Fall Fruit is Spelled Nectarine

  Quick foodie question, that you think you should know but will take a moment and say, hummmmm do I really know the answer. Simple question, what’s the difference between a nectarine and a peach? The simple answer is, there really is no difference between the two fruit, it’s just that one has fuzz and the other doesn’t.

Nectarines are a stone fruit (it means they have a pit) that are at their peak in mid to late summer. Depending up on if the pit is free or attached to the fruit, nectarines are classified as (like the peach) free stone or clinging.  Yes, the fruits have slightly different tastes and textures, but it’s really so slight that in a peeled, blind taste test it’s almost impossible to tell the difference. They can be substituted for each other in most any recipe and rather than give you more than the basic facts that the fruit is a good source of  vitamins and minerals, low in calories and great in both sweet and savory dishes I thought I’d just give you bunches and bunches of recipes and let you get started cooking.

 

BROWN SUGARED NECTARINES

 

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

5 large nectarines (about 1 1/2 pounds), or peaches (which must be skinned)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Sweetened whipped cream, whipped topping or ice cream (optional)

 

Set a strainer over a bowl and cut the nectarines into slices and place them the strainer. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When it is hot add the nectarines and saute them until they start to soften and their juices reduce and begin to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of them and cook until the juices thicken and the sugar caramelizes slightly, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and cook until the juices thicken, then add any of the juice that collected in the bowl. Stir to combine and cook until the juices are very thick, which will take a minute or so. Total cook time should be 5 to 6 minutes. Spoon the nectarines to 4 individual serving dish and let cool for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

Modified from Epicurious August 2001 by Susan Herrmann Loomis

CHICKEN AND NECTARINE SALSA

 

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 24 (2-inch) pieces

1 large red onion, cut into 32 (2-inch) pieces

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

 

Salsa

2 cups diced nectarine (about 3)

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup diced peeled avocado

 

In a bowl combine the chicken pieces, brown sugar, lime juice, olive oil chili powder, garlic, salt cumin and pepper. Mix to coat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. In a large skillet heat the oil and then saute the chicken (discard liquid marinade) and onion for about 10 to12 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. While the chicken is cooking in a bowl combine the nectarine, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and salt. Mix to combine and then gently stir in the avocado. Place the chicken and onion on a platter and serve with the salsa. Serves 4.

 

Modified from a recipe from Jennifer Martinkus, Cooking Light July 2011

 

BLUEBERRY AND NECTARINE BREAD

 

1 1/2 cups flour, divided

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon allspice or nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or margarine, room temperature

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

2 eggs

2 nectarines

2/3 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

 

Topping:

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan and set it aside. Combine 1/3 cup pecans, sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice and salt. Mix just to combine and then add in the butter, eggs orange juice and orange zest.  Mix to combine for 2 to 3 minutes but don’t over mix.   By hand, fold in the fruit and remaining pecans. Spoon the batter into a loaf pan and sprinkle the  topping over the top.  Bake 50  to 60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for ten minutes, remove the bread from the pan and then  cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Makes 1 loaf.

 

Modified from epicurious.com

SALMON WITH FRESH NECTARINE BERRY COMPOTE

 

6 – 5 ounces fresh skinless salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick

4 tablespoons bottled barbecue sauce

3 nectarines, pitted and chopped

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Lemon wedges

 

Brush the salmon with 3 tablespoons of barbeque sauce and season the salmon with salt and pepper. Using a grill pan or grill cook the salmon for 8 to 10 minutes until done. While it’s cooking in a bowl combine the nectarines, blueberries, pecans, and the remaining barbecue sauce. Mix well, mashing the fruit slightly. Season with salt. Serve salmon with salsa and lemon wedges. Serves 6.

 

My files source unknown

 

NECTARINE AND PISTACHIO COUSCOUS

 

1 cup couscous

1 1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon apple cider or rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 organic nectarines, diced

1 bunch chopped parsley (stems removed) (about 1 1/2 cups packed leaves)

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

 

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let it stand, covered stand 5 minutes, then take off the top and stir it. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil and then set it aside. In a large serving bowl combine the couscous, nectarines, parsley, pistachios and green onions and the dressing, toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Can be served cold or at room temperature.

 

My file, source unknown

PECAN STUFFED NECTARINES

 

1/2 cup pecan pieces

2 tablespoons sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 nectarines, halved and pitted

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch of cinnamon

Maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9X13 baking pan and set it aside. In the bowl of a food processor process the pecans until they are finely ground. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and the egg yolk and pulse until combined. Arrange the nectarine halves, cut sides up, in the baking pan. Divide pecan/sugar mixture between the nectarine halves, mounding it in center of each half. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and then sprinkle it over the top of the nectarines. Drizzle a little maple syrup over the top. Bake, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t let the nectarines get too soft. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Great served with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

My files, source unknown

 

NECTARINE, MANGO AND AVOCADO SALAD

 

1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 head red leaf or romaine lettuce; torn into bite-size pieces

2 to 3 cups fresh baby spinach

4 Nectarines, sliced

2 mangos, sliced

2 avocados peeled, sliced

1/4 cup sliced green onions

Smoked almonds or candied almonds for garnish

 

In a bowl combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate. In a bowl combine the lettuce, onions, spinach, nectarines and mango. Toss to combine. Gently add the avocado and spoon the dressing over the top. Gently mix to combine. Garnish with the almonds. Serves 8

My file, source unknown

 

SHRIMP AND NECTARINE SALAD

 

1/4 cup oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 piece peeled fresh ginger; (1 1/2 inch)

1 1/2 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

1 head red leaf or romaine lettuce; torn in large pieces

1 1/2 lb shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

2 to 3 ripe nectarines cut in thin wedges (2 3/4 cups)

1 large ripe avocado; halved, seeded, peeled and sliced thin lengthwise

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 cup fresh basil leaves; cut in thin strips

1 small can water chestnuts, drained

 

In the bowl of food processor or blender combine the oil, lime juice, ginger, honey and hot sauce. Process until smooth and set it aside. In a salad bowl combine the lettuce, shrimp, nectarines, avocado, red onion, water chestnuts and basil. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad, toss to coat and serve. Serves 4.

 

Modified from about.com

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Peaches and Cream/Recipes for the summer

Fresh peaches are starting to appear in the produce sections these days and I thought having a guide to help you pick out the very best of the best will set you on the road to delicious.

Peaches have been grown in the United States since the Spaniards brought them to North America in their early explorations. They’ve played an integral  part in making the fruit industry in Georgia, South Carolina and California as successful as has been (just check out the names of a lot of Atlanta streets to see what type of influence the peach has).

You should look for peaches that are unblemished and not to firm. Fresh peaches spoil quickly so don’t buy too many unless you’re going to use them. Peaches don’t get sweeter after they are picked so make sure get the ripest ones you can. If you need to peel your peaches (and you don’t have too, there’s bunches of stuff that’s good for you in the skin) you should blanch them in boiling water for about 1 minute and then drop them into ice water immediately to cool and then peel. The skin should come off easily. Just know that peaches will turn brown very quickly after they are cut so you should sprinkle them with lemon or lime juice if you aren’t going to use them immediately.

The phrase peaches and cream can literally mean eating “peaches” and “cream” together in a dish or pie or cake or whatever way your imagination (or taste buds) desire. The following recipes all combine peaches and some kind of cream or cheese and every single one of them is going to make you say you’all come back and try me again real soon!

SUPER DOOPER PEACHES AND CREAM PIE (dairy)

 

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 (3 ounce) package non-instant vanilla pudding mix

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained and syrup reserved

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease sides and bottom of a 10 inch deep-dish pie pan.

In a mixing bowl of a food processor combine flour, salt, baking powder and pudding mix. Process just to combine. Add the butter, egg and milk and process until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan. Arrange the peach slices on top of the pudding mixture. Don’t clean the processer bowl. Put the cream cheese in the bowl until fluffy. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons reserved peach syrup. Process until smooth. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over peaches to within 1 inch of pan edge. Mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and sprinkle it over the top of the peaches. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Chill completely before serving. Serves 8.

 

Modified from a recipe by Debbi Borsick, source unknown, submitted by Tracey Malrick

 

PEACHES AND CREAM BAKE (dairy or pareve)

 

1 lb French bread or challah egg bread, cut into chunks

8 large eggs

2 1/2 cups milk or ½ and ½ or non dairy substitute

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 15-oz. cans sliced peaches packed in juice, drained

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Grease a 9X13 baking pan. Arrange the bread pieces so they fit tightly in the pan. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour the liquid over the bread. Arrange peach slices on top of the mixture and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. 30 minutes before baking take the pan from the refrigerater. Preheat oven to 350. Bake, uncovered until the top is lightly browned and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

 

Modified from about.com

PEACHY CREAM CAKE (dairy)

 

3/4 cup self rising flour (yes self rising)

1 pkg. cheesecake or vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4 ounce)

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 large (about 28 ounces) can sliced peaches, drained, save the juice

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch deep dish pie plate. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, pudding, butter, egg and milk. Mix to combine. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the peach slices over the top of the batter. In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the cream cheese, sugar and 3 tablespoons peach juice and process for 2 minutes. Spread the topping over the top of the peaches, leaving a 1 inch border. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top of the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. Serves 8.

 

Submitted by Charlie Aronoes NY, NY, source unknown

PEACHES AND CREAM CHICKEN SALAD (meat)

 

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 tablespoon herbs de Provence

1 1/2 cups seedless red or green grapes, halved

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 fresh pineapple cut into tidbits

3 to 4 peaches, sliced

1 head of romaine lettuce, shredded

2 cups fresh baby spinach

 

DRESSING

3/4 mayonnaise

1 teaspoon herbs de Provence

1/2 cup frozen pareve whipped topping, thawed

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons pine nuts

 

In a salad bowl combine the chicken, 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence, grapes, celery, almonds, pineapple and peaches. Mix to combine. In small bowl combine the mayonnaise, herbs de Provence, whipped topping, salt and pine nuts. Mix to combine. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture; stir gently to combine. To serve, arrange the lettuce and spinach on a serving platter or individual plates; spoon chicken mixture over greens. Serves 8.

 

Modified from tablespoon.com

 

CREAMED CHICKEN AND PEACHES (meat)

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper

3 peaches, cut into wedges

1 shallot or 1 tablespoon onion, minced

1/2 cup white wine

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup non dairy liquid almond milk or soy milk

1/3 cup snipped chives or green onions

 

Heat the oil in a large frying pan.  Lightly sprinkle both sides of chicken with the salt and pepper and then cook them just until golden on each side so that it’s just done in the middle 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately remove the chicken from the pan and set it on a plate and set it aside.  After removing the chicken from pan, reduce heat to medium and add the wine. Stir so that the bits on the bottom are scraped up. Add the peaches and onion and stir to coat, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the mustard and no dairy substitute, whisk to combine. Place the chicken into the sauce and cook, uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken as it cooks. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle the top with chives and serve. Serves 4

 

Modified From Chatelaine Magazine

 

GRILLED PEACHES AND MOZZARELLA (dairy)

 

1 lb block or ball of mozzarella, cut into slices

5 to 6 ripe Peaches (not too mushy), cut in half, pitted

1 tablespoon minced onion

2 tablespoons oil

1 head each romaine and bibb lettuce, combined

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Zest of one lime

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup shredded basil leaves

 

In a small bowl combine the minced onions and vinegar.  Whisk in the lime juice, zest, honey, salt and pepper. After the mixture is combined add olive oil and whisk to combine then set it aside. Arrange lettuce on a large platter and set it aside.

 

Brush a  grill pan with oil and then grill the peach halves, cut side down for about 3 or 4 minutes or until there are grill marks and the peaches are warm. Flip them over and grill for 2 to 3 more minutes.  Place the peaches on a cutting board and cut them into thin slices. Arrange the peaches and mozzarella slices on top of green in whatever pattern you like. Sprinkle the shredded basil over the top and then drizzle the dressing over the top and serves. Serves 8.

 

From my files, source unknown

 

CREAMY PECAN PEACH PIE (dairy)

 

1 readymade pie crust uncooked

4 cups sliced peeled peaches

2 tablespoons peach preserves

1 cup sugar

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

TOPPING:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons chopped pecans

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

 

Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl, combine peaches and preserves. Spoon the mixture into the pie shell. In bowl combine the sugar, sour cream, egg yolks, 1/4 cup flour and vanilla. Whisk to combine and then pour the mixture over the peaches. Bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup flour, sugars, pecans and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs mixture over the top of the peaches.

 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and topping is golden brown. Cover edges with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary. Cool completely on a wire rack for 3 hours before serving.  Serves 8.

 

Modified from tasteofhome.com

 

KIWI PEACH AND CREAM SALSA (dairy)

You can vary the amount of fruit or onion in this salsa and a few drops of a hot sauce can be added if you like a little kick to your salsa.

 

1 pkg (8 oz.) Neuchâtel or cream cheese, softened (you can use chive cream cheese)

2 peaches, chopped

2 to 3 kiwi, peeled, chopped

1 red pepper, finely chopped

4 to 6 green onions, sliced thin, green and white parts

2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or cilantro

1/2 to 2/3 cup creamy Italian Dressing

Corn chips or crackers

 

Spread the cream cheese on to the bottom of serving plate leaving about an inch around the edge. In a bowl combine the kiwi peaches, red pepper, green onion, parsley and the Italian dressing. Mix to combine and then spoon the mixture over the cream cheese. Serve with chips and crackers. Serves 8 to 10

 

My files source unknown

 

Enter the Banana /Recipes for the fruit minded

    I am, by nature, someone that loves to entertain and have company stay for the weekend. I’m talking LOTS and LOTS of company. My husband, not quite so much as me. So, for the most part, we compromise and have lots of company. When I first start to plan the menus for the weekends one of the first things I have to determine is whether or not said company falls into or out of the banana category.

Ok, you ask, what heck is the banana category? Well, the banana category is where the guests I have to feed like to snack on fruit and if that fruit is likely to be bananas. Inclusion in this category determines the amount of bananas to be purchased and approximately how much time it will take for any left over bananas (and trust me, there’s always left over bananas) to get mushy after the company leaves.

There truly is a reason for this somewhat bizarre banana thought process. Bananas are actually one of the few foods for which I don’t have a lot of recipes. Not because I don’t like them but rather, because both my children and husband are highly allergic to them in the raw state. I eat them with pleasure when we have company and cook them for the family after the company leaves leave. I have always tried to make really different and exciting recipes because I never know when the next banana company will arrive. The following recipes are all utterly delicious and have come to me from a variety of sources.

 

BANANAS FOSTER CREAM PIE

Crust:
2 1/2 cup chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
5 tablespoons melted butter

Filling:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons allspice
4 bananas — peeled and sliced

Pastry Cream:
3 cup half and half
1 vanilla bean — split in half lengthwise
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Grease a 10-inch spring form pan. To prepare crust, in a medium bowl,
combine cookie crumbs, sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in
melted butter. Press mixture into prepared pan on the bottom and up
the sides of the pan about 21/2 inches and place it in the refrigerator
to chill. To prepare the filling, put the butter and brown sugar in a
large saute pan over high heat and heat until bubbling, about 2
minutes. Add cinnamon, ginger, allspice and bananas and saute until
tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and
spoon the bananas evenly over the bottom of the crust. Set aside.

To prepare the pastry cream, put the half and half in a saucepan with the vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, remove and discard vanilla bean. In a medium bowl, place egg yolks, sugar, dark rum and cornstarch and whisk together. Whisk about 1 cup of half and half mixture into the egg mixture to temper it. Add the egg mixture to the remaining half and half and place the pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick, 3-5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the roasted bananas in the crust and refrigerate for 2-3 hours
or until well chilled. To serve, carefully remove the outer ring of the pan, cut the pie into slices, and top each slice with whipped cream and several mint leaves. Serves 12

 

Submitted by Cheryl Cerdanadski Warsaw IN

BANANA SPLIT BREAD

1 can (8 oz.) unsweetened crushed pineapple, well drained, reserve
liquid
1 pkg. (14 oz.)  banana quick bread and muffin mix
2 eggs
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup Maraschino cherries, chopped
1/3-1/2 cup semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

GLAZE:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips, melted
4 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 . Grease and flour bottom only of a (9×5 inch)
loaf pan. Add water to reserved pineapple liquid to make 3/4 cup In a
large bowl, combine all bread ingredients. Stir 50-75 times with
wooden spoon until mix is moistened (don’t over mix!). Pour batter
into prepared pan. Bake 55-65 minutes or until toothpick placed in the
center comes out clean. Cool in a pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Remove from pan to cool for 45 minutes or until completely cooled. In a
small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Stir until well blended. Pour
over loaf. For gift giving you can use (3×5 inch) pans and bake 35-40
minutes. Store in refrigerator to slice when chilled. Serves 6 to 8

 

http://www.southerncooking.com

 

ALMOND FUDGE BANANA CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GLAZE

3 extra ripe, peeled medium bananas
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
3 eggs
3 tablespoons almond liqueur OR 2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted, ground

 

Banana Chocolate Glaze
1 pureed, extra ripe small banana
1 ounce melted semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch bunt pan.  In a bowl mash the bananas and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar and margarine and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, liqueur and vanilla. Beat to combine. In another bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix the dry ingredients to combine.  Stir the almonds into the flour mixture. With the electric mixer running, alternately add the flour mixture with bananas to the sugar mixture. Beat well. Turn batter into greased pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan to wire rack to cool completely. Glaze: Combine the pureed banana with the melted chocolate and whisk together. Pour glaze over the top of the cooled cake and let it drip down the sides of the cake. Serves 12 to 14

BANANA BUTTERFINGER® CAKE

 

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger® bars

GLAZE
2/3 cup whipping cream
7 tablespoons butter, cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup chopped Butterfinger® bars

Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1-1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with waxed paper rounds. Butter and flour paper.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in dark rum and vanilla extract. Combine sour cream and baking soda in medium bowl. Add mashed bananas to sour cream mixture and stir until well blended. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in chopped Butterfinger® bars.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until center of cake feels firm and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Turn out cakes onto racks and cook. Peel off waxed paper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap cakes tightly and store at room temperature.)

FOR GLAZE: Combine cream, butter and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in rum and vanilla. Pour glaze into small bowl. Cover and refrigerate just until cool and thick, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Transfer 1 cake layer to platter. Slide waxed paper strips under edges of cake. Stir glaze until smooth. Spread 1 cup glaze evenly over top of cake layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining glaze over top and sides of cake. Cover top and sides of cake with chopped Butterfinger® bars. Remove paper strips. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover cake and store at room temperature.)

 

From about.com

 

BANANA PANCAKES WITH CARAMEL-BANANA SYRUP

 

3 large bananas, peeled, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, divided
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs

Additional melted butter

 

Cut 2 bananas into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Combine 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup water in heavy large skillet. Boil over medium-high heat until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract and sliced bananas. Remove syrup from heat.

 

Whisk flour and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl. Mash remaining banana in medium bowl, then whisk in buttermilk and eggs. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients (some lumps will remain). Mix in remaining 1/4 cup melted butter.

Preheat oven to 200. Heat griddle over medium heat; brush with additional melted butter. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook pancakes until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Serve pancakes with caramel-banana syrup. Makes 4 servings.

 

Bon Appétit, November 2005

 

BANANA COFFEE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CHIP STREUSEL

1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)
2/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 large)
3 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan. Stir chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in small bowl until well blended; set streusel aside. Sift all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, room temperature butter, and egg in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in mashed bananas and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients and blend well.

 

Spread half of batter (about 2 cups) in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with half of streusel. Repeat with remaining batter and streusel. Bake coffee cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool coffee cake in pan on rack. Makes 12 servings.

 

BANANA CHOCOLATE STRUDEL

4 (17- by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, covered with 2 overlapping pieces plastic wrap and then a damp kitchen towel
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 firm-ripe bananas
2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface with a short side of phyllo nearest you, keeping remaining sheets covered, and brush with some butter. Top phyllo with 3 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter. Arrange bananas one above the other, horizontally, on lower third of phyllo, leaving a 1-inch border on both sides (trim bananas if too long). Sprinkle chocolate over bananas, then fold sides of phyllo toward middle (over ends of bananas). Fold bottom edge of phyllo over bananas and roll up bananas in phyllo.

 

Transfer strudel, seam side down, to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or to a buttered baking sheet, then brush strudel with beaten egg. Cut 4 (1/2-inch-long) steam vents diagonally along top of strudel with a sharp knife. Bake in middle of oven until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack, and then dust with confectioner’s sugar. Makes 6 servings.

 

Gourmet October 2001

CHOCOLATE BANANA TART

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 firm-ripe bananas
1/4 cup apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Blend crumbs, butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt in a food processor until mixture begins to hold together and pat onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake in middle of oven until side of crust is firm to the touch, 14 to 18 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips into hot crust and let stand 5 minutes to soften. Spread evenly over bottom of crust. Beat cream with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and rum until it holds soft peaks. Cut bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Whisk preserves and add bananas, tossing to coat. Spoon banana mixture into crust and top with whipped cream.
Serves 8.

Gourmet January 2000

BANANA WAFFLES WITH PECAN MAPLE SYRUP

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted lightly and chopped coarse
2 teaspoons orange juice or fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe medium banana
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron

Preheat oven to 200. In a small saucepan bring maple syrup and pecans to a boil and stir in juice. Remove syrup from heat and keep warm, covered. In a bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Quarter banana and in a blender purée with water. Transfer purée to another bowl and whisk in eggs and melted butter. Add flour mixture and stir until combined well.

Heat a well-seasoned or non-stick waffle iron until hot and brush lightly with oil. Pour half of batter into iron and cook waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm, uncovered, in oven. Make another waffle with remaining batter in same manner.

Serve waffles with syrup. Serves 2.

from Epicurious.com

 

PINEAPPLE BANANA MUFFINS

 

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons beaten egg

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium)

1/3 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

 

In a small bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, oil, milk and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and pineapple.
Coat muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 6 muffins.

New Year Resolution Recipes

Ok, so my new year’s resolution to eat healthier in 2010 ended at precisely12:03 amwhen I dove into the guacamole and M&M’s (don’t judge me). Thoughts of getting into those post Christmas sale size (none of your business) I bought last week when out the window along with visions of me finally being able to get rid of the “baby fat” from my last pregnancy 24 years ago.

In the hopes that a small portion of my resolution dignity can be saved this year as I’ve decided to devote this column to low fat/calorie recipes in the hopes that I can reduce a few calories and fat grams from our diets. You’ll notice I didn’t say NO fat as I’m one of those diet heretics that holds to the belief that to forbid is to tempt and that everyone needs a little fat in their diet.

Hope (and my scale) are both optimists and without any further adieu my first gift of the New Year is this column with recipes so good you won’t miss what’s not there. No, I’m not giving you calories on these recipes, suffice it to say that the category that is fat, they contain less than their counterparts.

You can use regular or low fat dairy products in these recipes but be careful when substituting no fat products in baking as they contain a higher percentage of water and that can alter the final results significantly (as in it won’t turn out the way you want it to).

LOWFAT BLUEBERRY MUFFINS (dairy)

2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)

1 1/4 cups skim milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. In another bowl combine the eggs and milk and beat to combine. Add sugar to the egg mixture and beat to combine. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix to just combine, do not over mix. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter, again, do not over mix. Divide the batter between the 12 greased muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes or until the top is golden. Makes 12

LOWFAT BRAN MUFFINS (dairy)

1 cup flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups bran cereal (crush it up a bit)

11/4 cups skim milk

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg white

1/2 cup applesauce

1 tart apple peeled and chopped

1/2 to 1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 400. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray or use foil paper liners.  In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  In another bowl combine the cereal, milk and sugar. Let the milk and cereal mixture set for 5 minutes and then add the egg, chopped apple, raisins and applesauce.  Add the apple mixture to flour mixture and mix to just combine. There will be lumps in the batter, don’t worry.  Divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.  Makes 12.

LOWFAT PINEAPPLE CHICKEN (meat)

2 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

2 cups water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 tablespoon powder

2 tablespoons oil (I like sesame oil but any will do)

1 green pepper diced

1 onion, cut into bite size pieces

1 cup celery, thinly sliced

1 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks (canned) (save the juice)

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1 to 2 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon cold water

ground pepper to taste

rice or noodles

Simmer the chicken in the water with bouillon cubes. Save 1 cup of liquid that the chicken is cooked in. Saute the onion, green peppers, celery and pineapple until crisp tender, but not browned.  In a bowl combine the cup of saved chicken broth with the pineapple juice and soy sauce. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl combine the flour and water. Whisk to combine and add the flour mixture to the chicken broth mixture. Whisk to combine. Add the liquid to the vegetables in the pan. Add the cooked chicken and season with pepper to tasted Add to
vegetables. Add the cooked chicken and a dash of pepper, and cook until
hot throughout. Serve over rice or noodles. Serves 6

LOW FAT TEXMEX PASTA SALAD (meat or pareve)

1 lb cooked bow tie pasta

1/2 lb. ground chicken or turkey, cooked (optional)

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 can (16 oz) corn, drained

1 red pepper, diced

1 can (16 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 small red onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 1/2 cup chunky salsa

1/2 no or low fat mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

In a big salad bowl combine the mayonnaise and salsa and mix to combine. Add the remaining ingredients, toss to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes for the flavors to combine. Serves 8.

LOWFAT SALMON SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK DRESSING (dairy)

2 lbs. grilled salmon broken into bite size pieces

6 cups salad greens

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1/2 cup non-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon,
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, or to taste

In a food processor or blender combine the buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, tarragon, garlic, salt and mustard. Process until combined and smooth and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Divide the greens between 6 plates, top with salmon, tomatoes, and sunflower seed and drizzle some of the dressing over the top. Pass the remaining dressing with the salad. Serves 6.

You can replace the salmon with chicken or turkey

Submitted byWanda Louias Long GroveIL

LOWER FAT FETTUCCINE ALFREDO (dairy)
1 tablespoon margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups skim milk
4 tablespoons non fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons light cream cheese
1 1/4 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups hot cooked fettuccine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper to taste

In a sauce pan saute the garlic in the margarine and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the flour, cook for a minute and then gradually whisk in the milk, stirring constantly. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Stir in the cream cheese; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until it melts. Add the parsley and pepper, mix to combine and then pour the cheese mixture over hot cooked fettuccine. Mix to combine. Place the mixture in a serving bowl and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Serves 4

Modified from about.com

LOWFAT CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY SOUR CREAM CAKE(dairy)

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 to 3 tablespoons regular or low sugar raspberry preserves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8X8 baking pan.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine all the ingredients except the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for about and hour and sprinkle the top with powdered sugar. Serves 6

Cupcakes for the Holidays

There are times in your life ( like after eating a dozen latkes) when you just gotta have that certain something sweet BUT you really don’t want the guilt associated with gobbling up 5 bags of candy coins or a calorie laden mega doughnut topped with chocolate and filled with custard (granted, there aren’t too many times when I DON’T want that kind of doughnut). For me that’s when I reach for a cupcake. Just enough cake and frosting to satisfy but not so much as that I feel like I’ve over indulged and the “oh I blew my holiday diet AGAIN” remorse isn’t omnipresent.

The origin of the cupcake isn’t all that clear. Some historians say it’s because the original recipe contained 1 cup measurements (I cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar etc.) Another source I checked with said that long ago that cake batter was cooked in tea cups, hence the name, cup-cake. Either way it came about I’m just glad the recipes evolved into the sweet treats we love today.

Deciding what type of cupcakes to make and what to top them with can be truly a personal and existential experience. You can fill them, frost them, and dust them with powdered sugar or cocoa. Sprinkles are always nice and so is a couple of pieces of candy or chocolate stuck into the top of the batter just before baking. The possibilities are endless and the results are always irresistible.

With cupcakes you can indulge in your love of lemon, banana, chocolate or vanilla or both at the same time and not have to commit to eating a whole cake. One of the beauties of making cupcakes is that most cake recipes can be converted into cupcakes. There are, however, some exceptions, like angel and sponge cakes, they don’t have quite enough structure to pull off the smaller size, but those to obvious exceptions aside, I say go for whatever recipe you want and see how creative you can get. I prefer to use cupcake liners in my pans as I find it easier to take them out after they’ve been cooked and they help keep all those pesky crumbs from falling all over your lap or shirt.

Just a few cup cake rules before you get started.

 

1. Always grease or line you baking pan, easier to remove the cupcake

2. Never over fill the pan, it will make an overly large cupcake top

4. Once the pan or pans are full, put them in the preheated oven immediately. The longer they sit out, the less they will rise.

5. Cupcakes should be baked in at least a 350 so that the structure sets quickly and the cake doesn’t dry while it’s baking

3. Make sure you test the cupcake with a toothpick before you remove it from the oven to make sure it cooked throughout.

 

 

Depending on how you decorate the following recipe they can be served as a snack or at a formal dinner and are equally at home at a 5 year olds birthday party or a wedding reception. I make the peanut butter ones every Chanukah and decorate them with chocolate candy coins.  Enjoy!

PEANUT BUTTER CUP CUPCAKES (dairy)

1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
16 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper cup cake liners in the muffin pan and set it aside. In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine the margarine or butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Mix to combine and then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture to the egg mixture with the milk. Do not over mix or you’ll get air bubbles in the cup cake. Fill each muffin cups about 1/2 full of batter. Place a peanut butter cup into the center of each and push it down so it almost touches the bottom but so there is still some batter underneath the peanut butter cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean (be careful not to test where the candy is, you won’t get a true test of if the cupcake is done). Makes approx 14 to 16

 

 

BANANA SPLIT CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 mashed ripe bananas

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese or pareve cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoon soft butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Optional Toppings;

hot fudge sauce,

maraschino cherries

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 20 to 24 muffin cups or use paper liners. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. In another large bowl combine the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until blended.  Frost and top with fudge sauce and a maraschino cherry

 

Modified from the Joy of Baking

 

ZUCCHINI AND PISTACHIO CUPCAKES (pareve)

This recipe uses self rising flour if you don’t have it for each cup of self rising flour use 1 cup of all-purpose flour and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup granulated sugar

4 zucchinis, grated

1 cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped

2 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup dried cranberries

 

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease or line 2 12 muffin tin pans. In a bowl combine the egg, oil, and sugar and whisk until combined.  Add the zucchini, lime zest and nuts and stir together until well mixed.  Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, into the zucchini mixture and gently fold it in. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake and for 18 to 20 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack and then dust the top with powdered sugar. Makes 24.

 

Modified from about.com

 

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

generous 1/3 cup potato flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon milk

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add the sugar and beat until combined.  Add the cream cheese, vanilla, milk and eggs and beat to combine.   Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until just combined.  Spoon the mixture into the paper liners and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool before frosting.

 

1 oz bittersweet chocolate

5 oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Melt the chocolate in the microwave but don’t over heat it, it should just be soft. Cool for about minutes. Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and then pour the chocolate over the top. Add the vanilla and mix until the cheese and chocolate is combine. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Frost and serve. Makes 12

 

Submitted by Roger Mancref and Cheryl Rodrego Naples FL

 

CANDIED CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

Topping

6 chocolate candy bars, chopped into pieces (your choice)

1, 12 oz bag of any kind of M&M’s you like

Crush, cut and mash into tiny pieces

Mix together in a bowl, set aside

 

Frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate

1/2 cup cream

 

Cupcakes

12 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup mini chocolate chips

 

 

Make the frosting first. In a microwave bowl melt the chocolate and cream together. Stir until smooth and then add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Cool in the refrigerator and when it is cool beat the frosting until it is spreadable.

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or place paper liners in 24 cupcakes molds. In a bowl combine the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix to combine. Add the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs and mix to combine. Add the salt, baking soda, flour, chocolate chips and mix to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepare tins filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting and then decorate with the chopped candy. Makes 24.

 

LUSCIOUS LEMON CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

 

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sour cream or pareve substitute

 

FROSTING:

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon milk or pareve substitute

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease or paper line 30 muffin tins. Set them aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar. Mix to combine and then with the mixer running add the eggs. With the mixer still running add lemon zest and vanilla. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  With the mixer running slowly add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. This will be a thick batter.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the butter and powdered sugar. Mix until combined.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest and milk; beat until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Makes 30.

Super Duper Scones

            If you’re into all things British (Hello!!! wedding of Prince William) you need to know about the scone. The scone is the British version of quick bread and is said to be of Scottish origin. Pronounced “skon” or “skoan”  it’s a cousin to the Scottish griddle cake known as a bannock. In the beginning scones were made from oats and flour and were a stable of everyday life, much like bread. The scone has evolved into a more sophisticated quick bread that can be served at breakfast as a snack or a late night treat.

          A perfect scone is not only a thing of beauty, it tastes not too sweet not too bland and is made from flour, butter, sugar, milk or cream and baking powder. A not so perfect scone (too much flour, not enough sugar or flavoring) tastes like cardboard and crumbles all over you. The typically classic English scone is made with currants and is a tea time staple, typically served with cream and butter and jam.  In the colonies we tend throw everything but the kitchen sink in the mix and enjoy the results.

         A classic scone is triangular shaped because scone dough is usually rolled out into a circle and then cut into eighths (I use my pizza cutter). Scones can be prepared on a griddle but most of us prefer making them in the oven. I like using a specially made pan that’s perfect for scones or corn bread. Scones are super easy to make and once you assemble the ingredients they can whipped up in about 10 minutes.  You just have to make sure that you don’t get freaked out that the dough is sort of crumbly and it won’t hold together, it will. Just don’t add to much flour when you’re rolling it out and you should be fine. Scones typically cook at a high temperature and are done in 15 to 20 minutes so are the perfect treat anytime of the day even when you don’t have time.

 

Note: Scones taste best when eaten immediately after coming out of the oven and stay fresh for about 2 days.

SIMPLE AND CLASSIC SCONES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup margarine or butter

1/8 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk or cream or non dairy substitute

2 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute for glazing

Preheat oven to 425 and use parchment paper to line a cookie sheet. In a bowl sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. Stir in the sugar and milk and mix to form a soft dough. You may need to add a little more flour or milk to get the right consistency but try not to over mix the dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead it gently and then roll it out to 1 inch thick. You can cut it into 8 triangle wedges or cut it into 2 inch rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. Reroll the remaining dough and cut the remaining scones. Brush the tops of the scones with milk to glaze. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter or whipped cream and jam. Makes 8 to 12.

You can add nuts or chocolate chips or chopped dried fruit if you like.

CORNMEAL AND PECAN SCONES (dairy)

2 cups flour

1 cup corn meal

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup cold butter

1 cup buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl combine the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles Add the buttermilk and pecans. Mix to combine. The dough will be kinda soft. On a floured surface roll out the dough until it’s about 1 inch thick. Cut into 2 to 3 inch rounds. Re roll left over dough and cut out the rest of the scones. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and brush the top with the 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Bake for 12 to15 minutes or until the top is light golden. Makes 12.

LEMON SCONES (dairy)

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

 zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons cold butter

1 cup whipping cream, plus a little for brushing

1 egg yolk, beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

LEMON GLAZE:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1 tablespoon melted butter

2 tablespoons whipping cream

Heat the oven to 400. Grease a large baking sheet and set it aside. In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the lemon zest and mix gently. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the cream, the yolk, and the vanilla. Mix slightly and then use a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients, just until the dough holds together.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and then, using floured hands, knead it gently three or four times to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut it like a pie into 8 wedges. Place the scones on to the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with cream. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.  Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and remove them to a cooling rack.

While the scones cool, make the glaze. In a bowl combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract, butter and whipping cream and mix until it’s smooth. If the glaze is too thick add a little water, too thin add a little more powdered sugar. When the scones are at room temperature drizzle the glaze over the top. Makes 8 scones.

Modified from the about.com

ORANGE AND CRANBERRY SCONES (dairy or pareve)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine, chilled, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped or 1/2 cup dried cranberries

5 to 6 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons orange zest

2 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute

sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and mix them together. Cut in the butter until the flour mixture resembles tiny pebbles.  Stir in the cranberries and add 5 tablespoons of orange juice and zest. If the dough doesn’t form a ball, add more juice. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and then, using floured hands, knead it gently three or four times to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut it like a pie into 8 wedges. Place the scones on to the baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with milk and sprinkle the tops lightly with sugar. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.  Makes 8

Submitted by Charlotte Mays Detroit MI

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT SCONES (dairy)

2 cups flour

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped

1 egg

6 tablespoons cold butter

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 and grease a cookie sheet. In a bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture. Cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small pebbles or breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg, buttermilk, almond extract and mix until just combine. Add in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and mix to combine. The dough will be slightly sticky. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and then, using floured hands, knead it gently three or four times to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut it like a pie into 8 wedges. Place the scones on to the baking sheet and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.  Makes 8

WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPERRY SCONES (dairy)

1 3/4 cup flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold butter

2 large eggs

1/3 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

2 tablespoons milk

Coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in. Cut in the butter using two knives. Stir in the chocolate chips and raspberries and set the dough aside.

In another bowl whisk together the eggs and the cream until combine. Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the egg mixture in. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir until just combined. It will be dry and crumbly and won’t hold together well.

Place the dough onto a floured surface and using well-floured hands, pat the dough into an 8 inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into eight wedges.

Brush the tops of the scones with the milk and sprinkle the top with sugar. Transfer the wedges to the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 8.

Modified from Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition

 

I’m Raisin the Roof for Father’s Day!

 

            My dad loves raisins. In cereal, in bread, in cookies, covered in chocolate and even, in a pinch, plain right out of the box. As a kid one of the bestest sweet treats he could give us was mixing up a bowl of sweet black and golden raisins with cashews (he’s a dentist so this was as crazy as he’d go in the sugar department). It was only later when I discovered his deepest darkest secret. While he was passing the bowl of these “good for you” natural treats he was stuffing his face with the chocolate covered ones.

            While I’m planning on giving him a pound or two of the primo milk chocolate ones this Father’s Day I’m also going to go all out and create a couple of other “raisin-centric” recipes just to let him know how much I appreciate all the wonderful stuff he taught me all the years of my life, especially  about sharing.

       

APPLE SAUCE RAISIN NUT QUICK BREAD

 

1 cup applesauce

1 egg

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon each salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup raisins

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9X5 loaf pan. In a large bowl combine the applesauce and egg. Mix to combine. Mix in the melted butter, brown and white sugars and then set the mixture aside.

 

In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture. Mix just until blended. Gently fold in the raisins and nuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the bread from the pan. Cool the bread on a cooling rack for at least ½ hour before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

 

RAISIN COFFEE CAKE

 

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar divided

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups raisins

2 teaspoons cinnamon powdered sugar

1 cup chopped walnuts

Powdered sugar for topping

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×9 pan.

 

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and thoroughly mixed. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into another bowl. Add to butter mixture one-third at a time alternating with sour cream and beating well after each addition. Mix in raisins.

 

In small bowl mix the remaining sugar with the cinnamon. Spread about 2/3’s of the batter on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top and then top with the remaining batter. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the top.

 

Bake in middle of oven 55 minutes to 1 hour until pick inserted into centers comes out clean.  Cool for ½ hour and then sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.

 

Modified and submitted by Arthur Parsons Trenton NJ

 

CASHEW AND RAISIN COOKIE

 

1 2/3 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 large eggs

3/4 cup chopped cashews

3/4 cup golden raisins

 

Preheat oven to 300. Grease a cookie sheet. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and baking soda. Mix to combine. In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, vanilla, and eggs and beat until the mixture thickens. Add the flour mixture, cashews, and raisins to the egg mixture and mix to combine. . Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough 6 or 7 times and then shape it into a 12 to 14 inch roll. Place dough on the prepared baking sheet and then pat the roll down until it’s about an inch thick. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.

 

Place the cookie roll on a cutting board and cut the roll diagonally into 24 (1/2-inch) slices. Place the slices back on the cookie sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes (the cookies will be sort of soft in the middle but harden as they cool. Cool on a cooling rack. Makes 2 dozen

 

QUAKER VANISHING OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES

This is the recipe is the first one I made myself as an 8 year old!!

 

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old-fashioned)

1 cup raisins

 

Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir together until no streaks remain. Stir this into the butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

 

Modified from the Quaker Oats web site

 

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE AND RAISIN MUFFINS

 

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins

1 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1 egg

1/4 cup oil

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a muffin pan or line with 12 paper muffin liners. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add the oats, sugar, raisins and salt.  Add the milk, egg, and oil, mix until just blended. The batter will be lumpy. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, about 2/3’s full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin cups to cool on a wire rack. Makes 12

 

RUM RAISIN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

 

1 cup raisins

1/4 cup rum

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

3/4 cup flour

1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips

 

Place the raisins in a bowl and pour the rum over them, let them sit for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 baking pan. In a sauce pan combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate and heat, stirring until the chocolate and butter melt together.  Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and eggs. Mix in the raisins (with the remaining liquid) and then add the flour and chocolate chips. Spoon the batter to pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool brownies in pan on rack. Cut into squares. Makes 8 to 12

 

Modified from Bon Appétit | December 1999

 

CURRY AND RAISIN VEGGIE SALAD

 

1 head broccoli, chopped

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1/2 pound bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

1 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins

1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

2 shredded carrots

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons apple cider or rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

 

In a bowl combine the broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots, bacon, raisins and onion, mix and set aside. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and curry powder. Mix to combine and then pour the dressing over the vegetable mix. Mix to coat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Makes about 12 cups.

 

Modified from sunmaid.com

 

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