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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Almost Healthy Chocolate Amaretto Silk Pie

It's been awhile since I've posted here - my day job has kept me busy and left me with little time or creative energy for baking. That makes this recipe an especially timely addition to the blog: it's fast, easy, and technically could be no-bake, if you're using a pre-made pie crust. This could also easily be a vegan recipe, with a modified crust. Plus, it's sort of, almost, healthy! At least, it's lower in fat and sugar than your standard chocolate silk pie - but I honestly didn't feel like I sacrificed taste or texture to get there. 

The recipe that follows is inspired by Alton Brown, but I've tweaked some things here and there - mostly, because I didn't want to go to the grocery store! 

Before we get into that, let's take a look at the finished  product:

Almost Healthy: Chocolate Amaretto Silk Pie

Before I tell you what's in here, I must first assure you that this pie is truly decadent and delicious. You're going to be shocked when you learn what it's made of. The texture of the filling, before it sets, is similar to chocolate mousse: it's FLUFFY. Once it sets, it's reminiscent of truffle filling. Seriously. It's rich, creamy, dense, with an intense chocolate flavor and subtle sweetness. Are you ready for the secret ingredient?

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rummy Hummingbird Cake

Today, I made a birthday cake for all the September Babies in my life!  My version of an old Southern favorite the Hummingbird Cake.  If you've never had this cake, you really should try it.  It's easy to make, real comfort food and super delish.  This cake really holds up to frosting and the cake is moist (bananas and pineapple) and full of flavor (cinnamon and rum). 

I think of this cake as:

(Carrot cake - carrots) + bananas = YUM!

Best parts, though, IMO are the rum and that it has THREE layers!  I also added rum to the cream cheese frosting to give it just that right amount of mellow rum kick.  :) 

Happy Birthday!

This recipe is adapted from a cookbook by Art Smith, who was Oprah's chef...As we all know, I'm not a fan of Oprah (that would take a few blogs to explain...), but hey, regardless this-guy-can-cook! 

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Balsamic Onion Pull-Aparts

Easy beer bread turned into something extra special using locally-made Marinated Balsamic Onions from The Rustic Fork in Folsom, California.  I meet Sonya, the owner of The Rustic Fork, at this year's Raley's Grape Escape in downtown Sacramento.  It was a fabulous event where scores of restaurants, cafes, wineries and even food trucks provided tasty bits and yummy samples of their special libations.  It was a great evening savoring great local and regional foodie favorites!

Sonya has some wonderful recipe ideas, too.  I especially loved her sweet and spicy bbq sauce and am hoping to create something pretty special with that product too.   It's great to see a local business and amazing cook bring her ready to use sauces and relishes to home cooks to create easy and flavorful appetizers and dinners.

Balsamic Onion Pull-Aparts are inspired from one of The Rustic Forks offerings: Marinated Balsamic Onions.  Let's just say, YUM!  Full of flavor and a deep rich color from slow cooking of the onions.  I used them as a filling for my pull-aparts combined with a great and easy beer bread recipe that I shared with you a while back.  This dough is super forgiving and loves, loves, loves to be slathered in savory cheesy stuff!

A perfect savory appetizer or a great dinner roll.  Perfect size for making ahead and freezing.  Great for this fall and winter soups and stews.  And, you don't have to do the pull-apart version, just place the pinwheels in the pan and ~voile~ : instant dinner rolls!  I love easy...

As for me...These yummy little powerhouses of flavor are perfect portion controls for bread consumption...A little thing I have a huge challenge with at present!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Limoncello Raspberry Cream Sandwich Cookies

Pillowy lemon cookie sandwiched with luscious tart raspberry filling...Yes, I died and went to heaven.  I never knew a sandwich cookie could be this easy and this decadent. 

The pudding in the cookie helps keep them soft and adds richness.  The raspberry filling is kicked up a few notches with the addition of raspberry puree and Frambroise.  We wouldn't be bakin' it with booze, otherwise!

An elegant cookie, yet so easy to pull together.  Heaven.

This recipe is from my super creative and ever imaginative blogger buddy, Dorothy at Crazy for Crust.  She comes up with some very special treats like...Avocado Frosting, Cherry Icee Cupcakes, Cakeball Cookies and PB&J Tart.  She also runs a weekly party, Crazy Sweet Tuesday, where lots and lots of food bloggers show their creative wares.  Her Whatever Friday features a weekly wrap-up of her recipes and what's happened in her life.  She is The Iron Blogger!  :)

I've learned so much from Dorothy and thankful that I met her in blogger land...

Please check out Dorothy's blog when you can...You won't be disappointed.  Ever. 

Creamy lemony cookies with tart raspberry centers. 

I'm sharing this over at Cake of the Week's Baking with Spirit Challenge for May: Limoncello

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