Friday, February 26, 2016


This is an easy pie in the Key-lime-pie tradition. Even young kids could make it under a small amount of supervision.

To get the maximum from your citrus, poke it with a fork and then microwave it until just warm before juicing it. Using orange juice probably would make too sweet a pie. On the other hand, some will think that the lemon version is too tart.

Easy  Lemon  or  Lime  Pie
Serves 8

36 vanilla wafer cookies (about 5 ounces)
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon grated lemon or lime peel
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
Dash of salt
2 large eggs
Yellow or green food coloring
Whipping cream
Powdered sugar

1. Finely grind vanilla wafers in food processor.
2. Add 1 teaspoon lemon peel and pulse a few times. Then carefully pour in melted butter while processor is running. Run just until moist crumbs form.
3. Open processor and make sure that butter has reached all crumbs. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of ungreased, shallow, 9-inch, glass pie dish, using plastic wrap as aid. Crust will be thin.
4. Bake crust in 350°F. oven just until crust begins to turn golden on edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, maintaining oven temperature.
5. While crust is baking, prepare filling by whisking together sweetened condensed milk, lemon or lime juice, 1 tablespoon lemon or lime peel, and dash of salt in small bowl.
6. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
7. Judicially add yellow or green food coloring to subtly color filling.
8. Pour filling into warm crust and bake in 350°F. oven until filling is set, about 20 minutes. Cool pie at room temperature.
9. Refrigerate pie until chilled, about 3 hours. Then cover carefully with foil and continue to refrigerate until ready to serve.

10. Immediately before serving, whip cream, adding small amount of sugar to sweeten. Serve each wedge of pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top or to the side. Or whipped cream can be piped onto pie slices or entire pie.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Few ingredients, few instructions—what could be easier? Rolling the truffles between your palms is a messy, but not difficult, process, yielding delicious results. Children may enjoy helping, and, if you're going to make a mess, you may want to double the recipe. Use good-quality chocolate, stocking up when it goes on sale. Then make these and enjoy an easy, elegant dessert.

Chocolate  Truffles
Makes 15

1/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter, very soft
Cocoa powder, sifted

1. Bring the cream to a boil.
2. Pour boiling cream over chocolate placed in small bowl.
3. Wait 1 minute. Then whisk until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
4. Add very soft butter and whisk to blend completely. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm.
5. Scoop out using small ice-cream scoops, making level, not rounded, scoops.
6. Roll each scoop between your palms to form balls. If chocolate is too hard to shape, leave it at room temperature for 20 minutes. If chocolate is too soft, return to refrigerator.
7. Roll the truffles in a small bowl of sifted cocoa powder. Then toss from hand to hand to shake off the excess cocoa powder.
8. Place truffles in small fluted paper or foil cups, cover, and refrigerator until ready to serve. They may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Simple is best, not fussy, not overdone. This cheesecake is evidence of that. Dress it up if you wish. A garnish, such as mint leaves, might be nice, but it really is fine just how it is—simply rich and elegant.

Wendy’s  Simple  Cheesecake
Serves 12

1/4 cup butter
1  1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (requires 1 wrapped package)
2/3 cup + 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
16 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 cup cultured sour cream at room temperature

1. First, make crust by microwaving butter in small bowl just until melted.
2. Stir in graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoon sugar.
3. Lightly butter bottom of 8-inch springform pan. Then press crumbs evenly into bottom and up sides about a half-inch. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
4. To make filling, beat cream cheese in medium-sized bowl. Then beat in 2/3 cup sugar.
5. Add half of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat at medium speed about 5 minutes.
6. Pour filling over refrigerated graham-cracker-crumb crust. Bake in 350°F. oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 30 minutes before adding sour-cream topping.
7. To make the sour-cream topping, mix sour cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, the remainder of the salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in small bowl.
8. Once cheesecake has cooled for 30 minutes, evenly spread sour-cream topping over cheesecake and return to 350°F. oven for 10 more minutes.
9. Cool to room temperature before placing covered cheesecake in refrigerator for at least 8 hours before serving.

NOTE: To determine the size of a springform pan, measure the diameter of the bottom from inside the rim. If you have a 9-inch pan, adjust the recipe by pressing the crust only into the bottom of the pan, not up the sides. Since the cheesecake won’t be quite as high, it may not need to bake quite as long.

Monday, February 1, 2016


I took these scones to an after-church potluck, cutting them into bite-sized pieces. They are yummy and fattening and have little redeeming value in terms of nutrition. When making them at a high elevation, use scant measures of the baking powder and baking soda.

Cheddar  Scones
Serves 8 or more

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, frozen
2 cups (8 ounces) sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk plus additional 2 tablespoons

1. In medium-sized bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, thyme, and salt.
2. Grate frozen butter into bowl. Stir.
3. Add shredded Cheddar cheese to bowl and stir.
4. In small bowl, whisk eggs. Then whisk in 2/3 cup buttermilk.
5. Add wet ingredients to well made in dry ingredients. Stir with fork just until dough holds together.
6. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for only about 10 times.
7. Pat to about 1-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. For instance, small pieces for appetizers, wedges for dinner bread.
8. Place scones on large ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
9. Brush tops lightly with remaining buttermilk.
10. Bake scones for 12 to 20 minutes, depending on size of scones.

11. Serve warm.
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