Afternoon Tea

Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut & Anise Cookies

July 31, 2013

Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut & Anise CookiesDark Chocolate, Hazelnut & Anise Cookies

Thank goodness it’s not so hot out.  I’ve been missing turning my oven on to bake delicious cookies.  I just don’t feel right without a cookie jar full of cookies.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Softened Butter

3/4 Cup Sugar

3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Teaspoon Anise Extract

2 Large Room Temperature Eggs

2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips

2 Cups Chopped Roasted Hazelnuts

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking soda and kosher salt.  In a separate large size bowl add the butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla & anise extracts.  Beat on a medium speed until creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture.  Do not overbeat.  Stir in the dark chocolate chips and hazelnuts.  Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto a parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.  Remember that all ovens heat differently so make sure to check at 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for 4 minutes.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Blackberry Cheesecake

July 30, 2013

Blackberry CheesecakeBlackberry Cheesecake

Today is National Cheesecake Day!

I love cheesecake.  Growing up I would go blackberry picking in my neighborhood.  There was always some area with overgrown blackberry bushes. Picking up my childhood sandbox bucket I would set myself to the task of bringing home a bucketful of blackberries.  Not many would make it home and the evidence would be all over my face.

INGREDIENTS

40 Crushed Vanilla Wafers

6 Tablespoons Melted Butter

16 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

3/4 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons Unbleached Flour

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Creamed Cottage Cheese

1/4 Cup Cherry Brandy

3 Eggs

4 Cups Fresh Blackberries

Preheat your oven to 375° F. In a medium size bowl stir together crushed vanilla wafers and butter.  Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of an 8 inch spring form pan and set aside.  In a large bowl stir together cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, flour and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low until smooth and set aside.  Place the cottage cheese in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Incorporate into the cream cheese mixture.  Next, stir in the 1/4 cup cherry brandy.  Beat in the eggs on low speed until combined.  Don’t over mix as you don’t want to incorporate too much air into the batter. Pour half of the cheese cake mixture into the crust lined pan.  Spread 1 cup of the blackberries on top.  Top with the remaining cheese cake mixture and 1/2 cup of the blackberries.  Place in a shallow baking pan in the preheated oven.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until center appears almost set.  Remove from the oven. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Loosen the sides and cool completely.  Cover and chill for 2 hours.  To serve cut the cheesecake into wedges and top each with the blackberries. Serve with additional blackberry sauce if you like. Serves 10

Kentucky Benedictine

July 17, 2013

Kentucky BenedictineKentucky Benedictine

I love this Southern spread made popular by Louisville’s Benedict’s restaurateur, Jennie Carter Benedict, who opened her restaurant in 1893.  It can be used as a dip or for a sandwich and is perfect for either an afternoon tea or a light meal.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Cucumber

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

4 Tablespoons Grated Onion or 2 Minced Green Onions

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise

Remove the cucumber skin and then grate it into a medium size bowl. Drain the cucumber and onion juice (unless using minced green onions).  Add the cream cheese, grated onion, kosher salt and mayonnaise.  Beat with a hand mixer on medium until all of the ingredients are combined.  Place plastic wrap over the bowl and put into the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.  If you are using for a vegetable dip then thin it out with a bit of sour cream.  Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

Bastille Day Pain Française

July 13, 2013

French BreadBastille Day Pain Française

Tuna sandwiches à la française!  The best way to make this very large sandwich is to make it a day in advance.  This allows the delicious juices to soak into the French bread.  Make sure to use olive oil packed tuna instead of tuna packed in water.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Loaf of French Bread (Round or Long)

2 Garlic Cloves Cut in Half

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

3 Medium Sliced Ripe Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Fresh Basil

1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint

6 Ounces Canned Tuna Packed in Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Pitted & Chopped Kalamata Olives

2 Chopped Green Onions

1 Tablespoon Capers

1 Large Hard Boiled Egg Sliced

Cut your bread in half horizontally.  Take out some of the soft center from each half to make about a one inch shell.  Rub the inside of the bread halves with the garlic.  In a small sized measuring cup mix together the olive oil, vinegar, kosher salt and pepper.  Drizzle 1/4 of the olive oil mixture onto both halves of the garlic rubbed bread.  On the bottom half of the bread place 1/3 of the tomato slices.  Drizzle about half of the remaining oil mixture onto the tomato slices.  Next top with half of the basil and all of the mint.  Set aside.  Drain the tuna.  In a small size bowl flake the tuna.  Add the olives, green onions and capers.  Spoon the tuna mixture over the tomato and herbs.  Place the egg slices on top.  Put the remaining tomato slices and basil on top of the egg slices.  Drizzle with the remaining olive oil mixture.  Place the top half of the bread on top all of this deliciousness.  Wrap this large sandwich tightly with either foil or plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.  Remove from the fridge when ready to serve and cut into 4 separate sandwiches.  Makes 4 main dish servings.

Pain Francais

Blueberry Shortcakes With Whipped Cream Cheese

July 5, 2013

Blueberries 3Blueberry Shortcakes With Whipped Cream Cheese

These shortcakes are super easy to make and delicious as either a dessert or a brunch dish.  The shortcakes are best the day they are made however.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Cold Unsalted Butter (Cut into Small Pieces)

2 Ounces Cream Cheese (2 Ounces Cold & 6 Ounces Room Temperature)

5 Ounces Blueberries

3/4 Cup Buttermilk

1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream

Extra Blueberries for Garnish

Preheat your oven to 425º F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and coat the parchment paper with cooking spray.  In a large size bowl combine the flour, sugar, kosher salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Incorporate the butter and the cold cream cheese with a pastry cutter.  You could also use your fingers or two forks. Incorporate until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes.  Remove the mixture from the freezer and add the blueberries.  Gradually stir in the buttermilk.  Gently fold with a rubber spatula until a sticky dough forms.  Make sure not to overmix.  Divide the dough into 8 even mounds and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.  Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.  Transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely.  While your shortcakes are cooling in a large size bowl beat together the remaining cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Gradually add the heavy cream beating just until for 1 minute until the mixture becomes smooth and thick. Make sure not to overbeat.  Serve alongside the shortcakes and add extra berries if you wish.  Makes 8 Blueberry Shortcakes.

Nutella Pound Cake

June 26, 2013

Nutella Pound Cake 3Nutella Pound Cake

If you like Nutella then you will like this pound cake recipe.  It’s easy to make and can be eaten for breakfast or as a dessert.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

3 Room Temperature Eggs

1/2 Cup Whipping Cream

1 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/8 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Nutella

Preheat your oven to 325º F.  Allow the butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Line a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.  In a medium size bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds.  Gradually add the sugar and beat for 30 seconds until light and fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.  Scrape the bowl frequently.  Alternately add the flour mixture and whipping cream to the butter mixture.  Beat on low after each addition just until combined.  Pour half of the batter into the parchment paper lined loaf pan.  Place 1/2 cup Nutella on top of the batter and swirl with a knife.  Pour the rest of the batter and place the remaining 1/2 cup Nutella on top of the batter.  Swirl the Nutella with a knife.  Place into the oven and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Remember that ovens heat differently so check at 60 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan (by pulling out by the parchment paper) and cool thoroughly on the rack.  Makes 1 Nutella Pound Cake.

Nutella

Beer Brownies

June 16, 2013

BrowniesBeer Brownies

Make these Beer Brownies for your father this Father’s Day!  He’ll love you for it unless he hates chocolate!

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Cups Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Softened Butter

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

3 Eggs

1 Cup Beer (I used Ale)

1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Frosting

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a large size bowl combine the flour, baking soda, kosher salt and cocoa powder.  Set aside.  In a separate large size bowl beat together the butter and sugar for 1 minute.  Add the eggs one at a time beating in between each addition.  Add the vanilla and beat for 20 seconds.  Gradually add the flour mixture alternating with the beer until both are added.  Beat on slow until smooth.  Pour into parchment paper lined 13x9x2 baking pan.  Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until done.  Remember that all ovens heat differently so make sure to check at 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan.  Remove from the pan by lifting the parchment paper.  Set onto the counter and frost with the chocolate frosting.  Cut into brownies squares.  Makes 24 brownies depending on how large or small you cut the brownies.

 

Chocolate Frosting

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

2/3 Cup Cocoa

3 Cups Powdered Sugar

1/3 Cup Milk

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Place the softened butter into a large size bowl and beat with a mixer for 30 seconds.  Add the cocoa and beat for another 30 seconds.  Add the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract and beat on high for 2 minutes.  You will want the consistency to be very creamy without lumps.  Makes about 2 cups.

Righteous Ale 2

Cherry Scones

June 12, 2013

Cherries 2Cherry Scones

My Cherry Scones will make your kitchen smell of summer.  Make sure to eat these scones warm and with a good butter.  Using cream instead of shortening makes the scones extra-tender and flaky.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

4 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/3 Cup Butter (Cut Up)

2 Beaten Eggs

3/4 Cup Whipping Cream

1 Cup Dried Cherries

1/4 Cup Milk (For Brushing Tops)

1/4 Cups Sugar (For Sprinkling Tops)

Preheat your oven to 400º F.  In a small size bowl add the dried cherries and enough boiling water over the cherries to cover.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  In a large size bowl combine the flour, sugar, kosher salt and baking powder. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.  Make a well in the center of the flour and set aside.  In a medium size bowl combine the eggs and whipping cream.  Drain the cherries.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture all at once.  Add the cherries.  Use a fork to stir just until moistened.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough by folding and pressing it until the dough is almost smooth (about 10 times).  Divide the dough in half and roll out each dough half into a circle.  Cut each circle into six wedges.  Place the dough wedges 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Brush the wedges with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.  Remove and transfer to a serving plate.  Serve warm.  Makes about 12 scones.

Cherry Scones

Park Avenue Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

June 11, 2013

Peanut butter & Jelly CupcakesPark Avenue Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

I came up with this recipe while walking on Park Avenue two weeks ago.  If you’re a fan of the humble PB&J then you’ll be a fan of these unique cupcakes. Most recipes have you piping in the peanut butter and jelly. You could even serve these cupcakes for breakfast.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 Cup Softened Butter

3 Room Temperature Eggs

2 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 3/4 Cups Sugar

1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 1/4 Cups Milk

1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter

2 Cups Strawberry Jam

1/2 Cup Peanut Halves For Garnish

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Line 1 large muffin tin with large muffin liners or the special parchment paper liners.  Set aside.  Allow the butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  In a medium size bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and kosher salt.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat on medium speed.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Beat well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture.  Beat on low speed after each addition just until combined.  Pour the batter into the muffin cup just so it reaches 1/2 of the way up the muffin cup.  Place 1 Teaspoon of the creamy peanut butter on top of the batter in the muffin cup.  Then add 2 teaspoons of the strawberry jam on top of the peanut butter.  Finish pouring the rest of the batter in the muffin cup (about 3/4 of the way to the top).  Continue until the entire muffin cups are filled the same way.  Place into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.   Remember that all ovens heat differently so make sure to check at 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and garnish the tops with the peanut halves.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on wire racks for 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan and place the cupcakes on the wire racks to cool completely.  Transfer to a serving platter.  Makes 12 large cupcakes.

Parchment

 

 

Deep Dish Rhubarb Pie

May 13, 2013

RhubarbDeep Dish Rhubarb Pie

Many people are hesitant to cook with rhubarb.  Rhubarb is, botanically speaking, a vegetable, and eaten like fruit.  The stalks are best picked when they are young and ready for eating in the spring and early summer.  The leaves should be thrown away as they are poisonous.

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Pink Rhubarb

2 Ounces Gingerroot

8 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

Powdered Sugar

Pastry:

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

8 Tablespoons Butter

7 Tablespoons Water To Mix

Milk To Glaze

Preheat your oven to 425º F.  Trim and thickly slice the rhubarb. Place in a large size bowl.  Chop the ginger and add to the sliced rhubarb. In a small size bowl combine the sugar and cornstarch.  Add the sugar & cornstarch mixture to the rhubarb mixture.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl combine the flour, kosher salt and ground ginger.  Cut in the butter.  Add 7 tablespoons water to make the dough manageable.  Roll the dough out to fit the top of the pie plate.  Transfer the rhubarb mixture to a 3 cup pie pan.  Cover the pie pan with the pastry dough.  Crimp and decorate the edges.  Brush the pastry with milk.  Place onto a baking sheet and bake at 425º F for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350º F and bake for 20 to 30 minutes more until the crust is pale golden and the rhubarb tender.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.  Make 1 deep dish pie.

Latest Recipes

Mediterranean Bean Salad copy

Mediterranean Bean Salad

Marinated Baby Artichokes copy

Marinated Baby Artichokes

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Meyer Lemon Bars copy

Meyer Lemon Bars

Asparagus & Leek Risotto

Asparagus & Leek Risotto