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Posts Tagged ‘dessert recipes’

Summer Fest: Plum Good Sweets

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Hedy Goldsmith's Plum Upside-Down Cake

Our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2012 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Fresh this week: plums.

Summer is stone fruit season and plums are just one of the many delicious fruit varieties that you’ll see at the market right now. Its sweet and tart flavor make it the ideal ingredient for cakes, cobblers and compotes.

Here are our favorite plum recipes to bake up right now:

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Sifted: The Sweet Tooth Edition

Cookie Dough Waffles by Dine and Dish

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. Are you a cookie dough fanatic? Dine and Dish added some to her waffles for an irresistible breakfast.
  2. Tastespotting introduces the over-the-top (but fascinating) doughnut ice cream sandwich. Oh, it’s also dipped in chocolate.
  3. Swap chocolate chips for Oreo bits in your next batch of baked goodies. If you’re a fan of cookies ‘n cream, Cathy’s Kitchen Journey’s recipe is a keeper.
  4. Sweet roasted cherries are a match made in heaven for rich, fudgy brownies. Tracey’s Culinary Adventures promises the additional 10 minutes required for roasting the cherries is well worth it.
  5. Brownies aren’t just for the chocolate lover. Une Gamine dans la Cuisine is a big proponent of these sweet and refreshing lemon brownies.

Craving more?

5 Easy Ways to Salt-ify Summer Sweets

Sweet Corn

Toss roasted or grilled sweet corn in sugar syrup for a surprisingly addictive ice cream topping.

Remember when salted caramel was considered a culinary novelty? What about when bacon chocolate chip cookies were avant-garde? With maple bacon cupcakes and salted caramel milkshakes now on the menu, it’s easy to forget that not long ago sprinkling sea salt over anything sweet was a little bit brave.

If you’re daydreaming about Pineapple Upside Cake with Hawaiian Sea Salt right about now, you’re not alone — we are too. It’s summer and we’re hooked on the whole sweet and savory thing ourselves.  In fact, just thinking about all the clever and complex summer pairings that have yet to make it mainstream has our sweet (and salty) tooths going AWOL.

Hungry for answers, we caught up with Pastry Chef Christina Lee of NYC’s Recette to uncover a few off-the-beaten path ideas for salt-ifying popular summer desserts.

5 Salty Sweet Pairings for the Summer:

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Star Sugar Cookies

Star Sugar Cookies

I love sugar cookies, but sometimes they are more about the pretty shapes and decorations then they are about the flavor. This recipe is both festive and delicious. I add lemon juice and zest to give the cookies and icing a bit of a zing. The decorating can be as simple as spreading the icing over the cookie and sprinkling them with icing sugar. If you want a more sophisticated look, you can go all out and have a perfectly smooth finish, which takes a little more time, but the cookies are a show-stopper for a 4th of July party.

Star Sugar Cookies
Makes: 60 small cookies or 30 large
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 8 to 10 minutes
Decorating time: depends on the finish you like
Skill: Easy, but several steps

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Red, White and Blue Velvet Cake for the 4th of July

Red, White and Blue Velvet Cake Recipe

Red Velvet cake has become an American favorite, because of its lovely texture and fun color. Add blue and white for a show-stopping dessert this 4th of July. The inside of the cake is as striking as the decorative icing. Bring it to your holiday picnic and it will outshine the fireworks.

Red, White and Blue Velvet Cake
Makes: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 30+ minutes
Decorating Time: 1 hour
Level: multiple steps, but all of them are easy

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Rightside Up

Rightside-Up Pineapple Cake Recipe

Have you ever made a pineapple upside-down cake and had all the goodies stick to the bottom of the pan? I have. I hold my breath as I invert the pan and then sigh with either frustration or relief as I unveil the cake. Granted, prying the caramelized fruit from the pan and carefully putting it back on the cake easily remedies it, but there is a touch of disappointment nonetheless. Here is a simple and elegant solution — bake the cakes in jars and leave them rightside-up.

And if you really want to serve them upside-down, just flip the jar over onto the plate.

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Summer’s Hottest Ice Cream Flavors

Coffee and Donuts Sundae: Fresh-Baked Cinnamon Donuts, Coffee Ice Cream and Hot Fudge Sauce.

Summer’s here, and that means indulging in our favorite summer foods: burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, frosty cocktails and — of course — ice cream.

Every year, ice cream store owners across the country predict which flavors will most appeal to customers. As new flavors come on the market, proprietors weigh the pros and cons of swapping in a new option for a low performer from the previous year. This can mean hitting the jackpot with a hot new flavor, or sinking money into a dud that will sit around all season.

Nowhere is ice cream in higher demand than at the beach, including the Jersey Shore, a destination for New Jersey locals and visitors from nearby New York City and Philadelphia. Skipper Dipper has been a local, family-owned ice cream tradition for 35 years, a line of beach-goers often snaking out the door of its Long Beach Island, NJ location.

Store owner Dave Powitz shares the early ice cream trends from this summer.

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How to Make Fudge

How to Make Fudge

Addiction warning: I can’t stop eating this fudge! I’ve been giving away bags of it to anyone I meet, just to keep from eating the whole batch. I like chocolate fudge with all kinds of stuff in it, especially nuts, but my boys are purists and just want uninterrupted chocolate.

This recipe is made by boiling down evaporated milk until it reaches just the right temperature and poured over really high quality chocolate. No marshmallow fluff! I’ve done those recipes as well, but I like the texture of this better and the flavor is more intense and not as sweet. It requires a candy thermometer, but don’t let that scare you, it is really very simple

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Alfajores Get Reinvented as a Dulce de Leche Tart

Alfajor Recipe

Dulce de leche has become such an established cross-over success – easily made at home or store-bought, found in big brand ice cream and even all-American girl scout cookies - that it’s hard to remember the excitement when it first hit markets. Until the early nineties, it was the once-in-a-while treat my uncle might bring from business trips to Chile or Peru (where it was introduced to us as manjar blanco) or that a Colombian friend shared from home (where it went by arequipe).

Alfajores – small sandwich cookies traditionally filled with dulce de leche then rolled in coconut or powdered sugar – came later. Popular throughout South America, they’re also shaped into large, multi-layered tarts topped with meringue or crushed almonds. A rustic version of the mille-feuille, these sky-high tarts alternately known as alfajor de mil capas or torta de mil hojas can be made from large crumbly crackers or delicate puff pastry.

Using a simple shortbread recipe, this alfajor tart sprinkled with toasted coconut falls somewhere in between. The dough is rolled out into thin, flat discs that, when baked, easily break apart against the dense, caramel filling. Prepared the day ahead, the layers melding together while maintaining crispy edges, it’s no less delicious for being perfectly familiar.

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Cupcake-Off, A Sugary Competition

Cupcake Spread

If you don’t know by now, the digital teams for Cooking Channel, Food Network, and love a good inter-office cooking (or baking!) competition. In honor of Food Network’s new Cupcakes! app, we decided to show off our skills in a cupcake showdown. Thanks to the amazing spread (pictured above) we soon lulled into afternoon sugar comas, but not before we snapped a few photos and jotted down the easy recipes to share with you.

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