Strawberry Almond Cream Tart

 

Strawberry Almond Cream Tart / Patty's FoodI could make a Strawberry Almond Cream Tart every week during strawberry season-that’s how much I like this recipe from Cooking Light’s Way to Bake cook book.  Score-I love it when I find a favorite recipe!  This strawberry tart with a graham cracker crust has it all going on-it’s fresh, fruity, light and sweet -also very popular at my Mother’s Day pool party.  I don’t think we’ve ever had a big party on Mother’s Day, anyway the afternoon went by in a blur with kids in the pool, lots of food, drink, conversation and good times going on by all in our back yard.  That morning I made 2 of these exact same strawberry tarts for the party and everybody liked them but the day went so fast for me that I neglected to take any photos which as you can imagine is a big no-no for any self respecting food blogger, like myself.  So, as soon as possible I made another Strawberry Almond Cream Tart for my blog, which didn’t hurt my feelings one bit because I not so secretly wanted another piece as did my grandsons who enjoyed slices for an after school treat at grandma’s house.  Now is the time to make a dessert with strawberries or just plain eat strawberries while they are ripe, plentiful and lower priced in the markets.  We all know this so I hope you will host a party this holiday weekend and serve a beautiful homemade dessert with loads of big luscious strawberries for all to enjoy, doesn’t that sound like fun?Strawberry Almond Cream Tart / Patty's Food Speaking of fun-The winner of last week’s Hamilton Beach set of mixers Giveaway is Deb from East of Eden Cooking, whom I will be contacting by email.  That was kind of cool, I liked the giveaway-may have to figure out how to make that happen more often on my blog.

Thanks from me and Hamilton Beach to everybody who participated in the giveaway by leaving comments on my blog!

Strawberry Almond Cream Tart

Yield: 10 slices

Adapted from Cooking Light 'Way to Bake'.

Ingredients

  • Crust
  • 1 package (9 sheets) honey-flavored graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • baking spray
  • filling
  • 2/3 cup or 5 ounces 1/3 less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • topping
  • 6 cups medium strawberries, hulled and divided (2 cups for topping/glaze and 4 cups left whole for topping)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Spray bottom of a 9" metal removable bottom tart pan
  3. prepare the crust
  4. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process until crumbly.
  5. Add the sugar, melted butter and water, pulse until combined and moist.
  6. Place the graham cracker in the prepared 9" tart pan, pressing into bottom and sides (about 3/4 of the way up) of pan.
  7. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Cool completely on a metal rack.
  9. prepare the filling
  10. Combine the cream cheese, sugar and extracts in a medium bowl, spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled graham cracker crust.
  11. prepare the topping
  12. Place 2 cups of the strawberries in the food processor and process until smooth, scraping down once or twice.
  13. Combine the strawberry purée, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and over a medium heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  14. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 1 minute.
  15. Remove topping/glaze mixture from heat, cool to room temperature.
  16. Combine remaining 4 cups of strawberries, lemon juice and a few spoonfuls of glaze/topping in a medium bowl.
  17. Arrange the 4 cups of whole strawberries in a circular pattern on top of the cream cheese filling.
  18. Spoon the topping/glaze around the berries, filling in the edges.
  19. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the edges.
  20. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
  21. Slice and serve.
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Strawberry Almond Cream Tart / Patty's Food

Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart with a ~Giveaway~ Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand Mixer and Softcrape Hand Mixer

 

Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart / Patty's FoodOh Happy Day!   Today is the day I’m offering one lucky reader an easier way to make my Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart.  It is my pleasure to host a Giveaway from Hamilton Beach for both a SoftScrape 6 Speed Mixer with Case and a 6 Speed Stand Mixer.   The generous folks at Hamilton Beach also gave me a set of the very same  mixers to try out at home, so I can speak with authority when I tell you they are both quite capable of whipping up the thick chocolate and fudgy batter needed to make your own Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart.  To enter this contest and have a chance at winning both these mixers from Hamilton Beach please leave a comment below telling me about one of your favorite recipes using chocolate by this Friday May 23 before noon Pacific Time-don’t you like how I included the thing about Pacific Time that was also to remind me to tell you that this contest is only open to U.S. residents age 18 and older.Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart / Patty's FoodA quick note (!) about  the thick chocolate batter that goes into this chocolate tart… I used a few spoonfuls of  Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup which I brought back with me on the plane in my suitcase from NOLA, I know that’s crazy to be toting a large bottle of pure cane syrup in my suitcase-I triple wrapped it!- but it turned out to be SO WORTH IT!!  If you don’t have your own bottle of Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup, light corn syrup with a smidgen of molasses might be a close approximation.Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart / Patty's Food

Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart with a ~Giveaway~ Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand Mixer and Softcrape Hand Mixer

Yield: 10 slices

Adapted from Cooking Light.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, Ghirardelli 60% brand
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose baking cocoa, KAF brand
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure cane syrup, Steen's brand
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Coat a 9" metal removable bottom tart pan with baking spray.
  3. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts in pan.
  4. Combine the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water.
  5. Slowly cook until chocolate melts, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Whisk together the flour, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
  7. Using either a hand (with a large bowl) or stand mixer beat the eggs on medium speed until thick and lighter in color.
  8. Gradually add the sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) to the eggs, beating on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add the cane syrup and vanilla, beat on low speed for 1 minute, until well blended.
  10. Add the chocolate mixture, beat on low speed for 1 minute, until well blended.
  11. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on low speed until combined.
  12. Pour the batter over the nuts in prepared pan, spread evenly.
  13. Bake in lower third of oven for about 20 minutes or until the top is firm and slightly pulls away from the sides or a toothpick inserted comes away with a few moist crumbs.
  14. Cool in pan on metal rack, invert on plate to serve.
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Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart / Patty's Food

Disclosure:  Hamilton Beach provided these products for a giveaway however, all opinions are 100% my own.

Honey Almond Granola

 

Honey Almond Granola / Patty's FoodDo you have a recipe that you make from scratch just about every week? Well, this is that recipe for me and it happens to be for granola. We crave Greek yogurt sprinkled with honey almond granola…using this recipe. It is easy, fits in a large glass canister on my counter and easily satisfies a sweet tooth.  I started with a simple granola recipe that I found in Whole-Grain Mornings:  New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon.  In the chapter, titled Basics there is a recipe for Make-Your-Own Signature Granola that I’ve made exactly that way.  I’m sharing my own tweaked version of this recipe but love this cookbook and suggest adding it to your collection.

Favorite things about this granola recipe are the flavors of Orange Blossom honey, vanilla, cinnamon, toasted rolled oats, roasted almonds, maple syrup and extra-virgin olive oil.  It’s kind of sad when my glass container of granola runs low..but it’s so easy to fill it back up again.  I’m forever stocking up on the ingredients so I usually have everything needed right in the pantry-don’t you just love a recipe like that?

We are in the middle of our first hot (record breaking) weather of the season.  Today our high will be 91F which is actually a few degrees cooler than yesterday, that’s a relief!  I won’t be making any oven baked granola today but my pictures are from last week when it was cooler but not to worry -I heard the temperatures will be cooling off this weekend just in time to bake another batch of my favorite honey almond granola.

Honey Almond Granola / Patty's Food

Honey Almond Granola

Yield: 5 cups of granola

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 3 & 1/2 cups rolled oats, I used Bob's Red Mill
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking spice, optional-I used Penzeys brand
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, I used Whole Foods brand
  • 1/2 cup Orange Blossom honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the almonds on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, set aside.
  4. Stir together all the above ingredients, except almonds, in a large bowl until well mixed.
  5. Spread the raw unbaked granola evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and turn over granola with large metal spatula.
  7. Put back in the oven and continue baking for 15 additional minutes, if necessary- turn again and bake for 5 minutes or until you have desired browned color, don't over bake.
  8. Let the granola cool before breaking up in smaller pieces and placing in a covered container.
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Strawberry Crostata with Rhubarb Jam

Strawberry Crostata with Rhubarb Jam / Patty's FoodTink, tink, tink.  I know that we are headed towards Summer when I wake up early to make coffee and hear the chirping of birds outside my kitchen window.  Only the birds don’t  all go tweet tweet, we always have a few loud ones that go tink, tink, tink which is kind of weird and I have no idea what kind of bird calls out tink but that’s why I don’t need an alarm to wake me when the weather turns warm and our windows are open.

I have a thing for pies and tarts.  Now- I’ve added crostata, an Italian inspired pie/tart filled with fresh strawberries and spread with rhubarb jam to my list of favorites.  I look forward to a Summer filled with visits to the local farmer’s markets to find the freshest ripest fruits for the rustic pastry creations that I love to make.

I used the rhubarb jam with strawberries and orange that I made using a recipe from food in jars by Marisa McClellan.  The verdict is the jam is delicious and I will be trying more recipes from this little gem of a preserving book.

I also will be baking more of Summer’s fruit (blackberries -for one!) using this crostata dough which is quick and easy to make, chill, roll out and bake.  Make sure you use parchment paper for the baking pan to save on the clean up from the bubbling fruit juice escaping from your hot crostata.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top is another good idea to try.

Strawberry Crostata with Rhubarb Jam / Patty's FoodNo matter how you decide to place the strips on top of your crostata-the cut pieces all come out beautifully and make lovely slices of strawberry pie.  Don’t forget the rhubarb jam-I love rhubarb and think it adds so much flavor to this recipe, but purchased strawberry jam would be good too.
Strawberry Crostata with Rhubarb Jam / Patty's Food

Strawberry Crostata with Rhubarb Jam

Yield: 6-8 servings

Adapted from Four-Star Desserts by Emily Luchetti.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut in bits
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large eg yolk
  • 2/3 cup rhubarb jam (recipe from food in jars by Marisa McClellan)
  • 2 pints strawberries, hulled and cut in half

Instructions

  1. Combine 2 cups of the flour, 2/3 cup sugar and butter bits in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix the ingredients with pastry blender or fingers until mixture looks like cornmeal.
  3. Add 1 egg and egg yolk, mix until dough comes together (1-2 minutes)
  4. Divide the dough in half, flatten, wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured work surface roll one of the pieces of dough into a 10" circle.
  6. Carefully lift the dough circle and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Roll out the second piece of dough into a 10" circle and cut into strips- I used a decorative fluted cutter.
  8. Chill both the dough circle and the dough strips until firm -about 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  10. Remove the dough from the fridge and spread the jam on the 10" round circle, leaving a 1" edge all the way around.
  11. Place the prepared strawberries on top of the jam spread dough and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. This would be a fun and tasty place to use vanilla or lavender spiced sugar.
  12. Lightly beat the egg and brush it on the 1" edge of dough circle.
  13. Lay the strips on top of the strawberries (how you like), letting the end of each strip end on the egg washed edges.
  14. Fold the edges of the dough circle back over the lattice, about 1/2" over the edges of the strips.
  15. Brush all the edges and the dough strips on top with more of the egg wash.
  16. Bake the crostata for around 35 minutes or until filling is bubbling and pastry is golden brown.
  17. Cool on a metal rack, slice and serve the same day it is baked.
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Irish Soda Bread with Muesli

Irish Soda Bread with Muesli / Patty's FoodI’m not sure which came first-Irish Soda Bread with Muesli or  Three Fruit Marmalade- but they belong together and are definitely a match made in heaven.  Every year when Saint Patrick’s Day rolls around I’m usually good for baking a loaf or two of soda bread, but this year I did a little experimenting and came up with my own version of a Muesli filled loaf which I’ve been regularly baking since celebrating Saint Paddy’s day.  I’m craving this freshly baked soda bread spread with butter and marmalade-I can’t even begin to tell you, so I’m going to share my recipe.  Lucky me, I also have the recipe for the Three Fruit marmalade since I took Happy Girl Kitchen Co’s marmalade workshop at Cavallo Point in Sausalito a few weekends ago.

I’ve been inspired since the class and made half a dozen jars of spiced tangerine marmalade last week.  I’ve always been partial to both jam and jelly making but lately, since discovering Irish Soda Bread for breakfast, I like having a jar of marmalade in my fridge.   Meyer lemon marmalade has always been one of my favorites but now I will be branching out into the world of citrus…Watch out citrus fruit here I come!  Three Fruit Marmalade-Happy Girl Kitchen Co. style – is next on my  to-make list.  I just love the chunky rind filled look of it and it’s delicious on my toasted soda bread.  We were all given jars of the marmalade we made in class to take home.  One of the marmalade making tips from the workshop is to find organic citrus fruit with rinds that will be sweeter in the finished marmalade so that the whole fruit can be sliced in small wedges which is easier than the traditional method where the entire rind is removed, sliced, boiled and finally put back in the marmalade.

I can’t think of another bread that can be made in one large bowl, formed into a ball, sliced twice on the top and baked on a parchment lined baking sheet in a hot oven for about half an hour that’s as good as Irish Soda bread-just bring on the Marmalade and that’s my idea of perfection from your own kitchen to the breakfast table.

Irish Soda Bread with Muesli / Patty's FoodI like to slice the entire loaf of  my soda bread after it cools, place any leftovers in a plastic bag in the fridge and enjoy it for breakfast toasted with loads of marmalade spread on top.  This bread is so easy to make and I think it’s healthy-that’s what I tell myself, anyway.  I will keep making this loaf  for breakfast until something I like better comes along-when that might be I can’t really say…
Irish Soda Bread with Muesli / Patty's Food

Irish Soda Bread with Muesli

Yield: 1 large loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Irish-style whole meal flour, King Arthur's Flour
  • 1 cup Muesli, Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style
  • 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the flours, Muesli, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a small bowl or large glass measuring cup measure out the buttermilk then add the yogurt and egg- stir together.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture, stir together until well combined.
  6. Turn out the dough and knead it a few times-form into a ball.
  7. Place the ball on the parchment lined baking sheet and using a sharp knife cut a cross on top from one end of the top to the other-crisscrossing the cuts.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean or with a few small crumbs.
  9. Cool on a rack before slicing.
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Double Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Double Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies / Patty's FoodDouble Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies…coming right up…I have a batch in my oven right now as we speak- I don’t know what got into me this past month but I have baked  variations of these cookies at least half a dozen times.  I keep baking, tweaking the recipe and sharing these cookies.  Everybody loves them and asks for the recipe so here it is coming right up in my blog post.

I don’t know, am I the only one with this repeater recipe cookie baking thing?  I think there is something cozy and comfortable about baking a familiar batch of cookies with maybe a slight tweak or twist to them.  How much oatmeal, chocolate chips or coconut is the right amount??  How about the sugars or the flours??  For sure it needs a little salt..and here comes another batch out of the oven.

I also wanted to seize the opportunity to share a photo of a vintage apron from my now boxed up in the garage poodle collection, that’s what happens to bad little collections when they get out of control-they get boxed up and put away, except for this cool little apron, I don’t know it might be from the fifties?  That would be 1950′s making my apron over 50 years old, I would never give away it’s exact age-now that wouldn’t be very nice, would it?

Do I ever wear this vintage poodle apron when I’m baking?  No, but it might be just the thing for  entertaining – a theme cocktail in one hand and a rented poodle in the other when greeting guests at the door.  I’ll get right on that.

Double Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies / Patty's FoodDouble Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies / Patty's FoodI’m joining Roxana’s Chocolate Party this month, a little bit late but better late than never!  Since I’ve been baking multiple batches of my delicious coconut-y and chocolate-y oatmeal drop cookies over the past month I decided that there is no better time than the present to share this recipe on my blog with the Chocolate Party since the theme ingredient for the month of April is coconut and at the moment I am all about chocolate coconut cookies.
party-chocolate

Double Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Adapted from Spectrum Organics.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup organic dark brown cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 & 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, larger size

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  3. Place the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, baking spice and salt in a medium bowl, stir to combine and set aside.
  4. Place the coconut oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat several minutes or until creamy.
  5. Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until coconut oil is blended with sugar.
  6. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beat until blended.
  7. Add the dry ingredients using low speed until incorporated into coconut mixture.
  8. Stir in the rolled oats, coconut and chocolate chips, combine well.
  9. Use a small scoop (about 1 rounded tablespoon) to form balls of dough to drop on the prepared cookie sheets, press down on top of dough balls to slightly flatten tops.
  10. Space the dough balls in rows of 3 with at least 1 inch of space between each one.
  11. Bake for 14 minutes, until lightly browned on edges and bottoms, remove from oven and cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before removing to continue cooling on metal racks.
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lemon coconut yogurt muffins with tillamook farmstyle greek yogurt

 

lemon muffinsUp until today I hadn’t  been too adventurous with the delicious stash of Tillamook Farmstyle Greek Yogurt in my fridge- very nicely shipped to me by Tillamook.  I’ve been enjoying it throughout the week for breakfast or as a snack with a sprinkling of my homemade almond honey granola.  I’ve also done a little yogurt sharing, especially once I realized I could buy more at my local Safeway store.  So this morning I let a slightly overcast sky inspire me to do some baking.  My last minute decisions to bake are always the most rewarding and this time my spur of the moment decision to bake a batch of muffins this morning led me right to my Greek yogurt.

Of course there are a few more things involved, besides having a large container of Greek yogurt in your fridge,  when planning to bake a batch of lemon coconut yogurt muffins – like having lemons, coconuts, flour, sugar, measuring cups and spoons etc.  Lucky for me I had everything I needed in my pantry for these muffins.  I think most home bakers like to keep the basics for their baking on hand -just in case the urge to bake strikes.  I like to bake with yogurt and having it on hand for my baking projects as well as for just plain eating is one of the things I’m doing these days.

I used the last of my Meyer lemons for these lemon coconut yogurt muffins and I admit to being sad to come to the end of my special lemons, but any lemons would work in the recipe.  I noticed my Meyer lemon tree is covered with blossoms, very exciting -looking forward to a new crop!
Lemon Coconut Yogurt Muffins
I haven’t posted a recipe here in over a month so I had to do a little scrambling to gather all my food blogging accoutrements -such as a quick camera check-battery dead?  Yes, of course- but not too worry I have an extra one fully charged just for a rainy day like today.  Speaking of rainy days, it sort of feels like Oregon here today with the green hills, rain and Tillamook yogurt.  But, I love it for a change from the warm early Spring weather we’ve been having or I should say enjoying here in the Bay Area.

So there you have it-a new recipe, a quick check of the weather, a few words and Patty’s Food blog is up and running this week.  Please enjoy my recipe for lemon coconut yogurt muffins.

Lemon Coconut Yogurt Muffins

lemon coconut yogurt muffins with tillamook farmstyle greek yogurt

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 & 1/4 cups Tillamook Farmstyle Greek Yogurt, Nonfat
  • 1/4 cup lowfat milk
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup organic virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil
  • for the topping
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cake spice, I used Penzeys Spices brand

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Spray with baking spray or line with paper cups a 12 cup standard muffin pan.
  3. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and lemon zest in a large bowl.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the yogurt, milk, lemon juice, coconut flakes, eggs, coconut oil and lemon oil.
  5. Stir together until just combined, batter will be thick and fluffy.
  6. Portion the batter into the prepared muffin cups, I use a large scoop.
  7. The batter should be almost to the tops of muffin cups.
  8. Sprinkle the topping over the muffin tops.
  9. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool on a rack until muffins are cool enough to remove from pan and continue cooling on rack.
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Little Meyer Lemon Cakes

Little Meyer Lemon Cakes / Patty's FoodA belated Happy New Year to everyone!  January is the month for lists, lots and lots of lists to start planning in the new year.  I’m so busy this month but I’m happily planning a tea party for my granddaughter Gracie’s birthday coming up in February.  I’m thinking of a mother daughter tea with hats, gloves and a generous assortment of iced cakes, cookies, scones and tea.

Before I go off into the world of Meyer lemons and little cakes, I would like to thank everyone who is following my blog and especially those who take the time to leave a comment, it’s nice to know if  you’ve made one of my recipes and enjoyed it.

January is also the month when my Meyer lemon tree gives me lemons and I have to plan how I’m going to use them…so I’m off to create another list of possibilities.  But first, before I go crazy with plans for my Meyer lemons, I wanted did some experimenting with lemon cake recipes and mini cake pans today , so I’m sharing my results with you.

Little Meyer Lemon Cakes / Patty's FoodI found that I could use a large size muffin pan to make 8 mini cakes with my Meyer lemon cake recipe.  After removing the cooled muffins/cakes from the pan I trimmed the slightly rounded tops, flipped them over onto  plates and iced them with a generous tablespoon of lemony glaze.
Little Meyer Lemon Cakes / Patty's FoodI don’t think there are enough Meyer lemons on my tree for all my ideas, which include making my favorites, Meyer lemon curd and marmalade.  They are also great to have in the kitchen to use sliced in sparkling water and hot tea.  Oh-and don’t forget to use both juice and zest in salad dressings, that sounds like something I need to put on a list somewhere….happy list making to all of us and wishing you great culinary adventures in the new year!
Little Meyer Lemon Cakes / Patty's Food

Little Meyer Lemon Cakes

Yield: 8 little cakes

Ingredients

  • 2&1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1&1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into bits
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Meyer lemons, zested for cake and juiced for glaze, 1/4 teaspoon of zest also reserved for the glaze
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces crème fraîche
  • 8 ounces low fat vanilla yogurt
  • for the lemon glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Spray a large size (6) muffin pan with baking spray.
  3. Spray 2 additional small cake pans, if you have them or bake second batch (2 muffin/cakes) using same large muffin pan.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  5. Stir the lemon zest into the sugar, reserve 1/4 teaspoon of the zest for the glaze, set aside.
  6. Stir together the crème fraîche and vanilla yogurt, set aside.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed beat together the butter and lemony sugar, until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed.
  9. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  10. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon oil.
  11. On low speed beat in the flour in thirds, alternating with the crème fraîche/yogurt mixture in two additions and beating until smooth.
  12. Fill the large muffin cups about 3/4 full and smooth the tops.
  13. Bake for 32 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes away with a few light crumbs.
  14. Cool on rack for 10 minutes.
  15. Carefully remove from pans, turn upside down and continue to cool.
  16. When the cakes are completely cool, trim the bottoms to make them even and flat.
  17. to make the lemon glaze
  18. Whisk together the confectioners sugar, reserved lemon zest and juice to make a smooth pourable glaze.
  19. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon on the top of each cake, letting the glaze drip down the sides.
  20. Let rest until glaze sets.
  21. The cakes can be stored well wrapped in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
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Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust / Patty's FoodI baked my first buttermilk pie from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook.  I’ve always been curious to bake a buttermilk pie and not having a family recipe or tradition of buttermilk pie baking, I turned to this wonderful heirloom dessert cookbook for a delicious recipe.  Buttermilk pie has a unique flavor and the aroma while it bakes makes the entire house smell good.   It was tangy from the buttermilk, lemony from the lemon zest and flavorful with fresh gratings of nutmeg in the filling.  The delicate pecan crust  is perfect with the buttermilk custard filling.  If you bake this pie and you’re a pecan lover -you will love this crust.  Also don’t forget to add the sugared pecans on top for a garnish.

I know that most people are running around with a million things to accomplish during this last month of the year.  But, I like to think of myself as never too busy to bake a pie, especially a quick and easy buttermilk pie.  No fruit to mess around with, chocolate to melt or mousse to set up -this pie is perfect for busy folks looking for a comforting delicious homemade dessert.

Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust / Patty's FoodOriginally from the UK but now a Southern delicacy, buttermilk pie is a tradition that makes the plain baked custard in a cup from my childhood look ho-hum…although I did love the baked custards from back in the day at Walnut Creek’s Comptons in Emporium-Capwells.  Although, I don’t believe they used buttermilk in their custard recipe, for sure there wasn’t a pecan crust.

I like a pie recipe with history and tradition-like buttermilk pie which is sometimes referred to as ‘chess pie’, although I read that a true chess custard pie contains cornmeal which buttermilk pie does not.  I also like baking a pie that you can have fun with-like adding a warm blackberry fruit sauce or sugared pecans on top.
Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust / Patty's FoodButtermilk pie would make a delicious addition to the holiday sweet table -how fun would it be to serve a traditional dessert that tastes so good and is easy to prepare.  I like the sound of buttermilk pie and apple pie served together.  I’ll take a small slice of each please!

I love to bake pies on a cold wintry day and enjoy the buttery aromas coming from my oven.  I can’t think of a better gift for the family than to share this traditional Southern pie over the holidays.  It’s so easy to make, there’s only one thing to remember when baking and that is to remove your pie from the oven when the filling is firm and set.  Another thing I love is that it can be served slightly warm from the oven or  later after being chilled in your fridge.

Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust / Patty's FoodI hope everyone is enjoying the holidays, not getting too crazy and taking time to smell the evergreens-whenever possible!  I finished wrapping my presents -now I have to keep my grandkids from opening their packages or guessing what’s in them before the big day arrives.  I know they are excited but I want them to have something to open and be surprised by on Christmas.  I guess I could tell them that Santa says you have to wait!
Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust / Patty's Food

Buttermilk Pie with Pecan Crust from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

Yield: 8 pieces

Adapted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell.

Ingredients

  • for the crust
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned into cup and leveled off)
  • 1/3 cup of pecan pieces
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (half stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits
  • 1 large egg
  • Flour for the work surface
  • for the buttermilk filling
  • 1&1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1&1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Sugared pecans for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. to make the crust
  2. Combine the flour, pecans, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground.
  3. Add the butter and egg, pulse until the dough holds together when pinched, does not form a ball.
  4. Form a flat disk, wrap in waxed paper and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to a day. (dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months)
  5. Lightly flour the work surface before rolling the dough out to a 12" round.
  6. Place the rolled dough in a 9" pie plate and gently press into the bottom and against the sides of the pan.
  7. Trim the dough to leave a 1" overhang over the rim of the pie plate.
  8. Fold the overhang of dough back over itself to form a double layer and with your fingers crimp or press the dough down around the edges.
  9. Place back in the fridge for 1 hour before baking to reduce shrinking.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  11. Line the pie shell with parchment or foil and add pie weights before baking.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and continue to bake for 10 minutes longer until golden.
  13. Remove from oven and cool while making the buttermilk filling.
  14. Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.
  15. to make the buttermilk filling
  16. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a food processor and pulse until combined.
  17. Add the eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, lemon zest and nutmeg. Process until combined.
  18. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the warm pie shell and bake for about 55 minutes or until the filling has set and is slightly wobbly in the center.
  19. Cool on a metal rack.
  20. Serve at room temperature or chilled, garnished with pecans.
  21. Lower the oven to 325F.
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Spiced Whole Grain Ginger Cookies ~it’s a #GrainHoliday with Hodgson Mill~

Spiced Whole Grain Ginger Cookies / Patty's FoodThe nice people at Hodgson Mill sent me a box with an assortment of their products including a bag of white whole wheat flour that they asked me to use in a recipe of my choice.  I admit it-I’m not as comfortable baking with whole grains, but I took the plunge this week and baked a batch of cookies.  Just for fun I subbed the healthier whole grain into a recipe that I traditionally make using all-purpose flour.  I wanted my cookies to have a rich whole grain ginger spiced flavor, so I used 100% white whole wheat flour but feel free to substitute half all-purpose flour for a more traditional softer spiced ginger cookie.  A little experimentation in baking is fun so mixing it up with different flours should be a good thing.  I suppose the best way to start using flours that are new to you  is to play it safe  going with half all-purpose and half white whole wheat in a recipe then see how you like your results and go from there.

I had no idea that white whole wheat flour comes from a lighter tan colored wheat kernel that is actually a milder, sweeter tasting flour than red wheat.  I also didn’t have a clue that there is both a red and a white wheat.  I thought white whole wheat was made with a small amount whole wheat flour mixed in to white all-purpose flour to make it healthier.  I straightened myself out after doing a little research (reading the back of the bag of the white whole wheat flour).  I now also know that white whole wheat can be substituted for both all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour in your baking, I’m sure everyone else already knows this and that I’m one of the last ‘old-school-all-purpose-flour-bakers’ to figure it out.

Anyway, I made these whole grain cookies before I did my research and I think they turned out good, crispy with lots of spicy ginger flavor.  My taste testing husband, self-appointed head of cookie quality control, says they are good and kind of grow on you-I think that’s a compliment.  I’m kidding-these cookies are great and all lucky taste testers loved them.

I probably lost you back in the first paragraph with all my wheat flour talk but if you’re still following along then maybe you’re interested in trying a bag of Hodgson Mill White Whole Wheat Flour. Here is a link to $1 off coupon- good for any bag of Hodgson Mill flour or cornmeal or join in the “25 Days of Grain Holiday” Sweepstakes fun.
There is also a prize-pack giveaway of assorted Hodgson Mill products for one of my lucky readers, the winner can choose gluten free of whole wheat products, simply leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway and if you win…. Hodgson Mill will ship the prize directly to you.

 

Spiced Whole Grain Ginger Cookies / Patty'sFood

Spiced Whole Grain Ginger Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Adapted from Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour, I used Hodgson Mill brand
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup crystallized ginger, cut into bits
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar for rolling the cookies

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpats.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Beat in the egg, vanilla and molasses.
  5. Sift together the dry ingredients and stir in the ginger bits.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stir until just combined.
  7. Using a small 1" scoop form dough balls and roll in the raw sugar.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until puffed and browned.
  9. Cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to metal cooling racks.
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