Monday, September 27, 2010

cherry cobbler

the goods:

3 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
2 cups cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing
2 and 1/2 pounds frozen cherries (or 3 pounds fresh cherries, pitted)
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. Using large holes on a box grater, grate butter into flour mixture. With a fork, stir in cream until dough comes together. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a 3/4-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. With a biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. (I used a cookie cutter, and if I had a do-over I would have just used a plain old biscuit cutter so the tips wouldn't all burn.)

In a bowl, combine cherries, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla.

Divide mixture among four 1-cup ramekins.

Top each with dough pieces. Brush tops with cream.

Bake cobblers on a rimmed baking sheet until biscuits are golden and juices are bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

Let cool 15 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, September 20, 2010

hot fudge sundaes

the goods:

hot fudge:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1/2 cup light-brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

whipped cream:
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar

vanilla ice cream

Fudge: In a small saucepan, bring sugar and cream to a boil over medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves, 2 minutes. Add butter and chocolate; stir until chocolate melts and sauce is smooth, 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla and salt.

Caramel: In a small saucepan, bring sugar, butter, and cream to a boil over medium-high. Cook, stirring until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla and salt.

Whipped cream: Combine heavy cream and sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

Refrigerate any leftover sauce and reheat gently to serve.

Monday, September 13, 2010

orange-almond cupcakes

the goods:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup orange marmalade
1 cup almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold heavy cream, whipped to medium peaks with 3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degree, with rack in upper-third position. Line 18 muffin-pan cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and 1/3 cup marmalade until pale yellow and fluffy, 4 minutes. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process almonds until finely ground. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and process until almonds are completely incorporated into flour mixture.

With mixer on low, beat eggs, one at a time, into butter mixture, scraping down bowl after each addition. Add buttermilk and flour mixture each in 3 additions (ending with flour), scraping down bowl after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup batter. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Let cupcakes cool in pans on wire racks.

Top each cupcake with a dollop of whipped cream and a teaspoon of marmalade.

Monday, September 6, 2010

toffee-chocolate squares

the goods:

13 graham crackers
1 bag (8 ounces) toffee bits
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place graham crackers in a single layer on sheet, edges touching. Sprinkle toffee bits and almonds all over graham crackers.
In a small saucepan, bring sugar and butter to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is syrupy, 2 minutes. Immediately pour over graham crackers. Bake until sugar topping is bubbling, 12 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate over graham crackers.

Using a pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch squares while still warm.

Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack.