As of now, I just want to say to you, my readers, may the spirit of Christmas bring joy to your heart and happiness to your home!
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Be prepared to have sticky fingers while eating this! :)
Toffee Chew Bars
Makes 24 bars
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut, toasted
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
For the crust: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325F. Line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with foil, leaving overhang on all sides. Grease the foil. With an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat the butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and mix until combined. Press the mixture firmly into the prepared baking pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
For the filling: Whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk until until combined. Stir in the coconut and almonds and spread the mixture evenly over the crust. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely, about 2 hours. Using the foil overhang, lift the bars from the pan and cut into 24 bars. (The bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)
Source: America's Best Lost Recipes
Saturday, December 12, 2015
If I could keep my baking energy high, I could have a dozen cookie variety by Christmas!
Yields about 18 cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup red sanding sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375F.
Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla; reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
Combine the sanding sugar and cinnamon in a small shallow bowl. Form heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls with damp hands; toss in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Arrange about 3 inches apart on 2 baking sheets.
Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set around the edge, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Source: Food Network Magazine, 2015
Friday, December 4, 2015
I thought long and hard and I found the answer in this chocolate truffle tart. It was rich in chocolate flavor, smooth, and a little fruity; a dessert that's manly and elegant. The trick that I learned was that the chocolate didn't need to be super bitter to achieve the velvety texture. Chocolate can get grittier as it gets bitter, so choosing chocolate liquor content between 60-70% should be enough. I use Lindt chocolate bars and was very pleased with the result. We enjoyed having tiny slices accompanied with a big dollop of frozen espresso-flavored custard.
Speaking of frozen custard, I tried a new brand called Snoqualmie. Costco had the pumpkin custard sample in their store and it was excellent, and that made me decide to try the coffee custard--yay for egg yolk in ice cream! This makes me want to try their Peppermint Stick Gelato once I see it in stores. It'll be my holiday spoil that I may (not) share! :)
Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tart
1 1/2 cups finely ground chocolate wafers, such as Nabisco Famous (28 wafers)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cocoa), coarsely chopped
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces fresh raspberries, plus extra to serve
Make the crust: Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter side of pan. Stir together ground wafers and butter in a bowl until combined. Pat mixture evenly over bottom of pan and 1 1/2 inches up side. Bake until crust is slightly puffed, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a rack, about 15 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
Make the filling: Melt chocolate and butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Whisk together eggs, cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk in chocolate mixture and until well combined.
Scatter raspberries on crust. Pour filling into cooled crust and rap pan once on counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake until filling 1 inch from edges is set and slightly puffed but center still trembles slightly when pan is gently shaken, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool tart completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. (Center will continue to set as it cools.) Refrigerate tart, uncovered, until center is firm, about 4 hours. Remove side of pan and sprinkle with cocoa before serving. Serve with extra raspberries, cream, and/or ice cream.
Source: adapted heavily from Gourmet Today 2009