Saturday, June 14, 2008

no-bake strawberry cream pie

Featuring peak-season berries pureed into a pudding, this easy, breezy confection takes 10 minutes to prepare (plus fridge time).


The Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. fresh strawberries (about 4 pints), tops removed, plus 4 strawberries, reserved
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 ½ cups graham-cracker crumbs
  • 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. confectioners' sugar

Place 2 pounds strawberries in a blender and blend on high until pureed, about 10 seconds (do in two batches if necessary). Combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and whisk until dissolved. Add the strawberry puree and lemon juice. Cook on high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture is thick and bubbling (about 7 minutes); remove from heat. Place graham-cracker crumbs in a 10" x 1 ½"-deep pie plate, drizzle with melted butter and mix until all the crumbs are moistened. With the back of a spoon, press evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate to form a crust. Pour strawberry filling into crust and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, place heavy cream in a mixing bowl and, with an electric mixer, blend on high until stiff peaks form. Add confectioners' sugar and blend another 10 seconds. Using a spatula, spread the whipped cream over the filling. Slice reserved strawberries, add to top and serve.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fig Crumble Bars

Fig Crumble Bars
Makes 20
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces dried Calimyrna figs (about 1 1/2 cups), stems removed
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan; line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Butter paper; set pan aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together 2 cups flour and 1 cup sugar. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer half of mixture to prepared pan; with lightly floured fingers, press firmly into bottom. Set aside. Shape remaining mixture into large, moist clumps; transfer topping to a bowl, and set aside. Wipe food processor bowl clean.
  3. Make filling: In food processor, blend figs, apple juice, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons each flour and sugar until a thick paste forms.
  4. Using a small offset spatula or table knife, spread filling over crust. Sprinkle with topping. Bake until topping is golden brown, 60 to 65 minutes.
Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely. Using paper overhang, lift crumble from pan, and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 20 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
From:Everyday Food

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Wowza, I told you this cookbook could be dangerous! These really should be called Heart Will No Longer Function After Consumption Brownies. They're totally/totally insane-o, muy delicioso, and I love them to pieces.

from Stick, Chewy, Messy, Gooey
Recipe numero uno from my new dessert cookbook.
Click on photo for larger image.

The ingredients/tools. Melt butter + chocolate together, set aside to cool. Beat up 6 eggs (only after I broke them all did I realize I should have split the recipe in half). Add the sugars + vanilla extract. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture. Sift in flour + salt. Mix it all up and stir in fixings of choice.

We didn't have snickers and other nut allergies led to the chocolate chip exclusivity. Bake for 20min and throw on a few marshmallows for 2min. Drizzle goodness on top and enjoy.

Some tips:
  • Definitely consider using cupcake liners aka baking cups. No matter how liberally I greased and floured, these suckers did not want to come out easily.
  • Don't overbake the marshmallows as they can get a bit tough. If you think they won't get brown enough, increase the oven temp before throwing the pan back in.
  • Restrict consumption to ONE brownie. They're killer.
  • Holly's right that 6 eggs did not make 700 brownies. It just felt like waaay too much batter in a bowl to not have a solid plan to get them outta my home as soon as they came out of the oven. I recommend creating a plan and list of people to give these to before beginning the process.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar

HOLY COW! This bread is amazing! Totally hit the spot for a late Sunday dessert while wrapping up weekend activities and dreading the ever pervasive Monday morning return to work. We cut thick slices of it and drank super cold glasses of milk while taking in some bad TV and working on our laptops. The idea of a non-fat dessert created in an only-one-bowl-required style was incredibly appealing to me ("non-fat" read: no butter or oil added, but plenty of fat from eggs and chocolate chips). This is in no way "healthy" but is a much better way to use up those ripe bananas piling up in my freezer than the traditional bread.

Melty chocolate intertwined with just enough banana flavor and topped off with a crunchy, cinnamony crustiness? Oh goodness.

And to add to Molly's comment on frozen bananas, when defrosting, try throwing them onto a Teflon-coated frying pan or baking sheet. You'll have thawed fruit in less than an hour.

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar
courtesy of Orangette

3 very ripe bananas (the size doesn’t much matter; medium to large works)
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For topping:
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter or spray an 8-inch square pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher. Add the eggs, and stir well to combine. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla, and stir to mix. Add ¾ cup of the chocolate chips, and stir briefly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the pan, and top with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blondies are good for a Quickie.

Quickie dessert, that is. I can't speak to the other thing your dirty/dirty minds thought of. A batch of them are in the oven as I type and I seriously can't wait 'til they're done. While I was mixing up the batter, the overwhelming smell of melted butter and brown sugar nearly did me over. Review to follow.
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of butterscotch chips (chopped walnuts and chocolate chips are equally tasty)

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour an 8X8 pan. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.

2 Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk.

3 Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix it all together. Add the butterscotch chips or other mix-ins.

4 Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 9 blondies.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Should I make this PB Bundt?

Peanut Butter Pound Cake

Peanut Butter Pound Cake

Recipe from Taste of the South. Read and see more at Bake or Break.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10 ounces swirled milk chocolate and peanut butter morsels
  • confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

Beat butter, sugars, and peanut butter at medium speed until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to butter/sugar mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes, until done. If necessary, cover top of cake with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Garnish, if desired.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Martha's Lamb Cupcakes - DONE! SUCCESS!

Lion and Lamb Cupcakes


Makes 24

  • Billy's Vanilla Frosting + 1/2 scraped vanilla bean (easier than her recipe for this cupcake)
  • 24 cupcakes (used my own fave vanilla recipe)
  • 2 ounces mini marshmallows, halved crosswise
  • 6 full-sized marshmallows, halved lengthwise, then diagonally to create lamb ears


  1. Frost the cupcakes.
  2. Arrange the halved mini marshmallows around the perimeter of each plain-buttercream cupcake, in two concentric circles. Leave room for ears on the edges, and an empty circle in the center for the face. Place halved full-sized marshmallows in reserved spots for the ears. I piped pink frosting for the nose and chocolate eyes instead of bubblegum and chocolate drops that Martha called for.