Baking · Dessert · Home Cooking · Secret Recipe Club

Need You

Biscuit Sandwich

biscuit_cookie

Welcome to April’s Secret Recipe Club reveal for Group A!  Normally when I get my blog assignment I go to the recipe page and read everything, saving and pinning anything that catches my eye.  This time however I was transfixed by a thumbnail on Chit Chat Chomp  and HAD to make it.  So I first searched her dessert page, trying to not be distracted by all her delicious goodies before finding MY recipe on her baking page: Melting Moments.  Leigh made these for her boss’s birthday and for some strange reason was not given a raise, which blows my mind because oh my goodness are these biscuits insanely good.  I had to make a change to the custard filling, switching the lemon curd for vanilla due to my citrus allergy.   Not so surprising Leigh has a recipe for vanilla custard as well so I used that as the filling for my biscuits!  I just halved that recipe and dropped the zest – super easy and super incredible.  We wound up with some “extra” pudding after assembling the cookies and it was very hard to not lick the bowls clean.

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I also enjoyed the irony of getting an Australian blog seeing as how I got one just over a year ago when my little sister moved to Australia for a year.  She gets back next Monday (!!!!) and I can’t wait to get all the food details about her trip.  I have a feeling I’ll be making some more of Leigh’s recipes once she gets back, especially since she has a very large vegetarian recipe section.

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Baking · Dessert · Home Cooking

and Gumdrops

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake

cheesecake

Welcome to #16Cheesecakes – part 2!!!

Last year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla rallied some blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary. She was only looking for fifteen cheesecake recipes. But we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes.  It was such a hit and we all had so much fun that she decided to see if she could get enthusiasm for another round of cheesecakes. Yep. This is an encore performance by some of her favorite foodie bloggers.

More than #SixteenCheesecakes

Last year I kept things rather simple with a chocolate caramel cheesecake – something I knew my husband would love.  As I mentioned last year, Joe and I also did a cheesecake at our wedding and it was the BEST decision ever.  This year I decided to go for something more my style: Cafe Mocha Cheesecake.  Don’t get me wrong, Joe’s a huge fan of coffee but not in his dessert so much as with his dessert.  I, on the other hand, prefer Double Dunker ice cream by Turkey Hill to almost anything!  Coffee and chocolate and just the hint of vanilla to keep things from being too overpowering – perfection!

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Make sure to check out all the other fantastic cheesecakes – perfect addition to a holiday dinner or a substitution for dinner.

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Baking · Dessert · Vegan

Brought to Life

Vegan Sugar Cookies 

vegan_sugar_cookies

Many moons ago, or about 5yrs ago, I found an incredible vegan sugar recipe.  This past year I went to look for it again and could not locate it!  So I decided to come up with my own recipe based on a “normal” sugar cookie recipe and what I know about vegan cookie.  One of the biggest issues I’ve had with vegan baking is the missing butter taste as well as the not always awesome aftertaste some vegan “butters” offer.  With that I decided to add a bit of cinnamon, not enough to cross into snickerdoodles territory but enough to add a bit of something to the recipe.  I also added a touch of cream of tartar in order to counter the melting point of vegan “butter” and keep the cookies from spreading too much – another problem I commonly have.  I wasn’t going for a super fluffy cookie but I didn’t want them to be as crispy as a rolled cookie.

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These cookies were a huge holiday hit!  Husband enjoyed them so much he had a hard time believing they were vegan, which is the ultimate compliment in his case.  For a real treat, form the dough and then freeze in a plastic cookie “tin” and bake when you’re getting a craving for something sweet.

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert

Don’t We Go

Banana Cream Pie

banana_cream_pie

A bit late, but finally have my post from Pi Day!  Since Pi Day was also game day I knew I had to make something, and it had to be something awesome.  Thankfully /r/52weeksofcooking pointed me in the right direction with their banana theme.  I had never made/had a banana cream pie but figured it couldn’t be too hard – just a more solid version of banana pudding.  I searched the internet for inspiration but most of them involved ingredients I didn’t have on hand, and since I was doing this last minute the day after an embryo transfer going to the store just wasn’t going to happen.  So I decided to use a custard recipe I acquired many moons ago and just modify it as needed.  For the crust I went with my standard push-in-pan using vanilla wafers.  One day I’ll figure out how to roll a pie crust but until then push-in-pan it is!

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Hope your sweet tooth is ready for this week as I’ll have another dessert recipe on Wednesday as part of #15Cheesecakes!

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert

Thinking Outloud

Sugar Cookies

sugar_cookies

Not a surprise to anybody who knows me in real life, but I’m a HUGE fan of reading – and have been from a very young age.  Reading was a way to escape to a different time or place or both and whether it be a galaxy “far far away” or a war between cousins, I’ve always had an appetite for expanding my world via the written word. Which is why I was BEYOND thrill to see /52weeksofcooking was doing a challenge based on book inspiration.  The hard part was finding a book to pick from the hundreds on my shelves, but in end I had to go with one of my favorite “YA” books.  Eleanor & Park is technically a YA book, but it’s also a great “remember when” book for anyone that grew up in the 80s – or anyone still bitter about the cancellation of My So Called Life (or Freaks and Geeks) during the 90s.  Without giving too much away, we’ll just say that Eleanor’s home life is bit rough and while she loves her mom things aren’t always the best between them.  However one happy moment between the two takes place in the kitchen when her mom dabs vanilla extract behind her ears as a cheaper perfume option.

'I do it,' her mom said, 'because it's cheaper 
than perfume, but it smells just as good.'

This smell is the one Park remembers, lingering while they are on the school bus – causing him to think of sugar cookies and other vanilla treats.  However, I knew that I couldn’t just make any sugar cookie to represent Eleanor & Park, it needed to have some sort of a twist.  So I decided to merge my favorite snickerdoodle recipe with my favorite sugar cookie recipe in order to create and sugar cookie with a bit of added texture and just slightly cracked.

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These cookies didn’t last long, becoming a treat for my co-workers to celebrate a recent achievement for one of then.  Before anyone gets concerned. I did allow Joe to have the ones in the photo as it’s only right to pay the photographer!

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

ABC

Apple Basil Cake

Apple Basil Cake

Welcome to my Secret Recipe Club post for October!  This month I was sent over to LeAndra’s Love and Flour  – a blogger with a taste for the sweeter things in life.  For a hot moment I debated trying one of her many savory treats, but then realized that would be cheating and so I happily went off to explore all the potential treats.  I was immediately drawn to her Apple Basil Cake, featuring seasonal apples and fresh basil it was an easy pick.  Though her cheescake muffins with homemade vanilla wafers deserves an honorable mention as they look insanely delicious and easy – after all she calls them a “cheatcake” which is one of the best nicknames ever.   The only change I made to the recipe was switching the Granny Smiths for Crispins as that’s what my farmer’s market had, which is a taste preference as either apple (or my usual favorite Pink Lady) would be perfect for this cake.

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I brought this cake over to a family lunch gathering where it was a MASSIVE hit with only one slice making it back to our house.  I skipped the glaze for fear of it not traveling well and simply topped it with some powdered sugar as an easy cheat.  The apples were crisp and the basil provided the perfect contrast to the sweetness resulting in perfection.   We served the cake as dessert, but would also make a great treat for a brunch or tea as the sweetness is  (thankfully) not the dominant feature of the cake.  All of the apples came from Pong’s Orchard which is owned and operated by one of the sweetest families ever – I’m going to be beyond sad when our market ends in a few weeks.

I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their apple challenge as a replacement for the mulligatawny soup that I made and never photographed.  This is a cake that deserves to be shared and loved by as many people as possible – but what do you expect when it comes from a blog named LOVE and Flour!

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52Weeks · Baking · Home Cooking

Faith in Love

Vanilla Ricotta Bread

Vanilla Ricotta Bread

Following behind again with /52weeksofcooking but only one week behind so that’s not tooooo horrible – right?  Anyway, last week the theme for /52weeks was (is?) vanilla!  Simple enough ingredient but of course I couldn’t do something simple, I had to think of something non-dessert.  Which is why I’m a week late with posting this deliciously amazing Vanilla Ricotta Bread.  While I debated going full savory with vanilla, and also debated going crafty with vanilla (bad idea), in the end I decided to go with something somewhat familiar in order to lessen the odds of full failure.   I had made a ricotta bread a few months ago, pre-move, but it was just a bit blah.  I had expected the ricotta bread to have a sweetness to it, nothing as crazy as ricotta cookies – but maybe somewhat close.  Which led me to the awesome decision to add vanilla extract to the bread, and it worked!

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This bread was fantastic fresh, awesome toasted with butter and jam, and scrumptious with nutella.