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Category Archives: Desserts

Recipe: Fig Tart

Fig Tart

Fig Tart


This Fig Tart is pretty damn close to perfection. It’s not too sweet and has a nice balance of flavors.

The key to this tart is two-fold. 1) Getting your hands on great figs. 2) Getting the frangipane right. If you don’t know what frangipane is, you’re in for a treat. It’s basically a pureed mixture of butter, toasted almonds, sugar and egg.

For the frangipane:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • Assembling the Fig Tart

    Assembling the Fig Tart

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Let cool on a plate.
  3. Put the cooled almonds and sugar in a food processor and blend until fine.
  4. Add the butter and egg and pulse until well combined.
  5. As you will only need one-fourth of the frangipane, you can store the rest in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for about a month.

For the Fig Tart:

Ingredients:

  • 1 9-inch pastry dough
  • 10-15 large figs, quartered
  • 1/4 of the frangipane recipe (above)

Figs in the Frangipane

Figs in the Frangipane


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Roll out pastry dough to a 10-inch diameter and spread frangipane on the dough, leaving about one-inch of the dough bare.
  3. Arrange the quartered figs pointy end up in concentric circles on top of the frangipane.
  4. Fold the edges in, pinching to make sure they stick.
  5. If you want, brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake 45 to 60 minutes or until edges are a nice golden brown.

Figs are very fragile, but they are worth working with when making this Fig Tart. It comes out flaky and will literally melt in your mouth.

Feel free to serve it a la mode, but it stands alone very well. You’ll forget all about Fig Newtons once you’ve had a piece of this Fig Tart.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Easy Peach Pie

Easy Peach Pie

Peach Pie is a great summer dessert.


What do you do when you’ve got some extra summer peaches on hand? You make peach pie.

This recipe for Easy Peach Pie couldn’t be much, well, easier. It reminds of the peach pie I ate growing up when I spent many hours in the kitchen of the Mennonite family who helped raise my sister and me.

Ingredients:

  • 5 fresh peaches
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 4 TBSP milk
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon

Easy Peach Pie

Easy Peach Pie


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Slice peaches and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup of sugar. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Roll out the pie dough and put into a pie dish. Fill the shell with peaches.
  4. Beat the eggs then add the flour and remaining sugar. Pour the mixture of the peaches.
  5. Pour milk over mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  6. Bake 15 minutes at 450F, then 45 minutes at 350F.
  7. Turn oven off and let pie cool in oven or remove and let cool on a wire rack.

This is great peach pie recipe that isn’t too sweet and really let’s the peaches take center stage. You can serve it hot or cold and garnish with ice cream or whipped cream if you want.

It’s summer and peaches are in season so I recommend making this Easy Peach Pie before they go out of season. Also, I highly recommend organic peaches if you can get them.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Blueberry Crunch

Blueberry Crunch

Blueberry Crunch

My mom told me I “had to” try this recipe for Blueberry Crunch because it was “too die for.” She got it from a friend and tried it for the first time last weekend. Basically, crushed pineapple, fresh blueberries, yellow cake mix, pecans, sugar and butter are layered then baked to perfection.

When I got an invitation for dinner from a friend and she asked me to make dessert, I figured it was time to give Blueberry Crunch a try. However, she asked for a healthy dessert and this definitely does not fit the bill. So I ignored her, and it was a hit.

Ingredients:

    Blueberries

    Blueberries are the star ingredient in Blueberry Crunch

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 8-oz. cans of crushed pineapple (with juice)
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar (divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Pecans and Yellow Cake Mix

Pecans and Yellow Cake Mix top Blueberry Crunch


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a 9×13 pan, layer pineapple, blueberries, 3/4 cup sugar, and cake mix.
  3. Spread pecans over top then drizzle with melted butter.
  4. Sprinkle remaining sugar (1/4 cup) on top.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until browned and bubbly.
  6. Let cool slightly (for about 5 minutes), serve and top with whipped cream or ice cream (if desired).

When I make it again, I’ll probably omit the 1/4 cup of sugar on top, but one of my friends said that was her favorite part. I think it could stand to be just a tad less sweet.

All in all, it’s an easy dish with lots of flavor. It’s got a nice crunch, hence the name Blueberry Crunch, and is buttery, sweet and rich.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Blueberry-Peach Cobbler

Blueberry-Peach Cobbler with Ice Cream

Blueberry-Peach Cobbler with Ice Cream

Summer’s almost here which means two of my favorite Summer fruits are coming into season. Which two? Blueberries and peaches. This recipe for Blueberry-Peach Cobbler combines both to create an amazing dessert.

It cooks to perfection in an iron skillet, but a baking dish will do just as well. The best part is that it’s one of the easiest desserts you can possibly make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh peaches, cut up into chunks
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Blueberry-Peach Fruit Filling

    Blueberry-Peach Fruit Filling

  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Heat the butter in a 10- or 12-inch skillet.
  3. Add blueberries, peaches and brown sugar. Cook, stirring gently, until berries and peaches start to soften.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and white sugar.
  5. Add milk and combine to create a batter.
  6. Spoon batter across fruit mixture evenly. You can drag a spoon through the mixture to create some blue streaks to give it a better look if you want.
  7. Blueberry-Peach Cobbler

    Blueberry-Peach Cobbler

  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes until fruit is bubbling and top is golden and crisp.
  9. Let cool slightly, serve and top with whipped cream or ice cream.

I topped mine with some Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream and it was delicious. I’m sure whipped cream is just as great.

If you need to use a baking dish, just put the cooked fruit on the bottom then top with the batter. I would highly recommend using a skillet to bake it in though.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

I’m probably biased, but I think Louisiana is home to the best strawberries on Earth. I’m planning on picking up a pallet in a couple weeks to really experiment with all things strawberries.

This past weekend, I picked up a couple pints from a local farmer’s market and decided to make a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. Unfortunately, I only had frozen rhubarb, but the result was still spectacular. Maybe because I also chose to throw in some fresh basil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pre-made pie crusts, thawed and rolled out (you can make your own if you want)
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling

  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 TBSP butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Pie Lattice Work

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie before baking.

  3. For the pie filling, mix together the strawberries, rhubarb, basil, orange zest, sugar and flour.
  4. Place one pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan or dish and press into pan. Snip the edges evenly, but leave some crust for a small overhang
  5. Add the filling and drop in pieces of butter on top.
  6. Cut remaining pie crust into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch strips (with a knife or pastry cutter).
  7. Weave the pie crust strips over the top of the pie, fluting the edges.
  8. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the pie.
  9. Bake pie at 400F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F and cook another 35-40 minutes (or until filling is about to bubble over and the crust is slightly browned.
  10. Cool pie on a wire rack for 2 hours.
  11. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This really is the perfect pie for Spring and/or Summer. It’s fresh, light and has a nice tang to it. The filling actually reminded me of the taste of Gushers (the fruit snacks).

I ran out of time, but I was planning on topping mine with basil whipped cream. I think the basil whipped cream would give it an even better pop of flavor.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Key Lime Bread Pudding

Key Lime Bread Pudding

Key Lime Bread Pudding with a Coconut Milk Glaze

I have to admit this Key Lime Bread Pudding was really more of an experiment than a vision, but it worked.

Key limes (or their juice) are vital to this dessert recipe. And rather than French bread (which I normally use in bread pudding), I used donut holes to give it added sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Key Lime Bread Pudding Ingredients

    Key Lime Bread Pudding Ingredients

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 3 dozen day-old donut holes, torn into 1/4-inch pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Key Lime Bread Pudding with Donut Holes

    Soaking the donut holes in the key lime custard

  3. Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl and stir well.
  4. Add donut holes and toss gently to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Spread mixture evenly into a baking dish coated with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until bread pudding sets.
  7. Garnish with a key lime slice and serve.

For a topping, I combined a little coconut milk and some sugar to give it a really tropical vibe.

If you can’t get donut holes, just buy donuts and tear them into bite-sized pieces. You may even sweet talk a donut shop into giving you some stale donuts or donut holes for cheap.

  • To make sure I didn’t eat the whole pan, I took this to the office and it disappeared in a few hours. It’s that good.
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    Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

     

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    Recipe: Beet Brownies

    Beet Brownies

    Beet Brownies

    I can’t say I’m a big fan of beets, but I usually try to make best of the ingredients I have on hand. So rather than centering a dish around the beets, I chose to integrate them in to Beet Brownies.

    The chocolate masks the earthiness of the beets really well — so well, you don’t really taste them.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup beets, peeled and chopped
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 sticks (8 oz.) butter
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup chocolate chips

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. Beet Brownie Batter

      Beet Brownie Batter

    3. In a small pot or saucepan, cover beets with water and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Drain, puree and set aside.
    4. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 TBSP butter.
    5. In a medium pot or saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add sugars and stir until dissolved.
    6. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs for 1-2 minutes. Add cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and vanilla extract and whisk to incorporate.
    7. Add pureed beats and butter-sugar mixture and mix all ingredients together. Add whole wheat flour and chocolate chips and stir until all ingredients are blended.
    8. Grease a 9×13 baking sheet and pour in batter. Bake 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick pulls out relatively clean. Enjoy warm or let cool in the pan.

    This recipe should yield at least a dozen medium-sized brownies. You can cut them into larger or smaller pieces based on how long you want them to last.

    I recommend serving them with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

     
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    Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

     

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    Recipe: Pumpkin-Kahlua Bread Pudding

    Pumpkin-Kahlua Bread Pudding

    Pumpkin-Kahlua Bread Pudding

    This is a pretty rich dessert recipe, but it’s worth every calorie. Since most people are probably following through with New Year’s resolutions right now, you may want to file it away for a special occasion.

    I would have never guessed that pumpkin and Kahlua go well together, but luckily they do. You can pretty much use a liquor of your choice for this. I think Bailey’s would make a nice alternative, or maybe even whiskey.

    Ingredients:

    • 6 large croissants, torn into pieces and left to dry out overnight
    • 1 can of pumpkin pie filling
    • 3/4 cup Kahlua
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • Croissants

      The Prepped Croissants

    • 1 cup milk
    • 7 eggs
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • Pinch of salt
    • Butter, for greasing the dish

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter.
    3. Croissants in the Pumpkin-Kahlua Custard

      Croissants in the Pumpkin-Kahlua Custard

    4. In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin pie filling, heavy cream, eggs, milk, sugar, salt and Kahlua.
    5. In the greased baking dish, place in the croissants then pour in the pumpkin mixture. Press with the back of a spoon until the croissants are moistened.
    6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the center is set.
    7. Remove from oven, let cool and serve.

    One of the keys is to let the croissants dry out over night. They will maintain their butteriness, but will absorb more liquid if you do so.

    This is a simple recipe that will disappear very quickly. It’s also kid-friendly (despite the Kahlua) since the alcohol cooks out while it’s baking. Of course, you can drizzle with some extra Kahlua to give it an adult kick.

     
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    Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

     

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    Recipe: Whole Wheat Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Milk and Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

    What Santa Really Wants for Christmas

    Mint and chocolate make an awesome team. Probably only second to chocolate and peanut butter in my book. These Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies are made with whole wheat flour. Trust me when I tell you, you won’t miss the white flour.

    The green mint chips pack a lot of minty flavor, but it’s balanced out well by the semisweet chocolate morsels. I happened to find the mint chips at World Market by accident, but I’m sure chopped Andes Mints will work just fine.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

      Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup mint chips

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk or mix together the eggs, butter, sugars and vanilla extract.
    4. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture in two batches, adding in the milk between batches.
    5. Whole Wheat Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Whole Wheat Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

    6. Use a flat wooden spoon to work in the mint and chocolate chips.
    7. Scoop the batter onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet in about 1-inch rounds. Pat down gently then bake for 15 minutes.
    8. Remove cookies from oven to cool for approximately 3 minutes. Serve.

    You can make the batter in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to two days before baking. Just make sure to wrap it in parchment paper so it doesn’t dry out.

    Even though I’m not a big chocolate fan, these cookies are great for the holidays and the green in the mint chips give them a nice pop of color. If mint’s not your thing, you can substitute any flavor of chip you can get your hands on. I’m thinking peanut butter chips would go well with this batter.

     
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    Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

     

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    Recipe: Avocado, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies

    Avocado, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies

    Avocado, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies

    This cookie recipe uses a ripe avocado to take the place of some of the butter found in most cookie recipes.

    The avocado gives the cookies a smoother texture without contributing too much to the flavor profile. And no, the cookies won’t come out green.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 1/4 cup flour (I used a mix of what and white)
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 cup oatmeal
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 ripe avocado
    • Avocado, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookie Dough

      Avocado, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookie Dough

    • 5 TBSP unsalted butter
    • 1 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
    • 1 cup chopped pecans

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. Avocado, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies in the Oven

      Avocado, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies in the Oven

    3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl except pecans, chocolate chips and cinnamon chips. Stir until smooth.
    4. Fold in remaining ingredients.
    5. Use a spoon to scoop batter into 1/2-inch rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
    6. Bake 20 minutes or until golden-brown around the edges. Let cool for a few minutes and serve.

    These cookies are very simple and can go from mixing bowl to oven to plate in about 30 minutes.

    Enjoy them with a big glass of milk.

     
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    Posted by on December 17, 2011 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

     

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