Tag Archives: flour

Cream Puffs

Cream puff with vanilla pudding fillingTeaching high school  takes a lot of planning, but there are times that I do things on the spur of the moment that really add alot to the class.  This is one of them. Today the students took a test and we started a new unit.  I thought we needed something a little more interesting.  This demo only took about 15 minutes of class time.  While they were cooking the students took their test.

I have been making cream puffs since college.  As a freshman I worked  for the Family and Consumer Science Department Head.  I thought I would be typing,  grading essays that kind of thing, but that was not always the case.  Thank goodness I loved to cook.  She was in charge of every event that involved food.  Not sit down meals, but everything else. 

I left there knowing how to make every kind of cookie, sandwich, cheese straw, punch,  and candy recipe.  I loved it!  It was so much fun and I  learned a lot. 

Here is one of the recipes that I made. 

Cream puffs are very easy to make and will impress all your guests. You can fill them with pudding.  I recommend you make it from scratch.  It is much better than the instant that I used today, because of lack of time. Sweetened whipped cream would be an excellent choice, too. Let’s don’t leave out ICE CREAM.  You could use that as a filling, too.

Since  I am not a dessert person  filling  them with chicken or a seafood salad would be a hit.  Or you could go all out and double the recipe and make one savory and one sweet.  Whatever way you choose everyone is going to be impressed with your cooking skills.    

My students now want to make these in class, but we don’t have time.  We have to move on to  more healthy choices.  FRUITS and VEGETABLES

Here is the basic recipe that is found in every cookbook.  Use your imagination and enjoy cooking!

Cream Puffs

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 – 425 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, heat water and margarine to boiling. Take off heat add flour and salt all at once.  Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of pan in a smooth compact ball.  Let mixture cool slightly.  Stirring will help to cool the mixture quicker.  Be careful not to add your eggs too soon or you will have scrambled eggs.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.   Make 6 very large cream puffs or use a tablespoon and make 20 snack size. ( In the picture are snack size).

You can pipe these from a pastry tube using a large fluted tip.

Bake small cream puffs for about 30 minutes.  Bake large ones for about 40 minutes.

Doneness is important.  They will collapse if they are underbaked.  ( That question was on our test today) To fill them slice the top third and remove the uncooked dough if there is any.  Now you will be able to fill the Cream Puff.  When you finish just replace the top.

They should be filled as close to serving time as possible to preserve their crispness.

Unfilled they can be frozen for 3 months.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under Brunch, Cooking, Cream Puffs, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

Cheese Biscuits – Quick Bread Lab

Almost perfect!!!

Almost perfect!!!

I love teaching!! No, I mean I really LOVE teaching! Today anyway. It makes my day when my students come into the classroom and can’t wait for me to call the roll because they are so eager to get busy with their assignment . There has to be a reason for this other than the fact that they are all starving.

I read something on Monday when I attended the Leonardo DiVinci exhibit that could be the reason for the eagerness . Di Vinci said, ” Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” Could it be a spark of passion here that has created this excitement? I hope so.

 Cheese biscuits are the last of our quick bread labs and we go out with a perfect 10. As you look at the pictures you can see they did great! One group put the cheese in at the wrong time, but recovered very well. They learned from the first time not to add too much flour and surprisingly they were very good . We had a couple of equipment malfunctions. One oven was turned off by mistake and another did not heat properly.

 I now feel as if our lab is  a small reproduction of ” Top Chef” , because there is so much competition between the groups to be at the top of the post. It is quite comical. You would think that I am giving out money as an award. Competition is good, but I have to think of a way to tone this down before it ruins some friendships.

How do you prepare these little cheesy morsels? Check out Making Biscuits From Scratch and make one little change. Grate 1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and add after cutting in the shortening.

Some information about grating cheese:

  • Use a food processor
  • Go ahead and grate a lot of it at one time
  • Freeze what you don’t use

 You might ask why not save time and use pre-grated cheese? I am not totally against it but, it is dry and not as flavorful. It is more expensive, too.

 Okay I have to get to the gym . I ate more than my usual taste of each biscuit today. They were just sooo good that I could not resist. Hopefully I can STEP some of these calories off before they attach to my body as fat.

Enjoy the Bake-off pictures!

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

Very Good

Very Good

12 Comments

Filed under Biscuits, Brunch, Cheese, Cooking, easy, quick, Recipes

Cinnamon Rolls

 

Awesome Group Work!

Awesome Group Work!

The smell of warm cinnamon rolls permeated the halls of our school today.  You can imagine how many visitors I had popping their heads or their bodies into my classroom to find out what we were cooking that smelled so delicious.  This was the second time for my chicklets to use biscuit dough.   They did very well.   You can try these for yourself if you are in the mood for cinnamon rolls and do not have the time to make the yeast roll variety.  These can be rolled out and cut in less than 15 minutes.  Can’t you just taste  them now along with a hot cup of coffee for breakfast?    Come on, if you can make biscuit dough you can make these easily.

How do you make these wonderful rolls?  Well, if you have mastered my post “Making Biscuits From Scratch”  you can do this.  After rolling out the dough into a rectangle a little smaller than a 9 x 13 inch pan, spread 1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Here is a photo.

Rolled dough with cinnamon and sugar

Rolled dough with cinnamon and sugar

  • Starting on the long side of the dough roll the dough up tightly. 
  •  Pinch the dough together when you get to the end. 
  • This dough is very forgiving.  If it sticks to the wax paper just take a straight edge spatula and push the dough toward the roll.  Pinch holes that you might make together.   
  • The diameter of the roll should be the same from end to end. Push the ends toward the middle to shorten the roll.  This should help with the diameter.
Roll dough jellyroll style

Roll dough jellyroll style

Now here is a trick I learned from some cookbook.  Use dental floss to cut the dough.  Pull off about 10 inches and hold the floss the same way you would when flossing teeth.  Place the floss under the dough and pull together quickly to cut.  This will keep your rolls nice and round.  See the photo.

Place floss under the dough and pull to middle

Place floss under the dough and pull to middle

Cutting through the dough

Cutting through the dough

Place in a 9×13 inch lightly greased pan.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Place in pan to bake

Place in pan to bake

When you take them out of the oven ice them with a heaping cup of powdered sugar mixed with just enough milk for the correct consistency.  Usually it takes about 1-2 tablespoons.  You can flavor with vanilla, lemon, orange, or almond flavoring.  Serve hot.

Here is what we cooked up today.  You take a look while I head to the gym after tasting 12 of these wonderful little things!!

These were very good!

These were very good!

You are all sweethearts!

You are all sweethearts!

These are bakery style!

These are bakery style!

I love your group effort!

I love your group effort!

Very Good! Where's the Bacon?

Very Good!

Strawberry icing was fantastic!!!!

Strawberry icing was fantastic!!!!

Excellent work!

Excellent work!

Tasted very good!

Tasted very good!

Great!  Where is the bacon?

Great! Where is the bacon?

Picture Perfect!

Picture Perfect!

What a pan of rolls!!!

What a pan of rolls!!!

Happy cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls, Cooking, easy, quick, Recipes

BISCUITS Made from Scratch

WOW!

WOW!

Biscuits made from scratch are in most households a lost art.  I teach that skill for many reasons.  Homemade biscuits are good, better than canned and frozen ones.  They are cheap to make.  You can put them together in no time.  They are versatile.  And most importantly it makes you feel good about yourself when someone says ” You made this?  WOW ! I am impressed. ”  So today my students were given the task of making homemade biscuits and surprisingly they did very well.  This is not the easiest thing to do if you have never handled biscuit dough before.  It is hard to judge how much milk to add and how many times to knead the dough.  Usually there will be one disaster out the classes , but not today.  They all did pretty well.  I will have to brag on second block.  They were all super.

So how do you put these things together.  Really it is quite easy and very quick.  It just may take a few times to get the knack of it.  My first biscuits were not edible so there is hope!!   Always use WHITE LILY self rising flour and CRISCO.  I am not advertising for White Lily flour, but this is the only kind that works for me.  I use the recipe that is on the package.  You cannot go wrong.

  • 2 cups of White Lily self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup Crisco
  • 2/3 cup – 3/4 cup milk

 

Using a pastry blender cut shortening in flour

Using a pastry blender cut shortening in flour

 

Using a pastry blender cut Crisco into flour until it is about the size of small peas.  This makes the biscuits tender and flaky.

Add milk and stir with a fork

Add milk and stir with a fork

Do not add all the milk at once.  The amount to humidity in the air will determine  the milk you will need.  The dough should be stirred with a fork and it should pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Pour on wax paper with flour.  Sprinkle a little flour on top to keep it from being sticky and put flour on your hands.  Knead the dough for 4 to 6 times.  The dough should be smooth and spongy. These two things are important when making biscuits :  1.  Do not handle the dough too much and 2.  Do not add too much flour when kneading.  Flatten out with your hands to a thickness of 1/2 inch and cut out with a biscuit cutter or something with an open end that will not trap air and cut smoothly.   

Cutting out biscuits

Cutting out biscuits

Place the biscuits flour side in the bottom of a slightly greased pan. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 min. 

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

That’s all there is to it.  Just give it a try.  Then practice and then practice again.   Now here are the results of today’s bake off!!

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Filed under Biscuits, Cooking, Recipes

MEASURING INGREDIENTS

OK THIS COULD BE A BORING SUBJECT.   But it is necessary to those who have never stepped foot into the kitchen.   Believe me I have seen almost every kind of mistake that can be made by measuring incorrectly.  So I am giving you the basics here.

Measuring can make or break a recipe especially when baking.  Even a small ingredient such as salt  makes a big difference.  On the other hand if your are making spaghetti sauce  or something similar you can vary amounts of ingredients or leave some out all together and the sauce will still be tasty.

Measuring Liquids  – Liquid measuring cups come in various sizes. They should be glass or plastic with a pouring spout.   For those who have never measured ingredients pay attention to this small detail, when measuring 1/2 cup of a liquid do not measure it in a 4 cup measure.  The smallest amount you can measure is 1 cup.  Measure liquids at eye level.  Don’t measure liquids in a dry measuring cup!!

 

Measuring Flour

  • Use dry measuring cups
  • Sift if necessary or stir to add air if packed
  • Spoon lightly into a measuring cup
  • Level with a straight edge
  • Do not scoop flour out with the measuring cup or measuring spoon. You will almost  DOUBLE the flour you need. 

Wax paper is a great to use  on the counter when measuring because you can pour the leftovers back into the canister. 

Powdered sugar should be measured same as flour.

Brown sugar should be packed into a dry measure.

Use measuring spoons for small amounts of ingredients and level.

Shortening can be measured in two ways:

  • Pack into a dry measuring cup
  • Water Displacement method:  if you need 1/2 cup shortening measure 1/2 cup cold water and add shortening until the water level is 1 cup.  Keep shortening under water by pushing in to stick to bottom or side. Drain water.

Remember that measuring correctly is the key to great baking!!

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under Cooking, Recipes