Saturday, May 12, 2012

SweetBakedLove is off to the Market....

Today was the first day of the Farmers Market and after spending all day yesterday baking up a store like a mad woman I am happy to say that I pretty much sold out of everything....yay!! It was really cold this morning, which wasn't the best thing BUT it kept me awake so I can't complain. I had a great time at the market and some dear friends showed up to sell their homemade goods; it was a pleasant surprise seeing them there. Selling my home baked goods + chatting with friends + fresh air + blooming flowers + great music playing = a really great way to spend a Friday!!  

Tomato plants for sale, a vendor selling Grilled Souvlaki, pita and tzatziki... it smelled so good and a guy selling homemade Swiss sausage right across from my table....I sampled those...yummo!!

There something about Farmers Markets that I just love. No matter where it is or when it is, it's brings a nostalgic feeling of times when things were just simpler. Nothing fancy schmancy just some great home baking, farm fresh products, crafts, gardening supplies, live music and so much more. I love it. 

A little video I filmed at the market, the live music was great, I swear I felt like I was Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairies for a few brief moments, listening to that song. Only thing missing was a horse and buggy....

Once I had my table all set up, off I went to check out my fellow vendors. Before you know it I found a  lovely lady selling Linzer Torte (anytime you can buy Linzer Torte from a Swiss lady with an accent, do it...just saying) next thing you know I found a really pretty plant I just simply needed. Boy, I looked like a overgrown kid in a candy store....ah, the good ole' days .

 Well I could go on and on explaining to you how I feel about the Farmers Market and what it's like but the best way to find out is firsthand. It's Farmers Market time all over the province get out with your friends and families and go to one today!! When you shop at the Farmers Market you help keep BC farmers farming and BC bakers baking. Come join the fun :)

~ Homemade Apple and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie ~

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie

All my goods wrapped and ready to go...

I made homemade pies, cinnamon buns, sweet dough pastries with apricot and date filling, squares and cookies. I made different varieties of each kind of baked goods I listed BUT my favorite thing was a Russian sweet treat called Gorka aka Hill !!

Wonderful Sweet Squares called Gorka!

Okay if I translate it from Russian to English, it would be called "hill". How original hey, it's a Russian thing I think, when it comes to naming things we keep it simple. I had a few cats named "Kошка" which simply means cat. See simple! Well let me tell you when it come to these bars they are anything but simple, I mean taste wise. They are made out of a sweeten unleavened dough which is rolled out and cut into thin strips, then the strip of dough are deep fried till light, airy, and slightly golden, kind of like puff pastry . Once all the dough strips are fried you make a honey and sugar mixture that is warmed up, pour the sweet golden mixture all over the fried dough strips. Stir to coat all the fluffy dough strip with the honey mixture and press into a pan. Cool, cut into pieces and indulge. D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. I can't even begin to imagine how to explain the taste all I know is once you try it you can't stop! 

These squares are so delicious I'm going to share the recipe with you today. Have fun making the "Hill" aka Gorka.


First start by preparing the oil for deep frying. You can use a deep fryer, follow manufactures direction to deep fry. I use a normal cooking pot with tall sides. Pour canola oil or lard in the pot no more than half full. If you have a candy thermometer get it out and ready. Set pot on burner and leave till needed. Don't turn burner on yet!!

*Always be very careful while deep-frying.*

1 dozen eggs
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Combine ingredients in mixing bowl. Beat well with mixer till light, foamy and frothy. Should be approx. triple in volume.

3-4 cups flour

Add 3 cups flour all at once and stir to combine to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. If this dough is really moist and sticky add the 4th cup of flour. The amount of flour used can vary depending on the size of egg I use large eggs, just keep in mind that the dough should be soft, slightly sticky not tough and hard.     

Sprinkle the work surface with a dusting of flour and lightly knead dough 2-3 minutes into a soft dough ball. Cut the dough ball into 6 even pieces and shape into balls. 

Start heating the oil at this time. Always be very careful while deep-frying. You can use a normal cooking pot (one with tall sides is best). Put the oil in the pot and put it on the stove. Begin heating the oil over medium heat. To control the temperature, you can use a thermometer. The best temperature is 350 to 375 degrees F. Just turn the heat up or down until you can maintain a consistent temperature.  While the oil is heating finish cutting dough into strips.

Lightly dust work surface with flour then roll out each piece one at a time into a round shape about 1/8 inch thickness, approximately 10 inch round. 

Cut the rounds in half and then the half in half again, length wise. You should have a circle cut into 4 lengthwise strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and with a sharp knife, cut into thin strips. See diagram. 
Carefully drop handful of dough strips into heated oil, stir lightly with metal spoon. Be careful as oil can bubble over, if oil starts bubbling up to much, stop and change the oil it will boil over and can cause a fire. **If the oil does bubble over carefully turn off burner, remove pot from burner and sprinkle baking soda on burning oil in burner.**

Fry all the dough strip till lightly golden. Remove from oil carefully with metal slotted spoon into a large bowl lined with paper towel. Finish frying all the dough strips, then set aside while you make the honey/sugar mixture.

~ Honey Mixture ~

1 cup honey
2 cups sugar

Combine the honey and sugar in a saucepan. Heat on medium high till mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat and pour all over the fried dough strips. Use a wooden or metal spoon to mix and coat all the dough strips well. *Careful mixture is hot don't mix with your hands!!*

Evenly press the mixture into a lightly greased 13x9x2 inch pan or mold into a hill shape as per tradition. Score and cut squares while still warm. Cool completely and remove squares from pan.


Once all the baking was done I came up with the idea to make rustic signs to display my baking. Eight o'clock at night I was outside cutting down trees, I'm sure my neighbors think I'm a bit insane but hey, it was totally worth it they turned out to be pretty darn cute.

All said and done I had a great time and look forward to next week to another day at the Farmers Market.
Check your locally market out, you'll be pleasantly surprised :)

Pies, pies, pies....

All set up!

Sweet Dough Apricot Pastries 

Chocolate Puff Wheat Squares

~ White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies ~

Chocolate Chip Smarties Monster Cookies

P.S. I linked up all my favorite Farmers Markets. Just click each highlighted Farmers Market on my blog and it will open  a new page with some of my favorite Farmers Market's I've visited over the years. 

Have fun and thanks for stopping by,


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Rachel said...

Could you please post the chocolate puff wheat squares recipe? My Baba used to make these :-) Thanks for posting Russian recipes!

Katya said...

Hi Rachel, I just saw your comment. I will post the recipe as soon as possible.