Almond, Orange & Saffron Cake


I love contrast. Light, dark, bitter, sweet, soft, strong, black, white, whisper, loud, cloudy, bright, cause, effect, beginning, end.  Sometimes it’s not enough to luxuriate in the gray area; you have to stretch your arms wide and reach out to the fringes.  You know, pull the ends together to a point of juxtaposition…until the opposites are uncomfortably close.  Maybe that’s this cake for me.  Bright, dark, nutty, deep, citrus spark, spicy, intense, playful.  But, heck, if you feel the need to luxuriate–by all means, have your slice with an insanely large scoop of freshly whipped cream.

If you like citrus, this is your game.  If you need a gluten-free sweet, try this.  If you’re looking for an under-10-ingredient cake, dig in.  If you’re wanting something different, don’t wait.

The orange will grab your attention, but the saffron and cardamom will pull you in and linger on your tastebuds.  

Sublime upon sublime scarcely presents a contrast, and we need a little rest from everything, even the beautiful.

~ Victor Hugo

Almond, Orange & Saffron Cake
Serves 8
Moist, light, bittersweet orange mixed with spicy notes and subtle almond flavors. This cake is gluten free, delicious, and sure to catch your guest's attention.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
386 calories
39 g
117 g
22 g
12 g
3 g
135 g
49 g
32 g
0 g
18 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
135g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 386
Calories from Fat 188
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g
34%
Saturated Fat 3g
13%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 117mg
39%
Sodium 49mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 39g
13%
Dietary Fiber 5g
19%
Sugars 32g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
29%
Calcium
14%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium oranges, chopped (including peel)
  2. 5 eggs, separated
  3. Pinch of ground cardamom
  4. Pinch of saffron threads
  5. 1/4 cup milk (or unsweetened original almond milk), for soaking saffron threads
  6. 1 cup superfine sugar
  7. 2 cups ground raw almonds (grind to a flour consistency in a food processor)
  8. 2 tablespoons sliced or finely chopped raw almonds
  9. 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the base and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Warm the milk (or almond milk) for 30 seconds in the microwave in a small bowl. Remove the milk from the microwave and place a small pinch (5-6) of saffron threads in the warm milk. Soak the threads in the milk for 30 minutes.
  3. While the saffron is soaking, heat the chopped oranges in a pan over low heat with 1 tablespoon of water. Cover and cook with a gentle simmer for 30 minutes, until the oranges are soft and the liquid has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. When cool, finely chop the oranges in a food processor.
  4. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually stir in the superfine sugar and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the remaining superfine sugar for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the oranges and then fold in the ground almonds, ground cardamom, and saffron (with the soaking milk). With a large metal spoon, fold in spoonfuls of egg whites until everything is well combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, sprinkle with sliced or chopped almonds and bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes (or until golden brown). Check every 20 minutes while baking.
  7. Let the cake cool in the pan before turning out and dusting with powdered sugar.
  8. Store in an airtight container for 3 days.
Adapted from My Indian Cookbook
beta
calories
386
fat
22g
protein
12g
carbs
39g
more
Adapted from My Indian Cookbook
TraveLynn Eats http://www.travelynneats.com/

Earl Grey Shortbread with Lavender Buttercream

East Coast Eats, Sweets | December 25, 2016 | By

 

Earl Grey Shortbread with Lavender Buttercream

I went full on Christmas this year.  Ok, well, I had some B- gift giving moments, cards that never went out, and I got a tad bit cranky at the fifth office holiday party event.  Overall, though, I gave this year’s Christmas a valiant effort.  I type this as I’m on my fourth back-to-back viewing of the 24-hour A Christmas Story extravaganza that plays on TBS each year.  #familytradition… 

I had a holiday first this year though:  a Christmas Cookie Exchange, courtesy of my dear friend, Josie.  Right, I know, how do you get to 40-something (aka ’29 again’) before attending your first Cookie Exchange?…  I don’t “do” Christmas cookies.  Don’t get me wrong, that wasn’t an uppity “don’t do” … that was a baking hesitance on my part.  In fact, baking is actually quite intimidating to me.  Cooking is an art; baking is a science.  I’m a ‘dash of this, dash of that, throw it in a pan’ kind-of-gal.   You ask me to add a cup of flour and there’s a good chance I’m gonna plunge my hand into the flour bag and scoop out about a cuppa flour…  As much as I want to believe it’s just a ‘dash of this, a splash of that, pop it in the oven and forget about it’ –this doesn’t work in baking.  So, I gave great thought to what I was going to take to my inaugural Cookie Exchange.  

I knew I wanted to combine Earl Grey and Lavender in some combination, and I had been thinking about this for quite some time.  I figured two dozen would be more than enough (well, two dozen minus the few I burned…  it happens…).  I found out later (i.e., reading the “bring 4 dozen” invite right before driving to the event) that the goal of a Cookie Exchange is not to bring your most unique recipe.  The goal is to bring a shit ton of cookies, the Christmas kind.  So, I kinda did this “Ahh, Lynn, epic fail on the Cookie Exchange” when I re-read the invite.  Then, I swirled some Lavender Buttercream on my Earl Grey shortbread, took a bite, and soliloquized: “Ohhhh, Lynn, epic cookie win…epic.cookie.win…”

As I mentioned, I have been wanting to bring Earl Grey and Lavender together.  Two delicate, intriguing flavors.  Both so distinct, yet there is clear harmony between these two flavors.  I opened up my tin of Earl Grey tea, then I twisted off the top of a glass jar full of organic culinary lavender buds, and I took a big whiff of both.  It took me back to sipping a cup of tea while admiring my little garden when I lived in Harrogate, England.  Then, my daydreaming went off in another direction and I embraced a big ‘ole dose of sentimentality over some amazing friendships I’ve made as I’ve moved around over the past 20 years.  One of them: my wonderful gal pal, Josie.  My little baking “lightbulb” went on and I knew Earl Grey and Lavender were going to come together in a non-traditional Christmas cookie for her Cookie Exchange.

earl-grey-shortbread-1

earl-grey-shortbread-4

earl-grey-shortbread-5

…and how could I not get sentimental when, a few weeks ago, Josie sent me a picture album from a trip we took to Disney World & Epcot Center for New Year’s Eve about 8 years ago.  When I met up with Josie in Florida way back on that day, she gave me a huge hug and then immediately provided one condition for our trip:  we were wearing matching outfits and it would include mouse ears.  How could I resist?… I still have my shirt…  

earl-grey-shortbread-14

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”

~Elizabeth Foley

earl-grey-shortbread-7

earl-grey-shortbread-9

You can check out this shortbread recipe at the FeedFeed’s website as featured on the Shortbread Feed.  

FeedFeed is a great resource for recipes and connecting home chefs, food lovers, bloggers!  

Earl Grey Shortbread with Lavender Buttercream
Yields 24
Fragrant, delicate with perfect floral notes. Earl Grey tea and lavender combine in this delightful little cookie.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
1 hr
241 calories
29 g
36 g
14 g
1 g
9 g
50 g
52 g
21 g
1 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
50g
Yields
24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 241
Calories from Fat 119
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
21%
Saturated Fat 9g
43%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 36mg
12%
Sodium 52mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 29g
10%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 21g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Shortbread
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves
  3. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  4. 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Lavender Buttercream
  1. 3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender, finely chopped
  4. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 tablespoon milk or cream, if needed, to thin buttercream
Shortbread
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, tea, and salt, until the tea is just spotted throughout the flour. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and butter. Pulse together just until a dough is formed. Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log (about 2 1/2-inches in diameter). Tightly twist each end of the plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks. Place on parchment lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are just lightly brown, about 12 minutes. Watch the time carefully, these cookies are thin and will burn quickly. Let the shortbread cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks and cool to room temperature.
Lavender Buttercream
  1. Add butter to the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until creamy. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar and finely chopped lavender. Increase the speed of the mixer, scrape down the sides, if needed, and beat the frosting until fluffy and combined. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  2. If the frosting seems too thick, beat in a tablespoon of milk at a time. If it seems to runny or too thin, you can beat in more powdered sugar. Frost the shortbread when they are completely cool. Top with a few lavender buds, if you wish.
beta
calories
241
fat
14g
protein
1g
carbs
29g
more
TraveLynn Eats http://www.travelynneats.com/

Apple Cider Caramels

East Coast Eats, Sweets | December 7, 2016 | By

apple-cider-caramels-6

I feel like November just cruised by, top-down-with-the-heater on, leaves floating by, beep-beep, get outta the way…  Now, the tree is up, lights twinkling, foggy mornings, forecast snow, humming baby it’s cold outside, peeking over my shoulder and wondering how Autumn just zipped on by.  It didn’t even ease it’s foot off the accelerator.  

Autumn in Virginia was lovely and it was short-lived.  I gave it my all; I really did.  Pumpkin Spice Lattes (they taste different when you drink them with a big, chunky home-made yarn scarf hugging your neck…they do…); fall leaf peeping; apple picking in the orchards; the Hunt Races at Montpelier; sneaking gorgeous chunks of squash into unsuspecting dishes; getting nostalgic watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; and just, well, you know… soaking in the seasonal slow down.

Somewhere, on a country road, at a stand filled with apples and gourds, at a location I’ll never remember, I picked up some apple cider.  This isn’t the clear jug of apple cider on Aisle 9 that looks curiously like the apple juice snuggled up next to it.  This is the cloudy, thick, spicy, rich, country stand apple cider.  I’ve also found some great, seasonal apple ciders in the refrigerator section at the grocery store.  Both Trader Joe’s and Whole Food’s apple ciders are deelishussss.

So, farewell Autumn.  Just before I get into the Christmas cookie swing of things, I’m saying au revoir to your color-filled days with these: Apple Cider Caramels.  

apple-cider-caramels-1

“Autumn is as joyful and sweet as an untimely end.”
― Rémy de Gourmont

apple-cider-caramels-2

apple-cider-caramels-4

Apple Cider Caramels
Gorgeous, chewy, spicy, buttery, apple cider caramels. The perfect mix of sweet and salty. So good, so easy, so make right now.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
2739 calories
423 g
353 g
123 g
4 g
77 g
1508 g
4831 g
402 g
4 g
37 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1508g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2739
Calories from Fat 1078
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 123g
189%
Saturated Fat 77g
384%
Trans Fat 4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 32g
Cholesterol 353mg
118%
Sodium 4831mg
201%
Total Carbohydrates 423g
141%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 402g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
80%
Vitamin C
16%
Calcium
27%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups apple cider
  2. 1 cup granulated white sugar
  3. 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  4. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  5. 1/3 cup heavy cream
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 2 teaspoons Fleur de Sel or flaky salt
  8. Grape seed oil for the knife
Instructions
  1. On high heat, boil the apple cider in a saucepan until it is reduced to a thick syrup (about 1/2 cup in volume) and stir occasionally. This takes about 35 - 40 minutes.
  2. While the cider is boiling, get your other ingredients ready because you'll need to move quickly after the cider is reduced to syrup. Measure the sugars and place in a bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks. Measure the heavy cream. Stir together the cinnamon and salt and place in a separate, small bowl.
  3. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch straight-sided square metal baking pan with 2 long sheets of parchment paper (in a crisscross layout). Set it aside.
  4. Once you are finished reducing the apple cider, remove it from the heat and immediately stir in the sugars, butter, and heavy cream. Stir until the mixture is smooth and the butter has melted. Return the pot to medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Have a bowl of very cold water ready, and cook the caramel (for 5 minutes) until a very small spoonful dropped into the water becomes firm, chewy, and able to be formed into a little ball. If you want to be precise, use a candy thermometer and let it boil until the thermometer reads 252 degrees. Either way, watch the caramel closely; you don't want to under or over cook it.
  5. Immediately remove the caramel from the heat, add the cinnamon and salt mixture, and give it several stirs to distribute the cinnamon/salt evenly.
  6. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let it sit until cool and firm—about 2 hours (only about an hour in the refrigerator). Once the caramel is firm, lift the caramel from the pan by the parchment paper and transfer it to a cutting board. Let the caramel sit out for a little bit before you start cutting it. If it is too cold, it will crack when you try to cut it. Use a well-oiled knife to cut the caramel into 1-by-1-inch squares. Lightly sprinkle the caramels with flaky salt.
  7. Wrap each one in a 4-inch square of waxed paper or parchment, twisting the sides to close. Caramels will be somewhat on the soft side at room temperature and hard and chewy if left in the refrigerator. These caramels keep for about 2 weeks in an airtight container if left outside the refrigerator.
  8. Perfect holiday gift. Unless you eat them all first...
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
beta
calories
2739
fat
123g
protein
4g
carbs
423g
more
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
TraveLynn Eats http://www.travelynneats.com/

  

Virginia Apple Pie

East Coast Eats, Sweets | October 27, 2016 | By

I’m a full-fledged fall fan.  It took me a while, but watch out… I’m so in it now…  I’m loving your fallen leaves, your crisp mornings and scarf-worthy breezes, your sweat pant hugs, your apple picking.  

The apple picking.  Virginia, do you ever have some apple picking.  

Branches heavy hanging.  Children laughing, running through rows, sitting under trees, sneaking little nibbles.  Carefree, family outing, dogs curiously sniffing, bags overflowing, enthusiastic fruits, ground covered, harvest tables, so inviting.  So lovely, apple pie.  

APPLE PIE.

Because there’s comfort food, and then there’s apple pie.

Virginia Apple Picking

Apple Pie

…And I just felt like there was one thing that needed to happen after picking:  APPLE PIE.

I have played around with this recipe for years, and I think I’ve finally reached my version of apple pie perfection.  The cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and dash of cayenne combine into an earthy richness that add a subtle warmth to the sweetness and a balance to the tartness.  

A few little tips:  1) Cook the apples in advance.  The apples cook down so you can really create a jam-packed apple experience.  I’ve made plenty of apple pies without cooking the apples first, and the results don’t even come close.  2) Use an apple wedger (buy one, just do it).  3) Use a great quality pie plate.  I use a stoneware pie dish that browns the crust perfectly.   And, it just looks cute…  I used a mix of Idared and York apples because, well, that’s what was on the trees.  Result:  fantastic.  I’m also a fan of Braeburn apples for pie.   Ultimately, though, you’re the artist and it’s your (pie) palette.   

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe.”  

Carl Sagan gave a tall order, but I think you’ll find this recipe within the realm of the earthly possible.  At the very least, you’ll end up with a little slice of heaven…

Virginia Apple Pie

Virginia Apple Pie
Serves 8
The absolute perfect apple pie. Packed to the brim with spiced apples and nestled in a flaky crust. Go ahead, have a slice for breakfast too, no one's watching...
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
711 calories
122 g
88 g
26 g
6 g
16 g
612 g
313 g
78 g
1 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
612g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 711
Calories from Fat 231
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g
41%
Saturated Fat 16g
80%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 88mg
29%
Sodium 313mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 122g
41%
Dietary Fiber 13g
53%
Sugars 78g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
25%
Vitamin C
44%
Calcium
5%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
PIE CRUST
  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup + 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  3. 2 teaspoons sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/4 cup cold water
PIE FILLING
  1. 10 - 12 apples
  2. 1/2 fresh lemon (to squeeze over apples after slicing)
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  6. 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  7. 2 dashes of cayenne pepper
  8. 1/8 cup all purpose flour
  9. 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
PIE CRUST
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt with a fork. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry knife. Alternately, you can cut the butter into the flour mixture with a food processor. With either method, mix the butter into the flour until you have a crumb-like mixture.
  2. Mix the vinegar, egg and water with a fork and combine the liquid mixture into the dry mixture until all ingredients are moist. With your hands, mold the dough into a ball and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 days. Don't you just love a pie crust that will let you wait until the last minute or plan ahead...
PIE FILLING
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel, core and slice 10 - 12 apples. Don't be intimidated. You're going to cook the apples, so they will cook down a bit and allow you to really pack your pie full of apples. If you have an apple wedger--perfect! If not, slice apples into 1 inch wedges after peeling, cut out the core, and then cut the wedges into half pieces (the apples will pack into the pie crust easier). Place the apples in a large glass mixing bowl. Squeeze lemon over the cut apples to keep them from turning brown. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, and flour in a bowl; then sprinkle the mixture over the apples and thoroughly toss the apples in the sugar and spice mixture.
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator right before you cook the apples.
  4. In a very large skillet (I actually use a wok), cook the apples for about 10 minutes until they are fork tender, but not mushy. Much of the water from the apples will fill the skillet--you want this to happen. Remove the apples from the skillet and place back in the large mixing bowl. Continue to cook the remaining liquid over medium heat until it reduces and thickens (another 5 - 7 minutes). Remove the reduced liquid from heat.
ASSEMBLING
  1. Cut the dough in half. Take one half and roll out thinly so that it will hang over the edge of your pie dish by 1/2 inch. With a large spoon, place the cooked apples into the pie shell in the pie dish. Drizzle the reduced apple and spice liquid over the apples. Dot the apples with 3 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces. Roll out the other half of the pie dough and place over the apples in the dish. Fold the overlapping crusts together and crimp the edges all around the pie dish edge (a fork works well for this).
  2. Place the pie on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. Check the pie at the halfway point, if the crust starts to brown too quickly, you can loosely cover the top or edges with aluminum foil to control the browning.
beta
calories
711
fat
26g
protein
6g
carbs
122g
more
TraveLynn Eats http://www.travelynneats.com/

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sweets | May 23, 2013 | By

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesThe search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie has begun.  This could be dangerous … for my new fitness regimen … that I just started …  oh please, who am I kidding.

Do you have those food blogs that you routinely check in on?  Like that obsessive sort of Facebook checking…

On my list of “totally dig” is Bakergirl.  Love her fascination with brown butter.  And brown sugar.  And all sorts of yummies that add depth to your baking creations.

….and that’s how I came across Bakergirl’s Brown Butter Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesThe search is off to a good start.

Amazing right out of the oven.  Amazing.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (browned)
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs bourbon, optional
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 10 oz bag of chocolate chunks (semi-sweet or dark chocolate)
Instructions
  1. Brown the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the butter constantly as it melts; it will bubble and foam in about 7 - 9 minutes and then start to brown soon after it foams. Shortly after the foaming and when it starts to brown, remove it from the heat. Watch it closely because it will burn very quickly. Pour the butter in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to cool
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream the cooled brown butter with the brown sugar and white sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla extract. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing after adding each egg. Finally, add the bourbon. The alcohol will cook out leaving a light caramel flavor.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine
  5. Stir in the chocolate chunks
  6. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight. This is important because the butter has been browned and liquefied, so chilling it ensures the cookies keep their form when baking
  7. After chilling the dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  8. Let the dough "thaw" for about 20-30 minutes (or you're going to get a real arm workout trying to scoop the dough)
  9. Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet. I went with Bakergirl's recommendation to use an ice cream scoop to scoop the dough onto my cookie sheet...and it worked great!
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will look like they aren't cooked, but rest assured they will firm up as they cool
  11. Cool the cookies a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesBrown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

Brown Sugar Cashew Cookies

Brown Sugar Cashew Cookies

The weather was perfect on Saturday … perfect day for a motorcycle ride.   The motorcycle comes complete with a dog carrier.  The Chihuahua’s mobile; she’s always up for adventure.  I pulled the bike out of the garage and the shriek of three girls screaming “WAIT!  We want to see your motorcycle!” stopped me in my tracks.

I live on a military base… way out east of Colorado Springs… thirty minutes from town… tumbleweed rolls down the street providing endless entertainment…  Not a lot going on in the neighborhood… But, the neighborhood kids are sweet as pie.  Like the time I was in the house playing the piano and the doorbell rang.   I opened the door and there was 9-year-old Colin, “Hello Miss Lynn.  I hear you playing the piano when I walk by to my friend’s house and I just want to tell you I really like it” …and then he ran off before I could barely get out an “Ahhh, thank you Colin!”

So super sweet!

I placed my motorcycle helmet on the ground and said “Hi girls!”

“We love your bike, we want to see you ride it!”  Shriek!!  “OMG, is Chica going with you?!”

“She sure is” I said nodding…

I kept pulling together my riding gear.

“I love your bike!  It is so cool!  I want to get one someday!  I’m almost 13.  My mom says when I’m 13, I can have a boyfriend.”

Me:  “Boyfriend?  Wait until you’re 30.”

“But my mom says I can have a boyfriend when I’m 13.”

Me: “Boyfriends are overrated.  Wait until you’re 30.”  (got a slightly cocked head, quizzical stare on that one)

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

Me: “No.”

“We are going to find you a boyfriend!”

Me:  “Ok.  Make sure he likes Chihuahuas.”

Got my gear on, strapped the dog in and pulled away on the bike   …..with three girls running behind me screaming, laughing and WHhhooo’ing.

Biker dog

Totally sweet and nutty.

And my inspiration to make Brown Sugar Cashew Cookies.

Brown Sugar Cashew Cookies

 

Brown Sugar Cashew Cookies
 
Nutty, sweet....cashew cookies are sure to please. Inspired by a Land O'Lakes Butter recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground cashews
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup cashew halves
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spread cashews on a cookie sheet and lightly brown (about 10-15 minutes)
  3. In a mixer, combine the brown sugar and butter until creamy
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to blend in the mixer
  5. Add the flour, ground cashews, baking powder, baking soda and sour cream and mix on slow speed. When the flour is incorporated, then you can turn the speed up and mix until creamy again
  6. Stir the cashew halves in by hand
  7. On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop a heaping tablespoon of dough and space the dough drops a couple inches apart
  8. Cook for 10-12 minutes
  9. Cool completely

 

 

 

Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar

Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar

In keeping with the theme of “recipes for an arid climate”….  I introduce to you “Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar!”  Ok, so there’s really ‘no such thing’ as Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar…  but, if you’ve lived in a humid-free zone you may know the “I’m big time bummed” feeling of reaching into your pantry to grab the brown sugar (when making your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe) only to find a brown sugar BRICK.  Something had to be done.

It’s real easy to make your own brown sugar!  Sugar + molasses = brown sugar.  Ta da!  Two tablespoons of molasses will give you a perfect medium brown sugar.  If you want dark brown sugar…  easy…  just add another 1-2 tablespoons of molasses!

 

Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar

I was wondering how I was going to evenly distribute the molasses.   Was I supposed to mix it with a fork?  a whisk?  with my most prized possession….

My beloved KitchenAid

So, the KitchenAid was the perfect tool for whipping the molasses and sugar into this light, fluffy mixture.  You do have to give it a good run in the mixer though…

When you first start to mix the sugar and molasses, it will get a little clumpy.  No fear!

Your sugar and molasses will continue to blend together, just keeeeep mixing….. persevere

Rocky Mountain Brown SugarRocky Mountain Brown SugarRocky Mountain Brown SugarRocky Mountain Brown SugarI always lick the batter from a whisk and this was no exception.  I highly recommend turning the KitchenAid off first though.

Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar

Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar

Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar
 
Homemade brown sugar is as easy as 1, 2, 3...literally. Sugar + molasses + mix!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
Instructions
  1. Combine the sugar and molasses in a mixer
  2. Mix on medium speed for several minutes
  3. Store in an airtight container

 

Raspberry Chocolate Scones

Sweets | February 9, 2013 | By

DSC_0467

Happy Valentine’s Day!   You really don’t need a special reason to make these treats though; they are so easy to make, you can have them ready in no time for breakfast or afternoon tea….or a midnight snack…

Most of the recipe is blended together in a food processor.  You can blend together with a hand-held pastry mixer, if you want a pre-scone workout.  The texture is light and fluffy, the taste is fresh, and these are truly easy to whip together. Mixed and baked–start to finish–in about 30 minutes!

It has become my Saturday morning routine…

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbs butter (cut in slices)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/3 cup cream (or full fat buttermilk…this adds a little tang… and it’s good)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Instructions:

In your food processor, add flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and butter and blend until butter is in small pieces.  Add frozen raspberries and pulse the mix until the raspberries are just slightly broken up.

Pour contents into a large bowl and add ricotta and cream.  Mix flour mixture and wet ingredients together.  Add chocolate chips.  You may need to add a little more cream to get the mix to hold together.

DSC_1017

Generously flour your counter surface and place the mixture on your counter.  Form a ball and lightly knead.  Pat the dough into a rectangle shape about 5×7 and about 1 inch thick.  Cut into 9 square shapes (or you can cut into uniformly sized triangles).

DSC_1022

Spray a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool briefly…..

These scones are absolutely gorgeous served with raspberry jam and fresh ricotta!

Raspberry Chocolate Scones