Sweets for the Sweet

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. But who wants to catch flies?

Wild Cooking Woman

Rice Pudding with Leftover Cooked Rice

  • 1 ½ cup cooked white rice
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla paste

Instructions

  1. Place the cooked rice along with the milk, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently and gently until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the beaten egg, heavy cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and set aside.
  3. Pour the sugar into the rice mixture and stir to combine. 
  4. Stream in the heavy cream mixture, stirring constantly until combined. 
  5. When it is thickened, take the pot off the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. 
  6. Let cool for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and serve.

Just a note: I hate raisins.

Adapted from The Silly Girl’s Kitchen

Do you make pancakes? If so, be sure to get your pan or griddle hot enough before pouring out that delicious batter. How can you tell? Hold your hand over the pan – don’t touch it – and see if you can feel the heat. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the pan – if they sizzle and disappear, the pan is hot enough. Use an electric griddle or skillet heated to about 375F. Want more pancake advice? Go here or here.

Apple Fritters

I use 3-4 good cooking apples of different kinds, i.e. Granny Smith, Gala, Honey Crisp, and Cameo. I also use either apple cider or apple juice that I’ve cooked down by half instead of sparking apple cider. I like a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg. Twice as much cinnamon as nutmeg is about right. I always keep vanilla paste in case I don’t have a vanilla bean. Substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste for the vanilla bean.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3-4 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • for the glaze: 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 2-3 Tablespoons milk, half and half or cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and melted butter.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Cook the apples in the butter for about 3-5 minutes until they are partially cooked. They should be soft but now browned. Let cool and fold in the apples.
  5. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop the batter into the hot oil in small batches.
  7. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  8. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  9. Make the glaze and drizzle the glaze over the fritters, or dunk the fritters in the glaze and let drip over a rack sitting on waxed paper.

100-Hour Brownies

Ingredients

Butter mixture:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 coffee ice cube

Batter mixture:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces 75% cacao chocolate, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Chopped chocolate:

  • 3-1/2 ounces chopped milk chocolate
  • 3-1/2 ounces chopped 75% cacao chocolate
  • 6 ounces chopped 75% cacao chocolate, for the topping

Here’s the hard part: You have to wrap that pan and put it in the fridge for three days.

You read that right. These brownies get chilled for 72 hours. If you’re like me your first question is why—why do we have to wait so long?! I asked Taste Of Home Test Kitchen experts to weigh in.

I don’t have enough refrigerator space to use this way for 4 days. Read HERE to find out if these brownies are worth it.

Lemon Custard Cake

Ingredients

  • 4 cold eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
  • Zest and juice of one lemon or 1 teaspoon lemon paste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla paste (optional)

Directions

  1. Line a 2-inch tall 8×8-inch cake pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, egg yolks, melted butter, your choice of lemon , and 1/2 cup of the milk. Whisk to combine and then whisk in the remaining milk.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the liquid mixture, folding in one-third of the egg whites at a time. Be sure the liquid at the bottom of the mixing bowl is fully incorporated each time.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake the cake for 45 minutes until the top is lightly golden and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  4. Allow the cake to fully cool in the pan for at least one hour. Remove the cake from the pan, pulling it out using the sides of the parchment paper. Dust the top with powdered sugar before slicing and serving at room temperature or chilled.

Learn how to make the chocolate magic cake here.

Million Dollar Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. (The butter will become a lighter yellow color; this is an important step, as the job of the mixer is to incorporate air into the butter so the cake will rise. It will take 1 to 7 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.)
  2. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. (Again, the times will vary, and butter will turn to a fluffy white.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yellow yolk disappears.
  3. Add flour to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. (The batter should be smooth and bits of flour should be well incorporated; to rid the batter of lumps, stir gently with a rubber spatula.) Stir in extracts.
  4. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. (Use vegetable shortening or butter to grease the pan, getting every nook and cranny covered. Sprinkle a light coating of flour over the greased surface.)
  5. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

German Apple Pancake

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1 large Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady apple
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar or syrup, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place 3 large eggs and 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk in a medium bowl or blender and let come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF.
  3. Peel 1 large Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady apple. Halve and core the apple, then thinly slice.
  4. Melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the apple, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and lightly caramelized around the edges, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the batter.
  5. If mixing in the bowl, add the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl and whisk to combine, then whisk in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour until smooth. If using a blender, add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds.
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and spread the apples into a single layer. Pour the batter evenly over the apples.
  7. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until set in the center and puffed around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve dusted with powdered sugar or with maple syrup.

Just a thought: sometimes I use pears when they are in season. I buy organic, so I don’t peel the fruit. I also use about twice as much fruit as suggested. I like my puff pancake extra fruity.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Strudel With Fried Apples

Ingredients
6 Honeycrisp apples (or whatever kind you want) cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar or turbinado sugar
1 Tbsp. bacon drippings or butter or vegan butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. kosher salt (really just a small pinch)
1 tsp. all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 (17.3-oz.) pkg. frozen puff pastry sheets (such as Pepperidge Farm), thawed
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar or sparkling sugar

Directions

Step 1 Cook apples: Cook apples, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and kosher salt in a large skillet over medium, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and apples soften, about 12 minutes. Add flour to mixture; toss to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Remove from heat; let cool 20 minutes.

Step 2 Prepare puff pastry: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Roll thawed puff pastry sheet into a 14- x 9-inch rectangle on a lightly floured work surface. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Combine egg and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl; set aside.

Step 3 Cut pastry: Using scissors and starting at 1 long edge of pastry sheet, cut 2 1/2-inch-long slits, going from the edge toward the center in 1-inch intervals to yield 14 strips. Repeat process on opposite side. Spoon the cooled apple mixture evenly down the center of the pastry sheet. Lightly brush some of the egg-water mixture over the strips on both sides.

Step 4 Wrap filling: Position the pan so that 1 short edge is facing you. Starting at the short edge farthest from you, fold the top left strip over the apples at a slight angle, slightly toward you. Repeat with right strip, overlapping the left strip. Repeat with remaining strips, going from left to right to enclose the apple filling. Brush with remaining egg-water mixture, and sprinkle with granulated sugar or sparkling sugar.

Step 5 Bake strudel: Bake in preheated oven until pastry is crisp and golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Note: I don’t eat bacon so I use vegan butter. I use cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; twice as much cinnamon as nutmeg, and twice as much nutmeg as allspice. I don’t peel my apples; I use organic, pesticide-free apples.

The (Almost) Best Fudge Brownies 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 8oz/240g unsalted butter, melted and cooled (Use the highest fat butter you can find)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups (9oz/260g) white sugar
  • 1 cup (7oz/200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 (2oz/57g each) large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (3.5oz/130g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (3.5oz/100g) good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 7 oz (200g) roughly chopped chocolate or large chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 175°C | 350°F.
  • Lightly grease an 8×12-inch baking pan* with cooking oil spray. Line with parchment paper (or baking paper); set aside.
  • Combine melted butter, oil, and sugars together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until lighter in color (another minute).
  • Sift in flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until JUST combined (do NOT overbeat as doing so will affect the texture of your brownies).
  • Fold in 3/4 of the chocolate pieces.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top out evenly, and top with remaining chocolate pieces.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes for just under-done brownies (fudgier texture) or until the centre of the brownies no longer jiggles and is JUST set to the touch.OR 35-40 minutes if you like your brownies well set and firm.NOTE: Brownies will continue baking and set in the hot pan out of the oven. If testing with a toothpick, the toothpick should come out dirty for fudge-textured brownies.
  • After 15-20 minutes, carefully remove them from the pan and allow them to cool to room temperature before slicing them into 16 brownies. They set while they cool. ENJOY!

OPTIONAL ADD-INS:

  • Crushed walnuts, peanuts (not for me), almonds, pecans, etc. Chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, shredded coconut, dried fruit [I like chocolate chips or chunks and/or toasted, chopped pecans, nothing else]

STORING:

  • Store at room temperature for 3 days, or refrigerator for up to 5 days. These brownies can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving OR reheat in the microwave.

Notes

*For thicker brownies, bake in a 7×11-inch pan for 40-45 minutes. For thinner brownies, bake in a 9×13-inch pan for 18-20 minutes.

PLEASE NOTE: An 8×12-inch pan bakes the most perfect brownies — thickness and texture.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  1. Do NOT overbeat your batter once the flour and cocoa powder are added. That creates air pockets in the batter which will give you cake-like textured brownies.
  2. Please try not to overbake them. Set a timer if you need to. I like mine at exactly 23 minutes in an 8×12-inch pan. You can go a little bit over if you like them set a bit more, but I don’t recommend it if you’re looking for the fudgiest brownies in the world. Remember, they will continue to bake slightly in the hot pan once pulled out of the oven,
  3. I bake my brownies on the top shelf in the oven. I find the middle shelf cooks them a lot faster, slightly burns them on the top, and dries them out.

Apple Slab Pie

When I was a kid, I used to stop at a little bakery at the foot of the stairs leading up to the train that would take me downtown to the library. I saved my money just to buy a piece of this delish pie every Saturday. When I got older and began traveling, one of the joys of going to Germany was to stop at Kamp’s bakery at the airport or train station and buy a piece or two of this same pie! This is the bomb!

Ingredients

For the Pastry:
5 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 large egg yolks, beaten
1 ¼ cup water

For the Filling:
12-14 apples (14 cups peeled, cored and sliced)
1 cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
Dash of kosher salt
2 teaspoons nutmeg, divided
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

For the Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ Tablespoons milk (more to thin if necessary)
Dash kosher salt
½ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add cubed
    butter and combine with a pastry blender until the dough begins to form
    crumbs. Using your hands, continue to work the dough until it begins to hold
    together when squeezed.
  2. Add beaten egg yolks and water and combine with a spoon or spatula until
    the dough comes together in a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. While the pastry dough is chilling, make the filling by peeling, coring, and thinly
    slicing apples into an extra-large mixing bowl.
  4. Combine the sugar, flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, and salt in
    a small bowl and sprinkle over the sliced apples, tossing to coat.
  5. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon nutmeg in a small
    dish and set aside.
  6. After dough is done chilling, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  7. Divide the dough into 2 equal halves, one for the bottom crust and one for the
    top. Roll out the dough for the bottom crust on a lightly floured surface or silpat
    so that it’s just slightly larger than the jelly roll pan (10-inch x 15-inch x 1-inch
    pan). This will allow for the extra that you will need to crimp the crust edge
    closed.
  8. To easily transfer the crust to the jelly roll pan, use the rolling pin and roll the
    crust back onto it.
  9. Unroll the crust off the rolling pin and onto the jelly roll pan, allowing the extra
    to drape over the sides and ends. If needed, press the crust into the corners.
  10. Using a slotted spoon, add and evenly spread the apple filling into the
    crust. There will be a lot of filling and the apples will seem like they’re piled
    quite high, but they will cook down during baking.
  11. Sprinkle the additional cinnamon nutmeg mixture over the apple filling. Dot the
    top of the filling with butter.
  12. Roll out the second half of the dough in the same manner as the first half,
    making sure to make the top crust big enough to cover the piled apple
    filling. Transfer the top crust using the rolling pin method.
  13. Pinch the edges of the crust together by rolling it and tucking it so that it is on
    the inside edge of the jelly roll pan. Using the tines of a fork, press the 2 crusts
    together and seal the edge all the way around. Prick the top of the crust with a
    fork to allow the filling to vent during baking.
  14. Place foil or a larger cookie sheet on the rack underneath the jelly roll pan to
    catch any drips that may occur during baking.
  15. Bake at 425℉ for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350℉
    and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Cool completely before adding the icing.
  16. For the icing, stir all ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle
    over the top.

A few thoughts: You can use Pillsbury’s ready-to-use pie crusts from the grocery store refrigerator case instead of making the crust. I use two packages, using one crust for the bottom and 2 for the top. (I have some crust lovers who eat at my table.) I use a variety of apples, like Gala, Honey Crisp, and Granny Smith, and I always make about 50% more icing, because I love icing, even though it doesn’t love me. I don’t drizzle the icing, I cover the entire pie in icing.

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