Archive for the ‘desserts’ Category

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apricot sage cornmeal cookies

June 10, 2019

Do you like a different kind of cookie? There’s no chance someone else will show up to the potluck with this one!

•1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
•3/4 cup sugar
•1 large egg
•3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
•2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves (see notes)
•1/2 cup cornmeal
•1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4t salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. and lightly grease 2 baking sheets.

In a bowl whisk together butter, sugar, and egg until smooth. Sift in flour and baking soda and add apricots, sage, cornmeal, and salt, stirring until combined.
Drop dough (no larger than tablespoons) about 1 inch apart onto baking sheets and bake in batches in middle of oven 10 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool cookies on sheets 2 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool.

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by Gourmet magazine

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Honestly, I wouldn’t call these “savory cookies”. 3/4c flour to 3/4c sugar – they are just as sweet as you are imagining.

Do not make these cookies very large like I did, or they’ll be a bit raw in the middle when the outer edges are perfectly crispy. The second batch (smaller cookies) turned out crispy and evenly baked. I used dry sage powder instead of fresh sage leaves, and next time I will try to find another substitution, because the dry sage was too subtle. Maybe apricot-tarragon next time? I added pecans because I was craving nuts, and so they turned out to be apricot-pecan cookies instead of sage. Pecan meal would be good with this sandy texture. I like that this recipe makes just a small number of cookies. I also like the addition of cornmeal. It tastes like the crispy crust on the edges of a sweet cornbread. It isn’t revelatory, but it’s a nice change of pace. (Use very fine powder cornmeal; don’t be like the woman in the review who complained that the coarse cornmeal she used nearly broke her teeth.) Overall, this recipe isn’t my favorite cookie, but I definitely plan to make it again with a few tweaks.

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sweet potato julius (orange creamsicle smoothie)

February 25, 2019

1 cup almond milk or other milk
1 medium sweet potato, baked whole
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 Medjool date, or more to taste, pitted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dash of sea salt
Dash of ground cinnamon

blend everything on a high/smoothie setting; serve with ice

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recipe adapted by friedsig from mckel hill via epicurious

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Much closer to liquid sweet potato pie than an orange julius. This recipe was definitely strange. I used the one orange the recipe called for, but the sweet potato flavor far overwhelmed the orange flavor. Next time, I’ll use 2 oranges. The recipe called for 1 t vanilla, but I used 1/2t. The vanilla flavor was detectable but maybe a little too subtle. I think next time I’ll use 3/4t. It was sweet enough without extra honey or other sweetener. I was hoping for a creamsicle, but instead it tasted like a sweet potato pie smoothie. I definitely didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it, either. A good use for leftover baked sweet potatoes. I’ll make it again some time that I am craving a smoothie in the middle of the winter when the only ripe fruit are citrus.

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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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recipe from my penpal and total stranger Chris

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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.