Cherry Chocolate Chip Scones

20170308_180314When you’re an avid baker like myself, you often end up with a lot of random leftover ingredients that you have no idea what to do with. Instead of letting them go to waste I often try to come up with a way to use these ingredients up in a new recipe. This was the case with a package of dried cherries that were sitting in the pantry since I made my Skinny Chocolate-Cherry Oatmeal Cookies.

After experiencing the delicious combination of chocolate and cherries in my chocolate-cherry oatmeal cookies, I decided to implement the same flavor combination in a new product. In my search for new recipes I came across a popular morning delight…the scone. Scones are like having a thick cookie for breakfast so they would naturally be able to handle the same combination that the oatmeal cookies did. However, since I am not one for an involved breakfast, grating the butter to get the perfect scone was not my cup of tea (no matter how great it would taste with a cup of tea!).

20170308_180135In my quest for a delicious scone in a fraction of the time I looked to make this quick bread a bit quicker. I am typically against using convenience products but sometimes getting stressed out and ruining your entire day is not much healthier. Therefore it’s beneficial to utilize them sparingly. Low-fat baking mix (such as heart-smart Bisquick) provided the answer to a less fussy scone that could be prepared in half the time. With the addition of mini semisweet chocolate chips and dried cherries the amount of sugar found in a traditional scone was reduced dramatically, allowing for more calories to be spared. Also by swapping half-and-half for traditional heavy cream the resulting scones were less offensive to health conscious waistlines.

20170308_180334With modifications to traditional recipes, I was able to shave calories down to 205 compared to over 250 per scone. The fat also dramatically reduced from 11 grams to 4.8 per scone. Overall, I highly recommend you try these tender, lightly sweetened scones that are a quick compliment to a morning cup of coffee or afternoon snack with tea!

Cherry Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Dried Cherries; chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Water
  • 3 cups Low-Fat Baking Mix (such as Heart-Smart Bisquick)
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. Butter; chilled & cut into very small pieces
  • 2/3 cup Fat-Free Half-and-Half
  • 2 tbsp. Semisweet Chocolate Minichips
  • 1 large Egg; separated
  • 1 tbsp. Fat-Free Half-and-Half
  • Turbinado Cane Sugar; optional

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
  2. Combine cherries and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds. Cool 10 minutes (do not drain).
  3. Combine baking mix, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cherries, 2/3 cup half-and-half, chocolate chips, and egg white. Stir until just moistened. Drop dough by ¼ cupfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Place baking sheet in freezer for 5 minutes.
  4. Combine egg yolk and 1 tbsp. half-and-half. Brush egg mixture over tops of each scone and sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Best served warm.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MARIE RIZZIO
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

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Skinny Chocolate-Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

20160323_175154Oatmeal cookies have always held a special place in my heart. I remember when I was young, my family used to go to the local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings to get fresh picked sweet corn and other produce. I would always beg to get the flavored honey sticks and a bag of oatmeal raisin cookies from the bakery vendor. This made waking up early on a day I didn’t have school worth it. As an adult, I still love oatmeal raisin cookies but I also know how unhealthy they can be. I already have a skinny recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies so I was looking for a different type of oatmeal based cookie to try.

20160323_175304These chocolate-cherry oatmeal cookies are not only a tasty, healthier alternative but they also pack three essential foods that can help save your heart from disease. Heart disease runs in my family on both sides and so it is imperative that I take the issue seriously. Any foods that can help decrease my chances of heart disease are something I am willing to try. Put them into cookie form and then how can I resist. Obviously I am not saying you need to eat only these cookies and you will stave off heart disease, but if you want a sensible splurge these are a wise option.

20160323_175145-1The three main ingredients in these cookies (oatmeal, cherries, and dark chocolate) each have properties that promote heart health. Oatmeal helps keep you feeling full longer, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol. By replacing the majority of flour in this recipe with oats increases the potential heart healthy benefits. Cherries, whether fresh or dried, are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for protecting blood vessels. Lastly, is flavanol-rich dark chocolate, which provides antioxidant qualities along with the ability to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and decrease the stickiness of platelets that cause clots.

With all of the heart healthy benefits these cookies provide one would assume they do not taste very good but in fact they are spectacular. Chewy and full of flavor, you will forget these cookies are a skinny option compared to your favorite childhood oatmeal raisin cookie!

Skinny Chocolate-Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 oz. Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1 ½ cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • ¾ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¾ cup Dried Cherries
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg; lightly beaten
  • 3 oz. Dark Chocolate Baking Chips (such as Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)
  • Cooking Spray

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat baking sheets with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Add flours, oats, baking soda, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, approximately 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and stir until smooth. Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until well blended. Add the vanilla and egg, beating until combined. Fold in the cherries and chocolate.
  4. Drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from the cookie sheets and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Cookie)

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookie NutritionLabel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight Watchers: 4 Smart Points, 2 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MARCIE DIXON
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Skinny Cherry-Walnut Streusel Cake

1Clean eating has been a strict motto of mine over the past year. It was a harsh transition at first but extremely satisfying when you can know exactly what is in your food. I have switched to buying all organic and extremely limiting my processed food intake. This lifestyle change has not only made me feel better about myself but has also made me feel like I am doing the best I can to keep my family healthy. With the many changes I have undertaken over the past year, perhaps the most daunting was becoming an independent Beachbody coach. At first I signed on only to get a discount on my monthly Shakeology, but I have recently really enjoyed helping others learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle. After speaking with several individuals who asked me about my recent successes, the one area they have difficulty with is giving up their dessert. These individuals want to lead a healthier lifestyle but they also want a treat now and then, especially for their children. They asked me for advice on healthier alternatives to popular box mixes or supermarket sweets. At first I did not have an answer for them. I have been a pastry chef for the website Honeybees Patisserie for over five years, however the job description never required me to acknowledge the healthiness of the products.

With little knowledge of healthier desserts, I elected to do heavy research and today I present you with a skinnier cake option. I use the term “skinny” because it is certainly not healthy to eat this product all of the time as you would a healthy meal. A skinny dessert is simply a healthier indulgence and should be strictly an occasional indulgence. This cherry-walnut streusel cake is designed to include healthier, organic ingredients and to keep you satisfied longer. I originally made this recipe after purchasing a fresh bunch of sweet Bing cherries from my local farmer’s market. It is best to make this cake when cherries are in season between May and July but if you want to prepare it outside of the cherry season you may use frozen cherries instead of fresh. If you do elect to use frozen cherries, be sure that you thaw them and drain any juice before measuring. I recommend selecting Bing or Rainier cherries as their flavor will concentrate while baking and help keep this hearty, coffee style cake moist.

2By now you are probably wondering how this cake is lighter than any other recipe out there. Two elements of this streusel cake differ greatly from its traditional counterpart….the lack of butter and the blend of flours. Streusels are traditionally made with a good amount of butter. The missing butter in the streusel is replaced with olive oil and a small amount of reduced-fat buttermilk, allowing more butter to remain in the cake without significantly adding calories or fat. Aside from the reduced amount of butter, half of the traditional all-purpose flour is replaced with whole-wheat pastry flour. Whole-wheat pastry flour is more nutrient dense than all-purpose flour and specifically contains more protein than cake flour. By replacing half of the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat pastry flour, the cake has added nutrients to keep you fuller longer (preventing the risk of overindulging) without becoming too dense as would be the case if you used only whole-wheat flour.

3This cake is a great option for treating you and your family to dessert without completely abandoning a healthy lifestyle. It can also be a great addition at breakfast when served with coffee or tea. One cake will yield 10 servings. Each serving should be cut into a small wedge. Total preparation time for this cake is approximately 1 ½ hours. If you are following Weight Watchers, one wedge is 5 points or 7 Points Plus.

Skinny Cherry-Walnut Streusel Cake

Streusel Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 6 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsp. Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 3 tbsp. Walnuts; chopped
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Reduced-Fat Buttermilk

Cake Ingredients:

  • 4.5 ounces All-Purpose Flour (approximately 1 cup)
  • 4.5 ounces Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour (approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ tsp. Almond Extract
  • ½ cup Reduced-Fat Buttermilk
  • 10 oz. Fresh Sweet Cherries; pitted & chopped (approximately 2 cups)

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare streusel by combining sugar, flour, oats, walnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Add the oil and buttermilk and stir to combine. Set the streusel aside.
  2. Prepare the cake by whisking both flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the sugar and butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat again until combined. Mix in the almond extract until just combined. Add a portion of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix again. Add another portion of the flour mixture beating until combined followed by the rest of the buttermilk. Add the remaining portion of the flour and beat until well combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently stir in the cherries by hand.
  3. Spoon the batter evenly into a 9 inch springform pan coated with nonstick baking spray. Sprinkle batter evenly with the streusel. Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and continue to cool on the wire rack or serve warm.

Nutritional Information

(One wedge)

cherrystreuselcake

Weight Watchers: 5 Points or 7 Points Plus

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: IVY MANNING
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2015

Spumoni Cookies

DSC_0323Like many, I feel completely exhausted after the holidays. I love the winter holiday season but it truly does know how to wipe a person out. I feel like ever since Halloween in October it has been non-stop craziness preparing for whatever festivity comes next. If the typical holidays are not enough, the addition of my daughter now fills January with two more celebrations I never had to plan for before. January 17th is my daughter’s name day and January 24th is her birthday. For those that do not know, a name day is a Greek tradition of celebrating the name of the Christian saint you are named after on that saint’s feast day. So now that all of those celebrations have since passed, I finally feel some ease until Easter but it has left me extremely fatigued. It is so bad I hardly feel like doing anything each day, but of course we all know that is not possible with a 2 year old and 100 pounds of med school homework.

DSC_0318Since my energy has been sapped as of late it has really took its toll on my baking hobby. When I do manage to summon enough energy to cook outside of making breakfast, lunch, and dinner for my family it needs to be something that isn’t too strenuous. I always used to be against taking baking shortcuts but now that I am a mom and full-time student, any shortcut I can find that still tastes good is acceptable. I even recall as a teen trashing my grandfather’s shortcut cookie recipe that he made with a boxed cake mix. After they were made he had me try one. They were of course delicious and it was then he told me something that has stuck to this day. He said, “As long as you know you can make it from scratch and have it taste good, it doesn’t hurt to take a shortcut every once and awhile.” This has been my motto as of late. I know I can make great cookies from scratch and have done so since I was old enough to see over the kitchen counter, so it doesn’t hurt to take a shortcut when I need one. This recipe is one of those shortcuts.

DSC_0322The reason this recipe is considered a short cut is because it uses store bought sugar cookie dough. If you are completely against the idea of anything store bought, you can make your own batch of sugar cookie dough as I have also done when I have more time and energy, just be sure your sugar cookie recipe produces about 2 pounds of dough. I prefer to take the shortcut method with these cookies though because they are rather involved compared to others already and making your own sugar cookie dough will make the process that much longer. I know anyone with a busy lifestyle will surely appreciate this shortcut method that not only takes less time but is also a special, elegant looking cookie.

DSC_0315What makes these cookies so impressive are the three different layers of color and flavor. This is the spumoni influence on the cookie. Spumoni originates in Italy and is traditionally found as ice cream. Spumoni is relative to Neapolitan, with three flavors, traditionally being chocolate, pistachio, and cherry. I do not care for pistachios so I altered the traditional make-up and used walnuts instead. You can certainly swap out an equal amount of pistachios for the walnuts in this recipe. Even though Spumoni has pretty much disappeared in Italy, it is still much loved in the U.S. with good reason. Give them a try and have a taste of forgotten Italy.

Note: These cookies use three separate doughs merged into one to make the tri-colored appearance. I roll the dough into ropes, place them alongside each other, and roll flat with a rolling pin to merge the dough. You can also roll out each dough ball into equal length and thickness then stack the dough on top of each other and slice with a sharp knife to get a similar effect. Whichever method you choose, be sure to chill the dough slightly to make it easier to get uniform cookies. This recipe produces approximately 3 dozen cookies.

 

Spumoni Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 (16 oz.) tubes Refrigerated Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 12 Maraschino Cherries; drained, stemmed, & chopped fine
  • ¼ cup Walnuts; toasted & chopped fine
  • ¼ cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips; melted & slightly cooled
  • Red & Green Food Coloring

 Formula:

  1. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature, approximately 1 hour. Place both tubes of cookie dough into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add ¾ cup of flour and mix on low until combined. Separate dough into three equal portions and place one portion back into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the remaining ¼ cup of flour to the dough portion in the mixer bowl. Mix until just incorporated. Add 5 drops of red food coloring and chopped cherries to the dough. Mix until well combined. Shape the dough into a ball and set aside.
  2. Wipe out the same mixing bowl and place back on the stand mixer. Add the second portion of dough to the mixer bowl. Add 5 drops of green food coloring and the chopped walnuts. Mix until well combined. Shape dough into a ball and set aside.
  3. Wipe out the same mixing bowl one last time and place back on the stand mixer. Add the final portion of dough to the mixer bowl. Add the melted chocolate to the dough and mix until well combined. Shape dough into ball. Wrap all three dough portions in plastic wrap and refrigerate until slightly firm, approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Divide each chilled dough portion in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough half into a 12 inch rope. Place 1 rope of each color side by side on the floured surface and gently press together. Refrigerate ropes until slightly firm, approximately 10 minutes. Remove chilled ropes from refrigerator and on a floured surface, use a rolling pin to flatten the cookies and merge the dough ropes together. Once rolled, use a knife to cut 1 inch wide cookies. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Repeat until all dough is used and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Bake chilled cookies until set but not browned, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Be sure to rotate baking sheets halfway through cooking time for even baking. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for approximately 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored for approximately 1 week.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: DONNA BARDOCZ
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2015

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

DSC_0373Christmas is quickly approaching and you know what that means… Cookie season!!! Holiday dessert tables always have cookies and are adorned year after year with the traditional family favorites. These favorites typically include sugar cookies, gingerbread men, and anything peppermint infused. I love all of these but sometimes you just want something fresh and new to try. That is why each year alongside the traditional cookies, I always make sure that I add one new cookie to the platter that everyone can try to enjoy alongside the usual favorites.

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It is from that tradition that I created my annual dedication to diverse holiday cookie options in the month of December. For the next few weeks you will be seeing many posts on cookies that I find can be a great addition to any holiday dessert table. I started this year with Cherry Cheesecake cookies. These cookies have been sweeping the social media airwaves as of late but I actually came across this cookie back in 2010 and fell in love. Cherry cheesecake was always a favorite of mine as a kid and melding those flavors into the portable ease of a cookie is heavenly.

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I like to make the cookie dough ahead of time not only to save precious time for baking other things but also because these cookies do not have a very long lifespan after they have been baked. It is best to make them the day they are going to be devoured because the cream cheese filling causes them to spoil at an accelerated rate. Also the extended chilling time will make it much easier to shape and roll the dough balls in the graham cracker crumbs.

DSC_0387

The formula I use makes about 2 dozen cookies and is enough for my family at the holidays, but if you have a larger family you can certainly double the recipe. Once the cookies have been baked be sure to store them in an airtight container for no more than 2 days.

DSC_0371

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 (8 oz.) Pkg. Cream Cheese; softened
  • 10 tbsp. (1 ¼ sticks) Unsalted Butter; softened
  • ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 (20 oz.) can Cherry Pie Filling

Formula:

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together on medium-high speed until the texture becomes smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix the dough together until it is incorporated. Do not overmix. Refrigerate the dough overnight.
  2. Heat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Place the cherry pie filling in a shallow dish. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in the graham cracker crumbs. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use the back of a tablespoon to make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.
  3. Use a small spoon to place 3 cherries in the indented center of each cookie. Be sure to strain off as much of the filling/juice to ensure the cherries do not end up swimming in a cherry bath and creating a soggy-centered cookie. Bake the cookies until golden around the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pans halfway through the baking time to ensure even cooking.
  4. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

DSC_0347

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM STEPHANIE MATTHEWS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Cherry Almond Cookies

I hope everyone survived our first wave of the holiday season and enjoyed their Thanksgiving. I made it through but I will admit was super tired and have practically slept my days away since. Being seven months pregnant and preparing an entire holiday meal did take its toll on me more than I anticipated but it sure did make a little girl in my belly surprisingly happy to eat thousands of calories. Hopefully all of you had a wonderful meal like she did without packing on too many unwanted reminders found in pounds on the scale the next day. I have fared pretty well so far but am a bit worried about Christmas… where more tempting goodies await me. Which leads me to another installment of my 2012 search for new and unique cookies to introduce to all of you readers, so that you can possibly add these new finds to your own holiday baking list.

My previous post featured the delicious Nutella confection Hazelnut Chewies. Today I introduce to you a sandwich cookie that can rival Oreo itself… the Cherry Almond Cookie. This delicious confection begins with the most simple cookie dough you will ever create and no better time than the holidays to have an extremely simple recipe when you have so many other items to be preparing. Every ingredient is dumped into the food processor and given a twirl until the dough forms. This process only takes a few short minutes and then the dough is ready to be rolled out and cut into shapes. I used a simple round cutter with a fancy edge however if you want to be more in the holiday spirit you could maybe use a holiday cutter. I wouldn’t attempt to use any complicated shapes though because the cookie is very delicate and is prone to break and probably wouldn’t hold up to any intricate designs. You are welcome to try but I don’t want to recommend anything too complex and lead you to disaster on Christmas or whatever holiday your family celebrates. Even without a holiday cookie shape, the color of the jam, whether you use cherry or my other recommended flavor, raspberry, both provide the signature red color of the holidays and will bring the festive holiday spirit to your dessert table.

With that said let’s talk a little bit more about the filling. The almond cookie is so delicate it literally melts in your mouth when you eat it. Not to take anything away from this tender confection, you want a filling that will compliment the almond flavor without overshadowing it but also manage to glue the two delicate pieces together into a sandwich. I chose a cherry preserve because cherry is a favorite flavor of mine and also compliments the almond flavor of the cookie. Another filling that I recommend if you don’t prefer cherries is raspberry jam, as it also compliments the almond flavor profile of the cookie. If you choose to follow this formula for the cherry preserves, make sure to avoid the large chunks of cherries as they will not allow you to press the cookies together firmly. If using raspberry jam then you have it a bit easier 😉 Also be sure to work quickly spreading the preserve or jam once the cookies come out of the oven. If you wait for them to cool they will not stick together as firmly and the cookies won’t absorb some of the flavor from the filling. The final touch I give the finished cookie is an ample sprinkling of sugar on top. I used vanilla sugar but regular sugar works just fine too. If you desire to use vanilla sugar, you can either by a jar carried at most specialty spice stores or make it from scratch using a vanilla bean placed in some sugar for a few days.

One final note: If you don’t have slivered almonds on hand or would rather purchase sliced, you can substitute but make sure you use 1 ½ cups sliced almonds not the 1 ¼ called for in the formula. The following formula produces approximately 2 dozen cookies.

 

 

Cherry Almond Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ¼ cups Slivered Almonds (see above for alternatives)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, cut into ½ in. pieces; chilled
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Cherry Preserves (see above for alternatives)

 

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Process 1 cup flour and almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add ½ cup sugar and remaining flour. Process until combined. Add butter and vanilla to food processor and pulse until dough forms. 
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to ¼ in. thickness. Using a 2 in. round cookie cutter (or your desired shape: keeping in mind a larger cutter will result in a lower production amount), cut out cookies, gathering and re-rolling dough as needed. Place cut cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until light brown around the edges, about 15 minutes, making sure to rotate pans halfway through the cooking time. Cool cookies on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  3. Place remaining sugar in a bowl. Working quickly, spread 1 tsp. jam on the bottom halves of the warm cookies, then press the remaining cookies onto the jam, forming a cookie sandwich. Sprinkle the cookies with sugar to coat. Cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM BRIDGET PETERSON

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2012

Cherry Apple Crisp

Cherries…Apples…Crisp… Some of my favorite words in the baking world and what’s not to love. The crisp and sweetness of apples, the tartness of cherries and the crunch of the topping all combined into heartwarming goodness. Something about traditional Apple Crisp speaks to me as a Fall/Winter baked good and cherries have always been irresistible to me since I was a kid, so I thought why not combine the two. It would create a great melody of flavors and rich colors for the eye. Little did I know, the flavors could be tart in one bite and too sweet in another and the crisp topping becomes soggy. Hmmm…how to fix such a culinary disaster. Clearly taking a traditional Apple Crisp formula wouldn’t be the trick. While contemplating how to go about things, it certainly didn’t help that my cats would not stay off the kitchen counter. Last thing you need is little kitty hairs in dessert. Not the way to end a meal lol. Once I gave them treats and sent them out of the kitchen it was back to the drawing board.

 The million dollar question of the day was how to achieve the right balance of flavors, with proper texture of the fruit and crisp topping. After coring, peeling, and chopping what felt like 30 pounds of apples I was ready to go. Did I mention how much I despise preparing apples for baking. I mean I really really really would love to find some alternate way to do such. That should be the focus of science research. I mean, we need apples in our diets which would be proper motive right… right. Well enough of my whining as most likely you all know exactly what I’m talking about having at some point experienced the pain of baking with apples so I don’t need to explain. Anyway…so I have my apples all chopped and ready and I did this so that once I get the cherries cooked down in some sugar and a little bit of water, they will be ready to be thrown in the pot. By cooking the apples for a few minutes with the cherries, it allows their excess juice to excrete, which prevents a runny mess later, allows the flavors of the cherries and apples to meld more uniformly, promotes a more even bake and last but certainly not least, a shorter cooking time. Amazing how such a simple step can save so much time and make all the difference in a product, but it certainly does. With that said be sure not to skip that step in the formula below. As the apples and cherries cook down, be sure to mix well so you get an even distribution of the red color. Not only is it your natural food color but also looks striking when plating.

Some quick notes before you delve into baking…If you don’t desire a rich cherry flavor and wish to taste more of the apple, you can omit the dried cherries. When picking the apples, a balance of sweet and tart varieties is best for this formula. Sweet helps tone down the tartness of the cherries, however a few tart apples compliments the already tart factor of the cherries. Using equal amounts of a sweet apple, such as Braeburn or Golden Delicious, along with a tart apple such as the Granny Smith will produce the finest results. The crisp is best served warm and if your anything like me, a scoop of vanilla ice cream is a perfect pairing or a dollop of homemade whipped cream. Although I’m lactose intolerance I can’t help mixing that melting scoop of ice cream with a heaping spoon of cherry apple crisp

Cherry Apple Crisp 

Ingredients:

Topping:

  • ¾ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 12 tbsp. (1 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, cut into ½ in. pieces; chilled
  • ¾ cup Old-Fashioned Oats

Filling:

  •  1 # Cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 ¼ cups Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 2 ½ # Granny Smith Apples; cut into ½ in. pieces
  • 2 ½ # Braeburn Apples; cut into ½ in. pieces
  • 1 cup Dried Sweetened Cherries
  • 3 tbsp. Minute Tapioca

Topping Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 400°. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugars, cinnamon, and butter until mixture has the texture of coarse crumbs.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in oats. Using fingers, pinch the topping mixture with your fingers to create peanut-sized clumps.
  3. Refrigerate topping while preparing the filling.

Filling Formula:

  1. Place the fresh or frozen cherries, ¾ cup sugar, and water in a dutch oven and heat over medium-high. Cook until the cherries are softened completely and mixture has reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Scrape cherries into a bowl and set aside. Place apples, remaining ½ cup sugar, and dried cherries into the dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat until the apples begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes.
  2. Off heat, add the cooked cherries back into the dutch oven along with the tapioca. Mix thoroughly then pour filling into a 13×9 in. baking dish. Smooth the filling’s surface evenly with a spatula. Remove topping from the refrigerator.
  3. Scatter topping evenly over filling and bake until juices are bubbling and topping is deep golden brown in color, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool. Serve while still warm.

 Special Thanks to: Peter Mendoros (photography) & Diane Unger

 All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012