Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cranberry Apple Raisin Crisp

It's holiday season! This dessert looked so festive I had to snap a picture of it before I added the crumb topping. This is intensely tangy, so there's no fear of falling asleep after dinner.

Recipe from Food and Wine Herbs and Spices Cookbook: (serves 4)

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
5 1/2 Tbsp cold butter, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 12oz pkg cranberries (about 3 cups)
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp ground clove (I reduced this to a pinch)

1. Heat oven to 375. Combine oats, 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar. Add butter and rub into flour till small crumbs form.
2. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Transfer to 8" square baking dish. Top with crumb mixture. Bake 45 min. Let cool at least 15 min before serving

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Strawberry Meringue Stars

I've never made meringues before, so I'm pretty excited about these results. They're probably the prettiest looking edible items I've ever made. They definitely should be thought of more as candy than cookie, because they are blindingly sweet and are closer to marshmallow in consistency.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens magazine:

3 egg whites
1 tsp white vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 of a 3oz package (3 Tbsp) strawberry flavor gelatin
6 oz bittersweet chocolate and/or white chocolate melted

1. Place egg whites in bowl, let stand for 30 min till room temperature. Line cookie sheet with parchment or foil, set aside
2. Preheat oven to 300. Add vinegar and salt to egg whites. Beat with electric mixer on high till soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add sugar and dry gelatin, beating till stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Spoon mixture into pastry bag, fitted with large star tip. Pipe about 1 inch wide and tall onto cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
This is where I will add my 2 cents: Do ONE TRAY AT A TIME if possible. I burned my second tray which was below my first. Watch them closely, because you don't want them to brown! Turn off oven and let dry inside for another 15 minutes. I didn't listen to this part and some of them started collapsing, so keep them warm while they set.
4.Dip in melted chocolate, or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

*These get tough and chewy really quick, so eat within a day or two, and don't refrigerate!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Based on the Joy of Cooking Recipe:

3 lbs of assorted apples, (peeled, cored and sliced into chunks)
1/2 to 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice (depends on the juiciness of your apples)
1 to 1.5 Tbsp of lemon juice
1 large cinnamon stick

Cover and simmer, stirring often over low heat till tender (roughly 20 min). Stir in the following:

1/4 cup maple syrup (or 1/2 cup sugar or 6 Tbsp honey)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Cook for another minute. Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon stick. Blend to desired thickness.