This post updated Oct 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project.
The last time I baked an apple pie was many months too long ago, which I find funny because apple pie has to be one of my favorite types of pie ever. I like to enjoy warm apple pie plain or with homemade vanilla ice cream, apple pie at room temperature after a meal, or even cold apple pie late in the evening curled up on the couch watching a show. It reminds me of childhood, even though all our apple pies came from Publix. Publix makes delicious apple pies, but they don’t make this one! 😉 (more…)
Bonjour mon amis! Mondays are for celebrations and so this Monday is for MACARONS! <3
Those of you who knew me in my bakery days knew that the macarons were one of my signature specialties, but you didn’t think I just made them for you did you? Au contrair! My love affair with the macaron started long before, when I wanted to try one without driving an hour to Santa Barbara. So I made one, loved the process, realized I was pretty good at making them, and never actually stopped. Instead, I kept playing, experimenting, and creating. Then we moved away from California and I realized it had been three months since I’d made a batch. Sacrilege!
Well, that and I found myself with the urgent need to make macarons thanks to a stop at local-ish coffee shop Caffe Amouri in Vienna. We discovered this little gem on one of several trips to find living room furniture that would fit up our stairs. Baby girl was asleep in the car when we got there so I told the Godfather to surprise me with a warm drink and he came out with a Pumpkin Chai Latte. It was love at first sip and I knew I had to recreate it in macaron form!
So the next day, I whipped up a batch, feeling especially rebellious. Why you ask? Well for starters, it was during naptime and there were at least five more productive things I could have been doing. Second, I didn’t bother aging my egg whites or even bringing them to room temperature. Third, I didn’t sift together my almond meal and powdered sugar. And finally, I did ALL THIS with a new oven – so new personality, new hot spots, baking temps, everything. VIVE LA RESISTANCE! Take that conventional macaron-making rules, every day is Bastille Day in the Godmother’s kitchen!
If you are new to macarons, I would probably just follow the recipe and not do what I did above. Skipping all those rules I ran the risk the macarons wouldn’t turn out, but experience taught me enough about macaron making that I knew they probably would. A bit arrogant? Maybe. But it was such a rush to break my own rules! #thuglife
I probably won’t do it again though, because the lack of perfection is bugging me even though these would sell at Payard for $2.75 each and no one would question it. Ugh. Don’t worry about perfection when making macarons for yourself though. Relax, have fun, enjoy the process and if they crack or the feet don’t rise, don’t worry about it. They’ll still taste good.
There are two accepted methods for making macarons. The first is the French method and the second is the Italian method. I use both, but today we will follow the Italian method with the cooked syrup. I find it works a little better with the addition of the chai spices. Macaron shells can appear temperamental because the ratios between wet, dry, fat, and protein must be right for them to turn out. When you add things like cocoa powder, certain spices, etc, you change those ratios and you must know how to adjust your technique accordingly. Successful macaron making boils down to old-fashioned technique, not gadgets (especially those ridiculous macaron mats with the rings), not unicorn assistants in the kitchen, not anything else as reported by food-trend-followers, just skill. If you want to make macarons, start there. Enjoy the process, bonne chance et amusez-vous! (Sorry… awful French, I know!)
Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.*
Sift your almond meal and powdered sugar together in a bowl. Stir in your chai tea spices. Pour 55 g of egg whites on top, do not stir. Set aside.
Put the other 55 g of egg whites in the clean and dry bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.
Put the granulated sugar and water into a small saucepan with a candy thermometer and set over medium heat, gently swirling the pan occasionally to ensure all the sugar melts.
When the thermometer reaches 220 F, start your stand mixer on medium/low speed. You just want the egg whites to get frothy like a bubble bath.
When the sugar mixture reaches 234 F (soft ball stage), remove from the heat immediately. Bring your mixer to high speed, and drizzle in the sugar syrup, being careful not to touch the sides of the bowl.
When the egg white and sugar mixture has reached a consistency where a "puff" will stay on the whisk when lifted, stop.
Add your food coloring if desired, then dump in the contents of your almond meal/sugar/egg white bowl.
Fold the almond meal mixture into the egg whites moving your spatula from the center of the bowl out towards the edges until the almond meal has been incorporated and the shell mixture is the consistency of slow moving lava - about 50 strokes.
Fit your piping bag with a round frosting tip** and fill with your macaron batter.
Pipe the batter into even rounds on your prepared baking sheets, rap 2-3 times on the counter to remove air bubbles, and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 300 F. ***
Bake macaron shells one sheet at a time on the middle rack for 14-16 minutes, until shells lift easily from the baking sheet.
Allow to rest 10 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Pair equally sized shells together for filling.
Wash and dry your mixer bowl. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment.
Beat together the butter and pumpkin puree at medium speed until combined.
Add the vanilla extract and salt.
Working in batches, add the powdered sugar.
The final filling consistency should be somewhat firm but still easy to pipe.
Place the filling into another piping bag filled with a round tip, or use my preferred method, a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off, and pipe filling onto one half of each macaron. Don't overfill.
Allow the macarons to rest for a few hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend. Remove from the refrigerator a few minutes before eating to allow the filling to soften.
Macarons will keep up to one week in the refrigerator.
*I've used both and don't see a major difference. The feet will be slightly more ruffled on a silicone baking mat, and, in my oven, it takes slightly longer to bake.
**I have a dedicated macaron piping bag from Ateco that I like to use (get your own here), and I use a Wilton #12 round tip which you can easily find at any craft/hobby store.
***Baking temperatures will vary depending on your oven. 300 F is my default starting point, but having made these in four different ovens, preferred baking temperatures have ranged from 290 to 310 F. Get to know your oven to find out at what temperature it will allow you to bake the macarons long enough to cook through, but not long enough to brown the outside.
It may seem a touch arrogant to claim that this pumpkin cheesecake is “the best”, but I feel somewhat qualified to give it that distinction. You see, I have a certified cheesecake expert in our home (The Godfather), and given our time away from the more selective cheesecake-consuming metropolitan areas, I had to learn to make a really really good cheesecake. One that’s creamy but not slick, has texture but isn’t crumbly, sweet but not cloying, cheesecake that would make the Godfather look at me when we are in New York enjoying a slice at a deli and say “your cheesecake is just as good or better”. That is how we make cheesecake here.
This recipe was derived from my standard cheesecake and created for a photography workshop hosted last year by Folks Photography. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it early enough that it had time to cool properly, but it still tasted great. I wanted to make a gluten-free dessert because another vendor at the event recently realized that gluten didn’t agree with her and had chosen to eliminate it from her diet. I wanted to be sure she’d have a dessert to enjoy, and this flavor combination just seemed so very appropriate for fall. Who doesn’t have a great pumpkin cheesecake recipe?
I think this would make a great gluten free dessert for Thanksgiving if you have guests with gluten sensitivities. Just make sure they get a piece before everyone else devours it!
If you’d like to see more of my cheesecake recipes, I have a Key Lime Cheesecake here and a Caramel Apple Vanilla Bean Cheesecake here.
4½ 8-ounce packages of cream cheese (36 ounces), softened
¾ c pure pumpkin puree
1½ c granulated sugar
4 large eggs
¼ c gluten-free flour (I use coconut or rice flour)
1 vanilla bean
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Chantilly Cream (optional)
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
1 vanilla bean
Preheat your oven to 425 F
Butter or use non-stick spray to coat the inside of a 9" springform pan. Place a fitted parchment paper circle around the bottom of the pan to make transferring the cheesecake easier. Wrap the outside of the pan in foil. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter has browned. Then remove from the heat immediately.
While the butter is browning, place your pecans in a food processor and pulse until you have a medium-fine meal, about 5-7 1 second pulses. Combine the pecan meal and the cinnamon in a bowl.
When the butter has browned, pour over the pecan mixture and stir well to combine. Press the crust evenly into the cheesecake pan and set aside.
Combine the flour and spices (not the vanilla bean) for the cheesecake in a small bowl and set aside.
Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, whip the cream cheese and pumpkin together at medium speed until well combined and slightly fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Scrape the vanilla bean and add the seeds to the mixing bowl.
Dump the entire dry mixture into the bowl and stir on low speed until just combined.
Pour the cheesecake filling into your spring-form pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
Place the spring-form pan into a water bath. To create a water bath, place the spring-form pan into a larger pan and fill the larger pan with water halfway up the side of the spring-form pan (this is why the foil wrapping is important!).
Place the water bath and cheesecake in the oven and bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Then, without opening the door, lower the temperature to 350 F and bake an additional 30-35 minutes until the cheesecake is set but the center still jiggles slightly (this prevents over-baking).
When the cheesecake is done baking, turn off the oven and prop the oven door open. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath and place on a cooling rack for another 30 minutes. Then you can transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator to chill. The cheesecake can be made up to two days in advance.
Optional: Make the Chantilly cream just before serving. Place well-chilled heavy cream in your stand mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. Slowly increase the speed to high. Add the sugar and vanilla bean seeds and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Do not over-whip or you'll end up with butter. 😉 Serve immediately.
The Godfather says I’m in “white girl in yoga pants” mode with all the pumpkin recipes recently, but I don’t exactly see him complaining. All I’m going to say is that it wasn’t me who ordered the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks the other day. I do love pumpkin recipes though!
Today I want to share a classic pumpkin recipe with a super cute Halloween twist. Pumpkin rolls used to intimidate me as a baby baker, as did all roll cakes, because I was worried about breaking the cake and they looked complicated. They aren’t though! So please don’t be intimidated, especially since this only takes about 20 minutes of active work time and you can make in advance, freeze, and thaw before serving.
Last year I felt like I finally perfected my pumpkin roll recipe, right around the time I perfected my maple bacon bourbon cupcakes. Foggy fall days in California felt like bourbon and spice. I like to use a lot of spices in my fall kitchen – cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, curry… autumn smells heavenly and warms my heart.
Design inspiration: Spider webs! Just be sure to pipe AFTER spreading the cake on the pan, not before
I usually make my pumpkin rolls fresh for consumption within a few days, but I did learn from My Baking Addiction that they can be frozen. Just be sure to wrap in aluminum foil and then another layer of cling wrap before doing so to prevent freezer burn. I also tried her recipe and it’s very good. You should make both.
To make the Halloween design, I just removed about 1/3 cup of my batter and used a little black food coloring to create contrast. Then I spooned it into a piping bag and doodled away to my heart’s content. You’ll notice in the “suggested spiderweb design” picture that I piped the design first and then added the cake. Don’t do that, then the design ends up on the inside of the roll. Flipping a hot, thin, cake is very difficult and exponentially increases the chances of breakage, so I definitely recommend waiting until AFTER you’ve added the cake to the pan to pipe.
To make the spiderweb design, I piped a dot to create the center of my web, added spokes, then used concave lines to connect the dots. The spiderweb cake would look adorable on a table with some small plastic spiders nearby. You can also do something a little more freehand like I chose to do with the second roll. Get creative!
This would also be adorable at Thanksgiving or a general “Fall Festival” if you use cocoa powder or brown food coloring and then pipe leaves, scalloped crescents to look like turkey tail feathers, or even a chevron pattern. And if you don’t want to add bourbon, increase the vanilla extract to 1 tbsp and add a 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon – delicious!
Scary Good Bourbon-Spiked Cream Cheese Pumpkin Roll
"Scary good" Bourbon spiked cream cheese pumpkin roll. The epitome of fall flavors in one classic dessert.
Author: Goodie Godmother
Recipe type: Dessert
2 tbsp powdered sugar
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
⅔ cup pumpkin puree
(optional) black food coloring or unsweetened cocoa powder
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1¾ cup sifted powdered sugar
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp bourbon
Preheat your oven to 375 F and grease a 10"x15" jelly roll pan. Line with a sheet of parchment paper, and then grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
Take a clean, lint free, kitchen towel and sprinkle with the 2 tbsp of powdered sugar. Set aside.
Mix your flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring just until combined. Do not over mix.
Reserve ⅓ cup cake batter for decorations. Spoon the rest of it into your prepared jelly roll pan and smooth with an offset spatula, being sure to get the corners.
Color your reserved batter with the black food dye or cocoa powder and put into a piping bag. Snip off the tip of the bag and pipe your desired design onto the cake. You will roll starting from one of the short sides, so keep that in mind when you are choosing design direction.
Bake the cake for 13-15 minutes until it is baked through and springs back when touched.
Remove from the oven and turn the cake over immediately onto your powdered sugar sprinkled towel. Begin at one of the short ends and roll the cake tightly. Set on a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cake is completely cool, make the filling.
Add the softened butter and cream cheese to the bowl of your stand mixer and whip together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
On low speed, add the vanilla extract and bourbon. Slowly add the powdered sugar, incorporating fully after each addition. If the filling is too thick, add a little vanilla extract, milk, or heavy cream to thin. If it is too thin, add powdered sugar.
To fill the cake, carefully unroll the towel. Add your filling and spread evenly over the cake using a small offset spatula, leaving a ½" border around the cake. Re-roll the cake.
Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Alternatively, you may wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, then plastic wrap again, and freeze for up to two months. Remove from the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.
This post updated September 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project, where I add better photos to already delicious recipes!
Welcome to my blog! I’m looking forward to sharing recipes with you and hopefully encouraging you to get creative and play in the kitchen too. Let’s begin, shall we?
I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin as a food trend. The pumpkin has been terribly abused and after one too many bad pumpkin incarnations, I actively avoided cooking with pumpkin (other than savory soups) until this year. We needed a dessert for Thanksgiving and I wanted something comforting and decidedly “fall”. I also happened to have some fresh pumpkin puree around and some Goodie Godmother challah bread.
I’m not going to say this is the perfect bread pudding, but it was so. good. We waited all of five minutes before sneaking bread hunks from the edges of the pan for “quality control” purposes.
The original photo…
Pumpkin Challah Bread Pudding
6cupschallah bread cut into 1” cubesleft out to dry overnight
cup¼ brown sugar
cup¼ granulated sugar
2cupsmilk (if you're lactose intoleratealmond milk is a great substitute!)
cup½ pecans or walnutschopped
If you don't have browned butter on hand, brown the butter now. To brown butter, place the desired quantity of unsalted butter into a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and watch it as it "cooks", stirring constantly. After a few minutes it will give off a rich nutty aroma and turn brown. When this happens, remove from the heat immediately as it burns easily. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 F
Combine eggs, milk, sugars, melted butter, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin puree in a bowl. Whisk until well combined.
Add bread cubes and allow to soak in bowl for about 5 minutes. Stir in pecan pieces.
Use butter or nonstick spray to coat a 9 inch pie pan or 8x8 inch casserole dish.
Pour bread mixture into pan and bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until the top of the pudding is brown and the center is set. If you find the top starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover with foil and continue to bake.
Remove and allow to set 10 minutes before serving.