Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Love these beautiful Heirloom Tomatoes!

My first year planting heirloom tomatoes is a wonderful success.  Not very pretty on the outside but delicious to taste.  I was unaware that they don't produce copious amounts of tomatoes like the hybrids varieties but quality beats quantity when comparing to a the hybrids. So flavorful that all I did was slice the tomatoes layer with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and drizzle with a rich balsamic vinegar or Our Favorite Salad dressing(one of my favorites)!  Ready to serve in no time!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Crazy about Summertime Peach Pie

I love to make pies especially Summertime peach pie.  Serve plain or with the best vanilla ice cream just warm from the oven simply a fantastic end to a summer meal.


3 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar, optional
3 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water

Pie Filling

8 peaches slice thin
3/4 cup light brown sugar
juice of one lemon
3 tablespoon of quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon butter

Pie Crust:  Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add 1 diced stick cold butter, process until combined. Add 2 more diced sticks cold butter. Add 2 more diced sticks cold butter, pulse 10 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add one tablespoon vinegar. Gradually pour in 1/3 cup water pulsing 10 seconds until combined. Turn out onto a clean surface and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and press into a 1-inch-thick disk.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

Pie Filling: Combine peaches with sugar, lemon, tapioca, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside until you roll out pie crust.

Pie: Divide the chilled dough in half, roll  1 piece into a 12-inch, 1/8-inch-thick circle on a lightly floured surface. Refrigerate remaining dough.
Roll the dough onto a rolling pin, then unroll into a 9-inch pie plate, letting excess dough hand over the edge.  Add peach filling and dot with butter.
Roll out the other piece of dough and place over the filling. Press the crust edges together and trim, leaving 1-inch overhang. Roll up and pinch the overhang to seal.
Preheat oven 450 degrees. Cut slits into the top of crust. Chill pie for 30 minutes. Reduced the oven to 400 degrees. Bake pie for 30 minutes. Brush with heavy cream(about 1 tablespoon) and sprinkle with sugar( 1 tablespoon) Bake until golden brown about 30 minutes. Cool before slicing.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Country Peach Cobbler

Peaches have are one of my favorite fruits. My grandparents always had peach tree in their yard. My grandmother would can a large batch each summer for winter eating. Growing up in Levittown Pennsylvania all the house were landscaped with one apple, one pear and one peach tree. I waited all summer for the peaches to grow and ripen, picking at the just perfect time. Our peach tree produced an abundance of fruit enough to just eat fresh and for my mother peach pies. When I want to make a quick and easy peach dessert I turn to a cobbler. You can make a cobbler with peaches, blueberries, nectarines and more, just use your favorite fruit.  I like this cobbler for the bisque topping as opposed to a sweet crumbly topping. The peaches are the star not the topping.

8 large peaches, sliced into thin slices
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon cornstarch

For biscuit topping
1 1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl combine sugar and corn start. Add peaches and lemon juice. Mix gently. Turn into nine inch baking dish. I like to use a deep dish pie plate but use can use a square baking dish.

Biscuit topping: In a large bowl combine sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry blender cut int the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg and yogurt working together with the blender or spatula until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop dough by 9 heaping tablespoons evenly over the fruit. Bake 30 minutes or until tester inserted in middle of the topping comes out clean. Serve warm. I like rich vanilla ice cream with my cobbler.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Farmer's Market Dinner

Wednesdays find me at the wonderful Dedham Farm Market to choice the simple ingredients for a delicious easy meal. Today I was not disappointed with all that I purchased at the Farm Market. Luscious purple peppers, sweetly flavored Thai eggplant, just picked corn, plump tomatoes, bursting blueberries, spicy lettuce, leaping off the boat fish, and more.  Once home I quickly made a simply delicious evening meal.

Mussels in white wine sauce, fresh corn, grilled zucchini and swordfish.
For the mussels I just sautéed garlic and shallots in 2 tablespoon olive oil for five minutes. Add 2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes, 1 cup white wine, 1 tablespoon each basil and thyme. Cook on low for another five minutes. Add 2 pounds mussels cover and simmer on low until mussels open about 10 minutes.

I purchased small ball shaped zucchini and cut in half. Spray lightly with pam, season with fresh basil, thyme and oregano. Place on hot grill and cook for 15 minutes.

For the swordfish I just drizzled with fresh lemon juice, seasoned both sides with Chesapeake bay seafood seasoning, grilling for about 15 minutes.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cheesecake Devil's Food Chocolate Cup Cakes

Ah, what  a wonderful combination, cheesecake and devil's food cake together in a fantastic tasting cupcake. I am not just bragging,  these cupcakes just won best tasting cupcake in the First Annual Sheep Skate Yarn and Craft store cupcake bake off.

2 cups(packed) brown sugar
1 3/4 cup cake flour - I like King Arthur's
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa- I use Ghirardelli
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong coffee, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs

Cheesecake Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoon milk or heavy cream

Chocolate Batter:  Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cup cake pans with baking cups. I made 12 large cup cakes or you can do 24 regular. (If you do large cupcakes make sure you use large not regular baking cups.) Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in large bowl to blend.  Add buttermilk, coffee, oil and eggs, whisk until smooth.

Cheesecake Filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Beat in egg, then flour.

Fill each cupcake baking cups 1/4 filled with chocolate batter. Divide cheesecake filling between each cupcake, sprinkle evenly with mini chocolate chips. Top each cupcake with remaining chocolate batter.
Bake 20-25 minutes until tester inserted comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes completely and then freeze for three hours.

Spoon icing into pastry bag fitted with a tip of your choice and have fun decorating the cup cakes!
Can be made a day ahead. Just refrigerated and let cupcakes stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving.