A good friend of mine (thanks again, Jay!) sent me this a long time ago and it’s still one of my favorite crowd-pleasing cupcakes to make, though a bit labor intensive. The recipe is from Bake It In a Cake and it’s a mini pumpkin pie baked inside of a vanilla cupcake with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It’s not too sweet and has a wonderful texture that is light though it appears dense. I had a lot of extra cupcake batter, pumpkin pie batter, and some pie crust so you may want to account for that to make more mini pies or even a small pumpkin pie and a few plain vanilla cupcakes. Enjoy!
Sparkling Cardamom Spiced Cranberries
This recipe comes from a friend here in San Antonio – Annice Hill. She is an amazing cook and and was so sweet to share this with me. It’s perfect for the holidays and my in-laws have lovingly named these ‘Crackberries’ because of how addictive they are. The cardamom adds a slight spice which I really like. Though a little labor intensive, they are well worth the effort. Annice likes to display them in a clear glass or crystal bowl or a compote. No refrigeration required.
Review: South Alamode Panini & Gelato Company
“South Alamode Gelato opened in May 2014 serving gelato at local farmers markets utilizing the freshest locally sourced fruits, milk, nuts, and other ingredients.” – South Alamode Website
It is a BYOB gelato and panini cafe that opened a storefront in May 2015 in the King William district (Blue Star Arts Complex) that is dog friendly and delicious.
What more can you ask for?
Cardamom + Saffron Spiced Almond Biscuits / Badam Puri
Badam (Almond) Puri is a dessert that is usually eaten during Diwali but I decided to try out the recipe that my aunt shared with me since the only Indian sweets I tend to like come out of her kitchen. Almonds are a good source of protein, fiber, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats so I try to eat a handful every day. These puris make it a little more fun to get my daily almond fix and my husband ate 4 crispy chewy puris right from the cooling rack so I know they’re a winning recipe 🙂 They aren’t too sweet and have a nice texture to them without any flour – just lightly sweetened almonds and some delicate spices. I like to toast them in the toaster oven when I eat leftover cookies because they lose a little bit of the crunch while being stored. Enjoy! (more…)
Chocolate Shiro / Gujarati Semolina Halwa
Shiro is a Gujarati sweet dish made for many celebratory occasions. My mom makes a very special chocolate version that is really unique – I don’t know any other Indian auntie that makes it this way so I consider this recipe a rare treat 🙂 My mom used to make chocolate shiro any time my brother and I weren’t feeling well and it was such a delicious pick-me-up. Recently my husband was feeling under the weather so I asked him if he wanted shiro and his face lit up and just the thought of it seemed to make him feel better. One really interesting thing about Indian food is how a base ingredient like semolina can easily become something sweet or savory (see Upma recipe). This shiro recipe is unique with the addition of chocolate chips – traditionally it is only spiced with cardamom, some golden raisins, and sliced nuts (cashews/almonds). Enjoy! (more…)
Apple Pie with Oat Streusel Topping
For most people, Thanksgiving’s centerpiece is the turkey. For me, it’s dessert. I love my mother in law’s apple pies so much that I save 3/4 of my plate for dessert and call dibs on the leftovers. She shared this recipe with me and I am so excited to share it with you. The original recipe is here but after reading reviews and some other tips/tricks, I’ve edited it to include all the suggestions that I found helpful. I make the pie crust the night before since most well-rated recipes call for letting the dough chill overnight to ensure a flaky and tender base. There are a lot of debates about which type of baking dish is best: glass vs. metal. I like the glass since you can see the color of the crust to ensure that it’s cooked all the way through.
Butter Pie Crust Recipe
This is my mother-in-law’s go to recipe for pie crust. The original recipe is here. The most frequent comments that I’ve seen on homemade pie crusts include the importance of cold ingredients/tools and not working the dough too much. Using a small measured amount of ice cold water so the dough just sticks together ensures that your crust won’t be too tough or too crumbly. Once the dough is made you’ll want to refrigerate it for 2 hours up to overnight to ‘relax the gluten’ and re-solidify the fats in the dough so it says in a flaky state and will help prevent shrinking as it bakes. I have a hard time eye-balling 9″ diameter so I just turn the pie plate over to trace the outline on some wax paper so I know when I’ve reached the appropriate diameter and then go 2″ outside of the line to ensure I can have enough height for a 1/2″ crimp on the crust. (more…)
This recipe from the Joy of Baking has a really great tutorial on how to make these delicate treats. Stephanie Jaworski is an excellent teacher and graciously allowed me to post her recipe here. I have only tried a few flavors of French Macarons and always find them too sweet. I like this recipe because I think it creates the perfect balance of bittersweet chocolate ganache between lightly flavored cookies. The texture is spot on after 1-2 days refrigerated and then thawed to room temperature before eating. You should have a slight crunch on the outer shell followed by a chewy consistency and then the creamy center… yummm.