Monday, November 28, 2011

Bite Sized French Silk Pie

I posted the recipe for French Silk Pie earlier (see sidebar for the link).  In order to make them bite sized I use a biscut cutter to cut out the pie crust, then place the crust in a mini cupcake pan.  I cut out squares of parchment paper and fill them with pie beans after docking the crust.  Two crusts will make 24 bite sized pies.  I bake the crust the for 10 minutes with the beans, then 5 minutes without the beans before removing them from the pan and allowing them to cool on a wire rack.  You will only need to make one batch of filling and whipped cream.  I use a small offset spatula to fill the crusts with chocolate, then I place a small layer of whipped cream on top to seal it (otherwise you get pudding skin on the chocolate).  After all this is done I use a pastry bag with a #18 star tip to pipe the whipped cream on top.  One recipe uses 1 1/2 bars of chocolate, so I use a cheese slicer on the remaining half to make chocolate shavings that I sprinkle on top.  There is a small picture of the bite sized pies in the bake sale post. Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pumpkin Ribbon Bread

I made this without the filling and it was the most moist pumpkin bread I've tried in a long time.

Oven Temp: 325°F

1 c cooked pumpkin
½ c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 ½ c sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp cinnamon
1 2/3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 c pecans, chopped (optional)

2 (3 oz each) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/3 c sugar
1 TBS flour
1 egg
2 tsp grated orange peel

For bread: Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.  Combine pumpkin, oil, and eggs in a large bowl.  Add sugar, salt, cloves, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and pecans; mix to blend.  Pour ¼ of batter into each of the prepared pans and set aside. 

For filling:  In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg and orange peel; mix well. 

Carefully spread half the filling over batter in each pan.  Spread remaining batter, evenly divided, over filling, in each pan.  Bake for 60-90 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean. 

Cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and finish cooling on wire racks.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

I can't remember where I got this recipe, it's been in my stack of "to try" recipes for awhile and I think that it will be included next time I update my cookbook.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bake Sale

Last weekend I took a day off of work to bake for 12 hours.  The Middle River Friends Church was having a Craft and Bake Sale that my Mother-in-law, Cathie, was working at.  After talking to her I wanted to help, so I started by putting together my menu.  This is usually the easiest part for most bakers; decide what you want to make.  I pulled out my giant cookbook (400+ pages) and I flipped to my favorite recipe, French Silk Pie.  Cathie also asked me to make a Cherry Pie so I pulled that recipe out too.  Then I just started turning pages and pulling out anything that looked good.  In the end I decided on Gingersnap Cookies, Buttermilk Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes, French Silk Pie, Cherry Pie, Buttermilk Pie, Coffee Cake Muffins, Banana Bread and Pumpkin Bread.

The next step of baking this much food is to put together a list of all the ingredients.  I start with the first recipe and a blank sheet of notebook paper, then basically rewrite the ingredient list.  The second recipe ingredients get added to the first and so on until you've gone through all your recipes, in the end you will have a list similar to this:

Shortening: 3/4 c
Brown Sugar: 1c, 1c, 1/3c
Eggs: 1, 3, 3, 3, 2
Egg yolks: 4,  4
Flour; 1c, 2c, 2c, 1 3/4c, 3T, 1/3c, 1 3/4c, 2c
Ginger: 1t

Next is simplifying the food list by adding together everything you listed:

Shortening: 3/4c
Brown Sugar: 2 1/3c
Eggs and yolks: 20
Flour: 10 1/2 c, 1/3c, 3T
Ginger: 1t

Then I pull everything on my list out of my cabinets.  If I don't have to buy more it goes on one side and if I need to add it to my grocery list it goes on the other.   I typically try to have this much done 2 days before I'm going to bake so that I don't forget anything.

While I'm making all these lists I also write down the name of the recipe, how long it needs to be in the oven, and what temperature the oven needs to be at:

Gingersnaps: 8-10, 375°F
Buttermilk Pie: 55, 450 reduce 350°F
Buttermilk Cupcakes: 22, 350°F
Chocolate Cupcakes: 27, 350°F
Banana Bread: 60, 325°F
Pumpkin Bread: 70, 325°F
French Silk Pie: 25, 450°F
Cherry Pie: 40, 425°F
Coffee Cake Muffins: 25, 375°F

Then decide what order to cook things in to manage the time I will be in the kitchen.  In the end this is the order I went with:

Turn on oven to 350°F
Gingersnaps: make the dough and place in fridge to chill
Buttermilk Cupcakes: make batter, place in oven to bake.
Chocolate Cupcakes: while yellow cupcakes are in the oven, make batter and have it ready to go in the oven when the other cupcakes come out.
Turn the oven up to 450°F
French Silk Pie: While the oven is rising in temp, roll out dough for crust, dock it, and fill it with pie beans (or pie weights).  (I ended up making 2 of these pies because the one I promised to start with was sold before the bake sale began.)
Cherry Pie: While the French Silk Pie crust is in the oven I rolled out the dough for this pie, heated the filling, and got the second crust cut for the lattice top. 
Buttermilk Pie: This pie is one crust, and a very simple filling it was ready to go in as soon as the Cherry Pie came out.  This is also a pie that reduces temperature so I was able to get my oven back down to the temp to bake everything else.
Coffee Cake Muffins: make batter and streusel, place in the oven when the pie comes out.
Gingersnap Cookies: I make all my rounds for these while the Coffee Cake Muffins are in the oven, then I work on other things while they are baking.
Banana Bread: The recipe I have only makes one loaf, I made 2 batches of batter and made 1 normal loaf, and 6 mini loaves.
French Silk Pie: While the Banana Bread is in the oven I worked on the chocolate mousse for both pies.
Pumpkin Bread: When the Banana Bread is close to being done I make the batter then put it in the oven.
French Silk Pie: Now that the last thing is in the oven I can work on the whipped cream to finish this pie.

The last thing to do is frosting and packaging.  Some of them I finished while other things were in the oven, once the Cherry Pie was cool I was able to put it in the box then into the frige, same with the Buttermilk Pie.  The cupcakes all were placed in cake pans for storage, then set on the dining room table until I was ready to frost, and the Gingersnaps were bagged up when they were cool.

To add to my work, and to see the smile on Cathie's face when I dopped everything off I also made bite sized versions of everything to go in small boxes for all the ladies working at the sale:

Starting from the upper left hand corner: Bite sized Cherry Pies, Mini Coffee Cake Muffins, Mini Buttermilk Cupcakes, Mini Chocolate Cupcakes, Bite sized French Silk Pie, Mini loaf Banana Bread, slices of Pumpkin Bread.

By the time I was done my feet hurt and my hands were slightly wrinkly from washing so many dishes, but I was very happy to see all my hard work.

I will be posting all the recipes later this weekend, along with how to make a mini versions.