This easy Millionaire's shortbread recipe comes together quickly, and tastes awesome. How could it not--it has all of the major food groups: cookie, caramel, and chocolate! I strongly suggest you give it a try. Recipe here.
Entries in recipes (578)
Yes, I went there, and it tasted glorious. Find the recipe here.
Inspired by the use of Cadbury Creme Eggs in recipes? Be sure to check out my suite of Easter recipes using the creamy eggs, including Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict, Deviled Cadbury Creme Eggs, Cadbury Creme Egg Foo Young, and Cadbury Creme Egg Salad Sandwiches.
I don't care if you need to be gluten-free or not. But I do care about you eating deliciously. Here's a delicious recipe for a tart crust using nut flour...which happens to be gluten-free. Check it out here.
During my time in Bali, it didn't take too long for me to become obsessed with black rice pudding.
So you can bet your bottom donut that as soon as I got back stateside, I set forth to recreating this bali magic in my own kitchen.
As it turned out, the most difficult part was sourcing the ingredients. I assumed (with a typical American sense of entitlement, I suppose!) that I could get all of the typical Balinese ingredients at my local grocery store or Asian grocer. Ultimately, I was able to find almost everything, but it took a number of stops.
The coconut cream was easy; that was in the grocery store. The black rice, in theory, shouldn't have been difficult to locate, but they happened to be out of it at the Asian grocer, so I had to buy it at Whole Foods for a slightly more premium price. As for the bananas, I sought out firm, ripe ones that I felt could best replicate the dense and super-sweet variety I tasted in Bali.
The two hardest ingredients to find were the palm sugar and panadus. After searching a number of stores for dark palm sugar I still came up dry, so finally I settled on this more honey-toned version, which did work just fine. But keep in mind that if you shave it, don't shave too much, as the sugar will harden in a couple of hours. If you couldn't find palm sugar or just can't be bothered to go and seek it out, brown sugar would do.
The panadus leaves, often used as a flavoring, were tougher to source. After scouring the web for possible substitutes I couldn't find any that quite sounded right, so I just used vanilla extract for flavoring. Maybe not traditional, but highly delicious.
Whew! That having been said, this recipe is worth seeking out the ingredients. This lovely morning porridge is almost caramelly when the sugar meets the rich coconut cream; the bananas bring all of the flavors together into an earthy, creamy, caramelly form of edible bliss.
Here's how you make this traditional Balinese treat.
Black Rice Pudding (printable version here)
adapted from Indonesian Cakes and Desserts, a Periplus Mini Cookbook
- 1 3/4 cups uncooked black glutinous rice (or Asian black rice)
- 6 cups water
- 2 panadus leaves, tied into a knot (I used 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
- 1/4 cup (or more, to taste) shaved palm sugar
- 1 can coconut cream (14 ounces or so)
- pinch of salt
- Rinse the rice in two to three changes of water, or until the water runs clear. Once clear, place the rice in a bowl and cover with clean water. Let it soak overnight (I did this on the countertop).
- In a saucepan, bring the rice, along with 6 cups of water and the panadus leaves (if using vanilla extract don't add it yet, though), to a boil over medium heat, and simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is softened to a slightly al dente consistency. Discard the panadus leaves, if using. Add the sugar and vanilla (if using) and let the mixture continue to simmer on low heat for about 5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat. Set to the side for the moment.
- In a bowl, combine the coconut cream with a pinch of salt and mix well.
- To serve, place a healthy spoonful of the rice mixture into a bowl.
- Spoon coconut cream on top to taste. Enjoy immediately.
If storing, keep the coconut cream and the rice separate, and combine before serving.
Have you ever tried black rice?
April showers bring May flowers. But let's not get all doom and gloom and April-is-the-cruelest month, OK? Because where there are rain showers, there is bound to be a rainbow or two. Or ten!
To celebrate this magical rainbow-filled month, I would like to present a project sponsored by Airheads candy which has attained this site's highest status as unicorn-approved: rainbow candy dessert bowls.
These confections are woven from candy, and are a perfectly magical setting for all of your favorite desserts. You could fill them with whipped cream or marshmallow fluff for a light and sweet cloud-like treat, or you could place an entire cupcake inside. They could even be used as decorative candy bowls at parties for a sweet table setting.
I should tell you too that this project was inspired by my time in Bali. Perhaps not for the reason you think, though!
You see, I had agreed to come up with a project for Airheads before I left, and I figured "meh, I'll find someone's oven to bake in.". Well, as it turns out, they don't have ovens in Bali! So I had to revise my plans and figure out a no-bake treat. I thought back to my friend Not Martha's bacon bowls and an idea was born--a sweet idea, indeed.
I have to say, I was rather pleased with my experimentation. It took a little figuring out, because once I wove the rainbows I had trouble getting them to stay together while I shaped the baskets. By employing regular Airheads candy, I melted them down and then used them as a sort of sealant for the inside of the baskets. It helped keep the candy together, and as an added bonus, sealed the inside so that if eating ice cream or something of the like, it would stay contained in the basket.
You could go for a plain, cloud-like look with the finished baskets, or include additional rainbows. Definitely not excessive.
Anyhow, I know that you're probably keen to make this magic happen in the comfort of your own home, so here's how I did it. I realize it seems like a long process based on my writing, but it's really not; I just wanted to be thorough in my explanations. You're welcome!
- 1 cupcake tin
- double boiler
- a spatula for stirring, a spoon, and a knife
- 10 strips Airheads XTremes Sweetly sour candy, in berry rainbow
- 3 small Airheads candies, unwrapped (choose similar colors for best results)
- 1 teaspoon water
- 3 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Grab a work surface and let's get weaving. First, grab yourself 10 strips of the rainbow colored Airheads Extreme candy. Line five strips side by side, so that the ends are facing you.
Leaving an inch of space on the top, begin to weave one of the remaining strips of candy horizontally, over and under the vertical rows.
Grab your next piece, and weave it directly below the previous one, weaving under-and-over so that it forms a basketweave pattern.
Continue alternating with the remaining strips.
Here's a photo-collage of the process if that all seems confusing:
OK, set this woven piece of rainbow art to the side for the moment.
Now, set up your double boiler. Place three Airheads candies (the regular kind) in the top, along with the water and confectioners' sugar.
Heat on medium, stirring every few minutes. While at first the sugar, water, and candy will remain quite separate, as it melts, the mixture will become thick. You'll see now why it was a good idea to use candy in the same color scheme--the color melts together. It might be ugly if you use different colored candies (like I did the first time) but it will taste fine. Promise. But even so, this won't be the prettiest part of the process.
Once the mixture is lightly bubbly, remove from heat. You'll want to work without hesitating at this point as the candy is easier to use while still quite liquid. Gently spoon the candy in the center of your basketweave square. Use a spoon or knife to spread it to cover the woven portion as thoroughly as possible.
At this point, I decided that rather than slice off the extra bits, I would fold over the non-woven portions. This is easier to do if you start with the pieces which are "under". They will adhere easily to the still sticky candy.
The four corners, I sliced off.
Give it about five minutes for the candy to set slightly, and transfer the candy bundle to your cupcake tin. Gently place it, centered, on top of one of the cups. Using your fingers, gently finesse it into a bowl shape.
Repeat, making as many bowls as you'd like.
To help the bowls "set", I put them in the freezer (right in the cupcake pan) for about 5 to 10 minutes. They easily popped out of the cupcake tin at this point.
Fill the bowls with whatever toppings you'd like. If you're not using them immediately, keep them in the cupcake tin so that they will retain their shape.
What would you put in a rainbow bowl?
I know, I know.
After I tortured you, absolutely tortured you, with a great interview with Ruth Clemens, baker extraordinaire who blogs at The Pink Whisk, and now author of Creative Eclairs: Over 30 Fabulous Flavours and Easy Cake Decorating Ideas for Eclairs and Other Choux Pastry Creations.
But I didn't give you even a hint of a recipe, I just talked about how great they were.
Well, I am going to remedy that, sweet readers, because Ruth has been kind enough to share a recipe from the book, for Tropical Fruit Medley Eclairs. It being that I am in Bali at the moment, it seemed like an appropriate recipe to share. Enjoy!
This is part 2 of my entry as part of the book tour blog hop; to see the other entries, click here.
Tropical Fruit Medley Eclairs
Makes 10–12 x 15cm (6in) éclairs
1 x quantity choux pastry (recipe here)
1 x quantity vanilla or tropical crème patissière (recipes follow)
- 60g (21/4oz) fresh pineapple, sliced
- 70g (21/2oz) fresh kiwi, sliced
- 50g (21/4oz) fresh mango, sliced
- 1 x quantity regular or orange fondant glaze (recipes follow)
- Yellow and lime green sugarpaste (rolled fondant/ready-to-roll icing) (see Sugarcraft Techniques)
- Small and medium pointed blossom cutters
- Small pearl dragées (sugar balls)
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan)/180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Fill a piping (pastry) bag fitted with an 18mm (3/4in) nozzle (tip) with the chilled choux pastry. Pipe 15cm (6in) éclairs onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking (parchment) paper or a silicone liner (bake-o-glide). Spray the éclairs lightly with vegetable or sunflower oil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- Roll out the yellow sugarpaste and cut out two medium-pointed five-petal blossoms for each éclair. Roll out the lime green and cut one small blossom for each. Using a cocktail stick (toothpick), imprint lines along each petal. Set the yellow blossoms on top of each other, slightly offsetting the petals, and place the green blossom in the centre. Carefully pick up the pieces and pinch together gently from the back to ruffle the petals. Set aside to dry in the recesses of an egg box.
- Assembly: Whisk the prepared tropical crème patissière with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
- Split each éclair with a sharp serrated knife (see Filling, Dipping & Splitting) and spoon the tropical crème patissière into the base of each.
- Top the crème patissière with a mix of sliced tropical fruits.
- Warm the orange fondant glaze gently until of a dipping consistency and place in an open shallow bowl. Dip the top of each éclair in the fondant to coat and place on top of the fruit filling.
- Apply a dab of water to the centres of the flowers and sprinkle on the dragées. Add a tropical flower to the top of each éclair and serve.
Vanilla Crème Patissière
- 600ml (20fl oz) whole milk
- Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod, 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla bean paste or 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
- 100g (3½oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 50g (1¾oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
- Large jug
- Medium-sized pan
- Cling film (plastic wrap)
- Large bowl
- Electric hand mixer
How to make it tropical
Omit the vanilla and replace with the grated zest of 1 lime, half an orange and half a lemon. Before transferring to a bowl to cool, whisk in 15ml (1 tbsp) coconut liqueur.
- In a large jug whisk together the egg yolks and caster (superfine) sugar until the mixture is light and foamy. Add the cornflour and whisk again until of an even consistency. Set to one side.
- Place the milk and vanilla in a medium pan and heat gently until just below boiling point. Whilst whisking the egg mixture continuously, add the warmed vanilla-infused milk a little at a time until both mixtures have been fully worked together. TIP: Make sure you whisk together the egg yolks as soon as the caster (superfine) sugar is added to them. This will prevent the sugar from pulling the moisture out of the yolks, which could result in ‘egg burn’, where you would have yellow flecks in your finished crème patissière.
- Transfer the mixture back to the pan and over a medium heat, whisking continuously, bring to the boil. Continue to cook the crème patissière for 2 minutes until thick and glossy.
- Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Contact-cover the top of the crème patissière with cling film (plastic wrap) to prevent a skin from forming, and allow to cool. Refrigerate once cooled.
- When you are ready to use it, transfer the chilled crème patissière to a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until it is a smooth and even consistency.
- 300g (101/2oz) white sugarpaste (fondant/ready-to-roll icing)
- 30ml (2 tbsp) water
- Heatproof bowl
- Small pan or microwave
- Electric hand mixer
- Break the fondant into small pieces and place in heatproof bowl with the water.
- Heat gently in the microwave in short bursts, or over a pan of steaming water, stirring frequently, until the fondant melts.
- Mix with an electric mixer until the consistency is smooth and even and no lumps remain. The glaze will begin to set while it cools, so use while it is still warm. It can easily be reheated to pouring consistency if it cools too quickly for use.
TIP: Fondant glaze can be coloured with food gel pastes and easily flavoured with a wide range of extracts. Simply add a small amount of gel paste colour in the required shade to warmed fondant that is ready to be used. Make sure that it is evenly mixed to avoid any streaks before using to coat the tops of éclairs.
TIP: The temptation is to add more water to keep the fondant in a liquid state but if you do this the fondant will not set once the éclairs are coated. Gently warming the fondant before use is the best method.
Make it orange:
Add the grated zest of 1 orange in 30ml (2 tbsp) hot water before adding to the fondant and heating together.
Did you know that you can make your own sweetened condensed milk?
It's true. Provided you have milk, butter, sugar, and a little time, you can make sweetened condensed milk at home. It will not only give you a super sense of accomplishment and a serious something to brag about to your friends, but it also tastes amazing. That means that this homemade sweetened condensed milk will make all manner of recipes sing, from flan to Vietnamese coffee to magic cookie bars. Or, just use it as a particularly decadent dessert topping. Go ahead, you deserve it.
Homemade sweetened condensed milk also means you have control over your ingredients. Not to show off, BUT, I made mine with home-ground confectioners' sugar, homemade butter, and a great local dairy brand. Trust me, it made a difference. We couldn't stop eating this stuff.
Yes, the recipe requires quite a bit of time. But it's relatively passive time--you can keep the burner on low, and be working on something else nearby. As long as you can check and stir occasionally, you're good to go. It's a great project for while you're playing Scrabble (you can check the milk when it's not your turn!) or while reading a book on a rainy day.
How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 cups milk (whole will yield the richest and best flavor, in my opinion)
- 2/3 cup homemade confectioners' sugar (the store bought kind may have cornstarch, which might not incorporate properly) or 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Step 1: Place the sugar and milk in a heavy bottomed, medium sized saucepan. Whisk to combine. Apply medium heat, and stir frequently until the sugar has completely combined and the mixture comes to a low boil.
Step 2: Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting on your stovetop. Add the butter; it should melt fairly rapidly.
Step 3: Now comes the waiting game. Let the mixture hover over this very low heat until it has reduced to a sweetened condensed milk type of syrupy thickness. Check it out every 10 minutes or so to monitor things. Listen--this can take up to 4 hours.
Either way, you've got yourself an impressive finished product on your hands. You made sweetened condensed milk! You officially win.
What's your favorite recipe with sweetened condensed milk?
I have done something so, so naughty. And I'd like to tell you how to do it, too.
The subject of our conversation today, dear ones, is this: how to doctor up cookie dough mix so that you can fry it like doughnuts. And then eat it in all its gooey, rich glory.
How I got this brilliant idea
I first had this idea shortly after making doughnuts from biscuits in a tube. I thought of how you can make cake mix into pancakes, too, and I was all like, "why can't I do something like this with cookie mix?".
So I grabbed some cookie dough mix. I used this pumpkin kind, but you could probably try it with any Betty Crocker type.
How I made it happen
So I started out with some cookie mix, and basically followed the instructions (mix with some melted butter and a pasteurized egg--this was important, as the resulting doughnuts were pretty gooey and it was nice to know that I'd killed harmful bacteria)
and then shaped the dough into little rounds and tried to fry 'em in oil. Mission: failure. They melted!
But then, I decided to see what would happen if I froze the dough. So I put the doughnut shaped cookie dough mounds in the freezer for like 2 days. Then I was brave enough to try again.
I heated oil in a frying pan, and then added the freezing cookie doughnut rounds, a few at a time, keeping the rest in their chill.
And guess what...this time, it worked. They held their shape long enough to become crisp all over, but with a gooey, oozy interior.
Ooey gooey aside, though, they were rather ugly.
Don't worry, there's a solution: add glaze and sprinkles! I made a simple confectioners' sugar glaze and added rainbow sprinkles.
OK. So here's what you do if you want to give it a try.
Cookie Dough Doughnuts
- Betty Crocker cookie dough mix, mixed per the package instructions (use a pasteurized egg for safest results)
- A pan
- enough vegetable oil to fill the pan about an inch full
- A spatula
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1-3 tablespoons milk, to thin the sugar for a glaze
- food coloring, if desired
Step 1: Mix the cookie dough as specified on the package instructions. Shape the cookie dough into little doughnut shapes. Now, place them on a plate or parchment-lined baking sheet and put them in the freezer for several hours or overnight.
Step 2: Keep the dough in the freezer, but start fryin' some oil. Place it in the pan and heat it until it hovers between 350 and 375 degrees F.
Step 3: Add the dough, a few rounds at a time, keeping the rest in the freezer. Fry until it is browned and crispy, then flip the doughnut rounds. It's ok if they slightly melt around the edges, as long as they mostly stay together. Be very gentle when flipping, as they are delicate.
Step 4: Fry side two, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to blot excess oil. Don't put them on a cooling rack because they will melt through (they will be fragile until they set).
Step 5: Grab more rounds from the freezer and continue frying. Repeat til you've fried 'em all. Let cool.
Step 6: Once set and cool, mix up the confectioners' sugar, enough milk so that it is pourable, and food coloring, if desired. Drizzle over the cookie doughnuts, and immediately garnish with sprinkles (they stick best when the glaze is freshly applied).
Step 7: Enjoy. Die(t) another day.
Have you ever fried something unexpected for dessert?
I would be lying if I said I wasn't proud as a prancing unicorn about my latest creation: Unicorn Pop-Tarts.
To be completely honest, this wasn't the first time the combination had occurred to me. I mean, Pop-Tarts employ rainbow sprinkles and taste like happiness. Unicorns are trailed by rainbows and are the embodiment of happiness. See? They have loads in common.
But there are some real technical issues with making Unicorn Pop-tarts. Mainly, the shape of unicorn cookie cutters. They're generally thin in places, which is fine, but not conducive to filling pastry with jam or chocolate. I didn't want these to just be double-decker pie crust cookies. I wanted them to have filling, and taste like pop-tarts. Homemade, of course.
I figured that a unicorn bust would be perfect, as it would have the horn but be a larger shape to hold together, but such a cookie cutter was not easy to find.
So I dealt with that issue by making my own. I'll post a tutorial soon on how to do that, but rest assured it required a trip to the hardware store, which is DEFINITELY not my natural element.
It was worth it. The cutter was easy to make, and within hours I had unicorn pop-tarts, which are truly the most magical start to the day. Any day.
Here's the recipe.
Homemade Pop Tarts
Makes about 6 unicorn-shaped tarts; adapted from wonderful, wonderful Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3 tablespoons cold water
For the filling
Jam, about 1 heaping teaspoonful per pastry (your choice of flavor)
For the icing
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- heavy cream, to thin (you could use milk...but I like cream)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set to the side.
- Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and blend with a fork, pastry cutter, or your impeccably clean hands. Blend until the mixture is fairly coarse. Add the water, bit by bit, gently mixing the dough after each addition, until the dough is cohesive enough to form a ball.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out using your unicorn cutter. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more unicorns. You should get 10 to 12 cutouts, which means 5 or 6 tarts.
- On half of the unicorn heads, place a small spoonful of the jam of your choice in the center. You don't want it to be too thick or the top crust will mound on top of it. Spread it where it makes sense (easy on the horn).
- Place the remaining unicorn head cutouts on top of the ones with jam. Crimp all four edges by hand... or with a fork to ensure that your filling won't ooze out. I also poked the top of each with a fork, to vent them.
- Place the tarts on your prepared baking sheet, and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until light golden on the edges. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
- While the tarts cool, prepare your icing; make sure it is fairly thin but not so thin that it will just drip off. Once the pop tarts are cool, drizzle it on top. Garnish with sprinkles.