Tag Archives: recipe

Heart-Shaped Sprinkle Cookies

Oh it’s soon to be Valentine’s Day!  The day devoted to showing our love for each other, through sweet cards and kisses, flowers and chocolate.  I for one, have been dropping hints about my favorite chocolate all week long.

Heart Sprinkle Cookies via SweetRevelations

It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s around here if these Heart-Shaped Sprinkle Cookies didn’t make an appearance.  They’ve been a Valentine’s tradition in our family since I was a wee one myself.  They always arrived in our lunch boxes during Valentine’s week and mom usually sent enough along for the whole class.   I can’t really think of a time that she missed it, even as we entered high school and college.  As a matter of fact, they still made an appearance when I was newly married with young children at home.  That’s mom though, still baking those sweet, sprinkle specked childhood favourites, even when we’re all grown up.

Do you see how my love of baking and passing on these sweet traditions for my own family got started?  I mean, doesn’t that just say love right there?!   It’s these little things, like simple cookie traditions that are the real gifts during special holidays.   Because what mom gave to us, essentially, was her time.   Each year, without fail, the way she made things in the kitchen for us communicated her love for us.  And now, when we share them with our own children, we get to feel all those good feelings all over again.   And isn’t that better than a box of chocolates?

Heart-Shaped Sprinkle Cookie via SweetRevelations

These are a very simple buttery, tender sugar cookie recipe, with the addition of some lemon extract, and colourful sprinkles.  The ingredient list is fairly basic, which means you probably have everything you need to make a batch today!   As baking recipes seem to become more complicated these days, I’m reminiscing about all of the simple, and sweet, recipes of generations past.   I often like to add my own flair to recipes that have been passed on to me, but for this time, I think simple is best, and I’m leaving moms just as they should be.    Sometimes less is more, you know?

heart cookies 1

It’s always great to give people a special treat for Valentine’s Day, but even better when you put your time and love into it.   And maybe a few sprinkles.  Get the kids into the kitchen this week-end and start your own baking story.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Renee

xo

 

Heart Shaped Sprinkle Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375°

  1.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and lemon extract.  Mix in the flour mixture just until combined.  Barely mix in the sprinkles.  Wrap and chill the dough for 1/2 hour.
  2.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut heart shapes with a 3 inch heart cutter and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-8 minutes.   Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.  Cookies can be made ahead and freeze very well.

 

 

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Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Guys, this pie.

So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I’m completely, utterly nuts over it.   The idea came to me last week-end while still tidying up from the holidays.  What on earth were we to do with all of those in-shell nuts I bought?  And why, for heaven’s sake, did I buy so many to begin with?!  I say this, but I know why.  It’s the same reason I buy those stuck together, hard as a rock, assorted Christmas candies.  When I was growing up, there was always a bowl of mixed nuts sitting out during the holidays.   It was tradition at our house, and at my grandparents.  With the same old-school nutcracker that my mom had for years, the bowl of nuts came out and stayed out for the duration of the winter.  As kids, we cracked them simply for entertainment purposes, nut pieces and shells flying across the room.  We were so convinced that if we just squeezed hard enough, we could crack them open with our bare hands (never happened I can assure you).  But growing up, I certainly began to appreciate the value of shelled whole nuts a little more.  My husband often cracks a few for a quick snack just before dinner.  Sometimes we are catching up about our day, and we’re both just absent mindedly cracking and eating amongst the chatter.  When the kitchen is busy with guests and family, someone is undoubtedly cracking open a meaty walnut or a crunchy filbert, while usually the brazil nuts are largely ignored.

So there I was, holidays over, company dwindling, and hoards of mixed nuts left.  I knew without a doubt that I would be using the walnuts for a pie.  A warm pie to me is the ultimate comfort food.  A sweet, nutty winter pie seemed just right.  And adding chocolate and sea salt was a logical step.  Crunchy walnuts, dark chocolate and sea salt amongst a tender, flaky pastry?  Count me in!

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I knew I would be using a recipe similar to pecan pie for my base.  I took a few recipes I currently have, and adjusted them until I found something that I was happy with.  The sea salt just takes this pie over the top.  It’s only a subtle salt flavor, but one that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.  So perfectly in fact, I’ve made it two more times since then.  So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

I love baking pies in the winter.  I usually keep lots of local summer fruit frozen just for that reason.  However, a nutty, decadent Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie is not only an appropriate alternative to fruit, I guarantee you that it will warm up your house and chase those winter blues away!

So I think I’ve given that ages old tradition of whole nuts during the holidays a new twist.  And when my children are in their own houses, and questioning their own winter bowl of nuts, “why do I put these out?” and “why on earth did I buy so many?!”, they’ll think back to these days in our kitchen.  And they’ll do it just the same, after all, its tradition.

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Preheat oven to 375°

Ingredients

  • 9″ unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup Hershey’s dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tsp sea salt (more to taste if desired)
  1. Scatter the cup of chocolate chips on the bottom of the unbaked shell, set the shell aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar.  Add the flour, eggs and corn syrup. Mix well.  Mix in the walnut pieces.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell, on top of the chocolate chips, and bake for 45 mins to an hour.  The filling will be puffed up and set at the sides, but still slightly jiggly in the center.  Don’t hesitate to leave it in longer if need be, the filling should be slightly jiggly but not sloshing around or it won’t set.  Cool completely and sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.

Walnuts via SweetRevelations

 

 

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Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies {Featured Post}

Happy holiday cookie baking everybody!

I recently shared a recipe post over at Hello Creative Family, all about Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies.  This is a dream cookie dough mix for busy bakers during the holidays!  It’s a super versatile, delicious, buttery dough, that can mixed into 4 different cookie flavours, and the best part is, that the dough can be made well ahead of time.   Just follow this link to the recipe here:

http://hellocreativefamily.com/easy-icebox-shortbread-cookies-recipe/

Check out the recipe and start your holiday baking off right!

Happy cookie baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Back-To-Basics-Easy-Icebox-Shortbread-Cookies-Recipe

 

 

 

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Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

It’s the week-end everybody!  And I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but we woke this morning to just a light dusting of snow on the deck.  Even though I find the first few snowfalls kind of exciting, I do feel that we seemed to have skipped fall entirely.  I’m hopeful that this was just a blip on Mother Natures part, and this week we will be back to crisp, windy, sunny fall days.

Yesterday I was sorting through my old bakery recipe book, looking for some inspiration, when I came across this recipe.  For those of you who might be new followers, I used to own a little bake shop and let that go so I could focus on my real love.  Which is you.  And blogging.  And creating.

And I’m so glad I did, because it’s given me so many new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And not waking up at 3 am on Saturday mornings anymore is a major bonus.  I can tell you, your local baker is seriously sleep deprived friends.

mini cheesecakes, sweetrevelations

These Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes were one of my most popular items in the fall and winter.  Still, when I run into some of my loyal customers, they bring up these cheesecakes and tell me how they miss them so.  They are a decadent treat that can easily be customized.  The brownie bottom is just the right amount of rich chocolate, paired with the creamy cheesecake topping and of course, the cherries on top.  This is also an amazing treat when you swap out the cherries for whole pecans and a good drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

As you know, I love a dessert that can be made ahead and these are no exception.  Cheesecakes freeze very well, so can be prepared a week or two ahead of time if needed.   Just thaw, garnish with toppings and serve.

Reminiscing through my old book sure did make my heart skip a beat.  It was such a busy and exciting time in my life.  Even though I do miss the bake shop sometimes, I’m so happy that I get to share these recipes with you.  I’m exactly where I was meant to be.

Enjoy the fall weather friends,

Renee

xo

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 

Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 pkg (250 gr each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cherry pie filling for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° and line 16 muffin cups with liners

  1.  For the brownie layer, mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Place a small glass or stainless bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula, just until incorporated.
  2. Spoon the brownie mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.   Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.  Once baked, reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. While the brownie layer is baking, prepare the cheesecake layer.  Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl for at least 4 minutes, or until smooth and well combined.  Add salt and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, only mixing until the eggs are combined.  Be careful not to over mix and add too much air.
  4. Top each brownie layer with the cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open just slightly with a wooden spoon and leave the cheesecakes inside until the oven cools (I just found the texture was a little nicer this way and the cheesecakes were less prone to cracking).  Put room temperature cheesecakes in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before topping and serving.
  5. Top chilled cheesecakes with cherry pie filling and serve.

Notes:

  1. You can bake the cheesecakes without leaving them in the oven to cool.  Bake at 325° for approx. 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and chill.
  2. Once the cheesecakes have come to room temperature, they can be easily frozen for later use.  Place them in containers, in a single layer and wrap with plastic wrap.   Defrost and garnish with cherries just before serving.

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Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel

And so begins the season of pumpkin everything.  Some people celebrate their birthday month, but in this house, we rejoice in pumpkin month.  A celebration, all month-long, of how many recipes I can fit pumpkin into.

Isn’t it funny how the pumpkin craze becomes slightly over the top in October?  People are hoarding cans and cans of puree, and then for the rest of the year the poor pumpkin pie spice sits, untouched, literally ignored?  If you figure out what the deal is with that, let me know.

pumpkin cupcakes

I haven’t posted cupcakes in a long time, so I thought these Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel, would be the perfect start to pumpkin everything month.  Just as the name implies, it’s a spicy but super moist delicate pumpkin cupcake, with a gorgeous brown sugar swiss meringue swirl, and a sweet and salty pool of homemade salted caramel.    It’s the pumpkin and salted caramel combination that gets me every time.  Not to mention cloves and cinnamon.  I do love the smell of cloves.

pumpkin cupcakes

These pumpkin cupcakes are an excellent recipe that do double duty as easy muffins too.  I simply double the recipe and freeze half for lunches, because they freeze so well.  They are also an easy make ahead dessert, because every component can be prepared in advance.  Make and freeze the cupcakes until you need them, whip and refrigerate the icing a few days ahead, and keep that salted caramel in the fridge for up to a week!   Your prep time is literally only minutes when you need to ice and serve them.  For this reason alone, these are a superb choice for any Thanksgiving celebrations you might be preparing for.

pumpkin cupcake

And don’t be afraid to make your own pumpkin puree too!  Although I do love the convenience of canned puree, it is incredibly easy to buy pie pumpkins from market and make your own.

Now excuse me while I spend the next few hours scouring Pinterest for the next great pumpkin recipe.  Have you got one?  Share it with me in the comments!

Happy pumpkin baking friends,

Renee

xo

Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350° and line two muffin trays with cupcake liners

  1.  In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves, set aside.  In a large bowl combine the sugar and oil.  Mix well.  Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Mix in the pumpkin puree.  Slowly add the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  2. Fill tins with a 1/4 cup of batter or use a cookie scoop, to ensure all of the cupcakes are the same size.  The recipe will yield approx. 20 cupcakes.  Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.

Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Frosting

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

 

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place the bowl of eff whites on the stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring and pinch of salt and beat until combined.  Use immediately or refrigerate for a week.  Icing will need to be at room temperature and whipped for about 5 minutes if kept in the fridge.

Salted Caramel Sauce

*Cooking  Channel TV

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, without stirring.  Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan if you need to.  Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7 minutes.

2  Remove mixture from the heat and very carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble a lot but keep mixing. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Bring back to the stove on low heat and stir until you have a smooth sauce.  Allow the caramel to cool.   The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Reheat for a few seconds before drizzling if needed.

Cupcake Assembly

Pipe an icing dam around the perimeter of the top of the cake, with a large round tip, leaving a hole in the middle.  Using a small spoon carefully drizzle salted caramel into the hole.  Top with raw pepitas for garnish.  Serve at room temperature.

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Dutch Baby Pancake

We are a lazy Sunday morning kind of family.  Usually, we indulge in a brunch of some sort, that includes endless cups of premium coffee (because life is too short to drink bad coffee), crispy Canadian bacon and something sweet.  Sometimes,  it’s these doughnuts (insane) or these beignets (oh mercy) on the menu, depending on whether I was able to prep the night before.   More often than not, my husband will have pancake duty.  It’s entirely his job, always has been.  He’s good at it and I’m generally pretty useless until I’ve had a few servings of that premium coffee I was telling you about.

sweetrevelationsdutchbaby

This week-end we threw a Dutch Baby Pancake  into the oven.  Sometimes called a German Pancake or a Bismarck, this is literally one giant egg-y, custard-y pan of Sunday morning awesomeness.  With only 5 ingredients, that virtually every household has, there really is no excuse for not making one.  If nothing else, get the kids involved and watch how delighted they are when the magic happens with this seemingly plain and boring batter.  Once fully baked, this Dutch Baby Pancake is a giant puff of sweetness that deflates moments after being out of the oven.

Have I mentioned that this takes only twenty-five minutes from start to finish?  And that it’s made in a blender?  That makes this totally doable on a weekday morning too.

dutchbabypancake

Some seasonal fruit, a handful of nuts and a sprinkling of powdered sugar is really all that is needed for garnish (a dollop of whipped topping also never hurt anyone).   For something so simple, the results are deliciously outstanding and a great way to showcase some of our sweet, local peaches!

dutchbabysweetrevelations

We’re gearing up for a hectic week of back to school routines here.  I hope you’re all enjoying the last few lazy days of summer too!

Renee

xo

Dutch Baby Pancake

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • splash of vanilla
  • fruit, powdered sugar or maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 425°

  1.  Put the butter in the bottom of a 9″ pie plate or cast iron pan.  Set the pan in the hot oven to melt the butter while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a blender, mix the eggs for about 1 minute.  Add the flour, milk and vanilla and mix for an additional 30 seconds to combine.
  3. Pour the batter into the pie plate with the hot melted butter.  Bake for 20 minutes, until the edge of the pancake is lightly toasted brown and the pancake is puffed up.  Resist the urge to open the oven door during baking.  Serve immediately with fresh fruit, maple syrup or powdered sugar.

 

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Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti

I’m enjoying the last few days of hustle and bustle around here as we get ready for the holidays.   Lots of baking to do, lots of presents to wrap and all of the other preparations that go along with it.  All three kids are in the house at the moment and I love every minute of it.

bisc

Without a doubt, baking Christmas Biscotti is on my list of things to do.  When I had the bake shop I gave a ribbon wrapped bag of biscotti to every customer that came in on Christmas Eve.  Even now I like to attach a little bag to the presents I give out.  It’s a great little gift and something that can be prepared well ahead of time.  This one is a Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti.  A twice baked batch of crunchy chocolate goodness full of Lindt Bittersweet chunks and drizzled with melted White Chocolate.  Sprinkle some crushed candy cane on top and catapult yourself right to the top of the nice list!

bisc 3

 

This recipe is super chocolatey without being really sweet.  These are definitely dunkers and I would put them in the extra-crispy category too.  I always have some flavour of biscotti in the house and I’ve gotten into the habit of eating a piece or two with my tea after dinner.

Come to think of it, I usually keep a piece or two in my lunch bag too.  And I often snag a piece to have with my coffee when I’m driving the boys to the hockey arena.

Geez Louise, I have a slight cookie and coffee addiction it seems.

bisc 2

 

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday, wherever you may be.  I feel very lucky to have the time at home with my family and friends ~ and you!   As always, thank you for another great blogging year.  Your comments and support continues to amaze me.

Blessings for a great 2015!

Renee

 

Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti

*adapted from David Lebovitz- David does not use butter in his recipe, you can certainly omit it.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 oz. white chocolate for drizzle
  • crushed peppermint candy canes to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract and mix until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.  Mix the chocolate chunks in by hand.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the biscotti mix into two logs directly on the cookie sheet (you can just form one wide log if you want long cookies -about 6 inches wide).  The logs should be 1.5 inches high and about 3 inches wide.  If you wet your hands slightly it’s easier to form and smooth out the dough.  Make two even logs.

3.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 300 degrees.  Let the biscotti cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.   Transfer the dough to a cutting board and cut the biscotti into slices (3/4 inch wide).  A serrated knife works best.  Place the cookies upright back on the cookie sheet, leaving about 1/2 and inch between each cookie.  Bake them for an additional 30 minutes until crisp.

4.  Melt the white chocolate over a bain marie.  Drizzle the cooled biscotti with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with candy canes.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Epic Double Chocolate Glazed Tart

This tart is so simple yet so rich and decadent.  A chocolate lovers dream!  Insanity on a plate!

tart 6

It’s so ridiculously simple and the presentation is fabulous!  It’s almost embarrassing to say how little time this takes to make.  I challenge you to skip that tired old apple pie and serve one of these tarts this holiday season.  You’re family and guests will thank you.

tart 1

Listen, if you’ve been hanging out with me for a while you know about my love affair with chocolate.  In all forms.  I’ve yet to meet a chocolate I didn’t like.

I would wrestle my own babies down the for last piece of dessert.  I used to steal the mini chocolate bars from their Halloween bags.  I have been carrying around a bag of Lindt Truffles in my purse for two weeks and I sneak pieces when I’m driving to work.  I hoard it.

I have no shame.

tart 2

I topped mine off with an easy Pistachio Brittle and some sweetened whipped cream but you could easily skip the candy and opt for some fresh berries instead.  The sweetened cream cuts the richness of the chocolate.   It’s essentially a truffle tart with a chocolate crust that gets even better the next day.   Quality chocolate is a must here dessert lovers.  When I had the bakeshop, we used the best we could get.  In brownies, cakes and ganaches it makes all the difference in the world.

tart 3

Are you a chocolate lover like me?  What’s your epic chocolate dessert?  Enjoy,

Renee

Chocolate Glazed Tart

*adapted from Epicurious.com

 

For the Crust:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups chocolate graham crumbs

For the filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the glaze:

  • 4 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons warm strong coffee

Equipment:

  • a 9-inch round fluted tart pan or a springform pan
Preheat oven to 350°F .

  1.  Stir together the melted butter and chocolate crumbs and press evenly onto bottom and 1 inch up side of pan.  Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.
  2. Bring the cream for the filling almost to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate.
  3. Pour the filling into crust and bake for about 25 minutes – the center will be slightly wobbly but the outside will feel set.Cool completely in pan (about 2 hours).
  4. Bring cream for the glaze almost to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and coffee.  Immediately pour glaze onto tart and rotate tart so glaze coats top evenly. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.
  5. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and berries.

 

I found the easy Pistachio Brittle recipe here.

 

 

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Individual Baklavas with Ice Cream

Our family is so fortunate to live in a community with a thriving Farmers Market.  It’s open all year round and you can’t beat the selection of fresh produce, pastries, meats and dairy.  There’s also a great selection of locally produced honey.

baklavahoneyyyyyy

I’ve been buying it for a few years now.  It’s such a treat in the summer when I use it for macerating strawberries.  Just thinking about it makes me yearn for warmer days.

This week-end, I picked a dessert that was seriously the bee’s knee’s of all this honey business.  Baklava has long since been a favourite of mine but I’ve never attempted it because I don’t usually like working with Phyllo dough.

baklavasd by sd

I can’t believe all of the Baklava time that I’ve wasted….

Slightly warm with just a spoonful of ice cream, it’s absolutely delectable.

bak4

I wanted just enough servings for dinner and no more.  A sweet little treat for my busy bee’s at home.  It’s a little sticky, a little buttery and oh so nutty.  And it has just a whisper of orange flavour.

Is that enough adjectives for you?

baklavaeaten

Although a little prep is needed, it really is so simple to put together.  And the presentation is mouth-watering.

bak2

I simply cut the Phyllo with a round cookie cutter that fit perfectly in each cavity of my mini cheesecake pan.  Then I layered and layered until my heart was content.  Do take the time to butter each layer.  It’s so worth the extra effort!

Individual Baklava’s

  • Pkg of Phyllo sheets- thawed
  • 3/4 c finely chopped nuts- I used pecan and walnut
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • generous pinch of cloves
  • 2/3 c water
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/4 c melted unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 325°

If using a mini cheesecake pan or muffin tin, find a cookie cutter that is the same width as the cavity.

1.  Combine the nuts, cinnamon and cloves in a small bowl.  Set aside.

2.    Unroll the Phyllo sheets (keeping them all together) and cover the top half with saran and a damp cloth.  Use the cookie cutter to cut out the circles through the stack of sheets on the bottom half.  These can also be covered with saran and a damp cloth until needed.

2.  Butter the bottom of the pan and then start layering.  I used 6 circles on the bottom layer, brushing each with a smidge of butter before putting in the pan.  Then, a layer of nuts, about a tsp per cavity.  Next 2 more layers of Phyllo circles on each with a layer of nuts.  Continue layering, 2 Pyllo circles, a layer of nuts, 2 Phyllo circles, a layer of nuts.   Finish off with 6 Phyllo circles for the top layer.  Using the tip of a knife poke slits through each Baklava to allow the syrup to soak through (you will pour this on when they are out of the oven).  Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top layer is golden.

3.  While pastry is in the oven, start syrup.  In a small pan combine the water, sugar, orange zest, orange juice and honey.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat to low and simmer for about 8-10 minutes.

4.  Pour the hot syrup over each Baklava once they come out of the oven.  Spoon a generous amount over each Baklava, almost up to the top layer.  This will soak through the holes in the top of your pastry.  Allow Baklava’s to cool slightly.  Serve warm or cool with a spoonful of ice cream.  Store leftovers covered at room temperature.

 

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Peach Fritters

My dad is a great story-teller.   It’s something that I love about him and a bond that we share.  I love to hear the stories of his childhood in a small fishing village.  I love to hear stories about my ancestors and my heritage.  And I appreciate every one of them because they make the generations past seem real to me.

This year for my birthday he gave me the best gift.

He gave me an old cookbook that was my great-grandfathers.  My father is named after him and he died in 1927 in an accident.  He was a cook on a tug boat and my grandmother got this book when they went to retrieve his body and belongings.   It just made me feel so much more that cooking must be in my genes.   That I’m doing the right thing.

I decided to try the recipe for Fruit Fritters that was in there.  I love how some of the pages are marked with pencil and some have drops of  whatever on them.

I wonder, did he make the Fruit Fritters?

On my card my dad said that my great-grandfather would have been proud of the work I have done in the kitchen.

Gosh, that is just the best gift isn’t it?

For my fritters I used peaches.  It’s peach season around here and they are big and juicy and so sweet.  Apples would be good too.

Peach Fritters

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-5 medium peaches, peeled and sliced into 1 inch slices
  • powdered sugar for dusting

1.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Add milk and eggs and mix until smooth.

2.  Heat canola oil to 350° in a deep pan or fryer.  Batter peach slices and gently drop into oil.  Fry for 3-5 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Best eaten warm.

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Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special, Scones and Breads