Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Change your bookmarks!!!

After reading so many wonderful things about Wordpress, I decided to make the switch! You can now find me at!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Homemade Pizza Dough

Yes, it's so easy to just pick up the phone and order a pizza and that's ok on some nights, but making your own crust is very satisfying...and cheap. This is a recipe I recently came up with after attempting (and tweaking) lots of recipes. This one ended up with a perfect crispy thin crust. We topped our pizza with sauce and fresh mozzarella. There are tons of other toppings from which to choose. Just remember if you decide to put any veggies on, make sure to pre-cook them.

2 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups flour (I like to use half white and half whole wheat flour)
1 tbsp sugar (This acts as food for the yeast)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil (Plus a little more for the rising portion and also brushing of the crust)
Corn meal for dusting

Oven: 500 degrees to start

1- Dissolve yeast in the water- let sit for 5 mins to activate
2- Mix flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl
3- After 5 mins, make a small hole in the middle of the flour and add the yeast/water, as well as the oil
4- Mix until dough starts to come together. Once it comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 mins.
5- Put a small amount of olive oil in a small bowl, put the dough in the bowl, and coat with the oil. Cover dough with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm dry place for 1 hour.
6- After 1 hour, punch dough down to remove air pockets
7- Split dough into 2-4 pieces depending on the size pizzas you want.  I split my dough into two pizzas for two people and this was enough for 2 nights worth of dinner.
8 -Roll the dough into a circle (or rectangle or anything you want) on a lightly floured surface until about a quarter of an inch thick. Roll ends over and push them down to make a crust.
9- Place crusts on a cookie sheet or pizza stone. At this point, you can stretch the dough by hand if you want it a little thinner. Brush crust with olive oil. 
10- Bake in a 500 degree oven for about 10 mins or until slightly crispy. Pierce any air bubbles with a fork.
11- Remove pizzas from oven and at this point, put the sauce and any toppings you want on the pizza
12- Bake pizza in a 450 degree oven until cheese is melted and desired crispiness is attained

Friday, October 22, 2010

Maple Cookies

 My mom was in the city the other day and we went to my new favorite store: Fishs Eddy. They have the coolest plates, bakeware, and cookware. They also have lots of cookie cutters and I don't have any. I wanted to make maple cookies for the fall and thought it would be fun to cut them into squirrels and leaves. The leaves look a little more like Christmas trees when held upright like in the picture below, but I like to think they're leaves. 

When making this recipe I used pure Grade A maple syrup. There's some debate as to whether or not you should use Grade A or Grade B and, after making these cookies, I have to say Grade B is the way to go. Grade B is mostly used for cooking and baking because it has a very strong maple flavor and a darker color. I had Grade A on hand so the cookies have a very subtle maple flavor even though I brushed them with additional maple syrup after baking. Next time I will definitely go with Grade B and trim down the amount added to the recipe by a little bit.
This recipe is adapted from one I found on Martha Stewart's website. I'm reading this book called BakeWise right now by Shirley O. Corriher and am learning about different ingredients and what constitutes a good recipe, so I will be doing more and more adapting in the future. For right now, though, I pretty much stuck to the ingredients and amounts listed, but changed up the method a little bit. Oh and I definitely suggest cutting the recipe in half because the cookies only hold for up to 2 days.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup maple syrup (preferably grade A)- They suggest A, but B will give a more pronounced flavor
More sugar for dusting


1- Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl
2- Beat butter, granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes
3- Reduce speed to medium-low, and add yolk, then 1/2 cup maple syrup, beating well after each addition
4- Add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated
5- Shape into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days)
6- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
7- Roll out 1 disk of dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on baking sheet. Freeze until firm (It's important to freeze because this makes the dough easier to handle)
8- Spray baking sheets with non-stick spray
9- Remove dough from freezer and cut shapes. Roll and cut scraps one time more. Any leftover scraps can be made into circular cookies
10- Bake until edges turn brown (about 10 mins). While first batch are in the oven, repeat steps 7-9 with second disk
11- Remove cookies from oven and let cool on a wire rack before brushing with maple syrup and dusting with sugar.

You can find this and other recipes at: Maple Leaf Cookies - Martha Stewart Recipes