Archive for the ‘desserts’ Category

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banana cream pie (all-natural, no pudding box!)

January 14, 2019

First time making a custard, first time making a pie crust in easily a year, first time making a banana cream pie – what could go wrong?

This turned out – well, okay, not even close to perfect, but delicious anyway.

Recipe by Taste of Home and adapted by friedsig

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1 cup sugar 3/4 c sugar maybe 1/2 c sugar?
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups 2% milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pie crust (9 inches), baked
2 large firm bananas 3 large, firm bananas
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped (optional: whipped cream, to top)

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1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into eggs; return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

2. Remove from heat. Gently stir in butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of custard; refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes.

3. Spread half of the custard into crust. Slice bananas; arrange over filling. Pour remaining custard over bananas. Spread with whipped cream. Refrigerate 6 hours

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Even though I completely messed up the pie crust, this tastes absolutely incredible. A few notes for next time….

1. I was scared to let the milk get too hot because I know for some desserts you can’t let milk boil. I was also scared the sugar would burn. So I let it simmer just below boiling on a super-low heat… and it took maybe four hours. WAY too long! So, next time, I’ll start the milk on medium heat, and lower it to a simmer afterwards. Bet that’ll shave half the time off the custard.

2. The custard was amazing, but could use something to make the flavor a little more interesting. Next time, I will add a few drops of almond extract, or some hickory syrup to add a smokiness.

3. The recipe called for a cup of sugar, but commenters said it came out too sweet, so I cut it to 3/4 c of sugar. Still too much! Next time I’ll try a half-cup of sugar and maybe a little honey or something.

4. Okay, I know it has to have the whipped cream on top or else it’s not really a banana cream pie. But after 3 cups of milk, it honestly didn’t taste like it was in need of the whipped cream. This pie is common in the Midwest, and it’s always made with instant banana-flavored pudding. Usually, I need some whipped cream to cancel out that strange metallic artificial banana pudding flavor. This might be a contentious opinion, but between the homemade custard and the raw banana flavor, I don’t think this needs whipped cream at all.

5. I added a layer of bananas at the base, to protect the crust from the custard and also just to get a little more fruit in this dessert. Highly recommended.

6. Made this on Sunday (1/6), and ate almost the entire thing by Tuesday night. Maybe this is best made for a crowd, or for someone who has some self-control.

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Recipe by Taste of Home and adapted by friedsig

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chris’ ginger snaps

July 25, 2018

these cookies are rich, crunchy, light in color, and packed with flavor. most of my ginger cookie recipes are dark and chewy, like gingerbread cookies. but these ginger snaps are really magical. thanks to chris for the recipe – they are fantastic.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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lemon muffins

April 30, 2018

this is my new go-to recipe to bake little cakes to celebrate for a picky crowd. check out the original on the blog “my recipe confessions”.

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk (I used home-cultured kefir)

1/2 cup of sour cream

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tsp. of fresh ginger, minced

Zest of 2 lemons ( about 2 tbsps.)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

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mix flour, baking soda, and salt in one bowl. set aside.

in a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

beat in the eggs one at a time.

add the sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, ginger, and lemon zest.

mix half of the flour into the butter mixture. add buttermilk/kefir. add remaining flour and mix only until flour disappears.

pour mixture into greased cupcake trays for small cakes, or a bundt pan for a big cake.

bake at 325 for about 25 minutes for muffins, about 70 minutes for a cake, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without crumbs.

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made these for my last day of poetry workshop, as a treat. they came out great. they came up when i searched for a “lemon bread recipe,” but it’s definitely more like cake. i added extra zest, which is inadvisable – they were super sour, but definitely still great. everyone loved them. i recommend a dark colored muffin tin, because the caramelized sides were much crispier in that pan than in the light colored pan, and those crispy edges were the best part. fill up the tins three-quarters full. lemon muffins – easy way to impress.

thanks to my recipe confessions for this recipe for “italian lemon pound cake”

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habichuelas con dulce (sweet red beans and sweet potato in coconut milk)

November 24, 2016

if you like sweet red bean paste snacks, you will love habichuelas con dulce, a sweet dominican and puerto rican dessert that’s gluten-free and almost kinda healthy. you can drink it chilled, but i like to sip on hot habichuelas con dulce on a chilly day – it’s filling and sweet.

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boil a sweet potato

separately, prepare red beans (kidney beans). if using dry beans, cook til a bit overdone. if using canned red beans, use about two cans

cook with a can of evaporated milk (or a half-cup or so of milk or half-and-half) and a can of coconut milk til softer.

blend in a blender, or mash together with a fork if you don’t have a blender or food processor.

add a cinnamon stick and around seven cloves, the cooked sweet potato, sugar to taste, and a handful of raisins, and simmer on low heat til fragrant.

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recipe by friedsig, based on this habichuelas con dulce recipe

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sesame cookies

July 2, 2015

sesame cookies meh

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup well-stirred tahini
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup sesame seeds (for rolling)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, then beat in tahini and vanilla. Add flour mixture until a crumbly dough forms. Chill dough until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together sesame seeds. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll balls 1 at a time in seeds to coat and arrange 2 inches apart on greased or lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are puffed and starting to crack, 12 to 15 minutes total. Cool on sheets 10 minutes (cookies will be very fragile when hot), then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

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modified from epicurious

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not my favorite cookie. crumbly, almost sandy texture. not exactly sweet, not exactly savory. maybe the mistake is with me – i used a little buckwheat flour and sometimes that causes a sandy texture. i usually throw a pinch in to any cookie i make, though – so i think it’s the tahini and lack of egg that causes a sandy texture.

it’s not sandy like shortbread. it’s less solid. it falls to dust when you dunk it in milk. not in a crumbly, warm way. in a silty way.

it is nice having a cookie recipe that only uses a half-cup of sugar. however, i don’t see myself revisiting this recipe unless someone asks for a low-ish sugar cookie.

tahini is amazing. i was hoping to love these cookies. i’ll have to stick to tahini almond date bites, goddess dressing, and baba ghanouj for my next sesame craving.

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gluten-free gingersnaps

November 30, 2014

Perfect for eating, gift-giving, or making a sauerbraten sauce. This was modified from the baking beauties.

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1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil, butter, or margarine
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour (i had none, so subbed a combination of coconut flour, buckwheat flour, and white rice flour)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (i left it out, and they were great)
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup granulated sugar, oil, eggs, molasses, and vanilla.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking soda, spices, and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir until fully combined.
DOUGH WILL SEEM TOO WET AND STICKY AND WEIRD, BUT THEY WILL COME OUT WELL!
Leave 2 inches between cookies.
Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to remain on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, store cookies in an airtight container.

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modified by me from the baking beauties

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I made mine big, and they came out a great texture – soft and fluffier than many gluten free recipes, and not super gluten-free tasting. Good!

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golden milk

October 22, 2014

one of my favorite drinks of all-time.

i make this recipe regularly, or whenever i can remember to. curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been clinically shown to reduce inflammation, and therefore ease symptoms of everything from arthritis to allergies. other studies tentatively show it may shrink cancers, reduce the plaque in the brain associated with alzheimer’s, and calm anxiety. in traditional ayurvedic medicine, it clears skin and regulates blood sugar, as well as reducing inflammation and “assisting the whole female system,” which sounds pretty good to me.

i wouldn’t be so inclined to believe them if i didn’t crave golden milk so much, particularly during the changing seasons. it turns my bad knee into my “not quite as good” knee.

(warning: turmeric permanently stains absolutely everything, including things you didn’t even know could stain, like your grater, your hands, your stove, and your sink. it’s completely worth it.)

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+ add two cloves and a quarter to a half inch of cinnamon bark. toast for a few minutes.
+ add 1 cup milk (any milk or milk substitute! some people even use water – but add a drop of ghee, coconut oil, or almond oil to aid absorption. i recommend cow, goat, coconut, or almond milk.)
+ grate 1 inch raw turmeric and 1/4 inch raw ginger into the milk. if you can’t find them raw, feel free to use turmeric or ginger paste, juice, or even powdered.
+ make sure to stir regularly
+ add a saffron thread, if you have it
+ add a pinch of black pepper. this is the only ingredient, besides the turmeric and milk, that isn’t optional! pepper helps you absorb the turmeric.

you will notice a sharp change in flavor when it is done – between five and eight minutes, usually, is all it takes to release the active chemicals.

made with thick, unhomogenized local milk and finished with a spoonful of raw honey, it’s a rich dessert. taken just as is, it’s perfect medicine for the winter blahs, for seasonal allergies, for healing injuries, and as a general tonic to stay well.

probably one of my top ten most highly recommended recipes.