Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quick Strawberry Dessert

I ran across this Strawberry Cobbler recipe at work and wanted to give it a try last night. I had strawberries and all the other ingredients. If I waited too long, the strawberries would end up in a smoothie, so I just jumped right into it when I got home! The preparation took no time at all, and while it baked in the oven for 30 minutes, I remembered to have a little dinner before filling up on dessert.

I've never made cobbler before, and I haven't eaten it much either. I was a little unsure about the cook time since I made it in three smaller pans instead of the 9" x 9" baking pan. Also, I used the toaster oven so I wouldn't heat up the kitchen, which brought the pans closer to the heating elements. After only 20 minutes, the tops were a nice golden brown. When I went to pull out the pans, the cobbler was jiggling more than I thought it should. So I covered it up with foil and let it finish out the full 30 minutes. Luckily, nothing burned and it was cooked through when it came out!

I happened to have some vanilla ice cream in the freezer to pair with the cobbler. With one scoop of ice cream and a helping of strawberry cobbler, I took my first taste...Simply Amazing! The almond and vanilla extracts wonderfully complemented the strawberries, and it all melded together ever so nicely. The strawberries didn't peek through the topping as much as I expected, but that didn't hurt the flavor one bit. And best of all, the recipe came together in no time at all. I used my hand mixer and only a couple bowls, so there was little to clean up at the end. I'll be using this cobbler for a quick dessert in the future.

Strawberry Cobbler

(adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion by way of Culinary in the Desert)

1 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C granulated sugar, divided
1/4 C milk
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C water
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 1/2 C fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

Preheat oven to 375 F.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs and 1 C granulated sugar.
  3. Beat in milk and butter.
  4. Add dry ingredients, and stir just until combined.
  5. Scoop mixture into a 9" x 9" baking pan (or other 2-quart baking dish) coated with cooking spray.
  6. In a medium saucepan, add remaining 1/2 C sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extracts. Bring to a simmer, stirring, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Stir in strawberries to coat. Immediately pour hot mixture over the batter in the baking pan.
  8. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Yield: 9 servings

I discussed this recipe here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


All day Thursday I wanted to make this Baps Scottish Breakfast Rolls Recipe, and luckily we had an evening at home so we could bake up a triple batch. We have made this recipe many times, including as a weekend snack and for last year's Christmas dinner. This is a versatile bread. Off the top of my head, I know I've had them straight out of the oven, with butter, cream cheese, peanut butter, jam, as a breakfast sandwich (sausage/bacon, egg, and cheese), as mini pizzas, as sandwiches with lunch meat and veggies, and as dinner rolls. There are many possibilities, and I'm sure I haven't figured them all out yet. I would love to hear how you decide to use these rolls. One of these times I'd like to see how they turn out with a split of all purpose and wheat flour.

I think this was the first recipe we tried from Barry Harmon's Artisan Bread Recipes site, and we keep coming back to it. His site includes pictures of each step which help you determine if you're on the right track as you're trying new recipes. The baps recipe is easy enough with only two rising periods. We never make just one batch, though, since we go through 10 of these rolls in no time at all. We use our mixer to get the dough together initially but usually end up taking it to the counter for a couple kneads by hand before setting it to rise the first time.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Baps Scottish Breakfast Rolls

(adapted from Barry Harmon's Artisan Bread Baking)

16 oz. all purpose flour
5 1/4 oz. warm water (100 - 110 F)
5 1/4 oz. warm milk (100 - 110 F)
1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
2 tsp salt

Use extra flour for the counter and extra milk and flour for glazing the baps before putting them in the oven.

  1. Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the bottom.
  2. Mix the yeast and milk, then the water. Allow to sit about 5 minutes to let the yeast proof.
  3. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix together to form a soft dough.
  4. Knead the dough lightly in the bowl (I used a mixer). Form into a ball, then cover with clear film and leave to ferment for 1 hour in a warm place, or until doubled in size.
  5. While the dough is rising, grease two baking sheets, or line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and deflate it slightly.
  7. Divide the dough into 10 pieces (approximately 2 3/4 oz.).
  8. Knead each ball lightly. Using a rolling pin, shape each piece into a flat round (approximately 3 1/2 inches in diameter).
  9. Transfer to the baking sheets, spaced well apart, and cover with oiled film.
  10. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  12. Press each roll lightly in the center with three fingers to equalize the air bubbles.
  13. Brush the top of each roll with milk, and dust with flour.
  14. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  15. Dust with flour, and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Yield: 10 rolls

I discussed this recipe here.