Coming Home to Cook. (Showcasing Desserts that Dazzled!)

Desserts / June 6, 2016

Lately, and with increasing frequency, I am noticing that the passage of time has been amped up to warp speed. Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into Months. And months turn into, well, let’s just say I am now coloring my hair every 25 days. YIKES!

But there is always the ability to come home to a place where, it seems, time stops. Creeping with an odd familiarity, and reminding us of our roots, our mistakes and our successes, it is the anchor point for relinquishing the hurriedness and the hardship. However, the opposite of this is when we come for an event, such as the wedding of my niece that brings us to this place. Then when I hug cousins and sisters and nieces and nephews I feel old. Gray hair showing or not.


Peanut Butter Mousse with a Sugar Smacks Crust

Makes 4 servings


Ingredients:

2 of 5.3 ounce containers plain Greek yogurt,
or that approximate size. Low fat is fine as well as
the regular yogurt
½ C creamy peanut butter
1 C heavy whipping cream whipped
½ C sugar
2 t vanilla
1/8 t ground allspice
4 T unsalted butter melted
2 C Sugar Smacks™ cereal
¼ C jam


Direction:

  • Using a small food chopper, process the cereal until the consistency of chunky bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and combine, then press into the bottom of 4 parfait cups.
  • Measure out the 1 C of heavy cream and beat to soft peaks. Then add ¼ C of the sugar and 1 t vanilla. Whip again until stiff peaks. In another bowl, blend the yogurt, peanut butter, ¼ C sugar and 1 t vanilla. Using a whisk, blend until all is very creamy and incorporated. Now add the allspice and blend. Then, using a spatula, carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Spoon each serving onto the Sugar Smacks crust and swirl tops. Chill until ready to serve and top with your favorite jam and a sprinkling of whole Sugar Smacks.

Fig and Pineapple Puff Pastry Hand Pies

Makes 9 pies


Ingredients:

1 sheet of Pepperidge Farms puff pastry
1 ½ C dried mission figs, chopped
1 ½ C fresh pineapple cut into small chunks
3 T white sugar
2 t vanilla extract
¼ t ground ginger powder
¼ t cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
Extra white sugar


Direction:

  • Mix the figs, pineapple, sugar, vanilla, ginger and cinnamon. Roll out the puff pastry sheet into a 12 inch square. Cut into 9 equal squares. Place 1/3 C of the fruit mixture in the center of each square. Brush the edges with the beaten egg, and fold over the seal the hand pies. Brush each with more of the egg wash, and sprinkle the sugar on top. Cook for 20 minutes on 400 degrees Fahrenheit or until browned and bubbly.
  • If desired, top the hand pies with a mixture of 4 ounces cream cheese and ½ C peach syrup blended.

Pumpkin Walnut Buttermilk Cake with Raisins And a Buttermilk Pumpkin Glaze

Servers 10-12


Ingredients:

Cake:

2 large eggs
½ C sugar
3 1/2 ounces bottled pumpkin butter
¼ C light oil
1/3 C buttermilk
½ t vanilla
¼ t allspice
1 C flour
½ t baking powder
¼ T salt
1/3-1/2 C walnuts, chopped coarsely
1/3 C raisins
Butter to grease pan


Glaze:

¼ C buttermilk
2 T pumpkin butter
½ t vanilla
Powdered sugar to mix to desired consistency. About a cup.


Method:

  • In a large glass mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, beat well for about 2 minutes. Add oil, pumpkin butter, vanilla, buttermilk. Whisk very well either with an electric mixer or a good whisk until very well blended and shiny. In another bowl, sift the flour and the baking powder, as well as the allspice and salt and combine. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, gently folding in with a spatula until blended well. Gently fold in the raisins and walnuts. Don’t overmix.
  • Pour into a 9” greased round cake pan. Cook in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit for about 3 minutes. Then invert onto a rack for about 5 minutes, and then reinvert onto a nice serving place.
  • To make the glaze, combine the vanilla, pumpkin butter and buttermilk. Then add the powdered sugar little by little until you have a glaze. Not stiff like frosting, but not too runny. When cake is cool, cut each service slice or do what I did and punch out round servings. Top generously with glaze. One taste and the holidays begin!


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Let's think about food preparation as art, and flavors as adventurous stories. Say ‘goodbye’ to safe sequences, or copycat flavors, and use your senses to curate the perfect meal. My recipes help your kitchen come to life as I share anecdotes about food chemistry, and fun shortcuts that conquer menu-mediocrity. my cooking style is one that combines everyday ingredients into sensuous layers that wake up the bored palate as I reveal easy-to-understand tips, tricks, and hacks so everyone can prepare and serve Bling Cuisine with confidence and joy!

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