August

August

May 15, 2011

A Day of Sun, A Week of Rain...It's Baking Day!

One Day! That's it! One day of sunshine last week! I managed to snap a "glimpse" of spring at The Maine House on Wednesday as I quietly walked the gardens and listened to the sounds of nature chirping away? We have discovered that this May has been very typical of New England during late spring. We throw on our jackets and escape 0nto the walkway along the coastline. We listen to the sounds of the ocean and the lonely, echoing cries of seagulls cruising the shoreline! It's time to head back home for something warm from the oven and a hot cup of New England coffee!


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Baking Day at The Maine House!
Can you smell the Vanilla, Cinnamon and Chocolate?



Estelle's French Vanilla Cookies
1 French vanilla cake mix
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Icing
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
4 cups powdered sugar

To make cookies combine ingredients with an electric mixer. The dough will be stiff enough to roll into 1-inch balls. Place balls on a silicone mat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Flatten balls to about 1/2-inch thick. Bake cookies in a preheated 325 degrees F. oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until somewhat firm in the center. Remove from oven and cool before frosting. I sprinkle the frosting with a little nutmeg!

Make icing by combing all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Add food coloring, if preferred. Spread on cookies with a spatula and add sprinkles or spices!
When icing has set store cookies in a tightly sealed plastic container. This will give the cookies their cakey texture after several hours.



Estelle's Chocolate Chip Coffeecake
1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Filling and Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter, sugar and eggs, add sour cream and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, make cinnamon mixture with sugar, cinnamon and chocolate chips, and pecans set aside.

Place half the batter in a 9" X 13" inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon mixture over the batter. Cover with the rest of the batter. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon mixture over batter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

If you prefer fruit and do not want chocolate chips in this, make as directed (omit chips), but before sprinkling on the cinnamon/sugar mix on the top, slip some thin freshly sliced apple pieces in rows into the batter than sprinkle on the last of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top. Bake as usual.




Estelle's Outrageous Blueberry Muffins
2-1/4 c cake flour
1-1/2 c sugar
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 c milk
2 extra large eggs
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp water
1 pint (16 oz) fresh blueberries or equivalent frozen and patted dry

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In large mixing bowl, place flour, sugar, shortening, milk, eggs, baking poweder, salt, vanilla and water. Blend at low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl and mix at high speed for 6 minutes.
Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each 1/2 full. Add 6-10 blueberries to the batter in each cup, mixing in several and leaving some at the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and allow muffins to cool completely or until just warm enough to eat.

P.S. Add a bit of lemon zest to make these great muffins even better.

P.S. Mix all ingredients, but berries into 1 bowl. In this recipe, the blueberries are added individually to each muffin cup so the batter doesn't turn blue/purple. Make sure to to thoroughly dry blueberries if using thawed berries.



Ahhh! There is nothing like staying home for real comfort!
Jane Austen























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