Tag Archives: maple syrup

Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuits and Maple Cream

18 May

Sorry about the Friday debacle. I totally did not intend for this delay to happen, I usually just assume I will have computer access wherever I go. I should probably stop assuming things.

I’m going to admit that I made these biscuits as a vehicle for the maple cream that is to come. Not that I don’t enjoy a nice biscuit, quite the contrary, but I really just needed something to slather with maple cream and I thought you might too.

Biscuits:

2 C flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 TB baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 TB butter
1 C buttermilk

Pre-heat the oven to 450˚.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together.

Cut the butter into tiny cubes.

Cut into the flour until it looks like course cornmeal. You can do this with a fork, or use a food processor. I used my immersion blender and it worked wonderfully!

As a side note, I got this immersion blender for my birthday and I am in LOVE with it. I’ve wanted one for a few years, but didn’t really think I would use it nearly as much as I do. It’s amazing for so many reasons, but one of the things I like the best about it is that I can make milkshakes directly in a glass! YUM!

When the mixture looks about right, add the buttermilk. Mix together just to blend. Don’t over mix or the resulting biscuits will be tough! Wet your hands and scoop the dough into biscuits approximately 1/4 C in size. Pat gently to make a thick, flat disc shape and put on a cookie sheet 1/2″ apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the biscuits are slightly golden. You don’t want them to be brown.

Maple Cream!

I love, love LOVE maple cream! I had it for the first time years ago, in a teeny tiny jar labeled “maple butter” that my aunt had gotten in some kind of gift basket. I didn’t try it again until I moved to San Francisco and found it in a health food store (for the curious-Green Earth Natural Foods, home of the lovable grumpy old man). When I went on a search for a recipe, I found that what I was eating was technically not called maple butter but maple cream. Who would have known? Not I, child of the west coast.

So maple cream is deliciously delicious. It tastes like maple syrup but better. The process (you basically just heat, cool, then stir) makes the syrup sort of crystallize, and it is turned into a thick, sweet, spreadable, opaque ambrosia suitable for using on anything you would regularly put maple syrup on or for simply eating with a spoon. Which I have done. And it’s AMAZING.

1 C pure maple syrup – you can use more. This makes a smidge bit more than 8oz (1C) of maple cream.
a few drops of veggie oil

Fill a sink full of cold water.

Put 1 C of maple syrup and a few drops of veggie oil in a large pan. You can see the veggie oil drops, to the right in the picture.

Put a thermometer that can reach 236˚ into the maple syrup and turn on the heat.

Make sure the thermometer isn’t touching the bottom of the pan, just the syrup. I used a rubber band to secure it to the handle of the pot on the outside to do this. Boil the syrup until it reaches 236˚. I should note here that, according to the majority of the recipes I read, the temperature should be 24˚ over the boiling point of water. I just tacked on 24 to 212 because I live in San Francisco, which is basically at sea level, but depending on where you live this number may be different.

my ultra-cool, maple cream making thermometer apparatus.

my ultra-cool, maple cream making thermometer apparatus.

Watch the syrup! You want it to boil, you do not want it to boil over. So be careful!

When the syrup reaches 236˚, turn off the heat.

This is what the syrup looked like when it reached the correct temperature.

This is what the syrup looked like when it reached the correct temperature.

Place the entire pot in the cold water. Do not touch or stir the syrup. Simply allow it it come to room temperature. You will know this has occurred when it is no longer giving off heat.

Remove from the water and slowly stir the syrup until it becomes opaque. This is the hardest part. I’m going to be honest, I felt like my arm just might fall off. But the persistent will be deliciously rewarded. You’re done when it has reached the consistency of very smooth peanut butter. Spoon into jars and refrigerate.

When I first started with the stirring.

When I first started with the stirring.

after a few minutes.

After a few minutes.

After a few more.

After a few more.

This is the result of too much stirring!

This is the result of too much stirring!

If you stir it too much, it will get too hard. That happened to me, and I ended up having to start the process all over again! Very annoying, and set me back another hour. Just remember that you want it to be a spread, not a candy. The result should be somewhere between pictures 3 and 4.

Spread it all over everything. Like those lovely biscuits you just made! NOM!

❤ Stef

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Recipe: Gingersnap Sandwich Cookies

1 May

My birthday was last weekend, and my one request to my boyfriend was that he procure a birthday cake-specifically carrot cake-by any means necessary. I bought my own birthday cake last year, and it was a little depressing! I told him that I didn’t care if he bought the cake or used a box to make it, as long as I didn’t have to get it myself.
He surpassed my wildest expectations when I discovered him in the kitchen, making me cupcakes from scratch.
This is photo documentation of the first baked good he has ever made! He’s measuring and everything.I don’t have pictures of the final product, but let me assure you that they were delicious. I mean seriously. I had to fight people off of my cupcakes. Well, okay, the cupcakes were for sharing. But I wanted more than one! (I ate three. Maybe more. It’s all a haze. . .)

The frosting was a maple-cream cheese frosting and while it was extremely tasty, there was an absurd amount of it left. I don’t know who wrote the recipe but they are insane if they think that 2 dozen cupcakes require 3 cups of frosting. We have tons of frosting left.

Exhibit A.
This tupperware contains nearly 2 cups of frosting. Which brings me to my brilliant leftover frosting cookie idea.

Gingersnap sandwiches! Yessssss.

Ginger Cookies
Recipe modified from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book (1963 edition)
Ingredients:
3 TB butter
1/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/4 C molasses
1 TB milk
5/8 C (1/2 + 1/8) flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp coriander
1 tsp vanilla

Maple-cream cheese frosting
Recipe from smitten kitchen. I cut the entire recipe in half and increased the maple syrup. This should make a little less than 1.5 C of frosting.
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 C powdered sugar
1/4 C maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350˚.
Let the butter (for both the cookies and the frosting) come to room temperature. This is really important! I usually try to speed things up by putting it in the microwave, but that never works as well as you think it does. Melted butter actually is much different from softened butter. This is a lesson that has taken me years and dozens of flat, melty cookies to find out.
Cream together the butter and the sugar.
Add the egg, molasses and milk and stir well. Mix in all of the dry ingredients, and the vanilla. Mix until the batter is smooth.
Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or until the dough is firm. Spoon the dough onto a cookie sheet using a small spoon, making sure they are spaced at least 2″ apart.
Bake for 15 minutes. While you wait for the cookies to bake, make the frosting.

Cream together the cream cheese and the butter. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. When all of the sugar has been thoroughly mixed in, add the maple syrup and stir again to combine.

When you remove the cookies from the oven, allow to rest for a few minutes before removing. My cookies became attached while baking. Touchy cookies.
Pick a few pairs of cookies that are approximately the same size and shape. I choose four, to make a cookie sandwich for me and one for boyface. I prefer to create sandwich cookies as I go, as opposed to making a bunch of them and having to store them in their delicate frosted state. I also assumed that I would eat less of them at once if I didn’t have a dozen on a plate staring at me.
Anyway, find matching-ish cookie pairs.
Turn them on their backs.
Fill a plastic bag with frosting and cut off the corner. Or, use a pastry tube. Squeeze frosting out onto one of the cookies.
Now cover with the other cookie. Mmmm.
Way better than any oreo.
The cookie recipe turned out to be completely perfect for this use because they bake flat and have crispy edges but soft chewey centers. Frosting will likely fall out of your sandwich while you eat. It’s worth it.

❤ Stef