Not Orange Bars

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Initially my dad was put off at how horrible the oranges were. Pretty sure he’ll change his tune when he realizes they were lemons.

INGREDIENTS

Crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Lemon layer:
6 large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (5 to 6 lemons)
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup flour

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.

Crust:
cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

Lemon Layer:
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for approximately 40 minutes.  Make sure filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into rectangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

I used this recipe.

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Devil Dog Brownie Bites

Happy 242nd Birthday to the USMC.

INGREDIENTS


1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons finely ground espresso
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flour

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325°. Line an 8x8x2 inches glass baking dish with foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a 2 inches overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray; set baking dish aside.

Melt butter in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Whisk sugar, cocoa, espresso, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. Add flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownie out of pan; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

I worked with this recipe.

Walnut & Pumpkin Pie

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Why settle when you can have both?

INGREDIENTS

Pie Crust:
cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3.1/2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Pumpkin filling:
1 1/4 cups solid pack pumpkin
1/3 cup sugar
egg
tablespoons half-and-half
teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Walnut filling:
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
eggs
teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS

Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse until incorporated. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time while pulsing, until a ball forms. Remove and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill at least 30 minutes.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 14-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch pie pan, and crimp excess dough around the edges of the pan. Chill at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

To prepare the pumpkin filling, combine pumpkin, sugar, egg, half-and-half, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a bowl.  Whisk until smooth.

To prepare the pecan filling, combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl; whisk well. Stir in chopped walnuts.

Pour pumpkin filling into bottom of pie crust. Gently spoon pecan filling over pumpkin. Bake on a baking sheet 65 to 70 minutes, until the tip of a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 1 hour. Chill at least 3 hours before serving.

I worked with this recipe.

Apple Cake


Apples and cinnamon go together like bread and butter. 

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chopped apples (I used Wealthy heirloom)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325.

Mix ingredients in order given (except the last 3 ingredients).

Pour batter into a 9×13 greased pan.

Combine last 3 ingredients to make a topping and sprinkle it evenly over the batter.

Bake for 45 minutes. It’s delicious when served warm.

I got the recipe here.

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Brown Butter & Walnut Shortbread


Shortbread is one of the simplest and most delicious cookies out there. So why n

INGREDIENTS

225 grams salted butter, cut into cubes
175 grams powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup walnuts, crushed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 grams flour
sugar and salt, for dusting

 

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Continue to cook the butter until it turns deep golden brown. Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn. Pour the butter into a bowl and chill until solidified.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and grease a 9 or 10 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Remove the butter from the fridge and let it come back to room temperature. Put walnuts in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the crushed walnuts and then the vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour and mix until just combined.

Press the dough into the prepared tart pan. Use a knife to cut dough into 8 wedges and prick the dough with a toothpick or small dowel. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and a little flaked.

Bake until lightly golden brown, about 1 hour. Use a knife to re-cut the shortbread into wedges while the dough is still hot and soft. Let cool completely before serving.

Store shortbread at room temperature in an airtight container for several days.

I worked with this recipe.

“Dewey Defeats Truman” World Series Cookies

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This is what happens when you bake the night before…

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Royal Icing for decorating

DIRECTIONS

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Use Royal icing to decorate as you desire.

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Brioche with Sweet Butter

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I’ve tried several brioche recipes.  This one is from Epicurious.

INGREDIENTS

Dough Starter (Sponge):

2 tablespoons water, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup flour
1 egg

Flour mixture:

1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft

Egg Glaze
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon cream

PREPARATION

 

Begin the night before. In the mixer bowl, place the water, sugar, instant yeast, flour, and egg. Whisk by hand until very smooth, to incorporate air, about 3 minutes. The sponge will be the consistency of a very thick batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and set it aside, covered with plastic wrap while you prepare the flour mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar and yeast. Then whisk in the salt (this keeps the yeast from coming in contact with the salt, which would kill it). Sprinkle this mixture on top of the sponge. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let it stand for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature. The sponge will bubble through the flour mixture in places.

After the first rise, add the 2 cold eggs and mix with the dough hook on low (#2 if using a KitchenAid) for about 1 minute or until the flour is moistened. Raise the speed to medium (#4 KitchenAid) and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with an oiled spatula and continue beating for about 5 minutes longer or until the dough is smooth and shiny but very soft and sticky. It will mass around the dough hook but not pull away from the bowl completely.

Add the butter by the tablespoon, waiting until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next tablespoon, beating until all the butter is incorporated. The dough will be very soft and elastic and will stick to your fingers.  It will firm considerably after chilling.

Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 1-quart dough rising container or bowl, greased lightly with cooking spray or oil. Lightly spray or oil the top of the dough and cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

 

Deflate the dough and then place it covered in the refrigerator over night.

In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently press it down to deflate it. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and roll them into balls.  Place them in a greased loaf pan and let them rise for another hour or so while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly beat together the egg yolk and cream for the glaze. Brush the top of the brioche with the egg glaze, being careful not to drip any on the side of the pans, or it will impede rising.

Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.  Best served warm or toasted.

 

 

Bleeding Blueberry Muffins

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Getting ready for Halloween.

INGREDIENTS

Muffins:
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup blueberry jam

Glaze:
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, lemon zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, lemon juice (1/2 lemon), and buttermilk.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed (the batter will not be smooth). Fold in blueberries. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins and fill halfway.  Add a 1/2 teaspoon of blueberry jam and then fill the rest of the muffin cup to the top. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 18 minutes.

While cooling, whisk lemon juice and powdered sugar then brush over hot muffins.

Chocolate Coconut Cloud Cheesecake


I made this recipe up with some inspiration from Japanese cheesecakes. 

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups sugar cookie crumbs
5 tablespoons melted butter

Filling:
2 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature plus whites from two eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Topping:
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chopped finely

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with aluminum foil so butter does not drip out.

In a medium bowl, add the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Mix well until the crumbs are completely moistened. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan and press evenly along the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the crust is set and slightly toasted. Let sit on a wire rack to cool slightly while preparing the filling.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Mix in the sugar, coconut milk, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Mix well, about an additional minute.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped egg whites until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared crust and bake at 325 degrees for 60-75 minutes, depending on your oven.  The center will still be jiggly but should not be liquid. Turn the oven off and keep the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for another hour.  Open oven and sprinkle chocolate over the top and let melt slowly.  Smooth over top when melted and let sit for another hour so it does not crack. Let cook on rack and then chill in refrigerator.

 

 

Apple Strudel

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It’s apples, cinnamon, sugar, and butter.  What’s not to like?

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour, plus more for dusting
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup water

APPLE FILLING

1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons  dark rum
2 pounds firm apples (about 5 to 6)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the raisins by mixing them with the rum and placing them in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Let them soak while you make the dough.

Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the oil and water and mix with a spoon or your index finger until a rough dough forms. Turn it out onto a very lightly floured counter and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and silky to the tough. Form it into a ball, place it on the counter and upend the mixing bowl over it. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the apples: Peel, halve, core and slice thin in one direction, then halve the slices crosswise, creating thin rectangles of apples. Place them in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Add the raisins and any rum left in the bowl.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the 5 tablespoons butter in a small dish.

Roll out your dough: Cover your work surface with a cleaning linen towel or sheet that’s at least 24-by-32 inches. The long side should be horizontal. Sprinkle the cloth lightly with flour. Place the dough in the middle, sprinkle it very lightly with flour and roll in both directions until it’s about 10-by-13 inches, or about as far as the rolling pin can take it. Make sure the dough hasn’t stuck to the cloth; reflour if it has. Now the stretching begins! Ball your hands to loose fists, put them under the rolled-out dough and gently start stretching the dough using the back of your hands. Alternate with pulling the dough gently with your fingers to continue stretching it, stretching the edges thin too. This is all much easier than it sounds, but be patient. If holes form, pinch the dough back together. Continue stretching until the dough is about 16-by-24 inches.

Assemble strudel: Brush evenly with about half the melted butter. On the right side of the rectangle, a few inches from the end. Scoop the apples with a slotted spoon, leaving any accumulated juices in the bowl, and pile them in a line. Gently pull the top and bottom edges of the dough over the apple mixture. Pull the right edge of the dough up and over the filling as far as it will go without tearing. Working carefully, use the towel to roll up the strudel all the way. Place the parchment paper from your baking sheet at the edge of the roll and roll the strudel onto it. Use the parchment like a sling to gently place the strudel on the baking sheet.

Brush the strudel generously all over with some of the remaining butter. Bake for 15 minutes, then brush again and return to the oven in a rotated position. Repeat this once, baking a total of 45 minutes. (Half-size strudels seem to bake 5 or so minutes faster.) The finished strudel should be crisp to the touch and a deep golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and slice into pieces to serve.

I worked with this recipe.