Spring Baking

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We are happy to be in the thick of spring here on the Colorado Front Range. Trees are budding, leaves are popping out, and there are beautiful blooms starting to peek out everywhere you turn. Nothing gets us more excited than the signs of a new season and the promise of warmer weather and beautiful, long, sunny days ahead. Well, maybe all of that and baking some springy treats. This is the perfect season to welcome some of our baking skills out of hibernation after a few months to recover from the busy baking season. Not to mention, there is an abundance of tempting spring produce and fruit that work so perfectly in the kitchen! We’re sharing a few of our all-time favorite spring recipes, and a couple of spring baking tips today!

Spring Baking Tips

  • Looking to use up some or that rhubarb from your garden or the farmer’s market? Avoid stalks that are limp with blemishes, and look for small leaves that indicate younger plants (just don’t eat the leaves!). We recommend tasting your recipes as you go with rhubarb dishes – sometimes one’s palette may require more sugar and other times, what you make might really shine because of a little rhubarb-tart flavor!
  •  Spring strawberries are among the best produce at our local grocers right now. Always go for ones that are bright red and shiny – and it’s good to know that the size of the berries does not influence their sweetness.
  • Go through your pantry – if you’re spring cleaning the rest of the house, now is a good time to check out your baking “kit” and remove any flours, extracts, spices, etc. that may be past their “best by” dates. Or, you might be able to reorganize to make sure you definitely use up any older duplicates of ingredients before opening a newer package with a longer shelf life!

Spring Recipe Favorites

Coconut Vanilla Cream Tart – Coconut pairs with the subtle sweetness and flavor of Rodelle Vanilla in this tart. You’ll love the crunchy vanilla crumb crust, smooth and rich coconut custard and whipped vanilla bean cream!

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze – This pound cake is the perfect amount of citrus and sweet – with that traditional crumb and dense texture you love about pound cakes!

Angel Food Cupcakes – We’ve created a light, fluffy, and delicious cupcake using our Vanillas and Almond Extract. We then filled these little delights with strawberries and topped them with vanilla bean whip cream!

Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake – This decadent masterpiece was created by Lyndsy Hassett from The Dinnervine. “Sweet strawberries and Pure Rodelle Vanilla come together in this lovely cake! Perfect as a dessert…”

Spring Macarons – These delicious French Macarons have been created with Rodelle by Sugar Bakeshop. They are a delicious assortment of vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry. Mix and match and have a perfect spring dessert!

Layered Carrot Cake – This elegant recipe is borrowed from Saveur magazine. We’ve added our vanilla extract and vanilla beans. The extra vanilla brings a warm and sensual aroma and flavor to this extravagant dessert.

Bird’s Nest Cupcakes – These cupcakes are a perfect accompaniment to any springtime feast. They are moist and creamy, delectable creations that will make your mouth water! They are our most favorite spring recipe!

Chocolate Mousse Filled Strawberries – Delightfully easy and cute for spring and summer – fun for kids to help with filling the strawberries. And, they are light enough that you can enjoy a couple!

Almond Cupcakes with Rhubarb and Strawberries – A light, irresistible mini-cake – perfect for spring entertaining and desserts! They are secretly gluten-free, too, so everyone can enjoy.

Happy *Spring* Baking!

Top 10 Baking Tips for Colorado

It’s no secret that we love baking! With recipes to get you through almost every day of the year, we’re often busy in the kitchen whipping up a treat of some kind. In Fort Collins, Colorado, our home base, we’re at about 5,000 feet above sea level. Some of our friends up in the mountains live well above 8,500 feet though!

If you have a recipe that you are baking for the first time, there’s a chance that it will come out perfectly baked at altitude. There is also a chance that some adjustments might be necessary to make that recipe a home-run! We recommend trying a recipe as written the first time you make it. If it doesn’t turn out, then you can start experimenting!

With so many great resources online, we’re sharing our top 10 favorite baking tips for Colorado that we’ve pulled from other sites and from our Executive Chef’s notes:

  1. Extra flour helps! Starting at 3,500 feet above sea level, add 1 more tablespoon per recipe – scale that increase up as your altitude increases. Additional flour helps strengthen the structure of baked goods.
  2. Adjust your leavening agents – rising happens quicker at altitude and a lower amount of baking powder or baking soda can help maintain the level you are looking for.
  3. Dipped centers on your quick breads? Try decreasing the fat, leavener, and sugar.
  4. Bake your brownies at a decreased oven temperature (about 25 degrees) to prevent overbaked sides and a soupy middle.
  5. If your pie crusts don’t have the right texture, slightly more liquid could help.
  6. Making a yeast bread (yay!)? Try covering your dough and place it in the refrigerator for the first rise. It will take a little longer, but that will give your dough more flavor and allow the yeast to develop over time.
  7. Cookies on your horizon? Increase oven temperature to keep your cookies from overexpanding and drying out!
  8. Got a cake recipe with shortening? You might have to reduce the shortening by 1-2 tablespoons to prevent the cake from falling.
  9. Angel food cake? Beat your egg whites only to soft-peak stage to keep the texture light and fluffy.
  10. When you’re baking cakes, prevent an overly moist layer by increasing flour.

Happy baking and enjoy!

 

The Not So Perfect Housewife

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A really catchy blog title, and a perfect Rodelle Brand Ambassador! Mikki writes the lifestyle blog, The Not So Perfect Housewife and has some great content! You’ll find healthy recipes for every meal of the day that we can all use in our daily lives. We recommend checking out Mikki’s recipes and staying for the life tips and vacation posts.

Mikki recently shared a couple of recipes with our Organic Baking Cocoa that we are completely smitten with: Double Dark No Bake Cookies and Double Chocolate Nice Cream. Both of Mikki’s latest recipes showcase how important adding quality ingredients to your recipes is. When you use fewer, healthy (and clean) ingredients, each ingredient really impacts the overall flavor of your dish. Double Chocolate Nice Cream is delicious and healthy. Instead of your typical dairy-base ice cream, “Nice Cream” recipes traditionally call for frozen bananas or another frozen fruit to add the substance of the dessert.

Mikki says in her post, “A cocoa powder aficionado I do not consider myself. I have never been particularly picky about my cocoa powders. I didn’t realized that there was really all that different of a taste. That was, until I started cooking with Rodelle’s Baking Cocoa. Oh my! This cocoa powder has such a rich chocolate taste and makes any recipe you add it to just pop with flavor.”

We are so flattered by the high praise from Mikki and hope that you’ll try out her recipe for Double Chocolate Nice Cream or the Double Dark No Bake Cookies – or, better yet, both recipes!

Enjoy the desserts first, life is too short!

Who is Tornadough Alli?

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The question is, who is Tornadough Alli? There are a few ways we can answer this question:

In her words, “Alli is a Midwest mom of 4 amazing kids. Born and raised in Minnesota she grew up a self taught cook, finding her way through the kitchen over the years of trial and error. When shes not baking or cooking she loves movies, shopping, traveling and long romantic walks to the fridge!” We love Alli’s great sense of humor.

One thing we love even more is Alli’s great recipe collection! From sandwiches to desserts and everything in between, Alli has a delightful way of making recipes shine in a way that is approachable to home cooks of all levels. Take her latest cookie, the Rugelach shown here. Rugelach are one of our favorite cookies, but they often times can be intimidating because there are a couple more steps involved than a drop cookie. Alli’s recipe is written carefully and tested to make sure the flavors and steps of the cookie work together to make the baking experience a breeze!

Our most exciting answer to the question posed above, is Alli is our newest Brand Ambassador! We recommend checking out Alli’s blog for family-friendly recipes and show-stopping desserts (like these extra vanilla-y Rugelach)!

You must meet Crystal!

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We are so excited to introduce Crystal from Margaritas on the Rocks as our newest Rodelle Brand Ambassador today! Crystal has been using Rodelle for years and we could tell her enthusiasm about our products from the moment she reached out. Crystal wrote to us, “Rodelle is more than just a brand; it’s a product that I not only love but also trust! Its a brand I can depend on in the kitchen time and time again.” – WOW! We love that we can be a small part of Crystal’s kitchen routine, and are so glad that she will be sharing more about how she loves to use Rodelle products. As someone who writes about quality, creative recipes, we couldn’t be happier to align with Crystal!

To kick things off, Crystal made these Southern Red Velvet Brownies – all the Red Velvet flavor you love in a brownie format! We love that this recipe has packed in so much Rodelle flavor in the brownies and the cream cheese frosting! You can read the whole recipe and make up a batch by clicking here, because, sorry, we aren’t sharing these!

And, if Red Velvet isn’t your thing…Crystal’s blog, Margaritas On The Rocks, had us hooked from the very title! Let us tell you that we quickly fell in love with Crystal’s delicious recipes, great energy and creativity. As a lifestyle blog, you’ll find more than just your next favorite food perusing Margaritas On The Rocks.

We hope you’ll check out Crystal’s site and stay for the fabulous desserts. Oh, and get there before Valentine’s Day and enter Crystals’ Rodelle giveaway!