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).

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

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

LEMON-RASPBERRY SORBET CUPCAKES

When I posted a recipe for Lemon-Berry Sorbet Cake a while back, it struck me it would be fabulous in cupcake form. so, here’s to revisiting our family’s favorite dessert. Portions and preparation times have been altered to make 12 cupcakes. Note: You can use silicone cupcake liners for a somewhat taller cupcake and easy removal, or bypass liners altogether and make directly in cupcake pan for an even prettier presentation.

Lemon-Raspberry Sorbet Cakes 2Lemon-Raspberry Sorbet Cakes 320 gingersnap cookies, crumbled (put cookies in large zip top bag, pound a bit, and “crumb” with rolling pin)

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 pint raspberry sorbet

1 pint lemon sorbet

2 cups frozen raspberries (or mixed berries)

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate mini-morsels

mint sprigs, optional (but do consider, ’cause that bit of green is oh-so-pretty!)

1) Remove raspberry sorbet from freezer and set out to thaw while you: combine cookie crumbs and melted butter, stir well, and press into bottoms of a dozen cupcake liners; freeze 10 minutes

2) Remove lemon sorbet from freezer and set out to thaw while you: spread softened raspberry sorbet over cookie crumb crusts; freeze 15 minutes

3) Spread softened lemon sorbet over raspberry sorbet; freeze 5-10 minutes until slightly firm, then gently press frozen raspberries into lemon sorbet

4) Melt chocolate morsels (I microwave 20-30 seconds, spoon into a sandwich bag, and snip a small hole in bottom corner of bag); squeeze melted chocolate over berries (a lattice pattern is lovely); freeze a minimum of one hour

5) To serve, place a sprig of mint atop each cupcake; if you used silicone liners, simply pop out of pan and have at it; if you didn’t use a liner, run a warm knife around sorbet cupcake and gently lift out, careful to keep gingersnap crust intact; place on plate and enjoy immediately

Servings: 12

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/19/12

LIME COCONUT-MACADAMIA OATMEAL COOKIES

Recently I shared a recipe for Lime-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies that featured the always lovely and tasty Craisins. This week, I substituted macadamia nuts for Craisins. And, oh, are they good!

Lime-Coconut-Macadamia Oatmeal Cookies 2

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

zest of 1 lime, divided

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1-1/4 cups shredded sweetened coconut, divided

1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking)

1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, divided (since I used roasted and salted macadamias, I cut back on the salt in this recipe)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) In large bowl, cream butter and both sugars with mixer on high speed until light and fluffy

3) On medium speed, beat in egg, vanilla, lime zest (save a large pinch for cookie tops after baking), lime juice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

4) Beat in 1 cup coconut (reserving 1/4 cup) and oats; stir in 3/4 cup macadamia nuts (reserving 1/4 cup), and flour (dough will be on the moist side)

5) Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet, press a pinch of coconut and a couple pieces of reserved macadamia nuts into tops; bake 10-12 minutes until cookies are golden but still soft

6) Remove from oven and transfer cookies to wire rack; when cool, scatter with tiny pinches of reserved lime zest; enjoy!

Makes: 2 dozen cookies

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/29/12

PECAN-CRAISIN-LEMON CHOCOLATE ‘N CHOCOLATE BARK

This is a variation on Pistachio-Craisin-Orange Chocolate ‘N Chocolate Bark . It’s delicious (though I do lean more toward the pistachio version), and just as easy to make. Add or subtract toppings to your heart’s desire and you’ll have a beautifully sweet treat to share.

Pecan-Craisin-Lemon Chocolate Bark

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

12 oz white chocolate chips

zest of one lemon (I used a Meyer lemon), divided

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries (Craisins)

1) Line a large  (12×17″) cookie sheet with parchment paper

2) Pour semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl; microwave, pausing and stirring every 30 seconds until chocolate melts; remove from microwave and stir in half the lemon zest (reserving half for topping); pour melted chocolate onto prepared baking sheet and smooth into a rectangle

3) Pour white chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl; microwave, pausing and stirring every 30 seconds until chocolate melts; remove from microwave and drop by spoonfuls on semi-sweet chocolate; using a knife or wooden spoon, swirl chocolates together until your swirl is just right

4) Sprinkle pecans, Craisins, and remaining zest over top and lightly press into chocolate; if you have the space, cool in fridge 30-40 minutes until chocolate is hard; if you don’t have the fridge space, cool on counter to room temperature; break into pieces of whatever size you think you can limit yourself to and serve (we like it cold, but it’s wonderfully tasty at room temperature)

VANILLA WAFER BANANA PUDDING COOKIES

Last night’s dinner was good but not worth writing home–er, blog–about. So…cookies that feature crumbed, chopped, AND whole vanilla wafers, not to mention bananas. If you like classic Vanilla Wafer Banana Pudding, you’re bound to love these marvelous mouthfuls that are made by mounding cookie dough on top of a vanilla wafer and letting all that deliciousness bake down over it. All thumbs up! I did good 🙂

Vanilla Wafer Banana Pudding Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 pkg instant banana pudding mix

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (crush in zip top bag with rolling pin)

2 small medium-firm bananas, diced

1 cup vanilla wafers, coarsely chopped

4 dozen vanilla wafers, whole

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) In large bowl, beat butter, both sugars, and banana pudding mix 3-5 minutes until creamy

3) Add eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and salt; beat 1 minute

4) Add flour and vanilla wafer crumbs; beat 1 minute

5) Gently stir in banana and chopped vanilla wafers

6) On cookie sheet, space whole vanilla wafers 1″ apart; place 1 tbsp cookie dough on top of each vanilla wafer and gently pat down

7) Bake 9-10 minutes until golden; cool on wire rack and STAND BACK!

Makes: about 4 dozen cookies

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/04/12.

BLACKBERRY AND WINE CRUMBLE

Three out of our four enjoy salads as a meal. Since Junior prefers heartier meals, I made up for his calorie deficit by whipping up this easy Blackberry and Wine Crumble. Of course, I couldn’t make it for Junior without making it for all of us. And, yes, I had to increase my morning work out 😦

Blackberry and Wine Crumble

2/3 cup sweet red wine

2 tsp cornstarch

5 cups frozen blackberries (or mixed berries)

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup 5-minute oatmeal

1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 tbsp butter, softened

Optional: 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees; lightly oil 4 individual casserole dishes (about 1-3/4 cup capacity each)

2) In medium-sized saucepan, whisk wine and cornstarch until well combined; add blackberries and white sugar and, stirring often, cook over medium-high heat 7-8 minutes until blackberry mixture thickens; remove from heat and divide between 4 individual casserole dishes

3) In small bowl mix flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, and butter until well combined and crumbly; sprinkle over blackberry-wine mixture; place casserole dishes on a baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes until blackberries are bubbly and crumb topping is golden and lightly crisp; remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving; serve with or without drizzled whipping cream

Servings: 4

CHOCOLATE-COVERED STRAWBERRY KABOBS

This idea came to me via Pinterest. However, rather than use pound cake, I opted for Angel Food Cake. and why settle for white chocolate when you can have semi-sweet chocolate? Or both? In the words of Junior Too, “This is definitely one for your blog.” Yep.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Kabobs

1 lb small to medium-sized strawberries, stems removed

1/3 store-bought angel food cake, cut into 1″ pieces

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1/4 cup white chocolate morsels

6 bamboo skewers

Optional dips: whipped cream or thinned preserves (3/4 cup strawberry preserves mixed with 1/4 cup water)

1) Alternately thread strawberries and angel food cake onto bamboo skewers (should make about 6 kabobs)

2) Arrange kabobs on parchment paper 1/2″ apart

3) Place semi-sweet chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl; microwave until melted (I microwaved 30 seconds, stirred, and microwaved an additional 20 seconds); working quickly, spoon melted chocolate in small zip top bag, snip bottom corner, and pipe zigzags over each kabob

4) Repeat step #3 with white chocolate

5) Refrigerate 20 minutes (to set chocolate) and serve with or without dip

Makes: About 6 large kabobs

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/07/12.