Pastries in Paradise

Posts tagged ‘pecans’

Pumpkin Cheesecake Roll

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With the onset of fall many families have their own go to favorites that remind them of the season. For some it may be caramel apples, others pecan pie, but for me nothing screams fall like Pumpkin. Pumpkin pie is usually my go to dessert this time of year, especially for Thanksgiving dessert but after many years of the same slice of pie and a dollop of cool whip you start to want to branch out a bit, keeping the similar flavors of pumpkin pie but transformed into a new dessert. I stumbled on a pumpkin roll recipe and I won’t lie it looked a bit daunting. Even in culinary school I remember making a similar sponge cake and having to quickly roll it while it was fresh out of the oven and still on fire just to ensure an easy roll later. I let these thoughts fend me off for a little while and was tempted to make some cupcakes instead. That was until I ran into a quaint little jar of Sparkling Pumpkin Cider while at the market and for some odd reason or another it inspired me to give the pumpkin roll a try. I imagined paring up the elegant roll with a glass of cider in a champagne glass and from that moment on I was sold to the idea of taking this recipe on.

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I must admit I was quite surprised at its overall simplicity. I had a lot of concern over how the end result would be but as long as you follow the directions you really run into no problems at all. I have honestly had more problems with cookies that appear much simpler than this. Not to mention this type of cake is by far the easiest you will ever make and the most divine on the taste buds. Instead of having to cut and trim layers the cake batter is simply spread into a sheet pan prepared with greased parchment paper that makes removing it from the pan and rolling it a breeze. By rolling the cake while it was still warm, the cake was able to cool and be trained into the shape necessary to prevent it from cracking or breaking after spreading the filling in place.

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I allowed the cream cheese to soften at room temperature to ensure a smooth frosting and easier spread onto the cake. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before trying to spread the frosting on and then gently re-roll it into a tight cylinder. To get the glamorous look that will make every holiday table shine, all you need is a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and some spiced pecans. If you can’t find spiced pecans, regular pecans you find in the baking aisle can be toasted and then top the cake as shown. The roll can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic or sealed in an airtight container for up to three days.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Roll

 

Pumpkin Roll Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Cake Flour; sifted
  • 2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting; ingredients and formula below
  • Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Spiced or Toasted Pecans

 

Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting:

  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2 cups Confectioners’ Sugar; sifted
  • 8 oz. (1 pkg.) Cream Cheese; softened; cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

 

Formula:

  1. For the Pumpkin Roll: Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Heat oven to 350°. Line an 18 by 13 inch rimmed sheet pan with greased parchment paper. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow in color, about 6 to 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on low speed until incorporated. Gently fold in the flour mixture until combined. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Give the pan a gentle tap to expel air bubbles and even out the batter. Bake the cake until it is firm and springs back when touched, about 15 minutes. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, run a knife around the edges of the sheet pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto a clean sheet of parchment paper dusted with a generous amount of confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off the parchment paper attached to the cake while baking and discard. Beginning from the short end, roll the cake with the fresh piece of parchment into a log and allow it to cool seam side down, about 1 hour.
  2. For the Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, one piece at a time, making sure to beat thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until thoroughly blended and no lumps remain. Before assembling the cake, be sure the mixture is at room temperature for easiest spreading.
  3. To assemble the roll, gently unroll the cake and spread the cheesecake frosting evenly, leaving a 1 inch border around all the edges to prevent the frosting from leaking out the ends when you roll it. Gently re-roll the cake snugly around the filling, leaving the parchment paper behind as you roll. Wrap the finished roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate until filling is well set and chilled, at least one hour and up to 2 days. When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap, dust with confectioners’ sugar and top with pecans.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

 

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Turtle Rice Krispie Treats

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While on the trail for unique or more grown-up versions of the traditional plain Rice Krispie Treat, I stumbled across this little variation inspired by a delicious sundae flavor I love… Turtle. What I love about this formula is not just the taste but that the preparation still stays relatively simple like everyone relies on Rice Krispie Treats to be when they need a go to treat on the fly. Practically the hardest part of this rendition is having the patience to unwrap all the little caramel candies!!! With the flavors of Chocolate, Caramel, and Pecans in a beloved childhood treat, what could really go wrong about this… absolutely nothing ;)

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Now the original version of Turtle Treats I stumbled on uses Cocoa Krispies cereal rather than regular. You can surely do this and it does save time but I prefer melting chocolate with the marshmallows as it gives it a much richer flavor. If of course you are really in a pinch for something then go ahead and use the Cocoa Krispies as an efficient substitution to the chocolate. Of course if you wanted a double chocolate flavor you could melt chocolate with the marshmallows and use Cocoa Krispie cereal. I personally did not choose to do this for fear it may overpower the caramel flavor but I certainly can recommend any chocoholic’s out there to try it.

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Turtle Rice Krispie Treats

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 ½ bags (15 oz.) Marshmallows
  • ¾ cup Dark Chocolate Chips (can substitute Semi-Sweet)
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 7 ½ cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 25 Soft Caramel Candies, quartered
  • 1 cup Toasted Pecans, chopped
  • Caramel Sauce (Optional)

 

Formula:

  1. Grease a 13×9 in. baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the marshmallows, chocolate chips, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the caramels and pecans until evenly distributed. Add the Rice Krispies cereal and mix until well incorporated. Scrape the mixture evenly into the prepared pan set aside earlier and press firmly into the bottom and corners with a greased rubber spatula. Allow to cool completely, approximately 1 hour.
  3. *Optional: You may purchase a caramel sauce or make your own (Use the remaining caramels from the bag you purchased along with enough milk to cover the caramels about halfway. Melt in the microwave stirring every 15 seconds until smooth and creamy. If needed, add more milk to create a creamy smooth texture). Drizzle the caramel over the cooled Turtle Treats. Allow caramel to cool and set, about 15 minutes. Cut treats into squares and serve.

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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM JEREMY SAUER

 

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes

It’s Friday!!! Time to wind down from the long week and what better way than to enjoy another fall favorite flavor. Besides Caramel, another favorite flavor of fall for myself is Pumpkin. I always looked forward to Pumpkin Pie on Thanksgiving as a kid and to this day I still crave it this time of year. But now that I am an adult, I like to experiment with the flavors I have always loved and deconstruct old favorites into new products. Today’s post is the result of a deconstructed Pumpkin Praline Pie translated into a cupcake.

The beauty of these cupcakes are they have the wonderful flavors of a Pumpkin Praline pie but are far easier to transport than the traditional pie and are easy for kids to swipe and run away with before you even knew they were in the kitchen. The base of the cupcake is rich in pumpkin flavor and accented by a great blend of spices. For the Pumpkin Pie Spice I chose a blend that contained China Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg, Ginger, Mace, and Cloves. You can use any brand of Pumpkin Pie Spice but I really enjoy what this particular blend brings to the cupcakes and how it accurately brightens the pumpkin flavor without overpowering it. I would have the base flavor no other way.

To bring the Praline flavor to the cupcake without overshadowing the pumpkin flavor, which must always be the star of the show, I chose a very light and airy whipped topping like frosting called Chantilly Cream. I chose this not only to be a light and delicate way to introduce the praline flavor, but also keeping in mind that this is a deconstructed version of a pumpkin pie and how do most people top their pumpkin pies… with Cool Whip.

To make Chantilly Cream you simply whip cold heavy cream to stiff peaks then add any flavors you are wishing to achieve. For my flavoring, I chose Maple Syrup because it gives a nutty caramel flavor much like what is found in a Pumpkin Praline Pie.  Now I know I often give short cut time saver tips but I really don’t suggest you ever use Cool Whip as a substitute to making Chantilly Cream yourself because there is no comparison to the homemade variety and since it is so simple and takes only a few minutes the stuff you buy prepared really doesn’t save much time and costs far more than standard cream and imparts a processed flavor which can overshadow your flavor additions and even the cake base itself. So no cheating with this one.

To round out the final flavors of the traditional Pumpkin Praline Pie and add an elegant finishing touch to the look of the cupcakes, I toasted and chopped a few pecans and garnished the Maple Chantilly Cream. After a slight traumatic incident involving a spooked cat, cut toe, and suicidal cupcake I had to clean off the floor, I was finally able to enjoy this fall masterpiece that had scented up my kitchen all morning. Let me tell you… the moist, tender pumpkin cake slathered with the light maple cream and crunchy pecan garnish was… truly…. delicious!!!

Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups (7.5 oz.) All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (8.75 oz.) Sugar
  • 8 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 ½ cups Heavy Cream, chilled
  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup Pecans, toasted & chopped

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350°. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan and grease liners with cooking spray (You can use Halloween or Fall themed liners for added effect). Mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter, and eggs on medium-high until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
  2. Reduce the speed to low and add the pumpkin, mixing until incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. A few small streaks of flour may remain which is okay.
  3. Place the batter in a measuring cup for easing pouring and fill each cupcake liner ¾ full. Bake about 12-15 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and allow to cool completely on the wire rack.
  4. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, use a stand mixer or hand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and beat the cream and maple syrup together on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. If you are old school you can also use a whisk and whip the cream by hand for the same results minus a sore arm ;)
  5. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with the Maple Chantilly Cream and pipe in a circular motion on the top of the cooled cupcakes. Finish cupcakes with a sprinkle of pecans. Serve. Store any leftovers in refrigerator up to three days.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2012

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Welcome to another hump day, which on a happy note, happens to be the last one in the month of May for the year 2012. I have been a busy bee lately. Work has consumed me as of late and when not working I will admit I am just too darn tired to do anything else. I do have some side projects currently in the works which have also consumed much of my free time. Keep your fingers all crossed that those do work out. But for today I will be sharing with you some delicious cookies inspired by one of my favorite sundaes I used to eat as a kid from the fast food chain… Culver’s (a chain located in the Midwest). In fact they also do resemble another childhood favorite of mine, the thumbprint cookie with the jelly/jam filled center. I used to make them in my Easy Bake Oven and speaking of Easy Bake Ovens I just realized how old I’m getting lol. Definite 80’s born baby here. So basically these cookies are a mishmash of Turtle Sundae meets jelly filled thumbprint cookie and let me tell you I love the duo. These got devoured so fast I forgot I had made them and hence why I have yet to post on the blog for such time. Even my boyfriend who isn’t the biggest fan of sweets managed to polish off more than the usual one try taste test. Great thing is they are also rather simple. If you are not a big fan of pecans you can of course skip them but I prefer them as it makes the cookie look a bit more exotic and hides any flaws of cracked cookie underneath… even though you know my cookies are just perfectly smooth under that layer of pecans I’m just giving you the heads up. Our little secret ;)

Just a few technical notes before I send you off to the land of baking. The caramel filling is easily prepared by melting caramel candies however you can prepare homemade if you are that ambitious. I chose not to as the shortcut method tasted just as good and saved so much time and pulled hair. I like to keep every strand of hair I can and caramel isn’t one to spare me much luck. Also, I preferred to use a decorator’s squeeze bottle to portion just the right amount of caramel into the cookies. It made for easy dispensing, less sticky mess and a more clean cookie. However if you are not quite sure how much caramel to place in the center and are afraid you may run out before you reach the end, then use a ½ tsp. measure and fill the indentations with that amount of caramel. If you have any leftover caramel you can look over your cookies and see if any centers need a bit more or be like me and eat the rest. How can you resist fresh caramel… I sure can’t :) Happy Baking!!!

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg, separated
  • 1 Egg White
  • 2 tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Pecans, chopped fine
  • 14 soft Caramel Candies
  • 3 tbsp. Heavy Cream

Formula:

  1. Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl. With mixer on medium-high, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture until just combined. Refrigerate dough until firm, at least one hour.
  2. Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites in a small bowl until frothy. Place pecans in another small bowl. One at a time, roll the dough into 1 in. balls. Dip each ball into the egg whites and then roll in the pecans. Place the balls 2 in. apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using a tsp. measure, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pans halfway through the baking time.
  3. While the cookies bake, place the caramel candies and heavy cream in a bowl. Microwave the candies until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes, and making sure to stir occasionally. Once the cookies are removed from the oven, use the tsp. to gently press into the existing indentations. Fill each indentation with about ½ tsp. of caramel. Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Special Thanks To:


Robin Evans

Peter Mendoros – Photography


All remaining content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012

Pink Azalea Mini Cakes

Although I am a day late…Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!! What can I say I had an epic time with my amazing boyfriend Peter. It was a relaxing day in the house. I baked, he helped me take these photographs for the blog, we exchanged chocolates, we ate New York style pizza with mushrooms and extra cheesy goodness, played video games together… it was simplistic but fun. We will certainly be going out this weekend for a more formal dinner but to me I was happy nonetheless. I hope all of your Valentine’s day wishes were granted and this quick and easy formula for Pink Azalea Mini Cakes may just make your day that much brighter. Although I made them with Valentine’s Day in mind, they can be made for any occasion…Anniversaries, Wedding Favors, Birthdays, or just when you feel like cake but don’t have the energy or time to spend on a large one.

 Although the images you see first are the cupcake version, they still taste as decadent as if they were a mini personal cake. I did prepare a traditional version of the mini personal cakes but for some reason I was most proud of the cupcakes. They are so simplistic yet elegant and especially for a holiday, you want something that is easy to travel with and something small to share with your loved one after you have already more than likely consumed a large formal dinner. To begin this formula, whether you elect to make all mini cakes or one mini cake and use the remaining batter for cupcakes (as I did), you must first prepare a white cake batter. Depending on your time or skill level, you can either prepare the white cake batter from scratch or use a boxed caked mix. Once the batter is prepared you must divide it, as one batter will be pink and have added ingredients while the other will remain white without external flavor additions. To prepare a mini cake and cupcakes as I did, first fill your mini cake pan with the plain white cake batter. Then mix in chopped strawberries, chopped pecans, and red food color into the remaining batter and fill another mini cake pan of the same size. With the remaining batter, fill cupcake tin lined with 12 wraps. If you elect to make only mini cakes, then you can fill two mini cake pans with plain white batter and two with the pink batter.

As the cake layers bake, prepare your favorite frosting. My favorite for this particular cake is Chantily Cream as it is light and airy much like the cake is and you don’t want something overly sweet like a traditional buttercream frosting as it is too heavy and will distract from the flavors. Of course if buttercream is your favorite don’t hesitate to prepare it but be sure not to add any external flavors. Keep the only additional flavoring to vanilla, just like I did with the Chantily Cream. Once you prepare your favorite frosting, add a few drops of red food color until it takes on a light pink hue. For added decor, fan some strawberries or slice them and arrange them in the shape of a heart or a simple slice to add height, flavor, and interesting texture. What’s not to love about strawberries on Valentine’s Day!!!

Once the cake layers have had ample time to cool, fill a pastry bag fitted with a mid-sized star tip (#842) with your choice of frosting and set aside. Trim the cake layers and cut each in half. Place one white cake layer on a turntable cover with frosting. Place the pink cake layer on top and layer again with frosting.

Place the final white cake layer on top and cover  the top and sides with frosting, making sure the cake layers do not show through and the frosting is smooth. Gently press chopped pecans along the base and pipe shells along the top edge. Pipe a rosette on the top of the cake in the center and place a fanned strawberry on the rosette to complete the mini cake look. For the cupcakes, pipe your frosting in a circular motion, making sure to cover the entire surface of the cupcake. Build up the frosting a bit in the center. Place your choice of adornment, whether a fanned strawberry, single strawberry slice, or strawberry slices shaped into a heart, in the center of the cupcake.

Whichever method you choose, whether mini cakes are you fancy, cupcakes, or both, you are sure to please your Valentine and have great memories to share for a lifetime. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours… from Honeybee’s Patisserie!!!

Pink Azalea Mini Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Formula for White Cake Batter (or 1 Box White Cake Mix)
  • Red Food Coloring
  • 1 cup Strawberries, chopped
  • ½ cup Pecans, chopped
  • 1 formula for Chantily Cream (Formula Below)
  • Whole Strawberries, fanned or sliced (Decor)

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°. Prepare batter for a white cake or follow box directions for a white cake mix (be sure not to bake the batter according to box directions). Grease and flour two mini cake pans and line a 12 slot cupcake pan with paper cups if making 1 mini cake and cupcakes. If preparing only mini cakes, grease and flour 4 mini cake pans. If making only cupcakes, line two 12 slot cupcake pans with paper cups.
  2. Fill one mini cake pan with plain white cake batter if making only one mini cake. If making two mini cakes, be sure to fill two pans with plain white cake batter before proceeding (VERY IMPORTANT). With the remaining white cake batter, mix in a few drops of red food coloring until the batter turns a pink hue. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries and pecans. If making one mini cake, fill one mini cake pan with pink batter. With the remaining pink batter, fill the cupcake pan, making sure each tin is filled ¾ full (12 cupcakes in all). If making only mini cakes (no cupcakes), fill two mini cake pans with the pink batter. If preparing only cupcakes, mix the red food color, pecans, and strawberries into all of the prepared white cake batter. Do not reserve any plain batter. Pour the pink batter into the prepared cupcake pan and bake for about 18 minutes. For the mini cakes, bake for about 20 minutes.
  3. Allow the cake layers and cupcakes to cool in their pans for about 10 minutes. Once slightly cooled, remove the cakes from the pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. As the cakes cool, prepare the frosting. Once cooled completely, fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with your desired frosting tinted pink with red food color (Chantily Cream was used here). If making only cupcakes, pipe around the surface of the cupcake with your choice of pink frosting and top with a fanned strawberry or strawberry slices. If also preparing a mini cake or only mini cakes, set aside the piping bag. Trim the tops of the mini cakes level and cut each in half. You should have two layers of white and two layers of pink. 
  4. Lay the white layer down first and cover with an even layer of pink frosting. Lay the pink layer next and cover with an even layer of pink frosting. Lastly, top with another white cake layer and cover the entire top of the cake and sides with pink frosting. Be sure to smooth the frosting before proceeding to the next step. Once smoothed, gently press chopped pecans along the bottom of the cake to create a nut border. With the reserved piping bag, pipe shells along the top, outer border of the cake. On the top of the cake in the center, pipe a single rosette and place a fanned strawberry on the center of the rosette. If desired, sprinkle some chopped pecans around the fanned strawberry.

Chantily Cream 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Formula:

  1. Combine cream and sugar in a large bowl. Whip until soft peaks form. Fold in vanilla. 

Special Thanks To:

Peter Mendoros – Photography

All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012

Jefferson Davis Pie

Here in the south lies a delicious little known dessert originating from the Civil War era. It’s name you ask… is Jefferson Davis Pie.  This simple brown sugar custard laced with dried fruit and nuts is named after the Confederate leader. Jefferson Davis was not the only civil war era leader to have a pie named after them. Mr. Robert E. Lee inspired a cake filled with lemon curd. Quite possibly a future test formula so stay tuned!

 Now back to Mr. Davis. Before one should concern themselves with the custard it is crucial to establish a perfect basis for the custard to set. This basis being the pie crust. For a bottom crust of any pie, one should always choose a mealy pie dough recipe over flaky. Mealy has less butter and more open to receiving juices excreted during the baking process. Therefore when the pie is finished baking it will absorb the flavors of the above layer without causing the bottom crust to become soggy. Of course if you find yourself in a pinch or are too lazy then the Pillsbury Dough Boy can always come to the rescue and magically unroll your pie crust before you. This can save you an extra tedious step. Once the crust is pressed into the pie plate be sure to chill it while preparing the custard and fruit/nut mixture, regardless if you’re using a homemade mealy pie dough or the variety constructed by Pillsbury and his processed cousins.

Although I thoroughly enjoy the fruit/nut portion of the pie, I don’t feel it should be suspended in the custard as many formulas require. I desire a smooth, sliceable custard with the perfect flavor combination of sweetness and spice without any crunchy or chewy distractions hanging about. To simply solve the problem, process the fruit and nuts together until finely ground and press the mixture into the chilled pie dough. This creates a beautiful layer of fruit and nuts when sliced and continues to compliment the flavors of the custard poured above it without being a noticeable distraction. Having resolved the problems with soggy crust and distracting fruit and nuts the next step lies with the finicky custard.

In case you didn’t know, custard and I have never been the greatest of friends. However I’m trying to get to know it a little better with each baking experiment. The biggest issue with me and custards is texture. Baking the pie longer at a lower temperature allows the custard to set up to the proper firmness and the crust remains golden. If cooked at a higher temperature, the outer edges of the custard would burn along with the pie crust before the center ever set. Besides altering oven temperature and cooking time, heavy cream needed to replace milk in order for that slice to come out perfectly smooth. The cream thickens the texture and feels silkier on the palate. It also contributes a richer flavor. Which brings me to the next topic. How to achieve the balanced flavors of sweet and spice. The secret for this custard is to hold back on the sweet. Less brown sugar allows the subtle cues from the spices to shine through.

Once the pie has baked and cooled completely there is one final addition to enhance the flavor to mouth watering level. The addition of a homemade whipped cream. This is where I stress not to cheap out and dollop the pie with Cool Whip or spray a rosette of Redi-Whip on top!!! Why spend so much time creating this elaborate flavorful pie just to disgrace it with a bland processed variety of whipped cream when it is so simple to make from scratch. Honestly it takes no more than three minutes to whip up with a mixer. At times I have been known to whip by hand and still come out under five minutes. I will provide a quick and easy recipe for whipped cream below, however this pie also tastes great with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. If you do choose to whip your own cream, make sure to keep the heavy cream as cold as possible to shorten the whipping time. You may even place your whip attachment and mixing bowl in the refrigerator to speed up the process even further.

Jefferson Davis Pie

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Raisins
  • 4 oz. Chopped Dates
  • 2.25 oz. Chopped Pecans, toasted
  • 1 (9 in.) pie shell, chilled
  • 3 tbsp. Pastry Flour
  • 1 tsp. ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 4 oz. Unsalted Butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 2.75 oz. Egg Yolk (about 5 large eggs)
  • 10.5 oz. Heavy Cream

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat to 325°. Pulse raisins, dates, and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Place mixture into chilled pie shell and press into an even layer.
  2. Combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a small bowl. With mixer on medium-low speed, cream sugar and butter together. Add in yolks, one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add flour mixture and cream. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Pour custard filling over the fruit and nut mixture in the chilled pie crust. Bake until the surface of the custard appears dark brown and the center jiggles slightly, approximately 55 to 65 minutes.
  4. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 4 hours. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Top with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

With mixer on medium speed, beat 1 cup heavy cream, 1 1/2 tbsp. light brown sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Whipped cream can be refrigerated for 4 hours. To decorate, fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe reverse shells around the outer edge and rosettes in the center. Dust with ground cinnamon.

References: Special thanks to my boyfriend Peter for his photography and Cali Rich.

All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2011

   

Peanut Butter Mousse Cookie Cups

On the tenth anniversary of September 11, nothing could lift spirits higher than indulging in the sweet, comforting combination of peanut butter and chocolate. This cute little dessert is based upon cookie cups which have a crisp exterior while maintaining the soft, sweet interior beloved by all sugar cookie lovers. These cups are filled with a mixture of peanut butter, whipped cream, and cream cheese to create a light, fluffy mousse. Also let’s not forget the peanut butter mousse is sandwiched between a rich layer of chocolate ganache dolloped on the bottom of each cookie cup and drizzled on top for a designer finish. I’m usually the type who tries it after I finish baking it and leave the rest to be eaten by others but I couldn’t even stop munching these days after they were baked. YUM!!!

The whole process begins with something so basic… a bag of sugar cookie mix blended with pecans and pressed into muffin tins. This simple step of the formula creates a crisp yet tender cookie shell. It is important to note that when pressing the cookie mix into the muffin tin, the right amount of cookie mix pressed will seem like a lot but is necessary to create a solid base to build upon later.

 Once the sugar cookie cups have been baked and cooled, the peanut butter mousse and chocolate are prepared. A dollop of chocolate is placed in the bottom of each cookie cup. For the most elegant presentation, the peanut butter mousse is piped into each cup using a disposable piping bag fitted with a large star decorator tip. When the filling is piped into the cookie cup, it will resemble the look of a giant rosette on top of a cupcake. If you do not own disposable piping bags or decorator tips, you may spoon the peanut butter mousse into the cups and use a small spatula or back of the spoon to smooth out the top.

Lastly, place the remaining melted chocolate in a squeeze bottle or piping bag fitted with a fine, round decorator tip. Use the melted chocolate to create a swirl design around the piped peanut butter mousse filling. If you are not a chocoholic or lack any of the above equipment needed for the melted chocolate, you may certainly skip this step and keep the rosette look created by the piped peanut butter mousse. Both looks are impressive and elegant in appearance.

 The following formula requires a sugar cookie mix for the cookie cup crust. Sugar cookie mixes are found in supermarket baking aisles near the boxed cake mixes. I chose the 17.5 oz. sugar cookie mix by Betty Crocker for this formula. It created the perfect wet sand texture necessary for proper pressing into the muffin tins and when mixed with pecans and filled with peanut butter mousse and chocolate, the processed flavor usually found in cookie mixes was obliterated. All the cookie mix left behind was the desired softness and sweetness expected of a sugar cookie. Perhaps best of all, the sugar cookie mix saves precious time, relieving us busy bakers from the long task of baking the sugar cookies from scratch and cleaning up the numerous dirty dishes left behind!!!

Peanut Butter Mousse Cookie Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 (17.5 ounce) pkg.  Sugar Cookie Mix (see above for prefered brand)
  • 4.5 oz. Chopped Pecans, toasted
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 13.5 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 9.75 oz. Chunky Peanut Butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4.25 oz. Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 6.75 oz. Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffin tin. Combine sugar cookie mix, pecans, and flour in a bowl. Slowly add in the butter and stir until the mixture resembles the texture of wet sand. Press a thick layer of the cookie mixture into the bottom and sides of each muffin cup.
  2. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes, being sure to rotate the muffin pan halfway through the cooking time. Cool 20 minutes in the muffin pan before removing.
  3. With mixer on medium-high, whip 8 ounces of heavy cream to stiff peaks. Set aside. In mixer, beat peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Microwave the chocolate and remaining 5.5 ounces of cream for about 1 minute. Make sure to stir occasionally (to prevent scorching) until the chocolate is melted smooth. Pour a dollop of the prepared chocolate ganache into the bottom of each sugar cookie cup. Fill each cookie cup by piping the peanut butter mousse into a large rosette/swirl formation.
  5. Drizzle the remaining chocolate ganache evenly over the peanut butter mousse in personal preferred design.  Refrigerate the peanut butter mousse cookie cups until firm, at least 1 hour. 
  6. The Peanut Butter Mousse Cookie Cups can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Special Thanks to: My wonderful boyfriend Peter for the photography and Susan Bazan

All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2011

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