Pot de Crème

Ingredients:
2 cups Heavy Cream
6 Egg Yolks
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate nibs
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Water for cooking
Whipped Cream for topping

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 325°F
  • In a large bowl beat the Egg Yolks with 1 cup of Heavy Cream, Vanilla, and Sugar.
  • In a double boiler, melt the Chocolate and other 1/2 cup of Cream.
  • Slowly add the Chocolate Mixture to the Egg Yolks and mix well. Do not add all the Chocolate at once, or it may cook the Eggs!
  • Divide the Mixture into 6 Ramekins or similar oven-proof dishes. Traditionally, you could use Espresso Cups.
  • Place the filled Ramekins into a baking dish, and fill the dish with water so that the water comes up about 1 inch around the Ramekins. If you have a baking dish that has a lid, use that. Otherwise, you will need to cover the baking dish with Aluminum Foil.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the custard begins to set, but is still jiggly.
  • Remove and cool, then chill until you serve (at least 1/2 an hour).
  • Garnish with a dollop of Whipped Cream

Makes 6 Ramekin-sized servings, or 8-10 Espresso-sized servings.

NOTES: So I fell in love with this dish when I happened upon it at a French restaurant called Singe Vert in New York. I asked my chef mentor Philippe Fallait about the dish, and he said it was not as hard as people think but also very rich and that I did not want to know how many egg yolks went into it. Well after much trepidation, I finally built up the nerve to look into this dish–and this year I finally made my recipe and executed it. It was a hit with my closest friends (who are very particular and honest)–I was very excited.

So Pot de Creme is not a custard, not a pudding, and not a mousse, but is very similar to all of those. It is creamy and silky smooth, and very rich.

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Spiced Mango and Cherry Salad

Ingredients:
4 large Mangoes, skinned, cored, diced
20 Bing Cherries, pitted, sliced in half
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Cardamom

Directions:

  • Place the Mangoes and Cherries in a bowl.
  • Combine the Spices and sprinkle over the fruit. Do this slowly, and then toss, then more, then toss again, until the Spices are mixed in well.

Makes about 4 servings.

NOTES: Mangoes come in many varieties–and it is hard in most supermarkets to know what cultivar is being sold. If the mangoes you have available are small, use more. The important thing is that they are ripe, yet firm.

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 1:25 am  Comments (2)  
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Banana Pudding

Ingredients:
4 cups Milk
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
4 Egg Yolks
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Butter
4-6 Ripe Bananas, sliced
2-4 cups Savoiardi Lady Fingers, cut into pieces

Meringue Topping or
Whipped Cream

Directions:

  • Line a baking dish with a layer of the Savoiardi followed by a layer of the Bananas.
  • If using the Meringue Topping, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a large sauce pan, combine the Cornstarch, Salt and Sugar.
  • In a bowl whisk together the Egg Yolks and the Milk.
  • Slowly add the Yolk/Milk mixture to the Dry Ingredients, whisking with a balloon whisk. Whisk well to prevent any lumps.
  • Heat on low-medium Heat, stirring constantly. Do not bring to a boil.
  • As the pudding heats up, the cornstarch will start to thicken the sauce. Be vigilant as it will go from broth to custard almost with no warning. When it starts to turn to custard, it is done cooking.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the Vanilla and Butter.
  • Pour half of the mixture over the Bananas Cookie Layer, then add additional Savoiardi and Bananas.
  • Top:
    • If using a meringue, make the meringue mixture and top; bake for 12-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden.
    • If using whipped cream, spread over the top of the pudding; crumble the remaining cookies, and sprinkle on top; then refrigerate.

NOTES: Banana Pudding is a Southern comfort food. In the Summer time it is traditional to use a Meringue topping, however no one will fault you for using whipped cream. Though traditionalists would probably scream, I prefer Ladyfingers or Savoiardi to Vanilla Wafers, and I partially wonder if that is what was used before Vanilla Wafers were mass-marketed. Regarding the bananas, they need to be real ripe with brown speckles on the skin. You can rush the ripeness by putting them in a dark place ina bag or in the fridge.

Meringue Topping

Ingredients:
4 Egg Whites, room temperature
5 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  • Beat the Egg Whites until they form soft peaks.
  • Add the cream of tartar, and continue to beat, gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold the vanilla into the meringue

NOTES: You can use this topping on Banana Pudding, but also on any custard pie, or other pie that would require Meringue topping. Just cover the pie, and bake at 375°F until golden brown.

Summer Pudding

Whole-Wheat Summer Pudding

Ingredients:
2 cups Raspberries
2 cups Strawberries, quartered
2 cups Blueberries
1 loaf White Bread, sliced, crusts removed
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Zest
1 cup Water
1/4 cup Port
Mint to Garnish

Directions:

  • Line a Pudding Mold, or Large Bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Line the plastic wrap with the slices of bread, overlapping the edges slightly.
  • Place the Berries, Sugar, Zest, Water, and Port in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring.
  • Pour the mixture into the bread bowl.
  • Cover with more slices of bread, sealing the fruit mixture inside.
  • Place a sheet of Wax Paper over this bread lid, and then cover it in plastic wrap.
  • Place a plate that is slightly smaller than the opening of the bowl on top, and place a 5 lb weight on it, pressing the bread top into the berry mixture.
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  • Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, as well as the wax paper. Place an inverted serving plate on top of the bowl, and then holding them tightly together, invert so the bowl is on top of the plate.
  • Carefully remove the bowl and the plastic wrap from the molded Pudding.

Serves 8.

NOTES: This English Summer Pudding is super simple to make. You can use any variety of berries you are able to get. If you want it less tart, add a little more sweetener. You can use Whole-Wheat bread instead of White bread, however the bread will not change color as evenly.  This goes very well with Whipped Cream.

Variations:
S›Ƨ – Substitute Splenda® for the Sugar and Water for the Port.

Ṽ›Ɣ – Use a Vegan White bread.

Peaches, Strawberries, and Cream

Peaches, Strawberries, and Cream

Ingredients:
2 Peaches, washed
8 Strawberries, cold
1 tsp Granulated Sugar
1 tsp ground Cloves
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 tsp Confectioners Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Water for Boiling

Directions:

  • Place the Peaches in a Pot, and fill with water enough that they float. Remove the Peaches and set them aside.
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Using tongs, drop the peaches into the water, and roll them around for about a minute.
  • Remove the Peaches with tongs, and run them under cold water.
  • The skin of the Peach should easily peal at this point, so peal them, and then chop them into bite-size chunks and place in a large bowl or in serving dishes.
  • Slice the Strawberries in quarters and mix with the Peaches.
  • Sprinkle the Strawberries and Peaches with the Granulated Sugar and Cloves, and refrigerate.
  • In a separate bowl, whip together the Heavy Cream, Confectioners Sugar, and Vanilla until stiff peeks form.
  • Remove the fruit, and cover with the whipped cream and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: This is a very simple summer desert, that is set off by the addition of cloves. If you are not going to serve right away, hold off on making the whipped cream until before serving.

Variations:
Ṽ›Ɣ – Use a Non-Dairy Whipped Topping instead of making your own Whipped Cream.
S›Ƨ – Substitute Splenda® for the Sugar on the Fruit, and omit it from the Whipped Cream–there will not be a noticeable difference with the Whipped Cream.

Scottish Shortbread Cookies

Whole-Wheat Scottish Shortbreads

Ingredients:
1 cup Granulated Sugar
2 cups Butter
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 300° F.
  • In a large bowl, cream the Sugar and Butter with the Vanilla Extract.
  • Slowly incorporate the Flour a cup at a time. I highly recommend that you break down and use your hands!
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface to ensure that it is well mixed. If dough is too moist and sticky, add more flour.
  • Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Form the dough into a cylinder and place lengthwise on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Roll the cylinder into the shape of the cookie sheet, the dough even with the top of the edge of the baking sheet.
  • Using a pizza slicer, score the top of the dough into bar-shapes, not going too deep.
  • Using a fork, poke each bar-shaped piece with the prongs in the center of each bar, pressing down to the bottom of the pan. You should think about this as a decorative feature for each bar.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until it starts to turn slightly golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven, and while warm cut along the scores made from the pizza slicer, making the individual bars.
  • Let cool in the pan.

Makes about 5 dozen.

NOTES: Scottish Shortbread is a super-simple tasty cookie that is known as the “Jewel in the crown of Scottish Baking”. Originally, this would have been made with Oat Flour instead of Wheat Flour, but that is not regularly available. Scottish Shortbread is ideal with tea, in my humble opinion.

About the cutting. You can also choose to make wedge shaped cookies instead. To do this roll out the dough in a round shape about 1/4″ thick and 10-12″ in diameter on a piece of parchment.  Using an upside-down pie pan or round cake pan as a stencil, trim off the excess dough. Carefully lift the parchment onto a cookie sheet, score into wedges, and poke with a fork for decoration. You would then cut the dough into wedges while it is still warm. You can also make small round, individual cookies on a cookie sheet. These need a little less time to cook, so keep your eyes on them.

Variations:
Traditional Scottish Shortbread – Substitute Oat Four for the All-Purpose Flour.

Whole Wheat Shortbread – Substitute Whole Wheat Flour for 2 1/2 cups of the All-Purpose Flour. The coarseness of the Wheat Flour achieves a similar texture to the Traditional Scottish Shortbread.

Key Lime Pie

Persian “Key” Lime Pie

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Egg Yolks, beaten
1 cup Lime Juice
1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust

Directions:

  • Combine the Sweetened Condensed Milk with the Egg Yolks in a large bowl, mixing well.
  • Slowly incorporate the Lime Juice, and mix well.
  • Pour into the Pie Crust.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour

NOTES: This is a super easy no-bake pie that is sure to please everyone!

Most limes one finds in the grocery store are Persian limes. To make REAL Key Lime Pie, use Key Lime Juice. Key Limes are specifically from the Florida Keys and are smaller and more tart. Authentic Key Lime Pie recipes are non-bake. The condensed milk was used because of poor refrigeration options. Some folks will add a meringue to the pie, but as I hate most meringue toppings, I refuse.

The use of the highly acidic lime juice with the Condensed Milk and Egg Yolks “cooks” the pie, so no additional baking is needed.  Some folks also add some Green Dye to the pie to make it Green–but something just does not sit right with me dying a pie.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Carrots, Shredded
1 cup Raisins
1 cup chopped Pecans
2-3 cups Cream Cheese Frosting
Pecans for decoration

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, Sugar, Brown Sugar, and Spices.
  • Slowly incorporate the Eggs, Vegetable Oil, and Vanilla Extract.
  • Mix in the Carrots, Raisins, and Pecans.
  • Grease 2 8″ round cake pans and coat with flour.
  • Divide the Batter between the two pans.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the pans and cool on a rack.
  • Place one cake on a plate or cake plate, and spread frosting on the top.
  • Place the second cake on top and frost the top.
  • Carefully add frosting to the side and rotate the plate to spread the frosting along the sides.
  • Decorate the top with Pecans. If you prefer you can crush the Pecans and place along the sides of the Cake.

Makes 1 cake

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
8 Tbsp unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  • In a large bowl combine the Cream Cheese, Butter, and Vanilla Extract.
  • Slowly incorporate the Confectioner’s Sugar.

Apple and Pecan Pie

Ingredients:
Pecan Pâte Brisée, divided in 2 disks
6 cups Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, sliced
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 cup chopped Pecans
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
2 Tbsp Butter, cold and cut into pieces.
1 Egg yolk
1 tsp Water
8-12 Pecan Halves for decorating

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 425° F
  • In a large bowl toss the Apples, Lemon Juice, chopped Pecans, Sugars, Flour, Salt, and Spices, coating the Apples well.
  • On a very clean, floured surface, roll out 1 of the disks of Pâte Brisée into a circle about 10″ for a 9″ Pie Pan.
  • Placing your rolling pin mid way across the crust, fold back half of the crust over the rolling pin, so as to utilize the rolling pin to move the crust over the Pie pan. Unroll and gently fit into the Pie pan. It is ok for crusts to hang over the sides.
  • Place the Apple mixture into the pie crust and dollop with the pieces of Butter
  • Repeat the rolling and placement with the second disk of Pâte Brisée, this time placing over the apple mixture in the Pie Pan.
  • Press along the edges of the two crusts to seal the dough.
  • Using a knife, trim the excess dough.
  • You may crimp the crust as you see fit.
  • Cut slits in the top of crust to allow for steam to escape.
  • Decorate with the Pecan Halves
  • In a small bowl, beat the Egg Yolk with the water.
  • Brush the Egg mixture over the crust.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to 350° F and cook for an additional 40 minutes.

NOTES: If you fear the crust may burn, after the first 15 minutes, wrap aluminum foil around the edges.

Fruitcake

Dedicated to my Mom and to Lucile F. Locher Mishler “Mum”, her maternal grandmother.

Traditional Fruitcake

Ingredients:
2 cups mixed Dried Fruits, minced
1 cup Rum
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ginger
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
5 Eggs
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
1/4 cup Rum
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 Tbsp Orange Zest
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
1 cup Pecans, whole
1 cup Candied Red Cherries
1 cup Candied Green Cherries
1 cup Candied Pineapple

Directions:

  • Soak the minced Dried Fruits in 1 cup of Rum overnight.
  • Preheat the Oven to 300°F.
  • Sift together the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, and Spices into a large bowl.
  • In a second bowl cream the Eggs with the Sugars.
  • Whisk in the Olive Oil and 1/4 cup Dark Rum.
  • Slowly incorporate into the Flour mixture.
  • Fold in the Dried Fruits, Zest, and 1/2 cup of crushed Pecans.
  • Grease a bunt pan well.
  • Pour mixture into the bunt pan, and lightly tap it against the counter.
  • Decorate with the Candied Fruits and whole Pecans.
  • Bake on the middle rack for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in it comes out clean.

NOTES: Fruitcake has always been one of my favorite deserts.  My mom tells me about how when she grew up her grandmother “Mum” used to make Fruitcake in early fall, and stick it in cheesecloth a tin.  Every couple weeks she’d pour Port on top of it.  By Christmas it was amazing.  I’m still nervous about keeping a cake in a tin and pouring alcohol on it for over a month…so here’s my version with a less pungent Rum.

Mixed Dried Fruit can include Cranberries, Raisins, Dates, Figs, Apricots, Apples, Pears, Pruns, etc.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:Vegetarian
3 large Eggs
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 cups Prepared Pumpkin
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp Nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp Ginger, ground
1/4 tsp Cloves, ground
1/4 tsp Allspice, ground
1/4 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 Pâte Brisée

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, cream the Eggs with the Sugar.
  • Slowly incorporate the Pumpkin pulp.
  • In a second bowl, add the Spices, Salt, and Cornstarch, and whisk together so there are no clumps.
  • Slowly whisk in the Heavy Cream.
  • Whisk the Cream mixture into the Pumpkin Mixture.
  • Preheat the Oven to 425°F
  • Roll out the Pie Crust and place into a pie pan. Crimp edges as desired.
  • Place the Pie pan on a cookie sheet.
  • Pour the Pie filling into the crust.
  • Place the Pie in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to 350°F, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The traditional way of testing is to use a knife inserted into the center. If it comes out mostly clean, it is done.

NOTES: Pumpkin Pie is a very American dish, pumpkins naturally growing in North America. I’ve read that pumpkins were first exported to France and England, where the pie was actually developed by chefs, but that it never became popular there. For many pumpkin pie is all about the Holiday time, and for me it is especially. It connects me with the romanticized idea of family eating desert by a warm hearth.

I have no problem using canned pumpkin, so long as it is PURE pumpkin. Some cans will use other squash types. If you want to do real pumpkin on your own, the best option is to get a small pumpkin and slice it, de seed it, and steam it. Then scoop out the pulp and puree it in a food processor.

Caramel Apple Cookies

IngredientsNut Alergy WarningVegetarian
2 1/2 cups All purpose Flour
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, room temperature
1 Egg
1/2 cup Apple Cider
1 Red Delicious Apple, skinned, cored, grated
3/4 cups Pecans, crushed
1 – 2 cups Caramel Butterscotch Sauce
1 cup Powdered Sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl cream the Sugar and Butter.
  • Add the Egg and mix well, then the Apple Cider.
  • In a second bowl combine the Spices, Baking Soda, Salt, and Flour.
  • Slowly incorporate the Dry Ingredients into the Wet Ingredients.
  • Fold in the grated Apple and Pecans.
  • Spoon onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until turning light brown.
  • Remove to cooling surface and wait till they are completely cool.
  • In a double boiler, heat up the Caramel sauce and add the Powdered Sugar.
  • using a spoon, spoon some Caramel Sauce onto the Cookies.

Caramel Butterscotch Sauce

Caramel  Butterscotch SauceCaramel Butterscotch Sauce

Ingredients:Vegetarian
1 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Water
1 tsp Corn Syrup
1 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Butterscotch Morsels

Directions:

  • In a deep sauce pan or saucier pan, Whisk the Sugar, Water, and Corn Syrup. Heat on medium heat.
  • As this heats up, keep in mind it will get VERY hot – like 265°F. You cannot leave this unattended, and you must be very careful.
  • Whisk as it heats up.
  • The Sugar dissolves in the Water and is mixed with the Corn Syrup preventing crystallization. As it cooks, there will be several stages to watch for.
    1. Large bubbles: This means that you are nearing the creation of caramel–just keep whisking.
    2. Small bubbles: You are getting even closer, and you should start seeing a caramel color.
    3. No bubbles: This means the caramel is cooked. Time to remove from the heat
  • When the caramel reaches the “No Bubbles” stage, CAREFULLY add the Heavy Cream. There will be steam, and it will be very hot, so be very careful.
  • Remove from the heat and add the Vanilla, Butter, and Morsels, stirring constantly. The mixture is still very hot.
  • Caramel Glaze is ready

You can use this as a Dip or a Sauce to cover deserts.

Spiced Apples with Cranberries

Ingredients:Vegan VariationVegetarian
8 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup Butter
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Rum
Directions:

 

  • In a bowl combine the Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cornstarch, and Butter.
  • Place the compound Butter into a skillet and heat on medium heat.
  • Add the Apples, and saute, about 5 minutes.
  • Add all remaining ingredients, and stir.
  • Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for about 10 minutes.

NOTES: My mom used to make Spiced Apples with me when we lived in Ohio. We had an apple tree outback.

Variations:
Ṽ›Ɣ – Substitute Margarine for the Butter.

Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:Sugar Free VariationVegan VariationVegetarian
4 cups Milk
1 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Butter

Directions:

  • In a large sauce pan, combine the Cornstarch, Cocoa Powder Salt and Sugar.
  • Slowly add the Milk, whisking with a balloon whisk. Whisk well to prevent any lumps.
  • Heat on low-medium Heat, stirring constantly. Do not bring to a boil.
  • As the pudding heats up, the cornstarch will start to thicken the sauce. Be vigilant as it will go from broth to custard almost with no warning. When it starts to turn to custard, it is done cooking.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the Vanilla and Butter.
  • Place in a serving bowl and put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Makes about 6 servings.

Variations:
Ṽ›Ɣ – Substitute Soy Milk for Milk and Margarine for Butter.
›Ƨ – Use 1/2 cup Splenda® instead of sugar. Do not pack it down; it’s fluffier than regular sugar.

If you use Chocolate flavored Milk or Soy Milk, omit the Cocoa Powder and Sugar.

Persimmon Cookies

Fuyu PersimmonsFuyū 富有 Persimmons

Ingredients:Nut Alergy WarningVegetarian
Pulp of 3 medium sized Fuyū 富有 Persimmons
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Cloves
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Raisins
1 cup Walnuts, crushedDirections:

 

  • Preheat the Oven to 350° F.
  • In a food processor, pulse the Persimmon Pulp and Baking Soda until a puree forms. Set aside
  • In a large bowl combine the Sugar, Vanilla, Butter, and Eggs, mixing well.
  • Pour in the Persimmon Pulp, and mix well.
  • In a second large bowl sift in the two types of Flour and Spices.
  • Slowly incorporate the Dry Ingredients with the Wet Ingredients, mixing as you go.
  • Add the Raisins and Walnuts, folding the mixture rather than beating it.
  • On greased baking sheet, spoon teaspoon fulls of batter 2″ apart from each other.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes; remove to a rack; and repeat till done.

Makes about 3 dozen little cookies.

NOTES: Persimmons come in two real varieties: Astringent and Non-Astringent. The most common Astringent Persimmon is the Hachiya 蜂屋 and tends to look like a bee-hive or heart in shape. You can tell it astringent because when you bite into it, it dries out your mouth. If you can only find this type of Persimmon, then double the Baking Soda, also look out for the large seeds. Fuyū 富有 Persimmons are a variety of the Non-Astringent Persimmons, and look a little bit like a squashed tomato. They lack the strong dryness of the Astringent varieties, and taste good eaten by themselves. Because of their sweet flavor, lack of dryness, and no seeds, I prefer Fuyū 富有 Persimmons.

Variations:
Substitute dried Cranberries for all or part of the Raisins. Substitute Pecans for all or part of the Walnuts

Vanilla Pudding

Vanilla Pudding with Dark Chocolate ChipsVanilla Pudding with Dark Chocolate Chips

Ingredients:Sugar Free VariationVegan VariationVegetarian
4 cups Milk
1 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Butter

Directions:

  • In a large sauce pan, combine the Cornstarch, Salt and Sugar.
  • Slowly add the Milk, whisking with a balloon whisk. Whisk well to prevent any lumps.
  • Heat on low-medium Heat, stirring constantly. Do not bring to a boil.
  • As the pudding heats up, the cornstarch will start to thicken the sauce. Be vigilant as it will go from broth to custard almost with no warning. When it starts to turn to custard, it is done cooking.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the Vanilla and Butter.
  • Place in a serving bowl and put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Makes about 6 servings.

Variations:
Ṽ›Ɣ – Substitute Soy Milk for Milk and Margarine for Butter. If you use Vanilla flavored Soy Milk, reduce the Vanilla Extract by 2/3.
›Ƨ – Use 1/2 cup Splenda® instead of sugar. Do not pack it down; it’s fluffier than regular sugar.

Cherry Vanilla Pudding

Ingredients:
2 doz. Bing Cherries, pitted, quartered
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
4 cups Milk
1 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Butter

Directions:

  • Dust the Cherries with Cinnamon in a large bowl, and toss.
  • In a large sauce pan, combine the Cornstarch, Salt and Sugar.
  • Slowly add the Milk, whisking with a balloon whisk. Whisk well to prevent any lumps.
  • Heat on low-medium Heat, stirring constantly. Do not bring to a boil.
  • As the pudding heats up, the cornstarch will start to thicken the sauce. Be vigilant as it will go from broth to custard almost with no warning. When it starts to turn to custard, it is done cooking.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the Vanilla and Butter.
  • Pour over the Cherries, stir, and put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Makes about 6 servings.

Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:Vegetarian
4 ripe Peaches, skinned, pitted, sliced into thin wedges
2 Tbsp Peach Schnapps
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 Tbsp Corn Starch
1 cup Pecans, chopped (optional)
6 Tbsp Butter
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
1 cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 425°F.
  • In a large bowl combine Peaches, Peach Schnapps, Vanillas, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Corn Starch, and Pecans, mixing thoroughly.
  • Place in a baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl combine Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Butter, using a fork or pastry blender.
  • Carefully stir in the Milk, and mix well.
  • Remove the Peach mixture from the oven and top with the batter, using a spoon.
  • Place back in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown

About 4 Servings.

NOTES: Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream, or even Heavy Cream poured on top.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:Vegetarian
3/4 cup Peanut Butter (crunchy is best)
1/2 cup Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine Butter, Peanut Butter, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Egg, and Vanilla, mixing well.
  • Slowly add the Flour, Salt, Baking Powder, and Baking Soda, mixing completely with the wet mixture.
  • Chill for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the Oven to 375ºF.
  • Form 3/4″ balls and place on greased cookie sheet 2″ apart.
  • Using a fork, press each ball down forming parallel line indentations. Press perpendicularly, creating a criss-cross design.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until the cookie begins to lightly brown on the edges.

Makes about 2 dozen

NOTES: Use some additional flour and dab the fork in it before pressing the cookies down to reduce the dough sticking to the fork. If using a non-stick cookie sheet, position the rack a level above mid-way to prevent burning.

These cookies are truly American, and some of the first recipes were developed by George Washington Carver in the 1910s. The criss-cross design that is customary for peanut butter cookies was first seen in the Pilsbury cookbook of 1923. The reasoning behind the design is unknown.

I think these were probably one of the first cookies I remember making with my mother. The memory has to be from when I was about 4 years old or so, when we lived in Ashtabula, Ohio. I also have fond memories making them when I was probably 7 or 8 with my Great Grandma Flynn at her home near Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio.

Snickerdoodles

Dedicated to Alia, who claims Snickerdoodles are her favorite type of cookie.

Ingredients:Vegetarian
1/2 cup Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Confectioner Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup granulated Sugar
3 Tbsp CinnamonDirections:

  • Beat Butter and Canola Oil, Vanilla, and Egg until well integrated.
  • Add Sugars, Baking Soda, Cream of Tartar, and Salt; beating until well integrated.
  • Slowly Add Flour to Wet ingredients until well integrated.
  • Cover and chill for 4 hours.
  • Preheat Oven to 375ºF.
  • On a clean surface, place flour and roll dough into 1″ thick ropes.
  • Use a knife and cut 1″ pieces.
  • Roll pieces into balls.
  • In a small bowl, combine remaining Sugar and Cinnamon, and roll the dough balls into it, coating completely.
  • Place on a greased cookie sheet 2″ a part.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
  • Place baked cookies on wire racks to cool.
Makes about 4 dozen.

 

Brandy Snaps

Ingredients:Vegan VariationVegetarian
1/2 cup Molasses
1/2 cup Butter
2/3 cup granulated Sugar
1 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2 Tbsp Brandy
1 cup Flour

Whipped Cream for filling

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 300° F.
  • In a Saucepan, combine Molasses, Butter, Sugar, Spices and Brandy on low heat until the butter has dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Sift in the Flour and mix into the wet ingredients.
  • Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and spoon batter into 1 1/2-2″ circles, 2″ apart.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or so.
  • Immediately remove the cookies from the cookie sheet with a spatula.
  • Using the handle of a wooden spoon or a clean pencil, form the cookies into cylinders.
  • Set to the side to cool.
  • Pipe in Whipped Cream.
Variations:
Ṽ›Ɣ – Substitute Non-Dairy Whipped Topping

Orange Icing

Ingredients:Vegan VariationVegetarian
2 cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp Orange Juice
1 Tbsp Orange Zest
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Cloves, ground

Directions:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine Sugar, Zest, Vanilla, Cloves, and Butter.
  • Slowly incorporate the Orange Juice so that no lumps occur.

Variations:
Orange Whipped Dip
Fold into 2 cups Whipped Cream and serve with a Fruit Tray

Ṽ›Ɣ – Use Margarine instead of Butter. If doing Orange Whipped Dip, use a Non-Dairy Whipped Topping.

Suggested Uses:
Icing on Orange Cookies
Icing on Sugar Cookies

Orange Cookies

IngredientsVegetarian
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cloves, ground
1/3 cup Buttermilk, lightly whipped
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Sugar
1 large Egg, beaten
3 Tbsp Orange Juice
1 Tbsp Orange Zest, grated

Orange Icing

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Sift Cloves, Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt into a large bowl.
  • In a second bowl, combine Buttermilk, Egg, and Vanilla Extract.
  • In a third mixing bowl, cream the Butter and Sugar.
  • Using a blender, incorporate the Flour and Buttermilk mixtures. Pour a little of the Flour mixture and mix, then a little of the Buttermilk and mix.
  • When all is incorporated, slowly add the Orange Juice and Orange Zest
  • On a greased baking sheet, spoon batter (2 Tbsp each). Try to make them round, and leave 1 inch room between drops.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookie puffs and begins to lightly brown.
  • Remove and let rest on wire rack.
  • Frost the underside of the cookies and flip so that the frosted side is the new top.

Shoo Fly Pie

Ingredients:Vegetarian
3/4 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Molasses
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp ground Ginger
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Pie Crust (9″)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • In a large bowl, dissolve the Baking Soda into the Water.
  • In a second bowl, incorporate the Yolk into the Molasses.
  • Combine the two bowls and mix together well.
  • In a food processor, combine the Spices, Brown Sugar, Salt, and Flour with the Butter, pulsing until “crumbles” form.
  • Pour the Molasses filling into a prepared 9″ Pie Crust.
  • Top the Molasses filling with the Crumbles.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 375°F and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

NOTES:
To reduce the burning of the crust, you can use a crust guard, or cover the edges with strips of aluminum foil. Shoo Fly Pie is a traditional Amish molasses pie, similar to a Pecan Pie, only with some extra spices and no nuts.