LEMON-STRAWBERRY SORBET CAKE

This is a new take on our favorite Lemon-Raspberry Sorbet Cake. I used white chocolate rather than dark (quite good), opted for fresh berries instead of frozen, and added frozen berries between the layers. As amazing as ever! And perfect for Fourth Of July 🙂

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (I put cookies in large zip top bag, pound a bit, then “crumb” with a rolling pin)

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 pints lemon sorbet, softened

1 cup frozen mixed berries

2 pints strawberry sorbet, softened

3 cups fresh strawberries, halved

1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries

2-1 oz white chocolate baking squares (I used Baker’s brand)

1) Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter, stir well and press into bottom of 10″ springform pan; freeze 10-15 minutes until just firm

2) Spread softened lemon sorbet over crumb crust; scatter frozen berries on top and lightly press into sorbet; freeze 45 minutes

3) Spread softened strawberry sorbet over lemon sorbet; top with stripes of strawberries and blueberries

4) Melt white chocolate (1 microwave 30-45 seconds, spoon into a sandwich bag, and snip a small hole in a bottom corner of bag); squeeze melted chocolate over berries (a lattice pattern is lovely); freeze a minimum of 1 hour

5) To serve, remove pie from springform pan; allow to sit 5-10 minutes; slice and serve immediately

Servings: 8-12 (if you can contain yourself)

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 07/06/12–the one that disappeared into a black hole (which is the reason WordPress and I met up).

BLUEBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL COOKIES

I set out to make Cherry Chocolate Chip cookies but discovered a cache of dried blueberries in my pantry–temptation. Yes, I bypassed the dried cherries, which turned out to be a good move. Another good move was cutting back on the flour so I could toss in a bit of oatmeal (love oatmeal cookies). The result: one of those rare cookies that tastes terrific hot, warm, or cold. To wit, had I not foreseen their popularity and stashed half in the fridge for lunches this week, there might not be any left. Score!

3/4  cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1-1/4 cup granulated white sugar

2 eggs

2 tbsp milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1-1/4 cups old-fashioned oats

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole dried blueberries

3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2) In large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy; on medium-low speed, add eggs, milk, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt; mix until combined

3) On low speed, add oats; gradually add flour and mix until just combined

4) Stir blueberries and chocolate chips into cookie dough

5) Drop cookie dough by overly generous tablespoonfuls onto non-stick cookie sheet; bake 14-16 minutes until cookies begin to go gold; remove from oven and cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets; transfer to wire racks; enjoy hot, warm, or cold

Makes: 36 palm-sized cookies (that would be my girlie palm, not senior’s)

LEMON-COCONUT POUND CAKE

When I came across the Ritz Carlton Cooking School’s recipe for Lemon Pound Cake on Pinterest, I had to repin. After all, lemon and I go back a long ways (coconut too, as you’ll see). When it came time to fire up my KitchenAid mixer, I did so in “edit mode,” tweaking the recipe, though not to the extent I “red-ink” my novels before submitting them to my editor. Though I can’t speak for the original recipe (I’m sure it’s fabulous), the cake that resulted from my “editing” is one I intend to make again. And, no, I will not ruin the lip-smacking experience by calculating calorie and fat content. Try this!

1/8 cup powdered sugar

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp sea salt

5 eggs

5 tbsp lemon juice

zest of one lemon

1-1/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Using butter stick wrappers, butter inside of large Bundt pan or 2 loaf pans; sprinkle powdered sugar over surface, turning and tapping pan(s) to lightly cover surface

3) With electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy; on low speed, mix in baking powder and sea salt; adding one egg at a time, beat in eggs until combined; mix in lemon, lemon zest, and coconut

4) On low speed, beat in flour, one cup at a time, alternating with milk (don’t over mix)

5) Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; let cool in pan 30 minutes; turn out cake onto plate and let cool; serve warm or refrigerate for a deliciously chilled slice

Servings: 12

BLACKBERRY AND RED WINE GELATIN

Gelatin is not among my weaknesses, but blackberries…oh my. And an occasional glass of red wine…quite nice. Here, I combined the two for a beautiful, elegant, and delicious side dish that was all the dessert anyone could want. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

Blackberry and Red Wine Gelatin

1 cup sweet red wine

2/3 cup granulated white sugar

12 oz fresh blackberries, divided (frozen work well too, but thaw first)

1 cup water

2 envelopes Knox unflavored Gelatine

1) To a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add wine and sugar; stirring continuously to dissolve sugar, bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, add 8 oz blackberries (reserving 4 oz for garnish), and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally

2) Meanwhile, add water to large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over surface; let sit 5 minutes

3) Slowly stir blackberry-wine mixture into gelatin mixture, then pour into a loaf pan; cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3-4 hours until set

4) To more easily unmold gelatin, set loaf pan in a shallow pan of hot water a few seconds to loosen gelatin from bottom and sides, then invert pan onto serving plate; garnish gelatin with reserved blackberries and serve immediately

Yum!

Servings: 6-8

GLAZED LEMON-RASPBERRY CREPES

Last year I came across a recipe for lemon-filled crepes from Wolfgang Puck, did my usual tweaking to suit my family’s tastes, and landed on this amazing dish. Though it easily qualifies as a dessert, in my opinion, the cottage cheese filling is justification for serving it for dinner–which I did. And not one complaint from my guys. Imagine that 🙂

CREPES & FILLING:

12 store-bought crepes (or you can make your own)

1 egg

4 tbsp sugar

1-3/4 cup reduced-fat small-curd cottage cheese

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon zest

1-1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

GLAZE:

1 egg

2 tbsp sugar

1 cup whipping cream

1 tbs lemon juice

TOPPING:

1 cup assorted berries (I used frozen)

1/2 cup berry preserves thinned with 1/4 cup water

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil a 9×13 baking pan

2) FILLING: To blender, add: egg, sugar,  cottage cheese, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla; blend on medium speed 1 minute or until smooth

3) Divide filling between crepes and roll up; place crepes seam side down in baking pan

4) GLAZE: To blender, add: egg, sugar, whipping cream, lemon juice; blend on medium speed 30 seconds until well combined; pour over crepes

5) TOPPING: Scatter berries over crepes; drizzle thinned preserves over crepes

6) Bake in oven 25-30 minutes; serve and watch ’em lick the plates!

Serves: 4

LEMON-BLUEBERRY BLINTZE SOUFFLE

Our family enjoys cheese blintzes, but making a dozen or more crepes to stuff with delightful cheese is a bit time-consuming. Enter the Blintze Souffle. It tastes just like beautifully stuffed crepes but–surprise, surprise–is easier to make and serve. Gone. All gone 🙂

Lemon Blueberry Blintze Souffle1

Lemon Blueberry Blintze Souffle2

1-8 oz pkg reduced-fat cream cheese

2 cups small-curd cottage cheese

6 eggs, divided

2/3 cup + 2 tbsp granulated white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup lemonade

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp lemon zest

1 cup water

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 cups frozen (or fresh) blueberries (or other berry/fruit)

2 tbsp lemon juice

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil 13×9 baking dish

2) To large mixing bowl, add: cream cheese, cottage cheese, 2 eggs (reserving 4 eggs), 2 tbsp sugar (reserving 2/3 cup), and vanilla extract; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes; set aside

3) To large mixing bowl, add: reserved 4 eggs, sour cream, lemonade, and butter; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes; gradually beat in flour, 1/3 cup reserved sugar (reserving 1/3 cup), baking powder, and lemon zest

4) Pour half the egg-sour cream batter into bottom of prepared baking dish; gently spoon cream cheese mixture over batter; gently pour remaining egg-sour cream batter over cream cheese mixture; bake in oven 45-50 minutes until souffle puffs, is lightly golden, and just firm in the center

5) 10-15 minutes before souffle is ready to come out of the oven, add to a medium-sized saucepan: water, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, blueberries, and lemon juice; cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8-10 minutes until berry mixture thickens; remove from heat

6) Remove souffle from oven, spread berry mixture over top (or you can serve on the side), and enjoy!

Servings: 6-8

BANANA SPICE CAKE WITH LATTICE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

I shocked Junior Too by announcing my intention of making a full-sized cake (apparently, I’ve been stuck in cupcake mode), and shocked him further by handing him a blender and asking him to cream the butter and sugar while I mashed the bananas. But he was a good sport, and my family has a tasty cake to show for it. As for the lattice-style frosting, it’s my way of cutting back on frosting since my guys (not me!) prefer a thin spread. This also resulted in over half a cup of leftover frosting. Of course, less frosting equals less fat and calories. Give this one a try. It’s tasty!

Banana Spice Cake with Lattice Cream Cheese FrostingBanana Spice Cake with Lattice Cream Cheese Frosting 2

CAKE:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1-1-2 cups granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground allspice

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly butter and flour bottom and sides of two 8″ round cake pans

2) In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (sorry, but this really does take 8-10 minutes)

3) Beat in eggs, mashed bananas, vanilla, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice

4) Stir in 1 cup flour, followed by milk, followed by remaining 1 cup flour

5) Divide cake batter between two prepared cake pans and level tops with a spatula; bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (while cakes are baking, whip up frosting below)

6) Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool in pans 10-15 minutes; run a knife blade around edges of cakes and turn out cakes onto wire rack to cool completely

FROSTING:

1-8 oz pkg reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup (1/2 stick butter), room temperature

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon juice

3 cups powdered sugar

1) In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth

2) Add vanilla, lemon juice, and powdered sugar and beat until smooth; refrigerate frosting until ready to use

FILLING AND TOPPING:

2 bananas, sliced 1/4″ thick

1/8 cup caramel sauce (optional)

1) Fit pastry bag with a tip of your choosing (I chose one with a rather large opening)

2) Fill pastry bag with frosting and gently squeeze to soften up

3) Place first cake layer on plate and pipe frosting in a lattice pattern, allowing frosting to extend down over sides

4) Cover frosting with sliced bananas (reserve a dozen or so pieces to decorate top layer)

5) Place second cake layer on top of first and pipe frosting in a lattice pattern

6) In center of top layer, arrange remaining slices of banana and drizzle caramel sauce over them

7) Refrigerate cake at least one hour before serving

Servings: Well…depends on will power, but probably 12

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/14/12