Tag Archives: puff pastry

Stuff in jars…

13 Nov

This past week has been something of an emotional roller coaster.

I don’t like roller coasters.

They scare the poops out of me.

Why?

I don’t like not being in control.

I like to know what’s coming.

I like being organized.

I like weeks with minimal negative surprises and maximal calm, cool, and collected Amy.

This week was not that week.

This week has consisted of altogether too many mini-crises, too many mega-crises, too many nights crying myself to sleep, too many naps taken for the wrong reasons, too much time spent in the fetal position, and way too many carbs.

But now the crises have been un-crisised, my body has finally un-curled itself, and the fall leaves are freakin’ beautiful.

So let’s make some fall comfort food.  BUT!  Not so many carbs, okay?

Let’s make some one-crust pot pies.

(ps, is this cute?  the whole putting words on pictures thing?  I feel like every other blogger in the world is doing this…)

POT PIES

  • 1 large yam or sweet potato
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 can green peas
  • about 1 c. broccoli
  • 1 c. soy curls, if you want some meatiness
  • 1 package Pepperidge Farms puff pastry
  • a couple tablespoons margarine
  • about 3 c. vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Chop all the veggies to about the same size – I did mine a little smaller because I was baking the pot pies in little jars.  Heat oil in a large pan and cook the yam for a few minutes, until just barely cooked, adding in the onions and carrots at the very end.  Put all the veggies in a bowl, and start the gravy base in the pan.
Melt three or four tablespoons of margarine and about that same amount of flour in a pan, whisking until smooth.  Then add in the stock and whisk until it’s thickened and smooth.  Add the veggies back in and toss to coat.
Spoon the mixture into 1 cup (1/2 pint) jars.  Cut circles out of the pastry with a cookie cutter or glass to fit inside of the jars, and put the circles on top of the veggie mixture.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until the puff pastry is cooked through.

The Triple Threat

24 Jan

Alright, folks.  Fasten your seat belts.  Get ready for an avalanche of awesome.  An inundation of incredible.  A flood of fascinating.  A deluge of deliciousness.  A fountain of “f**k yeah!”  And a Niagra of “no freakin’ way!”

Yes way.  I have recipes.  That’s right.  Plural.  Brace yourselves, ’cause this is gonna be amazing.

These recipes have nothing to do with each other, except for the fact that I baked them all today (okay, fine, I baked them yesterday), and they are all vegan.  Duh.

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First, we have the florentines.

We make these at the bakery where I work back home in Portland.  Basically, they’re almonds and corn syrup, but I decided to put my own little spin on them.  At the bakery, we either dip the flat ones in chocolate, or we roll ’em up and stuff ’em with mocha buttercream, then dip the ends in chocolate.  Wow, they’re good.

Or, they were.  I can’t eat them any more, because they’re not vegan.

So, I made these.  I wanted mine to be smaller, so I used my mini cookie scoop that I rave about all the time.  I was going to mold them around mini muffin cups when they came out of the oven so I could stuff them with the  buttercream, but they kept sticking to the molds, so I stuck with the little tacos.  *Sigh*

Also, after about four pans of them, I realized I wasn’t baking them long enough.  Of course, the pan after I realized this burned.  Whoops.  So, I upped the oven temp a little, and that’s how these happened.  I filled them with buttercream and dusted them with powdered sugar.

FLORENTINES

  • 8 oz. sliced almonds (crush about half of them into smaller pieces)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup (I used this instead of corn syrup for two reasons:  1.) I don’t like using or storing corn syrup, and 2.) I never use corn syrup, so it didn’t make sense to buy a whole bottle for one recipe)
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 stick non-dairy margarine

Toss the almonds and the flour together in a bowl.

In a sauce pan, over medium-low heat, melt the margarine.  Then, add the sugar and maple syrup, upping the heat a little and stirring until the mixture is simmering and bubbly.  Add the flour-almond mixture and stir until it’s all coated and gooey and delicious looking.  Then, take it off the heat, transfer into a bowl, and let it cool off.

Scoop onto your cookie sheets* and bake at 350°F for… oh.  Shoot.  I have no idea how long these baked, so just wing it.  Probably somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes.

*Be sure to space your cookies fairly wide – only four or six to a pan, as they spread like mad.

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Next, we have blueberry cream cheese danishes.  Just the name makes me drool.  And I made them!  Successfully!

Here’s the kicker:  I used frozen puff pastry.  Ok, you all have exactly 30 seconds to boo and yell at me and throw tomatoes at your screen, telling me how I really should just learn how to make my own puff pastry, because it’s a valuable life lesson if you’re going to continue on in the baking milieu, and that you can’t believe that I used frozen dough when I’m always complaining about people using cake mixes and claiming that they actually made a cake.

Ok, time’s up.

I know  I should have made my own puff pastry, but I’m going to make it up to you.  I fully intend to learn how to make puff pastry in the next month or so, the problem is, I want to learn how to make it in a kitchen, not in my third floor, carpeted lounge with a teeny tiny oven and a crazy table that’s two feet shorter than what a real kitchen counter should be.   I go home Friday night, so within two weeks of today, you will be able to laugh at my hideous attempt at puff pastry, and I’ll repost this recipe.  Deal?  Ok.

Although the pastry came from the store, the rest of the idea is totally mine.  Trust me.


BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE DANISHES

  • 1 recipe of Amy’s puff pastry (which currently does not exist), or a package of the Pepperidge farm stuff, which is vegan!
  • 1 8 0z. container of Tofutti’s cream cheese
  • a heaping 1/4 c. sugar
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • splash of almond extract
  • blueberry preserves (NOT JELLY!)

Thaw out your puff pastry according to the box.  Ahem, I mean prepare puff pastry according to a recipe.

Beat together the cream cheese, almond, vanilla, and sugar until creamy.

Now, to assemble your pastries.  Cut the pastry dough into strips about 1 1/2″ by 6″.  Take a strip and smack it against the table a few times, then twist it up length-wise.  Then, take the long twisted piece of dough and wrap it around your pinky finger, making a flat circle disc thing – aka, your danish.  (And, yes, it is important that it’s your pinky finger, otherwise you end up with a big gaping hole in the middle of your danish, letting all the good stuff fall through to the pan.  Don’t do that.)

Take your handy dandy mini cookie scoop (if you don’t have one, you poor, sad, pathetic soul, you can use a teaspoon or half teaspoon) and dollop a little bit of the cream cheese mixture into the center of your danish.  Again, be sure you can’t see the pan through the middle of the dough – these are danishes, not doughnuts.

Then, top off the cream cheese with a scoop of blueberry preserves, again using your nifty cookie scoop.

Then, stick ’em in a 350°F oven for about 40 minutes (maybe more), or until the bottoms are nice and golden brown.

Once they’re cool, top them off with your favorite glaze.  I usually just start off with a cup or so of powdered sugar, then add milk or lemon juice to it until you get the right consistency.

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Now, blueberry lime muffins.  I had leftover cream cheese mix and blueberry preserves, so I whipped up these bad boys.  I think my roommate’s exact words were, “holy crap, that’s good.”  So you know they must be good.

LIME MUFFINS

  • 1 3/4 c. AP flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. nondairy milk + 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • juice and zest of one lime (I’m going to play the poor college student card one more time – as I wasn’t aware I was making these when I rode my bike to the store the other day, all I had in my room was True Lime, which is basically powdered lime, but it worked fine too)
  • the rest of the cream cheese mixture from the danishes
  • blueberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix dry ingredients together, then add the wet.  Scoop batter into muffin cups, add a mini scoop each of the cream cheese mix and the blueberry preserves and a little more batter on top, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the tops of the muffins spring back when you touch them.  This recipe made exactly twelve for me, and if you make the muffins and the danishes at the same time, you have exactly enough to do one package of puff pastry and twelve muffins.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my recipes!  More to come later today…