Happily, kind of, I am currently so far behind on this blog that this has now completed the loop to this being back in season! Go me!

Egg nog. Dutch babies. This is pretty much an A+ combination on all fronts, especially as the cold finally starts to settle in over Chicago. So make this this weekend, and treat yourself. You’ve earned it.

Egg Nog Dutch Baby
Makes one dutch baby

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c egg nog
  • 1 c flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • 1 T sugar

Preheat your oven to 400, place the butter in the cast iron skillet, and place the skillet in the oven to melt the butter (see what pic 3 looks like for what this will look like after the oven has preheated).

Combine all other ingredients in the blender (pic 1), and blend until combined (pic 2). Once the oven has preheated, swirl the skillet to coat it in butter, and then pour the batter into the hot skillet (pic 4).

Place back into the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and puffed (pic 5), and then om nom it!

I haven’t tried making a pie in a while, and frankly, I felt it was time to try again, especially with the strawberries and peaches at the height of their season. It didn’t exactly turn out amazing (fumbling around with thawing pie crusts and super juicy fillings translates into a sudden cobbler transformation), but it’s good for a first try. Plus, it’s generally an amazing flavor combination – warmed, honeyed peaches and strawberries, with just a dash of bourbon and vanilla. 

Honey Strawberry Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen pie crusts (one for the bottom, and one for the lattice top or whatever you can manage) (if you want the recipe for the crust as in the original recipe, click the link above)
  • 5 fresh sliced and pitted peaches (roughly 5 c)
  • 2 c strawberries, halved and hulled
  • 1/3 c dark brown sugar
  • .5 c flour
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 T bourbon
  • 2 T butter, sliced thin
  • 1 beaten egg
  • sugar, to sprinkle

Line the bottom of your pie plate with the crust. Toss together your peaches, strawberries, dark brown sugar, flour, honey, vanilla extract, and bourbon, and then spoon the filling into the pie plate, being sure to get all the juices. Add the thin butter slices over the top. 

Place the top crust over the top of the pie – if you can make a lattice, go for it! Otherwise, just crimp the edges on, and be sure to cut vents in the crust. (I tried to lattice it. It didn’t go very well.)  Brush the crust with the beaten egg, and then sprinkle the sugar on top. 

Chill the pie in the fridge until it’s firm, usually about 1 hour, but up to several days in advance. 

When you’re ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven to 350. Once heated, place the chilled pie on a baking sheet, in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the crust is a good golden brown. Let the pie cool, and then om the nom out of it!

Churro. Waffles. That should really be all I need to say on this subject. Top with a bit of warmed dulce de leche, and you’ve got a perfect, quick weekend breakfast. (Seriously, this is ready to go in ten minutes, and your first waffle will be ready at about the twenty minute mark.) Plus, except for the buttermilk, you will probably have all of this in your pantry/fridge already! 

So what the hell are you wating for? CHURRO WAFFLES.

Churro Waffles
Makes ~8 waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 c buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 T butter, melted
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • .5 c white sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • warmed dulce de leche to top

Take your buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and dark brown sugar, and whisk together. Then, add in your flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk until just barely combined (it’s cool if it looks lumpy!). Let the batter sit while you warm up your waffle iron. 

Cook your waffles according to instructions, and prepare two bowls: one with melted butter, and a brush, and the other with the sugar and cinnamon mixed. Once your first waffle is done, brush each side with melted butter, and then dunk each side into the cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Spoon a bit of warmed dulce de leche over the waffles, and enjoy your sweet, quick weekend breakfast!

Nutella is awesome. Alcohol is awesome. Combine the two, and you have one of the greatest combinations anyone has ever come up with. Really, I’m surprised Nutella hasn’t done something like this yet. But hey, means more awesomeness for me.

You can do this recipe up in a half hour, plus a bit of chilling time in the fridge. I had the small glass as a night cap last night, and let me tell you, it is pretty fantastic. This is going down to Chicago with me for my con time this year, and I’m quite looking forward to it. 

Nutella Cream Liquor
Makes 1 750 ml bottle, plus a little extra

Ingredients

  • .75 c Nutella
  • .5 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1.25 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 c vodka

Take your Nutella, sugar, and vanilla extract, and heat over medium heat. Whisk the ingredients together, and slowly add your whipping cream in (at about a half a cup at a time I found gave me the best control over the mixture), whisking until smooth and creamy. Heat until it starts to simmer, and then remove from heat and cool to room temperature. 

Once cooled, whisk in your vodka, and stir until combined. Take a sip. See if you’d like to add more vodka or not. (Two cups is just enough to be nicely boozy, but not overwhelmingly so.)

And then, pour into a bottle using a funnel, and chill in your fridge!

This cake is my crowning glory. mithingthepoint​ originally made this back in the days of yore as a FFXII dessert for Balthier, and it pretty much had me from the initial list of ingredients. I’ve made it three times in my life, and none of them has been perfect, but this is pretty damn close. Time one, I didn’t have a springform and I’m 99% sure I screwed up the second layer pretty badly. Time two, I had the springform, but opened it too early, and it got all over everything.

And now, time 3. I got pretty much everything right this time around, except for the second layer – that still ended up a bit on the liquid side, likely because I didn’t beat the merengue/whipped cream bit of it for long enough.  The result is still amazing.  

This will take you several days to make. This has been sitting in my fridge for about a week now due to needing to pick up extra whipping cream and Kahlua for the final stage.  It is worth every minute you put into it.

Kahlua Mousse Cake
Lasts 2 weeks worth of desserts

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1 c white sugar
  • .25 c special dark cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c hot brewed coffee (I used a leftover Pumpkin Spice Via I had from last year’s batch, this year’s is shit)
  • 1/3 c hot melted butter
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • liberal amounts of Kahlua

Mousse Layer

  • 16 oz white baking chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • pinch salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 8 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 4 T white sugar
  • 1.5 c heavy whipping cream

Kahlua Whipped Cream

  • 2 c heavy whipping cream
  • .75 c powdered sugar
  • .5 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T Kahlua

Kahlua Glaze

  • 1.5 c powdered sugar
  • 6 T Kahlua

Preheat your oven to 350. If your springform pan is not nonstick, grease and flour it, or put parchment paper in.  In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt), and form a small well in the middle. Add the hot brewed coffee directly in the center of the well, followed by the melted butter, vanilla extract, and egg, like so:

image

 Mix together, and pour into your springform.  Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Then, take your Kahlua, and pour it all over the cake. Trust me. Just do it.  The amount in picture two was about a quarter of a 750 ml bottle.  Chill for at minimum an hour in the fridge.  Longer is better here.

To make the mousse layer, melt together your stick of butter and your white chocolate over medium heat.  (I started with the butter, and added the chocolate in small chunks, and that was honestly the best way to get it to the lovely smoothness in picture 3.)  Then stir in the salt and vanilla, and whisk in the egg yolks (see picture 4 for what that looks like), and remove from heat. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy (see picture five), and slowly add the sugar in, beating until you get stiff peaks and the sugar is disolved, giving you a nice merengue.  I probably didn’t do the eggs long enough here to get that.  Fold into the white chocolate mixture.  Then beat your heavy whipping cream until thick and firm, and then fold that into the mixture as well.  

Pour the resulting confection over the soaked cake, and let it sit for one to two days. Mine sat for about five. 

On the day you’re ready to serve the cake, make the Kahlua whipped cream and the glaze.  For the whipped cream, work with all ingredients except the sugar cold, and start by using an electric mixer to beat the cream.  Slowly add the sugar, followed by the vanilla, and finally the Kahlua, and beat until thick (see pictures 7 and 8 for what that should look like).  If you properly did the confection layer, you will be able to safely open the springform and pour the whipped cream over the cake. If not, no worries, you can still pour the whipped cream on top of the cake in the springform and it’ll still work well.

For the glaze, work with the Kahlua cold, and mix it together with the powdered sugar (see picture 9).  Pipe it over the edges of the cake and/or in an abstract fashion. If you’re like me and using this as an exercise in spite baking, you might, say write this:

image

Before glazing it over to be a bit more socially acceptable (see final picture).

Either way? Enjoy your ridiculously boozy decadent ass cake.  You deserve it. Yes, you.

I made these… significantly earlier than I would care to admit, but things have been busy enough around here with the holidays and such that I haven’t gotten to posting these just yet.

I made these alcoholic cookie balls for the bosses this year (with a few leftover for me), and they also kind of served as tryouts for a good base ball recipe. This was definitely one of the more interesting ones, but not the one I’ll be ultimately using.  Very good recipe, though. And around this time of year, I’m all for alcoholic cookie balls.

This recipe isn’t quite perfect, as I ended up having to do some guessing on whether or not I had the right chocolate (long story short there was chocolate in my pantry but I didn’t know what kind it was as it had been taken out of the packaging and scattered all over the pantry), or enough of it. These ended up being a bit more moist following the base recipe, and I ended up adding powdered sugar to compensate. Not sure how much the Kahlua came through on this, but still a no bake, relative stress relieving assembly process.

Kahlua Balls
Makes appx 20 balls

  • 3 c crushed graham cracker crumbs (comes out to about two and a half of the small packages of graham crackers you find in a box)
  • .75 c powdered sugar
  • .25 c dark cocoa powder
  • 1.5 c semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3 T corn syrup
  • .33 c Kahlua
  • 3 T brewed coffee
  • .5 c white sugar, for rolling

First, crush your graham crackers. If you have a food processor, you can do it that way. Alternatively, do what I did – take a large bag, add a package at a time, and beat it with a rolling pin until you have relatively uniform, fine crumbs. Trust me, it’s a pretty fantastic feeling. To chop your chocolate, use a large knife (such as the one in picture two above), and use it on the squares to kind of shave the chocolate off the squares, to a fine enough point that it will blend in the batter well eventually. 

Take your chocolate, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and graham cracker crumbs, and whisk them together until you have a relatively uniform mix. Add in the vanilla, Kahlua, corn syrup, and coffee, and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough just barely comes together.  If it ends up too moist, add more powdered sugar to firm. 

Take chunks of dough and roll them into 1" balls. Put them on a separate plate to rest while you roll them all out. Once rolled, put them in the white sugar, toss to coat, and then place in a container. Put them in the fridge to chill – two to three days to develop the flavor is best.  And then, when you decide to eat them (and it will be sooner rather than later), bring them up to room temp, and enjoy!

This was the first recipe I used the new oven (or at least the oven portion) on, and man, I cannot explain the joys of having an oven that doesn’t run constantly hot, cooks well, and also is not at risk of setting itself on fire every time it gets above 400. 

This sauce is perfect with farmer’s market blueberries, a splash of a good red wine (I used leftover Cupcake Winery Red Velvet from the Kahlua cherries), and some high quality vanilla extract. I’m gong to be making some vanilla custard to go with this, and this would also go great with ice cream, too, off the top of my head. Either way, it’s summer in a sauce. 

Roasted Red Wine Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 c fresh blueberries
  • a splash of red wine (my red of choice is Cupcake Winery’s Red Velvet)
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • 2 T sugar

Combine all ingredients in a baking dish, heat oven to 400 and then roast for twenty minutes. The original recipe recommends pulling it out halfway through and giving them a stir, but it worked just fine even when I didn’t. Once your sauce is done, you might want to smash the berries a bit with the back of your spoon, but otherwise, you’re going to have an amazing smelling sauce that you can use with just about everything.

This was the recipe I used to break in my fancy new gas oven, and man, I cannot describe how fucking perfect it is (both the recipe and the stovetop, lol). Farmers market cherries, a sweet vanilla chilled cream, and a wonderful syrup of Kahlua, red wine, and sugar makes this all incredibly decadent. Be warned, though, this is incredibly alcoholic; you’re cooking the pint of cherries in an equal amount of Kahlua, red wine, and sugars. The end resulting cherries are some of the sexiest things I’ve ever had, though.  Like, if you’re looking for a way to get someone in bed, make these. 

The sweet cream recipe is originally from the Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook; however, with help from my baby sister, I did make some alteration to the directions, as my first attempt got me a severely overcooked custard rather than a smooth pourable cream. The second version is still a bit on the overly thick/cooked side, but it’s a lot closer to what it should be. It’ll take you multiple times to get it right; don’t be afraid if you fuck it up the first few times. 

You could also probably safely double the recipe for the sweet cream and the amount of cherries used.

Kahlua Cherries and Sweet Cream
Lasts 3 to 4 lunches as a dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 pint fresh sweet cherries, pitted (see cherry almond dutch baby recipe for pitting tips)
  • 1 c Kahlua
  • .5 c red wine (I used Cupcake Winery’s Red Velvet)
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • .5 c sugar

Sweet Cream

  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • .5 c sugar, divided
  • 5 egg yolks
  • vanilla extract to taste

Bring the Kahlua, red wine, brown and white sugar to a boil over medium high heat, and then reduce to a simmer for three minutes. Then, add your pitted cherries and simmer for an additional ten minutes, stirring here and there.

To make your sweet cream, take your heavy whipping cream and half of your sugar, and bring to a light simmer.  While you bring it to a simmer, whisk together your egg yolk, the rest of your sugar, and however much vanilla extract you want. Once the sugar cream mixture is simmering, remove it from the heat and slowly drizzle it into the egg yolk vanilla mixture, whisking constantly to blend. 

Now, you can do this one of two ways: cook it in the pot over medium heat, while stirring constantly in figure 8s in all directions.  This is the method I used (thanks to some pointers from my baby sister, and some trial and error) both times, and it will usually thicken to the point of coating the back of the spoon within five minutes using the direct heat method; anything longer and it will overcook. Look at the difference between pictures 5 and 6 for a good example of what it’ll look like once done. The original also recommends putting it in a double boiler or putting an ovenproof glass bowl over a pot of simmering water; I haven’t tried it this way, but it will likely take closer to 8 to 10 minutes that way.

Once both are done, chill separately in the fridge, and then combine, and enjoy the alcoholic decadence. 

So this recipe will always be one forever etched in my mind, as it was the one where I found out how to handle an oven fire. (The pictured oven? It’s almost forty years old, near as I can tell.  It’s always run 25 degrees hot at minimum, and lately, it’s been smoking when I use it at higher temperatures.) When I preheated the oven, it seemed to be smoking more than usual – when I opened the oven, there was a small fire on the bottom.  After a quick moment of panic and googling, I learned how to put out the fire.  Gonna share it below, just in case you ever need to put out an oven fire.

1. DON’T OPEN THE OVEN – oxygen only feeds the fire. Let it burn itself out.

2. Turn off the oven and let it sit.

I only opened the oven one more time to see if it had burned out, and almost fed it further. But after that, I just let it sit and when I opened it next, it had burned out. 

The good that came out of this was that I learned how to clean my oven, and that in talking to the landlord about it, I got him to replace it with a gas oven that’s coming this Wednesday. I’ve only cooked with it twice since then, and frankly, I’ve only gotten worried at any temps that are above 400.  It hasn’t set on fire since, at least, so small miracles.

…Anyways.  They’re very good scones!

Strawberry White Chocolate Scones
Makes 8 scones

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 T milk
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • .5 t salt
  • 5 T frozen butter
  • 1 c sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 c white chocolate chips

Frosting

  • .5 c powdered sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 T milk

Mix together your dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix together your wet ingredients except for the butter and strawberries and white chocolate in a separate smaller bowl. I accidentally switched the bowl sizes, but it still works.  Take your frozen butter, and grate it into the dry ingredients, and mix it together until the dry ingredients clump like wet sand.  Slice your strawberries into small slices, and then add them and the white chocolate to your wet ingredients. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients, until you have a single ball of dough; don’t be afraid to work extra flour into the dough if it’s too damp.  

Take your ball of dough, put it on a well floured surface, and flatten it into a circle that’s about an inch and a half thick. Divide it into eight wedges, and preheat the oven to 450 (425 on my oven). Bake for about fifteen minutes, until golden brown. 

While your scones bake, whisk together your powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk until you have a glaze. Once the scones are down, put them on a rack to cool, and as they’re cooling, drizzle them with the glaze.

And then, enjoy!

Koldskaal, strawberries, and lemon cardamom kammerjunker biscuits may be my new all time favorite summer dessert. It’s basically strawberries and cream on crack. I was originally inspired by this post, because damn, doesn’t that look good? However, in adapting it away from the vegan focus of that post, I went with the recipe I will link below. I will be using US measurements instead of the metric measurements attached; if you want the vegan version, click the link before, and if you want metric measurements, click the link below.

Koldskaal, Strawberries, and Lemon Cardamom Kammerjunker
Lasts appx 7 servings as a dessert, mainly based on amt koldskaal used

Ingredients

  • fresh strawberries, sliced

Koldskaal

  • 1 qt buttermilk
  • 6 pasteurized egg yolks
  • 2 T vanilla extract
  • .25 c sugar
  • 2 T lemon juice

Whisk together your egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until combined and the sugar has dissolved (see pic 2). Pour in the buttermilk and stir to combine, adding the lemon juice at the end.  Chill in fridge.

Lemon Cardamom Kammerjunker
Makes appx 18 biscuits

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 stick butter (frozen probably would’ve worked better, but ah well)
  • .25 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T cardamom

Mix together the cardamom, flour, and baking powder until combined. Add your butter and mix until it forms clumps, then add your vanilla, egg, and sugar, mixing and if necessary kneading until you have a solid ball of dough. Add in the lemon and cardamom at the very end.

Once you have your ball of dough, preheat your oven to 325, and split it in two and roll into logs, cutting off small half-inch coins from each log. This will leave you with a minimum of 15 coin kammerjunker. Put your kammerjunker on the baking sheet, and bake ten minutes, before turning off the heat and leaving the oven door open for another ten minutes to cool.

To serve, put the biscuits at the bottom of a bowl, sprinkle the strawberries over them, and then pour the chilled koldskaal over them.