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

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BERRY AND CANDIED PECAN SALAD WITH CHICKEN

Senior, Junior Too, and I gobble up salads, especially if I toss a bit of chicken on top, but Junior can take them or leave them. Since Junior was away, salad was the order of the night. Junior’s loss, Junior Too’s gain. This salad boasts numerous taste sensations, but I believe the candied pecans and oil-less berry dressing are what stand out. Super delicious!

Berry & Candied Pecan Salad with Chicken

CANDIED PECANS:

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp water

3/4 cup pecans, chopped

CHICKEN:

1 tsp olive oil

1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, sliced into 1/2″ thick pieces

1 tbsp brown sugar

BERRY DRESSING (Note: a great alternative is Ken’s Steak house Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette):

3/4 cup frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries), thawed

1/2 cup water

2 tsp granulated white sugar

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp minced fresh chives (optional)

pinch sea salt

pinch black pepper

SALAD:

2 cups fresh baby spinach

2 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/4 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1/4 cup finely sliced red onion

3/4 cup frozen mixed berries, thawed

1 apple, cored, peeled, and chopped (optional)

1) PECANS: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar and water and cook until sugar dissolves; add chopped pecans and stir to coat; cook 5-7 minutes, stirring throughout (sugar should for a crust on pecans); remove from heat and spread pecans on a plate, set aside

2) CHICKEN: Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken and cook on each side 3-5 minutes until golden and cooked through; sprinkle brown sugar over top, stir, and cook additional 2 minutes; remove from heat, spread chicken on plate, and refrigerate

3) BERRY DRESSING: Combine berries, water, and sugar in blender and blend at medium speed 30 seconds; add vinegar, chives, sea salt, and pepper and blend about 30 seconds; refrigerate

4) SALAD: Divide spinach and romaine between 4 plates; over top of each, scatter mushrooms, carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, onion, berries, apple, chicken, and candied pecans; serve with berry dressing

SERVES: 4 (or 3 hungry salad lovers)

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/18/12