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Monday, February 16, 2015

Red, White, or Blue for President's Day

Happy President's Day everyone! Today's dessert recipes might be too soon for summer fruits, but I can't help it - I'm over the winter (and I'm sure I'm not alone). Besides, lots of summer berries are going on sale these days. So crank up your heat, close your eyes, and enjoy feeling like summer is near.

Red...and as Americana as apple pie...
Apple Pie Granita
Emeril Lagasse


  • 3 cups natural-style apple juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground allspice
In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, 3 minutes. Pour into an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Freeze until icy around the edges, about 1 hour. Using a fork, scrape the icy shards into the center. Continue to freeze, stirring occasionally, until slushy throughout, about 3 hours longer. Scoop into bowls and serve.

Red and white...
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez, Gourmet Live January 2011

Cake rounds: 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened (natural) cocoa powder (not Dutch process) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar 
  • 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk 
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring (2 tablespoons) 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
Make cake rounds:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Beat butter, oil, and sugar with an electric mixer until combined well, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg, vanilla, and vinegar.
  4. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour until combined.
  5. Add the red food coloring and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.
  6. Spoon 2 tablespoon mounds of batter 2-inches apart on lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through baking, until rounds are puffed and set, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Slide parchment with rounds onto wire racks to cool completely.
Make filling:
  1. Beat together cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and sugar until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread about 2 tablespoons of filling on flat-side of half the rounds; top with remaining rounds, flat side down, to form whoopie pies.
  • To get perfectly round whoopie pies, use a 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop with the cake batter.
  • Store whoopie pies, chilled, in an airtight container, the layers separated between sheets of parchment paper, for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Honeyed Yogurt and Blueberry Tart with Ginger Crust
Melissa Rubel Jacobson

  • 10 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces, or 1 1/2 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons of crumbs
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 cups Greek-style nonfat yogurt, drained overnight
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (9 ounces)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 14-by-4 1/2-inch rectangular fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers with the crystallized ginger, sugar and salt until finely ground. Add the butter and egg white and pulse until the crumbs are evenly coated. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Let the crust cool completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the drained yogurt with the honey. Spread the yogurt in the crust and arrange the blueberries over the surface of the yogurt. Cut the tart in slices and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The baked crust can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature overnight.

Happy baking!

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