Category Archives: desserts

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

One of the many things I love about cooking is that inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. My inspiration for this recipe came from my health club. Yes, you heard that right, my trainer had just returned from a trip to Rome and brought back with her bags of the most amazing chocolate chip biscotti. These crispy little biscuits were so delicious, I was charged with creating a version as close to the original as possible. I’m sharing my version of chocolate chip biscotti, here are a few tips : italians typically use their “00” flour for baking. This flour is low gluten and very fine, used in Italy for making pasta and sweets. If you can’t find type “00” flour use pastry flour or all purpose flour. It will have a slightly different texture. It’s very important to use a high quality chocolate. I like chopping my own chocolate . These biscotti are crispy and not too sweet. You will be transported to Italy with each bite. This is a cookie you will always want on hand.

From by the bay, wishing you crispy biscotti memories!

Maryann

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Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour ( use type “00” flour if available)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus extract to sprinkle on top
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sambuca
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup good quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions

Heat oven to 350° F.  Place almonds on a baking sheet and toasted in the oven for approximately 8 minutes as they start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Coarsely cut and set aside. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Place aside.  In a stand mixer, oil and 3/4 cup sugar together. Add the eggs and continue to mix. Add sambuca, and vanilla. Add flour until combined.  Add toasted almonds and chocolate. Mix to combine. Cut the dough in half and roll into two logs, each approximately 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Place logs side by side 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of the logs with extra sugar. Bake on center rack for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Take the logs out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Use a serrated knife and cut into 3/4  inch slices. Place cookies on baking sheet cut side up in oven and bake for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an air tight container for 1 week.

Mom’s Apple Cake, also know as Jewish Apple Cake

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For as long as I can remember, my Mom made this apple cake. At this stage of my life, this means it’s a very long time, let’s just say Mom is over 90 and we can leave it at that!  When Mom referred to this cake she called it Mom’s cake -meaning my dad’s mom or my mom called it the Jewish Apple Cake. Now for starters we are not Jewish. We also called several cake’s mom’s cake since my grandmother was an amazing baker – thus the need to further identify the cake such as Jewish Apple. I did a little on line search about Jewish Apple Cake. It seems it’s called Jewish Apple because it does not use dairy such as milk or butter. There are many versions of this recipe with slight variations but basically the same recipe. I also read that this recipe was published long ago in some women’s magazine. No matter the source,  the real testament to this recipe is that it’s so good, it had stood the test of time . A recipe passed by word of mouth from generation to generation and from friend to friend. The bottom line about this cake how good it tastes, that it is super easy to make and it’s a true celebration of fall! It’s a cake that satisfies the apple lover in each of us. You will get such joy from the wafting aroma of baking apples, sugar and cinnamon and then the joy of eating this yummy cake.

From by the bay, wishing you tasty apple cake food memories!

Maryann

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Mom’s Apple Cake a.k.a. “Jewish” Apple Cake

Ingredients

For Apple Filling

  • 5 medium apples , preferably those good for baking such as macintosh
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For Cake Batter

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use nonstick cooking spray to grease tall tube pan, then lightly dust with flour.  Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the 5 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat the apples evenly. Set aside. In another bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl add the oil, juice, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. the batter will be thick. Pour half the batter into the tube pan, make sure the batter is spread evenly. Top with half the apples. Pour the remaining batter into the tube, again ensuring the batter is spread. Arrange remaining apples over the top.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely ( at least 25 minutes). Run a clean knife between the cake and pan to loosen the cake before turning onto a plate.

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Whiskey and Rye Chocolate Chip Cookie

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It’s Fall and time to get back into the kitchen to bake. I can’t think of a better cookie than this bumped up version of a chocolate chip cookie. This is by far my favorite recipe. It’s crispy, sweet and salty. Chocolate is in every bite thanks to using different sizes of chocolate bits in the cookie. You will want to make this recipe over and over again.

Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you sweet chocolate food memories!

Maryann

Whiskey and Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe by San Francisco Cooking School

Ingredients

  • cups chocolate wafers (discs, pistoles, fèves; preferably 72% cacao), divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rye flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Ingredient Info

  • Find chocolate wafers (do not use chocolate wafer cookies) at specialty food stores, some grocery stores, and online.

Preparation

  • Pulse ¾ cup chocolate wafers in a food processor until pea-sized pieces form. Whisk all-purpose flour, rye flour, baking soda, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add egg, vanilla, and bourbon and beat until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients, mixing just to blend. Fold in chopped chocolate and remaining chocolate wafers.
  • Portion dough into 16 balls (about ¼ cup each) and transfer to a rimmed sheet sheet as you go. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.
  • Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Scrape vanilla seeds into sea salt in a small bowl and mix to combine (save pod for another use).
  • Divide dough balls between 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 3″ apart. Flatten each ball to about ¾” thick and sprinkle with vanilla salt. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown around the edges, 14–18 minutes (cookies will firm up as they cool). Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
  • Do Ahead: Cookies can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Stone Fruit Crostata

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Some of my favorite food memories are from my grandparents farm and enjoying all the seasonal joys of the produce. Peach and plum season is on exception. Celebrate the winding down of the summer and the height of the stone fruit and peach season with this delicious crostata recipe. The crust is light, buttery and crisp. The coarse sugar adds a sweet crunch to the crust. The fruit sweet and bursting with flavor. It’s definitely one of the favorite desserts by the bay. You’ll love it!

From by the bay wishing you sweet and crispy crust food memories!

Maryann

Stone Fruit Crostata

Serves 4

Ingredients for Dough

  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter ( one stick)
  • 1cup , plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Ingredients for filling

  • 1 1/2 cups stone fruit such as peaches or plums , pitted and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

To assemble

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Coarse sugar

Directions

To make dough cube the butter.  In a small bowl combine sea salt and water. Place both the butter and salt water in the freezer for 10 minutes. In a food processor add the flour and lemon zest. Pulse twice. Add the cold butter and pulse 3 to 4 times to incorporate pieces of butter into the flour. Slowly add some water until the dough is a crumb like texture. You may not need all of the water. Place dough onto plastic wrap and fold wrap over to close and push dough together to combine. Flatten into a disk covered with the plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Meanwhile, make the filling by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Preheat over to 375 degrees F.  Take a piece of parchment paper and place the dough in the center cover with the plastic sheet and use a rolling pin to roll out and fold turn parchment sheet  90 degrees and repeat another 3 times. Roll out the dough on the parchment on the bottom again with plastic wrap over the top of the dough into a round approximately 1/8 inch thick. Spoon the filling in the center of the round leaving a 1 inch border all around. Fold the edges over the filling partially covering around the border. Place parchment with pie carefully onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and cream to make the wash. Remove from the refrigerator and brush the egg wash on the edges of the pie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and place into oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Slide carefully onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Memorial Day Weekend Cookout Recipes

 memorial table
Kick off your summer cookout weekend with some of these favorite recipes!
From by the bay , wishing you delicious cookout food memories and a Happy Memorial Day!
Maryann
blog onion jam burger
Short Rib Burger with Rosemary Onion Jam
Serves 6
Ingredients
2 pounds ground short rib
6 sesame seed buns
6 slices smoked cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons onion jam
12 slices pancetta cooked, crisp
4 ounces baby arugula leaves
Directions
Cook burgers , as preferred. Cut rolls through middle and toast. Add the cheddar cheese to top of burger and melt. To assemble place some arugula to the toasted bottom of the bun. Place burger with cheese on top of the arugula. Top with the onion jam and then the cooked pancetta. Finish with the toasted top of the bun and enjoy!

 

blog jalapeno slaw

Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw

Serves 6

Ingredients for salad

1 head of green cabbage , finely shredded

1 cup of kale, remove ribs and finely shredded

1/2 cup red onion finely sliced

Ingredients for dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

juice of 4 limes

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 small jalapeno seeded and chopped

Directions

To make dressing combine all the ingredients in a food processor and first pulse and then mix until emulsified. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

blog deli mac

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Serves 6

1 pound cooked elbow macaroni

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup Mexican sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons whole milk

3 celery ribs, chopped finely

1/2 onion ,chopped finely

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium saucepan add the vinegar and sugar and bring to a bowl, dissolving the sugar. In a large bowl add macaroni and pour the sugar/vinegar mixture over and stir. Place in the refrigerator to cool for an hour. Remove bowl from refrigerator and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.

blog mustard

Homemade Beer Mustard

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces yellow mustard seeds

1 1/2 ounces black mustard seeds

4 ounces beer or lager ( such as Shiner Bock)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon dried yellow mustard

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup chopped white onion

Directions

Mix the mustard seeds and beer together in bowl, cover and set aside overnight. (The mustard seeds will soften and soak up most of the beer. Stir in the remaining ingredients, then blend in a food processor until nearly smooth (you may need to do this is batches). Spoon the mustard into clean jars; tap gently to remove all the air bubbles. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.

blog pickles

Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound kirby cucumbers
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 springs dill
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Directions

Have ready a 1 quart size glass container such as a mason jar. Trim the ends off of the kirby cucumbers and slice in 1/4 inch rounds. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Take the glass jar and layer the cucumbers, then shallots , garlic and dill. Repeat until you have layered all your ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to simmer.  Remove from heat and pour over the cucumbers. Let cool to room temperature. Seal tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. The pickled cucumbers will last about 2 weeks stored in the refrigerator.

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Sugar Cookies

From the Food Network, Alton Brown

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugar-cookies-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Award Winning Party Foods

and the winners are these delicious appetizers that will make your party Oscar worthy!!

From by the bay wishing you Award winning food memories!

Maryann

blog clam dip

Caramelized Onion Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise

Directions

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 25 minutes. Let the onions cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
In a food processor add  1/2 the onions and the remaining ingredients and blend. Stir in the onions and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature.

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Chili Parmesan Crisps

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. On a parchment lined baking sheet , take half the shredded parmesan and form a rectangle approximately 8″ by 12″. Sprinkle half the chili flakes and all the salt uniformly over the cheese. Layer the remaining cheese lightly pressing down. Sprinkle the remaining chili flakes over the cheese. Bake in the oven until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. Cool and break into piece. Store in an air tight container until ready to serve.

Options: substitute 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes with one of the following:

minced rosemary, minced thyme, crushed black pepper or fennel seeds

 

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Marinated Olives with Orange and Cranberries

Ingredients

1/2 pound green pitted olives, such as manzanilla
1 shallot, minced
1/4 fresh orange cut into 1 inch pieces, with rind
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
Directions

Bring 1 cup water to boil in small sauce pan. Remove from heat and add cranberries. Let sit 15 minutes and drain and cool in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 12 mini cups
Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons ground graham crackers
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces milk chocolate
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
Coarse Sea Salt , such as Maldon
Baking Spray
Directions
Take a non stick mini muffin tin and spray with your baking spray or line each cup with a paper liner. In a bowl add the sugar, cinnamon and graham cracker crumbs, mix and set aside. Use a glass bowl to microwave peanut butter and butter in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval until mixture is smooth. Usually, doing this twice will work. Add this mixture to your graham cracker mixture and stir to combine. Use a teaspoon to place mixture into the bottom of each muffin tin. Place filled muffin tin into the refrigerator to set. Now add the chocolate to the microwave and melt using 30 second intervals to stir the melting chocolate 2-3 times should do it. Once the chocolate is melted add the cream and corn syrup. Stir until smooth. Take the peanut butter filled muffin tin and fill with melted chocolate. Sprinkle coarse sea salt on the top. Place back into the refrigerator and let set for another 30 minutes before serving. You can remove the peanut butter cups from the tin and store in a plastic container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Variations: to the ground graham crackers , cinnamon and sugar mixture you can omit the cinnamon and add 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder to have a chocolate peanut butter bottom, or you can use bittersweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate and omit the light corn syrup to top your peanut butter cups.

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Sugar Cookies

From the Food Network, Alton Brown

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Directions
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe courtesy of Alton BrownS

Whole Wheat Molasses Yogurt Bread

Here is a perfect quick bread, it’s easy to make in addition to being delicious and healthy. I’m always in search of easy weekend breakfasts with ingredients I always have handy in my pantry. I also enjoy it since it’s not too sweet. Serve with salted butter, cream cheese or just plain. It’s delicious with your morning coffee or afternoon tea! You’ll want to keep this recipe handy!

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Whole Wheat Molasses Yogurt Bread

Recipe as published in Food 52 Baking – adapted from Mark Bittman’s “How To Cook Everything Vegetarian”

Makes 1 Loaf

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, measured as described above (I also like a mix of white whole wheat and rye, but use whatever you have on hand)
1/2 cup medium- or coarse-grind cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 2/3 cups whole milk yogurt, or 1 1/2 cups whole milk + 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
Optional: 1 to 1 1/2 cups cranberries, chopped fruit, or nuts ( used dried figs and toasted walnuts)
Butter, for greasing the pan

Directions

Preheat your oven to 325° F. If you’re using milk, mix it with the vinegar and set it aside. Mix together your dry ingredients in a wide bowl (rather than one with straight sides; this makes it easier to mix). Whisk your yogurt (or vinegary milk) with your molasses. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 batches, stirring in round, sweeping motions. Make sure to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Mix until just combined. The dough should fizz, subtly, like a science experiment. It will be thick! If you’re adding in fruit, etc: Fold it in when there are still a few small pockets of flour. Slice a pat of butter into either a loaf pan or a 7-inch cast iron skillet. Put it into the oven until the butter melts. Remove, then swirl the butter around to grease the pan. Transfer batter into pan, without mixing it any further. (Be gentle!) Bake for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. Touch the top of the bread: it should give a little bit, and feel supple, but it should still resist your touch and not feel like there’s goo beneath there. Very important: Let the bread cool before you slice it. Yes, I’m serious.

Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

My grandmother was a wonderful baker. One of my favorite memories of her kitchen would be that she always had fresh baked goods ready for guests. In her day, guests would just stop by for a cup of coffee unannounced. Grandma was always ready to entertain. Today, guests usually announce themselves by phone and text and there is a little time to prepare. I like to also greet my guests with fresh baked goods like my grandmother did. I love this cake because I usually have the ingredients in my pantry and fridge. It reminds me of the lovely cakes I would enjoy when I traveled to Italy. If I don’t have dried cherries, I use dried cranberries, raisins apricots or peaches chopped. If I don’t have pine nuts or almonds I use pecans or walnuts and then just add vanilla extract in place of the almond extract. The recipes is always perfect with coffee!

From by the bay wishing you delicious cake and coffee food memories!

Maryann

blog almond cake snow

Cherry, Almond, Pine Nut Crumb Cake

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis from Everyday Italian

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted, plus 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, plus 1/4 cup
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or apricots

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
Combine the whole almonds and 1/4 cup pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse the machine until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer the nuts to a medium bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow. Add the butter, and milk. Stir in the almond extract and cherries. Gently stir in the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the top of the cake with sliced almonds and remaining 1/4 cup pine nuts. Bake until the cake is cooked and a toothpick comes out clean, about 50 to 55 minutes. Let the cake cool on a wire rack. Use a knife to loosen the edges. Turn the cake out, slice, and serve.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’m obsessed with caramel baking bits. Gone are the days of having to unwrap little caramels out of the plastic and chopping them to bake. I’ve added these little bits to my favorite chocolate chip recipe along with some sea salt and the results are wonderful. If you don’t want caramel in your cookie feel free to replace the caramel with more chocolate chips for a delicious chocolate chip cookie. Either way you will love these cookies. It’s the perfect Valentine to your family all year long!

From by the bay, wishing you salted caramel food memories!

Maryann

blog caramel tray

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus two tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened ( 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup caramel baking bits
  • coarse sea salt such as Maldon to sprinkle on top of the cookie.

Directions
Preheat over to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl add the butter using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment beat until pale yellow. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy and smooth. Scrape down sides of the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined about 15 seconds. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly and mix at a low speed. Next add the chocolate and caramel bits and combine. Drop in rounded teaspoons of dough onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with coarse sea salt. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until slightly brown on bottom. Remove and cool on wire racks. Store in air tight containers.
blog caramel cookies

Old Fashioned Doughnuts

It took a Nor’easter dropping anywhere from 24 to 36 inches of snow in the New York area to finally make this delicious recipe- my grandmother’s doughnuts. The snowy weekend blizzard was the perfect opportunity to try out a Christmas present – my shiny new deep fryer!  The key to having a great doughnut, that is crispy and light, is getting the oil to the right temperature. The fryer makes this easy. You can also use a deep pot filled with oil and use a thermometer. Whichever way you decide to fry , this is the perfect way to show your love to your family and friends by making something this special. I think of making doughnuts a little bit of a cooking event but the results are well worth it. The winter isn’t over so you might want to consider this cooking project when you have to be spending some time indoors. You and your family will be glad you did!

From by the bay wishing you, some wintry doughnut food memories!

Maryann

blog doughnut

Old Fashioned Doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon rind
  • optional: confectioner’s sugar, vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar

*oil for deep fryer , per instructions

Directions

In a small bowl add yeast to water and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer add 1/4 pound butter, sugar and salt. In a small sauce pan scald milk. Pour scalded milk over the ingredients in the bowl. Mix well and add 1 cup of flour and beat until smooth. Add yeast, eggs and lemon rind. Add flour in three portions combining to make a soft dough. Place on a floured board and knead. Add more flour if too tacky to knead. Shape dough into a ball and place in clean bowl brushed , with melted butter. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn our on to a floured board. Pat down until about 1/2 inch thick. Let rest 10 minutes . Use doughnut cutter 1/2 thick and 2 1/2 inch round.  Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F. Don’t over crowd. Use tongs to turn when bottoms are brown. Watch as this will depend on your fryer. When both sides  are brown, remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  When cooled sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Or while warm roll in vanilla sugar or granulated sugar mixed with cinnamon. Fry the doughnut holes separately. An easy way to sugar the holes , place sugar in a brown paper lunch bag , add the warm doughnut holes , hold bag closed , shake and serve!

 

blog doughnut holes