Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I came across this recipe on the internet, like a lot of recipes I make, and thought it sounded good. Like most recipes, I’ve changed it up a bit; added some lemon and fresh raspberries (the original only called for jam). It’s still a work in progress, I’m not totally happy with the crumble topping. But all and all it turned out pretty tasty. I also liked that is wasn’t super sweet. Enjoy!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar, divided 3/4 and 1/4
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter plus 2 Tbsp
  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 Tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 Tsp lemon extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 350°. In a food processor; pulse the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, lemon zest, and butter until it’s crumbly. Sort of like making pie dough. Set aside 1 cup for the crumble topping. Combine the remaining mixture with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, 1 egg and lemon extract. You’ll probably want to switch to a bowl and use a hand beater for this. The batter will be really thick! Spread it evenly into a lightly greased 9″x13″ baking pan. It’ll be a challenge because it’s thick. Don’t worry if it isn’t super even.

In another bowl beat together the cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 egg until smooth. I recommend beating the cream cheese and sugar first, then add the egg. Pour this mixture over the batter and smooth out. Dollop the jam into the cream cheese mixture and sprinkle the fresh raspberries across the top as well. I don’t recommend using frozen raspberries and they tend to be too “wet”.

Take the 1 cup of flour mixture that you set aside and combine with 2 Tbsp of room temp butter. Crumble this across the top of the cake. Bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Key Lime Pound Cake with Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

So a friend of mine posted this recipe to my Facebook page, suggesting I give it a try. And clearly he wanted some key lime pound cake. I was totally up for the challenge. The first challenge was finding key limes! Being in the Pacific NW, they’re not as readily available as one might think! So after consulting the hive-mind of Facebook, I found them at QFC. I picked up a 1lbs bag and off to the kitchen I went. I did modify the original slightly, cut down the sugar for one. Also I added a little key lime liqueur. It turned out delicious. However I will be modifying the frosting recipe in the future. It’s good but I’d like it to have more lime flavor. Enjoy!

Key Lime Pound Cake

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter at room temp (hence the name, pound cake)
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs at room temp
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 lbs fresh key limes, zested and juiced
  •  1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup key lime liqueur
  • 1 Tsp real vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 300°. Spray 2 loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Using a stand mixer on medium-high, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated. Don’t worry if it starts to look like cottage cheese. Add the juice, milk, zest, vanilla and key lime liqueur and beat until combined.

Lower the speed to medium-low and add the flower 1/2 cup at a time. Beat until light and fluffy again, shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes. Pour evenly into the bread pans. I like to line mine with a little parchment paper as it makes taking them out so much easier. Bake for 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese at room temp
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup key lime liqueur
  • 1 Tsp real vanilla extract

Directions:

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on high until light and fluffy. Lower the speed to medium and add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Beat until well combined. Add the key lime liqueur and vanilla, beat until well combined. Frost the tops of the cooled loafs and serve.

Raspberry Lemon Breakfast Rolls

This recipe is adapted from one from Food and Wine. I upped the lemon factor in it by adding both lemon extract and Limoncello. Enjoy!

Raspberry Lemon Breakfast Rolls

Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tsp lemon extract
  • 4 1/4 cups (or so) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading.

Filling:

  • 1 heaping cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • 2 Tbsp Limoncello

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon or 2-3 Tbsp of Limoncello

Directions

Nuke the milk until it’s between 100° to 110°. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment; add in the milk, yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Let sit for 5 to 7 minutes, it’ll become foamy. On low-speed add in the butter, eggs, lemon zest, salt, and lemon extract. Slowly add in the flour, about 1/2 a cup at a time. Beat for about 2 minutes. The dough will be sticky. You want it to start to pull away from the sides of your bowl. You may need more or less flour, depending on your conditions (humidity, etc.). Once it starts to pull away switch out the paddle attachment for a dough hook. You may have to scrap down the sides of the bowl.  Beat on medium speed for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 2 minutes. It should be soft and slightly sticky. Place in a large glass bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Spray the top of the ball of dough as well, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm location to rise. It should double in 1 to 2 hours.

In a medium bowl toss the raspberries, sugar, lemon zest, cornstarch and Limoncello. Add in the raspberry jam.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out on the floured board and roll out to a roughly 10×20″ rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough and then spread the raspberry mixture over that.

Starting with the long edge, roll the dough into a 20″ log. Take a 9×13″ pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray (or you can butter it is you want the additional flavor). Cut the dough into roughly 2 to 2.5″ slices and put them cut side down in the pan. Raspberry will inevitably ooze out, scoop it up and put in on top of the rolls. It’ll be fine.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for an hour or so. Don’t worry if the rolls don’t fill the whole pan, they will after they rise.

Preheat your oven to 400° and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the juice are bubbly. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice (or Limoncello). Add the juice a little at a time, you don’t want your glaze to be too funny. Drizzle over the tops and enjoy!

Raspberry Plank Cheese Wheel

OK I got the recipe for this out of a Costco magazine. It is absolutely delicious and one of my summer favorites. You can make this on a grill or in your oven, either one will work. It does require some special equipment, cedar planks, but it’s well worth it. Plus I like to use them to make salmon as well. The longer you soak the planks in water the less likely they’ll catch on fire (on the grill anyway). Enjoy

Raspberry Plank Cheese Wheel

  • 1 wheel of cheese, I use brie or camembert
  • 1 cup ripe raspberries
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Thyme (the lemon variety is perfect for this)
  • 1 Tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Soak your cedar plank for at least 1 hour, longer if possible. Combine the raspberries, honey, almonds, thyme and pepper in a bowl. Place your cheese wheel on the soaked plank and spoon the raspberry mixture on top.

If using a grill, preheat it on high. Turn the burner off on one section, this is where you will place the plank. You don’t want it directly over flames as the board will catch on fire eventually. Leave the other burners on. I’m assuming you’re using gas here. If charcoal, then put the briquettes on one side and the plank on the other.

If using the oven, pre-heat to 400°. Place a wire rack on a sided cookie sheets (this is going to get messy). Place the plank on the rack.

Cook for 30-45 minutes, or until the cheese starts to ooze out of the rind. Serve with crackers and enjoy the molten goodness.

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I’m always on the lookout for gluten free options for desserts. You know, we all have that one friend. This is based off of a recipe from Pati Jinich, who is on PBS. Her recipe calls for pecans, not a fan here so I substituted almonds instead. I added a few other things and bam! A great gluten free dessert. Another bonus? You can make this in your blender. Enjoy.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1 Tsp Espresso powder
  • 1 Tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°. Spray a 9″ springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Set a medium glass or metal bowl over a medium pot with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer. Add in the chopped chocolate and butter, stir until it’s smooth and melted. Set a side to cool slightly.

In a blender, chop the almonds until they are finely ground. Add the eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt and melted chocolate. Blend until smooth. Pour into the pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes our moist but not wet.

Allow it to cool and then release the springform pan. Invert onto a plate and then flip it again. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, or whip cream or even chocolate sauce. Some berries add a fine touch as well.

Limoncello Sugar Cookies

One of my coworkers (actually several of them it turns out) likes lemon. It was her birthday recently and another coworker suggested I make lemon cookies for her. Well that’s fine and all but I thought I’d kick it up a notch. So I created this recipe for Limoncello Sugar cookies. Turned out pretty well according to the office (they were gone pretty fast). The trick to a good sugar cookie is to not over-cook them or they turn out dry and crispy. If they’re a little underdone, you pop them back in the oven for another couple of minutes to finish cooking and they’re fine. Enjoy

Limoncello Sugar Cookies

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tsp real vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp Limoncello liqueur
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp fine kosher salt
  • Sanding sugar or sprinkles

Directions

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; about 4 minutes. Add in the eggs, vanilla, Limoncello, lemon zest; mix until combined.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on medium-low, slowly add the flour and mix until just combines.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop a tablespoon full, or so, onto the sheet; keeping about 2″ between each cookie. They will spread and flatten out as they cook.

Bake in a 350° oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are barely turning brown. You don’t want to over cook them. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar or sprinkles as soon as you take them out of the oven. Allow to cool and then eat!

Dutch Apple Pie

So recently I was away at a conference and on the last day there was a bunch of fruit that the resort had put out for us that our staff hadn’t taken. So I was like, we paid for this so I’m going to take it. I scored 4 Granny Smith apples and a bunch of bananas. The bananas I can freeze, that’s easy; but I wanted to use the apple before they went bad (and didn’t really want to freeze them). So I decided on making a Dutch apple pie. Like many recipes, I switch it up a little. I like pumpkin pie spice mix instead of the individual spices most recipes call for. I also add a little Calvados, which is an apple brandy. The alcohol burns off and I find it enhances the apple flavor. Enjoy

Dutch Apple Pie

Dough
  • 2 1/2+ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tsp sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp kosher salt*
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and cold
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water
Filling
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4-5 apples (depending on the size, you want about 3 lbs)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Calvados brandy
  • 1 1/2 Tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
Streusel Topping
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp kosher salt*
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
*You want the salt to be fine. Kosher salt runs the gamut from really course to fine, I just put it between my palms and rub it; it comes out pretty fine.

Directions

For the dough: I use my food processor and pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the cold butter and continue to pulse until it looks like cornmeal with pea-sized bits of butter. Beat the egg with 2 Tbsp of cold water and add it in. Pulse until the dough just comes together. If it’s dry add a little more water, just a bit at a time; you don’t want it to be too moist or the dough won’t be flakey. Dump out onto a lightly floured board and gather it into a round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days).

For the filling: Peel and slice the apples into wedges, I like mine fairly thin. Put in a medium bowl and add in the lemon juice and 2/3 cup of sugar. Toss to coat and set aside. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add in the apples and cook, over medium-high heat, until the sugar dissolves (about 2 minutes). Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and cook for another 7-8 minutes (until the apples have softened). Use a colander and the bowl you had the apples in to strain off as much of the liquid as you can. Put that liquid back in the skillet, with the 2 Tbsp of Calvados, and cook over medium heat until it has thickened and turned golden brown. This will take about 10 minutes.

Pour the apples out of the colander back into the bowl and add the syrup from the skillet. Add in the pumpkin pie spice and mix well. Put it in the refrigerator to cool. It can last for up to 2 day if you cover it, 6 month if you want to freeze it.

For the Topping: In a medium bowl combine the flour, brown sugar and salt. Add in the butter and combine with your hands until it clumps together.

Assemble the pie:  Pre-heat your oven at 375° with the rack in the lower 3rd setting. On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough until it’s roughly a 12″ circle (or just slightly bigger than your pie pan). Gently press it into your pie pan (a 9″ pan is what I use but you can use slightly larger or smaller). Cut most of the excess off the edges, crimp if you want, and then add the apple filling. Take the topping and drop clumps of it on top until it’s completely covered.

Put it on a cookie sheet, just in case of overflow, and bake for about 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool before eating or you’ll burn the heck out of your mouth.

 

Bourbon Caramel Mascarpone Dip

So I was thinking to myself the other day, what am I going to do with the left-over mascarpone cheese I had from making my tiramisu? If you read my previous post, you’ll remember that I picked up a 5 lbs bucket from Smart Foodservice Warehouse. Then it hit me, I like cream cheese dip so why not try something similar with the mascarpone? So talking to my friend Google, I came across a whole bunch of ideas. But somehow a recipe for bourbon caramel popped up. I had an Ah Ha! moment and this dip was born. Enjoy!

Bourbon Caramel Mascarpone Dip

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp corn syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp bourbon, divided 2 Tbsp & 1 Tbsp
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 16 oz mascarpone cheese, at room temp
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 4 apples, sliced

Directions

In a heavy pot, I like my Le Creuset Dutch oven, bring the sugar, water, corn syrup and pinch of salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cook until it starts to turn golden brown, swirling occasionally. Watch it closes as it can burn pretty quickly. As soon as it’s a nice golden brown, pull it off the heat. Which in the cream and bourbon, watch out as it’ll steam violently. Once it’s calmed down, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Allow it to cool.

In a medium bowl, cream together the mascarpone cheese with the powdered sugar. Add in the remaining Tbsp of bourbon and almost all of the bourbon caramel sauce. I like to leave just a little so I can drizzle it over the top of the dip. Use the sliced apples as you spoon and enjoy!

 

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

So one of my family members posted this recipe to Facebook. The only modification I’ve made is to up the garlic (because I LOVE garlic) and removed spinach. Which I love as well, just not in this kind of dish. It’s pretty easy to make and actually fast, 30 minutes. Just have all your items prepped before you start, you’re not going to have time to do it as your cooking. Enjoy!

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper, + more for seasoning the chicken
  • 1/2 Tsp salt, + more for seasoning the chicken

Directions

In a large skillet add the olive oil and heat to medium-high. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then cook on each side for 3-5 minutes (until golden brown). Remove from the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Add the butter and melt. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute to get rid of the flour taste and it starts to thicken. Whisk in the chicken broth, cream, cheese, garlic powder, 1/2 Tsp salt and 1/4 Tsp pepper. Stir until it starts to thicken. Add the chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes. I like to serve this with mashed potatoes but you can also use pasts.

Cinnamon-swirl Apple Slab Pie

I got this recipe from watching Martha Stewart. Again I modified it slightly but not much. I added a little calvados, which is apple based brandy. Also more cinnamon, it didn’t taste very cinnamony the first time I made it, so I added cinnamon to the apple filling as well as the topping. Be warned! This thing is huge! But incredibly tasty. It’s a good recipe for taking to a large party. The picture isn’t the greatest but I forgot to take it until I was at work with a bunch of coworkers waiting to dig in. Enjoy!

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Cinnamon-swirl Apple Slab Pie

Dough (double the recipe, make in 2 batches)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2  Tsp kosher salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut in small pieces and cold
  • 7 to 8 Tbsp ice water

Directions

In a food processor; pulse the flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces or butter remaining. Drizzle in 5 Tbsp of water and pulse to combine. Add more water, 1 Tbsp at a time, and pulse until the mixture holds together when pinched.

Form into a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Slab Apple Pie

  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour plus some for dusting
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (4 at room temp and 2 cut into small pieces and cold)
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 Lbs pie apples (I used Granny Smith) cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher salt, divided 1/4 & 1/4
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy)
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Sanding sugar

Directions

On a lightly floured board, roll out one rectangle of dough into a 12″x17″ rectangle (or the size of your rimmed baking sheet). Transfer to the baking sheet, pressing it into the bottom and up the sides. Fold any overhanging under and around the edge.

In a small bowl, combine the room temp butter, brown sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, and 1/4 Tsp salt. Roll out the second rectangle of dough to 12″x16″. Spread the butter mixture all over the dough. Starting at the long edge, roll it up tightly into a log. Transfer to another baking sheet. Refrigerate both doughs for at least 1 hour.

Pre-heat your oven to 425° with the rack in the lower third and a foil-lined baking sheet on a rack below that. In a large bowl combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, flour, 1/4 Tsp salt, vanilla and calvados. Toss to coat.

Fill the pie crust on the baking sheet that you refrigerated. Dot with the cold butter.

Cut the dough log into 1/4″ slices, rotating with each slice to keep them round. Arrange the slices over the apple mixture, slightly overlapping until covered. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm.

Brush the top of the pie with the egg you’ve beaten and sprinkle with the sanding sugar. Bake for 20 minutes so the top crust will set. Reduce the temp to 375° and bake for another 1 or until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Cool before eating.