Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies {Loaded With Walnuts and Cranberries}

I bet if I polled every follower of SweetRevelations, you would all have your version of the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Every home has one, that ultimate Chocolate Chip recipe that no one can beat.  It might be flat and crispy or thick and slightly chewy in the middle.   You may have a whole system down for how to produce the most amazing chocolatey bite; use only dark brown sugar, butter is a must, refrigerate a minimum of one hour before baking, stand on tip toes, tap heels three times and voila! The whole family is delighted and rejoicing in the joy that only this classic cookie can bring.

If you don’t have one, I wonder if you’ve made endless batches on a quest for the perfect recipe?

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I present to you my version of the Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookie that is loaded with walnuts and cranberries.  It’s my go-to, Sunday baking, soul soothing recipe, that’s super thick, crisp on the outside and slightly soft inside.  You might be questioning the cranberry but I urge you to give it a shot.  It just adds an extra chewy bit of sweetness that compliments the chocolate chunks so well.  Warm from the oven, these are the very definition of comfort food.

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All kidding about the heel tapping aside, I do believe the addition of molasses and chilling the dough is what puts these bakery style cookies over the top.  I dare say I’ve found the perfect recipe.  The batter is on the larger side and will produce close to 40 big cookies.  You can bake what you need now and easily freeze dough balls to pop in the oven at a later date.

Life is simply just better with milk and cookies!

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Do you have the ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe?  I would love it if you would share your favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie secrets with me!

Happy baking!

Renee

xo

 

Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies

*adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1  1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups chocolate chunks, semi sweet
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°

1. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, combine the sugars and the butter and mix well.  Add eggs, yolks, vanilla and molasses.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in chocolate, walnuts and cranberries.

3.  Refrigerate the dough for an hour.  Using a cookie scoop (mine is 2″ in diameter), scoop chilled dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 18 mins. Let the cookies rest on the sheet for about 2 mins.  Store in an airtight container.

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Love Cookies

You know the saying, that as you get older, you open your mouth and your mother comes out?   I would’ve sworn on my life as a teen that this would never happen to me, that it couldn’t, wouldn’t be how I would parent.  Speed ahead 30 years later and lo and behold I was blessed with three amazing children of my own and I’ve seen my mother in a whole new light.

I should say to her, thank you for loving us as deeply as you did and I’m sorry for all the trouble I gave you.

Oh, and you were right.

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Mom scratch baked for us every single week-end.  Tunes always blaring in the kitchen, she made the best meals and treats.   I have vivid memories of standing on a chair and helping her roll dozens of cookies in sugar.  These Love Cookies were a regular during our childhood.  They aren’t really cookies, they’re made in bar form, and I’ve never seen another recipe similar.  Waiting for the glaze to set while they were still warm was a killer but mom usually cut a little warm piece off for us.

When I make these now, I often eat a piece or two (sometimes a row!) right after it’s been glazed.   It takes me right back to that little kitchen of my childhood, and to mom, within minutes.

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These are full of walnuts, cinnamon and raisins.  They are baked on a sheet pan and topped with a sweet glaze while still warm.  When the glaze sets, it leaves a gorgeous crackly layer on top.

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but I’m pretty sure of the Love in the name.

Thanks mom. xo

loveslice

Do you have a recipe that takes you right back to your moms kitchen?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy Spring!

Renee

 

Love Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup+ 1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp water, divided
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cold milk
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1.  In a medium saucepan combine sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 cup butter, raisins and 1 cup water.  Mix well.   Combine baking soda and remaining tbsp water and stir until soda dissolves.  Add to the raisin mixture and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, add the walnuts and set aside.

2.  Mix flour and baking powder and add to the raisin mixture.  Stir just until combined.  Spread onto 10 x 15 cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 25-27 mins until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Watch carefully at 25 minutes as these can over bake quickly.

3.  In a small bowl combine the milk, tbsp of melted butter, icing sugar and vanilla.  Whisk any lumps out and spread over cookies while still warm.

 

 

 

 

 

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Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Happy Monday friends!  Today was the first day back to work after our March Break.  Nine days off to sleep in, read great novels, recipe test and repeat!  While we didn’t take off to anywhere for the holidays it was certainly nice to catch up with friends and not have the morning rush out the door!

Speaking of being rushed, I’m always thinking of ways that I can satisfy my family’s love of dessert while enjoying the holidays. Easter is fast approaching and with that comes some menu planning.  My goal is to do as much work ahead as possible so I can enjoy my time with those around me.  This Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake, or BBSEEICC for short, seems to be just the ticket.

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If there’s one thing this whole house can agree on it’s ice cream.  Remember this Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake?   I’m still dreaming about it.  It was pure ice cream decadence with very little prep.   This Speckled Easter Cake is too, the only difficult part is deciding what flavours to use.  Honestly, I’m not EGGS- aggerating, the sky’s the limit here with flavour possibilities!

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I used just a simple brownie base with layers of chocolate, chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream. I’ve come to love the simplicity of this lightly tinted whipped cream icing along with some gorgeous spring blue speckled eggs on top.  It’s a small 6″ cake, just enough for us for dinner without all of the crazy leftovers ~ not that anyone would be complaining.  If you’ve been following me for a while you know that my favourite family cake size is a 6″ pan.  It’s the perfect size for this family of five along with the few extra friends that are often at the dinner table.

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I know I’ve said this before but ice cream certainly doesn’t only need to be a summer treat.  It’s a favourite in this house all year-long.  So much so that I’ve been known to hide the containers at the very bottom of the deep freeze in the hopes that teenage hands won’t find them and they’ll stick around for a while.   You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

 

Happy Easter everyone and have a blessed spring.

Renee

xo

 

Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Brownie Layer

*this makes 2 6″ layers – I used one and froze the other for later

*from Kraft Foods

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup  milk
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla
  • 1 cup  flour
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

1.  Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl for 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.   Add the sugar and mix well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until blended.  Add the milk and the vanilla and mix well. Combine flour and salt.  Add to chocolate mixture, mixing just until blended. Spread evenly into two greased and floured 6″ springform pans.  Bake 20 minutes and set aside to cool.

 

Chocolate Ganache

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Put 6 oz  bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let it sit until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir the mixture with a spatula until the ganache is smooth.  Allow to cool.

Whipped Cream Icing

* don’t make this until you are ready to ice your cake

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • few drops of teal gel colour

1.  .   In a medium bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add in sugar and mix well.  Add in teal tint.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cake Assembly

*need two cups of premium vanilla and two cups of premium chocolate ice cream (or flavours of your choice), slightly softened.

1.  Cover the cooled brownie layer with a layer (approx. 2 cups) of ice cream, using a piece of saran on top to evenly distribute the layer with your hands.  Cover and freeze until ice cream is firm.  Spread the ganache on top of the firm ice cream layer and return to the freezer until firm.  Spread the remaining 2 cups of ice cream on top of the ganache and return the cake to the freezer for 6 hours or more to harden.

2.  Remove the cake from the freezer and use the Whipped Cream Icing to ice the entire cake.  Mix a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract with a few drops of water.  Use a small paintbrush to flick drops of the vanilla on to the cake and make a speckled look.  Top with some chocolate speckled eggs.  Return the whole cake to the freezer until needed.  The cake should sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving (to soften the cake slightly but not long enough to melt the ice cream).

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Apple Coffee Cake

This cake is kind of confusing….

It’s a coffee cake, made with a sweet buttery brioche dough, full of apple slices, and topped with an oat streusal topping.

It’s kind of like an apple crisp.

It’s kind of like a coffee cake.

It’s kind of like a sweet bread.

It’s kind of awesome!

cake

If you’ve been following me for a while you know about my love affair with bread (this is awkward because I believe I’m also having an affair with chocolate, cake and frosting…but let’s carry on).  I started making bread several years ago and it’s something I still love to do.  There’s nothing quite as gratifying.  Honestly, don’t let  yeast scare you.

I’ve made this several times and I’ve never made the same cake twice.  It’s made with Brioche Dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.  These folks aren’t lying, they’ve really created some masterpiece yeasted doughs that literally take only five minutes prep.  This is one of my books that is completely dog-eared and never leaves the kitchen.   The dough can be made up to five days ahead and refrigerated.  At a moments notice you have a rich, buttery Brioche Dough ready for this Apple Coffee Cake, sticky buns or doughnuts.   The options are endless!

 

slice

I added pepitas, dried cranberries and walnuts along with the apple to the cake this time.  My last one had blueberries and pecans.  Both were sensational.   The cake is fully assembled and then left on the counter to rest for a little over an hour.  Then it’s into the oven and done in an hour.  Nothing to do after but wait for it to cool so you can cut it and enjoy it.

That’s my kinda cake.  Uh bread.  Umm Apple Crisp?!  You get the idea.

I’m sharing the link here to the BreadIn5 website,  for their Brioche Dough.   You will not find a simpler recipe for Brioche Dough anywhere.  Just mix it and leave it, literally.   The following is the recipe for the cake.

Apple Streusal Coffee Cake

*adapted from BreadIn5

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup large flake oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  To make the streusel, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined.  Set aside.

For the Cake:

  • 1 pound of the chilled Brioche Dough
  • 2 1/2 small apples thinly sliced – I used honey crisp apples
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • streusel topping (above)

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350° and grease and flour an 8 x 3 inch cake pan or springform pan.

1.  Mix the apple slices, cranberries and brown sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

 

2. Split your pound of brioche dough into two equal pieces.   Roll out each piece to be a circle slightly larger than the cake pan.  Place one dough circle in the bottom of the pan.  Top with half of the apples and 3/4 cup of streusel.   Place the remaining dough circle on top and layer again with apples and the remaining streusel.

3.    Let the cake rest, uncovered, for an hour and 20 minutes.  Bake for approx. 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

4.  If you used a cake pan, invert the cake onto a plate and then quickly invert back to a cake plate.

 

Enjoy!

Renee

 

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Self-Saucing Pear and Whiskey Cake

I asked my husband this week-end if he ever had self-saucing cakes as a boy.  He had never heard of such a thing.  Same with the moms I asked at the arena.  They had no idea what I was talking about.

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It’s right up there with moms heart-shaped cookies she used to put in our lunch or the sweet apple strudel she would buy as a treat on the week-ends sometimes.  Those magical boxes of mix that would bake with a warm, bubbling sauce on the bottom and a moist, warm cake layer on top?

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I tried a scratch version last week-end that was insanely good and brought back all the comfort of eating desserts as a kid at mom’s house again.

Minus the whiskey…..

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It was a last minute decision to generously splash some whiskey into the caramel sauce on the bottom.  I can’t even tell you how much I used.  But I could taste it in there!  It complimented the spicy cloves and pears perfectly and left the most amazing caramel whiskey sauce on the bottom.

The perfect treat on a freezing winters night.

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Have you ever eaten Self-Saucing Cake?  Do you make a dessert that takes you right back to your mom’s kitchen table?

Enjoy!

Renee

 

Self-Saucing Cake with Pears and Whiskey

* this made 8 1-cup ramekins (probably could’ve got 9 with less overflow) or would work well in a deep dish pie plate

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1-2 sliced green or red pears

For the sauce:

  • 1.5  tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c water
  • 3 tbsp whiskey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly spray baking dishes with non stick spray and place on a cookie sheet.

1. For the cake:  In a medium bowl mix the flour, spices and baking powder; set aside.  In another bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.   Add the flour mixture to butter in thirds, alternating with milk, and beginning and ending with the flour.  Mix just until incorporated.  Fill the ramekins just slightly over half full.  Top each with pear slices.

2. For the sauce:  In a microwave safe bowl heat the sugar, butter and water until mixture is steaming hot and sugar/butter is melted.  Stir in whiskey.  Immediately pour over cake and pears in the ramekins, dividing evenly amongst the dishes.

3.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until skewer comes clean when inserted into the cake.  Let sit for 5 minutes and eat warm.  Delicious with a scoop of ice cream on top too!

 

 

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Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti

I’m enjoying the last few days of hustle and bustle around here as we get ready for the holidays.   Lots of baking to do, lots of presents to wrap and all of the other preparations that go along with it.  All three kids are in the house at the moment and I love every minute of it.

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Without a doubt, baking Christmas Biscotti is on my list of things to do.  When I had the bake shop I gave a ribbon wrapped bag of biscotti to every customer that came in on Christmas Eve.  Even now I like to attach a little bag to the presents I give out.  It’s a great little gift and something that can be prepared well ahead of time.  This one is a Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti.  A twice baked batch of crunchy chocolate goodness full of Lindt Bittersweet chunks and drizzled with melted White Chocolate.  Sprinkle some crushed candy cane on top and catapult yourself right to the top of the nice list!

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This recipe is super chocolatey without being really sweet.  These are definitely dunkers and I would put them in the extra-crispy category too.  I always have some flavour of biscotti in the house and I’ve gotten into the habit of eating a piece or two with my tea after dinner.

Come to think of it, I usually keep a piece or two in my lunch bag too.  And I often snag a piece to have with my coffee when I’m driving the boys to the hockey arena.

Geez Louise, I have a slight cookie and coffee addiction it seems.

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I hope that you have a wonderful holiday, wherever you may be.  I feel very lucky to have the time at home with my family and friends ~ and you!   As always, thank you for another great blogging year.  Your comments and support continues to amaze me.

Blessings for a great 2015!

Renee

 

Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti

*adapted from David Lebovitz- David does not use butter in his recipe, you can certainly omit it.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 oz. white chocolate for drizzle
  • crushed peppermint candy canes to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract and mix until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.  Mix the chocolate chunks in by hand.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the biscotti mix into two logs directly on the cookie sheet (you can just form one wide log if you want long cookies -about 6 inches wide).  The logs should be 1.5 inches high and about 3 inches wide.  If you wet your hands slightly it’s easier to form and smooth out the dough.  Make two even logs.

3.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 300 degrees.  Let the biscotti cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.   Transfer the dough to a cutting board and cut the biscotti into slices (3/4 inch wide).  A serrated knife works best.  Place the cookies upright back on the cookie sheet, leaving about 1/2 and inch between each cookie.  Bake them for an additional 30 minutes until crisp.

4.  Melt the white chocolate over a bain marie.  Drizzle the cooled biscotti with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with candy canes.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Easy Gingerbread Snowmen Cookies

Happy Saturday everyone!

If you’ve been following me for a while then you know that my job during the day is working in a classroom with 9 of the most amazing children.  They’re all so different and have taught me some sort of lesson about myself or life in general.  I truly enjoy being with them each day.

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The past few weeks in our room have been all about the holiday season and the magic of winter.  We recently did a snowman art project and I thought it was so cute that I copied it in cookie form for them.  They were pretty impressed and I was too~ it was incredibly easy!  How cute are these snowmen cookies who are gazing up at the snowflakes falling from the sky?  Pretty whimsical and a great gift idea or classroom party snack.

Did you know that you can place a fondant decoration on top of hot cookies right out of the oven and they will mold perfectly on top?  Nothing else required!   The longest part of the cookie prep is making the fondant decorations for the top.   After that, things move pretty smoothly.

First off, here are the items you need:

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  1. Gingerbread recipe (see below)
  2. Round cookie cutter
  3. White, blue and orange fondant
  4. Fondant roller
  5. Black sugar pearls – I used 4 mm
  6. Card stock with snowflakes painted on (if you’re giving the cookies as gifts)- I used white food colour gel and the back of a paintbrush

 

Start by rolling out your cookie dough and using the cookie cutter to cut out all of your cookies.  Place them on trays in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.  Use the fondant roller to roll out the white fondant (a bit of Crisco on the counter top stops it from sticking).  Use the same cookie cutter to cut out as many white circles as you have cookies.  Place them under some Saran or a fondant mat to keep the fondant from drying out (single file).  Meanwhile, start the scarves.  Roll out the blue fondant and cut two strips for the scarf, using a knife to cut the end tassels.  Put a little bit of water on your finger and rub it on the bottom side of the scarf to help it adhere to the white fondant (very little water is needed).  Place the scarf on the white circle as shown in the picture below.  Cut the corners to keep the snowman round.

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Roll out the orange fondant and cut out some carrot noses with a knife.  Keep all fondant under the Saran to keep it from drying out.  Now you can start baking and assembling!  As soon as the cookies come out of the oven start placing the snowmen on top.  Once you’ve covered the whole tray of hot cookies with the fondant rounds, you can start pressing in the black pearls for the mouth.  Carrot noses will stick on with just a smidge of water.

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Tah dah!!  Looks great right?  For packaging I simply placed a cookie on a piece of blue cardstock with some little white dots (I had some snowflake sprinkles to add too) and then in a cellophane wrap.  I must tell you that the cookies were a big hit although they need to be handled with care as the noses can be fragile.  When I do them again I will move the noses down just a hair so that they aren’t sticking out as much.

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And that’s it.  A fun baking project that you can do with your own children or just to give to the very special children in your life!

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Now go forth and create my little snowflakes!  Use your imagination and have fun!

Renee

 

Gingerbread Cookies

*Martha Stewart

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  •  2 teaspoons ground ginger
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 /2 teaspoon finely ground pepper
  •  3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  •  1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in spices, salt, eggs and molasses.   Add flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into circles with a 2.5″ cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm or ready to use.
  4. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, about 8 minutes. Cover immediately with fondant tops.

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Glazed Cherry Almond Scones

Fresh bread is my nemesis.  Warm out of the oven, it gets me every time.  It doesn’t matter what it is, biscuit, fresh loaf, cinnamon buns or scones there is no smell better than that of bread, in any form, baking in the oven.

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I find the whole process of kneading and rolling so comforting.  Always have.   For the past few days I’ve been down and out with a bad cold.  The constant coughing when I lay down has left me restless and unable to sleep.  So I find myself in the kitchen early in the morning rolling dough to feel better.  Yesterday it was these cinnamon buns, today scones.

It seems everyone in this house wins when mom doesn’t feel well!

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This is my favourite recipe that I’ve shared with you before.  It’s so incredibly versatile.  When you can use fresh fruit do so, it’s worth it.   Montmorency cherries and buttery flaky glazed bread under a blanket of almond glaze.  I’m feeling better already!  These are frozen cherries that I typically use for pie but they offer an amazing sweet and tart flavour to the scones.  The simple almond glaze is a must.   I tried this flavour recently at a local bake shop and was smitten with the combination!

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No butter or additional spread is needed.  Warm and glazed these scones are simply enough all on their own.  Bake some now and freeze the rest for another morning.  These would be an excellent make ahead item for Christmas morning!

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Glazed Cherry Almond Scones

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter, frozen
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream (full fat works best)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups frozen tart cherries
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • chopped almonds to sprinkle on top

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.  Use a cheese grater to grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture.  Mix gently with a fork to coat the butter with the flour mixture.

2.  In a separate small bowl mix the buttermilk, sour cream and egg.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour buttermilk mixture in.  Mix gently to incorporate.

3.  Knead dough on a floured surface, maximum 1o times.  The idea is to knead very little to keep that butter cold.  Roll into a large rectangle, about 22 inches by 12 inches.  Spread whole cherries all over the surface of the dough.  Starting with the longest side, roll the dough up towards you into a log.  Tuck in the seam.   You should be left with a log about 22 inches long.  Pinch the ends together and press down on the log to slightly flatten it.   Keep the seam on the bottom.

4.  Cut the log in half.  Cut each half in half.  Cut each quarter in half.   You will be left with 8 squares.  Cut each square on the diagonal to make 2 scones, for a total of 16 scones.

5.  Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes or place unbaked scones on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze for at least an hour.  Place frozen scones in freezer bags for easy storage.  Bake from frozen.  Combine the powdered sugar, milk and extract and the glaze warm scones.  Top with chopped almonds.  Enjoy!

 

 

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Epic Double Chocolate Glazed Tart

This tart is so simple yet so rich and decadent.  A chocolate lovers dream!  Insanity on a plate!

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It’s so ridiculously simple and the presentation is fabulous!  It’s almost embarrassing to say how little time this takes to make.  I challenge you to skip that tired old apple pie and serve one of these tarts this holiday season.  You’re family and guests will thank you.

tart 1

Listen, if you’ve been hanging out with me for a while you know about my love affair with chocolate.  In all forms.  I’ve yet to meet a chocolate I didn’t like.

I would wrestle my own babies down the for last piece of dessert.  I used to steal the mini chocolate bars from their Halloween bags.  I have been carrying around a bag of Lindt Truffles in my purse for two weeks and I sneak pieces when I’m driving to work.  I hoard it.

I have no shame.

tart 2

I topped mine off with an easy Pistachio Brittle and some sweetened whipped cream but you could easily skip the candy and opt for some fresh berries instead.  The sweetened cream cuts the richness of the chocolate.   It’s essentially a truffle tart with a chocolate crust that gets even better the next day.   Quality chocolate is a must here dessert lovers.  When I had the bakeshop, we used the best we could get.  In brownies, cakes and ganaches it makes all the difference in the world.

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Are you a chocolate lover like me?  What’s your epic chocolate dessert?  Enjoy,

Renee

Chocolate Glazed Tart

*adapted from Epicurious.com

 

For the Crust:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups chocolate graham crumbs

For the filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the glaze:

  • 4 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons warm strong coffee

Equipment:

  • a 9-inch round fluted tart pan or a springform pan
Preheat oven to 350°F .

  1.  Stir together the melted butter and chocolate crumbs and press evenly onto bottom and 1 inch up side of pan.  Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.
  2. Bring the cream for the filling almost to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate.
  3. Pour the filling into crust and bake for about 25 minutes – the center will be slightly wobbly but the outside will feel set.Cool completely in pan (about 2 hours).
  4. Bring cream for the glaze almost to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and coffee.  Immediately pour glaze onto tart and rotate tart so glaze coats top evenly. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.
  5. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and berries.

 

I found the easy Pistachio Brittle recipe here.

 

 

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Salted Caramel Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake

I think there’s some kind of unwritten rule somewhere that ice cream treats are not to be consumed in the fall and winter.  I’m pretty sure it’s in the same category as wearing white pants after Labour Day.

pumpkincake1Why not eat ice cream all winter long?  I’m sure I came up with the perfect cold weather flavour.  This sky-high Salted Caramel Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake screams fall.  You know what happens when I scream and you scream…. well, you get the idea.

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This is 7 layers of caramel and pumpkin spice goodness.  I’ve already introduced you to my most loved Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake which is featured again here.  Layered along with some premium store-bought Caramel Praline Ice Cream and topped off with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream and the most amazing Salted Caramel Sauce.   I made a small 6 inch cake, which many of you know is my favourite size.  It served 10 of us with 3 generous slices left over.

Aside from baking the cake, this really is fairly simple and quick to throw together.  It’s the freezing in between that takes the most amount of time.  I had some pumpkin layers already baked ahead so this was literally minutes to assemble.  I left it overnight and then iced with the whipped cream the next day.

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It really couldn’t be any prettier.   I think it deserves its spot on any Thanksgiving table or fall and winter celebration for that matter.  We need not be fair weather ice cream eaters right?

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Chime in:  Are you a seasonal ice cream eater?  Can you think of an ultimate winter or fall ice cream cake flavour combination?

Happy fall everyone,

Renee

Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake

*adapted from finecooking.com

* grease and flour two 6 x 3 inch cake pans, set oven temp to 350 degrees

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  •  2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  •  1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  •  1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  •  1 tsp. ground ginger
  •  3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  •  1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  •  2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  •  2 large eggs, room temperature
  •  1/3 cup buttermilk. room temperature

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally (butter will begin to foam a bit) until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown, about 4 minutes.  Let cool while preparing other ingredients.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt,nutmeg and cloves.  In a large bowl, whisk 1-1/2 cups of the pumpkin purée with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk until well blended.   Stir in the flour mixture just until combined. Gently whisk in the brown butter until completely incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

3.  Bake the cakes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto racks, remove the pan bottoms or parchment, and cool completely.

Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

1.   In a medium bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add in brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Easy Salted Caramel

*Cooking  Channel TV

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, without stirring.  Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan if you need to.  Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7 minutes.

2  Remove mixture from the heat and very carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble a lot but keep mixing. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Bring back to the stove on low heat and stir until you have a smooth sauce.  Allow the caramel to cool.   The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Reheat before serving.

Cake Assembly:

1 litre of premium Caramel Praline Ice Cream- allow it to soften slightly

1.  After cakes have cooled layer each cake into two layers (you should have four layers total). 

2.  Place a cake layer on the bottom of a 6 inch springform pan.  Cover with a layer (approx 1 1/2 cups) of ice cream, using a piece of saran on top to evenly distribute the layer with your hands.  Add another cake layer and ice cream layer.  I did this with two springform pans. Three layers in one and four layers in the other.  Freeze both pans for at least six hours.  Remove from both springform pans and place all the layers together to complete the seven layers on a cake board or plate.  Rewrap the whole cake with saran and freeze overnight.

3.  Remove the cake from the freezer and use the Brown Sugar Whipped Cream to ice the entire cake.  Cover the top with the Salted Caramel.  Return the whole cake to the freezer until needed.  The cake should sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving (to soften the cake slightly but not long enough to melt the ice cream).

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Cake, Ice Cream, Uncategorized