Concord Grape Cobbler

Concord Grape Cobbler adapted from Arthur Street Kitchen

 

Serves 4-6

  • 1 stick (113g) butter
  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup low fat milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tsp vanilla extra
  • 2 cups seedless concord grapes (or other fruit) – if they have seeds, cut in half and remove them!
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Place the butter in one 10 inch cast-iron skillet or, as I used, two 6.5 inch skillets (just halve the butter and put some in each). Place in the preheated oven and allow the butter to melt.

Prepare the grapes by coating them with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Using a hand whisk, stir in the milk, sugar, vanilla, and lime juice, until well combined.

Once the butter has melted in the skillet, carefully remove from the oven and pour the batter into the pan with the butter. Working quickly, top the batter with the sugared grapes. Place back into the oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes until the batter is golden and has risen around the fruit. Place a large baking tray under the skillet to catch any batter or butter overflow.

Allow the cobbler to cool, preferably for around 20-30 minutes. I always allow my cobblers to cool a little before eating as this allows the fruit juices to thicken underneath the batter.

Easy Lemon Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Here I go again! Loving my coconut desserts! This recipe is both easy and delicious.

1 can (13.6 oz.) coconut cream, well stirred

1 pkg. yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1 tbsp. pure lemon extract

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1, 7 oz. bag sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350F.

Reserve 2 tbsp. of the coconut cream for the frosting. Beat the cake mix, remaining coconut cream, 1/2 cup of the coconut, eggs and lemon extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed for three minutes. Spoon batter into paper lined cupcake tins (I used the large size tins), filling 2/3 full.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool in pans then on racks. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting – beat butter, reserved coconut cream and cream cheese until well blended. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until smooth. Frost each cupcake amply, then dip (see pictures) in the coconut lightly. Be sure to roll the cupcake around to get well covered in the coconut. ENJOY!

4 Ingredient Key Lime Pie!

If you’re in a hurry and need a dessert, I highly recommend the recipe on the back of the Nellie and Joe’s key lime juice.  Just 4 ingredients and done in no time.  It’s one of my go-to summer recipes! In the picture above, I made a shortbread crust as an alternative to the traditional graham cracker crust.  Equally as delicious. To order this product just click here Nellie & Joe Key West Lime Juice.

blend all ingredients together, pour into pie shell and bake in preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes. Cool completely and chill before serving.

Homemade Ice Cream

This recipe is for use with an ice cream machine. I have done this recipe in two different machines, one in which you add the traditional ice and salt and the other in which you use a pre-frozen container* both with equally good results. This is a super-easy basic vanilla recipe and can easily be customized by adding your own desired ingredients such as chocolate chips, cookie dough, etc.

Ingredients:

3 cups heavy cream

2 1/4 cups half and half (I have used fat free here as well)

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 tbsp vanilla

Combine all the ingredients and stir well until the sugar has dissolved. From here follow the instructions on the machine of your choice. I used the Deni brand, in which you slowly pour the liquid into the machine as it is churning. Ice cream is ready when it is thick and has a soft serve consistency. I then transfer the ice cream to a container for storage in the freezer.

*I have provided links below for various ice cream makers including the Deni brand I used. Just hit to purchase or see details.

Lemon Souffle Cheesecake

With less than 5 ingredients, this dreamy light lemon souffle cheesecake is the perfect treat to welcome long-awaited spring! 

Ingredients:

1 lemon

5 large eggs, at room temperature

8oz cream cheese, at room temperature

14oz sweetened condensed milk

Powdered sugar for dusting, optional

Helpful Equipment: • 8″ Round Springform Pan

Directions: Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). You will need at least 2.5-in deep 8-in springform pan. Cut 3.5-inch-wide long strip and 8-inch round circle of parchment paper. Line the sides and the bottom of the springform pan with the prepared parchment paper. Set aside.

Zest and juice the lemon. You should get about 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Separate the egg whites and yolks. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minute. Add condensed milk and beat for another minute. Then add the egg yolks and lemon zest with lemon juice. Continue to beat until well combined, 2-3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until hard peaks form. Make sure the bowl and the beaters are squeaky clean and free of grease. (Tip: Egg whites at room temperature are easier to beat and reach hard peaks faster.) Fold in half of the whipped egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Then add the remaining egg whites and gently fold until well-combined and no white streaks are visible.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and tap on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Place an empty baking sheet on lower rack of the oven and pour about 2 cups of boiling water. Put the cake pan on the middle rack above the rack with water bath. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and cool the cake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Remove the sides of the springform pan and gently peel off the parchment paper from the sides. Cool completely on the counter, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, when the cake is chilled and set, gently remove the parchment paper from the bottom and place the cake on a platter. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Store the cake in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.

All images and text ©Shinee D. for Sweet & Savory by Shinee

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (not all-purpose flour)
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 oz. red food coloring (two bottles)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 lb (2 blocks) cream cheese (not softened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  •  4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Directions:   To Make Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. (Yes, it will fizz!) Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they are about 3/4 full. (I like to use an ice-cream scoop for this!) Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check early and don’t overbake! Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting. 
  • Frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

recipe adapted from ‘Gimme Some Oven’ blog

Gingerbread “Mug Huggers” Houses

These adorable little gingerbread houses perch on the edge of a mug for a delightful presentation.  I have included a recipe below courtesy of The Food Network, however here is my TIP!  I used a mix from Betty Crocker!  Yup! Just as tasty and super user friendly.  So if you’re a purist, use this recipe otherwise see my link below for the Betty Crocker product. Regardless, I have given instructions on how to create these miniature houses below, as well as my royal icing recipe.  Plus! I included a product link for “cookie cutter shapes” to create these adorable little houses if you don’t feel confident about your creative ability using a cardboard form!

Ingredients for gingerbread

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. Gingerbread House: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Here is where my directions apply (whether using a mix or the above recipe)

Royal Icing

3 egg whites

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

4 3/4 cup confectioners sugar

Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until frothy.  Add the sugar in smaller amounts and incorporate well.  Beat on high for about 4 minutes until thickened.  Use immediately or cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap to avoid drying out.

Fill a pastry bag with a small decoration tip attached.

 

Make cardboard templates for the front, sides and roof.  Try to stay in the 1 – 1 1/2″ range.

 

 

Roll out the dough on a floured surface.  Using the templates, determine approx. how many houses to make, cut out fronts, sides and roof pieces using a pizza wheel.  Transfer to a baking sheet with a silpat liner and bake until slightly firm, about 10 minutes.  Remove to wire racks to cool.

With the royal icing, attach the sides one at a time to the front piece of the house, then attach the back.  Proceed to the next so as to allow the icing to harden.  Now attach the roof pieces one side at a time.

Again, allow to dry before adding the other section.  This should all go rather quickly as the icing sets up fast.  Allow to dry a bit before proceeding to decorate.  Embellish as you desire!

These little houses also make great party favors or gifts.  Place in a cellophane bag, add a cute ribbon and there you have it!

Busy Day Dessert

This is a little shortcut that is perfect for those days when you’d like to serve a dessert, but really don’t have the time to be mixing from scratch.  It’s quick and with a few supplies from the pantry, you can make something ordinary into something exceptional!

I took a “Mug Cake” package.  Greased the inside of a taller shaped mug (to get more height) and baked according to the directions on the package.  When slightly cooled, I turned it out to cool.  Then I gently sliced the cake in half.  Frosted the half with the frosting much like a layer cake except a little more generous.  Placed the top half on and spread some more frosting on the top.  Sprinkled on some chocolate chips and a light dusting of confectioners sugar.

These make great little cakes for individual desserts.  Try piping on the frosting for a more decorative look.  Colored sprinkles or chocolate jimmies, etc.  The possibilities are endless.

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe!

I’ve been making these cookies for years.  The dough is just perfect, not too sweet and great for cut-outs!

3/4 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

Mix shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla thoroughly.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Gradually add the flour to the shortening mixture.  Combine into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.  Heat oven to 400F.  Roll out dough approx. 1/8″ thick on a lightly floured surface.  Cut with cookie cutters.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 6 – 8 minutes or until a delicate golden color.  Let stand for a minute.  Remove and place on wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 4 dozen depending on the size of your cookie cutters.

TIP – I highly recommend the silpat mats in the links below.  They help cookies to bake more evenly and they will virtually slide off when baked!

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

I found this recipe in Southern Living Magazine.  I had to share it here, a true fall favorite!

Swirl:

1 8-ounce pkg cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp. flour

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cake:

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1/4 cup whole milk

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. apple pie spice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 cups diced peeled apples (about 2 apples)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Glaze:

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3 tbsp. water

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tbsp. dark corn syrup

1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Garnish of chopped pecans if desired

Preheat oven to 325F. Spray a bundt pan with baking spray and lightly flour.

For swirl – in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer at medium speed until creamy.  Add confectioners’ sugar, flour, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Scrape sides of bowl and beat another minute.  Cover and refrigerate.

For cake – In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla with mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 3-4 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add milk, beating just until combined.  In a medium bowl, mix together flour, apple pie spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined.  Fold in apples and pecans. Batter will be thick.  Spoon half of batter into prepared pan, spoon swirl mixture on top of better, avoiding edges of pan.  Top with remaining batter. Using a knife, pull blade back and forth through batter to swirl layers together, smooth top of batter.  Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Let cool in pan, remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

For glaze – In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar, water, butter and corn syrup to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Add confectioners sugar and whisk for a minute. Let cool for a few minutes before drizzling over cake .  Garnish with pecans.