Wednesday, October 31, 2012
There is something you all should know; we don’t celebrate Halloween. There is no costume creating or costume buying around here. But, we do buy and eat candies, many, many candies!
One thing that does happen every year around Halloween is my niece’s birthday. This year she wanted to celebrate it Twilight Style and celebrate she did. Her mom managed to decorate the party area beautifully or better yet, bloody! I had cupcake duty. Pretty easy, I think, specially when she already knew what she wanted and just asked me for it. A chocolate cupcake with white frosting and blood dripping from it. Creepy and tasty!
For all of those that do celebrate Halloween, be safe outside and enjoy your candies!
For my niece, Happy Birthday girly girl!
Saturday, October 27, 2012
When I read Beka’s story and learned more about Crohn’s disease and Colitis (a desease that Beka has, just like many other people) I couldn’t help myself to want to know more about her and even wish to be able to meet her in person! Crohn’s disease and Colitis both belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). What made me the saddest is that there is no cure.
What drew me the most towards Beka (even without personally knowing her) is the way Megan talks about her. She describes Beka as an upbeat, taking over the world kinda gal and I admire that in a woman. Strong (stronger while battling a disease), beautiful, empowering woman! She ran her first 5K this year and desires to keep on running to help others.
Beka learned that while she ran and trained for a marathon the symptoms of her condition where being suppressed and that moved her more towards running. Now, she is running for a wonderful cause. Another reason to admire Beka! Beka is running her first half marathon to benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. The money raised by the TeamChallenge for the CCFA goes to research and funding Camp Oasis, a camp for kids with Crohn’s and Colitis.
I have two little girls and learning that children are suffering this disease, just broke my heart. Camp Oasis is a place for kids with Crohn’s disease. A place where they get to be around other kids like themselves (with the same disease). The camp has a team of professional people that takes great care of the kids and are aware of all the symptoms that the condition encounters.
When Megan from Country Clever spread the word about a Bake Sale to help Beka raise the money she needed to participate in the race, raise money for the cure and help send more deserving kids to this wonderful camp; I raised my hand, joined in and started to bake!!!
I’m baking Pumpkin Spice Scones! Very appropriate for the season!
Pumpkin Spice Scones
(adapted King Arthur Flour)
2 3/4 cups Flour (all purpose)
1/3 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
2/3 cup Canned Pumpkin
1/2 cup Butter (cold)
1 cup Cinnamon Chips (or crystallized ginger)
Coarse sugar or Sugar Glaze
Sugar Glaze: mix 2 cups Powder Sugar with 2 1/2 tablespoon of Milk.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
Mix the pumpkin and eggs into a separate bowl (until smooth) and set aside.
Work the butter in the flour mixture just until it has a crumbly texture.
Stir in the cinnamon chips, (you can substitute with crystallized ginger if desired).
Add the pumpkin/egg to the dry ingredients and stir until all is incorporated and holds together.
Toss the mixture in the middle of the pan and make a round shape. Brush with milk, if you are using the coarse sugar this is when you added to the scones.
Using a knife slice each circle into the wedges desired, (I usually make 8 wedges).
Carefully pull the wedges away from the center, (to separate them just a bit).
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
I you are topping them with a sugar glaze, let the scones cool first. Then glaze them.
How does this online bake sale work? Great question: on October 28 & 29th head over at Country Cleaver and once you are there bid on fantastic baked goods and over the top items from amazing companies. Look for our wonderful Pumpkin Spice Scones, make your bid and I’ll be sending them to the proud owner. Another great step you can do to help out (after you make your bid) is to spread the word and help Beka raise money for Camp Oasis!
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
While in my teen years we moved to Puerto Rico, (from Boston). My parents wanted to take us back to the family roots and grow up closer to the family. About a year after living there I got a job at my cousins bakery. It was a nice after school job. The variety of desserts was outstanding. Flancocho is one of those desserts you can easily find in any bakery in Puerto Rico.
Flancocho is a combination of flan (custard) and cake (traditionally vanilla cake). It was my husbands favorite sweet and he asked for it every time he went by the bakery. Actually, that is where we meat! So you see why I’m sharing this recipe with you? It’s a recipe that touches my heart.
Cream Cheese Flancocho
(My Sweet Zepol, original recipe)
4 Eggs (room temperature)
8 oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Condensed Milk
1 box Vanilla Cake Mix (follow cake instructions)
for the caramel
1 cup Sugar
3 tablespoon Water
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
Mix eggs, cream cheese, vanilla, evaporated milk and condensed milk until creamy.Set aside.
Prepare the cake mix following the box instructions. Set aside.
To prepare the caramel. Heat the sugar and water in medium heat. Stirring at all time until it has a nice amber color. Then transfer the caramel to a 10 inch round pan.
Add the flan mixture over the caramel. Then add the cake mixture over the flan mixture. The cake mixture will float over the flan mixture, it’s like magic.
Bake on a water bath.
Bake for 50 minutes (it may vary from oven to oven), to make sure the Flancocho is completely done insert a toothpick in the middle and if done it will come out clean.
Once baked let stand until it reaches room temperature. Loosen the sides and invert over a big plate.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.