Christmas Brownie Mix in a Jar

November 27th, 2016

Brownie Mix Instructions

It may be too soon for holiday baking, but it is not to soon to think about special gifts for friends and neighbors.  The idea of homemade mixes has always appealed to me.  During the busy holiday season I know I would love to get a simple mix like this.  With just a few additions you can sit down to a pan of brownies warm from the oven.

Brownie Mix Label

The labels for the small mouth quart size mason jars came from Evermine.  I ordered  custom large oval labels with instructions on how to use the mix,  small custom round labels for the lid and tags with our names on them to let people know who they were from. Tied with red and white twine you will have a festive jar for giving.

Brownie Mix

You will find all of the information you will need at this Evermine page.  It is just a matter of dumping layers of the ingredients into the jars; flour mix, cocoa powder, brown sugar, white sugar, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and pecans.  I am having fun with this.

Cousins 2

These are a few of the recipients for the brownie mixes; our Grandkids and their cousins.  I am looking forward to the upcoming holiday season.

Fall Dessert Recipes

October 17th, 2016

Pumpkin Profiteroles

“Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.” (Shira Tamir). The leaves are falling and the colors are changing to russet and saffron.  Our roof is being bombarded with falling acorns.  I even dodge them when walking the dog.  I am literally being hit in the head with autumn.  So naturally my thoughts turn to the foods of the season.  When contemplating dessert I think of pumpkins and apples.  Last year my Daughter-in-law made Pumpkin Custard Profiteroles with Maple Bourbon Caramel for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie.  It was such a pleasant surprise.  Last weekend David and I had the other Penny (of Enjoying the Simple Things) and her husband over for lunch.  I made these delicious cream puffs filled with pumpkin custard, drizzled with a maple bourbon custard and topped with whipped cream and chopped pecans.  I loved the fact that I could do everything ahead of time.  It was just a matter of assembly before they were served.  You can go to Penny’s blog for a snapshot of the whole meal that I served.  You can find this dessert recipe here on Epicurious.

Apple Crumble Pie 1

I know there are thousands of apple pie recipes out there.  But I came up with a winner with this one. I combined several recipes for this Apple Crumble Pie.  I was first inspired by Monique of La Table de Nana.  She takes such beautiful pictures and just looking at her apple pie made me hunger for it.  I used her tried and true pie crust recipe.  For the apples and crumb topping I adapted Ina Garten’s apple crisp recipe.  It was truly delicious.  The pie crust was flaky, the apples a little on the tart side and the crumble topping crunchy and sweet.

Apple Crumble Pie 2v

Don’t wait to be hit in the head by falling acorns to get inspired.

APPLE CRUMBLE PIE

For the Crust: From Monique:

2 cups of flour,
2 tbsps granulated sugar(I put 3)
1/2 tsp salt..not me..my butter is salted
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter
3 tbsps ice cold water.  ( I used 4 tbsps)
In a food processor pulse the first 3 ings..cut up your butter and sprinkle on top of the flour mixture..pulse until coarse crumbs..through the feed tube w/ motor running add the water slowly until it starts to come together.
Mine came out of the recipient so nicely..I just formed a flat disk on parchment..wrapped and refrigerated 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Apples:
5 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
After resting the pastry dough in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour, roll out into a circle to fit into a 9 inch deep dish pie dish.  (There will be extra left.  Save for future use.)  Flute edges.
Combine the sliced apples with sugar and spices in a large bowl.  Let rest until juices start rendering.  Toss well.  Place apples into prepared pie dish.
To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.  Scatter evenly over the apples.
Place pie on a baking sheet and bake for one hour or until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly.  Serve warm.

Printable Recipe

Fig and Almond Cake

August 11th, 2016

 

Fig and Almond Cake 1

To continue with the fig bounty, I made this almond and fig cake.  I always keep some almond flour in the freezer for Financiers, those dainty French cakes in the shape of  gold bars.  I love almond flour and this cake has both the flour and almond extract.  I went easy with the extract because I find it very strong.

Fig and Almond Cake 2V

The cake was moist and studded with the halved figs.  It was perfect for an afternoon tea or with coffee for breakfast.  You could sprinkle it with powdered sugar or top it with a dollop of whipped cream.

Fig and Almond Cake 3

Now that all of my figs are gone, I am wishing for more.  I have heard from a local acquaintance who has a fig tree in her yard.  Hopefully she will share!  Talking about you Donna.

FIG AND ALMOND CAKE (Adapted from The New York Times)

4 Tablespoons butter, melted, plus butter for greasing pan
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar for sprinkling
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
12 to 14 rip figs

Heat oven to 375 degrees F/  Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan or pie pan; set aside.  Put almond flour, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, honey and almond and vanilla extracts.  Add almond mixture and beat for a minute until batter is just mixed.  Pour batter into pan.

Remove stem from each fig and cut in half.  Arrange fig halves cut-side up over the batter.  Sprinkle figs with Demerara sugar and bake for 30 minutes, until golden outside and dry at center when probed with a cake tester.  Cool before serving.

Printable Recipe

Summer Berry Buckle

June 13th, 2016

Summer Berry Buckle 1

Our hearts are hurting right now with the senseless loss of life in Orlando, Florida.  I try to keep my blog free of political comments so you will hear none of that from me, but the tragedy that took so many lives has nothing to do with politics.  It is just a sad commentary on the hate that seems to permeate our otherwise great country.  The hate needs to stop.

When the world seems too much to bear, baking cookies for your neighbors or making a breakfast cake to share can be a small token of friendship that can tell people that you care.  Please do not lambast me for such a silly response to what has happened. I fully understand the complexity of our problems and the great loss.  We are trying to deal with it by being actively involved in finding solutions.  But no act of kindness is too small. Besides, baking is good for the soul.

Summer Berry Buckle 2v

This summer berry buckle is a fruit studded coffee cake.  It is more fruit than cake, but the combination is a wonderful summer treat.  Add whipped cream or ice cream and you have the perfect dessert to enjoy on the porch or deck.  Or serve it for breakfast with juice and coffee.  You may think that 4 1/2 cups of fruit is too much but it is not.  I used a pint of washed and dried blueberries, 1/2 pint of washed and dried raspberries and 1/2 pint of washed and dried blackberries.

Katie Praying

My nephew and his family live in Orlando and Paul’s daughter Katie made this sign to honor the fallen victims of the horrible tragedy.  Katie has a big heart.  It is not right that our young children should have to endure such horrors.  We all need to unite, without animosity, to find a solution.

Summer Berry Buckle close

Bake this Summer Berry Buckle to share with friends.  It is a small gesture of good will.

SUMMER BERRY BUCKLE ( The New York Times )

  • ½ cup/114 grams (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
  • ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar, more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup/55 grams light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon/5 grams finely gratedlemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups/156 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ½ cups summer berries (a mix of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or use any one kind)
  • Cinnamon, for dusting (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add lemon zest and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg and baking powder, and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Gently fold berries into the batter, then spread batter in pan and sprinkle lightly with more granulated sugar. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until top is golden and cake is cooked through.
  5. Allow cake to cool, then sprinkle with cinnamon, if using, and confectioners’ sugar.

Easy Chocolate Mousse with Chambord

February 8th, 2016

Easy Choc. Mousse 1

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I was looking for an easy dessert featuring chocolate.  It occurred to me that a simple mixture of whipped cream, melted good quality chocolate and raspberry liqueur would be just about as simple and elegant as it could get.  It was easy.  I had it whipped up and in the refrigerator in 30 minutes.

Easy Choc. Mouse 3V

Flecks of chocolate permeate the smooth gently whipped cream.  I used just a teaspoon of Chambord liqueur but next time I will splash a little more into the mix because the flavor was not noticeable.

Easy Choc. Mousse 2

We had this Valentine’s Day treat a little early because we are traveling for the holiday as we do every year.  Our Grandson’s birthday is February 14th.  We will travel to NC with a side trip to Washington DC.  It will be a busy week.  I hope everyone does something special for Valentine’s Day.  We will be stopping in Charleston on our way home for a special dinner at Husk.

husk-exterior-body

EASY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH CHAMBORD

2 cups whipping cream
8 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate such as Callebaut, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon or more of raspberry liqueur such as Chambord
Raspberries for garnish

Melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water in a saucepan.  Remove and set aside to cool slightly.  Whip the cream in a stand mixer until starting to thicken.  It helps to have chilled the bowl in the freezer before you begin.  Add the sugar and liqueur to the cream.  Beat briefly.  Add the chocolate and whip the cream until it thickens.  Pour mixture into 4 ramekins and chill for at least 2 hours.  Garnish with raspberries.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.