found this recipe on a blog called Entertaining with Beth. I did change a few things. Her recipe calls for crystalized ginger, which I don't normally have at home, so I substituted powdered ginger. I'm sure the crystalized ginger takes it to the next level, and if you want to try it, clink the link above for the original recipe. Be sure to let me know how you like it!

I reduced the amount of salt in the cake and also the amount of melted butter for the streusel topping. Her recipe says to slice the figs vertically, but I didn't read it properly and sliced mine horizontally. Vertically would definitely be best to make your fig slices go deeper into the cake. 


Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
5-10 fresh figs, sliced vertically 

Streusel:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 TB white sugar
2 TB brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 TB melted butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9" springform pan with baking spray.  

First make the crumble in a small bowl. Stir together all the dry ingredients and slowly add in enough of the melted butter until it's the right crumble consistency. Stir in the walnuts and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sugars, water and vanilla.  In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and cardamom. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk slowly to combine.  

Pour batter into the pan. Arrange sliced figs on the top of the cake batter. Top with the streusel and bake cake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  You don't want to over bake it or it will be too dry. If the top gets too brown, cover with foil until done. Let it cool for about 10 minutes then remove the sides of the pan. Carefully remove the cake from the bottom of the pan with a large spatula, and cool on a wire rack.  When cool, put your cake on a nice plate or stand and serve warm or cooled with a cup of tea or coffee.  

Happy Baking!













Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Jam Filled Walnut Scones

These cute little scones are perfect for a light breakfast or afternoon tea.  The jam is already included!  The addition of a light glaze drizzle adds the finishing touch.  Very tasty and pretty!

If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make a substitute by putting 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice into your measuring cup and then adding whole milk until it measures 2/3 cup.

Unsalted  butter is always best, but you may use salted butter and just omit the 1/4 tsp salt.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt *(omit if using salted butter)
6 TB unsalted butter, chilled*
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup jam
1 cup powdered sugar and milk for glaze (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly butter a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a cheese grater, grate the cold butter into the mixture bit by bit, and stir between gratings. (Or cut butter into small pieces and cut in with a pastry blender.)

In a small bowl stir together the buttermilk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine. With lightly floured hands, divide the dough into two equal-sized pieces and pat each portion into a 5-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.  With a sharp knife or pizza roller, cut each circle into 6 wedges.  Transfer the 12 pieces to the prepared baking sheet. Using the point of a sharp knife, make a slit in the top of each scone. Carefully spoon 1 teaspoon of jam into each slit.

Bake 16-19 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned.  Remove baking sheet and let scones cool for 5 minutes.  Serve warm or transfer scones to a wire rack to cool a bit more, then drizzle with glaze if desired.

Glaze:
In a small bowl, measure 1 cup powdered sugar.  Add milk a little bit at a time until the glaze is a good drizzle consistency.

May be stored in airtight container. These scones also freeze well.

Recipe from:
 

Happy Baking!



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