Saturday, June 14, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

It's not very often that I have fresh picked fruit to bake with. The fresh strawberries and fresh rhubarb were a perfect combination. 

On a recent visit to my sister, she sent me home with several stalks of fresh rhubarb. Shortly after, we went to pick fresh strawberries in Northern Virginia with Miss A, who loved the experience (and the farm fresh taste testing). 

I referenced a Food Network recipe by Ina Garten that I thought was sure to be fail proof.  The flavor was great, but it did seem a little more runny than I would prefer. 

After I washed and cut up the fruit, I mixed the fruit in with the sugar, cornstarch and flour (I omitted the orange juice). Then, I mixed the crisp ingredients together until they held together nicely and packed it on top. It came out of the oven all bubbly and smelling like fresh jam. 

It was served with vanilla ice cream and resulted in early summer happiness.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Baked Churros

I have been wanting to make churros since I indulged in them (ahem, for breakfast) practically every day on our trip to the Dominican Republic. Not only did I have them as my "breakfast dessert," but I would dip them in a bit of nutella or syrup. (as if a fried churro wasn't enough indulgence before I had even hit 9:00 a.m.).

So, I had hopes of making this a more healthy treat and sought out a recipe for baked churros. And, here we go.

I wasn't sure how this experiment would go, but I was pleasantly surprised. I researched the appropriate pastry tip to use and while my churros were not perfect (a bit squiggly), they turned out pretty good for a first timer. I used Ateco pastry tip #847 with a pastry bag.  The batter/dough was quite easy to make. I filled my pastry bag, piped it on my Silpat and trimmed off the end.

They baked quite nicely and got golden brown after about 10-15 minutes of baking.

While they were still a bit warm, we rolled them in the cinnamon-sugar mix. 

We enjoyed them nice and warm after we rolled them in the cinnamon sugar mix.  However, the next day, we enjoyed them even more with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of caramel. There I go being over indulgent again. 

Recipe for Baked Churros:
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen


1 C. water
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/3 C. butter
1 C. all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 C. sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray or use Silpats. 

In a medium pot, combine water, brown sugar, salt and butter and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add flour, stirring with a large wooden spoon until well blended.

In a small bowl, combine the egg and vanilla extract. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until completely incorporated. 

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Ateco #847). It's easiest to spoon it in if your pastry bag is inserted into a large glass.

Pipe dough onto the baking sheet in 4-inch strips and trim them with kitchen scissors. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let them cool slightly. 

Mix cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish and coat the churros while they are still warm.