Oatmeal Date Cookies

Oatmeal Date Cookies

I do not like raisins. They are one of the foods that sit pretty high on my short list of dislikes. This means I never eat oatmeal raisin cookies. I consider it a loss to have to cut out an entire type of cookie from my diet. An oatmeal cookie has so many desireable qualities. Deep carmelized sugar and chewy baked oats make for a delicious combination.

With a large container of fresh dates and lack of ideas to use them for, along came these cookies. I chopped up the dates to resemble a raisin, then replaced the raisins in my cookie batter. Let’s just say I made up for the many years of missed cookies by almost eating the entire batch alone.

Despite my disfavor to the original dried fruit, I can confidently say that this version of an oatmeal cookie is superior. The fresh dates add even more deep dark caramel flavor to the already oey gooey cookie. Please let me know what you think of this much needed upgrade.

Oatmeal Date Cookies

Category: Sweet Recipes

Oatmeal Date Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Of Softened Butter
  • 1 Cup of Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Dates
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon of Molasses
  • 1 1/2 Cups of AP Flour
  • 3 Cups of Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and two sugars.
  4. While butter and sugar creams, in a bowl mix together the remaining dry ingredients. Set aside.
  5. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and molasses.
  6. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until well combined and dough is formed. Finish by hand mixing in the chopped dates.
  7. Chill the dough for 30 minutes before baking.
  8. When ready to bake, roll out balls of dough and place of cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown on top and crispy on the edges.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2020/03/28/oatmeal-date-cookies/

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Apple Walnut French Toast

Apple Walnut French Toast

Yes I know that everyone is eating healthy and looking for healthy recipes, but I also know that everyone needs a cheat day. Breakfast is the best food of all, so you should cheat with this recipe. At least I did because – can you really say no to soft and chewy, warm, sticky sweet, crunchy French toast fresh out of the oven?

Today’s recipe is extra easy for the user. You can prep the french toast the night before and place it in the fridge until the morning. Who wants to wake up extra early to make a meal? As much as I try to be a good southern wife, sometimes it is not always possible. With this recipe wake up late and throw on some coffee while you bake the bread.

It is just as delicious if you make it the same day. The last time I prepared it I threw it together in a flash the morning of for a late Saturday morning breakfast.

Apple is added for its natural sweetness and walnuts for the earthy crunch. French toast always need some texture to make it truly delicious. Whipped cream is option for this one, but the cinnamon is not. You cannot bake an apple without cinnamon.

Per usual, with this recipe you can substitute whatever you like. Take out the walnuts and replace the apple with blueberry. Use pecans to make the dish extra southern. The breakfast possibilies are bountiful.

Apple Walnut French Toast

Category: Uncategorized

Apple Walnut French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 Loaf of Challah Bread, sliced
  • 1 Cup of Walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 Cups of Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 6 Eggs
  • 3 Apples, peeled and diced
  • For the Crumble Topping:
  • 1/2 Cup of Flour
  • 3/4 Cup of Toasted Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of Room Temperature Butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Evenly arrange the bread slices in and 8x8 baking pan. Set aside
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla. Pour over bread.
  4. Layer in the chopped walnuts and apples between the slices.
  5. Make the crumble by cutting the butter into the flour. Mix in the remaining ingredients by hand until the mixture looks thick and crumbly.
  6. Evenly top French toast with the crumble.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes. If crumble begins to brown, cover with foil to reduce darkening.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2020/01/14/apple-walnut-french-toast/

Check out this varation to breakfast

 

Cranberry Brownies

Cranberry Brownies

I am the first to admit that I prefer boxed brownies to homemade. It is so difficult to achieve a gooey fudgy brownie when making it from scratch. Something about the boxed version provides consistent results.

My joy partially results from the deep nostalgia that occurs when I smell a bit of betty crocker wafting from the oven. A quick and easy box brownie was a go to treat from my childhood.

Today I am offering up a fudgy homemade brownie recipe that works. The partial reason this recipe works is because of the addition of fresh cranberries. The moisture in the fruit keeps everything from drying out.

Who knew that the simple toss in of fresh cranberry could take a brownie over the edge. It is the perfect counterpoint to the dark decadent chocolate. With each bite you get a pop of tart fruit.

I present the adult brownie. Still soft like classic but made from scratch instead of poured from a cardboard box. The cranberry doesnt hurt.

If you want a darker brownie use dutch process cocoa and/or dark chocolate chips.

Share these brownies with a loved one, co-worker, friend…or just enjoy them all yourself. They are the perfect quick and easy treat for the holidays.

Cranberry Brownies

Category: Sweet Recipes

Cranberry Brownies

Ingredients

  • 2 Sticks Of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/4 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 6 Ounces of Fresh Cranberries
  • 2 Cups of Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine butter and semi- sweet chocolate. Melt it in the microwave, 30 seconds at time stirring in between. Set aside once it is fully melted and combined.
  4. In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in the melted chocolate, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until fully combined.
  6. Finish by folding in the cranberries.
  7. Pour the batter into pan. Smooth out the top.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2019/12/20/cranberry-brownies/

Cheesecake Stuffed Panettone

Cheesecake Stuffed Panettone

With Christmas only two weeks away I am in full holiday mode. For me that means baking as many seasonal treats as possible. Since Thanksgiving I have managed to cover almost every holiday staple in the kitchen.

I cannot think of a more Christmas dessert than Panettone – a strange Italian sweet bread version of fruit cake, yet it is nothing like fruit cake. It is airy and buttery with a light peppering of dried fruits. I am not going to pretend like I have ever attempted to bake one. You see bread is kinda my kryptonite. But making a solid dessert doesn’t always require making it fully yourself.

This recipe cuts down some of the effort by using a premade panettone. Like puff pastry, there are just some ingredients that are worth buying premade. It also ensures consistency.

This time of year you can find the bread almost anywhere. You can even find them with variations like pistachio and chocolate

The idea is to gently remove the inside of the panettone, laquer it with egg wash, bake it, then stuff it with cheesecake. Simple right? It really is.

The finished cake is a show stopping and unique dessert. It has a fluffy creamy vanilla inside with a golden brown and carmalized chewy shell. Every few bites you will get a pop of tart dry fruit.

 

Cheesecake Stuffed Panettone

Category: Sweet Recipes

Cheesecake Stuffed Panettone

Ingredients

  • 1 Panttone
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tablespoons of Butter, melted
  • 12 Ounces of Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 Cup of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice the lid off of the panettone and gently hollow out the center.
  3. Coat the outside of the panettone in the melted butter then wrap with foil.
  4. Use the egg the create an egg wash, then egg wash the center of the panettone.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Prepare the filling.
  8. Whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  9. In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, zest from the lemon, juice from the lemon, and vanilla.
  10. Mix until fully combined.
  11. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, 1/3 at a time.
  12. Pour in cheesecake into the center of the cooled panettone.
  13. Allow to set for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2019/12/14/cheesecake-stuffed-panettone/

For another great holiday dessert click Here

 

Butternut, Burrata, and Rye Pie

Butternut, Burrata, and Rye Pie

For the past week I have been posting unique recipes to wow your guests this holiday season. I like the idea of taking a classic recipe and imparting a slight twist–just enough to make the consumers say, “What is that?”

What better way to end the week leading up to Thanksgiving than with my favorite pie of the series. This recipe, a Butternut Squash and Burrata swirled pie on a Rye crust, takes a classic pie recipe and transforms it into something completely new.  I often find butternut squash and pumpkin pies way too sweet. Besides cutting back on the sugar, the best way to combat their sweeties is to add some savory ingredients.

The recipe for the butternut filling stands up on its own, so if you are not that adventurous you can always leave out the burrata. You will be left with a pie that is an upgraded version of the classic.

The crust is a classic pie crust recipe with a bit of rye flour substituted for the all purpose flour. Burrata is an ultra creamy mozzarella cheese with a very mild flavor. It makes for the perfect addition to swirl into the silky sweet butternut custard. This is a pie for those who don’t eat desserts because they find them too sickly-sweet.

Make this recipe for your thanksgiving feast and you will surely inspire your family.

Butternut, Burrata, and Rye Pie

Category: Uncategorized

a slice of pie

Ingredients

  • For the pie crust:
  • 1 Stick of Cold Unsalted Butter, cubed
  • 1 Cups of AP Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Rye Flour
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of Iced Water
  • For the Custard:
  • 1/2 Cups Of Roasted Butternut Squash
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup of Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Ground Ginger
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 16 Ounces of Burrata

Instructions

  1. At least one hour before baking the pie, prepare the pie crust.
  2. Start by combining the two flours and salt in a small mixing bowl. Mix until evenly combined.
  3. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter. You want the butter to resemble small peas.
  4. Next pour in one to two tablespoons of water.
  5. Gently begin kneeling the dough together until a dough of ball forms. Add more water if needed.
  6. After a ball is formed, wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. After at least an hour, turn the pie dough out onto a well floured surface.
  9. Roll into a 12 inch round for a 9 inch pie pan.
  10. Gently transfer into the pie pan, crimp the edges, and poke holes into the bottom with a fork.
  11. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights.
  12. Par-bake the pie crust for approximately 15 minutes.
  13. While the crust bakes, prepare your filling.
  14. In a food processor combine all of the ingredients, except for the burrata, for the filling.
  15. Puree until filling is smooth.
  16. Pour filling into your partially baked pie crust.
  17. Bake the custard for approximately 30 minutes. After thirty minutes crumble the burrata over the top then swirl into the custard.
  18. Return to the oven to finish cooking the pie for an additional 15 minutes.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2019/11/27/butternut-burrata-and-rye-pie/

For another cool burrata baked good, click here.

Honey Carrot Cake

Honey Carrot Cake

If I were to name one cake that epitomizes southern desserts my pick would be carrot cake. Chess pie could be said to hold the spot for the pie category, and peach cobbler for something in between the two.

You may consider a different cake to fit the textbook definition of southern, but for me carrot cake was always a family favorite. Throughout my life (and throughout most celebratory tables) a carrot cake was alway present.

Such an old recipe has a debatable origin. It is not debated that it origins began it another country and eventually grew and changed in the States. Traditionally the sponge includes shredded carrots and nuts and smeared with a creamed cheese icing.

With such a traditional cake, it is hard to find a unique or delicious variation on the classic version. I find keeping the modification simple will result in the best results. An easy variation on the tradition is the use of honey to sweeten the cake. Of course, I prefer local honey since Savannah has such good procurers like Capital Bee Company.

To push the variation a bit more, I added orange zest and a bit of orange juice to the cream cheese icing. The citrus brightens up the soulful cake.

Honey Carrot Cake

Category: Sweet Recipes

Honey Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Honey
  • Grated Carrots
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 1/2 Cups of AP Flour
  • Zest and Juice from One Orange
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Stick of Butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla
  • 3 Cups of Grated Carrots
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • For the icing:
  • 15 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 4 Cups of Powdered Sugar
  • Zest From One Orange
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Orange Juice

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease and flour two eight inch cake pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In the mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Make sure the honey is fully combined.
  5. Gently, a portion at a time, whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  6. After the batter is fully combined and smooth, fold in the carrots and walnuts.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans.
  8. Bake on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Approximately 40 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile make the frosting.
  10. In a stand mixer beat together the cream cheese and sugar, adding the sugar a little at a time.
  11. Finish by mixing in the zest and orange juice.
  12. Allow the cakes to cool fully before icing the cake with the frosting.
  13. Garnish with sliced oranges if preferred.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2019/11/21/honey-carrot-cake/

Fig Jam Two Ways

Fig Jam Two Ways

Before moving to Savannah, I had never eaten a fig. I had never even had access to a fig. That all changed with my husband’s family.

My husband grew up with a fig tree in his grandmother’s yard. And to say the least, his family adores figs. Despite the family access, I personally have found it difficult to locate fresh figs when they are in season each year. I look and look, hoping to score a container of the soft sweet fruit to bake with.

As you can imagine, anytime I actually spot them in the store…I go a bit crazy. This year when I purchased more fresh figs than I knew what to do with. I ended up with more than I could reasonably cook with.

What does any true southerner do with an excess of fresh summer produce? Jam it or can it. That ways in the depths of a cold grey winter (which does not happen in the low country) you can whip out a jar of preserved summer stock to warm your bones.

There were so many fresh figs in my kitchen, I was able to make two batches of fig jam. One traditional, but with brown sugar instead of white, and one a little jazzed up with a hint of chai tea. The subtle warm flavors of chai is the perfect accompaniment to the fresh sweet fruit.

Making jam is easy. You combine everything into a pot and let it simmer away until ooey gooey and cooked down. If you do not feel like taking on the heavy burden of canning the jam, you can always freeze it for up to six months.

For another fig recipe click: here.

Fig Jam Two Ways

Category: Sweet Recipes

the pot of cooked jam

Ingredients

  • 2 Pound of Fresh Figs, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Brown Sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • For the Chai Fig Jam:
  • Add 3 Bags of Chai Tea

Instructions

  1. For the traditional fig jam:
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, figs, sugar, and lemon.
  3. Over medium heat, bring up to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for one hour.
  5. Placed finished cooled jam in jars to can or freeze.
  6. For the chai fig jam:
  7. Start by steeping the tea bags in the water. Bring the water to simmer over medium heat then turn the heat off. Allow the bags to steep for ten minutes.
  8. After steeped, add your remaining ingredients.
  9. Over medium heat, bring up to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
  10. Simmer for one hour.
  11. Remove the tea bag before placing finished cooled jam in jars to can or freeze.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2019/08/15/fig-jam-two-ways/

Lemon & Pineapple Sage Chess Pie

Lemon & Pineapple Sage Chess Pie

The history of the chess pie is debatable. Many contribute its origin to England, but those who have lived in the south their entire lives know it is as southern as peach pie.

To describe the many variations of chess pie that I have tasted, I would sum up the experience as a pecan pie without the pecans, and in their place, a little bit of cream. Just like a pecan pie, chess pie is one of the easiest pies you can make. Almost impossible to muck up.

A flaky tender crust sits at the base of the custard-like filling. And because the filling is so neutral, you can flavor the pie with almost anything.

Chess pie is sometimes referred to as buttermilk pie or vinegar pie.

For my summer version, I went with lemons and fresh pineapple sage from the garden. The custard is made using fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. I add in pineapple sage by seeping cream with it and using it throughout the recipe.

This recipe comes from my mom’s favorite community cookbook and gets an update. Here is another recipe that I did the same thing with.

I always make my own pie crust because the taste is so much better than store-bought. A ratio of half butter and half lard is my preference for fat. You are your own baker, so use any recipe for a crust that you like or even use a premade one!

1X4A1469

Lemon Chess Pie

Category: Recipes, Sweet Recipes

Lemon Chess Pie

Ingredients

  • For Pie Crust:
  • 2 1/2 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 Cup of Cold Lard
  • 4 to 8 Tablespoons of Ice Water
  • For Pie:
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1 Tablespoon of Flour
  • 3 Teaspoons of Grated Lemon Zest
  • 3/4 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Cup of Melter Butter
  • 1/4 Cup of Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup of Pineapple Sage

Instructions

  1. First make the pie crust.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the crust.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter and lard. You want the crumbs to resemble various sized beans.
  4. Once the crumbs are at the desired size, pour in 4 tablespoons of the ice water.
  5. Gently begin to press the dough together to form a ball. If more water is needed ad it.
  6. Once you have a ball of pie dough formed, divide it into two.
  7. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and allow them to rest for at least one hour in the fridge.
  8. Save the second ball of dough for another use.
  9. After the pie dough has chilled and rested, begin making your pie.
  10. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Roll out one of the balls of dough, on a well floured surface, to a 12 inch circle. This is for a 9 inch pie pan.
  12. Place the pie crust into the pie pan, then form edges to your desired design.
  13. Poke holes in the bottom of the crust, then weight it down with parchment paper and pie weights.
  14. Bake the crust for approximately 15 minutes.
  15. Once baked removed the crust from oven, remove the pie weights, and set aside.
  16. Make the pie filling.
  17. Steep the pineapple sage in the heavy cream by placing the two in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Steep for approximately 10 minutes, and do not allow the cream to come to a boil.
  18. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  19. In a mixing bowl, combine your sugar, flour, and cornmeal.
  20. Stir the eggs into the dry mixture, one at time. Mixing each until well combined.
  21. Whisk in the melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1/4 cup of the steeped cream.
  22. Pour filling mixture into the pie crust, and bake for 1 hour.
  23. If your pie crust starts to brown, cover with foil.
  24. To finish the pie, whisk the remaining steeped cream until a medium stiffness whipped cream is formed.
  25. Spread whipped cream over the top of the cooled pie and garnish with chopped pineapple sage.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2019/06/26/lemon-pineapple-sage-chess-pie/

1X4A1456

Key Lime Pie Poke Cake

Key Lime Pie Poke Cake

As you probably guessed, Key Lime Pie (and key limes) come from the Keys. Many southerners consider the Florida line to be the official end of the south, but it is south of the Mason-Dixon so it counts.

When key lime pie is done right (i.e. made with key limes) it can be magical. Refreshing yet sweet, and creamy and cool.

All of the traditional Savannah restaurants offer some version of key lime pie on their dessert menu. When I speak of traditional Savannah restaurants I am referring to the ones that have been around forever, like the Olde Pink House or Garibaldi’s.

Since summer has officially begun in Savannah, it felt natural to make a southern dessert that is inspired by the season. Note: it is not officially summer, but when you live this deep in the south, the heat makes it feel like summer arrives early.

And to be completely honest, I did not feel like making a pie crust so baking a version of the dessert without a pie crust was my approach for this one. What is just as good a pie crust? Cake!

The base flavors/components for key lime pie recipes are always the same, key limes, graham cracker, and meringue. This recipe includes all of the essential components. A graham cracker cake, key lime pudding, toasted meringue, and a graham cracker crumb.

As for a poke cake, the concept is simple. Bake a one-layer cake in a cake pan and once it is cool poke holes into and pour something delicious over the cake. I finish my version off with a slathering of meringue and a blow torch.

Key Lime Pie Poke Cake

Category: Recipes, Sweet Recipes

Key Lime Pie Poke Cake

Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 8 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Whole Milk
  • 12 Graham Crackers, processed into crumbs
  • For the Pudding:
  • 4 Limes or 12 Key Limes
  • 2 Cups of Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2/3 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Eggs Yolks
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
  • 4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • For the Meringue:
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • 1 Cup of Sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a square baking pan by greasing it and coating in flour. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter to start making the cake batter. Once combined, cream for approximately 4 minutes on medium speed or until butter is light and fluffy.
  3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining wet ingredients.
  5. With the mixer on medium, pour in 1/3 of your dry ingredients, followed by 1/3 of your wet ingredients, and continue until all of the ingredients are fully combined and well mixed.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepare cake pan. Bake, on the middle rack, for 30-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool while you prepare the pudding.
  8. First zest half of your limes, then set the zest to the side.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the milk for the pudding, the heavy cream, and the juice from all of the limes. Set aside.
  10. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and limes zest. Whisk together. Next add in the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
  11. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture and stir until smooth.
  12. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick. This should take approximatley 10 minutes. The mixture will coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  13. Remove the pudding from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is melted and combined.
  14. Allow the pudding to cool while you prepare the meringue.
  15. In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Turn the stove to medium-high heat.
  16. Cook the sugar until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
  17. While the sugar is cooking, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  18. With the mixer on low, carefully and very slowly pour the cooked sugar down the side of the mixing bowl.
  19. Once the sugar syrup is fully poured in, increase the mixer speed to medium and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  20. Assemble the cake by poking holes into the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.
  21. Pour over the lime pudding, spreading until the pudding fills all of the holes.
  22. Finish by gently spreading the meringue over the top of the cake. You can toast the meringue with a torch.
  23. Optional: Top each slice with a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2019/05/26/key-lime-pie-poke-cake/

 

Bourbon & Butterscotch Eclair Cake

Bourbon & Butterscotch Eclair Cake

I assume you are asking yourself—how is an Éclair Cake southern?

The cake itself is not southern, but its source is. For many of us southerners, especially older generations, beloved recipes were sourced from community cookbooks. A community cookbook is just that, a collection of local recipes submitted by locals and compiled by a local a organization (the Junior League is a popular source) or a church. Each recipe contains the name of the submitter and a blurb about the recipe. Readers will usually multiple variations for one type of recipe. You may find three different recipes for pimento cheese. And almost always the finished book is spiral bound.

In my childhood home there was one community cookbook that my mom sourced everything from: Dogwood Delights. You will notice that this book was put together by Atlanta’s Telephone Pioneers of America. My mom worked in Atlanta for BellSouth when I was a child. I remember going to the big city of Atlanta and eating at the Varsity on special days I was allowed to go to work with her.

Every time we made red velvet cake for Christmas, the book came out of the cupboard. Luckily, my grandmother was kind enough to give me her copy as a source of inspiration. So when I make red velvet cake there is only one place to go.


Often times when I am looking for a source of inspiration in a bake or covered dish I want to bring to my next family gathering I pull out my old, dusty copy.

For me, and for so many, community cookbooks are a conservation of history. A memento of time, experience, and culture of a community. Generations of experience are contained in-between two covers which makes for a great resource to young and old cooks alike.

Although community cookbooks provided a wealth of information to homemakers and small town cooks (because they were popular long before the internet), so many of the submissions lack direction. If you are experienced baker or cook like me, it is no problem to fill in the gaps but not every person in the kitchen has that experience. For those who do not know to cream together your butter and eggs when making the batter for a cake, the gaps can be tricky.

My intention is to not only preserve the recipes so many southerners rely on, but to update them into a modern form. By update I do not mean changing the dish into something totally different, I mean raising it into its adult self.

Let this first recipe be the example. I found this recipe by thumbing through and liked it. As I mentioned before, there were about 10 different versions of the cake listed.

A picture of the original recipe
As you can see, this recipe calls for a bunch of premade items. Instant pudding, frozen whipped cream, etc. An update is simple, make everything you can from scratch…within reason. I will not be making homemade graham crackers.

I made a homemade bourbon butterscotch pudding out of homemade caramel, a homemade ganache for the top, and a homemade whipped cream. The southern in me felt the need to splash in bourbon instead of rum for the butterscotch.

Ta-dah! This community cookbook submission is brought into the 21st century.

Go out and find your own community cookbook. A good place to start is an old bookstore or my favorite—a yard sale.

A fork full of finished cake

Bourbon & Butterscotch Eclair Cake

Category: Recipes

Presentation of the entire finished cake in its dish

Ingredients

  • For the pudding:
  • 1 1/3 Cup of Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • 3 Cups of Heavy Cream, divided
  • 2 Cups of Milk
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
  • 4 Large Egg Yolks
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons of Bourbon
  • For the rest of the cake:
  • 1 Box of Graham Crackers
  • 10 Ounces of Dark Chocolate
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Cream

Instructions

  1. First make the butterscotch pudding.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, and salt. Heat over medium-high heat and cook the mixture, without stirring, until it is dark brown. This should take 8-10 minutes.
  3. Whisk in 2 cups of cream and the milk, stir until fully combined. Bring the mixture back up to a boil.
  4. While you bring the mixture back up to a boil, prepare your eggs.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and cornstarch.
  6. Temper the eggs by adding on spoonful at a time of heated milk mixture into the egg mixture, bringing the eggs up to the temperature of the milk. Stirring as you add.
  7. Once eggs are tempered, pour the heated egg mixture into the medium saucepan.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook the custard, stirring constantly, until it is thick and coats the back of a spoon. This should only take a few minutes.
  9. Once thickened, whisk in the butter and then the rum.
  10. Set aside to let the pudding cool for at least one hour before using.
  11. Once the pudding is cool make the remaining cake.
  12. Heat one cup of heavy cream, over medium heat, in a small saucepan.
  13. Place the dark chocolate into a mixing bowl, then pour over the simmering cream.
  14. Let sit until the chocolate melts.
  15. While the chocolate melts, whisk 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into whipped cream. You want a firm whipped cream.
  16. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled pudding, a 1/3 at a time.
  17. By this time the chocolate should be melted, whisk together the cream and chocolate until a smooth and shiny ganache forms.
  18. Now you are ready to assemble the cake.
  19. Place an even layer of graham crackers into the bottom of a 9x9 cake pan, or similar dish of your choice.
  20. Next pour in 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Layer with more graham crackers, then the next 1/3 of pudding. Add another layer of graham crackers and then the final layer of pudding.
  21. Finish the cake with a top layer of graham crackers, then pour your genache over the top layer of graham crackers.
  22. Allow the cake to set in the fridge for several hours before serving.
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