Archive for Desserts and Sweets

Homemade Jam – In Minutes

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I receive regular emails from King Arthur Flour. They are informative and showcase well tested recipes and new products. Their flour is a staple in my cupboard, it always provides a good result.

A couple of weeks ago they provided a link for Jam in Minutes. I decided to try it out, using 1 cup each of strawberries and chopped rhubarb. It was fantastic. And easy. And not messy. And hubby ate it every morning on English muffins with a little butter or cream cheese.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

This isn’t a large volume of jam, just barely over a cup, perfect for hubby and I and about a week’s worth of breakfasts. For today’s batch I went with 2 cups of mixed berries.

2 cups of Mixed Berries

2 cups of Mixed Berries

In a large glass bowl with a plate underneath for any overflow during cooking I tossed the berries with 1/2 cup of sugar, juice from half a lemon and a pinch of salt.

Tossed with sugar, salt and lemon juice.

Tossed with sugar, salt and lemon juice.

Next I microwaved on high for 14 minutes (stirring at 5, 5, 2 and 2 minute intervals) until the liquid had turned thicker, like a syrup.

Microwaved on High

Microwaved on High

And then we have yummy goodness.

Mixed Berry Jam

Mixed Berry Jam

Dulce De Leche Frosting

This is by far my new, all time favorite frosting. The chocolate cupcake could be any chocolate cupcake. In this case it is simply a vessel for the frosting. I will admit a deep, dark secret. I LOVE frosting. I spent my youth licking the frosting off of cake, drooling for the corner piece of those fancy, supermarket already decorated birthday cakes. Blue, not red. Red was always bitter. Bit I digress. This frosting is nothing like that. It is not a buttercream, which used to be my favorite. It is 100% caramelly goodness.

Dulce De Leche Frosting

1 13-oz can dulce de leche
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of kosher salt

On high speed whip the dulce de leche and cream cheese. Beat in the vanilla and salt. FROST.

Generously frosts a 9×13 or 24 cupcakes.

Refrigerate if not serving right away. Let sit at room temp for one hour before serving.

Andie’s Eggnog Pound Cake

Eggnog Pound Cake

My friend Andie, who has her blog at Cafe 305, shared this recipe with me a few years ago. We make sure it’s on the menu at least once every Christmas season. Tomorrow we are having friends for dinner and to watch the mid-season finale of Walking Dead and this will be our dessert.

Eggnog Pound Cake

3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 c unsalted butter — room temperature
2 c sugar
3 whole eggs
1 c eggnog
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp dark rum

2 tbsp dark rum
2 tbsp water
1/4 c sugar

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan.

Cake:
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl twice. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg. Scrape the bowl down again. On low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the eggnog mixture. End with dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove. Brush on glaze while cake is warm.

Glaze:
In a small bowl, blend rum, water and sugar. Warm on low heat until mixture thickens. Brush on with a pastry brush.

Serve topped with vanilla whipped cream and fresh grated nutmeg.

eggnog cake

Spice Cake with Warm Applesauce

Earlier this year I made applesauce for the first time. I knew then that 1) I would never eat store bought applesauce again and 2) it would be perfect with a piece of spice cake. With fall once again upon us (even with our 80 degree desert weather) I knew it was time to bring these two foods together.

Spice Cake with Warm Applesauce

Spice Cake

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13-inch pan. Whisk flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl. Mix milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
2. Beat softened butter into dry ingredients, first on low, then medium, until mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture at a time, first to incorporate and then after last addition mix on low until smooth. Pour batter into cake pan.
3. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the pan perimeter and turn cake onto rack. Let cool.

Serve with warm applesauce and whipped cream.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Snickerdoodle Blondies
A cinnamon sugar covered bar cookie, very similar to the cookie. Soft, chewy, sweet, perfect.

Snickerdoodle Blondie

Snickerdoodle Blondie

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Sifted dry

Sifted dry ingredients

What is left behind

What is left behind.


This is why I always lightly sift, even a recipe doesn’t call for it. The large white chunks are baking powder. They will usually break up while mixing, but if one doesn’t and you are the lucky one to bite down on it, eeeeeeeeeeew. It sucks all moisture from your mouth and ruins the dessert experience.

Butter and Sugar

Butter and Sugar

Beat until fluffy

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy

Two Eggs and Good Vanilla

Two eggs and good vanilla

Incorporate dry into butter mixture

Incorporate dry into butter mixture

Pat into pan

Pat into pan

25 to 30 minutes

Baked

OMG...


Now comes the hard part. You have to wait for it to completely cool before cutting into it. Time will slow down, almost coming to a stop, at this point.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

24 Blondies
350° for 25 to 30 minutes

2 2/3 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, lightly spray with cooking spray.

Using a colander, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside. Discard anything left in the colander.

In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar on low to combine, then on medium until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, adding vanilla with the second egg. Beat, scraping the sides, until thoroughly combined. Gradually fold in the flour mixture until combined, making sure all of the flour is incorporated.

Pat the blondie dough evenly into the parchment lined pan. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the blondie dough.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when lightly pressed. Cool blondies completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Snickerdoodle Blondie

Snickerdoodle Blondie