Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Plum cake

3/4 cup PLUS 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
Pinch salt
3 large plums, pitted and sliced
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In an electric mixer, cream the 3/4 cup sugar and butter. Add the flour, baking powder, eggs, and salt and beat to mix well. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the bottom of the pan, butter it, and place in the pan. Place plums in a circular pattern in the pan. Mix the cinnamon with the remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar and sprinkle over the top.
3. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the center tests done with a toothpick. Remove and cool to room temperature or serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vegetable stuffed acorn squash

1 acorn squash
3 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 C. chopped red bell pepper
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 C. dry white wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 C. shredded cheese (Gruyere or Parmesan works nicely)

Cut  squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds. Rub 1 1/2 tsp butter over cut sides. Arrange, cut sides down, in a shallow baking pan.
Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes. Turn squash and continue to bake until tender when pierced (15-20 minutes approximately). Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft but not browned (8-10 minutes). Stir in wine and soy sauce. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; cook, stirring until liquid has evaporated (about 3 minutes)
Remove squash from oven and spoon a quarter of the filling into cavity of each squash half. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and continue to bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned (about 10 more minutes). Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

B&W cookies

For cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg

For icings

  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Make cookies:
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 large baking sheets.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and mixing just until smooth.

Drop rounded teaspoons of batter 1 inch apart onto baking sheets. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed, edges are pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Make icings while cookies cool:
Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl until smooth. If icing is not easily spreadable, add more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as vanilla icing. Cover surface with a dampened paper towel, then cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Ice cookies:
With offset spatula, spread white icing over half of flat side of each cookie. Starting with cookies you iced first, spread chocolate icing over other half.

Recipe from Epicurious

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Apple tartlets

Makes 6, 4-inch tartlets.

For the tart shells:1 1/2 cups (185 -190g) flour
1/2 cup (65g) powdered sugar
1 stick (113-115g) butter, cut in small pieces
1 egg yolk

In a food processor, combine the flour and sugar, add the butter and pulse a few times. Add the egg yolk and pulse a couple more times until the dough barely comes together. Dump it into a lightly floured work surface and knead until it just comes together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour. Roll between sheets of plastic wrap and cut out circles larger than your tart shells, fit the dough into the molds and cut out the excess. Set them on a sheet pan, line them with parchment paper rounds and fill them with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool before adding the filling.

For the filling:
4 large tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/3 in thick slices
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix cinnamon and sugar. In a large pan, melt butter, add apple slices and saute until light brown and soft. sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top, and cook until sugar melts and apple slices are coated. Cool slightly.

Spoon apple filling into prepared tart shells.

Recipe for tart shells adapted from Tarlette

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coconut oatmeal cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup coconut

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add sugars, butter and egg. Mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Fold in oatmeal and coconut.
Shape into balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Marbled Kugelhopf

14 tbsp/200 g butter, softened
2 C/240 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 C/150 g sugar
1 package Dr Oetker vanilla sugar/1 tsp vanilla*
3 eggs
1 orange rind, grated
2 tbsp milk or cream
1 tbsp rum
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Generously butter a kugelhopf pan or bundt cake pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F/175 Celsius.
Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until sugar dissolves, and butter is pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla sugar and orange rind. Add 1 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp rum, and flour mix, mix until combined. Transfer 3/4 of batter in the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder with the remaining 1 tbsp milk. Add cocoa mix to remaining batter, and transfer on top of batter already in the pan. Swirl chocolate batter with yellow batter with a butter knife.

Bake the cake for about 35 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then cool on rack. When cake is cool, dust with powdered sugar.

*you can find vanilla sugar at Cost Plus/World Market, or make your own by scraping the seeds from a vanilla bean in 1/2 cup of sugar. Keep in glass container in cool place.