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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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desert

Pastry; Which is Your Favorite?

There are many different types of pastry, most of which would fall into one of the following categories:

  • Shortcrust pastry – simplest and most common.
  • Sweetcrust pastry – similar to the shortcrust but sweeter.
  • Flaky pastry – simple pastry that expands when cooked.
  • Puff pastry – has many layers that cause it to puff when baked.
  • Choux pastry – very light pastry that is often filled with cream or other fillings.
  • Phyllo pastry – paper-thin pastry dough that is used in many layers.

I didn’t know there were so many types of pastry so I included the above from the National Day of Calendar.

I think we all know the first two types of pastry are your typical pie shell pastries. When making a pie, once you put the crust in the pan, trim the edges even. Those trimmings can be rolled flat, slathered with room temperature butter, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and baked all by themselves. A nice treat when you have to wait for the pie until after dinner.

Flaky pastry would be a biscuit or croissant. You can actually peel away layers.  While the biscuit is still warm, carefully separate the layers, butter and consume with a satisfied sigh.  Yum.

Puff pastry is used to make turnovers, among other things. You can actually see the layers of dough when you cut into it. Cherry turnovers are my favorite.

Choux pastry is used when making an éclair, or cream puff. Don’t forget the chocolate frosting.  My mouth is now watering…..

Phyllo pastry is used when making Baklava or appetizers such as fresh creamed mushrooms. Years ago I had an older lady friend that taught me how to make Baklava. The secret to working with the Phyllo and not having it tear, is to thaw it slowly.  I miss my friend Leta, and being able to eat Baklava without worrying about calories.

If you aren’t the baking type I’m sure you have a favorite place to go to get your pastry fix. Remember, the fresher it is, the better it will be!

Brownies To Go

Brownies were created when there was a request for a desert for a group of ladies that would be attending a fair in the late 1800s.  They wanted a small cake-like dessert that could be eaten from a boxed lunch.  A Chicago chef, working at the Palmer House Hotel, created the first brownie for the ladies, which featured an apricot glaze and walnuts.  The Palmer House Hotel still serves their original recipe for brownies on their menu.

Which are your favorite brownies: blondies, with no chocolate or the normal chocolate? When I was a kid, my older sister started making congo squares. They were blond brownies with both chocolate and butterscotch chips in them, plus walnuts. A pan of these could disappear in a couple of days when all four of us girls were still home. They were best when still warm and the chips gooey.

Brownies are one desert I buy a package mix for. Betty Crocker makes them just as good as any recipe I have ever tried and with no mess. Currently, they are one of the go-to gluten-free deserts that taste so close to regular you can’t tell the difference.

I think brownies became really popular among college students in the ’60’s when they were laced with a certain weed.  I can honestly say I have never had one of those kind. I don’t think I missed anything. I’ve also heard of adding ex-lax to them when angry at a particular person. Thankfully I’ve never had the honor of eating any of them either. I guess I’ve been lucky.

In the baking aisle of any complete grocery store you can get a good brownie mix and multiple flavors of chips. If you add chocolate mint chips they would fit right in with the rest of your holiday treats.

 

 

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