SMS – Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Pie

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Sometimes when I decide to tinker with the recipe, I forget that there is a different effect to everything I change. Take for example this pie filling: I read two cups of strawberries and two cups of rhubarb and think to myself “thats it?” So, I roughly double the strawberries and don’t bother to think about what that’ll do to the pie.

Just in case you didn’t know, strawberries have a HIGH water content. So high, that when you double the amount of strawberries called for in a recipe, you should expect nothing less than strawberry soup.

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Don’t get me wrong, this pie was SO delicious that I didn’t mind that I had to pour a bit GALLONS of the extra strawberry hued water out or that it made my pie crust soggy, no. I didn’t care because it was sweet and tangy and the biscuits were tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Pie heaven!

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Now if only I could have taken more appealing pictures of this pie. I really hate struggling for natural light :(

I used fresh berries and frozen rhubarb. Houston doesn’t seem to like rhubard. Which would explain the hordes of stores I’ve gone to in order to find fresh rhubarb. With none to be found.

Update: I FINALLY found fresh organic rhubarb…… at $6.99/lb. No thanks. I’ll keep searching :)

A huge thank you to my friend Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures for choosing this recipe and finally getting some of that frozen rhubarb out of my freezer. Head on over to her great blog for the recipe and mass amounts of foods that’ll really get your mouth watering :)

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Up next week: Peanut Butter Truffles

TWD – Sweet Cream Biscuits

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If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: biscuits hate me.

They don’t rise or puff up or have that beautiful fluffy texture. No. Not for me. They usually taste good, which is the most important part of baking… but sometimes I would just like to turn out some aesthetically pleasing biscuits. Is one time too much to ask? *sigh* I’ll keep plugging away hoping to find my mistake and one day, ONE DAY I will turn out marvelous, glorious, sky high biscuits. I have faith.

Aside from the aesthetic disappointment, these were the best tasting biscuits I’ve made so far, which made me realize that I like my biscuits on the sweeter side. They came together VERY quickly (no waiting for butter to come to room temperature, few simple ingredients, mix and shape and you’re done) and tasted delicious!

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I hope to master the art of biscuit making and I think I’ll use this recipe as my guinea pig. Cross your fingers for me :)

Thank you to Melissa of Love At First Bite for choosing these yummy biscuits. Head on over to her blog for the recipe and don’t forget to stop by all of the other bakers’ blogs to see how wonderfully puffy their biscuits came out.

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Up next week: Chockablock Cookies (which I have already made and boy, oh boy. Delish!)

SMS – Pecan Shortbread Cookies (no sweet potato bread)

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Better (waaaay) late than never, right?

I don’t know how it happened but I managed to forget to post about these. I baked them and photographed them on time… I just didn’t remember to blog about them. Woopsy! I must have been hella busy because baking and my assignments are usually on my mind.

Anyway, these were good. Not GREAT but good. I had to dunk the cookies in powdered sugar THREE times to make sure that I didn’t end up with another case of the missing powdered sugar.

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I much prefer my go-to pecan sandies over these.

Speaking of powdered sugar… I never quite know what to call it. Powdered sugar? Confectioners sugar? They are the same thing but I noticed that I flip flop between the two. What do you call it?

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Thank you to Lara of The Lab for choosing this recipe. Click here for the recipe and here to see the other SMS bakers and their lovely renditions of these cookies.

Up next week: Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Pie (which, I’ll have you know, I’ve already made and photographed! Now to blog it, before I forget again)

Extra Credit Ann Brettingen’s Swedish Apple Cake

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Hooooly geez, this is good.

Now I’m sliiiightly biased (because I friggin’ LOVE baked apples) but if you thought the Swedish Visiting Cake was good, check out this bad boy! It has all the goodies of the SVC with some small nips and tucks.

This mixes up quickly and bakes beautifully. Oh the aroma!! Trust me, it’s good!! Next time I’d add some cinnamon and almond extract just to play around with the flavors a bit.

I’m keeping this post short because I just realized that I never posted my SMS Pecan Shortbread post. Doh!!

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Ann Brettingen’s Swedish Apple Cake
- makes 6 generous servings, 10 normal servings -

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 extra-large egg or 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk (I used 2 large eggs)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 to 1 1/2 apples (I used 2 Granny Smith), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
Handful of sliced almonds (optional)
Sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Apple, quince or ginger jelly or preserves, for glazing the cake (optional, I used apricot)

Procedure:
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. (Ann says 345°F, which I did) Generously butter a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or a similar sized cast-iron skillet (used cast iron skillet).

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, and keep at hand (set aside).

3. Working in a mixing bowl with the whisk, beat the egg(s) and sugar together until thick and pale. Stir in the vanilla, if you’re using it, and then the melted butter. The mixture will be smooth and shiny. Stir in the dry ingredients and scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the apples, making a spiral pattern. Leave some space between each slice, so the batter can puff up between the wedges – it looks much nicer with the puffs. Scatter sliced almonds on top, sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

4. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack.

5. If you want to glaze the cake, warm a few spoonfuls of jelly and a splash of water in a microwave oven (or a saucepan) until the jelly liquefies. Brush the jelly over the hot cake.

6. Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes, or wait until it reaches room temperature, before you cut it into wedges to serve.

Storing: Cooled and covered, the cake will keep overnight at room temperature, but it’s best served shortly after it’s baked.

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TWD – Swedish Visiting Cake

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I wish Swedes would visit me more often.

Because this cake is AWESOME! Honestly, it doesn’t get any simpler OR delicious. Or moist. Or fluffy. Or nutty. Or sweet. Or perfect. I love you Swedish Visiting Cake. You are the apple of my eye.

Speaking of Apples, there’s an apple version of this very cake. And WHOOOO loves baked apples? *shoots both hands straight up into the air* (Look for this recipe a liiiiittle later today. Gotta get it photographed.)

So guess who HAAAD (‘could’ was not an option) to make BOTH versions? *points to self* Do I get some sort of prize for going above-and-beyond the call of duty? Hmmm… how about an extra piece of cake? SOLD!!

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When I say easy, I mean it. The batter comes together in ten minutes, IF EVEN THAT! You melt some butter, stir some stuff together and dump it in a buttered cast iron skillet. Stick it in the oven and 25 minutes later, you have a glorious cake to serve to your favorite Swedes. Or before you share, run to the office kitchen and eat (read: wolf down) two pieces just to make sure you don’t feel deprived.

Not that I’d know anything about that. *Ahem*

This was gobbled up by my coworkers, my fiance’s coworkers, and yours truly :)

Thank you Nancy, for choosing this deliciously simply cake. I NEVER would have chosen to make this on my own. So, for that… I thank you! You have blessed me with a wicked easy go-to cake and you didn’t even know I needed one ;)

Head on over to Nancy’s blog, The Dogs Eat the Crumbs (which sounds all too much like MY puppy) for the recipe, some great humor, wonderful pictures and lots of helpful-ness. And JUUUUUUST in case you were in doubt about how awesome this cake is, you can check out the P&Q section (filled with mmmm’s and ahhhh’s) or check out the other TWD bakers.

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Up next week: Sweet Cream Biscuits on page 23. (Already made, just need to photograph. Man!! I’m on a ROLL! HA! Roll….. get it?)

TWD – Mocha-Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake

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Me and marble cakes have a love/hate relationship.

I love ‘em. They hate me.

It seems that I’m either over-zealous when it comes to swirling the dough and then there’s no pretty swirly-ness, just… mess. Or I’m careful and I barely touch the dough when swirling…. the result? Just mess. *sigh* I will master you one day, marble cakes. mark. my. words. *insert dark ominous tones here*

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I alternated the chocolate/mocha and vanilla/walnut doughs and then stabbed the knife in, gave it one swirl and left it alone. I must admit that this is the most definitive marbling I’ve ever achieved, so I am a bit proud of myself. Next time, I won’t alternate the doughs and swirl once and see what I come up with!

Either way, this was fun and exciting and it was liked extremely well by the fiance’s co-workers. It prompted two of them to say “I wish my wife/girlfriend baked like this.” That’s the male equivalent of a compliment just in case you were befuddled there for a second :)

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A big thanks goes out to Erin of When in Doubt… Leave it at 350 for choosing this one! Not only was it a hit, it was fun!! Head on over to her blog for the recipe. Then click here for some tips and pointers. Then click here for other bakers who baked this as well :)

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Coming up next Tuesday: Swedish Visiting Cake on page 197