Bobbie’s Kitchen: July’s Ripest

July is blueberry month here at Magnolia Bakery and I’m excited to share some of my secrets to baking with these delectable berries. Here are ten tips on baking with blueberries.

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1. Always pick through your blueberries by rinsing them off and pulling out any that are soft and mushy. Pull off any stems as well.

2. The ripest blueberries should be sweet, not tart.

3. In season blueberries tend to be smaller and sweeter than the blueberries you get in the winter.

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4. If you are cooking a filling, you can adjust the amount of sugar up or down depending on the sweetness of the blueberries.

5. Grated lemon peel and fresh juice add a brightness to pies and cooked fillings.

6. Always use fresh blueberries when making pie. Frozen blueberries will release too much liquid and your pie will be watery. You can use individually quick frozen blueberries(use them frozen) in baked desserts such as a muffin or coffee cake, but not a pie.

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7. You can freeze your own fresh blueberries by placing them on a tray, freezing them solid, then placing them in baggies pre-measured for your recipes.

8. My favorite way to serve blueberries is in a simple hand pie that can be assembled in just a few minutes and baked in less than a half hour. Hand pies are any form of a fold-over pie dough with a filling. For example, Pop Tarts would be considered hand pies. They are so easy to make and it’s fun to involve the kids. I usually have pie dough in the refrigerator ready to roll out at any time.

9. Blueberries are so delicious when cooked with a little sugar, lemon peel and a bit of cornstarch. Cook until thickened and the blueberries start to burst, then add a handful of fresh blueberries.  Cool this filling and keep it on hand in the fridge.

10. Always keep pie dough in the refrigerator or freezer in case you need a quick dessert! Add a fruit filling, such as the above blueberry recipe.

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Also be sure to stop by your closest Magnolia Bakery this month to try some of our featured blueberry treats, including our brand new blueberry lemon cupcakes, blueberry jamboree and pies!

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Behind the Scenes of TLC’s Next Great Baker With Bobbie Lloyd

We’re so excited to have our chief baking officer Bobbie Lloyd be a permanent judge on this season of Next Great Baker. You can catch her on TLC every Tuesday at 9PM as she joins Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro and Mr. Chocolate Jacques Torres in their quest to choose a winning team.

We sat down with Bobbie to talk to her about her experiences on the show and learn what it takes to be a judge on the Next Great Baker!

Bobbie Lloyd Magnolia Bakery

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you experienced during the filming of The Next Great Baker?

A: There were times when it was difficult to choose between two cakes when the teams execution was at the same level. We could not have a tie and had to choose.

Q: What is a skill or baking tip you learned on set (from either a judge or a competitor)?

A: I am more of a baker than a decorator, so having the opportunity to watch Buddy and Jacque work their magic was a great experience. Buddy introduced me to working with fondant and modeling chocolate.  He taught me to how make a beautiful chocolate rose.  I got to see first-hand from Jacques how to work with sugar.  Once someone shows you how to do it it’s really not that hard. Of course learning to make something beautiful can take years.

Bobbie Lloyd and Buddy Valastro Next Great Baker

Q: What were the best parts of working with Jacques and Buddy?

A: What’s not to love about these two guys? They each have large personalities, share information, are a wealth of knowledge and loads of fun to be with.

Bobbie Lloyd Buddy Valastro Jacques Torres Next Great Baker

Next Great Baker Bobbie Lloyd

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Happy Fourth of July from Magnolia Bakery!

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Bobbie’s Kitchen: How to Make the Perfect Pie Crust

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Fruit pies are my absolute favorite desserts, and delicious pie crusts are among the most important parts!

Here are some tricks for baking the perfect double crust for seasonal fruit pies.

1.  Wait to add sugar until just before you are ready to add your fruit to the pie. Otherwise, your pie filling will be too watery.

2.  After you roll your bottom layer crust, brush a thin layer of egg white wash over the bottom and sides.

3.  When you add the fruit to the pie pan make sure to “mound” it – gently press together so you create a snug, generously portioned pile of fruit.

4.  When adding the top crust, once again, press your dough toward the center over the fruit. This allows the dough to “drop” during baking.

5.  Be sure to cut or prick the top dough to vent some of the steam. You can get creative here as well, just like Pi Pieswe did for our Pi Day caramel apple hand pies!

6.  A nice egg wash and sugar/cinnamon sprinkle adds a nice sparkle and continues to a browned crisp top.

7.  Check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer. Conventional ovens are often off quite a few degrees, which means your pie could under or over bake easily. You don’t want to ruin all your hard work!

What are your favorite Magnolia Bakery fruit pies? Tell us on Instagram by mentioning @MagnoliaBakeryNYC in your post!

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Make Magnolia Bakery’s Chocolate Lace Meringues

Easter is around the corner and what better way to surprise and impress your loved ones than making our delicious chocolate lace meringues?

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Here’s what you’ll need:

4 egg whites, warmed in the shell

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sugar, extra fine

1/2 cup dark chocolate, shaved

 

1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.

2. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

3. Set oven racks in the center of the oven.

4. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites until foamy.

5. Add the salt and cream of tartar and beat on medium high speed until soft peaks form.

6. Gradually add the sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time every 5 seconds.

7. Continue to beat until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form, which should be about 1 1⁄2 to 2 minutes more.

8. Add vanilla and mix for a few seconds.

9. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in shaved chocolate.

10. Drop meringues by the spoonful onto parchment lined baking sheets.

11. Place in oven and bake, rotating sheets front to back and trading top rack to bottom rack halfway through baking.

12. Bake about 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours. The meringues should be dry and just starting to turn golden on the bottom. Test doneness by removing a meringue from the paper. If it sticks slightly, then bake another 5-10 minutes.

13. Turn oven off and let sit in oven 2 more hours or overnight.

 

Tips:

- Buy a block of dark chocolate and shave it using a vegetable peeler or repeatedly grinding a sharp knife against the edge.

- Do not overbeat egg whites or you may dry out the mixture.

- You will know that the mixture is ready when you no longer feel any sugar crystals.

- Divide the meringue mixture into 4 different bowls and add a small drop of food coloring to each bowl to create an assortment of fun pastel colored meringues.

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Sweeten your Seder with Magnolia Bakery

Everyone knows the best part of a family meal is dessert. Why should Passover be any different? This Passover, we are offering some delicious additions to our menu that will surely be devoured by all of the guests at your seder.

Our matza crunch is indescribably delicious and is made of layers of Matza cracker, our handmade buttercrunch candy, chocolate, white chocolate and toffee pieces. We promise one bite will not be enough, so be sure to order a platter ($24/pound)!

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We are also offering traditional flour-free passover treats, including our twice baked mandel bread ($8/bag), macaroons ($1.50/each), and flourless chocolate cake ($35/cake).

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Satisfy your guests’ cravings after your seder! Call 1.855.MBAKERY to place an advance order for a variety of Passover desserts (available in stores starting April 14), and be sure to check out which treats we are offering in our online store as well.

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Magnolia Bakery & The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt

For the first time in New York, the world’s largest egg hunt will feature over 250 egg sculptures created by the world’s leading artists and designers!

The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt started in London in 2012. This year, Magnolia Bakery, along with a wide variety of New York-based businesses including Diane von Furstenberg, Jacques Torres, and Ralph Lauren are designing special eggs to encourage fans and New Yorkers to participate in the search.

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Our egg was designed by artist/director/editor-in-chief Indira Cesarine, and is hidden in one our New York locations. Be sure to keep an eye out for the egg when you pick up your morning coffee or feed your afternoon sweet craving!

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In celebration of our participation, we will be offering exclusive Big Egg Hunt cookies, buttery, egg-shaped cookies topped with festive pastel royal icing. These cookies will be featured in our stores throughout the end of April, and will be sold in packages of two for $8.00.

Have you spotted our egg yet? Be sure to share with us on Instagram by tagging @MagnoliaBakeryNYC and including #TheBigEggHuntNY in your post!

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