Sunday, April 14, 2013

Strawberry Tart

Spring is such a beautiful season with all the colorful flowers blooming and the fresh spring vegetables and fruits. One of my favorite fruits are strawberries with their sweet taste and bright red color. This is a perfect time for a strawberry tart made with Mascarpone cheese, which is an Italian cream cheese. This cheese has a slight richer and luscious taste to it then regular cream cheese. The tart recipe is easy and only has 3 parts to it. Here goes:


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons honey


8 ounces Mascarpone, at room temperature
2 tablespoons low-fat milk, room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest


2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
1 1/2 tablespoon honey


For the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with nonstick spray.  In a small bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat butter, and sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, then beat in honey. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture just until combined.

Use a piece of parchment paper to press dough evenly in the bottom and up the sides of prepared tart pan, then prick dough all over with a fork. Bake for 16 minutes, until crust is golden. Cool completely on wire rack.

For the filling, in a food processor combine Mascarpone, milk, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest and process until fluffy.

To assemble tart, spoon filling into cooled tart shell and spread into an even layer with an offset spatula. Arrange strawberries over filling in a decorative pattern. Place honey in a small bowl and heat in the microwave until melted, about 10 seconds. Use a pastry brush to brush glaze over strawberries. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Yield - 8 servings

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

If you love chocolate and mint, you will love this cookie. It taste like the chocolate thin mint cookie, that the girl scouts sale every year, but better. It's an easy recipe with only two tablespoons of butter and it is important to remember to chill the dough until firm about 15 minutes.
The recipe makes 12 large cookies and it is so rich and decadent, only one cookie can satisfy that chocolate craving. This is definitely a keeper recipe that you would want to make again and again!


6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet (60%) chocolate, chopped
into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup  white sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
one 4.67-ounce package chocolate mint thins, such as Andes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces


Preheat oven 300 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe small bowl and microwave for 1 minute and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, 2 tablespoons water, and vanilla.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, fold in the cooled chocolate using a spatula. Mix in the chocolate mint pieces. Chill dough to firm about 15 minutes.

Using a 1/4 cup to measure, drop 6 mounds of batter onto a baking sheet, spacing apart. Bake for 20 minutes and then on the other baking sheet, bake the other 6 mounds of batter for 20 minutes. Bake the cookies until slightly puffed and dry looking with some cracks on top. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to cooling rack (cookies may deflate slightly as they cool).


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chocolate Cobbler

How about a decadent chocolate cobbler for two for Valentine's Day!
The recipe is easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already.
Since this dessert is for two, you would need a small dish like a vegetable bowl to bake it in. This cobbler is like a brownie that comes with its own chocolate sauce.
It is rich and mouthwatering and it is perfect for chocolate lovers, and it's Valentine's Day, so enjoy!


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
4 tablespoons cocoa powder (divided use)
5 tablespoons milk
9 tablespoons sugar (divided use)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup hot water (microwaved)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a small ceramic dish that has a 1 1/2 cup capacity.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, espresso powder and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder. Stir in the milk, 5 tablespoons of sugar, butter, and vanilla. The batter will be very thick. Spread it in an even layer in the baking dish.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 4 tablespoons of sugar and brown sugar, Sprinkle this over the batter.
Pour the hot water on top of everything, but DO NOT STIR.
Bake the cobbler on a small sheet pan to catch any overflows for 35 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!