Pizzelle Perfect

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Baked in Bloomfield ( using a special pizzelle iron)

Maria Merante – Celebrating all things Italian since 1983

Anise or vanilla?  They are delicate and delicious.

 

Polish Pottery Holds Warm Blueberry Muffins

My friend J in Florida sent the blue star studded Polish pottery dish for my Fourth of July birthday.

My friend J in Pittsburgh baked blueberry muffins Sunday morning and brought them to my front porch to go with scrambled eggs.

My friend V will wonder what happened to my plan to post a whole week of bridges.

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Maria Bakes Peach Cookies

Maybe you’ve been to a celebration and seen the fancy cookies that look exactly like a peach?

Meet Maria Costa.  If you live in Pittsburgh and need alterations on just about any fabric or piece clothing,upholstery or some throw pillows to match your couch, Maria is a seamstress.

But on Thursday she was baking peach cookies for her grandson’s First Holy Communion.

The first step.  Another day she’ll be cooking a vanilla pudding and filling the two halves of a ” peach”,  “gluing” them together with a finger of the filling spread on the bottoms and rolling the joined cookies in Peach Schnapps and then granulated sugar. She might add a leaf or two but no pretend stem as someone once choked on one. (Survived)

I was picking up my friend Barb to go to the art store and she asked if I could pick her up at Maria’s home instead of her house. I thought I was just picking her up.  Turns out Barb and Maria been baking all morning and Barb was taking good notes.  I was thrilled to smell the tempting baking aroma and see part of the process of the baking of the peach cookies.

They’d spent the morning baking. The dough used fifteen eggs as she thought they were on the small side but the recipe calls for a dozen!

I saw the giant wooden spoon she used to make the stiff dough. Mixers have been broken previously.

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Another day Maria will cook the filling and put the two hard halves of the peach together.  Roll them in Peach Schnappes( a hint of rosy food coloring added) and then confectioner’s sugar.  Each “peach” will rest in a pretty pleated cupcake paper on a platter.

Maria showed us the seedlings starting in her backyard garden.  Her fig tree.

Maria pointed out the province where she’s from- Calabria- Vibo Valentia   Italy

I hope I get invited with my friend to see the rest of the process in making the fancy peach cookies.  It was really nice to be welcomed into her kitchen.  The heart of her home.

St. Joseph at St. Michael in St. Augustine

St. Joseph Feast Day March 19     IMG_3592

 

You might remember another St. Joseph Feast Day post  Carmela baked all of these breads

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 NPR story about zeppoles (pastry) – Providence Rhode Island at LaSalle Bakery

and click to read a collection of St. Joseph Day recipes at the New York Times

Macarons – First Attempt

img_3045img_3047Macarons go for about $2.50 apiece at the French bakery. Martha Stewart said you could bake them at home for about 18 cents apiece.  My friend V did some quick calculations in my kitchen and seems it’s more like 50 cents each

I’ve watched a video several times, purchased the best ingredients, and splurged for a baking mat with perfect circles embossed in the material. (Not factoring the equipment into the cost.)

Here’s the result.  Some of the macarons seemed a bit chewy. Did I underbake  them? Was the humidity a factor? Did I whip the egg whites correctly? Did I fold the dry ingredients sufficiently? I let them sit before I put them into the oven. Perhaps I used too much batter on each circle as the seemed to puff up like white mushrooms.  I will watch another video I found The Science of Macarons. If you have made them before please share any tips.

I got the ganache right. Had to put it over hot water after awhile as it firmed up, though.

I found another recipe to try next batch.

 

 

Friends in Florida AND Massachusetts Bake Aunt Rhea’s Lebkuchen

Aunt Rhea’s Lebkuchen recipe  and this recipe was handed down from her mother’s father. (So from the 1800’s)

A double guest blog today!

This evening I heard from two dear friends.we met at Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1975. (Both were Army midwives -now retired, one delivered my son Mark in 1976)

Baked by Linda in Massachusetts – used light brown sugar she had on hand and it came out fine

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And this batch baked by Kristin in Florida whose husband says it tastes like his mother’s -baked in Germany

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Thanks for sharing your photos with me and all my blog followers,

Love,

Ruth

P.S.

and here is a response to the to the Annual Lebkuchen Baking post of 2016

Ruth,

My lebkuchen recipe is really a lot different….has honey and a bit of baking soda and is rolled into rectangle cookies. Then the icing has lemon juice and grated lemon peel. I think I’ll try your recipe along with mine this year. Oh, mine has chopped blanched almonds along with the chopped fruit. Different part of Germany, probably. Mine is from Bamberg and Wurzburg area. Pat Kelly