Blueberry Pound Cake

Blueberry-Poundcake-slices-on-cutting-board

Recipe adapted from Blueberry Pound Cake by Nancy Zimmerman

2004 Taste of Home Annual Recipes

2003 Reiman Media Group , Inc. Greendale, WI

A couple of years ago we girls got together to sew (and eat) and my friend Carol served this delicious pound cake for dessert.  Carol said she likes this recipe because,” it tastes more like store-bought.”.  I agree, and as soon as you taste it, you will know exactly what she means.  It not only tastes yummy, but the texture is very fine, and the cake is moist.  It also has the classic flavor pairing of blueberry and lemon.

Using fresh blueberries that have been rinsed, drained, and dried is best.  However, I was so anxious to make this cake that I used frozen blueberries, and they were the size of grapes.  You will notice a faint lavender swirl in my batter and that is because of the wet berries, but the cake still tastes delicious (Carol’s cakes came out perfect, with no purple trails).  Also, I did have to add 12 minutes to the baking time, I’m guessing that is because of the frozen blueberries in the batter.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

6 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sour cream ( I was a little shy of 8 oz., so I scooped off the top of the blueberry Greek yogurt container until I had enough.  In the picture you will see that my sour cream is lilac colored)

3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries*

confectioner’s sugar

* If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw before adding to the batter.

 

Directions

Blueberry-Poundcake-eggs-in-a-bowl

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in extracts.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Blueberry-Poundcake-purple-sour-cream

2. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Fold in the blueberries.

Blueberry-Poundcake-blueberries-in-batter

3. Spoon batter into 2 greased and wax-paper lined 9x5x3 inch loaf pans (Carol used parchment paper and the cakes came out just fine).

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.  Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Both Carol and I had to bake our cakes an additional 10-15 minutes.

 

Linzer Hearts

Linzer-Hearts-cookies-on-a-plate1

Recipe is courtesy of Fox Run Craftsmen, Ivyland, Pa. 18974

These very pretty Linzer cookies are inspired by the Linzertorte, a famous Austrian dessert.  Linzer cookies are basically a sandwich cookie, with a decorative cut-out on the top cookie.  The bottom cookie is spread with jam, the top cookie is sprinkled with powdered sugar, and then carefully placed on top of the jam. You can find special cookie cutters to make these cookies at most kitchen stores.  They usually come with several inserts to choose from (star, heart, diamond, etc.) for cutting out the top cookie.  This recipe came with my Linzer cookie cutter set.  If you do not have these cutters at home, don’t fret, just use a medium-sized cutter (about 2 inches wide) for the top and bottom cookie (circle, square, heart, etc.), then any small cookie cutter for the decorative cut-out.

I used seedless raspberry jam, but you can substitute cherry, apricot, strawberry, black currant, whatever you prefer.  If you love chocolate (and who doesn’t), substitute a chocolate glaze or frosting for the jam.  If you prefer to use chocolate, substitute orange zest for the lemon zest. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup whole nuts, hazelnuts or almonds
1 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
powdered sugar, for dusting cookie tops
1 cup jam, for spreading on the bottom cookies (I used seedless raspberry)

 

Directions

Linzer-Hearts-processed-hazelnuts

1.Place nuts in a food processor and process until medium-fine in texture.

 

Linzer-Hearts-cream-butter-and-sugar

2. Beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium-high, until light and fluffy.

 

Linzer-Hearts-add-eggs-and-beat

3. Add eggs and beat until smooth.  Add vanilla and beat until combined.

 

Linzer-Hearts-ingredients-in-a-bowl

4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest.

 

Linzer-Hearts-frozen-dough

5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat to combine.  Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece with wax paper or plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, about 30-40 minutes.

 

Linzer-Hearts-cookie-bottoms

6.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or Silpat.  Dust a clean surface with flour, and roll out one piece of dough to approximately 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut out about 36 cookies and transfer to the cookie sheets, leaving about an inch in between the cookies.  These will be the bottom pieces.

 

Linzer-Hearts-baked-cookie-bottoms

7. Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.  Keep in mind that the time may need to be adjusted if you use a different size cutter than 2 inches, you may also wind up with a different amount of cookies.

 

Linzer-Hearts-cookie-tops

8. Place cookies on a rack to cool.  Cut out the top cookies and using a small cutter, cut out a decorative piece.  Re-roll the small pieces and continue to cut until you have an equal number of tops and bottoms.  Bake the tops for about 8 minutes and allow them to cool on a rack.

 

Linzer-Hearts-cookies-on-a-plate1

9. Spread about 1 teaspoon jam on the bottom cookie.  Sift powdered sugar over the top cookie and then place it gently on top of the jam of the bottom cookie.  Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

Linzer-Hearts-Linzer-cookie-cutter-with-decorative-inserts

A Linzer cookie cutter with decorative inserts

 

Linzer-Hearts-other-cookie-cutter-options

other cookie cutter options

 

 

Lemon Granita

IMG_03081-250x250

 

Recipe courtesy of Allen & Petersen, in Anchorage, Alaska

Sweet Italian Desserts Cooking Class

 

A Granita is an Italian ice that is served as a light dessert (perfect for summer), and/or as a palate cleanser in-between courses. It is light, tart and just a bit sweet.  It looks especially pretty served in a champagne glass or ice cream dish with a sprig of mint.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

3 lemons

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

 

IMG_02981

Directions

1. Zest the lemons using a zester or grater, a Microplane works great for this.

2.Place the zest in a saucepan with the sugar and water and bring to a simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.

3. Strain the liquid into a shallow pan that is freezer proof.  Cool to room temperature.

 

IMG_03041

4. Juice all 3 lemons and strain the juice to remove seeds and excess pulp.  Stir the mixture together and freeze.

 

IMG_03051

5. Every 20-30 minutes, scrape and stir the mixture, breaking apart any lumps that may be forming.

6. Repeat until it’s almost frozen.  This step creates the Granita’s signature texture.  Serve it slightly slushy.

7. To make ahead of time; Do steps 1-6, freeze.  About an hour before serving, remove from freezer and allow to sit on the counter until it becomes slushy. Stir and put back in freezer a couple of times, then serve.

 

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-all-the-sandwiches

Recipes courtesy of I Scream Sandwich!

by Jennie Schacht

I got lots of great ideas and tips from this book.  At the time of this post I just wanted to quickly make some goodies, so I bought the cookies, ice cream, gelato and sorbet, although this book does have recipes for ice cream, cookies, sorbet, frozen yogurt, etc.  I selected six flavor combinations from the book, and those individual recipes and photos are below, as well as a recipe for the chocolate shell to dip your sandwiches in.  When Mark saw these stacked up in the freezer, his eyes popped out of his head and I heard the faint sound of the aooogah horn from Looney Tunes in the background.  Enjoy!

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-making-pure-nostalgia

Ice Cream Sandwich Ingredients

cookie or bread of choice

ice cream, sorbet, gelato, sherbet, or frozen yogurt of choice

optional; toasted nuts, crushed cereal, coconut, candy,

chocolate shell (recipe below)

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-limoncello

Ice Cream Sandwich Directions

1. Place half of cookies face side down on a work surface.  Slice ice cream into slabs, cutting through the carton if need be.

2. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out the ice cream and place it on the cookie. Place another cookie on top of the ice cream. Place sandwiches on a parchment or wax paper lined pan.

3. Freeze sandwiches until they are hard (about 2-4 hours).  At this point you can dip the sandwiches in chocolate shell. Place dipped sandwiches back in the freezer until they are frozen hard.

4. Once sandwiches are frozen hard, wrap them individually in wax paper or plastic wrap, and then place them in a zip-top bag in the freezer. They should be good to go for about 1 month…if they last that long.

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-peach-croissanwiches

1.Peach Croissanwiches

Mini croissants and peach sorbet.  This combo might sound weird, but I had one for breakfast and it was fantastic.

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-milk-and-cookies

2. Milk and Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-lemon-zingers

3. Lemon Zingers

Molasses cookies spread with lemon curd, Limoncello gelato

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-dreamsicles

4.Dreamsicles

Sugar cookies, vanilla ice cream mixed with orange sherbet, chocolate shell

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-pure-nostalgia

5. Pure Nostalgia

Dark chocolate cookies with vanilla ice cream

 

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-Better-than-IT

6. Better than IT

Oatmeal raisin cookies, vanilla ice cream, chocolate shell, and toasted nuts

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-making-peach-croissanwiches

Chocolate Shell Ingredients

1 pound chocolate, preferably dark, chopped

3 Tablespoons neutral vegetable oil or coconut oil

 

Ice-Cream-Sandwiches-lemon-curd-on-molasses-cookies

Chocolate Shell Directions

1. Place chopped chocolate and oil in a microwave safe bowl.

2. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Stir until chocolate melts.

3. Allow chocolate shell to cool before dipping the ice cream sandwiches.

 

Lemon Yogurt Cake

 Lemon-Yogurt-Cake-slice-of-cake2-1024x768

Lemon Yogurt Cake is courtesy of Ina Garten and the Food Network

 

Lemon-Yogurt-Cake-cake

  • LEMON YOGURT CAKE
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • GLAZE
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

Lemon-Yogurt-Cake-pan 1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.  Sift together; flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.

Lemon-Yogurt-Cake-dry-into-wet

2. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  With a rubber spatula, fold oil into batter until fully incorporated.

 

Lemon-Yogurt-Cake-batter

3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes.

Lemon-Yogurt-Cake-cake-with-lemon-syrup

4. Cook 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until sugar dissolves and mixture is clear.  Set aside.  When cake is done, cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Remove loaf to a baking rack that is perched over a baking sheet.  While cake is still warm, slowly pour lemon-sugar mixture over cake.  Allow cake to cool.

Lemon-Yogurt-Cake-cake

5. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, pour over cake.  I made mine a little thicker so that I could drizzle it on.

 I have made this cake, a lime version, and also an orange version. I wasn’t crazy about how the orange cake tasted because it was way too sweet for my preference.  The tartness of the lemon, and the lime, make this cake just seem to burst with flavor.  Enjoy!