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Recipes that include confectioner’s sugar

Raspberry Lemon Tarts

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This recipe is an adaptation of Blueberry Lemon Cream Tarts (from epicurious.com) and we really love them. The one downside is that the crusts are really crumbly and two out of four almost fell apart. I’m guessing that using organic graham crackers exacerbated the problem. I actually like the texture of the crumbly crust though, while Lon doesn’t. For me, it achieves a lightness and elegance. We both agree that ultimately, it’s a REALLY easy tart recipe that will impress your guests.

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Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I wanted to make birthday cupcakes for two friends, Sara and Rachel, and I couldn’t decide on regular sized cupcakes or miniatures. Turns out, things worked themselves out, two people meant I could do both. I must be on a lucky streak because this recipe also turned out to be perfectly one tray of regular sized and one tray of miniature sized. (update with smaller recipe portion here) Oh, and absolutely delicious too!

reg size frosted

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Honey Apple Bundt Cake

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I made this cake to bring for Rosh Hashana, so the key flavors were apples and honey. I used roughly 1/4 cup bass wood honey and 1/2 cup buckwheat honey. The buckwheat is a very dark, stronger flavored honey, which will likely impact the flavor. Yes, I’m trying to say, don’t use cheap honey.

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Glazed Poppy Bread

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I like quickbreads, as you can probably tell, and that probably means that I’m lazy. In my defense, I usually make stuff depending on what I’m trying to use up in my fridge or pantry. This time, I wanted to use up milk and oranges. Oh, and then I only had a teeny bit of almond extract left so that’s what I put in. The result is a wonderful breakfast bread, light and perfect with coffee.

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Sunday Cherry Pancakes

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This recipe is an adaptation from Kelly’s Blueberry Pancake recipe on her site Eat Make Read. It is a fabulous idea, adding honey, cinnamon, and vanilla to pancake batter. When I read the post, I saved the page to use this weekend. I halved the recipe to suit two people and I used cherries because that’s what I had on hand, now calling these Sunday Cherry Pancakes because pitting cherries one by one takes time. Pay close attention to step 4, which I added, because it makes a big difference with pancakes!

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Monday, June 23, 2008

Our niece Sabrina had a fabulous backyard first birthday party yesterday. Bonnie, Sabrina’s grandma, made burgers, hot dogs, cedar plank salmon, potato and pasta salads, fruit, and desserts, the works! Of course, I had to make something. Sabrina doesn’t eat much solid food yet but she’ll see these pictures in the future and I am just ensuring my spot as favorite aunt.

I have been waiting till after the wedding to make peanut butter cups because they are pretty decadent.

Yummy Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

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Sweet Cheese Puffs

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carol Gelles gave me a book called Sweet Miniatures, by Flo Braker, several years ago. It’s possible that this book started my obsession with miniatures, after I bought a mini-muffin pan just to make the Sweet Cheese Puffs in this book. It is still my favorite recipe from this book, and occasionally I play with it to make different flavors.

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Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie

Monday, January 21, 2008

My friend Angie has been raving about Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie for a while. She had it in Florida years ago and has been hoping to have it again one day. For her birthday, I invited her over for dinner and surprised her with Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie. She said, it tasted just like she remembers.

All of us agree that it is a phenomenally delicious pie but there were a couple of issue with the recipe that I’d like to point out (notes are in red).

Here’s the recipe, from WCHSTV:

Ingredients

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs (This makes a pretty thick crust. I would cut out 1/2 cup.)
  • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 pounds of bananas, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (Definitely can’t fit this much banana on the pie)
  • 3/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 cup Chocolate sauce
  • 2 cups heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks with 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • shaved chocolate
  • powdered sugarCaramel Drizzle Sauce (Ok, but we all agreed that it wasn’t necessary)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy creamChocolate Sauce (Consistency was way too thick, totally not necessary)
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Directions for the Pie

    In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, cornstarch and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Whisk to blend well. Set aside. Combine the remaining 2 cups cream, 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, and the vanilla bean in a large heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, Whisk to dissolve the sugar and bring to a gentle boil, about 10 minutes.

    Slowly add the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Be forewarned: the mixture will break. Don’t be alarmed! (The mixture should not break!!! )Pour it into a glass bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely at room temperature.

    When cooled, remove the vanilla bean and pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip. Beat at medium-speed to combine the mixture. If it will not combine, warm another 1/2 cup heavy cream and slowly add it to the mixture. Whip until you have a thick and creamy custard. (Did not do this part since I did not break the custard!)

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, the remaining sugar and the mashed banana. Mix thoroughly. Add the butter and mix well. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until browned, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool, for about 10 minutes.

    Directions for the Caramel Sauce (Again, not necessary)

    1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and has the consistency of a thin syrup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream, return the saucepan to the high heat and boil the sauce until it regains the consistency of a thick syrup, about 2 minutes. Cool.

    2. The sauce can be refrigerated until ready to use. Allow it to reach room temperature before drizzling it over the pie.

    Directions for the Chocolate Sauce (Again, forget it)

    1. Combine the half-and-half and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until a thin paperlike skin appears on the top. Do not boil. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

    2. Remove from the heat and let cool.

    3. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for several days, but it must be returned to room temperature before serving.

    Assembling Directions

    1. To assemble, spread about 1/2 cup of the custard on the bottom of the crust. Arrange about a third of the banana slices, crowding them close together over the custard. Next, spread 1 cup of the custard over the bananas. Arrange another third of the banana slices close together over the custard. Top with 1 cup custard and the remaining banana slices. Top with the remaining custard, covering the bananas completely to prevent them from turning brown. (If you use recommended quantities, bananas and custard will start sliding off the pie and making a mess.)

    2. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.

    3. To serve, cut pie into wedges and drizzle on the caramel sauce and chocolate sauce. Top with the whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar. (I thought it would look nicer if I put the sauce, whip cream, and shaved chocolate on top before slicing so that it would be served complete.)

    Yields: One 9-inch pie, 8 to 10 servings

    In summary, I recommend making this recipe in a pan with higher sides like a 9-inch springform or just use less custard and bananas. Or, better yet, just make it as a trifle! It would be absolutely perfect. Also, just forget the caramel and chocolate sauces. They don’t add anything to the already delicious banana and real vanilla flavor.

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    Stuffed Cheesecake

    Thursday, April 26, 2007

    Being a fan of all things cheesecake, I was excited by the cheesecake “throwdown” a few weeks ago and made an Apple Caramel Cheesecake inspired by Flay’s entry. However, having a bit of cream cheese left over from the massive amount we purchased at Costco, I’m making a new cheesecake inspired by the competition, Junior’s, and their entry the Devil’s Food Cheesecake.

    Some may ask why on earth I didn’t just travel over to Junior’s, with two of their locations being within 20 minutes of my home, so let me answer: because I do not like Junior’s cheesecake! I have tried their cakes on at least four occasions and am less than impressed. They taste bland, overly sweet, too dry, and generally a day old. So rather than go overpay for one of their crappy cakes, I made my own, and besides, I prefer vanilla over chocolate.

    This recipe basically requires three nine-inch cake pans on hand, I have two and a spring form, which works fine.

    I used a Basic Cheesecake Recipe:

    • 1 pound cream cheese (two 8oz blocks), softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 pint sour cream
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • zest of one lemon, finely minced

    Cream cream cheese and sugar, then add sour cream, then one egg at a time, followed by lemon and vanilla. Scrape down sides, mix again and bake in a 9-inch cake pan (with NO CRUST) in a waterbath at 325 degrees F for 50-60 minutes– until center is jello-like and the outside is firm. Then let stand in over for another hour before chilling over night.

    And then prepared a basic Yellow Layer Cake recipe (from About.com):

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
    • 1 tbsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

    Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl set aside. Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl, until light and fluffy, then beat in one egg at a time. Mix in half the flour mixture followed by half of the milk. Add vanilla. Mix until blended; add remaining flour and milk and beat until smooth. Fill two greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 375° for 25 to 35 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out clean.

    The next day, I whipped up some Butter Cream Icing (from Wilton):

    • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (clear is preferable)
    • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
    • 2 tbsp. whole milk
    • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup

    Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often throughout whole process! When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed for several minutes until light and fluffy. This is enough icing to do a thin layer– perfect for us. If you want a heavier layer (i.e. crumb coat and top coat) you’ll need to increase the icing recipe by 50% or 100%.

    Then it was time to Assemble the Cake:

    1. Put one of the layer cakes onto a turntable over some wax paper, frost top with about 1/2 cup of icing, keeping center thinner than towards edge.
    2. Dip chilled cheesecake in warm water, then run a knife around the outside edge. Finally set over stove top burner for about 30 seconds on high– handle with a towel afterward. Carefully invert over frosted layer cake and tap bottom to release. If you’re incredibly lucky it will release properly.
    3. Frost top of cheesecake with about 1/2 cup of icing, then invert last layer cake on top, with bottom facing up. Do not frost top at this point.
    4. Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes until cheesecake and icing-filling is stiff.
    5. Finish frosting the entire cake– start with the sides working upwards in swirls creating peaks at top of sides. Then move to the top and frost outwards.
    6. Chill again before serving in large, luscious slices!

    Enjoy. We did. See the rest of the pictures in the Flickr set.

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