Margarita Cookies

June 28, 2012

So I just caught Jose staring at me again. Really. I’m just sitting here minding my own business and my old friend, Mr. Cuervo, just won’t leave me be. Well, maybe it’s actually like my eyes keep going to him. Hmmm… perhaps it’s a reflection of the kind of day I’ve had. I was in the Target (need I say more…) and unbeknownst to me, it was “take your shrilly shrieking kids shopping with you” day. Yeah, you know what I mean. The good Lord hasn’t blessed us with children yet, so I’m not sure about this theory, but I think the folks to whom those little pterodactyls belong eardrums have already toughened up…or perhaps split. Maybe there is some sort gene that clicks on once you’ve become a parent that involves a personal sound dampening field. I don’t know, but they don’t seem to hear them wailing their way up and down the aisles like a banshee choir. Those of us without the little buggers at home are a bit more sensitive to their cacophony of sounds and react accordingly by reaching for the tequila.

That being said, I do really seem to be craving something citrus-y, sweet and salty. Maybe I should just give in and whip up a Margarita, right now at a mere 2 o’clock in the afternoon. It’s a thought…be then again, perhaps I could be a bit more crafty about my alcohol consumption – mind you, not that I have a problem or anything – still appearances must be kept up, if you know what I mean. I think I’ll just grab that bottle of Cuervo Gold and make up a batch of Margarita Cookies. Everyone has a little coffee/cookie break in the middle of the afternoon right? Nothin wrong with that!

These cookies have  a medicinal quality about them. They contain that most special of nerve soothing ingredients, namely tequila. And they are also delightfully filled with lime and orange flavours and coated with sanding sugar and Maldon sea salt. Yum! Salty sweet shortbread-like cookies! They really hit the spot. Definitely improved my outlook on life in general. Perhaps these cookies mood boosting properties were enhanced somewhat when I sampled a shot or two of the tequila before mixing it into the recipe. Hey! Every good cook tastes things along the way. Am I right? Anyway, I think you’ll find these cookies quite refreshing! Give them a try today and avoid Target as best you can.

Margarita Cookies

recipe from: Smitten Kitchen

yield: 40 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons tequila
  • Grated zest of 2 limes
  • Grate zest of half an orange
  • 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

Coating:

  • Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or other coarse sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt

Directions:

Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and orange zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok–just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar/salt mixture gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. [Smitten Kitchen note: To get the sugar/salt mixture to stick better, move the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you'd see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly.] (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It’s fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Enjoy!


Chocolate Orange Banana Rum Muffins

June 22, 2012

Chocolate Orange Banana Rum Muffins! I don’t know if these are for breakfast or dessert. (I think the answer is “yes!”) They are wonderfully moist and bursting with flavour. I was skeptical of the chocolate/orange combination for a long time. Remember those chocolate oranges? I wouldn’t go anywhere near them for years, but once I finally tried it, I was sold. I already knew that the banana/rum combination was a winner!

Throwing them all together in these muffins, well I just knew I couldn’t go wrong! Oh, and did I mention they are chock full of white chocolate as well? They sure are!

I found the recipe (sans the Rum) on Rock Recipes, a great blog from St. John’s, Newfoundland (“The Rock”), Canada – Gorgeous recipes from a gorgeous spot!

St. John’s is one of my favourite places. Jay & I try to head up there every summer to escape the oppressive Virginia heat, which is in full swing this week. It has come very close to hitting triple digits in the past two days. And oh yeah, the humidity is here as well. I tell you, I just wake up in a bad mood knowing I have to drag the poor dog out for a walk in weather like that. That’s why I need something incredibly delicious for breakfast. You know, something to sooth my summer frayed nerves after my morning stroll on the sun.

Lucky for me, my air conditioner is a real champ. It’s working overtime to cool me down so that  I can enjoy my luscious Chocolate Orange Banana Rum Muffins with a nice cup of coffee, while I dream of moving up to St. John’s next summer!

Chocolate Orange Banana Rum Muffins

recipe adapted from: Rock Recipes

yield: 20 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • zest of one orange, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Rum
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup good quality cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line muffin tins with 20 cupcake liners. Set aside.
Beat sugar and oil in a bowl until well combined. Add eggs, orange zest, mashed banana and rum. Mix well.
Sift together dry ingredients and fold into banana mixture alternately with orange juice.
Fold in the white chocolate chunks.
Pour batter into lined muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center which comes out clean is the best indicator that the cupcakes are fully baked.
Place on rack to cool.
Enjoy!

Oreo Key Lime Pie

June 18, 2012

All those Meyer Lemon dishes that I just did recently got me thinking about summer-y citrus desserts. Key Lime Pie quickly came to mind. Key Limes are found throughout the Florida Keys. They are smaller than the usual Persian Limes you find in the grocery store. Their pale yellow hued juice is also more tart and they are more aromatic than other limes. I picked up a bag of them last week and decided to whip up a pie.

Key Lime Pies usually have a graham cracker crust, which I was all ready to do. But then I spied that bag of Oreo Cookies just staring right back at me. I couldn’t resist them and ended up going with a Oreo Cookie Crust instead of the traditional graham cracker. The crust came together very easily, just popped those cookies in the old food processor, gave them a few whirrs, added some melted butter, pressed the butter/crumb mixture into the pie plate and baked for 10 minutes. That sorted, I turned to making the filling. Let me say right now, I am proud that I actually did take the time to juice fresh key limes for this pie. I feel it gave me more of the authentic key lime pie making experience (though come to think of it,  I didn’t crush the cookies by hand and didn’t feel that gave me less of an authentic cookie pie crust making experience. Hmmm…) That being said, I don’t know if I would do it this way again. I had to juice like 18 of those little guys to get 1/2 cup of juice. I hear they sell bottled Key Lime Juice. Awesome! Sounds like a great time saver to me for next time. However, if you are looking to do an act of penance, perhaps juicing key limes would be just the thing for it. Other than the juice issue, the filling comes together very easily as well. You bake the pie for 15-20 minutes and then refrigerate it for at least one hour before you wish to serve it.

We were quite pleased with this pie. The crunchy, sweet Oreo Cookie Crust went along wonderfully with the creamy sweet and tart lime filling. On a hot, humid summer day, as so many of them are around these parts, there is nothing more refreshing than a thick slice of chilled Key Lime Pie topped with freshly whipped cream.

Oreo Key Lime Pie

yield: 8 slices

Ingredients:

  • 32 Oreo cookies, crumbled
  • 7 Tablespoons Butter
  • 14 ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 Cup freshly squeezed Key Lime Juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°  F.

Mix Oreo cookie crumbs and butter until well blended. Press mixture into an 8-inch pie dish. Bake crust for 10 minutes, rotating half way through baking. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

Combine the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix well.  Pour  mixture into cooled Oreo cookie shell.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight before serving.

Serve with freshly whipped cream.

Enjoy!


Heavenly Pepperoni Rolls

June 14, 2012

Pepperoni Rolls – The State Food of West Virginia. Who knew, aside from all those folks who live in the good old Mountain State?!! Let me tell you, they’ve been harbouring an unbelievably delicious secret that I’d like to let ya’ll in on. They have Pepperoni Rolls there and once you cross the state line, you’ll find them everywhere, bakeries, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, you name it! What is a Pepperoni Roll you may ask. It is a soft white yeast roll which is stuffed with pepperoni, cheese and possibly some peppers.

It is similar to a Stromboli, yet the bread is different. Softer and sweeter. And lest you commit this blasphemy, I have been informed it is a grievous faux pax to refer to them as “Pizza Rolls”. They are not. They are Pepperoni Rolls.

I myself was unaware of this delicacy, until quite recently. It seems that West Virginia saw a large influx of Italian immigrants, who arrived to work int he coal mines in the early 20th Century. They often took Pepperoni Rolls into the mines with them for lunch, much as the miners in Cornwall would take pasties.(another favourite of mine) Pepperoni Rolls were great for this since they were quite portable and required no refrigeration.

My husband, pup and I have been going to West Virginia – Fayetteville, in particular – for several years. Fayetteville (population 2, 754) is a great town. In fact, in 2006 Budget Travel Magazine named it one of the Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America. You’ll find it nestled right there on the New River Gorge. The scenery is just stunning.

The folks are very friendly and there is lots of outdoorsy things to do, white water rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking. Although it is a small town, it boasts several wonderful restaurants. Our favourites are DiOGi”s (awesome Latin Cuisine), Pies and Pints (wouldn’t miss their handcrafted pizza) and the Cathedral Cafe (whole wheat pancakes to die for!). When we visit, which isn’t nearly as often as I’d like, we rent a little cabin tucked away in the woods (with a hot tub, of course…) (Opossum Creek Retreat) and spend our time, when we’re not soaking in that tub, hiking around the trails along the New River Gorge. (we need to do something to burn off all that yummy food) As a matter of fact, the banner picture at the top of this blog was taken in Fayetteville on one of our hikes. Here are a few more from our recent jaunt:

We were just there last month and I was excited to find that there was a relatively new bakery in town, Wild Flour Bakery, which is known for its Pepperoni Rolls. So we stopped by and grabbed a couple to take along on our hike. They were delicious. So when I came home, I started looking around for a recipe so that we could have them even when we weren’t visiting West Virginia. Well, I found a winning recipe on Martha J. Miller’s blog. Martha, who is originally from West Virginia, shared this phenomenal recipe for her Pepperoni Rolls. And they are exactly as described in their name…utterly heavenly! I think it’s the bread that puts these rolls over the top. Often Pepperoni Roll bread can be rather heavy. You eat one roll and feel like it is sitting in your stomach for days. This bread is slightly sweet, buttery and very light. Dangerous in a way because it allows you to reach for that second, no third…anyone having a fourth?….Pepperoni Roll. Be aware that this is a yeast bread creation, so you need to plan ahead when you bake these little devils, what with all the rising times and all. I love them so much, I just might be planning my “Pepperoni Roll” making days out for a year in advance. Time well spent in my opinion. As I’ve said so many times…good things come to those who wait! And these rolls are that goooooooood!!!

Heavenly Pepperoni Rolls

Recipe From: Martha J. Miller

Yields: 20 rolls

Ingredients:

For the bread:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packages instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 9-10 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

For the Filling:

  • 3 packages sliced pepperoni (about 12 sliced per roll)
  • 2 cups shredded Provolone
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • Banana Pepper Rings (optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted for brushing

Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat until just before it comes to a boil. Do not let the milk boil. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, oil, salt and 3/4 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of stand mixer combine the two packages of yeast, sugar and warm cup of water. Stir gently with a fork to break up any clumps and let stand 5 minutes or until mixture becomes bubbly. Pour the lukewarm milk mixture into the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine.

On low-speed, begin to slowly add the flour, one cup at a time until a loose dough forms. There is no precise measurement for the flour as it will vary depending on your individual environment’s humidity, elevation, etc. but it will be somewhere between 9 to 10 cups. The finished dough will be slightly sticky and slack, but still hold together well.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead, incorporating more flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and the counter top. Knead by hand for 6 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, gently poke your finger into the dough and if the indentation remains but slowly comes back, you have kneaded long enough. Place dough in a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm draft-free place and let rise until dough doubles, about 2 hours.

Line 4-5 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Punch down the proofed dough gently to deflate and place on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 oz pieces using a kitchen scale or just eyeball it. This should yield about 18 – 20 pieces. With a rolling pin, gently roll each piece into a rectangle, about 3 inches x 2 inches. Place sliced pepperoni in rows 4 by 3 across on dough and sprinkle with a handful of cheese and banana peppers if you like.

Shape the rolls by folding in one long edge followed by the 2 short sides, and then rolling up like a burrito. Seal the edge firmly by pressing the seam into the counter with your palm or pitching shut with your fingers. Continue with remaining dough and place rolls on prepared sheet pans, about 2 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise till doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 3 slits in the top of each roll to allow steam to escape. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through to make sure they brown evenly. Remove from the oven and brush immediately with a generous amount of melted butter. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Rolls will keep well for about 2 days in an airtight container or freeze in bags for up to 2 months. To thaw, remove from freezer and let sit at room temperature until thawed. Reheat in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!


Campfire Delight Cupcakes

June 11, 2012

“This is the best chocolate cupcake I’ve ever eaten!” Yup. Thus sayeth my husband after just one bite of these Campfire Delight Cupcakes. He followed these words with, “It is sort of like what I was always hoping those Hostess Cupcakes would taste like, except they never did.” It is true, these cupcakes are amazingly delicious! Very high up there on my favourite list as well.

They’re sort of like a s’more, hence the “campfire” thing, but without the graham cracker bit.  And I do really dig s’mores, but I gotta say, these are better! The chocolate cake part of this creation is wonderful, very moist, rich and tender. The toasted marshmallow filling in the center is sweet, creamy decadence and the malted chocolate frosting is light, fluffy perfection.

And perched right up on top sits a malted milk ball! I love those little devils!

I found this winner of a cupcake recipe on the Bitchin Kitchen blog. It seems that she found it originally on Sweetapolita’s site. What I was amazed to find was that Sweetapolita had originally made these cupcakes as a 6 Layer cake! Mercy! Now, I am a confirmed cupcake fan, let there be no doubt. But that cake looks pretty dang impressive. I may have to give it a whirl, probably sooner than later cuz folks around here have gone a bit mad for these tasty treats!

Campfire Delight Cupcakes

recipe from: A Bitchin Kitchen

yields: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup black coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line your cupcake tins with paper liners.

Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, add all the wet ingredients. With your mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix for 2 minutes. The batter will be quite soupy – this is ok!

Pour batter into the prepared cupcake tins, filling just slightly more than halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Cool cupcakes in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, and then remove from pan to cool completely.

While you’re waiting for the cupcakes to cool, make your filling.

For the Filling:

  • 8 large marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces Marshmallow Fluff
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Arrange the marshmallows on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place baking sheet on lower rack of your oven, and toast marshmallows under the broiler until they are golden brown. Keep an eye on them since they burn very quickly. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until well blended. Add vanilla and mix on high for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, and mix until well combined. (Bitchin Kitchen recommends that you mix the filling by hand. Seems they had a bad experience when trying to mix the filling with a hand mixer. I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment and had no problems.)

When your cupcakes are cool, cut a small portion out of the middle with a paring knife, an apple corer or one made especially for cupcakes. Using a small piping tip, fill the hollowed out portion of the cupcake with the marshmallow filling.

For the Frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup icing sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Classic Ovaltine
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar slowly, about 2-3 Tablespoons at a time. Mix until well combined. Add in vanilla and Ovaltine, continue to beat until combined. Add in the melted chocolate, and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Beat in whipping cream on medium high speed for about 2 more minutes. Add more sugar as needed to reach piping consistency.

Frost cooled, filled cupcakes with frosting, garnish with chocolate sprinkles and a Whopper candy, if desired. These cupcakes are best enjoyed at room temperature, so make sure to remove them from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to eating.

Enjoy!


Spicy Pork & Chorizo Breakfast Biscuits

June 8, 2012

These Spicy Pork & Chorizo Breakfast Biscuits have got it going on! All of the makings of a fantastic breakfast; spicy sausage meat, fluffy scrambled eggs and salty hash browns, cradled right there between a flaky, buttery biscuit. Perfect when lazing about on a slow weekend morning, but also portable for those of you whose weekends are a bit more action packed!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a great recipe for Spicy Pork & Chorizo Sliders. They were really great! We just couldn’t stop thinking about eating more of them. That’s when I decided I could serve them for breakfast with just a few tiny changes. I whipped up a batch of Buttermilk Biscuits (fantastic recipe listed below), prepared some frozen hash browns, scrambled up some eggs and grilled up a fresh batch of Pork & Chorizo sliders. I put them all together and Voilá! – A most delicious breakfast biscuit was born! These aren’t big, honking biscuits, like those Pillsbury Grands for instance. They are rather petite, ( 2 1/2″) so they fit the slider sized burgers perfectly. I suppose you could make larger biscuits and correspondingly larger Pork & Chorizo patties, but there is something fun about the smaller appetizer like size. But to each his own. Feel free to do whatever makes you happy! (and these Breakfast Biscuits will definitely put a bit of spring in your step!) We were already in love with these spicy little sliders, and just jonesing for more, so making them work for another meal was just the perfect idea. Not to mention, who doesn’t love flaky, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside Buttermilk Biscuits?!!  Including the hash browns put this creation over the top!  Get your weekend off to a great start with these Spicy Pork & Chorizo Breakfast Biscuits.

Spicy Pork & Chorizo Breakfast Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 batch of Spicy Pork & Chorizo Sliders
  • 16 frozen potato hash brown rounds – (I used McCain’s Homestyle Baby Cakes frozen hash browns – you could also certainly prepare home made potato hash browns if you’re feeling industrious)
  • Scrambled eggs ( about 8-9 eggs for 16 biscuits)
  • 1 batch Buttermilk Biscuits (recipe below – or store-bought if you’re feeling less industrious)

I’m sure ya’ll don’t really need directions on how to construct these Breakfast Biscuits, but here goes…

Directions:

Prepare half of the recipe for Spicy Pork & Chorizo Sliders (or double the biscuit recipe – depends on how many you’re serving :) ) Preheat your grill.

Prepare the hash browns according to the package directions. Set aside and keep warm.

While the hash browns are cooking, prepare the buttermilk biscuits according to the recipe listed below.

While the biscuits are on the cooling rack, grill the Pork & Chorizo Sliders. Set aside and keep warm.

Scramble the eggs.

Assemble your biscuits.

Enjoy!

Buttermilk Biscuits

Yield: Sixteen 2 1/2″ Biscuits

Recipe from: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups ( 7 1/2 oz/235 gram) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 grams) cake flour or white pastry flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup ( 4 oz./ 125 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Cup (8 fl. oz./ 250 ml) well-chilled buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Process briefly to mix. Add the butter and using short pulses, mix the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk all at once, and pulse just to moisten all the ingredients. The dough will stiffen during mixing. It should be slightly shaggy, but not overly sticky or wet. Do not overmix the dough.

Sprinkle a work surface with cake flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the work bowl and turn out the dough; it will be very soft. Sprinkle the top with cake flour. With floured hands, gently knead the dough just a few times. Pat the dough into a loose rectangle about 1 1/2 ” thick. With a plastic dough scraper or large silicone spatula, fold the rectangle like a letter, overlapping the short sides in the middle to make 3 layers. Roll or pat out the dough as needed to prevent sticking. Using a 2 1/2″ inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour cut out the biscuits by pushing the cutter straight down and lifting up without twisting. Cut as close together as possible for a minimum of scraps. Pack together and reroll the scraps to cut out additional biscuits.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake the biscuits until firm to the touch and the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 15 – 18 minutes. Place on rack to cool.


Rum Drenched Lemon Loaf Cakes

June 6, 2012

I told you that I had something yummy in mind when I made up that batch of Meyer Lemon Curd. As if the curd wasn’t fabulous enough, all on its lonesome, I thought it would be even better if I slathered it over the top of Rum Drenched Lemon Loaf Cake and then added some fresh fruit and whipped cream. Have Mercy! This dessert was unbelievably delicious. So fresh and light. Perfect summer dessert! Now I must admit, Dorie Greenspan’s Rum Drenched Lemon Loaf Cakes can stand up all on their own. I’m sure nobody would be complaining if they were served a gorgeous slice of this cake, completely unadorned.

It has a wonderful texture and fresh lemon zing. The rum glaze that it is drenched in is not too shabby either. Excellent with a cup of tea. But since I had the Meyer Lemon Curd and some fresh fruit, I just couldn’t resist dressing it up a bit more.

These loaf cakes are quite easy to make, so if you’ve already made some curd, why not whip up a couple of these cakes to go along with it? You won’t be sorry!

Rum Drenched Lemon Loaf Cakes

recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours

Ingredients:

For the Cakes:

  • 2 2/3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/3 Cups sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 2 Meyer Lemons
  • 6 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 2/3 Cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons dark Rum
  • 1 stick plus 7 tablespoons (15 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Rum Syrup:

  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup dark Rum

Directions:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350° F. Butter two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x2 1/2-inch loaf pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pans on an insulated baking sheet or two regular sheets stacked on top of the other.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

Put the sugar, the pulp from the vanilla bean and the lemon zest in a large bowl and, working with your fingers, rub them together until the sugar is moist and thoroughly imbued with the fragrance of vanilla and lemon. (If you are using vanilla extract, add it later, after you’ve added the eggs.) Add the eggs and whisk them into the sugar, beating until they are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the extract, if you are using it, then whisk in the cream, followed by the Rum. Continuing with the whisk or switching to a large rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 to 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. ( As soon as the cakes go into the oven, make the syrup.) After about 30 minutes in the oven, check the cakes for colour – if they are browning too quickly, cover them lightly with foil tents.

For the syrup:

Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Rum. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and let cool.

When the cakes are done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding them and turning them right side up on the rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper and, using a thin skewer poke holes all over the cskes. brush the cakes all over with the syrup, working slowly so that the cakes sop it up. Leave the cakes on the rack to cool to room temperature.

Top slice of the cake with Meyer Lemon Curd, fresh fruit of your choosing and whipped cream or perhaps a scoop of ice cream.

Enjoy!


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