Category Archive: Baking

Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Cookbook Review

Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies at 1840 FarmI have long believed that any day can be made better with a homemade cookie.  If the cookie happens to a perfectly made chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven, all the better.  While I make many different types of cookies in our farmhouse kitchen, this chocolate chip cookie recipe is hands down our favorite.Cookie Love

This recipe was inspired by a cookbook I was sent to review for our readers.  I was ready to love this book immediately based on the delicious cookies shown on the cover.  Any book titled “Cookie Love” has my attention from the first page.

Cookie Love by Mindy Segal and Kate Leahy is filled with 60 intriguing cookie recipes from drop cookies to shortbread, sandwich, rugelach, and bars.  These aren’t the same recipes you’ve seen over and over again.  When I turned to page 23 and discovered a recipe for Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies, I stopped in my tracks.

When I accept a cookbook to review, I like to select a recipe to test before sharing the cookbook with you.  To me, it seems like the best way for me to review a cookbook.   If the recipe doesn’t have clear instructions or produces something that doesn’t pass my family’s taste test, I don’t feel like I can encourage you to add it to your cookbook collection.

So, as I read through Cookie Love, I gave thought to which recipe I should choose for my review.  Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies were definitely on the list, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand.  A recipe for homemade Milanos definitely caught my eye.  Due to food allergies, my family can’t safely purchase the store bought version, so making a homemade take on these classics was very appealing.  There were so many beautiful photos of scrumptious looking cookies that it was a very difficult task to choose the first recipe to attempt.

WonderMixCookiesWMIn the end, I went with the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I was drawn to the story behind this recipe and the fact that my family would be sure to enjoy taste testing a batch of chocolate chip cookies.   I was right.  They loved these cookies and happily tasted one after another before giving them a collective thumbs up.

Since then, I have adjusted the recipe slightly, adding more of our homemade vanilla extract to deepen the vanilla flavor and reducing the salt called for in the original recipe.  I also like to reduce the baking temperature and slightly increase the baking time.  Doing so encourages the butter in the dough to melt a bit, spreading out to create a cookie that is thin and crisp around the edge and soft and chewy in the middle. 

These cookies are so popular with my family, that I keep our freezer stocked with balls of cookie dough that can be baked at a moment’s notice.   I allow the frozen dough to warm up as the oven preheats and then pop them in the oven.  With a few extra minutes added to the baking time, the cookies are perfectly baked and we can enjoy warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies in less than 20 minutes.

Cookie Love also includes helpful tips for choosing ingredients, mixing, shaping, and baking cookies.  I can’t wait to try a few more recipes here in the farmhouse kitchen.  Now I just have to decide which recipe to try next!

You’ll find Cookie Love listed in our Amazon Affiliate shop along with a full collection of my favorite cookbooks. You can also learn more about the book and its author by visiting the publisher’s site.  If you’re on the hunt for a new great cookbook, you can read more of my cookbook reviews and recipes inspired by my favorite cookbooks.

Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 36
I like to use bittersweet chocolate chips in this recipe, but you can substitute your favorite chocolate chips or chunks. I often replace ½ - 1 cup of the All-purpose flour with an equal amount of our home milled whole wheat flour. The freshly milled flour adds a lovely bit of texture and earthly flavor to the finished cookies.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened and cubed
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 ½ cups All-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  9. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  10. 8 ounces (2 generous cups) chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place the cubed butter in the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle or dough beaters. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, until the butter begins to smooth out a bit. Add the sugar and brown sugar before beating on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth, approximately 2-4 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat on low for a 10-20 seconds, just until combined. The batter may break up a bit, but don’t worry. It will come together when the dry ingredients are worked into the mix. Scrape down the bowl and beaters if necessary to gather the batter together before continuing.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Stir to mix the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients have completely integrated into the dough. This should only take 30-60 seconds depending on the strength of your mixer. Take great care not to overmix the dough. Mixing develops the gluten in the flour and overmixing will encourage the dough to become tough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a covered container for storage in the refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for a few hours or overnight. I often make a batch of dough and keep it in the refrigerator, baking a single evening’s cookies each night. Portioned balls of dough can also be frozen on a small tray and then transferred to a freezer bag for long term storage. Frozen dough can be baked by simply adding a few minutes to the baking time.
  6. When you are ready to bake some or all of the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and position the oven racks to the top and bottom third of your oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat style liner.
  7. Create balls of dough using heaping 1 ½ Tablespoons (approximately 1 ounce or so). Place six balls on each baking sheet, spacing evenly to prevent the cookies from touching as they bake. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the cookies have flattened and browned. Rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time will help to ensure that the cookies are evenly baked.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven, allowing them to cool for a few minutes. As with any cookie, these are even more delicious when eaten while still warm with a cup of coffee or cold glass of milk.
Notes
  1. Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Dough can be refrigerated for one week and frozen for several months.
Adapted from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal with Kate Leahy
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 Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies Group


 

The book reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/04/farmhouse-kitchen-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Farmhouse Style Valentine’s Day Favorites

ValentineBasket Card RecipeHere at 1840 Farm, we’re counting down the days until Valentine’s Day.  We’ve been making dozens of our heart shaped baskets and sending them on their way to customers from coast to coast.  We’ve also been dreaming of getting into the farmhouse kitchen to make up a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day treats.   Now I just have to decide which recipe to make first!

We have highlighted our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes in the photo gallery below.  These are the recipes we love to share with friends and family to celebrate the holiday that is all about taking time to tell those people near and dear to you just how important they are.  From dark chocolate butter cookies and brownies to delicious buttercream frosting flavored with a bit of a great stout beer, you’re sure to find something to put a smile on your Valentine’s face.

You can access any of the posts by clicking on the photos below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/02/valentinesday/

Jelly Doughnut Muffins

Jelly Doughnut Muffins at 1840 FarmThe other day, my son mentioned that he would love to have jelly donuts for breakfast over the weekend. It’s a seemingly simple request with a delicious treat for the whole family. Unfortunately, his food request isn’t quite that simple here at our house.

With food allergies to contend with, certain foods are incredibly difficult for us to purchase. We’re incredibly fortunate to have discovered what I think are the most delicious donuts on earth at Holy Donut. We’re even luckier that they don’t use any peanuts or other nuts in their bakery, so we can safely enjoy their amazing donuts here at home. Of course, it isn’t always possible for us to take a two and a half hour road trip to pick up donuts. If Portland, Maine was a little closer to home, their donuts might be on our breakfast table every weekend.

I have made homemade donuts before, but this time I decided to move in a different direction. I remembered having an old recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine for a doughnut muffin from Downtown Bakery & Creamery in California. I had been holding on to that recipe for several years. These muffins are often talked about in food magazines and television shows. I’ve seen them chosen as the “favorite” bite of many famous foodies. Now it was my turn to try them.

JellyDonutMuffinWMEverything I read mentioned that these muffins had the taste and texture of a great cinnamon sugar cake doughnut without the need for me to roll out the dough, cut out the doughnuts, and fry them in oil before serving. Better yet, the batter could be prepared and stored in the refrigerator for several days, allowing me to bake fresh muffins for days to come.

I reasoned that the muffins could only be made better by adding a spoonful of homemade jelly inside before serving. My son would enjoy the flavor of jelly donuts and we’d get to try out a recipe for a muffin that is so beloved by those who line up to buy them at Downtown Bakery.

The recipe was simple to prepare. I baked them each day for four days. The fresh muffins on the fourth day were every bit as delicious as those prepared on day one. Each morning, my family couldn’t stop commenting about how amazing they were. Without jelly, they taste like the world’s best coffeecake in muffin form. With a bit of our homemade jelly, jam, or marmalade spooned into the center, they deliver jelly doughnut flavor with every single bite.

My son loved these muffins as much as I hoped he would. This recipe is definitely the path to a sweeter weekend for the whole family and an easy treat for me to add to our farmhouse table at breakfast time. Because the batter can be made ahead of time, I can prepare the batter on Friday and then bake them each weekend morning for our breakfast.  While they bake in the oven, I can accomplish my morning farm chores and start enjoying my first cup of coffee. As they cool on the counter, I’ll struggle to decide what sort of filling I want to enjoy. No matter what I chose, they’re bound to be delicious!

Jelly Doughnut Muffins
Yields 16
I love to bake these muffins in my extra-large muffin pan. The large, fluffy muffins are beautiful and perfect for filling with our favorite homemade jam, jelly, or marmalade. I bake enough for the crowd and serve them with a full array of our homemade preserves, allowing each person to choose their favorite filling. If you prefer, you could bake your muffins in a standard sized muffin pan. Simply reduce the baking time, checking the muffins after fifteen minutes to ensure that they don’t overbake.
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For the muffins
  1. 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened and cubed
  2. 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  3. 4 ounces (1/2 cup) oil (any neutral tasting oil will do)
  4. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  5. 4 large eggs
  6. 6 cups All-purpose flour
  7. 5 teaspoons baking powder
  8. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1 ¾ teaspoon salt
  10. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  11. 1/3 cup buttermilk
  12. 1 2/3 cup whole milk
For the topping
  1. melted butter for brushing on warm muffins
  2. ½ cup granulated sugar
  3. 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the cavities of a muffin tin with paper liners. You can also use silicone cupcake liners if you prefer. Set aside as you prepare the batter.
  2. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Add the oil and vanilla extract, mixing briefly to incorporate. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Use a whisk to blend and aerate the dry ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and whole milk.
  5. Add approximately one third of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Slowly mix to incorporate. Add half of the milk/buttermilk and mix gently. Repeat until all of the dry and wet ingredients have been fully incorporated. Take care not to overmix. Stop the mixer as soon as the batter is smooth. Overmixing will encourage the gluten in the flour to develop, creating a chewy muffin rather than the flaky, light muffin we’re trying to create.
  6. Scoop around ½ to 2/3 cup batter into each lined muffin tin. I use an ice cream scoop, adding two scoops of batter to each liner. The batter should be almost even with the top of the liner.
  7. Transfer the muffin pan to the preheated oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out with small crumbs attached.
  8. Remove the baked muffins from the oven. Allow them to cool for a few minutes as you prepare the cinnamon sugar topping.
  9. In a small bowl, melt a few tablespoons of butter. In a second small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon, adjusting the amount of cinnamon based on your preferences.
  10. Brush or dip each warm muffin in the melted butter. Dip the butter topped muffins in the cinnamon sugar or spoon the cinnamon sugar on top, allowing the cinnamon sugar to adhere to the top of each muffin. Set the muffins aside to cool slightly.
  11. At this point, the muffins can be allowed to cool to room temperature and stored in an airtight container before serving. The batter can also be held for several days in the refrigerator, baking fresh muffins for breakfast each morning.
  12. Right before serving, use a small paring knife or apple corer to remove a small portion of the center of the muffin. Spoon a teaspoon of your favorite jam, jelly, or marmalade into the cavity before serving your Jelly Doughnut Muffins. Enjoy!
Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
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To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/02/jelly-doughnut-muffins/

Deep and Dark Chocolate Brownies

Deep and Dark Chocolate Brownies BrandedWhen we need a warm and comforting dessert, this brownie recipe immediately comes to mind. I’d love to take credit for baking them, but these are my daughter’s triumph. She began making them a few years ago and quickly became the brownie baker in our family.

We enjoy these amazing brownies all year long, but they’re especially popular during the deep, dark New England winter. When the snow is falling outside and the temperatures are cruel, comfort food is needed. A warm brownie packed with chocolate is just what the doctor ordered on those dark days.

This recipe is simple to follow and the results are delicious. The brownies are fudgy and packed with chocolate flavor. They can easily be adapted to include different types of additions, making the possibilities nearly endless.

No matter what you choose to add to this recipe, I can promise that the results will be delicious. Your family and friends will come to request these fabulous brownies as much as our family and my daughter’s friends do. Prepare to become the brownie baker in your family once they’ve had a taste of these delicious brownies!

Deep and Dark Chocolate Brownies
We keep this brownie recipe interesting by including a variety of different additions. You can add in 2 cups of your favorite brownie mix-ins from chocolate chips to flavored baking chips, nuts, or even coarsely chopped candies that bake well. This holiday season, we found ourselves using 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of chopped Hershey’s Candy Cane KISSES. The results were festive, beautiful, and delicious!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened and cubed
  2. 192 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  3. 1 Tablespoon homemade vanilla extract
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 60 grams (1/2 cup) All-purpose flour
  6. 40 grams (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  7. ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  8. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  9. 2 cups chocolate chips, flavored baking chips, or other delicious additions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper to prevent the brownies from sticking to the pan as they bake.
  2. Combine the softened butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a mixer, beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy before adding the vanilla extract. Add the eggs and beat to fully incorporate.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add your chosen chocolate chips or other additions and stir lightly to evenly distribute them throughout the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in a single addition to the butter mixture. Beat just long enough to fully incorporate the dry ingredients. Take care not to overmix.
  5. Using a spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. The batter will be very thick. Spread the batter to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until just set. Because of their fudgy texture and high chocolate content, the brownies can seem underbaked. Once they have cooled to room temperature, they will set up nicely. Resist the urge to overbake them and you’ll be rewarded with delicious fudge like brownies.
  7. Allow the brownies to cool to room temperature. If desired, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream before serving. Enjoy!
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To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/12/deep-and-dark-chocolate-brownies/

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie – Nut Free

Nut Free Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie As a child, every Thanksgiving and Christmas was celebrated with my paternal grandmother’s homemade pies. She always had a collection of them fresh out of the oven, ready to mark the end of another family meal. I could always count on finding some sort of seasonal pie along with pecan and her famous schwatzenberry.

ChocolateBourbonPecanPieTopThose warm memories have stayed with me over the years. They’ve also ensured that we mark Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with homemade pies at our farmhouse table.   Because of the food allergies we cook and bake around, we haven’t always been able to enjoy the flavor of a pecan pie at our family table. I missed the earthy, nutty flavor of pecan pie, but there was simply no safe way to enjoy the flavor without worry of cross contamination and allergic reactions.

It was almost five years ago that I first discovered that I could create completely nut free baked goods in our farmhouse kitchen that had the delicious nutty flavor we were missing due to nut allergies.  Wheat Nuts® became a pantry staple, allowing me to bring back a few flavors from my past without introducing nuts into our home.

Sadly, Wheat Nuts® products disappeared from the market in 2013, leaving us without the ingredient and snack we loved so much. Earlier this year, I received the wonderful news that these nut free and tasty snacks were being produced and were available to purchase. It was a moment worth celebrating in our nut free kitchen. When we discovered that there was an entirely new collection of nut free snacks and ingredients being offered, I couldn’t wait to place my order and start creating new recipes to enjoy during the holiday season and beyond.

You can order the following varieties which are all manufactured in a 100% nut free facility:Wheat Nuts and Nadanut

Wheat Nuts®
Nadanut® Salted Pecans
Nadanut® Unsalted Pecans
Nadanut® Salted Cashews
Nadanut® small chopped pecan pieces
Nadanut® medium chopped pecan pieces
Nadanut® small chopped walnut pieces
Nadanut® small chopped pistachio pieces

For the first time in far too many years, I will be serving this nut free pecan pie at our Thanksgiving table.  I hope that you will join us in serving this delicious pie to your friends and family and that they will enjoy it as much as we do.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

In our nut free home, we use Nadanut® snacks to add the flavor of pecans without any worry of allergens paying a visit to our family table. If you aren’t baking with nut allergies in mind, you can easily substitute 2 cups of pecans in this recipe with delicious results. If you find yourself struggling when making homemade pie crust, read my simple pie crust tips and make flaky, delicious pie crust like a pro.

1 ½ cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated
4-6 Tablespoons ice water

2 Tablespoons butter
¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 cup (120 grams) dark brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons bourbon
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup Nadanut® small chopped pecan pieces
½ cup Nadanut® Unsalted Pecans
½ cup Nadanut® medium chopped pecan pieces

To make the crust, place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the dry ingredients to combine.  Add the grated butter and pulse until the butter has begun to incorporate into the flour and resembles small grains of rice.

With the motor running, add ice water one Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Take care not to over process the dough.  Over processing will help to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a crust that is chewy and tough.  Less is more when it comes to working pie crust and will result in a flaky, light crust.

Transfer the pie crust dough to a pie plate.  Using your fingers, press the dough into shape gently until it is a uniform thickness and completely covers the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Work around the plate, rolling any excess crust underneath to form a thick ridge along the edge of the pie.  Using your fingers, flute the edge of the crust or use a fork to crimp along the edge.  Continue until the entire perimeter has been sealed. Transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator to chill while the oven warms and the filling is prepared.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any pie filling that may bubble over during baking.  Set aside.

In a small pan set over low heat, warm the butter and chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring often to prevent scorching. Remove the pan from the heat and add the heavy cream, stirring until completely smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and maple syrup. Whisk until smooth. Add the bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine before adding the Nadanut® pieces (or pecans). Add the melted chocolate mixture to the bowl and stir until the filling is well combined.

Remove the pie plate from the refrigerator. Transfer the filling to the pie plate, spreading evenly. Place the pie on top of the prepared baking sheet and transfer it to the preheated oven.  Bake for 55 minutes or until the top of the filling has developed a crisp golden brown shell and the pie crust is evenly brown.  Rotating the pie midway through the baking time will help to ensure that your pie is evenly baked.

Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Top with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream if desired.


This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes and crafts all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes and DIY projects right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

ThanksgivingGallery1114

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/chocolate-bourbon-pecan-pie-nut-free/

Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Purée

Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Puree at 1840 FarmFor me, Thanksgiving would be incomplete without a homemade pumpkin pie. In fact, I hold pumpkin pie in such high regard that I spent weeks perfecting my artwork of a pumpkin pie for our Etsy Shop.Slie of Pumpkin Pie Block

For years, I made my pumpkin pie using canned pumpkin purée. Organic canned pumpkin purée was readily available at my local grocery store and both the color and flavor were good enough to be included in our holiday pumpkin pie. Then I noticed that the supply seemed to dwindle each year and the price increased every season. Suddenly, I began to wonder if I could make my own homemade pumpkin purée.

We had some sugar pie pumpkins from our garden that year and our local farmer’s markets and farm stands had them in abundance and at a very affordable price. Once I made my first batch, I found myself wondering why I hadn’t started making my own fresh pumpkin purée sooner. The process was simple, hands off, and produced a thick, rich purée full of fresh flavor.

This homemade pumpkin purée will be featured in the pumpkin pie at our Thanksgiving feast this year. Now you can follow this simple recipe and make your own fresh pumpkin purée for yours!

PumpkinPureeFinalHomemade Fresh Pumpkin Purée

I choose small Sugar Pie Pumpkins for my homemade purée. I find that they are full of earthy pumpkin flavor and are easy to work with. Their small size makes them easy to handle and fit two or more in the slow cooker at once. A small pumpkin that weighs around 1 ½ pounds will produce approximately one pound of purée, slightly more than a single can of store bought pumpkin purée.

Wash the pumpkins to remove any dirt and debris from the exterior. Using a sharp knife, quarter the pumpkin and remove the stem. With a spoon, remove the seeds and pulpy flesh connecting the seeds to the pumpkin.

PumpkinPureeSeedsPulpI reserve this pumpkin to share with our hens. You can read my post to learn more about pumpkin’s health benefits for your hens and learn how to make them a warm, nutritious oatmeal. The seeds and flesh provide our flock with a delicious and healthy treat.

Place the pumpkin quarters in the slow cooker. Place the cover on the slow cooker and turn the heat on high.

At the two hour mark, check the pumpkin for doneness with the tip of a sharp knife or fork. It should easily yield and be soft and fully cooked. At this point, I turn off the heat, return the lid to the pot, and allow the pumpkin to cool to room temperature.

When cool, scrape the tender pulp from the skin using a large spoon. Purée the pulp in a food processor, blender, or by hand with a potato masher.

Homemade pumpkin purée can be used immediately, stored for several days in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to one year.

This process can also be used with other winter squashes to create homemade squash puree for soups and savory dishes.


I love to share my favorite products from our 1840 Farmhouse Kitchen.  Here are the tools I used when creating this recipe.  I know that you will love using them as much as I do.

 


This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes and crafts all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes and DIY projects right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

ThanksgivingGallery1111

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/homemade-fresh-pumpkin-puree/

Nut Free Pecanless Pie Bars

It was almost five years ago that I first discovered that I could create completely nut free baked goods in our farmhouse kitchen that had the delicious nutty flavor we were missing due to nut allergies.  Our home has been nut free for nearly a decade since we discovered that our son has food allergies.  Suddenly, the peanuts and tree nuts that we had turned to as nutritious snacks and baking ingredients were off limits.

I learned to enjoy brownies and cookies that didn’t contain nuts.  I even experimented until I found a peanut butter replacement that could be used to create a tasty substitute for peanut butter cookies.  But there were a few recipes that I just couldn’t seem to create nut free versions of.  Pecan pie, peanut brittle, and trail mix were eventually written off as something that we just couldn’t make in our kitchen.

Then I discovered a product called Wheat Nuts®.  I doubted that they would have the nutty flavor we missed so much, but I couldn’t help but give them a hopeful taste.  I was so happy to be wrong after taking the first bite and enjoying the flavor of nuts all over again.

I came to learn that Wheat Nuts® had been developed in the late 1970s, well before nut allergies became such a common issue for so many families.  I was so grateful to be able to keep our pantry stocked with them and set to work on recipes for the elusive pecan pie and peanut brittle.

As I was working to perfect my pecan pie filling in time for Thanksgiving that year, I decided to try my hand at creating a recipe for a nut free pecan pie bar.  The recipe became an immediate hit with our family and was a staple in our farmhouse kitchen during the colder months of the year when fresh berries for pies and crumbles weren’t being harvested from our gardens.

Sadly, Wheat Nuts® were pulled from the market in 2013, leaving us to meter out our remaining supply until it was gone.  We used the last of our stash to make a pan of these bars and then returned to the reality of not being able to enjoy the flavor of nuts in our nut free home.

Since that time, I have received countless messages and comments from nut free families just like ours who were desperate to find Wheat Nuts® again.  We shared in the disappointment of not being able to enjoy their delicious flavor in our homes without worry of cross contamination or allergic reactions.Wheat Nuts and Nadanut

On a morning a few months ago, I received a comment that changed my disappointment into sheer excitement.  Imagine my surprise when I read a message sharing the happy news that the product we loved was back!  Even better, there were several new products to try that were also nut free.

You can order the following varieties which are all manufactured in a 100% nut free facility:

Wheat Nuts®
Nadanut® Salted Pecans
Nadanut® Unsalted Pecans
Nadanut® Salted Cashews
Nadanut® small chopped pecan pieces
Nadanut® medium chopped pecan pieces
Nadanut® small chopped walnut pieces
Nadanut® small chopped pistachio pieces

For the first time in far too many years, we will be enjoying the flavor of pecan pie at our Thanksgiving table.  We couldn’t bear to wait until Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy the flavor that we have missed so much, so a celebratory batch of these completely nut free pecanless pie bars is definitely in order!

Nut Free Pecanless Pie Bars
makes 24 bars

Shortbread Crust
240 grams (2 cups) All-purpose flour
72 grams (6 Tablespoons) brown sugar
6 ounces butter, cubed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper.

Place all ingredients in food processor.  Process using on/off turns until the mixture has just formed small clumps.  Do not over process.  Sprinkle mixture over the bottom of prepared pan.  Lightly press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes until light golden brown.  Prepare filling as the crust is baking.

Nut Free Pecanless Pie Filling
168 grams (2 cups) Nadanut® medium chopped pecan pieces
144 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar
4 ounces butter
63 grams (3 Tablespoons) honey
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) half and half

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in brown sugar, honey, and half and half.  Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in chopped Wheat Nuts.

When the shortbread crust is finished baking, remove it from the oven and  immediately pour warm filling over the top.  If necessary, spread filling evenly over the crust.  Return pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Run a sharp knife or spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cooled bars.  Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift cooled bars from the pan to a cutting board.  Using serrated knife, cut into bars.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


I love to share my favorite products from our 1840 Farmhouse Kitchen.  Here are the tools and ingredients I used when creating this recipe.  I know that you will love using them as much as I do.


This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes and crafts all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes and DIY projects right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

ThanksgivingGallery1111

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/nut-free-pecanless-pie-bars/

Heirloom Tomato Pie

Heirloom Tomato Pie at 1840 FarmIf I ranked my favorite foods, heirloom tomatoes and homemade pie would both be at the top of my list.  In fact, they might occupy the first and second spot.  Please don’t ask me to choose one of them as my absolute favorite because I’m not sure that I could.

Thanks to this recipe, I can combine my love of the two and serve a delicious dinner at our family table.  Heirloom Tomato Pie is a family favorite when we are harvesting ripe heirloom tomatoes from our garden every day.  It combines the delicious flavors of heirloom tomatoes with the richness of buttery pie crust.  It also beautifully pairs the soft texture of the ripe fruit with flaky pie crust.  One bite and you’ll understand why we love it so much!

 

Heirloom Tomato Pie
Serves 4 to 6

If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, it can be put to good use in this recipe.  I like to make a slightly savory crust by adding my favorite olive oils from the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club instead of the ice water usually called for in a pie crust recipe.  The resulting pie crust is flaky and delicious, filled with the earthy flavor of great olive oil. You can read my favorite pie crust tips to create a delicious pie crust every single time.

The pie crust in this recipe should be blind baked, or prebaked before the filling is added.  Because the tomato filling is so juicy, adding it to an unbaked pie crust would result in a soggy crust.  By blind baking the crust and topping it with a bit of grated cheese, the crust will develop into a flaky base for the unctuous filling.Heirloom Tomato Pie Crust at 1840 Farm

1 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, grated
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 Tablespoons basil, chopped
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
2 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
Balsamic glaze for serving, if desired

Slice the tomatoes into 1″ thick rounds.  Place them in a colander to drain as you prepare the crust.  Allowing some of the excess liquid to drain away will help to concentrate the tomato flavor and yield a rich, thick filling.

To make the crust, place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the dry ingredients to combine.  Add the grated butter and pulse until the butter has begun to incorporate into the flour and resembles small grains of rice.

With the motor running, add the olive oil one Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Take care not to over process the dough.  Over processing will help to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a crust that is chewy and tough.  Less is more when it comes to working pie crust and will result in a flaky, light crust.

Transfer the pie crust dough to a pie plate.  Using your fingers, press the dough into shape gently until it is a uniform thickness and completely covers the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Flute or decorate the top edge if desired and transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator to chill while the oven warms.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any pie filling that may bubble over during baking.  When the oven has come up to temperature, remove the pie plate from the refrigerator and place on the baking sheet. Line the plate with a sheet of aluminum foil, pressing very gently to settle it into the edges of the crust.  Add dried beans, rice, or ceramic pie weights to weigh down the crust as it bakes.

Place the pie plate on the lined baking sheet before transferring to the hot oven. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust begins to set up but before it begins to brown. Remove the crust from the oven.  Carefully remove the foil and beans, rice, or weights.  These items will be extremely hot, so take care when removing them. After the weights have cooled, they can be stored and used over and over again.

Heirloom Tomato Pie FillingReduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Sprinkle half of the grated Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the blind baked pie crust.  Allow the crust to cool as you prepare the filling.

In a small skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in a teaspoon of olive oil until translucent, approximately 5-8 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent the onion from burning.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, create the filling.  Combine the mozzarella cheese, smoked mozzarella, ricotta, mayonnaise, and eggs.  Stir until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes to cover the bottom of the pie crust.  Spread the sautéed onions over the tomatoes and sprinkle the basil on top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer the filling to the pie, spreading gently to completely cover the tomatoes.  Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top.

Transfer the pie to the 400 degree oven.  Bake until the filling is lightly set in the middle and bubbly and browned on top, approximately 30 minutes.  If the filling sets before it has browned sufficiently on top, simply broil the pie for a brief few minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
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Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/09/heirloom-tomato-pie/

Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries

SconeIngredieStrawberry Oat Scone at 1840 FarmntsWMWhen fresh strawberries are in season, we take full advantage and work them into a variety of baking recipes and canned goods.  These Oat Scones studded with chunks of juicy, fresh strawberries find their way to our breakfast table every year.  They’re delicious and a reminder of why we love strawberry season so much.  While the scones are always best if eaten the day they are baked, I find that any leftovers are great when used as a base for a strawberry shortcake dessert that evening.  Enjoy!

 

Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries
makes 8 sconesStrawberry Oat Scone at 1840 Farm

I was inspired to add fresh strawberries to my family’s favorite scone recipe after reading Honey & Oats: Everyday Favorites Baked with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners by Jennifer Katzinger. The results were delicious. In fact, these scones were such a hit that they have become our favorite scone recipe.

I like to grate the butter for recipes that require butter to be cut into the flour. Using tiny grated bits of butter makes mixing the dough a breeze. It also yields an incredibly tender scone as much less mixing is needed.

2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
1 cup (80 grams) oat flour
½ cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
¼ cup (30 grams) All-purpose flour
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, grated
¼ cup (2 ounces) heavy cream
1 large egg
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the grated butter and gently toss with your hands to fully coat the butter and evenly distribute it throughout the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine the cream and egg and whisk to combine. Add the cream and egg to the bowl with the flour and stir gently to moisten the dry ingredients. Reserve the small bowl as the remnants from the cream and egg mixture can be used to brush the scones before they are transferred to the oven. Add the chopped strawberries to the batter and fold gently to combine.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently pat the dough into a circle approximately 8 inches in diameter. Cut the dough into eight wedges. Transfer each wedge to the prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, gently brush each scone with the remaining cream and egg mixture. Sprinkle a bit of the granulated sugar on top of each scone.

Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven. Bake the scones 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. When fully baked, the scones will be lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven to a wire rack to cool. Scones are most delicious served the day they are made, so serve them immediately and enjoy every last bite!


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/06/oat-scones-with-fresh-strawberries/

Lemon Drop Cookies with Lemon Buttercream

Lemon Drop Cookies with Lemon Buttercream BrandedSpring couldn’t arrive soon enough for me this year. It was a brutal winter with snow piled so high that it was difficult to believe that spring would ever arrive to our snowy landscape. While I wait for winter to release us from its firm grasp, I find myself dreaming of the garden and the fresh meals that it will provide for our family table. That first harvest of crisp radishes and greens seems both close at hand and miles away.

The garden won’t produce anything for us to enjoy at our family table for a few more weeks. We’re still waiting for our last frost date to pass on the 29th of June. As I wait for the danger of frost to pass, I find myself craving something fresh and bright.

Enter the lemon, which is synonymous with spring in my book. First, there’s the striking beauty of the lemon’s yellow color. Then there’s the lovely punch of fresh flavor that a lemon brings to a WonderMix Kitchen Mixerrecipe when its tart nature is perfectly matched with just the right balance of sweetness to highlight its distinct flavor. It’s no wonder that I turn to the lemon to help me bridge the gap between the end of winter and beginning of our gardening year.

This recipe is one of my favorites each spring. The bright, tart lemon flavor and earthy vanilla are delicious when combined with just enough sugar. The end result is sweet enough without ever masking the lemon’s lovely acidity. The fluffy lemon buttercream ups the ante and adds even more lemon flavor with a creamy texture that provides a lovely counterpart to the crisp cookie.

To be fair, we don’t consider this as a spring only favorite. We enjoy them year round and they never disappoint. I hope that your family and friends will enjoy them as much as ours do!

 

Lemon Drop Cookies with Lemon Buttercream
You don’t need specialty equipment to make these beautiful cookies, but a few simple tools will help to make the job easier. While you can use a simple box grater to zest the lemon, a microplane grater/zester makes quick work of the zest. A set of inexpensive rolling pin rings will ensure that all of the dough is rolled to an even thickness. The resulting cookies will bake more evenly and have a beautiful appearance. I reach for my WonderMix Kitchen Mixer when making this recipe in our farmhouse kitchen. With two sets of whisk/whip attachments, I can easily cream the butter and sugar for the cookie and blend the buttercream into a perfectly smooth, satiny texture.
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For the Cookies
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. Zest of one large lemon
  3. 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
  4. 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove seeds and pulp
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1 large egg
  7. 1 large egg yolk
  8. 3 cups All-purpose flour
  9. 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  10. ½ teaspoon salt
For the Lemon Buttercream
  1. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
  2. 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove seeds and pulp
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 3 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry a large lemon. Using a fine grater or microplane, remove the zest from the lemon, taking care to remove only the yellow zest. Leave the white pith intact as it can be incredibly bitter. Place the granulated sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Mix the sugar and zest together by rubbing the grains between your fingers. Mixing the sugar and zest in this manner will infuse the sugar with the essential oil from the lemon peel.
  2. Using a mixer or food processor, cream the butter and sugar mixture until it combines completely and makes a smooth paste. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix until completely smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the batter and mix briefly to fully incorporate. Take care not to over mix as this will develop the gluten in the flour, resulting in dough that is chewy and tough instead of light and delicate.
  4. Remove the dough to a sheet of parchment paper or freezer paper. Cover with a second sheet of paper. Using a rolling pin and rolling pin rings (if you have them); roll the dough in to a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate the dough at least 2 hours or until firm enough to cut cleanly using a cookie cutter or sharp paring knife.
  5. When the dough has been properly chilled and you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with nonstick Silpat liners or parchment paper. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and cut into your desired shape. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets approximately 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating at the midpoint of the baking time, taking care not to overbake. The cookies should be firm to the touch, but not overly brown. Remove the trays from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool completely.
  7. To make the buttercream, combine the softened butter, lemon juice, and vanilla extract using a mixer or food processor. Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until the buttercream is completely smooth.
  8. Buttercream can be piped or spread on the cookies as soon as they are completely cool. Two cookies can be held together with a layer of buttercream to make a delicious lemon drop sandwich cookie. Cookies and buttercream can be stored in separate, airtight containers at room temperature for several days.
Notes
  1. This dough works very well when stored in the freezer. Simply prepare the dough as directed above, chilling the rolled dough in the freezer instead of refrigerator. Once the dough has frozen solid, it can be moved to a freezer bag for long-term storage. When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove the frozen dough from the freezer and allow it to warm slightly as the oven preheats. Cut the dough into your preferred shape before transferring them to the warm oven. Frozen cookies will require an additional 3-5 minutes in the oven, but taste identical to those made from freshly made refrigerated dough.
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To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/05/lemon-drop-cookies/

The WonderMix Kitchen Mixer GIVEAWAY and My Multigrain Brioche Bread Recipe

WonderMix Kitchen MixerWhen I was offered the opportunity to try out the new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer in our farmhouse kitchen, I was thrilled. I have been using the company’s WonderMill Electric Grain Mill for several years now.  No matter how many times I use it, I am always astounded at how simple it is to use and how quickly it transforms the organic wheat berries I purchase through my local food co-op into beautiful, freshly milled flour. I couldn’t wait to see their new WonderMix stand mixer and put it through its paces in our farmhouse kitchen.

When the WonderMix arrived, I was taken with its unique design. I loved its square base and covered mixing bowl, knowing that dry ingredients would remain inside the bowl when mixing rather than ending up on the countertop.   After carefully measuring my ingredients with my food scale for a recipe, it can be so frustrating to watch as dry ingredients are flung from a mixer’s bowl and deposited all over the countertop.

The mixing bowl is large, with a capacity of 5.5 quarts or 22 cups. I don’t have a single recipe in my arsenal that requires that much capacity, but I’m glad to know that I can easily mix a double batch of bread dough with room to spare. Not only does this mixer have a high-capacity mixing bowl, it has the motor strength to handle heavy doughs and mixtures. The WonderMix has an impressive 900 watt motor. To put that in perspective, my current stand mixer has a 325 watt motor. The WonderMix has the capacity and the power to handle even the most grueling tasks in my kitchen and yours. With its innovative dough hook and dough divider attachment combination, I knew right away that this was a bread baker’s dream machine.

The WonderMix offers two different sets of whisk type attachments available for the WonderMix. A whisk is often the ideal tool for a recipe, but whisking egg whites into a fluffy meringue is quite a different task than mixing a batch of buttercream or cookie dough. I often find with my other stand mixer that the dough paddle doesn’t adequately beat a batch of buttercream or cookie dough into the smooth, silky texture I desire while the whisk isn’t strong enough to handle the thicker mixture. Having two different pairs of whisk attachments means that I’ll always have one that is well suited for the task at hand.

The WonderMix boasts a wide assortment of other attachments and accessories. They offer a full function blender, slicer/shredder, and meat grinder attachments. If you are interested in working with grain, both a grain flaker and grain mill attachment are also available. This sturdy, powerful unit can do the work of a multitude of appliances. Its rectangular footprint also makes it much easier for me to easily store it in our kitchen.

The helpful owner’s manual that accompanied my WonderMix was filled with helpful instructions for using the machine along with more than 40 recipes. I turned immediately to the section of bread recipes and learned that this mixer promised to fully develop the gluten in a batch of bread dough in five minutes. I couldn’t wait to put that promise to the test.

I make several types of bread for our family. My favorite bread to bake and to eat is brioche. I enjoy brioche’s texture and rich flavor. IMultigrain Brioche loaves at 1840 Farm love to toast a slice of homemade brioche, knowing that the enriched dough will yield the lovely browned surface that I enjoy so much. My family enjoys it just as much as I do, so I make a batch of two loaves every week or so.

The prospect of making a traditional brioche can be daunting for the baker and taxing for the baker’s mixer. Traditional brioche is baked from dough enriched by fresh eggs and butter. Each addition must be perfectly timed before advancing to the next step. If these steps are rushed, the dough will break apart, forming several small clumps that will resist coming back together into one congruous ball of dough. Yet care must be taken not to over mix the dough as too much mixing can ruin the airy texture that makes brioche so wonderful.

Once the eggs have been successfully integrated into the dough, butter must be added in much the same way. It is added a bit at a time, allowing the butter to fully blend with the dough. This process can take thirty minutes or more. All of this kneading puts a heavy toll on a mixer. As the dough is kneaded, the mixer must be monitored to ensure that it does not overheat or, worse yet, burn out completely. Kneading this dough for such a long time is a herculean task for a typical residential kitchen mixer.

Over the years, I have worked to develop my own brioche recipe. It delivers the same delicious flavor and airy texture without requiring so much precision from the bread baker.

In the past few months, I attempted to adapt my recipe to incorporate some of our freshly milled whole wheat flour into the recipe. I didn’t have much luck. The loaves lacked the airy texture I love. No matter how I adjusted the recipe, the resulting loaves were too dense. It seemed that no matter how long I worked the dough using my mixer, I fell short of creating that lovely smooth characteristic that my Farmhouse Brioche always delivers.

I did finally determine that I could use my stand mixer to work the dough for several minutes and then knead the dough by hand for between 5 to 10 minutes in order to create a dough that was smooth and elastic enough to pass the windowpane test.

I had almost given up any hope of creating a multigrain brioche recipe that could be worked entirely by a mixer. Then the WonderMix arrived and I returned to the farmhouse kitchen, hopeful that this powerful machine would have the muscle I needed to fully develop the gluten and create a loaf that was exactly what I was looking for.

As the dough came together, I set my kitchen timer for five minutes. The WonderMix worked the dough without straining. When the timer sounded, I turned off the mixer and removed the dough. It was smooth and elastic, easily passing the windowpane test. The WonderMix had delivered on its promise to fully develop the gluten in five minutes.

I have made several batches of bread since then. Each batch has been just as beautiful and delicious. From now on, I will be using the WonderMix to make this multigrain brioche and all of our other homemade breads.

Now you can use this recipe to make your own loaves of multigrain brioche. You can also enter to win your very own WonderMix! One winner will be randomly selected on April 21, 2015. All subscribers to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and In Season Magazine will be automatically entered to win. You can earn additional entries through the widget below and increase your odds of winning this amazing mixer. Good luck to all who enter!

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1840 Farm Multigrain Brioche
Makes two loaves

12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm water
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer (optional)
600 grams (5 cups) All-purpose flour
240 grams (2 cups) whole wheat flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.   Whisk the warm water and honey in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the liquid. Allow the yeast to rest as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine the salt, dough enhancer (if using), and flour. Grate the butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.

Add the eggs to the bowl with the warm water and honey. Whisk until combined. Mount the bowl on the mixer’s base and attach the dough hook and dough divider. Add the dry ingredients all in one addition before turning the mixer’s motor on low speed.

Mix for a few minutes, until the dough begins to take shape. The dough will appear to be slightly dry. With the motor running, begin adding the grated butter a bit at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated into the dough before adding more. Continue this process until all of the butter has been added.

Stop the mixer and asses the dough. It should be shiny and moist, but not excessively sticky. The ball of dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky, simply start the mixer and gradually add up to ½ cup of All-purpose flour to the dough. Take care not to add too much flour as it will yield a finished loaf that is too dry. Increase the speed of the mixer slightly and work the dough until it passes the windowpane test, approximately five to ten minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it has been worked sufficiently, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent, allowing light to pass through it (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl to rise in a dough proofer or a warm, draft free location.  Allow the dough to rise until it has nearly doubled in size. Using my dough proofer set at 82 degrees, this takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, divide it into two equal sections. Form each section into a loaf and place in a buttered or oiled loaf pan. Be sure to oil the top rim of the loaf pan as this dough has a tendency to rise well above the top of the pan. Oiling the top rim of the pan will make releasing the baked loaf from the pan much easier.

Transfer the two loaves back to the proofing chamber or warm, draft free location for rising. Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of more than one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.  Using my dough proofer, this takes about one 60 – 90 minutes.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.

Once the loaves have risen sufficiently and the oven has reached the proper temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning near the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaves are fully baked, they will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove the baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.

 Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.  You can also learn more about My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients and share your own with me.

2015_Spring_Post_FOOD

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/the-wondermix-kitchen-mixer-giveaway-and-my-multigrain-brioche-bread-recipe/

Pi Day 3.1415

FB_PiDay_2015
When asked to declare my favorite food to prepare and enjoy with my family, I don’t have to ponder long.  The answer is simple:  pie.  I love to make pie almost as much as I love to eat a delicious, flaky pie crust filled to the brim with the best of what the season (or our panty and freezer) have to offer.

A homemade berry pie has the power to transport me to my paternal grandmother’s humble kitchen.  My grandmother was a wonderful cook and baker, but pie was her specialty.  Her schwatzenberry pie was my favorite.  It would not be overstating its power to say that those berry pies forever changed my life.

My grandmother’s homemade berry pie taught me that food had the ability to feed my soul. I now know that it also holds the incredible power of transcending time and space, bringing back memories of a grandmother long gone, but known fondly by my children who never had the opportunity to meet her in person.

Instead, they met her memory with the first bite of berry pie savored at our family table while listening to me share my fondest memories about her. Every summer, we carefully pick the schwatzenberries from our garden and look forward to the day when we have gathered enough to make the season’s first pie.

Throughout the year, we enjoy pies of every sort.  Our annual Kentucky Derby Day celebration would seem incomplete without a homemade Bourbon Peach Pie.  Summer would be much less sweet if raspberry season didn’t include the promise of a Double Crusted Raspberry Pie.  When fall’s apple season arrives at our local farmer’s market, I find myself dreaming of a slice of Brandied Apple Pie topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Each year, we celebrate Pi Day on March 14th by making and enjoying a homemade pie together here at 1840 Farm.  The day is publicized in the hope of inviting us to all learn more about the mathematical significance of Pi and the importance of math in our daily lives.  I’m happy to extol the virtues of math, especially if I can do so by spending time in the farmhouse kitchen making my favorite dish for our family table.

This year, we’re gearing up to celebrate a Pi Day of epic proportions.  In 2015, Pi Day falls on 3/14/15.  Given that Pi begins with “3.1415”, it seems like this year’s celebration should be extra special.  We’re still debating which of our favorite pie recipes should be called into service for our celebration tomorrow.

I hope that you will join in the celebration and add one of these pie recipes to your weekend plans.  I’ve included a few pie crust making tips for good measure.  I receive so many messages from readers who are intimidated by the thought of making a homemade pie crust.  Using these tips, you will make a deliciously flaky pie crust that will delight your friends and family, I promise!

You can view our special Pi Day Newsletter and add your name to our thousands of subscribers.  Our newsletter is the best way to make sure that you don’t miss our favorite seasonal recipes, giveaways, and posts.  You can subscribe in a few seconds and know that we will never share your Email address with anyone.

We have our biggest giveaway EVER coming to you in the next few weeks and our subscribers will be the first to know about it.  Believe me, you’re not going to want to miss out on this one.  Well, at least not if you’d be happy to win a fantastic piece of kitchen equipment that was tested right here in the farmhouse kitchen and has a value of more than $350!

Happy Pi Day!

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