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Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

spiced chocolate krinkle cookies

Add a little spice to your life and tantalize your taste buds with one of these cookies. At first bite, you’ll discover a rich chocolate flavor with a touch of sweetness, but then, as you’re about to swallow this little bit of naughtiness, a warm and spicy sensation floods your mouth. Ground ginger, freshly-grated ginger, and cayenne pepper provide the cookie with a surprising “afterglow.” A perfect treat anytime, but especially on a cold and rainy day like today!

Spiced Chocolate Krinkles
From The Sweet Spot by Pichet Ong

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or other neutral oil
1 ounce (28 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (2 ounces/54 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons almond flour or coconut powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup (3¾ ounces/106 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (2 ounces/55 grams) confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
1. Put the oil, chocolate, both gingers, the cardamom, cayenne, and salt in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl if necessary, and cool completely.

2. Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside.

3. When the chocolate mixture has cooled to room temperature, add the egg, sugar, and vanilla extract and stir just until combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture until well incorporated. Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a 1-inch-thick disk, and wrap tightly in the plastic. Chill until hard, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.

4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off a piece of dough, form it into a 1/2-inch ball, roll in the confectioners’ sugar until well coated, and place on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, putting the coated balls 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

6. Bake the cookies until the tops look cracked and are dry to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Linnell’s Notes:
1. An easy way to peel fresh ginger is to scrap off the “skin” with a teaspoon.

2. The cookbook author noted, “Don’t be tempted to make these cookies bigger. They look more appealing when small and the flavors and texture are best enjoyed in a single bite.”

3. My cookie dough turned out to be more loosely formed than a dough. I attribute this to using an extra large egg. The dough did firm up a bit after chilling it for a couple of hours.

4. To prevent the dough from sticking to my hands while rolling it into balls, I repeatedly wet the palms of my hands with water. Keep a small bowl of water nearby.

ENJOY!

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peanut butter oatmeal cookies

Two peanut butter oatmeal cookies lay temptingly before you. Each contains 13 ingredients. Which one will you reach for – the light-colored cookie that is deliciously thick, chewy, and on the healthier side or the divinely dark and crunchy one that not only has butter in it, but is loaded with chocolate as well? Tough decision. After making the two different recipes and tasting the cookies, I concluded that I liked them both, but for health’s sake and for ease of preparation, I’ll be making the light ones more frequently.

Chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe from passtheplate.blog

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce (regular works too)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Couple dashes cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1½ cups quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

3. In a large bowl, beat together peanut butter, sugars, applesauce, egg and vanilla. Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.

4. Drop tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

5. Let cool on sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Store in an airtight container.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I did not use quick-cooking oats. I could have pulsed my old-fashioned oats in a food processor to turn them into quick-cooking oats, but I decided to leave them whole.
2. These cookies supposedly only have 73 calories each!

Jose’s Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Epicurious

Ingredients:
1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated

Directions:
1. In a food processor pulse 1 cup oats until ground fine.

2. In a large bowl stir together ground oats, remaining 1/2 cup whole oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy and beat in vanilla and peanut butter. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and gradually beat in flour mixture. Add chocolate chips and grated chocolate, beating just until combined. Chill cookie dough, covered, at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.

4. Preheat oven to 325°F.

5. Form rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly.

6. Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven 15 minutes, or until just pale golden. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes and transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes approximately 60 cookies.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Grating the 8 ounces of chocolate was a lot of work. A large chunk of chocolate would have been easier to grate than the thin chocolate bars I used. If you have a grating disc on your food processor, that might also work. Chocolate should be at room temperature for hand-grating, but frozen for machine-grating.
2. I only baked half of the cookies. The remaining dough I froze for future use.

ENJOY!

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Chocolate-Pomegranate-Ginger Bark Candy

The intensity of bittersweet chocolate mixed with the spicy zip of candied ginger tantalizes my taste buds beyond delight, but the bursts of fresh, tart, pomegranate juice in my mouth sends them into pure ecstasy. This confection combines few ingredients to create a depth of flavors you’d not expect from such a simple recipe. Individually, each ingredient is potent enough to stand alone, but when combined, they deliver an incredible treat. Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate, zingibain-rich ginger, and antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice give impressive reasons to eat this candy. Too bad I had to force myself to sample so many pieces to write this review!

Chocolate-Pomegranate-Ginger Bark
Recipe from Oct/Nov issue of Fine Cooking Magazine

Ingredients:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), broken into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (from 1 large pomegranate)
1½ Tbs. minced candied ginger
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or waxed paper.

2. Put the chocolate in a wide, shallow, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until it just starts to melt, about 1 minute. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, heating in additional 15-second increments if necessary.

3. Gently stir half of the pomegranate seeds, the ginger (break up any clumps with your fingers), and the salt into the chocolate.

4. Scrape the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it into an 8×10-inch rectangle.

5. Sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds evenly over the top, pressing them into the chocolate.

6. Refrigerate until fully set, about 30 minutes.

7. Break the bark into chunks with your hands (be careful not to crush the seeds), and serve. The bark will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Serves 6

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Obviously, the better quality chocolate you use, the better tasting bark you’ll have.
2. To open up a pomegranate see the instructions in my “Linnell’s Notes” section of my post Brussels Sprouts Roasted on the Stalk. The pomegranates I had were huge, so I used more pomegranate seeds than called for. The next time I make this recipe (and I will be making this again), I will cut back on the amount of pomegranate seeds.
3. I minced a little bit of extra candied ginger to sprinkle on top of the bark.
4. You might be considering omitting the salt from this recipe, but don’t! I think the salt adds a good counterbalance to the other flavors.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Cream Pie As leaves start taking their final bows and nights become longer, fall’s spectacular show appeals to our senses more than ever. Acorns make music as they fall from tall oak trees and drop to the ground. Autumn leaves paint fiery displays of color on bright blue backdrops of sky. Familiar smells of favorite spices set the stage for the holidays. With a little over three weeks until Thanksgiving, now is a great time to test out new fall recipes. Imagine a fluffy and lightly-spiced pumpkin cream pie – one that even non-pumpkin-eaters will like and one that can be prepared in advance. That’s my idea of a fall showstopper!

Pumpkin Cream Pie
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

INGREDIENTS
For the Crust:
1-1/2 package graham crackers (about 15 Cookie Sheets)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 stick butter, melted

For the Filling*:
1 box (3 oz. box) Vanilla Pudding (Cook and Serve variety)
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons whiskey, optional
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup additional heavy cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Extra graham cracker crumbs, for garnish

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Grind graham crackers in a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor, place them in a large Ziploc and pound them with a rolling pin). Add powdered sugar and melted butter and process until totally combined. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan until nice and firm. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until warm and “set.” Remove from oven and allow crust to cool completely.

3. In a medium saucepan, mix dry pudding mix with half-and-half and cream. Add spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick.

4. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey, if using. Add pumpkin and stir to combine. Place lid on pot and set aside to cool. When cool enough, place pot in the fridge to cool completely.

5. When mixture is cool, remove from the fridge. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and brown sugar. Beat until very light and fluffy. Fold in pumpkin cream mixture until combined. Pour into cooled crust.

6. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Serve with graham crackers crumbled on top.

Serves 8

Linnell’s Notes:
1. This recipe called for 15 graham cracker “cookie sheets” which I assumed meant 15 double sheets or the sheets as they come out of the bag. This was way too much, so the author’s definition of a sheet must be half of that. I used part of the leftover crumbs for the garnish.

2. *In the photo of the pie on The Pioneer Woman I noticed the pie looked a bit shallow, so I decided to double the filling ingredients. A 15-ounce can of pumpkin purée was a bit more than what a doubled amount would have been, but I went ahead and used the whole can. Didn’t make sense to let a small amount of pumpkin go to waste. Extra filling filled four individual ramekins and was called pumpkin mousse!

3. The next time I make this pie, I will try sprinkling a tiny bit of finely chopped candied ginger on top along with the graham cracker crumbs – just for a special interest.

Enjoy!

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Severed Finger Cookies

Long dirty fingernails punctuate irregularly-shaped fingers. An extreme paleness gives them a ghostly appearance, while thick red puddles form around their severed ends. Strewn across an old chopping block, the fingers suspiciously point to a nearby meat cleaver and to a handwritten note that says, “For Dessert.”

Severed Finger Cookies
Recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Raspberry jam

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla, then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Using your hands and working quickly, roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a finger shape. Place the fingers about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Stick a sliced almond on one end of each for the fingernail. Use a table knife to make three crosswise knuckle marks in the middle of each cookie.

3. Bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook the jam over low heat until it reaches a saucy consistency. Once liquefied, remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl; dip the severed end of each cookie into the sauce.

Makes about 50 cookies

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I made the dough the night before, took it out the next morning, and let it sit on the counter for a little bit, until it was pliable enough to shape.

2. I covered my cookie sheet with parchment paper.

3. Sort through the sliced almonds before you begin and put “nail-worthy” ones in a small bowl. This will make the assembly of the “fingers” faster. Carefully press the sliced almonds onto the dough fingers. If you press too hard, you can break the almond slices. However, if you do not press them into the dough well enough, they fall off after the cookies are baked. A few almond slices fell off my cookies, but I just stuck them back on with a dab of jam. It created the look of “bloody cuticles.”

4. These are sturdy and not delicate cookies. They seemed a little dry to me, so the next time I make these, I will make the fingers a little smaller and adjust the baking time. Their texture makes them good cookies to dunk, though!

5. After 15 minutes in the oven, take a look at the cookies. The cookies won’t be golden at this point, but you do need to keep an eye on the thin almond slices. They can darken or burn quickly, so don’t set the timer for 25 minutes and walk away.

6. I used cherry jam instead of raspberry jam. I strained the jam for cherry chunks before heating it. I also microwaved the jam instead of putting it in a saucepan. It just seemed simpler to do that.

7. I put a wire rack over a piece of waxed paper. After dipping the severed ends of the cookies into the jam, I put them on the rack. Any sticky jam drops fell onto the waxed paper.

Enjoy these Halloween cookies!

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Some people sing in the shower. I sing in the kitchen. So if you happened to walk past my house one morning last week, you might have heard a very off-tune version of this Baha Men’s song:

You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up
Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up
You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up
Put the lime in the coconut; you’re such a silly one
You put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em both together

I couldn’t help but sing and bust a few “unique” moves as I whipped up a loaf of moist coconut banana bread. What a great combination of flavors: coconut, banana, rum, and lime. Don’t forget the rum, because, take it from me, it makes you sing and dance better!

Coconut Banana Bread With Lime Glaze
Recipe from Cooking Light, September 2003

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1½ tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk to combine.

3. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended.

5. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.

6. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

8. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan.

9. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool bread completely on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 loaf, 16 servings

Linnell’s Notes:
This bread was moist and flavorful, but the next time I make it I will be sure to have all the correct ingredients on hand to see how the bread should really taste. I used light rum instead of dark. The dark rum would have probably added a fuller flavor to the bread. I did not have plain yogurt on hand either, so I substituted vanilla-flavored yogurt and omitted the vanilla extract. I’m not sure that this substitution altered the taste very much. I also replaced the 1 cup of sugar with Splenda just to see if I could cut back on the amount of sugar. It turned out fine.

ENJOY!

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He steps warily over boxes and scraps of paper as he navigates around the room. His eyes track from the sink full of dirty dishes to the pot on the stove filled with some kind of white crystalline concoction and then over to the oven door covered with red sticky stuff. Paint brushes, bottles of paint, and scraps of bunched-up dirty paper towels litter the dark granite countertop. He hears a sound and immediately turns towards it. Suspiciously, he eyes a bedraggled stranger sitting on the family room sofa. “What have you done with my wife?” he demands of the stranger. With hair jutting out at awkward angles and a face covered with smudges, the stranger casts a stern look at him and shouts back, “What?!! Bloggers have bad days, too!”

Needless to say, some of my projects did not go very smoothly today. I won’t bore you with the whole story, but let me just say that my completed craft project looked like a kindergarten student made it and I made more than one mistake when making the coffee cake! After getting back on track with the recipe, all was well again until the coffee cake rose over the top of the pan and heaved big globs of sticky fruit sauce imbedded with streusel chunks all over my oven racks. But despite all that happened today, this Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee Cake AKA Bad Day Coffee Cake turned out perfectly delicious!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee Cake
Recipe developed by Emily Donahue for Rosey’s Coffee and Tea in Hanover, New Hampshire, and featured in Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine.

Ingredients:
1¼ cups chilled unsalted butter, plus more, softened, for pan
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/3 cup cornstarch
2¾ cups sugar
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1½ pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-by-12-by-3-inch baking pan with butter, and set aside. Make fruit sauce: Combine lemon juice, cornstarch, and 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Add strawberries and rhubarb; cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until rhubarb is soft and liquid has thickened, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; let cool.

2. Make the crumb topping: Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup flour in a medium bowl. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Drizzle butter over flour mixture; using your hands, mix until crumbly. Set aside.

3. Make cake batter: Whisk together remaining 3 cups flour and 1 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife or two forks, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Pour into flour mixture; stir to combine.

4. Spread half the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan. Top with half the fruit sauce. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the fruit, and top with the remaining fruit sauce. Sprinkle with the crumb topping.

5. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched in the center, about one hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into squares.

Serves 15

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Please note that there is divided use of the sugar, flour, and butter!
2. The fruit sauce thickens quickly. Keep stirring, but continue to cook it long enough to allow the strawberries and rhubarb to soften and release juices.
3. I melted the butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave.
4. The next time I make this, I will place a parchment paper-lined pan under the baking dish to catch the globs of fruit and streusel that spill over!

Enjoy!

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