Monthly Archives: December 2012

Saltine Toffee ‘Crack’-ers: An Ode to a New DSLR!

I have not danced around with such elf-like mirth since they announced the summer 2013 release of Sailor Moon.

Saltine Toffee 'Crack'-ers 7 (12.29

Guess who is the proud new owner of a DSLR camera?

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I’ll give you a hint.

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ME. Me me me me me me me. Did I mention me?

Saltine Toffee 'Crack'-ers 5 (12.29.12)

That’s right, folks–in the shameless spirit of commercialism, selfishness, and dragon-like hoarding, I have graciously received a shiny new DSLR camera for Christmas.

Jigs may or may not have been performed under my Christmas tree this holiday season.

Saltine Toffee 'Crack'-ers 6 (12.29.12)

Did I mention the fact that I also received a Playstation 3 AND the Disney Imagineering book?

This year’s forecast: Absolutely zero productivity levels, with a 50% chance of precipitation from the tear ducts–because I am going to be so darn happy playing around with all of my new toys that I will most probably break down into tears at some point and bawl like a baby.

A very, very happy bouncing crying baby adult woman.

Saltine Toffee 'Crack'-ers 3 (12.29.12)

In honor of this momentous occasion, I’ve decided to do absolutely nothing substantive in this post except gloat, revel, and bask in the glory that is focused pictures with appropriately blurry backgrounds. I’m still getting the hang of the whole “real-camera” photography deal (read: driving my parents crazy dancing around the house singing “What’s This?” a la Jack Skellington as I test out all of the nifty functions–and they are nifty), and now I don’t have an excuse to not learn about proper photo composition…

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But I think I can live with that.

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I can also live with a batch of these delicious saltine toffee ‘crack’-ers (thus dubbed as an homage to their addictive status) sitting on my kitchen counter at this very moment.

Those of you who have followed me for some time will know that this is a repeat recipe that you can find here…but the results were so pretty, and my camera was so here (YAY), that I had to share these photos.

What did you receive this holiday season that you’re most excited about?

and (as an unofficial question)

They’re by no means perfect, and I’m still learning, but how do you like them new photos? ;)

Ala

(Expect some fun posts from here on out! I hope you’re as thrilled as I am to check out my upcoming projects, posts, and updates to this site as I begin the new year’s process of revamping my blog in honor of this new technological addition to the family!)

Sweet 2 Eat Baking

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Brownies & Chocolates

7 Days Until Christmas: Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies

Playful, chilly winds nip our ears and prick our exposed noses. Straggling students wrap scarves around their heads in the fashion of ancient, entombed Egyptians. And as the days dwindle into the single digits, you can almost hear the wintertime choirs burst out into song and chime…

Seven days until Christmas!

That, my friends, is the stocking that’s Santa’s going to fill with lots of nice goodies for a very nice girl this year (a.k.a. yours truly):

Zesty Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies 5 (12.17.12)

Wait…seven days?! That’s exactly one week!

In honor of this momentous occasion, which occurs once every 364 1/4 days in a year–something it shares in common with Leprechaun’s Day, National Talk Like a Pirate Day, and your Auntie Mabel’s birthday–I’ve compiled a list of 7 holiday traditions that, for some reason or another, just never seemed to make the cut…

Zesty Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies (12.17.12)

7. Naughty or Naughtier: Draw from a hat of “naughty” deeds and perform them in front of your friends! But it gets better–in order to win, your friends have to out-naughty your naughty deed. Do you have what it takes to get yourself in the top spot on Santa’s naughty list this year?

Zesty Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies 3 (12.17.12)

6. Hot Space Heater: Want to turn up the heat this year on family & friends fun day? Play this season-appropriate version of “Hot Potato” with your closest enemies. All you need are some rockin’ Christmas tunes and a preheated warmer–toss the space heater around in a circle until it gets too hot to handle! For extra excitement, make sure to invite your in-laws and that second cousin, twice removed that you never really liked.

5. Turkey Deep-Frying Competition: Get your frying vats ready–this is one sizzling holiday game! See who can fry their turkies the fastest; the hotter the stove, the hotter the game! (In order to qualify, participants must fry their turkies whole, preferably in a crowded space where flying oil and raging tempers will be an issue.)

Zesty Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies 2 (12.17.12)

4. Santa Pause: Do nothing but stare at the fireplace for as long as you can stand. Good party game for up to 90 players, and particularly for those of 90+ years. Sleeping with eyes wide open permitted.

3. Rudolph the Red No’s-Brainer: It’s costume time! Get a nice rosy glow going on those wintry noses by roasting a whole tomato under the broiler. Then pass around the scorching-hot tomatoes and have every member of your party don one–you may find that your red nose will not be artificial for very long!

2. Elf’s Workshop: Gang up against the youngest (or smallest) member of your family and make them do all the holiday preparations around the house while the rest of you sip hot chocolate and sing “Deck the Halls” in cheery, obnoxious voices. Possible supplies include a giant nametag that reads “And to think I used to wish I could be Santa’s elf” for your house elf to wear, or giant marshmallows that you can command your elf to toast for you “in the name of Santa Claus.”

Zesty Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies 1 (12.17.12)

1. S’mores Wars: Do you long to have a snowball fight but find it too cold to step outside? Never fear, marshmallows are here! Heat up marshmallows in the microwave for up to 5 seconds–they should expand like crazy Pillsbury dough-boys. Whip them out and chuck ‘em at whoever happens to pass by the kitchen–they’ll never know what hit them!

What is your number one favorite holiday game/activity? Leave your thoughts, and look out for some more Countdown to Christmas posts!

Ala

 
Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
  • For gingerbread blondie:
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • For orange cheesecake:
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest of 1/2 medium orange
  • Juice of 1/2 medium orange (or approximately 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted (for chocolate swirl)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in one egg and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; stir until just combined. Fold in white chocolate chips. Pour into greased 9×9-inch baking pan. 
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and white sugar until fluffy. Beat in 1 egg, orange zest, and orange juice. Spread evenly over gingerbread blondie batter.
  3. Drop dollops of melted chocolate over cheesecake batter. Swirl in with tip of a knife.
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until edges begin to turn slightly golden brown and cheesecake is fairly set. Allow to cool at room temperature before cutting into squares. Place in fridge and allow to firm up for at least an additional hour before removing from pan. Store leftover bars in fridge.
 

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates, Cheesecakes

National Blogging Day of Remembrance

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I, like so many of you wonderful bloggers and readers, am joining in on a day of silence in remembrance of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. I will be spending time tomorrow with some of my closest friends and dear ones, to appreciate and cherish them. I hope you will do the same.

My most recent posts will resume tomorrow.

Until then, and yours in solidarity,

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Pumpkin Pound Cake Truffles with Gingerbread Cookie Crumbs

I love the holiday season for many, many reasons. I’m sure you do, too.

Pumpkin Pound Cake Truffles with Gingerbread Cookie Crumbs 5 (12.14.12)

Holding a very special place at the top of this list is the fact that, as soon as Thanksgiving ends, I get to cram my Santa elf-ear hat on my head, flip on the Christmas song station, and belt out the following line without the slightest trace of irony whatsoever:

“Your soul is an appalling dump heap, overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable, mangled up in tangled up knots.”

Except “knots” sounds more like “naaaaAAAAAaaaahhhwtzzz,” and Thurl Ravenscroft sounds about a bajillion times better singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” than I do.

Seriously–if I had to choose one person to narrate my life, it would be him. Have you heard the man sing?

Pumpkin Pound Cake Truffles with Gingerbread Cookie Crumbs 4 (12.14.12)

Perhaps on my less-fond holiday season list (if such a thing exists–which it really can’t) is the end-of-the-term rush to get things typed, stapled, and shipped off into the wild unknown of academia’s bureaucratic abysses. I was told that we won’t be getting our students’ evaluations back until as late as 8th week of next year.

It’s a wonder I’m not more of a Grinch myself.

Pumpkin Pound Cake Truffles with Gingerbread Cookie Crumbs 3 (12.14.12)

On the contrary, however–I’ve been embracing this holiday season as if it were a friggin’ human-sized Pooh Bear.

Last night, my friends and I went to the candlelight procession at Disneyland. It was hosted by none other than Dick Van Dyke, sir Bert from Mary Poppins! Better yet, it was the grand man’s birthday: the best part of the night was when he stepped up to the podium at the front of town square, and suddenly a hum starting from the middle of this humongous crowd begins to grow. And suddenly, we’re all singing “Happy Birthday to Diiiiiick,” and, well–if that’s not a magical, holiday-filled moment, I really don’t know what is.

Pumpkin Pound Cake Truffles with Gingerbread Cookie Crumbs

I’m still dead beat from this week–I realize that I haven’t whipped up anything in the kitchen that’s really excited me for quite some time. As I’m grading these final exams and counting down the minutes until I can hop on the plane homeward bound, I’m actually absorbing very little of what’s in front of me and thinking very much about whether it would be indecent to throw gingerbread cookies, cookie butter, and zesty orange cheesecake into the same baking pan together.

I have a feeling I can keep Santa from putting me on the naughty list if I just leave out a plate of these for him this year.

You’ve really got to try it–my friends absolutely melted when they tasted it, and if you have a particularly hungry Santa Claus (or other secular holiday spirit!) hanging around your house, you’ll definitely want to keep these easy peasy treats on hand.

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Ho ho ho, and look forward to some really fun holiday swing posts again soon!

(I nabbed this delicious pumpkin pound cake recipe from the lovely blog I Wash, You Dry. Give it a try, too!)

Pumpkin Pound Cake Truffles w/Gingerbread Cookie Crumbs
Pumpkin pound cake recipe–as written at I Wash You Dry
 
For the pumpkin pound cake:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  1. Pull out the eggs, butter, and yogurt and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Grease and lightly flour an 8″x4″x2.5″ cake pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  4. Place the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat for a minute on high speed. Gradually add the sugar and let it mix on medium-high speed for 10 minutes. You’ll have to scrap the sides of the bowl every once and a while. You’re looking for a very light and fluffy butter mixture.
  5. Once you’re butter is light and fluffy add the vanilla and beat for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add one egg at a time, beating for 1 minute between each egg.
  7. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice. Sift together to combine.
  8. Alternately add the flour mixture, Greek yogurt, and pumpkin puree to the bowl of the stand mixer. Remember to scrap the sides of the bowl occasionally to make sure it’s being properly mixed.
  9. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  10. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake at 325 for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  11. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and let cool to room temperature. Once cake is completely cool, cover and let sit over night or enjoy right away.
  12. Slice into 1/2 inch pieces and drizzle with salted caramel sauce.
  13. To make truffles, cube cooled pumpkin pound cake and freeze for at least 1 hour, or until very firm.

To assemble truffles:

  • 2 (12 oz.) bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Gingerbread cookies, crushed
  1. Melt 1 bag of chocolate at a time by placing in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 30 seconds, then continuing to heat at 15-second intervals and stirring vigorously between each interval until chocolate chips are completely melted. Dip frozen pumpkin pound cake cubes in chocolate and quickly coat. Remove onto parchment paper and top with crushed gingerbread cookies or other holiday cookies of your choice. Allow chocolate to firm up before serving! (You can store these at room temperature in an air-tight container for at least a few days; keep them in the fridge for up to a week.)
 

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LWOM: Extra Fudgy Cheesecake-Topped Brownies and Candied Almonds (A Tale of Two Recipes)

It was the best of climes, it was the worst of climes,

 Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies 6 (12.8.12)

Candied Almonds (12.8.12)

it was the age of scrubs, it was the age of dishwashers,

Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies (12.8.12)

it was the epoch of eyeballing, it was the epoch of measuring-out-to-the-grain,

Candied Almonds 2 (12.8.12)

it was the season of nuts, it was the season of chocolate,

Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies 2 (12.8.12)

it was the spring of ovens, it was the winter of stovetops,

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we had the whole tray of brownies and nuts before us, we had no trace of brownies and nuts before us,

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we were all going to put on our brand spanking new stretchy pants, we were all going to fit into our size 1 jea–

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nope, just stretchy pants–

Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies 7 (12.8.12)

–in short, the period was so masochistically like the kitchen of every avid cook, that nobody in their right mind could help licking the last drop of raw brownie batter from the bowl even though they are not supposed to, and then wistfully wishing they had not done so because they were supposed to be losing some chubs before the end of the world came on the 21st of December, 2012, and they wanted to look damn good when it did, for no real reason whatsoever other than that it would be a good note to end the world on, the neurotic crumb-sneaking baker and a poster of size 0 Jennifer Aniston hanging on the wall, in the most fanciful and unrealistic degree of comparison only.

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It was the age of brownies and nuts.

Candied Almonds 3 (12.8.12)

The holidays had come.

This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes.  Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food. Please let Ala know what you think of these stories–she’d love to hear what you think!

The original text of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Extra Fudgy Cheesecake-Topped Brownies
Yield: 1 9×13-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • For cheesecake layer:
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of vanilla
  • For fudgy ganache:
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (+2 tablespoons, as needed) milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together melted margarine, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chunks. Pour batter evenly into greased pan.
  3. To make cheesecake layer: In a separate medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix until smooth. Spread over brownie batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Prick brownies all over with a toothpick (this will allow your ganache to flow into the brownies and really get them moist!).
  5. To make ganache: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for one minute, then remove from heat and beat for about 1 minute, until mixture thickens slightly. Pour over slightly cooled brownies.

Candied Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Directions:

  1. Place almonds in a saucepan or pot. Over medium-low heat, add sugar to almonds. Stir constantly–the sugar should begin to clump together at first, but it should start to melt into a creamy brown liquid after the first minute or two. Continue to stir until most of the sugar has melted and clumps onto the almonds. (The process should take no more than 3-4 minutes total–avoid the temptation to turn up your heat too high, as you may scorch the sugar.) Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Serve as a party dish or package them tightly as gifts.
 

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LWOM: Pumpkin Pasties (for a Very Harry Party)

I attended my very first Harry Potter party last night. Ever.

The following edition of Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt is brought to you by Pumpkin Pasties, paragon pastry of the Hogwarts Express.

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 2 (12.1.12)

“For heaven’s sake, Harry, what are you doing?”

Harry ignored her and reached around her for a greenish-blue bottle on the counter, keeping his wand fixed steadily on the cauldron simmering beside him.

“Give it a rest already, Hermione,” Ron said, unwrapping a Chocoball that had appeared from some deep recesses of his robe pocket. “You’ve been at him ever since we came down here. Can’t you just let him be?”

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 13 (12.1.12)

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 3 (12.1.12)

“That’s because in the first place, we’re not supposed to be down here,” Hermione hissed, “and more importantly–”

Ron snorted. “You-Know-Who’s waiting upstairs looking for us and you’re worried about getting caught in the school kitchen? And here I was thinking you were supposed to be the clever one of us three…”

“More importantly,” she repeated, stamping her foot on the ground with such force that Ron actually dropped his Chocoball, “Volde–oh, for goodness’ sake, Ron, don’t eat that–Voldemort is waiting for us, and you’re sitting here tinkering around with a cauldron?”

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 1 (12.1.12)

“Yeah, I am, Hermione,” Harry said through gritted teeth, “I’m making pumpkin pasties, all right?”

“You–you’re–you’re not–what do you think you’re going to do with those at a time like this, chuck them at Voldemort and his Death Eaters?

Harry muttered something about “photos” and “the more pastries, the better.”

“Well, he duff haf a pointh–oopth,” Ron said, spraying bits of chocolate onto Harry’s sweater as he reached for a tray of treacle tarts that had been abandoned on the counter of the empty kitchen. “Sorry, ‘arry.”

Hermione whirled on him. “He has what?”

From behind them, a small explosion sent a flash of bright orange whizzing out of the cauldron. Harry hunched over it and murmured something that caused a stream of sugary sparkles to emit from the tip of his wand.

Ron, meanwhile, leaned carefully away from Hermione–just far enough to put a safe distance between her fist and his nose–then he finished chewing and shrugged. “Well, I mean, there are so many pictures, we’re not exactly running out of time here or anything, are we?”

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“Ronald Weasley, you have exactly five seconds to explain yourself before I hex you and send an owl to your mother telling her why her son is missing his beautiful nose–”

“Oy, careful where you point that thing!” Ron said, backing up hastily as Hermione pulled her wand out of her robes pocket and aimed it at him with a furious look.

Well?” 

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“Bloody–come on, Hermione!” Ron dropped his half-eaten treacle tart and held up his hands. “I was just talking about the pictures, okay?”

Hermione’s eyes narrowed. Her wand moved up about half an inch, so that it was pointing straight between Ron’s eyes.

“Come on, you know, the pictures, Hermione, the pictures in the story! Point that thing away from me–go on, look down!”

Hermione glared at him for a moment, then glanced down. And this is what she saw:

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 6 (12.1.12)

Hermione’s jaw dropped.

“Hey, th-that’s my wand!” she squeaked, her finger trembling as she pointed it at the photo that appeared as if by, well, magic before her eyes. It looked as clear and colorful as it would have if the plate and wand had been sitting right under her nose.

Ron yawned and leaned back in his seat so that it teetered dangerously on two legs. “Yeah, I suppose it is.”

“What do you mean, you suppose–”

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 11 (12.1.12)

“Hermione,” Harry said suddenly, looking around, “could you stop screaming for a minute–”

Stop screaming?” Hermione said, her voice rising hysterically. “My wand is out there, in goodness knows what alternate universe, and you want me to stop–”

“Yes, I think that’s what people generally mean when they say you should stop screaming,” Ron interrupted. “And anyway, don’t tell me you don’t know about the Narrative!”

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 4 (12.1.12)

“Don’t be silly, Ron, this is no time to bring up narratives, what do you think I’ve spent all those years in the library–”

“Not ‘narratives,’ Hermione.” Ron rolled his eyes. “The Narrative. Go on. Look again.”

Her eyes shot daggers at him, but she did as she was told.

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 14 (12.1.12)

“Do you believe me now?” Ron asked, taking a large bite out of a mysterious-looking pastry now.

“What’s that–that marking on my wand?” Hermione shrieked.

“It’s a copyright and serial number for idiot fans who spend their money on that sort of thing,” Harry said without looking over. “Haven’t you read about it in–”

–Hogwarts, A History?” Ron finished, smirking.

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 5 (12.1.12)

“Oh my god,” Hermione said, her breath coming in short gasps now. “Are you telling me I’m having a metafictional existential crisis–as a character in a book?”

“Well, there’s only one way to settle this,” Harry said, tapping the side of his cauldron three times with his wand. “Ron?”

“Sure.” He looked up. A glazed look came into his eyes as he stared off into space with his head flung back, and then they suddenly focused again on some far-off point, as though he was looking directly through a fourth wall. “Narrator?”

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 8 (12.1.12)

<Yes?>

“Can we get some, you know, proof?”

<Sure thing, Ron. Will this do?>

“Yeah, that’s great,” Ron said, winking as Hermione uttered a faint moan next to him. He grinned as he turned towards her. “Hermione?”

“Hermione, you all right?”

She was shaking her head so hard it seemed in imminent danger of being shaken right off her neck.

“Er, Hermione, what…”

“I look terrible in that illustration,” she whimpered, her lip trembling.

“Wait until she sees our picture for the Felix Felicis scene,” Ron whispered to Harry with a grin.

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 12 (12.1.12)

After several minutes had passed, in which the warm smell of something baking wafted into the air that made both Ron and Harry sleepy, Hermione frowned. “So what happens now? If, you know…up there,” she finished in a whisper, pointing up at the ceiling.

“I guess it’s up to the narrator,” said Harry. “I know this one. She’s pretty nice.”

“Yeah, that’s what I meant. If we have all these pictures, it’s pretty clear You-Know-Who isn’t going to just barge in here, whip out his wand, and Avada Kedavra all of us to smithereens–”

Behind them, there was a sudden sharp noise that sounded like–

Barge!

Avada Kedavra!” a high-pitched voice screamed as a burst of green light filled the room.

Smithereens were all that anyone ever found of Harry Potter and his friends.

The End.

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 10 (12.1.12)

Just kidding, folks. Kidding.

Actually, after the pumpkin pasties finished cooking, they went upstairs, confronted Voldemort and the Death Eaters, passed around pumpkin pasties and cups of pumpkin juice, and these were so good that all of them agreed never to fight again if Harry would share his recipe. They lived nice long lives and together started a new S.P.E.W. (the Society for the Production of Edible Wares), the proceeds of which went towards finding out a way to circumvent the exception to Gamp’s law in which you can’t create food out of thin air.

Because that’s just a dumb magical restriction to have around anyway.

I believe Harry and Voldemort even follow each other on Pinterest now. Word has it that Harry’s a prodigal baker.

Pumpkin Pasties (a la Harry Potter) 15 (12.1.12)

The Real End.

Happy holidays, all! And watch out for creepy-looking hags sitting at the table right next to yours when you’re celebrating. Enjoy these pumpkin pasties!

Ala

Sweet 2 Eat Baking

This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes.  Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts, although she does own a really cute Winnie-the-Pooh balloon-shaped stuffed-animal. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food. Please let Ala know what you think of these stories–she’d love to hear what you think (and I’m sure the Society for the Production of Edible Wares is keen to hear it, too). She also loves a good cup of butterbeer by owl mail, if you know what she means.

Pumpkin Pasties (i.e. Pumpkin Empanadas)
Dough recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 5 oz. cream cheese, softened and divided (into 4 oz. and 1 oz.)
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3-4 tablespoons homemade cookie butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • White sugar (1/3 cup) and cinnamon (1 teaspoon)

Directions:

  1. To make dough: In a large bowl, cream together margarine and 4 oz. cream cheese until smooth. Add flour and mix until just combined. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 10-15 minutes before handling the next day.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out a sizable chunk of dough on parchment paper until fairly thin; cut into 3 to 4″ circles with a cookie cutter, removing scraps as needed and tossing them back into the leftover dough. (Alternatively, I sometimes simply pat small balls of dough into a thin circle rather than cutting them out–this seems to work just as well.)
  3. To make filling: Combine 1 oz. cream cheese, pumpkin puree, cookie butter, cinnamon, white sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  4. Place about a tablespoon (or less) of filling into the center of each circle. Wet your finger with water and run it around the edges of each circle so that they will seal properly. Carefully lift up one edge of the dough and fold it in half over the filling, being careful not to let the filling leak. Seal by crimping edges with a fork. Use a knife to cut a small ‘x’ on the top surface of each empanada to prevent leaking.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Immediately remove from sheet and carefully dunk into a bowl with combined white sugar and cinnamon. Make sure to get as much cinnamon-sugar on it as you can (you can even sprinkle extra on after you’ve set the pasties onto the cooling rack). Serve warm or cooled. You can also refrigerate these and heat them up slightly before serving.
 

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