Back-to-school has taken on a whole new meaning in the Currie house. With all the kids away at college, the days of after school snacks and bake sales are a thing of the past. But, the joy of baking is still alive and well in my kitchen (thank goodness for care packages). So, I decided to give my favorite back-to-school recipe a makeover and what I discovered was a game changer. All those years I made strawberry jam bars with the store bought stuff. But, little did I know, making strawberry jam from scratch is a 2-ingredient, 5-minute commitment. You can make it while the crust is baking or in advance for homemade strawberry jam bars through and through.
Tag Archive Baking
You can skip the campfire to make these smores cookies and dare I say it? They’re BETTER than the real thing! It starts with basic chocolate chip cookie dough using whole-wheat flour for the graham effect. When they’re all baked and golden, pile on the marshmallows and give it a quick run under the broiler till they’re toasty and gooey. A final drizzle of melted chocolate will have you wishing summer could last all year long. But wait! You CAN make these all year long.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of judging the blueberry pie contest at my local farmers market in Summit, New Jersey. It’s not easy tasting 10 blueberry pies in 10 minutes (poor me!). They ranged from gluten free to tricked out with whipped cream and even one with canned blueberries (I noticed). But the winner kept it simple with a buttery crust loaded with blueberries bursting through the sugar dusted lattice, almost identical to my own version. If pie baking seems daunting to you, take note home cooks; the winner was just 12-years old. Congratulations Jozi! That’s an honest blueberry pie.
Sometimes the best recipes are the ones that are made the most. This one for best lemon bars has been a “keeper” in the SHC kitchen for over 20 years. While the success of most baked goods is exacting measurements, this is one of those recipes in a constant tweaking mode. Finding the perfect sweet/sour combo makes them irresistible and earning the title ‘best lemon bar’.
What do you get when you cross a pie with a bar? A cherry blueberry slab pie of course. It’s everything great about a fruit pie but made in a baking dish so it’s thinner and manageable enough to pick up with your hands just like a lemon square or a brownie. It’s logical and genius because one slab pie feeds a crowd, can be made in advance and totally portable. With the clock is ticking on summer fruit, now’s the time to savor every last bite before it’s all a distant memory.
There’s a certain fascination with a blood orange. Ordinary on the outside, the inside is like Andy Warhol pop art, bloody red and otherworldly. They thrive in cooler weather so they’re in season right now and it’s worth seeking them out. It’s a sweet and less acidic orange, great for snacking or the main ingredient in these showstopper blood orange oatmeal cookies.
When comfort food and a traditional recipe collide it can only mean one thing: pineapple upside-down cake. This moist and dense cake with a sticky caramel topping was a dessert staple in the good old days but it’s so much better today with fresh pineapple and raspberries (for that bright red touch). Fresh fruit vs. canned takes an old-fashioned dessert to a new sophisticated level and this easy-to-follow recipe means you can make it any time.
Unbelievable cheese crisps is not an original. Not really. It’s one of those recipes that’s been alive and well for generations. It may have been someone’s grandmothers or even great grandmothers that got lost or forgotten over the years. Or maybe you have a similar version that you cherish. It’s an oldie but a goodie because of the toasty Cheddar flavor, just like the edges of a grilled cheese. They’re quite addicting too, so while you’re at it, make a double batch for gift giving, cocktails or a festive after school snack.
When it comes to Thanksgiving memories, one thing’s for sure, you don’t mess with tradition or recipes. But, there’s no reason why you can’t take a classic apple pie and add a tiny twist. In this case a mere handful of crushed pretzels in the crust. Salty, crunchy pretzels liven up the crust especially when using coarse, raw sugar. The sweet and salty combo is a perfect compliment to the rustic, earthy apples. Maybe the Pilgrims didn’t do it, but there’s no reason why you can’t make apple pie with pretzel crust.
Who needs candy on Halloween when you have pumpkin whoopie pies? Deceptively easy to make because the secret is to use canned pumpkin; you probably already have the other ingredients. Make it a Halloween tradition by getting your little goblins involved with the baking and assembly process. They might just ditch some of their candy for a homemade treat that they had a hand in making.