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Entries in recipes (697)

Sunday
Nov162014

Red Velvet Cereal and More

I need to tell you something. It's this:

Red Velvet Cereal.

Here's the deal. When you are testing recipes, sometimes you end up with extra layers of cake. Even good, high-demand cakes, like red velvet.

I realize that having extra, leftover red velvet cake layers sounds like a luxury--nay, an impossibility. How could a red velvet cake layer be around the house and not be slathered in cream cheese and eaten?

But, well, it did happen. Maybe never again, but it did happen just this once. And I have come up with the most brilliant solution for using this cake.

Why red velvet cereal?

It started with the idea that I would do a sort of twice-baked thing with the cake cubes: red velvet croutons! Why not--you could eat them like cookies, right? 

So I put a bunch of red velvet cake cubes on a baking sheet, drizzled it with butter and confectioners' sugar, and put it in the oven until it was all nice and crispy.

Then I set to using the "croutons" in various ways, all of them pleasant...

An ice cream topping: 

as simple sweet snacks (like cake chips):

but then, I realized that hey, I could probably put milk on these and eat them as cereal.

And after that moment, all other uses for these red velvet cubes of joy disappeared. Because clearly, red velvet cereal was the winner.

Advantages of red velvet cereal

Not quite a believer yet? Well, let me try to sway your affections by telling you some of the distinct advantages of red velvet cereal. 

  • It is toasty, but the cubes soften quickly in the milk to a lightly crisp, pleasing consistency.
  • Since I've used high quality ingredients and employed homemade red velvet cake, that this might even be healthier than, say, Cookie Crisp or Froot Loops. It certainly has less hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
  • It tints the milk a light and beautiful pink. 
  • It has the advantages of cake for breakfast, but carries less possibility of harsh judgment because it is cereal
  • RED VELVET CEREAL!

If you'd like to make this magic happen at home, here's how you do it.

Red Velvet Cereal

Makes many cubes of cereal

  • 1 8 or 9-inch red velvet cake layer, unfrosted
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • confectioners' sugar

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the cake into cubes, about 1 inch. Place them on the baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with butter, and dust with confectioners' sugar. Place in the preheated oven.
  4. Heat for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and flip the croutons. Put back in the oven for 20 more minutes, or until nice and crispy.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool completely. 

 Would you eat red velvet cereal?

Sunday
Nov162014

Breakfast by Fabio: Buttermilk and Black Pepper Biscuits

Biscuits from Fabio book

There are carbohydrates that are biscuits, and then there are carbohydrates that are not biscuits.

These are biscuits. They are from the new book Fabio's American Home Kitchen: More Than 125 Recipes With an Italian Accent. Look at this guy, I trust his biscuits!

Sounds like the perfect holiday weekend breakfast to me!

Buttermilk and Black Pepper Biscuits

America loves biscuits. I love them with gravy, I love them without. I love biscuits with savory ingredients like roasted ham and sun-dried tomatoes on them. But when you add a lot of black pepper to the biscuits, that’s really taking it to the next level. This is a very simple recipe, perfect for the morning.

MAKES 1 DOZEN BISCUITS

  • 2¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Butter a baking sheet.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, baking soda and Parmesan and pepper into a bowl.
  3. Work in the butter with your fingers, or pulse in a food processor, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in buttermilk until just combined.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7-inch disk about 1 inch thick. Cut out 12 rounds with a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, collecting and reshaping the scraps as necessary.
  5. Arrange the biscuits on the buttered baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

Photo and recipe from Fabio's American Home Kitchen: More Than 125 Recipes With an Italian Accent by Fabio Viviani; published by Hachette Books, a division of the Hachette Book Group. Copyright ©2014 FV Legacy, LLC. All Rights Reserved.  Used with Permission. 

Thursday
Nov132014

Lemon Heaven: Crêpes au Citron Recipe

Crepes with lemon sugar

Crêpes au citron: roughly translated, it means "lemon heaven". Technically, they are crepes made with lemon, but I have made my decision. 

This lovely recipe is excerpted from French Bistro: Restaurant-Quality Recipes for Appetizers, Entrées, Desserts, and Drinks.

French Bistro Maria Zihammou

*crêpes au citron*

Crêpes with lemon sugar

What would a French cookbook be without crêpes? Those soft, buttery, and thin pancakes you can buy just about anywhere in France. So simple and delicious with just freshly squeezed lemon and raw sugar on top . . . or filled with my amazingly good noisette crème.

serves 4 people

  • 3 eggs
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) wheat flour
  • 3½ tbsp (50 g) butter, melted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk, 2%
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cold water
  • butter, for pan-frying
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • ½ cup (100 ml) raw sugar

Procedure

  • Whisk the eggs until fluffy. Add the flour gradually and continue whisking until all clumps have disappeared. Add the butter and salt; whisk together. Finally, pour in the milk and water, and whisk the mixture into a runny pancake batter. Place in the fridge to cool for at least an hour.

  • Pour a thin layer of batter into a frying-pan with butter, and cook until it takes on a light golden color. Serve with sugar and lemon.

Enjoy!

Tuesday
Nov112014

Bread with Corn and Avocado Honey

I need to tell you: my life is so totally sweet sometimes.

Like recently, I was contacted by the National Honey Board. It's true: I love the fact that I am someone who is contacted by the National Honey Board.

They asked if I'd like some cool honeys to sample and test out in my baking, and I guess you can surmise what my answer was. Yes! Of course! I love baking with honey. 

So they sent me this little package of some very interesting honeys...including buckwheat, tupelo, alfalfa, and AVOCADO HONEY. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Apparently these varietals refer to the plants which the bees buzzed around (that is my paraphrased version of what happens).

Honey and corn bread

Whoa!

Here they are, all in my hand. When is the last time you had a handful of honey? 

Honey and corn bread

Since I've been very into baking bread recently, I thought that using some of the honey as part of the recipe (and to top it, with butter) would be a fine idea. 

I wanted to try a bread with part ground corn, so I thought the avocado honey would be a nice complement.

So I mixed up my dough...

Honey and corn bread

of course, this included the honey...

Honey and corn bread

let it rise...

Honey and corn bread

and baked it up.

Honey and corn bread

Wow, my friends. I need to tell you that this was some of the nicest bread I've ever put in my mouth, and I've eaten my fair share of carbohydrates.

Honey and corn bread

The mix of whole wheat and corn flour gave it a nutty yet lightly sweet flavor, and it had just a touch of a nubbly texture to keep things interesting. I can't say I tasted any soupcon of avocado-ness per se, but the honey definitely had a complex and rich flavor.

Honey and corn bread

When topped with a pat of butter that melted instantly because the bread was still warm from the oven, and a dab of more avocado honey, it was just perfect. 

As a topping, the avocado honey was very interesting. It was almost like molasses honey--it was heavy and rich, but without the slight bitterness nature of molasses. Smoother. If you enjoy tasting different honey varietals (I do, it turns out!) this one is definitely worth seeking out.

Oh, and here's that bread recipe. Lucky you!

Bread with corn (not corn bread)

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Yield: 1 large loaf 

  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I used avocado honey)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I got all fancy and used lavender rosemary salt)
  • 3 tablespoons soft butter
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup coarse grind cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill)

 Procedure

  1. Combine the water and yeast. Once the yeast begins to bubble lightly, proceed.
  2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients with the yeast mixture in the order listed.
  3. Knead, either by hand with a dough scraper or with a stand mixer, until it has progressed past a shaggy texture to a solid, slightly sticky mass. This can take up to 5 minutes by hand; less when using a mixer. It will never quite take on the smooth elasticity of the honey-wheat variation of this bread, but the extra moisture is necessary as the whole grains will absorb it. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise at room temperature until it’s quite puffy and doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Gently deflate the dough with your hand (a gentle pressing, not a knockout punch), and shape it into a fat 9″ log (it may still be slightly sticky; I used lightly oiled hands). Place it in a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  5. Cover the pan, and let the dough rise for 2 hours or even overnight, or until it has formed a crown which extends 1 inch or slightly more over the rim of the pan. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  6. Bake the bread uncovered for 20 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is golden brown on top, and when knocked lightly, yields a slightly hollow sound.
  7. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool. When completely cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature. 

Bread with butter and honey: what could be finer?

Thursday
Nov062014

Simple, French, Perfect Tarte au Citron, or Lemon Tart

Lemon tart - Maria Zihammou

When I went to Paris, I learned once and for all that there is a difference between the tarte au citron (lemon tart) and its American cousin, Lemon bar. What is the difference? Well, the tartes are French, and therefore slightly better in every way. Here's how you make them. This lovely recipe is excerpted from French Bistro: Restaurant-Quality Recipes for Appetizers, Entrées, Desserts, and Drinks.

PS: want to read more about my overseas adventures? Here's a roundup of my last trip to Paris.

French Bistro Maria Zihammou

Lemon tart

Lemons are always in my kitchen at home—a favorite ingredient that I just can’t do without. They have a wonderful, fresh sourness that’s lovely in a creamy tart that might otherwise be too heavy and sweet. Delightfully delicious, citrusy lemon tart that simply melts in your mouth. Mmm. . .

6-8 people

dough

  • 7 tbsp (100 g) butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups (350 ml) wheat flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp cold water

filling

  • 5 eggs, preferably organic
  • 4 organic lemons
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup (100 ml) whipping cream
  • ½ cup (100 ml) granulated sugar
  • powdered sugar, for decorating
  • whipped cream, for serving, optionally

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Start by making the dough. Mix the butter, flour, egg yolk, powdered sugar, and water. Knead together with a light touch to form a smooth dough. Press out the dough in a spring-form pan, about 9½ inches (24 cm) in diameter. Pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes until it’s a light golden color. Take it out and let it cool.

  2. Meanwhile, make the filling: whisk together the eggs in a bowl. Squeeze in the juice from the lemons, and grate 1 tbsp of lemon zest into the bowl. Add the whipping cream and sugar, then whisk thoroughly.

  3. Fill the cooled crust with the lemon cream and cook the tart for about 30 minutes, until the cream has set and feels a bit firm. Allow the tart to cool, and decorate it with the powdered sugar. Good on its own, or with whipped cream.

Excerpted with permission from French Bistro: Restaurant-Quality Recipes for Apetizers, Entreés, Desserts, and Drinks by Maria Zihammou. Photography by Åsa Dahlgren. Copyright 2014, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

Saturday
Nov012014

What Happens When You Melt 15 Candy Bars in a Pie Crust

Have you ever wondered what happens when you fill a pie crust with 15 candy bars* and then bake it?

* = if we're talking about Fun-Size candy bars, which I personally so often am around this time of year, you want to make that 30-36 or so. 

Well, if you have ever found yourself plagued by this candy bar quandary, you're not alone. I too have been baffled-- but lucky for you, I recently rolled up my sleeves and proactively worked to find out. 

Not only was I seeking a piece of tasty pie--but peace of mind.

First, I made up a pie crust. I used the recipe and method I mastered via King Arthur Flour. 

Next, this is where I must make a confession. I didn't specifically have the number fifteen in mind with my candy bars. Basically, I just kept unwrapping the bars I had received in the mail from Legit Organics, cutting in half, and adding candy bars til the pie crust was full.

It was full at around 12 candy bars. But it occurred to me (I'm always thinking, see) that once the candy began to melt, it would reduce in volume. So to be safe, I added three more candy bars. I'm not going to keep you in suspense: it was the right decision.

I put the whole thing in a preheated 350 degree oven. At 30 minutes it looked mostly done, but at 35 it was perfectly toasty. 

When I took it out of the oven, it looked like this. What the picture doesn't convey is that it was making a snappy bubbling sound that lasted a good minute. It was beautiful. 

I can pretty much say this is the best use ever of 15 candy bars (more Fun-Size). The pie is one of those desserts that makes you say "oh, it's too much!" but then somehow you're reaching for your second slice. Don't say you don't know what I mean.

(note: This pic had a bit of ice cream on top but I wiped it off to get a clear shot of the pie (hence the small white mark on the front).

Here's how you do it.

15-Candy Bar-Pileup Pie 

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 15 regular sized candy bars, cut in half, or 30-36 Fun-Size candy bars, in harmonious flavors

 Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place your candy bars in the crust. Pile them high enough so that they slightly form a  crown over the edges.
  3. Just for safety, put the pie plate on top of a baking sheet. Place the whole thing in the oven.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the bars are melted and bubbly and the crust is browned to your liking.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before serving. This can take up to an hour. 

Enjoy!

Saturday
Nov012014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Strawberry-Mascarpone-Hazelnut Chocolate Tart

Hazelnut strawberry tart - bake-off

What I love about this tart is...well, more than one thing. I love how it marries health food (strawberries) with dessert food (everything else in the recipe). I love how it looks super fancy but comes together rather quickly. And, I love that it has a cookie dough crust. YUM. Thanks to Pamela Shank of Parkersburg, West Virginia for coming up with this clever and pretty Bake-Off entry!

Strawberry-Mascarpone-Hazelnut Chocolate Tart

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 55 Min
  • Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 2 (8 oz) containers mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 3 cups halved large strawberries (about 2 pints)
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate candy melts or coating wafers (1 1/2 oz) or 1/4 cup white vanilla baking chips

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Press cookie dough evenly in bottom and 1 1/2-inches up side of ungreased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake 15 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and edges are set. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat mascarpone cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, 2 minutes or until well blended; set aside.
  3. Reserve 2 teaspoons of the hazelnut spread. Spread remaining hazelnut spread evenly in bottom of cooled cookie crust. Spoon and carefully spread mascarpone mixture over hazelnut spread to within 1/4 inch from edge. Arrange strawberries over mascarpone.
  4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave reserved hazelnut spread uncovered on High 20 to 30 seconds or until drizzling consistency. Drizzle over strawberries. In another small microwavable bowl, microwave candy melts uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring once or until drizzling consistency. Place melted candy melts in small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut off small corner of bag. Squeeze bag to drizzle melted candy melts over strawberries. Store in refrigerator.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Saturday
Nov012014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Hummingbird Macaroons

Hummingbird Macaroons

You probably didn't need to be told that Hummingbird cake is simply the bomb. That might be a cheesy thing to say, but it's such a beautiful cake it moves me to corniness.

But did you know that hummingbird macaroons are also exceedingly amazing? If you didn't, it's time to give this recipe from Melanie Eichman of San Antonio, Texas a try. It yields soft cookies that are bound to make you hum with joy.

Hummingbird Macaroons

  • Prep Time: 20 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 15 Min
  • Makes: 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup mashed very ripe banana (1 small)
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried pineapple
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon Watkins™ Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Watkins™ Original Double Strength Vanilla Extract

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Line cookie sheets with Reynolds® Parchment Paper.
  2. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add remaining ingredients; beat with electric mixer on medium-low speed 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 11 to 16 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Store covered.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Friday
Oct312014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Creamy Cashew Turtle Pie

Creamy Cashew Turtle Pie

Things that I love definitely include pie crust, chocolate, cashew butter, cashews, salt, cream cheese, and caramel. Guess what? This pie has them ALL. Thank you to Tina Repak-Mirilovich of Johnstown, Pennsylvania for coming up with such a gem of a recipe. Good luck at the Bake-Off!

Creamy Cashew Turtle Pie

  • Prep Time: 25 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 50 Min
  • Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust, softened as directed on box
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cups cashew butter
  • 1 cup chopped salted cashews
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup caramel topping
  • 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell, using 9-inch glass pie plate. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 20 minutes.
  2. In small microwavable bowl, microwave 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth. Add 1/3 cup of the cashew butter; mix well. Spread chocolate mixture over bottom of cooled pie crust. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cashews over chocolate mixture. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining 1 cup cashew butter and the caramel topping with electric mixer on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes or until blended. Gently stir in whipped topping until well blended. Spoon and spread cream cheese mixture over cashews. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. In small microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth. Place chocolate in small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut off small corner of bag; squeeze bag to drizzle chocolate over pie. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cashews. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Tuesday
Oct282014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Strawberry-Cinnamon Roll Belgian Waffles

Cinnamon roll waffles

Breakfast is served. And is it ever beautiful: these "waffles" are made using cinnamon rolls! How's that for a decadent delight? Dressed up with strawberries and whipped cream, they're the perfect cold-weather breakfast to carb-o-load for a race you're never gonna run. This one comes from Kelly Humphreys of Vancouver, Washington. Good luck at the Bake-Off!

Strawberry-Cinnamon Roll Belgian Waffles

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 30 Min  
  • Makes: 5 waffles

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 can Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Supreme refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (5 rolls)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Procedure

  1. Place large bowl and beaters in freezer or refrigerator to chill.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, mix 3/4 cup of the sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in strawberries and 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils (mixture will become translucent during cooking). Boil and stir 2 minutes. Pour strawberry sauce into heatproof bowl; set aside.
  3. Heat Belgian waffle maker. (Waffle maker without a nonstick coating may need to be sprayed with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray before cinnamon roll is added.)
  4. Meanwhile, in chilled bowl, beat whipping cream, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the orange extract with electric mixer on low speed until mixture begins to thicken. Gradually increase speed to high and beat just until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat, or mixture will curdle. Refrigerate.
  5. Separate dough into 5 rolls; reserve icing. Place 1 roll in center of each waffle section. Close lid of waffle maker. Bake 2 to 3 minutes or until deep golden brown. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  6. Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, microwave reserved icing uncovered on High 10 seconds; stir in melted butter, remaining 1/4 teaspoon orange extract and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  7. To serve, place each waffle on serving plate; drizzle with icing. Top with strawberry sauce and whipped cream.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

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