lunes, 7 de febrero de 2011

Pine Nut Cheese Crisps


Shred 1 pound cold asiago cheese. Place 6 tablespoon-size mounds of cheese about 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each mound with 1/4 teaspoon each chopped pine nuts and sage. Bake at 425 degrees until the cheese is golden and the edges are slightly crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove each crisp with a thin spatula and gently curl around a rolling pin, then cool on a rack. Repeat to make about 24 crisps.

sábado, 5 de febrero de 2011

Strawberry Muffins


4 medium eggs, beaten.
3 cups of all-purpose flour.
2 ½ cups of fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced.
2 cups of sugar.
1 ½ cups of chopped walnuts.
1 cup of vegetable oil.
1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
1 teaspoon of baking soda.
1 teaspoon of salt.


Preheat your oven to 400°F (210°C).
Lightly coat full-size muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
In a suitably sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
In a another bowl, combine the eggs, strawberries and the vegetable oil.
Mix the contents of the two bowls together.
Gently fold in the chopped walnuts.
Fill the muffin tins about two-thirds full and bake for 15 minutes.
Allow to cool.



  • 2 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • About 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, for cooking crêpes
  • Assorted fillings, such as fresh lemon juice and sugar or bananas and Nutella

In large bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups milk, heavy cream, and eggs. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in remaining 1 cup milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Strain batter through fine-mesh sieve, discarding any lumps. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Using pastry brush or paper towel, lightly coat 6-inch crêpe pan or cast-iron skillet with butter. Heat pan over moderately high heat until butter is hot but not smoking. Whisk batter briefly to reincorporate any settled solids.
Ladle about 2 tablespoons batter into pan, immediately tilting and rotating skillet to coat bottom. Cook until crêpe is just set and golden around edges, 10 to 15 seconds. Using tip of knife, loosen edge of crêpe, then, using fingertips, carefully flip crêpe over. Cook until underside is set, about 20 seconds more. Transfer cooked crêpe to platter and keep warm.
Repeat to cook remaining crêpes, coating pan with butter each time and stacking crêpes on platter. Fill crêpes with desired fillings and serve immediately.
DO AHEAD: Crêpes can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate, covered. To rewarm, transfer stack to baking sheet, cover with foil, and heat in 300°F oven about 15 minutes.

Peach Cobbler

2 cups peeled, sliced peaches (this was 5 medium peaches for me)
1 cup sugar, divided use
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup self-rising flour*
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
Ground cinnamon, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. Put the butter in a 1.5 quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
4. Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar and salt and flour until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top and gently pour in syrup. Again, do not stir. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
Notes:-To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- *You MUST use self-rising flour, or this recipe will not work. If you do not have self-rising flour, simply add ½ teaspoon of baking powder to your all-purpose flour.

Mini Angel Food Cakes

(Makes 14 cupcakes)
6 eggs
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1. Separate eggs; discard yolks or refrigerate for another use. Measure egg whites, adding or removing whites as needed to equal 3/4 cup. Place in a mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare your cupcake pan by lining and/or spraying with non-stick cooking spray (I usually line then give them a quick spray).
3. Meanwhile, sift confectioners’ sugar and flour together three times; set aside.
4. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on high speed.
5. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.
6. Fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time.
7. Gently spoon batter into prepared cupcake pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets.
8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack.
10. Garnish with macerated strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream…Enjoy!

Homemade Granola

4 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped almonds
MethodIn a large bowl, combine oats, almonds and coconut; set aside. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, oil, honey, maple syrup and cinnamon; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture; stir to coat. Spread in a large shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Add raisins and dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container.

Custard Apple Tart Recipe

adapted from Julia Child

Ingredients:9-inch partially baked pie shell (I used Alton Brown’s, but store bought will work just fine.)
3 cups apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2/3 cup sugar; divided use
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
¼ cup flour
½ cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons brandy or cognac (this can be omitted)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar in a shaker
1. Lightly spray your tart pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place your pastry dough into your prepared pan, poke holes in the dough with a fork and place the pan in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 425. Remove your pan from the refrigerator and place a large piece of parchment paper on top of dough and fill with dry beans (or pie weights). Press beans into edges of dough and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the pastry to cool completely on a wire rack.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. In a mixing bowl, toss the apples with 1/3 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon. Put them in the partially baked pie shell and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool while making the custard.
5. Beat the egg and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a mixing bowl until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Beat in the flour, then the whipping cream, vanilla then the brandy or cognac. Pour the mixture over the apples.
6. Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes or until it begins to puff. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the powdered sugar (lightly covering the top of the tart). Return to the oven for 20 minutes. Tart is done when the top is brown and a knife plunged into the custard comes out clean. Serve while warm.
This tart is best served warm and on the day it was baked. Although the flavor was lovely the day after, the texture had definitely declined.
-This is amazing served alone, but is delish with a scoop of ice cream and a little drizzle of caramel sauce.

Fresh Strawberry Bread Ingredients


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups strawberries, rinse, dried and chopped
1. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
2. With electric mixer cream butter, sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla.
3. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend flour mixture with butter mixture just until blended. Add buttermilk and only stir until just combined; do not over mix.
4. Carefully fold in strawberries. Dough mixture will be thick.
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

Strawberry Country Cake

adapted from Ina Garten

yields (2) 8 inch round cakes
Ingredients for the cakes:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I used zest of 1 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest (I used zest of 1 orange)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the filling for each cake: (I doubled the cream sugar and vanilla for one cake)
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans. Then line them with parchment paper and butter and flour the lined pans.
3. Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the sour cream, zests, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.
4. Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature. If using 1 cake, wrap the second well and freeze.
5. To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until firm. Slice one of the cakes in half with a long, sharp knife. Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter, spread with 1/2 the whipped cream and scatter with sliced strawberries. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.

Big Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from Parsley, Sage, Desserts & Line Drives

2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon table or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
add in 1 cup of walnuts if you fancy them
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mix in vanilla and beat until well incorporated.
2. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips/chunks and nuts.
3. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients.
4. Weigh out the dough into 4 ounce portions and gently roll into a ball. (I got ten 4 ounce cookies out of this dough).
4. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 15-20 minutes depending on how gooey and rawish you like the interior, until very lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. I baked mine for 16 minutes, which seemed to be perfect in my oven.
5. Let cool on rack and store what you don’t immediately eat in an airtight container.
-These are best eaten on the day they are made (ESPECIALLY warm out of the oven – like most chocolate chip cookies).
-To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
- I did not attempt to make these smaller than 4 ounces. I am sure they will be equally as amazing, you’ll just have to play with the baking time.

Homemade Oreos

(makes 25-30 sandwich cookies)

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar [see recipe note]
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used clear vanilla extract)
Optional- Gel dye
1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy. (Optional: Blend in a tiny bit of gel dye until you reach the desired color.)6. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.
-I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder instead of Dutch Processed.
-I used Wilton Gel Dye to color the centers.
-Once I measured out a rounded teaspoon of dough, I rolled the dough into small balls before baking.
-This recipe is slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen and can be found at]

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake

(24 cupcakes)

For the Cupcakes
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
1/2 cup warm water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine instant espresso granules and warm water, stirring until dissolved. Add espresso mixture to the cake batter and stir until fully incorporated.
3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
4. Measure .4 ounce balls of cookie dough (about 1 teaspoon) and drop a ball of dough into each cupcake. Be sure to use a spoon to completely cover the dough ball with batter.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
5. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.
For the Frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
For the Garnish
1. Garnish your cupcakes with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and a mini chocolate chip cookie.
2. To make the mini cookies, I simply measured out 24 .4 ounce (about 1 teaspoon) balls of dough and baked them according to package directions (about 8-10 minutes). Allow mini cookies to cool completely before adding them to the cupcakes.
-If you are choosing to garnish your cupcakes, make sure you do this immediately after you frost your cupcakes. Once the top layer of the buttercream hardens, nothing will stick to the frosting.
-If you do not have instant espresso powder, you can simply omit it from the recipe. You can typically find this product in the coffee aisle of most supermarkets.

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

(makes 16-24 bars)

360 gr all-purpose flour
60 gr cup sugar
360 gr unsalted butter; divided use
397 gr sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
340 gr semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla fleur de sel (sea salt)

240 gr:1cup
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Put the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in 12 tablespoons of the butter (note: I used my food processor for this step), clumping the dough together to form a ball.
3. Press this sandy shortbread mixture into a 9-inch square pan that has been greased and the bottom lined with parchment paper; smooth it with either your hands or a spatula. Pierce it with a fork and cook for 5 minutes, then lower the oven to 300 degrees, and cook for a further 30-40 minutes until it is pale golden and no longer doughy. Let it cool in the pan.
4. In a deep microwave safe bowl, Melt the remaining butter (12 tablespoons) for 2-3 minutes, then add the condensed milk and syrup. Whisk the mixture well until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
5. Heat in the microwave for 6-7 minutes until it is boiling, stirring thoroughly every 30 seconds. Be careful to stir often and DO NOT leave unattended because this will boil over and create a mess! It’s ready when it’s thickened and turned a light golden brown. Pour this molten toffee evenly over the cooled shortbread and leave it to set.
5. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it in a bowl in the microwave. Pour and spread it over the caramel mixture (the less you touch it, the shinier it will be).
6. If you are incorporating the fleur de sel, sprinkle it over the chocolate and allow the bars to cool.
7. Once set, cut the caramel shortbread into pieces. The squares can be stored in the fridge to keep them firm, though if it’s winter that shouldn’t be necessary.