Thursday, April 23, 2015

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies [Recipe]


This is one recipe I had been wanting to make for a good long time - Chewy, sweet, and delicious white chocolate cookies with chunks of toasted macadamia nuts. And wow, I'm so glad I did! They were everything I hoped they would be.

Read on, and you can make 'em too!


White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Makes 1-1/2 to 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, lightly toasted
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Note: You can toast the macadamia nuts by putting them into a clean, dry frying pan and frying them until they start to let off the scent of the nuts or are lightly browned. Stir frequently, and don't leave them too long; the nuts will burn quickly once they are heated through.

Combine softened butter, shortening, and sugars in a large mixing bowl; cream until smooth. Beat in egg, and stir in vanilla, white chocolate, and toasted nuts.

Combine the dry ingredients in a sieve or sifter and sift into the creamy butter mixture; stir to combine, kneading if necessary to mix thoroughly. You can cover the chill the dough at this point, or use it immediately.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a non-stick baking sheet or parchment paper; bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Cool on wire racks.












 


Enjoy!  If you make them, tag NaomiCakes in a photo on Facebook - I'd love to see your work!

--Naomi

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Balls [Recipe]


Hey, so maybe you remember, but at the end of my last post, Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls, I mentioned that the white drizzled chocolate had a special surprise inside.

COCONUT!  Turns out, coconut and peanut butter are super good together; and with chocolate, well, that's even better.

Check out my previous post at the link above and just substitute 1/2 of those rice crispies for coconut. Enjoy!


Note: As pictured, I added coconut to the regular recipe without changing any quantities... However, it was a little hard to work with; so as I said above, I'd recommend substituting some of the rice crispies with coconut. It is delicious either way - Try it out however you fancy. :)


Enjoy!

Back soon.

--Naomi

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls [Recipe]


This recipe is one of those must-haves, super easy, and super good. If you like Reese's, you will like these - and your friends will like you. More.

Most of this post is pictures, will will hopefully help you out with this process... Leave your questions in the comments!  I'm happy to help you out if I can. :)


Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:
1/2 c. butter, softened 
3 c. icing sugar
2 c. crunchy peanut butter
3 c. rice crispies 
3 c. dark or milk chocolate melting wafers

Combine the butter, icing sugar, peanut butter, and rice crispies; roll into balls.  Melt the chocolate in 30 second bursts in the microwave, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. 

Note: When melting chocolate, even if it is melting wafers, keep the temperature from getting too hot - if the bowl is getting hot, let the chocolate sit until the bowl is just lightly warm before you put it back in the microwave.

Coat peanut butter balls with chocolate, using a fork to dip them in, a spoon to cover them, and a knife to scrape off the excess (see photos below). Chill in fridge or freezer until set, or leave to set at cool room temperature.


















These make excellent hostess gifts!  Decorated them with melted white or peanut butter chocolate, drizzled across the tops... So pretty.

Note: Those white drizzled ones have something special in them. Stay tuned to see what it is next week. ;)


Thanks for reading!

--Naomi

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lemon Berry Mousse Cake [Recipe]


Once upon a time, I wrote a post about making a this a delightful Lemon Berry Mousse Cake, and well... Long story short, I didn't post the recipe.

BUT!

I have since had a few requests that I share the recipe with the wider world, so that is just what I am going to do; I hope you enjoy it!  For the sake of saving time, I will leave the old post as it was and all of the step-by-step pictures there - So you'll definitely want to visit the link above to see how it's done. In the meantime, however, I will post the recipe here for your enjoyment!

Lemon Berry Mousse Cake
Makes 1 9" round cake, serves 12

Ingredients:
1 9" vanilla cake, levelled
1 6 oz. container fresh raspberries, washed
1 6 oz. container fresh blackberries, washed
Lemon mousse

*You can use any light cake as the base; the cake pictured uses a regular home-made basic vanilla cake (I had one on hand that I wanted to use up). For convenience, however, you can also use a lemon or vanilla cake from a mix, or, as is my favourite, you can make yourself a light sponge cake for the base of your cake. To make it a little more special, mix the rind of 1 lemon in with your cake batter before you bake it.

Lemon Mousse
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. powdered non-flavored gelatin
4 large eggs
1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
5 Tbsp. butter, cut into chunks
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Place the water in a small heat-proof cup; sprinkle the gelatin over time and let it soften for 5 minutes. Set the cup of gelatin into a small pan of simmering water for a few minutes and sit until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat but leave the cup of gelatin in the hot water.

Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk until blended. Add the lemon juice, salt, and butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens (7-10 minutes). Do not let the mixture boil! The lemon mixture is ready when you dip a spoon into the mixture and it leaves a light coating on the back of the spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in the warm gelatin mixture. Immediately press the mixture through the sieve into the prepared bowl, pressing it through with a rubber spatula. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream at high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside (best kept in the refrigerator to keep it cold).

Set the bowl of lemon curd into a larger bowl with ice water, careful not to splash any water into the lemon. Stir gently until the mixture becomes slightly cooler than room temperature (about 10 minutes).  Remove from the ice water and dry the base of the bowl.

Fold a large spoonful of whipped cream into the lemon mixture to lighten it, and then add the rest of the cream, folding it in gently until the mixture is well combined.

To Assemble the Cake:
Place your 9" vanilla cake round onto plate or cake board. Wrap the cake in a plastic cake collar or parchment paper, taping it to secure it in place (the collar should be more than 2x the height of the cake layer; trim the cake down a bit if it is too thick).

Spoon about 1/2 of the lemon mousse on top of the cake layer, and spread to the edge of the collar. Sprinkle with fresh berries, and then top with the remaining mousse, spreading evenly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until cold and set. Cut with a hot knife, wiping the blade clean after each cut. Store in the refrigerator.


All the best in making it!  It's a bit of effort, but lots of fun and well worth it. :) Enjoy!

Back soon.

--Naomi