Desserts

Dessert Recipes

Butterscotch Pie with Marshmallow Thyme Meringue and Pretzel Crust

I broke down and bought Joy the Baker’s newest cookbook.  I kept seeing it everywhere and couldn’t resist that pretzel cake on the cover.  That pretzel cake must have still been on my mind while I leafed through the pages because I stopped dead in my tracks at this pie with pretzel crust.  I needed to do some pie research for Thanksgiving, so I gave this a shot.  Strictly for research purposes…

Butterscotch Pie with Thyme Meringue and Pretzel Crust | Hottie Biscotti

The crust is pretty basic, but uses cold buttermilk instead of water.  I had to add a bit more buttermilk than called for in the recipe to get it to stick together easily, but that is the only issue I ran in to with the crust.  It rolls out nicely and bakes up well.  I love the way the pretzels look lining the crust.  It’s really too bad you can’t see it after filling and baking.

Pretzel Crust | Hottie Biscotti

Into the crust goes a butterscotch filling that is rich and creamy and amazing.  When the first step in any recipe is browning butter you can’t be on the wrong track.  After cooking it has to chill for 2 hours, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Butterscotch Filling | Hottie Biscotti

The meringue is surprisingly good.  I was hesitant to add in the thyme, but was very glad I did.  It’s just noticeable enough.  Not overpowering but you still know it’s there, a slight savory note to balance the sweetness.  And the marshmallow does make it very sweet, which I happen to like.  I think it would be especially good on a sweet potato pie.  As we all know, sweet potatoes and marshmallows are meant for each other.

Marshmallow Thyme Meringue | Hottie Biscotti Butterscotch Pie with Thyme Meringue and Pretzel Crust | Hottie Biscotti

After filling and topping, the meringue gets a nice toast in the oven.  I think I under-baked mine just a bit.  I only let it go for about 4 minutes.  It could’ve used just a couple more for color and for the meringue to get a little sturdier.  When sliced the meringue got a little oozy, which makes no difference in taste but makes for a messy presentation.

Butterscotch Pie with Thyme Meringue and Pretzel Crust | Hottie Biscotti

You can serve this immediately after cooking the meringue, or chill it in the fridge.  I had better luck slicing and serving after the pie had time to chill, and my meringue was more cooperative.

Butterscotch Pie with Thyme Meringue and Pretzel Crust | Hottie Biscotti

The pretzels get a little soggy but still have enough crunch to add some nice texture to the pie.  I love the idea and the look of the pretzels, but this would still be a delicious pie without them.

I am really looking forward to trying more recipes from this cookbook!  Go grab a copy, it’s so much fun to look through and drool over.

Butterscotch Pie with Thyme Meringue and Pretzel Crust

From Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson

Pretzel Crust

Makes 2 crusts

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold buttermilk
  • small twisted pretzels (20-34 depending on size)

Directions

  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
  2. Add in butter and work in using either clean hands or a pastry blender.  When butter is broken down into pieces roughly the size of oat flakes with some large pieces make a well in the center and add in the buttermilk.  Mix together using a wooden spoon until dough kind of holds together, but is still loose.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, knead into a disc, cut the disc in half and form each into a round.  Wrap each in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.  (You only use one of these rounds for this pie, so use or freeze the other.)
  4. Flour a work surface and roll one of the rounds into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Move to a 9-inch pie plate, press gently into the plate and trim the edges and fold or crimp the edges.
  5. Arrange the pretzels on the bottom and up the sides of the pie crust, pressing them slightly into the dough.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and press gently into the pie plate.  Fill the foil with beans, rice or pie weights.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Bake crust for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5-7 minutes, until it begins to brown.  Cool completely before filling.

Butterscotch Filling

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks (whites reserved for meringue)
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions

  1. Brown the butter in a small saucepan by heating it over medium heat.  Cook, watching it carefully and swirling the pan frequently until butter begins to brown and smell nutty. Remove from the heat immediately so it doesn’t burn.  Let cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine egg yolks, molasses, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt and whisk.  Heat over medium and whisk in the milk.  Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking constantly until mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.  Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the custard and chill for at least 2 hours.

Thyme Meringue

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 jar marshmallow cream (7 ounces)
  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Combine the sugar and thyme in a small bowl and use your fingers to rub the thyme into the sugar.
  2. Scrape marshmallow into a large bowl and whisk (at least try to, this stuff is sticky!)
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment whisk egg whites on medium speed until they begin to froth.  Add the salt, then add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time while increasing the speed of the mixer gradually to medium high.  Beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy.
  4. Fold half of the egg whites into the marshmallow to lighten it, then fold in the rest of the egg whites in 3 batches.

Assemble and Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and move oven rack to the middle or top third depending on your oven size.  You want the pie near the top to brown the meringue.
  2. Spoon custard into pie crust and smooth the top.
  3. Top with the meringue and spread just to the edges without covering the crust.
  4. Bake for 4-7 minutes, until meringue has browned to your liking.
  5. Serve immediately or chill for an hour.

Fleur de Sel Caramel and Cream Cheese Apple Galette

We are well into November, which means it’s time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving meal.  Not Christmas yet though, despite the fact that almost every retail store I’ve been to has their trees up already.  Straight from Halloween to Christmas!  It’s crazy.  But Thanksgiving is just a little over 2 weeks away so let’s talk food.  I’ll share a few recipes over the next couple of weeks.

FLEUR DE SEL CARAMEL AND CREAM CHEESE APPLE GALETTE | Hottie Biscotti

The more I cook the more recipes I have stored up either here on the blog or in a ridiculous collection of books and binders that I can turn to.  I come from a family of 4 girls, all of whom enjoy cooking.  So when it comes to holiday meals we all start searching for things we’d like to make.  We almost never make the same thing twice, except for my Grandma June’s dressing which is always on the table, as is her apple pie.  But we like to branch out and try other ways to prepare vegetables, desserts and sides.

This simple apple galette would be a lovely Thanksgiving dessert, but could easily make its way to your table on a weeknight.  It’s simple to prepare and doesn’t require many ingredients or much time.  You can use a scratch pie crust or a store bought one to make it even simpler.

applegalette11 applegalette14 applegalette13 FLEUR DE SEL CARAMEL AND CREAM CHEESE APPLE GALETTE | Hottie Biscotti

This caramel sauce takes this simple dessert to a special place and I am so thankful to my good friend who introduced me to it!  Go grab yourself a few jars.  It’s also terrific as a dip for raw apples slices, so whatever you have leftover from this galette you can use as an afternoon snack.  You’re welcome.

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This is different enough from a pie that you could get away with having a traditional apple pie and this galette on the same dessert table.  The thin-ness of this galette makes me feel a little better about eating dessert, even though it’s probably not too much better for me.  The cream cheese is subtle and pairs well with the apples and caramel, but you could easily leave it out if you don’t have any around or if you just don’t care for it.

FLEUR DE SEL CARAMEL AND CREAM CHEESE APPLE GALETTE | Hottie Biscotti FLEUR DE SEL CARAMEL AND CREAM CHEESE APPLE GALETTE | Hottie Biscotti FLEUR DE SEL CARAMEL AND CREAM CHEESE APPLE GALETTE | Hottie Biscotti FLEUR DE SEL CARAMEL AND CREAM CHEESE APPLE GALETTE | Hottie Biscotti

I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving.  I really enjoy this holiday and this year we get to spend it at the lake with my husband’s family, which will be lovely as always.  What are you planning to make for Thanksgiving?  Do you have any recipes you make every year?

Fleur de Sel Caramel and Cream Cheese Apple Galette

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 round pie dough
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3-4 tablespoons Fleur de sel Caramel Sauce
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel and core apples, then slice thinly.
  3. Mix apples with 2 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  Set aside.
  4. Beat cream cheese with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar until smooth.  Set aside.
  5. Roll dough out on a large piece of parchment paper into a 12 inch circle.
  6. Spread cream cheese onto dough leaving a 1 1/2 inch border.
  7. Arrange apples in 2 concentric circles, overlapping as needed, on top of the cream cheese.
  8. Warm up 4 tablespoons of the caramel sauce in a small bowl in the microwave.  Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce evenly over the apples.
  9. Fold the dough over the edges of the apples.
  10. Whisk egg in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of water, then brush onto the dough.
  11. Transfer parchment to a large baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes, until crust is golden and apples are tender.
  12. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the rest of the caramel sauce.
  13. Serve warm or room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream and more caramel sauce.

 

Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust

It was bound to happen.  I jumped aboard the pumpkin train!  I did manage to hold out until mid October.  Things get a little crazy this time of year on food blogs with an abundance of recipes containing pumpkin and pumpkin spices.  But I truly do love this time of year, and the smells and tastes associated with it.  And these pumpkin cheesecakes are truly delicious.  So here’s my obligatory fall pumpkin submission.  Enjoy!

Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust | Hottie Biscotti

One of the great things about these mini cheesecakes is that they are significantly easier than making a big cheesecake.  They are also easier to serve.  No water bath, no wrapping your spring-form in foil so it doesn’t leak or let water in, no worried anticipation when you take the spring-form off wondering if it’s going to remain beautiful, no cracked top or slicing pieces for guests.  Just mix, fill, bake, chill and enjoy.  Guests serve themselves little cheesecake cupcakes, there’s less clean up and everyone is happy.

Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust | Hottie Biscotti Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust | Hottie Biscotti Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust | Hottie Biscotti

I really like the chocolate Oreo crust, but you could stick with graham crackers or use gingersnaps for some extra fall spice.  Another variation would be to make these all pumpkin and add about 3/4 to 1 cup of pumpkin to the filling.  Keep the spices the same.

This filling is going to make more than enough for a dozen cheesecakes by about 2 or 3, with more pumpkin than plain filling.  I suggest either adding a couple extra Oreos and a tad more butter initially and baking up a few more cheesecakes OR put an entire whole Oreo in the extra baking cups and fill those with the remaining filling.  Bake these after you bake the full tin and keep an eye on them, they will probably bake up a little quicker.  Or you could do as this lazy woman does and just toss the extra.  I’m sorry if wasting food appalls you.  I typically don’t do it.  But I had a crying baby on my hands and needed to finish as soon as possible!

Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust | Hottie Biscotti pumpkin9 pumpkin18 pumpkin19 pumpkin8

These would make a great addition to a fall dessert table, the orange and black qualify them for Halloween and they would also be perfect for Thanksgiving.  Since they have to be chilled you can make them ahead of time, up to but not more than 48 hours.  After the initial chilling make sure to cover them if they will be kept more than a day in the fridge.

Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust | Hottie Biscotti

Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust

Adapted from Bru Crew and Tasty Kitchen

Ingredients

Crust

  • 16 whole Oreo  cookies
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

Filling

  • 2 packages cream cheese, room temperature (full or low fat)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place cupcake liners in cupcake tin and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Crush Oreos (either in a food processor or in a plastic bag using a rolling pin and some muscle) to fine crumbs.
  4. Combine Oreo crumbs with butter and mix to combine evenly.
  5. Divide crumb mixture equally between muffin cups (about 2 rounded teaspoons per cup).
  6. Press down firmly and bake for about 6 minutes.  Make filling while these bake.

Filling

  1. Beat cream cheese, sugar and sour cream together until fully combined.  Add in eggs, vanilla and salt,  then beat well.  Scrape the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds or so.
  2. Remove a little less than half (about 1 1/4 cups) of this mixture to another bowl.  Add in the pumpkin and spices and mix well.
  3. On top of each cooked crust spoon one spoonful of plain and one spoonful of pumpkin filling.  Repeat with another spoonful of each, pumpkin on top of plain and plain on top of pumpkin, then swirl them together without mixing too much.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the cups. Each cup should be almost full, but you will probably have a little more filling left over.  See above for how to deal with the excess.
  5. Reduce oven to 325°F and bake for 20 minutes, then increase oven to 350°F and bake 5 minutes more. When the centers of the cheesecakes jiggle just a bit when you shake the pan they’re done.  If they seem really jiggly, bake a few minutes more.  Remove from the oven, let cool for 30 minutes, then transfer entire pan to the fridge for a few hours.  Serve up!

 

 

 

 

Pâte a Choux Funnel Cakes

It’s fair season!  Unfortunately it’s looking more and more likely that we won’t be able to make it to the State Fair of Texas up in Dallas this year.  But that isn’t going to stop me from bringing the fair home!

funnelcake2

Let’s be honest, everyone looks forward to going to the fair to enjoy some fried food.  Corn dogs, fried oreos, fried maragritas, and of course funnel cakes.  My fondest memories of funnel cakes are not actually enjoying them at the fair but at Schlitterbahn after a day in the water and sun with my summer league swim team.  I’d go get one just as the sun was beginning to dip down and they were about to close down for the day.  Something about the hot crunchy dough pieces covered in a thick layer of powdered sugar still makes me smile.

funnelcake1

I’ve never made funnel cakes before.  I don’t have a deep fryer and don’t really like to fry food in my kitchen.  It makes a mess and then there’s the issue of dealing with all that oil when you’re done.  Surprisingly these didn’t spatter and create a mess and I found these great tips for how to dispose of or save your cooking oil.  There might just be more frying in my future.

The dough is pate a choux, the same dough used to make cream puffs and eclairs.  It is an eggy dough that bakes up nice and puffy.  It sounds fancy, but isn’t at all complicated.

funnelcake8 funnelcake7 funnelcake6

Instead of a funnel a plastic bag is used to pipe the dough into the oil.  Cut a smaller hole than you think you need from the bag.  You can always cut a bit more if you need, but if you cut it too big you’ll have to transfer the dough to a new bag and start over.  That happened to me.

funnelcake5

 

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While I had grand plans to make all of these the same size I wound up with a wide variety of sizes and shapes.  But they all tasted equally as delicious!  These are best eaten immediately so be sure to have some hungry folks (toddlers are good funnel cake eaters!) to help you enjoy these tasty treats.

funnelcake3

Pâte a Choux Funnel Cakes

From Alton Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for topping

Directions

  1. In a medium sized saucepan bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once it boils add the flour and lower the heat to medium low.  Stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms a ball and a film forms on the bottom of the pan.  Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. With mixer on low speed add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to wait until the egg is incorporated before adding the next.
  4. Once all the eggs have been added transfer dough to a large plastic bag.
  5. Heat oil in a saucepan, about 1 1/2 inches deep, to 350-375°F.
  6. Cut a small corner from the bag and pipe dough out in a circular/swirling pattern, making the cake as big or as small as you like.  Let cook for a minute or two, depending on the amount of dough used, then flip and cook until desired doneness.  I like mine a little darker, but you may prefer them lighter.
  7. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels before dusting with powdered sugar.
  8. Repeat with the rest of the dough, making sure your oil is kept between 350 and 375°F.  Too cool and the dough absorbs too much oil, too hot and it burns.  Increase and lower the heat as needed to keep it in the sweet spot.

Cherry Almond Biscotti

My mom is visiting this week and being a huge help with the kids while Ben is gone.  Along with her lovely self she brought a couple of recipes with her that she thought we could try together.  This biscotti is one of those and I am so very glad that we made them!  These are delicious.

Cherry Almond Biscotti | Hottie Biscotti


Almond is one of the flavors that I think of when I think of my mother.  That and pears.  She adores pears.  These biscotti have sliced almonds and cherries that have been soaked in amaretto which makes the almond flavor even more present and the cherries nice and plump.  I wonder how these would be with dried pears…

Cherry Almond Biscotti | Hottie Biscotti
The prep and cooking method for these is similar to most biscotti I have made.  One of the things that is different is on the second bake.  Instead of baking the sliced biscotti directly on the baking sheet you place them on wire racks in the oven to bake which I think crisps them up more evenly.  I’ll be doing this again for future biscotti. Cherry Almond Biscotti | Hottie Biscotti Try these as an accompaniment to your morning or afternoon coffee.  Or crumble them up over some ice cream.  Or just eat them, that’s the way my 2 year old seems to like them best.

Cherry Almond Biscotti

From a page torn from some Martha Stewart magazine Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup amaretto liquor
  • 3 cups flour (more for dusting)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs (3 for the cookies and 1 for brushing)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • raw sugar for sprinkling on the tops

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix cherries and amaretto in a small saucepan and heat over medium low for about 5 minutes.  Liquid should just simmer.  Drain and reserve the liquid.
  3. Sift flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
  4. Beat butter and sugar until thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes.  Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing after each.  Mix in 2 tablespoons of cherry juice and vanilla.
  5. Add in the flour and mix just to combine, then add in cherries and almonds and mix to combine.
  6. Flour a work surface and turn dough out.  Divide in half and shape into two logs, about 12 inches long and 2 inches thick.
  7. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Pat logs down to about 3/4 inch thickness, about 4 inches wide and 12-14 inches long.
  8. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes.  The logs will be dark, but shouldn’t be burned.  Check the bottom of the logs at 25 minutes and remove from the oven if they seem dark.  Transfer to wire racks to cool for 20 minutes.
  10. Slice logs at an angle to the thickness you like, 15-20 slices per log.  Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
  11.  Transfer biscotti back to the rack and lay the slices on their sides.  You will have to do this in 2 batches.  Place the rack on a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, flip biscotti over and bake for another 5-7 minutes.  Cook longer for a crispier biscotti and less for a softer one.  Let cool.  Store in an airtight container for a few days or freeze to enjoy later.

Daring Bakers: Surprise Inside Checkerboard Cake

This challenge couldn’t have come at a better time!  July is my birthday month.  Having to bake a special cake for the Daring Bakers was the perfect excuse to bake myself a birthday cake. cake29 cake30 For the July Daring Baker’s Challenge, Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to bake a cake. But not just any cake; she asked us to add in a special surprise for our eyes as well as our taste buds! cake19 When I saw this challenge I immediately got on Amazon and bought the Surprise Inside Cakes cookbook, which is amazing.  But after looking through it I decided I couldn’t commit to one of her cakes right now.  I figured I’d fail at the first attempt and have to try again (or a dozen times) to get it right.  And I just couldn’t justify taking the time and energy to make multiple cakes when most of my time and energy has to go toward my kids.  So I opted to make something a little simpler, and something I’d seen before and been anxious to try. cake22 cake23   cake26 This checkerboard cake is impressive without being quite as involved as something like this.  Amazing, right?!  And something I’d like to try someday, just not today.  A lot of these kinds of cakes involve baking cake, crumbling it up and mixing it with icing, carving into other baked cake layers and then filling to space with the cake-frosting mixture.  I wasn’t even going to pretend I was brave enough to try that.  This cake just involves some cutting and layering.  I could handle that. I used cake mix for this challenge because if it didn’t turn out I did not want to throw a scratch cake away, and, let’s face it, scratch cake is easier and always reliable.  Start by baking two boxes of cake mix into 8-inch rounds.  I used a dark chocolate and funfetti cause it’s my birthday!  Wrap them in plastic and chill them in the fridge for at least a couple hours or overnight. cake1Now you want to level them to all the same height.  I used one of these.  It’s a favorite cake tool of mine.  You can also use a serrated knife. cake2 Now cut each layer using a 5-inch circle and a 3-inch circle.  I tried to center them perfectly but they weren’t quite perfect.  It turned out fine.  Also, as you can see below, I had my knife at a slight angle when I cut the first circle.  Try to keep it straight, but know that if you have the same problem as I did, it will still work out.cake3 cake4 cake5 cake6 Then do the same with the chocolate layers.  Be very careful when moving the rings!  They become very fragile. cake7 Now would be a good time to chill or freeze the layers.  I didn’t and wish I had.  They would’ve been easier to move if they were cold.  Whip up a batch of frosting, I used this one.  Place one large vanilla ring on a cake plate.  Spread some frosting around the inside of the ring. cake8 Place a chocolate ring inside of this one. cake9 Frost the inside of this ring and then place a small vanilla circle in the center.  NOTE: Your icing is going to get full of chocolate crumbs.  Try to keep the big bowl of frosting relatively crumb free.  I scooped frosting into a smaller bowl as I needed it. cake10 Top this layer with frosting.  Then repeat with the rest of the cake layers, alternating chocolate, vanilla, chocolate.  Frost the entire cake with a crumb coat and put in the fridge to set, at least a couple hours. cake11 cake12 cake15 Now you may need to make another batch of frosting, depending on how much you made the first time around.  Finish off the cake with the final coat of frosting. cake16 Place the cake in the fridge until you’re ready to cut in to it.  These kinds of cakes cut more cleanly when cold. Stick some candles in and celebrate! cake18 cake25

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies with Raisins and Pecans

A dear friend gave me her copy of “Deceptively Delicious” , the cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld, when I complained about my kids not eating certain foods.  Vegetables being our main problem.  While perusing the cookbook I came across some really yummy looking recipes.  The great thing is that almost every one sneaks veggies into foods that kids love (macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken nugget, etc .)  I came across a chocolate chip cookie recipe that has an entire can of chickpeas in it.  Well, we all know what I had to do that very day.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Hottie Biscotti

I changed a few things about the recipe, using butter instead of tub margarine, one egg and one egg white instead of two egg whites, and white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose.  I also mashed up the chickpeas instead of adding them whole, just to avoid biting into a big ol’ chickpea, which didn’t sound super appealing.

The results were not bad!  You can’t taste the chickpeas.  Ben actually took one off of the cooling rack when he got home, ate it and declared it good before I told him they were semi-healthy.  I didn’t even tell him about the chickpeas.  He’s finding out now via the blog…

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Hottie Biscotti

The cookies are cakey and bake up in mounds with very little spreading.  I left some in mounds and flattened others.  You can flatten them with your hand, the bottom of a glass or the back of a fork.  Eaten the same day they’re baked they are really tasty.  After storing them in a container for a day they stick together a bit and are very soft.  BUT still quite delicious.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Hottie Biscotti

I used milk chocolate chips, but I think semi sweet or dark would be better.  The raisins are optional, but I really liked them in these cookies.  I used pecans, because that’s what I had.  But, and I know this is out of character, I think walnuts would be better.  I don’t think the white whole wheat flour made much of a difference in these since they’re already very hearty in texture, I used it because I had some and it made me feel like I was making these even healthier!  Healthier cookies means I can eat more of them!  And I feel better about giving them to the kids.  Both of the big kids, almost 4 and almost 2, really liked these.  So while I won’t be making these cookies every time I want chocolate chip cookies, I will be making these again.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Hottie Biscotti

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

From Deceptively Delicious

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 egg and 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (all purpose or white whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • heaping 1/2 cup pecans
  • heaping 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup oats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place chickpeas in a bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork, until mixture is coarse, just a few larger pieces, but not perfectly smooth.
  3. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer.  Beat for 2  minutes, then scrape the bowl.
  4. Add in egg and egg white and beat well, then ass in vanilla and scrape bowl.
  5. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt until just combined.  Then mix in oats.
  6. Mix in chickpeas, chocolate chips, pecans and raisins until evenly mixed.
  7. Scoop by rounded tablespoons onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are beginning to brown.  Let cool on the pan for a minutes, then move to a wire rack.

Perfect Chocolate Cake & Frosting

As with much of my spur of the moment baking, this was the result of perusing Pinterest right after my kids went down for naps.  I saw this amazing looking chocolate cake and had to have it.  Now.

Perfect Chocolate Cake | Hottie Biscotti

Perfect Chocolate Cake | Hottie Biscotti

As luck would have it I had all the ingredients (and you probably do, too!) which makes this a terrific cake to make at the last minute.  I decided to make it around 2 in the afternoon and it was cooled and frosted and ready to consume by 5.  Both the cake and the frosting come together so quickly.  Making this cake was a great use of nap time.  It was also a great way to take my mind off of the fact that my due date was going to come and go without meeting our new babe!  If only chocolate cake induced labor…

Perfect Chocolate Cake | Hottie Biscotti

I’ve had this cake before and remember asking who made it and if I could get the recipe.  For some reason I was surprised to find out it was a Hershey’s recipe.  I shouldn’t have been, I guess.  The best oatmeal cookie recipe is found on the top of the Quaker oats container, after all!  I didn’t use Hershey’s cocoa, though.  I had just enough Guittard cocoa left, so that is what I used.  The cake is moist and chocolatey and comforting, as chocolate cake should be.  The frosting is sweet and rich yet light and not dense.  I added a layer of crushed Oreos in between the layers of cake and also pressed some into the sides of the frosted cake and sprinkled some on top.  It adds some nice texture both in appearance and in your mouth, but it also helps to disguise a sloppy frosting job…which mine definitely was.

Perfect Chocolate Cake | Hottie Biscotti

You can make this in 9-inch cake pans, like I did, or in a 9×13 pan, 3 8-inch pans, a bundt pan, or you can make cupcakes.  I can easily see this becoming my new go-to chocolate cake recipe.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Perfect Chocolate Cake | Hottie Biscotti

The next time I post I hope it’s to announce the birth of our baby, but I might just find myself doing some more baking if this baby decides he or she is just not ready!  Happy weekend!Perfect Chocolate Cake | Hottie Biscotti

Perfect Chocolate Cake

From Hershey’s

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: Crushed Oreos for topping (about a sleeve and a half)

Directions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add in oil, milk, eggs and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in the boiling water and mix to combine.  The batter will be very thin, and that’s ok!
  6. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for 30-35 minutes.  A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
  7. Let cool in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes, then turn out onto the racks to let cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  1. Measure cocoa into a medium sized bowl.  Melt butter and pour into the cocoa and whisk to combine.
  2. Using a mixer, beat in powdered sugar and milk alternately in 5 batches (sugar, milk, sugar, milk, sugar).  Add in more sugar if you want the frosting to be a little thicker.  Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Frost the cake, layering some of the Oreos in between the layers and press some onto the edges.  Serve immediately or let chill in the fridge for an hour if your house is especially warm (like mine was!).

 

Caramelized Pineapple Ice Cream

I had an excess amount of pineapple in my fridge last week (a situation I’ve found myself in more than once) after cutting up a fresh one to eat with dinner. Even after we’d had our fill with dinner and I’d done some snacking on it through the week I still have enough left over that I needed to do something with it.  So I started brainstorming what to do.  Pineapple ice cream.

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I found a few recipes, but this one with pineapple cooked down with sugar and cinnamon sounded so delicious.  The blog where I found the ice cream recipe had a great set of pictures showing how to cook the pineapple.  She even includes are warning about being careful not to leave it cooking while you go do something else.  Well, even with the warning I left it cooking over low heat while I spent some time outside with the kids and it cooked a little too much.  After cooling it some of the sugar had hardened on the bottom of the pan.  I kept going with the recipe and was glad I did because the deep caramel flavor with the pineapple and cream was spectacular.

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I wound up using the raw egg version, but here are some cooked egg custard vanilla ice cream base recipes that you could easily substitute.  Just stir the cooled pineapple puree into the cold custard and freeze in the ice cream maker.

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This ice cream is rich, which isn’t hard to predict without trying it when you see the ingredient list!  With all that cream and milk a little goes a long way.   I really prefer to eat rich and creamy ice cream, it’s so much more satisfying.  I always wind up eating more of the light and airy stuff and it’s never as good as a small amount of the good stuff.

Caramelized Pineapple Ice Cream

From La Gringa’s Blogicito

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of fresh pineapple chunks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups milk

Directions

  1. Place pineapple chunks in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add sugar and cinnamon and stir together.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally and monitoring the heat so that it is just at a medium simmer, for 20-30 minutes.  The pineapple will release a bunch of juice at first and then start to thicken up.  Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  3. Place pineapple and as much of the sugary stuff as you can scrape from the pan into a blender or food processor and mix until very smooth.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and let cool in the fridge until cold.  (You can also put it in the freezer to speed up the process without letting it freeze.)
  5. Whisk eggs in a large bowl for 2 minutes.  Add in the cream and the pineapple puree (Add in all of it if you have 1 1/2 cups or less, if you have more than 1 1/2 cups, then save the excess for ice cream topping).
  6. Add in enough milk to make no more than 5 cups of ice cream mix.
  7. Place the bowl in the freezer and stir every 30 minutes for 1-2 hours, until the edges of the mixture begin to freeze.
  8. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions.
  9. Transfer to a freezer safe container and let chill in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

Buttermilk Chess Pie

This buttermilk chess pie is declared “the easiest pie to prepare in this chapter” in the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.  And it truly is simple.  It’s also quite delicious, creamy, smooth, rich and downright heavenly.

Buttermilk Chess Pie | Hottie Biscotti

After making this strawberry rhubarb pie and finishing off the last of it recently I was seriously craving more pie.  I’ve typically reserved pie for the holiday baking season, making cobblers more often in the summer.  But that’s just silly.  Pie can easily be a year round food and should be embraced as much now, when the weather is warm, as when it’s chilly out.  While some pies are better for cool weather and some for warmer days, this one can be enjoyed any time of year.  Pairing it with some fresh seasonal berries during the coming months will make it a great summer dessert.

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You can serve this custard pie warm, room temperature, or chilled.  The flavors shine through best when it’s warm or room temp, though.

The crust in this pie, as with most if not all pie, is important and can really make the dessert special.  If you use a store bought crust the dessert will be fine, but if you have the time to make your own it will be extra delicious.  I’ve used this all butter pie crust recipe from Smitten Kitchen the last couple of times I’ve made pie and I really like it.  The recipe makes enough for 2 crusts, so just stash one away for another time.

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The ingredient list is simple and straightforward, you probably have everything in your kitchen right this very moment.  Once you make the crust all you have to do is whisk everything else together, pour it into the pie crust and bake.  So, what are you waiting for?!

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Buttermilk Chess Pie

From America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, fit into a pie plate, chilled and unbaked
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon fine-ground cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Berries for garnish
  • Whipped cream for garnish

Directions

  1. Prepare pie crust by fitting it into a pie plate and placing the plate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Place a rimmed baking sheet into the oven and preheat to 375°F.
  3. Whisk all of the ingredients together and pour into pie shell.
  4. Place onto heated cookie sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes.  Top of the pie should be golden brown and center should be just set.
  5. Let cool on a wire rack until just warm or all the way to room temp.
  6. Garnish with fresh berries and/or whipped cream.