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Butterscotch Banana Bread

13 Jan

My good friend Karen gave me this recipe. Makes two loaves, one for eating and one for giving away or freezing!

– 3-1/2 cups unsifted white flour
– 4 tsp. baking powder
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– 1 tsp. nutmeg
– 1 tsp. salt
– 2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (4-6 medium bananas)
– 1-1/2 cups sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup butter, melted
– 1/2 cup milk
– 2-1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans, divided
– One 12 oz pkg. Nestle Butterscotch Morsels, or 12 oz combination of butterscotch, peanut butter, white chocolate, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside. In large bowl, combine bananas, sugar, eggs and butter; beat until creamy. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with milk; mix until well blended. Stir in 2 cups chopped nuts and butterscotch morsels. Pour batter into two well-greased and floured 9” x 5” x 3” loaf pans. Sprinkle tops equally with remaining nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (I err on the shorter side so the bread doesn’t dry out). Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans. Freezes well.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

27 Nov

Also known as THE PIE(tm) on my blog.

Ingredients:
– One 9″ prepared pie crust, do not pre-bake/blind bake
– 4 TBSP butter, softened
– 3/4 c light brown sugar, packed
– 3 eggs, beaten
– 3/4 c light Karo (corn) syrup
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 1/2 c crushed pecans
– 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 2 TBSP bourbon (such as Maker’s Mark)

Cream butter. Add sugar gradually while beating. Add beaten eggs, Karo, salt, vanilla, and flour. Stir in chips and nuts. Stir in bourbon until well mixed. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to remix.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place crust in a glass pie dish, flour the bottom lightly.

Stir batter one final time, and pour into pie crust. Place on the bottom rack of the oven (if you don’t the bottom crust will come out soggy, as I discovered to my dismay) and bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. If necessary, cover pie crust edges with foil to avoid burning. Continue baking for about 45 minutes, until center is no longer jiggly.

Let cool nearly completely before serving; pie surface will settle considerably during cooling. Serve with Whiskey Brown Sugar Whipped Cream.

Refrigerate leftovers.

(Adapted from a recipe provided to me by Dyskinesia and Taoist Biker, who are officially reserved a special place in Heaven for this.)

Irish Cream Brownies

27 Nov

These brownies are incredibly decadent. They taste fantastic several days later, and refrigerate very well. In fact, I like to cut them into small brownie bites, refrigerate them, and eat them very cold. With some of the leftover Irish Cream liqueur. Or vanilla ice cream. OH MAN, remember when Ben and Jerry’s made White Russian Ice Cream? That would have been so good with these! Ah, well.

This recipe was originally found over at The Wee Kitchen, who found it at Bake or Break. Bless you, ladies!!! BLESS YOU.

Batter:
– 1 cup butter
– 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
– 2 cups sugar
– 4 large eggs
– 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream Layer:
– 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 large egg
– 3 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur (Bailey’s recommended)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter and chocolate over low heat in a medium saucepan, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool.

Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving several inches of overhang on the two opposite sides of the pan. This will come in handy later for lifting the brownies up out of the pan for cutting. Lightly coat the foil-lined pan with a non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until fluffy (3-5 minutes). Gradually add in the flour and salt and continue to beat until combined. Set the beater aside, and fold in the melted chocolate mixture.

In another bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar and beat until creamy. Add egg and liqueur and continue to beat until combined.

Pour half of the chocolate batter into the pan. Spread all of the the cream layer over the chocolate layer. Pour the remaining chocolate batter over the cream layer and smooth. Create a marbled effect by swirling a knife through the batter.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until no longer jiggly in the center. Cool completely before cutting.

Whiskey Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

25 Nov

Put this on EVERYTHING. But especially pumpkin pie.

Ingredients:
– 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
– 2 TBSP brown sugar
– 1 TBSP whiskey (Maker’s Mark works well)

Put all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. With an electric beater, mix on medium speed until fluffy with soft peaks, about five minutes. Serve immediately. Swoon repeatedly.

Creeping Crust Cobbler

25 Jan

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fruit (canned, fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup white sugar (if using canned fruit, this can be omitted, since the fruit will be sweet enough on it’s own)

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– While oven starts to preheat, place butter (or margarine) in an 8″x8″ pan, and place in oven to melt butter.
– In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 3/4 cup sugar and milk. Mix well to combine.
– Remove pan from oven and pour batter mixture on top of melted butter – **DO NOT MIX TOGETHER!**
– In a small saucepan, heat fruit and 1/2 cup sugar until warmed and a syrup forms of the sugar, and gently spoon fruit mixture over batter.
– Bake for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

This seemed to be a hit with Calvin, who is very particular about his cobblers. We used two cups of frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) and served with vanilla ice cream.

World War II Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

25 Jan

The name is derived from the time that eggs, butter and shortening were rationed. Hence the innovation of the mayo. This is from the “America’s Best Lost Recipes” cookbook.

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup water

Frosting:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda in medium bowl.

2. Stir the mayonnaise, granulated sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the water and stir until combined. Whisk in the flour mixture until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, at least 45 minutes.

3. FOR THE FROSTING: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and bring to a boil. Boil until the mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Then, off the heat, carefully stir in the milk. Return to a boil, then remove from the heat to cool until just warm, about 30 minutes. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and spread the icing evenly over the cake. The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to three days.

Here’s the finished product, I ended up having to bake it about 43 minutes before the center was set:

WWII Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Apple Pie

25 Jan

2 9″ pie doughs
2 tbsp flour
3 lg Granny Smith apples
4 lg McIntosh apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg white, beaten lightly

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on it and heat oven to 500 degrees. Transfer one rolled dough to a 9-inch pie plate, easing dough into pan corners by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand and gently pressing into the pan bottom with the other.

2. Peel, quarter, core, and slice apples into 1/4 inch slices. Toss with lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Toss dry ingredients with apples. Turn fruit mixture and juices into pie shell and mound slightly in the center.

3. Fit the second piece of rolled dough over the filling. Trim, seal, and flute the edges. Cut 4 slits in the dough top. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with remaining tbsp of sugar.

4. Place the pie on the baking sheet in the oven and reduce the temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until top is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate the pie front to back and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Continue baking for 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 4 hours.

left is apple, right is punkin 

Pumpkin Pie

25 Jan

1 9″ pie dough
2 cups plain canned pumpkin puree
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk
4 large eggs

TO PREPARE THE PIE SHELL: Transfer rolled dough to a 9-inch pie plate, easing dough into pan corners by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand and gently pressing into the pan bottom with the other. Trim and flute the dough edges. REFRIGERATE the dough-lined pie plate for 40 minutes then FREEZE for 20 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 375 degrees. Remove the pie pan from the freezer. Press a doubled 12-inch piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil into the inside of the pie tin, fold the edges over to protect the fluted edge. Distribute two cups of ceramic or metal pie weights (I use pennies) over the foil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil and weights and continue baking for another 5-6 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden.

TO PREPARE THE FILLING:

1. Process pumpkin puree, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a food processor (or use hand mixer) for 1 minute, until combined. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring it to a sputtering simmer over medium-high heat. Cook the pumpkin, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes.

2. As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, adjust oven rack to the lowest position and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Whisk heavy cream and milk into the pumpkin and bring to a bare simmer. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl until combined, then mix in the pumpkin mixture in batches.

3. Immediately pour warm filling into hot pie shell (ladle any excess filling into the pie after it has baked for five minutes – by this time the filling will have settled). Bake pie until filling is puffed, dry-looking, and slightly cracked around the edges. The center will wiggle like gelatin when the pie is gently shaken. About 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

25 Jan

36 cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1 (4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Combine flour and baking soda.
In a large bowl beat brown sugar, sugar, butter, shortening, pudding mix, vanilla, and almond extract.
Mix until well blended.
Add eggs and mix well.
Beat in the flour mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonful and bake 10-12 minutes.

Do not overcook! The cookies will still be soft when you remove them from the baking sheet, transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. There are limitless possibilities with this recipe – use chocolate pudding and caramel chips (our favorite), coconut pudding and white chocolate chips, or vanilla pudding with peanut butter chips. I also used a full cup of butter instead of 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening, and it turned out just fine.

Raspberry Crescents

25 Jan

– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup butter, cut up
– 1 (12 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature, beaten to make it fluffy
– 2 1/2 cups raspberry preserves
– 1 egg white, lightly beaten
– 3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Stir together flour and salt; cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly.
  2. Stir in cheese until blended.
  3. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls.
  4. Cover and chill 8 hours.
  5. Pat each ball on a lightly floured surface into a 2 1/2-inch circle.
  6. Spoon 1 teaspoon raspberry in center of each circle.
  7. Fold circles in half, pressing edges to seal making sure no air is inside.
  8. Place on lightly greased baking sheets.
  9. Brush with egg white.
  10. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar,cinnamon and almonds; sprinkle evenly over crescents.
  11. Bake at 375° for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.