Sunday, November 27, 2016

apple tart with olive oil crust

I follow Amanda Hesser on Instagram (love her!), and about a year ago I was drooling over a post of a pie that she made, which had a press-in crust made with olive oil instead of butter. I was intrigued because it sounded so simple and yet looked so fancy! So I looked it up, and while the original recipe was for a peach tart, the comments suggested that the apple version was just as good. I just had to try it!

The crust was super duper simple, as promised, and actually the part that took the longest was peeling, cutting, and arranging the apples!

Instead of a top crust, the recipe uses a topping of sugar, flour, and butter (to which I also added some cinnamon), which is just sprinkled over the top. So easy!

When it came out of the oven, bubbling and delicious-smelling, it was hard to resist cutting into it right away!

After the tart had (finally cooled) and we were able to dig in, it was definitely pretty tasty. And even though I prefer a traditional pie crust (this crust was more of a crumbly/sandy crust rather than a crunchy flakey crust), I would definitely make it again especially given that it was super quick and easy.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

savory roasted onion tart (quiche)

Last November, I was invited to a Chantal Guillon macaron party hosted by my friend Anita from Dessert First. It was such a fun party! We got to drink champagne, eat macarons all night, and we were even invited into the kitchen to fill and decorate macarons as well! 

While I was there I met a few fellow food bloggers, which led to following a few new people on Instagram as well, including Brenda from Bites and Bourbon. Fast forward several months, and I happened to see a beautiful roasted onion tart on Brenda's Instagram feed, which I instantly knew that I HAD to make!

In her post, Brenda mentioned that the recipe was from Edible Cleveland, so I looked it up and found it here! It starts with pie crust, fitted into a 9-inch pie pan and then blind baked at 375F for 20-25 minutes.

For the onions, I chose a yellow onion as well as a purple one, so that the color would stand out and make the tart pretty. The onions are first roasted before being added to the tart, to give it a nice caramelized onion flavor. After being drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, they were roasted on the top rack of the oven while the pie crust baked on the bottom rack.

In the meantime, I made the filling, which was so simple! Eggs, thyme, milk, and salt. And cheese of course!

Once the pie crust was baked and cooled slighly, I added the filling...

... and carefully decorated the top with the beautiful roasted onion slices. Who knew onion slices could make such a pretty pattern!

Then the whole thing went back in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the filling set.

Mmmmmmm ....

I must say, this tart was delicious!!! It would be perfect for breakfast/brunch, lunch, or even dinner (which is when we ate it!). Or even just as a snack. :)


 Thanks for introducing me to this recipe, Brenda!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

wedding dress cookies with brush embroidery lace

A few months ago, an old friend of mine from college (hi, Kym!) was planning a bridal shower for a mutual friend from college (hi, Cora!), and she asked me to make wedding dress cookies for the bridal shower favors. I had actually been wanting to make wedding dress cookies for quite some time, so I happily accepted! Kym was nice enough to order me a brand new wedding dress cookie cutter from Etsy, one that matched the strapless trumpet-style wedding dress that Cora was going to wear on her wedding day.

For the cookies, I made a few batches of my trusty sugar cookie dough (recipe in my book!), and used my beautiful new cutter to cut out the shapes. After baking them at 350F for 10-12 minutes and then cooling them, I was ready to decorate with royal icing (recipe also in the book!).

First I used a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip to pipe stiff icing to outline each dress. (This helps to keep in the runny icing that you are about to fill them with!)

Then I used runny icing to fill them in, and let them dry for several hours.

Kym sent me a picture of Cora's wedding dress, which was covered in lace, so Kym and I decided that I would replicate that with some sort of lace design on the dress.  I immediately thought of these brush embroidery teapot cookies I had done a while back, and used the same technique to add a lacy design to the dress. I basically outlined my lace pattern with stiff icing ...

.. and then I used a food-safe brush to drag the wet icing into the center of the design.

I also added a lacy design to the bottom of the dress, and a beaded border to the bodice of the dress.

I loved how they turned out!

I think it would be so fun to recreate wedding dresses in cookie form, so I'm going to have to do more soon!


Happy Bridal Shower, Cora!

Hope everyone enjoyed the cookies!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

thanksgiving turkey cupcakes - pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Last year for my youngest son's preschool Thanksgiving party, I signed up to make dessert. I knew wanted to make Thanksgiving turkey cupcakes, but I wanted something different from the ones I had made in previous years (see these and these ones as well). So using the "petal technique" that I've done on cakes in the past (originally done by Hungry Housewife! Go check out her tutorial!), I created these cute little turkeys!

I decided on a pumpkin cupcake to match the occasion (and also it's semi-healthy for the kids!). I used the same Martha Stewart recipe that I've used in the past, because it always comes out moist and fluffy!

For the frosting, I whipped up a batch of cream cheese buttercream and divided it into four, and colored the first three portions for the turkey's tail feathers.

The fourth portion I colored brown, for the turkey's head.

Using the petal technique, I created the first row of tail feathers with yellow frosting ...

Then the second row with orange frosting ...

And the third row with red frosting.

Then I piped a little round blob for the turkey's head!

Finally, I used black sugar pearls for the eyes, rainbow chips for the beak, and upside-down heart sprinkles for the wattle.

Aren't they cute?

Gobble Gobble! Happy Thanksgiving!