Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
Almost any dessert can be made into a “mini dessert!” Just remember to adjust your cooking time for individual cookies, cakes and pies!
1-1/2 cups cranberries, rinsed and finely chopped
2/3 cup flour
1 14-ounce bag sweetened coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss the cranberries with flour to coat. Add remaining ingredients; stir until well mixed. Place batter in desired amount on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes (for teaspoon-sized macaroons) or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
The Palmer House Brownie
1 pound, 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 pound butter
1 pound, 8 ounces granulated sugar
8 ounces cake flour or all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 pound crushed walnuts
1 cup water
1 cup apricot preserves
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
Chocolate Butter Frosting (Yield approximately 3 cups)
2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees – Spray pan with non stick spray. Place a piece of parchment on the bottom of pan, and spray the parchment paper also. Set aside.
In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter.
Mix sugar, flour and baking powder in mixing bowl. Add chocolate-butter mixture and combine, stirring occasional for 4 to 5 minutes, then add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.
Pour batter into the prepared 9x12-inch baking pan. Sprinkle walnuts on top, pressing slightly into mixture. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. (Brownies are done when it has risen about 1/4 inch and edges begin to turn crispy. It will be gooey when tested with a toothpick in the very center.) Remove brownies from the oven and cool for about 30 minutes.
In a saucepan, mix water, apricot preserves and gelatin. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 2 minutes. With a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of the hot glaze onto the brownies.
Place brownies in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours for easier cutting.
Chocolate Butter Frosting
In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.
Assembling brownie stacks:
Choose an array of decorative picks and edible decorations such as sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, or tiny candied flowers.
Cut brownies into desired shapes, remembering these should be small, but not too small. Each stack will require 2 pieces.
Spread a bit of Chocolate Butter Frosting on half of the brownie pieces; top each with an unfrosted piece. Spread the tops of the stacks with remaining frosting. Add decorations of choice and spear each stack with a decorative pick.
1 frozen puff pastry sheet
2 red apples
Juice of half a lemon
Water to cover apples
1 tablespoon flour, to sprinkle on counter
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
Powdered sugar (optional)
Thaw puff pastry. (This should take about 20 to 30 minutes.)
In medium microwave proof bowl combine lemon juice and water. Cut apples in half, remove the core and cut into paper-thin pieces. (Leaving apples unpeeled provides a touch of red in the finished pastries.) Place slices in lemon water immediately to keep them from browning.
Microwave the bowl of apples for about 3 minutes to soften the slices slightly.
Sprinkle four on a clean counter. Unwrap thawed puff pastry and place on counter. Use a rolling pin to stretch dough slightly, retaining its rectangular shape as much as possible. Cut pastry into 6 strips, each approximately 2 inches by 9 inches (5 cm x 22 cm).
In a small bowl, combine apricot preserves with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave mixture for about 1 minute to make the preserves easier to spread. Spread the mixture on puff pastry strips.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190 degrees C). Assemble muffin cups. If not using silicone cups, grease cups for easy release.
Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Fold the bottom half of dough over the apples. Carefully roll up each strip and place in a muffin cup. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until fully cooked. (If apples appear fully cooked at around 30 minutes, move cups to a lower rack in the oven and wait 10 to 15 minutes to avoid undercooking the puff pastry.)
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired,