Walnut Cake

Walnut Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup walnut pieces (ground to 1/2 cup walnut powder)
  2. 1 1/4 cup cake flour (divided, plus more for dusting pans)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 stick butter (softened, plus 1 tablespoon to grease pan)
  7. 1 cup sugar
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 orange (zested)
  11. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  12. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  13. powdered sugar (to dust)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease an 9-inch cake pan with butter and dust with flour and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor add the walnuts and 1/4 cup flour and pulse until finely ground to a powder. Remove from the processor to a large bowl and set aside. Wipe out the food processor.
  3. To the ground walnuts, add the remaining flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine.
  4. In the bowl of the food processor add the butter and sugar and pulse until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, vanilla, orange zest and maple syrup and process until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and pulse until just combined. While the machine is running, drizzle in the buttermilk and continue to process until the batter just comes together.
  6. Remove to the cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Remove to a baking rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Adapted from Carla Hall
Adapted from Carla Hall
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
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Ingredients
  1. 3 ripe bananas
  2. 2 eggs
  3. ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  4. ½ cup milk or almond milk
  5. ½ cup maple syrup
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  8. 3 tablespoons ground flax
  9. ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  10. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  11. ½ teaspoon salt
  12. ½ cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add eggs and combine thoroughly. Then mix together the remaining wet ingredients: Greek yogurt, milk, maple syrup and vanilla.
  3. Add in dry ingredients (flour, flax, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt) and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased muffin tin, filling each up about ⅔ full.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Heart-Shaped Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones

Heart-Shaped Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  2. 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
  7. 1 teaspoon (packed) grated orange peel
  8. 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  9. 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries
  10. 2/3 cup chilled buttermilk
  11. 1 large egg yolk
  12. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  13. 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  14. Milk (for glaze)
Instructions
  1. Butter and flour baking sheet.
  2. Whisk 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add butter and grated orange peel; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Mix in chocolate chips and dried cherries.
  3. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and almond extract in small bowl to blend.
  4. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; stir with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Press out dough on lightly floured surface to 3/4-inch thickness.
  5. Using 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out scones. Gather scraps, press out dough and cut out additional scones.
  6. Transfer to baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  8. Brush scones lightly with milk; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until scones are crusty on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes (or up to 20 minutes if refrigerated). Serve warm or at room temperature.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

French Apple Cake

French Apple Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 3 tablespoons dark rum
  8. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Instructions
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform on it.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  3. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they're foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it's fairly even.
  5. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it's fully opened, make sure there aren't any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
Notes
  1. The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream (vanilla or cinnamon).
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

A Rediscovered Recipe by Julie Busteed

It’s that rare but valuable experience – where you set off in search of one thing, and find something completely different. Such was the case during a recent recipe search.  I was given a large cardboard box full of cookbooks.  Or so I thought…

The box with filled with items from a dear friend of mine who had passed away last year.  She was a wonderful cook who also had the gift of hospitality. I was blessed to receive her cookbooks. What a treasure!  

LemonBars1Upon looking more closely, I discovered that the box contained not only cookbooks but also three ring binder notebooks where she kept all of her recipes from food magazines like Bon Appetit and Food and Wine.  While leafing through the notebooks I found that she kept a list of every dinner party she had hosted, who was there, and what she served.  Her journal was a gold mine of 25 years worth of dinner parties, with notes about what worked and what did not. Since we were often guests at her home, my name reappeared many times… the earlier entries dating back to before I was married.  I, of course, don’t remember exactly what she served at every meal, but my memories were of delicious evenings feeling loved and cared for. 

I had also been looking for a lemon bar recipe that I used to make, but couldn’t find in my own files. It was such a surprise to find a copy of my recipe in her files!  I hope that you enjoy this rediscovered favorite recipe!

Lemon Bars
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Crust
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1 cup butter
Filling
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 1/3 cup lemon juice
  4. 1/4 cup flour
  5. 1/2 t. baking powder
Crust
  1. Preheat over to 350 F.
  2. Sift the flour and sugar and cut with butter until it clings together. Press with a fork into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
Filling
  1. Beat eggs, lemon juice and sugar together. Sift flour and baking powder and stir into egg mixture. Pour over baked crust.
  2. Bake for 25 more minutes.
  3. Sift powdered sugar over top when ready to serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Parachute Bing Bread

Parachute Bing Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 1 T. sugar
  2. 1 cup warm water (100°F)
  3. 1 1/8 t. active dry yeast
  4. 1 t. kosher salt
  5. 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
  6. 1 T. toasted sesame oil, divided
  7. 8 slices thick cut bacon
  8. 1 medium russet potato, diced
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1 cup shredded white cheddar
  11. 3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  12. oil for pan frying
  13. 1/2 T. soy sauce
  14. 1/2 t. sugar
  15. 1 T. sesame seeds, divided
Instructions
  1. Stir together the warm water and sugar in a bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the salt and flour. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball with only a few dry spots. Move to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and proof until doubled in size, about 50-70 minutes.
  3. While the dough is rising, cook the bacon and potatoes. Cut the bacon into 1/4 inch pieces and cook over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Peel and dice the potato. Place in cold water in a small pot and bring to a boil, cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain well and cook in a touch of the bacon fat over medium heat until cooked through and crispy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  5. Once the dough has doubled, gently punch down and transfer to a generously floured surface. Knead, adding flour a tablespoon at a time if needed. Dough should be soft, pliable and slightly sticky. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and cover the pieces with plastic wrap.
  6. Take one dough piece, and on a floured surface, roll out until 1/4″ thick. Brush off excess flour and brush with toasted sesame oil and generously sprinkle with potato, bacon, cheese and scallions.
  7. Roll up, as you would a cinnamon or jelly roll and pinch to seal. Coil the roll into a spiral and gently flatten. Place on parchment paper, lightly dust with flour if needed and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  8. Whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl.
  9. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add a generous amount of oil and place 4 spirals into the skillet. Brush with soy glaze. Cover and cook until the underside is golden brown, 5-10 minutes, checking often. Uncover and flip, brushing with soy glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  10. Transfer the cast iron pan to the oven and bake until bottoms are brown and bread is cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Cover with foil if starting to brown to quickly.
Adapted from Parachute Restaurant via Bon Appetit / I Am A Food Blog
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Homespun by Anne Farnum

PoundcakeMy mom is a baker and has always been a baker…homemade only.  Scratch-made, homemade, homespun…call it what you would like but a box mix has never graced the shelves of my mother’s pantry or cabinets.
 
I know that time and memories can play tricks on you but I recall coming home every day from school and there being a fresh baked good waiting for me and my six siblings to enjoy.  The only prerequisite that my mom had was that we had to eat a bowl of cereal or a piece of fruit first.  I am now 47 years old, have four children of my own and my mom continues to bake almost daily.  In fact, my children walked to my parent’s house after school today and a pan of brownies were in the oven.  
 
When there is a family occasion, my mom is our go-to baker.  Whether it be a holiday, birthday, Big Game party or just a regular family dinner, it is her baked goods that are always the dessert and it’s usually not just one dessert.  There is an “appetizer” dessert and a main dessert.
 
My children always put in their birthday cake requests to my mom, (their Mimi), prior to the birthday celebration. My son Luke loves Miss Bebe’s Spice Cake, my daughters Lucy and Tess ask for the checkerboard Oreo Ice Cream Cake and my 10 year-old son, Hugh, always puts in his request for Delicious Poundcake. Poundcake isn’t the typical birthday cake a 10 year-old boy would request but without fail, it’s ALWAYS the one — and it is delicious! 
 
So, thank you Mom, for always baking for me over the years and for continuing the tradition for the next generation’s enjoyment.  
 
Poundcake2

Raspberry-Filled Chocolate Molten Cupcakes

Raspberry-Filled Chocolate Molten Cupcakes
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  2. 6 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 11 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted (2 ½ cups chopped)
  7. 18 raspberries (36 if they are small)
  8. confectioners' sugar, for serving
  9. vanilla ice cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line 12 standard muffin tin cups with paper liners.
  3. In large bowl with a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low, beat in flour and salt. Beat in chocolate until just combined.
  4. Divide half the batter among cups, add two raspberries to each, and top with remaining batter. Bake until tops are just set and no longer shiny, 10 to 11 minutes, let cool in pan on a wire rack, 10 minutes. Remove from pans, dust with confectioners' sugar, and top with ice cream, if desired.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Herbed Biscuits & Ham Sandwiches

Herbed Biscuits / Ham Sandwiches
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 8 T. unsalted cold butter, cubed
  2. 2 cups flour (I use half white whole wheat)
  3. 1 t. sugar
  4. 1 T. baking powder
  5. ¼ t. kosher salt
  6. ¾ t. baking soda
  7. 2 T. chopped fresh dill
  8. 2 T. chopped fresh mint
  9. 2 T. chopped fresh flat parsley
  10. 2 T. chopped fresh tarragon
  11. ¾ cups buttermilk
Optional
  1. mustard
  2. honey
  3. sliced ham
  4. bread
  5. butter pickles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Put cubed butter in freezer.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and herbs in a food processor. Pulse to combine. (If you don’t have all the herbs called for, just make sure you use ½ C. herbs total.) Drop in butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Pour in buttermilk and pulse until mixture just comes together.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat into a rectangle, then cut into thirds. Stack thirds on top of each other and pat out into a rectangle again. Repeat twice, then pat into a 4x12 inch rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise and then into 8 square biscuits.
  5. Bake on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet until puffed and golden, 10-12 minutes. To make sandwiches, split biscuits and spread with mustard and honey. Top with ham and pickles and make into sandwiches.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Ricciarelli Cookies

Ricciarelli Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 3-3/4 cups blanched almond meal flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 4 oz. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar; more for dusting
  4. Finely grated zest of 1 large orange (about 1 Tbs.)
  5. 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  6. 1-1/2 T. honey
  7. 1/2 t. pure almond extract
  8. 1/4 t. pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line 4 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the almond flour into a large bowl and use your fingers to break up any clumps. Add the granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, and the orange zest, and whisk to combine.
  3. In a small stainless-steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand-held mixer on high speed until they form soft peaks. With a spatula, gently fold the whites into the almond meal mixture. Add the honey and extracts, and mix well. The dough will be stiff and sticky.
  4. Put the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off about 2 tsp. of dough, roll it into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is shaped into balls, placing 12 balls per sheet. Roll each ball in the confectioners’ sugar until well coated, then return to the baking sheet and gently pinch the ball into a diamond shape. Let the cookies sit, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours to firm up and dry out a little.
  5. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until their tops have started to crack and they are barely tinged with gold around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and let cool completely.
  6. Dust with more confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Notes
  1. These cookies from the almond-growing region of Siena date back to at least the 15th century. They’re melt-in-your-mouth tender, but with a nice chew. Their cracked, snowy-white tops make a beautiful addition to a cookie platter, and they’re a great option for those on a gluten-free diet.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/