Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category
Now that it almost October, I’m starting to go pumpkin crazy again. This month’s issue of Fine Cooking features Holiday Pumpkin Desserts on the cover, and I was inspired by a Bundt cake featured inside. I adapted this recipe from that one, pumping up the spice a bit and making other little tweaks. The result is a moist flavorful pumpkin cake that was a hit at the church coffee hour this morning. Bundt cakes are so rewarding because they always come out looking great and aren’t that difficult to pull off. Powdered sugar is the perfect finish and a lot easier than frosting!
The filling includes crystallized ginger mixed in with the cream cheese and sour cream. Don’t skip it. It makes it have real zing. To finely chop it, I just dumped it in this MiniPrep:
And to grind the nutmeg, I used a microplane grater, like this one:
- 12 oz. cream cheese, softened (1.5 packages of Philadelphia)
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (I used a Cuisinart Mini Prep to chop mine)
- 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. freshl ground nutmeg (I use a microplane grater)
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- 1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin purée
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- For the cream cheese filling:
- In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, ginger, and salt on medium speed until well combined.
- Add each egg, one at a time, beating after each addition until mixed thoroughly.
- Chop the crystallized ginger in a Cuisinart MiniPrep. It will glom together because it’s sticky, but don’t worry. Once added to the cream cheese mixture, it will distribute.
- Add the vanilla and the crystallized ginger to the cream cheese mixture and blend. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a Bundt pan generously with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, blend the pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
- Add the ⅓ of the dry ingredients, and whisk until well blended. Then add another third and blend and repeat.
- Fill the prepared Bundt pan with about half of the cake batter.
- Stir the filling to distribute the chopped ginger.
- Create a trough in the batter with the back of a large spoon and then try to pour the cream cheese filling into the trough. Don’t worry if it spills over.
- Spoon the remaining batter on top and spread to evenly over the top.
- Bake until a sharp knife inserted to the bottom comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.
- Cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes and then invert onto a serving plate and remove the cake pan.
- Cool completely.
- You can refrigerate the plastic-wrap covered cake for up to 2 days.
- When ready to serve, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.
Fall is my favorite time of year and these cupcakes are just what I need to get in the mood. The shadows are lengthening and out here in San Francisco, the air is more humid than usual and it’s warmer. When I lived on the East Coast, the arrival of Fall was all about feeling a cold nip in the air. Here in San Francisco where the summers are freezing, it’s quite the opposite. The weather heats up as the leaves are turning brown.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed firmly
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1½ cups pure pumpkin puree
- For the frosting:
- 1 package cream cheese
- 1½ sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line cupcake tray (24) with paper liners.
- In a standing mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on high speed until fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla and mix at a medium speed until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to wet, alternating with the milk, until all are incorporated. Add pumpkin puree and mix well.
- Fill cupcakes two-thirds full and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let stand for a couple of minutes. Then remove from muffin tin and let cool completely.
- To make the frosting:
- Let the cream cheese and butter soften before creaming them together on high speed with a mixer. Cream in the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth and light. Chill in the fridge overnight (or at least for a few hours) to let it set.
- Spread on cupcakes and garnish with a pinch of cinnamon.
As summer draws to a close, it’s time to pause one last time and acknowledge the plum. All summer long, they have been a staple in my weekly CSA box and I have been thinking I must make an upside-down cake.
This one is particularly easy. I made it before work this morning while also packing lunches and preparing breakfast for my two kids. Slice the fruit and mix the batter. That was about it.
The great news is the cake come out light and fluffy and the plums work their own magic so the end result is delicious. I’ve added twice the normal amount of vanilla in this recipe which made the flavor of the cake really pop.
- 7 Tablespoons butter, divided
- ⅔ cup sugar, divided
- 4 plums, thinly sliced – choose plums that are not overly ripe
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Place one tablespoon of butter in a circular pie pan and melt in the oven for a couple of minutes.
- Meanwhile, cream the butter with the remaining sugar. Add the egg and beat until smooth.
- Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle ⅓ cup of sugar evenly around the bottom.
- Arrange the plum slices in neat, concentric circles on top of the butter/sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture in batches, alternating with the milk until mixed thoroughly.
- Add in the vanilla and mix until batter is smooth. If the batter is too thick, mix in another tablespoon of milk.
- Spread the batter evenly on top of the plums, working it all the way out to the edge of the pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. A knife inserted in the cake should come out clean.
- Remove from the oven and invert onto a plate immediately.
- Serve warm.
I can’t believe I haven’t already made carrot cake a million times, since I love to make Zucchini Bread, and of course, am always making Pumpkin Bread, but this is the fist time I’ve done a post about Carrot Cake. I like my carrot cake without raisins or nuts, so some will say that this is a stripped down version of carrot cake, but the flavor was great and it was moist too, so I’m sticking with this version.
I took a shortcut with the carrots and used a bag of shredded carrots I bought at the grocery store. I did pop the shredded carrots into my Cuisinart Mini Prep to make them even smaller, but it was super easy to start with the carrots already shredded.
To make the carrot with icing, I set a side two different reserves. One I added red and yellow food coloring to make orange and the other one, I added green. I put these into two sandwich bags and cut a little corner off. I squeezed the orange icing out back and forth to make a snaky carrot shape and then repeated for the green part.
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie spice
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3 cups finely grated carrots
- For the icing:
- ½ cup butter, softened
- (1) 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- Additional milk as necessary
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray (or two 9-inch round layer pans) .
- Beat the eggs into the oil and then beat in the sugar, salt, and spices. Mix the flour with the baking soda, and stir in. Add the carrots and mix until just blended. Pour into the prepared pan(s).
- Bake the cake(s) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting:
- Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
- Add the salt and vanilla and beat in with the sugar.
- Add a teaspoon of milk if the frosting is too stiff to spread; add additional sugar if it’s too thin.
I’ve had a cookie pan similar to the one pictured below for a couple of years and used it only a few times. You can purchase it from Amazon by clicking on it. Today, I thought, what if I try to make madeleines in these molds? They’re about the same size as a madeleine pan. Since it’s Christmas, I’m in the mood for chocolate, so how about chocolate madeleines? I have combined several madeleine recipe sources to create this version. These are relatively simple and quick and make a great holiday gift.
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup superfine sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ stick butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray molds thoroughl with cooking spray
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl.
- Add flour, baking powder, cocoa and melted butter and mix gently to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into the molds until ⅔ full.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until Madeleines are set.
I’ve been making Nestle® Toll House® Cookies for Christmas for 35 years. I’m almost 42, so you do the math. We always sprinkled colored sugar on top. There is no way I know how to improve on the Toll House recipe, except perhaps to add an extra dash of the vanilla extract. And of course, the quality of the chips matters. You can step up to Ghirardelli, or dare I say, Sharffen Berger, but when it comes down to it, Nestlé Semi Sweet Baking Chips really do the trick, and I bought a HUGE bag of them at Costco at the beginning of December, so we’re sticking to the old favorite.
What’s your favorite Christmas Cookie?
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
- PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
- COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
- BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
I baked these for the church bake sale and they were tender and rich. At first, I thought the dough was difficult to handle, but once I got it chilled enough, it was much easier to cut the shapes and transfer them to the baking sheet.
If you don’t have cream of tartar on hand, you can substitute baking powder. Baking powder is simply two parts cream of tartar with one part baking soda. It won’t be perfect, but you could use 1 tsp of baking powder instead of the baking soda and cream of tartar requirement.
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 egg
- 1½ tsp pure vanilla extra
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp salt
- Sprinkles or caster sugar
- In the bowl of a standup mixer, beat the butter, oil, and two sugars until well blended and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt and mix it in. Form the dough into a large ball. It will be quite soft. You may need to add additional flour, but don’t overdo it. Just chill it for an hour first and then check it.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Divide the dough into 2 large balls. On a floured board, roll out the dough until it is about ⅛” thick. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes and transfer them, using a spatula to help, to a non-stick cookie sheet. Scatter sprinkles on top. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before carefully transferring them to rack for further cooling.
I have a soft spot for Roy’s. I celebrated my first wedding anniversary there (in San Francisco) as a way to commemorate our wedding in Hawaii. I went again recently because my office was across the street for a couple of years. I don’t particularly associate chocolate with Roy’s because it’s a Hawaiian fusion restaurant. It’s their Ahi Poke I crave most. But I’m a sucker for molten chocolate cake, so I was thrilled to find that they make their recipe available publicly and that I could make it at home. Rather than making them in rings, I used ramekins. That way I didn’t have to worry about lifting off the ring at the end. If you don’t have the patience to let it refrigerate overnight, refrigerate it for a few hours and let me know how it turns out!
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 4 eggs plus 4 egg yolks
- 12 tbsp. butter
- 8 oz. semisweet dark chocolate (make sure to use a good quality)
- In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. In a separate bowl, mix eggs and yolks together. In a saucepan, bring butter to a simmer, then add the chocolate. Mix until the chocolate is smooth and begins to simmer along the edges. Combine this chocolate mixture with the sugar and cornstarch and mix thoroughly. Add eggs and mix at low speed until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate overnight in a bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375º. Line 4 metal soufflé rings with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray. On a baking sheet, place each ring on a square of parchment paper. Fill ⅔ of each ring with the filling. Bake for 28-30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet. While holding each mold with tongs, slide a metal spatula underneath and transfer to a plate. Gently lift the mold off, remove the paper and serve with ice cream.
Sometimes you just want the brownie you grew up with – but made with really good chocolate. December 8 is National Brownie Day, so why not celebrate by going out and purchasing a Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar and turning it into an 8×8″ pan of awesomeness? These classic brownies have Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips in them too.
I live near San Francisco, so I learned, shortly after moving here 13 years ago, that it’s pronounced with a gggg as in good. Not a g is in geez. It’s Good Ghirardelli. Now you can be in the know too!
I’m going to be selling them at the Church Christmas Bakesale tomorrow! Nothing like a little chocolate for Christmas. Happy Holidays!
- 4 oz. Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar (1 bar)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.
- Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1″ pieces. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.
In October 2012, Family Circle Magazine conducted its 6th cookie bakeoff between candidates for first lady. As in most years, the winner of the cookie contest also won the White House. It was close. Michelle only won by 287 votes. Luckily, her husband’s margin was wider.
For the contest, Michelle Obama submitted a recipe authored by Eleanor ‘Mama Kaye’ Wilson, the godmother of her two children. Interestingly, this recipe has an extra stick of crisco as compared to the traditional Nestle Tollhouse recipe. An extra stick! Michelle has set aside her usual approach to food with this indulgent cookie. But hey, that’s fine once in a while, right?
The best part about these cookies, is the subtle hint of mint chocolate brought in by the crushed Andes Creme De Menthe Thins. Since I couldn’t include the nuts in this recipe (I work at a nut-free school), I increased the overall chip content leaning in favor of the semi-sweet chips and playing down the other two slightly. It was great.
Make these for your next Holiday Cookie Party. Just sprinkle some red and green sprinkles on top and you’ll be in business.
Mama Kaye’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 5 dozen cookies
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake at 375° for 12 minutes per batch
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsaltedbutter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts
1. Heat oven to 375°.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.
5. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased baking sheets.
6. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
You are currently browsing the archives for the Dessert category.