Archive for the ‘Hudson Valley Baking Society’ Category

Holiday Cookie Trays!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Last week the Hudson Valley Baking Society made cookie trays! (photo courtesy of Denise Van Aken)

It took teamwork

and planning

then a dinner break for Annie’s wonderful soup

followed by more work!

More work and lots of fun! Our annual event raises money for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.

Happy Holidays (photo courtesy of Megan Showers)

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Preparing Holiday Cookie Trays

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Last year the Hudson Valley Baking Society made cookie trays – a fundraiser for the Northeast Regional Food Bank.

We baked an assortment of drop cookies in the BOCES culinary school kitchen and

made festive holiday cookie trays.

This year I began early and made poppy cut-out cookies.

Colored doughs are next in line!


Home-Based Baking at its Best! It’s never too early to begin holiday production when using commercial tips and techniques. Recipe and tips are in Home Baking for Profit.

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Fresh Fruit Cake, Product Idea

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Cooling on the stove top.

Last week the Hudson Valley Baking Society had a membership meeting. As usual, we also had a quarterly baking challenge: Bake something with pears!

My time was short so I made a fast ‘n easy fresh fruit cake with pears and blueberries. This recipe is similar to a fruit cobbler (all the fruit on bottom) but I used a cake batter instead of biscuits.

Fresh Fruit Cake on left, with a simple vanilla glaze. I was so pressed for time, this is the only other photo.

Fresh Fruit Cake
A simple cake that works for any seasonal fruit

Approximately 3 cups fresh chopped fruit, with or without skin
2 tablespoons sugar or cinnamon sugar
½ cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
confectioner’s sugar or glaze

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly spray an 8×8 pan.
2. Put chopped fruit into pan and sprinkle with (cinnamon) sugar.
3. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until smooth and thick. This can easily be done by hand.
4. Pour batter over fruit and bake for approximately 40 minutes, until cake looks golden brown and the fruit bubbles up around the rim.
5. When cool, either glaze or sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over top of cake. Refrigerate leftovers if keeping longer than two days.

Home-Based Baking at its Best! I’ve made this cake with peaches, plums, apples, pears, blueberries, or nectarines. It’s perfect for selling at the farmers’ market since it highlights fresh, local, and seasonal fruits. For whole cakes use disposable paper bakeware. For individual portions, can be made in paper-lined muffin cups.

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Baking with Almond Paste

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

There’s something special about almond paste. It gives products a subtle flavor and adds a nice texture. A couple of weeks ago I bought a case and made:

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies, MrMacho’s favorite.

Almond Cherry Biscotti

Almond Buttons

Pear Frangipane Tart

Saturday, after our Hudson Valley Baking Society (HVBS) membership meeting, we had a workshop, Baking with Almond Paste.



(The mixers were not entirely cooperative.)


That afternoon at home I made another Pear Frangipane Tart.



Frangipane is an almond filling made with almond paste (or ground almonds). This filling is most often spread over a crust (tart, cookie, or pie crust) and topped with fresh fruit. Bakeries keep a supply of tart shells par-baked and stored at room temp until ready to finish.

For the above tart, use your favorite sweet cookie crust dough; reserve a small amount of dough to use as a streusel topping. Press most of the dough into a pan and parbake until a light golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes, spread a thin layer of frangipane, and top with a layer of fresh fruit. Sprinkle remaining dough/streusel and bake at 350 degrees until done (approx 20 minutes) until the crust is a deep golden brown and the top is a light brown. Cool before cutting.

Frangipane filling
1 cup almond paste (8 ounces)
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt

Beat together almond paste, sugar, and butter. Add eggs and extracts, beating until smooth. Mix in flour and salt. Spread thin layer over tart crust or use as filling for other products. Store in fridge.

Fresh fruit season is perfect for selling this product, especially at farmers’ markets. Make individual tarts or a large tart cut into small pieces. Optional: add a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

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Baking a Difference in the Hudson Valley

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

This past week, the Hudson Valley Baking Society had a project: BOCES asked us to make 50 boxes of cookies! These were a thank you for the area healthcare facilities that sponsored nursing students throughout the year.

We used the 20 quart Hobart and mixed 4 batches of dough, 64 dozen cookies per batch.

Some of the cookies were divided and baked while others were first rolled in sprinkles.

We ran out of baking sheets and had to stack warm cookies to free up more pans.

What a project!

In the meantime, nursing students came to help. They set up the boxes

and filled them with cookies.

See those two cooling racks on the right? These racks had been filled with cookies.

Hudson Valley Baking Society Baking a difference in the Hudson Valley

Read about our holiday bake sale when we raised $1200 for our regional food bank.

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