My cousin brought me out to a little place off of highway 280 the other night. When I arrived she announced she was opening her very own bakery called Lil Bit O’ Flour on U.S. 280. Christy Thomas is a graduate of culinary school like myself. While I was attending Jefferson State she attended Virginia College. We both had a love for cooking at a very young age. Christy claims hers started from the first time she saw a cherry on a dessert. I myself though discovered how much I loved it at my great granny’s house. They would let me make the boxed chocolate cake by myself. I still remember how much joy it brought me.
I asked Christy a few questions and this was her thoughts about her new adventure. “My goal for the bakery is to offer things for everyone. Not only do we offer gluten free products, but we will be able to do custom items as well. A lot of people have known my work in my time at the Leeds Three Earred Rabbit. We have a goal to open on August 9, 2019. A business can be very difficult to own and that date is not set in stone. I am aware that bakery’s can be considered a high risk business, but this is what I love and I’m willing to take a chance and see if I can finally have my own shop. I believe I chose the perfect location. It’s not very far from Leeds and with it being off of 280 it will open the opportunity for clientele from other parts of Alabama.”
I think Christy Thomas will do the citizens of Leeds, Alabama very proud. We are known as the city of valor and what is more courageous, then opening a door of opportunities of which you strongly believe can make a difference. In celebration of Christy and her new business. I have a selection of bakery treats that you can enjoy at home, until the grand opening. When I was in high school I was known for making this hard candy and after so many people have asked, I’ve decided to finally share the recipe.
If you have an exciting recipe to share in 2019, then please send it to me at P.O. Box 693 Leeds, Alabama 35094
-Andrew M. Armstrong
Andrews Hard Candy
4 Cups of White Sugar
1 Cup of White Karo Syrup
1 Cup of water
1 Tablespoon of flavoring
Dust a baking sheet or a pizza pan with no holes or slots with powdered sugar Combine the first 3 ingredients and bring to boil. Stir the whole time so it doesn’t burn. Use a candy thermometer and cook to 300 degrees. Add the food coloring and the flavor. Pour over the powdered sugar and cool. Once cooled dust the top with more powdered sugar and break into pieces.
Old Fashioned Tea Cakes
4 Cups of flour, sifted
1 Cup of white sugar
1 Cup of shortening
1/4 Cup of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 teaspoon of salt
Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the egg, cream, and the remaining ingredients. Once mixed shape into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 45 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface and cut with a biscuit cutter. Bake at 375 degrees on a greased pan.
Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Fudge
1 1/2 Cups of white sugar
1 1/2 Cups of brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of Apple Pie Spice
2 sticks of butter
1 jar of marshmallow Creme (7 Ounces)
1 Cup of sweet potatoes or pumpkin, mashed
1 can of evaporated milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla
Butter scotch morsels (18 Ounces)
1 Cup of nuts, chopped
Butter a 13 X 9 inch pan.
In a heavy saucepan combine the sugar, butter, milk, sweet potato or pumpkin and the spices. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir constantly. Continue boiling over medium heat and and cook for 10 minutes. When the mixture has reached 230 degrees, remove from the heat and stir in the butterscotch. Add in the remaining ingredients. Stir until the mixture is well blended. Quickly spread the mixture evenly into the pan and let it cool. Once it has firmed up, cut it into squares. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Pecan Pie Muffins
1 Cup of Dark Brown sugar
1/2 Cup of all-purpose flour
2/3 Cup of butter, melted
1 Cup of pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Blend together, but don’t over mix the batter. Pour the mixture into a greased muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes.
Italian Apple Dinner Rolls
7 1/4 Cups of all-purpose flour
2 packages of active dry yeast
2 Cups of warm buttermilk (105 degrees)
1 Tablespoon of shortening
1/2 Cup of warm water (105 degrees)
1 1/2 teaspoons of Apple Pie Spice
1 Cup of Apples, diced
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of water
1 slightly beaten egg
In large mixing bowl combine the flour, Apples and yeast. Combine the warm water, buttermilk and salt. Add it to the flour mixture. Beat with a low speed electric mixer for 1/2 minute and scraping the bowl. Add in the shortening. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. If it is needed, then Knead in enough flour to make a very stiff dough. Continue kneading until it is smooth and very elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let it rise in a warm place, until doubled in size (1 hour and 20 minutes). Punch down and divide in half. Cover and let the dough rest 10 minutes. Divide each half and shape into oval dinner rolls. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. With a sharp knife cut a shallow criss cross X shape on each roll. Cover, let it rise until doubled. Place a large shallow pan in lower rack of oven. Fill with boiling water. Add 1 tablespoon of water to egg. Brush on the rolls. In a preheated oven, bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes.