Whoa

It’s already March! In my mind I thought I at least wrote one new post since Halloween..   with my mommy brain I can’t remember a thing anymore!

finnlego

I haven’t made much bread lately but I have baked a few things over the holidays. Bread is an all day thing and I just can’t get a schedule down yet to make and experiment. I do have a sourdough starter pack that’s just sitting there waiting to be used, hopefully soon!

So let’s start with thanksgiving, the essential baking holiday!

Mini pumpkin cheesecakes with candied pepitas on top.

pumpkincheesecake

I dislike making a normal sized cheesecake, it takes so long and easily cracks on the top. Minis are super easy and fast.

First thing is to grease the muffin tray (I use Pam) and throw in the cupcake liners. I mixed about a cup of graham cracker crumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. You still want it sorta crumbly but can stick together in the liner. Flatten mix in liners and bake at 350° until slightly golden (8min?)

crust

I don’t have the cheeseckae recipe with me at the moment but I will put up a page with the recipe later on. Pour batter into cups and bake until firm, maybe 15min. When done, let cool then place in fridge; covered, for at least 4 hours.

For the candied pepitas, I just dumped 1/2 cup pepitas, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons maple syrup into a skillet on medium heat, stir until pepitas absorb the syrup and become sticky. Let cool.

Sprinkle pepitas and a little cinnamon on top and serve!

pumpkincheesecake2

I also made this apple tart with stevia for my diabetic grandma.

sugarlesstart

I turned out great and had enough sweetness from the apples to work fine! I think I used about a 1/4 cup stevia for a 9″tart.
stevia

And moving on to Christmas, I did bake more but documented this one treat: pistachio turtles.

inside

Grab a cookie sheet, lined with parchment and make clumps of pistachios.

clusters

The hardest part is making the caramel. Mix 1 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water in a small pot and set burner to med-high. Let it cook. Do not touch it! And do not touch temperature. In this picture, the syrup is almost done.
boiling-sugar

Get a 1/4 cup heavy cream ready.

cream

If you see one focused golden spot, you can swirl the syrup but for a second! When the whole mix turns gold I take it off right away (it will continue to cook and darken) and pour the heavy cream in while whisking frantically! When it stops spitting at you, you can whisk in a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into bowl and let cool. You don’t want it to cool down too much so you can’t pour it anymore.

finished-caramel

The less cream you use, the harder it gets. And the more you leave it on the heat, the darker and more bitter it gets. Whatever you like! Though hard caramel does not work for turtles, more for brittle.

Pour caramel on pistachio clumps and put in fridge for an hour (you want them cold and hard to dip in the melted chocolate so the caramel won’t dissolve).
pouring

While waiting, chop up chocolate and melt on double boiler.
chopping

Dip them in, place on parchment and back to the fridge.
dipping

It’s best to let them sit out for the caramel to soften and enjoy!

That’s about all I have to offer for the moment but coming up next; Irish soda bread for St. Patrick’s day!

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