Tag Archives: dessert

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Cherry Almond Cookies by accordingtocarey.com

I have a confession:  I don't usually like chunks of dried fruit.  I suppose it's the texture more than anything that bothers me but for whatever reason I won't usually eat something if it has... say raisins in it.   The same goes for dried blueberries, apricots, peaches, apples, persimmons, etc., etc.... you get the point.

And then last week at work I received this little gift:

Weird gift, right?  Except... at my day job we build and sell tree shakers.  Big machines that shake ripe fruit and nuts from their trees.  The cherries in this container were shaken from their tree by one of our shakers.  It's kinda fun to see the end product of everyone's labor, from the welders that molded the machine together to the farmers who grew the fruit.  And here it sits on my desk, farm to table.  Very cool.

What were we talking about?  Oh yeah, cookies!

Even though I normally have a bad attitude about dried fruit, I was determined to incorporate these ruby gems into a recipe.  I grew up on a cherry far for goodness sake, I can think of something!  And that's when Cherry Almond Cookies were born.

I figured if I chopped the cherries up super fine, the texture would no longer be an issue and I would still get all that great cherry flavor.  Problem solved!

I started with a base recipe from my Grandma Shirley that includes a healthy dose of natural almond flavor.  Why almond?  (Hold on to your seats because this is where the geek in me comes out.)  Did you know that almonds and cherries are related?  Yep, they are both from the Prunus genus of fruiting trees.  If you have ever cracked open the pit of a cherry, peach or nectarine you may have noticed the resemblance to an almond.  Their kissing cousins! Without hesitation I knew this flavor combo would work.  Plus the tartness of the cherries would play well against the richness of the butter. One whole cup of butter to be exact.  I never said these were health-food cookies!

My Grandma's original recipe (Chinese Almond Cookies) is so ridiculously simple, the only ingredient you might not already have in your cupboard is pure almond extract.  If you don't have it, go get some!  You can use it in a ton of recipes from baked goods to coffee to cocktails.  And if you happen to accidentally splash a little on you while cooking, it will make you smell irresistible.  To squirrels, that is.

cherry almond cookies raw cookie dough

Here is how simple the recipe is:

  • Sift together your dry ingredients.  And by "sift" I mean dump them all in the mixing bowl and use a whisk to quickly combine them all together.
  • Add the fat of your choice, butter or Crisco.  I usually choose salted butter.  Cut the butter in til the whole mixture resembles wet sand.  You can do it by hand or with a mixer.
  • Add the eggs, almond extract and in this case, finely chopped dried cherries until it all comes together in one big ball of dough.

And now you're ready for baking!  That whole process comes together in less than 5 minutes and with only 18 minutes of baking time you can have buttery, delicious cookies in under 30 minutes and you will love me because they are awesome!  I will post the whole recipe below.

Have a terrific summer weekend, bake some cookies, enjoy this crazy life!

Cherry Almond Cookies by accordingtocarey.com

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter or shortening, softened

1 slightly beaten egg

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries

1/4 cup slivered or halved almonds

Preheat oven to 325.  Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl, using a whisk to gently stir till all combined and no lumps are visible.  With an electric mixer or by hand cut in butter or shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal or wet sand.  With an electric mixer or large wooden spoon add egg, extract and dried cherries, mixing gently until one large, soft ball of dough forms.  Using a small spoon, scoop out a small portion of dough and roll into a 1" ball, about the size of a walnut.  Place balls on an ungreased baking sheet with about 1 inch in between each cookie.  Take an almond half or a couple slivers of almond and lightly press them onto the top of the dough ball, pressing down slightly so the middle has a slight indentation.  Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes, until the edges are just barely beginning to turn golden.  Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes before eating.  Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

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I have been a little obsessed with dessert lately.  Not that I've eaten a lot of them, but I've been on the hunt for... something... you know when you are craving something and you don't know what it is?  Well, I found it.  I was craving this: mini apple pies.  But not just any little pie, ones made with egg roll wrappers.  This appeals to me in the same way a super-thin crust pizza appeals to me.  I don't feel as guilty if the crust is light and  "other stuff" is healthy-ish.  Apples are healthy, right?  Cinnamon is healthy, right? We just won't think about the sugar right now.

I stumbled on this recipe from spoonforkbacon.com over on Pinterest and I think I might give it a whirl on Easter Sunday.  I'm already making Ina's Potato-Fennel Gratin and I know some of the sisters are  planning on bringing dessert but you can never have enough dessert.  Sacrilege.  Let us never speak of it.

While reading through the recipe I noticed that they use tapioca pearls in their filling, a little trick I use in my berry crisp because the tapioca creates a thickness in the sauce without adding flavor or strange texture.  You won't even notice it's there but will make a dreamy filling.

So here's the gist:

You combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl (apple, tapioca, lemon, cinnamon, sugar, etc.) and let it sit a bit to meld.  Take your little egg roll wrappers and add a dollop of filling, seal and bake until lightly crisp and browned.  Oh yum.

You can get the whole recipe here:  Baked Apple Pie Egg Rolls

And while we're at it, feel free to follow my boards on Pinterest.  I pin a lot.  A-lot-a-lot.  Muchos pasadores.

Happy Easter everyone!  He is risen!!

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I am a sucker, A SUCKER I TELL YOU for lemon meringue pie.  My favorite pie, hands down.  And while we're on the subject of lemony desserts, I may have once accidentally eaten a whole pan of lemon bars that my grandma made, in one afternoon.  I said maybe!

But lemon meringue pie, to me anyway, is the perfect mixture of tart and sweet and that toasty, chewy bit of meringue on the top is like the cherry on top of a sunday.  So naturally when I saw this recipe on Pinterest I saved it to my board but I didn't go back to actually read the recipe until this evening and wow am I glad I did.

First of all, the recipe comes from a site called Stone Soup and it is just darling.  She (Jules Clancy) hails from Australia and specializes in quick meals with few ingredients and this recipe is extra special because it is a 15 minute recipe like her 15 minute lasagana.

Secondly, along with the print recipe she has a video (see below) of her making this quickie pie (actually it's 8 mini-pies) so you can see her exact process.  I really appreciated the video because she gives some great tips about the meringue, something that can seem a little daunting to most people.  I also totally dig her accent.

And lastly, I just want to point out that she doesn't use pastry for the "crust", she uses shortbread crumbs which I think is brilliant and I can just imagine it adds a nice bit of texure to an otherwise soft and squishy filling.

My mouth is totally watering.  I must make this ASAP and so should you! You can find the full recipe here.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_fUFzZBlnA]

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First I had to keep it a secret because I didn’t want to spoil the surprises for anyone. Then I had to keep it a secret because I didn’t have time to edit the pics off my camera.  The life of a blogger, sheesh!  This is going to be the world’s longest post, but I don’t want to split it up into 2 or 3 posts so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy as I take you through our evening.

My sisters and I have been talking about doing a Pinterest Party for… forever.  We are all on Pinterest, pinning this and that, following each other’s boards, experimenting, etc.  We wanted to throw a party where everything was inspired by the things we saw on Pinterest: we would cook Pinterest recipes, decorate with Pinterest decor & give gifts of DIY Pinterest.

Finally Natalie pulled the trigger and said, “My house, be there!”  So last Friday night we finally had our Sisters Only Pinterest Party!  I will try to link you to our “pins” that inspired all this merriment.

Natalie & I worked on the decor earlier in the week.  Our goal was to keep the decorations, foods, gifts, etc. fun but still simple & inexpensive.  So we used picture frames we already had and printed out the Pinterest logo (which they so willingly provide on their website) to fill them.  I created a simple “Welcome to our Pinterest Party” sign that sat on the main table along with some pretty PInterest inspired vases that Natalie pinned.

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And see all those little “p’s” on the table?  I just used a template from Avery for 1” circle labels then used my 1” circle punch to cut them out.  Instant Pinterest confetti!!  We spread them all over the room.

At each place setting Natalie placed a little card of her favorite Pinterest quotes. 

The food, oh the food!  When you combine 6 girls who love to cook (and eat) you are going to get one crazy good meal.

We started out with appetizers from Adrienne and beverages from Andrea.  The appetizers were bacon wrapped jalapenos with a cream cheese filling. Oh...my...goodness.  I could have eaten the whole plate.  But those other 5 couldn’t keep their hands off of them either, darn it.

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pdrinks

Andrea made not one, but two beverages:  a blueberry lemonade and a pear sangria.  Both good to the last drop and I can’t wait for summer so I can enjoy them again and again.

 

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Then there was the main course by Natalie: grilled spice rubbed chicken, veggie couscous and grilled asparagus (which we forgot to serve, oops!).  Really tasty, but also really easy to put together. I don’t have her pins for those, maybe she’ll share later.

Each of us brought a small gift for each of the other sisters, which of course, was inspired by something we had pinned on Pinterest.  My gift was hand dyed ombre tea towels, inspired by this pin:

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I hope to share that project with you soon!

Natalie made 3 little presents (cheater): a little bracelet made with embroidery floss, a paint-chip bookmark and lavender salt & sugar scrubs.

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Here is a group photo of what the rest of the sisters made:

I’ll try to point them out to you separately…

See the dainty little ric-rac ring and button bobby pins?  Amy made those, inspired by these pins:

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The mug was hand stenciled by Andrea, a project I have meaning to do and just never got around to.  Now I don’t have to!  She was inspired by this pin:

Source: designmom.com via Erin on Pinterest

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Adrienne created the hot cup cuff with the most amazing fabric! I’m not exactly sure which pin she was inspired by but it might have been this one:

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The last gift was from Angela and you might not be able to tell what it is from the photo above.  Just below the mug you will see a pink-ish rectangular item.  Know what that is?  It does this:

pmoustache 

Clever, no?  She used this pin for inspiration:

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After our little gift exchange, Amy presented her sinfully delicious dessert, which somehow I didn’t get a picture of.  Must have been the food coma.  But I’m pretty sure she pinned it here:

Source: annies-eats.com via Amy on Pinterest

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They were sweet, salty, buttery… all the things a dessert should be.

It was a fun night of sharing, gabbing, eating and just being sisters.  We plan to have more Pinterest Parties in the future, this was just the trial run.  But it was so much fun and I look forward to the next one!

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photo courtesy of creature comforts

It got dark tonight at 7:30pm.  7:30!  And although the days are still pretty hot, the mornings are getting cooler and so Fall is definitely on its way.  When I ran across this recipe at Creature Comforts earlier this week it made me think of Autumn and hot cider and cinnamon and falling leaves and... comfort.  I could use a good dose of comfort this week, how about you?

The recipe is really easy: dip the cored-apple rings into a simple batter, shallow fry them and drizzle with a buttery-cinnamony icing.   For the full recipe (which is really from howto-simply.com) at Creature Comforts click here.  Happy Weekend!

I love, love lemon.  And citrus really.  It's so bright and reminds me of spring.  Here's a little homey recipe just in time for the weekend from Martha Stewart, Lemon Custard Cakes. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, enjoy the sunshine!