Love and Confections: June 2014

June 27, 2014

Nectarine, Plum and Blueberry Crisp

These are the perfect crisps for fresh fruit from the farmer's market.

I love going to the farmer's market on the weekend. It has locally-grown produce, baked goods, fresh kettle corn and other vendors selling jewelry, homemade soaps, and even plants and flowers.

It is located right next to a water park that is a great spot for kids and toddlers to run around and play on hot Summer days. There is a little old couple that sells freshly squeezed lemonade and it is amazing. They squeeze the lemons right in front of you, pour it over ice, add in simple syrup and a cherry on top - perfection!

June 26, 2014

Loaded Potato Breakfast Gnocchi #FWCon

 Loaded Potato Breakfast Gnocchi is a new way to enjoy potatoes in the morning. Add eggs and tomato and you will have a great start to your day.

I love cooking with people. Being in the kitchen is more fun when you are doing what you love with family and friends. One of my friends, David, is an awesome cook. We share a love of Alton Brown, kitchen gadgets and all things butter. For this recipe, we bounced ideas off each other and had a few different attempts that were delicious fails.

These gnocchi are fabulous! I love the additions of bacon and cheese - makes it different than a normal gnocchi. I also added heavy cream, an egg and cream cheese to help make it a smooth and light texture. This is also a great base recipe for other add-ins. I have also been brainstorming a cheddar and chive gnocchi, as well as a sweet dessert gnocchi!

June 23, 2014

Thai Tea Blondies with Sweetened Condensed Milk Frosting #FWCon

Thai Tea Blondies with Sweetened Condensed Milk Frosting is the perfect dessert for Thai Tea lovers. 

So I had this idea. I wrote a recipe, baked and re-worked it a few times, and this is the result. It was like a little light-bulb turned on above my head. I love those light-bulb moments. Everything in the universe aligns and you have that one brilliant idea. Then I turned to the all powerful Google to see how many millions of people have already had their "Thai Tea Blondie light-bulb moment" but I didn't find any.

These Blondies embody what I love about Thai Tea. It already smells like a baked good when you brew it. I love the addition of sweetened condensed milk - my little piece of Heaven. Iced. Sweet. Delicious! I especially loved the bright orange color the tea mix gave to the blondies - not what you normally see in a baked good.

June 19, 2014

Guava and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake #BundtBakers

Guava Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a great treat for any day of the week!

This is my first #BundtBakers entry. I don't know why I didn't join earlier, because I really do love bundt cakes. Of course, when I told Mr L&C I was making a bundt cake, he immediately quoted the lines from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" - "This cake has a whole in it".

Growing up in Miami, guava pastelitos were everywhere and they were delicious! This cake reminds me of those treats, with the guava center and cream cheese frosting - a match made in heaven. This cake is a bit dense, like a pound cake, and I'm sure I will experiment more with this recipe in the future, but for now it satisfied my pastelito craving.

June 11, 2014

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

 Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins are the perfect way to get your veggies and have chocolate for breakfast!

There is nothing like a warm muffin right out of the oven. Seriously. It's almost too hot to handle but I do it anyway - and I hope I'm not the only one. As soon as it isn't lava flow hot, I grab one off the cooling rack and take a big bite.

If I happen to have the will power to let these muffins cool a bit, I usually cut them in half and add a small bit of butter. Butter melting on a hot muffin is mesmerizing. It slowly creeps into all those delicious nooks and crannies; pooling and moistening the muffin. If you're feeling adventurous - which you should be with muffins, of course - spread on some whipped cream cheese... oh my heaven, it's gloriously good.

June 5, 2014

How to Freeze Blueberries

1 comment:
  When you have a bunch of Blueberries, freeze them so you always have some on hand.

I recently went Blueberry picking. I go every year and I love it. There is nothing like a freshly picked blueberry, but when I pick at least 5 lbs at a time, I need a good way to store all those blue beauties. I went picking the second weekend of our season, so some of the bushes weren't completely ripe yet - that didn't deter me, because we still left with a huge amount.

June 2, 2014

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

 Red Velvet Sugar Cookies are perfect for any occasion or for a regular afternoon snack!

Yesterday was my little sister's 26th birthday. Since she lives a few states away I was not able to celebrate with her. She loves anything red velvet, so even though she couldn't actually eat these, I made her some cookies - then I enjoyed them in her honor. I mean, it was a total sacrifice, right. Here is your official welcome into your late twenties, KB. Hope you had an amazing day!

These Red Velvet Sugar Cookies are pretty easy to make, you just have to plan ahead a bit, because they need time to rest in the refrigerator. I have to admit, I did have one warm right out of the oven and I just loved how moist and deliciously chocolate it is.

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies
adapted from Cooking Classy
yield 25 cookies
Click here for printable recipe

Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Ingredients:
- 2 & ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
- 3 tablespoons Dark Cocoa Powder*
- 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
- 1 & ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup Shortening
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 large Eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 2 teaspoons liquid Red Food Coloring

Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the Flour, Cocoa Powder, Cornstarch, Baking Powder and Salt together ensuring there are no clumps. Set aside
2. In a stand mixer, beat the Butter, Shortening and Granulated Sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl to insure everything is combined.
3. Crack Eggs and on medium speed, add one in at a time, followed by the Vanilla Extract, and Lemon Juice. Scrape the sides of the bowl to insure everything is combined. On low, add in the Red Food Coloring.
4. While still on low, add the dry ingredients, ½ cup at a time. Once combined, scrape the sides of the bowl once more. The mixture needs to be refrigerated before baking. Either keep it in the same mixing bowl, or transfer to another bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
5. Heat oven to 375°F. Using a 2 tablespoon ice cream/cookie scoop, place them on cookie sheets prepared with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on the tray, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Do not frost cookies while still warm. Once frosted, can be stored at room temperature for 3 days.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract**
- 2 & ½ to 3 cups Powdered Sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the Cream Cheese and Butter until light and fluffy. Add in the Vanilla Extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed.
2. On low, add Powdered Sugar, ½ cup at a time. The amount depends on how sweet and thick you want your frosting.
3. Once the cookies are completely cool, frost with an offset spatula. You can leave plain or use sprinkles to jazz it up. Enjoy

* I only had Dark Cocoa Powder in the house when I made these. I would recommend using a lighter cocoa, so the red coloring really shows.
** For a brighter frosting, you can use Clear Vanilla Extract or even add in White Food Coloring.

Until next time,