Tag Archive: walnut

Nov 10 2013

Raspberry Magic Bars

Everyone needs a quick dessert she can whip up at a moment’s notice. Something that shows you made an effort even if you’re short on time. Magic Cookie Bars are just these treats. Just a few ingredients and a half hour in the oven and you’re well on your way to cookie heaven.

Raspberry Magic Cookie Bars

The traditional version is one everybody knows: layers of graham cracker, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, coconut, and walnuts. In my family, we add butterscotch chips for a little more pizzazz. The formula works well as a base for a multitude of options. As long as you have the graham cracker crust and sweetened condensed milk, you can change it up to suit your mood. Have fun with it!

Raspberry Magic Cookie Bars

I had a jar of fancy raspberry peach champagne jam staring at me for far too long. It was languishing and needed something to add its uniqueness to! Thus, Raspberry Magic Bars were born. Feel free to change out the jam for an infinite number of iterations. A different magic cookie bar for every day of the week!

Raspberry Magic Cookie Bars

With Christmas coming soon, you’ll want to save this beauty! Perfect for the cookie trays you’ll be bringing to parties throughout the season!

Raspberry Magic Bars
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup raspberry peach champagne jam
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 14-ounce container sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for a glass dish; 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a metal dish.
  2. Drop the butter in the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking dish and pop it in the oven while it’s preheating to melt the butter. Remove when the butter is melted, about 7 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter. Toss with a fork to evenly coat and then press down evenly over the bottom of the dish to make a crust.
  4. Heat the jam in the microwave or a small sauce pan until it’s thin and fluid. Pour evenly over the crust.
  5. Sprinkle coconut evenly over the jam layer.
  6. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top.
  7. Sprinkle with walnuts and white chocolate chips, pressing down lightly to embed them in the milk.
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until mostly set and lightly browned around the edges.
  9. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

 

 

Oct 13 2013

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

There was a time in my life when I believed that bacon didn’t belong in desserts. I know, it’s unimaginable. My first foray into bacon-laden sweets was a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I chopped some bacon up, added it to the batter, held my breath, and hoped for the best. This was a turning point in my life.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I agree that bacon can be over-used. Like any other trendy ingredient, there are times when the line should be drawn. Bacon lip balm? I don’t think so. And that bacon air freshener a friend bought my husband for his car? Makes me gag. But there’s just something about this salty meat that, when used appropriately, brings a perfect balance to a treat that may otherwise be too sweet. Equilibrium is achieved, and bliss is attained.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been operating under the false memory that I have already talked about Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies on this blog. When I begged my husband to bake me some cookies and asked if I could shoot some photos of them to spiff up the old post, he agreed. But my search turned up empty–this post did not exist. How could this be?! Something so fundamental, something so formative in future bacon confections, was nowhere to be found?! This must be remedied immediately!

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

You can take this up to 11 by candying the bacon first, but I really love the simplicity of this execution. It’s a great gateway dessert to future dabbling with bacon in your baking. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

5.0 from 1 reviews

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
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Author:
Recipe type: cookie
Serves: 40
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) butter, softened
  • ½ cup solid bacon fat (reserved from cooking bacon; you may need to save this from a few batches in an air-tight container in your refrigerator before baking these cookies; I always have a jar of bacon fat on hand)
  • ¾ cup organic sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large cage free eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • ½ pound certified humane bacon strips, cooked and chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cayenne. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, bacon fat, and sugars until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until the first is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides in between.
  5. Stir in the vanilla bean paste.
  6. With the mixer on medium low, slowly add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
  7. Remove from mixer and stir in the walnuts, chocolate chips, and bacon by hand, mixing until just incorporated.
  8. Portion out the dough with a #40 cookie scoop, placing about 8 per sheet to allow enough room for spreading.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the tops are lightly browned.
  10. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

 

Sep 27 2013

Happy 3rd Blogiversary to Me! I Baked You A Fresh Apple Cake!

Can you believe it? 3 years ago today I felt compelled to put myself out into the universe through this blog and here I am today, transformed by the experience. What an amazing journey this has taken me on!

Fresh Apple Cake

As the story goes, when I started this blog, it was at the beginning of my creative resurgence. My renaissance. I reconnected with an old friend from high school and was inspired once again, after far too many years of ignoring that part of me. I enrolled in a Shakespeare course. I signed up for Creative Writing. I pulled out my DSLR and got to work capturing the world. And I decided that dreaming about becoming a published author someday without actually writing was a tad ludicrous. Hence, the blog began.

Fresh Apple Cake

It wasn’t about food at first. I was too afraid. What did I have to add to the conversation? Who would be interested in what came out of my kitchen? They say you should write what you know, so I wrote about the community around me. And soon discovered that I knew more about my kitchen than what would be the hip thing to do. As a mother to two young children, I spent more time in my kitchen than in night clubs and theatre seats anyway. And just like that, poet in the pantry became a food blog.

Fresh Apple Cake

There have been a lot of unexpected benefits to inviting you all to my table. This last year, in particular, has been one of many exciting opportunities!

Yup, it’s been quite the year!

Fresh Apple Cake

It wouldn’t be anything without all of you, though. This blog exists because you are here reading it. Like the tree that falls in the forest, if you were not traveling along this road with me, it would be as if none of this happened. Thank you for your continued support!

So this celebration is really more about you than me. And in your honor, I baked you a Fresh Apple Cake–perfect for this time of year! The best part? It’s a one-bowl operation. Toss everything together, spread it in the pan, and you’ll be eating in your own honor in no time! (Psst! I give you permission to eat the entire cake, if you so wish! It’s YOUR day, after all!)

Fresh Apple Cake

Thank you! May there be many more blogiversaries we can celebrate together!

Fresh Apple Cake
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon dried orange peel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 dash ground cloves
  • 2 large cage free eggs
  • 2 cups chopped tart apples (no need to peel if you don’t want to)
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped roughly
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9″ square baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients.
  3. Transfer to baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool completely before serving.

 

May 29 2013

Cashel Blue, Pear and Walnut Tart – A Splendid Discovery #client

Disclosure: Kerrygold Cheese and Butter provided me with a wheel of Cashel Blue cheese, which was used to develop this recipe to enter into one of their contests. All opinions remain my own.

Kerrygold Cashel Blue cheese

Blue cheese is one of those foods that you love or hate–there is no in between. Its strong flavor demands attention, overpowering the taste buds of more mild palates. Put out some blue cheese and you can divide a room pretty quickly. But those who sample it–your kindred spirits–you’ll find … have stinky feet breath. No! Are just the sort of adventurous spirits you want to spend your time with! (And won’t notice your stinky feet breath…)

Cashel Blue Pear and Walnut Tart

Kerrygold’s Cashel Blue is something special. Pastured cows grazing upon Ireland’s plentiful green grass produce a phenomenal product unrivaled in the world. Until Jane and Louis Grubb began making Cashel Blue on Beechmount Farm in 1984, Ireland was devoid of farmhouse blue cheese. Now? Theirs remains one of the best.

Cashel Blue Pear and Walnut Tart

After mulling over what to do with this treasure-trove of ugly cheese that Kerrygold sent me (really, it is kind of ugly–beautifully hideous), I kept coming back to pears and walnuts. Pears and walnuts. It must be paired with pears and walnuts. But how? I didn’t want anything too fancy–while this is one of the more gourmet options from Kerrygold, I wanted my recipe to be attainable and desirable by the average person. You know–like me! And that’s when it hit me–tarts. Rustic tarts, made with puff pastry, so you have a bit of airiness and crunch to balance the smoothness of the Cashel Blue. Some maple syrup and maple sugar to add some sweetness, counter-acting Cashel Blue’s salty strength, and I was in business!

Cashel Blue Pear and Walnut Tart

Taste testing in my house was, sadly, a little more difficult than the brainstorming session went. Remember those mild palates of which I spoke? Yeah. My son bit it and said it was delicious, then insisted I give him no more. My daughter made a face. My husband? He made the most valiant effort of the 3, taking at least 4 bites and trying to offer constructive criticism (the first version was “too blue cheesy” and “not sweet enough”). But that was about as good as it was going to get from my home crew. They’re much bigger fans of Kerrygold’s cheddars and Dubliner cheese. I was on my own.

Cashel Blue Pear and Walnut Tart

After tweaking a few things on my next attempt, I was sure the end result had the right balance of savory and sweet; unique enough to catch the attention of the judges without being pretentious. So we’ll just have to wait and see what they think. In the meantime, try it and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear about your efforts!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Cashel Blue, Pear and Walnut Tart
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Pastry
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • flour for dusting
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1½ medium Anjou pears, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped roughly
  • ⅓ cup maple sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 ounces Kerrygold Cashel Blue cheese, crumbled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Lightly flour your work surface and unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry on it. Roll out the puff pastry to a rectangle that’s roughly 16″x10″.
  3. Transfer dough to the baking sheet.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the pear slices, walnuts, maple sugar, and maple syrup, coating evenly.
  5. Arrange tossed pears and walnuts over the surface of the puff pastry, leaving ½-1 inch around the edges free.
  6. Sprinkle Cashel Blue evenly over the surface.
  7. Fold the edges over, pinching the corners where the sides come together.
  8. Bake for 22 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  9. Remove to a wire rack to cool before serving.

 

Update!!! (6/14/2013)

– Kerrygold released the results of the contest and I won!! Woohoo!! How exciting!

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