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Category: Desserts & Fruit

Cranberry White Chocolate Tart

Cranberry White Chocolate Tart

Cranberry White Chocolate Tart

 

crust

1 1/2 C. gluten-free oats

1/2 C. raw almonds

5 T. coconut oil (melted)**

2 T. maple syrup

 

cranberry layer

2 C. cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1 C. water

1/4 C. maple syrup

1 tsp. agar agar (substitute with gelatin powder 1:1 ratio)

 

white chocolate layer

⅔ C. coconut milk (sub with cashew milk)

1 C. raw cashews (soaked*)

¾ C. cacao butter (sub with vegan white chocolate), melted and cooled

1/3 C. maple syrup

Pinch of salt

4 T. vegan white chocolate, melted and cooled

 

For the crust add oats and almonds into a food processor. Pulse until combined and add maple syrup and coconut oil. Process into a moist mixture. Firmly press dough into the tart and press up on the sides as well. Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes until crust appears golden brown. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes and then transfer onto a cooling rack. In a small saucepan add cranberries, water and maple syrup. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes over low-medium heat until cranberries have broken down. With a hand mixer puree cranberries and add a little bit of water if sauce is too thick. Add 1 tsp. of agar agar powder (or gelatin powder) and simmer for another 5 minutes over low-medium heat. Set aside to cool for a couple minutes, then spread cranberry jam/sauce into the crust (½ way full) and let set in the fridge for another 15 minutes. In the meantime prepare the white chocolate layer. Melt white chocolate and cacao butter in a small saucepan over low heat and set aside.  In a food processor or high speed blender add cashews, maple syrup and coconut milk. Process until completely smooth. Add melted chocolate/cacao butter and process until combined. Pour white chocolate mixture into the tart and let set in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours. Garnish with sugar coated cranberries and white chocolate chips and serve immediately. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Notes

*soak cashews in water overnight or for at least 3-4 hours.

**use refined (vs unrefined) coconut oil to avoid coconut flavor

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3/4 C. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp

1/4 C. cream cheese, at room temp

1/2 C. sugar

1 C. packed light brown sugar

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, light brown sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture, beating to combine, then stir in the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 3 days. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Drop 2- to 3-T. mounds of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing the mounds at least 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Berry Berry Cool Pie

Berry Berry Cool Pie

Berry Berry Cool Pie

1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 T. lemon juice

1 ½ C. assorted fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries or blackberries)

1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 (6 oz.) Keebler Ready Crust Graham Pie Crust

Mix together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice in large bowl until blended. Stir in berries. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Freeze 5 hours or until set. Let stand 30 to 40 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired. For Fudge Drizzle: Place 2 T. Smucker’s® Hot Fudge Topping in resealable plastic bag. Cut small piece off one corner. Drizzle topping over pie before serving.

Pistachio Cake with Pomegranate

Pistachio Cake with Pomegranate

Pistachio Cake with Pomegranate

100g green pistachios

35 grams of all-purpose flour for a dense nutty cake or 70 grams for a fluffier cake

1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature (8 TB)

100g caster sugar

zest of 1 lemon

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted if organic

2 tablespoons of pomegranate arils, plus more for garnish

pinch of salt

drops of lemon juice

some green pistachios, chopped or kept whole

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan with butter and flour. Pulse your pistachios with the flour until finely ground. Beat the butter for a few minutes then add the sugar and zest and beat until light and fluffy add eggs one at a time, while mixer is running and beat until combined. Add the pistachio and flour mixture, the salt and baking powder to the wet mix and fold with a spatula until combined. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when pressed. If you are making the glaze: do so by pressing pomegranate arils through a sieve to release about 1/2 tablespoon of juice. Add the lemon juice, powdered sugar and the salt and mix to combine.  Once the cake is cool, drizzle with the glaze and top with pistachios and more arils.

Rhubarb Chess Pie

Rhubarb Chess Pie

Rhubarb Chess Pie

single-crust pie pastry

2 C. (½‑inch thick) slices rhubarb

1 ¼ C. granulated sugar (divided)

2 tsp. unsalted butter (at room temperature)

3–4 pinch kosher salt (divided)

4 large eggs (lightly beaten)

½ C. heavy cream

¼ C. melted unsalted butter

2 T. white vinegar

1 T. cornstarch

1 T. cornmeal

1 tsp. vanilla

 

Set oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 12-inch circle, a generous ⅛‑inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9‑inch pie plate and gently press it up the sides. Drape any excess crust over the edge, then fold under and crimp decoratively. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom of the dough. Line the dough with parchment or foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 8 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and parchment or foil, then continue baking for another 5 minutes, or until the crust is dry and pale colored. Remove from the oven and set aside on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. Meanwhile, toss together sliced rhubarb, ¼ C. granulated sugar, butter, and a big pinch of salt on a separate rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, until just tender, about 12 minutes. Scrape the rhubarb, and any juices, evenly across the bottom of the prepared pie pastry. Lower the oven temperature to 350ºF. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, remaining sugar, cream, melted butter, vinegar, cornstarch, cornmeal, vanilla and 2 or 3 big pinches of salt. Once well-combined pour the mixture over the rhubarb in the pie pastry. Place the pie, on the rimmed baking sheet, in the heated oven and bake for 40 minutes., or until the center of the pie is just set. If the crust get too brown lightly tent it with foil for the last 10 or 15 minutes of baking. Cool on a wire rack 2 hours. Cover and chill the pie at least 3 hours. Allow the pie to sit at room temperature 15 or 20 minutes before slicing.

Peach Tart with Basil and Mascarpone  

Peach Tart with Basil and Mascarpone  

Peach Tart with Basil and Mascarpone

1 C. mascarpone cheese

1/4 cream (possibly a bit more)

½ C. basil chiffonade (leaves rolled and cut into very thin ribbons) plus more sprigs for garnish

¾ C. sugar

1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal

1/4‑teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2‑teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

4 large peaches

 

Prepare Filling::  Using a hand mixer or whisk whip together the mascarpone cheese, cream, and 1/4‑C. sugar. Add the cream a little at a time. You are looking for a sour cream consistency, very smooth with no lumps. Mix in 1/4‑C. basil chiffonade at the very end until just incorporated. Refrigerate filling, covered, until you are ready to assemble the tart.

 

Make Tart Shell: Whisk together the flour with the cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl mix egg yolk, cream, and vanilla. In a 3rd bowl cream the butter and 1/4 C. sugar together using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix them together on medium speed until they form a pale and fluffy paste, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk mixture and mix them together on medium-low speed until well combined. Working in 3 additions, add flour mixture to the bowl until just combined. I find these additions easier to work with using a wooden spoon so as not to over mix the dough. Working on a piece of plastic wrap shape the dough into an oblong shape that is roughly the size of your tart tin (13 3/4‑by‑4 1/4‑by-1-inch). Add an additional piece of plastic on top and roll a rolling pin over the top to form a smooth flat piece of dough about 1/4‑inch thick. Close up the plastic wrap and move dough to the refrigerator. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes, before using. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Invert the dough into the tart tin. It does not matter if it breaks or does not fit perfectly. Because you can press dough together and finish the shaping in the tart tin. The type with a removable bottom works best. Trim edges of dough flush with pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake about 18 minutes until golden and crisp. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Make the Peaches: Peel the peaches. This can be accomplished easily if you blanch the peaches first. This will loosen their skin and the task is not nearly as messy as it would be with a knife.

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl large enough for all the peaches. With a paring knife, lightly score an X onto the bottom of each peach. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop the peaches into the water for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, move the peaches into to an ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Once the peaches have cooled, the skin should peel off easily. You may need to get it started with a paring knife, but most of the skin can be removed with your hands. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Cut each half into 4 or 5 evenly sized wedges. Stir together the peach wedges, remaining 1/4‑C. sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and remaining 1/4‑C. basil in a medium sized saucepan with a lid, set over medium heat. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until the peaches have softened, become a uniform color and released their juices, about 6 minutes. Let the peaches cool completely in the syrup.

If necessary, right before assembling remove the peaches using a slotted spoon and continue to cook the juices until they have thickened to a syrup.

 

Assemble the Tart: Spoon mascarpone filling into tart shell. Top with the peaches in an attractive manner, spooning the thickened juices over the top. Garnish with more basil sprigs or leaves.

Watermelon & Blackberry Fruit Salad

Watermelon & Blackberry Fruit Salad

Watermelon & Blackberry Fruit Salad

 

3 C. cubed watermelon

1 1/2 C. blackberries

2 T. chopped mint leaves

1 Lime

 

Take a large bowl and add watermelon cubes, blackberries, and mint leaves. Gently combine. Take your lime, slice it in half, then squeeze the juice from both halves over your fruit. Gently toss and serve.

Hard Candy Lollipops with Edible Flowers

Hard Candy Lollipops with Edible Flowers

Hard Candy Lollipops with Edible Flowers

– Medium heavy bottom saucepan

– Candy thermometer

– 2″ flat round hard candy lollipop mold

– Lollipop sticks

– Nonstick cooking spray

– Pyrex 2 C. measuring cup

– Pastry brush

– Cookie sheet or marble slab

– Parchment paper

– Edible flowers to fit inside the 2″D flat candy mold

 

– 1 C. of granulated sugar

– 1/3 C. of corn syrup

– ½ C. of water

– 2 tsp. of flavoring oil if using

 

Prepare your molds by lightly spraying them with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare either a marble slab or an upside-down cookie sheet (air underneath the sheet will help the candy to cool faster), by covering with parchment paper and spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Place molds on a cookie sheet or marble slab. Combine sugar and water in a medium heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Once boiling, stop stirring as soon as the syrup starts to boil and insert a candy thermometer. Allow to boil, without stirring, until candy reaches 250°F (121°C). If you plan to add food coloring, add it at this point and allow the liquid to continue boiling.  Once the candy reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit (known as hard crack stage), remove it from heat, add flavoring of your choice and pour into the Pyrex measuring cup. Allow liquid to sit until it stops bubbling completely. This will prevent bubbles from forming in your poured lollipops. Working quickly, pour a scant amount of hard candy liquid into each mold, enough just to cover the bottom. Place an edible flower FACE DOWN on the liquid in each mold. Add a lollipop stick to each mold and continue pouring to fill each mold. If liquid becomes too thick to easily pour, simply reheat in the microwave on high for about 15 seconds and continue filling the molds. NOTE: The flower is placed face down so that the correct side of the flower will be on the front side of the completed lollipop. Allow to cool completely and remove from mold once hardened. Store Lollipops individually wrapped, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to a month.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

When fresh rhubarb is not available, frozen can be used in its place. Also, keep in mind, rhubarb stalks range in color, from a light green to a stunning red. The lighter stalks will create a less vivid red syrup. Adding a few cranberries during the cooking process will enhance the color of the simple syrup.

 

4 cups fresh Rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups Water

1 1/2 cups organic granulated Sugar

 

Add the water, sugar and rhubarb to a heavy bottom pot. On medium heat bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, cooking until rhubarb has softened and is breaking apart. Set mixture aside until it has cooled. Using a fine mesh strainer, reserve the syrup. Allow mixture to strain naturally without pushing down on the rhubarb. Doing so will leave sediments in the syrup.  Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Reserve the cooked rhubarb to be used in cakes, muffins, breads, as well as to top ice-cream.

Berries with Citrus Syrup

Berries with Citrus Syrup

Berries with Citrus Syrup

1 lb. mixed red berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, and redcurrants

4 1/2oz caster sugar

zest of 1 lemon, cut into strips

1 T. orange juice

handful of mint leaves

 

Place the mixed berries in a serving dish and set aside. Mix the sugar with 120ml (4fl oz) water in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally, then increase the heat, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool, then add the lemon zest and orange juice. Drizzle the syrup over the berries, then add the mint leaves. Leave to macerate for 10 minutes, before serving. GOOD WITH Whipped cream or ice cream. PREPARE AHEAD The dish can be made up to 1 hour in advance.

Salted Margarita Bites Cookies

Salted Margarita Bites Cookies

Salted Margarita Bites Cookies

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix

1 T. slightly packed grated fresh lime peel

1/3 C. butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt

 

In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and lime peel until blended. Add butter, egg and lime juice. Beat with electric mixer on medium-low speed until blended and soft dough forms. On 17-inch piece plastic wrap, shape dough into 12-inch log. Wrap tightly; freeze at least 30 minutes or until firm enough to slice. Heat oven to 375°F. Unwrap dough; cut into %-inch slices. On ungreased cookie sheets, place slices 2 inches apart, reshaping if necessary; lightly sprinkle with salt. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until pale brown on bottom. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely before storing in airtight container. If desired, garnish cookies with freshly grated lime peel just before serving.

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

6 C. rhubarb, chopped into 1” slices

zest and juice 2 medium orange

3/4 C. granulated sugar

1 2/3 C.  self-rising flour

6 T. butter, cut into pieces

2/3 C. milk

 

2 T. flaked almond

Mascarpone or crème fraîche, to serve

 

Heat oven to 350. Place the rhubarb in a pan with the orange juice and 2/4 C. of the sugar. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then cover and cook for a few mins until the rhubarb is softened but still holding its shape, about 5 mins. Tip into a 1.5 quart gratin dish.

 

Put the flour, orange zest and remaining sugar in a bowl, add the butter, then rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the milk to make a soft dough. Drop 8 spoonfuls of mixture over the rhubarb and scatter with the almonds. Bake for 25-30 mins until the topping is crisp and golden. Serve warm with mascarpone or crème fraîche.

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

12 C. Sliced Rhubarb

1 ½ C. Sugar

 

In a large pot combine the rhubarb and sugar, mixing well. Cover and let stand until juice begins to release from the fruit. While the fruit stands, get the boiling water canner going and get jars, lids, and rings ready. Once some water has started to release from the rhubarb, bring it to a gentle boil, stirring to prevent scorching. Ladle the stewed rhubarb into hot jars leaving 1/2″ headspace. Clean rims; put on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for elevation.

 

Notes: Scale the recipe up or down by figuring 1/2 C. sugar for every 4 C. of chopped rhubarb

 

These beautiful jars are a simple addition to many meals in winter:

 

  • Use as a pancake / waffle topping instead of syrups
  • Mix in with oatmeal and other hot cereals for a flavorful, fruity punch
  • Top ice cream, poundcake, or sweet shortcake biscuits for an easy dessert
  • Dumplings! Put a jar or two into a pot and heat, add dumpling batter and cook until the dumplings are cooked and fluffy.
  • Stir into homemade yogurt
  • Pour a jar or two into the bottom of a pie plate and top with oats and melted butter for a crisp-style dessert.
Canning Mandarin Oranges

Canning Mandarin Oranges

Canning Mandarin Oranges

Clean your jars, rings and lids. A dishwasher works great for this. I usually put them in a pot of boiling water and then place them in the oven on the lowest temperature while I prepare my fruit. Peel your mandarins. Remove as much of the white pith as possible. These little Kishu Mandarins took no work at all to remove the pith, but their smaller than golf ball size did involve a lot of peeling. Pull apart the segments. You can actually leave them whole if you prefer, but since I will mostly be using them for salads I decided it would be easier to separate them before the canning process. Pack sterilized jars with Mandarin segments, leaving about 1/2 space at the top of the jar. Prepare your syrup solution. It is up to you whether you want a light or thick syrup and adjust the amount of sugar accordingly. The sugar does not actually preserve the mandarins. Preservation is achieved through the canning process and water bath technique. You could just add hot water to the jars if you wanted no added sugar. I went with a 2:1 ratio of water to sugar. I found I used about 1/2 C. of solution for each pint of mandarins. I combined 6 C. of water with 3 C. of sugar. Place the solution over medium high heat stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring solution to a boil and immediately pour over packed jars of fruit. Slide a knife down the edge of each jar to release any air bubbles. I found an offset spatula worked great for this step.  Place lids and rings on jars. Place jars in a boiling water bath and boil for 15 minutes. You will need to adjust the time if you are living above 6,000 feet. Ensure the jars are sealed. Any unsealed jars should go directly into the fridge. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool dark place for up to 9 months.

Rice Krispies Treats for Two

Rice Krispies Treats for Two

Rice Krispies Treats for Two

1 T. unsalted butter (1/2 oz)

1 C. tightly packed mini marshmallows

2 C. crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies

Pinch fine sea salt

 

Line a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan with parchment paper or wax paper. If making the rice krispies treats for two in the microwave, place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on full power in 15-second increments, until the butter melts completely, 30 to 50 seconds. Add the marshmallows and microwave, again in 15-second increments, until the marshmallows melt, 25 to 50 seconds. Immediately stir the butter and marshmallows together very well. If making the rice krispies treats for two on the stovetop, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Immediately add the marshmallows and, working quickly, stir until melted and well blended. Remove from the heat. Add the pinch of salt and the cereal all at once to the melted marshmallow and butter goo. Stir, stir, stir until the cereal is completely coated. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan using buttered fingertips or a spatula. If you have the patience, let the treats cool slightly. Slice in half and devour. (Just to warn you, these are generous servings. But c’mon, since when did a little Rice Krispies treat ever satisfy your craving?!)

Milk and Honey Baklava

Milk and Honey Baklava

Milk and Honey Baklava

1/2 C. unsalted butter, cubed (this can be a rough cube, ain’t got to be perfect)

BAKLAVA:

1 C. walnuts

1 1/2 C. shelled pistachios

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 pound phyllo

SYRUP:

3/4 C. sweetened condensed milk

1/4 C. boiling water

2 T. honey

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

 

I used a 9×13-inch/quarter baking sheet. You can also use a baking dish or even a round cake pan (but you’ll have to cut the phyllo dough to shape).

 

CLARIFIED BUTTER: In a small saucepan, set over medium-low heat, add the butter. When the butter has melted it will begin to bubble and the milk solids will rise to the top. Using a spoon, skim the top of the melted butter and discard the milk solids. Run the butter through a small sieve or a cheese cloth to remove any excess milk solids. We want to do this so the butter doesn’t burn in the oven. Set the warm butter to the side.

 

TO MAKE THE BAKLAVA: My phyllo dough came in a 1 pound box. I used a pair of scissors and cut my phyllo dough in half (1/2 pound). (I saved the other half in the freezer for another time.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, add the walnuts, pistachios, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until very ground, about 1 minute. Next, grab a clean kitchen towel and dampen it, being sure to wring out any excess water. Place it over the thawed phyllo dough as you assemble the baklava. (Phyllo dough tends to dry out very quickly and assembling the baklava takes a bit of time. The damp kitchen towel will help with this.) Brush the first sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter and transfer it, buttered-side down, into the baking dish. Add a tsp. or two of the walnut mixture. Repeat by buttering a sheet of phyllo dough and then spreading a T. or two of walnut mixture. Continue until you’ve worked through the phyllo dough/filling. Using a sharp knife, slice the baklava into 1-inch diamonds or squares. Transfer to the oven to bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and crisp.

 

TO MAKE THE SYRUP: While the baklava is baking, let’s make the syrup! In a measuring C., whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, hot water, honey and vanilla extract. When the baklava comes out of the oven, drizzle the syrup on top. Allow it to sit for 1-3 hours so it has a chance to marinate! Serve.

Classic Icebox Cake

Classic Icebox Cake

Classic Icebox Cake

3 C. heavy cream

4 T. sugar

1 T. vanilla extract

2 (9-ounce) packages Nabisco’s chocolate wafer cookies

Unsweetened cocoa (or chocolate shavings)

 

In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until soft to medium peaks form. On a flat serving plate, arrange 7 cookies side by side in a circle, keeping 1 cookie in the center.  Spread with 1/2 C. whipped cream, making a 7-inch circle. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making 11 layers of cookies and ending with a layer of cream (there will be a few cookies left over). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. To serve, dust top lightly with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings

Lemon Upside Down Cake Loaf

Lemon Upside Down Cake Loaf

Lemon Upside Down Cake Loaf

2 C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp. fine-grain sea salt

4 ounces 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 white granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 T. lemon zest, from 1 lemon

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 C. buttermilk

 

3 T. unsalted butter

2 T. dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp. fine-grain sea salt

1 lemon, thinly sliced

 

Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment, butter once more and dust with a T. of flour. Set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Next, in a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, lemon zest and vanilla; and then mix until the mixture is smooth. To the butter and sugar mixture, mix in half of the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Then, mix in the remaining flour mixture, being sure not to over mix. In a small skillet, melt the 3 T. of butter over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the butter begins to brown and then mix in the brown sugar and salt; stir until the sugar begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes to cool slightly. Pour the butter/mixture into the loaf pan, spreading it around evenly. Arrange the lemon slices atop, keeping in mind how it’ll look when you flip the cake over.  Pour the batter over the lemons and spread the batter gently so it’s nice and even. Transfer the loaf pan to the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. To invert the cake, place a cooling rack on top of the loaf pan and turn both of them over; lift up the loaf pan, take off the parchment and voila! Your cake! Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before slicing.

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

 

2 ½ C. flour

Dash salt

2 sticks butter, softened

½ C. sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

12 mini-candy canes

 

Sift flour and salt into a bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar; beat until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add yolks and vanilla; beat until smooth. Slowly add flour mixture; beat until dough comes together. Wrap in foil; chill 1 hour. Meanwhile, put candy canes in a zip-close bag and crush them. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1-inch thick, press out shapes, and place on cookie sheets. Press candy pieces on top. Bake 10 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from sheet; cool.

 

Yield:  48 servings

Calories:  73

Fat:  4g

Fiber: 0g

Christmas Tree Squares

Christmas Tree Squares

Christmas Tree Squares

1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

11 T. (about 2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 C. granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 T. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

 

8 T. unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp. almond extract

pinch salt

4 C. confectioners’ sugar

3 to 4 T. milk

red and green food coloring

 

To prepare the dough. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Scoop mixture into a 10″ x 15″ baking pan coated with cooking spray, then spread to an even thickness. Place into the oven and bake until set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set pan on a wire rack to cool completely. To prepare the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, almond extract and salt until smooth. Mix in confectioners’ sugar. Gradually add enough milk until you get a spreadable consistency. Scoop out 1/2 C. frosting and set aside. Spread remaining frosting over the cooled slab of baked bars. Slice into 24 bars. Tint half of reserved frosting with red coloring and the other half with green. Pipe a tree design in center of each square, alternating colors every other bar.

Cinnamon Cardinal Cookies

Cinnamon Cardinal Cookies

Cinnamon Cardinal Cookies

½ C. butter, softened

½ C. packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 C.  all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon or cardamom

1/3 C. whipping cream

48 miniature chocolate chips

Red, black and yellow decorator sugar crystals

 

In large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy; stir in vanilla. In small bowl, stir together flour, soda and cinnamon. On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with cream. Divide dough in half. Wrap halves in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray or grease 2 large cookie sheets. On lightly floured surface, roll half of dough at a time about 1/8 inch thick. Using 3-inch lightly floured cardinal-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on cookie sheets. Place miniature chocolate chip on each for eye. Sprinkle top of back, crown, tail and wing of each bird with red sugar crystals, neck and eye with black sugar crystals, and beak with yellow sugar crystals. Leave bottom breast of bird without sugar. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown and set.

Ombre Sugar Cookie Bars

Ombre Sugar Cookie Bars

Ombre Sugar Cookie Bars

 

1/2 C. Butter, softened

1/2 C. sugar

1 large Egg

1 T. milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

 

2 1/4 C. powdered sugar

3/4 C. Butter, softened

1/8 tsp. salt

1 to 2 T. Heavy Whipping Cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Green food color

 

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine 1/2 C. butter, sugar, and egg in bowl. Beat at medium speed, until creamy. Add milk and 2 tsp. vanilla. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add flour and baking powder; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.  Spread into bottom of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake 23-26 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely. Combine powdered sugar, 3/4 C. butter, and 1/8 tsp. salt in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add whipping cream and 2 tsp. vanilla; continue beating until smooth. Divide frosting in half. Tint one-half with 30 drops green food color. Divide remaining white frosting in half again. Tint one-half with 6 drops green food color. Leave remaining frosting white. Dollop white frosting into center of cookie. Dollop light green frosting around white. Dollop dark green frosting around light green. Using offset spatula, carefully spread frosting in a circular motion to create ombre pattern, wiping off spatula every time it’s lifted off cookie.  Cut cookie into 12 wedges to create Christmas trees.

Baby Polar Bear Shortbread Cookies

Baby Polar Bear Shortbread Cookies

Baby Polar Bear Shortbread Cookies

1 C. butter, softened

¾ C. granulated sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon salt

2 ¼ C. Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

 

1 C. powdered sugar

3 to 5 teaspoons milk

¼ teaspoon vanilla

 

¾ C. grated white chocolate baking bar (about 1 oz from 4-oz package)

76 white vanilla baking chips, tips cut off (about 1/4 cup)

76 mini semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 teaspoons)

19 small round chocolate-covered creamy mints, cut in half

1 pouch (7 oz) Betty Crocker™ Cookie Icing chocolate icing

 

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt; beat until blended. Beat in flour gradually on low speed until soft dough forms. Shape dough into ball. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 38 circles, gently pressing together and rerolling scraps as necessary. Onto ungreased cookie sheets, place circles 2 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until edges are just beginning to brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely before decorating. In small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, 3 teaspoons milk and the vanilla until blended. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and desired consistency. To Decorate Cookies: Using knife, spread icing over cookies in thin layer. For each cookie, immediately sprinkle about 3/4 teaspoon white chocolate evenly over icing. Press into icing 2 vanilla baking chips, cut side down, for ears, 2 chocolate chips for eyes and 1 mint, cut side down, for nose. Using chocolate icing, pipe mouth.

Kahlua Spiked Pecans

Kahlua Spiked Pecans

Kahlua Spiked Pecans

1 C. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg white

3 T. Kahlua

4 C. pecan halves

 

Preheat oven to 325F. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together egg white and Kahlua. Add pecans and stir well to combine. Sprinkle half the sugar mixture on top and mix well. Pour the rest of the sugar on top and stir until completely combined. Scoop the mixture onto a large baking sheet lined with foil and coated with nonstick spray. Spread the pecans to an even single layer. Bake until pecans are lightly toasted and browned, stirring every 10 minutes, about 20 to 25 minutes total. Remove from the oven and scoop the hot pecans onto wax or parchment paper to cool completely.

Malassadas | Portuguese Doughnuts

Malassadas | Portuguese Doughnuts

Malassadas | Portuguese Doughnuts

1/2 C. whole milk

2 T. unsalted butter (1 oz), plus more for the bowl

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp. or 1/4 ounce)

1/3 C. plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar

2 T. warm water, 110°F (43°C)

3 large eggs

3 1/2 C. all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface

Nonstick cooking spray

Vegetable oil, for frying

 

1 C. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

 

Make the doughnuts | malassadas: Heat the milk, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it just begins to steam and form bubbles around the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool until lukewarm. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in the warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the remaining 1/3 C. sugar and the eggs on medium-high until thick and luscious looking, about 5 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, add the milk mixture, the yeast mixture, and the flour, and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, about 7 minutes, adding more flour if needed. The dough should be just slightly tacky but not sticky. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, shape into a ball, and place in a lightly buttered large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until double in size, about 2 hours. Lightly coat a 13-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and turn the dough onto the pan. Press and poke it with your fingers, much like making focaccia, to help stretch it until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Lightly coat the top of the dough with cooking spray, loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest at room temperature until double in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Make the cinnamon sugar: Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Fry the doughnuts | malassadas: Fill a medium saucepan with 3 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (177°C) on a deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer. Monitor the heat to keep a steady temperature. Using scissors or your hands, cut or pull a 2-to-3-inch piece of dough from the baking sheet and stretch it into a 4-to-5-inch circle, then lower it into the oil and fry, turning frequently, just until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, 45 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes, depending on the size. Drain the doughnut on paper towels for 30 seconds and then toss in the cinnamon sugar. Repeat with the remaining dough. Devour warm.

Gâteau Breton with Raspberry Jam

Gâteau Breton with Raspberry Jam

Gâteau Breton with Raspberry Jam

1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

2 C. superfine sugar (process granulated until it is finer but NOT powdered sugar)

5 T. unsalted butter cut into small pieces and then held out of the refrigerator to soften.

5 large egg yolks

Zest of 1 orange

Several spoonfuls of your favorite jam, I didn’t measure how much I used, since this part wasn’t in the recipe. I just put some good dollops on the first layer and spread it around.

 

Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter or spray a 9 or 10″ tart/cake pan with a removable bottom and set aside. Put the flour, sugar, butter, egg yolks and orange zest into a large bowl and work all of the ingredients together with your fingers until the mixture is blended and start to hold together in a sticky dough. Divide the dough in half. Press half of the dough into the prepared cake pan. Spread several good dollops of jam on top of the dough in an even layer. Carefully press the remaining half of the dough on top of the jam, making sure it reaches to the edges. Just press in small-ish pieces of dough as you go, like you’re patching it together. Don’t just dump the dough in the center and try to press it out, or you’ll get a jammy mess. Bake for 35 minutes until it is a golden-brown color and the sides start to release from the pan. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing the bottom from the pan. Serve the same day it’s made.

Welsh Cranberry Skillet Cookies

Welsh Cranberry Skillet Cookies

Welsh Cranberry Skillet Cookies

2 C. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 3/4 C. sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick unsalted butter, diced, plus 4 T. melted

3/4 C. dried cranberries

2 large eggs

2 T. heavy cream

 

Whisk the flour, 3/4 C. sugar, the baking powder, lime zest, cardamom and salt in a medium bowl. Work in the diced butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks sandy. Stir in the dried cranberries. Lightly beat the eggs and heavy cream in a small bowl, then stir into the flour mixture to make a shaggy dough. Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap; shape into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a generously floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out circles with a 1 1/2- to 2-inch round cookie cutter; arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to cook, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Put the remaining 1 C. sugar in a medium bowl. Working in batches, brush the skillet with melted butter, then add the dough rounds. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (Brush the skillet with more butter between batches.) Toss the warm cookies in the sugar, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days; the texture actually improves after a day.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Squares

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Squares

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Squares

 

1 1/2 C. vanilla wafer crumbs

scant 1/2 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

pinch salt

6 T. unsalted butter, melted

 

1 1/4 C. mashed pumpkin

1/2 C. granulated sugar

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 C. heavy cream

16 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 large eggs

3/4 tsp. vanilla

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together wafer crumbs, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt until combined. Add butter and stir until moistened. Scoop crumbs into an 8″ square metal cake pan – firmly press crumbs down to form an even layer over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place into the oven and bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. In a medium saucepan, add mashed pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt – place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar and spices have thoroughly warmed through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cream – scoop into a small bowl and set aside until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each. Mix in vanilla. Scoop one-quarter into the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Pour back into the bowl with the cream cheese and mix just until combined. Scoop batter into the crust, smoothing the top. Place into the oven and bake until the edges are set and browned, but the center is still a bit wobbly, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Cover and place into the refrigerator to chill until firm, at least 2 hours, before cutting into squares.

Grapefruit Salad with Yogurt and Blackberries

Grapefruit Salad with Yogurt and Blackberries

Grapefruit Salad with Yogurt and Blackberries

Red Grapefruits

Fresh Blackberries

Mint

Sea Salt

Vanilla Yogurt

 

Combine grapefruit sections and blackberries. Transfer to serving dish. Top with mint leaves, sea salt and Greek yogurt. Stir and Serve.

Ginger-Lemon Bars

Ginger-Lemon Bars

Ginger-Lemon Bars

2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

3/4 C. granulated sugar

2 T. ground ginger

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

16 T. (2 sticks or 1 cup) unsalted butter

1 large egg

1/4 C. finely chopped crystallized ginger

2 T. honey

2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

 

2 C. confectioners’ sugar

3 T. fresh lemon juice

water, if needed to thin

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder and salt. In a small saucepan, add butter and place over medium heat – cook just until melted. Immediately pour into the dry ingredients, mixing until the dough is combined. Mix in the egg, crystallized ginger, honey and zest, beating vigorously to make a smooth dough. Scoop the dough into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan coated with nonstick spray, pressing it over the bottom to form an even layer. Place pan into the oven and bake until the top is firm to the touch and lightly golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, as the bars bake, place confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl, stirring until smooth. If the glaze seems too thick to spread, stir in 1/2 tsp. water at a time, until it becomes a spreadable consistency. When the bars are done, remove the pan from the oven and place a cutting board directly on top of the pan – carefully invert the hot bars onto the board. Lift the pan away and immediately pour glaze over the bars, spreading it evenly on top. Cut into 2″ bars to serve.

PB & J Sandwich Cookies

PB & J Sandwich Cookies

PB & J Sandwich Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb. 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ peanut butter cookie mix

Vegetable oil and egg called for on cookie mix pouch

1/3 C. Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting (from 1-lb container)

2 T. peanut butter SAVE $

1/3 C. favorite jelly, jam or preserves

 

Heat oven to 375°F. Make cookies as directed on pouch, using oil and egg. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. In small bowl, stir frosting and peanut butter until smooth. For each sandwich cookie, spread generous teaspoon frosting mixture on bottom of 1 cookie; spread scant teaspoon jelly over peanut butter mixture. Top with another cookie, bottom side down.

Meyer Lemon Syrup

Meyer Lemon Syrup

Meyer Lemon Syrup

2 1/2 pounds Meyer lemons

2 C. sugar

 

Prepare a boiling water bath canner and four half pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Juice the lemons and measure out 2 1/2 C. of juice. Pour it into a saucepan and add the sugar. Stir to combine, bring to a boil and simmer for two minutes. Funnel into the prepared jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. When time is up, remove jars from canner and let cool. Sealed jars are shelf stable for up to one year.

Giant Witch Cookies

Giant Witch Cookies

Giant Witch Cookies

1 C. sugar

1 C. butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 C. Gold Medal™ flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting

3 or 4 drops green food color

3 or 4 drops yellow food color

1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting

Assorted candies for decorating, as desired

 

In large bowl, beat sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Divide dough in half; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling. Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper. Shape half of dough into 10 (1 1/2-inch) balls. On parchment-lined cookie sheets, pat each ball of dough into 4-inch circle, using floured fingers if necessary. Place 2 or 3 circles on each cookie sheet, about 9 inches apart. On floured surface, divide remaining half of dough into 2 portions. Roll each portion into 9×6-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into 4 whole triangles and 2 half triangles (see diagram).

Press 2 half triangles together to form fifth whole triangle. Cut 1/2-inch strip from top edge of each dough circle on cookie sheet; set aside. Place triangle over each cut edge of circle, covering 1/4 inch of cut edge; press to seal, aligning edge of triangle with edge of circle. Slightly bend point of “hat” if desired. Roll each 1/2-inch strip into 2 (1-inch) ropes; attach to either side of “hat” for brim. Bake 7 to 11 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden and surfaces look dry. With broad metal pancake turner, remove cookies from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Tint vanilla frosting green with green and yellow food colors. Spread on circles for witches’ faces. Spread chocolate frosting on hats. Make faces using candies.

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

2 1/2 C. cake flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 C. buttermilk, room temperature

3 T. grated lemon zest (about 3 lemons)

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3/4 C. granulated sugar

12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature

 

3 C. confectioners’ sugar

3 T. lemon juice

2 T. buttermilk

 

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a glass 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Combine flour, powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat granulated sugar and lemon zest until moist and fragrant, about 1 minute. Reserve 1/4 C. of sugar mixture; cover and set aside. Add butter to remaining sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, until incorporated. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions. Mix until smooth about 30 seconds. Scrape batter into prepared pan an smooth top. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes. For the glaze: While cake cools, whisk confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice and buttermilk until smooth. Gently spread over warm cake. Sprinkle evenly with reserved sugar. Cool completely, at least 2 hours.

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

 

2 C. (254 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C. (200 grams) granulated sugar

1 C. (200 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter

1/2 C. (120 ml) buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 C. (200 grams) peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium apples)

For the glaze:

1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter

1/4 C. (60 ml) milk

3 C. (375 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 C. salted caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)

 

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter or oil a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan or a 16-3/4 by 12-inch sheet pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter with 1 C. water and heat until the butter melts. Bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, remove from heat and add in the flour mixture. Add in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Gently stir in the apples. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 20 minutes if using a jelly roll pan, and about 17 minutes if using a half sheet pan, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 to 15 minutes. Make the glaze: Meanwhile, combine the butter and milk in a large heat-proof bowl. Microwave until the butter is melted. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until combined. Stir in the vanilla and caramel until combined. Pour evenly over the warm cake. Let set for about 15 minute before slicing and serving.

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce

12 oz heavy whipping cream (organic, with no added ingredients if you can find it)

2 oz milk

3 T. sugar

1 whole vanilla bean, split (or 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste)

3/4 to 1 tsp. gelatin (powder)

(water, to soften gelatin)

Raspberry sauce

 

1 C. fresh or frozen raspberries

2 T. sugar

 

Put the gelatin in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons, or so, of water to dissolve. Place the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla bean in a medium sized pot over low heat, then add the softened gelatin and stir.  Heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved, then remove from heat and take out the vanilla bean. Pour into molds, ramekins, or small containers which have been rinsed with water (according to Manu, this will help the panna cotta to release afterwards.) Refrigerate to set for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Meanwhile, make the raspberry sauce by placing the berries and sugar in a small pot, over medium high heat for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and taste for sweetness, adding more sugar if desired. Press through a sieve to remove seeds and keep sauce to serve on/with the vanilla panna cotta. When ready to serve, unmold each vanilla panna cotta onto a serving plate, and drizzle the raspberry syrup on top or as desired. If you are wanting to do the same decor on the plate as I did, put the syrup in a plastic condiment bottle and make swirls on the plate.

Rødgrøt med Flote (Red Fruit Pudding)

Rødgrøt med Flote (Red Fruit Pudding)

Rødgrøt med Flote (Red Fruit Pudding)

If fresh fruit is unavailable, use canned or frozen raspberries and currants.  Don’t forget to allow enough time for the pudding to chill and set.  Serves 5 to 6, with sweetened whipped cream.

 

1 C. fresh red currants (cranberries can be substituted in a pinch)

1 C. red raspberries

1 C. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 stick cinnamon

1 C. water, divided

3 T. potato flour or cornstarch

 

Combine fruit, sugar, salt, and cinnamon with 1/2 C. water and cook in a covered pan over medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes.  Allow mixture to cool, then strain fruit carefully to remove the seeds, reserving the juice.  Return juice to heat.  In a separate bowl, stir remaining 1/2 C. water into the potato flour or cornstarch to make a smooth paste.  Add paste to the hot juice and stir constantly until the pudding is thick.  Pour into sherbet glasses or a glass bowl and allow to chill thoroughly.

Rhubarb & Pistachios over Thick Yogurt

Rhubarb & Pistachios over Thick Yogurt

Rhubarb & Pistachios over Thick Yogurt

This strikingly colorful dessert pairs tart rhubarb with rich Greek-style yogurt. Use a light-colored honey that won’t dull the rhubarb’s bright hue. If you are using regular yogurt, start this recipe the night before so that it can strain overnight.

 

4 stalks rhubarb, ends and leaves trimmed

1/2 tsp. cardamom

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Pinch of salt

1/2 C. light-colored honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. rose water

2 C. Greek-style yogurt, or 4 C. regular yogurt, drained overnight and refrigerated (yogurt Cheese)

1/2 C. pistachios, coarsely chopped

 

Cut the rhubarb into 1 -inch pieces and put in a small saucepan with ‘A C. water. Cover and bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. When the rhubarb starts to soften, after about 5 minutes, stir in the cardamom, nutmeg, and salt. Break up any large pieces of rhubarb with a wooden spoon. Continue to simmer, covered, until the rhubarb is completely softened, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey and vanilla extract. Let cool. Add the rose water.

To serve, put 1/2 C. of yogurt in each bowl and top with a few T. of the rhubarb. Scatter a few T. of pistachios over the top.

Lemon Ricotta Sheet Pan Pancake

Lemon Ricotta Sheet Pan Pancake

Lemon Ricotta Sheet Pan Pancake

2 eggs

1/3 C. granulated sugar

2 T. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. vanilla

3 T. butter, melted

¾ C. milk

2cups Original Bisquick™ mix

¾ C. whole milk ricotta cheese

 

1 ½ C. heavy whipping cream

3 T. powdered sugar

1 T. orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier®

3 C. mixed fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries)

1 tsp. lemon zest

 

Heat oven to 425°F. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix all Pancake ingredients except ricotta with whisk until blended. Stir in ricotta; pour batter into pan, and spread evenly. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown and top springs back when touched in center. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix whipping cream and powdered sugar, whip to soft peaks with hand mixer. Add liqueur; whip to medium peaks and refrigerate until ready to serve. Spread whipped cream mixture over baked pancake. Spoon berries on top of whipped cream, and garnish with lemon zest; serve immediately