Apr 23 2012

Pie Crust with Cinnamon and Sugar

baked pastry treat

When I was a kid, I loved when my grandma would make a pie. Not so much because of the pie itself (unless it was apple), but because of what she would do with the leftover crust. She’d sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar, then bake until it was golden brown.

If you’re a pastry fan, like me, the crust can be the best part. And when sprinkled with a little cinnamon sugar, it’s the perfect afternoon treat. These days, I enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee, but back then, milk did the trick.

pie pastry sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar

Pie Crust with Cinnamon and Sugar

pie crust scraps
ground cinnamon
granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange pie crust on parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle first with cinnamon, then with sugar (do the cinnamon first so it doesn’t burn). Spread pieces out to allow even baking, then bake until golden-brown, about 11-15 minutes.

Cool completely before eating.

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Dec 14 2011

Chocolate Crinkles

chocolate crinkles

Remember when “vegetable oil spreads” threatened to take over the home bakers’ kitchen? At the time, so many of us (meaning me) thought we were improving our health by shunning margarine and butter, and choosing the “healthy” spread, but a not-so-funny-result occurred: our (my) baked goods were terrible.

mixing batteradding an eggmixing in eggadding flour

It took awhile before the collective “we” figured out what the issue was, but eventually, cookbooks started to warn against using those spreads in baked goods because all they did was produce flop after flop. My mom thought something happened to her trusty bakeware, and frankly, I was still too young to really understand the chemistry of baking.


However, back in those days, I was still a little baker at heart, and it was not uncommon for me to sort through my mom’s recipe box, looking for a new recipe to try. Though this recipe for chocolate crinkles isn’t the one I tried back then, I did have a massive chocolate crinkle failure that I’m guessing was due to a spread. The cookie tasted delicious – like a giant brownie coated with confectioners’ sugar. Yum.

But 20 little balls of dough ended up as one very large cookie.

When I decided to try these cookies again, and I found a recipe using oil instead of butter (which I had none of and was quite pricey), it seemed fate was stepping in to help me out. The cookies are great – chewy, full of chocolate flavor, a lot like brownies with a touch of holiday flair. I know it seems odd that in a post about vegetable oil spreads, I finally use a recipe that uses oil, but whatever. Butter is rather pricey these days, and if I can save someone a little money by using canola oil in some cookies, so be it.

crinkle tower

Chocolate Crinkles
adapted from Betty Crocker

1/2 cup (118 mL) canola oil
4 ounces (113 grams) unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
2 cups (550 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon prepared strong coffee (breakfast leftovers are fine)
4 large eggs (room temperature)
2 cups (220 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar

In large bowl, combine oil, chocolate, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition with a wooden spoon.

Add flour, baking powder, and salt; stir until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F/176C. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease with cooking spray. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into confectioners’ sugar and roll into balls. Place balls on sheet, evenly spaced, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch (the white sugar should form cracks). Cool on pan for 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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Nov 12 2011

Turkey Pot Pie

turkey pot pie

Earlier this week, I posted a Thanksgiving-leftovers-transformation recipe, and now I have another. Last year, after the Thanksgiving meal at my parents’, I tossed the Turkey carcass and some veggies in a pot to make stock. That stock ended up in pot pies I made from our leftovers.

garnished with salt & pepper mmm, pie crust

In my family, we tend to prefer the white meat, but the dark meat is wonderful recooked in another meal. Because of its slightly higher fat content, it’s more difficult to dry it out when reheating. The result is bites of succulent turkey with vegetables, gravy, and pastry. Do leftovers get any better than that?

Continue reading “Turkey Pot Pie”

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Nov 07 2011

Turkey Cottage Pie

cottage pie

I did something rather silly last week. On Halloween, I took a full turkey breast out of the freezer to thaw. It takes a few days to thaw in the fridge, and it wasn’t until later in the week that it occured to me that Thanksgiving was fast approaching. Yes, I know Thanksgiving is in November, but it just didn’t seem like it should be Thanksgiving yet.

sweating onions dicing carrots
chopped asparagus sautéing the vegetables

Continue reading “Turkey Cottage Pie”

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