Apple Cobbler Bars

DSC_0146Whenever the days turn cooler everyone in the house begins craving warm drinks, rich spices, and anything apple. Today was one of those days where it was cool but not freezing, reminding us of a brisk fall day more than chilly winter. Unfortunately, I did not have any apples on hand to make a pie but I did have some dried apples. Dried apples are perfect for apple bars because they do not make the bar too soggy like a fresh apple would. Problem is I love the flavor fresh apples bring to any baked good. To amp up the flavor of the dried apples I turned to a favorite of mine that I always use in my apple turnovers, apple butter. I had some apple butter I had made in the fall from fresh apples still in the refrigerator so I paired that with the dried apples to rehydrate them with the flavors of their fresh counterpart.

DSC_0147I love apple cobbler but it is something you need to sit down and eat from a bowl. I love these bars because it makes apple cobbler portable for our always on the go family. The following recipe yields approximately 24 bars. You can use homemade fresh breadcrumbs or plain store bought breadcrumbs without any noticeable difference. Also make sure you toast the walnuts before you add them into the bars. The toasting helps bring out the nutty flavor and enrich the bars overall.

Apple Cobbler Bars

Crumb Topping Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Bread Crumbs
  • ½ cup Walnuts; toasted & chopped
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter; chilled, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup Apple Butter
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Walnuts; toasted & chopped
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Dried Apples, chopped

Formula:

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil. Be sure to allow excess foil to hang over the sides of the pan to allow an easier lift. Grease the pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. To prepare topping: In a food processor pulse bread crumbs, walnuts, sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon until coarsely ground.
  3. To prepare bar base: In a large bowl combine the flour and baking powder. With a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, apple butter, and vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture. Continue to mix until just combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts by hand.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Scatter the apple slices over the dough. Sprinkle with the crumb topping and bake until the bars are deep golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the bars completely on a wire rack, at least one hour. Once cooled, use the excess foil to lift the bars out of the pan. Cut the bars into squares and serve. Bars can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for about 3 days.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2015

Advertisements

Reese’s Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

DSC_0547

 

 

On a recent shopping trip, I was on a buy one get one free spree. Among the items I happened to get from the BOGO sale was Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups. I have had a hankering for peanut butter and chocolate lately after treating myself to a small Peanut Butter Brownie Blizzard from Dairy Queen one day on a long, hot drive home. Problem is I live too far from the nearest DQ to be going their often to fix my craving and also motherhood has left me strapped for much time outside of feeding and entertaining my infant daughter. So in order to balance the craving and the time restraint, I realized I hadn’t made a childhood simple favorite in quite some time… Rice Krispie Treats.

DSC_0562

With a little tweeking to the original back of the box formula, these Reese’s Rice Krispie Treats feel nostalgic but fresh and dressed up at the same time. If you love original Rice Krispies and have a tendency of snatching a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the candy aisle at the supermarket, then you will truly enjoy these.

 

DSC_0564

 

 

 

Reese’s Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. Butter, unsalted
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag Marshmallows
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter Chips, divided
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 5 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 1 cup Dry-Roasted Peanuts
  • 1 bag Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups, each peanut butter cup halved

 

Formula:

  1. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan (if you want a fewer number of treats that are tall, thicker squares) or a 13×9 inch baking pan (if you want a larger number of treats that are flatter). Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Add marshmallows, ½ cup peanut butter chips, and salt. Cook while stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
  2. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Rice Krispies and peanuts until well incorporated. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and press into the bottom and corners with a greased rubber spatula. Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  3. Melt the remaining peanut butter chips. Drizzle the melted chips over the cooled treats. Sprinkle the halved Peanut Butter Cups on the top of the treats. Allow to cool about 15 minutes more. Cut into squares and serve.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM JEREMY SAUER

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Mini Raspberry Linzertortes

DSC_0500

This past weekend my family celebrated a holiday. Most of you are thinking it was the obvious Cinco de Mayo celebration which, although was indeed Sunday, was not the only holiday of the day. For those of the Greek Orthodox faith it was Easter Sunday and in my house we were making Easter dinner with some Easter treats. I know what most of you may be thinking… Easter was a long time ago but that is not the case for the Greek Orthodox Christians as they follow the old calendar and not the new of the western world. Therefore, some years Easter will coincide and other years it will not. This year was one of those years.

602517_10151453520685892_1391958478_n

With that said I was in the kitchen making lamb and a slew of other yummy’s when I decided to make a new pastry for the family to try rather than the traditional Pasta Flora. I thought I would try a Linzertorte which surprisingly ended up being similar to the Pasta Flora of Greek Easter tradition. Both pastries are more crust/dough then filling, the dough’s are both lemon based, creating a smell I recognized from Pasta Flora as I prepared the Linzertorte. The only noticeable difference at that point was in texture. Lastly, both pastries are filled with a jam center.  Although these mini Linzertortes are much simpler than the traditional formulas from Austria, it is still a bit more tedious than the Greek Pasta Flora.

DSC_0502

The crust is made up of hazelnuts and almonds for a balanced nut flavor without bitterness. Traditional formulas ask for a hard boiled egg which is not only bizarre but time consuming. Time which a new mommy doesn’t have!!! Not to mention the hard boiled egg actually does too good a job at making the dough tender. A raw egg moistens the dough and brings it together just fine. For the final touch on the crust, cinnamon and allspice is added for spice. Once mixed up and flavored, the hardest step of the Linzertorte comes next… forming the crust in the tart pan with the rather sticky dough.

DSC_0518

I found the easiest way to do this is chill the dough until firm yet still malleable. Then divide the dough in two and roll each disk out between plastic wrap to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Be sure to chill the dough if at any point it gets too sticky to work with. When laying the lattice strips, be very careful as the dough softens and breaks easily. Also the jam center prevents the strips from being repositioned once initially laid down so study the instructions carefully before laying the first strip as it can be difficult to fix mistakes after beginning. If at any time the lattice strips tear or crack, don’t despair. Just piece them back together the best you can. Once you baste the dough with the cream and sugar, any cracks will be almost unnoticeable after baked. Once out of the oven, the traditional accompaniment is lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with kirsch or framboise but you can use vanilla if you do not want to use alcohol. Or of course you can skip the whipped cream and eat as is. The tarts keep very well for about 2 days at room temperature in a tightly sealed container. The following formula makes two small tarts and one pan of mini tartlets or one 11 inch Tart that serves 10 to 12.

DSC_0519

 

 

Mini Raspberry Linzertortes

 

 

Pastry Ingredients:

  •  1 cup (5 oz.) Unblanched Hazelnuts
  • ½ cup (2 oz.) Blanched Almonds
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1 ½ cups (7 ½ oz.) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Allspice
  • 12 tbsp. (1 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces and kept chilled
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Filling:

  • 1 ¼ cups (13 ½ oz.) Raspberry Preserves
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice

Glaze:

  • 1 tbsp. Heavy Cream
  • 1 ½ tsp. Turbinado or Demerara Sugar (optional)

 

 

Formula:

  1. For the Pastry: Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 350°. Toast nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring once, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Cool nuts to room temperature. Do not turn off the oven.
  2. In a food processor, pulse cooled nuts, sugar, and salt until very finely ground, about eighteen 1-second pulses. Add lemon zest and pulse to combine. Add flour, cinnamon and allspice and pulse to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the butter lumps are no larger than peppercorns and the mixture resembles coarse meal, about twelve to fifteen 1-second pulses. In a small bowl, whisk lightly to combine the egg and vanilla. With the food processor running, pour the egg mixture through the feed tube and process until the dough forms a large ball, about 10 seconds.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and press together to form a cohesive mound. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Flatten each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough until firm but still malleable. If not using right away you can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
  4. Cut a parchment round to fit the tart pan or pans size that you are using. Spray the bottom and sides of the tart pan(s) with nonstick cooking spray. Separate the bottom from the sides of the tart pan(s) and line the bottom with the parchment round and spray the parchment with cooking spray. Roll out the dough into disk(s) between plastic wrap to a size just shy of the edges of the pan bottom. Place the dough on the pan bottom(s) and drop into the fluted ring(s). Using hands, press the dough into an even layer until flush with the sides of the tart pan(s). Using a fork, poke holes uniformly in the dough and set the tart pan(s) on a baking sheet. Bake until beginning to brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Set the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
  5. Pinch pieces of dough from the remaining disk and roll with hands on a work surface to form a  rope. Place the rope against the side of the cool prebaked tart pan(s). Repeat with additional dough (you will have some dough left over for the lattice), connecting the ends of the ropes. When the entire inside wall of the tart pan(s) have been lined, use your fingers to gently press the rope into the flutes of the pan(s), creating walls about 5/8 in. high (walls should not be as high as the rim of the tart pan(s). Set the tart pan(s) aside on the baking sheet.
  6. Reshape the remaining dough into either one large 12 in. round if using a large tart pan or two 6 in. rounds if preparing two mini tarts. Dough should be rolled to 1/8 in. thickness between two sheets of parchment sprayed with cooking spray. If the dough becomes too sticky to work with, refrigerate or freeze it until firm but still malleable. Peel off the top layer of parchment. Using a ruler sprayed lightly with cooking spray and a pastry cutter, pizza cutter, or chef’s knife, neaten the edge of the dough round(s), then cut round into strips. You will need 10 strips for each tart. Slide parchment with dough onto a baking sheet and cover loosely with parchment. Freeze for 20 minutes or refrigerate for 40 minutes until firm but not fully stiff.
  7. For the Filling: While the lattice chills, in a small bowl stir the raspberry preserves and lemon juice together. Spread the preserves evenly in the tart shell(s).
  8. To Assemble, Glaze, & Bake: Invert the dough strips sandwiched between parchment and peel off the top layer. Using an icing spatula as needed, lift one of the longest strips from the center of the round and lay across the center of the tart at the 1 o’clock/7 o’clock position. Lift the second longest strip and lay across the center of the tart at the 3 o’clock/9 o’clock position. You should have an X formed across the tart at this stage. Lift a short strip and lay across the tart parallel to the first strip, near the edge of the tart. Working clockwise, repeat the positioning of outer strips parallel to the central strips. There should now be 6 strips in place. Lift one of the remaining strips and lay across the tart parallel to and equidistant from the central and edge strips. Working clockwise, repeat until lattice is complete with 10 strips. Press any excess dough against the rim of the tart pan to neatly trim. Repeat process with remaining tart if making two mini tarts.
  9. Gently brush lattice strips with heavy cream and, if using, sprinkle with sugar. Bake tart(s) on baking sheet until deep golden brown, about 50 minutes for one large tart or 20 minutes for mini tarts. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.
  10. To Serve: Remove outer tart pan ring. Slide a thin metal spatula between parchment paper and bottom of crust to loosen. Slide tart onto serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve with flavored whipped cream if desired.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM COOKS ILLUSTRATED

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Toasted Coconut Sables

DSC_0470

Mondays are never good days for many as it marks another long work week with memories of the great weekend becoming a more distant memory, however yesterday was truly a more sorrowful day here in America. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the people in Boston and all those who were participating or spectating when the Marathon bombing occurred. It is very hard to move on after such tragedy but it is little things that will make it easier to cope with. For me, indulging in sweets is a way to soothe a sad heart and I’m sure it is for many others and so it is only fitting I post this simple but indulgent cookie formula on a day like today.

DSC_0466

On a lighter note, this past weekend my parents had to go to a function at one of Florida’s state parks and I was asked to help provide something for them to pass at the potluck. Being a little scrapped for cash lately I decided to pick something that would be unique and stand out enough but utilize ingredients I already had in the pantry. That is when I came across a French gem, the Sable cookie. Sable  is French for “sandy” and certainly fits the crispy crumble texture of this butter cookie. The typical American butter cookie is found around the holidays cut into shapes and covered in a sugary frosting, which I knew would not hold up well to the hot Florida elements and is not to mention a bit generic. So choosing the French base dough and giving it a tropical twist felt more befitting for the outdoor occasion.

DSC_0473

The preparation is a bit unorthodox. Instead of using a raw egg, the dough is actually made with a hard-boiled egg yolk but it is crucial not to skip this step as it promotes the sandy tender texture. If you were to use a raw egg or egg yolk, the dough would have too much moisture and not be true to it’s name. Besides the step of boiling an egg, this formula has simple ingredients and simple preparation, yet provides a striking European-style delicate confection.

DSC_0461

 

 

Toasted Coconut Sables

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • 10 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened (1 ¼ sticks)
  • 2 ¾ oz. Sugar ( about 1/3 cup)
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 7 ½ oz. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1/3 cup Sweetened Coconut, finely chopped, toasted
  • 1 Egg White, lightly beaten
  •  1/3 cup Sweetened Coconut, finely chopped, untoasted

 

Formula:

  1. Place egg in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile,  toast 1/3 cup of coconut in a small fry pan over low heat, stirring constantly. After the 10 minutes, transfer the egg with a slotted spoon into a bowl of ice water and let cool for 5 minutes. Roll the egg gently across a hard surface, such as the kitchen counter, pressing down gently to crack the shell. Peel away the shell and separate the cooked yolk from the white. Discard the white and press the yolk through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, salt, and cooked egg yolk on medium speed until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula as needed. Turn the mixer speed down to low, add vanilla, and mix until just incorporated. Stop the mixer. Add the flour and toasted coconut. Mix on low speed until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, press dough into a cohesive mass.
  3. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a log about 6 inches long and 1 ¾ inches in diameter. Wrap each log tightly in parchment paper. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice dough into ¼ in. thick rounds. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Using pastry brush, gently brush cookies with egg whites and sprinkle evenly with untoasted sweetened coconut.
  5. Bake cookies until the centers are a pale golden brown with edges slightly darker than the center and the coconut toasted, about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Formula yields about 40 cookies. Store the cooled cookies between sheets of parchment in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM YVONNE RUPERTI

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Irish Cream Smith Island Cake

DSC_0410

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!! Although I only have a small portion of my heritage that is Irish it doesn’t hurt to celebrate. Perhaps my favorite Irish offering besides Potato-Leek soup and the Boxty (Ireland’s version of a potato pancake), is Bailey’s Irish Cream. My favorite way to enjoy Bailey’s is in a frozen coffee like drink… delicious. Of course it also tastes wonderful in desserts. When contemplating what to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day, the one thing I was sure of is that it would include Bailey’s. I finally decided on cake, and what better way to impress all your leprechauns then with not just any cake but a Smith Island style cake dyed a two-tone green color synonymous with the holiday.

DSC_0395

For those that don’t know what Smith Island style cake is, it’s very tall with many many layers. Hailing from the small town of Smith Island, Maryland, the Smith Island Cake is famous for its tall stature created by multiple thin layers smothered with a  rich, fudgy frosting. The Smith Island Cake has created such a grand reputation that it recently became the official state dessert of Maryland. With such an impressive reputation I decided to modify it for St. Patrick’s Day by tinting the layers green, adding Bailey’s Irish Cream to the cake batter, but maintaining the original choice to frost the layers with chocolate. The pairing of Irish cream and fudgy chocolate creates a taste so divine you will think you followed the rainbow to your taste buds pot of gold.

DSC_0413

I will admit this isn’t my best post because I have had a rather stressful past week and have also had to juggle watching my daughter all while handling the stress which didn’t bode well. This is a cheater recipe for those who are rather strapped for time like myself. I don’t typically recommend cheating with any store bought products but a semi-homemade dessert every once in a while won’t hurt. It did hurt my final outcome of this post however as the cake layers were too moist and tended to slide and break apart upon slicing. I suppose no matter how displeased I was with the look of the cake I have to admit it tasted delicious. Oh well, I will have better luck next time. Hope you all have a great day celebrating and have all the luck of the Irish this year 🙂

 

Irish Cream Smith Island Cake

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes of White Cake Mix
  • 4 tubs of Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Green Food Coloring
  • Shamrock Decorations

 

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven according to package directions. In two separate bowls prepare each cake mix according to the boxed directions. To each bowl, add ½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream. Mix until just incorporated. Tint the first bowl a light green and the second bowl a darker green. Grease and flour six 8 inch round cake pans (I use store bought foil pans to make things easier. If you don’t wish to do so, grease and flour 3 round cake pans and bake in batches. Be sure to allow the pans to cool completely before adding the next batch of batter to bake). Divide each bowl of batter evenly into the cake pans. Bake cakes for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before assembling.
  2. Once the layers have cooled, use an offset spatula to spread a thick layer of chocolate frosting on the first layer before topping it with another layer. Repeat with the rest of the layers, making sure to alternate the lighter and darker green layers as you frost the cake and build it up. Once all the layers have been assembled, spread an even layer of frosting across the top and sides of the cake. With the remaining frosting, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 8 rosettes around the top edges of the cake. Place a shamrock decoration on top of each rosette.

DSC_0383

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

dsc_0366Sock-It-To-Me!!! If you are anything like me, the phrase jogs a need to belt out a specific tune by Ms. Aretha Franklin. In fact it was her 1967 hit “Respect” which introduced the phrase to most Americans and made it popular. Following the songs popularity, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In added a comedy skit with the same title in which an actress typically ended up being doused with water. Even Richard Nixon once used the phrase while campaigning to be president. It was that much a part of American culture. So it comes as no surprise that in the 1970’s, Duncan Hines would create a cake with the same name and place the recipe on their famous back of the box collection used to market specific cake mixes.

dsc_0351The original Sock-It-To-Me cake from the back of the box recipe is legendary and continues to be made to this day. It uses an easy dump and stir method that incorporates a few extra ingredients added to the back of the box requirements which are meant to transform the typical yellow cake mix into a moist and velvety coffee cake. Too bad the extra ingredients can’t mask the artificial flavor the store-bought mix lends.

To overcome this, a little extra work is necessary but is still simple enough to serve quick and easily at any of your March events. I personally recommend serving this for any March Madness watch parties you may host. It is simple and satisfying to even the pickiest of sweet tooths. Also what better way to root for your favorite team then to have your cake, eat it, and chant for them to sock it to the other team.

dsc_0371The easiest way to prepare this cake is using a food processor, however you can prepare it by hand if you don’t have a food processor. You will lack the finer crumb the food processor gives the cake but it will still taste delicious guaranteed. For the streusel, you will have to chop the pecans finely then mix the rest by hand in a small bowl. For mixing the cake, use a whisk by hand or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.

This cake serves 12 and looks best prepared in a 12-cup non-stick Bundt pan, but you can also prepare it in a 12-cup non-stick tube pan like I have. No matter which pan you choose to use be sure to grease it with a baking spray made up of a combination of vegetable oil and flour. Doing so ensures a perfectly clean release from the pan. Never trust the deceiving non-stick sales punch lines on your pan products. I have had enough stuck and ruined baked goods in my day to know they are lies 😛

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¾ cup Pecans, toasted

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Sour Cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Formula:

  1. For the streusel: Process flour, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer the streusel to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out food processor.
  2. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 325°. Grease and flour a 12-cup non-stick Bundt or tube pan. For the cake: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In the food processor, blend sugar, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. With machine running, slowly pour in butter until incorporated, then add flour mixture and pulse until just combined.
  3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and top with the streusel mixture. Cover the streusel with the remaining batter and use a rubber spatula to smooth out the surface. Tap the cake a few times on the counter to remove any air pockets. Place on a sheet pan and bake until the cake is golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes.
  4. As the cake cools prepare the glaze. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Turn out the cake onto a cooling rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the glaze over the warm cake. Cool completely, at least 2 hours. Serve. (Cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for 2 days.)

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM CALI RICH

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Skinny Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

dsc_0265As month two of 2013 comes to a close I am reminded of my new year’s resolution to shed a few pounds. This made me wonder how many others who made the same popular choice to lose weight this year actually stuck with their goal. One hurdle I always face is my craving for sweets, usually something involving chocolate. This post doesn’t involve chocolate but does involve a baked good that is commonly mistaken as being somewhat healthier than other options. The Oatmeal Raisin Cookie is often confused as being naturally the most nutritious cookie out there but this is far from true. In fact, some cookies can have as much as 400 calories and 13 grams of fat per cookie. There are many offerings out there that claim they are low-fat or low-calorie and don’t lose the original taste of the full fat/calorie Oatmeal Raisin Cookies but those are for lack of a better word… lies. They often replace butter and sugar with healthier add ins like applesauce or non-fat sour cream, which create nothing but a tough, flavorless, and visually unappealing cookie.

dsc_0251To make a truly healthier version that will retain its color, flavor, and texture, therefore making it actually disappear from the cookie jar rather than sit untouched, a little bit of fat needs to remain. By cutting the butter and browning what remains in the formula, the flavor intensifies as the nuttiness of the butter becomes more pronounced. Unfortunately by cutting fat you lose the texture that it brought to the oats. In a full fat cookie, the oats become tender flavorful bits that still retain a hint of chew. In a low-fat version, they become tough and leathery, barely cooking at all. To prevent this usual pitfall of a low-fat version, the formula toasts the oats in the butter that is browned. This way, in one step two problems are solved.

3Now for the final problem which revolves around sugar content. To reduce fat further, one would think to cut as much sugar as possible. However, when you cut out even a bit of the sugar, you lose not only sweetness but moisture. Moisture that is crucial to the texture of the cookie. To resolve the final problem, an unusual but simple step is done… take a portion of the raisins, chop them and boil in water until a smooth paste forms. By adding this raisin paste to the cookie dough, the cookies remain moist and chewy despite having a dramatic cut in sugar. In fact, the added raisin pulp created a caramel undertone that enhanced the raisin flavor to even better levels than a full fat cookie.

1When all the tricks of the trade have been applied to a traditional Oatmeal Raisin Cookie formula, the result is a dramatic difference in calories, fat, and saturated fat per cookie. A traditional cookie contains 370 calories, 13 grams of fat, with 9 grams being saturated fat. This Skinny cookie contains only 150 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, with 2 grams being saturated fat. Now you can eat an Oatmeal Raisin cookie without all the guilt.

dsc_0268Note: This formula makes about 20 cookies. The cooked and cooled cookies can be stored in a container at room temperature for about 3 days.

Skinny Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Raisins; ½ cup chopped fine, ½ cup left whole
  • ¾ Water
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 ¾ cups Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 1 ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon (I use a blend of sweet China, rich Vietnamese, Ceylon, & Korintje)
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 ½ cups Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the chopped raisins and water in a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until the water has evaporated and the raisins are plump, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oats and cook, stirring constantly, until just golden, about 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Let cool.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in all the raisins, the toasted oats, and the flour mixture until just combined.
  4. Roll 2 tbsp. of dough into 1 ½ inch round balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Gently press each dough ball down until it is about ½ in. thick. Bake cookies until the edges are a light golden brown and the centers are just set, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through the baking time. Cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

2SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KRIS WIDICAN

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013