Easter Candy Cookies

By Coleen

Bright, colorful Easter candy cookies are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. White chocolate cookies are loaded with pastel-colored chocolate candies. 

#Easter Candy Cookies | theredheadbaker.com

Easter ranks pretty high on my list of favorite holidays. Not for the traditions; for the candy. You see, Cadbury Caramel Eggs are one of the BEST THINGS EVER. And they’re only available around Easter. See also: chocolate bunnies. The solid kind. (Though I recently read about filling hollow bunnies with chocolate liqueur — I can get behind that idea!)

Easter also has pretty candy. Look at those beautiful pastel colors! How can you NOT want to bake something beautiful with those colors?

#Easter Candy Cookies | theredheadbaker.com

Now, sure, you could take those candies and fold them into standard chocolate chip cookie dough, or sugar cookies, or blondies. The cookie base here has melted white chocolate, which just brings these to a whole new level of addictiveness.

Keep a close eye on the white chocolate while melting it. White chocolate has a lower melting temperature than regular chocolate. Move it off and on the heat so it doesn’t scorch. Keep a close eye on these cookies, too. They will go from juuuust golden around the edges to burnt very quickly. But they are worth it!

#Easter Candy Cookies | theredheadbaker.com

Easter Candy Cookies
 
Serves: 40 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 4 oz white chocolate, chopped fine
  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pastel candy-coated chocolates
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the white chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Set aside to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the sugar, baking soda and salt, and beat together for about a minute.
  5. Add the eggs and the melted white chocolate, beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add the flour, and beat just until all of the flour is incorporated. Add the candies, and stir on low until incorporated.
  7. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets with a medium cookie scoop, spacing cookies at least two inches apart. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until just beginning to brown around the edges.
  8. Let cookies cool about a minute on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

Fake-Out Sliders and Fries #SundaySupper

By Coleen

Fool your friends and family with these sweet fake-out sliders and fries! Cupcakes are turned into buns, brownies are the burgers, and pound cake for fries.

Fake-Out Sliders and Fries #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

It’s almost April Fools Day, and the Sunday Supper Movement is having fun fooling with food! Food that looks like other food, food that contains hidden ingredients — anything that is more than what it seems!

I’ve never been a big prankster myself. I’m usually the one being pranked. My fiance can tell the wildest story, but because of his deadpan delivery, he always fools me. You’d think I’d have learned by now.

Fake-Out Sliders and Fries #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

These sliders and fries are laborious, but fun. Vanilla cupcakes become slider buns; dark chocolate brownies become burger patties. Chewy fruit candies and shredded coconut are your toppings. Pound cake loaf slices tossed in cinnamon sugar become your fries.

I’ve written out the vanilla cupcake, brownie, and pound cake recipes that I used below. Feel free to use your favorite recipes in place of the ones I’ve used.

Serve these in classic red diner baskets lined with wax paper to really make your friends and family look twice!

Fake-Out Sliders and Fries #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fake-Out Sliders and Fries #SundaySupper
 
Serves: 24 servings
 
Ingredients
For the cupcake "buns":
  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup milk
For the brownie "burgers":
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
For the pound cake "fries":
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp milk, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups + 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) all-purpose flour
Assembly ingredients:
  • 1 cup chocolate frosting
  • 1½ cups flaked coconut
  • 4 to 6 drops green food color
  • 4 to 6 drops water
  • 24 orange chewy fruit candies, unwrapped
  • 24 red chewy fruit candies, unwrapped
  • 1 cup cinnamon-sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp water
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Seedless trawberry preserves
Directions
Make the cupcakes:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray two 12-well muffin baking pans with nonstick spray. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mxier, beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Add the sugar about ¼ cup at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternately add ⅓ of the flour mixture, half of the milk, another ⅓ of the flour, the second half of the milk, and the remaining ⅓ of the flour, beating just until blended.
  3. Fill each cup with about two-thirds full. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; then turn the pans over so the cupcakes fall out, and place cupcakes right-side-up on cooling racks. Cool completely.
Make the brownies
  1. Keep the oven at 350 degrees. Spray a 15x10x1 baking sheet with nonstick spray, then line with parchment, and spray the parchment with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Pour about an inch of water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and place a mixing bowl over (but not touching) the simmering water. Place the butter, the semisweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in the bowl, and melt, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the eggs, coffee granules, sugar and vanilla. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Stir with a spoon, then sift over the egg/chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. Scrape the batter into the baking pan.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set the entire baking pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the pound cake:
  1. Keep the oven at 350 degrees. Spray a 9" x 5" x 2¾" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Once combined, add in vanilla extract and almond extract and beat until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. After you've added the last egg, beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Once all the eggs are added, stir in the milk.
  4. Sift the flour into the mixing bowl, then mix at low speed just until combined. Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Set the cake on a baking sheet, and bake it for 75 to 85 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack. Insert a toothpick into the center; it should come out clean.
  6. After 5 minutes loosen the cake's edges and turn it out of the pan to cool completely on a rack.
Make the toppings:
  1. Place the coconut flakes, green food color and water in a gallon-sized resealable bag. Seal, and shake until coconut flakes are evenly coated in green. Set aside. This will be shredded lettuce.
  2. On a large microwavable plate, microwave about 8 orange chewy fruit candies at a time on high for 5 to 10 seconds to soften. Use bottom of measuring cup to flatten until each is about 1¾ inches in diameter. Set aside. These will be your cheese slices.
  3. Repeat with the red chewy fruit candies, but once you flatten these to 1¾-inch in diameter, use kitchen shears or a paring knife to cut them into irregular-edged circles. This will be the sliders' ketchup.
  4. Cut each cupcake in half horizontally. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out brownie circles. Trim off all of the brown crust from the pound cake. Cut into ½-inch slices, then cut each into strips. Arrange all of the strips on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through. As soon as the strips are done baking, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the "sliders"
  1. Place a dollop of chocolate frosting on the cut side of each cupcake bottom half. Place a brownie circle on top of each bottom half. Add another dollop of frosting, then place a flattened orange fruit chew on top. Add another dollop of frosting, then add a flattened red fruit chew. Add another dollop of frosting, and attach about 2 tsp of the green coconut flakes. Smear a little dollop of frosting on the cut side of each cupcake top half, and place on top of the green coconut flakes.
  2. Whisk together the honey and water, and brush it over the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top of each bun. If you choose, you can secure the entire "burger" with a cocktail toothpick.
  3. Serve each slider with a few French fries, with strawberry preserves as ketchup.

Cupcake recipe from Betty Crocker; brownie recipe from Ina Garten; pound cake recipe from King Arthur Flour

Check out all of the #SundaySupper April Fools recipes!

Beverages

Appetizers

Sides & Snacks

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.

Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter-Stuffed Donuts

By Coleen

Is there any better flavor combo than chocolate and peanut butter? These chocolate-glazed peanut butter-stuffed donuts are practically dessert for breakfast.

Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter-Stuffed Donuts #ChocPBDay | theredheadbaker.com

Did you know that someone designated March 25th as Chocolate-Peanut Butter Day in honor of my birthday?!? Okay, maybe not in honor of my birthday. But it’s QUITE a coincidence, considering that chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite flavor combination of ALL TIME, don’t you think? And, for the second year in a row, Carla of Chocolate Moosey and Miriam of Overtime Cook put together this event to celebrate! Well, again, to celebrate chocolate-peanut butter day, not my birthday. Or did they?

Seriously, though, today is all about chocolate and peanut butter. I had one heck of a time trying to narrow down to ONE recipe to post today. Well, cake was out, since I’ve done that already. Cupcakes, too. And ice cream. And candy. I wasn’t kidding when I said chocolate-peanut butter was my favorite flavor combo of all time.

Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter-Stuffed Donuts #ChocPBDay | theredheadbaker.com

I settled on these donuts because, though a certain popular donut chain purports on their website to have a “Chocolate Peanut Butter Kreme Donut,” I’ve never seen one in any of the hundred locations within 10-square miles of my apartment.

I can’t be too upset about that, though. If I *could* find one near me? Well, I’d be stopping in there at least once a day. It’s hard enough not to swing buy for a cookie dough latte. No lie, when my son was still rear-facing, I’d go through the drive-through, order a latte, and he’d yell from the backseat, “Want a donut!” before he even SAW where we were.

Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter-Stuffed Donuts #ChocPBDay | theredheadbaker.com

The filling below makes way more than you’ll need for the 12 donuts. Save it to fill cupcakes, spread between sandwich cookies, or heck, just grab a spoon.

If your glaze turns out gloppy and slides right off your donuts, it could need more milk, or it’s gotten too cold. Add another tablespoonful of milk, and slowly whisk over very low heat until it reaches a good dipping consistency.

Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter-Stuffed Donuts #ChocPBDay | theredheadbaker.com

If you find you actually have donuts leftover at the end of the day, first, are you feeling okay? Maybe you might want to see a doctor? Second, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two days (use wax paper between layers if you need to stack them), or stored in airtight container in the fridge for up to a week (HA!).

Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter-Stuffed Donuts #ChocPBDay | theredheadbaker.com

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter-Stuffed Donuts
 
Serves: 12 donuts
 
Donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days; or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Ingredients
For the donuts:
  • 2½ tsp instant yeast
  • ⅔ cup half-and-half, at room temperature
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 7 pieces
  • Canola oil, for frying
For the peanut butter filling:
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup half-and-half
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
For the chocolate glaze:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, gently stir together the yeast and half-and-half. Let sit for about 1 minute to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and the eggs and mix on low speed with the dough hook for about 4 minutes, to combine the mixture and build gluten.
  2. After 4 minutes, slowly add the butter, a piece at a time, and continue to mix with the dough hook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is soft and cohesive.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap tightly in two layers of plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to 18 hours.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a well-floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch square about ½ inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many doughnuts as you can. Discard the scraps (dough does not re-roll well). Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place in a draft-free area to proof for 2 to 3 hours, or until they are about doubled in height and feel pillowy.
  5. When ready to fry, line a large tray or baking sheet at least two layers of paper towels. Pour at least 3 inches of oil in a Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Working in batches of two or three, place the doughnuts in the hot oil, being careful not to crowd them. Fry on the first side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Then gently flip them and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until brown on the second side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the prepared tray and let cool completely.
  6. While the donuts are cooling, make the filling: using a stand mixer, beat together the peanut butter and half-and-half with the paddle attachment. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, but still smooth and creamy. You may not need the entire 1½ cups of powdered sugar. If filling looks too thick, add more half-and-half, a teaspoon at a time. If it's too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time.
  7. Fit a pastry bag with a small round tip and fill the bag with the filling. When doughnuts are completely cooled, use the pastry tip to poke a hole in the side of each doughnut, spacing it equidistant between the top and bottom. Squirt about ¼ cup filling into each doughnut.
  8. Make the glaze: combine the butter, milk, and corn syrup in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, whisk in the vanilla, then add the sifted powdered sugar, whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the tops of the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Epicurious; Chocolate glaze recipe from Alton Brown

Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter-Stuffed Donuts #ChocPBDay | theredheadbaker.com

Get more chocolate and peanut butter deliciousness!

Chicken Thighs Braised in Milk

By Coleen

Chicken thighs, milk, cinnamon, lemon and garlic don’t seem to be ingredients that pair well together. But give it a try — you will be amazed at the flavor!

Chicken Thighs Braised in Milk | theredheadbaker.com

I stumbled across this recipe on The Kitchn while searching for a main dish to serve with my Hasselback Potatoes a la Mancha. I was intrigued because chicken thighs, milk, cinnamon, lemon and garlic didn’t really seem like ingredients that would pair well together. But Faith Durand, the author, called it “the best chicken of all time,” so I really wanted to try it for myself.

Something else that helped convince me to try it is that this recipe is really rather budget-friendly. It’s cheaper to buy a whole chicken rather than a package of breasts. The other ingredients are also relatively low-cost, and this yield on this recipe is enough for two nights’ worth of food for our small family of three.

Chicken Thighs Braised in Milk | theredheadbaker.com

The first time I made this recipe, I made it exactly as written by Jamie Oliver. The aroma while it was cooking was nearly intoxicating. And it really was delicious. I noticed that the dark meat (the thighs and drumsticks) was a little more flavorful than the white meat. I also thought the garlic flavor didn’t shine through as much as it could.

I tried the recipe again, this time with just thighs. Yes, I know I just said buying a whole chicken is cheaper. But a family pack of bone-in thighs is nearly as cheap as the whole chicken. Chicken thighs are just so forgiving. It’s really hard to overcook thighs to the point of dryness. The second time around, I peeled the garlic instead of leaving the skin on, to give the garlic flavor a chance to permeate the sauce. Before I even told Dave about the changes I made, he commented on how much better the recipe tasted the second time around.

Chicken Thighs Braised in Milk | theredheadbaker.com

Chicken Thighs Braised in Milk
 
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 6 to 8 whole fresh sage leaves, stems removed
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 2 cups whole milk
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Season the chicken thighs generously all over (both sides) with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Add the chicken thighs, and sear until golden all over, 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Be patient -- the sear is complete when the chicken doesn't stick to the pan. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and drain the oil left in the pot.
  3. Add the chicken thighs back to the pot, and add the remaining ingredients (cinnamon stick through milk). Cover the pan and place in the oven for 45 minutes, basting halfway through. The milk will form little curds on top of the chicken.
  4. After 45 minutes, remove the lid from the dutch oven, and cook the chicken another 45 minutes, basting halfway through.
  5. Place a chicken thigh on each plate, and spoon some of the sauce from the Dutch oven onto each thigh, and serve.

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Chicken Thighs Braised in Milk | theredheadbaker.com

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Martini #SundaySupper

By Coleen

Celebrate the end of winter — and the arrival of fresh spring produce — with this martini made with seasonal Meyer lemons and rosemary.

 

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Martini #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

Spring is officially here! Mother Nature must have missed the memo, because we got 3 inches of snow on Friday, the Spring Equinox. DO NOT LIKE.

Don’t misunderstand me, I sort of like winter. I love living in an area where we experience four distinct seasons. Though as far as I’m concerned, winter could last one month, and we could add those remaining two months on to spring and fall. Two or three weeks after New Year’s, I’m DONE with winter.

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Martini #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

Spring means fresh produce, farmers markets, and longer daylight hours. One of my favorite spring produce selections is Meyer lemons. The lemon-orange hybrids aren’t the easiest to find in my East Coast area, as they require a warmer climate to grow. I’ve only ever seen them at Wegman’s (thankfully, at my new apartment, I’m much closer to a Wegman’s location).

The slightly sweeter, less acidic flavor really shines in this simple martini. The rosemary adds an earthy, almost savory quality to the martini. Muddle lightly for a subtle hint of rosemary; muddle harder for more a prominent flavor. Then sit outside on a not-so-cold evening and sip as you watch the sun go down. Welcome, Spring!

The recipe makes enough simple syrup for four martinis. If you don’t use all of it for martinis, you can also use the syrup to brush on cake, add it to your tea, drizzle over fresh fruit, or use it a poultry or seafood marinade.

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Martini #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

5.0 from 4 reviews
Meyer Lemon Rosemary Martini #SundaySupper
 
Serves: 1 martini
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • Peel of one Meyer lemon (removed with vegetable peeler or zest stripper, not a microplane grater)
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Candied Meyer lemon slices or a sprig of rosemary, for garnish
Directions
  1. Place the sugar, water and Meyer lemon peel in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat back to medium and allow the mixture to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. Remove the lemon peel and discard. Store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Syrup can be made a day ahead.
  2. Place the rosemary sprig and 1 ounce of the simple syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Muddle with the end of a wooden spoon a few times.
  3. Add the vodka, Meyer lemon juice and ice to the cocktail shaker. Shake for about 30 seconds.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass. Float a candied lemon slice or a sprig of rosemary on top of the martini and serve.

Adapted from Livin’ the Pie Life

To make candied Meyer lemon slices, cut one Meyer lemon into 1/8th-inch rounds. Discard any seeds. Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of orange juice, and 3/4 cup of water in a skillet over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon slices to the skillet, making sure none overlap, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, turning the slices frequently, until the pulp is slightly translucent and the rinds are soft. Remove the skillet from the heat and use tongs to transfer the lemon slices to a wax-paper-lined baking sheet to cool completely. Slices can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Check out all of the #SundaySupper Spring Fling recipes!

Beverages

Appetizers

Sides

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.

Celebrity Chefs Brunch 2015

By Coleen

On April 19th, 2015, join Meals on Wheels Delaware for their 18th annual Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch, featuring culinary delights from highly acclaimed chefs from across the United States.

Meals on Wheels Delaware Celebrity Chefs Brunch

Meals On Wheels Delaware is a nonprofit organization working with five meal-providing agencies and thousands of volunteers from corporations, civic, religious and community groups. Together, the program provides and delivers meals every day to over 4,000 homebound seniors. In fact, in 2013 volunteers delivered over 710,000 meals throughout the state. Meals On Wheels Delaware joins the partnership by providing additional financial and volunteer resources to agency providers to ensure that seniors throughout Delaware are given the support they need. Meals On Wheels Delaware provides more than a meal — it also provides the gift of health, independence, and companionship to homebound seniors in Delaware.

Last year, I attended Meals on Wheels Delaware’s 17th annual Celebrity Chefs Brunch. The brunch is an annual event that attracts guests throughout the Delaware Valley as restaurants and chefs from across the United States and abroad showcase their best dishes in an effort to raise funds and awareness for senior hunger throughout the State of Delaware. I was blown away by the creativity and the quality of the dishes presented by the chefs.

Duck confit stuffed French toast … omg, YUM

A photo posted by Coleen (@theredheadbaker) on

 

This year, presenting chefs will include: The Beekman Boys: Josh Kilmer-Purcell & Brent Ridge from Beekman 1802 in Sharon Springs, NY; Jay Caputo from Espuma in Rehoboth Beach, DE; Nick Elmi from Laurel in Philadelphia, PA; Daniel Fox from Heritage Tavern in Madison, WI; Clifford Lyness from Perspectives Restaurant in Ottawa, ON, Canada; Harold Marmulstein from Salty Sow in Austin, TX; Cassy Vires from Juniper in St. Louis, MO; and so many more.

Celebrity Chefs Brunch for Meals on Wheels Delaware

The 2015 Celebrity Chefs Brunch will be held on Sunday, April 19th at Hercules Plaza, located at 1313 North Market Street, in Wilmington, Delaware. If you’d like to attend this fabulous event, tickets can be purchased for $175.00 each on the Meals on Wheels Delaware site. Not local? Book a room with the event’s Platinum sponsor, Courtyard Marriot, located just 5 blocks from the event at 1102 North West Street in Wilmington, DE.

If you are unable to attend but would like to donate to Meals on Wheels to help them help seniors tor remain independent, maintain good health, manage their own affairs, find needed assistance or care, and live life with dignity, you can do so through the the organization’s site. Meals On Wheels Delaware has been an IRS-recognized 501c3 agency since 1996.

Disclosure: In exchange for advertising the Celebrity Chefs Brunch event, Meals on Wheels Delaware is providing me with two free tickets to the event.

Blackberry-Rhubarb Chutney and Goat Cheese Crostini

By Coleen

This Friday marks the first day of spring! Get your hands on some seasonal fresh rhubarb, and make this delicious chutney with goat cheese on crostini, or spoon it over pork tenderloin.

Blackberry-Rhubarb Chutney and Goat Cheese Crostini | theredheadbaker.com

It’s nearly spring! I’ve already babbled about my excitement in other posts. My excitement over the ability to go outside without a jacket. To wear maxi skirts and flip flops. The opening of local farmers markets. Fresh spring produce.

Last spring, I tried rhubarb for the first time. I was always hesitant to try it before, and I really couldn’t tell you why. Probably left over from my picky childhood days, when I wouldn’t touch anything that either looked or sounded funny.

Blackberry-Rhubarb Chutney and Goat Cheese Crostini | theredheadbaker.com

I discovered that I actually really like rhubarb! It’s a vegetable, though since it’s often used as a fruit, it is sometimes classified that way. It tastes sour when eaten raw, and cooking brings out the sweet/tart side of it. It’s very low-calorie, and loaded with several B-complex vitamins (such as folates, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B-6), vitamin A and vitamin K.

This chutney walks a fine line of being sweet AND savory. It could be enjoyed at any meal: on toast for breakfast, stirred into brown rice for lunch, or spooned over pork tenderloin for dinner. It keeps very well for about two months, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you can’t find fresh rhubarb, you can use an equal amount of frozen rhubarb. You can add it to the saucepan still frozen, it will just take longer to cook and thicken.

Blackberry-Rhubarb Chutney and Goat Cheese Crostini | theredheadbaker.com

Blackberry-Rhubarb Chutney and Goat Cheese Crostini
 
Serves: about 16 crostini
 
Ingredients
For the rhubarb chutney:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup thinly sliced rhubarb (about 1 fresh stalk)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
For the crostini:
  • 1 French baguette, cut into ⅛-inch thick slices
  • Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil
  • Fresh goat cheese
  • Parsley or chives, for garnish
Directions
  1. Combine all of the chutney ingredients (sugar through garlic clove) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently, until thick. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. To prepare crostini, spread baguette slices on a baking sheet. Mist lightly with cooking spray, or brush with a scant layer of olive oil.
  4. Bake the slices in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly toasted.
  5. Spread goat cheese on each crostini, then top with some of the rhubarb chutney. Garnish with a small sprig of parsley or a couple of pieces of snipped chives.

Chutney recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light

St. Patrick’s Day Muddy Buddies

By Coleen

Need a fast, easy snack for Saint Patrick’s Day? Make a batch of these muddy buddies (aka puppy chow): cereal coated in chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar, plus Lucky Charms marshmallows and M&Ms!

#StPatricksDay Muddy Buddies | theredheadbaker

When I mention that I’m a food blogger, more often than not, people ask, “What do you do with all that extra food??” Well, there’s not as much extra food as you would think. Many of the recipes I post are things my family eats and enjoys.

Other times (like this one), I’ll make a half-batch of what I’m planning to blog, so there’s not as much extra hanging around. And there are times (like this one) where I wish I’d made a full batch because it’s so darn tasty!

#StPatricksDay Muddy Buddies | theredheadbaker

Seriously. I really like Chex. I love peanut butter. I *really* love chocolate. And marshmallows. And M&Ms. You’d think I’d have had the forethought to realize, “Hmm, I’m taking ingredients I really like and combining them into one epic snack. Maybe I should make a FULL batch.”

Alas. I did not. Thankfully, it’s so easy to make, it’s no problem to make another half-batch. Or a full batch. And hide in the closet with the bag because I don’t want to share.

Don’t judge.

#StPatricksDay Muddy Buddies | theredheadbaker

St. Patrick's Day Muddy Buddies
 
 
Ingredients
  • 9 cups (8.5 oz) Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Lucky Charms marshmallows
  • ½ cup green M&Ms
Directions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper set aside. Pour the Chex cereal into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute, then stir. Heat an additional 30 seconds if necessary, until mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal, and stir with a folding motion until all of the cereal is coated. Spread the cereal on the prepared baking sheet and let sit for about 15 minutes to cool.
  4. Place the powdered sugar in a gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag. Add the cereal. Seal the bake and shake until all of the cereal is coated.
  5. Pour the cereal into a serving bowl. Add the marshmallows and M&Ms, toss to distribute. Store sealed in an airtight container at room temperature. That is, if there's any left to store.

Adapted from the official General Mills Chex website

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream #SundaySupper

By Coleen

Baking cakes puts me in my happy place. I hope the moist, tender crumb of these cupcakes and the bright citrus filling and frosting will put you in a happy place, too. Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream #SundaySupper #GalloFamily | theredheadbaker.com

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the family birthday cake baker. Even before I attended culinary school, and even before I realized how much I loved cooking, I baked the birthday cakes, even my own (always boxed yellow cake mix with store-bought chocolate frosting).

Even though my mom doesn’t even LIKE cake, she always let me make one, because I enjoyed doing it. And everybody knew my grandmother would complain that there wasn’t cake. Woe to you if you cut her too small a slice.

In my tweens and teens, those cakes came from boxed mixes. I can remember my first failure, too. I didn’t follow the instructions to beat the batter for a full 2 minutes. “The ingredients are all mixed together. Why do I need to beat it for 2 whole minutes?” And when I tried to take the baked cake out of the pan, the whole thing fell apart.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream #SundaySupper #GalloFamily | theredheadbaker.com

Being a problem-solver, I wanted to find out why. Beating the cake batter for two minutes builds gluten. Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat (flour) that provides the structure that allows the baked cake to hold its weight (and not fall apart).

We didn’t have internet access until my later high school years, so I had to turn to books and magazines for research on cooking. When I went to the library to do research for a school assignment, I spent about half of my time there reading about cooking.

As I got older, I started baking from scratch, and in culinary school, I learned that baking is as much science as it is art. There are very precise ratios that go into cakes, cookies, muffins, and pastries. And if you alter the ratio too much, your recipe fails. Ingredients matter, too. If you’re going to use baking soda to leaven your baked good, you’re going to need something acidic in your dough to get it to rise.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream #SundaySupper #GalloFamily | theredheadbaker.com

I love being complimented on my cooking and baking. Outwardly, I deflect compliments by saying ,”Oh, I just followed the recipe,” but inwardly, I’m thrilled. Baking is where I’m confident. Baking is what relaxes me. When I’m stressed out, I bake. My happy place is my kitchen.

I love this cake recipe, because the authors were always the first I turned to when I wanted to learn the “why” behind the recipe. Why do we use these particular ingredients? Why are they added in this order? Why do we use this method? Before there was a whole channel on television devoted to cooking and baking, these cooking magazine authors taught me how to bake.

I’ve turned their 9-inch layer cake into cupcakes, because I can kid myself, and call it “portion control” (while eating two cupcakes in one sitting). I’ve filled them with a luscious lemon curd filling, and flavored my absolute favorite frosting, Swiss Meringue Buttercream, with the same lemon curd.

These cupcakes pair beautifully with Gallo Family Vineyard’s Chardonnay. This white wine’s citrus undertones enhance the lemon filling and frosting, while the cupcakes themselves bring out the subtle notes of vanilla in the wine.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream #SundaySupper #GalloFamily | theredheadbaker.com

5.0 from 3 reviews
Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Swiss Buttercream #SundaySupper
 
Serves: 24 cupcakes
 
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
  • 2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites (¾ cup), at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar (12¼ ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened but still cool
For the filling:
  • 1 cup lemon curd, homemade or store-bought
For the frosting:
  • 9 egg whites
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup lemon curd
Directions
  1. Make the cupcakes: Set oven racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
  3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs.
  4. Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
  5. Use a large scoop to portion batter evenly among paper liners. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes.
  6. Let cupcakes rest in pans for 3 minutes, then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Once completely cooled, use a ¼-inch round cutter to remove the center of each cupcake (or, use a paring knife to cut a small cone-shaped hole in the center of each cupcake).
  8. Place 1-cup lemon curd in a large pastry bag. Snip off the tip, and pipe lemon curd into each cupcake. Refrigerate until ready to frost.
  9. Make the icing: 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.
  10. Remove bowl from the water and place on the mixer. Whip until meringue forms soft peaks.
  11. 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.
  12. After all the butter is added, add vanilla and lemon curd and continue beating until the buttercream comes together and looks smooth and creamy.
  13. Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use. If using later, allow buttercream to come to room temperature, then beat again before using.

Cupcake recipe by Cooks Illustrated; Swiss meringue buttercream recipe adapted from The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream #SundaySupper #GalloFamily | theredheadbaker.com

Don’t forget to read the other Sunday Supper/Gallo Meals with Memories stories!

Savory Recipes:

Sweet Recipes:

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.

Gallo Family VineyardsMake sure to go visit Gallo to learn more about their wine and read more Meals with Memories stories, as well as some great recipes. While you’re at it, make sure to check out Gallo’s convenient Store Locator! Sunday Supper’s Meals with Memories features two Gallo wines: Chardonnay and Merlot.

To learn more about Gallo wines and find out why #SundaySupper is such great fans of their products, be sure to visit Gallo’s social media sites:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GalloFamilyVineyards
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GalloFamily
Instagram: http://instagram.com/gallofamily
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/gallofamilyvineyards

Peach-Blueberry Pie

By Coleen

It’s Pi(e) Day! I teamed up with 20 food bloggers to celebrate. I made a delicious vanilla-scented peach-blueberry pie in a sweet pie crust.

Peach Blueberry Pie | theredheadbaker.com

Welcome to Pi(e) Day hosted by Terri from Love and Confections! Pi Day is celebrated every March 14 by math fans around the world – and also bakers and pastry chefs. Pi is an non-repeating, infinite number represented by the Greek letter π, and used to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Today, March 14, 2015, is an extra special Pi Day, because at 9:26:53 AM it creates the “Pi Moment of the Century”. The first ten digits of Pi are 3.141592653 (3/14/15, 9:26 AM and 53 seconds). This exact date and time happens once every hundred years – a once in a lifetime moment for most of us. How cool is that? Today, 20 Food Bloggers have gathered and want to celebrate the fun of Pi by creating their own sweet and savory pies to share with you. Hope you have a delicious day!

Peach Blueberry Pie | theredheadbaker.com

I wanted to do a classic fruit pie. This pie is loaded with peaches and blueberries. The best part about this pie is that the peaches don’t need to be peeled. Less prep work means less time until delicious pie is ready to eat! Tossing the peaches and blueberries in vanilla sugar concentrates the flavor of the fruit by extracting the juices, and adds a subtle vanilla flavor to the fruit.

Vanilla sugar can be purchased, but it’s very easy to make at home. Place 1 cup of regular white sugar in an airtight container. Add half of a vanilla bean, whole or scraped. Bury the bean in the sugar. Let it sit for a week or two, shaking occasionally. Use it just like regular sugar. It’s awesome in coffee! If you don’t have vanilla sugar, and don’t want to wait 1 or 2 weeks for this pie (and I don’t blame you!) just use regular sugar.

Peach Blueberry Pie | theredheadbaker.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
Peach-Blueberry Pie
 
 
Ingredients
For the pie crust:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ⅓ cup very cold vegetable shortening
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons (about ½ cup) ice water
For the filling:
  • 2 lbs fresh ripe peaches (6 to 8 peaches)
  • 6 oz fresh blueberries
  • ⅔ cup vanilla sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
For the egg wash:
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 tbsp water
Directions
  1. Make the pie dough: Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Add the butter cubes and shortening to the flour mixture, pulse 8 to 12 times, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. While pulsing the machine, slowly stream 6 tbsp of the ice water into the food processor, until dough starts to form large clumps. If it doesn't, add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until large clumps form.
  4. Scrape clumps onto a floured surface and form into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. While the pie dough is resting, slice each peach in half, then slice each half into 4 wedges. Place the peach wedges in a large mixing bowl. Add the blueberries, and the vanilla sugar. Toss to coat, set aside.
  6. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Divide the dough in half. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  7. On a well-floured surface, roll one half of the dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Gently fold in half and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Carefully unfold the pie dough and trim overhang to half an inch. Brush a thin layer of egg white over the bottom and sides of the pie crust. Set aside.
  8. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a measuring cup. Scrape the filling into the sieve. Reserve the juices in the measuring cup. Pour the fruit into the pie plate.
  9. Place the reserved juices in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to a syrup. Pour over the fruit pie filling. Dot the filling with the butter cubes.
  10. Roll the second half of the pie dough into a 12-inch circle and place on top of the filling. Trim overhang to half an inch, and press edges together with the bottom crust. Pinch decoratively to seal. Cut vents in the top crust.
  11. Whisk together the egg yolk and the water, and brush onto the top crust. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the pie plate on a wire rack to cool for at least two hours.

Pie crust recipe from Ina Garten; filling recipe adapted from Epicurious

Peach Blueberry Pie | theredheadbaker.com

Enjoy a slice from the Pi(e) Day Bloggers: