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10.06.2014

Spumetti




Ingredients:

     1 egg white

    1 cup white sugar

    1 cup toasted sliced almonds


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Directions

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

 In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat the egg white until foamy. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Fold in the toasted almonds. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.
 
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden and firm. When cookies are completely cool, they can be placed into plastic bags and frozen.

08.06.2014

Warm Corn Salad

Ingredients:


    1 teaspoon butter

    2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from cob

    1/2 red onion, diced

    1 tablespoon fresh parsley

    salt to taste

    ground black pepper to taste

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Directions:

Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir in the corn and onion. Cook 5 minutes, until heated through. Mix in parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives to serve.


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Garlic Green Beans

Ingredients:

    1 tablespoon butter

    3 tablespoons olive oil

    1 medium head garlic - peeled and sliced

    2 (14.5 ounce) cans green beans, drained

    salt and pepper to taste

    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil; add garlic, and cook until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in green beans, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until beans are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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07.06.2014

No-Bake Mint-Avocado Chocolate Layer Cake

serves: 6-8
prep time: 15-25 minutes
time to set cake: a few hours
equipment: food processor, blender, 6 in springform pan

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake
•    2 2/3 cups whole walnuts, shelled, unsoaked
•    1/3 cup cocoa powder
•    2 tbsp chia seeds (mila or flax meal)
•    2 tbsp xylitol or sugar (if want to use stevia do about 1/4-1/2 tsp liquid stevia)
•    1-2 tbsp agave or maple syrup

Place walnuts in food processor and pulse till a crumbly texture. Then add in remaining ingredients.  We left our cake more on the less sweet side, so adjust sweetness to taste.  Note: chia seeds gave the cake a little crunchy texture, so if do not like or want crunch use flax meal or grinded chia seeds.

Mint Avocado Cream
•    2 avocados, about 1 1/2 cups pureed
•    1/2 cup +1 tablespoon irish moss paste – about 4oz
•    1 teaspoon stevia, liquid
•    3 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
•    1 tablespoon coconut oil
•    1-2 tablespoon sunflower lecithin (optional)
•    1 tablespoon mint extract
•    1/2 – 1 teaspoon spirulina (optional, helps with green color)

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Place irish moss in blender with agave and blend a little. Next add in the pureed avocados, stevia and mint extract, spirulina, and if you are using lecithin add in now. Blend till smooth and end with coconut oil. Adjust sweetness to taste.
Note: If you desire more sweetness up the agave and/or stevia, and depending how much you add may need to up coconut oil to 2 tbsp. The purpose of the coconut oil is to help the cream get  hard so when you slice cake it does not go everywhere.

Assemble cake:

Line the 6 in pan with wax/parchment paper.
Press about 1 cup of moderately packed chocolate cake batter onto the bottom of the pan. Next top with 1 cup of mint avocado cream.
Set first two layers in the freezer for about 2 hours to set.
Repeat cake and cream layers. Place final cake in freezer for a few hours (about 4-6 hours) to set.
When ready to slice let cake come to room temperature a little (15 or so minutes), will help make it easier to cut.
Keep leftover slices in refrigerator and will last about 2-3 days.

Layered Chocolate Mint Fudge

Ingredients

•    1 packet of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Mint Chocolate Flavor Mix
•    1 14 oz can condensed milk
•    1 bag Hershy semi-sweet chocolate chips
•    1 bag white vandy melts
•    1 1/2 TBS vanilla

Baking Instructions

 1. Line small glass pan with foil, lightly grease the inside with butter.

 2. On low heat melt the bag of chocolate chips and 1 cup of condensed milk, stiring the whole time. Remove from the heat then add vanilla, stir.

 3. Seperate chocolate mixture in two bowls. Pour 1st bowl into lined pan.

4. Chill for 5-10 minutes until semi firm. Lay a sheet of greased wax paper over chocolate layer then use a spatula or flat surface to even out layer and press flat.

 5. Melt 1/2 package (about 7 oz) of white candy melts and remaining condensed milk in a sauce pan on medium stirring the whole time. Remove from heat and add Duncan Hines Mint Chocolate Flavor Packet, stir.
  6. Pour mint fudge on top of 1st chocolate layer.
   6. Chill for 5-10 minutes. Use greased wax paper to level second layer.  
7. Pour 2nd bowl of chocolate mixture on top of mint layer.   
 8. Chill for 5-10 minutes. Again use a greased wax paper to level the 2nd chocolate layer.   
9. Refridgerate for 1 hour.    To cut easily pull fudge from pan lifting the foil. Then trim messy edges and cut into 1 inche squares.

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Mini Mint Cheesecakes

Ingredients:

1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs mixed with 4 tablespoons melted butter
Mint Cheesecake
1 package 1/3 less fat cream cheese (room temp)
1/2 cup fat free yogurt ( I use Fage yogurt)
2 eggs (room temp)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 Tablespoons Creme de Menthe

Preheat oven 325
Place cookie crumb mixture in bottom of pan, press firmly.
Beat cream cheese with yogurt. Add in sugar and flour mix until well blended. Add one egg at a time, beating just until incorporated. Stir in vanilla and Creme de Menthe by hand.
The mini cheesecakes baked for about 20 minutes. They began to crack a bit, but I think it was due to them being individual, they were not dry. The batter made 12 mini cheesecakes and one 4 in cheesecake.
I used this same pan when I baked the Super Thick Heart Cookies click for more info on the pan. I also found the pan online here.



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Marbled Mint Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces white chocolate
1 tablespoon peppermint extract

Directions:
1.    (Do this step and the next at the same time) On a double boiler, melt chocolate chips with 1 cup sweetened condensed milk; add vanilla.

2.    In a double boiler, melt white chocolate with remaining sweetened condensed milk. Add peppermint extract and green food coloring.

3.    (For this step, the faster you go the better because the fudge sets real fast and you won’t be able to do the marble pattern otherwise) Reserve about 4 tablespoons of the chocolate chips mixture and spread the rest into the pan. Add the green peppermint fudge on top. Add here and there the reserve chocolate chips mixture and then run a knife at the surface of the fudge to create the marble effect.

4.    Chill for 2 hours or until firm. Use the overhang to get the fudge out of the pan. Cut into squares. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator or freeze them



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Festive Mint Cream Dessert Recipe

Ingredients

•    3/4 cup butter, divided
•    1 package (16 ounces) chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, crushed
•    8 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
•    1-1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
•    1 cup confectioners' sugar
•    3/4 cup evaporated milk
•    1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
•    Chocolate syrup and red and green sprinkles, optional

Directions

1.    In a microwave, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in cookie crumbs. Press into a 13-in. x 9-in. dish. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. Spread ice cream over crust; return to the freezer until firm.

2.    In a large saucepan, combine chocolate chips, confectioners' sugar, milk and remaining butter. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Cool to room temperature. When cool, spread over ice cream; return to freezer until firm.

3.    Spread whipped topping over ice cream (dish will be full). Cover and freeze for until firm or overnight.

4.    Remove from the freezer 15-20 minutes before serving. If desired, drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with sprinkles. Yield: 24 servings.



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Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Mint Buttercream

 Ingredients

•    3 cups all-purpose flour
•    11/4 cups cocoa powder
•    21/2 tsps baking powder
•    11/2 tsps baking soda
•    3/4 tsp salt
•    3 eggs
•    11/2 cups milk
•    3/4 cup canola oil
•    1 tbsp vanilla extract
•    23/4 cups sugar
•    1 cup boiling water
•    4 ozs cream cheese (soft)
•    8 ozs unsalted butter (soft)
•    1/4 tsp kosher salt
•    1 cup fresh mint (finely minced)
•    1 tsp vanilla extract
•    11/2 cups powdered sugar (packed)



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Potted Mint-Chocolate Puddings

Ingredients:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
10 chocolate wafer cookies
Garnish: mint sprigs

Directions:

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Combine cream, milk, and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup.
Pour 1 cup cream mixture into sugar mixture, and whisk until cornstarch is dissolved. Add remaining cream mixture, and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook until thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts, about 1 minute.Remove from heat. Add mint extract and butter, and whisk until butter melts. Quickly divide pudding, whisking as you work to prevent sides from setting up, among eight 4-ounce glasses or glass flowerpot votive candle holders, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top of each. Refrigerate until set, about 1 1/2 hours.
Just before serving, pulse cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Top each pudding with 1 tablespoon ground-cookie "dirt," and garnish with a planted mint sprig. Serve chilled.

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06.06.2014

Peppermint & Cacao Balls

Makes 16 Balls

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp raw virgin coconut oil, softened
2 tsp rice malt syrup
1-2 drops pure peppermint oil

Method
  1. Pulse the cashews and shredded coconut in a food processor until you get fine crumbs. Stir through the cacao powder, coconut oil and rice malt syrup.
  2. Stir through the peppermint oil. You may want to do this one drop at a time, tasting as you go. I add 2 drops, but it is quite strong so you may prefer less.
  3. Roll the mixture into balls and store them in the fridge, as the coconut oil may start to melt at room temperature.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ingredients

1    pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix

1/2    cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4    to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract

6     to 8 drops green food color

1    egg

1    cup creme de menthe baking chips

1    cup semisweet chocolate chunks


Directions

   1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.
  
 2. Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
   
 3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.


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Chocolate torte

Ingredients:

•  225g of 70% Amedei “chuao” chocolate, or dark cooking chocolate
•  225g of unsalted butter
•  340g of caster sugar
•  6 medium free-range eggs
•  1 drop of vanilla essence
•  160g of ground almonds
•  140g of white breadcrumbs


Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3 and line a 22cm spring-form cake tin

Start with the cake by melting the chocolate over a bain-marie. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla and whisk thoroughly until well combined
Making a Bain Marie for chocolate
If you don't have a bain marie, you can make one. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4 and fill a roasting tin halfway with water. Place the chocolate in a ramekin in the water and put the roasting tin in the oven

In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, breadcrumbs and melted chocolate, add to the egg mixture and combine well. Pour the cake mix into the springform tin and bake in the oven for 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool

For the chocolate ganache, break up the chocolate and place into a large bowl. In a separate pan, bring the cream and icing sugar to the boil and then pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool

Spread the ganache over the cooled chocolate torte using a hot palette knife to ensure it is distributed evenly. Slice up the torte and serve with some raspberries and cream



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Classic Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch fine salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/3 cups heavy cream, plus a bit extra for brushing
1 large egg
1/4 cup honey
One 16-ounce container strawberries, trimmed and chopped (about 3 cups)
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, torn, plus extra for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the butter and work into the flour, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the butter pieces are the size of small peas.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup cream with the egg and 1/3 cup water. Add to the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a stiff batter is formed. Drop 6 mounds onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each biscuit. Brush with a bit of cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet.

While the biscuits bake and cool, combine the honey with 1/3 cup water and a pinch of salt in a small saucepot. Gently simmer, stirring, over medium heat until the honey is dissolved and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool, and then toss in a bowl with the strawberries and torn mint. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the strawberries to release their juices.

To assemble, whip the remaining 1 cup cream with 1 tablespoon sugar to soft peaks. Split each biscuit and place the bottom half on a plate. Top evenly with the berries and accumulated juices and then the whipped cream. Place the top of the biscuit on the shortcake and garnish with the fresh mint.



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Strawberry Country Cake

Ingredients

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the filling for each cake:
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans. Then line them with parchment paper and butter and flour the lined pans.

Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the sour cream, zests, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.

Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature. If using 1 cake, wrap the second well and freeze.

To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until firm. Slice one of the cakes in half with a long, sharp knife. Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter, spread with 1/2 the whipped cream and scatter with sliced strawberries. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.

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Open-Faced Plum Tart

Ingredients

1 disk refrigerated pie dough (half of a 14-ounce package)
1/4 cup fig jam
1 pound plums, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1 large egg
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
Ice cream, for serving (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Let the dough soften at room temperature for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the pie crust on the parchment paper. Spread the fig jam on the crust, leaving a 2-inch clean border around the edge. Arrange the plums on top of the jam. Fold the crust's edge inward, pleating as needed; leave the center of the tart exposed. Press the dough lightly to seal.

Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; brush the egg wash on the dough and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake until the crust is cooked through and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.
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Lemon Coconut Pound Cake

Ingredients

•    1/2 cup butter, softened
•    1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
•    3 large eggs
•    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    1/8 teaspoon baking soda
•    1/2 cup sour cream
•    2 teaspoons lemon zest
•    1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, divided
•    Lemon Glaze

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

2. Stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in lemon zest and 1/2 cup coconut. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.

3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

4. Spoon Lemon Glaze over cake, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup coconut.

Note:
Add a sweet tangle of fresh coconut shavings to any cake that could use an elegant, tropical note. Pierce 2 coconut eyes with an ice pick and hammer; drain liquid, and reserve for another use. Place coconut in a 9-inch cake pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until shell begins to crack; cool 10 minutes. Break open the outer shell with a hammer, and split coconut into several large pieces. Separate coconut meat from the shell using a sturdy, blunt-ended knife, and rinse in cold water. Cut thin strips from the meat using a vegetable peeler. Use immediately, or layer between damp paper towels in an airtight container, and chill up to 2 days
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Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream Cake

Ingredients

•    Parchment paper
•    Devil's Food Cake Batter
•    1/2 gal. mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
•    10 chocolate wafers, coarsely crushed
•    Chocolate Ganache
•    Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, thin crème de menthe chocolate mints

Preparation
 
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Prepare Devil's Food Cake Batter, and spoon into pans.

2. Bake at 350º for 12 to 14 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, peel off parchment paper, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

3. Place 1 cake layer in a 9-inch springform pan. Top with one-third of ice cream (about 2 1/3 cups); sprinkle with half of crushed wafers. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining cake layer and ice cream. Freeze 8 to 12 hours.

4. Remove cake from springform pan, and place on a cake stand or plate. Prepare Chocolate Ganache, and spread over top of ice-cream cake. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

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Caramel-Apple Cheesecake

Ingredients

•    2 3/4 pounds large Granny Smith apples (about 6 apples)
•    1 2/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
•    1 tablespoon butter
•    2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about 15 whole crackers)
•    1/2 cup melted butter
•    1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
•    3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
•    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•    3 large eggs
•    1/4 cup apple jelly
•    Sweetened whipped cream

Preparation

1. Peel apples, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss together apples and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apple mixture, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender and golden. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350º. Stir together cinnamon graham cracker crumbs and next 2 ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, and cool crust completely before filling (about 30 minutes).

3. Beat cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining 1 1/3 cups brown sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into prepared crust. Arrange apples over cream cheese mixture.

4. Bake at 350º for 55 minutes to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

5. Cook apple jelly and 1 tsp. water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until jelly is melted; brush over apples on top of cheesecake. Serve with whipped cream.



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Ultimate Cheesecake

Ingredients

•    2 cups graham cracker crumbs
•    1/4 cup sugar
•    1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
•    7 large eggs
•    4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
•    1 3/4 cups sugar
•    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•    1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
•    1/2 cup sugar
•    1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    Apricot Glaze
•    Garnish: strawberry halves


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Preparation

Stir together first 3 ingredients; press into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Chill 1 hour.

Beat eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer. Add cream cheese; beat until blended. Gradually add 1 3/4 cups sugar, beating well. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Pour batter into chilled crust.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425°.

Stir together sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon vanilla; spread over cheesecake.

Bake at 425° for 5 to 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 10 hours. Remove sides of pan. Serve with Apricot Glaze, and garnish, if desired.


Zesty Lemon Pie

Ingredients

•    1 cup graham cracker crumbs
•    3 tablespoons powdered sugar
•    3 tablespoons butter, melted
•    6 egg yolks
•    2 (14-oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
•    1 cup fresh lemon juice
•    1 cup whipping cream
•    2 tablespoons powdered sugar
•    Garnishes: lemon slices, fresh mint leaves

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 2 ingredients; add butter, stirring until blended. Press mixture on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).

2. Whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Pour into prepared crust.

3. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 4 hours.

4. Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form; dollop over chilled pie. Garnish, if desired.



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Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

Ingredients

•    3 cups chopped pecans
•    3/4 cup sugar
•    3/4 cup dark corn syrup
•    3 large eggs, lightly beaten
•    2 tablespoons melted butter
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    1/8 teaspoon salt
•    5 (2.1-oz.) packages frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.

2. Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans, eggs, and next 3 ingredients.

3. Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoonful pecan mixture into each pastry shell, and place on 2 large baking sheets.

4. Bake at 350º for 20 to 22 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Mini Pecan Pies: Substitute 1 1/2 (8-oz.) packages frozen tart shells for frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 2. Spoon about 1/4 cup pecan mixture into each tart shell. Place tart shells on a large baking sheet. Proceed with recipe as directed in Step 4, increasing bake time to 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Garnish with currants, if desired. Makes 1 dozen. Prep: 15 min., Bake: 30 min.

Note:
Baking time is 22 minutes per batch.

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Peach-and-Toasted Pecan Ice Cream

Ingredients

•    3/4 cup sugar
•    2 tablespoons cornstarch
•    1/8 teaspoon table salt
•    2 cups milk
•    1 cup heavy whipping cream
•    1 egg yolk
•    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
•    1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped peaches
•    2 tablespoons light corn syrup
•    1 1/2 tablespoons butter
•    1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
•    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation


1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and whipping cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

2. Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla bean paste. Cool 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, cook peaches and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Coarsely mash, and let cool 30 minutes. Stir peach mixture into cooled cream mixture.

4. Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture, and chill 8 to 24 hours.

5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; add pecans, and cook, stirring constantly, 8 to 9 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).

6. Pour chilled cream mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and time may vary.) Before transferring ice cream to an airtight container for further freezing, stir in pecan mixture.
*Vanilla extract may be substituted.



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Double Apple Pie with Cornmeal Crust

Ingredients

•    2 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples
•    2 1/4 pounds Braeburn apples
•    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
•    2 tablespoons apple jelly
•    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
•    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    1/4 teaspoon salt
•    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•    1/3 cup sugar
•    Cornmeal Crust Dough
•    Wax paper
•    3 tablespoons sugar
•    1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
•    1 teaspoon sugar
•    Brandy-Caramel Sauce

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Peel and core apples; cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Place apples in a large bowl. Stir in next 7 ingredients. Let stand 30 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.

2. Place 1 Cornmeal Crust Dough disk on a lightly floured piece of wax paper; sprinkle dough lightly with flour. Top with another sheet of wax paper. Roll dough to about 1/8-inch thickness (about 11 inches wide).

3. Remove and discard top sheet of wax paper. Starting at 1 edge of dough, wrap dough around rolling pin, separating dough from bottom sheet of wax paper as you roll. Discard bottom sheet of wax paper. Place rolling pin over a 9-inch glass pie plate, and unroll dough over pie plate. Gently press dough into pie plate.


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4. Stir apple mixture; reserve 1 Tbsp. juices. Spoon apples into crust, packing tightly and mounding in center. Pour remaining juices in bowl over apples. Sprinkle apples with 3 Tbsp. sugar; dot with butter.

5. Roll remaining Cornmeal Crust Dough disk as directed in Step 2, rolling dough to about 1/8-inch thickness (13 inches wide). Remove and discard wax paper, and place dough over filling; fold edges under, sealing to bottom crust, and crimp. Brush top of pie, excluding fluted edges, lightly with reserved 1 Tbsp. juices from apples; sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar. Place pie on a jelly-roll pan. Cut 4 to 5 slits in top of pie for steam to escape.

6. Bake at 425° on lower oven rack 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°; transfer pie to middle oven rack, and bake 35 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, and bake 30 more minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly, crust is golden brown, and apples are tender when pierced with a long wooden pick through slits in crust. Remove to a wire rack. Cool 1 1/2 to 2 hours before serving. Serve with Brandy-Caramel Sauce.

Blackberry-Apple Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients
•    3/4 cup butter, softened and divided
•    1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
•    1/4 cup honey
•    2 large Gala apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
•    1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
•    1 cup granulated sugar
•    2 large eggs
•    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    1/2 cup milk
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan (with sides that are at least 2 inches high) over low heat. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with brown sugar; drizzle honey over brown sugar. Arrange apple slices in concentric circles over brown sugar mixture, overlapping as needed; sprinkle with blackberries.

2. Beat granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

3. Stir together flour and baking powder. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Spoon batter over blackberries in pan.

4. Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of cake to loosen. Invert cake onto a serving plate, spooning any topping in pan over cake.
*1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries may be substituted.



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