Posts Tagged 'sugar'

Pipe Dream #79: To Be Gellin’ – Crabapple Jelly

So I told you already about the masterpiece wild grape jelly. But I’ve been holding out on you. There was another, equally as divine, equally as Amish-ish.

I picked five pounds of crabapples one autumn night. It was kind of a last-minute picking—the apples had just turned, and I was leaving the area in just two days. But staying up late to make it was so worth it.

In fact, it would have been worth it even if I had only got the above picture out of the deal. Because let’s face it, neither you nor I have ever seen a prettier picture of crabapples in a bucket.

Crabapples are pretty bitter on their own, but never you mind; I added a million grains of sugar to the jelly. I have ceased being offended by the amount of sugar that is in jelly because my mom told me that if you don’t add enough sugar, the jelly won’t gel (jell?) correctly. Me mum is smart.

I was actually significantly worried that this jelly wouldn’t turn out anyway. The recipe called for five pounds of apples and said that it would make 7 cups of juice. That was false. It made about 4 cups of juice. But I had an exhaustion-induced brain slip and ended up halving the sugar and pectin in the recipe. So there I was stirring away frantically for exactly one minute as the recipe says (whatever, no big deal if you go over by five seconds), when I realized I needed to add more sugar and pectin. It wasn’t the right time to add it, but I just threw it all in and prayed that things would work out.

And it did work out. I wasn’t expecting the jelly to be so red (I thought it would be more browny-yellow), but apparently it can range anywhere from deep red to coral. And it tastes like candy apples. So lovely. There were a ton more crabapples that I didn’t pick—even one tree would make gallons of jelly, so I’m sad I didn’t have time to make more.

Get thee picking! (You know, like 8 months from now. Sorry. I’ll be better.)

Gellin’ like Magellan,

L

Crabapple Jelly

Adapted from food.com

5 pounds crabapples (or more if you want 7 cups of juice)

water

1 3/4 ounces dry pectin

9 cups sugar

Rinse the apples, and remove the stems and bad spots. Put the apples in a stock pot, add water until just covered, and cook until soft. Some recipes suggested crushing the apples with a potato masher to check for softness. I did it because I thought it would make the juice more potent, but that is kind of one of my unfounded theories.

Strain the apples and juicy water through a jelly bag to make 7 cups of juice. Some folks say let it strain for a couple of hours, others say overnight. I was foolish and tried to squeeze the apples so I didn’t have to wait for it to strain. This might account for the missing juice, and it definitely accounts for my scalded fingers.

Combine juice and pectin in a large kettle. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture is at a full boil, stir in the sugar completely, and return to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil for exactly one minute (or 65 seconds, or 55), still stirring.

Remove the pot from the heat and skim the foam from the surface of the juice, then pour into hot, sterilized jars. Seal and process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

 

Pipe Dream #6, Revisited Again: To Make The Perfect Snickerdoodle – Snickerdoodle Cookies

You probably already know about my obsession with snickerdoodles. There have been snickerdoodle muffins and snickerdoodle cupcakes already on this blog. But what you have likely missed, being that you are not me, is the countless number of true snickerdoodle cookies I have eaten in my lifetime.

I ate a snickerdoodle at least once a week this summer cuz I was workin’ at ca-amp, and it was glorious. Working at camp and eating the cookies. Depending on the week and who was baking them, the cookies would turn out flatter or puffier, crispier or softer. My favorites were the soft n’ chewy weeks. No surprise there, but it’s not like I was complaining the rest of the time. Heaven forbid.

8 oz. of 2% milk, please.

Oh thanks.

:],

Lauren

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Adapted from Village Creek Bible Camp‘s recipe

Yields about 25 cookies

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sugar + 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Sift together the dry ingredients besides the cinnamon sugar and mix to combine.

Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop up a ball of dough. Roll it briefly in your hands to form it into a ball, then roll it in a dish filled with cinnamon sugar to coat.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until tops have cracked a bit.

 

Pipe Dream #60: To Bake In Large Quantity – Brown Sugar Pound Cakes with Browned Butter Glaze

Oh but these are yummy. It is highly appropriate that I only have one picture of these delectable delights to share with you. It is representative of the fact that whenever I make these, they’re gone within 24 hours. Gone to stomachs like yours around the world and also mine.

Let’s start with the brown sugar pound cake. Delectably moist. And the moisture in the brown sugar ensures that they stay that way. And it’s pound cake. Need I say more?

Then the icing. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced browned butter, but I highly recommend it. You just have to heat it up in a saucepan until it starts to look a bit brown. Why mess with a good thing, you ask? After all, we know that regular butter is fabulous.

Survey says: We are not afraid to brown butter because butter can’t possibly get worse, regardless of what you do to it. I am now going to use another highly irrelevant analogy. Butter is like lampreys or bot flies. There are few things in this world that could make it worse. Except butter is good, not parasitic.

Bonus, these cupcakes are really easy. They work well for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, supper and late-night snack. I can testify.

This recipe also brings to my attention something you may have been wondering about. A lot of the cake recipes I post include buttermilk. It seems like such a finnicky thing to buy, especially if I don’t know when I’m going to use it all. Instead of buying it from the store, I usually make my own buttermilk.

It’s super simple, and has always worked just fine in my recipes. Either that, or I don’t know enough about baking to know if my lack of store-bought buttermilk was the singular source of my extensive collection of spectacular fails. Here is the procedure:

1) Put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a bowl.

2) Measure in 1 cup of regular milk.

3) Let stand for 5 minutes.

Here’s wishing happy eating for six meals straight,

Lauren

Brown Sugar Pound Cakes with Brown Butter Glaze

adapted from Martha Stewart

For the cupcakes:

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the glaze:

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

Reduce speed to low. Mix any remaining wet ingredients in a bowl if needed. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

To make the glaze:

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Carefully pour butter into a bowl, leaving sediment behind.

Add sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk to butter, and stir until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more milk. Use immediately. Sometimes when I use brown butter glazes, I find that the butter separates out a little bit. I don’t know why this is. Sorry.

Pipe Dream #32: To Find My “Soulmate” – Gingersnaps

I’m giving these Gingersnaps a capital G because they are the quintessential gingersnap recipe. You need never search for another. These gingersnaps will finish your sentences. It will feel weird when they are not around. They will be the bees to your knees. Soulmate Gingersnaps.

P.S. I can so tell it is wedding season right now.

Back when I was in college, my friends and I maybe used to do fun college kid things like spray painting Biblically-inspired graffiti for all the heroin addicts hanging out by the river and raiding the Alumni fountain for peoples’ wishes. (We bought a Twix bar, and it was delicious.) Often, we would all end up at my place post-adventure and I would make Gingersnaps.

Sidenote, I hate saying “back when I was in college” like I’m old now. Not going to do that anymore. Sorry.

I also make them per request on a regular basis. I also make them on rainy days when my body is craving molasses. (What? Your body doesn’t crave molasses every three weeks or so?) I didn’t have any ginger a few times, so I used an extra teaspoon of cinnamon in its place. No one mentioned it.

Sometimes, I have this hostessing thing that emerges with me when I’m around people. Like I’ll have to make things for people to eat. I think it’s my German heritage or something (Eat more, Augustus!). These are originally my Grandma’s recipe, which I took from a family cookbook last year.

I’ll keep these forever.

‘Til death do us part,

Lauren

Soulmate Gingersnaps

3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

¼ cup molasses

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger (or substitute an extra heaping teaspoon of cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Stir in the molasses.

Sift together the dry ingredients together, or cheat and just dump in the flour and the other dry ingredients on top of it. Mix well, and drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes and let cool on baking sheet for a bit before transferring them to a wire rack.

Note: If you want them to get a bit harder like traditional gingersnaps, bake them for the full 12 minutes. I don’t like crunchy cookies, so I sometimes take them out at 7 minutes. Probably I won’t get salmonella poisoning or whatever disease I might get from undercooked cookies.


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