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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Post T Day Update

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Since I'm normally the only one that helps my aunts cook for Thanksgiving J and I normally don't spend the whole day together since he has to go to his family's. He would go during the day and then come back to my family's for desserts. This year I didn't make as much desserts as I used to. I made carrot cake whoopee pies and a vanilla bean cake with chocolate frosting for J to take to his family's and made a berry trifle, cheesecake and apple pie for mine. I have to say the item that was the biggest hit was the trifle. After stuffing our faces with food, J, my cousins Sam and Angela all went to the bowling alley and met up with Eli, Jocelyn and two of their family friends. We were there for almost 4 hours! Not only was it fun but at least we got to burn a few calories. I can't wait until Christmas and do it all over again!




Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Almond Caramel Shortbread Bars

I normally have a bag of Trader Joe's Just Almond Meal on hand. Sometimes when I make cookies I replace some flour with almond meal to keep it moist and adds a subtle almond flavor without overpowering like almond extract. I was looking for a bar cookie recipe and found one on Hershey's website. The one on the website is Chewy Toffee Almond Bar. Not everyone likes coconut and I wanted to use caramel instead of the toffee bites so I tweaked the recipe.


Almond Caramel Shortbread Bars


Shortbread:

  • 1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or almond extract)
  • 1/3 cup almond flour or meal
  • 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Caramel layer:

You can use the caramel recipe I posted previously: Click Here or melt 14 oz bag of store bought caramel with 1/4 cup of cream. 

Topping:

1 cup of sliced almond. 

preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Greased an 8 inch square pan. 

In a medium size bowl add almond meal, flour and salt. Mixed. In another medium size bowl, cream together butter and sugar until white and fluffy then add vanilla then mix. Mix the combined dry ingredients into the butter mixture until well incorporated. Press the dough evenly into the greased 8 inch square pan. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes or until the shortbread looks light golden brown. 

While you are waiting for the shortbread, prepared the caramel layer. 

Pour the caramel onto the baked shortbread. Topped with the sliced almond and bake on 350 for another 10 minutes. Make sure you let it cool completely before slicing into bars. 







Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lemon Lime Pound Cake

This recipe is a cross between a pound cake and butter cake. I used lemon and lime zests but you can just use one kind of citrus if you like. It's also amazing with some fruit compote and whipped cream!
Lemon Lime Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Greased and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

Cake:
  • 13 tbs room temperature unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 1 tbs lime zest
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
Lemon syrup:
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combined milk, vanilla and eggs. In a medium size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, lemon and lime zests. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the large bowl with butter/sugar. Mixed until combined then add the wet mixture, then add lemon juice.  Mix on medium for 1 minute. Pour mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until when you insert a tooth pick and it comes out clean. When the cake is done, removed from oven poke holes into the cake using a tooth pick and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then use the time to prepared the syrup.

To make the syrup, you all need a small pot. Add the sugar and lemon juice into the pot. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolved. pour the syrup into the pan with the pound cake and let the cake cool for another 30 minutes. Once all the syrup is absorbed into the cake you can turn the cooled cake out and eat! To store the cake I wrapped the cake in plastic wrap and put it in an air tight container. You should eat it in a 3-4 days if you don't refrigerate it (a week, you can microwave it for around 10 seconds to warm it up before serving). 



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Very First Attempt at Making Caramel Candy.


 Soft, chewy caramel. Who can resist? When I was young I used to eat A LOT of candy (have the cavities to prove it!) but the older I get it seems like I stopped eating so much sweets. I know it sounds crazy since I bake all the time but most of the time I only have one or two bites. One thing that I can not resist is caramel.  From chewy sweet caramel with tart Granny Smith apple to the Fleur de Sel Caramels from Dean and Deluca or William Sonoma, I seriously love them all. I've always been hesitant to make any sort of candy involving hot molten sugar since it just seems dangerous. While I was doing my usual browsing for new recipes I found a super easy sounding recipe from Science of Cooking.