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The Baltimore Bomb

I love Baltimore. I mean, it’s not the South, it’s not North Carolina, but it’s home (for now). This city stole our hearts while we were in school, and in the years that we’ve been here our love for the charming, quirky, a little bit crazy town has only grown. One of the things that we love the most is the incredible food culture. People here love food. Weird food. Unique food. Food that has Old Bay on it.

It seems like every week a new restaurant or food business opens that we’re clamoring to try. And it’s more than just good crab pretzels (though we have that). It’s beer bars with hundreds of beers to choose from, it’s places making mussels with garlic confit and duck fat fries. It’s places like Dangerously Delicious, a pie restaurant that features an array of fruit pies, savory pies, and knock-your-socks-off-decadent pies like the Baltimore Bomb.

The Baltimore Bomb is a combination of two of my favorite things- Berger cookies and chess. A Berger cookie is quintessentially Baltimore, a cake like cookie topped with a rich ganache. It’s beyond indulgent, so rich that you can only eat one. Or at least, I can only eat one. The Baltimore Bomb is chopped up Berger cookies topped with a vanilla chess. The end result is rich and sweet but also light and incredibly delicious. Or so my guests said, I could only eat a sliver.

Thanks, Dangerously Delicious, for bringing this amazing pie into our lives. We need more pie lovers like you in the world.

The Baltimore Bomb
Source: Dangerously Delicious Pies

pie crust:

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tbsp sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp shortening

3/4 stick butter

1/2 cup cold water

chess:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

5 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp flour

1/2 cup butter, melted

6 Berger cookies

To make your pie crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Use your hands to work in shortening. Cube butter and work that in until the texture is like course corn meal. Stir in water until dough comes together. Refrigerate at least one hour.

Roll your pie crust out and lay it in your pie dish. Quarter your cookies and place them in the dish. Heat oven to 350

Whisk together sugar, brown sugar, and flour. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add in butter. Pour over cookies.

Cook for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is mostly solid. A little jiggle is good, it will quickly firm up.

Let cool and enjoy!

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Love(ly) Mini Cakes

This week, two of our close friends got married. It was a beautiful ceremony, the reception was so much fun, and it was special to see two people we love making such an important promise to each other.  On Wednesday night I brought some treats over for the bride, Megan. I made a handful of little cakes and we drank pomegranate martinis, chatted, and squee-ed over the wedding details.  It was a lovely way to spend some time with Megan before the wedding weekend whirlwind was in full force.

I made eight “cakes” total, four red velvet and four vanilla. Essentially I made a sheet cake of each flavor and then used cookie cutters to create little miniature layers.  They were so cute, personal stacked layer cakes. Perfect for those that love a lot of icing. And because Aaron and Megan got married the same week as Valentine’s Day (and because weddings are full of, you know, love) I wanted to decorate the cakes with pretty red and pink details.  When I couldn’t find red sprinkles a friend recommended crushed hard candies, which were excellent! They were both the right color AND delicious.  So, a total win.

Congratulations Aaron and Megan! We love you!

Love(ly) Mini Cakes

white cake:

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 flour

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

red velvet cake:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

2 large eggs, room temperature

3 tbsp red food coloring

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp white vinegar

whipped cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp sugar

chocolate frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/4 cup milk 

Pink and red hard candies for decoration

Instructions: 

Start with your white cake. In your mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla, and then slowly add in flour, mixing all the while.  Finally, add in milk.  Oil and flour a baking sheet.  Pour batter into your pan and bake in a 350 oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to rack and let cool.

Next, cook your red velvet cake. Sift together dry ingredients.  In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix together wet ingredients.  Beat until combined with paddle attachment.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Oil and lightly powder your pans. Pour cake batter evenly between three cake pans.  Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked all the way through, rotating halfway. Transfer to racks and let cool.

For the red velvet cake, I made a whipped cream frosting.  To make this, simply whip heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. For the white cake I made a chocolate frosting. To make this, beat butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, one at a time, beating until smooth.

To make the cakes, use cookie cutters to cut out different shapes. I made four 2 layer circular cakes and four one layer heart shaped cakes. Ice between the layers of any cakes and coat the outside with icing. Then, using something hard, crush your hard candies and sprinkle them on top.

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The Cast Iron Chronicles: Part 5

Okay, so after our last super exciting installment I’m back with another boring me-sanding-in-my-living-room-watching-Criminal Minds post. After setting the pan on fire (on purpose), I had two things left to accomplish- I needed to make sure the last of the rust/carbon residue was scrubbed out, and I needed to clean the rust off the bottom of the pan (an area I’d mostly been ignoring). So I sat down with my sanding paper (coarse first, then fine) and set to work.

After about an hour of admiring Dr. Spencer Reed’s new haircut (circa Season 4), the pan was looking pretty incredible.  By this point all of the visible rust was gone and it looked like a raw but useable piece of cast iron equipment. It took me a few minutes to accept it, seeing as how I’ve been cracking at this beast for weeks I didn’t think I’d ever get to the point where I’d be ready to fry an egg in it.

And fry an egg I will, after a few additional steps. I rinsed out what had been sanded off and took to the pan with very hot water and a lot of soap. I know I always preach that soap and your cast iron are mortal enemies, and that is VERY TRUE, with one exception. Right before you reseason a pan a gentle soap can be a great help in ensuring that your pan is ready to use with food. I took a good long crack at the pan in the sink, scrubbing it until the cloth wiped clean.  The next step is to season it gently, which will be our next (and final) installment. And then the bacon, naturally.

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

 

p.s., It’s weird that I didn’t get a lecture from anyone about using the wrong amount of oil in the last post. I get nasty emails about so much less (coughgrammarcough). You guys have gotten soft.

p.p.s. That wasn’t an invitation to send me a lecture, thankskbye.

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