Black-and-White Cupcakes

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Servings: 12 cupcakes
Preheat: 350
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Source: Dorie Greenspan https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1019058-black-and-white-cupcakes

There’s a lot to like in a little cupcake. There’s the joy of having a cake all to yourself. The pleasure of getting creamy frosting and tender cake in every bite. And the fun of decorating, or not: Plain is good, too. This cupcake has two more things going for it: It’s easy enough to make with kids or to have kids make themselves, and it’s both childishly appealing and sophisticated — the cake is not very sweet and the chocolate frosting is deep and rich. There’s enough frosting for each cupcake to be finished with a few thick swirls. If you have turret-type topknots in mind, multiply the recipe. Whatever you do, keep mixing the frosting after the cold butter goes in so that it thickens enough to spread.

Ingredients: 

FOR THE CUPCAKES:
1 ¾ cups (238 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons (133 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
3 large eggs
1 large yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup (180 milliliters) buttermilk, shaken
1 cup (170 grams) mini chocolate chips

FOR THE FROSTING:
9 ounces (255 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter
Sprinkles, optional

Directions: 

TO MAKE THE CUPCAKES:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds, and heat to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with cupcake papers, or grease the tins.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the whole eggs and the yolk one at a time, mixing well after each goes in. Beat in the vanilla.
On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions and the buttermilk in two, scraping the bowl, as needed, and beating until the batter is smooth. Mix in the chips.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes — rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back after 10 minutes — or until the tops feel springy to the touch (they won’t color much) and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature. Frost, and cover with sprinkles, if you’d like, before the frosting dries.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and fit it into a saucepan of simmering water — don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat, whisk in the sugar and let rest on the counter for 3 minutes. Bit by bit, whisk in the cold butter, mixing until smooth and thickened just enough to spread. Use immediately.

Strawberry/Eton Mess

Servings: 4 to 6
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 
Source: Joan Berman

Great summer dessert.

Ingredients: 

3 Cups Strawberries
2 TBS. Sugar
1 TBS. Amaretto or Cointreau

2 Cups Whipped Cream
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 TBS. Sugar

1 1/2 Cup Crumbled Meringue Cookies

Directions: 

Hull and chop the strawberries. Place them in a bowl with sugar and liquor.
Remove 1/2 cup and macerate with a fork

Whip cream until thick with soft peaks

Crumble the meringue cookies, Need some big pieces to provide texture.

Take 1/2 cup of the macerated strawberries and fold into the whipping cream

Gently fold in the remainder of the strawberries and chopped cookies into whipping cream

Blueberry Buckle with Lemon Syrup (substitute guinda plums for blueberries)

Blueberry-buckle-with-lemon-syrup-recipe-5
Servings: 9 to 12 – 9 inch square pan
Preheat: 350
Prep Time:
Source: David Lebovitz 8-27-15

Adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson

Adding the lemon syrup is an intriguing idea that was part of the original recipe. It’s tangy but does take some of the spotlight off the berries. If you want to omit it, you might want to increase the amount of cinnamon or nutmeg slightly in the batter to give it a little more pizzazz.

Other fruits can be used, such as sliced or diced plums, nectarines or apricots. Avoid fruits that are extra-juicy, though, as they may interfere with the batter setting. Raspberries or blackberries can be used in place of the blueberries, or mixed with them. (Blackberries are rather seedy, so I’d definitely mix them with other berries.) If you want to swap out other fruits, use the same amount by weight or volume as the blueberries listed in the ingredients. You can use frozen berries if you’d like. Just don’t defrost them first, since they’d get too juicy. Add them frozen, right to the batter.

Ingredients: 

Topping

4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/3 cup (45g) flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Batter

6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) sugar
zest of 2 lemons (use the same lemons for the syrup, below)
1 1/2 cups+2 tablespoons (230g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
3 cups (1 1/2 pints, 475g) blueberries

Lemon Syrup

1/3 cup (65g) sugar
juice of 2 medium lemons (about 6 tablespoons, 90ml)

*** ES – only use half of the lemon syrup

Directions: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Butter a 9-inch (23cm) square cake pan.

2. Make the topping by crumbling together the butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon with your hands or a pastry blender until the pieces of butter are broken up and are about the size of small peas. Set aside.

3. To make the batter, in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand in a bowl using a spatula or wooden spoon, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, stopping the mixer a few moments after you add each egg to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon or nutmeg into a medium-sized bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour mixture, then stir in the buttermilk.

5. Add the remaining flour mixture, mixing just enough so it’s barely incorporated (there will still be dry bits of unincorporated flour), then remove the mixer bowl from the machine and using a flexible spatula to gently fold in the blueberries in, just until they are incorporated. Do not overmix – you don’t want to smash the blueberries and stain the batter.

6. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Strew the topping over the blueberry batter and bake until the buckle is lightly browned on top and feels just set in the center; it’ll spring back lightly when you touch the center. It’ll take about 55 minutes.

7. When the buckle is almost finished baking, make the syrup by heating the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, cooking it until it thickens. It’s done when the bubbles get larger, and when removed from the heat (which you might want to do a couple of times while it’s cooking, to check), the consistency will be like warm maple syrup. It’ll take about 5 minutes.

8. Remove the buckle from the oven and pour the warm lemon syrup over it, letting it soak in. Serve the buckle when it’s cool enough to slice. It’s good warm or at room temperature. Whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or white chocolate-fresh ginger ice cream make nice accompaniments, although none are really necessary.

Storage: The buckle can be kept for up to three days at room temperature, if well-wrapped. It can be frozen for up to two months. Not sure if I would pour the syrup over the buckle if I was planning on freezing it, though. You could defrost and rewarm it in a low oven, wrapped in foil, then add the syrup before you plan to serve it.

Lemony Almond Macaroons

Servings: 25 cookies
Preheat: 325
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Source: Real Simple, April 2009

A delicious light cookie
Great for Passover

Ingredients: 

1 14-ounce package sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large egg whites

Directions: 

Heat oven to 325° F.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut, almonds, sugar, lemon zest, and salt.
Mix in the egg whites- (whisk them- per Carol).
Drop mounds of the mixture (each equal to 2 tablespoons) onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1½ inches apart.
Bake, switching the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges begin to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

CHOCOLATE PECAN TORTE

Servings: 10 to 12
Preheat: 350
Prep Time: 1 hour?
Source: Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich

There are lots of toasted pecans in this all-in-one-bowl bittersweet chocolate torte. It’s good on its own, but I often pass a bowl of plain whipped cream; Mocha or Milk Chocolate Whipped Cream are also good here. For the best flavor (and convenience!), make the torte at least a day, if not two, ahead.

Ingredients: 

1 cup (3.5 ounces) pecan halves
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (66% to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into chunks
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
Generous 1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cold large eggs
Powdered sugar for dusting

Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream, optional

Directions: 

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of the springform pan.

Spread the pecans on the baking sheet and bake them for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they are fragrant and taste toasty. Scrape the nuts onto a plate and let cool
completely. Turn the oven temperature up to 375°F.
Pulse the pecans with the flour in the food processor until finely ground.

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl, preferably stainless steel, set it in a wide skillet of barely simmering water (see Melting Chocolate My Way, page 97), and stir occasionally until nearly melted. Remove the bowl from the water bath and stir the chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth.

Add the butter, granulated sugar, and salt and beat with the electric mixer at medium speed until the butter is completely melted and the mixture thickens and lightens slightly in color. Beat in the eggs one by one, then beat at high speed (medium speed in a heavy-duty stand mixer) for a minute or two, or until the batter is fluffy and lightened in color. Stir in the pecan mixture.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted about 11/2 inches from the side of the pan comes out clean; the center will still be gooey.

Set the pan on a rack to cool. Slide a thin knife or a small metal spatula around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake and allow the thin crust on top to sink (slightly) as the cake cools. Let cool completely. Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake to a serving platter. The torte can be kept at room temperature, covered or under a cake dome, for at least 3 days, or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 3 months; bring to room temperature before serving.

Sift a little powdered sugar over the top to highlight the crackled surface. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

* VARIATIONS
Toasted walnuts or hazelnuts (with the skins rubbed off) make a nice changeup for the pecans. You can grate the zest of 1 orange into the batter, if you like; then stir it in. Top each slice with whipped cream (plain, mocha, or white chocolate – see pages 130-133) and grate a little cinnamon over the top of the cake and cream. In addition to the cinnamon, try a pinch of ground ancho or other chile.

Flourless Chocolate Pecan Torte

You can simply omit the flour without substituting anything for it, or you can increase the nuts by an ounce or so. The texture of the torte will be a bit nubbier, as the flour provides a little creaminess.

Mango in Ginger-Mint Syrup

Servings: 4
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 
Source: Epicurious

This recipe can be prepared in 45 minutes or less but requires additional sitting time.
Refreshing

Ingredients: 

a 2-inch piece fresh gingerroot
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 firm-ripe mango (about 1 pound)
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Directions: 

Thinly slice ginger root and in a saucepan bring to a boil with water and sugar. Simmer mixture 5 minutes and remove pan from heat. Stir in mint and let steep 5 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a bowl and cool completely.

Peel mango and thinly slice. Stir mango into syrup. Chill mixture 30 minutes.

Garnish mango with mint.

Valentine’s Day Share-My-Heart Cookies – Feb. 11th, 2016

Servings: 8 servings; makes two 9 1/2- to 10-inch cookies, plus leftovers ( 16 smaller hearts)
Preheat: 350
Prep Time: fast
Source: Deb Lindsey, Washington Post

Use heart cookie cutter

Ingredients: 

FOR THE COOKIES

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) cold unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces
1 cold large egg yolk
1 tablespoon ice-cold water
Sanding sugar (optional)

For the Frosting
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 Cup heavy cream

Directions: 

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies: Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Scatter the pieces of butter over the mixture and pulse until they are cut in and the mixture looks grainy.

Lightly whisk together the yolk and water in a small bowl; add to the food processor a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When incorporated, process in 10-second pulses until the dough forms clumps and curds. Pinch the dough, and it should hold together; if it doesn’t, pulse a few more times.

Turn the dough onto a work surface (not floured), divide it in half, shape each piece into a disk and put each disk between sheets of parchment or wax paper. One at a time, roll the dough out into a round, turning it over frequently and peeling away the paper often. Try to get a circle that’s 9 to 10 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick (a little thicker is fine). Slide each of the rounds, still between the papers, onto a baking sheet (you can stack them). Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 1 hour.

When you’re ready to bake, position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Have a few large baking sheets at hand.

Peel away the top and bottom pieces of paper on each round and then replace them. (If you don’t peel them first, the dough may buckle during baking.)

Use a pencil to draw a large heart on the top paper of each circle, then use a sharp knife to cut the dough around the heart. Lift off the paper, remove the excess dough (reserve the scraps) and slide the hearts, still on the bottom pieces of paper, onto separate baking sheets. (While they are baking, gather the scraps together, reroll them, chill and then use heart-shaped cutters to make additional cookies; bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes.)

At this point, If you don’t plan to ice the cookies, you can sprinkle them with sanding sugar, if you’d like.

Bake the large hearts for 19 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back after 10 minutes, until they’re dull-looking, a little crinkled, set around the edges and almost firm at their centers. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes, then carefully slide them, paper and all, onto racks; cool to room temperature. (smaller hearts – 10 minutes)

Frosting
Bring heavy cream to boil. Then pour it into a heatproof bowl that contains the chopped chocolate. Stir until combined and thick. Cool Ganache and spread.

Clementine & Almond Syrup Cake

Servings: 8 to 10
Preheat: 350
Prep Time: 
Source: Jerusalem – A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

This fragrant cake has a wonderful light texture and will keep, covered, for at least a week. Oranges will make an adequate substitute for the clementines. A citrus zester, inexpensive and widely available, is the ideal tool for getting long even strips of orange zest to garnish the cake.

Ingredients: 

3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp / 200 g unsalted butter
scant 2 cups / 380 g superfine sugar
grated zest and juice of 4 clementines
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups / 280 g ground almonds
5 large free-range eggs, beaten
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp / 100 g all-purpose flour, sifted
pinch of salt
long strips of orange zest to garnish

CHOCOLATE ICING (OPTIONAL)
6 tbsp / 90 g unsalted butter, diced
5 oz / 150 g good-quality dark chocolate, broken up
2 1/2 tsp honey
1 1/2 tsp Cognac

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Lightly grease a 9 1/2-inch / 24cm springform pan with butter and line the sides and bottom with parchment paper.

Place the butter, 1 1/2 cups / 300 g of the sugar, and both zests in a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment and beat on low speed to combine everything Well. Do not Work the mixture too much or incorporate too much air. Add half the ground almonds and continue mixing until combined.

With the machine running, gradually add the eggs, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl a couple of times as you go. Add the remaining ground almonds, the flour, and the salt and beat until completely smooth.

Pour the cake batter into the pan and level it with an offset spatula.

Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes. Check to see if it is ready by inserting a skewer into the center. It should come out a little bit moist.

When the cake is almost done, place the remaining 1/3 cup / 80 g sugar and the citrus juices in a small saucepan and bring to a boil (the juices should total about 1/2 cup / 120 ml; remove some juice if needed). When the syrup boils, remove it from the heat.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, brush it with the boiling syrup, making sure all the syrup soaks in. Leave the cake to cool down completely in the pan before you remove it. You can then serve it as it is, garnished with orange zest strips, or store it for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

If you wish to ice the cake, we recommend doing it on the day you want to serve it so the icing is fresh and shiny. Put the butter, chocolate, and honey in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water). Stir until everything is melted, then immediately remove from the heat and fold in the Cognac. Pour the icing over the cooled cake, allowing it to dribble naturally down the sides without covering the cake completely. Let the icing set and then garnish the center of the cake with the orange zest strips.

Fig Newtons, Made at Home

Servings: 30 cookies
Preheat: 325
Prep Time: 
Source: Food 52 Blog

This recipe grew out of a need to satisfy cravings for my favorite childhood cookie. I knew that if I went to the store and simply bought a package of Fig Newtons, I would probably be disappointed, as taste memories always seem to be more vibrant than the food that inspired them.

But I had a hunch that homemade Fig Newtons might just live up to my nostalgia-fueled expectations — and boy, did they ever. Soft and slightly chewy with the pleasant pop of tiny fig seeds in the filling, these figgy lovelies manage not only to outshine the cookie that inspired them, but they’re also good enough to make new memories.

Ingredients: 

For the cookie dough

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of one orange

For the fig filling

1 pound dried figs, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup water

Directions: 

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl and set aside. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest and beat until combined. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended. Scoop the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the figs and water in a medium saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and allow the water to boil until the figs have absorbed it. Transfer the figs to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is completely smooth.
Preheat the oven to 325? F. Place a large piece of parchment on your work surface and flour it liberally. Divide the chilled dough into 4 pieces, place one piece on the parchment, and return the other 3 to the refrigerator.

Shape the piece of dough into a rectangle, then roll the dough, stopping frequently to make sure it isn’t sticking to the parchment, into a long rectangle (about 4 inches wide by 12 inches long). Be vigilant about lifting and reflouring the dough as you roll to prevent sticking.
Scoop the fig filling into a pastry bag or a plastic zip-top bag with one corner cut off. Pipe the filling in a 1-inch strip down the center of the dough rectangle. Fold one side of the dough over the filling, then the other. Press down on the seam to close it.

Using the parchment, flip the cookie roll over, seam-side down. Transfer it gingerly to a baking sheet and refrigerate while you repeat this step with the other 3 pieces of dough. Bake the logs of dough for about 16 minutes or until the dough is no longer tacky and has begun to brown around the edges.
While the cookie rolls are still warm, cut them into 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookies. Immediately place the cookies in a single layer inside a plastic zip-top bag and close the bag. This seems counterintuitive, but in order to keep the cookies soft, like the real thing, they need to steam.

Cool the cookies completely. Remove them from the bags and place in an airtight container. They can be kept, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.

Alfred’s Deep Dish Apple Pie – updated 2014 Carol and Jessie

Servings: 10
Preheat: 350
Prep Time: 
Source: Carol

This is Alfred Sulzberger’s recipe for deep dish apple pie. The recipe is written out as a list of ingredients on a stained and faded 3 x 5 index card at the bottom of which is printed “good luck”. The pie dough portion of this recipe is more like a not very sweet cookie than traditional pie dough.

Ingredients: 

For the crust:
½ lb butter softened
pinch of salt
2 Tbl spoons rum
6 Tbl spoons sugar
3 cups flour

For the filling
5-6 apples
6 Tbl spoons sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Directions: 

Place the softened butter in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and add the sugar and rum. Add the flour and turn the mixer on to low. Mix till just combined. Turn the dough out onto a piece wax paper and divide into two pieces. Wrap each piece in wax paper and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Combine with the sugar and cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a round pyrex baking dish. Take one of the dough pieces out of the fridge and break off pieces of dough and press them into the baking dish to form the bottom crust. Fill with the apple mixture. Place the second dough piece between two pieces of wax paper. Roll the dough out to form the top crust. Cover the top of the pyrex dish with the second dough piece and use your fingers to push the edges down until they are pressed into the bottom crust. Cut some decorative slits in the top crust to let steam escape. Bake the pie for about an hour. The crust should be a deep golden brown and the filling should be thick and bubbling.