Friday, April 30, 2010

Small Sour Cream Apple Pies

Behold this apple.

By quartering this recipe and utilizing one solitary apple (as illustrated above), one can bake six miniature pies.

If you thought that I was going to talk about Twilight in any way, shape or form, kindly remove yourself from my blog. There will be no undead sparkling here.

The recipe mentions a specific type of crust. If you would like to make that, go right ahead. I chose to stick with my standard recipe instead. I did make the topping, however. Lookit! I'm waving to you in the spoon!

I'm not going to disguise my love of this recipe. It has everything that you could want in an apple pie (sans baseballs and/or cheese and squeezes).

Observe them cooling all rustic like and then realize that they're going to be topped with a ginger whipped cream in a few minutes.

Yes, ginger whipped cream. I couldn't wait for the damn pies to cool before I ate one. Which, you know, is why the whipped cream is melting in this photo.

Hi, Not Martha Readers!

A special welcome to Not Martha readers! I'll have a new pie baked shortly. (Many thanks to Megan for the link!)

If your clicking finger is itchy, why not head on over to one of my other blogs and enter to win a Herman Meunster card? (I'll be having a new contest every Monday until the end of May!)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Strawberry Short Cake

I don't even remember where I got this recipe so, apologies for not giving you credit/a link if it's yours. All that I know about this particular version of strawberry cake is that I love the type of Post It on which the recipe is written

and that it's not vegetarian.

Yes, the secret ingredient is strawberry gelatin. So, veggies of all stripes, DO NOT MAKE THIS CAKE. Or maybe substitute more strawberry purée in the gelatin's place.

Besides being the most strawberry tasting cake that I have ever tasted (Yay for artificial flavoring!) it is also the loveliest shade of pink. (Yay for artificial coloring!)

Again, shut up with your artificial objections before you start. I'm *so* not caring if you're "offended" by coloring/flavoring that you are not consuming, preachy.

Oh, right, here's where I mention that I quartered the recipe at the top of this post. I also used up the remainder of the cream cheese icing from the carrot cake.

I mean, seriously, how can you hate on color like that? (If you contact me to tell me how you can hate on color like that I will disregard your opinion accordingly, you uptight, joyless nannypants.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Peanut Butter Cakelette

Despite the fact that I have been, for all intents and purposes, living on peanut butter this year, I have not gotten tired of the stuff. In fact, the thought of peanut butter cake made me so happy that I got this song from "Hatari!" stuck in my head.

But you're here for the cake and not Henry Mancini. Check out this quartered batch of dough. Isn't that insanely fluffy?

It makes for a light, spongy cake.

I didn't substitute anything in this recipe except for the pineapple juice in the icing that I switched for milk. 'Cause, come on, pineapple juice? Not even.

I have nothing snarky to say about this cake. (I *will* link to that "Hatari!" clip again though.) If you like peanut butter (which, if you live in the States, I'm fairly certain that you do) I'd highly recommend making this.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fortune Cookies

Making fortune cookies is waay easier than you think it might be. It all starts with a batter. (I quartered this recipe.)

Spoon said batter onto a well greased cookie sheet one tablespoon at a time and then smooth it out into circles roughly 3 inches in circumference.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes. While you're waiting, make some fortunes on small slips of paper.

Once the circles are golden brown, place a fortune on the bottom half and fold the cookies into a semicircle. (You remembered to take them out of the oven first, right?) Then bend into a fortune cookie shape. Work quickly. Place them into muffin cups to dry.

Look clueless and uncouth as you place the cookies in a Japanese style soup bowl for a photograph but then slightly redeem yourself by reminding everyone that fortune cookies are American in origin. Claim that it's a "melting pot", blah blah blah. You will not fool anyone, you berk. Just admit that you used the wrong bowl.

Then break open your cookie and read your fortune.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baby Crack Pie

Momofuku's crack pie. Chotda made it and, as such, made me crave it. So now I've miniaturized it.

The thing about this pie is that you have to bake two different things. That's right, you have to make cookies and pie. Oh my god, stop whining. I warned you in advance.

It's not important what shape the cookies are in once they come out of the oven because they exist only to be crumbled into crust. Personally, I think that these cookies look a bit like Pangaea breaking up. Look! I can see Australia making a run for it!

After a bit of grinding in the blender with some butter and sugar added, a lovely crumb is produced. I smooshed this into my muffin tin to make tiny crusts.

An important note: Don't blind bake the crust! Just leave it all "raw" while you're mixing up the custardy goop.

Here's a shot of said goop in the crusts prebaking. I filled the cups almost the entire way. I'd suggest that you do the same.

22 minutes of baking et voilà! Pies full of cracky goodness!

I'll be honest, this pie makes me feel like Dirty Dee from "Pootie Tang". I'm all "Hey, kid! *motioning to crack pie* You want some candy?" And the kid's all "What kind of candy is it?" and I'm all "The kind of candy you smoke in a pipe!"

Yeah hehehehe, it's that good. Cappatown my ASS!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Black Cat (Kitten?) Pie

This is Peel.

She does not like black cat pies.

I, however, do.

I'm sure you've gathered that black cat pie is not made from cats. If not, what are you, 12?

Texture wise, it's actually rather like a chess pie. Which, god, people, is not made from chess pieces.

Normally, black cat pie is topped with whipped cream but I was feeling a bit literal as far as the "cat" part was concerned so I cracked out a cookie cutter.

Here's an eggwashed cat crust piece on top of the filling.

Yes, the recipe has been quartered. (And, of course, I used the same pie crust recipe as usual.)

No, I didn't add walnuts. I haven't had time to get around to the whole grocery shopping thing this week.

After baking for an hour, this delicious, golden brown pie is ready to be eaten.

Seriously, serve it warm with a glass of milk.

Insert your own cat joke here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Small Chocolate Pies

I don't have one compiled recipe for small chocolate pies. My aforementioned surrogate grandmother used to make regular sized versions of these and I recreated them as best as I could. You can thank me later.

The main thing you'll need is some chocolate pudding. I made the entire batch not because I needed that much pudding but because I wanted some pudding. I mean, can you blame me?

Obviously, it's not required that you make pudding from scratch. Go ahead, make Bill Cosby happy. (I'll have Cosby prints (screened with pudding) for sale at Bluebottle on June 8th at my show, btw.)

The other things you'll need are pie crusts (once again, I used this recipe and, once again, kindly keep your opinions regarding vegetable shortening to yourself.) and meringue.

The pies are assembled in the same way as the Petite Lemon Meringue versions were. They're also baked for the same amount of time.

Think of them as custardy cousins. Not quite like Patty Duke but close.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Little Spicy Brownies

Since George likes his chicken spicy (where George=me and chicken=any chocolate baked good), I thought I'd whip up a quarter batch of these cocoa brownies using two secret ingredients instead of walnuts. (What? You think I can pass up a link to Wonkette when it's relevant? Yeah, right.)

If you don't have the inclination to can your own hot peppers, any store bought hot pickled pepper will suffice. Jalapeños are nice.

The cayenne pepper is added to the other dry ingredients in the double boiler. I think I used about 1 tsp? You can adjust to your desired spice level, of course.

Oh yeah, I also used dark cocoa powder instead of the regular kind.

Peppers are added after everything else has been combined and the batter is shiny.

A note about the egg: don't bother halving it. It's perfectly fine to use the whole egg. It will make the brownies richer. You will, in fact, be able to "taste the extra egg" which is an inside joke that we used to have in college. (We also used to say "For the love of Benji!" as well but don't ask me about either one of those phrases 'cause I don't remember how they started.)

After about 15 minutes of baking, you will be rewarded with fiery squares of chocolate hotness. You know, brownies.

Now, for the love of Benji, go make these!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Petite Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie reminds me of my surrogate grandmother. J.K. (No, I'm not j/k those were her initials.) always had pie or cookies or etc. ready to dish out. She also had the only pencil sharpener in the neighborhood but that's off topic.

So yes, lemon meringue pie. It starts with a pie crust. As I mentioned yesterday, I had leftover dough. (recipe here.) I used lentils to blind bake because they were to scale. Aren't they f--king cute?

Don't give me shit about the state of my muffin tin. Just. Don't.

After the crusts have cooled, they can be filled with the lemon curd. (You're seeing 1/4 of the recipe in the photo below.) It's best to do this while the lemon mixture is hot.

As quickly as you can, cover the lemon with meringue. The object is to seal the yellow stuff inside so cover liberally. (Don't even start your "socialism" jokes, punchy. Save it for your mass email that no one reads.)

After about 15 minutes in the oven, 20 minutes of cooling on a rack and 30 minutes in the fridge, you'll get a cute, non weepy pie that you can cut into adorable little slices.

This pie slice will make grown men cry which is fine. Weeping is allowed so long as it's not the pie that's doing it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tiny Custard Tarts

I don't have a little story to serve as a lede for Tiny Custard Tarts so I'm just gonna' jump right in.

In order to make custard tarts, you will need to prepare a pie crust in advance. I like this recipe which does, in fact, use vegetable shortening.

What's that? You have a problem with using vegetable shortening? Yeah, I don't need to hear about it in comments. Thanks for offering, however. (*eyeroll*)

Where were we? Oh, yes. Pie dough. I made enough for one regular sized pie and was able to have enough left over for tomorrow's confection. The trick is, of course, to cut out shapes that are small enough to fit into a muffin tin.

But let's take a look at the custard part of this tart! Here is a blurry photo of what a quartered amount of the recipe looks like before baking.

It *is* pretty runny. Don't freak out though as it does set up during baking. (baking time: approx 12 min)

I made these a little tarter by adding more lemon juice. (I like acid. It goes with my acerbic tongue.)

Leff enjoyed these a great deal in part because we're both "As Time Goes By" fans.

Tomorrow I'll use up the rest of pie dough and make something else out of lemons. No, not lemonade, you freakin' Baldknobber.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Red Velvet Mini Cake

If there is one thing that betrays my Southern roots, it is my love of red velvet cake. I *love* red velvet cake. I have *always* loved red velvet cake. I loved it before trendy people born above the stupid Mason-Dixon line "discovered" it and decided to get all foodie douche about it.

Anyway, my lil ole heart durn near skipped a beat when I saw this recipe on Super Eggplant's site a while back. (A note: Southern people do not typically utilize that sort of corn pone vocabulary unless they are taking the piss.)(Another note: It really is a good recipe. Super Eggplant knows her baked goods.)

But seriously. How can one not love a recipe that calls for 1/4 cup of red food dye?

Another another note: Let me warn you not to get all nanny state on me about the extreme use of food dye in red velvet recipes. I'm not force feeding this to you so kindly shut the f--k up.

Here is what the cocoa, vanilla extract and red food dye looks like when mixed. (The amounts have been quartered.)

Beautiful and slightly blurry, isn't it? It looks even better when it's combined with the batter.

The vinegar and baking soda mixture hadn't been added to the batter in the above photo because I was too busy taking a shot of....


The same tasty science that I also use to unclog my drains.

Doesn't the batter resemble ketchup in coloration? Like, the cheap kind that separates into tomatoes and that icky plasma way too easily?

Amazing what will happen to a condiment doppleganger after it's been in the oven for around 20 minutes, isn't it?

Ok, maybe amazing is a strong word. Still. Red cakes!

Once the cakes cooled, I used the same cream cheese icing that I made for the carrot cake.

Yes, cream cheese icing and not some roux strangeness like in this Waldorf-Astoria recipe. In my world, roux is for gravies and bechamel and such, not cake.

Besides, my Meemawmeestiltskin would clean flip her fiddlesticks if she caught me icing with something so sacrilegious.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mini Layered Carrot Cake

A word about carrot cake: Please don't make the joke that you like carrot cake because it's healthy. We all know that people enjoy it because the cake part is a complimentary vehicle for delicious, delicious cream cheese icing and not because it meets some recommended daily allowance for fiber. I mean, it's a freaking cake, you know?

But that's me digressing before I even get started. For the first of the 37 confections, I used this recipe for carrot cake, roughly cut in third.

Other variations: I didn't use maple syrup in the icing because, no. (I did add a bit of vanilla extract though. About 1 tsp for the whole batch of icing. (I'll be using it on another cake later in this project so I made the full icing recipe.)) I also didn't bother with the walnuts 'cause I didn't have any.

Once the batter is, you know, batter-y, fill your prepared tin/cake pan/etc of choice approximately 1/3 full.

Please note that the following is an example of how to NOT fill up a tin/cake pan/etc as it will result in a batter explosion (not pictured) during baking.

An aside: Why yes! Those are tuna cans. How astute of you to notice! Now shut up with the complaints before you start. I washed them before I baked in them.

Anyway, this is the result if you overfill your cans. (Bake time was approx 40 minutes.)

These could double as those sad little fried falafel type patties that your veg roomie in your sophomore year in college used to make.

Not to worry, however, as all things are salvageable with icing. See? The layers even start to look halfway normal when stacked (albeit a bit shiny from caramelization and flash).

What did I tell you about the icing, huh?

One small slice equaled around three bites and required one juice glass full of milk to wash it down.

And, no, the milk didn't make this any "healthier" than the shredded carrots did. What exactly is it about the concept of cake that you don't get?!