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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Tag Archives: smitten kitchen

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With classes starting on Tuesday, and the Jewish New Year following shortly afterward, I couldn’t think of a more relevant ingredient to include in my baking this weekend than the apple.  This apple cake was so delicious — sweet in the best of ways and homey in every sense of the word!

Mom’s Apple Cake — Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients: 

  • 6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.
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Forgive me for neglecting to photograph the most important process: the marbling.  This tart really was a stand out, though — such a fun and unique twist to the traditional pumpkin pie.

Marbled Pumpkin Gingersnap Tart – Deb Perelman, of Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

Crust
4 ounces (115 grams) gingersnap cookies (about 16 cookies), coarsely broken
3 ounces (85 grams) graham crackers (five and a half 2 1/2 x 4 7/8-inch graham cracker sheets)
4 Tablespoons (55 grams or ½ stick) salted butter, melted

Cheesecake Batter
4 ounces (115 grams) cream cheese, well softened
3 Tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk

Pumpkin Batter
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 1/4 cups (10½ ounces or 300 grams, about 1/2-3/4 of a 15-ounce can) pumpkin purée
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
few fresh gratings of nutmeg
1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream

Directions:

Make crust
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove any children sensitive to loud noises from the premises, and finely grind the gingersnaps and graham crackers in a food processor (yielding 1½ cups). Add the melted butter, and process until the cookie- crumb mixture is moistened. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9- inch- diameter tart pan with removable bottom. (I like to use the bottom and outer side of a measuring cup to help pack the crumbs into the base and neatly up the walls of my crumb crusts.) Place pan on rimmed baking sheet.

Make Cheesecake Batter
Mix together the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

Make Pumpkin Batter
Beat the egg and the egg white lightly in a large bowl. Whisk in the pumpkin, sugars, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in the cream.

Assemble Tart
Pour the pumpkin batter into gingersnap-graham crust. Dollop the cheesecake batter over pumpkin batter, then marble the two together decoratively with a knife. Try not to pierce the bottom crust as you do. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

To Serve
Cool the tart completely on a rack, or in the fridge if you, like me, prefer it cold. Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers. Theoretically, it keeps for several days, but the crumb crust will get a little soft on the bottom after day one.

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I apologize for not posting in such a long time, I’ve been swamped with schoolwork. With my chemistry exam FINALLY behind me, I am now able to focus some attention on my long-neglected blog and post some long-awaited entries.  My mom asked (begged) me to make these cookies for New Years Eve, but I didn’t want to because I thought they sounded boring.  I wanted to make something showy, not settle for a little cookie.  Needless to say, I was so wrong in my thinking… everyone loved the cookies, especially me.  I guess they say “Mama knows best!” for a reason! These cookies were so simple, and so delicious.  The sweetness of the various fillings was complimented perfectly by the flaky, faintly sweet exterior.

Crescent Jam (or nutella) and Cheese Cookies  – Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 30 cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
7.5 ounces farmer cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling cookies out
1/4 teaspoon salt
Jam or preserves (I used blackberry and apricot jam, and nutella)
Milk, for brushing cookies
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Cream butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Force cheese through a sieve right onto creamed butter and stir it in. Add the sour cream and vanilla and combine the mixture well. Whisk or sift together flour and salt in a separate bowl and gradually blend it into the cheese mixture. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll one-fourth of the dough out very thinly on a lightly floured surface and chill the remaining dough until it is to be used. Cut the dough into 3-inch squares and put about 1/2 teaspoon jam or preserves in the center of each. Fold the dough in half on the diagonal, pressing firmly down to seal the two sides around the jam. Roll the triangle into crescents, starting at the wide end. Arrange crescents on a baking sheet (they won’t expand terribly much, so just an inch or so between them is fine), brush them lightly with milk and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and dust them with powdered sugar. Continue making cookies in the same manner until all the dough is used.

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