Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

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Blueberries for Karen

July 28, 2013

blueberry cobler

It’s blueberry season.

The last two years, I haven’t been able to enjoy blueberry season.  This year we found a new place.  It was a short drive to Michigan, and 15 pounds later here we are.

Now I can make jam, muffins, pie, pancakes, blueberry buckle, blueberry zucchini bread  and cobbler.

Cobbler is one of those great desserts that brings oohs and ahs without much fuss.  Not to mention, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.  Cobbler is easily adaptable to most fruit.  I actually love a peach cobbler, but my husband is not a fan of peaches.  So I used the blueberries instead.

This recipe makes quite a bit, so it’s perfect for company.  But if you don’t want to share, I’m not going to judge.

blueberry cobbler iiiBlueberry Cobbler

  • 1/4 C Butter
  • 1 C Flour
  • 2/3 C Sugar, divided
  • 2/3 C Brown Sugar, divided
  • 1 T Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 t Vanilla
  • 2/3 C Milk
  • 4 C Blueberries, fresh
  • 1 T Lemon Juice
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Nutmeg
  • 1/2 t Ginger

Melt the butter in a 13×9 baking dish.

Combine the flour, 1/3 C sugar, 1/3 C brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger together.  Add the milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour batter over the melted butter, do not stir.

Bring the 1/3 C sugar, 1/3 C brown sugar, lemon juice and blueberries to a boil in a medium sauce pan, stirring constantly.  Poor fruit mixture over batter, do not stir.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream.

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A Little Birdie Told Me

April 14, 2013

hummingbird cakeEvery Easter I make lamb cake.  Every Easter except for this one.  Meeshie didn’t want lamb cake this year.  And everywhere we went they haunted us.  I would point out the expense and snicker.  But a lot of people don’t have a lamb cake mold passed down from their mother and many more of don’t bake.

When Meeshie asked me not to make lamb cake this year, I knew I had to make something else.  I’ve seen hummingbird cake recipes before and had always been intrigued.  What a perfect spring cake.  Or more accurately the perfect spring cupcake.  For those who have never had Hummingbird Cake, I would describe it as a carrot cake made with bananas.  Or spice cake made with bananas.  It’s lite.  Nothing like the denseness of banana bread.  People that don’t generally like banana bread love this cake.

This recipe requires roasting the bananas in their skin in the oven.  At first, I was going to skip this step.  I am the person that freezes all of my over ripe bananas.  The riper the banana the sweeter the bread.  I just figured that roasting the banana would move the ripening process along.  But then I read further in the post and discovered that roasting gives the bananas a slightly different flavor. I can’t really describe it, but just don’t skip that step.

When I made the frosting, I felt that the amount of cream cheese was overkill.  I’m not a fan of the in your face flavor of cream cheese.  But once the frosting had sat for a bit, the flavor along with the cake, was perfect.  Oh, adding the pecans to the frosting, genius.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I took pictures on the same day my washer died.  And my washer was out of commission  for almost two weeks.

Sorry folks, as much I would love to share this recipe with you.  I can’t.  If you would like to read the recipe that I used, please use this  post.  The author has asked that I not post it.  Happy clicking.

 

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Paczki Day

February 11, 2013

Lent starts tomorrow.  I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll be sacrificing.  I have time because today is all about indulging.  It’s all about Fat Tuesday, or around here Paczki Day.

I love a good paczki.

The ones of my childhood, though, are nothing like the ones I see now.  The paczki of my youth are small, like the size of a donut hole.  Sometimes they are filled with jelly, sometimes they are plain.  There was a Polish-Irish restaurant that served the best paczki at the end of every meal near my hometown. It was called Paczki-Dunn or Dunn-Paczki.  I’m not sure it it’s still there.

The ones I see now are too big.  Too doughy.  Not light enough.  These paczki are just right.

I made these in honor of Lent.  I hope you try them, they are totally worth all of the steps.  I used a shot glass to cut out the dough, but if you want them bigger-go for it.  I stuffed some with raspberry filling, some with almond and some I left plain.

Paczki

  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 C warm (room temperature) milk
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 4 ½ to 5 C flour
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Melt the butter and set it aside to cool.  Pour the yeast into a small bowl. Pour the warm milk into the bowl and stir until the yeast dissolves. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugar, nutmeg, eggs and vanilla. Mix. Add the butter to the large bowl and mix until it is well blended.  Add the milk and yeast to the large bowl. Mix well.  Slowly add flour. When you have four cups of flour mixed in, the dough should not be sticky. If it’s still sticky, add a little more. (Remember, the eggs help make the paczki light, but too much flour can quickly weigh the dough down. Use only as much flour as needed.)

Knead the dough gently with your fists until it no longer sticks to your knuckles.  Put the bowl of dough in a warm place; cover it with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Let it  double in size.  Once it has doubled, punch it down.  Let it rise again. This should take about an hour.

When the dough has risen a second time, dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and roll it out to about one half-inch thickness. Using a two and one half inch round (oblong is better) cookie cutter or regular canning jar ring, cut the dough. Carefully place the dough cutouts on greased cookie sheets, in a warm room.   Let the dough rise until about double in size.

While the dough is rising, heat the oil to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Fry each paczki for about two minutes per side, or until deep brown. Use the slotted spoon to turn the paczki and lift each one from the oil carefully. Place the paczki on the paper towels lined cookie sheet to drain. The more grease that is drained away from the paczki the better the paczki will taste.  While they are still warm, dipped them in a powdered sugar glaze.  I used 2 C powdered sugar, 1 t Vanilla Extract (or Almond), and 1/3 C milk.  Once they’ve been dipped, you can fill them with jelly.  They are light and airy enough to be shot with a pastry filler and stuffed.

Paczki can also be frozen.

Here’s were I found it.

Meeshiesmom's Blog

 

Lent starts tomorrow.  I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll be sacrificing.  I have time because today is all about indulging.  It’s all about Fat Tuesday, or around here Paczki Day. 

I love a good paczki. 

The ones of my childhood, though, are nothing like the ones I see now.  The paczki of my youth are small, like the size of a donut hole.  Sometimes they are filled with jelly, sometimes they are plain.  There was a Polish-Irish restaurant that served the best paczki at the end of every meal near my hometown. It was called Paczki-Dunn or Dunn-Paczki.  I’m not sure it it’s still there.

The ones I see now are too big.  Too doughy.  Not light enough.  These paczki are just right.

I made these in honor of Lent.  I hope you try them, they are totally worth all of the steps.  I used a shot glass to cut out…

View original post 423 more words

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A Peppermint Treat

February 10, 2013

peppermint cookie iiiI made these cookies for Christmas.  I found them in the Every Day Food Christmas edition.  I had planned to post in December about them, then realized I hadn’t.  Sorry.

These cookies are a little crisper than I like, but it didn’t take away from the greatness of this cookie.  Meeshie loved them.  So did I, and I’m not generally a fan of chocolate and peppermint.  It always makes me think of York Peppermint Patties and I’ve never liked them.

Don’t let the candy garnish prevent you from making these year round.  You could easily substitute the Starlite Candies with buttermints at Easter.  Or use green Starlite Candies in March.  Or better yet, use white peppermint candy and a few drops of food coloring.

These cookies, as is, are perfect for your favorite valentine.  Use a heart-shaped stencil to sprinkle for the candy sprinkles.  And use your own judgement on how finely you want to crush the candy.  I made the pieces larger for Christmas, but making a candy dust for Valentine’s Day would be perfect, too.

peppermint cookiePeppermint-Chocolate Sugar Cookies

  • 2 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 T Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 C Butter, softened
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1/4 t Peppermint Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 C Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 3-5 T Half and Half
  • 12 Round Peppermint Candies, crushed (Starlite Candies or Candy Canes)

Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the peppermint extract.  Beat again for three minutes.  Beat in egg.  Slowly add flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into quarter sized balls.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Let cool for five minutes before transferring off the cookie sheet.

Stir the confectioner’s sugar and enough cream to make a spreadable glaze.  Spread a thin layer of glaze on top of each cookie (or dip the top of the cookies in the glaze) and sprinkle with the crushed candy.

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Let Them Eat Cake

October 16, 2012

 

 

Cathy talked about making the cake with orange and cranberry.  She loves that combination.  I’m not sure if she’ll make it for Thanksgiving, but I’m sure if she did it would be a hit.

I made the cake with the pumpkin.  I loved that I could just through the ingredients together so quickly.  I made this before work the other morning and just loaded it into the car.  The smell during my commute was heavenly.

My only complaint is that I don’t have a picture of the new cakes.

What variation can you think of?  What about the chocolate cake mix?

Butterscotch Coffee Cake

  • 1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3.4 Oz. Box) Instant Vanilla Pudding or Butterscotch Pudding
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • Topping:
  • ⅓ C Sugar
  • ¾ C Chopped Pecans
  • ¾ C Butterscotch Morsels

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the pudding as directed and let set. Add the cake mix and eggs to the pudding. Mix until blended and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Mix the ingredients together for the topping, sprinkle on top of the cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

  • 1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1  15 oz Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 t Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Topping:
  • ⅓ C Brown Sugar
  • ¾ C Chopped Pecans
  • 1 t Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the pudding as directed and let set. Add the cake mix, eggs and pumpkin puree. Mix until blended and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Mix the ingredients together for the topping, sprinkle on top of the cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Cranberry Orange Cake

  • 1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3.4 Oz. Box) Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • zest from 1/2 an Orange
  • Topping:
  • ⅓ C Sugar
  • ¾ C Chopped Cranberries
  • 1/2 C White Chocolate Morsels
  • 1/2 C Chopped Pecans
  • Orange Zest, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the pudding as directed and let set. Add the cake mix and eggs to the pudding.  Add the orange zest and mix until blended and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Mix the ingredients together for the topping, sprinkle on top of the cake.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

 

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Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

September 19, 2012

I started a new job this summer.  I love it.  For my first day, I decided to bring in some baked goods.  I made whopper bars, lemon triangles and these babies.  I wanted to have a good variety since I didn’t know anyone.  I’m glad I did.  Although, I’ve been there long enough now, that no one is shy about requests.

These salty and sweet bars are simple.  Don’t let the steps scare you.  It’s a great bar that packs a great wow factor.  Plus it’s the salty sweet thing that I love.  These are a perfect treat now that the weather is starting to get cooler.  But then again, I made them in the summer, so they are a perfect treat for summer too.  I used coarse Kosher salt, but the recipe called for Fleur de sel.

Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Shortbread:
2 C Flour
2 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Salt
1 C Butter, softened
1/2 C Sugar

Caramel:
1/2 C Butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 C Sugar
2 T Light  Corn Syrup
1 14-oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Chocolate:
8 oz Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 t Light Corn Syrup
1/2 C Butter, cut into 8 pieces
Salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

To make the shortbread layer: Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Transfer the dough to the prepared
pan and press into an even layer over the bottom (it’ll be a fairly thin layer).  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the caramel layer: Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and turns
a light caramel color. This may take 10 minutes or more, so be patient. Pour the caramel mixture over the cooled shortbread and spread in an even layer. Allow to cool completely, then chill briefly.

To make the chocolate layer: Add the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter to a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour the chocolate over the chilled caramel and spread into an even layer with an offset spatula. Let cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle the top with the salt. Let the chocolate set completely before slicing and serving.

Here’s the original.  I’ve shared this site in the past, and it just gets better and better.

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More Blondies!

August 29, 2012

Now that school has started, I’m baking more.  I love baking treats and then having on hand for Meeshie’s school lunch.  This a great and simple treat for anyone’s lunch.  It can work well with any other fresh fruit.  I think the only thing to change up would be using white chocolate depending on the fruit choice.  But then I love white chocolate almost as much as I love browned butter.  Feel free to add pecans.  I didn’t, but you could.

Cut these up, wrap them individually and stick them in the freezer.  They’ll be ready to add to lunch.  That’s the beauty of a blondie, or a brownie.  Small effort for a great treat.

Chocolate Cherry Blondies

  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1/8 t Salt
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1/2 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Cherries, fresh, pitted and chopped

Grease a 8×8 pan.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Melt and brown the butter, let cool.  In a large bowl, add the brown sugar and the butter and whisk until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture.  Fold in the chocolate chips and then the cherries.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until set in the middle.

Makes 16 squares.

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