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Sweetheart Tea Cookies

Sweetheart Tea Cookies

Back in the day, Valentine’s Day held much anticipation of candy and little notes from my school friends. I remember in elementary school decorating little bags and boxes with pink and red hearts, covered in glitter in the hopes that I would get all sorts of […]

Spiked Chocolate Fondue

Spiked Chocolate Fondue

It’s Valentine’s season and that means CHOCOLATE! I love the stuff, especially when surrounding carmel and finished with sea salt (Cutie, I hope you’re taking notes). However, I’m looking for something hot to keep me warm on these cold winter nights! We’re getting a snow storm tomorrow; this is the perfect decadence for a lazy day. I love making this for parties because it takes very little effort, and always leaves my guests in a cocoa coma! (It always surprises me how chocolate stunners like fondue or flourless chocolate cake are always the simplest recipes.) It’s also great preceded by my Sparkling Cheese Fondue.

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays: Cute Pies for my Cutie Pie

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays: Cute Pies for my Cutie Pie

It’s February folks and that means that Valentines Day is right around the corner, seven days away to be exact! It’s been way to long since I last posted so I thought I’d honor my coming back to Sweet Tooth Tuesdays by hosting Seven Days of Love. We all need a little love right now, don’t we? For the next week, I will be posting all sorts of recipes filled with taste explosions and stories of tenderness to get you into a loving mood! (Cue the mouth watering…)

I happen to have a new Cutie Pie in my life, let’s call him Cutie (maybe this is what’s been distracting me lately…), so I’ve created these cute pies for my Cutie Pie. I wanted to make something that represents Cutie for me; and the tartness of these Cranberry Ginger-Lime hand-pies does this perfectly. He’s the sour complement to my sweet tooth, just as the filling is balanced by the hug of the sweet pastry.

Let’s make some cute pies!

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Cranberry Ginger-Lime Cute Pies

2017-02-07
: This makes 8 large hearts or 2 dozen mini hearts.
: 3 hr
: 3 hr 30 min
: Labor Intensive

Fill sweet pastry with a tangy Cranberry Ginger-Lime filling, and send hearts soaring...

By:

Ingredients
  • Sweet Pastry Dough: Pulse 3 2/3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a food processor. Add 1 1/2 cups chilled butter cut into little pieces, and blitz until the mixture becomes coarse. While the processor is on, pour about 1/2 cup ice water to the mixture until it comes together. Divide and form into disks, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours! This can be made 2 days ahead.
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 pound or 4 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 limes, zest and juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
Directions
  • Step 1 While the dough is chilling, make the cranberry ginger-lime filling. In medium saucepan combine cranberries, sugar, the zest and lime juice limes, and lemon juice, then bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Step 2 Add fresh ginger to the pot when boiling. Cook the mixture till it becomes thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
  • Step 3 Transfer to a shallow bowl and let cool completely.
  • Step 4 When both dough and filling are sufficiently cooled, it’s time to assemble these cuties!
  • Step 5 Roll out one dough disk on a floured surface till it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Since the dough has a high sugar content, it’s harder to work with so work quickly! Use a cookie cutter to stamp out the hearts. You can use different sized cutters, as long as you make enough pairs…each pie needs a top and bottom (it takes two to tango). When you’re done place the bottoms on a lined baking sheet.
  • Step 6 Spoon the filling onto each pastry piece leaving about 1/2 to 1/4 inch space around the edge. Flatten the filling so it’s evenly laid. Beat one large egg, and brush the egg wash around the edges.
  • Step 7 Place the top layer on the pies, press down the edges, and gently use a fork to seal. Repeat till the baking sheet is full, and place the in fridge to chill for 45 minutes before baking. Finish all the pies, and store up to 2 hours in the fridge. Keep the egg wash chilled, too.
  • Step 8 Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Step 9 Before baking, score the pie tops with an X to let steam escape. Also, brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. (I prefer a larger granule for finishing.)
  • Step 10 The size of the pies will affect the baking time. Smaller pies with take about 15 minutes and larger pies might take up to 25 minutes.
  • Step 11 They are done when the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling. Yummy!

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Let the pies cool on a rack for a bit before serving, I prefer mine warm! The little ones are great for sending with friends (I forced a bag of them onto a friend before ran off the subway). However, if we’re talking sweethearts, the bigger ones are best for sharing while cuddled up on a cold night! I speak from experience…

Baking is about love so don’t forget to share the love!

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These hand pies keep in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Spread the love!

 

Farmstand Friday: Summer Squash Blossoms

Farmstand Friday: Summer Squash Blossoms

Summer is sadly coming to an end, and so is my toasted-marshmallow skin. I had such an amazing season this year, one for the books! However, mother nature isn’t quite done with her sun-kissed goods, yet. Tomatoes are at their peak, hot peppers are popping […]

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays: Lemon Blackberry Frangipane Tart

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays: Lemon Blackberry Frangipane Tart

Loving the in-season berries? Make a Lemon Blackberry Frangipane tart!

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays: Key Lime Ice Cream

Sweet Tooth Tuesdays: Key Lime Ice Cream

I have many memories of working in the kitchen with my father, but only a few that involve baking–summer key lime pie time. He loves making key lime pie! So whenever we’d find them at the store, we’d throw bags of limes, condensed milk, and graham cracker crusts into our cart. Back in the kitchen, we’d get into assembly mode making about six or so pies at a time. Dirty bowls, spatulas, and sticky fingers were scattered all across the countertop…

After a little time in the oven, our treats were ready to be dawned with decoration. My favorite job was to garnish our pies with spray whipped cream. I would cover them with stars or even a big mound of cream, which I thought looked very professional! The sound of canned whipped cream gives me a smile to this day, even if the contents don’t. But in my youth I could be spotted with a mouth overflowing with the white fluff, can in hand.

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We would load up the car with our pies, and venture off to pass them out to friends and neighbors. Sharing is caring after all! Even though those days are in the past, the joy I get when I find keys limes at the market is just the same as when I was five. It’s been so hot that I haven’t wanted to turn on the oven to bake, but it’s never too hot for a little ice cream. This week I’ve revamped one of my childhood favorites into a tangy ice cream topped with a grown up rum whipped cream and sprinkled with graham cracker dust.

 

This girl’s taste buds are all grown up!

Key Lime Ice Cream

Makes one quart of ice cream.

What you’ll need: 1 bag of key limes for 1/2 cup of juice plus zest, 2 cups whole milk, 1 Tb plus 1 tsp cornstarch, 3 Tb softened cream cheese, 1/8 tsp sea salt plus more for ice bath, 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, 2/3 cup sugar plus 2 Tb, 2 Tb Lyle’s Golden Syrup or light corn syrup, 1 gallon freezer bag, 4 qt. pot, whisk, heatproof bowl, spatula, container for ice cream to freeze in, and a  1 1/2 quart canister ice cream maker with frozen canister.

If you can’t find key limes, you can use regular ones. Key limes are a bit more tart then conventional limes. No pressure, and most people won’t tell the difference. Zest at least six of the key limes before juicing, set zest aside. Juicing the limes can be a bit of a chore…I use a hand lime squeezer which makes quick work of the limes. You need 1/2 cup of juice.

For the lime syrup, combine the juice and 2 Tablespoons of sugar in a small sauce pan. Heat until sugar dissolves. Cool completely, and chill in the fridge.

Meanwhile, in a small jar combine 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch and shake. (This is also the secret to lump-free gravy.) Also, whisk the cream cheese and salt in a large bowl until smooth, set aside.

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In the 4 qt. saucepan, add the remaining milk, cream, sugar, zest, and golden syrup, bring to a rolling boil. (I like the slight sweetness of the golden syrup.) Let boil for 4 minutes while stirring. Then remove from heat and stir in the milk and cornstarch mixture. Bring the base up to a boil once again, and stir with spatula for one minute. Remove from heat.

 

Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the cream cheese bowl. Make sure to whisk out any lumps. At this point you can add a dash of lime green food coloring if you desire some color. Once fully mixed, pour the ice cream base into the freezer bag letting most of the hot air out. Then submerge in a large bowl of ice and cold water. Spread the base throughout the bag to make more surface area available. Add some salt to the ice bath to keep the ice from melting quickly. Let sit for 30 until the base is fully cooled.

Assemble the ice cream maker with frozen canister. Pour the cooled ice cream base into the machine and slowly pour the lime syrup into the canister. Let churn for about 20 minutes until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Pour the volumized cream into a freezer safe container with a tight fitting lid. I found these great ice cream tubs from Tovolo, they are so cute! Before closing the container, place a piece of parchment paper over the surface area of the ice cream and seal with lid.

Let ice cream set in the freezer for at least 4 hours before enjoying!

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I’ve made some graham cracker dust by blitzing a package of crackers in the food processor until it becomes a fine texture.

Also, you can make a rum whipped cream by whipping 1 cup heavy cream, 1 Tablespoon sugar, and 1 Tablespoon rum. Make this right before serving.

This Key Lime Ice Cream is super refreshing on a hot summer day. It has a nice tang that is balanced by the creaminess and sweetness of the ice cream base. A must-try in my opinion. It should store in the freezer for up to a week, which is a nice surprise to have waiting when you get home!

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Good to the last bite!