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Entries in Desserts (31)

Tuesday
Nov302010

Pioneer Woman's Dreamy Apple Pie


In addition to the squash dish and cranberry sauce, I brought an apple pie to Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house.  I chose this recipe from Pioneer Woman because I love apple pies that have crumbly toppings rather than crust toppings, and because it looked plain old delicious...and it was!

1 unbaked Pie Crust
3 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Flour
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon

Add apple slices to a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together the cream, brown sugar, sugar, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Pour over the apples and mix.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell.

Crumb Topping:
7 tablespoons Butter
3/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Pecans
Dash of Salt

In the bowl of a food processor (or by hand, since mine is too small), combine butter, flour, sugar, pecans (chop first if by hand), and salt.  Mix until everything comes together in clumps.

Crumble topping over apples.  Cover the pie, loosely, with tin foil.  Place the pie tin onto a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.  After the hour, remove the foil and allow the crumble topping to become bubbly and golden brown, about 15-20 more minutes.

Wednesday
Nov172010

Vanilla Malted Frosting

I'm not overly thrilled with the way this cake looked once it was frosted and "decorated" which is exactly why I plan to take the Wilton cake decorating classes before this summer.  This way, come August, I'm ready to tackle that wedding cake for my brother!

Last night, I had a meeting for the teacher sorority that I belong to.  The theme of that particular meeting was game night.  Some of us played card games, some of us sat back and talked.  Perhaps most importantly, though, we also celebrated one of our member's 80th birthdays!  We couldn't let it go un-noticed, so I volunteered to bake a cake for the occasion.  I chose to make this chocolate cake, only because at another function, I overheard the birthday girl say she preferred it to any other type, and I filled it with a mocha flavored mousse.  When I was thinking about the frosting to make for the cake, I found this on Loves to Eat, which originated at Jaime Cooks, and it was a great!  I halved this recipe, which was still more than enough to frost a 2 tier 9 inch round cake, and pipe the border and wording on top.

5 sticks Butter, softened
8 cups Confectioners' Sugar
1 cup Malted Milk Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
1 Vanilla Bean, scraped (I didn't have one, so I omitted this)
1/4 cup Heavy Cream

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until it is smooth, about 20 seconds.  Add the salt and half of the sugar.  Beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.  Add the rest of the sugar and continue mixing until combined.  Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until the mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.  Scrape the bowl, add the vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.  Add the malted milk powder and stir at medium speed to combine.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides once or twice.

Wednesday
Oct272010

Blackberry Crisp

I took 2 cookbooks out of the library a few weeks ago and haven't used either of them yet.  On Sunday, I got an email reminding me that my books would be due back by Tuesday, so it made me flip through them and copy some recipes before returning them.  One of the books that I took out was Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson.  This recipe looked delicious, and since we had a pint of blackberries in the fridge from last weekend, I wanted to use them up before they were completely mushy.  Unfortunately, they had already gotten moldy, so I bought a bag of frozen blackberries to use instead.  I adjusted the amounts of the ingredients to make enough to only serve Joel and I, but both original and my amounts are listed below.  This was a great warm dessert for a night home alone.  I paired it with a little Tahitian vanilla gelato.  Yum!

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Butter (1 used 3 tablespoons)
3/4 cup Rolled Oats (I used 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup Flour (I used 1/8 cup)
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar  (I used 1/8 cup)
1/2 cup flaked almonds  (I used 1/8 cup)
1/4 cup Sunflower Kernels (I used 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon  (I used 1/3 teaspoon)
4 cups Blackberries (I used approximately 1 pint)
1/4 cup Vanilla Sugar or Granulated Sugar (I used 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons Cornstarch (I used 2/3 teaspoon)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt butter and put aside for a moment.  Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, almonds, sunflower kernels, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Tip blackberries into a wide shallow baking dish and sprinkle over the vanilla sugar and cornstarch, and tumble about to mix.  Stir the melted butter into the crisp topping and spoon on top of the blackberries to coat, but not absolutely thoroughly.  Bake for 25 minutes and serve with ice cream.  Serves 4-6.

Tuesday
Oct192010

Angel Food Cupcakes with Blackberry Glaze


This past weekend, we threw my dad a surprise 56th birthday party.  I know that 56 isn't the big year most people think would warrant a big surprise party, but my dad has had a hell of a year dealing with cancer.  He has had several surgeries, procedures, and different chemo therapies and completely deserved a break from it all, enjoying time with his family and closest friends.  The party was a complete success.  There were about 40 people in our apartment on Saturday, and as soon as my parents pulled into the driveway, everybody grew silent.  My dad managed to completely miss the 2 giant coolers on my kitchen floor and the 2 big crockpots on my counter as he walked into the dining room.  When he entered the dining room, Joel took a picture of him (hoping to catch the surprised look on his face), and he STILL managed to completely miss the large group of people in the living room staring at him.  As soon as he turned to walk into the living room, he kind of jumped back as everybody yelled "Surprise!"  I'm just glad that everybody was able to keep it a secret until Saturday, and I'm really glad that my dad had a great time!

Anyway, on to the food.  Growing up, I remember that every year on his birthday, my dad wanted angel food cake, which we cut in half and put rainbow sherbet in the middle, kind of like a sherbet sandwich with angel food cake bread.  I also seem to remember him liking black raspberry ice cream.  So, when I came across these 2 recipes on Fake Ginger, I knew I had to incorporate them into his party.  I served these cupcakes with a side of rainbow sherbet, just for good measure.  Somehow, my frosting did not thicken as nicely as it did on Fake Ginger, so I was unable to pipe it like I was hoping to, but I think that the glaze actually turned out quite nicely.

For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Cake Flour
1 1/2 cups Sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon Salt
12 Egg Whites
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites with the vanilla and cream of tartar until soft-medium peaks are formed, about 3-4 minutes.  Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks are formed, about 5 minutes.  Fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, taking care not to over mix and deflate the batter.  Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each well of 24 lined cupcake pans.  Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden.

For the Frosting:
1 stick Unsalted Butter, softened
6 ounces Fresh Blackberries, pureed and strained (I didn't strain and it seemed fine)
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
3 cups Powdered Sugar
Food Coloring, if desired

Cream the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add the blackberry puree and lemon juice and mix until combined.  Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.  Add food coloring if you wish until everything is a solid color.  Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.

Saturday
Sep042010

Tiramisu in a Cup

(It's tough to make this look good in a picture, but trust me, it's delicious!)

One of my favorite desserts has always been tiramisu.  I don't get it very often, but there is something about the creamy texture and the strong coffee flavoring that is amazing to me.  I never thought that I'd make it on my own, mostly because I figured it was very complicated.  I also assumed that it made a lot, and since it is so rich, I didn't want to end up eating an entire pan of it all by myself.  When I was flipping through the pages of my Sunlight Cafe cookbook by Mollie Katzen, I found a recipe for a version of tiramisu that feeds only 2.  The way that the recipe is described at the top of the page was enticing, too.  "Traditionally, tiramisu is made with mascarpone (a very rich Italian cream cheese) and eggs.  This lighter variation is made with ricotta, which is much leaner and higher in protein than mascarpone, so you can feel entitled to eat it for breakfast-a guilty pleasure without the guilt!"  Oh boy, it is almost as if they wrote that description for me.  Guilt-free tiramisu?  Sign me up!

1/4 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Lowfat Ricotta Cheese
1 tablespoon Sugar
12 Ladyfingers
1/2 cup Espresso, or brewed strong black coffee, at room temperature

Place the chocolate chips in an electric spice grinder or blender and grind them into a coarse meal.  OR, you can just chop them by hand, which is what I did.  Place the ricotta in a medium sized bowl.  Add the sugar and mix it in with a fork or small whisk.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the sweetened ricotta into each of two 6-ounce ramekins.  Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the ground chocolate over the ricotta.  Lay 3 ladyfingers on top of the chocolate, overlapping them if necessary.  Sprinkle the ladyfingers with 1-2 tablespoons of the espresso.  Repeat the layers: cheese, chocolate, ladyfingers, espresso.  Addle a final dab of cheese, and sprinkle the top with a little more chocolate for a finished look.  Wrap each ramekin tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum for 4 hours, preferably overnight, to let the layers meld.  Serve cold.

*I put my ladyfingers in a baking dish and poured the coffee over the top of them all instead of just sprinkling the coffee over the top of the layers.  This way, each of the ladyfingers absorbed the coffee and they also became more pliable for me to fit them in my ramekins.

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