Archives for category: Dessert

img_9046

Pistachio Shortbread with Orange Blossom Glaze

2 sticks unsalted butter, soft

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

3/4 teaspoon fine salt

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pistachios

Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer combine the butter, sugar and salt mixing until smooth. Add flour and mix until dough forms. Mix in chopped pistachios. Shape the shortbread dough into logs and wrap tightly in plastic. Place in freezer until firm.

Preheat oven to 350*

Cut dough into 1/4-inch slices and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake about 12 minutes until cookies are just done. Slide the parchment paper onto wire racks and cool.

 

Orange Blossom Glaze

1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Zest of one orange

Juice of 1 ½  oranges

½ teaspoon orange blossom water

1 teaspoon orange liqueur

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Dip half the cookie in the glaze and place on wire racks and let set.

I used to make a variation of these bars when I lived in New York – we called them Gramamore’s. I’ve updated them a bit and they are just as delicious as ever.

Rosemary Cashew Caramel Bars

Shortbread
1 stick butter plus 3 tablespoons, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
Zest from one lemon
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

Rosemary caramel & cashew topping
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups salted roasted cashews
Flaky sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

img_5877

In a food processor combine the butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest, rosemary and flour until crumbly. Press the mixture evenly into a the pan. Bake until golden brown about 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Place sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat. Start stirring when you see the sugar begin to melt and it starts to turn light brown. Once it is a golden caramel color pour in the heavy cream, being careful of it splattering. Stir constantly until it is smooth about 5 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and pinch of salt. Take mixture off heat and stir in cashews. Pour cashew mixture on top of the shortbread and bake for 15 minutes.

img_5883

Sprinkle flaky sea salt on top of finished bars.

Let cool for a few hours to completely set. Refrigerate for an hour and then cut into squares.

Last week I found these gorgeous Blood Tangerines at Whole Foods – tangy and sweet. I decided to make a tart with them by incorporating them as a curd.

IMG_6455

Pate Sucree

My favorite tart dough because it is unforgivable!! It won’t get tough from rolling and doesn’t shrink when you bake it. The texture is very similar to a cookie.

IMG_6451

1 stick + 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Beat together the butter, sugar and salt with an electric beater or stand mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and mix until combined. Add the flour until the dough comes together. Shape into a flat round disk and refrigerate until firm.

Roll the dough out between two pieces of flour dusted parchment paper big enough for your 10-inch tart pan – so about a 12-inch round. Don’t worry if the dough breaks when you are transferring it to the tart pan – like I said this dough is very forgiving and you can just gently press and piece it in.

Pre-bake the tart shell at 350* for about  25 minutes until slightly golden.

While the tart is baking start making the curd. I added the zest of a Meyer Lemon I had for a little extra flavor.

Grated zest of 3 Blood tangerines

6 tablespoons Blood tangerine juice

3 tablespoons water

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

Place the zests, juice, water, sugar, salt and butter in a saucepan and heat slowly over low heat until the butter melts. Whisk all the eggs together in a bowl and slowly start to drizzle all of the warm mixture into the bowl. Pour back into the saucepan and constantly stir and scrape over low heat until thickens about 5 minutes. Strain through a sieve directly into the pre-baked tart shell and spread evenly.

IMG_6496

Top with 3 pints of raspberries. Gently warm some apricot jam and use it to glaze the tart. Chill until the curd is firm about 3 hours.

 

IMG_4520

Warning: These cookies have more chocolate and nuts then they do dough!

Chunky Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Cookies

1-pound bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks

2 cup pecans, roasted lightly and chopped coarsely

2 sticks butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1-teaspoon salt

2-cups all-purpose flour

Maldon’s Sea Salt

IMG_4519

 

This dough is similar to a shortbread cookie.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Position rack in the middle of the oven.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and salt, then add them to butter / flour mixture. Add the pecans and chocolate and mix on low speed until the dough sort of comes together.

Chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least an hour.

Start scooping the dough into small golf ball sized balls with your hands. When making the cookie balls I’ve found that the dough sometime starts to stick to your hands when you are working with it. If this happens, run your hands under cold water. Then continue to make the cookie dough balls. Firmly shape the cookies into 2 ½ inch rounds and place on a parchment lined backing sheet. Sprinkle sea salt on top before baking.

Bake approximately 18 minutes. Rotate cookie pans if baking more than one sheet at a time.

Remove cookies to a rack and cool completely. Though, they will be tempting to eat. I find it is better to allow the chocolate to become firm again.

Makes 18 – 20 cookies

I am always interested in hearing someones story. Especially when it’s someone you admire and love. My friend Lauren Foster (transgender model, actress and activist) is doing just that and more with the launch of her new website today titled Just Another Girl. It is filled with information concerning facial feminization and SRS surgeons, trans specific legal information, and beauty tips.  Lauren also mentors teens and has created this site with them in mind to help them on their journey.

Lauren and I

Lauren has appeared on television on the Real Housewives Of Miami, starred in three art films directed by Joseph Lally, had a five page VOGUE spread, launched the GLAAD Miami Leadership Council with Omar Sharif Jr and Marysol Patton and is currently writing her memoir entitled Just Another Girl.

Lauren Foster

Lauren Foster

 

Lauren answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

I love a plate filled with big chunks of dark chocolate piled up with slices of fresh oranges. Those two simple flavors are dreamy.

What restaurant would you call your home?

Milos is my go to spot for lunch. I have the same thing every time. They have the best fresh fish on South Beach and creamy Greek yoghurt with honey.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

I ate snake once. I think it was when I toured with Grace Jones. I was a bit apprehensive at first but it tasted a lot like chicken.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

Rice Krispies with fresh strawberries was my favorite cereal as a kid. My moms homemade oatmeal or Maltabella was also yummy.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?

Pizza baby! In bed, with orange Gatorade and maybe a smoke!

I’ve been friends with Foodie Chap Liam Mayclem for a long time. It was such an honor to have him over to my apartment for dinner with Kitchit Tonight preparing my Pride Month menu! You can listen in on our conversation by clicking on the image:

Liam & Juanita

Liam & Juanita

 

11083859_10155430621080360_4072362664454606736_n

Musician Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light)  is coming to San Francisco to play at The Independent on Friday, April 10, 2015. The last time he was in town we took Jackson for a walk and ended up sitting at Farm Table talking about life, travel and our love of food. His voice just bursts with hope and joy on his new work Life Is Easy. So many of our mutual friends are part of his great sound including Del Marquis, Xavier Smith, Bridget Barkan and oh yeah – Elton John. His debut album Make Me Believe In Hope won him critical acclaim and this second offering looks set to be his best work yet.

Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light) answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

Most people’s dream desserts feature chocolate it seems, and most places I go the most interesting dessert always has chocolate. It seems to blow people’s minds but I don’t eat chocolate, but I still love a good dessert. My favorite is usually something more classic, like a vanilla cheesecake, or a really good hearty crumble – rhubarb of blackberry – with some custard, or ice cream. For all its “boring” connotations, put the word vanilla in a dessert recipe for me and you’ve got me.

What restaurant would you call your home?

I used to have a place in Soho (London) called The Blue Room that I went to all the time. The owner was the kindest woman in the world and they always made you feel so at home. She even used to play my CD in the place sometimes. I remember the night it closed I went in and she was so upset. She was so sad to leave the cafe because it really felt like a huge part of my life in that city at the time had been cut off. These days, in Brooklyn, I really love a place in Prospect Heights called Sunshine & Co. The staff there are really, really lovely (and good), the food is great and the cocktails are dangerously good. It has such well appointed decor, and a really welcoming atmosphere. I love that place.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

My friend Adam’s lasagna. We lived together for my first year in London. We all used to cook together and his trademark dish was a lasagna with really avant-garde ingredients. Potatoes, parsnips, swedes, mushroom soup, sunflower seeds (in kernels) instead of cheese was a truly unique stroke … so I guess he inspired me to be a little less conservative when it came to ingredients in a recipe. Thing is, it always tasted great!

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

I remember that I used to pretend to like slightly more adventurous cereals to get the cool free toy that often came inside, but I remember really, really loving simple Cornflakes or Rice Crispies with ice cold milk. When I first went to Momofuku Milk Bar they had a cereal ice cream with cornflake crunch and I was taken RIGHT back. So simple, so delicious.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?

OMG a bagel with turkey, swiss and bacon. It’s my favorite thing in the world. Like you need all that after drinking for hours right … but it’s perfect. I can’t resist.

Rod and his Christmas turkey.

Rod and his Christmas turkey.