Archive for Desserts

Chocolate and Pecan Coated Waffle Cones

Posted by: · May 13 2011 · Comments (3)

I tried making these cones with my regular waffle iron and failed miserably so I splurged on the $20 waffle cone iron and cone mold. This picture speaks volumes to the virtues of my new toy.

Makes 6 waffle cones

Ingredients:

- 1 cup flour

- 1 teaspoon baking powder

- 3 eggs

- ¾ cup butter

- 1.5 tablespoons vanilla extract

- 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

- ½ cup melted butter

- 16 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

- 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

Plug in your waffle cone iron and heat until “ready indication light” turns on.

Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl.  In a standing mixer, beat the eggs on low.  Add the sugar, butter, 2 tablespoons cream, and vanilla and continue to mix until incorporated.  Slowly add the dry ingredients until you have a smooth and consistent batter.

Spoon ¼ cup of the batter on the iron.  Close the iron lid and hold down for 30 seconds.  Open the lid to check the color.  You want the waffle to be just slightly browned.  Close the lid and continue to cook until you have reached the desired shade.

Remove the waffle from the iron with tongs and lay on the middle a clean dish towel.  Place the cone mold on the middle of the waffle.  So not to burn your fingers,   wrap the cloth and the waffle around the cone.   Remove the cloth and continue to roll the waffle until it is completely rolled around the cone mold.  Hold the outer seam of the waffle tightly against the cone mold until the waffle begins to harden.  Remove the cone mold and place the waffle cone in a tall glass to maintain its form while cooling.

While the cones are cooling, heat a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chocolate and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream.  Stir until the chocolate is smooth and complete melted.  Remove from the heat.  Use a spoon to coat the interior of the cones with the chocolate.  Drizzle chocolate along the rime of the cone as well.  Sprinkle the cones with pecans while the chocolate is hot.  Let cool and serve with your favorite ice cream.

Categories : Desserts
Comments (3)

Lemon Filled Sugar Donuts

Posted by: · May 12 2011 · Comments (6)

I have been one sick Thirty Year Old Housewife the last few days.  Between the headaches and the nausea, the kitchen has been the last thing on my mind.  In fact the bulk of the last few days have been spent in bed along side my two very concerned puppy dogs.  I awoke yesterday afternoon to Madison the dog sleeping on my chest, a crusted line of drool on my face and finally, an easy stomach.   These donuts were first on my post sickness agenda, well maybe second to washing my face.  I rarely have a sweet tooth, but I guess days of malnutrition will do crazy things to you.  I had these for dinner last night and they were just what the doctor ordered.

Makes 16 donuts

Ingredients:

Donuts

- 1 package instant yeast

- 1 cup whole milk

- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

- 1 ¼ cup sugar

- 3 egg yolks

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 3 ¼ cups bread flour

- 4 cups canola oil

Filling

- Juice from 4 lemons, about ¾ cup

- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

- ¾ cup sugar

- 3 egg yolks

- Pinch of salt

- 1.5 tablespoon corn starch

- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

-1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

Instructions:

Start with the donut dough.  Combine the yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium size bowl and set aside.  Heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until slightly bubbly.  Whisk in the butter.  Remove from the heat and pour over the yeast/sugar mixture.  Stir the ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of a standing mixing bowl fixed with a dough hook.  Add the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons sugar and the salt.   Mix on medium speed until well incorporated then slowly add the flour.  Continue to mix until an elastic dough forms.  Remove the dough from the mixer and hand knead on a well floured surface until smooth- about 5 minutes.  Place the dough in a bowl coated with oil and cover with kitchen towel.  Let the dough sit at room temperature for at least one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, make the filing.  Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, egg yolks and corn starch in a medium size saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.  The contents of the saucepan with thicken once a simmer is accomplished, at which point remove from the heat and fold in the butter and the mascarpone.  Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until use.

Place the oil in a large stockpot and heat over high heat.

Roll out the dough to 1/2″ thickness on a well floured surface.  Use a 2 inch diameter circular cookie cutter to cut out the donuts.  Place a cooking thermometer in the oil.  Once it registers between 350°-375° it is ready to fry.  You will need to fry the donuts in batches.  Carefully lower the doughnut cutouts into the oil with a slotted spoon.  Cook for 3 minutes per side.  Remove the donuts from the oil with the slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.  Immediately transfer the donuts to a bowl filled with the remaining 1 cup sugar.  Coat the donuts with the sugar and place on a wire cooling rack.  Allow the donuts to cool for 10 minutes.

Spoon the lemon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a long thin tip.  Push the tip into the side of the donut and fill with the lemon mixture.  Serve immediately.

Categories : Breakfasts, Desserts
Comments (6)

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Posted by: · Apr 22 2011 · Comments (2)

These cookies are so good that I preemptively took Tylenol for the migraine that usually ensues  after I eat chocolate.  The migraine never came and the cookies, well let’s just say they were well worth the risk.

Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

Chocolate Sauce

- 1 tablespoon butter

- 8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

- ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Cookies

- 2/3 cup shortening

- 2/3 cup peanut butter

- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

- 1 cup tightly packed brown sugar

- 1 egg

- 1 teaspoon vanilla

- 1.5 cups all purpose flour

- 1.5 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 375°.

Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl.

Combine the shortening and peanut butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fixed with a batter attachment.  Mix for one minute on medium speed.  Add the cream, sugar and vanilla and continue to mix until the egg is fully incorporated.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until you have a consistent dough.  Remove the bowl from the mixing stand and form the dough into silver dollar size balls.  Place the balls on a cookie sheet leaving 2 inches between each.  Gently press down on the balls with the back of a spatula until they reach ½” thickness.  Transfer to the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

While the cookies are baking make the chocolate sauce.  In a medium size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the chocolate and the cream and reduce the heat to low.  Stir until the chocolate is entirely melted and remove from the heat.

Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.  Cool for 2 minutes then use a slotted spoon to dip the cookies in the chocolate sauce, one by one.  Make sure to coat the top of the cookie with plenty of chocolate.  Remove from the chocolate sauce and allow residual chocolate to drip back into the pan.  Place the cookies on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.  Once all the cookies have been dipped in the chocolate sauce, transfer to the refrigerator to allow the chocolate sauce to harden.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve.

Categories : Desserts
Comments (2)

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Tartelettes

Posted by: · Apr 06 2011 · Comments (3)

While baking this dessert yesterday, my fire alarm sounded.  I frantically stumbled downstairs to my kitchen not to find an emergency, but a dirty oven smoking because I have neglected to clean it for some time.  My fear of fire is warranted.  Two years ago I received a call at work alerting me that our house was on fire.   Our fish, “The Man,” and his salt water tank had erupted into flames leaving the basement destroyed and smoke damage throughout the remainder of the house.   The Man was a nasty little fish who was named for his ability to kill any living thing we placed in his tank.  Throughout his 6 years with us he killed scores of other fish, bit my fingers on a number of occasions and somehow managed to work his way into our hearts.  The Man and his two inch stature were a force to be reckoned with and it seemed he decided if he was going to die, he was going to try to take us down with him.  Fortunately, our dogs escaped the fire unharmed, but our house was not so lucky.  We now have a fully rehabbed basement, new furniture and a strong argument to never have a fish tank again.  So while fire and fish tanks are not our friends, these tartelettes are most definitely a welcome addition to our home and palate.  Warm, creamy and delightful.

Makes 6 tartelettes

Ingredients:

Crust

- 1 ¾ cups flour

- 1/8 teaspoon salt

- 2 tablespoons sugar

- 1 egg

- 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

- 2 tablespoons water

Filling

- ½ cup goat cheese, at room temperature

- ¼ cup tiramisu mascarpone cheese- can be bought in the cheese section of most grocery stores

- 1 egg

- ¾ cups sugar

- ¼ cup cream

- 1 pound fresh strawberries, stems removed and cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices

- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°.

Start with the dough.  In a standing mixer fixed with a dough hook combine the flour, salt and sugar.  Mix on low speed and add the egg, followed by the butter (1 tablespoon at a time) and the water.  Mix until an elastic dough forms.  Add additional water if necessary to get to the right consistency.  Remove the dough, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, clean the bowl of the standing mixer and replace the dough hook with a whisk attachment.  Mix together the goat cheese, mascarpone, egg, sugar and cream on high speed for 2 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the stand and gently fold in the lemon rind.  Set aside.

Roll out the dough on a well floured surface to 1/8” thickness.  Lay your 6” round tartelette pans on top of the dough and cut a circle around the pan that is ½” bigger around than the pan.  Transfer the dough cut- out to the tartelette pan.  Use your fingers to gently press the dough into the corners of the pan.  Now top each tartelette with ½ cups- ¾ cups of the filling.  Use a spatula to spread the filling evenly across each pan. Layer the sliced strawberries on top of the filling.  Start from the outer rim of the tartelette and work your way towards the center creating a flower-like design. Place the tartelettes on a cookie sheet and transfer to the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350°.  Reduce the heat to 250° and continue to cook for 45 minutes or until the tartelettes are slightly firm and the visible crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Categories : Desserts
Comments (3)

I lost my mom to cancer a few years back and anytime I am especially missing her, which is often, I make a meal that reminds me of her.  She was an absolute ace banana bread maker and often packed my school lunches with her banana bread sandwiched between cream cheese.  Here I used mom’s recipe and added some oats and honey.  I also replaced the cream cheese with a mascarpone honey.  Although the ingredients are slightly different, the taste is much the same and so is the comfort of mom’s food.  As a side note, Ellie, my chocolate lab, also appreciated these little sandwiches.  While preparing to take a picture for this post she swooped in and ate 5 sandwiches.  Her initial fear of my wrath was clearly calmed by the taste of the sandwiches as she made a second attempt at her food thievery.  She is now sleeping on my feet with a very full belly and little regret.

Makes 12 small sandwiches

Ingredients:

Bread

- 4 cups flour

- 1 cup oats

-2 teaspoons baking soda

- 2 teaspoons salt

- 7 ripe bananas

- 2 eggs

- 2 cups brown sugar

- 3 tablespoons honey

- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature and cut into 1 tablespoon pieces

Spread

- ½ cup mascarpone cheese

- 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350°.

Combine the flour, oats, salt, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  In the bowl of a standing mixer combine the eggs, sugar, honey and bananas.  Mix on medium-low until the bananas are fully incorporated.  Continue to mix on medium-low speed and add the butter one piece at a time.  Once all the butter is added, mix for 2 additional minutes.  Now add the flour mixture on cup at a time and mix until fully incorporated with the wet ingredients.

Butter and flour 2 loaf pans.  Equally distribute the batter into each pan and transfer to the oven.  Cook for 1 hour at which point insert a tooth pick into the middle of each loaf to test if done.  If the tooth pick comes out clean it is done.  If the toothpick comes out with batter on it continue to cook for 10-15 minutes.

Remove the pans from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the loaves from the pan and transfer to a wire cooling rack.  Cool the bread the rack for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the spread by combining the mascarpone and honey in a small bowl.

Cut the bread along the width of the loaf into ½” thick slices.  Spread the honey mascarpone onto one piece of bread and sandwich it with another piece of bread.  Cut in half for smaller tea sandwiches and enjoy.

Categories : Breads, Breakfasts, Desserts
Comments (2)

Carrot and Coconut Cream Cupcakes

Posted by: · Mar 24 2011 · Comments (2)

Every birthday or special event of my youth was accompanied by my mother’s carrot cake.  I will never forget the morning after our celebrations and the sound of my father sneaking into the kitchen to nab another piece of cake for breakfast.  It seems only suitable that in the month of  both of their birthdays that I make a cupcake reminiscent of mom’s.

Makes 16 large cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cake

- 3 eggs

- 1 cup vegetable oil

- ½ cup heavy whipping cream

- 2 cups grated carrots

- ½ cup grated coconut

- 1.5 cups white sugar

- ½ cup brown sugar

- 2.5 cups flour

- 1 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- ½ teaspoon salt

- 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Icing

- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese

- ½ cup room temperature butter

- 3 cups confectioner sugar

- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350°.

Cream the eggs, oil, carrots, coconut, cream and sugars in a large bowl.  In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well incorporated.  Spoon the mixture into a cupcake pan fixed with cupcake holders.  Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.  When done, allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a cooling rack for 20 minutes.

While the cupcakes are cooling make the icing.  Combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Mix until fully incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.  Spoon the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a fluted attachment.  Pipe the icing onto the cupcake starting from the outside of the cupcake top and working to the interior. Serve right away or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Categories : Desserts
Comments (2)

Raspberry Jam Shortbread Cookies

Posted by: · Feb 22 2011 · Comments (2)

When I was 10 years old I started to get migraine headaches.  The first remedy for my pain was my diet and the first thing to go was chocolate.  For a young child addicted to Caramello’s and Crunch Bars, this was no less than a tragedy.   My mother took it upon herself to make my dessert experience just as lovely without my beloved chocolate.  Every day I had a new chocolate – free cookie or treat to look forward to in my lunch.   I will never forget the excitement when I opened my brown bag to find shortbread cookies, my absolute favorite, always neatly stacked and packed in cellophane.  While they usually weren’t homemade, the effort and love behind the cookie was all that mattered and for that reason they were perfect.

Ingredients:

Jam

- 3 cups raspberries

- ½ cup water

- ¾ cup sugar

-1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

- 1 tablespoon fruit pectin

Shortbread

- 1 cup all purpose flour

-1/2 cup semolina flour

-1.5 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

- ¼ cup powdered sugar

- 1.5 tablespoons sugar

- ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 300°.

Combine raspberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a medium size saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and breaking up the berries with a fork.  Reduce to a simmer over low heat and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in the fruit pectin and return to a boil.  Reduce to low heat and continue to cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and refrigerate until use.

For the shortbread, combine the flours, salt and sugars in the bowl of standing mixer fixed with a dough hook.  Mix on low speed for 1 minute.  Increase the speed to medium-high and add the butter one tablespoon at a time.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed to form cohesive dough.  Mix for 5 minutes.  Remove the dough and place in buttered 8 X 8” cooking pan.  Press the dough into one even layer across the entire pan.  Spoon the raspberry jam on top of the dough, making sure it is an even thickness throughout of about 1/8”.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Cut the shortbread into 2”X2” squares or your desired size and carefully transfer from the pan directly to the cooling rack.   Cool for 10 more minutes before serving.

Categories : Desserts
Comments (2)

Apple-Fig Sauce with Whipped Cream

Posted by: · Feb 16 2011 · Comments (2)

Every once in a while I make a dish so good that I partake in a fairly obnoxious celebration of self-congratulations and personal pats on the back.  This dish prompted one of those moments.  Apple juice is the standard base for apple sauce, but naturally I forgot to buy apple juice at the store while shopping for apple sauce ingredients.  So,  I scrounged through my alcohol cabinet looking for an alternative to the apple juice and found one lone bottle of ginger ale.  A shot in the dark turned into this delicious and flavorful dessert.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Sauce

- 6 large red apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ¼ inch slices

- 1 cup ginger ale

- ¼ cup apple schnapps

- 1.5 cups figs, roughly chopped

- 2 cinnamon sticks

- 1 teaspoon lemon juice

- 1/3 cup honey

- 2 tablespoons sugar

- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1whole nutmeg

Whipped Cream

-  1 cup heavy whipping cream

- ¼ cup sugar

Instructions:

Stir together the apples, figs, cinnamon sticks, ginger ale and schnapps in a large stockpot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer over low heat and cover.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently and removing from the heat when apples become soft.  Stir in the honey, sugar, ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon.  Remove the cinnamon sticks and discard.

While the apples are cooking, make the whipped cream by pouring the cream into a standing mixing bowl.  Whisk on high until cream thickens and forms stiff peaks.  Add the sugar and continue to mix for 30 seconds.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Transfer the apple mixture to a food processor.  Pulse until you have reached a slightly chunky sauce.  Let cool for 2 minutes then spoon into dessert bowls and top with a large dollop of whipped cream and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg.

Categories : Desserts
Comments (2)

Stewed Berries with Maple Whipped Cream

Posted by: · Feb 05 2011 · Comments (1)

I made this dish last night for a small dinner party.  It was a perfect way to end off the night – sweet, but not too sweet, simple and refreshing.  This dessert is very easy to prepare and most of the components can be made ahead of time, leaving you more time to enjoy your guests and wine.  This recipe calls for maple extract which I find to be a nice seasonal compliment.  Vanilla or orange extract would also work well.

Ingredients:

Berries

- ¾ cups blackberries

- ¾ cups raspberries

- 1/3 cup sugar

- 2 cups water

Nuts

- ½ cup chopped pecans

- ¼ cup brown sugar

- 1 teaspoon maple extract

- 2 tablespoons water

Cream

- ½ cup Greek yogurt, 2%

- ½ cup mascarpone cheese

-  1.5 cups heavy whipping cream

- ½ cup sugar

- ¼ teaspoon maple extract

- ¼ teaspoon lemon rind

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 300°.

Bring water to a boil over high heat in medium size stock pot.  Stir in the berries and sugar and cook.  Return to a boil and then decrease temperate to low.   Simmer for 5 minutes or until berries just begin fall apart.  Strain the berries in a colander and transfer to a small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together nuts, sugar, maple extract and 2 tablespoons water.  Pour the contents of the bowl onto a non-stick baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.

Combine the yogurt, mascarpone, cream, sugar and maple extract in a standing mixer.  Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.   This will take a minute or two.  Fold in the lemon rind.

To serve, spoon berries into a martini glass or dessert bowl.  Top with the cream, followed by the nuts.  Serve immediately.

Categories : Desserts
Comments (1)

Churros and Chocolate Fondue

Posted by: · Jan 21 2011 · Comments (1)

A wonderfully crisp donut along a chocolate cognac fondue for dipping.  Delicious, easy and perfect for a cocktail party.  I like to place my fondue pot in the middle of my food spread so guests can dive in all on their own.

Ingredients:

Churros

- 2 cups water

- ½ cup sugar

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 3 cups flour

- 2 eggs

- Vegetable oil for frying

Fondue

- 2 cups whipping cream

- 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped

- ¼ cup sugar

- 2 tablespoons cognac

Instructions:

For the churros, whisk together water, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Remove from heat and transfer to a standing mixer.  Add flour and mix on medium speed until smooth.  Add eggs and continue to mix for 2 minutes or until a wet dough forms.  Remove contents from mixer and spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a fluted attachment.    Pipe 5” long strips onto wax paper.

In a deep skillet, add enough oil to reach 2 inches in depth.  Heat over medium-high heat.  The oil will be ready for frying when you drop a touch of water on the oil and it hisses and spits.  This can take a few minutes, so be patient.  Once the oil is ready, use a slotted spoon to place the churro dough into the oil.  Turn the churros frequently to ensure and even fry.  Fry for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the churros with the slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.  Coat the churros with the remaining sugar and set aside.

For the fondue, heat the cream over low heat in a fondue pot.  Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until the chocolate completely melts and incorporates into the cream.  Whisk in sugar and cognac and cook for 2 additional minutes.  Remove from stove and place pot over fondue heating source.

Arrange churros on a serving plate along hot chocolate fondue for dipping.

Categories : Desserts
Comments (1)