Basil Gelato With Iced Lemon Cookies And Blueberry Sauce

Basil Gelato With Iced Lemon Cookies And Blueberry Sauce

Cool down after a hot day with this irresistible seasonal dessert. This refreshing and creamy herbaceous gelato pairs exceptionally well with a sweet Blueberry & Spearmint Sauce and Iced Lemon Cookies. Made with basil, it’s a delicious alternative flavor with an incredibly refreshing taste. Our easy blueberry sauce is made with Perfect Purée of Napa Valley’s Spearmint & Lime which can be ordered online or you can substitute with simple syrup.

Blueberry Sauce
INGREDIENTS
1 quart blueberries
½ cup Perfect Purée of Napa Valley’s Spearmint & Lime or mint simple syrup (recipe below)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS
In a medium saucepan, mix the blueberries with the syrup. Cook over moderate heat until the blueberries begin to burst and collapse about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer to a blender and puree; strain through a fine mesh strainer. Stir in the lemon juice, cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Basil Gelato
INGREDIENTS
2 cups whole milk
1 cup cream
2 cups packed basil leaves
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 egg yolks

INSTRUCTIONS
Place the milk, cream, and basil in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add to a saucepan over medium heat and cook until just starting to simmer. In a large bowl whisk the sugar, salt, and egg yolks together until pale yellow. Temper the warm cream/milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Transfer the mix to back to a saucepan and over medium heat cook, continually stirring, until the eggs thicken and the sauce thickly coats the back of a spoon. Set a smaller bowl inside a larger bowl that is filled with ice. Remove the custard from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into the smaller cold bowl. Set the bowl in an ice water bath to rapidly chill. Chill, occasionally stirring, until cold, then refrigerate overnight or for 8 hours.

Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until ready to use.

Lemon Butter Cookies
INGREDIENTS

Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Icing
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Finely grated lemon zest, for garnish
1 tablespoon sugar crystals

INSTRUCTIONS
Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an 8”x8” baking pan, line the bottom and up two sides with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and then flour the pan, tapping out any extra flour.

Whisk together the flour and salt in a bowl; set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with a bowl beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the lemon zest and juice, then reduce the speed and add in the flour and salt mixture until just incorporated. Pour the dough into the pan, smooth the top and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan using the excess parchment and set on a rack to cool completely. Remove the parchment and cut into long thin bar-shaped pieces.

Icing
When the cookies are cooling, make the frosting. In a bowl, whisk 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with the lemon juice until smooth. Use the remaining sugar by adding small amounts to thicken the icing – only if needed. In another small bowl, combine the lemon zest with the sugar crystals. Spread the lemon icing over the cooled cookies and sprinkle with lemon zest mixture. Let stand until the frosting is set, about 30 minutes.

Mint Simple Syrup
INGREDIENTS
½ cup sugar
½ cup fresh mint leaves

INSTRUCTIONS
In a saucepan over medium heat add the sugar with ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar melts into the water. Remove from the heat and add the mint leaves; set aside to cool about 30 minutes. When the syrup has cooled, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container to remove the mint. Set aside.

Assembly
INGREDIENTS
Fresh Basil Leaves

INSTRUCTIONS
Add the sauce to a bowl. Top with the gelato, cookies, and a basil leaf; makes 6-8 servings.

Ginger Citrus Cake With Compressed Strawberries

Ginger Citrus Cake With Compressed Strawberries

Celebrate Memorial Day with summer’s perfect dessert – strawberries, fresh cake, and whipped cream.  We added spicy ginger to this sweet little pound cake and served it with strawberries we compressed with fruit juice and ginger using a vacuum sealer. If you don’t own a vacuum sealer, we have also included instructions to make this dessert with macerated berries, which are just as delicious! This recipe uses Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Ginger Sour, which can be ordered online, or you can substitute with simple syrup.

Ginger Citrus Cake
INGREDIENTS
2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 ⅔ cups flour, plus more for the pans
2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
Pinch of salt
2 ⅓ cups sugar
Zest of two lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large egg yolks, 4 large eggs at room temperature
⅔ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Ginger Sour, or simple syrup, recipe below
Compressed strawberries or macerated strawberries, recipes below
Fresh whipped cream

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Using 1 tablespoon of the softened butter, butter two 8 1/4- x – 4 1/2 – x 2 1/2 – inch loaf pans. Line with a long piece of parchment paper that extends over the sides of the pan. Butter the parchment and dust the inside with flour tapping out to remove any excess.

Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt together.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in the work bowl of a stand mixer and work them together with your fingers or a wooden spoon until the sugar and lemon zest is thoroughly combined. Add the butter to the sugar and using a stand mixer combine until the mixture is light in color and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and eggs, one at a time, combining them each into the mixture until thoroughly incorporated.

Add the vanilla extract, cream, and Perfect Purée Ginger Sour into the mixer bowl and combine thoroughly.

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, add the dry ingredients in 3 to 4 additions until the batter is smooth and thick. Pour into the pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes. Then using the excess parchment, remove the cakes from the pans. Remove the parchment and place the cakes back on the rack to cool to room temperature. Slice and serve with the compressed berries and fresh whipped cream.

Compressed Strawberries
INGREDIENTS
1 quart fresh strawberries
1/2 cup Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Ginger Sour or simple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS
Remove the stems and cut the berries in half. Remove one cup of strawberries; set the others aside.

Chop the one cup of berries and add to a blender with the Perfect Purée Ginger Sour or simple syrup. Process until very smooth. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve; discard solids.

Add the strawberry halves to a chamber vacuum bag. Pour the liquid over the berries and seal with the vacuum to compress the berries. Refrigerate overnight.

Macerated Strawberries
INGREDIENTS
1 quart fresh strawberries
1/2 cup Perfect Purée Ginger Sour or simple syrup, recipe below

INSTRUCTIONS
Remove the stems and cut the berries in half. Add the strawberry halves to a bowl. Pour the liquid over the berries and leave at room temperature for 3-4 hours. Refrigerate overnight.

Simple Syrup
INGREDIENTS
½ cup sugar
½ cup water

INSTRUCTIONS
In a saucepan over medium heat add the sugar with ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar melts into the water. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Lemon Curd With Meringue Crumbles Raspberry, & Chocolate Puff Pastry

Lemon Curd With Meringue Crumbles Raspberry, & Chocolate Puff Pastry

This simple make-ahead deconstructed lemon meringue pie includes lemon curd, delicious chocolate puff pastry, raspberry sauce and fresh berries. While it requires a few components, the lemon curd and sauce can be made ahead of time while the meringue is store purchased. Requiring only a few simple steps to prepare, the Chocolate Puff Pasty taste best when baked on the day of you are serving it.

INGREDIENTS
1 package Dufour’s Chocolate Puff Pastry
¼ cup ground sweet chocolate
¼ cup finely chopped dark chocolate chips
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon of water
16 white meringue cookies
½ cup lemon curd, recipe below
½ cup raspberry sauce, recipe below
Fresh raspberries

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Remove the puff pastry from the packaging. Lay on a floured board. Cut into 4 quarters and then each quarter into four pieces. Mix the powdered chocolate with the chopped chocolate. Brush the top of the Puff Pastry with the egg wash. Sprinkle with the chocolate mixture and place on the parchment. Bake the squares for 18-20 minutes or until nicely puffed and dry to the touch.

Crush the meringue cookies into fine crumbs. Place the crumbs evenly on four plates. Top with ¼ cup of lemon curd, and then top with the chocolate puff pastry. Add raspberry sauce and fresh berries to the plate.

Lemon Curd
INGREDIENTS
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cups fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of one lemon
½ stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces

INSTRUCTIONS
Use a bowl from an electric mixer that will fit over a saucepan of simmer water without touching the water. Fill the saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring the water to a simmer.

Add the eggs and sugar to the mixer bowl. Fit the mixer with a whisk attachment and whip at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk until incorporated. Set the mixer bowl over the simmering water and cook the mixture, whisking constantly by hand until smooth, thick and custard-like. Remove from the heat and one piece at a time whisk in the butter. Transfer to another bowl and cover with plastic. The curd can be made a week in advance. Keep in a refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Raspberry Sauce
INGREDIENTS
8 ounces of Raspberry Jam
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the raspberry jam and melt. Whisk in the lemon juice and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool completely and refrigerate in an air-tight container for one week.

Bourbon Layered Brownie with Chocolate Mousse, Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream, & Candied Pecans

Bourbon Layered Brownie with Chocolate Mousse, Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream, & Candied Pecans

Choose your dessert straight up in a bourbon glass. Ditch that famous pie this Kentucky Derby and offer your guests a layered dessert in a bourbon rocks glass. We fitted bourbon infused brownies in the bottom of bourbon rocks glasses then added bourbon chocolate mousse, crème fraîche whipped cream and topped them with candied pecans. It’s a whole new twist on a“neat” bourbon.

Bourbon Brownie
INGREDIENTS
⅓ cup butter, plus extra softened to grease the pan
Ground unsweetened cocoa to flour the pan
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
3-1/2 ounces chopped high-quality bittersweet chocolate, preferably Scharffen-Berger chocolate
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons bourbon

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With softened butter, grease an 8 x 8” baking pan. Line the bottom and up two sides with one piece of parchment; grease the parchment. Flour the pan and parchment liner with unsweetened ground cocoa; set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine sugar, butter, and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook and stir over medium heat just until boiling. Remove from heat.

Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces until melted. In a large bowl combine the eggs and vanilla. Slowly temper in the warm chocolate mixture into the eggs beating with a whisk until just combined. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and edges start to pull away from sides of pan. Place pan on a wire rack and brush the top of the hot brownies with the bourbon. The brownies can be made a day ahead of time. Wrap airtight after completely cooled and store at room temperature.

Candied Pecans
INGREDIENTS
1 egg white
¼ cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup whole pecans
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a quarter baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar, salt, and whisk to incorporate. Toss in the pecans and mix until coated. Pour the nuts on the prepared baking sheet. Separate and place the nuts flat side down and sprinkle the tops with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned. Let cool completely. Can be made a day ahead of time. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Bourbon Chocolate Mousse
INGREDIENTS
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoons kosher salt
4 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped, preferably Scharffen-Berger chocolate
4 large egg whites, at room temperature

INSTRUCTIONS
Bring the heavy cream and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the bourbon, vanilla and salt. Add the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes without stirring. Whisk the chocolate and cream until smooth and transfer to a large bowl.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed until they form stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, fold about one-third of the beaten whites into the chocolate to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining whites, in two batches, just until the white streaks disappear, being careful not to deflate the whites. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Vanilla Whipped Cream With Crème Fraîche
INGREDIENTS
1 ½ tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons crème fraîche

INSTRUCTIONS
Chill the mixing bowl and whisk for 30 minutes in the freezer. Add the sugar and cream to the chilled bowl and fit an electric mixer fitted with the chilled whisk. Beat to medium peaks. Add the vanilla and crème fraîche then beat until incorporated and mixture is forming stiff peaks.

Assembly On The Day Of Your Event
Using a small knife or cookie cutter, cut a piece of brownie to fit inside the bottom of each of the six bourbon rocks glasses. Top with ⅙ of the chocolate mousse, then ⅙ of the vanilla whipped cream. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Right before serving, top each with the candied pecans.

Trail Mix Cookies With Brown Butter Drizzle

Trail Mix Cookies With Brown Butter Drizzle

These delicious morsels not only taste great and travel well but also sustain travelers well. So if you are headed out for a spring day or down to the waterfront to celebrate the seasonal events, bring some Trail Mix Cookies packed full of nuts, dried fruit, oats, coconut, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips to keep your energy going. The brown butter drizzle icing isn’t necessary, but we just loved the extra flavor.

INGREDIENTS
Cookies
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter chips
½ cup roasted and salted peanuts
½ cup roasted and salted cashew pieces
½ cup raisins

Brown Butter Icing
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

INSTRUCTIONS
Cookies
In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, and oats. In the work bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and with the sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, the baking soda mixture and the vanilla. Add the flour/oat mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the coconut, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, peanuts, cashews, and raisins. Cover and chill the dough for one hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Drop rounds of two tablespoons of the dough about two inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten the tops then bake the cookies in batches in the middle of the oven for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are golden. Cool slightly on the baking sheets then transfer them with a metal spatula to cooling racks, and let them cool completely.

Brown Butter Icing
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and pour the melted butter into a bowl, leaving any dark brown sediment behind in the pan; discard the residue. Add the sugar, vanilla, and one tablespoon milk; whisk until smooth. If the icing is too thick to thin you can add the extra milk one tablespoon at a time whisking until you reach your desired consistency.   Drizzle over the cookies and allow the icing to set before packing and storing in air-tight containers.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Cinnamon Mini Cream Puffs With Creamy Cinnamon Sauce

Cinnamon Mini Cream Puffs With Creamy Cinnamon Sauce

Show your love this Valentine’s Day with tasty mini cream puffs served with a creamy cinnamon sauce. Using pâte à choux dough to make these little treats, they are baked and filled with cinnamon whipped cream for a delightful Valentine treat. Our tasty dipping cinnamon sauce uses “Red Hots” candy tamed with cream to a beautiful rich smooth cinnamon flavor.

If you’re not a fan of “Red Hots” don’t let that deter you from trying this sauce – it has converted many who are not a fan of the candy. The cream softens the flavor to make a sweet, smooth, creamy cinnamon sauce.

Cream Puff Pastry (pâte à choux)
INGREDIENTS
1 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into 16 thin slices
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, plus egg whites if needed
1 egg for egg wash

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, salt, butter, and sugar. Bring to a boil and quickly stir in all at once the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring for about 3 minutes or until the cohesive mixture starts to pull away from the pan and leaves a film of flour on the sides of the pan.

Remove from heat and transfer contents to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for one minute or until slightly cooled. Add four of the eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously to incorporate the egg after each addition entirely. Check the consistency of the batter by dragging a wooden spoon through it. When the groove slowly closes on itself, you have added enough eggs. If not, add egg whites, one at a time, until the dough passes the groove test.

For the egg wash, whisk together the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.

Transfer the dough to a large pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip. Pipe 1-1/2-inch rounds onto each parchment lined sheet tray. Gently smooth the pointed peaks with a moistened finger, rounding the tops to ensure even rising. Brush tops with the egg wash. Bake until puffs rise and are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove baked puffs from the oven and using a very sharp knife, cut a slit into the side of each one allowing steam to escape and help prevent soggy puffs. Return them to the oven for 5 minutes longer, then remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store the baked Puffs at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Cinnamon “Red Hots” Sauce
INGREDIENTS
⅓ cup sugar
¼ cup Cinnamon Red Hots candy
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon cornstarch
⅔ cup water
¼ cup heavy cream
5 drops red food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, Red Hots candy, cinnamon, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, frequently stirring to melt the candy. When dissolved, boil for 5 minutes, stirring the entire time. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a bowl. (This removes any impurities or wax in the candy.) Add back into a clean saucepan over medium heat and return to a boil; whisk in the cream and food coloring. Reduce the heat to medium-low, so the sauce is at just a simmer and cook, occasionally stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and store in the refrigerator. The sauce can be made the day before use.

Cinnamon Cream Filling
INGREDIENTS
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS
Pour heavy cream into chilled bowl. Beat on high speed using a stand mixer or hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Slowly add the sugar and cinnamon. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

To Assemble:
INGREDIENTS
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
Transfer the whipped cream into pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip. Insert the tip into the slit in each puff, and pipe to fill with the cinnamon pastry cream. Mix the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the cream puffs. Serve immediately with the Cinnamon Sauce on the plate or serve on the side.   Makes 25-30 mini-puffs.