Category Archives: Dessert

Kiss My Bundt! (A Carrot Cake Recipe)

carrot cake frosted

My mom used to serve this as a side dish rather than a dessert. That’s why I’ve always found it weird that actual carrot cakes have icing. Mom’s never did.

What she did do was make this cake in a bundt pan. And because I never had one, I didn’t even attempt making this thing. But when my mom replaced her bundt with something new, guess who got the hand-me-down?

That’s right, me. I fished out the recipe and went to work.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 1/2 grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups flourAdd
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting

The last cream cheese frosting recipe you’ll ever need (Slashfood)

  • 8 oz. cold cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp. softened butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectionery sugar, added gradually

Directions

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.

carrot cake beginning

Add all other ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate dough overnight.

carrot cake dough

The next day, pack the dough into the bundt pan (should come about halfway up). Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

carrot cake oven

A little bundt in the oven.

Let cool in pan several minutes, then overturn onto a rack to cool completely. Ice with frosting.

Before icing, the way Mom served it.

Before icing, the way Mom served it.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Mousse – An Adventure in Folding

pudding-end-product

Wow, I made this a looooooooooooong time ago. Though not in a galaxy far, far away.

It was just my parents’ kitchen, which is both cleaner and larger than mine. That kind of space and lack of clutter really comes in handy when running to and fro with multiple bowls and folding implements.

Anyway, the recipe is just one my mom had lying around and since I can find no fault with anything involving chocolate and whipped cream, I had to try it.

Keep reading for the ingredients and step-by-step directions.

Continue reading

Glazed Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin-cookie-circle

Let’s celebrate the new year by taking a look back at the best cookies I made in 2008.

These humongous, cake-like monstrosities are based on this Google-discovered recipe and are a breeze to make. The dribbly glaze is from this recipe, although I added some cinnamon for color and flavor.

Here’s the process:

Start by mixing the wet ingredients…

pumpkin-wet

And the dry ingredients…

cookie-dry

Then combine both to produce a nice, fluffy batter.

pumpkin-batter

Add the chips (and nuts if you believe in that sort of thing), drop by spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and throw it into a 350 degree oven.

pumpkin-cookies

After only 10 minutes, you’ve got yourself a great batch of fall classics.

To make them even more special, whip up some glaze (or “icing” if you prefer) and drizzle it over the cookies. If I remember correctly, this process yielded almost two dozen cookies.

pumpkin-cookies-4

Remember: while the glaze adds a nice bit of sweetness to this robust cookie, be careful not to overuse it. Dousing your cookies in “sweet” is a sure way to get booed out of a bake sale.

Apple Cakes Abound

finished-apple-cake

Still trying to catch up on posts, as exemplified by apple dessert recipes that are going on two months old. That’s okay; they’re new to you, right?

The apple cake above was the second of two recipes I tried as I made my way through the last of the picked apples. It was also the more dramatic of the preparations, considering I used a 9″ cake pan to make a 10″ recipe. Lesson learned: don’t do that.

old-cakeBut before we get to the second, I wanted to introduce the first apple cake, the one that almost slipped into my culinary history undocumented. Luckily, I remembered to take a pic of a portion I brought to my folks. To your right is the cake in all its tupperware glory.

It may not look like much, but it was actually quite delicious. I found the recipe, as usual, through a Google search (keyword: best apple cake). Being the sucker for hyperbole that I am, I couldn’t not try the Best Apple Cake (in 47 Years of Cooking).

Did it live up to its title? Well, I haven’t been cooking for 47 years (yet), but it was certainly easy, sweet and full of appley goodness.

The only issue I had was with the glaze. While I can’t get enough of butter, cream and brown sugar, drizzling this concoction over an already-soft cake, made the dessert almost too moist. I know, I didn’t think that was possible either.

The second cake, while also moist, took a completely different approach to mixing apples and batter: it didn’t. But it looked a whole lot better, as you’ll see after the jump.

Continue reading

Apple Pie

pie-finished

And so, the pie redeemed the crisp.

This was the second of four desserts (two more to go!)  made from the apples collected during our October adventure. I can’t recommend this recipe enough.

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen pie crusts
  • 6 cups apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Step-by-step directions after the jump. Continue reading

Halloween Spider Cookie

img_2209

I know it must seem as if my posts are regressing, but I found this pic in the archives and had to put it out for public consumption.

Similar to the creative  wedding cookies I’ve previously shown, this 3D spider was from the Halloween party we attended. If I remember correctly, this is the anatomy:

  • Body – chocolate-covered Rice Krispy treat
  • Legs – chocolate-covered pretzel sticks
  • Hair – chocolate sprinkles
  • Eyes – two dots of yellow frosting

Pretty creative, if you ask me.

Sweets Week Part III: (Not So Good) Apple Crisp

Like just about everybody I know in the Northeast, I go apple picking in the fall. This year, the wife and I took a crazy trip up north to Applewood Orchards in Warwick, NY (to be detailed in a later post). We exited with half a bushel of apples, a pumpkin and smiles on our faces.

Unfortunately, our mood quickly turned sour when we wasted our first four apples on this recipe for the “Best Apple Crisp Ever.” Oh, hyperbole, why am I such a sucker for thee?

Continue reading

Sweets Week Part II: Easy Lemon Squares

As much as I love chocolate, my wife loves lemon squares. OK, maybe not as much, but enough so that I felt justified ripping out this truly easy recipe from my doctor’s copy of Cooking Light.

See how this tangy treat came together after the jump.

Continue reading

Sweets Week Part I: Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

I’m tempted to just let the pictures speak for themselves, but like Joe Biden, I have a verbosity reputation to maintain.

I also have a sweet tooth reputation to maintain, which is why I finally summoned the courage to whip up a batch of these decadent desserts. Between the truffles, the lemon squares I made last week and the apple pastries that are waiting in the wings (thanks to some overzealous apple picking), sugar is my new best friend.

These truffles – made from yet another Bon Appetit recipe – are simple but extremely rich. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have made them nearly as big as I did (half the size of a golf ball), and probably should have brought them to work instead of eating them all myself. Don’t worry, they lasted at least a week… I think.

Another warning: make sure the chocolate you use is room temperature. I used some Ghirardelli chocolate chunks right out of the freezer and had a hell of a time trying to get the chocolate melted and combined with the cream. In fact, the first time I tried, I was left with a chunky mess because some of the chocolate pieces didn’t in fact melt.

Here’s what it looked like after I re-melted that mess in the microwave, and then re-chilled it:

As you can see from the crater, the truffle base (simple chocolate ganache) is nice and smooth. But if I had to do it all over again, I might have used this guy’s melting process.

For the next step, it would be beneficial to have a melon scooper. I, of course, didn’t, so I went with the sloppy alternative of forming the little chocolate balls by hand. This process yielded some slightly amorphous truffles:

After chilling for an hour, the truffles were ready for their coating. This could be as easy as rolling them in cocoa powder or as sloppy and difficult as rolling them in melted chocolate in the palm of your hands. Guess which one I chose?

After suppressing the impulse to coat whatever I could get my hands on (including myself) in melted chocolate, I covered the truffles but still had some chocolate left over. Being the consummate artist, I decided to use the melted leftovers as an homage to Jackson Pollack, dripping and splattering the chocolate on and around the finished truffles.

Question: Is there anything chocolate can’t do?

Don’t Mess with the Icebox Cake

Simple. Delicious. Irresistible. Thy name is icebox cake.

Man, I love this thing. I could eat the whole log in one sitting… if I hadn’t already inhaled half of the cookies and whipped cream while making it.

And while I probably should have put more cream between the cookies instead of in my belly, there’s no wrong way to make this dessert. However, if you have an addictive personality, I suggest steering clear of the following recipe.

Did I mention how ridiculously easy this is?

Ingredients

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 1 package chocolate wafer cookies

Directions

In a large bowl, whip cream until it begins to stiffen. Add sugar and vanilla, and whip until soft peaks form.

Take a wafer and place dollop of cream on one side. Add another layer of wafer and cream, until sandwich will stand on its side in a caterpillar pattern (same as the wafers in the box). Keep building until all but two wafers are used. Cover the log with a thin layer of cream.

Cover and place in the refrigerator (icebox) for at least one hour. Cover and reserve extra cream in refrigerator. When ready to serve, add thick layer of cream around the log and crumble reserved wafers on top.

To serve, slice in diagonal rows about one inch apart.