Brown Sugar Sour Cream Cakelets with Maple Glaze

These fall inspired caklets were an audition for a Thanksgiving dessert. They passed the test with flying colors.  At Thanksgiving, I like to provide an array of homemade desserts in small individual portions. 

People appreciate this after a huge meal because most want to participate in the dessert feast but are too stuffed from dinner. Instead of yet again piling up their plates with slices of pie and cake, I find it’ve better to serve several options in small pieces so people can taste a bit of everything on their own digestive timetable.

Which brings me to these cakelets. I fell in love with this lovely Wilton pan, purchased it  a few years ago and never used it. This past weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to test drive both the pan and the recipe.
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Plum Strudel with Cinnamon Glaze

This is a beautiful seasonal strudel for your Thanksgiving table for for Fall coffee and cake time.

The addition of the vanilla to both the preserves and the strudel dough added another layer of flavor to this rich, delicious autumn dessert. 

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Gingerbread Persimmon Curd Trifle with Star Anise Whipped Cream

This might be the most perfect Thanksgiving dessert I have ever made and I have made a lot of Thanksgiving dessert in my life. Very sweet and tangy persimmon curd plays beautifully off spicy gingerbread. The secret to this treat is to not sweeten the whipped cream layer. Just flavor it with ground star anise powder.

The cream adds a luxurious texture to the whole thing with a pop of added flavor but no additional sweetness. This trifle tastes like fall and Thanksgiving and home and hearth wrapped in a fancy package.

What I also love about this dessert is the persimmon curd and gingerbread can be made several days before the big day. You can whip up the cream and put the dessert together the morning of, adding the last layer of whipped cream for just before serving. Also Instead of individual servings you can make one big trifle to make prep even easier.

You will have gingerbread left over unless you halve the recipe. I made the whole thing and plan to smother it with lemon icing then cut it into pieces to take to another Thanksgiving party.

The persimmon curd recipe is from the San Francisco Examiner and found HERE

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Fall Rainbow Sherbet: Cranberry, Butternut Squash and Quince

While sitting on a train recently returning to the barrier island town where I grew up, my mind was wandering backwards. One random memory was the rainbow sherbet of my childhood and how incredible it tasted on those hot long lazy beach days. I remembered standing barefoot in a wet bathing suit, hair full of sea water, legs and feet caked with sand clutching that paper cone of cold rainbow sweetness in my hand. I would diligently slurp as the sherbet melted, the sticky streaks of color running down my wrist. It was heaven. 

Back in the autumn food blogging obsessed present, the idea popped into my head to make an “adult” rainbow sherbet version in fall flavors. 

Quinces and a butternut squash were sitting on the counter from a jaunt to the farmer’s market. Very reasonably priced fresh cranberries from Trader Joe’s rounded out this trifecta of fall rainbow flavors.

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Colorful Falling Leaves Sugar Cookies

These are a quick, easy and fun cookie to make. Something you can easily make with kids or a colorful addition to a school bake sale.

This idea can easily be adapted for Christmas using red and green food coloring and holiday cookie cutters or for  Valentine’s Day using red and pink color and different sized heart cutters.

In my pantry, there were so many pretty pretty leaf shaped cutters waiting their turn. These were the result.

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Whole Wheat Candied Ginger Chocolate Chip Scones

I can never get enough of making scones. First, they are so easy to make and second they are a great way to use up leftover bits and pieces in the pantry like chips, nuts and dried fruit.

Scone love. That’s why they’re heart shaped. These were actually made for a brunch, not just to use up leftover ingredients. The guests loved them. What’s not to like? The sweet sting of ginger and bittersweet chocolate wrapped in whole wheat goodness.

That’s the third thing. Serving warm homemade scones will always make you look like a kitchen rock star. 
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Brown Sugar Rosemary Hazelnut Brittle

Since Labor Day I feel like I am not only in a race to use up the herbs in my garden, to use them to create interesting new treats.

This candy was inspired by the surprisingly delicious Chocolate Mixed-Herb Caramels I made last month. Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but it looks like using herbs in homemade candy just might be my new addiction. 

Making brittle is nothing new, especially on this blog. However, I really like this special combination of flavors. The heavier flavor of the brown sugar wrapped around raw hazelnut chunks are set off by the herby pine-like flavor of chopped fresh rosemary. It’s powerful. A little piece goes a long way.
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Whole Wheat Strawberry Basil Muffins

These are good. These are serve to two college friends you haven’t seen in a very long time good. Last weekend, on Saturday I was busy the entire day prepping for a 12 hour photo/video shoot on Monday. Sunday guests were coming. Oh dear.

The night before I had no clue of what I could serve and hadn’t done any shopping. I reluctantly settled on a cop out bagel and cream cheese run, planning to make some eggs as well. 

Long time friends deserve something better. When I woke up, after having done most of the prep for the job, my mind was clearer. Strawberry and basil flavors came dancing into my head. I knew I had frozen strawberries and plenty of basil in the herb garden.

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Tarragon French Macarons with Chocolate Buttercream Filling

So of course I waited until the most humid day so far in PA to go on a French Macaron making marathon. Humidity and making macarons do not mix but I had way too many Cinderella egg whites in the fridge that needed to go to the ball.

As a result of the humidity the feet are a bit funky on these. The shells are a bit off as well. Some of them have little evil peaks on their heads. Oh well.

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Orange Thyme Sorbet

Lemon verbena, spearmint, apple mint, orange mint, pineapple mint, lemon thyme, purple basil, box basil, lemon basil, curry, variegated sage, pineapple sage are some of the weirdo herbs that live harmoniously side by side in my garden.  

I thought I was done adding strange leafy things for the season until I saw this orange thyme during a recent breeze through of my local farmers market. I actually backed up a few steps to make sure I had read the label correctly.

 A surreptitious taste test revealed a gorgeous orange thyme flavor. In no time flat it joined all the other little herbal oddities on my terrace. It’s quite happy there with its edgy brethren. Read More »

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    Lora Wiley-Lennartz

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