Recently in Dessert Category

blackberry cobbler.jpg

Meet my new favorite blackberry cobbler, individualized. This recipe has a light biscuit-style crust and a complex blackberry filling with hints of lemon, vanilla, and cinnamon - each adding to rather than overwhelming the fruit's dark jammy flavor. Note: the recipe makes 4 servings/ramekins of filling and a good 8 servings of topping, so you could easily double the fruit or half the topping to make it come out even. I just baked the left over topping as shortcakes for later.

3 small containers of blackberries
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 1/3 cups, plus 1 tablespoon, all-purpose flour, divided
Grated rind from 1 lemon
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 375°F.

Combine berries, half the sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, the lemon zest and juice, vanilla, cinnamon, and 1⁄8 teaspoon salt and mix carefully. If convenient, mix this ahead of time & let it sit so the blackberries have time to soak up the flavors.

Spoon into 4 individual sized greased ramekins.

Mix the rest of the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in 2 tbsp of butter with a pastry blender or two knives until it looks like coarse meal. Add the milk and mix until it holds together.

Drop dough by large spoonfuls over the berries.

Put the ramekins on a baking sheet and put them in the oven. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the tops were browned and the berries were bubbling.

Serve it warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

chocolate-sugar-cookies.jpgSimple, buttery cocoa sugar cookies, wrapped up for the holidays. I imagine they would make wonderful ice cream sandwiches, but we ended up just snacking on most of ours. Note: this makes a LOT of cookies. I only ended up using 1/2 a batch, and that was enough for us plus enough to give as a gift. Next time I'm definitely halving the recipe.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour. Note: the dough will be very firm if you let it chill any longer - you may have to leave it out to soften a little.

Roll out cookie dough on floured (or powdered sugared) counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed. Be sure not to overcook - they are best a little soft.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Original recipe


white_choc_rice_krispies.jpgA simple riff on the classic cereal-box recipe, but oh-so-good. Sweet and salty peanuts and rich white chocolate bring these lunchbox treats to a whole new level.

3 tablespoons salted butter
3 1/2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup candied peanuts (see recipe below)
10 ounce bag marshmallows, snipped in half
6 cups Rice Krispies
Spray or lightly-oil a 13 x 9-inch (approx 30 x 22cm) rectangular pan.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the white chocolate and stir until melted.
Add the marshmallows and stir constantly over the heat until completely melted. (If they start to scorch on the bottom, remove from heat and continue to stir, placing the pan back on the heat occasionally, stirring until smooth.
Remove from heat and add the candied peanuts and Rick Krispies until well combined.
Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Let cool.

Original recipe

Candied Peanuts:

2 cups raw peanuts (or almonds)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
a sprinkle of coarse salt
optional: ground cinnamon or chili powder

In a wide, heavy-duty skillet, mix the peanuts with the sugar and water. Cook the ingredients over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid seizes up. It will take a few minutes. At this point, the peanuts will get crusty and the sugar will crystallize.

The peanuts will become dry and sandy, which is perfectly normal. Don't worry; you didn't mess up. Lower the heat and keep going, scraping up any syrup collecting in the bottom of the pan and stir the peanuts in it, coating them as much as possible.

As you go, tilt the pan, removing it from the heat from time-to-time to regulate the heat and the syrup, so you can coat the nuts with the liquid as it darkens without burning the peanuts or the syrup. This is the only tricky part--I like to get the peanuts as deeply-bronzed as possible. if the mixture starts to smoke, remove it from the heat and stir.

Right before they're done, sprinkle the peanuts with a sizable pinch of flaky salt (and pinch of cinnamon or chili powder, if you want), stir them a couple of times, then tilt the peanuts out onto a baking sheet or a marble countertop.

Original recipe


chocolate_almond_biscotti_sm.jpgKind of like a crunchy, dippable version of chocolate cake, studded with chocolate chips and almonds. Delicious with coffee or milk.

2 cups (280g) flour
3/4 cups (75g) top-quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup (125g) almonds, toasted and very coarsely-chopped
3/4 cups (120g) chocolate chips

For the glaze

1 large egg
2 tablespoons coarse or crystal sugar (see Notes)

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, sugar, and vanilla & almond extracts. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, then mix in the nuts and the chocolate chips until the dough holds together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into two logs the length of the baking sheet. Transfer the logs onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart.

Gently flatten the tops of the logs. Beat the remaining egg and brush the tops of the logs liberally with the egg. (You won't use it all). Sprinkle the tops with the coarse or crystal sugar and bake for 25 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch.

Remove the cookie dough from the oven and cool 15 minutes. On a cutting board, use a serrated bread knife to diagonally cut the cookies into 1/2-inches slices. Lay the cookies cut side down on baking sheets and return to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.

Once baked, cool the cookies completely then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. If you wish, the cookies can be half-dipped in melted chocolate, then cooled until the chocolate hardens.

makes 40ish

persimmonmuffins_sm.jpgAutumn spiced persimmon muffins with golden brown exteriors and pillowy soft interiors, topped off with a little sweetened whipped cream. I'd never baked with persimmons before, but the ones I got from the farmer's market were so ripe and sweet they fell apart in my hands. The persimmon flavor is mild, sweet, and a little like apricot. Mini-muffins make nice party treats, but this could easily be baked in a 9x13 for a family style dessert.
1 cup persimmon pulp
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a blender, combine persimmon pulp, egg, sugar, flour, milk, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and butter. Blend until smooth. Pour into greased mini muffin pan and bake for 20-30 minutes or deep golden brown and set. Serve with whipped cream.

makes ~36 mini muffins
nutrition per:
67 calories
1.6g fat
Original recipe

carrotcakecookies_sm.jpgSweet fresh-grated carrot makes all the difference in these cakey spiced cookies. The filling is just greek yogurt mixed with honey, but it tastes decadent sandwiched in between the cinnamony orange layers. Cute enough for a party, but healthy enough for everyday, they are definitely going on my 'make again' list.

1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Wheat Bran
1/2 Cup Oatmeal
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or fresh nutmeg, cause I'm sure you're more likely to have that around)
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 tbsp. Real Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Carrot (not store bought- freshly grated in a cheese grater)
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
2 tbsp. Butter, room temperature
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Golden Raisins

Filling:

17.6 oz Container (about 2 Cups) 2% Greek Yogurt (Fage brand recommended)
1/2 Cup Local Honey
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Oven to 325°

1. In a small bowl, pour about half cup of hot water over the raisins and let them soak. In a bowl, whisk the eggs well. Add applesauce, butter, brown sugar and stir. Drain the raisins and add them, and the carrots to the wet mixture. In another large bowl, mix all dry ingredients and the nuts.

2. Gently, in thirds add the dry ingredients to the wet. You should get a pretty thick dough at this point, firm enough keep form on a baking sheet, but still more moist than your typical cookie.

3.Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop for large cookies, or a tablespoon for smaller ones and set them 2'' apart. Bake for 12-16, depending on cookie size, until edges brown a little and the middle is just set. Timing will vary.

In the meantime, mix all filling ingredients with a whisk and put in fridge to firm up.

Allow cakey cookies to cool before assembling the sandwiches. After assembling, freeze for 30 minutes or so to make them easier to eat.

Makes 20 Minis

Calories:124
Fat: 4g

Original recipe

sponge_cake_2.jpgA beautiful golden cake with a slightly spongy texture, but more substantial than angle food cake. A little more work than your standard cake, but well worth it. Would also be lovely drizzled with a fruit glaze or syrup on top.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 ℉.  Butter and flour either 2 - 9" round, or 1- 13"x9" baking pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs until light, about 4 minutes.  With the mixer running on medium, slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light yellow and comes off the whisk in a ribbon when the whisk is lifted, about 7-8 minutes.
While the eggs and sugar are beating, bring the milk and butter just to a boil in a small saucepan set over medium heat.  Stir the vanilla into the hot milk.
With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly add the hot milk mix to the egg mixture.  Mix until combined, then reduce the mixer speed and add the flour mixture slowly, just until thoroughly combined, stopping to scrape down the bowl once or twice.  Pour the batter immediately into the prepared pan(s) and place them into the oven.
Bake the 13"x9" cake for 25-30 minutes, or the 9" rounds for 18-25 minutes, until the edges are browned and just pulling away from the pan or a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake, comes out clean.  Do NOT overbake.  let cool slightly in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Original recipe

figbiscotti_sm.jpgA lovely citrus and cinnamon spiced biscotti with a light and tender texture, more like a cookie than your traditional break-your-teeth biscotti. Beating the eggs is an extra step, but don't skip it: it keeps the cookies from becoming tough.

1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
1 cup coarsely chopped dried Calimyrna figs (6 ounces)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and anise. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until they're pale yellow and hold a ribbon for 1 second when whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in zest.
Fold egg mixture into flour mixture until combined. Fold in figs and walnuts. Lightly spray a parchment-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Divide dough in half on parchment. Spray hands with cooking spray; form each piece of dough into a 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Bake until dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed, about 25 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let logs cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Cut each log on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place slices, cut side up, on sheet. Bake 7 minutes, flip biscotti, and bake 7 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)
Original recipe

Piled high with fruit, this pie is perfect for summer peach season. The oat crumble topping is light and sweet, and the only time consuming step is cutting up all the fruit. Best served warm topped with ice cream.

1/2  (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
2/3  cup  packed brown sugar, divided
3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
8  cups  sliced peeled ripe peaches (about 3 1/2 pounds or 12 peaches)
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped (optional)
1/3  cup  regular oats
1/4  cup  flaked sweetened coconut (optional)
1 1/2  tablespoons  butter or stick margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 425°.

Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold edges under; flute. Line dough with a piece of foil, and arrange pie weights or dried beans on foil. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Remove pie weights and foil. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Cool crust on a wire rack.

Combine 1/3 cup sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over peaches. Toss gently. Spoon into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Combine 1/3 cup sugar, oats, coconut, and butter; sprinkle over peach mixture. Shield edges of crust with foil. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

8 servings
Calories: 320 (30% from fat)
Fat: 10.6g (sat 5.1g,mono 4g,poly 1g)
Original recipe

This sweet and creamy pie is a wonderful use for an abundance of fresh blueberries. More decadent than a crisp or cobbler, it can be served with ice cream, whipped cream, or just a glass of milk. 

3-5 c. fresh blueberries
1 unbaked 9" deep dish pastry shell

1 c. sugar (or brown sugar)
1/3 c. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. sour cream

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. butter
Put the blueberries in the prepared pastry shell, set aside. Combine 1 c. sugar, 1/3 c. flour, and salt. Add eggs and sour cream, stir until blended. Spoon over blueberries.
Combine 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. flour, cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle evenly over sour cream mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until lightly browned. Let rest until set, serve warm.

Cummings family recipe
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