Category Archives: On the Sweet Side

Brown Sugar and Cream Cheese Pound Cake

What’s the old children’s song about little bunny Foo Foo?  “little bunny Foo Foo I don’t want to see you picking up the field mice and bopping them on the head.”  Unlike that little bunny these little bunnies are very sweet and you can invite them over for tea any time!

 

Let Sleeping Bunnies Lie.

Spring green!

Setting a pretty table

Brown Sugar and Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened                                                                                          1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
5 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Butter and flour two 1 pound loaf pans or in the case of our bunnies your cakelette mold and an additional loaf pan.

Whip cream cheese, butter and sugars to mixing bowl and beating in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a small measuring cup and stir.

Alternate adding flour and milk to the batter, starting and stopping with flour.

Pour batter into buttered/sprayed, and floured pans.

Bake for approximately 1 hour for the loaf pans and 20-25 minutes for the cakelette pan. Check if done with a cake tester or wooden skewer.

Let cool for 15 minutes before gently removing from pans.

Little Bunny Foo Foo?

Valentine Cutout Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentines Day to everyone! I wanted to share this little moment to tell the people in my life that they are special to me.  While I may not be good a communicating all the time with words, I do communicate with the food I create.  This is my go to recipe for cutout cookies. This recipe was given to me to be a friend a number of years ago. Pam S. was the mom who did everything, baking, cooking, sewing and was the room mother for all her childrens classrooms. These cookies have been taken bake sales and block parties too many to count.

Once I tried this recipe I have never used any other recipe, it’s just that good. Tender, not hard, like some cutout cookies, and just the right amount of butter for richness.  These cookies are the way I say I love you!

Valentine Cutout Sugar Cookies

2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, vanilla paste and mix well. Sift together flour and sugar and combine into the butter mixture.
Chill dough in the refrigerator for one hour.
Roll out a portion on a floured surface and cut in to desired shapes.

 

Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.

Cool and decorate with royal icing.

~ OXOX ~

Apple Butter Bars

The smell of apples and spices are a simple comfort when its cold outside.  When you combine apples, spices, butter and sugar it gets even better.  I was lucky enough to have a friend who had extra apples on her trees and was given a 5 gallon bucket of these home grown little gems.  They were small and tart and very firm, but that meant they cooked down a little more slowly and they had a wonderful intense flavor.

I did a simple combination of sugar, cinnamon, allspice, lemon juice and apples in the slow cooker. Setting the slow cooker to low the cooking process for the apple butter lasted around 10 hours. Watching the liquid evaporate and replacing it as needed and watching the color go to a rich brown.

Short bread crust:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter

Cream butter and sugar together and then incorporate the flour to create a medium crum.  Press into a 9″ square baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until firm. Cool and top with apple butter mixture. And bake a second time for 25 minutes until the top is set.

Homemade Apple Butter

The apple butter was simply made by peeling and coring apple,adding sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice and reducing in a slow cooker for 12 hours.

Lemon Flavored French Macarons with Raspberry Buttercream Filling

Lemon Macarons with Raspberry Filling

Lemon Flavored French Macarons with Raspberry Buttercream Filling

1 cup Almond flour, sifted
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4-6 drops yellow food coloring, optional

Sift together powdered sugar and almond flour,  whisk in zest and set aside.

Whisk egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and white sugar to soft peaks. Then add food coloring if desired.

Fold in drying ingredients, being careful not to deflate the whipped egg whites. Fold to a smooth consistency.

Spoon mixture into a piping bag and pipe quarter to half dollar sized coins onto a silicone or wax paper lined baking sheet. Allow the disks to dry for 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 250°.

Once the disks have formed a skin, bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Raspberry Buttercream Filling

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons raspberry sauce

Cream butter and sugar together and then add raspberry sauce.
Spoon raspberry filling into a piping bag and pipe filling onto the disks then sandwich the cookies together.

Christmas Chocolate Suger Cookies

We had way too much fun decorating these cookies!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house the sugarplum fairy was running amok, up to her elbows in sugar, butter, cocoa and flour. Well I’m not quite the sugarplum fairy but I have been having fun with the sugar.

These cookies are just too good not to share. They are a great departure from the traditional vanilla sugar cookie. Not too sweet and very very tender , the little bit of egg that is in the dough,  makes these cookies a must for the Christmas cookie exchange.

Love Nicholos Moss Pottery!

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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

3/4 pound unsalted butter softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs and mix together thoroughly.
Sift together dry ingredients and incorporate into wet ingredients.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
On smooth surface dusted with cocoa powder roll out the dough to about an 1/8 inch. Cut out your shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes in a 375° oven.
Cool for one minute on baking sheet and then move to cooling rack, to cool completely.
Once cookies are cool decorate with royal icing.

Quality control note: Yum!

Cherry Pie Filling

Late summer and early fall you’ll find it a little warmer in my  kitchen than it usually is. Because I’m probably canning something. I consider canning to be a lost art form.  Jams, jellies, and pie fillings are usually on the check list.  For me, the ideal cherry pie filling is both sweet and tart. A large majority of the ready made pie filling are, to me, simply one note. By combining both sweet and sour cherries together I think you get a more interesting and complex favor, that just gives you a better pie.

For this recipe I used a combination of Rainier Cherries, which are sweet and have a thinner skin, and North Star Cherries, which add that sour note.

Ruby red with notes of gold.

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Quick shower.

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Little jewels

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Necessary tools….

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Melt down…

Cherry Pie Filling

3 pounds Rainier Cherries or other sweet cherry, pitted

3 pounds North Star Cherries or other sour cherry, pitted

1 1/4 cups lemon juice

3 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup water

The most time consuming part of this whole process is pitting the cherries, pure and simple. Six pounds of cherries took me about 45 minutes to pit.

Place the cherries, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a large heavy bottomed pot. Stir to combine. Whisk the water and cornstarch into a slurry and add to the cherry mixture.

Over medium heat cook the filling down until it thickens. At this point you can cool and use immediately in a pie or process in a water bath for 35 minutes.

Makes 2 1/2  quarts of filling

Fresh Strawberries

Fresh Missouri strawberries are at the farmers market right! These little guys are no bigger than a penny and absolutely delightful! Whether you make them into jam, or put them into a pie or even just eat them standing over the sink, they are truly something that should not be missed!

Currently we are working on finishing our 5th pint, we simply have them in a bowl of cold water and eat a handful whenever we go by the bowl!

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Peanut Butter “Softies”

During the last 90’s my family got the wonderful opportunity to live in Auckland, New Zealand. The food and wine there were fantastic! And it’s there that I really started to look at food differently. The food was really fresh, and there were small restaurants that had only three to four tables to them. Chefs were just doing little start ups where anything was possible. It really opened my eyes to something other that all the chain restaurants that I had had access to before.

But even though the food was wonderful, I still got a little homesick for the some food I was used too. When we lived in New Zealand the one thing that I had trouble finding in the grocery store at that time, was peanut butter. Why is it when know you can’t have something it’s all you want! I could find it sometimes , but it just tasted different than what we had here in the states. Not as salty and not quite as thick, or sometimes more grainy.

But made into cookies my peanut butter was awesome no matter what brand I used, and it tasted like home.

Yes, I’m just an old softie, and these little guys hit the spot!


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Peanut Butter Softies

Peanut Butter “Softies”

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Cream together butter, sugars, and peanut butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla paste. Sift into the mixture the flour, soda and salt. Give it one last stir and pop into the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, scoop the dough into small balls, and space on a baking sheet lined with a Silat. Dip a fork into a glass of water and flatten the dough balls with a little cross hack.
Bake for 10-11 minutes. Remove, cool and eat, it’s as simple as that!

Cookies and Milk

Cookies and Milk

Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Paging through my many cookbooks is something I can do for exstended periods of time… With a good cup of coffee and a little time on my hands it is a most pleasurable experience.  The weather at the lake the last week has lent itself to this endeavor.  Cold, rainy, with periodic trips to the grocery store and potty training a new puppy it was a quiet week.  This little recipe just hits the spot.  Simple, not too sweet shortbread, the jam filling makes it sweet, with a nice buttery finish. This is a small recipe it only makes about a dozen sandwiches, but it just the right amount, not too many and not too little. It’s just right!

This recipe is from Tessa Kiros book, “The Recipe Collection.”  Tessa is one of my favorite cookbook authors, she just writes from the heart. When you’re looking for recipes that are simple and down to earth her recipes are definitely worth the look.  Inspired by family and friends cooking she puts forth a good story and a wonderful recipe to accompany it.


 

Sweets for the sweet!

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Dusting of Sugar

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Snow storms over!

Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

100 grams unsalted butter

100 grams granulated sugar

200 grams all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

200 grams (7oz.) jam, I used apricot and strawberry

powdered sugar for dusting

Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla extract.  Sift together the flour and baking powder and incorporate the dry with the wet ingredients.  Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes.  I just use a small drinking glass. Something in the 2″ diameter range. Bake cookies for around 15 minutes until golden.  Cool and spread with your favorite jam or preserves.


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Well maybe a little more.

 

 

Lemon and Vanilla Biscotti

Coffeeeeeee. Yes I am a coffee lover! Espresso and I are very good friends! A good old black cup of coffee is also never turned down.  My husband recently introduced me to a coffee by the name of ,”Death Wish,” one of the most caffeinated coffees on the market.  It is, in a word, lovely.  Made regular strength it made my ears ring, boy howdy!

But whats a cup of coffee or espresso without a cookie.  This is one of my favorite biscotti recipes, originally from a recipe by Gabriele Corcos. I have used it as a base recipe for many different biscotti variations.


 

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Espresso, Biscotti and a good book! Life is good!

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Lemon, vanilla, almonds and pine nuts

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Some of my many espresso cups, these are from Seina, Italy

Crunch!

Crunch!

Lemon and Vanilla Biscotti

1 1/2 cups Almonds
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 packet Lievito Pane Degu Angeli, vanilla leavening agent available on line
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
2 whole eggs, plus 1 if the mixture is too dry
2 egg yolks

In a 325 degree oven toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, remove from oven and cool. Raise the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees now.

Sift together flour and the leavening agent into a medium sized bowl.

With a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, salt and eggs. Zest the lemon into the mixture and then adding a spoonful at a time, incorporate the flour mixture into the mixer.

The dough will be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With your hand squeeze a handful of dough together. If the dough holds together you don’t need to add the additional egg. If it don’t hold together add the extra egg and check again. The dough should be slightly dry but hold a shape. Go ahead and add your nuts now.

Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 4 x 8 inch roll. Position the rolls about 4 inches apart from one another on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.

Pull out the sheet and allow the “loaves” to cool for an hour. Slide the loaves onto a cutting board and with a serrated knife slice the biscotti into 1/2” pieces. Allow the biscotti to dry 10-12 hours or overnight and then do your second bake. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and toast the biscotti for 10 minutes on each side.  Warm out of the oven these are heavenly.