Tag: raspberry

Vanilla Bean Thumbprint Cookies

When I was in my teens I worked the counter at a small bakery. They made some amazingly delicious things, one of which were birdnest cookies: a sturdy yet crumbly shortbread cookie covered in toasted coconut and a deep red jewel of raspberry jam in the center. As much as I am a fan of coconut in all sorts of dishes and sweets I always felt like those “nests” were too rich. This version is less sweet, more petite and still jam-jewel studded with raspberry and for a different twist: marmalade. The vanilla bean freckles add to the flavor and charm and they disappear as quickly as you can make them ie: FAST!

Vanilla Bean Thumbprint Cookies

makes 6 dozen 1″ cookies

1 lb salted butter at room temperature

1 Cup (packed) light brown sugar

1Tbsp vanilla bean paste

4-5 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup jam(s) of your choosing (I used raspberry and marmalade)

Note before you begin: you can mix this dough by hand or with a stand mixer but I would not recommend hand mixers. This dough is very sturdy and requires kneading that handheld mixers can’t manage.

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Combine the butter and sugar and cream together. If you’re using a stand mixer, use the lower settings – the objective here is to specifically NOT incorporate air. Once the sugar is dissolved into the butter, add the flour one cup at a time. You will need slightly more than 4 cups and possibly as much as 5 of its a humid day. The dough should crack slightly when you press your finger into it but still be soft and pliable, not chalky. Once the flour is mixed in, knead the dough on a lightly floured board until it’s cohesive and smooth (about 3 mins with the dough hook on a stand mixer).

Scoop the dough with a 1Tbsp scoop and place flat side down on ungreased cookie sheets. I find I can get 2 dozen little scoops on each sheet. Using the end of a wooden spoon, press a divet into each lump of dough.

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Load up a pastry bag with jam (or a zip top bag with a snipped off corner) and squirt jam to fill each divet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until the  bottoms are tinged gold and the surface of the cookie looks matte.

Allow to cool on the pan.

Then, drizzle a glaze of 4 heaped Tbsp and 2 tsp lemon juice over top.

Chocolate Cake with Raspberries and Brown Sugar Creamcheese Frosting

I would wager that sometime in the near future you might have some friends over for dinner. Or maybe you’ll be invited to a party. As the excellent host that you are you’ll want to make a show-stopper dessert that your guests will love, and as a guest you’ll do as your mother taught you and ask what you can bring. Sure, a bottle of wine is great, flowers are a nice touch, but imagine if you offered to make dessert and showed up with this wicked beauty?

Uh huh. You’d be the hero of that dinner story. (more…)

Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

I recently read an article that suggests that the centre of the Milky Way may taste distinctly like raspberries and smell like rum. The very idea makes me smile – what could be better?

“Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it tastes vaguely of raspberries. The unanticipated discovery follows years of work by astronomers who trained their 30m radio telescope on the enormous ball of dust and gas in the hope of spotting complex molecules that are vital for life. Finding amino acids in interstellar space is a Holy Grail for astrobiologists, as this would raise the possibility of life emerging on other planets after being seeded with the molecules… While they failed to find evidence for amino acids, they did find a substance called ethyl formate, the chemical responsible for the flavor of raspberries … and the smell of rum.”

What a beautiful world we live in. (more…)

Birthday Bliss: Chocolate Cake with Raspberry and White Chocolate Buttercream

Growing up I almost always celebrated my birthday twice – such is the life of the child in the modern (divorced) family. I didn’t mind, it stretched the day out and made for double party, double gifts and 2 cakes, leaving very little to complain about.

I had the sort of parents, both when they were together and even long after they were apart, who didn’t believe in treating children much differently than adults. I led a relatively independent and self-regulating childhood – no bedtimes, no particular discipline, and a lot of interaction with adults who spoke to me like I was a person, not just a kid. As a result I wasn’t particularly rebellious because there was little to rebel against. I was quiet, studious and creative and if I dare say so myself, fairly well behaved.  It’s funny, but when I think back to being little, I almost don’t remember being a ‘kid’ in the way that I remember other children.  I was horrified by kids who had tantrums or (more…)

Raspberry Galette with Dark Chocolate

This is the last post I’ll be tagging as “Summer” and what a sweet goodbye.

I’ll leave you with just the “recipe” today — a brief assembly of 5 ingredients. If you can get your hands on some perfect berries, make this before the summer is fully finished and revel in the jamminess of end-of-summer fruit. The chocolate helps it nudge towards fall, but at its heart, this is a summertime tart.

Raspberry Galette with Dark Chocolate

This recipe uses frozen puff pastry. Once it is defrosted, heat your oven to 425°.

1 block of frozen puff pastry, defrosted

½ a pound of fresh raspberries (or whatever fruit you wish)

2 tsp cold butter cut into teensy tiny cubes

2 Tbsp sugar

1 oz./28 g dark chocolate

On a sheet of parchment paper, roll the defrosted pastry out into a large, thin round, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Place berries in concentric circles, points up all over, leaving a 1″ border. Roll the border towards the fruit to make a border like a crust on a pizza. Snip the border of the pastry with scissors so it can fan out as it bakes. Sprinkle the fruit with the butter and sugar. Using the parchment, slide the galette onto a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the pastry is browned. To check for doneness, lift the edge of the galette – it should be crisp and golden brown on the bottom. While it is still hot, grate the chocolate all over the surface. Serve immediately.