What’s Next on my Plate:

Hawaiian Mahi Mahi rolls stuffed with mango and macadamia nut stuffing

Æbelskiver (Danish Filled Pancakes)

Chicken Canzanese with Polenta Cakes

Lillet Poached Pears with Thyme & Pepper

Triple Lemon Baked Doughnuts

(German Braised Rabbit Stew)

Pesto Goat Cheese Chicken Cordon Bleu

Fallen Leaves Cupcakes

Oct 19th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

(Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting and Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds)

for the cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sour cream

for the frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
harvest colored chocolate covered sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350F; Line a muffin pan with liners.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together, set aside. In your stand mixer, whip sugar and eggs together until light, approximate 2 minutes. Stir in the oil, pumpkin puree and sour cream until smooth. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture until smooth by hand.

Fill eat muffin cup approximately two-thirds full (do not overfill). Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, cream butter, vegetable shortening and salt together until smooth. Beat in sugar, adding by a tablespoon at a time. Finally, add in the vanilla bean paste. Chill butter cream for 20 minutes before filling a pastry bag.

Pipe a swirl of frosting using a large plain pastry tip on each cupcake. Sprinkle with the sunflower seeds. Chill for a minimum of 20 minutes before serving.

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Oatmeal Fig “Newton” Bars

Oct 17th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cup fig preserves

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a foil sling for your 13 x 9 baking dish and spray generously with baking spray.

Blend together flour, sugars, and salt in a food processor, then add butter and blend until a dough begins to form. Transfer to a bowl and knead in oats and half of the walnuts until combined.

Reserve 1/2 cup dough, then press remainder evenly into bottom of the prepared baking pan and spread the fig preserves over it. Crumble reserved dough evenly over jam, then sprinkle with remaining half of the walnuts.

Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes, then cool completely in pan on a rack. Cut into 24 bars.

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Honey Bourbon Apple Pie

Oct 14th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

for the pastry dough and lattice
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, diced
6 tablespoons (or more) ice water

for the filling
3 pounds baking apples, Pink Lady or Honeycrisp
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup bourbon
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, with a tablespoon of water for egg wash
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons ice water and process until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather into ball, then divide and flatten into two disks. Wrap in plastic and chill 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/2-inch pieces (or slices, if you like). Place apples into a large bowl and toss with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add the honey and bourbon and toss again. In a medium bowl, whisk together the spices, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Toss over the apples until they are evenly coated.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough disks to a 12 inch circle. Place in pie plate and crimp edges. Dock the pastry with a fork a few times, all the way to the edges. Spoon the apples onto the pie plate. Roll out the other dough disk to a long sheet and cut bands. Create a lattice top over the pie and anchor to the crust.In a small bowl, whisk together the egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush over the pie dough. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired. Chill pie for at least 1/2 hour before baking, particularly if the dough has softened.

Bake pie for 25 minutes before lowering oven temperature to 375F. Bake for an additional 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. If the edges begin to darken too quickly, cover with aluminum foil to prevent additional browning.

Cool pie for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.

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Candied Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Muffins,
Toasted Hazelnut Streusel

Oct 12th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

for the filling
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

for the topping
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

for the muffins
2 large (or 3 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut to 3/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter, cut to small cubes
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

First make your sweet potato puree. This can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Preheat oven to 350F. Place cut sweet potatoes in a small baking dish and sprinkle over the butter and brown sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until a paring knife inserted into a piece comes out easily. Using a food mill, potato masher or even a food processor, mash the sweet potatoes to a puree. You should have about a cup. Let cool completely.

Next, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, egg yolk and confectioners sugar. Cover and freeze until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Then, make the topping. In a small bowl, combine the flour, finely chopped hazelnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers. Press the mixture into small clumps. Refrigerate the topping until chilled, about 15 minutes.

Finally, make the muffins. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the brown sugar, oil and sweet potato puree. Hand-mix in the dry ingredients until evenly incorporated.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Drop heaping teaspoons of the cream cheese filling in the center of each cup and spoon the remaining batter on top. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the batter. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.

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Turkish Coffee Shortbread Cookies

Oct 10th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely ground coffee (espresso or French roast) Use less for a more subtle effect.
1 tablespoon ground cardamom. Use less for a more subtle effect.

for the chocolate coating
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (chips, or cut in small pieces)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

In the work bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar and salt. Mix in the flour, cardamom, and ground coffee until the dough just comes together. Pull the dough together with your hands and set on a floured surface. Roll out to about 1/4 inch. Cut out the cookies using your preferred cookie cutter, but not too large (approximately 2 inches would be best). Transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.

To make the chocolate coating, put the chocolate and vegetable oil in a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir until melted. Dip half of each cooled cookie in the chocolate, and let the excess drip off. Set the cookies down on parchment or wax paper to harden.

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