Adventures in Recipe Testing: The Beginning of a New Baking Chapter

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There comes a time in every young baker’s life when he or she has watched enough food-related shows on television and Netflix and decides that maybe it’s time to start creating recipes of their very own…

…That time for me came nine months ago, but for the sake of this post, we’ll say that it didn’t officially start until this weekend.

We’ve got brand new neighbors upstairs that just moved in about a week and a half ago. In our building, there aren’t a ton of units, so for me, it’s important that I get to know everyone. The last time I made an introduction with new neighbors, I made doughnuts. Those seemed to be a crowd-pleaser then, so I decided, “You know what? Why break what isn’t broken? Doughnuts again it is!” But I didn’t want to just make the same doughnuts that I made last time because that makes it a little less special. Instead, I tried to think of things that would compliment the vanilla base, yet still allow it to be unique and creative. I also wanted to dye the glaze a different color, but I’m not always so keen on using food coloring. Then it hit me: what about a strawberry glaze? You get the strawberry flavor, and when mixed with the white glaze, a great color! So I set to work.

DSCN0286It’s always such a breeze putting these babies together. I love that I didn’t even have to use my mixer. Clean-up is never fun, so the less I use, the better it is.

DSCN0292Twelve of these round rings of deliciousness later, it was time to start working on a glaze from scratch. No help from other recipes, just pure experimentation.

DSCN0295Initially, I tried to think of a way to get the strawberry juice, but none of the pulp. (I suppose you could call it pulp, right?) So I thought about putting the frozen strawberries into a colander, then mashing them up with something to get the juice, and nothing but the juice. But that didn’t work out so well at all. The colander’s holes were a little too big for such an experiment, and I ended up just straining through mashed strawberry. Then I decided to strain it through a paper towel to at least TRY to get some of the juice, but that was worse. Finally, I decided that the glaze was the exact color that I wanted, so, so what? It’s a glaze infused with fruit, and I should just own it.DSCN0298

And “own it” I did! I dipped each doughnut into the glaze, then let it sit for about thirty minutes in the refrigerator. DSCN0299

And I have to say it: It was a pretty great success!

Looking back, there just a few things I would change. For starters, in the doughnut recipe, I was afraid that if I added nutmeg, it might compete with the strawberry flavor. But as I bit into it, I realized that it needed something. So next time, maybe just a little nutmeg. Secondly, I needed WAY more strawberries. The flavor was more subtle that I would’ve liked. In my opinion, if you’re going to say it’s a strawberry glaze, it better deliver that strawberry with a punch. And third, maybe add some decoration. I added red sprinkles afterwards which seemed like a good idea at the time, until I realized that when red sprinkles get a little moist, they start to bleed. It messed up my colors!

But my neighbors loved the gesture, and brought us “Thank You” brownies the very next day, special-delivered by THE CUTEST DOG EVER, Piper!

This is the start of a beautiful friendship.

And a beautiful adventure, making my own recipes.

Happy Tuesday, guys!

singature gray

P.S. It’s snowing and sleeting today. What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

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