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Happy Preparing for Thanksgiving Day

For our friend out of the US I know that tomorrow is just another Thursday, but for those in the US it’s Thanksgiving and here at Cornaby’s we certainly have a lot to be thankful for.

Today I’m making pies. I love baking and I love how much easier Cornaby’s products have made it to accomplish a lot of pie making in a short period of time. All this baking is not only fun, but it gives me a connection to a lot of people who won’t be with us this year. Those who are far away, and those who are close only in our hearts. So we’re thankful for them, and for good food and for family.

Now…on to the pies. Today has started with pumpkin, Black Forest pie and caramel apple cheesecake. Pumpkin cake is next on the list, followed by pecan bars and a couple of chocolate ganache pies. We’ll see if custard pies happen, just depends on how the rest of the afternoon goes.

So that gives us a lot of recipes to choose from as far as what I’m sharing today, but I think I’ll go with my take on the classic pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie with Cornaby’s Ultra Gel

30 ounce can of Libby’s pumpkin (Or any other good quality pumpkin puree)

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

4 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 eggs

2 cans evaporated milk

2 unbaked 9 inch pie shells (I use this no fail recipe, which gives me 4 single crusts!)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line glass pie tins with crust, trim and flute edges. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine all filling ingredients in order listed. Whisk well after each addition. The final custard should be smooth and sweet. Divide custard between pie shells and put into the oven. I don’t often get over flow, but I do put a cookie tray on the rack under my pies to catch any drips during baking. Bake for 15 minutes. Then drop temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes until the custard sets and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve with Ultra Gel whipping cream, ice cream or just eat it plain.

Yum!

Bea’s Buttermilk Rolls with Ultra Gel

My great Grandmother, Mom Taylor, was famous for her bread and was heard to say that if you had good rolls or bread with a meal you only needed half as much meat. She knew that there’s just nothing like the soft chew of a warm roll. Unless, maybe, it’s the soft chew of a warm roll with Cornaby’s jam on it.🙂

This recipe is an old favorite and makes fantastic Thanksgiving rolls. They get a double lift from the combination of yeast, buttermilk and baking soda, and the Ultra Gel adds tenderness and holds the moisture so these are an easy roll to bake a day or two ahead. According to my husband these are a perfect roll to fix up with a slice of leftover turkey and a little cranberry sauce for a Thanksgiving snack.

Bea’s Buttermilk Rolls with Ultra Gel

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons soft butter

1 Tablespoon yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2-3 1/2 cups bread flour

Heat buttermilk to lukewarm. Add soda, sugar, Ultra Gel and butter. Beat well and add 1 cup flour. Add dissolved yeast, 1/2 cup flour and salt. Add remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. Let rise until double. Shape into rolls and let rise until double. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes until golden brown.

Yield: 2 dozen

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Ultra Gel

It occurred to me today that somehow in several years of writing this blog I have never shared a true pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe. We’ve done some close versions, like our pumpkin oat cookies, but as this is one of my absolute favorite Halloween cookies I’m certain you need the real thing.

My favorite things about this cookie are how moist it is and the perfect balance of pumpkin to chocolate chip. This is achieved by combining pumpkin and Ultra Gel in the batter and then using mini, semi-sweet chocolate chips. I know there are a lot of folks who are fans of big chips, but for me I want the chocolate to melt in my mouth and meld with the soft pumpkin for this perfect little moment. Big chocolate chips don’t melt just right. Yeah, color me a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie snob. I’ll take it.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Ultra Gel

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 teaspoons good vanilla

2 cups (1 15 ounce can) pumpkin puree

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour

2-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add Ultra Gel, vanilla and pumpkin. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients and spoon into pumpkin mixture, stirring until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.

This is a very soft dough and easiest to work with using a disher that helps you release the dough. I like to use a 2 teaspoon disher, which makes slightly smaller cookies because I don’t feel as guilty about eating more of them. It has pumpkin in it, it’s healthy right?

Scoop dough balls onto a cookie sheet, spacing at least an inch apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned and your desired firmness is attained. Some folks like these cookies really soft, and others want them more set. You’ll need to play with your oven to find the exact right time for your cookies.

Let sit on the tray for 2-3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack and cooling completely. Do not stack these without waxed paper between them as they will stick to each other and you’ll get one mondo stack of cookie.🙂

Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Ultra Gel

Tis the season of pumpkin spice everything and I admit I’m a fan of the trend. So much so that when we ran out of oat waffles (which I make in a large batch and freeze for easy breakfasts) I turned the new batch into pumpkin spice waffles. It was a straight forward change and makes the waffles even more healthy (Lots of fiber and beta-carotene in pumpkin) and delicious.

As a reminder we use Ultra Gel in quick breads like waffles for increased tenderness and it keeps them from drying out when frozen.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Ultra Gel

(This recipe makes about 2 dozen waffles. It can be halved if you don’t need that many at once.)

11 ounces ground oats

8 ounces flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

6 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 cups buttermilk (at room temp)

6 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling, just plain old pumpkin.)

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. You just want to bring these together, so be careful not to over mix. It’ll be lumpy and that’s a good thing.

Cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions. I use a Belgium waffle maker so I get two thick waffles at about 1/4 cup of batter each per batch. Eat warm with fruit, jam or syrup (Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup is really good. Apple Syrup is really good, and plain old maple syrup is smashing). Alternatively package waffles into layers in a freezer bag and freeze flat. To reheat toss waffles into a toaster.

Halloween Swirl Cake with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

One of my favorite parts about October is Halloween. This year in particular is fun because my little girl is finally old enough to really enjoy the festivities. She’s dressing up as a “good witch” and totally ready to go. Another benefit of October is that it’s both my own and my best friend’s birthday, so there are birthday parties piled onto Halloween and a lot of treats around the house.

This year I wanted to combine birthday cake and Halloween cake and put together this Halloween Swirl Cake infused with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup. This is a very easy cake, but is visually amazing and tasty. For even more fun you can add candy eyes which are available at local grocery stores, Gygi’s kitchen store in Salt Lake City, and can even be homemade.

This recipe comes in a lot of steps, but is a great Halloween cake to make with your kids. They can help with almost every step. My little girl had a great time with ours, even if I think many of the monster eyes got devoured!

Halloween Swirl Cake with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

1 chocolate cake mix

1 white cake mix

Ultra Gel

Butter

Milk

eggs

orange, purple and black food coloring

Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

white buttercream icing (homemade or from a can will work)

Monster eyes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I know the measurements aren’t precise on this, which is because they change depending on the cake mixes you choose. This is much more about the process. So we’ll start with the chocolate cake. The first thing to do is to look at the high altitude directions on your cake mix, yeah even if you don’t live at altitude. It will say something like Add 2 Tblsp Flour to dry mix. Replace whatever this amount is with the same amount of Ultra Gel. So in my cakes it was one chocolate cake mix + 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel, which I mixed well. Then I continued to follow the cake mix directions, but swapped out the water for milk and the oil for melted butter. Once the mix was all together I added some black gel food coloring to darken up the chocolate batter.

Repeat this process with the white cake mix, but split it into two bowls at the end and color one batch of cake mix orange and the other purple. At this point look at all of your batters and make sure they aren’t too thick. I’ve never had one too thin, but I had one in the several times I’ve made this cake which was very thick (I suspect I missed something). If this happens add 1-2 Tablespoons of water to thin.

Now, grease and flour a bundt pan VERY well. Pour in about 1/3 of the black mixture, followed by all of the orange, all of the purple and more black to cover the colors. A standard bundt pan will only use about 2/3rd of the total batter, so repeat the process to make swirled cupcakes or in a loaf pan to use the rest of the batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes until cake tests done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cardboard or decorative tray. Cool completely.

Once the swirl cake is cool we get to the syrup. The point of using the Raspberry syrup is two fold. First we’re adding a burst of flavor to our cakes and second we’re adding a spooky red drizzle to the center of our swirl. In order to get this effect we want to inject the syrup into the cake with a small baster, injector or syringe. I keep a couple of medical syringes on hand which are marked to be used for kitchen use. They’re easy to get from your local pharmacy or online. So I inject half a teaspoon of raspberry syrup in several locations around the cake, all of which will be covered with frosting to hide the syrup until the cake is cut. Do not OVER inject or the cake will be soggy. The point here is mild flavor and some fun color, not to drench the cake. I use between 1/4-1/3 cup raspberry syrup maximum.

Finally, split your white icing into two and color orange and purple. If it’s too thick to work with easily place the icing in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to color and drizzle. Drizzle the cake with alternating stripes of purple and orange, letting it pool around the sides. Add sprinkles, monster eyes or other decorations.

Yum and double yum!

Amazing Marshmallow Fondant with Ultra Gel

Between a big family and lots of friends and family catering I’ve made more than my fair share of cakes over the years and worked with a lot of different kinds of fondant. I have to admit commercial fondant has never really done it for me. There’s something about the combination of texture and flavor that’s just kinda…well…blah. So I wanted something better and we’ve come up with two recipes which I’m really rather fond of.

The first one is a cream cheese base and the second a marshmallow base. Both use Ultra Gel to help maintain moisture and workability and both, I’m happy to say, are easy to work with and taste fantastic.

If you want to color either of these recipes I highly advise using gel or powdered colors as liquid ones are weak and can change the consistency of the final product.

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Ultra Gel Fondant

8 ounce light cream cheese

1/2 cup butter – softened

3-4 lbs powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Beat cream cheese and butter well.  Add half of the powdered sugar and mix to combine.  In a separate container mix together milk and Ultra Gel.  Add to powdered sugar mixture and beat well.  Add additional powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  Use powdered sugar or corn starch on rolling surface for easier use, but be careful not to dry mixture out.

Marshmallow Ultra Gel Fondant

3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

2/3 cups white baking chocolate

1/4 cup water

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Combine powdered sugar, salt and Ultra Gel in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook and mix until well combined. Make a well in the center. In a large microwave safe bowl combine marshmallows and water. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between until smooth. Add white chocolate and stir until melted. This may require a brief stint back in the microwave. Add food coloring at this point.

Pour marshmallow mixture into the powdered sugar mixture and mix until you have a paste and all the powdered sugar has been incorporated. Scrape onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tight. Let stand over night. You can add more powdered sugar if you want to use this immediately, but I found that the over night sit helped everything to hydrate and made it easier to work with.

Roll out using normal fondant tools and methods. Wrap and refrigerate unused portions for upto 4 months. Bring to room temp before rolling.

Sugar Cookie Peach Cobbler with Thick Gel

It’s peach season in Utah! This is a delightful time of the year when we eat our weight in peaches and even have a few left over for canning and turning into peach pie filling. As much fun as it is to have peach pie filling on the shelf I try to make enough that I can make a batch of peach cobbler for eating right now too!

Cobblers are a type of dessert which features a filling (fruity is most common, but occasionally savory ones are used as well) with a biscuit, cake or crumb topping all baked together. When I make pie filling I always use Thick Gel as it’s approved for canning and makes for a really smooth finished product. Pie fillings made with Thick Gel bake nicely without too much bubble, and without making the crust or crumble soggy! It’s a win all the way around.

Sugar Cookie Peach Cobbler

1-2 quarts Peach Pie Filling

1 tube sugar cookie dough or batch homemade sugar cookie dough

Line a 10 inch cast iron skillet with tin foil. (You can skip this step, but I don’t like scrubbing cast iron. Alternately, you can prepare this in a glass 9×13 inch baking pan.) Pour in peach pie filling. Top with pieces of the sugar cookie dough. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes until cookie dough is golden brown and delicious.