SOUR CREAM YEAST ROLLS

SOUR CREAM FAN ROLLS yields 15 rolls
3-4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup fine sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 LARGE egg, lightly beaten

  • In a large bowl combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan heat sour cream, water and butter to 125°.
  • Add to dry ingredients and beat on medium speed 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs and 1/4 cup flour. Beat 2 more minutes.
  • Stir in enough remaining flour until a soft dough forms.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  • Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat the dough. Cover with a cheesecloth and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.

 

  • Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half.
  • Roll each portion in a rectangle about 9×23.
  • Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Stack 5 strips together.
  • Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place cut sides up in greased muffin cups.
  • Repeat until all dough is used.
  • Cover with cheesecloth and place in warm area to let rise again until doubled, about 20 minutes.

 

  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  • Cool on wire racks.

CRANBERRY CHERRY MERINGUE PIE with VODKA PIE CRUST

The BEST pies MUST start with the BEST crust, one that is tender and flaky as well as flavorful!  One of my keys to that crust is VODKA! It adds the moisture when you need it, but then evaporates during baking leaving a tender flaky crust in its wake.

CRANBERRY CHERRY MERINGUE PIE with VODKA PIE CRUST

PIE CRUST (makes 2 9 inch pie crusts)
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon FINE sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons REALLY COLD** unsalted butter, cut into cubes
6 tablespoons REALLY COLD** Crisco stick**, cut into cubes
6-8 tablespoons Vodka

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
  • Using a pastry blender cut in butter and Crisco until mixture is crumbly.
  • Using a fork add Vodka 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture comes together to form a ball.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a ball.
  • Form into 2 disks and wrap in saran.
  • Refrigerate at least an hour.
  • When ready to bake, roll out 1 disk on a lightly floured surface to size and transfer to pie plate.
  • Trim crust and flute edge.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Line pie crust with a double layer of foil and fill with beans or pie weights. DO NOT PRICK THE PIE SHELL!
  • Bake on lower rack 15-20 minutes until edges are a light golden brown.
  • Remove weights and foil and bake 5 minutes more.
  • Cool COMPLETELY on wire rack.
  • Reduce heat to 325°.

FILLING
3 1/2 cups FRESH cranberries
1/2 cup chopped cherry pieces
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 LARGE eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla

  • In a large sauce pan combine, cranberries, cherries, 1/2 cup sugar, orange juice and water. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, stir occasionally and cook uncovered 7-10 minutes until cranberries have all popped.
  • Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, flour and salt until well blended.
  • Gradually whisk in about 1/2 cup of the cranberry mixture to temper the eggs.
  • Add back to the cranberry mixture and return to a low heat stirring constantly until a gentle boil. Cook a few minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
  • Cool while preparing the meringue.

MERINGUE
4 LARGE egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 cup sugar

  • Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla until foamy.
  • Add the remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time beating on high until sugar is dissolved.
  • Beat until you have stiff glossy peaks.
  • Pour warm filling into pie crust.
  • Spread meringue over filling sealing the edges to the pastry.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until meringue is golden brown
  • COOL COMPLETELY on wire rack for 1 hour.
  • Refrigerate and CHILL at least 4 hours before serving.

NOTES:

  • Cranberries will pop on their own, but if they need a little help, use the back of a spoon and pop them against the side of the pan.
  • After I cut the butter and Crisco into cubes I place them on a small plate in my ice tray until I need them.
  • You can use frozen cranberries and cherries, but be sure to thaw completely and drain well.
  • Pineapple juice can easily be substituted for the orange juice.
  • For BEST results chill beaters and metal mixing bowl in freezer for making the meringue.

PUMPKIN RAISIN SPICE CINNAMON ROLLS

CINNAMON PUMPKIN RAISIN SPICE ROLLS

DOUGH
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup Libby’s canned pumpkin
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons fine sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 LARGE egg

  • In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour and the yeast. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan combine pumpkin, milk, sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt. Heat until warm and butter is melted.
  • Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture until blended.
  • Using hand mixer on low speed add egg until combined. Increase speed and beat 3 minutes until well blended, scrap down sides as necessary.
  • Fold in remaining flour JUST until dough is no longer sticky.
  • Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Turn dough ball to coat with the grease.
  • Cover with a cheesecloth and let rise in a warm place an hour or so until double in size.

FILLING
2 1/2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup Craisins
1/3 cup golden raisins

  • In a mixing bowl combine the pumpkin and butter. Set aside.
  • In another small bowl combine the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  • Grease a 9×13 pan. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY

  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll dough into a 12×10 rectangle.
  • Spread with pumpkin butter mixture.
  • Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.
  • Sprinkle with craisins, golden raisins and walnuts.
  • Roll up tightly jelly roll style.
  • Pinch dough to seal edges.
  • Cut into 12 rolls.
  • Place rolls cut side down in prepared pan.
  • Cover with cheesecloth and let rise in a warm place for an hour until nearly double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bake rolls 20-25 minutes and golden brown.

CARAMEL ICING
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Starbucks vanilla powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the brown sugar stirring to dissolve until it starts to bubble.
  • Add the cream, cooking for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk in 2 cups of powdered sugar until well blended.
  • Add up to 2 more cups of powdered sugar to get to the consistency you want.
  • Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  • Ice the rolls with half the icing as soon as they come out of the oven. This allows the icing to ooze down into the rolls.
  • Cool 15 minutes and ice again.

SALTED CARAMEL SNICKERDOODLES

I’ve been weighing ingredients more lately. I guess I’ve been watching too many baking shows that refer to it all being a science – Justin Warner, Damaris Phillips and Christina Tosi! But, I am much happier with most recipes since I’ve begun doing that.
SALTED CARAMEL SNICKERDOODLES adapted from Erin Clarkson

SALTED CARAMEL
2 cups (400 grams) fine granualted sugar
2 teaspoons (6 grams) Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

  • Line a half sheet pan with a silicone mat or lightly grease with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium sauce pan heat sugar over medium heat, stirring regularly until sugar dissolves. The sugar will clump – don’t worry, it is supposed to!  Keep stirring until sugar completely dissolves and turns amber. Continue stirring until completely smooth.  As soon as it begins to smoke, remove from heat and pour into prepared pan.
  • IMMEDIATELY sprinkle with the sea salt
  • COOL COMPLETELY!
  • When completely cool, break apart into large chunks.

COOKIES
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (100 grams) fine granulated sugar
3/4 cup (150 grams) salted caramel dust (see below)
1/4 cup (55 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 LARGE egg (50 grams)
1 teaspoon (4 grams) PURE vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups (350 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) sea salt
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) QUALITY ground cinnamon

  • Weigh out 200 grams of the salted caramel chunks.
  • Place in a ziploc bag and break with a rolling pin until you have small semi-uniform size pieces. Set aside.
  • Place remaining salted caramel chunks into food processor and pulse until you have a finely ground dust. Measure out 150 grams (3/4 cup) of the dust and set aside. Add any remaining dust to your Rolling Sugar Bowl.
  • In a stand mixer combine butter sugar, caramel dust and brown sugar at high speed until creamy.
  • Add egg and vanilla beating until combined.
  • Sift together the flour baking soda and sea salt.
  • Reduce mixer speed and add flour mixture gradually beating JUST until combined.
  • Stir in the caramel chunk pieces until evenly distributed.

ROLLING SUGAR
1/4 cup (50 grams) fine granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (2 grams) pumpkin pie spice
Leftover Caramel Dust

  • In a small bowl combine the sugar, pumpkin pie spice and leftover caramel dust until well blended.
  • Roll dough into ping pong sized balls.
  • Roll each ball in the sugar mixture before placing on baking tray 2 inches apart.
  • Place tray of cookies in freezer 10 minutes before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes until golden and puffy.
  • IMMEDIATELY sprinkle with sea salt.
  • COOL COMPLETELY on pan before transferring to cooling rack.
  • Store in an airtight container to prevent cookies from becoming sticky and stuck together.

NOTES:

  • If you are going to freeze dough, roll into balls first and freeze solid on a sheet pan before placing them in a freezer bag.
  • Make sure to have everything in place and ready before beginning the salted caramel. This process happens quickly and cannot be slowed down. It will burn easily.

PEANUT BUTTER CUP BROWNIES

I found this recipe on Facebook via Chasity Blankenship-Reed. I have changed it a little bit.  YUMMY!

PEANUT BUTTER CUP BROWNIES – yields 1 dozen muffin size brownies

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (divided 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk chocolate chips (divided 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup KRAFT caramel bits
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • 
In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl combine sugar, softened butter, and water.
  • Microwave on high for about 45 seconds or until butter is melted.
  • Stir in 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips until melted.
  • Stir in egg and vanilla extract, mix well.
  • Add flour and baking soda, stirring until combined. Allow the batter to cool to room temperature (it won’t take very long).

 

  • Then, stir in 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and remaining 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top is set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out slightly wet.
  • After brownies are out of the oven, wait for centers to fall. This will happen upon cooling. If it doesn’t happen then tap the centers with the back of a teaspoon to make a hole for the peanut butter.

 

  • Place peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds then stir.
  • While brownies are still warm spoon about a tablespoon full of peanut butter into the center of each brownie.
  • Top with remaining 1/3 cup of milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips and caramels bits.
  • Cool completely in pan.
  • Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  • To reheat the brownies just pop ‘em in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

CARAMEL APPLE SLAB PIE

I’m posting this recipe for my nieces while I keep looking for the one I actually promised them.

Before we get into the recipe I thought I’d share a little about crust making.

PERFECT BLUE RIBBON PIE CRUST TIPS

There is nothing as good as a flaky, buttery, tender homemade crust in my opinion. Sure, remade is convenient, but it just doesn’t compare. You DON’T have to be a BLUE RIBBON baker to make a great crust either.

Pie dough is basically three simple ingredients; flour, fat and water in EXACT, or at least near exact proportions.

While you supposedly don’t need to sift flour anymore, you do need to stir it up to make it fluffy before measuring. Personally, I still use a sifter. Use a spoon to put the flour in your measuring cup and a knife to level it off. Just scooping into the flour bin tends to pack the flour too tightly.

Be SURE to use COLD fats whether it’s butter, shortening or lard. This is a step that helps make your crust flaky. If you’re recipe calls for fat in a liquid form it will be more tender than flaky. When you cut in your fats STOP when you have pieces the size of peas. Anything too large will allow the dough to form holes in your crust when the fats melt. If the pieces are too small they melt too fast taking away from the flakiness of your crust.

Be sure and add your COLD water only a tablespoon at a time JUST until the dough holds together. DO NOT OVER MIX! Add just enough water to bring the dough together so you can form a ball.

BLIND BAKING (cooking the crust by itself before adding the filling) makes a stronger crust for filling. There are many tricks for doing this. One of the simplest methods is to add a piece of heavy duty folded piece of foil to the inside of the crust and gently form the foil to the pie pan shape. Partially bake the crust, remove the foil, add the filling and finish baking. You will probably want to add a piece of foil around the edges to keep your edges from browning too fast and burning. Many times I add a layer of beans on top of the foil to keep it weighted so it doesn’t bubble and blister. If you’re making a pie with an unbaked filling, remove the foil halfway through the baking time, prick the bottom with a fork and return the crust to the oven to finish baking.

NOTES:

  • TOO MUCH flour or water will make your crust TOUGH.
  • TOO MUCH fat will make your crust crumbly and fall apart.
  • TOO MUCH WATER = STICKY MESS
  • NOT ENOUGH WATER = BIG CRACKS IN YOUR DOUGH

TRICKS:

  • Use 2 sheets of wax paper when rolling your dough so you don’t need to add additional flour. I prefer to do this to keep the crust from getting too tough.
  • Carefully roll your dough gently around your rolling pin and move it to your pie pan and gently unroll to avoid stretching or tearing it. You can also carefully fold your disc in quarters to move it to the pie plate.

This pie tastes just like a caramel apple! The beauty though is that there is a thin and flaky crust that houses the juicy apples and crispy crust that is drizzled with homemade caramel for a melt in your mouth tasty treat.  There are 2 versions CARAMEL APPLE SLAB PIE and APPLE PUMPKIN SPICE SLAB PIE

CARAMEL APPLE SLAB PIE – 25 pieces

  • Prep time 40 mins
  • Cook time 45 mins
    Total time 1 hour 25 mins

CRUST
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup CRISCO butter-flavored shortening
8 tablespoons cold water

  • Spray a 15x10x1 inch jelly roll pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in the shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cold water over the mixture and toss with a fork. Repeat using 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it is moistened and knead the dough into a ball.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 19×13-inch rectangle.
  • Wrap it around the rolling pin and unroll it into the prepared baking pan.
  • Ease dough into the pan and up the sides, being careful not to stretch it.
  • Trim dough to ½ inch beyond edge of pan.
  • Fold dough edge over and flute as desired.

APPLES
⅔ cup sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons QUALITY ground cinnamon
3½ pounds granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 10 cups)

  • In an extra large bowl combine the sugar, ⅓ cup flour, cinnamon and apples.
  • Toss until coated.
  • Spoon the mixture on the dough and spread evenly.

CRUMB TOPPING
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup butter

  • In a large bowl, stir together quick-cooking rolled oats, packed brown sugar, and all-purpose flour.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until topping mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle EVENLY on top of apples.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender.
  • Cool slightly.

NOTE: IF TOP IS BROWNING TOO QUICKLY, COVER LIGHTLY WITH A PIECE OF FOIL.

CARAMEL
1 cup PACKED brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon PURE Vanilla
Pinch of salt

  • Mix all ingredients together until smooth in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat.
  • Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thicker.
  • Turn off heat.
  • Serve warm or refrigerate until cold.
  • Drizzle on top of apple slab pie.

CARAMEL APPLE HAND PIES

CARAMEL APPLE HAND PIES
DOUGH
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold sour cream

  • Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
  • Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
  • Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
  • Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle.
  • Roll the dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
  • Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8×10-inch rectangle.
  • Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.

FILLING
2 cups small peeled and SMALL diced Granny Smith apples (about corn kernel size)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY
Egg wash – 1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water
LARGE flake sea salt
Crystal sanding sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 425º.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14×14-inch square.
  • Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles.
  • Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling.
  • Top the apple filling with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.
  • Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie.
  • Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar.
  • Bake the pies until they’re golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before glazing.

GLAZE
Juice of 1 Large lemon
+/- 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • Blend together to desired consistency.

NOTES:

  • I like to use a FULL wine bottle to rill the dough as the weight helps it stay smoother.
  • I also roll the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper so I don’t need t add as much flour.
  • Large flake sea salt is available in most specialty supermarkets. My preferred brand is Maldon Salt.

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BOURBON CHICKEN & HERB BISCUITS

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s GREAT for a group or a cool fall evening’s dinner for 2. You can serve it on the biscuits as small sandwiches or you can roughly chop the chicken and serve it over the biscuits like a stew (my favorite way).

BOURBON CHICKEN & SEASONED BISCUITS
CHICKEN
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 bulb onion, halved and sliced thin (save some greens for garnish)
1 1/2 cups baby carrots, sliced diagonally
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 – 1 container (8-16 ounce) beech or Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed (chopped smaller if using Cremini)
1 cup QUALITY bourbon (I often use Seagrams and it is still quite yummy)
1 cup PURE maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream**
2 sprigs FRESH thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Whisk together the bourbon and maple syrup in a saucepan and gently simmer 10 minutes.
  • In a large saute’ pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add carrots and onions, cooking 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces, searing about 2 minutes per side or 3-4 minutes if using pieces.
  • Add maple syrup mixture to the chicken pan.
  • Reduce heat slightly, add mushrooms and bring to a SLOW simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cream, thyme, salt and pepper, cooking for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm over biscuits.
  • Garnish with greens.

**NOTE: A great substitute for heavy cream is 2/3 cup warmed WHOLE milk and 1/3 cup melted butter.

BISCUITS
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons COLD butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups cold WHOLE milk
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Combine the spices in a small bowl until well mixed. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the combined spices.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, the seasonings, the sugar and salt in a medium bowl using a whisk.
  • Using a bowl scraper or your fingers, mix in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal; using your fingers will create a more cake-like texture.
  • Make a well in the center and pour in the milk.
  • Stir JUST until combined.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 or 6 times.
  • Roll the dough into a 1-inch-thick disc and cut out biscuits using a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Make sure you don’t twist the cutter otherwise you’ll squish the sides and the biscuit won’t rise. Knead the scraps together, re-roll and cut out biscuits until all the dough has been used.
  • Place the biscuits bottom-side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the avocado oil with the reserved spices.  Brush the herb butter on each biscuit.
  • Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

COCOA MERINGUE KISSES

These will soften as time goes on so they are the best served FRESH for crisp bites.

COCOA MERINGUE KISSES
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
PINCH of salt
2 LARGE egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Line heavy baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Sift together 1/3 cup of the sugar, cocoa and salt into a small mixing bowl.
  • Beat egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar in a chilled metal bowl with chilled beaters until soft peaks begin to form.
  • Add remaining sugar a tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form.
  • Add cocoa mixture a tablespoon at a time, beating until meringue is stiff and glossy.
  • Drop or pipe meringue onto parchment paper 1 inch apart.
  • Bake 25 minutes for softer, chewy cookies. OR Bake 40 minutes for drier, crisper cookies.
  • Cool completely.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

NOTES:

  • For a fun little surprise you can press a single peanut butter, butterscoth or chocolate chip into the center of each meringue before baking.
  • To make these plain just omit the cocoa.

ALTERNATE BAKING METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place cookie sheets in oven.
  • Turn off oven and leave overnight.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Enjoy.

LEMON BLUEBERRY TURNOVERS

LEMON BLUEBERRY TURNOVERS
4-6 inch pieces of puff pastry
1 lemon, juiced
2 cups small wild blueberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 egg

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk egg.
  • In a medium bowl stir together the blueberries, cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of
  • the powdered sugar.
  • Arrange the puff pastry squares on the parchment paper several inches apart.
  • Drain blueberries for a couple minutes.
  • Lightly brush the edges of the puff pastry.
  • With a slotted spoon divide the blueberry mixture among the puff pastry pieces.
  • Gently fold a corner over to form a triangle and secure edges by firmly pressing the edges together with your fingers.
  • Brush the outside of the turnovers with the beaten egg.
  • Make a 1 inch slice on the top of each turnover.
  • Bake the turnovers 14-18 minutes until golden, turning the pan half way through.
  • While the turnovers are baking, make the glaze.
  • In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. If too thick add a bit more lemon juice.
  • When turnovers are done, let cool at least 10 minutes before drizzling glaze over top.

NOTE: I like to use the juice that drain off the blueberries.

MEYER LEMON TARTS

MEYER LEMON TARTS
15 frozen phyllo tart shells, such as Athens, thawed, Sponge Cake shells or Puff Pastry Shells
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus for sprinkling
2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced (about 1/3 cup)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 cup small wild blueberries
Whipped cream, for garnish
Turbinado sugar, for garnish

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Spray the phyllo shells with cooking spray and sprinkle with 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar.
  • Place the shells on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven.
  • Bake until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Set aside and let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yolks and the 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl until thick and fluffy.
  • Add the lemon zest and juice, and stir to combine.
  • Add the egg mixture to a heavy saucepan; heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Pour into a bowl set in an ice bath.
    Stir in the butter, one pat at a time, and continue stirring to cool down quickly (or chill in the refrigerator until cool to the touch, about 5 minutes).
  • Fill a pastry bag or heavy-duty plastic bag with a corner snipped off with the lemon curd filling.
  • Pipe the filling into the cooled tart shells, add blueberries on top.
  • Freeze for 1 hour.
  • Garnish with a small dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar just before serving.

MAPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL CAKE with OOEY GOOEY COCONUT TOPPING

I found this awesome and not too sweet Oatmeal cake while surfing the web awhile back and had to make it!  My grandmother made one similar quite often.  It was always one of my favorites!  I’ve made a few changes to accommodate our tastes and we think it turned out even better than the original.

Oatmeal and coconut go together so well. The cake is over-the-top scrumptious with an incredibly moist batter and ooey gooey coconut topping that self ices the cake. Once cooled, the topping becomes caramel-like and sticky seeping deep into the cake!

The recipe is for a 9×13 pan, but it halves well for an 8×8 if you want a smaller cake.

MAPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL CAKE with OOEY GOOEY COCONUT TOPPING

CAKE
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup OLD FASHIONED oats
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Pour boiling water over oats in a small bowl.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  • Cream together butter and sugars.  Add eggs.  Beat well.
  • Add in the soaked oats, vanilla, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Mix well.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

TOPPING
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
8 tablespoons milk
1 cup pecans, chopped finely (optional**)

  • While cake is baking, combine topping ingredients.
  • JUST after you take the cake from the oven, spread topping over cake.
  • Increase heat to broil.
  • Bake under the broiler for a JUST few minutes until top is brown. WATCH CAKE CLOSELY – IT WILL EASILY BURN.
  • Allow cake to cool COMPLETELY.  As it cools, the topping will get thick and sticky while it oozes down into the cake.
  • ENJOY!

NOTES:

  • ANY chopped nuts work really.
  • I often add pieces of chopped dried pineapple to the cake.
  • I also often add heath bar pieces to the topping for some extra crunch.

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