Cooking with Katie


Cranberry Orange Scones

IMG_7109I know what most of you are thinking, Ew, scones, aren’ those basically the equivalent of rocks!? And most of the time, yes, scones are the equivalent of rocks. Whenever I’ve had them at restaurants or bought them from stores they’ve always been dry and crunchy and flavorless and…yuck, so it was a complete shock when I made these and they came out so heavenly!

I think that the secret to scones is to add pleanty of liquid so that you have a really wet dough, and to pull them out of the oven even when you think they aren’t done, because if you wait, you’ll most likely overbake them. And once you master a scone recipe, you can completely switch up all the flavors and add different fruits or nuts or whatever you want. These are a great addition to your breakfast or brunch table and are sure to impress whoever you serve them to!

Cranberry Orange Scones (based on Ina Garten’s recipe)
4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and cut the dough in half, then roll it out in a log-shape, one half at a time. Take a knife and cut triangles out of the log, alternating cutting a left diagnol, then a right diagnol. Put the scones onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

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Peach Blueberry Crumb Pie

Okay, so this is defiantely not the prettiest picture I’ve ever posted, but it shows you every great componet of this pie. The crispy crumb topping, juicy peaches and blueberries, and flaky crust make this so irresistable, and it’s a huge crowd pleaser! It’s the perfect dish to have at a summer barbeque or pot-luck, and kids love it! I loved how great it was for summer time and how easy it was to throw together, and I’m sure that you’ll love it too!

Peach Blueberry Crumb Pie (Giada de Laurentiis)

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca pearls, such as Minute Tapioca
  • 1 pound frozen blueberries, thawed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 pound frozen peaches, thawed, or 3 large fresh peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • One 9-inch unroll-and-bake refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
  • 1/2 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch ceramic or glass pie dish.

For the filling: Finely grind the tapioca in a food processor or spice grinder, about 1 minute. Combine the blueberries, peaches, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest and tapioca in a medium bowl.

Unroll the pie crust and place in the pie dish. Brush the inside with the egg white.

For the topping: Pulse the almonds, butter, oats, flour and sugar until small chunks form in a food processor.

Pour the filling into the crust. Crumble the topping over the filling and bake until the top is golden brown, about 55 minutes. If after 30 minutes of baking the edges of the crust begin to brown too quickly, cover the edges of the pie dish with strips of foil. Cool the pie for 30 to 40 minutes before slicing.


Lemon Cranberry Cake

I made this cake to use up the sad little cranberries that have been sitting in our fridge since Christmas. I know, it’s pitiful isn’t it?!?!?! But, look at what a beautiful and TASTY cake they turned into! They really livend up with all the lemon and the sugar and became this tangy-sweet-tart-scrumptious bundt cake that reminded every one of the holidays!

Fresh cranberries might be kind of hard to find in stores now, so if you don’t have any lying around, you can always use frozen, thawed cranberries. Or, you could substitute the cranberries with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or even fruit jellies. Happy Baking!

Cranberry Lemon Cake (Food Network Magazine)

  • 3 1/4 sticks butter at room temperature (I know, it’s alot and this really is an indulgence cake!)
  • 3 c cake flour, sifted
  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 2 1/2 c sugar
  • 6 tbsp. milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c lemon juice, plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar

Cube the butter and set it in a bowl at room temperature to soften.

Put the cranberries in a saucepan with 3/4 c sugar and let them cook over medium-high heat for about 15 min., or until they look like this. Let them cool.

Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside.

Tip: When separating the eggs, put the egg whites in a little Tupperware container. Put a piece of tape on the lid and write “2 egg whites” on it so you know what they are, then put them in the freezer. The next time you need egg whites, just pull them out of the freezer, let them defrost and they’re ready to use! This also works for egg yolks, left over pie dough, and left over cookie dough.

Now, dump all the dry ingredients and the lemon zest in a bowl and give them a mix.

You’ll be able to see the little flecks of lemon zest in here….I love that!

Then, dump in the butter and…

…give it a mix until it looks like this.

Add in half of the wet ingredients and mix it all up.

It should look like this. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients in two parts and mix it until…

..it looks like this!

Pour 2/3 of the batter into a butter and floured bundt pan. Then spoon the cranberries on top of the batter. Make sure that the cranberries don’t touch the pan, otherwise they’ll stick! We don’t want that to happen!

Then, pour the rest of the batter on top of the cranberries and smooth it over.

Now, bake it at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes.


Then, poke it with a skewer all over the bottom. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the 1/2 c sugar in the 1/2 c lemon juice (about 4-5 juicy lemons) in a saucepan and cook it until the sugar dissolves in the lemon juice. Pour it over the cake and let it soak in through the holes. Turn it out onto a cake stand and combine the remaining 2 tbsp. of lemon juice with the powdered sugar. Drizzle it over the cake with a fork and enjoy!


The Ultimate Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without the cranberry sauce! It’s one of my favorite dishes on the table, but I decided it was time for something different from the ordinary stuff out of a can. That kind just get a little boring after a while. Anyway, there are lots of advantages to making your own cranberry sauce. You can control the tartness and sweetness of the dish, you can control the texture, and you can make it way in advance, like I did, and then serve it whenever you’re ready! Is there any reason not to make your own?!?!?!?!

The Ultimate Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 12 oz. bag of cranberries
  • orange peel
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c cranberry juice
  • 1 c sugar

Start by putting the cranberries in a saucepan. They’re always in season around the holidays so they should be easy to find, but you could always use frozen ones, too.

Then, add the water and cranberry juice….

..the sugar…

…and the orange peel. Just use a vegetable peeler to peel off the orange zest of the orange. I only used about 2 or 3 strips because the flavor really does concentrate when it’s cooked and you don’t want it to overpower the cranberry’s flavor.

Then, just turn the burner on high and bring the mixture to a boil.

You’ll start to see the cranberries pop!

Yummm….looks like the holidays in a pot! 🙂

When the cranberries come to a boil, turn down the heat and let them simmer for 15 minutes.

They should start to get thick and syrupy. Just transfer them to a Tupperware container and let them set up in the fridge until dinnertime. That’s one thing less to do on the big day!


Apple Strudel Muffins

These muffins are a delicious, healthy way to start your day, and they’re very wallet-friendly. I make these alot at my house because they’re super easy to whip up, and they’re gone in about 2 days. They’re great for a quick breakfast, your kids’ lunches, even a good midnight snack! It’s impossible to eat just 1, though…. 🙂

Apple Strudel Muffins (Ellie Krieger)

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c chopped apples (Fuji, Ruby Red, any type of sweet apple)

Strudel Topping:

  • 1/3 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. butter

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Add the vanilla. Then, add the apples and gradually add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (which have been sifted together).  Spoon into a greased and lined muffin tin.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Cut in the butter until you have course crumbs. Sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees and let set for 5 minutes on a wire rack.


Banana Pudding Cream Puffs

This recipe is for my Aunt Leisa, who loves banana pudding more than anyone else I know….including me. 🙂

Ok, get ready to see a lot of cream puff posts in the next few weeks because I’ve kind of become obsessed with them! I’m stuffing profiteroles with whatever I can think of!

It’s madness.

But these cream puffs, these are special. They’re special because they taste like you’re taking a bite of banana pudding! Which, btw, is my favorite pudding! Anyway, you have the actual cream puff (or profiterole, as some like it) that tastes like a Nilla wafer, the vanilla pudding, chunks of banana, and whipped cream! What more could you want in life?!?!?!?

Banana Pudding Cream Puffs

  • 1 recipe pat a choux (add a splash of vanilla into the dough as well)
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 bananas, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2-4 tbsp. sugar

Once you make your pat a choux, make your pudding according to the package directions. Add the bananas and let set up in the fridge until your cream puffs have completely cooled. Pour it into a piping bag with tip#12, and carefully fill each cream puff by putting the tip into the hole on the bottom and squeezing. Do NOT overstuff! 🙂 Let them chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Whip the cream in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and add the sugar depending on how sweet you want it. Whip it until it forms stiff peaks, then put it in another piping bag with tip#32. Pipe a few stars here and there on the cream puffs, then serve.

I also made these, for those who don’t like banana pudding! Ice Cream filled profiteroles! Instead of filling them with banana pudding, I cut them in half, put a little scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center, put the top back on, decorated them with whipped cream, and poured on some chocolate sauce (half a cup of chocolate chips and a few splashes of heavy cream melted over a double boiler). Messy, but delicious! Enjoy!


Meringues Chantilly


Can you believe how elegant this dessert is? Not only does it look great, but it tastes amazing! It’s a great way to end a meal for guests or company, and is sure to impress their eyes and tastebuds!

Meringues chantilly is basically just a meringue cookie, whipped cream, and stewed berries. The way that it’s assembled and presented, though, is what really makes you say wow! With the meringue on the bottom, the whipped cream in the center, and the berries dripping down the sides, you get the most glorious texture experience of your life! The crunchy bottom, airy middle, and syrupy top are what makes this dish!

Meringues Chantilly (Ina Garten)

Meringues:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 c sugar, divided into thirds
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whippd Cream:

  • 1 pint cold heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. orange liqueur (optional)

Stewed Berries:

  • 1 c blueberries
  • 2 1/2 c raspberries
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. framboise (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 6 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a large star – shaped pastry tip, pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle. Pipe another layer around the edge to form the sides of the shells.

Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.

 Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur and continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Don’t overbeat, or you’ll end up with butter!

Combine the blueberries, one-half pint of raspberries, 1/3 cup water, the sugar and zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. The juice will become a syrup and the berries will be slightly cooked. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the framboise. Set aside.

Place a meringue on each plate and fill with whipped cream. Top with berries and serve.


Lemon Semifreddo with Raspberry Sauce

So, I made a mistake. When I said that my Chocolate Toffee Mascarpone Bars were decadence at it’s best, I really meant to say that they were an extremely close second to this semifreddo! The creaminess of the semifreddo, tanginess of the lemon, and tartness of the raspberry sauce work so well together that it’ll make you want to jump up and do your happy dance! If you have one, that is.

Now, semifreddo is a classic Italian dessert that resembles ice cream or gelato. It’s really a big hit with kids, and is sure to impress any dinner date or dinner guest! I came up with the raspberry sauce all on my own because the original recipe said to serve it with an orange and mango salad. I’m sure that the salad is good……..just probably not as kid-friendly; so I think you’ll find the raspberries to be quite splendid!

Lemon Semifreddo with Raspberry Sauce (adapted from Anne Burrell’s recipe)

  • 1/2 sliced almonds, toasted (I didn’t use these)
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c lemon juice (I only used 1/4 c)
  • 3 lemons, zested (I did not use this)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 pint of fresh raspberries
  • half a lemon, zested
  • about 2 tbsp. sugar

Start by lining 6 ramekins or a loaf pan with plastic wrap. If you’re using the almonds, then spread those on the bottom in a pretty design.

Then, combine the sugar, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest, and salt in a mixer bowl. Whisk it until it’s a homogeneous mixture, then set it on a double boiler. (Don’t worry, it won’t hurt the bowl!) Whisk it for 4-5 minutes until the eggs are light in color, and become fluffy. If you stick a thermometer in, they should be 165 degrees F. Then, set the bowl on the mixer with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed until they have doubled in volume and the bottom of the bowl is cool.

Don’t you just hate it when a recipe calls for whipped cream or whipped egg whites and there’s already something in your mixing bowl? Well, if you use one of these handy-dandy immersion blenders with the new whisk attachment, then you don’t have to whip the cream with the power of your biceps! You could also use a hand-mixer, but that’s just not as fun!:)

Carefully fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture to make this lemon-dreamsicle-type mixture…..YUM!

Pour it into the ramekins…

…and cover with the excess plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least  4-5 hours or overnight before serving.

The next day, combine the raspberries, lemon zest and sugar. Mash it with a fork so that it’s still a little bit chunky. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. This is called masserating, it’s kind of like marinading…only with fruit.

When you’re ready to serve it, unwrap the semifreddo and plop it upside down onto a plate, or, if using a loaf pan, plop it onto a cutting board and slice it with a knife that’s been soaked in hot water. Top with the raspberry sauce, or the mango-orange salad if  it makes you happy, and enjoy!


Homemade Granola Bars

I love granola; I mean, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! This is the first time I’ve tried making it at home, and it came out perfectly! This stuff is addictive.

This granola is a blank canvas that I chose to decorate with dried cranberries. You can add whatever you like spruce it up, and of course, if there’s a nut allergy, you can omit the almonds. Dried apricots, dates, banana chips, chocolate chips, dried cherries, dried blueberries, or even dried pomegranate seeds would be GREAT in this! Use whatever you’d like!

Home-made Granola Bars (Ina Garten)

  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 c sliced almonds
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2/3 c honey
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries

Toast the oatmeal, coconut, and almonds at 350 degrees on a dry baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Combine with the toasted oat mixture and stir in the cranberries. Spray a 9×13 baking dish, then line with parchment paper. Pour the granola into the dish and smooth into an even layer.

Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting and serving. Enjoy!


Old-Fashioned Blueberry Crumb Cake

Imagine a little bakery in a small town, with an old grandmother that makes all the goodies by hand…………..well that’s what I picture when I take a bite of this cake! There’s just something so comforting about sweet blueberries and a crunchy crumb topping, don’t you agree?

As I always say, you can change this recipe up however you like! Peaches, blackberries, or apples would be great in this cake….you could also replace the lemon zest with orange zest and maybe sprinkle in a few mini chocolate chips. This cake recipe is so versatile that as soon as you get the recipe down, you’ll be throwing everything but the kitchen sink in!

Blueberry Crumb Cake (Ina Garten)

Cake:

  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2/3 c sour cream
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c fresh blueberries

Streusel:

  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/3 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 1/3 c flour

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar

This is a 9 inch spring-form pan. It’s usually used for making cheesecakes, but if you have one, use it now. It just makes it easier to get the cake and the topping out after the baking process. Butter and flour it.

Start by creaming together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is light. Make sure that the butter is at room temperature, it really contributes to the lightness of this cake.

Then, reduce the speed to low and add the eggs in one at time. Make sure that they are room temperature, also, otherwise you’ll have dense cake. Then, add the vanilla, sour cream, and lemon zest and mix on low until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add into the batter on low speed until it is just combined.

Fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula, being careful not to over mix the batter.

Now make the crumble by combining the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Pour the melted butter over the top and stir in the flour.

Pour the batter into the spring-form pan and smooth it over with your spatula.

Then, crumble the topping on top with your hands.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Meanwhile, make the lemon glaze. Whisk together the lemon juice and powdered sugar.

BTW, I used my mini whisk that I got for Christmas last year! LOVE that tool!:)

When the cake is done, take it out of the pan and let it cool on a rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with the lemon glaze.