Archive | Desserts

Banana Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Beth Setrakian, Beth’s Community Kitchen, Mill Valley

Banana Pudding is a simple, yet revered, Southern staple. It likely evolved from the English trifle, another
layering of cake or cookies, pudding and fruit. The favoring of bananas in the South was a natural, as
residents of port cities like New Orleans, Mobile and Charleston enjoyed bountiful amounts of the then-exotic
tropical fruit.

Like the great pie vs. cake debate, families have divided over whether Banana Pudding should be topped with
simple sweetened whipped cream or meringue. Baker and chef Beth Setrakian, whose mother hails from the
South, says either is just fine. She takes the dish to new heights by incorporating her own brand of organic
vanilla wafers.

Bon Appétit, y’all!

Yield: 10 servings

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream, for a richer pudding)
7 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or to taste)
4 to 5 cups organic vanilla wafers
3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/3” thick rounds
For the optional topping: 2 cups whipped cream, slightly sweetened with confectioner’s sugar, or meringue

TO PREPARE
Place … Read More

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Grandma Mary Jo’s Apple Pie

Yield: 1 pie

INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup ice water

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING

  • 6 apples, peeled and sliced (use any apple variety that you prefer, but tart apples work best)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour (plus additional to flour the surface where the pastry is rolled)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

TO PREPARE CRUST

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Cut the chilled butter and shortening into 1/2-inch bits and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter (or two butter knives), work flour, butter and shortening together, adding the ice water little by little, until mixture resembles coarse meal. It is important to not over-mix the pastry. Once it resembles coarse meal, press the pastry together to form a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Lightly flour a pastry board or kitchen counter. Divide the pastry ball in half and place both halves on the floured surface. Push each piece into a flat round. Using a lightly … Read More

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Double Freeze Fruity Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches

These cookies have a secret — it’s freeze-dried fruit! The concentrated flavors of the freeze-dried fruit add a tangy zing to the cookie, creating layers of summery goodness.

Yield: 12 large ice cream sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup unbleached white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 3 cups freeze-dried berries such as raspberries or strawberries
  • ½ gallon premium vanilla ice cream (store-bought or make your own!)

TO PREPARE

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time until just incorporated, then add vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir by hand into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the oats and walnuts (if using), by hand with a large spoon. Gently fold in 1. cups of the freeze-dried berries.

Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, roll 2 scoops of cookie dough into 24 balls … Read More

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Jammy Toaster Tarts

The wonderful thing about making homemade toaster tarts is that you can fill them with anything you like. Love cinnamon sugar? Go for it! Homemade Nutella? Yes, please. Or reach for your favorite jam or marmalade, which is what I often do for an easy morning pastry. Yield: 9 toaster tarts

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2–4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 large egg, whisked

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING AND GLAZE

  • ½ cup jam of your choosing
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1–2 teaspoons half-and half
  • Sprinkles, to decorate

TO PREPARE THE DOUGH

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse quickly to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until pea-sized lumps of butter remain. In a small separate bowl, whisk together the egg and apple cider vinegar. Slowly add this mixture to the bowl of the food processor, pulsing to combine. The mixture will still be quite dry; add the ice water slowly until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Divide the … Read More

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Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

For the bittersweet chocolate in this recipe, I splurge on Valrhona cocoa. These are the kind of cookies where chocolate is the star, and you really will taste the difference when you use a good one. This dough can warm up quickly when you roll it out, so I always roll it in between two sheets of plastic wrap — this will make your life much easier. Yield: 18–20 cookies

INGREDIENTS FOR THE COOKIES

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup bittersweet (60%–70%) chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING

  • 5 ounces vegetable shortening
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 2½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

TO PREPARE

In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the chocolate and vanilla and whisk together. Then add the egg and whisk until incorporated.

In a separate medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and … Read More

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Corny Veggie Pops

You won’t believe how often your kids will ask for these. The peas worked so well that I decided to try the frozen veggie pops using sweet corn.

Makes 6 cube-shaped pops

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels—preferably yellow
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 6 Popsicle sticks or wooden craft sticks

Place the cream cheese, corn, and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 20-second intervals until the cheese is softened to room temperature.

Using a blender or food processor, puree these first three ingredients into a smooth paste. Add the cinnamon and mix again, scraping the bowl frequently. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Place the mixture into a food grade plastic bag and cut about 1/2 inch off of one of the bottom corners. Squeeze the puree into an ice cube tray or mini muffin tin, place 1 Popsicle stick into each serving and freeze until solid, about 1 hour. You may also spoon the puree into the molds. Depending on your freezer, you may have to let them freeze for up to 4 hours. For best results, make and freeze … Read More

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Minty Pea Pops

Peas on a Popsicle stick? Just tell them it tastes like mint–chocolate chip ice cream—but these are not quite ice cream and not quite vegetable. They are now a staple in our house—a great dessert, snack, or treat on a hot day. Have your kids help shop for and shell the peas. You’ll love it when your child asks for a Pea Pop!

Makes 6 cube-shaped pops

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup shelled sweet English Peas
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 6 Popsicle sticks or wooden craft sticks

Place the cream cheese, peas, and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 20-second intervals until the cheese is softened to room temperature.

Using a blender or food processor, puree these first three ingredients into a smooth paste. Add the extract and mix again, scraping the bowl frequently. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Place the mixture into a food grade plastic bag and cut about 1/2 inch off of one of the bottom corners. Squeeze the puree into an ice cube tray or mini muffin tin, place 1 Popsicle stick into each serving and freeze until … Read More

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One-Eyed Purple People Eater Muffins

Local blueberries are coming into season, so it’s the perfect time to bake some easy and delicious blueberry muffins with your kids. These can be eaten warm, right out of the oven, or filled with a scoop of delicious blueberry ice cream for an extra special treat. I use frozen blueberries in the ice cream mixture to get the pretty purple, but you can also use fresh berries when they are in season.

Yield: 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup room temperature butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the Muffins:

  • Paper muffin liners (optional)
  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1⁄3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, in season (or frozen, semi-thawed)

For the Ice Cream Filling:

  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream (your favorite brand)
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries, semi-thawed (or fresh, but your mixture will not have the same intense purple color)

TO PREPARE:

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

Crumb Topping:

Mash together sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon. Set aside.… Read More

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PROFITEROLES FILLED WITH STRAUS EGGNOG ICE CREAM AND TOPPED WITH WARM RUM CHOCOLATE SAUCE

Recipe by Tina Borrone

Tina Borrone began her baking career at a young age through perfecting the Bisquick coffee cake. She sharpened her skills in the kitchen at her family’s cafe, Cafe Borrone (Menlo Park), and has wielded her spatula in San Francisco restaurants Globe and Postrio, as well as in her own custom wedding and specialty cake business. Currently, her husband, three children and 12 chickens keep her very busy, in the kitchen and otherwise.

Profiteroles make a perfect dessert, for the holidays or anytime. In this recipe, the warm rum chocolate sauce highlights the flavor of nutmeg in the rich, delicious, organic Straus Eggnog Ice Cream. Enjoy this easy to make and beautiful holiday treat!

Serves 8.

Profiteroles

Yield: 24 puffs

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

TO PREPARE

Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs and egg white together, and measure out ½ cup and set aside. Discard the excess.

Bring the butter, milk, … Read More

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Savory Caramelized Apples

Yield: 3 or 4 servings as a side dish

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups apples (sweet/tart variety), peeled, seeded and diced
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar, to taste
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

TO PREPARE

Heat the vegetable oil over high heat in a sauté pan large enough to hold all of the apples in one layer (or work in batches) until it just begins to shimmer. Add the apples, adjusting the heat so that there is an audible sizzle, but not a violent one, and leave them until they just begin to brown on the edges. Add the sage and toss the apples occasionally to brown all sides. Once browned, drain off any excess oil from the pan and dust the apples with the sugar, tossing occasionally until the sugar melts and darkens slightly. Add the vinegar, a couple of tablespoons or splashes at a time. Allow it to reduce over medium-high heat. Continue to add more vinegar and reduce until it suits your taste. Once it does, remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Serve warm.

Note: the apples can be cut into any shape or size you Read More

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