Spring Tea Scones & Tea Cookies

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Its spring time, the flowers are blooming and it is the most wonderful time to be outside and entertaining. A tea party is low maintenance a but classy ways to gather for friendship, baby and wedding showers and even little girl birthday parties.

High tea is most common in the UK and is offered in very famous hotels with show stopping decor and over the top pastries, cookies and finger food. It might seem overwhelming to plan, but hosting a tea party can be as simple or detailed as you would like. Tables are covered in linens, your favorite china and topped with tiered stands filled with everything from scones and tea cookies to savory fair; tea sandwiches, dainty salads and quiche. Everything is finger food and the perfect bite to show off your inner lady.

Once you have picked out the decor and style of your party, start planning your menu. Strawberry lemon scones are one of my favorite items to put on the menu. These tender pastries adorned with fresh strawberries and a tangy lemon glaze are perfect to enjoy on its own, topped with a smear of butter and jelly or filled with fresh whipped cream and strawberries for a satisfying strawberry shortcake. Next on my menu is always a classic tea cookie. Petite, buttery and not to sweet, tea cookies will pair perfectly next to your tea cup and saucer. Changing the flavor of these is super simple and will add a special touch to your event.

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Strawberry Lemon Scone
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  3. 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  6. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Cubed
  7. 1 Egg
  8. 1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  9. 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  10. 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  11. 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest
  3. With the paddle attachment, mix to combine
  4. Slowly add in the cold cubed butter and mix until a small crumb texture forms
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together one egg, heavy cream, sour cream and lemon juice
  6. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture
  7. Before it is fulling combined slowly mix in the chopped strawberries and mix until fully combined (do not over mix)
  8. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface (about 1” thick) and cut into 3” rounds
  9. Place scones on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush heavy cream on the top of each scone
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden
  11. Once the scones are removed from the oven and have slightly cooled, drizzle *lemon glaze on each one
  12. Serve immediately or store in air tight container
  13. (Scones can be frozen to enjoy later)
Lemon Glaze
  1. 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  2. 2-3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  3. 1 tsp Lemon Zest garnish
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth
  5. Drizzle over scones and sprinkle lemon zest for garnish
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Honey Lavender Tea Cookie
Yields 18
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  2. 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  3. 3 Tbsp Honey
  4. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  5. 2 Tsp Dried Lavender
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and honey
  3. Slowly add the flour and dried lavender to the butter mixture
  4. Slowly mix until combined
  5. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  6. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface to approximately 1/2’” and cut into 2” squares
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
IMG_7408Ink Foods Signature

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_7777IMG_7761I have not always been a “cookie” girl…I preferred cake, ice-cream, brownies or really any other dessert.  To me, there were so many other interesting desserts that caught my attention until I married my husband.  He is a “cookie” guy :)  I swear, there can be the most gourmet and decadent desserts around and he will go for the classic chocolate chip cookie.  

I kind of get it now, I love a good cookie.  Now that we have kids and they LOVE cookies as well, I am always on the hunt for the best cookies in town.  They don’t have to be fancy, actually I prefer them to be classic flavors, just the best flavor.  Texture is a big thing for me as well…edges need to have a little crunch, center needs to be soft and chewy and they cannot be overly sweet.

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies filled with semisweet chocolate chips, chopped pecans, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt on top is now one of my favorites!  After a few rounds of different oatmeal cookies, some plain and some with peanut butter, this was the winning combination.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  2. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  6. 1/2 tsp baking Soda
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/2 tsp vanilla Extract
  10. 1 1/2 cups oats
  11. 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  12. 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  13. sea salt (optional garnish)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oatmeal (set aside)
  3. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract into butter mixture and mix until fully combined
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and beat until smooth
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans
  7. Scoop dough into 3 ounce balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  8. Gently press the top of the dough ball down (just to take the dome away)
  9. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on the top of each cookie (optional)
  10. Bake for 15-16 minutes, the edges will become golden brown and the centers will still be light in color
  11. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
IMG_7785Ink Foods Signature

Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Bundt Cake

IMG_7555Happy spring…It is hard to believe the spring season is already here! After a beautiful and fun filled week in San Diego with our girls and Oliver (still hard to believe we have three kids :) )for spring break and coming home to this gorgeous warm weather…I am in the mood for some new light and fresh recipes!  

While we were in California, we did all the kid friendly adventures but we also squeezed in some time to try out new restaurants and a few bakeries.  I love the flavors and simplicity of the food they serve.

This Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Bundt Cake is bringing me back to the California flavors while we get back into the groove at home.   

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Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Bundt Cake
Yields 1
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Cake
  1. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 2 tsp Baking Powder
  3. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  6. 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  7. 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  8. 3 Eggs
  9. 1 Large Lemon, zested (save the juice for the glaze)
  10. 2 tbsp Poppy Seeds
*Lemon Glaze
  1. 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  2. 2-3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, butter and flour bundt pan
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (set aside)
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, lemon zest and poppy seeds
  4. Alternate flour mixture and yogurt to wet ingredients until smooth and thick
  5. Spread cake batter into prepared bundt pan
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and cake springs back when you touch it
  7. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan
  8. While the cake is cooling, prepare the *Lemon Glaze
Lemon Glaze
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth and the desired consistancy
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the bundt cake
  3. Serve and Enjoy!
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Where to buy: Cute floral plates, fruit basket, Gold Flatwarebundt panInk Foods Signature

Dutch Baby

IMG_6522Weekends are made for family time, lounging and Dutch baby pancakes. These pancakes are like a combination of pancakes, crepes and popovers, and they are as much fun to make as they are to eat!

A Dutch baby, sometimes known as a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, are baked in a cast iron skillet and puff to great heights while cooking. There are a few tricks to making these puffy pancakes.

Start with a thin pancake batter consisting of eggs, milk, flour, sugar and butter that is combined in a blender to create the smoothest consistency. While you are making your batter, heat your cast iron skillet in the oven before buttering. A hot skillet and melted butter ensures you will have the puffiest and tastiest Dutch baby.

Once the Dutch baby is baked, you will have a crunchy edge and a thin, crepe-like middle that can be filled sweet or savory ingredients. A classic Dutch baby can be enjoyed just like a traditional pancake with a dusting of powdered sugar and maple syrup or can be fancied up with your favorite garnish. To dig into your sweeter side, garnish with mixed berries, lemon curd, powdered sugar and a sprig of mint, or make a meal out of it with a twist on a Caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic reduction.IMG_6494 IMG_6489

Use small skillets to make personalized Dutch babies or one large skillet to make a Dutch baby to share.IMG_6496IMG_6529IMG_6547

Dutch Baby
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 3/4 cup whole milk
  3. 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  4. 2 Tbsp sugar
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. pinch of nutmeg
  8. 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Place 2 8” cast iron skillets in the oven to warm up while you are making the batter
  3. In a blender or food processor combine eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg
  4. Blend until smooth
  5. Remove the skillet from the oven and melt 1Tbsp of butter on each skillet, tilting to coat the bottom and sides
  6. Divide the batter in half and pour into each cast iron skillet
  7. Bake until the dutch baby is puffed up and golden brown on the edges, approximately 12-14 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately garnish and serve
Berry Lemon Dutch Baby
  1. Once the Dutch baby is out of the oven, spread a thin layer of lemon curd in the center of the pancake. Top with fresh berries, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh mint
Caprese Dutch Baby
  1. When making the Dutch baby, remove the 2 tablespoons sugar from the recipe. Once the pancake is out of the oven, top with pesto, sliced heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella cheese balls or slices, fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
  2. Makes 2-8" Dutch Babies
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Ink Foods Signature

How to Host a Cookie Exchange

img_5835Are you ready for the nonstop parties, gatherings, and abundance of cooking and gift giving? While some of us love entertaining, for others it may be a bit stressful. If you need to cut back on your baking, gather your friends and host a cookie exchange. You only have to bake one kind of cookie, but you’ll get several dozen to bring to your holiday table.

My sister and I started hosting cookie exchanges for our friends several years ago, and we look forward to it every year. The cookies get better and our friends get more creative with the recipes. There is no need to be a professional or invite only friends that are good bakers. Invite the friends you want to share the holidays with. Exchange cookies, enjoys sips and bites, and spread the holiday cheer!

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Here are the steps you need to know so that you can host your own Cookie Exchange.

Invitations
Just like any party, you must start with a guest list, set the date and send out the invitation. Choose 10-20 (or more) of your friends who have a sweet tooth like you. For the sake of time, sending an emailed invitations such as an Evite or Paperless Post is perfectly acceptable for this type of gathering. Choose a date for your cookie exchange that is close enough to the holidays so that you can enjoy your assortment of cookies with your family

Cookies
Now it’s time to choose the cookie that you want to bake and share with your friends. You can be a simple or fancy as you would like, but remember you have to bake several dozen to share. The week of your cookie exchange, let your guests know how many people are attending so they can start baking. We recommend each guest bring one type of cookie and bake enough cookies that everyone gets to take 2-3 of each kind. So if you are inviting 12 people have your guests bake and bring 2-3 dozen cookies.

Packaging
Once all the cookies are displayed on the table for everyone to admire, it is time to start swapping. Have a table ready just for packaging up these scrumptious cookies. Boxes for each guest, tissue paper to line the boxes, ribbon and a gift tag will be the perfect way to send your friends off with a beautiful assortment of cookies.

Snacks
Last but not least, make sure you have some savory snacks and cocktails or mocktails for your friends to enjoy. They will not be able to survive just on cookies alone, so 3-4 bite size appetizers and a signature drink for the night is the perfect amountimg_5816

Peppermint Meringue
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Egg Whites
  2. 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  3. 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract
  5. Red Food Coloring, gel
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a mixer with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy and turns into stiff peak
  3. Reduce the speed on the mixer and slowly add in 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  4. Once the sugar is fully combined and the eggs become a little glossy add in the peppermint extract
  5. When you have stiff peaks, stop the mixer and gently fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar
  6. Take a 1/2 of the meringue into another bowl and fold in red food coloring until combined (do not over mix)
  7. Using a piping bag and a star tip, fill the red meringue on one side of the bag and the white meringue on the other side of the bag and start piping
  8. Pipe meringue onto prepared baking sheets into 2” cookies
  9. Bake at 200 degrees F for approximately 1 hour or until the meringue cookies have dried out.
  10. Remove the meringue from the oven, allow the cookies to cool and store in an air tight container until ready to serve
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Chocolate Marshmallow Whoopie Pie
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Ingredients
  1. Chocolate Whoopie Pie
  2. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  3. 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  4. 1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  5. 1 tsp Salt
  6. 1 Cup Buttermilk
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  8. 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  9. 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  10. 1 Egg
  11. Marshmallow Cream Filling
  12. 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  13. 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  14. 2 Cups Marshmallow Fluff
  15. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Chocolate Whoopie Pie Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk together
  3. Cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy
  4. Add egg to butter mixture beat until combined
  5. Slowly alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk and beat until smooth
  6. Scoop 1 tbsp size mounds of batter onto prepared baking sheet
  7. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the cookie springs back when you touch it
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool completely before assembling
Marshmallow Cream Filling Directions
  1. Beat the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and marshmallow fluff together until smooth. 
Cover and set aside until ready to use
Whoopie Pie Assembly
  1. Pipe the marshmallow cream to cover the flat side of one cookie
  2. Sandwich two chocolate cookies together
  3. Serve or store in an airtight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

No Tricks Just Halloween Treats

img_5389I love Halloween, not for the scary and spooky stuff, for the creativity it brings out of everyone.  Starting with costumes,  it is so fun to see my girls coming up with what they want to dress up as.  As a mom it is hard not to want to tell them what they should be or what costume would be the cutest, but really it is the best when they come up with their own ideas.  

Working up Halloween treats in the kitchen is the same, the more creative the better. Halloween is not a serious or elegant holiday so why not be a little crazy and have fun with it.  This year I am focused on treats that you and your kids will enjoy and get their hands a little dirty with.

Black and White Chocolate Bark is a simple treats you and your kids can make together.  With nearly no recipe needed at all, find whatever Halloween candy or salty sweet combination you like and sprinkle over melted dark and white chocolate.img_5391

Candy corn and caramel corn both scream fall and why not combine the two for a delicious snack that you won’t be able to stop eating.  Candy Corn Caramel Crunch combines all of my favorites, popcorn, buttery caramel, roasted peanuts, candy corn and drizzled with chocolate.  Serve in a bowl for your guests or package up for a perfect school treat for friends.img_5317

If you are hosting friends on Halloween Orange Fizz Punch is refreshing before or after trick or treating.  Frozen orange sherbet topped with pineapple juice and lemon lime soda ending with a fizz is decadent and sweet, it can even be dessert! img_5449

Keep Halloween stress free with these three kid and adult friendly recipes that will bring your creative juices out!  

Black and White Chocolate Bark
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces Semisweet Chocolate
  2. 8 ounces White Chocolate
  3. Candy Corn
  4. Sixlets
  5. Pretzels
  6. Candy Corn M&M
  7. Peanuts
Instructions
  1. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  2. Melt semisweet chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until chocolate is melted
  3. (remove one ounce of semisweet chocolate and save)
  4. Pour onto a prepared baking sheet and spread to be even and smooth
  5. Allow the semisweet chocolate layer to cool
  6. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until chocolate is melted
  7. Pour the white chocolate over the semisweet chocolate layer and spread evenly to cover the semisweet chocolate
  8. While the white chocolate is still melted, drizzle the extra semisweet chocolate in rows onto the white chocolate and take a toothpick to spread the semisweet chocolate through the white chocolate
  9. Immediately sprinkle the toppings; candy corn, sixlets, pretzels, M&M’s and peanuts over the white and dark chocolate.
  10. Allow the bark to cool completely, approximately 1 hour, before breaking it into pieces
  11. Package for gifts or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Candy Corn Caramel Crunch
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
  2. 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  3. 1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  4. 1 tsp Salt
  5. 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  6. 8 Cups Popcorn, Popped
  7. 1 Cup Candy Corn
  8. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Peanuts
  9. 1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  2. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  3. In a large Saucepan, melt butter completely
  4. Stir in light brown sugar and light corn syrup and stir until fully combined
  5. Bring butter mixture to a rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes without stirring the caramel mixture
  6. Continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture comes to a desired caramel color
  7. Turn the heat off and stir in the salt and baking soda
  8. Slowly pour in the popped popcorn and peanuts and toss until completely coated
  9. Spread the caramel corn onto a sheet pan 
Bake for 15 minutes until the caramel becomes a deep amber color
  10. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle with candy corn and drizzle with semi sweet chocolate
  11. Once the caramel corn has cooled, break the pieces into small chucks
  12. Package the candy corn caramel crunch for gifts or store in an air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Orange Fizz Punch
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1 quart Orange Sherbet
  2. 1 Can (46 ounces) Pineapple Juice
  3. 2 Cups Orange Juice
  4. 1 Liters Lemon Lime Soda
  5. Garnish: Halloween Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In a large punch bowl, combine pineapple juice, orange juice and lemon lime soda
  2. Right before you are ready to serve add orange sherbet to the punch bowl
  3. Serve the punch in individual glasses and top it off with a splash of lemon lime soda to create the fizz!
  4. Garnish with halloween sprinkles and a straw
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Feeling a little French with éclairs

img_4708As life gets busy and we are in full swing of our daily routines, I like to daydream that I am walking the streets of Paris munching on baguette, eating every flavor of Macaron that I come across and finishing my day with a perfectly filled éclairs.

Not so long ago, these oblong piped pastries were an old fashion and out of style treat from the past, but éclairs have made a comeback and I hope they are here to stay. Although we would all like to be walking the streets of Paris, éclairs can be made in your own home or have become a staple at several local bakeries to fill your craving.img_4698

The classic éclairs which dates back to the 19th century in France is made of pâte à choux, filled pastry cream and topped with a chocolate glaze but now they can also be found in the most indulgent and creative flavors to take you through each season.

pâte à choux, is a special dough made by cooking butter, water, milk and flour together and then beating the eggs in. The steam of the flour mixture and egg combination is what creates the light weight hollow pastry shell that is perfect to fill. Although, it has a fancy name and the process might be intimidating, don’t give up on making your own, it only gets easier.img_4688

As the pâte à choux is baking, your next step is pastry cream and this is where your flavor creations can come into play. Pastry cream is similar to a pudding base, combining milk, sugar, egg yolks and cornstarch cooking over a stove top until thick. If there are any specific flavors such as raspberry, peanut butter, coffee or pistachio, this is the time to add them in.img_4690img_4696

Finish these decadent pastries with only the best, chocolate! Dipping these cream filled shells into a chocolate glaze is the final step to this classic french pastry. Whether you are enjoying Eclairs for breakfast, brunch or dessert, the crisp shell and smooth cream filling will make all your hard work worth it.img_4724

éclairs
Yields 14
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pâte à choux
  1. 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  2. 1/2 Cup Water
  3. 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Cubed
  4. 1/2 tsp Sugar
  5. 1/4 tsp Salt
  6. 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  7. 5 Eggs, Room Temperature
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
  1. 2 Cups Whole Milk
  2. 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  3. 1 Vanilla Bean, Split and Scraped
  4. 4 Tbsp Cornstarch
  5. 5 Egg Yolks
  6. 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, Whipped
Chocolate Glaze
  1. 1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate or White Chocolate
  2. 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Softened
pâte à choux
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. In a medium saucepan combine milk, water, butter, sugar and salt
  3. Heat mixture until butter is melted and just starting to simmer
  4. Add flour into butter mixture and stir vigorously with a wood spoon until dough comes together and create a film on the bottom of the pan
  5. Transfer the dough to a mixer with paddle attachment and turn on medium speed
  6. Beat the dough on medium speed to release the steam from the dough, approximately 1 minute
  7. Slowly add eggs one at a time until the dough comes back together and has the texture of paste
  8. Transfer dough into a pastry bag with start tip and pipe into 4 inch long logs
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes and then turn oven to 375 degrees F for another 20 minutes or until golden brown
  10. Shut oven off and prop open the door and leave the pâte à choux shells in for another 5 minutes
  11. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely before filling or store in an airtight container and freeze until ready to use.
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
  1. Combine milk, 1/2 of the sugar, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan placed over high heat
  2. Whisk together remaining sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks
  3. Once the milk has come to a simmer, whisking continuously slowly add 1/3 of the milk mixture into the egg mixture to temper the eggs
  4. Return the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and continue whisking until pastry cream becomes thick and starts to bubble
  5. Remove the pastry cream from the heat, strain through a fine sieve, pour it into a shallow bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface to prevent a skin forming
  6. Allow the pastry cream to cool to room temperature before refrigerating
  7. Store in air tight container for up to 3 days if not using immediately
  8. Before filling the eclairs, fold whipped cream into pastry cream to lighten up the custard
Chocolate Glaze
  1. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl
  2. Whisk in butter into melted chocolate until smooth
Assembly
  1. Using small round pastry tip, poke 2 holes in the bottom of the pate a choux shell
  2. Fill pâte à choux shell with vanilla bean pastry cream
  3. Dip the top of the shell into melted dark chocolate glaze and garnish with white chocolate drizzle and gold leaf (optional)
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve
Flavor Options
Chocolate Peanut Butter
  1. Add 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter to the pastry cream once it is removed from the saucepan and still warm. Cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface and allow the pastry cream to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Continue following directions from above. Once the pate a choux is filled, dip the top of shell into dark chocolate glaze and sprinkle with unsalted peanuts for garnish.
Pistachio
  1. Add 1/4 cup pistachio paste to the pastry cream once it is removed from the saucepan and still warm. Cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface and allow the pastry cream to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Continue following directions from above. Once the pate a choux is filled, dip the top of shell into light green tinted white chocolate glaze and sprinkle with crushed pistachios for garnish.
Raspberry White Chocolate
  1. Add 1/4 cup raspberry puree to the pastry cream once it is removed from the saucepan and still warm. Cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface and allow the pastry cream to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Continue following directions from above. Once the pate a choux is filled, dip the top of shell into light pink tinted white chocolate glaze and garnish with fresh raspberries and white chocolate drizzle.
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Mini Pumpkin Spice Muffins

img_5186It’s fall ya’ll!!! and pumpkin season…yahoo!  

There are many things as a family we love this time of year but I got so excited when Sophie, my oldest daughter, told me her “tastebuds” love pumpkin muffins :) because so do mine.

These mini pumpkin muffins are the perfect amount of spice with a soft cream cheese glaze on top and can be served for breakfast or sneak them in a lunch box for an afternoon surprise.

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Mini Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Yields 36
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  2. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/3 cup water
  5. 7 ounces pumpkin puree
  6. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp ground ginger
  8. 1/2 tsp allspice
  9. 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  10. 1 tsp baking soda
  11. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  12. 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth
  2. Add water to egg mixture
  3. Add in pumpkin puree, ginger, cinnamon and allspice
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  5. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until combined
  6. Scoop batter into mini muffin pans filled 3/4 high
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  8. Allow the muffins to cool in pan before removing
  9. Once the muffins are cool, remove from the pan and dip in cream cheese glaze
  10. Optional* Dust the top of the muffins with cinnamon and garnish with pumpkin seeds
  11. Serve or store in an airtight container
Cream Cheese Glaze
Ingredients
  1. 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. 4 Tbsp milk, plus more if needed
Directions
  1. In a bowl with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on high speed until smooth
  2. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined
  3. Slowly add milk and mix until smooth
  4. If glaze is to thick to drizzle or dip the muffins, add more milk 1 Tbsp at a time.
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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