February 2013

Okay friends, today we have another gluten-free high altitude baking recipe. This recipe can be deliciously made using all-purpose flour as well, so whatever works for you and your diet. I have been experimenting with gluten-free all-purpose flour substitutes and so far have been very pleased with the Cup4Cup brand. There is not a noticeable taste to the product and it bakes up beautifully. You can find Cup4Cup at Williams-Sonoma Stores and Whole Foods. I had some sweet potato puree so I decided to play around with my trusty Vanilla-Scented Butternut Squash Quick Bread and Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Glaze formula. It makes the best quick breads- moist, not too greasy, light texture yet substantial density…you just have to try it. Yesterday we hosted a little brunch get-together and [...]

Greetings, everyone! It’s another snowy day in the Rockies. The sun hasn’t come out yet so the snow is still clinging to many of the tree branches and it’s lovely. Late yesterday, we took the beast out for a snowy romp. He seemed to enjoy himself and even dug up a frozen elk leg. Quite a day. Tonight I am meeting up with a friend who cannot consume gluten. As a professional pastry chef I find it very satisfying when I can overcome baking obstacles- high altitude for one, and currently, gluten-free baking- with a delicious outcome. I’ve always felt the best way to start gluten-free baking is with a recipe that is naturally gluten-free. For example, don’t start off trying to make breadsticks. That kind of recipe will require [...]

Have you ever considered the idea of making your own english muffins? I have to admit, I’d never even thought about it until I saw a recipe in my Breakfasts & Brunches cookbook by The Culinary Institute of America. Sometimes I forget about english muffins. Then during a stroll down the bread aisle, I will remember how good they taste, toasted and spread with butter and jam. When split open with a fork, their interior is deep and craggy, and delightfully spongy. Let’s not overlook what made them famous either. Eggs Benedict. Imagine this classic breakfast indulgence with a homemade english muffin. Just throwing that out there, in case it’s a sleepy weekend day… English muffin dough is just like any other soft yeast dough, except it is a bit [...]

High Altitude Bakes is now one year old. Last year, on February 17th, we published our first post and I am so pleased with the progress the site has made. Each month High Altitude Bakes continues to see new visitors, which is exciting and encouraging as there seems to be an under-served market when it comes to baking at altitude. And of course, a big thank you to all of you who have been with us since day one. Here are some highlights from the past year on High Altitude Bakes: Quick breads that bake up fluffy and moist…Vanilla-Scented Butternut Squash Bread The perfect classic birthday layer cake…Yellow Birthday Cake Coffeecake studded with berries and crumb topping…Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake Fudgy, decadent chocolate brownies…Chocolate Bourbon Brownies Wholesome Honey Wheat Bread…Honey Wheat [...]

When I was in high school the lunch ladies made the most amazing chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies. They came in little bags of two and were kept warm during lunch service. Crispy on the edges and gooey in the centers, I couldn’t resist buying them. I’d fight drowsiness the rest of the afternoon, particularly in math class, but that could be unrelated to the cookie coma. A few days ago, I found myself craving a really good, simple cookie and decided I wanted snickerdoodles- buttery, slightly tangy cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking. Cinnamon sugar and I go way back. My dad always made us cinnamon toast for breakfast growing up and his were the best, probably because he used way more cinnamon sugar and butter than my [...]

There’s a reason creme brulee sells well at restaurants. It’s silky, rich custard topped with a thin sheet of caramelized sugar. When you break through it with your spoon you’re left with an incredible experience of sweet, creamy and smooth, with crunchy and bitter rounding it all out. Delicious. They’re pretty simple to make, too. All you need to do is a bit of minor planning, since they need to chill for about four hours. Make them now, or tomorrow, and eat them on Valentine’s Day. Just a thought. I’ve added some spice to kick up the chocolate a little in this recipe, but feel free to omit the spices and celebrate just plain chocolate. I like to serve creme brulee with some fresh fruit, or crunchy cookies. But it’s [...]

This last week I was fortunate enough to take a little getaway to Telluride with my boyfriend. We’ve visited Telluride before, and it never disappoints. I loved that while we came right on the tails of a winter storm that brought about 35″ of fresh snow, the town itself still remained fairly quiet. On Tuesday, we had perfect weather- 45 degrees and full sunshine. It felt like Spring! We spent some time exploring highway 145 and the area near Lizard Head Pass. I love bluebird days- when there is not a cloud in sight, and pure, blue Colorado sky.     Now I’m back in Vail and back to business. The last two months I’ve been hard at work on my new wedding/special event cake business. Many hours (and still [...]

Hello February! I feel like the dreary, gloomy part of winter is over. When I think of my past seasons here, February brings up memories of warmer temperatures, lots of sunshine, and longer days. Let’s hope this month proves the same. We did get a decent amount of snow a few days ago from a storm that passed through here. Here’s a photo of all that snow in action: But anyways, that was back in January. It can’t be February without baking something romantically themed. I’m a trained pastry chef, so I can’t help but focus on the holidays. When I worked at the restaurant I used to look forward to planning a special Valentine’s Day dessert. Halfway through the evening it would lose its allure to me as the [...]

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