Friday, February 4, 2011

Pumpkin Shortbread Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze

Dear Megatron,

Wow! Our Olive Oil & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies got lots of hits! Fame is surely nigh. 

Here is a recipe I've been meaning to post since Thanksgiving. This year I made loads of pies, as usual, and cranberry sauce - all the obligatory elements. But it was our first Thanksgiving in our new house, and I felt like trying something new out. These bars are delicious. I know pumpkin makes everyone think of T-day, but I think desserts made with winter squash are just the thing as soon as there's a chilly bite to the air, and until the crocuses appear. Also, I *far* prefer the flavor of buttercup squash to pumpkin, or even butternut. But, to each his own squash.

 Pumpkin Shortbread Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze

1 c flour
1/2 c butter
2 T sugar

1 c sugar 
5 T flour
1/2 t baking powder
3 eggs
2 c cooked squash
1/4 c lime juice
1/2 t ginger powder
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t salt

1 c powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese

walnuts, chopped

1. Using a pastry cutter, slice and dice the flour, butter, and sugar and press into an 8x8 pan. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 for about 15 minutes, or until just browning.

2. Mix custard ingredients well. Pour into pan atop warm shortbread and bake at 375 for about 30 or 40 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool.

3. Toast chopped walnuts on the stovetop in an ungreased skillet. Be careful not to burn these! Anyone who has done this before can tell you that if you look away at the wrong moment, suddenly every last one of your nuts is burnt to a crisp.

4. Cream powdered sugar and cream cheese. Add just enough milk to make the icing pourable - you still want it very thick.

5. Cut the bars into small squares and place then on wax paper or a baking sheet or something. Pour the glaze over them and then sprinkle nuts over that. If you like, grate a bit of fresh nutmeg over the top.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Um...we have to make...

this. Immediately. Also, Miz Helen's Country Cottage invited us to share the cookie recipe on her Full Plate Thursday page. Neat. Lots of other great recipes on there too. If I wasn't so stuffed with Alex's lasagna right now, I'd need to go forage. I might anyway.


Olive Oil & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies, redux

Good news! Lisa at Sweet as Sugar Cookies has invited us to post these cookies on her "Sweets for a Saturday" segment. This is exciting because her blog gets lots more hits than ours. :) Plus, she's got a recipe for chocolate biscotti on there. Nom nom nom. Oh, what's that, last ten pounds of baby weight? I didn't hear that. HUH? Your voice grows distant in the presence of cookies. 



Friday, January 21, 2011

Olive Oil & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dear Megs,

These are so good. Soooo good. Really, whatever cookies you're eating right now, these are better than them. For real. These are fluffy and gooey and melt-in-your-mouthy all at once.

Olive Oil & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped pecans (optional but unless it'll kill you recommended)
sea salt, coarse

0) Preheat to 375.
1) In a small bowl, whisk together flour, soda, and salt.
2) In a larger bowl, "cream" olive oil and sugars. It will get soupy, but it won't really get fluffy like it does with butter. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly in between, and then add the vanilla. Now you can put the mixer on high for a minute, just to fluff the eggs out, but don't do it for too long because olive oil can turn bitter if overworked.
3) Add flour gradually.
4) Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
5) Using your awesome cookie scoop that you got for Christmas, scoop out blobs of cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. No need to flatten - these will melt into gorgeous little blobby puddles. Which actually sounds sort of gross, but you won't think so when it's cookies.
6) Sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of each cookie.
7) Cook for just long enough.
8) I defy you not to spoil your dinner.



Thursday, November 25, 2010


Dear Meggy,

Turns out having a new baby and working full time is wicked time consuming. When I do make time for sweets, I lose steam on the photos and the posting. Here is a Thanksgiving pledge: I will photograph and post at least one dessert this weekend. This should not prove too difficult since I have already made 4 pies and pumpkin bars. Avanti!

How about you?? What's your excuse, full time job and Masters program or something? Pah! Show me the goods!



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Banana Cream Pie

Dear Megs,

We have been remiss! I *know* you're baking. Where are the posts? And when are you coming to visit me and my darling little man? We miss you up here, and Avi needs to meet crazy old Aunt Megs, like, now. Ok? Ok. I'm so glad we settled that.

Last week, I made a banana cream pie to bring to a friend's barbecue. Now, as you know, on principle I am against pies that have something other than tart fruit as their main filling: cream pies, chocolate pies, mint pies, I'm against them. But, this friend being excessively fond of banana cream pies, I made one. And I must say, I might be a convert. The pie was beautiful, delicious, and very easy to make. I can also think of all kinds of tweaks that would turn this homey recipe into something a little fancier.


Banana Cream Pie

6 T cake flour
2/3 c sugar
1/4 t salt
1 3/4 c milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/4 t vanilla
1/2 c whipping cream
3 bananas
1/2 lemon

18 graham crackers
6 T butter
1/4 c sugar

1) Pre-heat oven to 350. Mash the hell out of graham crackers, making crumbs as small as possible. Mix with sugar and melted butter. Use your hands to insure everything gets really well mixed. Press into a pie plate; the harder you press, the better the structure of your crust will be. Pre-bake for 12-15 minutes.

2) In a double boiler, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Add milk, and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Cook for 15 minutes longer, stirring periodically. Pour small amount of milk mixture over egg yolks and beat, then add that to the double boiler and cook 2 minutes (or so) longer. Do not let it boil! Remove from heat, add vanilla. Chill completely.

3) Fold whipped cream into cold pastry cream.

4) Sprinkle lemon juice over sliced bananas. Put a layer of banana on the cooled pie crust, top with cream, and top that with more bananas. Garnish with berries, whipped cream, lemon peel, or whatever you find pretty.

5) Nom nom nom!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A New Secret Ingredient?

Dear Megs,

I just made the yummiest, most perfect thing ever. It didn't cook for *quite* long enough - still gooey in the middle - but I have to say, this is the most scrumptious thing I have ever had a hand in.

I might have to change the secret ingredient, though.