1st is the worst, 2nd is the best....

In the past seven days my baked goodies have been in two different competitions. The first was an apple pie bake-off at my office. I think I have only baked one apple pie prior to this so I was pretty nervous. So nervous in fact that I did a trial run earlier in the week just to make sure my skills were up to par. The verdict of the bake-off, 2nd place, losing by 1 measly vote! However, I'm calling it a tie. Later in the day my office manager spilled the beans that she voted for my pie, but then decided not to count her vote. It was also declared that my crust was the best, yay! I think next time around all I would need to do is amp up my filling a bit with some more spices or a surprise.....the winning pie had craisins mixed it, admittedly, it was very tasty.
The second bake-off was a cookie bake-off at Bethaney's clinic. We decided to make S'mores cookies and they were awesome! A little graham cracker added to a simple chocolate chip cookie dough and some marshmallows on top, yum! They were very easy to make, but transporting them from cookie sheet to parchment paper proved to be extremely tricky. The dough really spreads thin and they fall apart if you take them off too quickly, but are really tough to get off the cookie sheet if you wait to long. Something about these cookies being thin and chewy makes them really delicious though. So, this was another 2nd place treat, the winner being some sort of brownie cookie. In my eyes a brownie beats a cookie most of the time so I can't complain, but perhaps I could question whether or not it was cookie enough to be in the competition.

Ah well, I'm a novice at baking and competing in bake-offs so I will take my 2nd places with pride and hope for the best with future entries. Here are a couple of solid delicious recipes:

Apple Pie (adapted from The Elegant Farmer):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into pieces
1/3 cup ice water (I ended up using a couple more tablespoons than this)

2 Granny Smith apples/3 Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored, and thickly sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1.Make the Crust: combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until pea-sized pieces appear. Add the water and continue to cut in a few more times—it will still look crumbly. Transfer the crumbs to 2 pieces of parchment paper or foil and form into 2 disks. Wrap the discs with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2.On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out 1 disk to a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Keep rolling until the circle is at least 2 inches larger than your 9" pan. Line the pie pan with the dough, letting the edge hang over a bit. Roll the second disk, place it on a sheet pan and chill it until you're ready to build your pie.
3.Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
4.Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, toss the apple slices, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg together. Transfer to the pie shell and dot with the remaining butter. Brush the overhanging edges of the dough with water. Carefully cover with the rolled-out top crust and pinch the edges together, turning them under all around to make a thick edge. To decorate the rim, press it all around with the back of a fork, or just pinch it to seal. With a scissors, cut a few V-vents in the center.
5. Slide the pie into the brown paper bag and fold the top down. Staple bag shut and place it on a sheet pan. Bake for 1 hour.
6.Remove the pie from the oven and cut a large circle in top of the bag. Return to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

Let the pie cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

S'mores Cookies (recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod) makes 4 dozen:
1-1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups mini marshmallows
3 Hershey bars, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, & salt.
3. In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beat until combined.
4. Slowly beat in the flour mixture, about 3 additions, until smooth.
5. Drop small tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 8 minutes, remove and push 3-4 marshmallows and 3-4 pieces of chocolate onto each cookie. Place back into oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove and cool on parchment paper.
Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment