Macarons with White Chocolate & Raspberry

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Macarons with White Chocolate & Raspberry
Sweet treat anytime, but perfect for Easter. Much easier than I had thought, although there are a few steps.
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Chocolate Butter Cream
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Chocolate Butter Cream
Instructions
  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a piping bag with 1/4” wide round tip. Place almonds and 1 3/4 cups icing sugar in a food processor and pulse until mixture is a fine powder.
  2. Place egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whip attachment. Beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and slowly beat in extra fine sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Now add the extract and food colour to this meringue and beat 1 minute more.
  3. Add almond mixture to meringue all at once. With a thin rubber spatula, cut down through the centre of the two mixtures and bring the heavy mixture back up to the top. Keep folding this way until this batter is completely smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin, flat ribbon, about 40 strokes.
  4. Transfer batter to the pastry bag. Vertically hold bag close to the baking sheet, and then pipe 24, 1 1/2” circles of batter on each one, spacing them about 1” apart. Firmly tap each baking sheet against the counter to release air bubbles in the batter. Let cookies sit at room temperature 30 to 60 minutes, until the tops are no longer sticky when gently touched with your finger.
  5. Preheat oven to 325˚F using regular heat, not convection. Bake cookies, one sheet at time, 15 minutes, or until risen and crisp. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
  6. To make butter cream filling, place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Mix until melted and blended together. Remove bowl from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  7. In another bowl, beat butter and 1 1/4 cups icing sugar until well blended. Slowly mix in melted chocolate mixture and beat until well combined.
  8. Turn 24 macaroon doomed side down. Fit a clean piping bag with 1/4” wide round tip. Pipe a 1/2” tall ring of filling on each macaron. Spoon 1/2 tsp. of raspberry jam in the centre of each ring and top each macaron with another macaron, setting it doomed side up. Serve macaron with fresh raspberries, if desired.
Recipe Notes

Note: Extra fine sugar is sold in small bags in the aisle other types of sugar are sold. Any leftover butter cream filling could be frozen. Thaw and use when you need something sweet to spread on a cupcake, brownie or other baked good. Recipe options: Instead of filling each cookie with a small spoon of raspberry jam, try another preserve, such strawberry jam, or red currant jelly.

Copied from Thrifty Foods Recipes.

https://www.thriftyfoods.com/recipes/recipes/macaron-with-white-chocolate-and-raspberry

I'm going to try them with dark semi- or unsweetend chocolate next. and maybe leave out the red food colouring.

Let me know how they turn out.

Judy

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Best Christmas Fruitcake Ever

First, I want to thank everyone who came to the facebook launch of Home for Christmas, the last of this first batch of Fortune Bay books. (Don’t worry, there should be another one coming out next summer, 2017. Join my mailing list for news of new books.)

It was great to hang out with some readers who are quickly becoming friends, and to meet so many new potential readers from as far away as  South Africa, Holland, New Zealand and Australia!

I promised to put up my recipe for fruit cake – guaranteed to turn skeptics into fans. So here it is.

The secret is the strawberry jam, kirsch brandy, pineapple step.
It still tastes like fruit cake, just moist and fruity and good.

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, who originally found it in the Toronto Star many years ago. Apparently it was sent in by a reader from Winchester Ontario which, coincidentally is where my sister lives. I love when synchronicity happens!

There are quite a few steps, but worth the trouble. It doesn’t really take that long and you end up with fruitcake to eat and give away.

My recipe says “make in late October”, so I better get at it!

Judy

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Best Christmas Fruitcake Ever
Guaranteed to turn skeptics into fans. The secret is the strawberry jam, kirsch brandy, pineapple step. It still tastes like fruit cake, just moist and fruity and good. Originally called "Willis Fruit Cake".
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 2 hr 20 min.
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
mini-loafs
Ingredients
Day 1, Group 2
Day 2, Group 3
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 2 hr 20 min.
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
mini-loafs
Ingredients
Day 1, Group 2
Day 2, Group 3
Instructions
Day 1, Group 1
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, cover with plastic and leave at room temperature overnight.
Day 1, Group 2
  1. Simmer pineapple and sugar for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool and stir in brandy. Refrigerate overnight.
Day 2, Group 3
  1. Pre-heat oven to 275°.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. In a very large bowl, toss fruit and nuts in 1/2 cup of dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients alternating with pineapple mixture. Combine lightly between additions.
  6. Pour over flour-coated fruit and nuts mixture. Mix well.
  7. Pour into prepared pans. (I line mine with parchment paper.) Put in preheated oven with a baking dish of water to keep loaves from drying out.
  8. Bake at 275° for 2 hr and 20 min.
  9. Cool. Wrap in brandy soaked cloths (or rum, Fireball or fruit juice). Wrap with foil and store at room temperature in a cool room.
  10. Douse periodically with brandy or juices as the cloth dries out.
  11. Enjoy at Christmas and beyond.
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Santa’s Dark Secret

It’s never too early for chocolate!

It’s not Christmas yet – and I certainly don’t have my decorations up or my shopping done – but Santa’s Dark Secret cookies (the ones Louise makes for Blue in Home for Christmas – launching today! ) are good anytime, despite their name. 

HFC COVER MED outln

Home for Christmas is available today on

Amazon, B&N nook, kobo and the iTunes store

Judy

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Santa's Dark Secret
Rich and delicious double chocolate cookies. Perfect for Santa.
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cream butter in an electric mixer.
  2. Add sugars, mix, add eggs, mix well.
  3. Put flour in a bowl. Take out a tablespoonfull or so and add to the dried cherries, separating them in the flour.
  4. Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to creamed butter mixture.
  5. Add chocolate chips and cherries. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  6. Drop from spoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 7 minutes at 350°
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When your Zucchini get out of hand.

To celebrate the launch of The Good Neighbor, Book Two in the Fortune Bay Series, I’m continuing my week of late summer recipes with

Zucchini Bread, or

“what to do when your garden becomes the Little Shop of Horrors.”

The other day, my mother tried a piece of my Zucchini Bread.

“What is that flavor?” she said. “Mine has never been this nice.”

“Cloves,” I told her.

“I don’t like cloves,” she said. “But I love that.”

I have to admit it was particularly good batch. I usually grind whole cloves and if you are not diligent with the mortar and pestle, the flavour of the chunks of clove can over power the loaf.

This time I hadn’t been able to find whole cloves at the store, so I used ground and found it was better for this bread.

20150901_5057 Also, I wrung out the grated zucchini just the right amount and the moisture level was perfect. Last time I was showing someone how to wring out the excess moisture in a tea towel, was over zealous and the bread was a touch dry. But do wring it out to prevent a soggy loaf.

Nobody likes a soggy loaf!

It’s a great way to use that excess zucchini at this time of year, or get a nice size one at the farmer’s market and knock yourself out!

In The Good Neighbor, (yes! out this week!) Stephanie goes out to her garden and finds:

The Good Neighbor

The stump end of a mammoth zucchini peeked out at her from under a leaf. Not good. Zucchini were the jesters of the garden, growing to ridiculous, bulbous proportions when your back was turned…

Hefting a giant zucchini in one hand, she measured its weight, reminded of a childhood summer day spent grating the big ones for zucchini bread, the smell of cloves and cinnamon filling the air. She put the offender under one arm, the basket over the other, and started down the shoreline path to the cabin.

Cloves and spice, Aunt Augusta’s trademark. Stephanie must have the same recipe I have.

Enjoy!

Judy sig

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Print Recipe
Zucchini Nut Loaf
Sweet and moist with the (subtle) flavour of cloves and cinnamon, this is the perfect sweet bread to have in the freezer to whip out for unexpected company. Or when you just need some comfort food yourself.
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
loafs
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
loafs
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Grate the zucchini. Lay in a towel and wring out some of the water. water will run out. Don't squeeze until totally dry or the bread will be dry.
  2. In a large bowl mix the sugar, oil and vanilla with a large spoon. Beat in the eggs and stir in the zucchini.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl. Add to zucchini mixture and stir.
  4. Spoon batter into 2 greased loaf pans, or five tiny ones so you can give some away.
  5. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour - until toothpick comes out clean. Turn out of pans onto wire rack and cool right side up. Wrap airtight when cool and keep in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freezes well.
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Celebrate the Launch of the Good Neighbor with Pesto

What better way to celebrate the launch of The Good NeighborFireworks 2016  today (cue the fireworks!) than by sharing some of the August recipes from the book, beginning with – PESTO!

The Good Neighbor is Frankie and Sean’s story (characters I introduced in Summer of Fortune).

In this book, Sean moves into Augusta’s cabin while he searches for the daughter he gave up for adoption fifteen years ago, and struggles to come to terms with the fact that he just might not find her. How, then, can he stand to see Frankie and her father so estranged, when a simple phone call might be all it would take?

The Good Neighbor begins in August, and since Sean is an excellent cook and there are a lot of cooking and gardening references ,

PESTO seemed like the perfect choice of a recipe to feature on today’s blog. And let me tell you, good pesto made from freshly picked basil is truly a gift.

If you don’t grow basil in your garden (yet) or don’t have room for a garden, you can treat yourself to a meal of fresh pesto before the summer is over by buying a plant, sold at most grocers at this time of year.

The best ingredients make the best pesto.
The best ingredients make the best pesto.

Once you try pesto made in your own kitchen with garden fresh basil leaves, you will never go back to the store bought variety.

And it’s easy! Since tastes and ingredients vary (types of basil, sizes of cloves of garlic & lemons, amount of salt) every batch will be slightly different.

You be the final judge of exactly how much of each ingredient to add. And with these ingredients, how can you go wrong?

I will be featuring more recipes from The Good Neighbor  all week, so stay tuned.
To read the “meet scene” at the start of the book, click HERE to go to The Good Neighbor page.
TGN COVER MED

You can buy The Good Neighbor in eBook or paperback on Amazon, kobo, and nook.

And don’t forget, for this last, beautiful week of summer, Lake of Dreams is free in eBook form on online retailers until the end of August. See the sidebar. No excuses!

Happy eating, and good reading,

 Judy sig

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Print Recipe
Fresh Garden Pesto
Once you try delicious pesto made with garden fresh basil leaves in your own kitchen, you will never go back to the store bought variety.
Instructions
  1. Mix the ingredients in a blender. I love my Ninja blender because it has multiple blades up the shaft so that everything grind more evenly. Otherwise, scrape down the sides often.
  2. Then, turn off the blender and TASTE. This is the most important step! Let the ingredients move around in your mouth. Let your friends and family taste, because you'll want to share this with those you love. Add more of what's needed. Pine nuts can be prohibitively expensive, so on occasion I don't have any and have used walnuts instead. tastes fine.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap to keep out air and prevent discoloration until use. Mix with al dente spaghetti. Top with more pesto, grated parmigiano, or sun-dried tomatoes. Leftover pesto freezes well in tiny leftover dishes or ice cube tray.
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