Button Cookies

By Coleen

Babies are cute as a button, and so are these adorable little button cookies sandwiched with lemon buttercream! Serve them as a sweet ending to a baby shower. 

Babies are cute as a button, and so are these adorable little button cookies sandwiched with lemon buttercream! Serve them as a sweet ending to a baby shower. TheRedheadBaker.com

My fellow food blogger, Courtney of NeighborFood, is about to have her first baby, and Nancy of Gotta Get Baked invited several food bloggers to a virtual baby shower in her honor! I love baby showers, getting together with friends and family for delicious food, chit chat, and the best part? Ooohing and aahing over adorable baby gear and clothes!

I knew I wanted to contribute a dessert to the virtual baby shower. I love when a baby shower host has a cookie tray alongside the cake. But what kind of cookie do you make to welcome a newborn baby? Well, babies are cute as a button, and so are these cookies!

Babies are cute as a button, and so are these adorable little button cookies sandwiched with lemon buttercream! Serve them as a sweet ending to a baby shower. TheRedheadBaker.com

With sugar cookie dough, two round cookie cutters and a straw, you can make adorable, tender cookies that look like buttons. These cookies aren’t soft, and they’re not crisp — they’re somewhere in the middle. The dough is easy to mix, and once chilled, easy to roll out. I like to roll the dough between two pieces of parchment. Then I cut out my shapes directly on the parchment, pick up the scraps between the shapes, and move the whole piece of parchment to a baking sheet. Not having to move the cut cookies from the parchment means no losing their shape.

These cookies are delicious all on their own, but to make them extra-special for Courtney’s baby shower, I sandwiched them between luscious buttercream flavored with lemon curd. Swiss buttercream is more buttery than sugary, and lemon curd adds tartness, so it complements the sugar cookies well. Once the cookies are sandwiched with the buttercream, they should be refrigerated.

Babies are cute as a button, and so are these adorable little button cookies sandwiched with lemon buttercream! Serve them as a sweet ending to a baby shower. TheRedheadBaker.com

Raspberry Lemon Macarons
 
Author:
Serves: 12 macarons
 
Ingredients
For the cookies:
  • 4 oz almond flour
  • 8 oz powdered sugar
  • ¾ oz freeze-dried raspberries, finely ground
  • 5 oz (about 4 large) egg whites
  • 2 ½ oz granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 drop pink or red gel food coloring (optional)
For the buttercream:
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp lemon curd
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees (use an oven thermometer to ensure the correct temperature).
  2. Fit an 18-inch piping bag with a round tip, such as Ateco #802. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Take a 1 ½-inch round cutter, and using a permanent marker, trace an outline of the cutter onto the parchment. Repeat, keeping at least one inch between circles, on both sheets of parchment, until you have 24 circles. When finished, flip parchment ink-side-down.
  3. Sift the almond flour with the powdered sugar and ground raspberries and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites, granulated sugar, and salt on speed 4 (medium speed) for three minutes, then speed 7 (medium-high) for three minutes, then speed 8 (high) for three minutes.
  5. Add in vanilla extract and one drop of food coloring, if using, then beat for one more minute at highest speed. You should have a very stiff meringue. The peaks should not fall over when the bowl is lowered or the beaters raised.
  6. Take the bowl off of the stand mixer and pour the dry ingredients on top of the meringue. Begin to fold the meringue and the dry ingredients together.
  7. Before spooning your batter into the piping bag, take a spoonful and drop it back into the batter. It should sit on top of the batter for about twenty seconds before melting back into the rest of the batter.
  8. Fill your piping bag no more than halfway full. Pipe batter into each circle, stopping just shy of the border of each circle (batter will continue to spread).
  9. When all circles have been filled in, rap the baking sheet hard on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  10. Bake the cookies for 18 minutes, rotating pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through for even cooking. After 18 minutes, check one: if it peels easily off of the parchment, it’s done. If it doesn’t, don’t force it. Continue baking until a cookie peels easily off the paper. This could take as long as 40 minutes.
  11. While cookies are baking and cooling, make the buttercream. Place the whites and the sugar in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer. Place the mixing bowl over the simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not sit in the water). Continually whip the egg whites and sugar until heated and the sugar dissolves.
  12. Remove bowl from the water and place on the mixer. Whip until meringue forms soft peaks.
  13. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add the butter, 1 tbsp at a time, whipping until fully incorporated before adding more. The time it takes to incorporate will get longer and longer as more butter is added.
  14. After all the butter is added, add vanilla and lemon curd and continue beating until the buttercream comes together and looks smooth and creamy.
  15. When cookies are done, remove pans from oven and cool the cookies to room temperature while still on the baking sheet.
  16. Once cookies are fully cooled, pipe some of the ganache onto the bottom of a macaron, then sandwich with a second cookie.

Sugar cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour’s Cookie Companion; Swiss meringue buttercream recipe adapted from The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College

Babies are cute as a button, and so are these adorable little button cookies sandwiched with lemon buttercream! Serve them as a sweet ending to a baby shower. TheRedheadBaker.com

Be sure to check out what the other amazing bloggers made for Courtney!

Babies are cute as a button, and so are these adorable little button cookies sandwiched with lemon buttercream! Serve them as a sweet ending to a baby shower. TheRedheadBaker.com

Copycat Friendly’s Monster Mash Sundae #SundaySupper

By Coleen

Make your version of Friendly’s Monster Mash Sundae with homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, peanut butter cups and chocolate candies.

Make your version of Friendly's Monster Mash Sundae with homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, peanut butter cups and chocolate candies. #SundaySupper TheRedheadBaker.com

When I was growing up, my parents used to take my brother and I to Friendly’s on occasion as a special treat. Sometimes we would go for dinner and dessert; other times, we just went for ice cream. I still remember that my dad would always order the same thing: a black-and-white milkshake.

If you’re not familiar with Friendly’s, it’s a family restaurant with locations mostly on the east coast of the United States. The first location opened in Massachusetts in 1935. It’s now owned by the Hershey Foods Corporation, but still serves the same delicious ice cream.

Make your version of Friendly's Monster Mash Sundae with homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, peanut butter cups and chocolate candies. #SundaySupper TheRedheadBaker.com

One of the things Friendly’s is known for is its sundaes. One of the kids’ menu sundaes is called the Monster Mash. Served in a fluted ice cream dish, it contains mint chocolate chip ice cream, peanut butter cups for horns, M&Ms for eyes, and a maraschino cherry for a nose. It’s topped off with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

I’ve recreated this delicious dessert with homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream. This egg-free ice cream is one of the easiest things I’ve ever made. Simply stir the ingredients together, chill, churn, freeze, and scoop! I froze my peanut butter cups to make it easier to cut them evenly in half. Kids and adults alike will love having this frozen monster face for a fun dessert.

Make your version of Friendly's Monster Mash Sundae with homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, peanut butter cups and chocolate candies. #SundaySupper TheRedheadBaker.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
Copycat Frienndly's Monster Mash Sundae #SundaySupper
 
Author:
Serves: 2 pints
 
Be sure to place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer at least 24 hours before you plan to churn the ice cream.
Ingredients
For the ice cream:
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Generous pinch of table salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pure mint extract
  • 2 to 3 drops green food coloring
  • 2 to 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the sundaes:
  • Standard size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (1 per sundae)
  • Brown and red M&Ms (2 brown and 1 red per sundae)
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Whipped cream
Directions
  1. Combine the condensed milk, cream, milk, salt, and extracts in a large mixing bowl, and whisk until well combined.
  2. Add green food coloring, one drop at a time, whisking thoroughly until you achieve the color you want.
  3. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  4. Just before churning, melt the bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler, or in a microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Place the mixture in your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's directions.
  6. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle thin lines of melted bittersweet chocolate in your freezer container. Scoop some of the churned ice cream into the freezer container and gently spread to cover the bottom. Drizzle more thin lines of chocolate over the ice cream, then cover with another layer of ice cream. Repeat until all ice cream is scooped into the container. Drizzle more chocolate over the top, then cover the container and freeze until the ice cream is hard, at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  7. To make a monster mash sundae, scoop some ice cream into a dish. Cut a peanut butter cup in half, and place one half on each side of the scoops to look like horns. Place two brown M&M's as eyes, and one red M&M as a nose.
  8. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the back, and squirt whipped cream on top. Enjoy!

Adapted from Amanda’s Cookin’

Make your version of Friendly's Monster Mash Sundae with homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, peanut butter cups and chocolate candies. #SundaySupper TheRedheadBaker.com

Discover more #SundaySupper Copycat recipes!

Drinks

Appetizers

Condiments

Main Courses

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

#SundaySupper Copycat Recipes Preview

By Coleen

#SundaySupper Copycat Recipes Preview

Everyone has a favorite dish, dessert or drink available at a restaurant. This weekend, the #SundaySupper bloggers share copycat recipes for their favorite dine-out meals. Is your favorite on the list?

Drinks

Appetizers

Condiments

Main Courses

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sweet Corn Chowder with Crabmeat #SundaySupper

By Coleen

Soup in the summer? Sweet corn shines in this easy, light-but-satisfying summer corn chowder recipe, topped with succulent crabmeat.

Soup in the summer? Sweet corn shines in this easy, light-but-satisfying summer corn chowder recipe, topped with succulent crabmeat. #SundaySupper TheRedheadBaker.com

Summer is one of my favorite times of year for several reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the abundant selection of fruits and vegetables, and the infinite number of ways in which to use them in cooking. Today’s #SundaySupper is all about recipes using farmstand produce.

Being in Philadelphia, we get lots of fresh veggies from New Jersey, including my favorite — sweet corn on the cob! No side dish is better at a cookout than pure, simple corn on the cob, slathered in melted butter and good sprinkle of salt. However, it doesn’t make the best food blog recipe entry.

Soup in the summer? Sweet corn shines in this easy, light-but-satisfying summer corn chowder recipe, topped with succulent crabmeat. #SundaySupper TheRedheadBaker.com

Then I remembered a soup that my late grandfather made for Easter one year. It was a chowder soup, loaded with fresh sweet corn kernels. I never got the recipe from him — it’s extremely likely that he never even USED a recipe. However, this soup is a decent re-creation, with some additions of my own, such as the kick from a jalapeno pepper. Remove as much or as little of the seeds and membranes as you like to accommodate your spiciness preferences.

Unlike winter soups, this corn chowder is satisfying while still being light. The half-and-half adds creaminess without making the soup heavy. Crabmeat and fresh chives add more summer flavors to the soup. Serve with crusty Italian bread for sopping up the last savory drops of soup.

Soup in the summer? Sweet corn shines in this easy, light-but-satisfying summer corn chowder recipe, topped with succulent crabmeat. #SundaySupper TheRedheadBaker.com

Sweet Corn Chowder with Crabmeat #SundaySupper
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 ears sweet corn
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 oz crab meat, picked over for shells
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives, for garnish
Directions
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper and thyme and cook until the vegetables are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the half-and-half and the potatoes, bring to a boil and cook at a rolling boil for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft and starting to break down.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and puree with an immersion blender. Return the pot to the stovetop over medium heat.
  5. Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup. Season generously with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Ladle the soup into 6 bowls and garnish with about an ounce of crabmeat and a teaspoon of chopped chives.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 330 Fat: 18g Carbohydrates: 32g Protein: 11g Cholesterol: 60mg

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Nutrition information estimated by Yummly

Discover more #SundaySupper Farmstand Food recipes!

Appetizers, Sides and Salads

Entreés

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Soup in the summer? Sweet corn shines in this easy, light-but-satisfying summer corn chowder recipe, topped with succulent crabmeat. #SundaySupper TheRedheadBaker.com

Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries

By Coleen

Rich chocolate cheesecake ice cream with swirls of roasted cherries with a hint of vanilla — it’s easy to make but so hard to stop eating!

Rich chocolate cheesecake ice cream with swirls of roasted cherries with a hint of vanilla — it's easy to make but so hard to stop eating! theredheadbaker.com

“More cherries?!? What are you going to do with them all??”

At one point earlier in the month, I had about six pounds of cherries in the fridge. I have been wanting to make a chocolate-and-cherry dessert for a while, but kept losing cherries to snacking by *someone* (Dave) in my house. And honestly, when you see cherries for $3.99 a pound, you snap them up and figure out what to do with them later, right?

Rich chocolate cheesecake ice cream with swirls of roasted cherries with a hint of vanilla — it's easy to make but so hard to stop eating! theredheadbaker.com

If you make just one ice cream recipe this summer, make it this one. Rich chocolate cheesecake in ice cream form. I mean, I nearly had no ice cream to churn, because I couldn’t stop sneaking tastes of the custard base.

Then the cherries. Oh, the cherries. Roasting concentrates the sugars and enhances the flavor. Vanilla bean paste, which combines the intense vanilla flavor of using a whole vanilla bean with the ease of using vanilla extract. It’s not exactly “paste” consistency; it’s more like a very thick vanilla extract with beautiful flecks of vanilla bean seeds.

If you’ve made homemade ice cream before, this recipe isn’t much different, except for beating the custard base with the cream cheese. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the ice cream to harden before eating it!

Rich chocolate cheesecake ice cream with swirls of roasted cherries with a hint of vanilla — it's easy to make but so hard to stop eating! theredheadbaker.com

Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries
 
Author:
Serves: 1 pint
 
Don't forget to place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer at least 24 hours before you plan to churn the ice cream.
Ingredients
For the cherry swirl:
  • 12 oz sweet cherries, pitted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
For the ice cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Directions
Make the roasted cherries:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line an 8-inch square baking sheet with tinfoil. Add the pitted cherries. Combine the sugar and cornstarch, then shake over the cherries. Toss until all the cherries are coated.
  3. Roast the cherries for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the juices are thick and bubbly. Let cool to room temperature, then scrape the cherries and their juices into a container and refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. Can be made up to a day ahead.
Make the ice cream:
  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Place the heavy cream and the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Scald the cream (heat just until bubbles begin to form at the edge), stirring with a whisk until the cocoa is incorporated. Pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate in the mixing bowl, and whisk until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is uniform in consistency. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the milk, sugar, and salt to the medium saucepan over medium heat. While the milk mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolks constantly until lightened in color. Once the milk has reached scalding, very slowly pour a little of the hot milk over the yolks while continuing to whisk constantly. Once about a quarter of the milk has been added to the eggs, pour all of the egg/milk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon without dripping when you run your finger through the mixture.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl with the chocolate mixture. Stir until fully incorporated, then stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer, then pour the chocolate custard over top. Beat with the paddle attachment on low speed at first, then increase speed to medium until the mixture is the consistency of chocolate pudding. Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the mixer overnight.
  5. Pour the custard mixture into your ice cream maker, and churn according to manufacturers' directions. Once finished churning, scoop about a third of the ice cream into a freezer-safe storage container. Layer about half of the roasted cherries. Add another third of the ice cream, the remaining half of the cherries, and the last of the ice cream. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream, and cover with the storage container's lid. Freezer until hard, at least four hours, or overnight.

Adapted from Chocolate Moosey

Rich chocolate cheesecake ice cream with swirls of roasted cherries with a hint of vanilla — it's easy to make but so hard to stop eating! theredheadbaker.com

Challah Braid #TwelveLoaves

By Coleen

Challah is bread that is enriched with eggs, and traditionally eaten by members of the Jewish religion on the Sabbath and religious holidays. Similar to brioche, it also makes a tasty French toast.

Challah is bread that is enriched with eggs, and traditionally eaten by members of the Jewish religion on the Sabbath and religious holidays. Similar to brioche, it also makes a tasty French toast.

Dave was pretty excited when I told him that this month’s theme for #TwelveLoaves was Jewish breads. Dave’s father’s side of the family is Jewish, and while I grew up on porridge, boiled potatoes and shortbread, he grew up with bagels and lox, brisket and challah.

Challah is a yeast bread that is enriched with eggs, similar to French brioche. The biggest difference between the two (other than the religious traditions associated with challah) is that brioche contains butter (and a lot of it!) while challah contains oil. If you’re not concerned with keeping kosher, feel free to substitute butter for the oil in your challah. Brioche is often shaped in a knot, while challah is often braided.

Challah is bread that is enriched with eggs, and traditionally eaten by members of the Jewish religion on the Sabbath and religious holidays. Similar to brioche, it also makes a tasty French toast.

This is a pretty easy yeast dough to make. The stand mixer does most of the mixing and kneading work. The rich dough isn’t as stiff as something like white sandwich bread dough, but try to resist the urge to add more flour. The dough should not form a ball when the dough hook is kneading.

Forming the dough is pretty straightforward as well; it’s just a simple braid. Starting from the middle gives you a finished look at both ends of the bread. If you want to get fancy, there are tutorials on 4-braid (or even 6-braid) challahs. Or, you could simply roll the whole loaf of dough into a log and bake it in a large loaf pan.

Challah is bread that is enriched with eggs, and traditionally eaten by members of the Jewish religion on the Sabbath and religious holidays. Similar to brioche, it also makes a tasty French toast.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Challah Braid #TwelveLoaves
 
Author:
Serves: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups (14⅞ oz) bread flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup room-temperature water (70 to 75 degrees F)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp cold water
Directions
  1. Combine the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Stir briefly to evenly distribute the yeast.
  2. Add the water, eggs, egg yolks, oil, sugar and salt and mix on low speed just until all the ingredients are mixed. Switch to the dough hook.
  3. Knead on low speed for 4 minutes, then increase speed to medium and knead another 4 minutes. The dough should be soft (it won't form a cohesive ball) and slightly sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl greased with nonstick spray. Spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm, draft-free place for the dough to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
  5. Gently deflate the risen dough, fold it in half and let rest, loosely covered in plastic wrap, another 20 minutes. Divide the dough into 3 pieces.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, pat each of the 3 pieces into a 6- by 10-inch rectangle. Working with the long edge further from you, fold it toward the middle, pinching it with your fingertips to seal the dough together, until you form a tight spiral. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
  7. Gently roll each spiral into a rope about 12 inches long.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all 3 ropes parallel to each other on the parchment. Beginning in the middle, place the left rope over the center, then the right rope over the center, until you've braided to the end. Pinch the ends of each rope together and gently fold under the loaf. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, and repeat with the other side.
  9. Whisk together the egg white and the cold water, and use a pastry brush to gently brush the egg wash over the loaf. Let the dough rise, uncovered, for an hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaf until it is dark golden brown and feels lightweight, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Adapted from Baking at Home by The Culinary Institute of America

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of girlichef, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our host this month is Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories, and our theme is Jewish Breads. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves enter last month’s “A Little Something Sweet” Breads!

If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Jewish bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!

Challah is bread that is enriched with eggs, and traditionally eaten by members of the Jewish religion on the Sabbath and religious holidays. Similar to brioche, it also makes a tasty French toast. #TwelveLoaves

Balsamic Burgers with Bourbon Peach BBQ Sauce #WeekdaySupper

By Coleen

Smoky-sweet barbecue sauce made from local New Jersey peaches, sits atop balsamic burgers. This meal tastes like summer on a plate!

Smoky-sweet barbecue sauce made from local New Jersey peaches, sits atop balsamic burgers. This meal tastes like summer on a plate! #WeekdaySupper

I’ve read differing opinions on whether it’s better to vacation alone, or with a large group. There’s no one right way to do it, as it depends on your personality, and the dynamics of the group. Personally, I prefer vacationing with a large group, which most often means my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and my aunt/uncle and their kids.

We rent a large house with enough bedrooms for all, as well as common living areas. We have private space for when we need it, yet we have common areas for eating together, playing games together, etc. We usually bring groceries, and cook in the rental to save money, instead of eating out. Our rentals have always included a grill, so we take advantage of the nice weather to cook outdoors.

Smoky-sweet barbecue sauce made from local New Jersey peaches, sits atop balsamic burgers. This meal tastes like summer on a plate! #WeekdaySupper

We also love eating burgers on vacation, because they are so easy to make in bulk. These burgers are very flavorful, with lots of tanginess from the balsamic and Worcestershire. I recommend using 80/20 beef because without the fat, the burgers become very dry. I wouldn’t use anything leaner than 90/10 ground beef.

The BBQ sauce, however, is the smoky-sweet star of the show. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Use the ripest peaches you can find — they have the best flavor, and provide a lot of moisture for the sauce. I completely de-seeded my jalapenos, but if you want a spicy kick to your sauce, leave a few in.

We used crumbled Gorgonzola, an Italian bleu cheese, but you can use your favorite bleu. Feta or goat cheese would also pair nicely with these burgeres.

Smoky-sweet barbecue sauce made from local New Jersey peaches, sits atop balsamic burgers. This meal tastes like summer on a plate! #WeekdaySupper

5.0 from 1 reviews
Balsamic Burgers with Bourbon Peach BBQ Sauce #WeekdaySupper
 
Author:
Serves: 4 burgers
 
Ingredients
For the BBQ sauce:
  • 2 medium ripe peaches, pitted and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup Vidalia onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • ¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ancho chili powder
  • Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
For the burgers:
  • 1 lb. 80/20 ground beef
  • ¼ cup Vidalia onion, minced
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola or bleu cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
Directions
  1. Place all of the BBQ sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan set on the stovetop on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peaches are very soft and starting to break down. Add water as needed to prevent the ingredients from burning. Remove from the heat, and puree with an immersion blender to desired consistency. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, minced onion, balsamic and Worcestershire sauce gently with your hands. Set aside for 10 minutes, for the balsamic vinegar to soak into the ground beef. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape into patties.
  3. Cook the patties over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet for about 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside to rest.
  4. While the burgers are resting, split the burger buns and place them under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes to toast.
  5. Place a burger on each bottom bun half, top with a spoonful of the bourbon-peach BBQ sauce, a spoonful of Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, then the top with the upper bun half and serve.

Recipe by The Redhead Baker

Be sure to stop and check out the rest of the Weekday Supper posts!

#WeekdaySupper

Smoky-sweet barbecue sauce made from local New Jersey peaches, sits atop balsamic burgers. This meal tastes like summer on a plate! #WeekdaySupper

Peach-Basil Crostini

By Coleen

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NaturallyClean #CollectiveBias Clorox Green Works Pump ‘N Clean is food-safe, so you can easily clean your knife in between cutting ingredients for these Peach-Basil Crostini.

Clorox Green Works Pump 'N Clean is food-safe, so you can easily clean your knife in between cutting ingredients for these Peach-Basil Crostini. #NaturallyClean #CollectiveBias

As a food blogger, I think a lot about flavors. When I’m developing a recipe, I want to keep the flavors separate until I decide to combine them. Sometimes I’ll even work on two recipes at once, and I don’t want flavors combining at all! It was drilled into me in culinary school to avoid cross-contamination, both of germs, and of flavors prior to cooking. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of prepping of produce involved, and that means a lot of knife-washing in between. Chop, chop, chop— run to the sink, wash and dry — back to the table, chop, chop, chop.

Clorox Green Works has developed a new, food-safe product that allows you to clean your knife between chopping without doing a full wash-and-dry at the sink. It’s called Pump N’ Clean, and it’s conveniently located in the natural-cleaning aisle of your local Target with Green Works’ other natural cleaning products such as dishwashing liquid, compostable cleaning wipes and all-purpose cleaner. By the way, Target is the only retailer to carry the full line of Green Works products. Don’t forget to use your smartphone Target Cartwheel app — from June 14 through July 11, show the Target Cartwheel app at checkout to save 10% on all varieties of Green Works products (including Pump ‘N Clean)!

Clorox Green Works Pump 'N Clean is food-safe, so you can easily clean your knife in between cutting ingredients for these Peach-Basil Crostini. #NaturallyClean #CollectiveBias

Pump N’ Clean is shockingly powerful and simple to use. The dispenser is located on the top of the container. Simply place your sponge or dish towel over the dispenser, and press down. The product is pushed up, and soaks into your sponge or dish towel. Swipe your sponge over your knife, then continue with your product preparation. I must note that Pump N’ Clean should not be used to clean up after raw meat or raw fish. Use Green Works’ dishwashing liquid for that job.

It’s important to me, as a mother, to use products that don’t contain harsh chemicals on utensils that will come into contact with our food, which is why I love Green Works products. I’m also happy to use their products because they are not tested on animals, and they are earth-friendly: they’re made with plant- and mineral-based cleaning ingredients, and come from biodegradable ingredients that are naturally derived.

Clorox Green Works Pump 'N Clean is food-safe, so you can easily clean your knife in between cutting ingredients for these Peach-Basil Crostini. #NaturallyClean #CollectiveBias

This is a quick recipe already, but I was able to put together these peach-basil crostini even faster without having to stop to wash my knife between cutting the peaches, basil, onion and prosciutto. I’ve been looking forward to enjoying fresh, local peaches ever since they dwindled away late last summer, so the faster I could get one of these into my mouth, the better!

I love appetizers that combine multiple flavors, like the sweet peaches, savory basil and salty prosciutto used here. There are also contrasting textures in the crunchy baguette, the creamy cheese, and the tender peaches and onions. The best part? These are so easy to make! Aside from toasting the baguette slices, there is no cooking involved.

Clorox Green Works Pump 'N Clean is food-safe, so you can easily clean your knife in between cutting ingredients for these Peach-Basil Crostini. #NaturallyClean #CollectiveBias

Pump N’ Clean is also easy enough for my 3.5-year-old to use. He loves being Mommy’s Kitchen Helper, so I can hand him a rag, have him press the Pump N’ Clean, and wipe up the juices from the peaches that spilled off the cutting board while I was chopping. I need have no qualms about him remembering to wash his hands afterwards, before handing him a crostini to sample.

Now that I’ve shared how I keep my kitchen clean while I cook my favorite summer dishes, I want to hear your kitchen cleaning tips and favorite summer recipes!

Clorox Green Works Pump 'N Clean is food-safe, so you can easily clean your knife in between cutting ingredients for these Peach-Basil Crostini. #NaturallyClean #CollectiveBias

Peach-Basil Bruschetta
 
Author:
Serves: 30 pieces
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe peaches, cut into fine dice
  • ½ Vidalia onion, cut into fine dice
  • ¼ cup basil, cut into chiffonade
  • 1 baguette, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 oz prosciutto, torn into 30 pieces
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, combine the peaches, onion and basil.
  3. Spread about a tablespoonful of ricotta cheese on each baguette slice. Top with about a tablespoonful of the peach-basil mixture, then a piece of prosciutto.

Recipe by The Redhead Baker

Firecracker Cupcakes Tutorial

By Coleen

Wow your friends at your next get-together! Learn how to make patriotic cupcakes with this easy Firecracker Cupcakes tutorial.

Wow your friends at your next get-together! Learn how to make patriotic cupcakes with this easy Firecracker Cupcakes tutorial by theredheadbaker.com

It’s nearly the 4th of July, which means Independence Day here in the United States. I live in a very historic area of Philadelphia, so the colors red, white and blue are EVERYWHERE. I’m a history geek, so I love seeing it.

It’s also time for red, white and/or blue food in celebration of Independence Day! Last year, I shared Red, White and Blue Layered Jell-O Stars, which were a huge hit with Liam’s daycare friends, and also with readers of the blog.

This year, Liam is really looking forward to seeing fireworks for the first time, so I decided to make him firecracker cupcakes to add to his excitement. In searching for recipes, however, I saw a lot of cupcakes with non-edible items stuck into the cupcakes for the firecrackers. My culinary school instructors drilled it into us that you never use non-edible items as decorations in food. Besides, what fun are cake decorations if you can’t eat them?

Wow your friends at your next get-together! Learn how to make patriotic cupcakes with this easy Firecracker Cupcakes tutorial by theredheadbaker.com

I thought for a while on how I could make edible firecrackers. I saw some people use pull-apart Twizzler candy, but then I’d be limited to only red fireworks. Some made an unexploded firecracker out of fondant, but (a) a chunk of fondant is not tasty to eat, and (B) I wanted a colorful fireworks explosion on my cupcakes.

I settled on meltable candy wafers. These are usually very easy to find at your local craft store, in a wide variety of colors. With a piping bag, a small round piping tip and a sheet of wax paper, you can easily create your own fireworks explosions. These supplies are not expensive, and can be re-used to write names and messages on homemade celebration cakes.

This tutorial is also very easy! I made these cupcakes in a single afternoon. They only take an extra 30 minutes or so longer than regular iced cupcakes. I will caution you, though — pipe about triple the number of arches than you think you’ll need. The thinner you pipe the arches, the more fragile they are, and the more likely they are to break when you push them into the cupcakes. If you hold them closer to the bottom, the easier they’ll insert into the cupcake.

Wow your friends at your next get-together! Learn how to make patriotic cupcakes with this easy Firecracker Cupcakes tutorial by theredheadbaker.com

Firecracker Cupcakes Tutorial
 
Author:
Serves: 15 cucpakes
 
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
  • 1¼ cups cake flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
For the frosting:
  • ¾ cup + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (6 oz) confectioners sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
For the firecracker decorations:
  • 6 oz red candy melts
  • 6 oz blue candy melts
  • Silver luster dust (optional)
  • Vodka or clear vanilla extract (optional)
Special equipment needed:
  • A fine-mesh sieve or sifter
  • Wax paper
  • 1 16-inch piping bag
  • 3 12-inch piping bags
  • 1 large star piping tip (I used Ateco #867)
  • 1 small plain round piping tip (I used Ateco #6)
  • 3 coupler sets
  • 1 small, pointed paintbrush, if using luster dust
Directions
Make the cucpakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed for about 20 seconds.
  4. Add the sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed for about a minute.
  6. Turn the mixer off and add about a third of the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low for about 30 seconds. Add half of the buttermilk, and mix for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl. Add another third of the flour mixture, and mix 30 seconds. Add the remaining buttermilk and mix 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture, mix until just combined and smooth. The batter should be thin.
  7. Portion batter into the prepared pan with a medium-sized scoop, filling each well about half full.
  8. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting:
  1. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for about a minute or until smooth.
  2. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and salt into the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue mixing another 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. Add the heavy cream and vanilla with the mixer on low speed, and mix just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Decorate the cupcakes:
  1. Place the large star tip inside the 16-inch piping bag. Snip off the tip of the bag. Fill halfway with the buttercream. Pipe a swirl of icing on each cupcake.
  2. Melt the red wafers in a double boiler or in the microwave according to package directions. Place the large half of the coupler inside one 12-inch piping bag. Snip off the tip of the bag, just above the coupler's threads. Fit the plain round tip over the coupler, and use the smaller half of the coupler to secure the tip to the piping bag. Fill with the melted red candy wafers.
  3. Place a sheet of wax paper on a table or cutting board. Pipe arches about 3 inches in length. Set aside at room temperature until the candy hardens.
  4. If using, mix about a tablespoon of vodka or clear vanilla with 1 teaspoon of the luster dust. Mix with the paintbrush. Gently paint a very thin coating of the dust onto each firecracker arch. Set aside to dry.
  5. Once the arches are dry, very carefully remove them one at a time from the wax paper and carefully press through the icing and into a cupcake. Place three to five arches per cupcake. Store at room temperature (place an upside-down over top) until ready to serve!

Cupcake recipe by Natasha’s Kitchen; buttercream by Annie’s Eats

Wow your friends at your next get-together! Learn how to make patriotic cupcakes with this easy Firecracker Cupcakes tutorial by theredheadbaker.com

Cherry Marshmallows

By Coleen

Homemade marshmallows are head and shoulders above store-bought. Fresh sweet cherry puree adds beautiful color and flavor to these marshmallows.

Homemade marshmallows are head and shoulders above store-bought. Fresh sweet cherry puree adds beautiful color and flavor to these marshmallows. By theredheadbaker.com

Marshmallows. Pillowy puffs of sugary deliciousness. Is there any dessert that’s as fun as marshmallow?

Back in February, I was chatting on Twitter with Betsy from Desserts Required about flavored marshmallows. I was reminiscing about a culinary school class on making candy, including marshmallows. After making a batch of traditional vanilla marshmallows, we made a second batch in the flavor of our choosing. I made passionfruit. We also cut them into fun shapes.

Homemade marshmallows are head and shoulders above store-bought. Fresh sweet cherry puree adds beautiful color and flavor to these marshmallows. By theredheadbaker.com

Since then, I’ve made festive peppermint marshmallows for Christmas, and I’ve been thinking about making a fun summertime flavored marshmallow. Then I heard that sweet cherries were coming to the local farmers market, and I knew I wanted to try cherry marshmallows.

It’s very easy to add flavors to marshmallows. In a traditional marshmallow recipe, you bloom the gelatin in cold water. To flavor marshmallows with fruit, simply use fruit juice, or for stronger flavor, fruit puree. This also adds pretty color to your marshmallows. It’s often a paler shade than the typical color of the fruit, so I gave these marshmallows a boost with gel food coloring.

Homemade marshmallows are head and shoulders above store-bought. Fresh sweet cherry puree adds beautiful color and flavor to these marshmallows. By theredheadbaker.com

Marshmallows are not difficult to make, technique-wise. A candy thermometer or deep-fry thermometer is required, however. If the sugar-water mixture doesn’t reach the appropriate temperature (or goes too far over it), your marshmallows will not set up properly. They are inexpensive, available at most stores with a kitchen-supply department, and a good thing to keep around the kitchen. I prefer the stainless steel one made by Taylor.

Making marshmallows at home is labor-intensive, VERY MESSY, and takes some time. However, the results are very, very worth it. (Seriously, this is a messy endeavor. Do not attempt these immediately after your fiancé just spent 2 hours cleaning the kitchen.) Once you take a bite of a homemade marshmallow, you will have a very hard time going back to store-bought.

Once these marshmallows have set up, they are delicious when dipped in melted chocolate, used in homemade s’mores, or just eaten out of your hand!

Homemade marshmallows are head and shoulders above store-bought. Fresh sweet cherry puree adds beautiful color and flavor to these marshmallows. By theredheadbaker.com

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cherry Marshmallows
 
Author:
Serves: 96 1-inch marshmallows
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces fresh sweet cherries
  • 1 cup water
  • About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp + 2½ tsp (7/8 of an ounce) unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 drops red food color (optional)
  • 1 drop blue food color (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
Directions
  1. Remove the pits and stems from the cherries, and place them in a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup of water, and set the pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Puree the contents of the saucepan in a blender or food processor, then strain into a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Measure out ½ a cup of cherry puree and place in the refrigerator to chill. Reserve the rest (if any) for another recipe, or discard.
  3. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking pan with a thin coat of vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray. Sift a layer of confectioners sugar over the oil. Set the pan aside.
  4. Place the chilled cherry puree in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the puree, and stir with a whisk so that all of the gelatin is moistened. Set aside.
  5. Place the cold water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt in a 3- or 4-quart heavy-bottom saucepan. Attach a candy thermometer to the side. Set the saucepan on the stovetop over medium-high heat, and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves (around 160 degrees on the thermometer). Continue cooking without stirring until the temperature reaches 240 degrees. Immediately remove the sugar mixture from the stovetop and pour over the cherry/gelatin mixture. Stir with a whisk until all of the now-solid gelatin melts.
  6. Place the mixing bowl on the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on medium-high speed until tripled in volume and light in color, about 12 minutes.
  7. While the sugar mixture is whipping, place the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl. Using a whisk or a hand-held mixer, beat the whites just until they form stiff peaks (peaks that don't fall over).
  8. Once the sugar mixture is done whipping, add the whipped egg whites to the stand mixer bowl. If you are using the food coloring, add them now. Whip the whites with the sugar mixture until fully incorporated.
  9. Use a nonstick silicone spatula to scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. The mixture is thick and sticky, so don't go crazy trying to get every last drop. Smooth out the top as much as you can. Sift a light layer of confectioners sugar over top of the marshmallow. Leave the baking pan uncovered and let sit at room temperature for at least four hours, or up to overnight, to allow the marshmallow to set. It is ready to cut when you touch the surface and it doesn't stick to your finger.
  10. Run a thin knife around the edge of the marshmallow where it meets the pan. Invert the sheet of marshmallow onto a cutting board. Cut the sheet into 1-inch cubes. Sift more confectioners sugar into the 9x13 baking pan. Roll the marshmallows in the sugar on all sides. Shake off any excess and place the marshmallows in a plastic zip-top bag or airtight storage container for up to 1 week.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Homemade marshmallows are head and shoulders above store-bought. Fresh sweet cherry puree adds beautiful color and flavor to these marshmallows. By theredheadbaker.com