Archive for ‘Sweets’

June 18, 2014

Triple Berry Spoon Cake

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There’s a chef/food writer for Food and Wine I just love. Her name is Grace Parisi. Her recipes are fantastic (I’ve made many), and she makes food you want to eat. Sounds silly I know, but often flipping through cookbooks and magazines I find it all interesting to read, but there are few dishes I feel like cooking. It’s a sad realization when you buy a new cookbook, that at first glance looks fantastic, but you soon find there’s nothing really worth the trouble of making. These cookbooks just join the others on the shelf to collect dust. That’s why I always say if you make one or two great dishes from a cookbook, it’s a good one. I guess that holds true for cooking magazines, too.

I came across this Grace Parisi recipe online when I was looking for a fun dessert to make for a group of teenage girls on a Friday night. I’d never made a spoon cake. Fresh fruit filling topped with a rich vanilla cake-like batter, I thought “how can this be bad?” Strawberries are in season for at least another couple of weeks, and soon the bushes at the farms will be bursting with blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. It’s the perfect season to make this.

I’ve already planned my next spoon cake will be peaches and raspberries, following the same steps as this recipe, there are so many combinations of fruit you could make.

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INGREDIENTS

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

FOR THE BERRY FILLING:

2lbs strawberries, sliced or halved depending on size
2 pints blackberries
2 pints raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch

To make the berry filling, combine all the ingredients above in a large mixing bowl. Set aside for about 15 minutes to allow the berries to macerate and release some of their juices.

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FOR THE CAKE BATTER:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and flour with the lemon zest, baking powder and salt. In a separate small bowl, beat your eggs with the milk and vanilla. Whisk the egg mixture into the dry ingredients until properly combined. Stir in the melted butter.

Pour your berry mixture into a large casserole or baking dish – about 9×13 in size. Spread it out evenly and dollop the batter over the berries, leaving a few gaps as you go. Place in your preheated oven and bake for about an hour until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean and the berries are bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 45 minutes.

Serve with either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream… or both!

Enjoy!

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May 6, 2014

Yummy Little Molasses Cookies

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My first molasses cookie was from Max Hansen Grocery in Carversville, PA and it was delicious. What a fabulous little grocery store. He offers all kinds of sandwiches, prepared foods, coffee & breakfast and even gourmet packaged goods. He has an impressive cheese case and even packages his own smoked salmon… which as my mother-in-law would say is “world-famous!” I had Max cater a birthday party for my husband not long ago and everything was top-notch. Check out his website for more information. You can see pictures of the store, which is located inside the historic Carversville post office – very quaint and picturesque. Alan and I went to Max’s store soon after it opened and enjoyed sandwiches sitting in a pretty grassy area at a picnic table beside the store. We grabbed a couple of homemade cookies for dessert. The molasses cookie was chewy, spicy and sweet… love. I saw this recipe and decided to try baking some here at home. It took less than an hour to make these perfect little cookies, start to finish. Since the butter is melted you don’t even need a stand mixer. I rolled them in Sugar in the Raw. Once baked they had a fabulous crunch on the outside and a chewy center. They’re like gingerbread on steroids.

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Adapted from Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup mild flavored molasses
  • Sugar in the Raw (turbinado sugar) for rolling the cookies

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices & salt. Whisk together.

3. In another mixing bowl whisk the egg and the cooled melted butter. Add the sugar, brown sugar and molasses. Stir until completely incorporated.

4.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in thirds until just combined. You will have a very dense cookie dough.

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5. Pour some raw sugar in a small bowl. Using your hands, roll tablespoon size balls of the cookie dough. Roll the balls in the sugar and set them on the prepared sheet pans.

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6. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until they puff up and crack. Rotate the cookie sheets halfway through. Don’t over-bake. You want a chewy cookie. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

IMG_3228   Enjoy!

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