Sunday, June 29, 2008


Here we are at the end of another month and I have completed another Daring Bakers Challenge. This month we were challenged to make a Danish Braid. This Danish Braid is made of a danish dough in the family of butter-laminated doughs. This dough is sweet and super yummy. Since I have NEVER made any type of danish, I was very scared to see the results of what was to come out of this. I kept checking the Daring Bakers Website to see what results other bakers had with the recipe and what fillings others were using. I began thinking of just what fillings were going to be just right. I finally decided on making the first one a Strawberry-Rhubarb with Sweetened Cream Cheese filled Danish and the second one a Sour Cherry Cream Cheese Danish. I was just hoping that the dough would turn out so that I could get that far with the recipe!!!

I started on the dough one afternoon after lunch. I got out the ole' Kitchen Aid and started the dough and then the butter block. I rolled out the dough and then smothered 2/3 of it with the butter block. I folded the dough according to the directions and put it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, I had to get the dough out and roll it into a 18 X 13 inch rectangle. Then I had to fold it according to the directions again....this took place a total of 4 times. After the 4th time of rolling it out and folding it, I divided it in to 2 pieces and I had to let the dough rest over night in the fridge.

The next morning I was so excited to start the danish making process. I got the dough out and rolled it into a 15 X 20 rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. This proved to be difficult since I broke the rolling pin handles from pushing so hard! I trudged on and cut the dough so that I had a base area for the filling and then I had the strips on both sides so that I could braid it. I put the cream cheese mixture on first and then the fruit fillings. I then braided the top of the danish. This was another thing that was difficult, I didn't know what I was braiding technique needs help to say the least! I will have to practice when I get another rolling pin!

I put the danishes in the oven for 10 minutes on 400 degrees and then another 15 minutes at 350 degrees. I couldn't believe the smell in my kitchen. Good thing that we live on a large lot of land in the neighborhood or the neighbors would have been coming by the flock if they would have smelled the aroma!!! I let the danish cool and then drizzled a little powdered sugar/milk mixture over the top! I then proceeded to eat almost 1/2 of the Strawberry Rhubarb Danish that late afternoon. I packaged up 1/2 of the Cherry filled one for my girlfriend and took some of both over to my neighbors......if I hadn't of done that, it would have been very bad for the waistline!

I am very happy that I had the time to tackle this challenge this month. Everyone that tried the danish couldn't believe just how wonderful it was. I think that I have something new to give at Christmas other than my boring Banana Bread!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumb Pie

Ever since I was a very small child, I have been intrigued by the taste of Rhubarb. My grandmother grew it in her backyard and every spring we would always break pieces off and laugh as the sour taste made us have what seemed like lock jaw. We never made anything fancy with it, just ate it raw (from what I can remember). So, when grandma sold her home a few years back, I inherited half of the plants for my home. Last year I found a Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp recipe that I thought wasn't worthy of my "heirloom" Rhubarb. I have been on a mission to find that perfect recipe and this Crumb Pie was given the thumbs up by everyone that was given given the privilege to have a piece. (Arrogant, huh? Yeah, we are talking about my precious rhubarb!) My brother-in-law actually hinted that he would like to see another full pie like that again soon! This recipe is very simple to make and everyone that is privileged enough to have a piece or your pie will think that you have slaved away for hours! Without further ado, here is the recipe that I found in my new recipe book, "Pie" by Ken Haedrich and tweaked a little by moi!

Skillet Crust:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a medium size bowl. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium to low heat. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry mixture and turn off the hear. Stir the flour and butter with a whisk (it worked GREAT). It will be a little clumpy, but just keep working it. Set the crumbs aside to cool for several minutes. When the crumbs are cool enough to handle, transfer about 2/3 of them to a buttered 9 1/2 inch deep-dish pie pan. Press them into the bottom and up the side of the pan.

4 cups (1 1/2 pounds) fresh rhubarb sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
Juice & Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (if you have it, if not it is alright.)
In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice & zest, flour and cardamom. Set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn the filling into the pie shell, smoothing the top with a spoon. Crumble the reserved crust mixture evenly over the pie, pressing down on it gently. Place the pie in the center of the oven rack and bake for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and rotate the pie 180 degrees. Just in case of spills, slide a foil lined baking sheet below the pie to avoid a huge mess. Continue to bake until the top is golden brown and the juices bubble thickly around the edges, 40 to 50 minutes. If the top starts to get too dark, cover with loosely tented foil during the last 15 minutes. LET COOL FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE SERVING, while cooling the pie will thicken.

Drumstick Cake Dessert

Yummy stuff, trust me!
My little kitchen helper :)
On a recent trip to my parents house, I rummaged through my mom's recipe box for some new recipes. I found this recipe from one of her old co-workers and she swore that it was something that I would love. Well, she is my mother and she does know me very well and she wasn't wrong! This recipe tastes similiar to those icecream drumsticks that you buy at the store, but this is made in a 9 X 13 pan. Oh, it is so good and a small piece really does satisfy a sweet tooth. Here is the recipe:
3 Cups Crushed Vanilla Wafers (1 box)
1 Cup Chopped Peanuts
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
Mix the 3 ingredients together and pour 1/2 of the combined ingredients in the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. Reserve other 1/2 for topping.

1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
1 (8oz) Package Cream Cheese
3 Eggs
1 Large Cool Whip (16oz.)
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Jar (16-18 oz) Hot Fudge Topping

Mix cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, vanilla and eggs together. Mix well until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip and pour onto base. Place in freezer to set for approximately 1 hour. Heat Hot Fudge topping until it is pourable. Remove pan from freezer and pour Hot Fudge topping onto the top of dessert then sprinkle with the other 1/2 of the base ingredient mixture. Cover and freeze.