Key Lime Pie

This recipe comes from an old friend and the former chef, Jeff Lohmann of my husband’s restaurant in 1979. Jeff sent us the key limes from trees in Palm Desert-what a treat. A few things are different with the recipe-he uses brown sugar in the graham cracker crust and he doesn’t prebake the crust. Also there are no eggs in the recipe but two cans of sweetened condensed milk and sour cream. The sour cream seems to lend a velvety texture to the pie.
whole-key-lime-pie
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2 c. graham cracker crumbs, crushed
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 oz. melted butter
Combine and press into pie plate.
Mix together:
3/4 c. key lime juice
1 T. key lime zest (about 4 limes)
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. sour cream
Pour into pie plate and bake for 10 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until firm.
key-lime-pie

Molasses Cookies

From What’s Gaby Cooking blog that is one of my new favorites! I grew up with a molasses cookie with raspberry jam in the center and have never found the recipe but I will try it in these cookies the next time I bake them.
molasses-cookies
¾ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
INSTRUCTIONS

In a large stand mixer combine the butter, sugar, egg and molasses. Mix for a minute or two until well combined.
Combine the flour, cloves, ginger cinnamon and baking soda and sift together.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and mix until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Once chilled, scoop 2 tablespoons of dough at a time and roll into balls. Roll them around in a small cup of sugar and set onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool.

Double Ginger Molasses cookie with Bittersweet Chocolate

I have just received the new Dorie Greenspan cookbook called Cookies! It is a 500 page tome of many delicious cookies that I will cook my way through! This was a winner that I took to my volunteer group yesterday. As my friend said, there is a lot going on in this cookie and there is but the flavors all work well together. If your crystallized ginger isn’t moist, try steaming it in a strainer over simmering water for 5 minutes, pat dry and chop.
double-ginger-choc-cookie
2 1/4 c. (306 grams) all purpose flour
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2 t. instant espresso powder, to taste (optional)
1 1/2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. fine sea salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 T or 6 oz.)butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1/2 c. unsulphured molasses
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla
1/3 c. chopped crystallized ginger (or 2T. minced fresh ginger mixed with 2t. sugar)
7 oz. (200 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped chip size
sugar for rolling
Whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso, spices, baking soda and salt together.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add yolk and beat for one minute, then add molasses and vanilla, beating until smooth. Turn off the mixer and add the dry ingredients all at once and pulse several times. On low speed, mix the dough until the flour is almost incorporated. Add the crystallized ginger and chocolate and mix until evenly distributed. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You can bake these cookies as round balls or in buttered muffin tins (they will turn out more like little cakes. Roll the cookie into a ball and turn it into the sugar to coat it and place in a muffin tin (flatten it with a glass to 1/2″ thick) or on a cooking sheet.
Bake for about 13 minutes, rotating after 7 minutes. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before unmolding or putting on a rack to cool completely.

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies

From the wonderful blog https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/04/salted-chocolate-chunk-cookies/. You must read her blog as she is very convincing and funny about needing another chocolate chip cookie recipe! This is a winner and delicious!
salted-choc-chunk-cookiejpg
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado sugar (aka Sugar in the Raw; you can use more brown or white if you don’t have this, but the subtle crunch it adds is delightful)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (165 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon (or, technically, 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon) fine sea or table salt
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 pound (225 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate, cut into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with a serrated knife
Flaky sea salt, to finish

Heat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in salt fine sea or table salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. The dough will look crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.
Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon (I used a #40 scoop) mounds, spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still very gooey and soft inside. Out of the oven, let rest on baking sheet out of the for 5 minutes before transferring a cooling rack.

Ultimate Chocolate Brownie

After reading this article in the WSJ, I was hooked. I ordered the Belgian chocolate mentioned in the article from Amazon and made the brownies. I used a half sheet pan that is a tad larger than the measurements the recipe called for but needed the extra room. I had never made a brownie recipe quite like this where you add the eggs at the very end. My brownies overflowed a little but the taste is over the top.
ultimate-chocolate-brownie
Vegetable oil spray
2 cups cake flour
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
12 ounces dark chocolate, preferably Belcolade 60% cacao, coarsely chopped
2 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ¾ cups granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of a 12-by-16-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Line bottom with parchment paper, then spray parchment.
Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk eggs, vanilla and salt until combined.
Set a metal bowl over a pot to create a double boiler. Add enough water to pot to reach just below bottom of bowl. Heat water in double boiler to a steady simmer. Place chocolate and butter in bowl of double boiler, and cook, stirring to prevent chocolate from burning, until melted. (Alternatively, microwave them together in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted.) Whisk chocolate and butter briskly until combined.
Place sugar in a large bowl, then pour melted chocolate mixture over top. Whisk to combine. Add half of flour mixture to chocolate, whisking gently. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Add egg mixture to bowl. Use a rubber spatula to carefully fold all ingredients together, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until combined.
Pour batter into prepared sheet pan. If there are streaks of egg visible on top of batter, use spatula to smooth them into batter using a circular motion. Smooth top with a small offset spatula or a rubber spatula.
Bake brownies until batter has risen a bit, crust is even and slightly bubbling, and edges are starting to dry out and break, 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan, on a wire rack, before serving.

Hazelnut, peach and raspberry cake

A delightful cake from Yotam Ottolenghi. I updated the metric weights to our weights. I only used 6 oz. of raspberries and I mixed all of them with the peaches.** I cooked the cake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the center was set. I did not find the need to cover the cake with foil while it baked. This cake is at its best when slightly warm; that said, it will keep for a day, but not much longer. Serves 10.
Peach and Raspberry Cake

2 tsp sunflower oil
2 large peaches, peeled and stoned and cut into 1.5cm/1/2″-wide wedges
200g/7oz. raspberries
320g/11 1/4 oz./1 1/2 cups caster sugar(fine baking sugar)
125g/4.4 oz./1 cup blanched hazelnuts
200g/7 oz. soft unsalted butter
3 large eggs, beaten
125g /4.4 oz/1 cup plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt

Hazelnut cake

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Line a round, 24cm/9.5″ spring-form cake tin with baking paper and brush with the oil.
Put the peaches in a bowl with 150g/5 1/3 oz. raspberries and a tablespoon of sugar, mix and leave to steep.
Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz for about a minute – you want them only roughly ground.
Beat the remaining sugar and the butter in an electric mixer until smooth and well combined, then add the eggs one by one, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Add the ground hazelnuts, flour, baking powder and salt, then mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the cake tin. Arrange the peach slices and raspberries randomly on top and bake for 70 to 80 minutes; after 30 minutes, cover the cake with foil to prevent it from taking on too much colour. Remove the cake from the oven, leave to cool slightly, then release from the tin.**Arrange the remaining raspberries in the centre of the top of the cake and serve.

Citrus Caramel Blondies

This is from Food and Wine’s America’s Greatest Cooks. I liked the idea of it and made the recipe as is for my first try, but then I doubled it and made it in a larger pan and I thought it was much better. The caramel is very simple and easy to make and I think the key is to let it cool down to room temperature before you use it.
Citrus Caramel Bars
Caramel

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt (see Note)

Blondies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Make the caramel In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon of water and bring to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil the syrup over moderately high heat until a deep amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in the cream, butter and Maldon sea salt. Let the caramel cool to room temperature.

Make the blondies Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray an 8-inch square metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the pan with parchment paper, allowing 1 inch of overhang on 2 opposite sides; spray the paper. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the kosher salt and baking powder. In a medium bowl, whisk the butter with the brown sugar until combined, then whisk in the eggs and orange zest. Add the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated.

Make the blondies Spread the batter in the prepared pan in an even layer. Drizzle the caramel over the top, then swirl it decoratively using a toothpick. Bake the blondie for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool completely. Lift the blondie out by the overhanging parchment and peel off the paper. Cut into bars and serve.

Crisp Toffee Bars

From the NY Times, this is more like a toffee flavored shortbread. It originated with the wonderful baker, Maida Heatter and was adapted to be cooked in a 10″ cast iron skillet. You can add nuts or chocolate or both to the batter. You can also bake the bars in a 9 by 13 inch pan.
Toffee Bars
2 sticks/225 grams unsalted butter, cold but not frozen, more for buttering the pan
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup/210 grams soft-packed dark brown sugar
2 cups/240 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup/100 grams slivered or sliced almonds (or walnut pieces), toasted, or 6 ounces/170 grams chocolate chips or small chunks

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a rack in the middle and place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on it.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on low speed for about a minute, until softened. Scrape down the bowl and the paddle.
With the mixer running at low speed, add salt and vanilla. Add the brown sugar, then turn the speed up to medium and beat until mixture is the color of peanut butter and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl again.
With the mixer running at low speed, shake in flour, beating just until dough holds together. Mix in nuts or chocolate just until combined.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place a small lump of butter in it. As butter melts, brush it onto the bottom and sides of the pan until evenly coated.
Dump dough into skillet and press it out to evenly fill the skillet. You can use your fingers (being careful to avoid touching the hot pan), a potato masher or the bottom of a measuring cup. Press dough down firmly to make a compact, even layer.
Transfer to oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is walnut brown. You may be tempted to take it out when the edges have begun to darken, but let it continue to cook so the entire surface can take on that color. There may be bubbles visible on top of the dough; that’s a good sign.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan. If necessary, run a butter knife around the sides of the pan to loosen. Square off the circle shape of the pan by cutting the four rounded edges off; you will have an approximately 9-inch square. Cut the square into bars, squares or diamonds. (The rounded edges can be chopped or crumbled and used as an ice cream topping.)
Let the bars cool completely before removing from pan. Use a small spatula or butter knife to transfer them to paper towels to blot the buttery bottoms. Store in airtight container; they keep well for up to 1 week.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

This is a simple cake from Williams Sonoma blog that is easy and delicious! I made it in a springform pan rather than a cake pan but the choice is up to you. It is perfect for breakfast or as a snack in the afternoon.
Blueberry Crumb Cake
For the crumb topping:
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, melted

For the cake:
1 3/4 cups (9 oz./280 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups (8 oz./250 g) fresh blueberries

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pan.

To make the crumb topping, in a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and lemon zest. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

To make the cake, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla and beat until well blended. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture. Beat on medium until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Cover evenly with the blueberries. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the berries.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.

Crack Pie

From the famed Momofuko Restaurant in NYC. It is totally addicting. From the homemade oat cookie crust to the caramel like filling, it is a huge treat! You can make it ahead and in steps, make the cookie crust one day and finish the pie the next day.
Oat Cookie Crust
Nonstick vegetable oil spray or butter
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided into 6T and 3T
5 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided into 2 T. and 3 1/2 T
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt

Filling
– 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (for dusting)
Crack Pie
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray or lightly grease with butter. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly to edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.
Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl; add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
Filling
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer. Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight.
– Do Ahead: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
– Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold.