Toffee Bars!

Hey it’s Shannon and these are some super yummy candy bars.
Ingredients
1
cup butter or margarine, softened
1
cup packed brown sugar
1
teaspoon vanilla
1
egg yolk
2
cups all-purpose flour
1/4
teaspoon salt
2/3
cup milk chocolate chips
1/2
cup chopped nuts, if desired

  • Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, vanilla and egg yolk. Stir in flour and salt. Press in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.
  • 2 Bake bars 25 to 30 minutes or until very light brown (crust will be soft). Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on hot crust. Let stand about 5 minutes or until chocolate is soft; spread evenly. Sprinkle with nuts.
  • 3 Cool bars 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.
  • Have fun and enjoy!

What you wish you knew…

Hi! It’s Maddie And Shannon! Today we are going to talk about The things you should know before you start baking.

1. Read the instructions ALL THE WAY THROUGH!  Sometimes it is much easier to skim the instructions and go step by step but it is very important to read them once all the way through before you start baking and then keep referring to the instructions while baking.

2.Organize! Clear your work area before you begin, and get out all the ingredients. Put each one away as you use it, so you don’t forget what you’ve used. Rinse bowls and utensils as you go this way everything will be tidy and sanitary. I have ad some experiences where i have forgotten ingredients or put double because I was not completely organized, do this and you will be set to go.

3. PAN PREPARING!!!! Always make sure that you have the right pan size and that you remember to grease the pan. IF you use the wrong pan size the cake or whatever you are making will not be cooked right because of the ratio of batter to pan. The consistency will change with different pans so be careful! Always remember to grease the surface you are baking goodies on unless it specifies not to, you can never be too careful.If you forget to grease a pan your dessert will come out all wrong and doe may not come out at all!

Love,

Shannon and Maddie

Fondant!

Hi! It’s Shannon! This is  delightful fondant recipe. I love using fondant for all my decorating needs. It can be a bit tricky at first but once you get the hang of it you will be using it all the time!

Ingredients:

16 ounces white mini-marshmallows (use a good quality brand)
2 to 5 tablespoons water
2 pounds icing sugar
1/2 cup Crisco shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)

Directions:

NOTE:  Please be careful, this first stage can get hot.

Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler. To microwave, place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total. 

Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.

Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY (palms, backs, and in between fingers), then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (Just a fun fact here, this recipe is amazing for your hands it makes them so so soft!)

Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. If you have children in the room they will either laugh at you or look at you with a questioning expression. You might even hear a muttered, What are you doing Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant starts sticking.

If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake. It is best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.

Prepare the fondant icing for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic-type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. MM Fondant icing will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make two (2) batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant icing can be prepared well in advance.

Make sure to have TONS of fun with this and enjoy!

Love,

Shannon

 

 

Bobby Flay, An Innonvative Chef

Bobby Flay is an American celebrity chef. Flay started his career when he dropped out of high school at 17, his first job in the restaurant industry was at a pizza parlor and a Baskin Robbins. Later Bobby started making salads at the Joe Allan restaurant where his father was a partner. The owner was so impressed by his natural ability he decided to pay for Bobby to go to the French Culinary Institute. Bobby Flay received a degree in culinary arts and graduated as a member in the first graduating class of 1984. After School he started working as a sous chef and learned so many things.After one week he was given the job of executive chef because his predecessor was fired. Flay soon realized he was not ready to run a kitchen so he took  a job as a chef in a kitchen known as Jonathan Waxman. Soon after his work with Waxman, Jerome Kretchmer offered him the executive chef job at the newly opened Mesa Grill. Because of Flay’s interest in southern cooking this position was perfect for him. In 2004 Flay opened another mesa Grill and created a special environment for his kitchen. Bobby Flay is very inspiring and is a great culinary artist.

Patrick Fahy

Hey it’s Maddie, and I’m going to talk about a very special innovative chef today, named Patrick Fahy!  Patrick Fahy is an innovative pastry chef from Chicago.  Fahy grew up with parents who baked very often, so he discovered that he wanted to be a baker at a very early age.  At the age of 21 Fahy attended culinary school, and studied everything from all kinds of desserts, to savory wines.  But after working with his first true mentor Andrea Bianchini, he was positive that his profession would be a pastry chef!  After taking a couple of baking jobs that he was not pleases with, he decided to enroll at the French Pastry School in Chicago.  A little while later he broke off and joined the staff at the Blackbird (a modern cuisine restaurant).  Rather than focus on trying new techniques, Fahy tries to pair different foods, that you would not normally think of eating together.  This makes for a very interesting combo!  For example, one of his specialties is putting butternut squash with  chocolate and horchata.  Even though this recipe might seem like a gross combination, many have said it is very good!  Another creation of his is beet ice cream.  Who would ever think to mix those two together?!  After he came out with this recipe, it immediately started getting positive feedback!  Readers are very open to new baking ideas, and like to try them on their own, too!  Overall, Patrick Fahy is a “rising star” as shown below, and he keeps continuing to surprise the baking world with new innovative dessert recipes!

Random! The Yummy Dessert of the Week

 This is a delicious recipe for apple pie just in time for thanksgiving! Have fun and enjoy!

Apple Pie

Ingredients:

Pastry for 2 crusts (recipe below)
8 cups sliced, peeled assorted baking apples – about 3 lbs.  (Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonathan)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon milk

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice.

2. Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apples and toss well to coat.

3. Fill pastry lined 9 inch pie pan with apple mixture. Dot with butter.

4. Place second crust on top of pie filling, cut slits in top of crust to vent. Seal the edges of the crust with a fork or by hand.

5. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over top crust.

6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.

7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

 

Flaky Pastry Pie Crust Recipe

Makes two 9-inch pie crusts

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water

Directions:

1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.

2. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Stir in the ice water, a Tablespoon at a time, until the crust mixture forms a ball.

4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

5. Sprinkle flour onto rolling surface. Roll dough out, then divide in half. Roll each half to fit a 9-inch pie plate.

6. Place crust in pie plate, pressing evenly into the bottom and sides.

 Now add some whipped cream or iced cream and eat up!

Love, Shannon

 

Hurricane Sandy

Hey it’s Maddie, and I know that this is a bit off topic, but it is needed.  Hurricane Sandy is causing lots of damage on the eas

t coast, and they need help.  If you guys could please donate money to help them out,  I’m sure that they would appreciate it!  A charity that is always reliable is American Red Cross. Thank You!

Amazing Bite Sized Heaven!

Hi! It’s Shannon and this recipe is absolutely amazing! The small portion makes this a guilt free dessert! Enjoy it while staying healthy!

Ingredients:

48 1.75-inch premade miniature tart shells

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons homemade pumpkin pie spice
1 large egg
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk (this is the small can)

whipped cream or Cool Whip, optional garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, combine sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, egg, pumpkin, vanilla,and evaporated milk. Beat until well combined and smooth.

3. Line mini tart shells on prepared baking sheet. Using a small cookie scoop (2 teaspoons), fill each mini tart shell with pumpkin pie filling

4. Carefully transfer pan to preheated oven and bake for 15-17 minutes or until shells are golden and the filling appears to be set. Carefully remove mini pumpkin pies to a cooling rack.

5. If desired, top with freshly whipped cream or Cool Whip.

Have fun and enjoy!

Love, Shannon

Blog Feedback

After looking at two blogs very closely, I was able to grasp the idea of the blogs.
The first blog I looked at was called Picky Palate.  This blog was very detailed with all of the recipes, which made it very easy to follow the directions.  Right now the blog had Halloween related recipes, which was extra special!  I complemented their blog on my comment, because I felt that they should be aware how good their blog was, because everyone loves getting great feedback…right?

 

The second blog I visited was titled cake spy. I thought that their name was really clever, so that pulled me into reading their blog right away. All of the desserts looked super yummy. I left a comment that their blog was fun to look at and had great recipes.  I also wished them good luck with blogging in their future!

 

These were two amazing blogs, and they deserve to be seen. Check them out!

 

French Toast!

 Hey! It’s Shannon! Okay, So today I’m going into the nitty-gritty details of prepping for french toast.

Start by finding a medium pan and greasing slightly with butter or baking oil.

Get a medium sized dish that can hold about 2 cups of liquid.  It should be some what flat so you can easily place a piece of bread in.

Get a bread knife that will make nice clean cuts when slicing bread.

Ingredients:    

1. 1 loaf of sweet or sourdough bread

2. 2 eggs

3. 3 tablespoons of cream

4. 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar

Instructions:

1. Slice the loaf of bread into nice even pieces. Set aside.

2. Crack both eggs into container and beat until solid yellow color.

3. Add the cinnamon and cream into the egg.

4. Once the pan is heated, thoroughly coat a slice of bread in the egg mixture and fry on pan until both sides are crispy, do this to all the slices.

5. If you would like to make your breakfast a little more decadent, butter a slice and coat with cinnamon sugar. Another option is to melt chocolate chips and dip toast into the chocolate.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Love Shannon!