Cupcakes

Summer Baking

July 29, 2020

I know that summer baking seems counter intuitive, but for some reason I feel compelled to keep baking in the warmer months of the year. Keeping your home cool can be though enough without the oven adding to the heat. Plus, adding in heat-sensitive ingredients and humidity and you can have less than perfect baking results. Summer does bring wonderful seasonal ingredients like berries and stone fruits that should be missed.

Use your oven in the morning or evening. We all know that your oven can heat up your kitchen quickly. This is why I like to bake early in the morning or in the evening when the outside temperature is lower.

Choose recipes with shorter baking times. In keeping with minimizing the heat from your oven, look for baking recipes that don’t require lots of oven time. A simple cake or a pan of mini cupcakes will bake more quickly than a Bundt cake or even a pan of brownies. If you’re a cookie baker try baking a pan at a time to avoid having the oven on for all the time it takes to bake dozens of cookies. You can refrigerate the dough between batches or even freeze the dough to bake when your cookie cravings strike.

Refrigerate cookie dough and pie crusts. Speaking of cookie dough, keep in mind that a warmer kitchen will also make your cookie doughs warmer. If the butter in the dough begins to melt, you could end up with flat, tough cookies. You can try scooping and baking your cookies quickly, but if you refrigerate the dough before baking and between batches you will avoid these issues. This applies to pie crusts as well. It’s not unusual on a warm day to end up with a too warm, too soft pie crust once it’s rolled out, placed in the pan and the edges fluted. When this happens, just put the pie pan in your refrigerator for a bit to let it cool and rest.

Keep an eye on softening butter. With a warmer kitchen butter will soften faster. The warmer it is the faster butter will soften. If you’re using a recipe that contains softened butter, remember to check for softness sooner than normal to ensure that the butter doesn’t get too soft and affect the texture of your baked goods.

Humid days can definitely affect your baking. If you are baking something with a lot of liquid in it, then it may take longer to bake than usual. Keep an eye on whatever you’re baking and follow the recipe’s directions and your best judgement to check for doneness.
Fresh berries and stone fruits are one of summer’s gifts and it is nice to bake with them. There are so many easy ways to bake with summer fruit. A simple fruit crisp or cobbler is always a welcome treat on a summer day. They are also wonderful garnishes for many desserts like cheesecake and pound cake.

Frosting and heat generally don’t mix well. If you’ve made a cake or cupcakes that are frosted you may want to keep them in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve them. Bring them to room temperature before serving. Refrigerating these types of desserts isn’t a bad idea year-round, especially if the dessert won’t be eaten within a day or two.

No bake desserts may be the way to go. Skipping the oven time can still yield amazing desserts that are perfect for the season with their cool, creamy flavors, and textures. From ice cream to cheesecakes to pies and a whole lot more, you can find plenty of ways to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Support your local bakery. If you are lucky enough to have a great local bakery, take advantage of it. A simple pound cake can be turned into something special with just some fresh fruit and sweetened whipped cream. Brownies can be dressed up in a big way with a scoop of ice cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and a sprinkling of nuts. Your grocery store can help, too, with shortcut ingredients like puff pastry.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Cooking With Beer

March 18, 2020

Beer isn’t just for drinking. It’s also the secret ingredient in some of Tiny New York Kitchen’s favorite recipes, from stews to pasta sauce.

Depending on which brew you choose, you can add richness to stews and braises, a bright zing to sauces, and make baked goods extra tender and tasty. It’s great with chocolate. You can also pair it with your meals, just like wine, to make your dishes taste even better.

LAGER
Lager is the most popular beer for drinking. Smooth, light-bodied, and slightly floral, it goes with just about any dish, especially cheese. It’s also great to bake with. The bubbles in this beer add extra lightness and tenderness to all sorts of baked goods.

PILSNER
Clean, crisp, and slightly citrusy, this beer is refreshing on its own. Serve it with seafood or a simple tomato and basil pizza. Use it for quickly simmering shrimp because it won’t overwhelm the delicate, sweet flavor of the seafood.

STOUT
This rich dark beer has notes of coffee and caramel, great for sipping in colder weather. Pair it with heartier dishes like chili or steak and potatoes. In baking and cooking, stout makes chocolate cupcakes taste even more chocolaty and slow-cooked meats even richer.

AMBER ALE
You will know this beer by its reddish-brown color. It has a smooth, malty flavor that makes it a crowd-pleasing choice for your next party. Try this beer with grilled or roasted meats and barbecue. For cooking, it’s great in a glaze for pork or in a cheese sauce.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Cupcakes

September 5, 2019

Cupcakes are an adaptable fun treat that makes any occasion special.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Cupcakes

September 15, 2014

Once you lick the icing off a cupcake, it becomes a muffin. Muffins are healthy. You’re welcome!

Beach Barbecue Picnic

August 26, 2013

Picnic 4Beach Barbecue Picnic

Salt, spray, sea air, and warm sand underfoot are all the pleasant sensations of a day at the beach which stir cravings for good and hearty food.  A perfect refreshment is a traditional beach-blanket banquet, complete with charcoal-grilled corn on the cob.  You can prepare this picnic to feed a crowd or simply the family on any summertime trip to the beach.  For a small group, you may want to take only half of the salad and leave the rest at home for a midweek supper.

 

Menu

Potato Chips

Crunchy Egg Dip

Barbecued Hamburgers

French Rolls

Red Onion Slices

Tomato Slices

Lettuce

Barbecued Corn on the Cob

Mixed Bean & Artichoke Salad

Honey Applesauce Cupcakes

Beverages of Your Choice

 

Bake the cupcakes on the day of the picnic or bake them ahead of time and then freeze them.  If they are frozen then let them thaw to room temperature on the morning of the outing. Frost them after they have thawed (if you are frosting them).  Prepare the bean salad a day ahead and refrigerate it so the vegetables have time to marinate.  Hard-cook the eggs for the salad garnish and the egg dip at the same time.  On the morning of departure, slice the onions and tomatoes, and prepare the lettuce leaves; seal them in individual plastic bags or in small containers.  Then prepare the egg dip and get the corn ready.  Refrigerate the food that needs to be kept cold before packing it in the cooler.  Have ready one or more large bags of potato chips and enough hamburger patties and French rolls for your picnicking party.  You’ll also need a portable barbecue; potholders, a spatula, and tongs; and charcoal, charcoal starter, and fireplace matches.

 

Packing Your Picnic:  Place the chilled beverages in the bottom of a roomy cooler.  On top, pack the ears of corn and the egg dip.  Tuck in the parcels containing the hamburger patties, garnishes for the salad, hamburger condiments, and butter for the corn.  Carry all of the barbecue equipment in a sturdy box.  In a roomy basket, pack the unbreakable items first, including serving spoons for the salad, a bottle opener, salt and pepper, and a knife for the rolls (unless they’re presliced).  Fit in the cupcakes and the salad.  Place the rolls and potato chips on top.  For a sandy picnic, it’s always wise to carry extra paper plates, napkins, and pre-moistened towelettes.

 

At the Site:  Start the charcoal about half an hour before you want to begin cooking; wait until the coals turn gray before grilling the meat and corn.  Meanwhile, spread the blanket and let people nibble on potato chips and dip.  If your site is very sandy or some of your guests are quite young, you may prefer to wait until the hamburgers and corn are almost ready before you unpack the rest of the food.  Before serving the salad, stir it well; then garnish it with the egg slices, if desired, and artichokes.

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