Eccles Cakes

Thanks to Stoves for sponsoring this post If you haven’t lived in the UK, you might not know what an Eccles cake is. They are a very traditional bake, made up of a filling of currants & spices encased in flaky pastry. The name comes from the town of Eccles which is near Manchester. They’re very moreish and go extremely well with a cup of tea, of course. You can eat them warm from the oven or at room temperature. Stoves, began as a manufacturer of gas heaters when founded in 1920 on valentine’s day! They moved on to make gas cookers and eventually range cookers which they are still a leading manufacturer of in the UK today.  To celebrate Stoves’ landmark 100th year, I was tasked with making a recipe from a 1920s cookbook. Although there were many classic pastries in the book, the Eccles cakes were something I had always wanted to make so I settled on that recipe. The ingredients are quite basic, a lovely buttery flaky pastry is made, rolled out and cut into disks. A filling of currants, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and sugar is stirred together and spooned onto each circle. The edges […]

The post Eccles Cakes appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

Thanks to Stoves for sponsoring this post

If you haven’t lived in the UK, you might not know what an Eccles cake is. They are a very traditional bake, made up of a filling of currants & spices encased in flaky pastry. The name comes from the town of Eccles which is near Manchester. They’re very moreish and go extremely well with a cup of tea, of course. You can eat them warm from the oven or at room temperature.

Stoves, began as a manufacturer of gas heaters when founded in 1920 on valentine’s day! They moved on to make gas cookers and eventually range cookers which they are still a leading manufacturer of in the UK today.  To celebrate Stoves’ landmark 100th year, I was tasked with making a recipe from a 1920s cookbook. Although there were many classic pastries in the book, the Eccles cakes were something I had always wanted to make so I settled on that recipe.

The ingredients are quite basic, a lovely buttery flaky pastry is made, rolled out and cut into disks. A filling of currants, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and sugar is stirred together and spooned onto each circle. The edges of the circle are gathered at the top and pinched together to seal the filling within a layer of pastry.

These are little pastries, similar in size to a cookie, as they are quite rich from all the butter & dried fruit! This batch makes quite a few Eccles cakes, and although they’ll keep well for ~5 days in a sealed container, you can also freeze them if needed.

Although it is traditional to use lard in flaky pastry (in place of all or some of the butter), I go for all-butter. So yes, these Eccles cakes are vegetarian, but some that you might buy from traditional bakeries will contain lard.

Eccles Cakes

Eccles Cakes

Yield: 20-22
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Flaky pastry:

  • 226g (2 cups minus 2 tbsp) white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • 170g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 70ml (1/4 cup + 2 tsp) very cold water

Currant filling:

  • 120g (3/4 cup) currants (or raisins)
  • 40g (1/4 cup) chopped mixed peel
  • 40g (3 tbsp) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 40g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Demerara sugar (raw sugar), for sprinkling

Instructions

For the pastry:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub in with a pastry blender/a pair of butter knives/your fingertips until the majority of the mixture has a breadcrumb-like texture with some pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. (If you have a food processor or stand mixer with paddle attachment, you can also do this step in there, pulsing to combine until you reach the consistency mentioned).
  2. At this stage, drizzle in the cold water and gently toss to combine. Give it a bit of a knead in the bowl until the dough starts to come together then tip the shaggy mass out onto your work surface. (Again, if doing this in a food processor/stand mixer, just pulse until the mixture starts to come together then tip out).
  3. Gather the mixture into a mound and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a smallish rectangle. It will likely seem very messy and might stick to the rolling pin, this is fine! Just scrape any dough off the rolling pin and add back to the rectangle. Fold the rectangle into thirds like a business letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees then roll out into a rectangle again. Fold into thirds again. Then use your hands to press down to compact it into a nice little package.
  4. Wrap in a resealable sandwich bag and chill for at least 1 hour.

For the filling:

  1. Mix the currants, mixed peel, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir to combine then pour over the melted butter. Stir again to incorporate and set aside.

Roll out and shape:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C fan (400°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and from the sandwich bag. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface, dusting with flour on top as needed to prevent the dough sticking to the rolling pin. Also make sure you’re checking underneath the dough as you do this by gently lifting the edges up and dusting flour underneath as needed to prevent it sticking to the work surface. The dough should be about 3 to 4mm thick.
  3. Use a 4-inch (10cm)round cutter to cut circles from the dough. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the centre of each circle. Wet the edges of the circle with a fingertip dipped in some water. Gather the edges up at the top and pinch together to seal the filling within. Flip over so the seam side is underneath and place onto a lined baking tray. Repeat with all the circles, re-rolling pastry scraps as needed until you’ve used all the filling/pastry.
  4. Cut 3 slits into the top of each Eccles cake with a sharp knife. Brush with the beaten egg and then sprinkle with some demerara sugar.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20minutes until well browned.


The post Eccles Cakes appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Easy Sushi Rolls

Learn how to make sushi rolls (maki rolls) with this easy homemade sushi recipe.  The fillings and toppings here are 100% up to you, so choose whichever ingredients you love best! Guys, have you ever tried making homemade sushi rolls? ♡ It’s actually much easier than you might think.  And of course, the best part […]

Learn how to make sushi rolls (maki rolls) with this easy homemade sushi recipe.  The fillings and toppings here are 100% up to you, so choose whichever ingredients you love best!

Guys, have you ever tried making homemade sushi rolls? ♡

It’s actually much easier than you might think.  And of course, the best part of making your own sushi rolls is that you get to decide exactly what goes in them.  Yyyyyum.

Since all of our favorite sushi restaurants have been closed these past three months, Barclay and I have gotten in a rhythm of making ourselves a big batch of homemade maki rolls here once a week.  (Sushi Sundays!)  And I have to say — it has been so fun!  We prefer to keep things super no-frills around here, and usually just make our sushi with a few simple fillings plus a drizzle of spicy mayo.  But holy yum, these simple rolls have totally satisfied our sushi cravings during these weeks of staying at home.  And now that we have our assembly-line routine down, the two of us have found that we can make a big batch in just 30 minutes or so.  Not bad!

Now I will be the first to admit that our techniques for making maki rolls are not 100% authentic or traditional.  But that’s kind of the point — we just use the equipment that we already have and keep our ingredient list super-minimal, and this recipe works really well for us!  And best of all, it yields so much delicious sushi. ♡♡♡

So if you are also missing your favorite restaurant sushi right now, I thought I would offer a quick tutorial on how we make homemade sushi here in our house!  This recipe itself is not hard, but it does require a bit of extra time to prep all of those ingredients and make the maki rolls.  If you have a buddy (or in my case, a very enthusiastic sushi-loving husband) in the kitchen to help, the process can go much faster.  But however you make them, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly, easily and affordably you can make your very own homemade maki rolls.  Plus, it’s just fun!

Here’s everything you need to know…

(more…)

Taco Seasoning

This DIY taco seasoning recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and works great as a seasoning on everything from tacos to veggies, meat, seafood, rice, beans, soups, salads and more. Getting ready to make a recipe that calls for taco seasoning, but don’t have a jar on hand? No worries — just mix […]

This DIY taco seasoning recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and works great as a seasoning on everything from tacos to veggies, meat, seafood, rice, beans, soups, salads and more.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Getting ready to make a recipe that calls for taco seasoning, but don’t have a jar on hand?

No worries — just mix up a quick batch of this homemade taco seasoning! ♡

All you need is a handful of spices that you likely already have in your pantry.  Simply whisk them all together, store in a sealed spice jar, and use whenever you are ready!

This homemade taco seasoning is — of course — fantastic when used to season the meat, seafood, veggies or beans in your favorite taco recipe.  But don’t forget that it can also be used a million other ways as well!  I’m especially partial to using taco seasoning to flavor Mexican rice or a side of black beans.  It works great as a rub for steak, chicken, fish or shrimp, especially during summertime grilling season.  I also often sprinkle it in soups or add it to a vinaigrette when I’m craving a zesty salad.  And if you’re feeling adventurous — trust me on this one — it’s actually surprisingly delicious when sprinkled on popcorn too!

However you use it, this homemade taco seasoning recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket.  So go raid your spice drawer, and let’s make a quick batch together!

(more…)

How To Cook Farro

My favorite method for how to cook farro!  Plus tips for how to toast and season farro, how to freeze farro, and a collection of my favorite easy farro recipes. Our series on pantry staples continues today with my all-time favorite whole grain — farro! Guys, are you already doing lots of cooking with farro?  […]

My favorite method for how to cook farro!  Plus tips for how to toast and season farro, how to freeze farro, and a collection of my favorite easy farro recipes.

How To Cook Farro

Our series on pantry staples continues today with my all-time favorite whole grain — farro!

Guys, are you already doing lots of cooking with farro?  If not, I sincerely can’t recommend it enough.  Farro has long been a staple in my pantry and one of my favorite whole grains to toss into soups, salads, grain bowls, stuffed peppers, fried “farro” rice, risottos, porriges, and so much more.

I’m especially partial to farro because of its oh-so-satisfyingly chewy texture and toasty, nutty flavor.  But I also really love that this whole grain is packed with nutrients, including lots of fiber and protein, plus a generous serving of vitamins and minerals.  It’s easy to substitute farro in any of your favorite recipes that call for rice, quinoa or other grains.  It’s quick and easy to cook, and also keeps well in the refrigerator or the freezer.  And if you happen to have an Instant Pot at home, you can also pressure cook it too!

Seriously, there are so many good reasons to incorporate this whole grain into your diet.  So here are all of my best tips on how to cook farro — including various options for how to season it, if you would like — as well as some of my favorite farro recipes to give you some inspiration.

Let’s cook some farro! ♡

(more…)

How To Cook Quinoa

The best method I’ve found for how to cook quinoa!  Plus tips for how to toast and season quinoa, how to freeze quinoa, and a collection of my favorite easy quinoa recipes. For too many years, I cooked my quinoa the way that everyone else on the internet seemed to recommend it — with a […]

The best method I’ve found for how to cook quinoa!  Plus tips for how to toast and season quinoa, how to freeze quinoa, and a collection of my favorite easy quinoa recipes.

How To Cook Quinoa

For too many years, I cooked my quinoa the way that everyone else on the internet seemed to recommend it — with a 1:2 quinoa to water ratio, simmered with the lid on, then drained and briefly steamed.  And for too many years, I found myself dealing with unpredictable and far-too-often mushy batches of quinoa — which simply will not do!  I tried experimenting with the amount of water, I tried cooking my quinoa both covered and uncovered, and I tried a dozen other ideas that the internet recommended.  But still, I couldn’t quite seem to figure out the elusive formula for consistently perfect light and fluffy quinoa.

Enter Bon Appetit. ♡

About a year ago, I happened upon an article from their Basically team for how to cook quinoa and popular grains “perfectly, every time.”  I was officially intrigued, and dove in ready to memorize yet a new round of ratios and cooking instructions.  But as it turns out, their solution was incredibly simple — just cook quinoa like pasta!

It’s as easy as it sounds and it actually works.  Simply bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the quinoa and cook until it is perfectly tender, drain and let the quinoa steam for a few minutes, then enjoy!  No more crossing your fingers that the quinoa will be perfectly cooked, no more overly-dry or overly-mushy quinoa, no more having to memorize different ratios for differently-sized batches.  All you’ll need is a fine-mesh strainer to drain the quinoa once it has been cooked, and you’re ready to go.  Brilliant.

If you are interested in boosting the flavor of your quinoa, I have also included a bunch of different options below for various aromatics you can add to the water.  (Or if you have an extra 3 minutes, I highly recommend toasting the dry quinoa before it is cooked.)  Plus, I’ve also included lots of tips for how to store or freeze quinoa, as well as lots of my favorite easy quinoa recipes to put this superfood to delicious use.

Alright friends, let’s make some perfectly-cooked quinoa!

(more…)

How To Freeze Cookie Dough

How to freeze cookie dough — either in individual dough balls, larger dough disks, or in cut-out dough shapes. Plus tips for which types of dough do/don’t freeze well and how to bake frozen cookie dough. For all of you fellow cookie bakers out there, I thought I would pop in with a quick tutorial […]

How to freeze cookie dough — either in individual dough balls, larger dough disks, or in cut-out dough shapes. Plus tips for which types of dough do/don’t freeze well and how to bake frozen cookie dough.

How To Freeze Cookie Dough

For all of you fellow cookie bakers out there, I thought I would pop in with a quick tutorial today on how to freeze cookie dough.  Because in my opinion, frozen cookie dough is pretty much the best.  ♡  Why?

  • It’s easy to make.  It hardly takes any extra time to double the ingredients in your favorite cookie recipe and make a double batch!  Then you can freeze the extras for later and keep the cookie goodness going and going.
  • It’s great for small-batch baking.  With individually frozen cookie dough balls, it’s easy to bake just a few cookies (versus a dozen) at a time.  It’s super helpful for portion control, and also works especially well when you are just serving one or a few people at a time.
  • It’s super-convenient.  Especially when you are in the midst of a busy season (hello, holidays!), or have unexpected visitors stop by, or are hosting a dinner party and don’t want to leave the table long to fuss with dessert, it’s always so helpful to have pre-made cookie dough ready and waiting in your freezer.
  • It makes for a great gift.  Oh my word, people love receiving homemade frozen cookie dough as a gift.  I regularly bring a small bag over to friends’ houses as a hostess gift or as my contribution to a girls night, which is always very happily and eagerly received.  Or frozen cookie dough can also be a really lovely gift to bring to friends who have just had a baby, or who are home sick, or who just may be going through any kind of hard stretch.  It’s a simple gift that always seems to bring a smile to people’s faces, especially when they get to bake up a batch of warm cookies from the comfort of their own home whenever they would like.

There are so many good reasons to freeze cookie dough.  So whether you are freezing individual dough balls (like for chocolate chip cookies or molasses cookies), large dough discs (like for roll-out sugar cookies), or cut-out dough shapes (like for gingerbread cookies), here are a few of my best tips for how to freeze cookie dough properly.  Plus everything you need to know about what types of cookie dough do/don’t freeze well, the one scooping tool I highly recommend, and how to bake frozen cookie dough.

(more…)

Vegan Marshmallows

Making marshmallows can seem like a little bit of magic, watching everything whip up into a fluffy, wobbly foam and letting it set into perfect little clouds. I started what turned out to be a very challenging adventure of making vegan marshmallows a few weeks ago and finally, after about 20 trials, came up with something I was happy with! Experiments with agar First I started with the standard vegan sub for gelatine, agar agar, which is made from seaweed. I found that when using this, my marshmallows just weren’t setting properly and would collapse as soon as pressure was applied to them. Increasing the amount of agar just lead to unpleasantly gummy/dense marshmallows that wouldn’t toast properly. So back to the drawing board I went! I had posted about my marshmallows on instagram and talked to Ellie from Kinda Co about it. She uses carageenan to make melty vegan cheese and recommended I try that instead of the agar (which also wasn’t melting satisfyingly in a toasted marshmallow). Moving on to vege-gel.. I had spied a ‘vegetarian’ gelatine replacement in the supermarket called ‘vege-gel’ from Dr Oetker and had picked some up to see if it would work. My […]

The post Vegan Marshmallows appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

a tray of vegan marshmallows with some toasted

Making marshmallows can seem like a little bit of magic, watching everything whip up into a fluffy, wobbly foam and letting it set into perfect little clouds. I started what turned out to be a very challenging adventure of making vegan marshmallows a few weeks ago and finally, after about 20 trials, came up with something I was happy with!

some cut vegan marshmallows on a worktop

Experiments with agar

First I started with the standard vegan sub for gelatine, agar agar, which is made from seaweed. I found that when using this, my marshmallows just weren’t setting properly and would collapse as soon as pressure was applied to them. Increasing the amount of agar just lead to unpleasantly gummy/dense marshmallows that wouldn’t toast properly. So back to the drawing board I went!

I had posted about my marshmallows on instagram and talked to Ellie from Kinda Co about it. She uses carageenan to make melty vegan cheese and recommended I try that instead of the agar (which also wasn’t melting satisfyingly in a toasted marshmallow).

two mugs of hot chocolate with vegan marshmallows

Moving on to vege-gel..

I had spied a ‘vegetarian’ gelatine replacement in the supermarket called ‘vege-gel’ from Dr Oetker and had picked some up to see if it would work. My initial experiments with it had been using a teaspoon or so along with the agar and when that hadn’t worked, I gave up on using the it. However after my convo with Ellie, I read the packet again and realised that vege-gel contains carageenan and locust bean gum. I also talked to a food scientist on instagram about it and she told me how these two ingredients work synergistically together, meaning they form a stronger gel together than they would apart.

So now that I was back on the carageenan track, I tried using JUST the vege-gel (with xanthan gum to stabilise the aquafaba foam). I used quite a lot of the vege-gel stuff in the end, two packets, which is 13g of the stuff!! But it is cut with dextrose to standardise the batches they make as I read that the strength of carageenan/LBG can vary batch to batch. At least because it’s a standardised ingredient it should work exactly the same for everyone who uses it.

I found these vegan marshmallows have a nicely fluffy texture, they toast properly with a blowtorch and kind of melt; if you leave them in a hot choc for a few minutes they soften up but there’s not a super duper melty effect, I think from the LBG. I found that after toasting they’ll be a bit melty under the surface but not all the way through SO if you want them more melty, I think cutting the marshmallows a bit smaller (and maybe putting them under an oven grill?) should help.

some cut vegan marshmallows on a worktop and on a baking sheet

If you can’t get vege-gel

I knew loads of people who may read this won’t live in the UK/Europe so can’t get vege-gel. So I bought some plain carageenan and LBG, played around with the amounts, and ended up with a vegan marshmallow that was just as good. A word of warning though – if you ARE using pure carageenan/LBG instead of the vege-gel I think there is a variance in strength between brands. Therefore I have linked in the recipe notes to the specific ones I used for testing the recipe so you can get the same ones. However if you can’t get those brands, try it out with ones you can get and see how it goes. If they’re too soft, increase the amounts a tiny bit and try again. If they’re too firm, decrease it!

Make sure your measuring spoons are accurate

One last thing – I used weights for the whole recipe when I was testing as I wanted to be as accurate as possible. I used micro scales to measure my xanthan gum, carageenan and LBG but I have given teaspoon measurements as I know hardly anyone will have these scales. You must have accurate measuring spoons if you’re using volumes though; I recommend these ones from OXO which I tested on the micro scales with water to see if the volume was accurate. I had also tested some crappy metal ones I own and they were WAY off which is why I’m warning you about it now.

Vegan Marshmallows

Vegan Marshmallows

Yield: 12-16 large square marshmallows

Ingredients

For dusting:

  • icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • starch for dusting (I prefer potato starch, superfine white rice flour or glutinous rice flour as they work the best. Cornstarch also works but not as well).

Instructions

Read through all instructions and gather your ingredients + equipment before starting this recipe.

  1. Grease an 8 or 9-inch (20 or 23cm) square cake tin with a bit of vegetable oil. Line with baking paper and then brush the baking paper with a thin layer of vegetable oil too. Set aside.
  2. Place the aquafaba into the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted. Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the surface of the aquafaba and then immediately start whisking the mixture on a high speed (if you let it sit around before whisking the xanthan may make clumps). Leave to beat until very thick and pale (similar to egg whites beaten to a stiff peak consistency). Once it reaches this thickness you can beat in the vanilla extract and then turn the mixer off.
  3. Meanwhile combine the granulated sugar, golden syrup (or glucose/corn syrup) and 75g of water in a large pot. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, place the vege-gel. Gradually pour in the remaining 100g of water whilst stirring with a whisk to get a smooth, slightly goopy mixture. Set aside.
  5. Place the large pot of sugar mixture on the stove on a medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved and then stop stirring but keep heating the mixture until it reaches 120°C (248°F). Take off the heat, pour in the goopy vege-gel mixture and quickly stir together (I like to use a small whisk for this step). Return to the heat and bring back up to 100°C (212°F).
  6. Immediately remove from the heat and, with the mixer running on a medium speed, pour the hot sugar mixture into the aquafaba foam in a steady stream. It should remain fluffy! Once you've poured it all in, increase the speed to maximum for a few seconds to make sure it's all mixed together. Stop the mixer and pour the marshmallow mixture straight into the prepared cake tin as fast as possible! This is very important as the mixture will start to set really quickly so if you don't get it into the pan it wont set flat. Try to spread it out into as even a layer as possible. You can also press a piece of oiled baking paper over the top of the marshmallows in the pan to help smooth it out if you need to.
  7. Leave to set for about 30-60 minutes.
  8. In a small bowl, mix equal volumes of icing sugar and your preferred starch (I like potato starch here the best). You'll probably need around 5 to 8 tablespoons of each.
  9. Dust a work surface with the icing sugar/starch mixture using a small seive/sifter. Gently flip the set marshmallows out onto this and peel away the baking paper. Dust the top of the marshmallows with more icing sugar/starch mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut the marshmallows into squares (you may need to wipe the blade occasionally to keep things neat). Roll each marshmallow in more starch to coat them all over.
  10. Line a baking tray with baking paper and then dust with a bit of the icing sugar/starch mixture. Place the marshmallows on the tray and allow to sit out, uncovered, at room temperature for around 12-24 hours. You'll notice a lot of the starch will have disappeared at this point and they'll be a bit tacky. Re-roll the marshmallows in icing sugar/starch and then return to the tray to let them 'cure' for a further 12-24 hours. Now you should be able to pop them into an airtight container or, as I prefer, leave them out uncovered at room temp as they'll develop more of a sugary crust to them.
  11. They should keep for about 2 weeks like this. You may find that if they're in a sealed container that they will need to be re-coated with starch but will become less sticky over time (even though they may appear 'shiny' and so you may think they're sticky, they won't be when you poke them).

Notes

1. When testing this recipe I used Dr. Oetker vege-gel which is a pre-blended mixture of carageenan and locust bean gum (carob gum). You can get this in the baking aisle in UK supermarkets (I got mine from Sainsbury's) and it comes in packs containing 3 sachets. I know not everyone will be able to access this so I tested the recipe with straight up carageenan and guar gum. So if you can't get vege-gel, you can use:

1 g (1/2 level tsp) carageenan

1g (1/4 level tsp + 1/8 level tsp) locust bean gum

Just mix them together and use as you would vege-gel in the recipe as usual.

If using volumes instead of weights, make sure you have accurate measuring spoons (I like these ones by OXO which I've tested the accuracy of with my micro scales).

I used THIS carageenan and THIS locust bean gum brand. I haven't tested with other brands which may have varying strengths so I can't say whether it will work first time with different brands. You may have to adjust the levels yourself after testing the recipe with your own ingredients if you have different ones to me.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Vegan Marshmallows appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

This homemade vanilla extract recipe is super easy to make with just 2 ingredients!  Plus, be sure to check out our PDF for cute printable vanilla extract labels that you can download for free. Looking for a fun DIY gift to give to your loved ones this holiday season?  Or if you happen to be […]

This homemade vanilla extract recipe is super easy to make with just 2 ingredients!  Plus, be sure to check out our PDF for cute printable vanilla extract labels that you can download for free.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Looking for a fun DIY gift to give to your loved ones this holiday season?  Or if you happen to be a baker, are you perhaps looking to cut your costs a bit on price store-bought vanilla extract?

Consider making your own homemade vanilla extract! ♡

It’s just about the easiest thing in the world to make in just 5 minutes with 2 easy ingredients.  And the taste of homemade vanilla extract is extra rich and flavorful, especially when you get to choose the types of ingredients and strength ratio that you prefer.  I’ve also long been a fan of making my own homemade vanilla extract because it tends to be considerably cheaper than its store-bought alternative, especially when you are making a big batch in bulk.  You can even re-use the beans in a jar of homemade vanilla extract, which will make it even more affordable!

So for anyone interested in giving it a try, here is my go-to homemade vanilla recipe and how-to video.  I have also included a supply list if you would like to package your vanilla extract up in cute little bottles for gifting, plus a free printable label PDF (designed by my talented friend, Kelly) that you are welcome to download too.  And for those of you looking for a non-alcoholic vanilla extract, I have included an option for you below as well.

Ok, let’s make some vanilla!
(more…)

Homemade Pie Crust

A step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make a pie crust — either 100% by hand or with the help of a food processor — featuring my favorite all-butter homemade pie crust recipe. I hope that your holiday baking seasons are off to a delicious start!  I have two new (naturally-sweetened) pie recipes coming your […]

A step-by-step photo tutorial for how to make a pie crust — either 100% by hand or with the help of a food processor — featuring my favorite all-butter homemade pie crust recipe.

Homemade Pie Crust

I hope that your holiday baking seasons are off to a delicious start!  I have two new (naturally-sweetened) pie recipes coming your way later this week that I’m pretty excited about.  But before we get to those, I thought it might be helpful to go back to the basics today with a quick refresher on how to make pie crust…

…featuring my go-to, all-butter, perfectly-flaky, easy-to-make, always-delicious homemade pie crust recipe. ♡

As someone who used to be 100% intimidated by the art of making pie crust from scratch, I’m here today to assure you that homemade pie crust is genuinely much simpler than you might think!  All you need are 5 easy ingredients to make pie crust — flour, butter, salt, sugar (optional) and ice water — plus about 15 minutes of active prep time if you would like to make this recipe completely by hand.  (Or less than 10 if you happen to own a food processor, which makes this recipe even easier.)  Then after just a few simple steps, the most delicious, golden, buttery, flaky homemade pie crust will be ready to bake up in no time.

I initially shared this classic pie crust recipe here on the blog six years ago when I was first venturing into the world of pie crust baking.  But now, dozens and dozens of pies later, I’m back today with a big update on this post, including some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned in these past few years of pie baking, plus new step-by-step photos for how to make this recipe either with a food processor or completely by hand.  So whether this is your very first time making pie crust or your fiftieth, my hope is that there will be a little something helpful here for everyone today, and that this recipe might make your holiday season all the more delicious and bright.

Alright, grab your rolling pins and let’s make some homemade pie crust!

(more…)

Pumpkin Pie Spice

This delicious homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe is quick and easy to make with just 5 ingredients, and perfect for adding to all of your favorite pumpkin spice recipes. Do you have a jar of pumpkin pie spice ready to go for the season? If not, let’s make a quick batch! ♡ All you need are […]

This delicious homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe is quick and easy to make with just 5 ingredients, and perfect for adding to all of your favorite pumpkin spice recipes.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Do you have a jar of pumpkin pie spice ready to go for the season?

If not, let’s make a quick batch! ♡

All you need are 5 easy ingredients to make your own homemade pumpkin spice blend — ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.  Then just stir the spices all together, pop them in a sealed spice jar, and you’ll be all set to go whenever a recipe calls for pumpkin spice!

As I’m sure you well know, there are countless ways to put pumpkin pie spice to use.  From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin cream cold brew, my favorite healthy pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin cookiespumpkin granola, and of course, pumpkin pie — this classic blend of warming spices adds the essential “spice” to all things pumpkin spice that we love this time of year.  And always tastes so delicious.

So the next time you find yourself in need of pumpkin pie spice for your next recipe, here’s my go-to recipe for how to make a quick jar yourself!

(more…)