Tag Archives: baking

Homemade Pop Tarts

My daughter loves to read ever since she was very young, and she loves all kinds of books…novels, science, history, comics and even cook books ! So, a lot of times, our bedtime reading will include looking at recipes, sweet or savoury, and deciding what we should try. Pop tarts was one of them that’s on the top of our list. It’s easy, colourful, fun and of course, super yummy ! Personally, I like them without the sprinkles, but my daughter will definitely disagree. She had so much fun putting on the glaze and the sprinkles….yeah, might be just a little too much…..    

Makes about 6 tarts

For the crust

  • 360 g all-purpose flour
  • 20 g granulated sugar
  • 2 g salt
  • 240 cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 ml milk
  • 5 ml pure vanilla extract

For the glaze 

  • 120 g icing sugar 
  • 30-45 ml milk

Other ingredients

  • Fruit jam of choice (I used raspberry)
  • 1 egg white for brushing
  • 30 g vanilla sugar or granulated sugar 
  • Sprinkles for decorating
  1. To make the glaze, mix together icing sugar and milk until smooth, set aside
  2. To make the crust, put flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl
  3. Rub in chilled butter with fingers until butter is pea-sized
  4. Mix in eggs, milk and vanilla
  5. Gently press dough together, do not knead
  6. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F
  8. Roll dough to about 0.5 cm in thickness. If dough was in the fridge overnight, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before rolling
  9. Cut into 8 cm x 12 cm rectangles (2 rectangles per tart)
  10. Place half of the rectangles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  11. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of fillings on top
  12. Brush sides with egg white and cover with the other half of rectangles
  13. Press sides gently to seal, then press down with a fork
  14. Make a few holes on top to vent
  15. Brush top with egg white and sprinkle with vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
  16. Bake for about 30 minutes
  17. Cool, then decorate with glaze and sprinkles

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Coffee Cake Muffins 

The past month has been super busy! Kids were on spring break, we went for a mini vacation to Portland with my parents. I came back to start a new pharmacy job, meanwhile trying to prepare for 3 Spring markets….. I was basically working 14-16 hours a day! It was exhausting but I had so much fun doing the markets. I love to share my baking passion and people’s responses are very positive and encouraging. I also love meeting and talking to other artisan vendors. It makes me really appreciate the time and effort that they put into their art, whether it’s food related or not. So go visit your local artisan markets and I am sure you will discover some very amazing local vendors and their products.

This is a recipe I did a while ago. I usually try to have one or two “spare” recipes so I can keep posting when I am busy. It’s a very simple muffin recipe but the crumble makes them taste so good! It’s a perfect afternoon snack with a cup of coffee! And definitely need it on my 16 hour-day!

Makes about 12 

For the muffins

  • 360 g all-purpose flour
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 4 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 180 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 60 mL canola oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 300 g sour cream
  • 10 mL pure vanilla extract

For the crumble

  • 60 g demerara or brown sugar
  • 90 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 g ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. To make the crumble, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt
  3. Rub in cold butter with fingers until resemble wet sand, set aside
  4. To make the batter, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda
  5. Mix in sugar and salt
  6. Add eggs, vanilla, sour cream, melted butter and oil, stir until just blended
  7. Spoon half of the batter, then half of the crumble into lightly oiled and floured muffin tins
  8. Layer with the remaining halves
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes

Recipe adapted from Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins with Streusel Topping at www.justataste.com

Baked Nutella Churro Nests 

​We love churros ! Well, who doesn’t ? I have been hoping to make some for a long time. But personally, I cannot eat too much fried food. Not that they don’t taste good, my very sensitive stomach just can’t handle a lot of oil. I guess that’s both a good thing and a bad thing……

I remembered watching a video in which people make churro ice-cream bowls, what a great idea ! So I thought, since Easter is coming up, why don’t I bake some churro bowls and turn them into little nests ! I decorated mine with some feuilletine that I have, which is a crispy crumb mixture of crepes. You may be able to find them in some specialty kitchen store. I got mine from the Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver. Or you can just use cookie crumbs, pretzel sticks, even some popcorns. With some chocolate eggs on top, they look exactly like little nests ! And I am sure the kids are going to love them ! Have a Happy Easter ! 

Makes about 8-10 nests 

For the nests (choux paste)

  • 200 mL water
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 30 g demerara or brown sugar
  • 120 g all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract

For the fillings

  • 7.5 g ground cinnamon
  • 45 g granulated sugar
  • 30 g unsalted butter, melted
  • Nutella spread
  • Cookie crumbs, pretzel sticks or feuilletine
  • Easter chocolate eggs
  1. To make the cinnamon sugar, mix together ground cinnamon and granulated sugar, set aside 
  2. To prepare the choux paste, heat together water, butter, salt and demerara or brown sugar in a pot over medium heat until just starting to boil
  3. Turn heat down to low, add flour all at once
  4. Stirring constantly, cook until a thin film of paste formed at the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes
  5. Transfer paste to a heat-proofed mixing bowl and cool down
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375ºF and prepare piping bag with large star piping tip 
  7. Add vanilla, then eggs to paste, one at a time and mix well after each addition
  8. Transfer to piping bag and pipe into domes on back of oiled muffin tins
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes until starting to brown, turn heat up to 450°F at broil setting and bake until top is golden (about 2 -3 minutes, watch closely, as they can burn very easily)
  10. Take puffs out, let cool
  11. Brush outside with melted butter then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  12. Fill inside with about a tablespoon each of Nutella
  13. Decorate with crumbs and chocolate eggs, best to serve immediately 

Tools that I used

Wilton Decorating Tip 6B

 

DayMark IT112793 18″ PipingPal Plus Disposable Pastry Bag with Dispenser (Roll of 100)

You can get the piping tip and bags the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 
 

Gingerbread Cookies

I have to apologize ! I haven’t been able to post for a month ! I have been busy…very busy. I participated in two Christmas Fairs selling my baked goodies….for the very first time ! 

It was a lot of work, more than I anticipated, but it was well worth it ! It was a very rewarding experience. I’ve received many positive comments, from the set up of my table to how yummy my cookies were. More important, I feel so blessed to have so much support from family and friends, especially my daughter ! I couldn’t do it without her ! 

Gingerbread cookie was one of the items I sold at the fairs. I had posted a recipe before, but over the years, I have made a few changes to make it better. So here is an updated version !

For the cookies

  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 180 g cake and pastry flour
  • 3 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 6 g ground ginger
  • 3.5 g ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 120 g butter
  • 120 g brown sugar
  • 100 g molasses
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together flours, baking soda, salt and spices, set aside
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar until light
  4. Add egg and molasses
  5. Add flour mixture in 2-3 parts, mixing after each addition until just blended
  6. Refrigerate dough for about 60 minutes for easy handling, you can also freeze it for later use
  7. Roll on a lightly floured surface to about 0.5 cm in thickness
  8. Cut with cookie cutters
  9. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for about 8 minutes.
  10. Cool completely before decorating

For the icing 

  • 45 g meringue powder
  • 500 g icing sugar, sifted 
  • 90 – 120 mL warm water
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 10 mL corn syrup
  • Gel food colouring
  1. Mix meringue powder with about 45 mL of water, let sit for a few minutes
  2. Stir in vanilla and corn syrup 
  3. Whisk into icing sugar using an electric mixer or a hand whisk
  4. Slowly add in more warm water until shiny and desired consistency (thicker for outlining and thinner for filling)
  5. Add food colouring

Gluten-Free Almond Thumbprint Cookies 

Halloween is over and Christmas is less than 2 months away ! Seriously ? Where did the time go ? And I am doing two Christmas Fairs in about 2 weeks ! This is my first time ever selling my cookies and baked goods ! I am super excited but nervous at the same time. How should I set up my table ? How much should I bake ? Am I going to have enough time ? Ahhhh……..My daughter told me the other day, “mom, don’t worry, just chill and do it and you will be fine ! ” OK, let’s take a deep breath and get organized, I can do this, I can do this ! Oh, and of course I can’t forget about my blog ! I wanted something that’s quick and easy…..How about thumbprint cookies ? Shortbread cookies filled with fruity jams, simple but absolutely delicious ! I made a gluten-free version this time by using ground almond. They are best to be consumed on the day you make it, so I would suggest making smaller batches. Although these cookies have less butter, they are still very rich and tasty ! Thanks to the high fat content of almonds. I totally need to eat a few of them to help me relax ! …..Wish me luck on my craft fairs ! And come visit me if you live around Richmond,B.C. ! 

Makes about 16 cookies

  • 90 g unsalted butter, soften 
  • 90 g icing sugar, plus more for dusting 
  • 240 g ground almond 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • Jam of choice
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF
  2. Cream butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer or wooden spoon 
  3. Add vanilla, then ground almond and salt, mix until combined
  4. Roll into one inch balls, place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart 
  5. Make an indentation with your thumb in the middle of each ball (It’s normal for the dough to be slightly cracked)
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes 
  7. The indentations will flatten, gently press the middle again with the end of a wooden spoon while they are still fairly hot and soft 
  8. Let cool, then spoon jam in the middle. (If the jam is too cold to spread, you can warm it up in a hot water bath)
  9. Dust with icing sugar 

Spiced Pear Tart 

My kids love to eat any kind of pears ever since they were little, Anjou, Barlett, or Asian. Pears are all very sweet and tasty no matter how you eat them. You can enjoy them raw, cook, bake, poach, etc. They are also a good source of fibre and vitamin C. It’s pretty hard not to love them ! Fall is the season for pears, so I used some Barlett pears and made this Spiced Pear Tart. I spiced up a basic short crust  for the tart shell. The dough freezes well, so you can make it ahead of time. It can also turn into yummy cookies ! So don’t throw away the trimmings after you make the tarts. Just gather them together, roll it, cut it with cookie cutters and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350°F ! I baked mine into leaves and used them as garnish ! You can adjust the amount of spices used according to your taste, both in the tart shell and the fillings. I actually would prefer a bit spicier, but my daughter said this is perfect for her palate. Well, I have to listen to my little boss ! The tarts taste delicious on their own, but my little boss likes them with vanilla ice cream, even better !  

 

Makes four 4-inch tarts or eight 2-inch mini tarts    

For the tart shell 

  • 120 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 
  • 75 g granulated sugar 
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 180 g cake and pastry flour 
  • 3 g ground ginger 
  • 2 g ground cinnamon 
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg 

For the fillings 

  • About 3-4 pears (wash, peel, core and cut into chunks)
  • 60 g brown sugar 
  • 3 g ground ginger 
  • 3 g ground cinnamon 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 

For the crust 

  • 60 g quick oats 
  • 30 g all-purpose flour 
  • 30 g brown sugar 
  • 30 g unsalted butter, melted 
  1. To make the tart shells, sift together flour and spices 
  2. Mix together cold butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until blended
  3. Mix in egg yolks
  4. Add flour mixture all at once, mix, then transfer onto a surface and gently knead dough together until everything just combined
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF
  7. Knead dough until pliable
  8. Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch in thickness on a floured surface, dock with a fork
  9. Place inside slightly greased tart molds, trim off excess  
  10. Bake for about 8 minutes, let cool
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the fillings by mixing pear chunks with brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla 
  12. Spoon into cooled tart shell 
  13. Mix all crust ingredients together and spoon on top of fillings
  14. Bake at 350ºF for about 25 minutes until golden 
  15. Serve warm 

 

 

Baked Cinnamon Doughnuts (with Butterscotch Glaze and Toasted Walnuts) 

Another school year has just started ! I can’t believe my son is in high school ! He is certainly excited to move on and become an official teenager, and I am happy to see him growing up and becoming more independent. But as a mom, I would never stop worrying about him ! Is he doing well at school, is he making new friends, and are they good kids, etc….Luckily, my kids and I are very close, and we would talk about almost everything…..I am sure there are things they don’t want me to know !

Since the kids are back to school, I finally have a little more time to work on my recipes. These cinnamon doughnuts are nice surprise ! I was trying to make some cinnamon apple waffles but they didn’t turn out right. So, I switched and made doughnuts instead. And I am so glad  I did ! They are so soft and tasty even without any toppings. But hey, why not kick them up 2 more notches ! The butterscotch glaze is heavenly ! No kidding, my daughter would have “drunk” the whole bowl if I didn’t stop her ! The toasted walnuts are really nice too, they add extra flavour and crunchiness. Pecans would also be a good alternative. You can refrigerate the extra butterscotch sauce for up to 1 week. Rewarm and drizzle it on some vanilla ice cream, and you’ll have another dessert !  

Makes about 12 doughnuts     

For the doughnuts

  • 300 g all-purpose flour 
  • 6 g baking powder 
  • 3 g baking soda 
  • 2 g salt 
  • 6 g ground cinnamon 
  • Pinch of nutmeg 
  • 30 g brown sugar 
  • 30 g granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 300 mL buttermilk 
  • 60 mL vegetable oil 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 

For the butterscotch glaze  

  • 60 g unsalted butter 
  • 120 mL whipping cream 
  • 120 g brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract

You will also need about 90 g walnuts 

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF 
  2. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 10 minutes, let cool and crush into small pieces
  3. Turn oven up to 350ºF
  4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, add both sugars
  5. In another bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract 
  6. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix until just blended 
  7. Pour batter into lightly greased doughnut pans and bake for about 12 minutes, let cool
  8. To make the glaze, cook butter and whipping cream in a small non-stick pot over medium heat until butter melts
  9. Add sugar and salt , stir continuously until thicken and smooth  
  10. Add vanilla, let cool slightly
  11. To assemble, dip one side of doughnuts into the glaze, then the crushed walnuts, best to serve immediately

 

Butterscotch sauce recipe adapted from Mark Bittman, “How to Bake Everything” 

 

Books and Tools

 

How to Bake Everything: Simple Recipes for the Best Baking

Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan

You can get the doughnut pans and the cookbook through the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item.