Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Girlie Mummy Cookies For Halloween

It's no secret I like to create gross treats for Halloween. My hunks of flesh rice krispie treats and severed tongue truffles are good examples.

This year I leaned more toward the fun. So girly mummies were born, complete with eyelashes and pink bows.

I used some leftover sugar cookie dough and homemade marshmallow fondant to create the cookies. After baking the cookies, I rolled out the white fondant and cut out circles using the same circle cutter. Brushing a thin coat of royal icing (also leftover) on the surface of the cookie perfectly adhered the fondant circles to the cookies. The rest of the white fondant was cut into strips and placed haphazardly on the fondant base. I used different color fondant to form the lips, eyes, eyelashes and bow.

Then I did what I haven't done in a long time. I disco dusted them. And it felt good. I've missed my crazy sparkle binges.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Macaron Monday: Flashback to Pierced Tongue Halloween French Macarons

For Today's Macaron Monday, I'm reaching back to last year's Halloween inspiration with these freaky and fun pierced tongue French macarons.

To create them, I tinted the shells black with paste food coloring and colored the vanilla buttercream filling red. Homemade marshmallow fondant was shaped to create the tongues which were then accented with a silver dragee to simulate a piercing.

For all the recipes and instructions. Click over to the original post. They take some time to create but the reactions are worth it. If I were to do them over again, I would add a dab of licorice flavor to the shells.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blushing Girl Dessert - Whipped Red Currant Cream

I'm taking a break today from seasonal black and orange to bring you the pink today. 

This light and fluffy dessert recipe sports a charming name, "Errötendes Mädchen" in German, meaning blushing girl. The hint of pink color in the dessert created by adding red currant jelly is what gives this whipped treat it's moniker.

Raw egg whites combined with powdered sugar and red currant jelly and are whipped for a good amount of time until fluffy. Unflavored gelatin is then added to give the dessert it's heft.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween 2014 Candy Roundup & Review

Every Halloween I buy a bag of candy corn. Or two. I admit I have a huge weakness for candy corn. This year, when purchasing my candy corn, I noticed I had a choice of flavors like S'mores and Pumpkin Spice. What?  Then I started to notice a deluge of different and crazy candy flavors for the season. Out of curiosity I snagged several unique items I had never seen before.

Some of this Halloween/Fall candy is strange. Some downright scary.  Of course my idea for this post was probably just a huge excuse to buy a ton of Halloween candy. We have no trick or treaters expected at our door because we live in a brownstone in NYC where all apartments in the building are child free. We're also never at our house in Pennsylvania at Halloween (the East village is so much more fun) so there have been no opportunities to hand out candy to the locals there.

Below is my unbiased review of sampling what's on offer this year. I am sure I missed out on several new products, but since I am trick or treater challenged, I had to limit myself to what I could unload on co-workers and take to parties.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Macarons Monday: Caraway Seed French Macarons with Tangerine Marmalade Filling

When it comes to creating French Macaron flavors, Kalustyan's is the gift that just keeps on giving. 

Picking up several different powders from a shopping spree there several weeks ago really inspired me. The result has been some really fantastic macaron flavors.

These delicious caraway flavored shells paired perfectly with sweet tangerine flavor provided a lovely jar of marmalade. The shells would work with so many other fillings. Chocolate or strawberry are the other ideas I briefly flirted with. However, I was happy I settled down with tangerine's sexy citrusy taste.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chocolate Dipped Almond Apricot Bear Claw Cookies and a Beautiful Madeleines Baking Book

It was a small coincidence this beautiful Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake & Share recipe book by Quirk Books arrived just as I was working on a recipe for bear claw cookies.

Barbara Feldman Morse's book is absolutely gorgeous. From sweet chai tea madeleines to a savory pine nut pesto version, her creative recipes elevate these lovely French origin tea cakes to an art form. The book will be officially released on October 21st. I've already earmarked some favorites, including Hazelnut and Frangelico madeleines to make for the holidays.

Regarding these bear claw cookies, I had already figured out the recipe. However, the book had some great tips in it for using the pan as well as different methods for making madeleines and tips to make perfect results.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Homemade Amaretto Spice Pumpkin Butter

So all those pumpkins I roasted and made puree out of awhile back?  Except for the Tarragon Roasted Pumpkin Hummus I made, it all went into the freezer for future use.

Last weekend I was thinking about how I've always wanted to make pumpkin butter. So I defrosted a bunch of the puree and started to experiment. 

Amaretto flavor inspired me because I had a surplus of a homemade version on hand and, of course, always have almond flour for my obsessive French macaron making.

At first I wasn't sure about the pumpkin amaretto flavor combination.  However, adding the agave and vanilla better defined the taste and seemed to smooth it out. 

Mix with vanilla ice cream, greek yogurt or spread on a cracker. There are so many uses for this delicious pumpkin butter. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Macaron Monday: Chia Seed French Macarons with Date Syrup Buttercream Filling

It was only a matter of time before these healthy little chia seeds made it into a French macaron shell in my kitchen.

A bag of chia seeds were actually sitting right next to the jar of date syrup which is what gave me the idea for this French Macaron flavor combo.

Seems like they just magically migrated to one another when my back was turned. I would like to think so anyway. 

I bought that little jar of date syrup a few months ago intending to use it for something Thanksgiving-y.

Oh well.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Cookies

These beauties are perfect for fall. They have the light feel of a meringue but are dense and nutty as well.

Called "Hazelnuss Makronen" in German, these lovely, tasty cookies are very easy to make, but you do have to bake them at a low temperature for a much longer time than non-meringue cookies.

These might or might not be even better with a little schmear of Nutella on their flat side before indulging. Just sayin' 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Leaf Shaped Treats for Fall

The leaves are a falling. The fall colors are spectacular and I am once again obsessed with my collection of leaf-shaped cookie cutters. My collection includes many different sizes and shapes. 

Using oak, maple or aspen shapes, here are some fun ways to add fall fun and fantastic flavor to your harvest table.

Colorful Fall Leaves Sugar Cookies
Tinting sugar cookie dough fall colors, mix together and add some sugar sparkle before baking.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Macaron Monday: Black Walnut French Macarons with Red Currant Jam Filling

We have several black walnut trees on our Pennsylvania property. Each year as the nuts fall, I say to myself, "Self, please collect those nuts and do something with them". 

Sadly, that never happens. It's not like they're hard to miss. Sections of our property are like a hard hat zone. This year I not only missed the black walnuts, but the shag bark hickory nuts as well. We have two of those trees. I was told those nuts make a great nut milk.  Oh well.

Enter Kalustyan's. On my flavor powder spending spree there a few weeks ago, I bought this lovely black walnut powder. Such a great fall flavor for a French macaron.

Friday, October 3, 2014

German Honey Cake (Honigkuchen)

Sometimes delicious things dovetail together. For example.

I was working on a recipe for German Honey Cake for my German Food Page over at and was lamenting the lack of candied fruit in my cabinets and in the local supermarkets. 

Enter Paradise Candied Fruit Company, who coincidentally contacted me a few days later and asked me if I would like to try their product. Wow. perfect timing. Problem Solved.

When these gorgeous, tasty fruit jewels arrived, I was excited to use them in my recipe. They were just what it needed. They taste great, work well in baking and can be used to beautifully decorate any dessert.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tarragon Roasted Pumpkin hummus

This hummus is so easy to make but I had a hard time making it. 

A few weeks ago I collect four of the cutest sugar pumpkins ever to eventually roast. To save room on the kitchen counters, I placed them around the fireplace in the living room. So cute and Fall-ee. 

I kept postposing sacrificing them to the oven because they made me happy looking at them just where they were.  

Last weekend I was hit with the cold hard reality the clock is running out in my herb garden. this fact finally propelled me into roasting them. Albeit with a tear in my eye.

Once I was at it I couldn't stop. I was a pumpkin roasting maniac. I roasted all four of the little beauties, puréed the flesh and roasted the seeds.