Caramelized Peaches with Cinnamon

Oh hi friends. I meant to write you this amazing recipe for garlic scape pasta salad. I made it, tasted and yum-yummed, took pictures, and then put it in the fridge. The next day, I pulled it out for lunch and it was TERRIBLE. Seriously. What a waste of scapes.

Pantyways (I say that in real life… isn’t that embarrassing?) I went to the store and as I was floating past the fruit for the vegetables, these peaches caught my eye. PEACHES. People!!! Peaches are my ultimate food kryptonite because I’m allergic and I LOVE them. And you know I have so little control over my food-related impulses that before I knew it, I had paid and was loading a dozen beautiful and fuzzy peaches into my car.

So, like a lot of things I’m allergic too, I CAN eat them once the items are cooked. Unfortunately for most things this totally ruins it. Like seriously… the point of eating an apple is to get that juicy crunch and the satisfaction of crunching the fruit! CRUNCH man, CRUNCH! (Can you tell I drank a bit of caffeine today???).

Well… let me tell you, my friends, this? This is the absolute way one should consume peaches. I know it’s hot and gross out, but these hot little peach slices are just amazing over coconut ice cream and I don’t get hives from eating them! Win-win!

Now, I have a little convection toaster oven, which makes this particular dessert a snap to make. If you do not have one, feel free to use your oven. I would just suggest batching this baking with some other baking you need to do so that you optimize the time your oven is on and steaming you out of your home.

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Alright… This really isn’t much of a recipe, but it’s amazing!!

Caramelized Peaches with Cinnamon (Kaprise Kitchen’s solution to peaches)

  • 2 large peaches, firm
  • 1 teaspoon of cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  1. Slice peaches into 4 slices. I just mine in half and then half again.
  2. Sprinkle each slice with salt
  3. Sprinkle each slice with a little lemon juice and then the sugar.
  4. Dust cinnamon over the slices
  5. Dot the surface of the peaches with butter
  6. Bake at 400 degrees on a parchment lined pan for 50 minutes.
  7. Enjoy. Seriously… you should let it cool for like 10 minutes so you don’t burn yourself because I have a fat lip from burning it with peaches. True story bro.

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Grilled Nectarine Coconut Lemon Chia Seed Ice Pops

What a mouthful!!!

Do you say ice pop or popsicle? The area I grew up in has some quirky vernacular, or so I’m told. When I first moved to Baltimore, someone told me that I spoke funny. Haha.

Anyway. I’ve been looking at ice pop recipes all over the internet and really getting into them, but when I saw Joy’s gorgeous Roasted Strawberry Popsicles I immediately got my butt in gear to make them. I didn’t have a popsicle mold, so I spent the better part of the morning hunting one down. The one I found at the craft store was hideous, but I found this adorable one at Marshall’s. It was 2xs more expensive… but you know, I have little control over my food-related impulses. Very little.

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Right on. Here we go.

Grilled Nectarine Coconut Lemon Chia Seed Ice Pops (Inspired by Joy)

  • 13.5 ounces of whole coconut milk (about one can)
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • Zest of one organic lemon
  • Juice of one organic lemon
  • 1 nectarine, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, melted
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, chia seed, maple syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest until well combined.
  2. Set aside the chia/coconut mixture
  3. Heat up a the grill (or you can just use a broiler!!).
  4. Brush the nectarine slices with some coconut oil, and grill for a few minutes on each side, until tender.
  5. Once your nectarine slices have cooked, chop them into bite size pieces and mash just lightly in a small bowl
  6. Once the chia seeds have plumped up (it took mine about 40 minutes), begin assembling your pops
  7. Start with the chia/coconut mixture, tapping the ice pop forms gently on the table to remove air bubbles. Add a spoonful of nectarine, tapping gently to remove bubbles and get even layers.
  8. Freeze for several hours, or until set.
  9. Serve!!!
  10. My ice pop mold is quite small, but I saved the remaining chia/coconut mixture in the refrigerator and refill the molds as I eat the pops.

Enjoy!!!!!


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Chewy Toasted Coconut Toffee Chocolate Cookies

C.T.C.T.C. Cookies… haha! I don’t know why that amuses me so much!

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about those Girl Scout Cookies… you know the shortbread ones covered in caramel and coconut and drizzled in chocolate?? I thought a lot about that caramel, and the texture of the cookie. I like the dryness of the cookie, contrasting with the chewiness of the caramel. I had some heavy cream in the fridge that I had originally earmarked for caramel, but then I made pastry cream (for no apparent reason, since it’s still whipped up and sitting in the fridge). I decided that I would make a simple toffee for my cookies instead… I thought about drizzling the hot toffee through cookie dough and baking the cookies with oozy ribbons of toffee running through them and dipping them in chocolate. Then, I thought about making toffee flavored shortbread and rolling them through coconut flakes like Mexican Wedding Cookies but with coconut instead of powdered sugar. But I finally decided I wanted something thick, chewy, and flecked with toffee, coconut, and chocolate.

Despite the toffee, these cookies are not overly sweet, instead they are mildly flavored with molasses and vanilla. The coconut toffee and chocolate just add a bit of sweetness and complexity to the cookies. I think next time, I’ll scale up the coconut and perhaps use chunkier flakes.

Chewy Toasted Coconut Toffee Chocolate Cookies (adapted by some large stretch of imagination from All Recipes)

  • 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened just a bit (maybe 30 seconds in the microwave)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of molasses (I used 4 but feel free to use less if you are sensitive to the bitterness of molasses)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of flakey salt (again, feel free to use less if you dislike saltier cookies)
  • 1 cup of crushed Coconut Toffee (recipe to follow) (Make this about 2 hours before the cookies so it has time to cool)
  • 1 cup of flaked chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar, and molasses until smooth.
  3. Beat in vanilla and the egg and egg yolk until creamy and smooth.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and baking soda and salt. (I know, I know, I don’t use two bowls, but I promise this works just fine so long as you sprinkle and distribute the leavening ingredients as you mix it in)
  5. Stir in coconut toffee and chocolate
  6. Spoon in 1 tablespoon scoops onto parchment lined cookie sheets (Important! Because the toffee will get everywhere as you bake).
  7. Bake at 350F for about 12 minutes or until just puffed and the edges are just crisp. The cookies will deflate a little once they come out of the oven. If you prefer crispy cookies, bake for a couple more minutes until the edges are crisp and the centers of the cookies have fallen.
  8. Should make 24-30 cookies. I made mine a bit larger than a tablespoon and got 26 cookies (so far only 24 are left).

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Coconut Toffee (ummm… I made it up?)

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of toasted coconut, unsweetened
  1. Melt sugar in a pan until smooth and deeply golden
  2. Remove from the heat, and add butter in slices
  3. Stir until smooth on low heat
  4. On a pan, spread 1/2 of the coconut making a slightly thicker lip to contain the toffee in a bounded area (nerd alert)
  5. Pour the toffee onto the pan
  6. Sprinkle the top of the toffee with the remaining coconut
  7. Cool
  8. Smash with your fist, a hammer, your head, or any heavy instrument. Add to cookie dough, yogurt, or anyplace that needs awesomeness.

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Ta Da!!!

xoxo -H

Cheesecake Nanaimo Bars

I first read about nanaimo bars on Closet Cooking’s website a few years back… They looked great, but I didn’t think about them again until recently. I’m not sure where I stumbled across another picture of these bars, but then I was obsessed with the idea of making them. I read a bunch of recipes before settling on Seven Spoons and Closet Cooking for my models.

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Instead of making them in a 9×9 pan, I made mine in a cupcake pan so I wouldn’t have to worry about cutting the bars. I also tweaked the recipes just a little bit to accomodate the ingredients I had on hand and I scaled back the sugar since I like my cheesecake a bit tart.

I’m a huge fan of cheesecake, so next time I would double the cheesecake and 1/2 the chocolate cookie crust. However, these little bites were truly delicious and I’m glad I made them!! (Even if I feel mildly ill from eating 3 of them in a row).

Cheesecake Nanaimo Bars (adapted from Seven Spoons and Closet Cooking)

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar cookies, blitzed through a food processor (or smashed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin)
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate cocoa
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup of almonds, blitzed through a food processor
  • 8 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together, then drizzle the butter into the bowl until the ingredients come together
  3. Press into the bottoms of cupcake liners. I used these adorable monkey ones from Reynolds. (Also… I have quite a bit extra cookie mixture leftover, so don’t be concerned if you also have left over)
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until just browned.
  5. While the cookie cups bake, start on the cheesecake filling

Cheesecake filling:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  1. Whip the cream cheese with sugar until smooth
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue whipping until smooth
  3. Once the cookie cups have finished cookie, top each with about two tablespoons of cheesecake batter each
  4. Tap on a flat surface to evenly distribute the batter in the cups
  5. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set.

Chocolate ganache topping

  • 7 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  1. As the cheesecake and cookie layers cool, make the ganache topping
  2. In a double boiler (or a mixing bowl over boiling water), heat the chocolate and heavy cream. Once the chocolate has melted, whisk the mixture until smooth and glossy.
  3. Put 1 to 2 tablespoons of ganache on top of each cheesecake/cookie cup, smooth the tops with a knife.

Put the whole pan in the fridge and let it set. These should keep for up to a week in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!!!

I used these Guittard chips for my chocolate ganache and I am impressed. They were deliciously dark and not overly sweet. Definitely a re-buy!

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Yesterday

I wrote this nearly a month ago, but I never got around to posting the recipe, so I’ve attached the recipe and pictures.

——

Yesterday I ran 18 miles. I ran 16 blissfully uninterrupted miles, but as the sun sank rapidly I lost sight of the pavement and tripped. This time (unlike last time) I only scraped up my palms. The bruises and gashes on my legs finally healed, but now my palms are the unfortunate victim of running.  Today, I went on a 4 mile hike… and you know what? I feel amazing.

Most people don’t understand why I run… and I find it hard to put into words. But mostly, I love it because I have to dig deep and find the courage and strength to do it. You know, at mile 10 when the sun is setting and you’re the only person still running, you have to fight back the quitter in you. You have to put your feet on the ground and move. And, the only thing that keeps you going is YOU. Running is a testament to the strength and the good inner fiber you have. It shows you the power you have over everything else. It’s not about control or anything else – it is about your insides. Your guts. Do you have it or not? Because even when your feet hurt, you want to cry, your underwear is giving you blisters, your music died, and the only thing you can hear is your rasping breath against everything else – you can prevail. That’s what running is about for me. It’s a test of faith in the strength that I have inside me.

Anyway, yesterday when I was standing in CVS with blood dripping down my arm and panting while I picked out band-aids and antiseptic I laughed a little. Mostly because I honestly contemplated running 2 more miles with the blood trickling down my arms before going to the drug store to patch myself up. Because, the goal was 20 and I had only finished 18 when I reached the 24hr CVS.

And since I’ve really only been regaling you all with stories and commentary on myself (I mean really, what a narcissist!) These are chocolate cookies. They aren’t very good the day after, and you absolutely have to underbake them for them to be as yummy as you want them to be. In fact, they’re a bit fussy, but I love them. To combat the dry cookie crumb you get the day after, you should scoop balls of them and freeze them and bake as you want to eat them. I only make 6 cookies at a time because they’re just not good unless they are fresh out of the oven.

Chocolate Cookies (Modified from the back of the Ghiradelli bag!)

  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips, measured and then melted
  1. In a heavy bottomed pan gently melt the chocolate chips. I use an All-Clad skillet, heated on high for a few minutes before throwing in the chips and letting it sit off the heat until the chips have melted down and I can stir them easily. Or just be a normal person and use a double boiler. Let the chocolate cool.
  2. In a bowl, beat the butter and both sugars until light and creamy
  3. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition
  4. All at once, add flour, salt, and baking soda and stir until well incorporated
  5. In a thin stream, incorporate the cooled chocolate and dough.
  6. Drop tablespoons of cookie dough two inches apart on cookie sheets and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes
  7. Note: These cookies are best just a bit uncooked, so once the dough poufs, remove them from the oven for perfectly baked cookies. Once the cookies cool, they deflate a little and form a perfectly chewy interior.

 

The Giant Rhubarb In the Room

I went to the farmer’s market… and as I’m apt to do, I went a little crazy with the buying. I just like farmer’s markets and when I see all of the people and the produce I just want to buy it all.

I found an adorable gentleman who sold me two soft-shell crabs… I cleaned them (eeek!) and ate them with great gusto. I was pleased that I had cleaned them myself… but a little freaked out that they continue to move even as I was hacking into their vital organs and cutting their faces off. It makes me cringe still. ::cringe::

Well, last week I walked past anything that required cooking/baking because I was in study mode. I’m still in study mode, but I decided that this week I was going to just spend a couple hours cooking and enjoying myself before going back to :::i-want-to-kill-someone::: study mode. When I saw these arm length (or if you’re short, like me, 1/2 body length) rhubarb, I had to have them. They were so delightfully pink, I immediately grabbed them.

I did like Connie at ouichefcook and tossed the sliced rhubarb in sugar before letting it drain in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Then, I decided I wanted coffee cake crumbs in a buttermilk based cake. So I fused Lottie + Doof’s favorite cake with some coffee cake crumbs… with a layer of rhubarb in between the cake. So maybe I over-did it a little bit. I ended up with is a 9×13” cake that’s about 2 inches thick. I told you. I’m not good at subtle. Or a little. I like BIG. Bigger = better. DUH…  I might have been a Texan in a former life.

The crumbs are just perfectly crunchy and the cake is pillowy. And the layer of rhubarb is just acidic and tart enough to balance the crunchy crumbs. And since I absentmindedly left out the vanilla extract, the cake tastes just like rhubarb. I know some people won’t like it because it’s a bit tart, but this giant corner slice I pried out of the pan before it cooled is just delicious.

Anyway. Here is what I did

Giant Rhubarb Coffee Cake (Kaprise Kitchen interpretation from a little of this and a little of that)

  • 3 cups of flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup of shaken buttermilk

Rhubarb:

  • about 1 pound of rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Crumbs:

  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 8 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  1. About 8 hours before you plan on baking, or the night before (or in the wee morning hours): wash and slice the rhubarb. Toss with 1/4 cup of sugar. Place in a colander over a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. After 8 or so hours have elapsed,  shake the excess moisture from the rhubarb and discard the liquid that has drained. Set the rhubarb aside.
  3. On to the batter!!
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar together, adding one egg at a time until creamy and smooth
  5. Whisk in the buttermilk.
  6. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and soda (I normally stir 1/2 of the flour with the baking powder and soda into the mixture, and then stir the remaining flour in. Mostly because I don’t have another mixing bowl to combine dry ingredients, and because this works just fine)
  7. The batter should be a little thicker than normal cake batter.
  8. Line a 9X13” baking pan with buttered parchment paper. Butter the sides of the pan as well.
  9. Spread about 2/3 of the batter in the bottom of the pan.
  10. Add the rhubarb in an even layer over the batter
  11. If you prefer a less tart cake, sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar over the rhubarb layer to counteract the acidity of the fruit. I left this out because I like the bite.
  12. Dollop the remaining batter over the rhubarb. Because the batter is pretty stiff, I drop blobs of the batter over the rhubarb and then lightly tap the pan on the counter to even it out a bit.
  13. In a bowl, combine the crumb ingredients. I make crumbs by squishing the ingredients into a ball and then breaking the ball apart over the cake.
  14. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 60 minutes. Mine took about 65 minutes, but I was also peeking in the oven to check on my baked potatoes (because there is nothing like multitasking your oven!)
  15. A tester should come out nearly clean from the center of the cake. Remember that the rhubarb is moist so the cake around the rhubarb will be moist – so be cautious of overbaking since your tester won’t be perfectly clean coming out of the cake. However… make sure the cake is sufficiently baked, otherwise the cake will be dense and gummy. (I know. Not an exact science, but I normally press a finger at the center of the cake, and if it springs back, it’s normally done).

Bibbity Bobbity Boo!

Tada! I’m back. I promise. I’m not sure what I’ve been doing that would excuse my 10 day hiatus, but I do have a delicious quick recipe for you.

I was making lemon tart a while back, and as I removed the crust from the oven to pour the lemony curd into the shell I dropped it. The little pieces of crust scattered everywhere! But I snagged a little piece from the pan and thoughtfully chewed on it while I swept up the other crumbs. I’m a sucker for pie crust. I was notorious for picking the crust off the pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving as a kid, so I guess not much has changed. I swapped out some white flour for whole wheat, sprinkled sea salt over the tops, and mixed turbindo sugar in for a delightful little crunch. The flavor is mild and the sweet/salt melting on your tongue is just my favorite. The cookies can be difficult to roll out, so I roll them out on plastic wrap and pop the little cookies up and onto my baking sheet.

Whole Wheat Shortbread, for pie crust lovers like Kaprise!

  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat  flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (I used a mixture of granulated and turbindo sugar)
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of flaky salt
  1. In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter until completely melted. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt into the melted butter. Knead for a minute or two until the ingredients come together.
  3. At this point, you may chill the dough for 30 minutes to allow the dough to firm up a little. This makes it easier to roll out and cut.
  4. But, I’m not patient enough to wait for the dough to firm, so I spread parchment paper or plastic wrap on my counter and use my little 1/2 inch fluted circle cookie cutter and punch out my cookies. Then I just lift the paper/wrap and pop the cookies onto a baking sheet
  5. Bake cookies at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown

Milk and Cookies

Does anyone remember that book If You Give  Mouse a Cookie (http://www.minilink.me/25799/)?

Well, whenever I think of milk and cookies, I get the image of a little gray mouse in my head. He’s tiny and fluffy and just begging for a cookie. I had a fresh container of these cookies that I baked at 1:00am because I couldn’t sleep and my boyfriend came over this morning bright and early to drive me to the library. So now, instead of that little mouse, I have the image of my bf perched on the counter dipping his cookie in some milk while I got my bag together. Please note, that despite my adoration for anything cookies, I am a firm believer in WHOLE milk for milk and cookies type activities. First, it tastes better, and second, you are already eating a cookie so you should enjoy it to the fullest!

Heidi’s Milk and Cookies

  • 1 quart of whole milk, very cold
  • 2cups + 1 tbl of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of Kosher sea salt (I just like it better, but you can use whatever you want)
  • 3/4 cup of butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup of Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chocolate chips (these are the best chips for your money)
  1. Melt butter (either in the microwave in 15 second increments, or on the stove top in a pan, or even in a pan in the oven at 325 for 8-10 minutes)
  2. Allow the butter to cool. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. (Or if you are impatient like me? Pour it into a large bowl in a thin stream while continually whisking to facilitate cooling).
  3. Whisk the butter with the sugar until well combined
  4. Add the egg and egg yolk. I separate the eggs and remove the chalaza (the little white stringy thing in eggs) before adding them to the batter, but it doesn’t make a difference in flavor or aesthetic. (As I’m writing this, I realize I’m not sure why I do it, but I do it anyway)
  5. Whisk in vanilla
  6. Add flour and sprinkle baking soda and salt over the flour before mixing into the egg mixture
  7. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes
  8. In the mean time, pre-heat your oven to 325 and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper
  9. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets
  10. Bake at 325 F for 10 to 14 minutes. I like to bake mine until they are just golden around the edges. This makes for crisp edges and dense and chewy centers. Bake for longer if you prefer a more crisp cookie.
  11. As you slide your cookies into the oven, put your milk in the freezer. I love my milk to be ice cold when I dip my hot cookies in them – so I chill my milk while my cookies bake.

Comments:

  • Store in an air tight container once cooled. Baked cookies keep for 1 week. Refrigerated dough should be well sealed and keeps for no more than 3 days. Frozen dough can keep for 2 months well sealed. Defrost frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight before using (or freeze dough in balls so you can just bake them)
  • I have seen similar recipes all over the web, so if this looks like your recipe, thank you for your inspiration!!

Links to click:

Almond Kolaczki

I find myself in the kitchen, puttering around and measuring out cups of flour for a lot of different reasons… but I find myself leveling sugar and cracking eggs most when I’m hurt. Most people don’t realize the number of cookies and pies that I ease on to my counter is directly correlated to my happiness. It’s my way of healing myself… I put things together and make things whole and beautiful when I feel everything but. This summer has been a tough one, filled with lots of traveling and baking. Lots of baking. I have made hundreds of cookies, stewed pounds of fruit into jams and jellies, and whipped hundreds of eggs. So when a friend mentioned his grandmother used to make these cream cheese cookies that were light, flaky and dusted with snow white sugar I just had to try them.

I did a little research, and turns out the cookie he is talking about is “kolaczki.” The exact origins of the cookie is not known, but many countries claim it as their own and have their own variations. I only had a block of cream cheese and three boxes of butter in my refrigerator, so naturally I picked the easiest recipe that I had the ingredients for.

Instead of doing the traditional fruit filling, I rolled the dough into layers to enhance the flakiness and omitted the sugar and opted for almond paste. I took a tube of almost paste, dusted it with sugar and rolled it out thin. I sandwiched the thin almond paste between two layers of the kolaczki dough and cut scalloped circles dusted with raw sugar crystals. The result? A light cookie with a sweet almond layer, almost like a lighter and smaller almond croissant.

Kolaczki (Kaprise kitchen style)

  • 8 oz of cream cheese (I used Lucerne neufchatel cheese)
  • 12 oz of butter (3 sticks)
  • 3 cups of sifted all purpose flour
  • 7 oz of almond paste
  1. Let the cream cheese and butter soften at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy
  3. Add 1/4 cup increments of flour, blending well. The dough will be very soft.
  4. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and shape into a square. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  5. After the dough has rested, roll out the almond paste and set aside.
  6. Roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thickness. Place the almond paste between two layers and roll once to adhere the layers.
  7. Cut cookies out of the dough. Re-roll as necessary.
  8. Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.

🙂 Enjoy!

Kaprise Kitchen’s Inaugural Recipe

Welcome to Kaprise Kitchen!

To kick off this new shiny blog, here are the makings for Strawberry Key Lime Tart. I used red, ripe strawberries and these adorable little key limes. The key limes make me smile, they are these tight little ping pong ball limes with the tartest puckery flavor. And I love them! Plus, they keep relatively well in my refrigerator, which is always a plus.

For the crust: I like to contrast the sweet and tart filling of this tart with a flaky and slightly salty shortbread. Obviously, if the salty/sweet thing is not your cup of tea, feel free to omit the salt from the recipe and add a pinch more sugar to have a sweeter shortbread crust.

  • 1 stick (8 tbl) of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (you can use brown sugar for a dense crust, I used organic cane sugar)
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp of flaky Kosher salt

For the filling: I really love the natural sweetness and tartness of the fruit in this tart, so I use less sugar than the average recipe. If you dislike tart desserts… dial the sugar up a few tablespoons

  • 2 large eggs (the size of your eggs is important, jumbo eggs will give you a looser filling, so you will have to add more of the other ingredients for this to work properly)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of flour, sifted
  • lime zest (if I can’t find organic and spray free fruit, I don’t add the zest because it normally contains the highest concentration of pesticides

Instructions (with picture guidance)

Melt the butter in a small pan, make sure not to burn or boil the butter. You just want it to be melted. (I might have very quietly added this pretty little pan to my box of things when I moved out of my parent’s house.)

In a bowl, stir together the ingredients for the crust. Flour, sugar, salt.

Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir until you get a soft and pliable dough.

At this point you need to determine if you should add more flour or not. Sometimes my dough is too sticky and I’ll add a tablespoon or two more flour to make the dough less sticky. If the dough is oily, add more. But, your dough should look something like this:

Gather the dough into a ball at the bottom of the bowl, and put it in the refrigerator while you prepare the pan. Cover a 9 inch round pan in foil. (Remember, dull side up).

Remove your dough from the refrigerator and pat it neatly into the bottom of the pan.

Set your oven to 350 F and let the crust bake until it is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. You can see that I set my timer for 25 minutes and my crust was a little too crisp. (I don’t preheat my oven because I really never remember to until the last minute, and I recently saw a commercial that told me pre-heating wastes energy.)

Now! While your crust was happily baking away, you should get the filling made. Quickly soap and scrub out your bowl and flip it to dry while you zest and juice the limes.

Remember, if your fruit is organic and spray/pesticide free, you should zest the limes before squeezing for juice. It’s easier to zest whole limes than chopped/squeezed ones. I was lucky enough to find these little organic and low pesticide limes, so I zested away. I used about 1 tablespoon of zest. (See my cute little citrus Microplane? Don’t ever buy it. That little bugger’s handle broke off 4 months after I bought it.  Thumbs down.)

Now, take your naked little limes, chop them in half and squeeze them into a glass. (I actually have a Pyrex measuring cup that would have been super helpful in this exercise, but I didn’t use it.) Key limes have a lot of seeds, so you will need to either pick them out with your fingers or strain the juice through a mesh sieve. I didn’t want to use my fingers and I don’t own a sieve, so I flipped my (currently handle-less) Microplane over and poured the juice through that to catch the seeds. Obviously, I am simultaneously writing this blog and buying a mesh sieve online.

Now, mix together all of the filling ingredients (sans the strawberries). Make sure the eggs and flour are beaten in well so that your final filling sets smoothly.

Chop your strawberries. I de-stemmed and cut them to show the pretty insides and sprinkled a little lime juice on them.

At this point, your crust should be sitting on your counter. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 F. Pour the filling into the pan, and neatly arrange the strawberries on top of the filling. (You want to make sure that you don’t overwhelm the tart lime filling with the sweet strawberries, and be mindful that adding too many strawberries will make your filling too loose).

Bake at 300 F for 20 minutes, or until the center is set. And when it comes out of the oven, it should be shiny, beautiful and utterly mouthwatering. (I realize this picture doesn’t look much different than the one before, but I promise it is the fully baked tart, and you will be able to see the difference when you make it!)

Let the tart cool in the pan. Or you can be super impatient like I was and try to take it out of your non-spring form pan (also buying one of those right now!) and then realize that a 300 degree tart is really really hot. And PLOP it on your floor.

And even though you were terribly upset and mildly burnt from this tart, you lick your fingers and realize it was DELICIOUS. Plus… it helps when your munchkin hears the WHOMP and runs over with her toy, promptly dropping said toy, licking up the tart frantically…. and then begging for more.

So. Happy Inaugural Recipe!

Kaprise Kitchen!