Tag-Archive for ◊ fruit ◊

26 Jul 2011 Blueberry Chip Cookies

Hey world, there’s a new cookie on the plate!  It’s sort of like a chocolate chip cookie.  It has all the elements of a chocolate chip cookie.  It crunches like a chocolate chip cookie; crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle. It even looks like a chocolate chip cookie.  But it’s NOT!  It’s a Blueberry Chip Cookie!  Nope, not reminiscent of a blueberry muffin  or a blueberry cake.   Nothing like a blueberry tart or a sugar cookie with jam either.  I think it really is a chocolate chip cookie.  With blueberries. And white chocolate chips.

Two secret ingredients:  freeze dried blueberries and dried wild blueberries!  I had never seen freeze dried blueberries either, but there they were right on the shelf at Trader Joe’s, not too far from the dried blueberries.  The freeze dried blueberries are crushed into a powder and then mixed into the dough with the flour.  The small dried blueberries have a lot a flavor and don’t burst into a gooey mess when cooked.   Genius, pure genius!  And we have Irvin, from Eat the Love, to thank for this delightfully twisted Chocolate Chip Cookie 🙂

I made a few changes to the original recipe.  I didn’t use Kamut flour (what IS that?) and I didn’t make these jumbo.  Irvin made 18 cookies from this recipe (they must have been the size of a PIE!), I made 5 dozen.  I am not sure the sugar sprinkle is necessary, I might leave it off next time but my daughter liked the sparkle (she’s such a girlie girl).

Blueberry  Chip  Cookies

  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried blueberries, crushed into powder (put into a Ziploc and go to town with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 oz white chocolate chips (don’t use Nestle’s-they are nasty)
  • 1 cup dried wild blueberries (I’d probably add an extra 1/4 – 1/2 cup next time)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

2. Place the  flour, freeze dried blueberry powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk vigorously until the dry ingredients are evenly distributed and uniform in color.

3. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.

4. Add one egg to the creamed butter and beat on medium until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and repeat with the second egg and then the vanilla.

5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter and beat on slow speed turning up the speed to medium as the ingredients incorporate into the dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add an additional 1/3 of the batter repeat, beating on slow to medium. Scrap and add the final 1/3 dry ingredients.

6. Add the white chocolate chips and dried blueberries to the cookie dough and turn the mixer on to slow speed, mixing in the chips and blueberries until evenly distributed.

7. Scoop a tablespoon of the dough, roll into a ball, place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Sprinkle with a little white sugar. Repeat.  I found I could place 14 cookies on each cookie sheet.

8. Bake in preheated 350º oven for  about 13 minutes or until the edges of the cookie starts to look golden brown. Remove from the oven and let rest on the pan for 5 to 10 minutes to cool before moving them to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

I am so pleased with these cookies!  They are so much like a chocolate chip cookie, but so different.  The dichotomy tickles me purple!   I hope you are the first person on your block to make Blueberry Chip Cookies!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

23 Nov 2010 Cranberry-Blueberry Pie

Looking for a last minute new pie for Thanksgiving?  Here it is, Cranberry-Blueberry Pie. I served it to my Dining For Women group last night–with a scoop of Cinnamon Ice Cream.   There were some Mmmms, some moans and some requests for the recipe.  I’d say that the Cranberry-Blueberry Pie passed the taste test with flying colors!

This recipe is based on one from Epicurious.com.  I read all the comments posted about the recipe and realized I was going to have to change their recipe a bit.  In my recipe the blueberries are cooked only once, not twice.  I also added two chopped Golden Delicious apples to the filling so it had less of a jam consistency/taste and more of a really yummy fruit pie consistency and taste. There’s more spice, more sugar, some freshly squeezed orange juice and grated orange peel in my recipe, too.  I think my version would win the  pie throw down!!

Cranberry Blueberry Pie

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, no need to thaw)
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • finely grated peel of 1 orange
  • 2 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
  • 16 ounces frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
  • double recipe of pie pastry (or two Pillsbury pie crusts…)
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Combine cranberries, sugar, spices, salt and orange juice in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until cranberries pop and then thicken, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Boil 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove mixture from heat. Stir in orange peel, chopped apple, and blueberries.  Set mixture aside to cool.  (Can be made up to 3 days ahead.  Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.)

Preheat oven to 400º.

Line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry.  Spoon filling into lined pie pan.  Cover filling with another pie crust. Trim and decorate.  Brush crust with about 1 tablespoon whipping cream and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of sugar.

Bake in preheated 400º oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool pie on rack.  Let pie stand at room temperature until ready to serve.

Have a great Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

15 Nov 2010 Poached Pear Salad

My friend Louise made this wonderful Poached Pear Salad for Cookbook Club last weekend.  Louise, one of the best cooks in the world,  has been making this salad, to much acclaim, for her family’s Thanksgiving dinner for the last I-don’t-know-how-many years.  I am so glad Louise shared this with us!  You have your hands on tried-and-true family recipe! The Poached Pear Salad is ideal for any fancy meal. It would also be good for a light lunch when paired (peared! now there’s a joke in the making… Hmm, no light bulbs going off here…, obviously someone more talented than I needs to come up with it 🙂 ) when paired with a bowl of soup or a sandwich. The salad looks elegant, tastes great and is dead easy to throw together at the last minute (as longs as the pears have been made and chilled ahead of time).

The green salad surrounding the poached pear can be customized as  you wish.  Louise used a bag of mixed salad greens, including some of that bitter stuff, and a sprinkling of feta cheese (some pomegranate seeds might have been a  nice addition, too).  I am going to use mixed lettuces with a sprinkling of blue cheese, some sweet and spicy pecans and some dried cranberries.  My daughter is thinking about baby spinach, macadamia nuts and goat cheese.  What will you come up with?  Arugula, walnuts and orange bits?  Bibb lettuce and almonds? Let me know!

Three cheers for Poached Pear Salad!! Easy, customizable, good looking, and great tasting! I have a feeling this salad will become a staple in my, and your, dinner party and elegant lunch repertoire.

Poached Pear Salad

  • 6-8 Bosch Pears, with stems left on, peeled (Bosch pears are the ugly brown skinned pears.  I’d suggest using smaller pears so your guests aren’t too full after the salad to enjoy the main meal)
  • 2 cups Port, Shriaz or Zinfandel (The choice of wine will affect the taste of your pears.  Louise prefers a good port.  I liked the pears poached in Zinfandel)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 slices orange
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 bag of salad greens
  • Cheese of choice, about 1 T. per plate (feta, blue, goat)
  • Extra toppings of choice, if desired: chopped nuts, candied nuts, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds…
  • In a large pan with a lid, combine wine, sugar, water, and star anise.  Turn heat to high and bring mixture just to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.

    Add peeled whole pears-with stem intact-to hot liquid turning to coat well.

    Stir in orange slices

    Cover pan and simmer pears on low for 10 to 15 minutes, turning pears occasionally, until pears are tender, but still hold their shape.

    Discard star anise.  Remove pears to a bowl and set aside to cool.

    Turn up heat under the wine mixture, heat to boiling, and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.  Liquid should thicken and reduce to 1 ½ cups. (Pour liquid into measuring cup every once in awhile to measure progress).  When pears are cool, cut in half lengthwise, and carefully remove core.

    Pour reduced wine and the orange slices over halved pears.  Cover and chill for at least 4-6 hours, and up to two days.

    When ready to serve, cut pear into a fan and the bottom(see picture above), and keeping intact at the narrow top end.  Place pear in the middle of a salad plate and carefully spread out the fanned bottom part.

    Discard the orange slices. Reserve the wine syrup and pour into a serving bowl to pass at the table (will be extra dressing).

    Circle the fanned pear with a desired amount of salad greens.  Sprinkle greens and/or pear with approximately 1T. of the crumbled cheese of your choice and any desired “gilding the lily” toppings.

    Pass the reserved wine syrup at the table as a dressing (or serve with a light champagne vinaigrette).

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today…, and I am so glad you were able to meet my good friend Louise.  Maybe one of these days she will share some more of her recipes with us!

    29 Oct 2010 Rum-Pum Pumpkin Bundt Cake

    It’s Fall!  The goal is to eat a pumpkin rich food every day, right?  Today, Rum-Pum Pumpkin Cake!  I’ve been making this cake since I cut the recipe out of a newspaper in the nineteen-eighties.  The cake is moist, pumpkin rich, studded with 2 cups of dried fruit and nuts, with a splash o’ rum, a hearty heap o’ cinnamon and topped with an orange-cinnamon glaze.  What’s not to like?

    Bundt cakes serve a lot of people, so invite the neighbors over for coffee and cake.  It’s a fun thing to do, and there’s no stress if you do it on-the-spur-of-the-moment.  While the cake is baking, send this email,  “Hi Neighbors, I’ve baked a cake, and we can’t eat it all ourselves.  Soooo, we’d like to invite you to drop by our house for coffee and a slice of pumpkin cake between 3 and 4 PM this afternoon.  Stay for 10 minutes, or stay for 30…just come on by! Come as you are, of course. We’ll see you soon.”  See how easy that is?  Now, no one would blame you if you wanted to close the blinds, encircle the cake, and eat it all yourself…the choice is yours!

    Rum-Pum Pumpkin Cake

    1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
    1 ½ cup vegetable oil OR 3/4 cup applesauce plus 3/4 cup  veg. oil
    2 cups sugar
    4 eggs
    2 tablespoons dark rum (The rum flavor is not very pronounced.  If you want a stronger rum flavor, use rum extract for part of the rum)
    3 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons cinnamon (yes, 2 tablespoons–it works, and is not overpowering)
    2 teaspoons grated orange peel (optional)
    2 cups dried fruit (Last time I used 1 cup dark raisins, 1/2 cup cherries, and 1/2 cup apricots. Use any dried fruit that appeals to you, or that you have on hand.  I think golden raisins and snipped apricots are especially good. Dried cranberries are also good)
    1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I substitute 1 cup diced chopped and peeled Granny Smith apple)

    Preheat oven to 350º.  Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with a baking spray or butter and flour.

    Mix pumpkin, oil, applesauce and sugar together with an electric mixer.

    Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in rum.

    In another bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and optional grated orange peel.

    In a third bowl combine the dried fruit, and the nuts or chopped apple.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoonful of the flour mixture over the dried fruit mixture and stir to combine.  Set aside.

    Add remaining flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat well.

    Stir flour dusted dried fruit and nuts/chopped apple into pumpkin-flour mixture.

    Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 1 hour.  (Original recipe said 1 hour and 25 minutes, but I have never had to cook the cake for that long.

    Remove cake from oven when done, cool for 3 – 5 minutes, then turn out to a baking rack to cool completely.

    When cool, drizzle with cinnamon-orange glaze.

    Cinnamon-Orange Glaze

    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon orange extract OR grated rind of one orange
    2 tablespoons dark rum

    Beat all ingredients together until smooth.  Drizzle over cooled cake.

    Now invite some friends over (or close the blinds).  Enjoy your impromptu party to welcome Fall! Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.

    18 Oct 2010 Pear Crisp

    Ahhh, fall comfort food!  I love baked pears and I love an oatmeal rich crisp topping.  This is a basic Pear Crisp recipe, if you want something fancier, check out my Drunken Pear Crisp with Cherries recipe.  I cut this recipe from a Cooking Light magazine years ago.  I’ve fooled with it quite a bit, more spices, more oatmeal, more pears… LOL!  The quantities here fit nicely into a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.  If you have a lot more pears, just up the quantities by by 50% and bake in a 9 inch by 13 inch pan.

    Ummm, true confession time.  We like this best at room temperature, for breakfast.  Hey! It’s oatmeal! It’s fruit!

    A few years ago I asked my son to type the recipe out for me, with my changes. He did, but he embellished it a bit. I have retyped his version here, edited just a bit for clarity.  He was young at the time, not the big hunk of 19 year old masculinity he is now… Nevertheless, he’s going to crawl into a cave and hibernate when he finds out his mom published this on her blog. Oohhhhhhh, the embarrassment of it all! Don’t anyone tell him about this, puleeeeeese!

    My Lovely Mom’s Pear Crisp

    6 cups sliced ripe pears (5 or 6 lbs)
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    A tiny bit of hard work
    ½ cup sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    A whole bunch of JOY
    1/3 cup flour
    ½ cup packed brown sugar
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    3 tablespoons chilled butter
    2/3 cup old fashioned oats
    ½ cup chopped walnuts (if you must)
    A pinch of happiness


    Look around you.  Take in your surroundings.  Be thankful. Feel wonderful about yourself and those around you. {Laugh at your son. He’s so FUNNY!} Read the recipe and do what it says.

    Preheat oven to 375º.

    Combine peeled and sliced pears with the lemon juice, toss gently to coat and then place in baking dish.

    In another bowl combine sugar, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Stir to combine.  Pour mixture over over pears and mix lightly.

    Do one thing, every day, that you have never done before.

    In the same bowl (because it’s empty now and who wants to wash another dish?) combine flour, brown sugar, another ½ teaspoon cinnamon and another ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.  Cut in 3 tablespoon cold butter or grate the butter into the flour mixture with a grater (that’s what my mom does) and combine until the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs.  Stir in oats and optional nuts.  Sprinkle mixture evenly over pear mixture in the baking pan.

    Bake at 375º for 30-40 minutes or until pears are tender and topping is golden brown.  Cool at least 20 minutes before eating (hot pears in melted sugar burn).

    Smile. You’re all done.

    My son is home from college today.  I made this for our breakfast tomorrow.  He and I will enjoy some Pear Crisp and some lattes.  I’ll read the newspaper.  He’ll read something about American history…and then we will probably argue about something stupid.

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today, hope you enjoyed the Pear Crisp!

    18 Sep 2010 Vegan Chocolate Cranberry Orange Marmalade Cookies

    This is a tweaked version of a Veganomicon recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Cookies. I didn’t care for the seeds too much, in the original recipe, and I thought the raspberry flavor wasn’t quite strong enough. It was kind of a “there’s something fruity about this cookie, but I can’t quite figure out what” kind of thing. Besides, chocolate and orange are one of the best flavor combos around, IMHO, and a personal fave, so I subbed orange marmalade for the jam, added chocolate chips, orange extract, orange flavored cranberries AND managed to cut 1/4 cup of sugar from the original recipe. They have a nice orange flavor, tangy cranberries and gooey chocolate that will invariably end up on your eyebrow, jeans and elbow for some reason. Technically, you could make the dough without the chocolate chips and cranberries and add those in a nice symmetrical pattern when you smoosh the cookies flat before you bake them. Not that I’m the type of person that would DO that kind of thing…, no siree, not me. I have a sister who would do that, but I don’t have time for that kind of silliness… Much.

    Chocolate Cranberry Orange Marmalade Cookies

    ½ cup canola oil
    ½ cup orange marmalade
    ¾ cup organic sugar
    1 tsp orange extract
    ½ tsp vanilla
    1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    ¾ tsp baking soda
    ¼ tsp salt
    ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    ½ cup orange flavored dried cranberries

    Preheat oven to 350, lightly grease cookie sheet or use parchment.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Assemble your dry ingredients and sift directly into the marmalade mixture, stirring with a fork after every ½ a cup or so. Dump in the chocolate chips and cranberries and use your hands to fully combine all the ingredients. The dough may be a little crumbly and that’s okay, just try to get it as pliable as you can.

    Roll the dough into walnut-size balls (or use a cookie scoop) and place them on cookie sheet. Flatten them with your hands into 2 ½” discs. They’ll only need to be a ½” apart since they don’t spread out when baking. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

    Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

    Thanks for visiting my little vegan corner of the web today!