Sunday, September 30, 2007

Daring Bakers

I feel like celebrating! I have enjoyed watching others do their baking challenges and now I get to be a part of it. Wahhoooo! New friends, new ideas, great blogs. Ohhh! Uuumm, yes, the blog thing. Being new to the blogging world, it seems I have made a few boo boos. I was trying to get a few blog addresses to the side of my blog and somehow have posted the blogs as mainstay comments. How embarassing. Yeesh! Well, I am hoping that as I learn to become more proficient, the mistake blogs will make their way to the bottom of the pile and maybe no one will notice. I guess it isn't helping the matter that I feel the need to talk about it. BUT. . . .guess what????? giggle, giggle. . . I am a daring baker. Harray for me!

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Cupcake lovers of the world UNITE! « quirky cupcake

Cupcake lovers of the world UNITE! « quirky cupcake

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Canning Peach Jam

Peach Jam to Drool For Recipe

By shandy
This recipe has won prizes and when you taste it. . .well, hording comes to mind. I was impressed with the depth of flavor and that the seasoning is perfect for me. Heat a large pot of water to boiling and dip your peaches in it for about 20 secs. for a quick peeling method. 8 cups of peaches is around 11 large peaches. This is one of the best jams I have made yet! : D

8 c. peaches, pitted, peeled, chopped the size of a pair of dice and slightly mashed
4 T. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
6 T. powdered fruit pectin
6 c. sugar
1 T. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1/4 t. ginger powder
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. allspice
zest of 1/2 lemon

Sterilize the jars, rings and lids by using boiling water.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the peaches and lemon juice to a boil. Add the pectin and return the mixture to a boil. Stirring constantly, slowly add the sugar. Stir in the crystallized ginger, ginger powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and lemon zest and continue to boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and skim any foam from the top of the jam. I always add 1/2 T. butter at this time to settle the foam.
Carefully pour the jam into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch space between the jam and the neck of the jar. Cover with the lids and screw on the bands. Process the jars for 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath.

I am standing here making dinner and stirring my peach jam. There is nothing quite like coming home from working all day to stressing about peaches spoiling and knowing that I feel like I am competing against time along with *also* knowing that my family is hungry for dinner and my peach jam may be prize winning but it will not do for dinner! I will NOT lose this fruit. How can I say that I have saved money by buying directly from the orchards then get home and let it go to waste and have to chuck it?? Well, this thought has been my competition. I so need to learn self control. You know, I say this now but if and when I go back, I will be on this hoarding thing again and self-control will have gone right out the window. My poor husband will actually try and get me to remember this rough moment in time of total exhaustion and I will look at him like he has lost his marbles! I mean really. All I will have to do is look at all this fruit that they are practically giving away and these fabulous recipes will be flashing before my eyes. That's it! Sad but true and right now I can't possibly look at another peach without feeling ill. My jars are pretty though.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Canning can be so frightening when it comes to getting started. I thought, okay, I did this once before. Granted, it was ten years ago. I was really young and I had a *lot* of support. I canned over 200 jars of fruit and tomatoes but everything was basic stuff. This time, I got the privilege of relearning how to can all by myself. On top of that, I went to Eastern Washington, Yakima to be precise, and got carried away. I couldn't remember all the cool places I went to when I first did this endeavor sooooo made the best of it and Larry, my hubby, and I went from tent and farm to tent and farm. I was so disappointed with the fruit we got because it just wasn't the perfect fruit I remembered getting the first time around. Then, I had these specific directions on where to go. You know, down this long bumpy driveway you will reach this old warehouse where only semi trucks come to *but* they will sell to the public. I couldn't remember where any of these places were. I can't feel to bad though. I still came home with, and yes I weighed each and every box, 350 pounds of peaches, nectarines, apples, tomatoes and sweet onions. I have been collecting jars for the last 5 years and boy am I glad that I did. I have learned to can everything. I can't see straight and I am cleaning peach juice off the ceiling in the kitchen. . .no idea how that got there, but the jars are soo pretty!

I think for a reference in the future, I am going to keep posting all my favorite recipes here for canning. I made this awesome Jamacan Rum Peach Jam and A Grand Prize Winning Peach Jam that is so good it just melts in your mouth with all this great flavor. Working full time and coming home to can for 7 or 8 hours for two weeks straight is what I call canning burn-out. But I did it. All I have left is half a bag of sweet onions and one box of apples. I made my first Stewed Italian Tomatoes, Chili Sauce, Pear/Apple Chutney, Pear Honey, Nectarines in Vanilla Wine Syrup, Seedless Blackberry Jam and Syrup and Spiced Peach Butter to name just a few things I accomplished in this time.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Pecan Roll Monkey Bread

Now that I am looking over my first page, it has hit me just how cruel I have been to anyone that has looked at this blog page. I can not possibly, in clear conscience, show a picture of one of my favorite bread desserts without also giving the recipe. This breakfast bread can be refrigerated over night. Go ahead and sleep in, pull it out of the fridge, bring to room temperature, and bake as the instructions show below. The Bourbon in the caramel topping is awesome!

So here it is:

For the Dough:
1 packet (2 1/4 t.) active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (100-110 degrees)
3/4 c. whole milk
1/2 c. buttermilk
3 T. sugar
2 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
5 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 t. kosher salt...okay I am on a kosher kick. Regular salt is fine.
3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. pecans; divided
For the Caramel Topping ---
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. pure maple sytrup
1 T. bourbon
1 t. kosher salt (I know, again with the Kosher salt - you can use regular salt)
Remaining Pecans

BUTTER A 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.

PREPARE dough and filling.

PROOF the yeast for the dough in warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer for 5 minutes, or until foamy. (You can proof in a regular large bowl to do this recipe if you do not have a stand mixer but your arm will fall off working the dough.)

WARM the milk to 100 degrees in a saucepan over low heat while yeast is proofing. Add warmed milk, buttermilk, 3 T. sugar, 2 T. butter, 3 1/2 cups flour, and salt to the proofed yeast. With a paddle attachment, mix on low speed until combined, then increase speed to high; beat for 2 more minutes.

SWITCH to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix on low speed until incorporated, then increase speed to medium. Mix for 5-7 minutes, or until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (It will still be stuck to the bottom of the bowl, so don't worry.) Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until doubled. Butter a Bundt cake pan.

SOFTEN 3/4 cup butter for the filling in a bowl in a microwave for 30 seconds. Use a hand mixer to blend in the sugar and cinnamon; set aside (do not chill).

TOAST pecans in a nonstick skillet until golden and fragrant; chop and set aside. While dough rises make caramel topping.

COMBINE brown sugar, cream, maple syrup, bourbon, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat (DO NOT STIR, and keep an eye on it--there's a tendency for it to boil over).
Simmer for 10 minutes, then pour 1 cup caramel into the prepared Bundt pan. Set aside.

ONCE the dough has risen, hook your fingers under the edges to release the dough from the bowl. Scrape it onto a well-floured surface, sprinkle flour over the top, and press gently to remove air bubbles. Divide the dough in half and roll one portion into a 10 x 16" rectangle.

SPREAD half of the filling onto the dough,and sprinkle with 1/2 c. pecans, pressing them lightly into the dough. Cut each rectangle into thirds and roll the rectangles long ways - jelly-roll style- into logs. (Remember that you want minature cinnamon rolls to pile on top of each other in the bundt pan.)

TRANSFER to a baking sheet, freeze 10 minutes, then slice into 1" rolls with a serrated knife.

ARRANGE rolls in the prepared pan in circles, building two layers. (Another words, pile the minature cinnamon rolls on top of each other all the way around the Bundt pan.) Cover with foil that's been coated with non-stick spray, then let rise for 1 hour; preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread, covered with foil, for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 25-30 minutes. Allow the bread to rest for 15 minutes.

MEANWHILE, bring the remaining caramel to a simmer, then add the remaining 1/2 c. pecans. Invert bread onto a plate, then drizzle with caramel.

A LONG PROCESS, but great eating. Soo many people enjoy this when I make it. I love the aroma I get in the whole house. Yum! :D