Pecan Pie

Well now....this pecan pie is embarrassingly overdue since I made this pie for pi day.  Which was in March.  Oops?

At the time, I wanted to try something different than your average fruit pie, and my mom suggested a caramely pecan pie!  Now...since I'm new to this whole "liking pie" business (long story...don't judge me), I had never actually tried pecan pie.  

Let me tell you, my eyes were opened!  

It's rich, caramely, stuffed full of pecans, and just so heavenly.  I think it's worth noting that this recipe doesn't have corn syrup in it, like a lot of pecan pies tend to have.  It also creates almost a souffle type crunchy top, and then the middle is ooey-gooey pecan-y goodness.


Pecan Pie

adapted from: Elaine Helms

Ingredients:

1 unbaked 9" pie crust (find my favourite recipe here)

2 large eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon flour

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

*extra whole pecans for decorating the to

Directions:

1)  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2)  In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they get nice and frothy, and then stir in melted butter (make sure butter has cooled before adding it so that it doesn't cook the eggs).

3)  Add in the brown sugar, white sugar, and flour, and mix it all together well.

4)  Finally, mix in the milk, vanilla, and chopped pecans.

5)  Pour mixture into your unbaked pie shell.  Gently press pecans into the top of the pie for an optional decoration (don't worry, they won't burn!)

6)  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, and then reduce oven to 300 and bake for an additional 50-60 minutes (until the top just starts to crack, or an inserted knife comes out clean).

7)  Cool slightly and enjoy!


There you have it!  Now go on and bake some pie!

-Kelsey

rhubarb scones with lemon glaze

Oh hey there!  Sorry for the radio silence lately.  I've been in a bit of a blogging funk lately, and life has been a little nuts, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things here!

And guess what?  It's officially RHUBARB season!  Heck yes!  We grow a ton of rhubarb on our farm, which is pretty dang awesome.  I have basically a never-ending supply from now until the end of Summer!  That means lots of rhubarb cake, crisps, and of course PIE!  (Keep your eyes peeled for my rhubarb pie recipe which will be coming up next week!)

I used our favourite, fluffy scone recipe and adapted it to include rhubarb....as well as added a lemon glaze.  Honestly, I think that a lemon glaze is my very favourite type of glaze.  Sweet and tart all at the same time! 

I also loved the bits of pink rhubarb that peeked out of each scone, adding a lovely pop of colour!  


Rhubarb Scones with Lemon Glaze

recipe by: Jordyn and Kelsey Siemens

Ingredients

1 cup sour cream (OR: you can use 1 cup of milk with a TBSP vinegar added)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 lemon, juiced

4 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 tsp cream of tatar

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter (cold)

1 egg

1 cup finely chopped rhubarb

Directions

1. In a small bowl, mix sour cream, baking soda and juice of half a lemon.

2. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper (or silpat).

3. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, rhubarb, and salt. Cut in butter. Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into flour mixture until just moistened. 

4. Turn your dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Divide dough in 1/2 or in 1/3s (depending on what size scones you want), and form 2 or 3 circles. Cut each circle into 6 or 8 wedges, and place onto your cookie sheet.

5. Bake at 350 F, for 12-15 minutes.  

6.  Glaze scones and serve!


Lemon Glaze

To make the glaze, use the juice of one lemon and add enough icing sugar to form a runny glaze (you can't really go wrong with this, so don't worry about being technical about it!)   I like to test out my glaze on one scone first to see how it sets, and then add more icing sugar or lemon juice if necessary.

Ingredients

1 lemon, juiced

Icing sugar


Now go out and find some rhubarb to bake with!

-Kelsey

mint ruffle chocolate cake topped with cherry blossoms

YOU GUYS!  I finally had the courage to try a ruffle cake, and guess what?  It was actually super easy, and so fast!  Seriously, I think it was way faster icing it this way compared to what I usually do.  Crazy!

Also, our cherry trees are blossoming, and it's pretty much heaven.  I really wish the blossoms would last all Summer!  They are just so bright and happy.  Oh well, I'll enjoy them while they're here!  And that means putting them on a cake.  Heck yes!

So for this cake I kept it nice and simple with my go-to chocolate cake recipe, and then used Linda Lomelino's Swiss Meringue Icing recipe for the icing.  I love the SM icing since it's fluffy, but sturdy, and it's not so sugary sweet like buttercream!  


Chocolate Cake

(adapted from Our Treasured Recipes by Central Heights MB Church)

directions:

1) Mix together all dry ingredients; then pour all wet ingredients over top and mix until moist.

2) Pour batter into three 6-inch round cake pans.

3) Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes for [or until a toothpick comes out clean].

Ingredients:

3 cups Flour

2 cups Sugar

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

2/3 cup Cocoa

1 TBSP Vanilla

2 TBSP Vinegar

3/4 cup Margarine (melted)

2 cups Warm Water


Swiss Meringue Icing

recipe by: Linda Lomelino

ingredients

whites from 8 large eggs

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups unsalted butter

4 tsp vanilla sugar

 

 

directions:

1)  Place your egg whites and sugar into a heat proof (stainless steel or glass) bowl, and put the bowl over a sauce pan on the stove with simmering water.  (The water shouldn't be touching the bowl).

2)  Whisk the eggs and sugar constantly until the sugar has melted, or the mixture has reached 140-150 degrees F (or 65 degrees C).

3)  Remove from heat, and beat on high until your mixture is cool, white and fluffy.  This may take 5-10 minutes, so just keep mixing!

4)  Once the mixture is cool, start adding butter, very gradually.  The mixture may look curdled, or soupy, but just keep mixing!  You may need to mix it for 10-15 minutes to help the egg whites and butter come together nicely.  *Linda also says that you may need to refrigerate it for a few minutes if it's too soft, or place it back over the heat if it's too stiff.  It's a tricky one, but it's worth it!  I always find mine gets too soft and I have to cool it for a bit before it works.


Cake Assembly:

First, use a large serrated knife to level the tops of your cakes.  Place the first layer onto your cake plate, spread icing onto the layer as even as you can (and as thick or thin as you'd like).  Add the next layer, spread icing onto it, and finally add the top layer of cake.  Spread icing over the entire cake in a thin layer.  Allow to chill in the fridge for a bit if it feels unstable at all before you start icing the ruffles.

Use a large piping bag with a petal icing tip (mine was a #103).  I like to place my piping bag into a very large cup to make filling it with icing nice and easy.  Fill the icing bag, and twist the end securely so that you have a good grip on it.  (Sometimes I'll clip mine shut with a bag clip to make twisting it down even easier as my icing is used up.)

With the fat part of the icing tip closest to the cake, you'll want to hold your piping bag almost straight up and down, parallel to the side of the cake.  Slowly start squeezing out the icing, and start to make a back and forth motion of consistent lengths.  This is hard to explain, and I found this youtube tutorial very helpful to watch!  You want to keep your icing bag a bit higher than where the next ruffle edge should sit, so that it gently folds down as you continue moving up.  You'll get the hang of it once you start piping.

Make sure that when you get to the top, you do a ruffle right up to the edge and over the top.  Repeat your ruffles all the way around the cake.   I chose to just smooth out the top of my cake and top it with cherry blossoms, but feel free to finish it however you'd like!

Serve and enjoy!


Happy Cake Baking friends!

-Kelsey

mini chicken pot pies

Everything is better when it's mini, right?  Okay, maybe not everything, but a lot of things.  Including pie!  I made a bunch of pastry dough a couple weekends ago, and made these mini chicken pot pies AND mini apple pies for dessert.  Ugh.  So good!!  I also really enjoy getting to eat "the WHOLE thing".  Ha!

Another bonus of mini pies?  A higher crust to filling ratio...you know, if you're into flaky, delicious, crust perfection.  They're also great for small households, since you can easily take one or two in your lunch the next day, or pop them in the freezer to pull out one or two at a time in the future!


mini chicken pot pies

recipe: Kelsey

Ingredients:

1 lb pie dough (my recipe here)

1 cup milk

chicken soup concentrate (ex. Better than Bouillon)

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons flour

1 large carrot, chopped

1/2 cup broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh (or breast), cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked

black pepper

 

 

Directions:

First make the chicken broth mixture by mixing chicken broth concentrate with warmed up milk. (I used better than bouillon, and it calls for 1 tsp concentrate per 1 cup)

In a medium skillet, melt the butter and saute the onion and garlic on medium high for several minutes until the onion starts getting soft.  Stir in the flour mixture and mix until it's evenly distributed.  Add the chicken broth mixture, and whisk until the mixture starts to simmer and thickens.  Add the carrots and simmer until they are nearly cooked.  Add in broccoli, cooked chicken, and season with black pepper to taste.  Set mixture aside to cool a bit while you get the dough ready.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Roll out the pie dough and cut large circles out so that there is a bit of overhang once you place them into a muffin tin.  If you don't have a cookie cutter big enough, try using a bowl, or just use clean scissors to cut a rough circle (that's what I did!).  Cut smaller circles that are the same diameter of the top of the muffin tins.

Spoon some of the filling into each muffin tin, place the smaller circle of dough on top, and crimp the edges over to seal it firmly.  Poke a couple holes in top for the steam to escape, and brush with a bit of egg if you'd like a beautiful, brown and shiny crust!

Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving!

*Pop any extras into the freezer for later.


Also, in completely unrelated news....our RHUBARB is now big enough to pick!!!  So yes, that means that today I made a rhubarb coffee cake AND tried my hand at making rhubarb scones.  I LOVE RHUBARB!  So keep your eyes peeled for some rhubarb-y recipes coming your way soon.

-Kelsey

hand-dipped animal crackers and a carnival cake

Oh hey there!

Guess who I saw again?!  AMY!!!  Seriously, if we lived a bit closer together I'm pretty sure we'd be baking together every single week.  (In case you missed it....here is the epic cake we created last time we were together!)

So I drove out to Van a couple weekends ago, bringing homemade corn chowder, fresh biscuits, butter, hand-dipped animal crackers, caramel popcorn, and a whole lot of food props.  Ha!  

Amy and I had decided on a carnival themed spread, and while we started the night out strong....it ended in a bit of chaos.  Underbaked cake, running out of eggs, a failed attempt at white chocolate drips, giggle fits (while trying not to cry), and an unfortunate use of a cone on top of the cake as a decoration.  Oh man!  We ended up baking more cake, scraping off our "candle wax" drips, and decided caramel corn was more suitable for a cake topping.  It was a bit stressful!  But hilarious now that we think back on it.  

Honestly, I think it was the thought of getting delicious doughnuts the next morning at Lucky's that kept us both going.  We both agreed that we've learned our lesson, and will stick to more "rustic" styles from now on!  Ha!

So, I was in charge of the animal cracker situation....and this is what I came up with!  I had no idea where to find dipped animal crackers, except at Menchie's as a topping for your fro-yo.  Ha!  I thought...why not just make them?  I would have liked to bake my own animal crackers as well, but the small animal cookie cutters that I found online wouldn't ship to me in time.

I ended up buying normal animal crackers and just dipping them in white melting wafers.  I used gel food colouring to dye some of the wafers pink, and was super happy with the results!  

Also, this isn't really a recipe, more of just sharing what I did, and what technique I found gave the best results!


Hand-dipped Animal Crackers

Directions:

I first sorted through all of the animal crackers, removing (ahem...eating) all of the broken ones, and then kept the best ones for dipping.  A few of the animals looked super odd and just like blobs once dipped (I'm looking at you Mr. Crocodile!), so I sorted a few animals out as well.  I found that anything with distinct legs or shapes (like the bears, zebras, and camels) worked the best!

Lay out parchment paper, set out the sprinkles, and melt down white melting wafers.  *If you're colouring the wafers, now is the time.  I used my normal gel food colouring and had no problems!

Grab an animal cracker, and gently place it face down into the melting wafers, and press down until the sides are all covered, but leave the back undipped (this is personal preference, but it made way less mess and the animal shapes were more defined. 

Gently pick it back up, and shake of the excess chocolate.  Place onto the parchment, and cover with sprinkles.  Before the chocolate sets, carefully use a toothpick to move the cracker a few inches away.  This will help the legs become more defined, and keep any weird pools or drips from forming.  (This will become more evident once you try it!)

Repeat those steps for as many crackers as you'd like!  You may need to re-melt the wafers as needed. Let the crackers completely set, and then store in an air-tight container until ready to eat.


Now here are a few sneak peeks of what the final spread looked like!  And pop over to Amy's blog, Constellation Inspiration, to get the funfetti cake recipe, and see even more photos!  I can't wait for our next baking date!  

#bakewith amy #andkelsey

And HUGE thanks again to Victor for putting up with our nonsense, and completing our squad.  All photos of the final spread are by him!

-Kelsey

chocolate (mini egg) ice cream

YOU GUYS!!!  Attention!

So my sister and I have made a lot of ice cream.  Just like we've made a lot of doughnuts.  We have no regrets.  BUT....this is legit my favourite ice cream we've ever made.  Yes, even better than salted caramel....gasp!  (Don't tell salted caramel I said that :P)  

Jordyn was making ice cream for a craft night, and I suggested that she use mini eggs (because duh!).  She made the most wonderful chocolate ice cream base, and it tastes like perfect dark chocolate.  It's not super sweet, more bittersweet.  Ugh.  I could not stop eating it!  

Also, funny food blogger story: I had a vision of placing a single mini egg on the top of each cone as a final garnish.  Alas, not only did I forget, but the ice cream was a bit melty while I was shooting, and all of the top balls tipped right over!  So I pronounced the shoot finished, and Jordyn and I "cleaned up" all the ice cream.....right into our mouths.


Mini Egg Ice Cream

recipe: Jordyn Siemens

Ingredients:

4 egg yolks

2 cups whipping cream

2 cups half and half (or whole milk)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup chopped mini eggs

*mini eggs for garnish

 

 

Directions:

Add the egg yolks to a large saucepan and whisk them together.  Whisk in half and half slowly, as well as 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream.  Heat on a low-medium heat. 

In a smaller saucepan, melt together 1/4 cup of cream with the chocolate chips, stirring constantly.  As the mixture melts, slowly add in another 1/4 cup of cream.

Add the chocolate mixture to the cream mixture, and continue heating on a slightly higher temperature (a solid medium to medium-high), until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F (so that your yolk is tempered).  While it's heating, scoop out 1/4 cup or so, and make a slurry by adding in the cocoa powder and mixing until it is fully dissolved (so you don't get any chunks of powder in your ice cream!), and add back in with the rest of the mixture.

Once it has reached 160 degrees, remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly,   Follow the directions on your ice cream maker to make your ice cream.  Once it is made, stir chopped mini eggs into the soft ice cream.  Keep in an airtight container in your freezer until serving.  Serve with chopped mini eggs as a garnish!

*Note: You can easily substitute mini eggs for any other chocolate candy, or just leave them out completely for a delicious plain chocolate ice cream!

Also, we dipped sugar cones in a bit of melted chocolate, and then sprinkled them with chopped mini eggs to make them extra special! 


Happy Ice Cream Making!  (And EATING!)

-Kelsey

toasted coconut doughnuts (with a mini eggs twist!)

Oh hey there!

So, you might know that I'm totally obsessed with doughnuts...as demonstrated by the inappropriately high number of doughnut recipes in the archives.  I'm also in love with coconut, so it was only a matter of time before these two things collided!

And there's just something about toasting coconut that makes it taste that much better.  Am I right?  Yes, yes I am.

So, here are some delicious toasted coconut doughnuts for you.  The base is just a basic vanilla base, and the toasted coconut is really the star of the show here.

Also, I decided since Easter is around the corner, it would be fun to through on some mini eggs and create little "doughnut nests"!  So stinking easy, and they do look pretty dang cute!  


Toasted Coconut Doughnuts

Ingredients:

1/4 cup hot water (not boiling)

1/2 tsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp yeast

2/3 cup milk

1/4 cup white sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 egg

3 Tbsp shortening

2 1/2 cups flour

Glaze:

2.5 icing sugar

1/4 cup cream 

1/2 tsp vanilla

 

1 1/2 cup toasted coconut

 

Directions:

1)  In a small bowl, mix together hot water, sugar, and yeast set aside for about 10 minutes until nice and frothy.

2)  In a large bowl, whisk together yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, egg and shortening.

3)  Slowly whisk in 1 cup of flour.

4)  Gradually add in remaining flour (1 1/2 cups), half a cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon (or you can use your mixer and a dough hook) until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. *You may not need to use all of your flour!

5)  Knead by hand for about 5 minutes, or until your dough is nice and smooth.

6)  Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel, and place somewhere warm to rise until it has doubled in size (about half an hour).

7)  Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and use a rolling pin to gently roll it out to about 1/2" thickness.

8)  Cut with a doughnut cutter (or you can use two round cookie cutters, one large and one small).  Cover all doughnuts with the towel again, and let rise until doubled.

9)  Heat oil in a deep-fryer or a large electric skillet to 350 degrees (you can use a large, deep skillet on your stove, but it's harder to control the temperature of your oil safely).

10)  Very carefully, place your doughnuts into the hot oil.  Fry doughnuts on each side until they are a light brown.

11)  Remove doughnuts from hot oil, and place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towel.

12)  Repeat until all the dough has been used, including the leftover doughnut holes from the middle of the doughnuts!

For the Glaze:

Mix together icing sugar, half and half, and vanilla until combined.  Dip doughnuts into glaze once cooled and top with toasted.

*We suggest testing one doughnuts with the glaze and then adjusting the thickness of the glaze until you're happy with it!

These doughnuts are best served the same day, but we found that they freeze very well when unglazed!


Happy Doughnut Making!

-Kelsey

cheesy rosemary pull-apart bread

Happy Monday friends!  What better way to start the week than with a loaf of ooey gooey cheesy rosemary pull-apart bread?

You might remember my (sweet) pumpkin pull-apart bread that I made way back in Fall, and this is similar but savoury!  Everything is better with cheese, and our little rosemary plant stayed strong all through the Winter, so I decided to combine the flavours!

This bread is best served warm, and is a lovely complement to soup on a chilly night!  Word of warning...try not to eat it all yourself, or you'll end up with a tummy ache. (Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything....)


Cheesy Rosemary Pull-Apart Bread

recipe by: Kelsey
Yields: one 9x5 loaf

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sugar, divided

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/4 cup hot water

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup milk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

 

 

Filling:

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 garlic gloves, minced

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used Old cheddar for more kick)

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, yeast and hot water.  Stir and set aside for about 10 minutes to allow yeast to activate.  (If this mixture doesn't get nice and puffy then your yeast might not be good anymore, and it means your bread won't rise!)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the rest of the sugar, salt, milk, and melted butter, eggs, rosemary, and yeast.

Use a wooden spoon to gradually stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time.  Keep stirring until the dough comes away from the edge, at least a good 2 minutes (it will feel like longer!).  The dough will be a bit sticky, but that's good!

Place the ball of dough in a large greased bowl, and cover it with a clean dish towel.  Let rise in a warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size.

Deflate the dough, and knead in a tablespoon or two of flour depending on the stickiness of the dough.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

Mix together melted butter and garlic, and set aside.

Roll dough out on a floured surface to create a rectangle about 12"x20"  This will be a bit hard since the dough doesn't want to stretch easily.  You'll get there!  

Spread garlic butter mixture onto the dough, be generous with the butter.  Sprinkle evenly with cheeses.

Cut dough into 6 short strips (I like to use a pizza cutter!), stack them on top of each other, and then cut into 4 or 5 more strips depending on how wide you rolled your dough (see photos below for clarification).  

Carefully stack strips into a greased 9"x5" loaf pan.  If it's a really tight fit, then leave out a few strips, and bake them in a mini loaf pan.   Let dough rise for another 30 minutes.  

Sprinkle a bit of extra cheese on top if you'd like, and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.   If your loaf starts getting super brown before the 30 minutes are up, place a piece of tinfoil over the top of the loaf to keep it from getting any darker. Let cool slightly, and serve warm!


Happy Bread Making!

-Kelsey