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1RhubarbKugel-Slice

I always enjoy finding interesting recipes using rhubarb. I found this one on an aggregate site called “astray recipes”. It was originally posted to EAT-L Digest by Marie Whitman in 1997. I had never tasted or made anything quite like this before. Broccoli Kugel was the extent of my kugel-making attempts prior to this. And I do love Broccoli Kugel. I’m going to estimate that this recipe makes 16 servings. I’d call it a dessert, but it would make a nice breakfast, too.

 

 

Chop rhubarb and dried cherries. Place rhubarb, dried cherries, raisins, and 1/2 cup sugar into a large saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the rhubarb is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.

7Nearlyboiling

Nearly boiling.

8WhatAreMatzos

This is what Matzos are. I had to hunt for them in my grocery store, but they were there. The recipe calls for 5 Matzos and this box has two packages of 5 Matzos each. Someone was thinking!

 

 

Crumble Matzos and cover with warm water. Soak until soft.

10Matzos+LiquidSqueeze as much excess liquid as you can. I did not have much excess.

 

 

Beat eggs, yes 9 of them!!! Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Continue beating until well blended.

13Apples_ShreddedThe recipe calls for 6 Granny Smith apples. I thought it would be way too much. It wasn’t. It was just the right amount. Stir together all the ingredients and pour or scoop into a 4-quart prepared pan.

15BeforeBakingPour melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar topping. I used a 10×15″ baking pan. The size is perfect and the bake-time was just right. I’m going to assume that if you use a deeper, rounded, dish your baking time will be longer. Please excuse the look of my pan. I use it to roast spaghetti squash and it’s going to be stained forever.

16RhubarbKugel

Bake until firm. Mine took about an hour. The two of us ate this for days. I kept it refrigerated, but not covered. It was firm enough to eat by hand, but a plate and fork works, too. There is not much rhubarb flavor, but the dried cherries jump out of each mouthful. I really liked this. It would make a great potluck dessert.

Recipe:

1 lb. rhubarb, sliced

1/2 cup chopped dried cherries

1/2 cup seedless raisins

1 cup sugar, divided

5 Matzos

Warm water

9 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch cardamom

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 cup almonds, chopped

6 Granny Smith apples, shredded

1-1/2 Tbsp. orange zest

1/4 cup melted butter

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 4-quart baking dish by buttering, greasing, or spraying with non-stick spray.

Place rhubarb, dried cherries, raisins, and 1/2 cup sugar into large saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until the rhubarb is soft and most of the liquid from the fruit has evaporated.

Crumble Matzos into a bowl and cover with warm water. Soak until soft. Squeeze dry.

Beat eggs. Add 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and spices. Continue beating until well blended.

Stir Matzos, almonds, apples, orange zest, and rhubarb mixture into the egg mixture.

Pour mixture into prepared dish. Pour melted butter over the top. Stir together 1 tsp. cinnamon with 1/3 cup sugar and sprinkle it over the top.

Bake until firm, about an hour.

Credit goes to Annalise at Completely Delicious for the basic recipe and the idea for this piece of heaven. I am mostly posting this in order for me to remember how I did it.

WineCupcakes-w-RhubarbFillingMy husband is a home wine maker. He usually buys kits that include a hermetically sealed bag of juice that he dilutes by adding water. His latest kit was called Strawberry White Merlot. It’s a low-alcohol-content “wine cooler.” What’s different about this particular wine is that he reconstituted his bag of juice with birch water that he tapped from our birch trees. Then oh, la, the wine was ready at the same time the rhubarb was ripe. A match made in heaven.

Rhubarb Filling Recipe:

You’ll have to wing this part, it’s what I did. I made my filling the night before I baked and finished the cupcakes. I wanted to give the filling a chance to really thicken. In a large saucepan, add 3 or 4 cups chopped rhubarb, 1 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. water. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer until it’s thick. How thick? Filling thick. It was sort of like jam. Let cool and then chill, if possible. I was disappointed the next day to see liquid around the edges of my filling, like it had seeped. But in the end it was really fine. No problem at all.

The cupcake recipe:

Prepare for 15 cupcakes. I used paper liners, but you could spray or grease 15 regular “muffin cups”. However you usually do it. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup blush-colored wine

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1-1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Cream together the butter and the sugar in a mixer until it’s light and fluffy. In a separate bowl beat eggs and egg yolk, mix in the wine and almond extract. In another bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Into the butter mixture stir in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, then stir in 1/3 of the egg mixture, repeating by thirds until it’s all stirred in the mixer together. Beat briefly until it’s incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners or greased cups. Each cup will be about 2/3 full. I found this recipe to be true to quantity. Nice!

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Test by pressing lightly in the center of one of the cupcakes. If it bounces right back, it’s done. Mine took 18 minutes exactly. Like I said, this was a really true recipe.

Remove from the oven. I always let mine cool in the tins. That’s probably wrong, but I never have any raw centers. Let the cupcakes cool to room temperature.

Caveat: I can’t take pictures for anything.

Cupcake-Corer

 

Remove the centers from the cooled cupcakes. I have this REALLY handy device that cores the cupcakes. I kid you not. It’s a cupcake corer. Makes the task really simple. Before I got it, I used a piping tip (upside down) to cut out the center and then scooped out the rest with a small spoon. It’s not hard. The challenge is keeping people from popping those centers into their mouths. But why should you care, you’ll only throw them away once they dry out, right? So, go for it. Eat away. I envision someday making a trifle out of cupcake centers, custard, and fruit. Okay, now I’m thinking this through, it would be great with rhubarb!

 

Why rhubarb? What you see laid out on the lawn is a very small percentage of what’s growing at my house. That’s why!

WineCupcakes-w-Rhubarb_Makings

So, once you’ve got the cupcakes made and cored, the filling ready to go, fill them. I used a teaspoon to scoop filling out of the bowl and then dribble it into the holes in the cupcakes.

Rhubarb-Filling

Frosting recipe:

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

¼ to 1/3 cup rhubarb filling

1-2 Tbsp rhubarb syrup (optional)

Pink food coloring (optional)

Once again, you’ll have to wing it. I put the butter into my mixer and softened it, adding 4 cups powdered sugar and then adding rhubarb filling a tablespoon at a time. I had earlier made a rhubarb syrup and I slowly added a couple tablespoons of it. [I had meant to make a simple syrup, but lost track of time and ended up with a very thick rhubarb reduction, not jelly but definitely not simple syrup. It is more like a rhubarb sauce without pulp. That’s it.] I also added a few drops of pink gel food coloring. Once you have frosting at the appropriate consistency for spreading, frost your cupcakes. I piped mine because I knew trying to use a knife over that loose rhubarb filling in the centers would be a mess, no thanks. So, as much as I hate piping because I’m so bad at it, I piped.

RhubarbCupcakes

I took half a batch to my daughter’s workplace and they loved them! They are really good.

**Note: the next day, because I had leftover filling and frosting, I made another batch of cupcakes, but this time I used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend instead of all-purpose flour. I have a relative with a wheat allergy. They browned across the top, but it did not affect the flavor or the moisture. The cupcake corer didn’t get enough friction to remove the cores easily, so the cake’s crumb is much lighter than regular wheat flour, I guess. Everything else about it was good and they were enjoyed! See picture below . . .

Wheat-Free_Cupcakes

As you can probably see, I didn’t have enough filling, or frosting, to do a second batch properly, but they were delicious none the less.

 

 

Molasses Cookies

This is a favorite of mine. The recipe comes from the 1982 St. John’s Lutheran ALCW Cookbook of Donnelly, Minnesota. My poor copy of that cookbook is tattered and the cover is missing because I’ve used it so often. The funny part about this recipe is that it’s called Ginger Balls in the cookbook and I made them for years before it dawned on me that there is no ginger in it. I think it may be a typo, that there really is supposed to be ginger in it, but why mess with perfection? They are so, so good without it.

¾ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

¼ cup molasses

1 egg

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves

Sugar to roll the dough balls in

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream shortening and 1 cup sugar together. Stir in molasses and egg. Mix in dry ingredients.

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Form into 1” balls and roll in sugar.

Place dough balls, well-spaced, on greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet. [My parchment paper was used to make Berlinerkranzer just before making these.]

Place dough balls, well-spaced, on greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet. [My parchment paper was used to make Berlinerkranzer just before making these, that’s why the sheets look used. I was on a Christmas cookie baking roll.]

Bake 10 minutes. The dough spreads and puffs.

Bake 10 minutes. The dough spreads and puffs.

Then it collapses into flat rounds and the sugar forms a nice crackly crust.

Then it collapses into flat rounds and the sugar forms a nice crackly crust.

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Mincemeat CookiesThis cookie is certainly not decorative, but the taste is fabulous. My mother made these when I was a kid. I love the spicy apple goodness that pops in your mouth. They make your kitchen smell wonderfully homey and festive, as well. You will need a 9 oz. package of Borden None Such Condensed Mincemeat.

Borden None Such Condensed Mincemeat

This is how it looks inside the box.

This is how it looks inside the box.

Someone will ask me, so here are the ingredients in this block of wonder: raisins, brown sugar, dried apples, dextrose, water, salt, beef, corn starch, dried citrus peel, apple juice concentrate, spices, and distilled vinegar. I do not know if you can substitute.

Someone will ask me, so here are the ingredients in this block of wonder: raisins, brown sugar, dried apples, dextrose, water, salt, beef, corn starch, dried citrus peel, apple juice concentrate, spices, and distilled vinegar. I do not know if you can substitute.

The cookie recipe comes off the package.

The cookie recipe comes off the package.

Prize Cookies

1 cup shortening

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

3 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 9-oz. package None Such Condensed Mincemeat, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together dry ingredients; gradually add to shortening mixture. Mix well.

Stir in crumbled mincemeat.

Stir in crumbled mincemeat.

P1040838

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheets (I used parchment paper). Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheets (I used parchment paper). Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool. Frost if desired. Makes about 6 dozen.

Cool. Frost if desired. Makes about 6 dozen.

Spritz

This recipe is based upon one found in Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (Golden Press, 1972).

You’ll need a cookie press. I’m struggling with my new one since I only use it once per year. I still don’t have the hang of it. I don’t use parchment paper for this cookie. A trick that I learned for making Spritz is to chill the baking sheets before pressing the cookie dough onto them. I’m in Alaska so I just set a cookie sheet outside, then bring it inside to the kitchen counter as I’m ready to press. Once a sheet of cookies is finished baking, I set the baking sheet back outside. Another tip that seems to be working well is to rest the press on the cold cookie sheet for a couple beats after pressing. It gives the dough time to adhere to the baking sheet.

1 cup butter, softened

½ cup sugar

2-1/4 cups flour

½ tsp. salt

1 egg

1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract

Colored sugar sprinkles

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar. Blend in remaining ingredients.

P1040824

Fill cookie press with dough; form desired shapes on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with colored sugar.

Fill cookie press with dough; form desired shapes on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with colored sugar.

Bake 6 to 9 minutes or until set but not brown. Makes about 5 dozen.

P1040828

Berlinerkranzer

I’ve made this cookie for years, but still have no idea how to pronounce it. I’m surprised that it’s a Norwegian cookie, instead of a German cookie, but there you go. It’s the most complicated Christmas cookie that I make, but it always makes me feel good when they’re finished because they’re so beautiful. The recipe comes from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (Golden Press, 1972). This year I halved the recipe and that is the way I’m going to tell it to you. It will make 3 or 4 dozen.

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. butter, softened

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. shortening

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. grated orange peel

1 egg

2 cups flour

1 egg white

2 Tbsp. sugar

Red candied cherries

Green candied cherries or citron

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, sugar, orange peel, and eggs. Blend in flour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, sugar, orange peel, and eggs. Blend in flour.

Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into ropes, each 6” long and ¼” in diameter.

Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into ropes, each 6” long and ¼” in diameter.

Form each rope into circle, bringing one end over and through in a single knot.

Form each rope into circle, bringing one end over and through in a single knot.

Let ½” extend at each end.

Let ½” extend at each end.

Place on ungreased baking sheet (I use parchment paper).

Place on ungreased baking sheet (I use parchment paper).

Beat egg white until foamy; add 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, while beating. Brush tops of cookies with sweetened egg white.

Beat egg white until foamy; add 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, while beating. Brush tops of cookies with sweetened egg white.

Press bits of red candied cherries on center of knot for holly berries; add little leaves of green candied cherries or citron.

Press bits of red candied cherries on center of knot for holly berries; add little leaves of green candied cherries or citron.

P1040790 P1040787

Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.

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Green Tomato Pie

IMG_1915

I found this recipe at allrecipes.com when I was trying to get through my glut of green tomatoes. I used the largest green tomatoes I picked. I latticed the top crust because I thought it would be prettier. It was.

Ingredients

Pastry for a double-crust 9″ pie

3 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. lemon zest

6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1-1/3 cups sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

3 cups sliced green tomatoes

3 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix together flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar. Stir in green tomato slices.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix together flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Stir in green tomato slices until they are well coated with sugar mix.

Set one crust into 9" pie pan. Stir in tomato-sugar filling. Dot with butter. Cut second crust into strips and weave into lattice top. Seal edges as best you can.

Set one pastry into 9″ pie pan. Pour tomato-sugar filling into the crust. Dot with butter. Cut second pastry into strips and weave into lattice top. Seal edges as best you can.

Bake on lowest rack at 450 degrees F for ten minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees F. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Allow pie to cool before serving.

Bake on lowest rack at 450 degrees F for ten minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees F. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Allow pie to cool before serving.

I read somewhere that you can tell when your pie filling is finished baking when the bubbles burst slowly. That little tidbit has served me in good stead. I don’t often end up with soupy or under-cooked pie.

Green Tomato Mock Mincemeat

This recipe is loosely based upon one found at allrecipes.com. I am going to tell it to you the way that I made it.

Ingredients

6 cups chopped green tomatoes

6 cups chopped tart green apples

3 cups brown sugar

1-1/2 cups dried cranberries (Craisins)

1/2 cup cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. butter

3 tsp. ground cinnamon

1-1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

3/4 tsp. ground cloves

This will make 2 quarts of filling. 1-1/2 quarts of filling are required to make one pie, so you’ll have a pint left over — just saying. You’ll need to make a plan ahead of time on how to do this. As you can see, I put my filling into 2 pint jars and 1 quart jar. My mother wanted a little bit of filling and so I gave her one pint and then I made a pie with the remainder. If you make pie, you’ll need pastry for a 9″ double crust pie. I’m not sure what my mother did with her filling, but I think it would be good in fried pies or filled cookies. Note: 2 pints = 1 quart.

Method

Stir all the ingredients together in a very large pan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until thick and bubbly and reduced in volume a bit, at least 25 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into jars. At this point I put lids on, let the jars cool, and put them into my refrigerator. I kept the filling refrigerated until I used it a couple weeks later.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare bottom crust in a 9" pie pan. Pour 1-1/2 quarts filling into pie crust. Cover with top crust, cut vents in, crimp the edges. Bake on lowest oven rack for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 20-25 minutes until golden and filling bubbles.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare bottom crust in a 9″ pie pan. Pour 1-1/2 quarts filling into pie crust. Cover with top crust, cut vents in, crimp the edges. Bake on lowest oven rack for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 20-25 minutes until golden and filling bubbles.

This filled my home with a wonderful aroma. I wish now that I had properly canned the filling to use this winter, but I was busy at the time and simply put lids on and popped them into the refrigerator. That meant it should be used sooner rather than later.

Cream Puffs-1

I’m deep in raspberries here. It’s kind of funny how thoughts of making a peach-raspberry crisp can morph into actually making raspberry cream puffs. It turns out my husband ate all but one of the peaches and . . . the nectarines were . . . gone. I had forgotten how easy cream puffs are to make. I used to make them a lot when my kids were little. My favorite filling is a chocolate mousse-type filling. When I read the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for raspberry cream pie, I thought that her pie filling would make a good cream puff filling so I tweaked it a bit and here we are. I’ve included my favorite Chocolate Filling recipe, too, and now wish I had made Chocolate Raspberry Filling. Next time! The cream puff pastry recipe comes from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (1969).

Cream Puffs Recipe

1 cup water

½ cup butter

1 cup flour

4 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saucepan, heat water and butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, all at one time; continue beating (I mean REALLY beat it) until smooth. Drop dough by scant ¼ cupfuls 3” apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes until puffed and golden. Cool away from draft. Cut off tops. Pull out any filaments of soft dough. Carefully fill puffs. Replace tops; dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 12 cream puffs.

Raspberry Filling

2 cups raspberries

3 Tbsp. sugar

12-oz. plain Greek yogurt

1 package (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding mix

1 cup whipping cream

Place raspberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Mash the berries with the sugar a little bit. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.

Mix yogurt and pudding mix together in mixer on low speed. Add cream and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated and fluffy. Stir in raspberry-sugar mixture on low speed.

Chocolate Filling: Blend 1 package chocolate instant pudding with 1 cup milk on low speed. Add 2 cups whipping cream and beat about 2 minutes on medium speed.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saucepan, heat water and butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, all at one time; continue beating (I mean REALLY beat it) until smooth.

To make the Cream Puffs: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saucepan, heat water and butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, all at one time; continue beating (I mean REALLY beat it) until smooth.

Drop dough by scant ¼ cupfuls 3” apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

Drop dough by scant ¼ cupfuls 3” apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

IMG_1793

Bake 35-40 minutes until puffed and golden. Cool away from draft.

Bake 35-40 minutes until puffed and golden. Cool away from draft.

Cut off tops.

Cut off tops.

Pull out any filaments of soft dough.

Pull out any filaments of soft dough.

Carefully fill puffs.

Carefully fill puffs.

Replace tops; dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 12 cream puffs.

Replace tops; dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 12 cream puffs.

Place raspberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Mash the berries with the sugar a little bit. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.

For the Raspberry Filling place raspberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Mash the berries with the sugar a little bit. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.

Mix yogurt and pudding mix together in mixer on low speed. Add cream and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated and fluffy. Stir in raspberry-sugar mixture on low speed.

Mix yogurt and pudding mix together in mixer on low speed. Add cream and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated and fluffy. Stir in raspberry-sugar mixture on low speed.

IMG_1799Cream Puffs-2Cream Puffs-2

Once again it is raspberry season and I am in the thick of it. My freezer is filling with raspberries. I am infusing two pints of raspberry vinegar. I made a batch of raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce and liked it so much that the next day I made a double batch and canned it. I’ve made two raspberry pies, one of them is this Raspberry Cream Pie that I’m going to tell you about. I found it here (Taste of Home) and it’s really good. It’s light and airy and not too sweet. I used a graham cracker crust instead of the vanilla wafer one called for in the original recipe because I don’t have any vanilla wafers. Sorry about the dearth of pictures. I didn’t think I’d be posting it, but it’s just SO good!

Raspberry Cream Pie -2Graham Cracker Crust:

Mix together 1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers with 3 Tbsp. sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter. Press into greased 9″ pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Cream Filling:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I prepared the whipped cream in my mixer first, then scraped it into a bowl and set it aside. Mix the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, orange liqueur, and vanilla extract until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Spoon the filling into the pie crust and chill.

Raspberry Topping:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

Stir sugar and cornstarch together in small saucepan. Add water and raspberries. Bring to a boil, stirring, and boil for 2 minutes or until somewhat thickened. Transfer to a small bowl and chill.

Spoon the raspberry topping over the pie filling. Chill until serving.

Raspberry Cream Pie -1

What kind?