Tag Archives: dessert

Pumpkin Bars


Makes 12 bars with 1 1/2 cups frosting
Moist and tender pumpkin spice cake lavished with cream cheese frosting: you know you can’t resist.

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature

Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
Pinch coarse salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush bottom and sides of an 8-by-12-inch cake pan with butter. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Brush parchment with butter.

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree and milk; set aside

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, and beat until combined. On low speed add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of pumpkin mixture, and beating until just combined after each.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth top with spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make Frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, and pinch of salt until light and creamy, 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until incorporated.

Assemble: Unmold cake. Using an offset spatula, spread icing over top of cake. Cut into 12 bars.
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Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping


8 Servings
Sweet potatoes are spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and enriched with cream, brown sugar, and maple syrup for the flavorful filling of this pie. A candied pecan topping takes it over the top. Source: Everyday Food, November 2005

Ingredients

2 to 3 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 prebaked Pie Crust for Sweet Potato Pie, or 1 frozen store-bought (9-inch) crust
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup pecans, broken into pieces

Directions

To make the sweet potato puree, cover sweet potatoes with water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 15 minutes. Drain; puree in a food processor until completely smooth. Let cool completely before using (refrigerate or freeze for quicker cooling).

To make filling, preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and maple syrup until smooth. Add sweet-potato puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 3/4 cup cream; whisk until completely smooth. Place cooled crust on a rimmed baking sheet; pour filling into crust. (If using a store-bought crust, defrost 10 minutes; prick bottom all over with a fork.)

Bake pie on lowest rack of oven until filling is set, about 50 minutes. If crust browns too quickly, tent edges with foil. Transfer pie to a rack to cool, 1 hour; transfer to refrigerator to cool completely.

To make the pecan topping, melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add remaining 1/2 cup light-brown sugar and pecans. Cook, stirring, until sugar is incorporated and the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon cream; let cool 1 to 2 minutes. Pour mixture over cooled pie. With a butter knife or spatula, spread mixture over pie. Cool until topping has hardened, about 30 minutes. (Do not refrigerate again; keep pie in a cool place up to 6 hours.)
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Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies


Makes 16
Chocolate and pumpkin make a frightfully gooey pair in these creamy pumpkin-swirl brownies.

Ingredients

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.

Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.

Divide batter between 2 medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make 1 more chocolate layer and 1 more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don’t set.

With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the 2 batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.
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Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust


Yield: One 11-inch crostata
Cheddar in the pie dough and fresh apples in the filling give this dessert a rustic charm.

Ingredients

For the Crust

1 disk Cheddar Pie Dough
All-purpose flour, for surface
1 large egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling

For the Filling

2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Gala, plus 2 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup apricot preserves, warmed

Directions

Make the crust: Roll out dough to a 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Make the filling: Toss together apples, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread filling over dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold edges in to form a crust; brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate until edges are firm, about 30 minutes.

Bake crostata until apples are tender and crust is golden, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool slightly. Brush apples with apricot preserves.

Cook’s Notes

Serving Idea: Farmhouse-style cheddar cheese pairs well with this crostata.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2010
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Apple and Cranberry Pandowdy


8 Servings
This dessert features two varieties of apples in season: Firm but tender Rome holds its shape, while the creamy McIntosh cooks down into a sauce. Source: Everyday Food, October 2010

Ingredients

For the Crust

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling

3 Rome apples (1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 McIntosh apples (1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup cranberries (thawed if frozen)
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 teaspoons coarse sugar

Directions

Make crust: In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add 1 tablespoon more ice water). Do not overmix. Form dough into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 2 weeks). On a floured piece of parchment, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

Make filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together apples, cranberries, brown sugar, lemon juice, flour, and salt. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish; dot with butter. Tear or cut dough into pieces (around 3 inches square). Lay dough pieces, overlapping slightly, over apple mixture. Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until crust is browned and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Cranberry Clafouti

6 Servings

This simple batter is similar to pancake batter. Poured in a pan with fruit, it bakes into a creamy custard. Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2011

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, for dish
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1 cup chilled heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 1-quart baking dish (not metal) using a pastry brush; sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over bottom. Sift remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the flour, and salt into a large bowl. Gradually whisk in eggs, 3/4 cup cream, the milk, and zest.

2. Scatter cranberries into dish; pour batter over top. Bake until puffed, slightly set, and brown around edges, 32 to 34 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes (it will sink).

3. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream until soft peaks form. Dust clafouti with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with whipped cream.
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Note from Wikipedia:

The clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France, and while black cherries are traditional, there are numerous variations using other fruits, including sweet cherries, plums, prunes, apples, pears, cranberries or blackberries. When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called a flaugnarde.

The dish’s name derives from Occitan clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning “to fill” (implied: “the batter with cherries”). Clafoutis apparently spread throughout France during the 19th century.

see also: Flaugnarde
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Perfect Fudgy Brownie Recipe

Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients

12 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 oz good quality dark chocolate bar coarsely chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Generously butter or use cooking spray on a 9×9 square baking pan (or similar size) pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, When completely melted, remove from stove and stir in granulated sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time until eggs are completely incorporated and mixture is smooth. Stir in the flour and salt just until combined.

Pour brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with the chopped chocolate.

Bake brownies in the preheated oven for 32-35 minutes or until done. (The brownies will fell firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the brownies will come out clean)

Cool brownies on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes (best if you can wait longer) before cutting and serving.

Note: This recipe works perfectly at any altitude!
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