Archive for the 'recipe' Category

31
Mar
11

persimmon bundt cake

I know; I’m such a flake when it comes to blogging.  I don’t really have any other excuses except for the fact that I usually enjoy reading other people’s blogs instead of posting on my own.  There was a lot of baking going on in my kitchen (baking is currently on hold) and I do have lots of pictures to share, but I’ll admit that I’ve been lazy.

This recipe comes to you at the wrong time of the year (I made this cake in October) but I wanted to share with you now because I’ve had persimmons on my mind.  My parents have a fuyu persimmon tree in their backyard and they get tons of persimmons so my dad sent H and I a box of them in the mail.  The following week we received a whole bag of fuyus from my friend.  What was I to do with so many persimmons?

H loves them (fuyus) and will eat 2 or 3 a day, but I’ve never been a huge fan of them.  The first time I tasted a persimmon it was a hachiya persimmon…the mushy kind.  After that experience I tried to stay away from eating any kind of persimmon in their natural whole fruit form.  My grandpa makes persimmon cookies which  I do like so I searched for the recipe he had shared with me.  Bummer, the cookies were made with puree from the mushy hachiya persimmons;  I had an over abundance of the crisp fuyu persimmons.  Darn.  I searched online and most baking recipes use hachiya.  I was getting discouraged when I finally found this.  I was so excited to try it out, especially because it was made in a bundt pan and I really like bundt cakes.  The cake was very yummy.  It was the perfect “Welcome Fall Season” spice cake.  I made it a few times and even turned it into a “persimmon bread” simply by baking it in a loaf pan and not icing it.

So, back to my relationship with persimmons and why they’ve been on my mind.  The cake only uses about 4 persimmons so even though I’d made it a few times we still had tons of them on our kitchen  counter.  Everytime H ate one I’d have a bite too and eventually I kind of started to like the fuyu persimmon.  It’s crisp like an apple and I’m all about crispy things.  The fuyu persimmon was finally starting to grow on me.  I probably won’t eat 2 to 3 a day like H does, but now I know they’re good for baking too.  What really pushed me over was finally looking at the persimmon tree in my parents’ backyard.  It’s beautiful!  I haven’t seen too many persimmon trees, but I really liked how theirs looked.

I’ve been looking into fruit trees for my backyard so a persimmon tree made it onto my wishlist and I finally ordered a bareroot a few days ago.  My current view from the kitchen sink is pretty bleh so I am very excited about having a nice persimmon tree to look at.  My bareroot tree just arrived yesterday and I’m looking forward to planting it this weekend.  Ok…on to the recipe!

Continue reading ‘persimmon bundt cake’

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09
Nov
10

strawberry ice cream

Oh, I’m so disappointed in how long it’s taken me to finally post this recipe.  I got all the pictures and the recipe ready to go 7 weeks ago and here it’s been sitting in my Drafts.  I told myself that once I became a SAHW I would update more frequently, but I’ve had a hard time being motivated.  This stay at home thing has been an interesting transition for me.  As much as I wish I had the cleanest house on the block, I still don’t.  I feel like I’m in the kitchen, cleaning the kitchen, all the time.  I shouldn’t be surprised since I’m always in there making some kind of a mess: bringing in veggies from the garden, wondering what I will do with the abundance, baking for the sake of baking, baking because someone’s requested for me to make something, or trying out new recipes for dinner. In the meantime, my poor blog has sat here unattended.  I have a large backlog of photos and recipes I’d like to share with you, but with my track record I won’t make any promises on when you might see those.  I’ll just let you be surprised :).

The following recipe would have been more season appropriate if I had posted it when I originally planned, but better late than never I guess.

This strawberry ice cream is super easy to make – no egg custard involved!  The addition of lemon juice was really nice; it gave the ice cream a fresh, bright taste.  I think that’s the word I’d use to describe this ice cream – fresh.  It wasn’t too rich or too sweet.  With every bite I could taste the strawberries, the cream, and a hint of lemon.  I especially loved the little bits of frozen strawberries with every bite!  If you have an ice cream maker, I highly recommend you make this when strawberry season rolls around again.

1 lb. of strawberries

add  sugar and fresh lemon juice

mash with a potato masher, stir, and mash some more

add cream to half of strawberry mixture

puree strawberry and cream mixture (i used a hand blender)

add reserved strawberry mixture to strawberry cream puree

the final product

Perfect No Cook Strawberry Ice Cream
Adapted slightly from Gourmet magazine,  August 2009
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
  • 1 pound strawberries, trimmed, halved if large
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Coarsely mash strawberries with sugar, lemon juice, and salt using a potato masher in a large bowl. Let stand, stirring and mashing occasionally, 10 minutes.

Transfer half of strawberry mixture to a blender and purée with cream until smooth (I just used a hand blender).  Return strawberry cream to bowl with remaining strawberries and chill, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours.

Freeze mixture in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

12
Mar
10

two-bite chocolate cream pies

A few weeks ago, H and I had dinner with some friends – a finger food potluck.  H loves to create appetizers and I love making mini desserts so we were both looking forward to what we were going to make.  I scoured through my cookbooks and magazines trying to find something that jumped out at me when I remembered seeing these mini chocolate cream pies in the February issue of Sunset magazine (one of my favorites). Not only did these look yummy, but the recipe looked pretty straightforward too.

My only advice is don’t over press the cookie crumbs and don’t over bake the crusts.  I was intent on making sure the crusts didn’t fall apart so I did both.  The result was VERY hard crusts that were almost impossible to bite into. I didn’t really think about the fact that egg white would probably provide a much stronger bind than melted butter. Well, they were still delicious even though everyone had a hard time biting into them.

Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers

cookies, sugar, salt, egg white whirled to make the crust

10 lb. slab of chocolate

breaking into the slab

melted chocolate and butter

sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and milk

cook over medium heat

add melted chocolate and butter

ready to bite into

Two-bite Chocolate Cream Pies

From Sunset magazine, February 2010

Makes 24

  • Cooking oil spray
  • About 30 chocolate cookies, such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. course salt
  • 2 large eggs (1 separated)
  • 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 5 tsp. Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 2 mini-muffin trays (12 muffin cups each) with cooking spray.  In a food processor, whirl cookies into fine crumbs.  Measure; return 1 1/2 cups crumbs to food processor, along with 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar, the salt, and 1 egg white.  Pulse to blend evenly.

Spoon 1 tbsp. crumb mixture into each muffin cup. Press crumbs over bottom and up sides of cups. (Don’t press too hard.) Bake until set, 15 minutes. (Don’t over bake.)

Put chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe container and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring often, until melted.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and 4 tsp. cocoa. Pour in a few tbsp. of the milk and whisk into a smooth paste; whisk in remaining milk.  Transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened and large bubbles appear, about 3 minutes.

Put reserved yolk and remaining egg into a medium bowl.  Whisk in about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture.  Scrape egg-milk mixture into milk mixture in pan and cook, whisking, until just starting to boil, about 30 seconds.  Whisk in melted chocolate and butter.

Spoon hot filling into chocolate shells.  Press plastic wrap over surface of mini pies to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until set, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Remove pies from trays. Whisk cream with remaining 2 tbsp. sugar into soft peaks. Spoon a dollop of cream onto each mini pie. Dust pies with remaining cocoa.

27
Feb
10

the best one-bowl chocolate chunk-pecan cookies

H and I were watching a movie a few weeks ago when I started craving chocolate chip cookies.  I needed a fast and easy recipe; no way was I going to wait for the 36-hour chocolate chip cookie.  I found a recipe for one-bowl chocolate chip cookies in Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey.  The 36-hour chocolate chip cookies are still my favorite (hands down), but these were perfect for a quick cookie, with little clean-up required afterwards.

toast the pecans

stir granulated and dark brown sugar into melted butter

stir in salt, vanilla, and eggs until smooth

stir in flour, baking soda, and baking powder into batter

just until incorporated and a soft dough forms

fold in chocolate chips and cooled toasted  (chopped) pecans

mmm…cookie dough

use a 2-ounce scoop to measure out the dough

place dough balls on a baking sheet

Ok, there is some waiting time for this cookie – but only 45 to 60 minutes.  I washed the dishes and watched more of the movie during this wait.

refrigerate until firm

place 6 dough balls on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees

enjoy!

The Best One-Bowl Chocolate Chunk-Pecan Cookies

Modified slightly from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey

Makes 18 Large Cookies

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the pecans on a baking sheet and toast until they are warm and fragrant, 6 to 9 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute.  Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted.  Using a large wooden spoon, stir both sugars into the melted butter.  When combined, add the salt, vanilla, and eggs.  Stir until smooth.  Stir the flour, baking soda, and baking powder into the batter just until incorporated and a soft dough forms.  Carefully fold in the chocolate chips and cooled toasted pecans.

Use a 2-ounce self-releasing scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure out the cookie dough.  Place the cookie dough balls on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, 45 to 60 minutes. Toward the end of the chilling time, return the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the chilled dough balls on parchment lined baking sheets.  (The recipe said to put 9 cookies per sheet to allow for spreading; I only put 6.)

Bake until the cookies are crisp and golden around the edges, but still a little soft in the centers without being gooey, 15 to 18 minutes.  Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool slightly.  Using a large metal spatula, tranfer the cookies from the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool to room temperature.

Stored in airtight containers, these cookies will keep for 2 days at room temperature.  They can also be frozen for up to 2 weeks.  You can prepare the cookie dough balls and, after they are chilled, store the unbaked cookies in the freezer for up to 1 month.  The cookies can be baked straight from the freezer, but will take a few minutes longer.

(I still have some dough balls in my freezer for when we get chocolate chip cookie cravings.)