Thursday, October 20, 2011

Almond Puff Pastry

I made this yummy, awesome dessert today. I've had it several times at various occasions, but have never found or asked for the recipe. I crossed paths with this yumminess this past Sunday at church and decided to look for the recipe online. After searching, I found a recipe with a picture that looked fairly similar, so I decided to try it.

I found the original recipe on this website, but after making it, I need to tweak the recipe a bit, so I'll post it here as well. (The main reason for me writing this blog post is so I can find the recipe again if I need it. :) So without further adieu, here goes...

Almond Puff Pastry
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cold butter, sliced into ½-inch slices
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend butter and flour with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cold water, and blend until dough forms into a ball (might have to use hands). Do not over-blend. Divide dough in half. Press each half into a 3x12-inch oblong on an ungreased baking sheet (line with parchment paper if you like; prevents sticking and makes for easy clean up). Set aside.

1 cup flour
1 cup water
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 eggs

Place flour in a bowl. In a small saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in almond extract, and with the mixer running on low, pour the water all at once over the flour. When the flour and water are combined, turn the mixer up to medium speed and with it still running, beat in each egg, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Spread batter equally over the two pastry crusts on the baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until lightly puffed and golden. (Watch carefully toward end of baking time. I baked mine for 45 minutes--as stated in the original recipe--and I think it overcooked.) Cool for 10 minutes before icing. (The puffs will collapse a bit upon cooling; that’s fine.)

2-2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon soft butter
¼ cup cream (perhaps a bit more)
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

To make icing, combine powdered sugar, butter, cream, and extracts, and blend until smooth (add extra cream, a small amount at a time, if icing is too stiff). Spread over warm, not hot, pastry. Top with sliced almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be made one day ahead.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Signs of Fall




brilliant colors painted on the trees...
a brisk coolness in the air...
leaves crunching underfoot...
yes, fall is here... and I love it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Annual McCarthy Beach Camping Trip

Here are some pictures from our annual camping trip to McCarthy Beach State Park. We had gorgeous weather and a wonderful week with family.

This Erin's cell phone, attempting to recover from an accidental swim when Erin swamped the canoe ten minutes after we arrived at camp. I can't even believe that no one had a camera handy. She was somewhat of a celebrity, as we heard from fellow campers that "a girl swamped a canoe earlier today." The only injury was her cell phone... well, and her pride. Needless to say this will definitely be a topic of conversation for many years to come.

Mom and Becky in the "kitchen"

The girls in the "dining room"

Micah and Ryan at their table

Samantha and Natalie enjoying the campfire

Watching movies in the camper

Makin' dough doggies

A gorgeous night for sending up lanterns into the sky

Micah and Ryan getting ready for a boat ride with Papa

Samantha and Natalie get a turn

Callie and Ashleigh fishing with Chris and Ben

Ben the mighty fisherman

Chris with his big catch

They kept us well supplied with fish

Games, games, games...

One of our favorite reasons for loving McCarthy Beach is the little gas station that has hard ice cream cones. We made the half-mile hike a daily ritual.

Callie Nicole

 Ashleigh Rebecca

Samantha Ryleigh

Natalie Christine

Ryan Aidan

Micah Christopher

Tyler James

Cousins hangin' out

Samantha and Natalie

Ryan and Micah with their favorite activity--TRAINS!

Tyler and Natalie

Erin and Tyler

Ready to go swimmin'

It's a yearly tradition to build a sand castle on the beach. When they started this year's masterpiece, we overheard words such as vision, essential, critical, level.... Yes, our sandcastle building is serious business!

The girls were in charge of building the moat around the castle.

The finished product--looks like a northwoods bear sphinx pyramid

Ashleigh's art as we were packing up camp...
Goodbye McCarthy Beach State Park
 See you next year!