Watermelon Gazpacho

watermelon-gazpacho
Serves 6

1 ½ cups mint, chopped
4 large English cucumbers, peeled and chopped
2 1/3 cups seeded and diced watermelon
1 cup plain Greek yogurt or Tofutti sour cream
1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup pepitas, toasted

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the mint. Place the remaining mint in a large bowl along with the cucumbers, 2 cups watermelon, yogurt, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, ginger, cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoon salt. In small batches, puree in a food processor until smooth. Place in a pitcher or large bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Taste the gazpacho before serving and season with additional salt if needed. Divide the soup among 6 chilled bowls and top with the feta, toasted pepitas, remaining watermelon, and reserved mint.

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

malted-choc-chip-cookies

Need a summer or beach snack? Want to liven up regular chocolate chip cookies? How about make an incredible ice cream sandwich with crispy, soft, and flat chocolate chip cookies? These cookies are a great spin on regular chocolate chip cookies and have become a late afternoon treat for the kids playing in the yard. Malted milk powder is the secret ingredient and it adds a smoky, sweet, flavor to these cookies. They spread on the baking sheet so don’t cook too many at the same time, and this makes them awesome in homemade ice cream sandwiches too.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

2 sticks unsalted margarine/butter, softened
3/4 cup golden brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup malted milk powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
One 12-ounce bag milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream the butter, then add both sugars and cream until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat slightly, then add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add the malted milk powder and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture, beating gently until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir in gently.

Drop by teaspoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between the cookies (they spread out quite a bit). Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. The cookies will be very flat and very chewy. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan with a spatula.

Optional: Allow to cool completely, then use 2 cookies to make an ice cream sandwich. Add sprinkles to the sides of the ice cream, then wrap individually in plastic wrap.

Sweet Corn Soup with Imitation Crab or Smoked Salmon

sweet-corn-soup-crab-ck
Serves 4
Refreshing and sweet and perfect as a first course for Shabbos! Use any type of fish, imitation crab, smoked salmon, sushi-grade salmon or tuna, or omit and serve with microgreens as a garnish.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
5 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 6 ears)
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
1/3 cup non-dairy creamer, pareve whipping cream or soymilk
1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 pound imitation crab, or other fish, chopped

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add corn, salt, and pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 6 minutes. Place corn mixture and non-dairy milk/whipping cream in a blender. Be careful blending hot mixture, allow some steam to escape. Blend until smooth.
Place peas in a small bowl; mash slightly with a fork. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil, basil, and imitation crab; serve over soup.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Celebrate Dads and Grads with these adorable and delicious cupcakes. They scream bright, fresh, adorable and happy! Perfect for BBQ time too. The frosting is so decadent and these have a showstopper presentation.

02_Cupcakes_091.tif

Makes 18 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup pareve creamer (non-dairy milk), soymilk, or whole milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the meringue:
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon limoncello or other lemon-flavored liqueur (optional)
6 to 7 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners (or bake one batch and repeat with same pan). Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl until combined. Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, pareve milk, vegetable oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling them ¾ of the way to the top (not more or they will bake too high). Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 24 to 28 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make the meringue: Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to high and gradually beat in 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; beat until stiff shiny peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Combine the remaining 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, the corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture registers 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 6 minutes; remove from the heat. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites; increase the speed to high and beat until the meringue is fluffy and cool, about 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe onto the cupcakes; set aside at room temperature to firm up, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, limoncello and food coloring in a microwave-safe bowl until smooth. Microwave 1 minute, then whisk again until the sugar dissolves; let cool about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dip the meringue-covered tops of the cupcakes into the glaze, letting the excess drip off. If the glaze gets too thick, microwave 20 seconds.

Mocha Ice Cream Pops – Pareve or Dairy

mocha-ice-pops
I saw these delicious and fun summer treats in Food and Wine magazine. I made them for a BBQ and they were a big hit and definitely scream, “Summer is here!” I made them pareve but they are certainly creamy and good in the dairy version too.

Serves 10

2-1/2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup ground medium-roast coffee (3 ounces)
1 cup heavy cream or pareve whipping cream
Chopped toasted hazelnuts, toasted nuts, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips

Line a sieve with cheesecloth. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with the coffee and 
1 3/4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 4 minutes, stirring. Strain the coffee over the chocolate; whisk until melted. Let cool, then refrigerate for at least 
2 hours or overnight. In a medium bowl, using 
a hand mixer, beat the cream with the remaining sugar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Whisk the chilled mocha mixture until smooth, then fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mocha mixture into the ice pop molds and freeze for at least 4 hours. If using hazelnuts, press the frozen 
ice pops into the chopped nuts and return to the freezer 
for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Classic Cucumber Salad

classic-cucumbersalad
Serves 8 -10

2 English cucumbers, sliced thin
1 Vidalia onion, sliced thin
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill

In a large bowl, mix cucumbers (don’t peel them, the color is nice). Add water, sugar, vinegar, salt and dill. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve. Best prepared a few hours or a day ahead of time, so that the flavors have time to meld together.

BBQ Desserts

BBQ season has officially begun. This means not only great meats, marinades, condiments, and side dishes but also special desserts that pair so well with BBQ. For me, that is either poundcake, strawberry shortcake, fruit crisps, or brownies and blondies. These are all big hits on GKC. What are your BBQ dessert favorites? I’d love to share your BBQ recipes, please SHARE your recipe with us! Or take a pic of it and send it to us.

Super Terrific Poundcake
BBQ Strawberry Shortcake
Cherry Berry Crisp
Crunchy Chocolate and Pareve Nutella Brownies

Cherry Berry Crisp

cherry-berry-crisp

Serves 8

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks cold margarine
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Three 12-ounce bags frozen tart cherries
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon almond extract
To Serve:
2 cups pareve whipping cream
Pareve Vanilla ice cream, optional
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the crumb mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.

Cut the cold margarine into pieces. Add to flour mixture and with a fork or pastry blender, cut it into the flour mixture. The mixture should resemble a moist, coarse meal. Add the slivered almonds and combine thoroughly.

Place the still-frozen cherries in a bowl, add blueberries, the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cornstarch and almond extract and gently stir the cherries to combine.

Pour fruit into an oven-safe baking dish or divide fruit between 8 ramekins (about 1/2 cup each). Top with the crumb mixture, pressing it slightly onto the fruit.

Bake until the topping is crisp and golden brown, about 45 minutes. If the topping appears underdone, continue baking in 10 minute increments until it's done.

To serve: Whip the pareve whipped cream in a standing mixer. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serve the individual crisps warm or at room temperature with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or pareve vanilla ice cream.

BBQ Strawberry Shortcake

strawberry-shortcake
Serves 10

1 Super Terrific Poundcake
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup pareve whipping cream or heavy cream, whipped until soft peaks form

In a small bowl, mix strawberries with sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Slice poundcake in 1 ½ inch thick slices and place on a dessert plate. Spoon berries and juices over slice. Top with whipping cream.

Alternatively, slice cake horizontally. Spread whipped cream over center of cake, top with berries and juices. Place other half of cake on top of fruit and whipped cream. Chill. Top cake with any additional fruit, berries and whipped cream. Slice and serve.

Super Terrific Poundcake

poundcake
Serves 10

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup pareve whipping cream or heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Do not preheat the oven. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and tube of a 9-inch tube cake pan.

Cream the margarine/butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, but do not overbeat. Set the mixer on slow speed and stir in the flour and cream alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla and stir well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and put the cake in a cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Begin timing now and bake the cake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. The toothpick should be clean when it is removed. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to continue cooling.

2 Weekday Dishes, So Easy Peasy

We just finished a beautiful Yom Tov, lots and lots of cooking and serving and great meals shared with special people. I’m a bit tired though and in need of some quick and light dinners to get through the next few, very busy, weeks before summer. Luckily, a guest bought me an interesting and useful new cookbook, titled, Sheet Pan Suppers, by Molly Gilbert. She brings a whole new perspective to the art of weeknight cooking. Everything cooks right on a rimmed baking sheet, quickly and with little cleanup. Try these two from her book.

Broiled Salmon and Asparagus with Crème Fraiche
Sweet and Savory Chicken Thighs with Zucchini and Summer Squash

Sweet and Savory Chicken Thighs with Zucchini and Summer Squash

spicy-chicken-thighs-summer
Serves 4

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for cooling rack
6 medium yellow squash or zucchini, or both (about 1 1/2 lbs. total), sliced into 1/2-in. rounds
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1-1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken thighs (5 to 8 pieces)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat broiler with oven rack 3 to 4 in. from heat. Set a metal cooling rack in a 12- by 17-in. rimmed baking sheet and coat lightly with oil.
Remove cooling rack and put squash on baking sheet. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper; toss to coat. Spread squash in a single layer and set cooling rack on top, nudging squash aside as needed so rack lies even.
In a large bowl, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt with the curry powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Set aside 1-1/2 teaspoon spice mix.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the chicken thighs to large bowl and toss chicken to coat. Place spiced chicken smooth (skinned) side up on cooling rack over zucchini.
Broil chicken and squash, turning chicken once, until starting to char at edges, about 16 minutes total.
Meanwhile, make glaze: Whisk together reserved spice mix, honey, mustard, and vinegar in a small bowl.
Remove chicken and zucchini from oven. Generously brush chicken with glaze. Return to oven and broil, smooth side up, until nicely charred and an instant-read thermometer registers 165° when inserted in thickest part, about 4 minutes. Remove rack of chicken from baking sheet and set aside.
Return squash to oven and broil until most pieces are charred, 2 to 3 minutes more. Lift squash from juices and serve with chicken.

Broiled Salmon and Asparagus with Crème Fraiche

broiled-salmon-asparagus
Serves 4

2 bunches asparagus (about 2 lbs. total)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
4 skinned salmon fillets (5 to 6 oz. each)
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallions

Preheat broiler with oven rack about 4 in. from heat.
Snap off bottom of an asparagus spear to see where it breaks easily. Line up remaining spears and slice off bottoms at the same spot. Put trimmed asparagus on a 12- by 17-in. rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on baking sheet.
Season salmon with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then set on top of asparagus in a single layer.
Broil salmon and asparagus until salmon is no longer translucent but still moist in center and asparagus is browned in spots, 8 to 12 minutes. If asparagus isn't done, lift salmon to a platter and return asparagus to oven for a few more minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together crème fraîche, mustard, chives, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
Serve salmon and asparagus with crème fraîche sauce.

Italian Ricotta Cookies

italian-ricotta-cookies
By Melissa Clark, from the New York Times

Lush, creamy, crunchy and full of lemon.

2 sticks (1 cup) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
425 grams sugar (about 2 cups)
1 ¾ cups ricotta cheese (15 ounces)
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
480 grams all-purpose flour (about 4 cups)
10 grams baking soda (2 teaspoons)
4 grams fine sea salt (about 3/4 teaspoon)
450 grams confectioners’ sugar (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup to 1/2 cup milk, as needed

Using an electric mixer, cream 2 sticks butter with sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add ricotta, lemon zest and 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and beat well. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula, then beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Cover dough and chill for at least 2 hours and up to a week.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line several cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners. Shape tablespoons of dough into balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake until pale golden on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks
Melt remaining tablespoon butter. Whisk confectioners’ sugar to break up any large lumps, then whisk in melted butter, lemon juice, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and enough milk to make a spreadable icing. Spread icing on cooled cookies, then let set for at least 20 minutes before serving

Sweet and Sour Strawberry Semifreddo

sweet-and-sour-strawberry-semifreddo

Serves 8

I tried this recipe from Bon Appetit and it’s not only gorgeous and chic but creamy, sweet and delicious. Omit the black sesame seeds if they are too strange for you or serve with extra chopped strawberries.

1 pound strawberries, hulled, quartered
⅓ cup sugar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of kosher salt
⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk
½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

Cook strawberries and sugar in a medium pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until strawberries have broken down into a thick, chunky jam (they should not be syrupy), 10–15 minutes. Stir in vinegar; let cool.

Meanwhile, toast black sesame seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool.

Whip cream and salt until cream holds a medium-stiff peak. Gently whisk in sweetened condensed milk and yogurt until completely blended. Gently fold in half of strawberry jam, just enough to create streaks, then gently fold in remaining jam (mixture should look marbled with pockets of jam).

Transfer to a medium bowl or loaf pan and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

Serve semifreddo topped with toasted sesame seeds.

Penne Alla Vodka

pennealavodka
Serves 4

Here it is….a great classic penne alla vodka. Everyone loves it, admit, even food snobs like me. This one is creamy, and also super flavorful, others can be cloying and overly rich. This is definitely a Shavuos treat!

Kosher salt
12 ounces penne
1 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta for 1 minute less than package directions for al dente.
Meanwhile, pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and use your hands to break them up.
Heat the oil and garlic in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Discard the garlic.
Add the tomatoes (and their juice) and the red pepper flakes to the garlic oil; raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 8 minutes.
Add the vodka and cook for about 2 minutes to mellow the alcohol. Stir in the heavy cream and 1-1/2 tsp. salt.
Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Toss over medium heat until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce, about 3 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the cheese and parsley.

Herring

My mom enjoys herring and my grandmother did as well. I didn’t get the Jewish fish gene, and cannot tolerate herring or even smoked salmon. So despite my personal interest in herring, I think it’s great to have some homemade special versions to serve to mom or at a Shabbos Kiddush. Anyone can buy it, but these versions have delicious taste and texture and are truly unique. Summer is a great time to entertain, these herring recipes are a perfect way to start a meal or to serve at Shalosh Seudas. They can be made days in advance and stored, covered in the refrigerator.

Mustard Pickled Herring
Curried Pickled Herring

Mustard Pickled Herring

staple-herring
Serves 10 – 12

1 cup Tofutti sour cream
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onions
1 tablespoon pareve whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
Dash of white pepper
2 apples, peeled and finely diced (about 1 pound)
10 ounces pickled herring, drained and spices removed

Mix together the sour cream, onions, cream, mustard, sugar, white pepper and apples in a medium bowl. Gently toss the pickled herring with the mustard mixture until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate for 2 hours prior to serving.

Curried Pickled Herring

Serves 10-12

1/2 cup seedless green grapes, halved, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely diced red onions
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 apples, finely diced (about 1 pound)
10 ounces pickled herring, drained and spices removed

Mix together the grapes, mayonnaise, onions, curry powder and apples in a medium bowl. Gently toss the pickled herring with the curried mayonnaise mixture until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving.

My Mom’s Dairy Rugelach

rugelach-14
Makes 2 dozen
My favorite combination is cherry jam with walnuts, but use whatever you have or whatever combination you like.

Dough
2 cups flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 cup cottage cheese
Pinch of salt

Filling
1/2 cup cherry jam, strawberry, or any flavor jam
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts, divided
1/2 chopped dried cherries, craisins apricots, optional, divided
1/2 cup coconut, optional, divided
Topping
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

In a food processor, use pulse to gently blend dough ingredients together until a smooth dough forms. Divide into 4 equal pieces, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Dough can also be frozen for up to three months.

Preheat oven to 375.

On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 8-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick.
Spread each circle with 2 tablespoons jam, Then sprinkle 2 tablespoons nuts, 2 tablespoons dried fruit and 2 tablespoons coconut on top of jam. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the circle, like a pizza, into 8 wedges. Starting at outside edge, roll each wedge to enclose filling.

Grease two cookie sheets. Place rugelach seam side down on prepared cookie sheets about 2-inches apart. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle each cookie with cinnamon sugar topping.

Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack. Let rugelach rest 10 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

Coconut Cookies

3 eggs
2 cups flour
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

In an electric mixer, beat eggs, flour, butter/margarine, sugar, baking powder and vanilla extract until smooth. Separate into 4 equal parts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While dough is chilling, make filling: In a small bowl, mix coconut, pecans, sugar and lemon juice.

Sprinkle flour on work surface. Roll each of the four sections into a rectangle, about 12-inches long and 8-inches wide. Dough should be about ¼-inch thick. Sprinkle ¼ of the filling on top of dough, spreading evenly but leave about ½ inch on each side. Roll dough lengthwise into a log. Wrap in plastic or parchment paper and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. Repeat with other 3 pieces of dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats. Slice dough about ½-inch thick. Place on baking sheets, two inches apart, and about 12 on each sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Rocky Road Fudge

Betty Snider’s Rocky Road Fudge, made with love whenever we visited.
Makes 5 dozen 1-inch fudge squares

2/3 cup (1 small can) evaporated milk
1 2/3 cup sugar
½ cup chopped nuts
1 ½ cups mini marshmallows
1 ½ cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine evaporated milk and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir well. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Refrigerate. When cool, cut into 1-inch squares.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

895_Page_231web
Makes 24
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted margarine or butter
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, such as Medaglia d'Oro
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole walnuts in large chunks
1 cup whole pecan in large chunks
2/3 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a double boiler or over very low heat, in a medium saucepan, melt butter, 6 ounces of the chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate, stirring occasionally, until just melted. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes.

In an electric mixer, beat the eggs, espresso powder, and vanilla until combined. Add the sugar, raise the speed to medium-high, and beat for 2 minutes, until the batter is thicker.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Combine the 1/3 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and fold it into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. In another bowl, combine the walnuts, pecans, peanut butter chips, the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate chips, and the tablespoon of flour and fold it into the chocolate mixture. Drop by rounded mounds, about 2 tablespoons each of batter, 1 inch apart onto the prepared sheet pans. Bake for 15 minutes exactly. Cool on the baking sheets.

Carrot-Walnut Loaf Cake

carrot-walnut-loaf-cake
Recipe by Bread Bakery, NY
If you only have an 8½x4½" pan, there’s no need to go out and get a new one. Simply hold back about 1¾ cups batter for later—it makes a mean waffle!

SERVINGS: MAKES ONE 9X5" LOAF

1 cup vegetable oil, plus more
1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; plus more
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces carrots, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil and flour a 9x5" loaf pan. Whisk baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and 1 ¼ cups flour in a small bowl. Toss raisins, walnuts, and remaining 1 Tbsp. flour in another bowl.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. With mixer running, gradually drizzle in 1 cup oil, then add vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients, raisin mixture, and carrots; scrape batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 65–75 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Strawberry-Almond Cornmeal Cake

strawberry-almond-cornmeal-cake
Equal parts fruit crumble and coffee cake, this not-too-sweet dessert starts out bright pink but bakes to a toasty golden brown. As seen in Bon Appetit magazine.

SERVINGS: 12
Strawberry Crumble
½ cup raw skin-on almonds
2 ounces freeze-dried strawberries
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter or margarine, cut into pieces

Cake And Assembly
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cornmeal
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces almond paste
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 pound strawberries, hulled, half halved, half quartered
Powdered sugar (for serving)

Special Equipment
A 9" springform pan

Strawberry Crumble
Pulse almonds in a food processor until about the size of grains of rice. Add strawberries and pulse to a coarse powder. Add flour, sugar, and salt and pulse just to blend. Add butter/margarine and process until no dry spots remain.

Cake And Assembly
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, break up almond paste in a large bowl until crumbly. Add sugar and butter/margarine and mix until blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well to incorporate after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients.

Scrape batter into pan; scatter strawberries over top, followed by clumps of crumble. Bake cake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 80–90 minutes. Let cool in pan before unmolding. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

Do Ahead: Cake can be baked 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

How I love it: With a hot cup of coffee and any extra crumble from the pan.