Desserts

May Days

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Desserts | 0 comments

 

 

A secret ingredient in this boss brownie recipe hits every mark for the merry month of May; Cinco de Mayo, Mothers’ Day, my Mom’s birthday (she would be 93), and Memorial Day potlucks. 
SONY DSC

In addition, it is gluten-free.  Wheee!

SONY DSC

The entire show takes place in the bowl of a food processor; making clean-up simple.

Puree rinsed black beans with coconut oil;

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

then add remaining ingredients to a glossy finish.

SONY DSC

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until set in the middle (test with a toothpick).

Cool and present with vanilla ice cream or what the heck—guacamole. You know I’m joking.

SONY DSC

Seemingly decadent, what fun I had last night, teasing MP about my up-to-date medicinal brownie bites (soluble fiber); people.

Gooey, chocolaty, with a poke of heat makes these mysterious treats--

Fudgy Spicy Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. (325 F convection)
  2. In a food processor, blend black beans adding coconut oil to form a smooth paste. Add in cocoa powder, almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Pulse the food processor a couple more times to combine.
  3. Add in sugar, cayenne pepper (if using), egg, applesauce, and vanilla. Run the food processor until everything is completely mixed together.
  4. Spoon mixture into an oiled 8x8 square baking pan lined with oiled parchment paper. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the brownies are set, pull away from the side of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the brownies cool completely; loosen the edges with a paring knife. Remove from the pan using paper as handles. Cut into 16 small squares and serve with vanilla ice cream.
  5. © Copyright 2016 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  6. All Rights Reserved
  7. http://cococooks.net/
http://cococooks.net/may-days/

 

Read More

Lemon Meringue Pie

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Desserts | 5 comments

Bertha 1

My mother was a pie baker extraordinaire.  Holiday meals always ended with a plethora of pies; by far lemon Meringue was everyone’s favorite.

Classic in every way, I remembered her recipe was printed on the side panel of the old yellow Kingsford Cornstarch box. Yet, when I researched the recipe online-- it was not the same.

Tempering the eggs and timing were the trickiest part for us to learn.  It’s a little easier, now that I’m taller.

Pre-bake a 9-inch pie crust and allow it to cool while you prepare the filling.

SONY DSC

Collect the ingredients;

SONY DSC

zest, juice lemons, and separate the eggs; this helps to manage time and the quick cook steps.

SONY DSC

Combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a saucepan.

SONY DSC

Gradually add the boiling water and stir until smooth; cook, stirring constantly for one minute.

SONY DSC

Spoon some of the hot mixture into the egg yolks to temper or warm the yolks and combine.

SONY DSC

Stir the yolk mixture back into the saucepan and stir until smooth.  Add the zest and juice; cook for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly or until thickened.

SONY DSC

Remove from the heat; stir in butter.

SONY DSC

Spoon the filling into the cooled crust while you prepare the meringue.

SONY DSC

I find Swiss meringue seals the edge far better than the French-style Mom prepared.  Warm the whites over barely simmering water with sugar, vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt just until the sugar has dissolved and the whites are warm to the touch (about 5 minutes).

SONY DSC

Transfer the bowl to the electric mixer.  Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minute.  Gradually increase the speed to high and continue whisking until the meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

SONY DSC

Using a large spoon pile the meringue on top of the pie and lightly top to the edge;

SONY DSC

then bake until lightly browned toasty wisps take shape.

SONY DSC

Tart, sweet custardy lemon settles above flaky pastry, and puffed pillows of meringue shape pie memories-- alive and well.

This is for you Patrick ♥

Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients

  • One baked and cooled
  • 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 ¼ cups boiling water
  • 4 extra large egg yolks slightly beaten
  • Grated zest of three lemons
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons butter
  • 4 extra large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Gradually stir in water until smooth. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Spoon some of hot mixture into beaten egg to temper yolks. Stir to combine. Stir egg yolk mixture into saucepan stirring until smooth.
  2. Add lemon zest and juice; cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter; and then spoon hot filling into crust.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. French Meringue:
  5. In a small glass or stainless steel bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar. Begin beating at low speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium; then high. Gradually beat in 1/3 cup sugar until stiff peaks form.
  6. Using a large spoon, pile meringue over hot filling; seal to crust edge. Bake 5-7 minutes or until meringue is golden. Cool on a rack; refrigerate
  7. Or use the recipe for Swiss Meringue instead of this French Style
  8. Serves 8
  9. Swiss Meringue:
  10. 5 egg large whites
  11. ¾ cups sugar
  12. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  13. ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  14. Pinch of salt
  15. In a heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt. Set the bowl over a pan of slightly simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the whites are warm to the touch (120 degrees F.), about 5 minutes.
  16. Transfer the bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minute. Gradually increase the speed to high and continue whisking until the meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes; use immediately.
http://cococooks.net/lemon-meringue-pie/

 

 

Read More

Shortbread with a Pucker

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Desserts | 1 comment

SONY DSC

Beckie, my childhood friend, messaged me wondering how she and her daughters might host a bridal shower dessert bar.  I suggested mini sandwiches and desserts, including lemon bars.

SONY DSC

For many years, my go-to lemon squares were baked on a large sheet pan which produced two dozen.

That changed when I found Zov’s Bistro, famous Luscious Lemon Squares, in a coffee table cookbook, ZOV, Recipes and Memories from the Heart.

Nowadays, these lofty, rich shortbread beauties layered with bright tart lemon curd, beg to be celebrated, and they couldn’t be easier to prepare.  Exercising a few extra steps produces clean and glossy bites.

SONY DSC

To get started, spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking oil; then line it with parchment paper spraying the layers with more cooking oil.  This creates a handle to lift the dessert out of the pan; in addition, my baking pan has a removable bottom.

SONY DSC

Using a food processor, pulse together, flour, powdered sugar, salt,

SONY DSC

and cold butter just until moist crumbs are formed.

SONY DSC

Drop the crumbs into the prepared pan and lightly press them into an even layer;

SONY DSC

bake until pale golden.

SONY DSC

In my oven, this happens in about 20 minutes, while I prepare the curd. (No need to wash the food processor either!)

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

Whisk the topping ingredients: sugar, eggs, flour, lemon juice, and zest, just until combined.

SONY DSC

If you over process the curd, too much air may be incorporated; this may cause cracking.  Sometimes it happens anyway—

SONY DSC

No need to cool the crust, pour the topping over the crust and return it to bake and set up, for another 20 minutes.

SONY DSC

Allow the pastry to cool completely; then cover loosely and refrigerate until cold.

SONY DSC

Later, lift from the pan and set on a cutting board.

SONY DSC

I divide it into quarters; work each quarter into 4 squares with a sharp knife.

Using a small strainer, dust plenty of powdered sugar over the lemon squares; carefully place each one on a festive serving platter or cake stand.

SONY DSC

These are for you, Beckie!

Zov's Bistro Lemon Squares

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • Nonstick vegetable spray
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Lemon Topping:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, F. Spray an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Blend the butter, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor until moist crumbs form. Add the flour. Using the on/off button, pulse until the flour is incorporated and moist crumbs form. Gently press the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared dish (not the sides). Bake until the crust is pale golden on top, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, to prepare the lemon topping, Whisk the granulated sugar, eggs, flour, lemon peel, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Whisk in the lemon juice. Pour the lemon mixture over the hot baked crust. Bake until the lemon mixture is just set in the center, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
  3. Cut the pastry into squares. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
  4. Makes 16 squares
  5. Recipe Source: Zov’s Bistro, Tustin, (Orange County) California
http://cococooks.net/shortbread-with-a-pucker/

Read More

Tea at the Abbey

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 in Desserts | 3 comments

 

In honor and lament of Downton's finale; our drooling captivation of fashion and her Masterpiece characters, I baked Grapefruit-Poppy Seed Loaf Cake with Yogurt Glaze from the March issue of Bon Appetit.

 

 

SONY DSC

MP and I have the pleasure of tugging colossal winter white grapefruit from our side yard tree.

SONY DSC

The tart fleshy fruit juice is outrageously grown up; adding its fragrant zest into a super moist yogurt enhanced loaf, deems it breakfast without judgement.

SONY DSC

Using your fingertips, work the intoxicating zest into the sugar.

SONY DSC

Proceed per the instructions, making sure you allow the sugar and eggs mixture a full 4 minutes to thicken.

SONY DSC

Then, add the dry ingredients and yogurt in three steps;

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

before stirring in a spoonful of poppy seeds and grapefruit juice.

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

While the loaf bakes, prepare the glaze.  Thin it with extra juice--

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Poke holes in the warm cake with a skewer; pour more fresh juice over the cake and cool completely.

20160306_115514 (2)

Glaze the loaf with creamy white icing and poppy seeds.

20160307_115904

Sweet, yet tart with a sassy undertow,

it is a romantic nuance composed for tea in the library.

Tom

I’ll miss the motor widow least and Tom the most.

How about you?

Read More

One Love, One Cookie

Posted by on Feb 24, 2016 in Desserts | 0 comments

Happy Birthday, MP!

Bob on bike (2)

Dark Chocolate Cookie for One

SONY DSC

Chewy

SONY DSC

Crispy

SONY DSC

Salty

SONY DSC

Just Perfect!

coco-&-Poppy-sunset-web

  ♥ ♥ ♥

"It takes a very long time to be young."

--Pablo Picasso

Read More

Red Gems in Repose

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Desserts | 0 comments

SONY DSC

This is a sweet repost of one of the most glorious desserts I have ever made for Valentines Day.

20140211_202841

Red Velvet Gems

Take a look back with me--

and better yet; craft some for your love!

Read More