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Favorite Shots: Fresh and warm and free

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One of the rare times that a filter was used to make the picture look exactly as the perfect light looked on this perfect afternoon. So of course, I did it twice with what is essentially the same picture. Round food, yellow knees. You can unfollow me if you’re bored now.

L

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P.S. Oh, also those donuts were warm and fresh and free.

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Pipe Dream #343: To Let Experience Be a Good Teacher – Bacon Parmesan Muffins

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In my experience, trying to tell people what’s good is a futile exercise. They will learn their own lessons regardless of what you say. It’s probably a good thing.

Here is a recipe you should try if you haven’t already used up all the bacon in your house from making those maple bacon biscuits six times this week. I actually hated the holey, knobbly texture. Like literally every recipe from the Huckleberry cookbook that is not a biscuit or the whole wheat pear crumb cake (yes, that’s coming your way shortly), this recipe was WAY OFF. I don’t even know what to make of it. But I couldn’t deprive you of this flavor combination. It reminds me of the ham and cheese cornbread from last year. Go for that if you want dense and salty and rich. Maybe chuck in some chives this time for green. The rosemary sprigs are just for looks. Don’t eat that unless you want to gag and be labeled a cRaZy homie.

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If you want individual muffins, go for it. Like what I’ve said has ever stopped you before.

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Teaching,

Lauren

Bacon Parmesan Muffins

Adapted from Huckleberry

6 tablespoons butter, cubed, room temperature

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 eggs

3/4 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons rye flour

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 cup canola oil

4 tablespoons maple syrup

1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 cup (70 grams) Parmesan cheese, cubed

1/4 cup (35 grams) Parmesan cheese, grated

11 slices cooked bacon, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons bacon fat from cooked bacon

1/4 cup fresh chives or parsley, finely chopped

Rosemary for garnish

Prreheat to 400°F/ 200°C. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with 15 paper liners, spacing them evenly between the two pans.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt for 1 to 2 minutes until nice and fluffy. Incorporate the eggs slowly, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the all-purpose flour, cornmeal, rye flour, and baking powder and mix until incorporated. Add the canola oil, maple syrup, and buttermilk. Scrape the mixer bowl well, making sure everything is well incorporated. Add all the diced Parmesan, and half of the grated Parmesan, the bacon, and chives. Mix just until dispersed, folding by hand to be sure.

Fill the muffin cups to the very top. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp Parmesan evenly over the muffins. Bake for about 15 minutes, until nicely browned but not overbaked inside. Garnish with chopped rosemary.

I Got It Right: Maple Bacon Biscuits

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I don’t even care if bacon is passé, and no one cares about it anymore, and people are tired of “bacon in everything.” I don’t care if you’ve moved on to bigger and better things like pork belly or brisket.

THESE WERE THE BEST THINGS THAT I MADE IN SEPTEMBER FULL STOP

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Quality ingredients are essential here. Don’t use table syrup. Buy the real stuff. And if you get thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon, more power to you.

They are big and bodacious, so eat two, please. Try one fresh from the oven and one cool. Split one and top with eggs, cheese or butter. Be yourself.

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This is my no apologies track of the day.

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Baconing,

Lauren

Maple Bacon Biscuits

Adapted from Huckleberry

8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ slices

3 cups white whole-wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter, cubed

1/4 cup cold maple syrup, plus 1/3 cup maple syrup for glaze

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cold buttermilk

1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Kosher salt for topping

Cook the bacon over medium heat until cooked but not crispy, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the diced butter, until it resembles small peas. Stir in the bacon, then 1/4 cup maple syrup and the buttermilk until the dough just comes together (it will still be clumpy). Be careful not to overwork the dough.
On a lightly floured surface, gently press or roll the dough to 1″ thickness. Cut the biscuits using a 2-inch round cutter; you should have about 12 biscuits. Place biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart. Freeze the trays just until the biscuits are chilled, about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the biscuits are chilling, prepare the egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, egg and cream. Brush the chilled biscuits with egg wash and top each with a pinch of kosher salt.

Bake the biscuits until they just begin to brown, about 25 minutes (you should easily be able to pick the biscuits up off the tray). Remove the tray from the oven. Quickly drizzle 2 teaspoons of the remaining maple syrup over each biscuit, then place the tray back in the oven for 3 minutes more. Serve warm with eggs.

A de-seeded sparkling pomegranate cocktail for mythology lovers and the generally lazy

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This cocktail is dedicated to everyone else in the world who finds de-seeding pomegranates tiresome and unfulfilling. Even with the “hit-with-a-ladle-into-my-hand-over-a-bowl” trick up my sleeve, 9/10 pomegranates are more enjoyable left in Greek mythology.

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This was super refreshing and sparkly, but with a nice autumnal complexity, perfect for this seasonal transition. The only real prep work is the pomegranate reduction, which is simple enough, and the whole thing batches nicely. If you want to make it for a crowd, grab a pitcher.

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Sparkling,

L

Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktail

Adapted from Serious Eats

1 cup 100% pomegranate juice (reduced comes to about 6 tablespoons or 3 ounces)

4 ounces sweet vermouth

2 ounces fresh juice from 2 to 4 limes

16 ounces sparkling wine, Prosecco, Cava or Champagne

4 orange twists, for garnish

In a small saucepan, bring pomegranate juice to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until reduced to 3 ounces (6 tablespoons), 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container up to 1 month. In a pitcher, add the pomegranate reduction, vermouth and lime juice. Top with sparkling wine and gently stir to combine. To serve, divide between 4 glasses filled with ice. Express orange oil from twists over each drink, then add twists to each glass to garnish.

Adult Cheez-Its have arrived and you can make them

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This was one time that I used rye flour, and it did not taste like health food. These legitimately tasted like large form, dense, soft Cheez-Its, and I couldn’t believe my mouth. You can split them in half and make a bigature Cheez-It breakfast sandwich. Next time I will try these with white cheddar, because everyone knows that White Cheddar Cheez-Its are the Cheez-s***. I just wrote that. But it’s true.

Also, this is one time when calling something “adult” does not mean that I included booze. I wonder what alcohol pairs best with Cheddar? OMWORD YOU GUYS, try switching out the buttermilk for beer!*!*!* Please try that.

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From the spire,

Lauren

Three Cheese Rye Biscuits

Adapted from Huckleberry

1 1/2 cups rye flour

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 cup butter, cold, cubed

1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons (160 grams) cream cheese, cold, cubed

2 cups (160 grams) Cheddar cheese, grated

3/4 cup (55 grams) Parmesan cheese, grated

1/3 cup cold buttermilk

1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Flaky salt, for sprinkling

Whisk together all dry ingredient up until the cream cheese in a large bowl. Dump in the butter and cream cheese, rubbing it in with the fingers until pea-sized clumps form. Dump in the rest of the cheeses and the buttermilk, stirring together until dough starts to come together.

Quickly dump onto a lightly-floured surface and knead a few times, flattening out dough and turning it onto itself. You should still be able to see some clumps of butter.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, press the dough into the measure and turn out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, making 12-15 little mounds. Sprinkle with salt.

Freeze the baking sheets from 30 minutes-2 hours. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes, removing when biscuits are going golden.

Headlines: How to prevent apple browning, last few cans of pumpkin left on the earth – Rye & Olive Oil Honeycrisp Tart

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I’m so out of cake-baking mode right now, that I don’t know if I should be called a baker. I don’t think I’ve made a cake since New Year’s. And it was a shoddy, miniature one that was really a pumpkin quick bread baked in a round tin.

Have you heard about the potential canned pumpkin shortage that is supposed to happen?

“‘I would not wait until Nov. 20 [to buy canned pumpkin],’ University of Illinois professor Mohammad Babadoost, who works in the Department of Crop Sciences, told the Associated Press . ‘I’d buy it whenever it comes to the store.'”

Great name and solid advice coming from Babadoost.

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Luckily, the apple crop is doing fine this year, and I was jazzed about being all Food52 about the olive oil and the rye and the apple varietal. The crust, as with many healthy versions of baked goods, left something to be desired taste- and consistency-wise, but I didn’t even mind because it was COOL. And PRETTY. And HEALTH. It’s real good for breakfast. With a bit of honey and Greek yogurt/creme fraiche? Please just stop.

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I was also concerned that my apples would brown before I could bake them into the tart, but Honeycrisp seem to hold up pretty well. Serious Eats recently conducted an experiment on the best way to prevent apples from browning. The final solution? A saltwater soak. In a saltwater…solution. Haha jokes.

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Here’s hoping you can use the final apples at the bottom of your fall barrel to make this slightly sweet beauty.

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Honeycrisping,

L

Rye & Olive Oil Honeycrisp Tart

An LH Original

For the tart dough:

125 grams whole wheat flour

125 grams rye flour

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup cold water

For the filling:

3 medium honeycrisp apples (or other variety)

2 tablespoons butter, cubed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond extract or imitation rum extract

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup preserves (like apricot or raspberry)

1 tablespoon water or Triple Sec

To make the tart dough, whisk the two flours in a medium bowl until combine. Stir in the olive oil with a fork, then add the water, mixing with the fork until the dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead briefly, patting the dough into a disk. Roll out the disk with a rolling pin into a shape that will fit on your baking sheet. It can be free form. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the filling, core the apples and slice into wedges no more than 1/8″ thick. Toss with the sugar and extract in a medium bowl.

Remove the baking sheet with dough from the fridge and prick all over with a fork. Arrange the apple slices, overlapping them and leaving an edging of dough. Fold over the edge of the dough, and dot the cubed butter over the top of the apples.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the crust begins to look golden at the edges.

While the tart is baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, bring the preserves and water to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened. If the preserves contain large chunks of fruit, transfer the glaze to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Strain the glaze through a mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing the glaze with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Use while still warm.

When the tart is finished baking, remove it from the oven and brush the warm glaze over the top. Slice and serve immediately, maybe with a bit of creme fraiche.

Pipe Dream #342: To Go Ham – Sticky Toffee Pudding

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The first time I ever had a sticky toffee pudding was in a small gypsy pub on a dreary day in Northern England. The sky was dim and the rain was sheeting when my friend and I set out on our little Saturday adventure. As we trekked along, we grabbed at our hoods to keep the wind from whipping them off, while the muddy road became more and more difficult to navigate. By the time, we arrived in town, we were more than ready for a comforting meal. We had chicken soup and this pudding (which is British for cake).

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There are dates in it, cry me a river of tears. It is the best, most moist cake, with a caramel flavor and EXTRA SAUCE. It brings me loads of nostalgic feelings and homey associations, and there is a reason it is a classic British staple cake. If it’s raining where you are, go ham on this one, lads.

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Went ham. Going ham,

L

P.S. Went ham is my new favorite phrase, and I can’t even apologize.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Find the recipe at smittenkitchen.


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