Valentines Day Dessert Guide

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I smell sex and Candy, By Marcy Playground is playing right now as I type this, coincidence?? It’s funny because this is my ode to Valentines Day post….

Aside from my music playing in the background, The sweetest holiday (maybe the saddest for some), is this Friday. I’m pretty simple to please when it comes to Valentines day and this is why: I don’t really like box chocolates like I used to. Most are overpriced and have too much sugar and other artificial crap in them. I don’t care to dine out for dinner on Valentines day because even if I were able to get a reservation, the place would be too busy for me, lots of loud noise and slow service. Also, lets not forget I work in a kitchen and will be stuck working  on Friday anyways. While I do love flowers, I don’t really care to receive them because after about a week they begin to look sad as they slowly die and that makes me sad.

So if you’re going to do anything for me on Valentines day to win my heart and make me happy, make me something sweet from your kitchen. I love cookies and chocolate, hint, hint. I’ve put together a list of some of the desserts from my blog that are excellent to make for your sweetheart this weekend. If you want my advise for giving the best gift, make a card from scratch, write the nicest message to your love, and tie it to a box of one of these specially made home goods with love. Anything from scratch automatically wins my affection ❤

For The Love of Sweets!

Pies/Cakes:

I don’t know about you, but I am always down to get into some good pie and or cake even when it’s not my birthday!

Pie Dough: There is nothing wrong with baking a pie for the one you love. Use this recipe for your basic pie dough and fill it with your favorite flavors. Bake me away!

Grain Free Crust: If someone you love has a Gluten allergy or is 86ing gluten from their life, no worries, use this crust instead!

Spiced Carrot Cake: I absolutely LOVE carrot cake. I LOVE it so much this is the recipe being used for my wedding cake! If your looking to blow the mind of your sweetheart, bake this cake. Moist and very tasteful!

Angel Food Cake: A very heavenly treat! I love eating this cake with fresh cut strawberries, ice cream and or whipped cream! You’ll feel like your on cloud 9 after one bite!

Cookies:

Snickerdoodles: (GF/Refined Sugar Free/Vegan) These little guys are made from almond flour, but that’s okay because they are still pretty great!

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Thin Mints: If you missed your local girl scout this year, don’t worry, I got you covered! & seriously, who doesn’t LOVE thin mints!?!?

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Peanut Butter Blossoms: Peanut butter and chocolate, nuff said!

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Cocoa Cookies: This is my fiance’s personal favorite cookie.

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Macarons: This recipe is a bit harder to make, but once complete they are worth the struggle. These also make awesome ice cream sandwiches!

Chocolates:

Truffles: (Dairy Free/Vegan/GF) This is probably the easiest and fastest recipe on here. 2 of my favorite kinds!

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Almond Joys: (Gluten Free/Vegan) My favorite candy and this is my number 1 pick for Valentines day. Just like the candy except way way better for you!

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Misc. Desserts:

Coconut Rice Pudding: (Vegan/GF/Dairy Free/Refined Sugar Free) Another really good dish to make! Carmelized bananas really make this dish!

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Cannolis: No caption necessary!

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Happy Valentines day to all my followers out there!

Love, Amanda! xoxo

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Basic Pie Dough

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Its a wonderful 25 degrees outside with a wind chill of 11. A light coating of snow is on the ground and the sky is grey. With that said, I think winter has finally arrived. This time of year is very popular in baking for the holidays and I can’t wait to share some baked goods and recipes for the gluttons out there reading this.

I’m keeping those post short and sweet. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I have a ton of cooking and baking I still need to get done before I head off to work for the evening. If you’re planning to make a pie (perhaps a pumpkin or apple) I really recommend you make your own pie dough. If you’re in a hurry or really can’t find the time to do so and decide to get the pillsbury ready pie crusts then no worries. You know how I am with making everything from scratch. You can make this dough ahead of time and freeze it until future use. This only takes about an hour and half to make (most of the time goes into the dough resting in the fridge). You will be happy you took the extra time to make the dough yourself in the end.

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Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 Minutes

Mise en Place:

-2 1/2 Cups AP Flour

-1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Sugar

-16 Tablespoons Butter (2 Sticks), cut in chunks

-1/4-1/2 Cup Ice Water

Method of Prep:

-In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine dry ingredients. Blend in the butter until flaky.

-Slowly add water until the dough forms. (You can switch to the dough hook attachment if you find that works easier.)

-Roll the dough into a ball and cover in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling to make it easier when rolling.

Enjoy!

**I usually par bake my crust before inserting pie filling. Just bake about 20 minutes or until lightly colored on 350 degrees. If you choose not to do so, just bake according to pie recipe instructions.

Apple Crumble

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My Grandmother seriously makes the best apple pie in the world. I finally got the recipe from her to share on the blog so everyone can use it for the holidays. I changed the recipe up a wee bit because her recipe is very sweet (lots of granulated sugar in it). I switched to brown sugar and instead of using a pie dough recipe, I made a (grain free) crust which is why I’m calling this recipe a crumble and not a pie. You will understand when you see the texture after its done cooking.

I will include both recipes (Grandma’s and mine) in this post. If your not into the grain free eating trend or could give ten shits less about how much sugar you’re consuming, then you can use the original recipe.

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Grain Free/Gluten Free/Low sugar/Dairy Free/Vegan

 

Mise en Place:

Crust:

-2 C Almond Flour

-2 T Maple Syrup

-1/4 C coconut oil, melted

-1/2 t Baking Soda

-1/2 t Ground Cinnamon

-Dash Nutmeg

1/8 t Salt

Apple Filling:

-3/4 C Brown Sugar

-2 t Cinnamon

-6 Apples, Peeled and sliced

 

Topping:

-1/2 C Brown Sugar

-1/3 C Butter

-1/4 C Almonds, chopped

1/2 C Cashews, chopped

 

Method of prep:

-Set oven at 350 degrees.

-Mix all the crust ingredients together. Press firmly into greased pie pan. Bake 15 minutes until crust is golden brown.

-Take the sliced apples and mix them together with the filling ingredients.

-Once crust is finished, allow to cool to room temp. Pour apple filling onto crust. fill the pan up as high as it will go. (Don’t worry about there being too many apples, as the pie cooks, the apples will shrink and sink.)

-Take the ingredients for the topping and mix together in a bowl. Crumble up by hand. Spread the crumble on top of the apples evenly.

-Turn oven up to 450 and bake for 10 minutes.

-After 10 minutes, turn oven back down to 350 and bake an additional 45 minutes.

-Pull out and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pairs great with vanilla ice cream!

Enjoy!

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For Grandmas not (Gluten free) version:

Apple mix (filling):

-See above

 

Topping:

-1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

3/4 Cup AP Flour

-1/3 Cup Butter, cut into cubes

 

Method of prep:

-Follow the instructions above on how to assemble. Use a recipe for a regular pie dough instead of my grain free crust.

-Bake @ 450 for 10 minutes and 350 for 45 minutes.

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Snickerdoodles {With Almond flour}

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Cinnamon and sugar is too good to say no to. Aside from monkey bread, snickerdoodles (I love that word) are the next best thing to coat in lots of sugary cinnamon-anamany (new word not yet added into the dictionary) love.

With my arthritis, I’ve been cutting back on consuming gluten. I for the most part, avoid bread and pasta and try to substitute gluten free flours in my baking or gluten free products when cooking or snacking if at all possible. It’s been a pretty tough challenge but the inflammation has reduced a lot in the area of my foot where my arthritis is located since removing gluten. My biggest struggle in gluten free eating is cookies next to sandwiches. I love gluten free bread so that change isn’t too terrible ( except when I’m out to eat and they don’t have a gf bread option) but gluten free cookies aren’t that great. I had a horrible experience a few weeks ago when I tried to make (GF) chocolate chips cookies. I had accidentally used chick pea flour which I thought was regular (GF) flour. Needless to say those cookies were awful.

Thanks to the food blog A Comfy Belly, I was able to find a recipe with an awesome gluten free substitution for snickerdoodle cookies. It’s probably been 5 years since I’ve last eaten a snickerdoodle and when I saw this (GF) recipe I had to try it. The results are awesome! If you like a chewy cookie that’s been coated in cinnamon sugar then this recipe is for you! By the way, these make awesome ice cream sandwiches with vanilla! 🙂

 

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Gluten Free/refined sugar free/Vegan {omit butter}

Recipe Credit: A comfy Belly

Mise en Place:

-2 Cups Almond Flour

-1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

-1/4 Teaspoon Salt

-3 Tablespoons Butter OR Coconut Oil

-1/3 Cup Honey OR maple syrup

-1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract

-1 Tablespoon ground Cinnamon

-1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar OR Maple sugar

 

Method of Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

-In a separate bowl, cream the butter, vanilla and honey.

-Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend until evenly combined.

-If the batter is a bit soft to handle, place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

-Prepare 2 sheet trays lined with parchment paper.

-Mix together in another small bowl the cinnamon and sugar until well incorporated.

-Roll a tablespoon of dough into your hands. Roll the dough ball in the cinnamon and sugar mixture until evenly coated on the outside.

-Place the dough on the cookie sheet, spacing about an inch apart and flatten with the underside of a jar or glass (I just used my finger tips).

-Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden brown.

-Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Enjoy!

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Sweet Corn Ice Cream

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I scream, you scream,  we all scream for ice cream!

Yeah we all know that little jingle and I never really understood it. Why are we screaming for ice cream? that’s not necessary. Unless your 6 years old and your parents tell you no because it before dinner. Then by all means throw a tantrum, kick and scream until you get that damn ice cream!

I’m back to blogging after taking 2 weeks off to work on the site (which I hope you noticed!) and test out more recipes. If you love tofu stay tuned because I have a few good recipes coming this way shortly.

Bad news is summer is coming to an end. I hope that if you had off the last few months from school or work you enjoyed it because it’s back to reality for you. Good news is, fall is around the corner which means Halloween, cooler weather, colors of leaves changing on the trees, sweatshirts and football! Before summer ends, head to the nearest farmers market or grocery store and pick up the last of the corn for the season. This is the best time to get it and make what may be your last batch of ice cream! I’ve discovered that (local) honey and blueberries garnished on top of this ice cream is amazing.

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Yield: 1 Quart

Recipe adapted from: Shiho Yoshikawa, Executive Ice cream Chef at Sweet Rose Creamery

Mise en Place:

-3 Ears Corn, shucked

-1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk

-2 Cups Heavy Cream

-1 Tablespoon Honey

-1/2 Teaspoon Salt

-1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

-5 Egg Yolks

 

Additional Tools:

-Ice Cream machine

-pot

-Ice bath

-Vita mix or blender

-Mesh Strainer

 

Method of Prep:

-Shave the kernels off and keep the cobs.

-In a large sauce pan, bring milk, cream, honey, kernels and cob to a boil. Turn off the heat and let infuse for 30 minutes.

-Discard the cobs.

-In a blender, puree the mixture until smooth, approximately 3 minutes.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

-Whisk together sugar and yolk to a pale creamy color in a bowl. Slowly pour blended corn mixture into the sugared yolk mixture while whisking.

-Put the mixture back into the pot. Cook over low/medium heat. Bring to a custard (165 degrees).

-Strain into another bowl and cool over an ice bath. Chill overnight in the refrigerator.

-Next day, churn it according to the directions on your ice cream maker.

Enjoy!

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