Friday, June 26, 2009

Father's Day Treat

This Father's Day I was inspired by the blogger Bakerella. When my son saw her Father's Day idea he just had to do it so I put together my shopping list and went to work. First let me show you how cute they are . . .
Now let me tell how much work they are! Bakerella used premade mixes for all her recipes but I like to go 100% homemade. So, first I made a batch of sugar cookie dough. Rolled it out. But it into french fry lengths and sprinkled with sugar. That was easy. No problem. Then I made a double batch of homemade brownies since my usual recipe fits in and 8x8 and I needed to fill a 9x13 pan. I used a biscuit cutter to cut out the circles and nibbled on the leftovers to give me energy to finish. The next day I baked up my cupcakes courtesy of Cook's Illustrated which makes 12 cupcakes. I mixed my homemade buttercream and tinted them red, yellow, and green. Then I sliced my cupcakes in half and invited Jonathan to help me assemble them. He loved doing this!!!! Finally we brushed the tops with water and sprinkled on the sesame seeds. Bakerella had templates for the fry bag and the paper dish. I printed them up on plain old printing paper and taped them together.

For dinner we served real burgers and fries to my husband. After we were sated, we served up these tiny little versions. They were yummy. But very rich and very filling. Cute as they are, I don't think I would make them again. Too much work and not really my "style."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry season is fleeting here in Maryland. I waited with eager anticipation because I love to make strawberry freezer jam. When I opened my new Cook's Country magazine I knew I'd be making a strawberry pie too. So, when the nearest pick-your-own strawberry farm was open the family hopped in the car. We filled our bellies and baskets with sweet juicy berries and came home to turn them into yummy goodies. The jam is currently in the freezer waiting for a cold winter day. The pie, however, was polished off and only remains a memory. It was fantastic.
Now, my grandmother's strawberry pie recipe calls for strawberries and strawberry gelatin poured into a graham cracker crust. I've never been a big fan of fake red jello but had never gotten a nice firm pie when I just used strawberries and cornstarch called for in most recipes. Cook's Country, though, has you make a homemade strawberry gelatin out of 2 pounds of strawberries, some sugar, and unflavored gelatin!!! Perfect. Another pound of sliced strawberries is stirred in and then the whole mixture gets poured into a prebaked pie crust. After it sits in the refrigerator for a few hours it gets firm enough to slice. It is soooooooooo good. I'm still having dreams of this pie. As you can tell, I'm not the only one who loved this pie!