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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

I’m a little short on time this week as the summer semester has begun but I have the promised recipe! When I return with longer posts I’ll know infinitely more about wines, liqueurs, and beers. I can’t wait to share some of the fun with all of you! In a way less school-is-boring way that is :D. Well here it is boys and girls!

Rosemary Ginger Shortbread

Serves: at least 12, this is uber rich stuff!

1 lb (2 cups) Butter, softened

1 3/4 cups Sugar

4 cups Flour

1 tsp Kosher Salt

2 large Eggs, beaten

1 cup Crystallized Ginger, chopped

3 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped (may use 2-3 tsp dried rosemary for a milder flavor)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  In another bowl sift together flour and salt to add some air. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar and mix just until combined. As always, do not over-mix. Add approximately 3/4 of the beaten eggs and reserve the remaining 1/4 for a glaze. Add the chopped ginger and rosemary and mix until well incorporated.

Spread the mixture into a 9″x13″ pan. No need to grease it; it has plenty of butter already in there! Mix that 1/4 egg mixture with 1 tablespoon of water until a pale yellow color. Brush this over the shortbread batter.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 45 minutes, until glaze is a light golden color and a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into 2″ bars when cool!

You might think 2″ is really tiny when you look at it, but these babies are like tasty flavor powerhouses!

Give ’em a try today!

Eat well and love much,

The shortbread girl

ps- I hope you see one of these at least once in your life!

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If you didn’t notice already, I have a rather insatiable sweet tooth. I blame…uh…the Texas heat? genetics? the smell of baking cookies? Oh, who am I kidding? My sweet tooth is my own fault. You see, every time I read blogs like Bakerella and Tartelette, it’s like tossing another gallon of gasoline on the flame. This afternoon I was minding my own business and checking up on my RSS feed of Tastespotting when along came a recipe advertising itself as “The Fastest Dessert You will Ever Make.” Well of course I couldn’t resist trying it with a few tweaks of my own. For all you wives and mommas out there, this is picky-husband approved!

To whip out this quickie you need the following:

My favorite kitchen tool, the food processor, suar, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract and whatever flavor you would like to impart in your cheesecake cups. I used berries and a touch of strawberry creme tequila but you can use any fruit, nutella or even caramel if you want!

Dump your cheeses in the workbowl of the food processor with some sugar, milk and vanilla.

Give the blade a whirl until it looks very smooth. No chunks here folks! It should look very liquidy, but be fairly thick and look like this when you get some on a spoon. Yum!

Now I went ahead and put some of this mixture in some pretty cups to keep some plain because I didn’t think my hubby would like the strawberry flavor I was about to make. (I was wrong, but oh well, it’s all delicious!)

To make said strawberry awesomeness grab a few fresh or frozen strawberries. I had frozen so I plopped 4 in the bowl with a splash of strawberry creme tequila to highlight the strawberry flavor.

Give that a whirl and then marvel at the pretty pink color it makes.

That’s it! Stick it in the fridge for a while if you want it to firm up a tad, or just eat it by the spoonful right there! I’ll leave it to your imagination which I did first…ahem.

I like to stick my desserts in pretty cups because it makes me feel pretty…or something like that. 😀

This husband approved dessert just might become your new favorite go-to dessert. It’s one of the top desserts in my list now!

Quick Cheesecake Cups

8 oz (1 cup) Cream Cheese, softened

4 oz (1/2 cup) Mascarpone Cheese

1/4 cup Granulated Sugar

1/3 cup Milk (I used whole milk)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Whatever Flavorings you Want: 1/4 cup fresh or frozen fruit, 1/4 cup Nutella, 1/4 cup caramel sauce, or 1/4 cup fruit preserves.

Process all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor until smooth.

Place in cups or containers and refrigerate 40 minutes until set.

Eat and fall over in surprise at how good this simple dessert is!

Eat well and love much,

Dentist-bound-sugar tooth

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Swedish sugar cookies are not, in fact swedish at all. At least as far as I know they aren’t. What they are is delectable little cookies that are tender on the inside with a wonderful sugar crunch on the top. Oh heavens, you have not partaken of sugar cookie greatness until you have tried these babies.

Let’s get bakin!

First of all lets gather our necessities:

Consisting of flour, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, cream of tartar, baking soda, butter, and this baby!

We went home to Cleburne last weekend and I got some farm fresh eggs and whole, raw milk. I mean just look at these guys!

Absolute perfection. Anyways, moving on!

First step toward a delicious cookie is to cream you butter and sugar.

Then go ahead and add your egg and make sure it gets well mixed in.

Lastly for our “wet” ingredients, add your vanilla and mix the whole thing together until it gets nice and fluffy.

Till fluffy! While your mixture is achieving ultimate fluffiness, mix all your dry ingredients in a separate bowl making sure you don’t have any clumps of baking soda or cream of tartar. That would be ultimate cookie yuckiness. Trust me, I’ve done it.

Just dump your dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on LOW!

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT over mix this batter. Mix until everything just comes together. It is a very crumbly batter, but do not be afraid of the crumb. Be ye not afraid.

Here’s the fun part I just loved as a kid. From the dough into 1 inch-ish balls and place them on your cookie sheet that you covered with parchment paper. Why parchment paper? Because Alton Brown says cookies are very fragile after they come out of the oven, and you can prevent cookie cruelty by just sliding the paper with the cookies off onto a cooling rack after they are done cooking. I believe him. All hail the great Alton Brown!

Just pretend I have a picture of rolling the cookies into balls…:D

Now, grab a bowl and put some sugar in it. And if you’re taking pictures of the sugar, don’t put it in a white bowl like I did. Silly Sarah.

Now go grab a wide bottomed cup, drizzle some water over the bottom to get it moist, and stick it in the sugar so the sugar sticks to the bottom of the cup.

(ps- if you’ve got kids, let ’em do this part- they’ll love it!)

Take the sugared cup and lightly-ish press down on the cookie balls, being sure to re-sugar the bottom of your cup in between each cookie dough ball.

Until all your cookies look more or less like this!

The last part is trickiest part. As my mother wrote on the recipe for me, you bake them at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until set. Unfortunately even as I was baking these I didn’t find there to be a specific cook time that made them perfect. Mine all took over 8 minutes but sometimes as long as 12 minutes. Mom says they’re best when taken out just before or at the beginning of turning slightly golden on the edges.

And boy is she right! This is my favorite part!

That, my friends, is how you make the best sugar cookie in the world.

What’s your favorite cookie?

Swedish Sugar Cookies

1 Cup butter

1 Cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 Cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Mix wet* ingredients (butter through vanilla) until fluffy. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Mix dry and moist together on low, just until batter comes together.

Form dough into 1 inch balls. Place balls 1 to 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten balls with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until set. They’re best when taken out just before or at the beginning of turning slightly golden.

Pass out from the deliciousness. Yum!

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I love sweets and finger foods that go with tea and coffee. For example, I love cupcakes, candies, brownies, blondies…the list just goes on and on.

I love sugar and sugar loves me…

One delightful example of sweets that I love to make at home and have for breakfast, tea time, or coffee dates are these wonderful scones. My mom passed this awesome recipe to me. The complex flavor from the slight tang of sour cream makes these out of this world! Try ‘em now. You won’t regret it!

Sunrise Scones

Ingredients:

  • 1-½ cup Flour
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ cups Cold Butter, Cut
  • ½ cups Dried Fruit, Cut Into Small Pieces If Bigger Than Raisin Size
  • ¼ cups Sour Cream
  • ¼ cups Milk
  • 1 whole Egg, Lightly Beaten For Egg Wash (Optional)
  • Coarse Sugar, For Sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt). Cut in butter with pastry cutter.

Stir in dried fruit (I love dried cranberries, sometimes mixed with chopped dried apricots), sour cream, and milk. I find it easiest to get in with my hands at this step, as the dough is a little crumbly without some manual help. Don’t use your hands too much though. You don’t want to melt the butter. We just want it to come together enough to roll the dough out.

Roll out the dough to 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. Cut into whatever shape you fancy, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle coarse sugar on top.

Bake for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees. When they come out, the sugar will have formed a crunchy crust and the tops of the scones will have a light brown tinge toward the edges. They’re so tender on the inside, you’ll wonder how you lived with Starbucks scones so long.

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More on these delicious pots of gold in a second…

So I am not a good blogger. At least I am not a very consistent one. I have officially thought of a hundred and one excuses for why it has been over a month since my last post and all of them sounded good. You know, excuses like:

“I had to buy toilet paper.”

and

“Last week was midterms.”

and

“Don’t blog posts deserve a spring break too?”

And yet, my blog was always there in the back of my mind. Ideas for posts and hilarious screw ups that the world just really needs to know about me in the kitchen. Like how yesterday I ate two frozen cookie dough balls that I made for a rainy day when company comes over and I need a dessert fast. Well, lets just say I’m down a few (dozen) cookie dough balls now.

Anywho, I’m sorry, for all of you who accidentally fell upon my poor abandoned blog whilst I was having a mental breakdown of epic proportions. Ok maybe that is a slight exaggeration. Slight. In my head this whole thing just seemed like such a grand idea, like I would magically have posts that write themselves, and suddenly I would have a stay-at-home job. Before I knew it, I was having commitment problems like Harry in Something’s Gotta Give!

Obviously, things don’t really just do themselves. Ergo–>

Well today, I’m recommitting myself. Even if no one other than my sweet Sister-in-Law and other family members are my only faithful readers, I think I need to write this out lest I go to a dark and twisty place*. So I hope you can forgive my lack of pretty pots and pans and less than fantastic photos (Lord willing we will get a nice camera someday) and lets hop back on this ride for a while and see where it leads!

It’s a little out of season now that we’re coming upon spring, but here is the sweet potato and carrot souffle I promised to post about what seems like forever ago. It is SO delicious! When I made it I was feeling onery so I hand whipped some whipped cream with some fresh grated nutmeg on top, and oh man…just try it, ok?

*Shout out to my Grey’s Anatomy lovers!

Sweet Potato and Carrot Souffle

1 & 1/2 pound Peeled Carrots

1 to 2 medium size Sweet Potatoes

1 & 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar

1 & 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 & 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

1/3 cups All-purpose Flour

4 whole Eggs

1 stick Melted Butter Or Margarine

1 tablespoon Confectioner’s Sugar, Garnish

Heavy or Whipping cream, Garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut carrots (if whole) into 2 inch long sections so they will steam evenly. Cut sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes.

Place carrots and sweet potatoes in microwave safe bowl and cover with water.Cover bowl loosely with some form of a lid, even if that’s an upside down plate. Microwave on high for 10 minutes or until both carrots and sweet potatoes are fork tender and soft enough to be mashed.

Drain potatoes and carrots and put in the bowl of a mixer and add sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and flour. Beat slowly until carrots and potatoes mash and then beat on high for 3 minutes until very smooth.

With mixer on low, add eggs one at a time, being sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Gradually add the melted butter.

If making in ramekins, spray each ramekin with Pam for baking or butter and flour each ramekin. If making in a 1 1/2-quart casserole or a deep 9-inch round pan do the same. Fill each ramekin, or dish, no more than half way up as souffle will puff while cooking.

If making in ramekins, cook for around 20 to 25 min in 350 degree oven, or until doubled in size and inserted toothpick comes out clean. If making in a casserole or round pan cook for 1 to 1 and a half hours or until top is a light golden brown. Garnish as desired!

PS–I made red sauce again recently and added some artichokes because I felt like it and oh man…please try it sometime!

Eat well and love much,

a recovering commitment phobe

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Whenever I create something my husband doesn’t quite like, he likes to lower the blow by saying “it’s not my favorite.” He and I have a happy understanding that this means that quietly, I will not make said creation again unless simply for myself. Which I do. Make it for myself that is. In retrospect this week, I think it is I who must say, it just wasn’t my favorite.

I made Pioneer Woman‘s Patsy’s Blackberry Cobbler and it was moist, sweet, fluffy deliciousness. Perfect with that single scoop of schmelty ice cream on top.

And yet, despite it’s delightful texture and contrast of tart fruit to clean, sweet cake…I remain in a state of cobbler-unsatisfaction. I think I just  made that word up. Anywho…the fact of the matter is my grandma, Miss Maudie, made the most spectacular peach cobblers I have ever experienced. I have not the slightest clue where to even begin searching for her recipe. Her cobblers were full of fresh off the tree peaches, and the bread of the cobbler wasn’t pie crust, but it wasn’t cake either; the texture was almost like a dumpling or a fruit betty. *sigh* What I wouldn’t do to have that recipe right now.

Who knew blackberry cobbler could leave you hungry for so much more. It reminded me just enough of childhood to remind me of the best. Thank heavens spring is on the way and you can bet your bottom dollar I will be getting some fresh peaches ASAP.

In other news here’s the proof from last weeks craving that you absolutely should make beef with broccoli. Holy cow, do it now!

Hope you enjoy your week and find yourselves well rested.

Eat well and love much.

PS- if you need an easy fruit dessert, this cobbler is definitely it. Do it for yourself 😀

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In Anticipation

School is upon me and I am so entirely un-enthused. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some throughly enjoyable times in college with many fun friends made. But, I could not be more ready to be done. I will finish my course work in the summer thankfully and all that will be behind me, I hope ;-). In this final week of freedom before my last spring semester of college I am trying to enjoy every moment of un-burdensome, no homework time. This includes taking naps, drinking tea, catching up on house work when needed, and accomplishing as little as possible within those parameters. Cooking is also part of my relaxation plan and tomorrow I plan on trying my own recipe for Carne Guisada, which literally translates to meat in gravy. I don’t know of any mexican restaurant that offers it here in Denton, but back in San Angelo, Carne Guisada was part of figuring out the personality of a mexican restaurant. Everyone has their own idea of what it should be like and everyone’s grandma makes it better than yours type situation. But more on that situation later :D.

Today is the day for posting J’s favorite part of last weeks date night meal. I’m not much for following recipes unless it’s for baking, but here are my recipes for Oven Fried Chicken and Amaretto Pear Crisps. I hope you enjoy them as much as J and I did!

Oven Fried Chicken

2-3 lbs Chicken Breast or Tenderloin* (see note), cut into 3″ long strips

2 C Panko, or Japanese Bread Crumbs

2 Eggs

2 Tbs Honey

1/2 C Flour

1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Set up a three stations for breading the chicken. In one place the flour, in another the honey and eggs, and in the third the panko, pepper, and salt. Beat the eggs and honey until combined well. Begin by dredging the chicken pieces in flour until lightly coated, and shake off any excess. Then coat the chicken pieces in the egg/honey mixture. Lastly, place the chicken in the Panko and cover well so each piece has an even coating of Panko. Place breaded chicken pieces into a baking dish big enough to not have any pieces overlapping. Bake chicken for 15 min or until centers are no longer pink.

*I didn’t have any boneless, skinless breasts or thighs that night so I cut the breast and tenderloin off two chicken breasts with ribs I had on hand. Whatever you’ve got with ya, make it work!

J’s reaction to this dessert was to call all apples useless and pears to be the only dessert he ever wanted to see again. This will seriously knock you out with amazingness.

Amazing Amaretto Crisp (makes 6, 4 oz ramekins, so double this for a pie sized amount)

For the fruit:

2 Firm, Red Bosc or other Pear variety, peeled and cored

1/4 C Disarronno or other Amaretto Liqueur

1/2 C Sugar

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 pinch kosher salt (trust me, it’s good)

Crumb topping, or the Crumblies as we call them:

(adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Pear Crisp 2009)

3/4 C Flour

1/6 C Firmly Packed Brown Sugar* (see note)

1/6 C Sugar* (see note)

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

5 1/3 Tbs Butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut pears into a small dice and add to a bowl with amaretto, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together and set aside. In another bowl mix all dry ingredients* together. Slowly mix in melted butter with a fork and incorporate well until mixture crumbs resemble small peas. Divide pear mixture among buttered ramekins including juices that have accumulated at the bottom. Divide crumb mixture among ramekins. We like the crumblies a lot so we use all of them which means I pack them in a little bit, but if you prefer less crumb crust, feel free to adjust to your liking. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 15-17 min or until crisp on top and bubbly around edges. Serve with vanilla ice cream and try not to have a heart attack from deliciousness overload!

*I, like any other sane person, do not possess a measuring cup that says 1/6 cup. To accomplish this amount I pack my 1/3 cup half way with brown sugar and top it off with the white sugar.

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