Yield: about 4 to 5 dozen cookies
“Back to Baking”, pp. 32
It’s been a little while since I baked something from the cookbook. Something new, anyway. I am always looking for a little cookie or something to nibble on in the evenings, so I decided to make these blueberry oat cookies. I always tend to cut sliced cookies thicker than the recommended ¼-inch, I think because otherwise I feel like they are too thin and don’t really count as a snack. To be honest, I was not a fan of these cookies. Although the texture is nice, I found the flavour to be severely lacking and they were not nearly sweet enough. I am not a huge fan of dried fruits, and even though these blueberries were rehydrated, I don’t think that they brought a lot of flavour to the cookie. A bit disappointing when they are blueberry oat slices. I will of course finish eating them, but would not make them again.
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup icing sugar, sifted
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup regular rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the dried blueberries and let them soak for 15 minutes. Drain the blueberries and spread them out on a paper towel to dry.
- Beat together the butter, icing sugar and sugar until fluffy.
- Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix well to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Stir this into the butter mixture until incorporated.
- Stir in the rehydrated dried blueberries. Shape the dough into 3 logs of about 1 ½ inches in diameter, wrap each in plastic wrap, roll them to round out their shape and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
- Preheat the over to 350°F and line two baking trays with parchment paper. Slice the chilled dough into ¼-inch slices and arrange them on the prepared baking trays, leaving about one inch between them. You may need to bake several batches. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until they turn a light golden brown colour on the bottom.
Yield: about 18 mini tarts
“Back to Baking”, pp. 278
My boyfriend and I made these tarts for a friend’s birthday at work. He really likes coconut so we thought that this would be the perfect time to try a new recipe. Unfortunately, everything went wrong with this recipe. The crust was not working at all for us. When we mixed together all the ingredients, the crust was not crumbly at all and was just a dry mess. It would not stick together at all, so we had to improvise and add some (a lot!) honey and vegetable oil until the mixture would at least stick together a little bit. Pressing the graham crust into the mini muffin tins took much longer than expected, but that was not the least of our worries. The coconut filling also did not work out as expected. Although we followed everything exactly, the mixture was very liquid, similar to heavy cream. We simmered it for a longer period of time to try to get it to thicken and we let it cool down in the fridge for many more hours, but it barely thickened at the end. Sadly, these mini tarts looked very cute but did not taste good at all. The crust tasted strange and the filling did not taste like coconut much. We were very disappointed that this recipe didn’t work for us and I cannot think of anything that we may have done wrong! To be repeated.
- 1 recipe Key Lime Pie crust
- 1 can (398 mL) coconut milk
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin.
- Prepare the graham crust and press it into the bottom and sides of the muffin cups. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool to room temperature.
- Pour the coconut milk into a saucepot and scrape in the seeds of the vanilla bean (or stir in the vanilla bean paste).
- In a bowel, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk into the coconut milk, then turn the heat to medium and whisk until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens, about 6 minutes.
- Scrape the custard into a bowl, cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and allo to cool completely to room temperature.
- One cooled, spoon the coconut filling into the mini tart shells and top each with 3 blueberries. Chill for at least 2 hours in the muffin tin before taking them out to serve.
Yield: 18 muffins
“Back to Baking”, pp. 211
Along with cheesecake and carrot muffins, blueberry muffins are one of my favorite dessert foods. There are not a lot of things that I prefer over a good, warm out-of-the-oven classic blueberry muffin. If you enjoy blueberry muffins as much as I do, then do yourself a favour and try this recipe. Your tastebuds will thank me (and Anna!) later. They are, and this is a big statement, the best blueberry muffins I’ve had. Furthermore, in all the recipes that I have tried, this is the first time that I needed to add yogourt. What a difference it makes! The muffins are moist, tasty and almost of a creamy consistency. The yogourt gives them that distinct flavour that I was previously unable to identify in other muffins. Nothing else needs to be said about this incredible recipe from Chef Anna other than: success!
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain yogourt, such as 2 or 3% (not low-fat!)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest *
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two muffin pans with 16-18 muffin liners.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt to combine the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, yogourt, melted butter, orange zest* and vanilla extract with a hand or stand mixer until a homogenous mixture is obtained.
- Add the flour mixture and mix just until the ingredients are combined.
- Add the blueberries and gently fold them in with a spatula. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin liners and fill them to the top. Sprinkle the muffin tops with turbinado sugar.
- Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool down completely.
* Due to the bitter taste with last week’s banana nut bars, I omitted the orange zest in this recipe. Fortunately, the blueberry muffins tasted great nonetheless!