Monday, April 16, 2012


Often I am asked to make a sweet treat, but since I have a small family, making a cake or batch of cupcakes tends to go wasted after the first day or two.  I guess it's not just our family-size, we're also not big sweet tooths, but, it is nice to satisfy that craving once in awhile.  The thing of it is, halving recipes, or throwing out extras, is not as fun as sharing, so when I know of an upcoming social event, I'll make that sweet treat, set aside some for us, and then offer the rest out.  This happened recently, so I dug out a recipe I was looking forward to experimenting with.  It was a berry cheesecake swirl, which called for blueberries - but when I went to the market, blackberries were on sale, so I made it with them.

I found the recipe at this blog : Baked By Bree which I tweaked, slightly.

  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup berries (calls for blueberries, I used blackberries)
  • 1/4 cup juice (calls for orange, I used passion fruit)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (8-ounce) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Put the sugar, cornstarch, juice, and berries in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it is thickened and has come to a bubble. Take off the heat and set aside.
  2. Mix the flour, powdered sugar, and butter by hand or in the mixer until it comes together.
  3. It will be crumbly.
  4. Press into a foil or parchment lined 9×13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.
  5. While the crust is cooking, cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Add the flour. Add the eggs, vanilla.
  6. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the hot crust.
  7. Spoon the reserved berries over the cream cheese mixture.
  8. Take a knife and swirl the blueberries throughout the cream cheese.
  9. Put the pan back into the 350 degree oven and bake for another 20 minutes or until the bars are set.
  10. Let the pan cool on a rack for an hour. Then put the bars back into the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  11. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.
I tested, and then shared .. mmm!

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bubbles (not JUST for kids!)

So, why do I make bread?  It's rarely perfect, takes alot of time, and can be messy!  My guess is that I keep looking for that recipe that will be 'the aha moment' like that perfect pass, personal best run-time, or high score, and when I get that perfect moment, I'm not satisfied, I try to achieve it again, and again and so on.  It's a personal challenge, and baking bread is that challenge, for me, despite how long I've been working at it (and, if you know what Katimavik is, I've been baking bread since my tour in that program in the 80's).  While the ingredients are basic, it's the time you put into it that really matters.  For some breads, kneading is key, and others, it's the patience of rising.  And, of course, I am talking about baking bread without a bread machine,  the hands on kind of bread from start to finish. 

Foodgawker is my favorite place to find FOOD .. the pictures are dreamy and there are so many people out there with good, tried and true ideas, so why re-invent a recipe.?  Tweak it yes, but the steps are the same.  Here's one I found to share and you can adapt it to your taste.  If you like garlic and herbs, and if you like a bread that you don't have to slice, this is for you ... curious?  I've done it twice so far, and it has been 'no fail', turned out perfectly both times, and my family has been begging me to make it everyday.!

This is where I found it :: My Kitchen Addiction Blog

Garlic Bubble Loaf
Makes 1 loaf, 12 servings  
2 1/2 – 3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

- In large mixer bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups bread flour, yeast, sugar and salt.  Whisk to combine.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, heat milk, water and 2 tablespoons of butter (or shortening) until warm. Add the warm liquids and the egg to the flour mixture.  Beat by hand, or if you must, by ...
- By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface about 2 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Divide the dough into 2 parts, then divide each half into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball.
- Melt the remaining 1/4 of butter, then combine with 'herb of your choice' (I used basil flakes) and garlic powder, and mix well.
- Dip the balls of dough into butter mixture. 
- Place in a greased 9 x 5- inch bread pan, using 6 balls on each layer.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Cover and let rise in warm place until indentation remains after lightly touching.  About 15-30 minutes.

- Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from pan and serve warm

I promise, you will eat the WHOLE LOAF, in one sitting... :-)

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