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Lemon Chiffon Gingersnap Pie

gingersnap

Lemon chiffon pie is a timeless dessert, filled with rich, tangy pudding lightened by whipped cream. Give this classic a wintry twist with a spicy gingersnap crust. A sealable plastic bag and a rolling pin make short work of crushing the cookies into crumbs.

Lemon Chiffon Gingersnap Pie

1 1/4 cups (4 oz./125 g.) gingersnap cookie crumbs

5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) plus 3 Tbs. granulated sugar

2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) unflavored powdered gelatin

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml.) fresh lemon juice, strained

1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest

4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml.) heavy cream

1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). In a bowl, stir together the crumbs, butter and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Pat the crumb mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9-inch (23-cm.) pie pan or dish. Bake until the crust is firm, 5-7 minutes.

Pour 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) cold water into a saucepan and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let stand until the gelatin softens and swells, 5-10 minutes. Stir in the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, salt, lemon juice, orange zest and egg yolks; the mixture will be lumpy. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the gelatin melts and the mixture thickens, 6-8 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Set the saucepan in an ice bath until the mixture is cool to the touch.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until thick, soft peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour into the prepared crust, smoothing the top.

Refrigerate the pie until chilled and firm, 3-4 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.

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Almond-Orange Pound Cake

almond

Bursting with the sweet flavor of almond paste and tangy orange zest and speckled with poppy seeds, this exceedingly moist pound cake is gilded with a sugary citrus glaze. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a steaming cup of coffee or tea.

Almond-Orange Pound Cake

3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g.) cake flour, sifted

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

5 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (7 oz./220 g.) almond paste, at room temperature

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small chunks

2 tsp. finely grated orange zest

1 tsp. poppy seeds

For the glaze:

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. fresh orange juice

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour two 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm.) loaf pans.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla just until combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste on low speed until it breaks up, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar in a steady stream, beating until incorporated. (If you add the sugar too quickly, the paste won’t break up as well.) Add the butter, a chunk at a time, beating just until combined. Raise the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.

Continuing to beat on medium speed, drizzle the egg mixture into the butter mixture. Mix in the orange zest and poppy seeds. Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring after each until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack while you make the glaze.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon and orange juices and the sugar.

Place the wire rack holding the cakes over a sheet of waxed paper or foil. Invert the cakes onto the rack and place top side up. Brush the warm cakes with the glaze. Let the cakes cool completely on the rack, then cut into slices and serve. Makes 2 pound cakes.

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Oatmeal Scones with Cherries, Walnut and Chocolate Chunks

cherries

The oats in these scones gives them extra fiber as well as a pleasantly flaky, crumbly texture. For the best results, look for old-fashioned rolled oats, which have a sturdy texture and more fiber than more processed instant oats. Bake a batch of these hearty scones on the weekend and keep them in the freezer to rewarm on busy weekday mornings.

 

Oatmeal Scones with Cherries, Walnut and Chocolate Chunks

2  cups (10 oz./390 g) all-purpose flour

1 cup (3 oz./90 g) old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar

1 Tbs. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) buttermilk

1 egg

1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) dried tart cherries,

1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) dark chocolate chunks

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Add to the flour mixture along with the cherries, walnuts and chocolate. Stir with a fork just until evenly moistened (the dough will still look crumbly).

Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and, with lightly floured hands, work together into a ball. Divide into 8 equal pieces and gently pat each piece into a 2 1/2-inch (6-cm) round about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick. Place the rounds 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the scones until the tops are browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before serving. Serves 8.

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Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Compote

olive

Olive oil imparts richness and moisture to this simple sponge cake. Choose a subtle and slightly fruity olive oil, and your guests won’t guess your secret ingredient. The cherry compote delivers a splash of color and tart flavor.

 

Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Compote

For the cherry compote:

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar

1 lb. (500 g) fresh or thawed frozen cherries, pitted

1 lemon zest strip

2 tsp. cornstarch

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g) cake flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3 large eggs

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar

1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

To make the compote, in a saucepan, bring the sugar and 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) water to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add the cherries and lemon zest strip, return to a simmer and cook until the cherries are tender but still firm, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together 2 Tbs. water and the cornstarch. Add to the simmering cherries and cook, stirring gently, until the liquid is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer the compote to a bowl, discard the lemon zest and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan.

To make the cake, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Continuing to beat, slowly add the sugar in a thin, steady stream.

Then add the oil in a thin, steady stream, continuing to beat constantly. Beat in the vanilla and the lemon zest and juice. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in 3 batches. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed in the center, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, Remove the pan sides. Serve slices of the cake accompanied by the compote. Serves 8.

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Plum-Almond Cake

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A homey cake is a treat any time of year. This simple rendition celebrates September, when farmers’ markets are overflowing with small, dark Italian plums. Halved and nestled in the batter, the plums turn ruby red and jammy as they bake.

 

Plum-Almond Cake

1/2 cup sunflower or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1 egg

1/2 cup half-and-half or whole milk

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon

1 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar

1/4 tsp. pure almond extract

9 Italian plums, halved and pitted

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Lightly oil an 8-inch springform pan. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the oil, egg, half-and-half, lemon zest, lemon juice, the 1 cup sugar and the almond extract. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Add the oil-egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the plum halves, cut side up, on top of the batter. In a bowl, stir together the almonds, the 2 Tbs. sugar and the butter and mix well. Dot the almond topping over the cake.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the ring from the pan and place the cake on a serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes one 8-inch cake; serves 8.

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Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti with Almonds

biscotti

Biscotti are one of those treats you see in a glass jar on the counter in a café or in the display case in a
bakery but may not consider making at home. They’re actually quite easy to make, and they store well.
Biscotti are forgiving, too, since they are meant to be hard, inviting dips into coffee, tea, milk or dessert wine.

 

Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti with Almonds

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) slivered blanched almonds

3/4 cup (4 1/2 oz./140 g) unsweetened dried cherries

3 Tbs. kirsch

2 3/4 cups (14 oz./440 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

3 large eggs

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar

1 tsp. pure almond extract

6 oz. (185 g) semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped

 

Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

In a small, dry frying pan, toast the almonds over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool. Set aside.

 

In a small bowl, combine the cherries and kirsch and toss to coat the cherries. Set aside.

 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and almond extract until well blended and lightened in color. Add the flour
mixture and chocolate and beat until a dough forms. Drain the cherries. Scatter the cherries and almonds on top of the dough and fold in until evenly distributed.

 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Shape each portion into a
flattish log about 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide, 8 inches (20 cm) long, and 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Arrange the 2 dough logs on 1 of the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space around them on all sides.

 

Bake until firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack until cool enough to handle, then transfer to a large cutting board. Using a large serrated knife, using a gentle sawing motion, cut the logs crosswise on a slight diagonal into slices about 1/2 inch (12 mm) wide.

 

Divide the biscotti between the 2 baking sheets, arranging them on a cut side. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn over the biscotti and continue to bake until dry to the touch, about 10 minutes longer. Let cool on the pans on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

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Sour Cherry “Toaster” Tarts

tarts

Put a smile on your sweetheart’s face this morning by preparing these homemade, adult versions of the cherry Pop-Tarts you may have enjoyed as a kid. Just don’t put them in the toaster! You can embellish the tarts with all sorts of fancy sprinkles, or stir a little food coloring into a portion of the glaze and sling it across the top. Experiment with your favorite types of jam to re-create a flavor you loved as a kid.

Sour Cherry “Toaster” Tarts

For the dough:

2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

10 Tbs. (5 oz./155 g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) plus 2 Tbs. whole milk

 

For the filling:

3/4 cup (7 1/2 oz./235 g) sour cherry jam, or your favorite flavor

2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp. cold water

1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp. warm water

 

For the glaze:

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 tsp. whole milk

2 tsp. corn syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Sprinkles (optional)

 

To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt and process until blended. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and milk and process until the dough just comes together. Dump the dough onto 2 large sheets of overlapping plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or overnight.

 

To make the filling, in a small saucepan, cook the jam and cornstarch mixture over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened and bubbly. Let cool.

 

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half and form each half into a rough rectangle. Roll one rectangle until it measures about 16 by 9 inches (40 by 23 cm). Using a ruler and a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 small rectangles, each about 3 by 4 inches (7.5 by 10 cm). Set the rectangles on a baking sheet and refrigerate while you repeat with the other piece of dough.

 

Lay half of the rectangles on the work surface and lightly brush with the beaten egg. Dollop a tablespoon of the filling into the center of each. Spread it out on the dough, leaving a border of about 1/2 inch (12 mm). Top with a plain dough rectangle and press the edges together with your fingertips, being careful not to let the filling ooze out the sides. Crimp the edges with a fork. Put 6 tarts on each baking sheet, spacing them evenly, and prick the centers all over with the fork. Refrigerate while the oven preheats.

 

Position 2 oven racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Bake the tarts, rotating the pans once halfway through, until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

 

Meanwhile, to make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup and vanilla until smooth. Smear the glaze on the tarts and decorate with sprinkles, if you like. Makes 12 toaster tarts.

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Apricot-Cherry Clafoutis

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This easy-to-make French custard pancake is often prepared with whole unpitted cherries, but removing the pits makes the dessert easier to eat, and the apricots add a nice tart flavor. You can bake the clafoutis in a 9-inch (23-cm) cake pan, but using a cast-iron pan gives it a lovely caramelized crust.

Apricot-Cherry Clafoutis

3 large eggs

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) whole milk

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) heavy cream

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) granulated sugar

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) all-purpose flour

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 apricots, pitted and cut into chunks

1 cup (6 oz./185 g) pitted cherries

Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).

In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, cream, 2 Tbs. of the granulated sugar, the lemon zest, vanilla, salt and flour. Process until smooth.In a 10-inch (25-cm) cast-iron pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in 3 Tbs. of the granulated
sugar, then add the apricots and cherries. Stir until the mixture becomes syrupy.

 

Gently pour the egg mixture over the fruit and sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbs. granulated sugar. Bake until the clafoutis is puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve. Serves 4.

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Recipe Roundup: Homemade Valentine’s Day Gifts

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A homemade treat beats candy hearts any day. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with cookies, cupcakes and confections from your own kitchen. Whether you’re serving them at a party or giving them to that special someone, everyone will know they’re made with love.

 

Caramel Sea Salt TrufflesCaramel Sea Salt Truffles
These candies are made with deep, chewy caramel covered in rich bittersweet chocolate — little bites of indulgence. A sprinkle of sea salt adds contrast and texture.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingRed Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
These lush cupcakes have just a hint of cocoa and a crimson crumb that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. A layer of tangy cream cheese frosting and sprinkle of toasted sugared pecans tops them off.
Weekend Project: Pistachio BrittlePistachio Brittle
This old-fashioned confection is great for gifting, and it’s easy to make a big batch. Ours is made with pistachios instead of the usual peanuts, resulting in a vibrant green color.
Chocolate Chip CookiesChocolate Chip Cookies
There are chocolate chip cookies, and then there are these chocolate chip cookies: large, chewy, buttery and with just the right amount of chips and nuts. They are classics for a reason.
Dark Chocolate Bark with Toasted Almonds and Dried BlueberriesDark Chocolate Bark with Toasted Almonds and Dried Blueberries
This nutty, fruity chocolate bark is a breeze to make: just melt the chocolate, stir in the goodies, and spread in a thin layer to cool. Swap in whatever dried fruits and nuts you like.
Chocolate-Cherry-Almond BiscottiChocolate-Cherry-Almond Biscotti
With scarlet dried cherries and luxurious cocoa, these cookies make elegant gifts for Valentine’s Day. Plus, they keep well for up to three weeks, so you can easily work ahead.
Chocolate Frangelico TrufflesChocolate Frangelico Truffles
These decadent truffles receive a double dose of hazelnut flavoring, in the liqueur and in the nut coating. Keep them in the freezer until just before serving.
Dark Chocolate CupcakesDark Chocolate Cupcakes
A simple, classic chocolate cupcake is hard to beat. These are moist, tender dark chocolate cakes topped with smooth, creamy dark chocolate frosting — sure to satisfy any chocoholic.
Rocky Road FudgeRocky Road Fudge
This delicious sweet treat known as rocky road fudge contains 3 key ingredients: chocolate chips, marshmallows and chopped nuts. It’s great to make with kids — get the whole family involved!
Strawberry Jam Sandwich CookiesStrawberry Jam Sandwich Cookies
Here, delicate, butter-rich cookies sandwich strawberry jam for a delectable gift. Make them extra festive by cutting the cookies into heart shapes and filling them with red and pink preserves.
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut MacaroonsChocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
These chewy coconut stacks are great make-ahead morsels, as they keep well for several days. Dipping them into dark chocolate only makes them more delicious.
Bourbon BallsBourbon Balls
These bite-sized treats are flavored with bourbon and pecans for a Southern twist. Make them for a Valentine’s Day party — they’ll go fast!
Chocolate Crinkle CookiesChocolate Crinkle Cookies
These are some of our customers’ favorite cookies, with over 30 glowing reviews. They are cakey and ultra chocolate-y — perfect for just about any occasion.
French Chocolate MacaronsFrench Chocolate Macarons
These Parisian favorites feature crisp cookies bound by a creamy ganache filling. It’s Valentine’s Day; what better time to pretend you’re in the world’s most romantic city?