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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Party Treats

Happy Thursday! One day closer to the holiday of ghouls, goblins, and CANDY! Halloween is almost upon us, and with that comes the trick-or-treaters and parties...and the party recipes! Here are a few to delight all of your guests, young and old.

Halloween PopcornTreats
Giada De Laurentiis


  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (12-ounces) mini marshmallows
  • 6 fun-size caramel peanut chocolate bars (such as Snickers), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 (3-inch) chocolate chip cookies, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup chopped salted almonds,
  • 1/2 cup orange and black chocolate candies (such as M and Ms)
  1. Spray the inside of a large mixing bowl with vegetable cooking spray, and lightly spray a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a 3 quart or larger, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and popcorn over medium-high heat. Cover the pan and shake gently. Cook until all the kernels have popped, about 3 minutes. Place the popcorn in the prepared bowl.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over low heat. Add the vanilla extract and marshmallows. Stir constantly until the marshmallows have melted and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the popcorn. Using a spatula, sprayed with cooking spray, stir until the popcorn is coated. Spread the mixture over the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with the chocolate bar pieces, cookies, almonds and chocolate candies. Using a spatula, gently press the toppings into the popcorn. Allow the mixture to dry for 1 hour.
  4. Break into 2-inch pieces and store airtight in a plastic container.
  5. Serving Suggestion: Place in small plastic bags and seal with colored ribbon.

An elegant twist...
Rice Puddings with Caramel Gala Apples
Dorie Greenspan


  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Caramel apples:
  • 2 medium Gala or Fuji apples (13 to 14 ounces total)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Whipped cream (for topping; optional)
For puddings: 
  1. Bring 3 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. Drain rice; discard cooking water. Rinse saucepan. Combine milk and sugar in same saucepan; bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add rice; reduce heat to medium and simmer until rice is very tender, most of milk is absorbed, and pudding is thickened but still creamy and reduced to scant 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Transfer rice pudding to medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding; let pudding cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.
For caramel apples: 
  1. Peel apples; quarter through stem end and remove core. Cut each apple quarter into 4 slices, then cut slices crosswise into thirds. Combine sugar and lemon juice in medium nonstick skillet. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and syrup is medium amber color, occasionally swirling skillet, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter to skillet and swirl until melted (mixture may bubble vigorously). Return skillet to medium heat; add cider and pinch of salt and bring to boil. Add apples and simmer until tender, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer apples with caramel sauce to heatproof bowl. Cool caramel apples until lukewarm or room temperature. DO AHEAD: Caramel apples can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Stir over medium heat until just warm before using.
  2. Divide half of caramel apples among 6 Martini glasses or lowball glasses. Top each with rice pudding, dividing equally. Top with remaining caramel apples, dividing equally. Garnish each with dollop of whipped cream, if desired, and serve.

Controversial candy or bodacious brownie?
"Candy Corn" Pumpkin Blondies
Genevieve Ko

For the blondies:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the icing:
  • One (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Orange and yellow food coloring (preferably gel paste) for decorating

Make the blondies: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9- by 13-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper, and butter again.
  2. In a medium saucepan, cook the pumpkin over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pumpkin pie spice and butter until the butter melts. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Let stand until room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the brown sugar into the pumpkin mixture, then stir in the eggs and vanilla until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and stir until smooth. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  5. Place a large cutting board on top of the pan of blondies. Invert the pan and cutting board together, then lift off the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Cut the blondies into 3 even strips lengthwise, then cut each strip into 10 triangles with approximately 2-inch bases (you will have 1 smaller triangle on each end). Transfer the triangles to a large serving platter, flat bottom sides up.
Make the icing: 
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt. Beat on low speed until well-mixed, then raise the speed to medium-high and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Decorate the blondies:
  1. Transfer half of the icing to another large bowl and tint with orange. Transfer two thirds of the remaining to another bowl and tint yellow. Divide the orange, yellow, and white icings among 3 piping bags or resealable plastic bags. Snip small holes in the corner of each. Pipe the icings on the blondies in stripes to resemble candy corn: a thin strip of yellow along the wide end, a thick strip of orange in the center, and a small white tip. Let stand until set.
Do Ahead: The blondies can be tightly wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. The iced blondies can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

Happy (Halloween) baking!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Not Just Pie

Happy Tuesday everyone! Pumpkin on the brain here in the tri-state, and pumpkin spice in the air (since August, shockingly). I recently made pumpkin cupcakes with maple mascarpone frosting, While they tamed a craving for pumpkin goodness, they didn't quite quench the entire thirst I have for the fall deliciousness. If you're anything like me and pumpkin spice lattes (without real pumpkin, no less!) don't do it for you, here are a few ways to pumpki-fy your life.

Pumpkin Doughnuts with Powdered Sugar Glaze
Bon Appetit, October 2004

Spiced sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • Canola oil (for deep-frying)
Powdered Sugar Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Whipping cream
For spiced sugar:
  1. Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend.
For doughnuts:
  1. Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (mixture will be grainy). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin in 4 additions. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.
  2. Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
  3. Using 1-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.
For powdered sugar glaze:
  1. Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with Powdered Sugar Glaze. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Fudge

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 (10oz) pkg cinnamon-flavored pieces
  • 7oz jar marshmallow creme
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  1. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil; set pan aside.
  2. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and pumpkin. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 234 degrees F, soft-ball stage (20 to 25 minutes). (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.)
  3. Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer from saucepan. Stir in cinnamon-flavored pieces until melted. Stir in marshmallow creme and walnuts.
  4. Immediately spread fudge evenly in prepared pan. Score into squares while warm. Let fudge cool to room temperature. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Cut into squares. Cover tightly and chill for up to 1 week. Do not freeze. Makes about 96 pieces.

Pumpkin Gelato
Martha Rose Shulman

  • 1 quart low-fat milk
  • ½ cup unrefined brown (turbinado) sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 ¼ cups very finely blended pumpkin purée, canned or made from 1 1/4 pounds fresh (see below)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves (less than 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine the milk, sugar and honey in a large saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to a bowl, and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Allow to cool, then chill in the refrigerator. Alternatively, set the bowl inside a bowl of ice water to chill quickly.
  2. Place a bowl or a container in your freezer. Freeze the pumpkin gelato mixture in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape into the chilled bowl, and freeze for at least two hours before serving. If making this dish ahead, allow to soften for 15 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.
Note: To roast the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place the pumpkin pieces on the baking sheet, drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive or canola oil on top, cover tightly with foil and place in the oven. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until thoroughly tender. Remove from the heat, and transfer to a strainer or colander set over a bowl or in the sink. Allow to cool and drain. Peel the pieces, and purée in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
Advance preparation: This will keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer.

Happy baking!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rhubarb All Year Round

Happy Hump day! Last week I was given some fresh rhubarb from one of my students' parents. After giving it much thought (honestly, not that much - I knew just what to do!) I decided to make strawberry rhubarb muffins to take with me on an upcoming visit to my sister. Two ingredients that are just out of season, but delicious nonetheless. I found a recipe that yields moist, giant muffins (I made regular-sized muffs and changed the timing) and the results were delightful, for any time of year! Lizzy Bee's Note: these are VERY moist. It's important to make sure there's no crumb, or a dry crumb, on the muffins when you insert a tester/toothpick to check if it's done. If you aren't following the jumbo muffin timing, this is especially important. Keep checking!

Jumbo Strawberry-and-Rhubarb Muffins
Georgia Pelligrini

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups diced strawberries
  • 1 3/4 cups diced fresh rhubarb
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Coat 6 jumbo muffin cups with nonstick baking spray. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the 3/4 cup of sugar, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl, beat the butter with the eggs until well combined. Fold in the dry ingredients and buttermilk in 2 alternating additions, then fold in the diced strawberries and rhubarb and the grated lemon zest.
    Butter and eggs

    Dry ingredients

    Mixing the wet into dry

  2. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the tops generously with sugar. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the muffins to a rack to cool before serving.
    Measured with an ice cream scoop

    Freshly baked

    Muffins cooling on the rack
MAKE AHEAD The muffins can be stored in an airtight container overnight. Reheat for 5 minutes in a 375° oven.

Happy baking!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Back to Basics: Cookie Making 101

Happy Monday everyone! Another week; another batch of freshly baked cookies. I made a box of delicious chocolate chip oatmeal sandwich cookies, filled with chocolate cream cheese frosting, for a special wedding anniversary. As I was baking away, I realized that we don't often get back to basics on what different culinary terms mean and what they look like in person. In an attempt to fix this problem, I've taken pictures through the step-by-step cookie process. Here's how it goes:

Chopped walnuts and coarsely ground oats

Sifted flour mixture: usually includes salt, leavening agent, and flour -
always sift first! Get those hard chunks out!

Butter-sugar mix

Mixing in action!

Mixing butter + sugar = creaming.
Creaming process almost complete. See lightened color?

Fluffy, light color - creamed to perfection!

Looks a little yellow? This is after the eggs, added one by one, and the vanilla.

Oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips, oh my!

One last stir with a spatula

Even mounds, a few inches apart on the baking sheet

Cooling on the silpat.

Filled and boxed!

Happy baking!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fill Your Face with Pie

Happy Thursday everyone! I've been eyeing pie recipes lately, so I thought I'd share a few good ones for the fall dinner table.

For those who love the chocolatey-hazelnuty goodness...
Nutella Pie
Allison Kave

Cookie Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups (175 g) finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 5 to 8 tablespoons (70 to 115 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups (270 g) Nutella
  • 1 1/2 cups (338 g) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) chopped toasted hazelnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Crumble the cookies into the work bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Alternatively, you can put them in a bag and whack them with a rolling pin until finely crushed. Pour the butter into the crumbs and mix (hands are best for this) until the butter is fully incorporated and the texture is that of wet sand. Firmly press the crumbs against the sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan, then against the bottom of the pan (the underside of a measuring cup works well for smoothing the bottom crust). Chill the crust for at least 15 minutes to help prevent it from crumbling when serving.
  3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove it and allow it to cool before filling.
Make the filling
  1. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the Nutella, mascarpone, and salt until light and fluffy. Spread the filling into the pie shell, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Top the pie with the chopped nuts, slice the pie, and serve. This pie can be refrigerated for up to 1 week, covered in plastic wrap.

When you want to keep it southern...
Maple Shoofly Pie
Jacob Griffin


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A dark amber
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the salt. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Add the ice water and pulse until the pastry is moistened. Turn the pastry out onto a floured work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until the dough comes together. Pat the pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch round. Ease the round into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the overhanging dough to the edge of the pie plate and refrigerate the shell for 20 minutes.
  3. Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake the shell for about 10 minutes, just until dry. Remove the parchment and beans and bake the crust for about 10 minutes longer, until lightly golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and let the shell cool completely.
  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, maple sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and pulse until blended, then add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse, wet sand.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the hot water with the baking soda. Whisk in the remaining cup plus 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and the molasses, then whisk in the egg. Add 1 1/3 cups of the flour mixture and whisk until the filling is uniform in color. Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell and sprinkle the remaining flour mixture (about 2/3 cup) on top.
  3. Bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and set. Let the pie cool completely before serving.
MAKE AHEAD: The pie can be covered and kept at room temperature overnight.
SERVE WITh: Whipped cream.

When you want those fall-y flavors...
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Four & Twenty Blackbirds


  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 recipe Flaky Butter Pie Dough
  • 3 tbsp. flour, plus more for dusting
  • 7 baking apples, such as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, or Honeycrisp (about 3 pounds), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp. plus 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Demerara sugar
  • ½ tsp. Angostura bitters
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. flake sea salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 disk of dough into a 12″ round. Fit into a 9″ deep-dish pie plate. Trim edges with a knife, leaving 1″ dough overhanging edge of plate; chill 30 minutes. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll remaining disk of dough into a 12″ round; trim, discarding edges, into a 9″ square. Slice into six 1½″-thick strips; chill 30 minutes.
  2. Toss apples with 2 tbsp. granulated sugar and lemon juice; cover with plastic wrap and set aside 1 hour. Whisk 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat; cook, without stirring, until the sugar dissolves, 2–3 minutes. Add butter; bring to a boil. Continue cooking until the mixture turns a deep red-brown, about 25 minutes or until a candy thermometer inserted in sauce reads 325°. Remove from heat. Carefully add cream, stirring until sauce is smooth.
  3. Heat oven to 375°. Stir ⅓ cup Demerara sugar with 2 tbsp. flour, plus bitters, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, kosher salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Drain apples, discarding juices, and add to bowl; toss to coat in spice mixture. Sprinkle remaining flour and sugar over crust; tightly arrange apples over dough, mounding them slightly higher in the center. Pour caramel sauce evenly over apples. Sprinkle with half the sea salt. Lay three strips of dough vertically across the top of pie, about 1½″ apart. Fold first and third strips in half upward. Lay one horizontal strip at pie's center. Unfold first and third vertical strips over it. Fold second vertical strip upward. Lay another horizontal strip below the first. Unfold second vertical strip over the bottom horizontal strip, then fold it again downward. Lay a third horizontal strip just above the pie's center and unfold second vertical strip. Pinch bottom crust and lattice edges together; roll toward center of pie to hide lattice edges; crimp edges. Brush egg over crust, then sprinkle lattice with remaining Demerara sugar and sea salt. Bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbly, about 1 hour. Let cool completely before serving.

Happy baking!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Challah-day Pics and Fall Recipes!

Happy Friday. Fall is upon us, and we know what that means: long sleeves, apple picking, Rosh Hashanah challahs and honey cakes (see pics!), and delicious fall flavors. Here are a few recipes to get your fall mojo flowing.

Warm Chocolate Souffle
Stephanie Prida


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
Honey cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 5-cup soufflé dish and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the chocolate with the 5 tablespoons of butter over very low heat, stirring constantly. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar until thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture.
  3. In a clean bowl, using clean beaters, whip the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until the egg whites are glossy, about 1 minute. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and pour into the soufflé dish. Bake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the soufflé is risen, cracked and slightly jiggly. Carefully transfer the soufflé to a trivet and serve right away.

Apple Crisp
Abby Dodge
For the crisp topping:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
For the apple filling:
  • 2 pounds firm, sweet apples (4 to 5 medium-large apples)
  • Up to 1/4 cup water
For serving (optional):
  • Vanilla ice cream or heavy cream
  • 8-inch-square baking dish, preferably ceramic, glass, enamel-coated cast-iron, or stainless steel (avoid aluminum or uncoated cast-iron)
Make the crisp topping:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter pieces and use your fingers to rub the mixture together until the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the apple filling.
Make the apple filling:
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
  2. Peel the apples and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the cores and discard. Cut the apple halves lengthwise into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices—there should be about 6 cups total. Transfer the apple slices to an ungreased 8-inch-square baking dish and spread them out evenly. Drizzle up to 1/4 cup of water over the apples—use less water if the apples are particularly juicy.
  3. Scatter the crisp topping evenly over the fruit without pressing down on it. Bake until the topping is browned, the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, and the juices are bubbling, about 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm, with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of heavy cream. DO AHEAD: Apple crisp can be baked, cooled completely, covered, and kept at room temperature for 1 day. Reheat, uncovered, in a warm oven until heated through.

Unusually end-of-summery...
Burritt Room + Tavern's Sweet Corn Creme Brulee
Ashley Weaver


  • 2 ears corn
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1¾ cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1¾ cups whole milk, divided
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks, whisked
  • Hot water
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Peel the husks away from the corn but don't remove them. Remove the fine silks, then cover the corn again with the husk. Place the ears on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the corn over and continue roasting until the corn is plump and the husks are browned, about 15 minutes more. Remove the corn from the oven, set aside to cool slightly, then remove the husks and slice the kernels off the cob.
  2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once the butter is melted add the corn kernels, ¾ cup of the cream and ¾ cup of the milk. Cook until the corn is very soft and the kernels begin to pop, about 20 minutes. Carefully add the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and return to the saucepan.
  3. Add the remaining 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup milk and the granulated sugar and bring to a boil. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl and set aside to cool completely. Once the mixture is cooled, whisk in the egg yolks and pour the mixture into six 4-ounce ramekins.
  4. Turn the oven down to 300°. Place the ramekins in a high-sided baking pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the baking pan with foil and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the custard is set, about one hour. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside. Allow the crème brûlées to cool completely in the water bath, then remove and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Sprinkle the tops of the crème brûlées with raw sugar and use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar. Alternatively, turn on the broiler, place the sugared crème brûlées on a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Broil until the sugar caramelizes, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with fresh blackberries.

Happy Baking!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Year; New Recipes for Rosh Hashanah!

Honey cake!!
Happy Monday everyone! This weekend started the challah-day holiday countdown. After making 4 challahs for my family (I will be making the round loaves for my table this week!), I checked honey cake off my list. After finally finding the honey cake recipe of my dreams (!!!), I can't give it up. And we all know honey cake gets better as the flavors meld throughout the week, right? Can't wait!

However, I do know as much as we love the flavors of the holidays, the same recipes year after year can sometimes get a little...blah. So if honey cake makes you sigh, here are a few updated holiday recipes that'll might make your heart go "ba bam"!

If you want to update your apples...
Rustic Apple Tart
Kim Kushner

  • 2 sheets puff pastry (one 17-ounce package), slightly thawed
  • 3 granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup apricot or peach jam, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a piece of parchment paper, roll out one of the pastry sheets until it is about 14 x 9 inches. Transfer to a baking sheet. From the second sheet of pastry, cut enough 1½-inch-wide strips to form a border around the rolled-out pastry sheet. Brush the rim of the large rectangle lightly with water. Arrange the strips around the rim of the pastry sheet to form a border. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Using a sharp knife, make a series of slits in the apple quarters along the peeled sides, taking care not to slice all the way through. Place the apples in a microwave-safe bowl, add 2 tablespoons water, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 3 minutes; drain. Combine the sugars and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the center of the pastry shell. Place the apples over the sugar, slit sides up. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over apples and scatter the butter pieces all over. Brush the rim of the tart with the beaten egg.
  3. Bake the tart until nicely browned, about 25 minutes. If the rim browns before the apples are cooked through, cover it with foil. Brush the jam over the apples and rim and serve warm.

A twist on traditional...
Halvah Mille-Feuilles
Uri Scheft, Breads Bakery

For the phyllo:
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted if necessary
  • Canola or olive oil, for brushing
  • Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
For the halvah cream:
  • 1/3 cup honey or silan (date syrup, available at Middle Eastern markets or online)
  • 1/3 cup pure tahini paste
  • 2 cups non-dairy whipped topping (defrosted if necessary) or 1 cup heavy cream
For assembly:
  • 1/2 cup crumbled halvah
  • Honey or silan (date syrup), for serving
  • Fresh raspberries, for serving
Bake the phyllo:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Stack the 8 sheets of phyllo and cut in half crosswise. Brush 1 half sheet of phyllo with oil and sprinkle with sugar. Layer another half sheet on top of the first and repeat with oil and sugar to form a stack of 4 half sheets, finishing the top layer with oil and sugar. Repeat with remaining half sheets to form 3 more stacks. Cut each of the stacks into 4 equal pieces to make 16 stacks. Transfer stacks to baking sheets and bake until golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Make the halvah cream:
  1. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the honey or date syrup with the tahini. If using nondairy whipped topping, place in a large bowl and gently fold in the honey-tahini mixture. If using cream, beat until soft peaks form. Gently incorporate the honey-tahini mixture and whip to stiff peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the dessert:
  1. Place one phyllo stack on a dessert plate. Spread with a scant 1/4 cup halvah cream. Repeat with 3 more phyllo stacks and 2 more layers halvah cream. Repeat this process to form 3 more servings. Drizzle each stack with honey or date syrup, sprinkle with halvah crumbles, and garnish with raspberries.

Change the flavors...
Almond and Orange Cake with Poached Plum Compote
Andrew Zimmern

For the cake:
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups blanched sliced almonds
For the plum compote:
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 12 black plums (about 3 pounds), halved and pitted
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Lightly sweetened crème fraîche or whipped cream, for serving
The Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter and flour the paper and pan. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the eggs at medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add the zest and 1 cup of the sugar and beat at high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy and leaves a ribbon trail when the paddle is lifted, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt with 2/3 cup of the almonds and process until the nuts are very finely ground. Scrape into a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 1  1/3 cups of almonds to the processor and process until the mixture is very finely ground and beginning to clump. Add to the flour mixture and whisk to combine, breaking up any large clumps.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in 3 batches until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth the surface. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
The Compote:
  1. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, combine the wine, rum, water, sugars, citrus zests, vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Add the plums, cut sides down, and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, turning the plums every 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the plums to a baking sheet to cool. Continue to simmer the liquid until reduced to about 1 cup, about 3 minutes. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing on the solids.
  2. Using your fingers or a paring knife, pull off the skins from the plums. Slice the plums into wedges and transfer to a serving bowl. Pour the syrup over the plums and toss to coat. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Run a knife along the side of the cake; remove the ring. Invert the cake onto a platter and peel off the parchment. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar and cut into wedges. Serve with the plum compote and sweetened crème fraîche.
MAKE AHEAD: The cake can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. The plum compote can be refrigerated overnight; serve at room temperature.

Happy baking!