Category Archives: dessert

Don’t Let the Apples Go Bad Cake

Apples are the kind of fruit we eat all year round. They are always in the fridge and if they don’t get eaten, I  feel guilty that they’re just sitting there and going to go bad.  I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and decided to make it.  I would make it and freeze it, so if you’re interested in doing so this cake freezes well. You’ll need a tube pan. You don’t need an electric mixer, so it’s pretty easy on the special equipment. Use those leftover apples–don’t let them go bad. No butter in this recipe, lots of sugar though.  My house smelled divine.

I also love this recipe for the Jewish Holidays which are just around the corner…..just saying.

*you can see in photos that I use a melon baller to get the pits out of the middle of the apple. I prefer this technique over the corer thing which never really works for me.  The melon baller works perfectly: first cut apple in half, then scoop out just the pits.

Thanks to Smitten Kitchen again for a wonderful recipe.

www.smittenkitchen

Ingredients:

6 apples (I used what I had in the house: a combo of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp. Good old Macintosh will work, too.)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

5 tablespoons sugar

2 3/4 cups flour, sifted

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup orange juice (try to use fresh but if not, Tropicana will do)

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

1 cup walnuts, chopped (this is optional; I didn’t use them this time out)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core, and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside (I sprayed with a baking spray. There’s no need to add any butter here.)

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. This mixture will be rather thick.  Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to get it all out of the bowl.

Pour 1/2 the batter into prepared tube pan. Spread 1/2 the apples over this. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Use your eye to halve  batter and apples (don’t worry if it’s not perfectly halved.) Bake for about 90 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean. I would check cake after 1 hour 20 minutes. I baked for the full 90 minutes; it’s a rather thick cake.

S’Mores Baked in the Oven

IMG_8638IMG_8636IMG_8639 IMG_8641 IMG_8642IMG_8634 IMG_8633 IMG_8632Oh Wow!!! what could be better??? truly easy and very little fuss perfect with the kids and perfect for the adults. Very rich and gooey. Whole thing takes about 40 minutes from start to finish and you can re-heat the sliced bars in the microwave for about 30 seconds if you have some left-over. It’s great for a large group and I would say about 12-15 servings here. Let’s hold on to the last few weeks of summer with this delicious dessert. Perfect for Labor Day.

For a very traditional s’mores taste eat immediately, I think they tasted a little better after they cooled down for a bit. Whichever way you prefer them –this is a great recipe for a crowd. You can prepare first and then pop in the oven while you are having dinner. Enjoy!

*also I was able to obtain these amazing square marshmallows in the supermarket, if you see them –grab them otherwise just regular old marshmallows will do the trick.

Ingredients:

Crust:

18 graham crackers

1/4 cup granulated sugar

pinch of salt

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter-melted

*parchment paper — I think you’ll want to work with it for this recipe–it can get difficult once they harden to get them out of pan. Clean up was a snap with it.

Topping:

3 extra-large Hershey Bars (or 7 regular-size ones)

24 jumbo marshmallows–look for the large square ones

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 Pyrex type baking pan with cooking spray and then line with parchment paper , allow an extra couple of inches of paper to hang over the edge.

In the food processor bowl, pulse the graham crackers until they are finely ground. Transfer the crumbs to a medium-sized bowl.

Add the sugar and salt to the graham crackers and stir to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until the crumbs are moistened. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.

Bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until the edges turn lightly golden. Let the crust cool off completely before adding chocolate. I probably let it sit off heat for about 1/2 hour.

Arrange the chocolate bars (see picture) evenly on the top of cooled crust, I had to remove 1 row of chocolate to fit it in pan and left a little uncovered crumbs around edges. Arrange the marshmallows on top of the chocolate, leaving a little space between each one (see photos) Marshmallows will expand slightly.

Bake until the chocolate is soft and beginning to melt, and the marshmallows are evenly toasted on top. Probably about 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.

I couldn’t wait to eat them but I would suggest letting them cool off for  a little bit, cutting was easier when it cooled down ( after 15-20 minutes) I was able to cleanly cut slices. It’s more like campfire s’mores when you eat them hot out of the oven and certainly messier.

You can re-heat the sliced bars in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. If you are keeping them , cut them and store individual slices.

A Real Deal Blueberry Cobbler

I recently found this recipe and realized it was a combination of 2 separate recipes–one for the blueberry filling and one for biscuits. When combined, this is a true cobbler and not a crisp. Yum!

Make it for company and at least six people so you have a teensy bit left over , these leftovers are just amazing the next day and hard to resist eating !

Use fresh blueberries which are in abundance now and if you want to make this in the winter and blueberries aren’t around you can always use frozen blueberries. It’s almost a must to serve this with vanilla ice cream, as it complements it so well! If you’d like, you can make this a day ahead for sure, I’ve even frozen it. It comes out perfectly. Now is the time to try and bake this delightful dessert with all of the beautiful blueberries out there.

Ingredients:

1 pound blueberries or 3 1/2 cups – obviously fresh is best but if you want you can use frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot

2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)

1 cup all -purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar ( you can use turbinado (raw ) sugar as well ( divided)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk ( don’t use fat free, if you must, use 2%) I prefer whole milk in baking or low-fat buttermilk always works.

3 tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 cup boiling water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the blueberries in an ungreased but sprayed ( I always use Pam to help with the clean-up) 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle with cornstarch
and drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and the butter.

Stir until just combined ( shouldn’t be smooth) then drop mounds of dough onto the blueberries.

Pour boiling water over the dough and fruit. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the blueberries are bubbly. 45- 60 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. If you are preparing ahead , either frozen or in fridge, take out of freezer or fridge and bring to room temperature, I then put in oven till it starts to bubble.

Should serve 8

Super Easy Peach Cobbler

I had some amazingly delicious peaches and knew that there was no way they were getting eaten so I figured I’d make a Peach Cobbler or a Peach Crisp. Now I have other recipes @cookingwithcandi but I also happen to be in possession of a box of yellow cake mix in my pantry and wanted to use it. So for those of you who don’t feel comfortable messing around with flour and the likes of that — this one’s for you. No judging here and this was very delicious and simple as could be.

Ingredients:

6 – 7 Ripe Peaches

3 cups Water

3/4 cup Sugar

1 9 ounce box Golden Yellow Cake Mix — doesn’t matter what brand

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray of your choice.

Peel and Slice Peaches. Add peaches to a medium sized pot and add the 3 cups water and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook over medium low heat until the peaches are soft. 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and strain peaches and while you’re straining do so into a bowl so you can reserve app. 1/2 cup of the strained liquid from the peaches. Then add strained peaches to the prepared baking dish. Add 1/2 cup of the liquid from the peaches and pour over the peaches.

Sprinkle with boxed cake mix .

Top cake with 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Using a butter knife, make swirls in baking dish to combine some of the dry ingredients with the peach juices below.

Drizzle melted butter

Bake for app. 30-35 minutes till golden brown and set.

Serve with Ice-Cream.

 

Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Cake–No Baking at all

IMG_1266

Nothing not to love here, Lemons, cream cheese, heavy cream, lemon curd and did I mention no baking??? So great and fairly easy with simple ingredients. You’ll need either an electric mixer or a hand mixer to whip cream. Nothing beats an electric mixer though with the whisking attachment.

I made it in a 9×13 pan but I think next time I will try to do it in a bowl. It would also be beautiful garnished with fresh lemon slices or berries. We were in a hurry to dig into it so never did get to garnish it.  If you’d like it to look neater when you scoop it out you will have to be more precise with the layering. My cake was very uneven and all the layers and flavors blended together, who cares? it was delicious. If you’d like you can also layer in a trifle type bowl and make a very pretty presentation! Up to you but it was all delish.

This is simple and delicious food if not very rich, but hey it’s dessert! Perfect for the Fourth of July barbeque or anytime!

Enjoy your summer and keep on cooking with candi.

Ingredients:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened (just leave it out at room temperature for a while till it’s room temperature and feels squishy and soft)

3 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

3 teaspoons lemon zest, plus a little more for garnish

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

11 ounces vanilla wafer cookies ( app. 1 1/2 boxes)

10 ounces lemon curd–usually available with the jams and jellies  or baking aisle of most supermarkets. (see photo)

Directions:

Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft. Add the heavy cream, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until it just holds stiff peaks. It takes app. 3-6 minutes for peaks to form, be patient.

Spread the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with 1/2 cup of the whipped cream. Arrange 1/2 of the cookies on top of the cream, fitting in as many as you can without overlapping.(see photos) Spoon 1/2 of the remaining cream mixture on top and smooth evenly with an offset spatula or if no offset spatula use a butter knife. In spoonfuls , app. every 2 inches, spoon half of the lemon curd onto the cream and then use a butter knife to swirl the curd into the cream. Top with another layer of cookies, followed by the remaining cream. Spoon  the remaining lemon curd and swirl into the cream again with the butter knife. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cookies have softened, it should be fine after at least 3 hours and you can make a day ahead and just leave in the fridge!

It would be pretty garnished with some lemon zest , some lemon slices or fresh berries, we were in a rush to eat it so no garnish in my photos. Next time!

*if you use a bowl you’ll just have to figure out the cream to cookie ratio but make sure you follow my steps so it ends up the same.

*another good thing–I actually froze leftovers and when I wanted to eat it , I removed from freezer for about an hour and it was perfect.

Happy Memorial Day Blackberry Cobbler

before cobbler gets baked , with biscuit topping

before cobbler gets baked , with biscuit topping


finished product - Yum

finished product – Yum

photo (3)

Memorial Day 2019 is almost upon us and the weather here in NY is supposed to be beautiful and we can enjoy a wonderful 3 day weekend. This particular holiday is always celebrated on the last Monday of May to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military.  So let’s spend some time this weekend to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for this wonderful country of ours.  

It’s a most perfect time to pick up some of these beautiful blackberries and what better time than to make this delicious cobbler. Go grab some of these black beauties and make this cobbler this weekend and look like a professional baker! Absolutely the most delicious and served alongside some Vanilla Ice Cream this is just perfection on a plate. This is really easy and I promise that it will get rave reviews.

Enjoy the unofficial start of the summer season! We finally made it.

Ingredients:

1 pound or about 3 1/2 – 4 cups blackberries , cleaned , rinsed and dried

1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar, I use regular granulated sugar for cobbler inside and on top I use turbinado sugar. 1/2 cup granulated sugar for inside cobbler and 1/4 cup turbinado

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk or you can use low-fat buttermilk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup boiling water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl I place the clean blackberries that I’ve washed and dried. I sprinkle them with the arrowroot and lemon juice and mix gently  Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, I sift the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and butter. Stir until just combined, don’t over stir, it shouldn’t be smooth. Then by the moundful drop dough onto blackberries. I spread around a little bit but don’t completely cover the top of berries. ( see photo) the dough will spread a little once it’s baked.

Pour boiling water over the dough and fruit before you bake it. Sprinkle top with 1/4 turbinado sugar or regular sugar. Raw sugar or turbinado sugar makes it a little crunchier topping. I prefer it to regular sugar for a topping.

*if you are preparing in advance which is what I did today. Prepare up till the boiling water and sugar part. Refrigerate for up to 2 days , bring to room temperature then pour boiling water and top with sugar and bake. I baked for app. 45 minutes till dough gets browned and crackly looking and blackberries are bubbling. ( see photos)

Happy Cooking and Happy Memorial Day from my kitchen to yours.

My Favorite Macaroons–Traditional Style for Passover

macaroons for passover

I am not sure why I only make these macaroons during Passover. They are definitely my favorites; they are very easy to make, look totally professional, and are the Passover cookie in my book. These can be made ahead of time and stored. I usually make a few days before the Seder because I dip them in melted chocolate (just the tops). You don’t have to dip, you can leave plain. I dip up to 1/2 the macaroon in the chocolate. They are sweet and crunchy on the outside, and moist and chewy on the inside. After Passover, if there are any left over, I freeze them. Cannot have them lying around. Of course you may make these any time of year…they are always welcome on the menu.

*When dipping, just turn macaroon upside down (with top part into the chocolate). I usually go just a bit more than the top (probably 1/2 the macaroon into the chocolate). Use as much or as little as you like.

*just a little note, silpat is awesome to use for this recipe instead of parchment paper. You must cool completely before trying to lift off the paper. Also before you dip into chocolate I like to cool down completely.

Ingredients:

3  large egg whites (When I bake, I always leave eggs out so that they are at room temp.)

1/2  cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (14 oz.) sweetened, flaked coconut ( I like this Angel Flake Baker’s Brand, but they’re all fine)

*1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (You can really use any semi-sweet chocolate to melt. It’s just easy with the chips.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you can use non stick cooking spray, like Pam, but I just line with parchment, which works really well).

In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar and salt until frothy. With a fork, stir in coconut until moistened.

Using a level tablespoon (measuring ones are perfect), pack the mixture into the spoon, so all macaroons are equal size. Drop mixture onto prepared sheet (cookies will not spread). Bake until golden brown, about 25 – 30 minutes. Towards the end, check on them to be sure they don’t burn. I make a little peak with my fingers on the cookies before I bake them (this makes for easier dipping). You can also just leave the top round — this is perfectly fine.

*To melt chocolate on stove top: I bring a small saucepan of water to a rolling boil, and on top of it put a small stainless (oven proof) bowl filled with the chocolate.( works like a double boiler if you don’t have one) When it completely melts, take off heat. Once macaroons are completely cool, you can dip the tops. Just make sure chocolate and macaroons are cooled off first. Just dip top of cookie in chocolate and place on a plate to cool. When I am all done, I refrigerate the macaroons to set the chocolate. You can leave in fridge until you are ready to serve and take out with enough time to bring to room temp. Before serving, I usually use a cool cookie sheet with parchment paper to cool off cookies once they’ve been dipped.

*should yield about 20 – 25 cookies. You can double if you’d like.

Peach Farfel for Passover – crowd favorite


This is most definitely a “must have” Passover recipe.  It has been a winning recipe ever since my friend Audrey gave it to me many years ago. This one is probably one of the most favorite Passover staples. Recipes are funny in that -they tend to spread out to a wide group of people and people start passing them down to their people and so forth and so on and before you know it no one remembers where the original recipe came from , they just remember that it was on their Passover table and they can’t imagine a Seder dinner without it.  Enjoy this one; it is sweet and makes for a delicious side dish with poultry or beef. This has always been a crowd pleaser. I know, the amount of eggs is obscene on this holiday! This one has 7 eggs in it!!!!!

Make this part of your Passover tradition, you’ll be happy you did.

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

1 box matzoh farfel (I think it’s in a canister now) you will need 16 ounces of the farfel

2 15 oz. cans sliced peaches

7 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks margarine, melted

2 tsp. vanilla

4 cups hot water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dry farfel in a bowl, then pour hot water over it. Let stand until absorbed.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, syrup from peaches, salt, sugar, margarine, and vanilla. Add farfel and combine well. In a well sprayed 9 x 12 baking dish, pour 1/2 the mixture, then arrange a layer of peaches on top. Add remaining mixture on top, then top with remaining peaches. Sprinkle with just a bit of cinnamon if you’d like. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve hot out of oven, or room temp. It is quite delicious at room temperature, if you don’t have the room in your oven, and it makes for a pretty awesome leftover.

Can be assembled, cooked 1/2 way through, then cooked the rest of the way through on the day of the holiday.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread (no butter)

I just love pumpkin and I can’t stop posting about it. Pumpkin Season is here.  I love baking this bread because the smell in the house is beyond. I usually serve pumpkin bread and a banana bread in my bread basket on Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe that there is no butter in this moist, delicious bread. I make both of these way ahead of time, because they freeze so well. You can even double the recipe if you have two loaf pans, and eat one now and tuck one away for another day like Thanksgiving. It’s a nice thing to bring to someone’s house as a gift as well if you’re so inspired. Also, this bread is loaded with aromatic spices.   This recipe will make one perfect loaf.

It is also a lovely gift to bring to someone’s house .

*this bread freezes beautifully for up to 8 weeks. Double wrap it in plastic and put in a resealable plastic freezer bag, and put the date on it. Defrost, still wrapped in the plastic to avoid condensation on the bread, at least 2 hours before serving. I take out of freezer the night before I’ll be using it.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour (I sift)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts (obviously this is optional)

You will need a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, parchment paper, large bowl, medium bowl, whisk, silicone or rubber spatula.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position oven rack in the center of oven.

Lightly coat the loaf pan with melted butter and dust with flour, or spray with Pam. I line my loaf with a piece of parchment paper that extends one inch beyond the edge of the pan (this makes it easy to life the bread out. It is optional , just make sure you grease pan in one way or another first. If you’re not comfortable working with parchment paper, skip it. I like it but it can be tricky in a loaf pan. Just grease well, or give it a good spray.)

In a large bowl, sift the flour. Then, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and salt until thoroughly blended. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and the water. Add the sugar and blend well. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and blend well. Add the pumpkin moisture to the dry ingredients and whisk until well blended and smooth. Add the walnuts and stir until they are well distributed. Use a spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 55 – 65 minutes, until the bread is firm to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean from the center of loaf.  I let it cool for about 10 minutes, then I turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. I don’t freeze it until it is completely cool.

Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery – One of my Top Ten Desserts that you don’t even bake

Since the first time my daughter Jenn made this dessert we have added it to our Thanksgiving Table. Just what you need after that big dinner is this dessert!!! We love it and can’t get enough of it. Whether you’ll be making it for Thanksgiving or anytime just be prepared to fall in love with it. Completely decadent and totally ridiculous in calories and richness it is love at first bite.

It is actually a subtle taste of bananas, but I wouldn’t make this if I didn’t like bananas. I happen to just adore bananas and I absolutely love love this pudding. I cannot have it in the house because I will continually find an excuse to go into the fridge and eat it till it’s pretty much all gone.  As full as I was last year and swearing I wasn’t going to eat another thing for at least a week, when I saw this  pudding I knew I was going to eat it.  I find it impossible to resist, and I know others who suffer from this same fate. If you’re in the market for a purely decadent rich over the top dessert then this is it for you. Probably up there in my top ten desserts ever. This is from the More from Magnolia Cookbook so how could it be bad?

*this recipe really needs time , so you must start the day before to let initial pudding set, and then you’ll need at least 4 more hours minimum before serving. So you must factor time into your preparing of this awesome pudding.

Ingredients:

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 1 /2 cups ice-cold water

1 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix ( preferably Jell-O brand)is there another brand?

3 cups heavy cream

1 12 ounce box Nabisco Nilla Wafers ( no substitutions) is there another brand?

4 cups sliced ripe banana

Directions:

In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and cold water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more.* Cover and refrigerate for 3 – 4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer , whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remains.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl ( preferably glass) with a 4 – 5 quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, over-lapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding . ( Just crush up a few remainder cookies in food processor) Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for *4 hours–or up to 8 hours, but no longer! Serve and behold the love! My camera broke on Thanksgiving and I took these pictures with my Iphone, sorry I don’t have more.

Serves anywhere from 12- 15

It’s a large dessert and a substantial one. It stands alone beautifully!