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Saturday, May 7, 2011

cookies and bars

These were cookies and bars I made for a ladies luncheon at Church for Mother's Day. I have over 300 pieces. I was surprised that I was able to get this many cookies done faster and less cost than baking a cake. A good way to get filler is to make big pans of bars. As a baker I have 12x18 sheet pans which I used and I also used a 14" square pan. The flavors are:


Lemon Bars


Chocolate Chip cookies with walnuts

Peanut Butter Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The best place for these sort of recipes-well don't mess with the classics. The Nestle Tollhouse recipe, the recipe on the jar of Jif Peanut Butter, the recipe on the oats and so on. While some bakers strive to make something original and their own they loose sight of the classics. If a recipe is not broke-don't fix it!!! The key-use the best ingredients-butter, good chocolate etc. and stick to the classic recipes when it comes to cookies-these recipes have been tested thru out the generations!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bear Claws

I am so excited to share this recipe. I have wanted for years to make a bear claw but never knew how. With the onset of the internet I googled away and did not find many hits. I researched cookbooks and have come up with my own version based on others that I found. To form a bear claw I learned by searching on utube bear claw and found an instructor from I believe the French Pastry School that posted a demo. I hope my pictures and directions will help others to unlock the mystery of the bear claw.

Bear Claws
Yield 12 large

1 Scant Tbsp. Yeast
¼ Cup water
¾ Cup Heavy Cream
2 Eggs
1 Egg Yolk
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
3 ½ Cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter

In a separate container add the water, cream, yeast, eggs and egg yolk and whisk together and set aside.

In the mixer with the paddle attachment add the flour, sugar, salt, cardamom. Then cut the butter into chunks and add to the flour mixture and mix it until the butter is the size of peas. Once this is done add the liquid. Mix it until it is well incorporated but no need to go to window pane.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic and store in the refrigerator over night.

Almond Filling:
3 Tbsp + ½ tsp almond paste
¼ Cup + 1 ½ tsp sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter-room temp.
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract

1 ½ Tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
In the mixer with the paddle attachment cream the almond paste with the sugar then add the rest of the ingredients and cream it all together.

Almond glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
3 Tbsp. liquid-water, milk, cream, or ½ and ½ .

Mix all together and microwave it right before using.

½ Cup toasted Almonds


Roll the dough out and cut into a rectangle. Fill the dough with the almond filling and form into a bear claw. Let the bear claw rise then bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown at 350 F. Once out of the oven immediately drizzle the glaze over the bear claw and top with the toasted almonds. Glaze may need more or less powdered sugar and liquid depending on temperature in the kitchen. The glaze will get more runny once heated and then give a nice “set” once it cools on the bear claw.