Cream Biscuits

IMG_20200315_113754.jpg

Since we decided recently that we’re brunch people, Selim has spent his Sunday mornings over the past few months perfecting his biscuit recipe. All I’ve ever heard about making biscuits is BUTTER, BUTTER, BUTTER. Well we’re hear to tell you that you can have an amazing biscuit, without using any butter. Sacrilegious? Maybe. But we’re going out on a limb and saying that these are better than their butter-y counterparts.

These biscuits are the staple of our Hedgehog Brunches (see this post for the definition of a Hedgehog Brunch) and are quickly becoming one of Selim’s signature dishes. He finally feels like he’s perfected them enough to share.

IMG_20200216_113458.jpg

Cream Biscuits

Ingredients: 
  • 2 (level) cups bread flour (+ more for dusting)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ~2 cups heavy cream, room temperature
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Start with 1 1/4 cups of cream, pouring slowly into the bowl, while stirring to combine. Add additional cream if needed, slowly! When you start to get a ball of dough, switch to working with your hands. Knead just until a slightly wet dough ball forms. Don’t overwork it!
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Using your hands, push the dough out so it’s flattened and roughly 1 inch thick.
  5. Cut into squares or use a glass to cut out biscuits that are roughly 3 inches in diameter. Bring scraps back together to get another biscuit or two out of it.
  6. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Liberally brush the tops of the biscuits with any remaining cream. Bake until golden brown on top, ~10-12 minutes.
Makes ~8 biscuits

Pumpkin Chip Bread

IMG_20191209_092012.jpg

December’s cookbook of the month is a classic – Joy of Cooking. Originally written  and self-published by Irma Rombauer in 1936,  this quintessentially American cookbook has sold more than 18 MILLION copies. We don’t own it, but I knew someone in my family did, so we borrowed a copy of the 1997 edition from my aunt. I’ve never cooked out of it before… It’s quite the behemoth! The tiny font and the lack of pictures makes it hard to approach, but the sheer number of recipes in here is amazing. I’ve decided that the best way to cook through JoC is to pick an ingredient you want/need to cook with and see what recipes in the book use that ingredient. Chances are, there will be several! That’s exactly what I did here. We had leftover roast pumpkin from our Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie, so I decided to let that be my guiding ingredient for my first JoC foray.

The biggest modification I made to the book recipe is the addition of the chocolate chips. Selim thinks everything is better with chocolate chips, so we had to add some. It turned out well. It’s a perfect use of leftovers and a quick pathway to an easy treat!

IMG_20191209_092047.jpg

Pumpkin Chip Bread

(Adapted from Joy of Cooking, 1997 edition)
Ingredients: 
  • 1 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small baking pumpkin (or 1 cup pumpkin puree)
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place halves facedown on a cookie sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the flesh is tender and skin easily peels back.
  3. Decrease oven heat to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  4. Sift together the first 8 dry ingredients (flour though baking powder).
  5. In a different bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla.
  6. In a third bowl, cream the butter with the sugars. Now beat in the two eggs. Follow that with 1 cup of pumpkin.
  7. Now add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, alternating each, while beating on low speed.
  8. Once well-combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for ~1 hour, until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

 

Pumpkin Pie

pumppie

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! We both love Thanksgiving, and Selim is extra happy this year because I made him his favorite Thanksgiving treat – pumpkin pie! Selim has very strong feelings about pie and dessert in general, and this pie was deemed worthy of Thanksgiving! (I actually made three pies – remade the Salted Maple Pie and a Cranberry-Lime Pie – recipe coming!) We were busy celebrating with family and didn’t take too many (or good) pictures of the pies, but they were all delicious! This pumpkin pie is made with real roasted pumpkin and is full of spices, but cheats with the crust. I made three pies in an afternoon ok? Something had to give! We’re both of the opinion that the filling makes the pie, so we’re not too worried about the crust. But by all means, make real crust yourself!

thanksgiving19

Pumpkin Pie

(Adapted from this recipe here!)
Ingredients:
  • 1 medium baking pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pie crust (we like Trader Joe’s if you’re not making your own)
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place halves facedown on a cookie sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the flesh is tender and skin easily peels back.
  3. Turn oven temperature up to 425 degrees.
  4. Once pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop 2 cups into a large bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except for the crust (obviously). Using a hand mixer, beat all the ingredients together until smooth.
  5. Prepare pie crust per your own recipe or as instructed on box. Place in pie pan.
  6. Pour filling into the crust.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then decrease heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 45 – 50 minutes.
    • Keep a eye on the crust – consider covering the edges with foil if it’s getting too dark.
  8. Cool on a trivet or a wire rack for 2+ hours before serving.

 

grandaddy
The real highlight though – Granddaddy’s AMAZING oysters!

 

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rosewater Cream

IMG_20190920_160539.jpg

In our last post, we mentioned how we started participating in the Kitchn’s Cookbook Club. Our first recipe was an amazing success, so we’re dipping our toes into a dessert today! This recipe is originally published as a cake, but we decided to make cupcakes instead. (Samin encourages that in the recipe, so don’t worry, we’re not improvising too much!)

The cake portion turned out well – nice and chocolately with a good texture and moistness. We really liked the combination of the chocolate cake with the rosewater icing. We personally love rosewater, but it can definitely be a polarizing ingredient. Using 3/4 tsp of rosewater in this recipe gave it a discernible rosewater flavor, but isn’t overwhelming. If you’re a rosewater novice, maybe start with a little less. Another update: I still don’t know how to ice cupcakes. I tried. Sorry. At least they taste good.

img_20190920_160555.jpg

Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Cream

(Adapted from Salt Fat Acid Heat)
Ingredients: 
  • Cupcakes
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 neutral oil
    • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
    • 2 eggs, room temperature & whisked
  • Cream
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 3/4 tsp rosewater
    • Optional: a drop or two of red food coloring, to give you pink icing
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in top third of oven. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients for the cupcakes: cocoa powder, sugar, salt, flour, and baking soda.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the wet ingredients: vanilla, oil, boiling water, and eggs.
  4. With mixer running, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Mix until the thin batter comes together.
  5. Divide the batter into the cupcake molds, filling roughly 2/3s full.
  6. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the whipped cream frosting. Refrigerate the mixing bowl and whisk attachment for at least 20 minutes.
  8. Then start by whipping the cream and rosewater together over medium-high speed until beginning to thicken. Then slowly add the powdered sugar with the machine still running. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
  9. Frost the cooled cupcakes with the cream frosting, either by spreading with a knife or by piping on top.
Makes ~18 cupcakes

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Happy Labor Day Weekend! The unofficial end of summer has arrived. You’d be hard-pressed to know that here though, given that it’s going to be sunny and in the upper 80s. We’re spending our weekend at “The Land” as we call it – in rural Amherst County. While we still have the last remnants of summer with us, here are some bright, summery muffins with summer favorite blueberries. These muffins come together pretty easily and are juicy and tart, not overly sweet. The perfect thing to have available for snacking over a long weekend!


Lemon Blueberry Muffins

(Adapted from here!)
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large lemon (zested & juiced)
  • 6oz fresh blueberries
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the first four dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, egg, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  4. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, as the mixer is running. Mix until well-combined.
  5. Gently stir the blueberries in by hand.
  6. Spoon into lined muffin tins. Bake for 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to sit until cool enough to handle.
Makes 12 muffins

Lemon Blueberry Skillet Cake

blcake.jpg

Today marks my first full week of being home with the baby on maternity leave alone and Selim’s first week being back at work. I’m learning that neither is easy. Selim has to get up early, after having frequently interrupted sleep all night, go to work all day, and be separated from this little baby he loves so much. Me, I don’t have to do most of those things, but my life completely revolves around this little 8 pound dictator. We’re lucky though – from what we understand, she’s a really good baby. (Of course, we think she’s the best baby in the entire world…!)

But I wanted to celebrate our first week back at work/home alone and have been thinking about making this cake all week. We have some lovely summer blueberries and several lemons that have been staring at me from our kitchen all week. I got this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Seasons & Suppers (as I’ve mentioned several other times on here… Other recipes of hers that we’ve tried & shared here: Prosciutto & Basil Topped Lemon Ricotta Pappardelle & Maple & Mustard Pork with Shallots). Every recipe from this blog looks amazing, partially due to her gorgeous photography, and every single one I’ve been has turned out wonderfully! The original recipe is just for lemon cake; I added the blueberries after thinking about the combination of lemon and blueberry for the past week. Most of the blueberries sunk to the bottom while baking, making this feel like halfway between a crumble and a cake at the end. It’s moist and flavorful; definitely a keeper even if it doesn’t exactly look like a cake in the end! Also, don’t be alarmed when your pour the liquid “sauce” over the cake batter at the end. It seems like a lot of liquid and maybe a bad idea and maybe you misread the recipe – don’t worry!

blcake2

Lemon Blueberry Skillet Cake

(Adapted from Seasons & Suppers)
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter + extra
  • 1 cup sugar (divided)
  • 2 lemons, juiced (divided)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 {heaping} cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Hot water
  • Powdered sugar
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet (or a similarly-sized baking dish) with some extra butter.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer, cream together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Once combined, add in the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
  3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the 2 eggs together, then add them to the mixture. Follow this with the vanilla and milk.
  4. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this into the mixture. Once combined, gently stir the blueberries in by hand.
  5. Now, spoon the batter into the greased skillet and spread out evenly.
  6. In another bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the cornstarch. Place the remaining juice from the other 1 1/2 lemons in a measuring cup. Additionally, fill to the 1 1/4 cup mark with hot water. Whisk this in with the sugar and cornstarch mixture.
  7. Once combined, gently pour over top of the batter and immediately place in the oven.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar prior to serving.

Southern Baklava

img_20190726_142937-e1564168069528.jpg

Selim’s father is one of our most loyal blog readers. He’s been telling us for years that we should try a twist on the traditional baklava that we usually make. Our baklava recipe is a fairly traditional Turkish one and incorporates tips from him. But he’s been suggesting that we try to make a Southern twist on baklava using pecans instead of more traditional nuts like walnuts or pistachios. We’ve thought this was a great idea, but just never have gotten around to doing it.

Lo and behold, we had our baby last week (she’s pretty awesome), and Selim’s father is in town from Texas to visit and meet her this week. Texans seem to love pecans, hence how we got to this point! Since he’s here, we decided to put him to work and today he and Selim gave Southern Baklava a whirl. The main difference, outside of the substitution of pecans, is the addition of cinnamon and maple syrup.

Southern Baklava

Ingredients: 
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted, clarified butter
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cups pecans
  • ~40 sheets of filo dough (usually 2 packages)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. (If you have clarified butter, melt the appropriate amount. If you only have regular butter, melt it in a saucepan and then skim off the foam and slowly pour the liquid into a bowl making sure to not transfer solid milk fats which are at the bottom.)
  3. Prepare the syrup: combine cold water, 2 cups of sugar, the maple syrup, and whole cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes, then lower heat to barely a simmer. Continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, as the cinnamon sticks open up and the syrup thickens.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and allow to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, combine pecans and 2 tbsp sugar in food processor. Process until “medium” ground – don’t let it get too fine.
  6. Now brush the inside of a large cookie sheet with clarified butter.
  7. Place a sheet of filo dough in the pan. Brush with more clarified butter. Continue in this pattern until you’ve placed half of the sheets (~20) of filo dough in the pan.
  8. Now spread the pecan-sugar mixture onto the top layer of filo dough. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and then drizzle with more clarified butter.
  9. Return to the pattern of layering dough and clarified butter until you use all of the rest of the filo dough sheets. Brush the top layer and the edges with clarified butter.
  10. Take a very sharp knife and dip it into hot water. Slice down halfway through the height of the dough into the size and shape of baklava pieces you want at the end.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes in the center of the oven.
  12. Lower heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.
  13. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  14. Slice all the way through, along the lines you previously made.
  15. Pour the syrup over top, along the cut lines.
  16. For best results, let sit for a day before eating. This is hard to do and it’s still delicious if you eat it immediately. The longer the syrup soaks in, the better though!