Friday, February 26, 2010

Compost Cookie

Source: Cookie Madness / Live with Regis & Kelly

Adapted Version of Regis & Kelly Compost Cookie

4 oz cold unsalted butter, chopped up
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
4.5 weight oz flour (If you don’t have a scale, fluff up the flour and scoop up 1 heaping cup. Sweep top flat)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Morton brand Kosher salt or regular salt or use 1 teaspoon coarse Diamond brand
3/4 cups semi-sweet or good chocolate chips – wouldn’t recommend regular chopped chocolate because it might cause more spreading. Best to stick with chocolate morsels/chips.
3/4 cup (more or less) broken peanut butter filled pretzels, Zapps potato chips, regular pretzels and pecans. The 3/4 cup is approximate – use what seems good to you, but the peanut butter filled pretzels were awesome!

In a stand mixer with the paddle attached, cream the cold butter, both sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

Add eggs and vanilla and stir to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and run mixer for 10 full minutes. During this time the sugar granules will dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and mixture will double in size.

Meanwhile, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

By hand or using lowest speed of mixer, stir in the flour mixture – don’t beat it in or the cookies won’t be as tender. Stir in candies and salty things.

Using about a heaping 1/3 cup measure or a stingy 4 oz measure, scoop up dough and form rounds. My scooped rounds weighed a little less than 4 oz each. Put the shaped rounds on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or until ready to bake.

DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.

Heat the conventional oven to 400F. (350F in a convection oven). Arrange chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment or non-stick foil lined cookie sheet – mine was insulated. If your cookie sheets are thin, you might want to stack two and bake the cookies on the stacked cookies sheets.

Bake 9-11 min (I baked mine for 12-13. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.

According to the original recipe, at 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. At 9 minutes, Mine were pale and doughy looking. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if needed (it will be needed) and bake a total of about 12 to 14 minutes. All ovens are different so you’ll need to watch the cookies, specifically the edges.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage (I cooled mine on the sheet for only about 5 minutes, but mine were a tad bit overcooked so they were fine).



Christina Tosi's Compost Cookies

1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
1 3/4 cups AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups Your favorite baking ingredients!
(Kelly used mini chocolate chips, raisinettes, rollos & cocoa krispies)
1 1/2 cups Your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc)
(Kelly used goldfish, ritz, & fritos)

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.

When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.

Using a 6oz ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.

Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week.

DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.

Heat the conventional oven to 400F. (350F in a convection oven)

When the oven reads 400F, arrange your chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment or silpat-lined sheetpan a minimum of 4" apart in any direction.

Bake 9-11 min. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.

At 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don't match up and your cookies stills seem pale and doughy on the surface.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.

Creamy Rosemary Potatoes

Source: The Pioneer Woman / Good Morning America

Creamy Rosemary Potatoes
Perfect Side to Pot Roast


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
5 or 6 medium russet potatoes, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced rosemary leaves
3 green onions, light green and medium green parts, thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons minced chives

Cooking Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with softened butter. Combine the half-and-half and the cream in a large measuring cup.

Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the potatoes very thinly. They'll cook better that way. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle with half of the half-and-half/cream mixture and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.

Cut the bar of cream cheese in half and add the halves to the skillet, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.

Pour in the remaining half-and-half/cream mixture and stir to combine.

Add salt and pepper and stir. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Do not under salt! Add the rosemary and green onions and stir to combine.

Finally, add ½ cup of the grated parmesan and stir to combine.

Pour the cream-soaked potatoes into the baking dish. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top and spread it evenly over the potatoes. Scrape out the skillet to get every last drop.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup grated parmesan generously over the top and bake the potatoes for at least 1 hour, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the chives, then cut into squares to serve.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chocolate Truffle Brownies

Source: bell'alimento

Chocolate Truffle Brownies
Makes 12 Big Brownies

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 teaspoon whipping cream or milk
3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6-8 cut up Lindt Truffles (mix flavors for nice effect!)

Prepare a 9 inch square pan with Pam or butter, and set aside. Preheat oven to 350.

In bowl of standmixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Then add the vanilla and cream or milk.

Combine the dry ingredients (not the truffles yet) in a separate bowl, then stir in to the batter. Add the cut up truffles and just stir to combine.

Spread batter into the pan and bake 30-35 minutes. Do not overbake, brownies should be just slightly underbaked for best results. Cool completely, then cut into 12 squares.

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Source: Pink Parsley

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins
Joy the Baker, originally from Baking Bites

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (100-110 degrees F)
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the topping/filling
2 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cardamom

For the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream or half and half

Sift together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast into a measuring cup with the warm milk, then add to the flour mixture along with the vanilla, vegetable oil, and egg.Stir until very smooth.

Divide among 12 greased muffin tins, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamon with a fork. Divide the mixture among the muffins, using a fork to swirl it into the batter.

Place in a cold oven, then set the temperature to 350. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned around the edges, and they spring back with lightly pressed.

Allow to cool slightly; meanwhile make the glaze. Combine the confectioner's sugar with the cream, stirring well to combine. Drizzle over muffins before serving.

Serve immediately, or to reheat, microwave for 10-15 seconds.

S'mores Bars with Peanut Butter Cups

Source: My Adventures in Food

S'mores Bars with Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted from Cuisine at Home, Holiday Cookies

1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c flour
Pinch of salt

15 mini-peanut butter cup candies (Wendy note: I think Rolo's might work too)
2 c mini marshmallows
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13x9 inch baking bap with nonstick spray.

Cream butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer. The mixture will look curdled. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, flour, and salt. Reserve 1/4 c of the mixture.

Press remaining mixture into the pan. The layer will be very thin. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from oven, and set oven to Broil.

Top the hot base with peanut butter cups, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Press lightly to adhere. Sprinkle the reserved graham cracker mixture in clumps over the top. Broil just until the marshmallows toast - only a minute or two.

Cool bars for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Coat knife with some nonstick spray to keep it from sticking when cutting.

Brownies With Mocha Icing

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Brownies With Mocha Icing


For Brownies:
4 - 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For Mae's Mocha Icing:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature

Cooking Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

To make the brownie batter, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, being careful not to let it burn. Set it aside to cool slightly.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream, the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs.

With the mixer on low speed, drizzle in the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla extract and mix.

Add the flour to the bowl and mix just until combined; do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the baking pan. Spread it to even out the surface. Bake at 325°F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the center is no longer soft. Set the brownies aside to cool completely before icing.

To make the icing, in a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla. Mix until slightly combined, then add 1/2 cup of the coffee.

Whip until the icing is the desired consistency. If the icing is overly thick, add 1/4 cup more coffee. It should be very light and fluffy.

Ice the cooled brownies, spreading the icing on thick. Refrigerate until the icing is firm, then slice the brownies into squares.

Crusty Garlic-Tuscan Herb Loaf

Source: (never home)maker

Crusty Garlic-Tuscan Herb Loaf

3 cups unbleached white bread flour (I used King Arthur)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
1 cup cool (55 to 65 degrees) water
1/3 cup olive oil or herb variety
Cornmeal or additional flour for dusting

In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, salt, garlic powder, and yeast. Make an impression in the middle of the dry ingredients, almost like a little bowl.

Pour the water and olive oil into the impression you just made. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, adding a bit more water if necessary.

Cover the bowl with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 18 to 24 hours.

When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece.

Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Tuck the edges of the dough under to make it round.

Dust a cookie sheet with cornmeal. Gently place the dough on the cookie sheet, seam side down.

Dust the top lightly with cornmeal. Place another lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap over the loaf-in-progress. Then let rest in a warm, draft-free spot for just about 2 hours.

Position one of your oven racks so that your dutch oven will be centered in the oven, and preheat it to 475 degrees F.

Place a covered 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart cast-iron dutch oven in the center of the rack. Let fully preheat.

Carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue baking until the loaf is a deep chestnut color -- but not burned -- 15 to 30 minutes. Use a heatproof spatula to carefully lift the loaf out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly before slicing.

Fried Ravioli

Source: Life's Ambrosia

Fried Ravioli

Serves 2

You will need:

Oil for frying

1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 refrigerated store-bought ravioli
Shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Heat to 350 degrees.
2. In one bowl whisk together egg and milk. In another bowl combine panko, plain bread crumbs, basil, oregano and kosher salt. Dip each ravioli in egg/milk wash and then in bread crumbs. Then repeat the process to double coat the ravioli.
3. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, fry the ravioli in batches until golden brown about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Allow to cool several minutes.
4. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve.

Dip in your favorite warm marinara sauce! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: Une Gamine Dans La Cuisine

Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/3 cups + 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 sticks (8 oz) of cold butter cut into small pieces
3/4 tsp. of baking Soda
1 tsp. of kosher salt (I used 1 1/2 tsp. of sea salt)
1 cup of packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
5 oz of 55% chocolate, cut into chip sized pieces*
5 oz of 70-72% chocolate, cut into chip sized pieces*
1 tsp of ground cinnamon (optional, not in actual recipe)

* All I had on hand was some Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate. It worked perfectly but I would love to try this with even darker chocolate. *


Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, sift the flour and baking soda. Stir in salt and set aside.

Put the chopped chocolate in a fine-mesh strainer and shake to remove the small chocolate 'dust' fragments. Set aside.

In a large bowl, Beat half the butter ( 1 stick ) on medium speed until smooth. Add both sugars and remaining butter, and beat until well combined. Continue to beat for about 3 more minutes till light and creamy. Scrape down the sides and beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients on low and mix to combine. I had to add mine a little but at a time. Mix in the chocolate with a large spatula and keep folding it in until the chocolate is evenly incorporated.

Using about 2 level Tbsp. per cookie, shape into balls. Arrange the cookies 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops are no longer shiny. Switch the position of the pans ( lower to upper ) and rotate halfway through baking time. For my cookies, I set the timer for 12 minutes exactly. After 6 minutes I switched and rotated without pausing the timer. This resulted in the perfect cookie texture.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

German Chocolate Layer Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling

Source: A Whisk & A Spoon

German Chocolate Layer Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated - Baking Illustrated

To keep sides fresher longer - use cream cheese frosting from Coconut Cupcakes - Add some melted dark chocolate to the frosting and ice the cake with it, and use all of the filling between the layers. Then decorate the cake with some toasted coconut chips.

For the cake (two 8-inch rounds):
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup non-alkalized cocoa, such as Hershey’s
2 tsp. instant coffee or espresso powder
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature

For the filling:
4 large egg yolks
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease and flour two 8″ round pans lined with parchment rounds. Combine cocoa and instant espresso powder in a small bowl. Add boiling water and mix until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.

Using a mixer, beat butter until smooth (about 30 seconds). Gradually add the sugar and beat until light & fluffy (about 5 minutes). Beat in eggs one at a time, combining well after each. Scrape down the mixing bowl.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and 1/3 of the cocoa mixture to the batter. Repeat twice more, scraping as needed, until ingredients are just combined.

Divide batter evenly between the pans. Bake 23-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes on wire rack. Turn out of pans and cool completely before assembling.

For the filling: Whisk yolks, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Beat in the butter, and then gradually add cream and vanilla. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 180°F. This will take about 15-20 minutes, and the mixture will be puffy and slightly thickened. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Stir in the coconut and pecans before assembling cake.

To assemble: Cut both cakes in half horizontally so you have four layers total. Spread 1/4 of the filling on top of each layer, stacking as you go.

Coconut Cupcakes

Source: A Whisk & a Spoon and Barefoot Contessa

Coconut Cupcakes


3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:

1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Rocky Road Cupcakes

Source: The Cupcakery

Rocky Road Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted (see Note)
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated.

6. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.

7. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

8. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

9. VERY IMPORTANT: Cool the cupcakes completely before icing.

Caramel Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. cocoa powder (for color)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. caramel flavoring
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

1. With an electric mixer, cream shortening and butter together in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add vanilla and caramel flavoring to mixture and beat well on medium speed.

3. Add cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar (1 cup at a time). Beat on low to avoid powdered sugar from flying all over the place. Once everything is incorporated into the butter mixture turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 30 seconds. Mixture will be dry.

4. Add cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a medium consistency is achieved. Keep beating for 5 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.

5. Once icing is piped onto completely cooled cupcakes, sprinkle with mini marshmallows, chopped pecans, mini chocolate chips then drizzle with caramel and chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Pecan Diamonds

Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Chocolate Pecan Diamonds
Adapted from I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas by Marcel Desaulniers

Pecan Dough

5 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ -TBSP pieces, plus 1 TBSP melted to coat pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 large egg yolks
½ cup unsalted pecans, toasted, and coarsely chopped

Pecan Filling

12 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into 1-TBSP pieces
2 cups dark brown sugar
¾ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup light corn syrup
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, cut into ¼-ounce pieces
2 cups unsalted pecans, toasted, and coarsely chopped
2 cups milk chocolate chips
10 ounces milk chocolate baking chocolate (I like Lenotre), coarsely chopped

To make the dough:
Preheat oven to 325F.
Coat a 9-x-13-inch pan with the melted butter.
Sift together flour and sugar and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Add the cold butter one piece at a time while mixing on low, until mealy in texture, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and mix on low until the dough forms around the paddle, about 30 seconds.
Add the pecans and mix on low for 30 seconds.
Remove dough from the mixer and place it in prepared pan. Use hands to flatten the dough uniformly to cover the bottom of the baking pan.
Bake on the center rack of oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside, leave the oven on.

To make the filling:

Bring butter, brown sugar, cream, and corn syrup to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the brown sugar. Boil for 3 minutes, until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk.
Remove from heat. Add the unsweetened chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted.
Fold in the milk chocolate chips and pecans.
Pour filling onto baked dough. Using a spatula, spread evenly.
Bake on center rack for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees half way through.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle the 10 ounces of milk chocolate over the surface.
Place pan back in oven for 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from oven, and use a spatula to smooth the chocolate. I choose to make a marbled effect since the chocolates were different shades of brown.
Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place in refrigerator for an hour.

To serve:
Remove from refrigerator. Turn the pan over onto a clean, dry, cutting surface, then turn the contents chocolate side up.
Using a sharp serrated knife, cut away 1/4-inch of the edge from the two narrower ends, then divide widthwise into 4 strips. Diagonally trim a 1/2-inch piece from each end of each strip, then cut the strip diagonally 3 times to form 4 uniformly sized diamonds form each strip.
The diamonds may be served immediately or kept at room temperature for 30 minutes. Best served at room temperature.
Keep in a tightly sealed plastic container in the refrigerator for several days.

Brown Sugar Toffee Snack Cake

Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Brown Sugar Toffee Snack Cake

4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup self rising flour
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate covered toffee pieces, divided

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray a 8-x-8-inch pan with baking spray, or butter and flour it. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream.

Turn mixer speed to low. Starting with the flour alternate, 1/3 flour, ½ buttermilk mixture, 1/3 flour, remaining ½ buttermilk mixture, remaining 1/3 flour.

Fold in ½ cup milk chocolate covered toffee pieces.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Insert a knife or wooden skewer to test for doneness.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup chocolate covered toffee pieces on top. The chocolate should melt, that’s okay, you want that.

Best if eaten the day of, as the toffee will get a little sticky. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

Rustic Maple Pecan Cookies

Source: Velez Delights

Rustic Maple Pecan Cookies

From Great Cookies: Secrets To Sensational Sweets by Carole Walter


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp imitation maple extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup very fresh lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans


Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350F. Moderately butter the cookie sheets.

In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and set aside to cool to tepid.

Strain together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Using a wooden spoon, add the maple syrup to the melted butter, mixing well. Blend in the egg, orange juice, and the maple and vanilla extracts. Whisk in the sugars, stirring until well combined and free of lumps. Stir in the dry ingredients in three additions, then fold in the nuts with a large rubber spatula.

Using the tip of a teaspoon, drop mounds of dough the size of large walnuts onto the cookie sheets, placing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back toward the end of the baking time. Remove from oven and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before loosening with a thin metal spatula. Cool on wire racks.

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping

Source: Martha

Sweet Potato Pie With Pecan Topping


2 to 3 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 prebaked Piecrust (below), or 1 frozen store-bought (9-inch) crust
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup pecans, broken into pieces


To make the sweet potato puree, cover sweet potatoes with water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 15 minutes. Drain; puree in a food processor until completely smooth. Let cool completely before using (refrigerate or freeze for quicker cooling).

To make filling, preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and maple syrup until smooth. Add sweet-potato puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 3/4 cup cream; whisk until completely smooth. Place cooled crust on a rimmed baking sheet; pour filling into crust. (If using a store-bought crust, defrost 10 minutes; prick bottom all over with a fork.)

Bake pie on lowest rack of oven until filling is set, about 50 minutes. If crust browns too quickly, tent edges with foil. Transfer pie to a rack to cool, 1 hour; transfer to refrigerator to cool completely.

To make the pecan topping, melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add remaining 1/2 cup light-brown sugar and pecans. Cook, stirring, until sugar is incorporated and the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon cream; let cool 1 to 2 minutes. Pour mixture over cooled pie. With a butter knife or spatula, spread mixture over pie. Cool until topping has hardened, about 30 minutes. (Do not refrigerate again; keep pie in a cool place up to 6 hours.)



Makes 1 crust.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons ice water


In a food processor, pulse several times to combine 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and sugar.

Add 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces remaining.

Add 2 tablespoons ice water; pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if needed, add up to 2 more tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overmix.

Turn out onto work surface; knead once or twice, until dough comes together. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Place dough on a floured piece of parchment or waxed paper. Using knuckles, press edges of dough to help prevent cracking when you roll it out.

Roll dough to a 14-inch round. Using parchment, lift and wrap dough around rolling pin; carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and along sides of plate, being careful not to stretch or tear dough.

Using kitchen shears or a paring knife, trim dough to a 1-inch overhang; fold under, and seal to form a rim. Crimp rim with fingertips. Prick bottom of pie dough all over with a fork, to prevent it from puffing up or shrinking in the oven. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

If prebaking the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until crust is firm and golden, about 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

Caramel Nut Tart

Source: Martha

Caramel Nut Tart

Slice this sweet and rich tart as thinly as possible. For best results, look for tart pans that have removable bottoms.


Makes 2 nine-inch tarts.

All-purpose flour, for dusting
Pate Sucree (recipe below)
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound assorted mixed nuts, such as hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans, or cashews
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Have ready two 9-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Cut out two 12-inch parchment circles, and set aside. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Roll out one disk of pate sucree to a 12-inch circle with a 1/4-inch thickness. Roll dough onto rolling pin, and unroll over one of the tart pans. Press pastry into place, being careful not to stretch dough; use a paring knife to trim any overhanging dough. Repeat with remaining disk pate sucree and tart pan. Chill both pans for 30 minutes.

Line pastry with parchment circles, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until pastry begins to take on color, about 25 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights; continue baking or until light golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Wrap in plastic; set aside until ready to use.

Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Place butter, both sugars, honey, and heavy cream in a large saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes. Stir in nuts and vanilla; remove pan from heat. Pour filling into reserved tart shells.

Bake tarts on the center rack until the filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer tarts to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Pate Sucree

This dough is similar to pate brisee, but it is further enriched with egg yolks and more sugar. This pastry dough may be stored in the freezer up to one month. To thaw, transfer disks to refrigerator overnight, or let stand at room temperature one hour.


Makes one 11-to 12-inch or two 8-to 9-inch or two 14-by-4-inch crusts.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup ice water


In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and sugar. Add butter, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 20 seconds.

In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks; add ice water. With machine running, add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator, and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Chocolate Pecan Tart

Source: Martha

Chocolate Pecan Tart

2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
4 tsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tsp., chilled and cut into small pieces
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
1 1/3 cups pecan halves
1 Tbsp. bourbon (optional)
1 store-bought refrigerated pie crust (not in a pie plate)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Wrap dough around rolling pin, and unwrap over a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press dough into bottom and up sides of pan; trim edge of dough.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, light corn syrup, 4 teaspoons melted butter, and the vanilla. Scatter chocolate evenly over tart shell. Pour filling over chocolate. Arrange pecans on top, as desired. Dot with 2 teaspoons chilled butter.

Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until filling is set, 45 to 60 minutes. If pecans are browning too quickly, tent pan with foil. Remove from oven; while still hot, drizzle with bourbon, if desired. Let tart cool completely before serving.

Coconut Custard Pie

Source: Martha

Coconut Custard Pie


1 recipe Basic Pie Crust (below), rolled and fitted into a 9-inch pie plate
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Press a sheet of aluminum foil onto crust, draping over rim of pie plate. To blind-bake: Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Remove beans and foil; let crust cool completely, and set aside.

While crust is baking, place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan (off heat), whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in whole milk, making sure to dissolve cornstarch. Whisk in coconut milk and egg yolks.

Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble sputters, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; immediately pour custard through sieve into bowl.

Pour custard from bowl into cooled crust; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours (or loosely covered, up to 1 day). To serve, let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, then sprinkle with coconut.

Basic Pie Crust


One 9-inch crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water


1. In a food processor, briefly pulse flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Dont overmix.

2. Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over dough; press to shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

3. On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough to a 14-inch round with a floured rolling pin. Wrap dough around rolling pin, discarding paper; unroll over a 9-inch pie plate (opposite). Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate (do not stretch dough).

4. Using kitchen shears, trim dough to a 1-inch overhang. Fold under itself to form a rim, and press to seal. Using thumb and forefinger, crimp rim of crust. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 day.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Source: Martha

Chocolate Meringue Pie

This recipe comes courtesy of Diane Rasberry of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She says the chocolate filling of this pie is balanced out by the not-too-sweet meringue topping. Pick up a crust at the store, or bake Our Favorite Pie Crust. Spread the meringue to the crust's edge so that it seals and doesn't shrink.


One 9-inch pie crust, store-bought or homemade, unbaked (or Martha's "Our Favorite Pie Crust")
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated whole milk
3 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pie crust in plate on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Cool completely; set aside.

Put a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together 2/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, flour, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Whisk in egg yolks.

Place pan over medium heat; whisking constantly, cook until the first large bubble forms, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; whisking constantly, cook 1 minute.

Immediately pour mixture through prepared sieve into bowl. Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour warm filling into baked crust; cover surface directly with plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue on top of filling, right up to edge of crust; bake until meringue is lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Honey-Walnut Pie

Source: Martha

Honey-Walnut Pie


3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
Pate Brisee, Walnut Variation (see Upside-Down Pecan Pie below)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 lightly beaten egg for brushing
3/4 cup acacia, or other mild honey
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Fine sanding sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a 9 1/8-by-1 3/8-inch tart ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick; cut into a 14-inch round. Fit into tart ring; trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Refrigerate while making filling.

Whisk together 4 eggs, the honey, granulated sugar, butter, orange zest and juice, salt, and flour in a large bowl. Stir in walnuts. Pour into tart shell.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into an 11-inch round. Cut 5 slits for vents. Drape over filling. Trim overhang to 1 inch; fold over bottom crust. Press edges to seal, and tuck into ring. Brush with remaining beaten egg, and sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Bake until a knife inserted in one of the vents comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely. Remove ring before serving. Can be stored, covered, overnight.

Upside-Down Pecan Pie

Source: Martha

Upside-Down Pecan Pie

This upside-down pie is for the pecan-pie fan who prefers nuts and caramel to the traditional butterscotch filling. It is important to use a cast-iron skillet when making this dessert. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Makes one 10-inch pie.

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 cups pecan halves (about 1 pound)
3/4 cup heavy cream
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 Pate Brisee (Pie Dough - below)


In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, combine butter, honey, and sugars. Bring to a boil; let boil for 4 minutes. Add pecans and heavy cream, and boil 3 minutes more. Remove from heat, and set aside. Let stand about 30 minutes to cool. Using a wooden spoon, gently mound pecans and caramel slightly in center of skillet, leaving a gap between pecans and edge of skillet.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.with rack in the top third. On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out one disk of prepared chilled pastry to approximately a 7/8-inch-thick, 13-inch-diameter circle. Place the pastry over the skillet, carefully tucking the dough down against the edge of the skillet and around the edges of the mound of pecans. Trim the excess dough.

Place two rimmed baking sheets, one on top of the other, underneath the skillet to catch any drips while the pie bakes and to provide insulation for the caramel. Place skillet in the oven, and bake pie until the dough is just turning golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and continue baking until the pastry is cooked through and the caramel is bubbling up around the edges of the skillet, about 30 minutes more.

Remove the pie from the oven, and let cool about 20 minutes. Carefully invert the pie onto a parchment-lined tray or baking sheet (the pie is easy to transfer to serving plate once it has been inverted). Be careful inverting pie; the caramel is very hot. If the pie does not release easily from skillet, heat the skillet over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Serve warm.

Pate Brisee


Makes enough for one 9 or 10-inch double crust pie.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons ice water


Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube until dough just comes together (no longer than 30 seconds).

Turn out onto a work surface. Divide in half. Shape into disks. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (up to 2 days). Pate Brisee Walnut Variation: Make recipe as directed, substituting 3/4 cup ground walnuts for 3/4 cup flour.

Coconut Lime-Curd Bars

Source: Real Simple

Coconut Lime-Curd Bars


1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons lime zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350°F. Combine the coconut, 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and the butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until a crumbly dough is formed. Press firmly into a greased 8-by-8-inch pan. Bake until just golden, about 12 minutes.

Sift together the granulated sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and the 2 tablespoons of flour. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, whisking to avoid lumps. Pour the filling over the baked crust.

Bake until the lime curd is set in the center, about 22 minutes. Cool completely in the refrigerator, about 2 hours. Cut into 16 bars and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Turtle Bars

Source: Real Simple

Turtle Bars


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee-and-chocolate baking pieces (such as Heath or Skor)


Heat oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, confectioners' sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a crumbly dough is formed. Press the dough firmly into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake until just golden, about 13 minutes.

Whisk together the condensed milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour the filling over the baked crust. Sprinkle the pecans, chocolate chips, and toffee pieces evenly over the filling. Bake until the filling is set, the edges are golden brown, and the toffee is melted, about 25 minutes.

Cool completely in the refrigerator, about 2 hours. Cut into 32 bars.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Source: Martha

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

To make ahead (up to two hours), complete recipe, then top with a thin layer of milk. Cover; set aside in a warm place. When ready to serve, stir to combine.


Serves 8.

8 medium russet potatoes (about 4 pounds)
1 head peeled garlic cloves (about 15)
Coarse salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces


Peel potatoes and quarter lengthwise; cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick. In a 5-quart saucepan, combine potatoes and garlic cloves; cover with water (about 8 cups) by 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 25 to 30 minutes.

Drain; return garlic and potatoes to pan. Stir over medium-high heat until dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil; pour over potatoes. Add butter and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mash until smooth and creamy.

Mini Cornbread Puddings

Source: Martha

Mini Cornbread Puddings

We called these cornbread puddings -- not muffins -- because they're far moister and more tender than what you might expect, thanks to sour cream in the batter.


Makes 24.

Butter, room temperature, for pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed and patted dry


Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in upper third. Butter 24 mini muffin cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, whisk together egg, sour cream, and corn. Mix with flour mixture just until incorporated (do not overmix).

Dividing evenly, spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake until tops have browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes in pan; turn out onto a cooling rack. Serve, or cool completely and store at room temperature in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

Potato Croquettes

Source: Martha

Potato Croquettes


Serves 8 as an appetizer.

3 russet potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds)
Coarse salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
4 large eggs
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup panko
About 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Yellow-Pepper Remoulade (below)


Put potatoes into a saucepan, and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, and add 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, and let cool slightly. While potatoes are warm, peel and pass through a ricer or a food mill.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until golden, about 15 minutes. Add onion to potatoes. Stir in 2 eggs, salt, and pepper. Let cool.

Put flour, remaining 2 eggs, and panko into 3 separate dishes. Lightly beat eggs. For each croquette, scoop out 2 tablespoons potato mixture, then shape into an oval. Dredge in flour, coat with egg, then roll in panko. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining potato mixture. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (or overnight).

In a large cast-iron skillet or a medium saucepan, heat vegetable oil to 350. Fry croquettes in batches (do not overcrowd skillet) until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn croquettes occasionally as they cook to brown evenly on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt. Serve with remoulade.

Yellow-Pepper Remoulade


Makes 1 1/2 cups (enough for 8 servings).

1 yellow bell pepper
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 small garlic clove
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
6 green olives with pimientos, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Roast pepper directly over the flame of a gas-stove burner or under a broiler, turning often, until lightly charred on all sides. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and steam 10 minutes. Scrape blackened skin from pepper, then cut in half, remove seeds, and coarsely chop.

Put bell pepper, egg and yolk, garlic, mustard, vinegar, and salt in a food processor. With machine running, add 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon at a time. Pour in remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the canola oil in a slow, steady stream, processing until emulsified. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in olives, parsley, capers, creme fraiche, and lemon juice. Remoulade can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Creamy Corn

Source: Martha

Creamy Corn


1 box (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
1/4 to 1/2 cup whole milk
3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
Coarse salt and ground pepper


In a medium saucepan, simmer corn and 1/4 cup milk over medium heat until corn is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese and chives. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, adjust consistency with a little more milk.

Graham Cracker Chewy Bars

Source: Jan Can Cook

Graham Cracker Chewy Bars

Note: Adapted from "Celebrating With Julienne" by Susan Campoy. Campoy writes, "I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite books, 'Nantucket Open-House Cookbook,' by Sarah Leah Chase. I love watching people's expressions when they bite into these bars for the first time. The textures and flavors - rich toffee, a chewy center and a crunchy bottom -- make everyone smile. The secret is not to over-bake the crust. Serve them at room temperature, so the flavors meld together."


3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and flour until moist and well-blended. Press the mixture firmly and evenly over the bottom of a 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

Topping and assembly

2 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 extra-large eggs
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 prepared crust

Powdered sugar, if desired

1. While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs to blend. Whisk in the graham cracker crumbs, vanilla, salt and baking powder until well-blended. Stir in the pecans.

2. Spread the mixture over the baked crust and return to the 350-degree oven until the filling is dark-golden on top and jiggles slightly when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.

3. Sprinkle a light coating of sifted powdered sugar over the pan if desired, and cut into 24 bars. The bars can be made 1 day in advance. Wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature.

Butter Tart Bars

Source: Mixing Bowl Kids

Butter Tart Bars
Wendy Note: I would leave out raisins and replace with walnuts or pecans instead.

For the crust:
1 cup butter, cold and diced
1/4 cup icing sugar
3 cups flour, scooped and leveled

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups of butter, melted
4 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup cream (half and half works great)
2 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 tbsp vanilla
2 cups sultana raisins (or currents if you prefer)
1 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour and icing sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, or your fingers, work in the butter until you are left with a mealy consistency.

Press the mixture into a parchment-lined half sheet baking pan, and be sure to make it as even as possible. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and whisk in the sugar, corn syrup, cream, eggs and vanilla. Whisk quickly to avoid cooking the eggs.

Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the raisins and stir until incorporated.

When the crust has finished baking, remove from the oven and top with the sugar/butter mixture.

Return to the oven and baked for an additional 20 minutes or until the top is bubbling and set.

Allow to cool for a few hours, or alternatively place in the fridge to cool.

Using the parchment, lift the squares off of the baking sheet and cut into 2x2 inch bars.

Place in the freezer until ready to serve. This will allow the bars to set more thoroughly and they taste delicious served cold.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Tarts

Source: Desert Candy

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Tarts
Who doesn't love a peanut butter cup? The recipe calls for a total of 3 cups whipped cream, which means you will want to start with 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and whip it to stiff peaks. I find it is easiest to transfer the mousses to the freezer when working with them, so that they firm up quickly, so you may want to clear out some freezer space before starting.

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (like Nabisco Famous Wafers)
4 Tbsp. melted butter

chocolate mousse layer:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup milk
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 cup whipped cream
1 splash rum (optional but highly recommended)

peanut butter mousse layer:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (low fat is fine)
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups whipped cream

glaze (optional):
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 oz bittersweet chocolate

1. Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 10" springform pan or 8 round molds set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. For the chocolate mousse: Finely chop the chocolate and place in a small bowl. Place the milk, sugar, and cocoa in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Heat the milk mixture until simmering, then pour over the chopped chocolate, add the rum. Stir the chocolate mixture gently until everything is melted and combined. Stir the chocolate mixture until it is no longer hot to the touch (but don't wait so long so that the chocolate hardens). Fold in the whipped cream, then refrigerate the mixture.
3. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, salt until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Keep in the refrigerator.
4. Spread the chocolate mousse in the bottom of your springform pan, or divide it between the small molds. Top with the peanut butter mousse, gently smoothing the top. Transfer to the freezer to set for at least one hour (I find it is easier to work with the mousses from the freezer, but you can use the refrigerator. Also, if you're making minis, it will be easiest to unmold them if they are completely frozen).
5. Once the edges of the mousse are firmly set, unmold the tart by running a hot knife around the edge of the pan/mold, then remove the sides of the pan/mold. Return the mousse to the freezer while you make the glaze.
6. Make the glaze: place the sugar, water, and chocolate in a small saucepan and clip a candy thermometer on the side. Bring to a boil and let boil until the mixture reaches 234F, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, take your mousse out of the freezer and place on a rack. Remove the glaze from the heat, and give the chocolate glaze one stir just to cool slightly, then pour the glaze immediately over the mousse tarts. You have to work very quickly as the glaze will begin to harden. If it hardens early, it may be less than pretty, but don't worry it will still taste good.
7. Store in the fridge until serving. If you have a large mousse tart, cut slices with a hot knife. The tart may begin to break down after 2 days in the fridge, simply freeze any leftovers and thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Lighten Up Tip: Instead of 3 cups whipped cream you can use a lightened whipped cream: whip one cup cream to stiff peaks. Whip one egg white with one pinch of sugar until it is shiny and holds stiff peaks, fold the egg white into the whipped cream. Use in the recipe as directed.

The Molds: To make the miniature mousse tarts, it's easiest if you use mini springform pans (2 or 3" diameter). However, they can be expensive, so you can also use ring molds, available at pastry supply stores, or simply use a tube of piping. If using piping, wash it well and line the inside with some parchment paper.

Cheese Enchiladas (Sauce)

Source: Pinch My Salt

Enchiladas & Sauce

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. chili powder (part of this was chipotle chili powder)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups water
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

In a small bowl mix together flour, chili powder, cumin, and cocoa powder.
Heat oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add flour mixture and cook, stirring, for about a minute.
Whisk in water and tomato sauce, making sure there are no lumps.
Add salt, garlic powder, brown sugar and cinnamon and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Taste and correct seasonings as desired.

I’m typing this from memory so hopefully I included all the ingredients! This recipe is based on the Ten Minute Enchilada Sauce recipe I found on (below)

For the enchiladas I used corn tortillas. My tortillas were a little stale so I steamed them by placing a splatter shield over a pot of boiling water and laying the tortillas on top for a few seconds until they were pliable. I then dipped the tortillas in some sauce, filled with cheese and placed in the baking dish. After the baking dish was filled, I poured on some extra sauce and sprinkled some cheese and black olives over the top. Normally I would also include some beef, shredded chicken or shredded turkey in the enchiladas and maybe some green chiles.



Ten Minute Enchilada Sauce


1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. self-rising flour
1/4 cup New Mexico or California chili powder
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion salt
salt to taste


Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion salt into the flour and chili powder until smooth, and continue cooking over medium heat approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt.

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Source: Desert Candy

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

I know you'll be tempted to make this using whatever variety of tea is sitting in your pantry. Please use earl grey, its floral citrus note is wonderful in these cakes. For extra oomph you can even add a tablespoon of earl grey tea leaves to the frosting.

Makes 24 cupcakes, easily halved.

1 cup (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk
2 bags or 2 tablespoons earl grey tea

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, fill 2 cupcake pans with paper liners or grease well. In a bowl (or with a stand mixer), beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and cream the butter with the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each egg very well so that it is thoroughly combined before adding the next egg. Beat in half of the flour along with the tea. Then add the milk and the remaining flour, stirring until just combined.

2. Fill the cupcake pans 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through to ensure even baking. Cool thoroughly before frosting.

Lemon Buttercream

1 cup (1/2 lb, 2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. lemon juice

1. Cream the butter until smooth, gradually beat in the powdered sugar until the mixture is very fluffy. Zest the lemon over the bowl into the frosting, add the lemon juice, stir until smooth. Spread or pipe the frosting on cooled cupcakes. Please remember buttercream should be served at room temp.

Chocolate Tart

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Tart

Sweet Tart Dough/Pate Sucree
Paris Sweets, Dorie Greenspan

Makes enough for three 9-inch tart crusts.

Dorie Greenspan calls this the classic sweet tart dough, which pastry chefs learn as apprentices. More of a cookie dough, it’s used with sweet dessert tarts, and it’s easiest to make in a food processor, if you have one. This was my first time using this recipe (and not Martha Stewart’s version) and I thought the addition of ground almonds was delicious. Though I halved it, I still have quite a bit remaining, which I think I’ll roll out, sprinkle it with coarse sugar and cut it into small cookies.

2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 cup (2 1/4 oz.) ground blanched almonds, lightly packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups (490 grams) all-purpose flour

1. To make the dough: Place the butter in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and process to blend well. Add the ground almonds, salt, and vanilla and continue to process until smooth, scraping the bowl as necessary. Lightly stir the eggs together with a fork and, with the machine running, add them to the work bowl; process for a few seconds to blend. Finally, add the flour and pulse until the mixture just starts to come together. When the dough forms moist curds and clubs and then starts to form a ball, stop! — you don’t want to overwork it. The dough will be very soft, and that’s just as it should be. (If you want to make the dough in a mixer, use the paddle attachment. First beat the butter until it is smooth, then add the remaining ingredients in the order given above. Just be careful when you add the flour — you must stop mixing as soon as the flour is incorporated.)

2. Gather the dough into a ball and divide it into 3 pieces. Gently press each piece into a disk and wrap each disk in plastic. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or for up to 2 days, before rolling and baking. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to a month.)

3. To roll and bake tart crusts: For each tart, butter the right-sized tart pan and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you are making more than one tart, work with one piece of dough at a time.

4. What makes this dough so delicious — lots of butter — also makes it a little difficult to roll. The easiest way to work with pate sucree is to roll it out between sheets of plastic wrap. Just flatten a large piece of plastic wrap against the counter and roll the dough between that and another piece of plastic. Turn the dough over often so that you can roll it out on both sides, and as you’re rolling, make sure to lift the sheets of plastic several times so that they don’t crease and get rolled into the dough. (If the dough becomes too soft, just slip it, still between plastic, onto a baking sheet and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes.) Remove one sheet of the plastic and center the dough (exposed side down) over the tart pan. Press the dough against the bottom of the pan and up the sides, removed the top sheet of plastic wrap and roll your rolling pin across the rim of the pan to cut off the excess. If the dough cracks of splits while you’re working, don’t worry — you can patch the cracks with leftover dough (moisten the edges to “glue” them into place). Just be careful not to stretch the dough in the pan (what you stretch now will shrink later). Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. (Repeat with remaining dough, if necessary.)

5. When you are ready to bake the crust(s), preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the crust with e circle of parchment paper or foil and fill with dried beans or rice.

6. Bake the crust (or crusts) for 20 to 25 minutes, or just until very lightly colored. If the crust needs to be fully baked, remove the parchment and beans and bake the crust for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Keeping: Wrapped airtight, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for a month. Frozen disks of dough take 45 to 60 minutes at average room temperature to reach a good rolling-out consistency. Baked crusts can be uncovered at room temperature for about 8 hours.

Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Tart/Tarte au Chocolat
Paris Sweets, Dorie Greenspan

8 oz. (224 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup (160 grams) heavy cream
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 moist, plump vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 fully baked 6 1/2-inch (16-cm) tart shell made from Sweet Tart Dough

1. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and keep it close at hand. In a small bowl, beat 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream with the egg yolks just until the eggs are liquid. Check that the butter is soft but not oily. If necessary, either beat it with a rubber spatula to soften it or smear it against the counter under the heel of your hand.

2. Pour the remaining cream into a saucepan, toss in the split vanilla bean, and bring the cream to a full boil. Pull out the vanilla bean, then pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Wait for about 30 seconds, then, working with a whisk, gently blend the cream into the chocolate. Still whisking delicately, incorporate the yolks, followed by the butter. Pour the ganache into the crust (if you have a little leftover, you can freeze it or use it to fill sandwich cookies). Jiggle the crust a bit to even out the ganache, and leave the tart on the counter until the filling set, about 20 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. (If your kitchen is really warm, pop the tart into the refrigerator for 20 minutes, just to set the ganache, then keep it at room temperature after it has set.)

Do ahead: The tart is best served at room temperature the day it is made. If you must keep it, refrigerate it over night, then let it stand at room temperature for about 2 hours before serving.