Buttery Biscuits

Hi all– Our Laurel flew into town yesterday!!  Hooray!  She makes everything double the fun around here.   So we had the grandparents in for dinner to see their girl– for chicken soup, a peachy salad and these biscuits.

They are a little more work– but there are a couple little magic tricks that make them layered and crispy.  Don’t you love biscuits?? And I’ll bet you have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now!

BUTTERY BISCUITS
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), frozen
2 cups flour
1 tab. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup cold buttermilk

Take the butter from the freezer and use a larger holes on a box grater to grate the frozen butter.  Scoop it into a bowl and set it back in the freezer

In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Then add in the frozen butter using a pastry blender or 2 forks to mix it to a pebbly mixture.  Stir in the buttermilk until the dough is all cohesive and moist.

Turn the dough out on to a counter dusted with flour and shape it into a rectangle about an inch thick.  Cut the dough in half and stack the two layers.  Cut it in half again and put both halves in a stack again.  Do it a third time.  Reshape the rectangle and cut the dough into twelve squares and set the biscuits onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Then– don’t put them in the oven!!  Set the baking sheet back into the freezer for 10 minutes.

Take the biscuits on the baking sheet directly from the freezer to a 425 degree oven and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes until they are nicely browned.  Serve them hot with still more butter and pretty jam!

And here’s our Laurel with her John just before there Wisconsin wedding this summer.  So glad she’s here!  (and John arrives this evening!)

Blueberry Crisp

 

Hey there– I have a baking buddy named Jenna. She’s the best!  We’ve whipped up muffins and cakes for a mountain retreat, and baked a tableful of eggs and sweets for a brunch with friends,  and last week she just texted and said– let’s get together and bake!

So Saturday mid-day we were in the kitchen trying a couple new baking recipes.  Here’s our first try– Blueberry Crisp–sweet and gooey with that crunchy topping!  I think you’ll like it!!

BLUEBERRY CRISP
4 cups fresh (or frozen & thawed) blueberries*
1 tab. cornstarch
2 tab. sugar
1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. lemon juice

topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
a handful of oats to sprinkle on top

In a mixing bowl, combine the blueberries, cornstarch, sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice.  Turn it all into a 9″ deep pie dish.

To make the topping, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Then cut the butter into small cubes and add it in.  Cut it all together with a pastry blender (or two forks).  Break up the topping with your fingers and sprinkle it onto the the blueberries in the baking dish.  Sprinkle of few oats over the top to make it prettier.

Pop it all into the oven at 350 degrees, until the top is golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Delicious eaten hot with a big scoop of ice cream!

*I only had 3 cups of fresh berries on hand, so I defrosting a cup of frozen berries and threw them in.

Rich Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Wine Glaze

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Hi all– Chocolate AND cake –two of my favorite “food groups” all rolled into one.  I found a version of this recipe in a recent Bon Appetit magazine featuring chocolate recipes from the newly legendary (does that make sense?) Mast Brothers of Brooklyn.

It’s the richest, more luscious chocolate cake I’ve come across.  A sliver satisfies the most immense chocolate cravings!  The sad truth (although not really so sad) is that I have neither the money nor ambition to track down the real Mast Brothers chocolate, as wonderful as I know it to be!  So I’m thanking them for the recipe and using more pedestrian dark chocolate to summon up this glorious cake.  Whatever chocolate you have at hand, I think you’d love this chocolate-y confection!

IMG_7409RICH CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE WINE GLAZE

CAKE:
2 sticks butter (1/2 pound)
8 oz. dark chocolate (in small chunks about 1 1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
4 eggs

Melt the chocolate and butter (cut into chunks) together in the microwave– about 1  1/2 minutes.  Take it out and stir it well until the chips are completely melted and all is well blended.  Then whisk in the salt, flour and sugar.  Finally whisk the eggs into the mixture until it’s completely combined.

Pour the batter into a cake pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Then pop it into a 325 degree oven for  50 to 60 minutes.  Test for doneness by sticking in your sharpest knife to see if it comes out clean.

Cool the cake completely before removing it from the pan.

GLAZE:
8 oz. dark chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup red wine

Make the glaze while the cake it cooking.  Put the butter (cut into chunks) and chocolate into a the microwave in a glass bowl.  Cook 1  1/2 minutes until it’s melty and then stir to blend it all together.  Whisk in the powdered sugar completely (it will be stiff).  Meanwhile pour the wine into a small saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil.  Then whisk it into the chocolate mixture until it’s smooth.  Let the glaze cool to room temperature so it will thicken a bit.

When the cake is cooled, pour the glaze evenly over the top of the cake, licking the spoon when you are done.  I think it’s best served up with a plop of whipped cream on a pretty plate.  Serve small pieces–so much chocolate!

Thanks to Simplygoodstuff tumblr for the typewriter picture at the top.