Banana Maple Cookies with Toasted Pecans and Brown Butter Maple Icing

Banana Maple Cookies with Toasted Pecans and Brown Butter Maple Icing

These oat-filled fall cookies taste like banana bread with a touch of maple. Iced with a delicious frosting made from nutty-flavored brown butter and more maple, the cookies are then topped with a whole toasted pecan. Perfect on a chilly afternoon with a warm cup of cider or tea.

INGREDENTS
24-28 whole pecan halves
12 tablespoons butter, softened
cup maple sugar
cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
½  teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large banana, very ripe, about ¾ cup
¾  cup oats
1 ¾  cups flour
½  teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Brown butter maple icing (below)

 

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Place the whole pecans on a parchment lined sheet tray. Place in the oven and toast for 8-9 minutes until browned. Set aside to cool.

 

Using a stand mixer, Beat the butter, maple sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and banana and stir it into the sugar mixture. In a separate bowl combine together the oats, flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add to the wet ingredients, just mixing until combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

 

Using a small 1 ½” scoop, place the dough scoops about 1½” apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Press gently to flatten. You should get about 24-28 cookies. Place in the oven and bake until light brown, about 15-18 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

 

Brown Butter Maple Icing
INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¼ cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter until it turns a deep golden brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and salt until smooth. The icing should be thick. If it’s too thin, add a bit more confectioners’ sugar. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of water. Spread on cookies and top with a toasted whole pecan half.

Black Chocolate Brownies with Marshmallow Spider Webs

Black Chocolate Brownies with Marshmallow Spider Webs

Black cocoa powder, a super-dark Dutch-process cocoa, will make these the darkest chocolate brownies you’ve ever seen. Perfect for Halloween and covering with stretchy melted marshmallows to make tasty, but scary, spider-filled webs.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for the pan
6 ounces semi-sweet Guittard chocolate baking bars, broken into small pieces
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup black cocoa powder
1 ½  teaspoons kosher salt
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9” baking pan with parchment, letting excess extend over sides of pan and lightly grease with butter. In the top of a double boiler, place the chocolate pieces and the butter. Cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Turn off heat, and whisk in sugars. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. 

 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, black cocoa, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Add half of beaten eggs to chocolate mixture, whisking until combined. Add remaining beaten eggs, and whisk until combined. Whisk in vanilla. Fold in flour mixture until just combined. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake until a pick inserted in center comes out with only a few crumbs, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan and remove the parchment.

 

Marshmallow Spider Webs
INGREDIENTS:
8-10 full size marshmallows
White sanding sugar
Plastic Spiders, cleaned & washed

 

INSTRUCTIONS:
Melt the marshmallows in the microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth. Using your fingertips, grab small pieces of the marshmallows and stretch it over the brownies, attaching on the edges of the brownies. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and top with the plastic spiders.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter Maple Icing and Caramelized Walnuts and Pepitos

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter Maple Icing and Caramelized Walnuts and Pepitos

It’s Pumpkin Spice time and we have it all wrapped up in a tasty Bundt Cake. Filled with a tunnel of vanilla cream cheese and topped with brown butter icing and caramelized nuts, the cake is spiced with a blend of allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. It’s the American quintessential flavor of fall.

Cream cheese filling
8 oz. cream cheese
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Bundt cake
12 Tbsp. softened butter, plus more for the pan
2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. salt
1 can pumpkin purée, 15 ounces
¾ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs

Using a hand held or stand mixer, in a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla bean paste until smooth. Add to a large plastic disposal piping bag, being careful to keep the cream cheese 2-1/2 inches away from the pointed end, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush a Bundt pan with butter, then lightly flour and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt; set aside.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about

5 minutes scraping down the sides as needed so all is beaten well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated after each addition. Add in about ⅓ of the dry flour mixture, followed by ½ of the wet pumpkin mixture, and repeat ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix until just combined, being careful to not overbeat.

Pour ¾ of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Tap the pan on the counter several time to release any air bubbles. Snip off 2-1/2” off pointed end of the piping bag. Insert the ending down into the center of the batter and pipe the cream cheese into the batter to make a tunnel in the center. Spoon the remaining batter over the top and smooth to even it out.

Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto cooling rack. Cool completely.

Caramelized Walnuts and Pepitos
1 cups raw walnut halves
½ cup pepitos
½ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay the walnuts and pepitos out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5-8 minutes, until just slightly darker in color and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.

Add the sugar into a medium saucepan and place over medium high heat. When the sugar begins to melt, stir with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium

amber. Add the nuts and stir quickly to coat all. Pour the nuts out on to the lined sheet tray and, working quickly, spread them out by using two forks to separate the nuts into small cluster. Sprinkle with the salt and cool completely.

Brown Butter Maple Icing
4 Tablespoons butter
⅔ cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoons milk

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, watching the butter carefully, and swirling the pan until the butter begins to turn amber in color.

Remove butter from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and maple syrup until smooth. Add the milk, a few drops at a time, and only if the icing needs to be thinned. Spoon the icing over top of the cake and immediately top with the candied walnuts

Apple Dumplings With Caramel Sauce

Apple Dumplings With Caramel Sauce

Sweet fall apples, all wrapped up in crispy baked puff pastry. Filled with cinnamon and brown sugar, these baked fall delights are drizzled with caramel sauce right before serving. Perfect for celebrating National #appledumplings Day.

 

INGREDIENTS
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 small honeycrisp apples, peeled and cored, seeds removed
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons small 3/8” butter cubes, divided
1 egg, whisked
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

To serve:
8 tablespoons room-temperature caramel sauce, homemade or high-quality store purchased

 

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 14”x14” square. Cut into four 7” squares.

Place an apple on each square. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Spoon the sugar  mixture into center of each apple and fill to the top. (You may not use all of the cinnamon sugar mixture.) Top each apple with one butter cube. Brush a 1”border with egg wash around the edges of each puff pastry. Gently bring up corners of pastry to center; over lapping to seal around the apple. Gently press over the apple. Place on a baking dish and brush all over with the egg. Sprinkle each one evenly with the turbinado sugar. Place in the refrigerator for one hour to rechill the dough.

Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool for 20 minutes. Carefully move each apple dumpling to a shallow bowl and drizzle 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce over each dumpling. Serve warm.

Chocolate Bourbon Fudge Pops

Chocolate Bourbon Fudge Pops

Celebrate a Labor Day end of summer dinner, picnic, or party with these fun, boozy homemade chocolate bourbon popsicles. Made with a melted chocolate creamy mixture and Kentucky bourbon, we topped the frozen treats with a drizzle of melted chocolate and some patriotic sprinkles.

INGREDIENTS
8 ounces high quality dark chocolate
1 ½  cups whole milk
½ cup cream plus 2 tablespoons, divided
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch kosher salt
2 tablespoons good-quality bourbon
2 teaspoons corn syrup
Decorative sprinkles, optional

 

INSTRUCTIONS
Break up 6 ounces of the chocolate and put into a high-speed blender. Whisk together the milk, ½ cup cream, sugar, and cocoa. Bring to a light simmer, remove from heat and immediately pour over chocolate in the blender. Add the vanilla, salt, and bourbon and allow to sit for a 3-5 minutes to soften chocolate. Turn the blender on and blend until chocolate mixture is smooth. Let the blender sit for a few minutes so any foam on the surface can dissipate. 

Pour into eight 3-ounce ice pop molds or paper cups. Reserve any extra liquid, store in the refrigerator to make more pops. Freeze the pops for about 1 hour before inserting wooden sticks. Freeze for 24 hours.

Line a sheet tray with parchment and place in the freezer. Remove the pops from the molds and place on the parchment lined sheet tray in the freezer. Freeze for 1 hour. 

Add the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate with 2 teaspoons corn syrup and 2 tablespoons cream in a microwave safe measuring cup. Microwave on low in 30 second intervals until just starting to melt. Whisk until the chocolate mixture is fluid and all the chocolate is melted. Remove the pops from the freezer and drizzle with the chocolate. Immediately sprinkle with decorative sprinkles (if using) and freeze the pops again for 30 minutes. Do this step quickly since the chocolate sets when it contacts the cold pops. 

Serve or bag the pops in small individual bags and return to the freezer to save for later. Follow the directions again to make any more pops with the left-over liquid. Makes 8-12 pops.

Ginger Gelato with Candied Plums

Ginger Gelato with Candied Plums

Seasonal fresh plums make a brilliant contrast to our Ginger Gelato. Made using grated fresh ginger, the ice cream has a clean fresh taste to contrast against the sweet, tart Plums. It’s the perfect way to cool off on a hot day.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2″ piece of ginger, peeled, and grated
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
 ¾ cup sugar
One recipe of candied plums (below)

 

INSTRUCTIONS
In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine the milk, cream, fresh ginger, and salt. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches 170 degrees. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside to infuse the ginger for one hour. Pour the milk/cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve to strain out the ginger pieces, pressing on the ginger to extract all the liquid. Return the strained liquid to the pan and reheat to 170 degrees. 

 

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until the mixture is thick and pale yellow and the sugar had dissolved into the eggs. Temper the eggs by slowly adding the hot milk/cream while whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches 185 degrees. Do not boil. 

 

Fill a large bowl with ice. Place a medium bowl in the center of the ice. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the clean bowl set over the ice and cool completely, stirring occasionally. When cooled, cover, and refrigerate overnight. 

 

The next day pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Layer the ice cream and candied plums in an ice cream storage container.  Freeze until firm; makes 6 servings.

 

Candied Plums
INGREDIENTS
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Large pinch kosher salt
5 firm medium plums, each cut into 10 wedges

 

INSTRUCTIONS
In a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Swirl the pan to moisten and dissolve the sugar. Carefully add the plum wedges to the pan, spreading them out evenly. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, shaking the pan every 30 seconds or so, until the plums start to release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the plums with tongs and cook until soft (but not mushy) and golden brown along some of the cut edges, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature then refrigerate until very cold.