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Grand Marnier

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A venerable French dessert, this dramatic souffle is always a showstopper. Rubbing a little sugar into the orange zest brings out its oils and enhances the deep citrus flavor of the finished souffle. Serve it at the end of a special dinner for an elegant finale.

Grand Marnier Souffle

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) whole milk

1 1/2 Tbs. all-purpose flour

5 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g.) sugar

4 large eggs, separated

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 tsp. grated orange zest

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) Grand Marnier

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

 

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C) for individual souffles or 375°F (190°C) for a large souffle. Butter four 1-cup (8-fl. oz./250-ml.) ramekins or a 1-qt. (1-l.) souffle dish and dust the bottom and sides with sugar.

In a saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat until bubbles appear along the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, stir together the flour and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Slowly pour in the hot milk while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1-2 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale in color and thick. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. In a small bowl, using the back of a spoon, mash the orange zest with a pinch of the sugar, then whisk into the egg yolk mixture along with the Grand Marnier.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks.

Using a rubber spatula, fold one-fourth of the beaten egg whites in the egg yolk mixture to lighten it. Then, gently fold in the remaining whites just until no white streaks remain. Spoon into the prepared dish(es). Run your thumb around the rim of the dish(es) to form a shallow groove along the edge.

Bake until set and puffed, and the center still jiggles slightly when the dish is gently shaken, 8-10 minutes for the individual souffles, 25-30 minutes for the large souffle. Serve at once. Serves 4.

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Cherry Potpies

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Potpies don’t have to be savory. They make adorable desserts, and are a lot easier to put together than a large pie — there’s no need to line the bottom of a pan or worry about excess liquid, as when you slice into a pie. These cherry potpies are wonderful, especially if you can get your hands on a basket of fresh sour cherries.

This recipe calls for jarred cherries, but if you’re using fresh ones, follow these steps: stem and pit the cherries, then simmer them in a saucepan over medium-low heat for a few minutes to release some of the juices, which you can then use as directed in the recipe.

 

Cherry Potpies

1 batch Flaky Pie Dough for single crust (recipe below)

2 large jars (24 oz./750 g. each) sour cherries in juice or light syrup ( you should have about 3 heaping cups of cherries without juice)

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) all-purpose flour

2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g.) granulated sugar

1 large egg, well beaten with about 1 tsp. water

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Vanilla ice cream for serving

Prepare the flaky pie dough and chill as directed.

Drain the cherries, saving about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) of the juice. Put the cherries in a bowl. In a small bowl, mix the reserved juice with the flour and strain over the cherries. Stir in the granulated sugar. Divide the cherries and juice among four 1-cup (8-fl. oz./250-ml.) ramekins.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch (3 mm.) thick. Cut out 4 rounds of dough, each about 1/2 inch (12 mm.) larger than the diameter of the ramekins. Place a dough round on top of each ramekin and press the edges down over the rim to secure. Cut a few vents in the dough. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if desired.

Place the ramekins on the prepared pan and bake until the crust is golden and the cherry juices are bubbling, 35-40 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Serve the potpies topped with scoops of ice cream. Makes 4 potpies.

 

Flaky Pie Dough

1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g.) all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

7 Tbs. (3 1/2 oz./105 g.) very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) ice water, plus more if needed

In the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar, if using. Sprinkle the butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds, or just until the butter is slightly broken into the flour but still in visible pieces. Evenly sprinkle the water over the flour mixture, then process just until the mixture starts to come together.

Dump the dough into a large lock-top plastic bag, and press into a flat disk. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 1 month. Makes enough for one 9-inch (23-cm.) pie or tart.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

cupcakes

A real southern classic, red velvet cake has just a hint of cocoa and a lovely red crumb. True to tradition, these party-worthy cupcakes are topped with rich cream cheese frosting.

If you want to amp up the red hue, replace 1 Tbs. of the cocoa with flour and add an extra 1 tsp. of red food coloring.

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cupcakes:

2 Tbs. natural cocoa powder

1⁄3 cup (3 fl. oz.⁄80 ml) boiling water

1 cup (8 fl. oz.⁄250 ml) buttermilk

3⁄4 cup (6 oz.⁄185 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1⁄2 cups (12 oz.⁄375 g) granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp. red gel food coloring

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt

2 1⁄2 cups (12 1⁄2 oz.⁄390 g) all-purpose flour

1 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. white distilled vinegar

 

For the frosting:

1⁄2 lb. (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

4 Tbs. (2 oz.⁄60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla extract

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

 

Candied nuts for garnish (optional)

 

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners or grease with butter and dust with flour.

 

In a bowl, whisk the cocoa into the boiling water. Let cool to lukewarm, then whisk in the buttermilk. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the food coloring, vanilla and salt. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the flour in 3 additions alternately with the buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Beat just until combined. In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and vinegar, then quickly stir into the batter.

 

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling them about three-fourths full. Bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth, light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly combined. If the frosting is too soft,
refrigerate it until it is spreadable, about 15 minutes.

 

Spread the cupcakes with the frosting. Sprinkle with candied nuts, if desired. The frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days; bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 18 cupcakes.

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Cinnamon-Crunch Sweet Potato Muffins

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Sweet potatoes are available year-round but are most abundant in markets in autumn and winter. Some of these edible roots—members of the morning glory family—have tan skin and light yellow flesh; others have darker red-orange skin and flesh. The latter type is often called a yam in the United States, although it is not a true yam. Red-orange sweet potatoes are slightly moister and sweeter than the tan variety, which has the same texture as a russet potato when cooked and mashed.

 

Cinnamon-Crunch Sweet Potato Muffins

For the topping

3 Tbs. sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the muffins

2 sweet potatoes, about 14 oz. (440 g) total, peeled and cut into chunks

1 3/4 cups (9 oz./280 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

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

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) canola oil or walnut oil

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) milk

1/2 tsp. orange oil, or grated zest of 1 orange

3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) pecans, coarsely chopped

Unsalted butter for serving

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

To make the muffins, bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until slightly fluffy. Scrape the sweet potatoes into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, milk and orange oil and whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Add the mashed sweet potatoes and beat until completely blended. Add the flour mixture and stir until just evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the pecans until just evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them three-fourths full. Sprinkle with the topping, dividing evenly. Bake until the muffins are golden, dry and springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins. Serve them warm, with butter. Makes 12 muffins.

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Halloween Spider Web

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Happy Halloween! Devil’s food cupcakes are a fitting choice for these Halloween treats with a spider web design. For a fun, festive touch, the vanilla glaze used to make the spider webs can be tinted light orange with food coloring. For an even spookier touch, garnish the cupcakes or the serving platter with a gummy spider, or make your own spiders out of licorice candies. Cut thirty-six 1-inch (2.5-cm) lengths of black licorice laces, then halve each piece lengthwise. Using a wooden skewer, poke 3 holes on each side of 12 licorice drops, then insert a licorice lace piece into each hole.

 

Creepy Crawler Halloween Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour

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

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

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

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) lukewarm water

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

For the chocolate glaze:

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream

1 Tbs. light corn syrup

Pinch of salt

8 oz. (250 g) milk chocolate, chopped

For the vanilla glaze:

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed

2 Tbs. milk, plus more as needed

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the water and buttermilk, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium-high speed just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not overbeat.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

To make the chocolate glaze, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream, corn syrup, and salt and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chocolate; let stand for 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer the chocolate glaze to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

To make the vanilla glaze, in a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, the 2 Tbs. milk and the
vanilla until smooth; the glaze should be spreadable. If it seems too thick, whisk in additional milk a few drops at a time; if it seems too thin, whisk in additional confectioners’ sugar 1 tsp. at a time. Use
immediately. Place the glaze in a parchment paper cone or small pastry bag fitted with a fine writing tip.

Spoon the chocolate glaze over the cupcakes. Using the vanilla glaze, create spider web designs: Pipe
concentric circles onto the top of a cupcake. Lightly draw the tip of a wooden skewer, toothpick or paring knife from the center of the cupcake outward to the edge, occasionally alternating the direction, if you wish. For the cleanest look, wipe the tip of the skewer after each draw.

The glazed cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; bring to room
temperature before serving. Makes 12 cupcakes.

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15 Decadent Chocolate Desserts

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It’s National Chocolate Day! Time to treat your inner chocoholic to something rich, decadent and melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey. These recipes will do the trick.

 

Chocolate Chip-Pecan BarsChocolate Chip-Pecan Bars
Chocolate chips and pecans add texture and contrast to this big batch of blondies — a delicious twist on on the classic chocolate chip cookie.
Dark Chocolate CupcakesDark Chocolate Cupcakes
When all you want is a simple, classic chocolate cupcake, this recipe does the trick. Moist, tender dark chocolate cake topped with smooth, creamy dark chocolate frosting feeds the chocoholic in all of us.
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 decadent.
Dark Chocolate PuddingDark Chocolate Pudding
This bittersweet chocolate pudding is easy to adapt. You can turn it into a parfait with layers of whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Or, try stirring in a little rum, Amaretto or Frangelico, then garnish the top with crushed chocolate wafer cookies or shaved semisweet chocolate.
Chocolate Caramel TartChocolate Caramel Tart
This tart takes a bit of work to make, but the result is well worth the effort and is always a crowd-pleaser. A thick layer of chocolate, plus a gooey caramel center and a crispy crust — what more could you want?
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie PiesChocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
A retro treat, these whoopie pies feature cakey chocolate cookies sandwiching a creamy filling. For a classic version, swap out the peanut butter filling for marshmallow creme.
Chocolate SouffléChocolate Soufflé
Soufflés are spectacular and surprisingly easy to make. This chocolate version should be devoured immediately, still hot from the oven and topped with big scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Coconut, Almond and Chocolate BarsCoconut, Almond and Chocolate Bars
Nutty, chewy and chocolaty, these bars hit every craving. A toasty almond crust is topped with a creamy coconut and dark chocolate filling, and finished with a thick bittersweet glaze.
Chocolate TrufflesChocolate Truffles
Truffles are easy to make — especially when you get friends involved! These require just 5 ingredients, and they can be stored in the freezer (well wrapped) for at least 3 months.
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.
Chocolate Brownie CakeChocolate Brownie Cake
This dessert has all the moist richness of brownies but is served like a cake for an elegant presentation. The secret to success: good-quality chocolate and a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder to finish.
Chewy Chocolate MeringuesChewy Chocolate Meringues
Crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, these gems not only are a cinch to make but also are completely addictive—you won’t be able to stop at one (or two or three). The cocoa nibs add a nice crunch and nutty flavor.
Devil’s Food Layer CakeDevil’s Food Layer Cake
This time-honored favorite, layered with velvety chocolate frosting, makes the ultimate cake for a birthday or other celebration. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream.
French Chocolate MacaronsFrench Chocolate Macarons

Delicate chocolate macarons are one of Paris’s most delicious treats. If you’re not traveling to the City of Lights soon, whip these up and pretend — the contrast between the crisp cookies and creamy ganache filling is a revelation.

 

S’mores BrowniesS’mores Brownies
Within this recipe is a fantastic brownie—just the right balance of fudgy and cakey with a crackle top—embellished with crunchy graham crackers and big melting marshmallows. If you’d prefer the classic, just leave those two ingredients out and bake as directed.
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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?