Due Finali Dolci

TiramisuTiramisu

This dish, again seems to be a bit labour intensive, but again, worth it! The best advice I have for you is to make it at least a day in advance, if not two, so that the flavours have a chance to meld and develop. If not, you might find it somewhat bland and unbalanced. I also recommend serving it chilled.

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks
¾ cup white sugar
⅔ cup milk
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound mascarpone cheese
½ cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature (espresso is even better)
4 tablespoons rum or alcohol of choice
2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, don’t stop, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth, you may wish to use an electric beater for this if you have one, it will make the job easier and give you a silky texture. In a separate medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Take each lady finger and dip it into the coffee mixture. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7×11 inch dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set, but preferably overnight or even a day or two.

BiscottiItalian Biscotti

This recipe is for a basic almond cookie, but the flavour options are endless. You can replace the extracts with ones of your choosing, such as anise, orange or lemon. You can add, remove or change the nuts used, or use chocolate chips or poppy seeds instead. Add citrus zest or dried cranberries! You are truly only limited by your imagination.

Original recipe makes about 30 cookies

Ingredients:

12 ounces butter/margarine
1 ¾ cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 ounces chopped almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, and then add eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and then incorporate them into the egg mixture along with the chopped almonds. Stir the dough with a spoon until it begins to come together. I find it easier, once the basic dough has formed, to then dump it out onto a clean floured surface and knead by hand at this point. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each piece into a log about 15 inches long (or as long as your baking sheets are). Place logs onto cookie sheets, two to a sheet, the long way. Flatten the logs out until they are about 3 inches wide with a slight hump going down the middle. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove them from the oven. The loaves should be firm to the touch. Transfer the logs to a rack to cool slightly, and then using a serrated blade, cut the loaves into diagonal slices ½ inch wide. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Stand the slices upright on the baking sheet and bake for another 40 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

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Cranberry Pecan Cookie

Cranberry Walnut Cookie

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons butter or margarine
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (washed, stemmed and dried)
¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Directions:

In a medium size bowl, using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir in flour by hand, or on a low speed, until blended and then add cranberries and nuts. Stir by hand, as to not break up the cranberries, until blended. Spread evenly in lightly greased 8” pie plate. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees (325 if using glass) until golden. Cool in pie plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm or cold. This is great plain or topped with whipped cream or ice cream.

Let the Good Times Roll!

Let the Good Times Roll

So this week, as you might have started to guess, is Fall Dessert Week. All the sweet yummy things that you can indulge on this time of year. Yesterday we had a pumpkin recipe, and today is a cranberry one. We’re going to have a great rice pudding tomorrow seasoned with lots of warm fall flavours, and Friday we will end off with an apple cake. Something about the colder weather just makes you want to have a nice comforting sweet treat at the end of your meal, or with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Today’s recipe is for a Cranberry Pecan Cookie, comes from Ann Walpert, a woman that my mother knew from New Orleans. While being called a cookie, it is one large one that you slice like a pie, rather than individual little biscuits. If you are having company though, you might want to make two “cookie pies” or double the recipe and bake it in a 9″ x 13″ pan instead, ’cause trust me, it’s that good! So, as they say in NOLA, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” or for your non-french speakers “Let the good times roll!”