Sweet Potato Persimmon Cookies

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I love the combination of two classic flavors of fall in this cookie. The combination makes for a super soft nutritious cookie that you can even serve at breakfast. I add chopped pecans and oats to make a very filling cookie, and chocolate chips to entice my littles. We make an annual visit to the Maino Ranch in Knights Ferry, to pick persimmons at the ancient Hachyia persimmon tree. We then bring home the fruits of our labor, waiting for when they turn just ripe enough to scoop out their sweet flesh for use in cooking. Having never been a persimmon fan before discovering this tree, I now love them, both the cooking ( Hachyia) and the eating (Fuyu) variety. I enjoy this new tradition and watching the kids play and climb under the big tree. See our recipe using Persimmons for Christmas Jam from last year! This recipe is a great way to use left over sweet potatoes and pecans from your traditional thanksgiving dishes! img_4141

Persimmon Sweet Potato Cookies                                                       Yield: 24 Cookies 

Ingredients: img_4248

  • 3/4 C Mashed Sweet Potato Puree
  • 3/4 C Persimmon Pulp
  • 1/2 C Butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 C Oats
  • 1/2 C Chopped and roasted Pecans

Directions: Pre-Heat Oven to 350 F. In bowl of stand mixer, mix on high sugar, puree, pulp, and butter until fluffy. Add egg on slow until just combined. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.

 

Slowly mix in dry ingredients into wet, stopping to scrape bowl. Fold in chocolate chips, pecans, and oats. Drop hearty size Tbsp dollops onto parchment lined baking sheet.

 

Bake for approx 25 minutes until cooked through. Enjoy!

Brown Butter Maple Oat Breakfast Muffins; Learn my Quick, One Pot “Blank Canvas”  Recipe, and a lemon version

img_9499I’m bringing muffins back! Some of you may be thinking, I never knew muffins were out, neither did I! That was until I went to research muffin recipes in my new cook book and nada! Looking further online, it seems the culinary world has turned its back in this American staple. The muffin  is underrated and seen as creation that takes little skill that has now been confused with its trendier counterpart the cupcake. Muffins were created in America, different from the English version, this muffin was a batter that required a tin, and baking powder, which wasn’t invented until the late 1800’s. Muffins were traditionally made by hand, but modern bakeries wanting to make them more light like the much desired cupcake,  added more sugar and used a mixer to add dry to wet ingredients. Personally the muffin means a lot to me. It has been a wonderfully easy way yo be creative as a busy mom, and feed my kids a wholesome snack at the same time. Muffins are versatile and a great way to use seasonal fruits an vegetables. The possibilities are endless, and in using traditional methods with high quality  ingredients its like creating a work of art. It has taken me time to be able to not have to look at a recipe, creating a stand by muffin recipe that I can make quickly,  being able to get creative with what I have, and double easily to share. My recipe takes one pot, little mess and little time. I usually can make these in 10 minutes or less and you can too! Think of this recipe as a blank canvas. The ingredients should be the freshest you can find. If you can take the time to make fresh yogurt  I encourage it. See my recipe for homemade yogurt. Besides added health benefits, yogurt tenderizes baked goods. The homemade yogurt makes this muffin special, and creates a feeling of accomplishment. Get cookin’!

Ingredients

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Everything here except the Baking Soda and Powder

  • 3 C flour
  • 1 C Rolled Oats
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 3/4 C Sugar
  • 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 C yogurt
  • 1/2 C Butter (melted)
  • 1/2 – 1 C add ins- see below.

For Lemon Oat Muffins:

  • Juice and Zest of 2 Meyer Lemons
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting.

Other ideas for ad ins for both sweet and savory muffins include ; Apple sauce, Fruit puree or whole berries, chocolate chips, almond butter, roasted nuts, pureed vegetables like carrot or cauliflower, cheeses, grated zucchini, and the list goes on! You can adjust the add ins by decreasing the amount of yogurt or butter used. For example if you want to add 1 C apple sauce use only 1/2 C yogurt.

Have fun creating new muffins to try with your family. The portable nature of a muffin makes it such a great convenience and a way to pack nutrition into your day without hitting the drive thru, taking time and money. Remember these also freeze great for later use so stock up when you have some extra time to bake!

Directions;

In large pot melt butter. If making Lemon Muffins as pictured above, add lemon zest and juice. Let butter cool slightly. Add sugar, yogurt, maple syrup and oats, stir.

Place sifter over pot and sift in flour, salt, baking powder and soda.

Make a well in center of flour crack in 2 eggs. Using a fork beat the eggs until yoke and whites combined, then fold into dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix, batter should be lumpy and this is OK. Spoon into buttered tins.

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You can never over fill and muffin tin!

bake 350 F for 15-20 minutes, or until tooth pick comes out clean. For Lemon Muffin sift tops with powdered sugar and additional lemon zest. Enjoy!

 

Hot Butter Rum Crepe Cake

img_9228Hot Butter Rum Crepe Cake! Crepe Cakes are a new discovery, and really is it necessary to make a cake out of crepes? Yes! We love our pancake mornings, and in deciding to try crepes  for the kids, I remembered an image of a crepe cake with it’s layers and layers of goodness. For the holidays a pastry creme with hot butter rum pair deliciously with these apple crepes! We used our Auntie Dana’s applesauce for the crepes and a little “pannenkoeken” or dutch pancake mix to add to tradition and meaning for our holiday!

This is a new adventure for me, as I have neither made pastry cream or crepes. The first img_9223cake was a disaster, as I used my own made up version of a crepe, which was more of a pancake and the layers were course and hard, not soft and light. So, in the second attempt, take my recommendation and stick to a traditional crepe recipe, yes they are more than just thin pancakes!  This really was simple to make, especially if you take it in steps, the longest part being making all the crepes.You need around 20 crepes to make the cake, and it goes fast once you get the hang of it!  You can  make the crepes well in advance and they will freeze beautifully until ready to be assembled. The pastry cream can be made a day or two before as well.

If you have not made pastry cream before, be ready for a bit of a science experiment! I’ll walk you through it with a few tips on what not to do, as learned! The kids and I really had fun watching the sudden formation of a solid from a liquid as the cream thickens.

Ingredients:

Crepes:img_9282

  • 5 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 1/2 C Flour
  • 1/2 C Pannenkoken ( if available, otherwise substitute with additional 1/2 C flour)
  • 3 C Milk
  • 1/2 C Applesauce
  • 6 eggs
  • 5 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt

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  • 2 C Whole Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yokes
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp “Hot Butter Rum Mix”
  • 1/4 C Corn Starch
  • 3 Tbsp Butter (Cold and Cut into pieces)
  • 1/4 C Whipping Cream
  • 3 Tbs Sugar

Directions:

Crepes: Mix Flours, salt and sugar in medium bowl. Melt butter. In mixer beat eggs and add  milk and applesauce, and then dry ingredients. Add melted butter and mix until just smooth. Allow to chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Heat medium non stick round pan over medium heat. Add approx 3 Tbsp of batter to pan and swirl to cover the entire bottom surface of pan. Wait 1-2 minutes and using hands gently flip crepe by grabbing edge. This may take a couple tries, but once you get it down will go fast! Place on plate and use paper towels or parchments sheets between each crepe so they do not stick together. When finished allow crepes to cool and then wrap in seran and place in refrigerator or freezer until ready to assemble and up to 2 months.

Filling: Heat milk and Hot butter rum mix  in saucepan until very hot but not scalded. Beat eggs, egg yokes and salt at medium speed until thickened, add sugar 2 tbsp at a time until thickened and pale. On low speed beat in cornstarch until smooth, then add milk a spoonful at a time as to not “cook” the eggs. Then pour mixture back into sauce pan that was used to heat the milk and add cold butter pieces. Cook over medium heat with constant stirring using a spatula, scraping across sides and bottom. It will begin to form thick lumps on the bottom, continue scraping (this is the science experiment part!) Once mixture is fully “lumpy” switch to whisk and whisk for 5 to 7  minutes until mixture is smooth. Pour into bowl. In chilled bowl (helps cream thicken faster) of mixer beat whipping cream and sugar on high until thick peaks form. Fold into pastry cream. Place plastic wrap down into bowl touching the surface of mixture. This will keep any “skin” from forming.

 

When ready to assemble cake lay a crepe down on desired serving dish and add 1/4 C pastry creme mixture, then layer with remaining crepes and repeat layers. Top with extra whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Enjoy!

 

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Cookies; Sprinkled with Cinnamon Sugar and Zest

img_9008Meyer Lemon Cheese Cake Cookies with Cinnoman Sugar and Zest

Our Meyer lemon tree  is officially producing! All year I wait for these beautiful lemons, a signal that Christmas is also approaching. In trying to take a step back this season (cards not done, shopping to be finished) it’s time to make cookies!

Some one once said they are working to view their children as little beings that need to be nurtured, and not as objects in the way. How often I need reminding. This is a cookie you can have fun with. Kids can put there thumbprints in them, they do not have to be perfect. I place graham crackers in a bag for the kids to pound and smash-up.

I used a lemon blue berry juice I happened to have made, and fresh yogurt  I make from our diary farm,  but just fresh squeezed lemon juice and greek yogurt will work fine. Try adding a dash of pomegranate as well for festive flair.

Yeild: Approx 46 Cookies                                                      Time: Prep- 30 min./ Cook- 15min.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 C  Graham Cracker Crumbs (approx 1 sleeve)img_8998
  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Sticks Butter, softened
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, separated
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Yogurt
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnoman Sugar

Directions: 

Preheat Oven to 350 F. In large bowl mix flour, baking soda, graham crumbs, and salt. In bowl of mixer beat brown sugar and butter until fluffy. Add egg white and beat until combined. Fold into large bowl with flour mixture until just combined. Mixture will be crumbly this is ok!

Replace bowl of mixer and add softened cream cheese and granulated sugar. I chose not to wash bowl, just to use it again for the filling. figure it’s all going to the same place right? Turned out just fine, and when your cooking with 3 kids you have to learn to cut your corners! Once cream cheese is fluffy, add yogurt and zest of 1 lemon (zest only the yellow, trying to avoid the white pith as this is very bitter). Add egg yolk and beat until just combined.

On parchment lined baking sheets place large table-spoon full of graham cookie mixture. Flatten with thumb to make indent in center and repeat. Add 1/2 tbsp full of cream cheese mixture in center. It is ok if it over flows, I tend to like the look of this luscious cream cheese mixture overflowing, but if you want a neater cookie add a  smaller amount at a time. Bake until filling is set and cookies are golden brown. Approx. 12-15 minutes.Sprinkle with cinnoman sugar and another good zesting of lemon if desired.  Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and them transfer to wire rack. Enjoy!

 

 

Festive Persimmon and Pomegranate Cookies

 

These persimmon and pomegranate cookies are for when you really want to share something special during the holidays. So many people I shared these with  had fond  memories or persimmon cookies during the holidays. This cookie surprises as it has a little twist. I use persimmon and pomegranate . I use my Christmas Jam in these, and this recipe is a snap if you already have the jam on hand. See my recipe and make extra for gifts to go along with these cookies. Persimmons and Pomegranates are two very special ingredients, that is very expensive at the stores, but I was lucky enough to have a neighbor with an ancient Pom tree as well as a long-standing persimmon tree up in knights ferry. Make your holiday extra special by making these cookies! The cookies freeze nicely, and kids love them as well! Glad I wrote down the ingredients when creating this recipe, and hope you will enjoy!

Yield: Approx 20 Large Cookies                                             Time: 45 Minutes

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C Butter
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Yogurt ( Try my Recipe to make your own!)
  • 1 1/2 C Christmas Jam
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 4 C Flour
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 Tsp Nutmeg

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375 F. Sift Dry ingredients into bowl and set aside. In bowl of mixer add butter and sugars, cream on high until light and fluffy. Add  jam and yogurt, mix until smooth.  Adding one egg at a time, beat at  low speed until just incorporated.

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Hint: Batter can be clumpy, its best to not over mix eggs, they will mix once dry ingredients are added.

Slowly add dry ingredients, taking time to stopping to  scrape sides, adding 1/3 of dry mixture at a time until just blended together. Drop large rounded spoonfuls onto parchment paper 1 1/2″ apart. Bake for approx 12 minutes. Do not over cook, cookies are done when edges appear golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired. Happy Holidays!

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