Category Archives: Deserts

Biscotti all’Arancia (Orange Cookies)

Biscotti all’Arancia - Orange Cookies

Biscotti all’Arancia (Orange Cookies)

Biscotti all’Arancia are an easy to make cookie. I got the recipe from Lidia Bastianich.
Biscotti all’Arancia - Orange Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp.sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsps. orange juice
  • 2 tbsps. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
For the glaze:
  • 2 ½ cups confectioners sugar, or as needed
  • ¼ to ½ cup orange juice, or as needed
Cream the butter and sugar – Place the room temperature butter and sugar in a bowl and force the sugar into the butter with the back of a wooden spoon until the mixture is creamy.Biscotti all’Arancia - Orange Cookies
Beat the eggs, one at a time in a separate bowl, and blend into the creamed butter.
Add the vanilla, the lemon and orange juice, and the zest and mix well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl and then mix it with the butter/egg mixture to make dough. Wrap the dough in Saran, and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.Biscotti all’Arancia - Orange Cookies
Roll the dough into four logs, about 1 ½ inches in diameter and 10 to 12 inches long. Freeze the logs for 20 minutes, until firm enough to cut without losing their shape.Biscotti all’Arancia - Orange Cookies
Cut the logs into ½ inch rounds, and place on parchment-lined or buttered baking sheets. Bake about 15 minutes. Remove and let the cookies cool on a wire rack.
Glaze the cookies – Whisk the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl with the orange juice to make a smooth glaze. Dip a cookie tops in the glaze; it should stick to the cookie in a thin layer. If not, adjust the consistency of glaze with more juice or confectioners’ sugar. Dip the top of the baked cookies in the glaze, and let them dry on a wire rack.
Biscotti all’Arancia - Orange Cookies

Click here for updated GALLERY III

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Upside Down Peach Tart

Upside-Down Peach Tart

This is a fairly simple recipe for what looks like an elaborate fruit tart. It’s December so I used canned peaches but this works with fresh peaches and apricots too.Upside-Down Peach Tart
Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can sliced peaches
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, about 10 by 10 inches, thawed
  • ¼ cup raw pistachios, finely chopped
Preheat to 425° and put a rack in middle of the oven.
Heat honey, sugar, salt, and 2 tbsp. water in a small pot over medium-high heat, until it’s blended and slightly darkened. Turn off heat and add butter and vinegar. Pour the honey mixture into a 9″ spring-form pan. Place the peaches in pan.
Upside-Down Peach Tart
Upside-Down Peach Tart
Roll out the thawed pastry on a lightly floured surface to remove the folds. Prick pastry all over with a fork. Place the pan on top of the pastry and use scissors or a sharp pointed knife trim the pastry to make a circle that’s slightly larger than the circumference of the pan. Place the pastry over the fruit in the pan and tuck in the edges. The pastry with shrink as it bakes.
Bake until pastry is puffed – about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° and continue to bake for another 15–20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.
Remove the upper section of the spring-form pan and cover the tart with a large dish. Flip the tart over and remove the bottom of the pan. You may need a spatula to unstick it.
Sprinkle the top of the tart with the pistachios.Upside-Down Peach Tart

Click here for updated GALLERY III

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Arancia Frittelle (Orange Fritters)

orange frittersArancia Frittelle (Orange Fritters)

I got this recipe from a Sicilian friend. I confirmed with his mother that olive oil was used for frying and not something lighter. She said to use olive oil, but warned me about letting it get too hot.

orange fritters

orange fritters

Whisk together the first 7 ingredients.
orange fritters
Heat the oil in a small pot. Adjust the heat so it doesn’t get hot enough to smoke. Pick up a tablespoon full of batter and scrape it into the hot oil with another tablespoon. Give it a minute and turn the frittelle over.
orange frittersWhen golden brown on both sides, drain on paper towels and let them cool. Arrange the frittelle in a dish and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

DRAKE’S OATMEAL COOKIES


Drake’s Oatmeal Cookies
I grew up with Drake’s Cakes – Yankee Doodles, Coffee Cake, Devil Dogs and Ring Dings. They were my childhood favorites and I loved seeing that happy duck logo.Drake's Oatmeal Cookies
They’re all still available and sometimes I give in to my urge for comfort food. But there’s one that I miss – Drake’s Oatmeal Cookies. I’ve searched all over but it seems that they don’t make those any more.
They used to come three to a cellophane wrapped package. They were classic cookies, not chewy but crisp and crumbly, also cheap and perfect for a snack. There was nothing like them dunked in coffee for breakfast. Drake's Oatmeal CookiesI’d given up on ever tasting them again until our neighbor Susan brought over some cookies she’s made. There was a variety and I noticed a few oatmeal cookies that looked familiar. Well, they looked like Drake’s, crumbled like Drake’s and they tasted like Drake’s. Susan, being from Baltimore never heard of Drake’s Oatmeal Cookies, a New York phenomena, and didn’t know why I got so excited.
Drake's Oatmeal Cookies
1896 – Newman Drake opened the N.E. Drake Baking Company on 135th Street in Harlem in New York City.
I’m not a baker but I got her recipe and made them. Even if you’ve never had a Drake’s Oatmeal Cookie you should try these. 

Susan’s Oatmeal Cookie Recipe that tastes like Drake’s
Drake's Oatmeal Cookies
A lot of ingredients for a little cookie but worth it.

Drake's Oatmeal Cookies

In Bowl #1 – Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.  
 In Bowl #2 – mix the milk, vanilla, and eggs.
 In Bowl #3 – or in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter with the brown and white sugar, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, gradually add milk mixture, and beat well. Add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined.

Drake's Oatmeal Cookies

Remove bowl from the electric mixer, and stir in the (rolled) oats. Place the dough in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and let the dough come to room temperature. Shape 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball; place on the cookie sheet. Press it with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to flatten dough into rounds.
Bake until light brown (14 to16 minutes) rotating the sheet halfway through. Allow them to cool and become crisp before serving.

Drake's Oatmeal Cookies

Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Torte de Elote

Golden Cornfield with Row of Trees by Matthias Hauser


Torte de Elote

Torte de Elote

adapted from a recipe by Pati Jinich, Mexican Chef   

It’s like cornbread but moister. It’s more like a corn souffle but not exactly. You have to try it and you’ll see what I mean.

Torte de Elote

Place rack in the middle of oven and heat to 360 degrees. Butter a 9×12-inch pan. Beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Slowly add 8 egg yolks, one by one, until incorporated. Add the cream, rice flour, salt and baking powder.
In a blender, process the milk with the corn kernels, then, incorporate it into the mix above. Place the mixture in a big bowl.
Separately, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Add 1/5 of the egg whites to the butter/corn mix and blend carefully. Slowly blend the rest of the egg whites until everything is mixed, it ‘s ok if the mixture looks streaky, don’t over work it or it will lose volume. Pour onto the baking dish.
Bake until torte is springy to the touch and lightly browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Once it cools a little, cut into squares. It can be served either warm or cold; it can be covered and kept at room temperature for an entire day, or covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Torte de Elote

Click here for updated GALLERY II

Writing Site  and  Yelp

 



Bridget’s Chinese Chews

Bridget’s Chinese Chews

One last Christmas recipe – Bridget’s Chinese Chews. It’s her family’s recipe and a Christmas tradition.

Bridget's Chinese Chews

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the first 4 dry ingredients. Then add the eggs, pecans and dates.
Spread thinly (1 inch) in a baking pan. Cook at 350o, 15 to 20 min. Roll small bit into balls while warm and roll in powdered sugar.

Bridget's Chinese ChewsBridget's Chinese Chews



17th Century Pumpkin Pie

17th Century Pumpkin Pie

I came across an old English recipe for pumpkin pie on the Folger Shakespeare Library site. It was adapted from Hanna Woolley’s 17th century recipe by Amanda E. Herbert. I tried it (with a few modifications) and it was delicious. There was a choice of using butternut squash or pumpkin, similar in taste and texture and I used the squash. The result isn’t even close to the pudding-like pie most of us are used to but still, it’s something special and definitely worth trying.

” . . . butternut squash or pumpkin, similar in taste and texture . . .”


Heat the oven to 425o. Peel the squash and slice it into ¼ inch thick slices. You’ll probably only need half of a large squash for 2 cups. Fry it for about 10 minutes in 1 tbsp butter until it gets soft.
Peel the apples and cut into pieces the same as the squash. Place the cooked squash, apples, currants, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and Marsala in a bowl and mix.
Place the first (bottom) pie crust in a pie pan. Pour the squash/apple mixture into the pie. Dot the top with the remaining butter. Cover with the second (top) crust, crimp the edges, and cut a few vents in the crust to allow steam to escape. Beat the egg with a couple of tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Brush the top of the pie crust.
Bake at 425o for fifteen minutes, then lower the temperature to 375o, turn the pie, and bake for another 50-60 minutes. Total baking time is between 65-75 minutes.