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.
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.
This morning we bought bunny shaped bread from Dubravica Bakery.
St. Joseph Feast Day March 19
You might remember another St. Joseph Feast Day post Carmela baked all of these breads
Macarons 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.
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
And this batch baked by Kristin in Florida whose husband says it tastes like his mother’s -baked in Germany
Thanks for sharing your photos with me and all my blog followers,
and here is a response to the to the Annual Lebkuchen Baking post of 2016
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
For the Recipe click Aunt Rhea’s Lebkuchen Recipe. She’ll celebrate her birthday Monday.
I mailed it to Aunt Rhea’s son, my cousin Chris.
I hope it tastes familiar. Love.
My wish is you get to Anchorage Alaska and taste Wildflour Bakery pies. Although I am back in the lower 48 today I have some more Alaska posts.
When visiting friends in Homer Alaska, we met some very nice people in their interesting home that our host had helped build.
The first thing they did was offer us pie and coffee. Who could resist?
Three types of apple pie. As we sampled a sliver of each type, we talked about the excellent flavor and crust (one gluten- free) and then I learned about the pie creator, Wildflour Bakery Owner Olivia Allen of Anchorage. Although I took a few photos of the pie (see below) I wanted to know more.
Meet bakery owner Olivia Allen- photograph by Julia Bevins, I asked Julia if she would like to be guest blogger! What a great photo.
Then I called Olivia. She returned my call just as we were entering our departing flight but emailed me more photos and information about Wildflour Bakery. Here is her blog link Look into the World See Olivia’s watercolor illustrations and follow her on Instagram Wildflour Bakery Handcrafted pies and galettes made with foraged wild berries, organic ingredients and lots of love 🌸
Wildflour Bakery uses locally sourced and foraged wild berries, herbs, flowers and backyard honey to craft beautiful and sweet treats with creative flair.
Each pie or galette is handcrafted with the intention of highlighting the Alaskan spirit of our wild spaces, near and far.
Beautifully photographed by Julia Bevins.
Gallery of photos below , sent to me by Olivia
Here are my pie photos so you see why I needed Olivia to send me some more.
And here is her artwork. I love the part about “serve generous slices.” Yes!!
We fairly well decimated the pies! You can see why I needed more photos to create this blog post as you look at my three photos I took at the kitchen table.
A few years ago I featured friend and pie judge Rob Bard.on National Pie Day. I know he would have enjoyed the pies.
Guest blogger Kristin used this old recipe from my mother’s recipe box.
I posted about my old Throwback Recipe Blog which I abandoned but 62 El Salvadorians found recently. No one else seems to be able to access it. I was able to screenshot the post of the Rhubarb Cake Recipe. I don’t even know who Beth Boettner is/was.
Rhubarb. You either love it or not.
Would vanilla ice cream or a bit of cream complement the taste? Hmmmmmm
Here’s the old blog address. Throwback Recipes Blog Let me know if you can get to it