Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp An Old Fashioned Dessert.

Homemade apple crisp

Apple Crisp is a go to recipe when we have an abundance of apples. This year we foraged so many apples  that we promised we’d share all our best recipes with you.  We like to make a batch of these crisps and freeze them so we can grab one and bake it off at a moment’s notice.

foraging for apples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s recipe makes 4 mini crisps or it will make one family size. Lets get started.

TwoFoodNuts Apple Crisp:

The filling:

  • 3 lbs of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into thick slices
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 allspice
  • 1/1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter cut into little cubes

Peel, core and slice the apples, place in a large bowl and add all but the butter. Divide into 4 mini foil loaf pans or place in one deep casserole for a single dessert.  Dot each crisp with the little butter cubes.

apple crisp filling

For the topping:

  • 1 cup of quick cooking Oatmeal. (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cold butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Place everything in a bowl and rub the butter into the flour and sugar to form crumbs. ( you can use a food processor to do this)

Apple Crisp

Sprinkle the crumb topping onto the fruit filling and cover with cling film and foil if freezing or pop into the oven at 350F until the filling bubbles up through the crumbs. This can take from 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the crisp.

Top with freshly whipped cream or quality ice cream and serve.

Cooks Tip: Sometimes when we want to change it up a bit, we use a can of cherry pie filling on top of the apple filling. It bakes into the apples and gives you a most amazing Apple/Cherry crisp. It’s a great way to use a stock recipe but add variety! Try it

 

 

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Lightening Fast Brownie Sundae

Wow Them With Chocolate!

These Sundaes are so simple to make, but they taste like you slaved for hours. Its really a dessert that is assembled from a group of quality ingredients that you buy.

Brownie Sundae

What you need to make these Brownie Sundae:

  • Ice Cream (we love Pralines and Cream), but use anything that compliments chocolate
  • Ready made or leftover brownies cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Sliced Strawberries, or fresh Raspberries
  • Whipping cream ( we like Readi Whip in a can) But please use Real Whipped cream not Coolwhip.
  • Chocolate Sundae Sauce
  • Chopped Pecans

We use a clear serving dish to show off the layers of this dessert.  It looks so sumptuous.  Place a scoop of ice cream into the dish, top with the Brownie cubes, add the Berries, load on the Whipping cream and top with the Chocolate sauce and a sprinkling of Pecans.

We can hear them cheering you from here!

TwoFoodNuts Brownie Sundae

Any Comments?

The “One” Tart

One Apple, Makes One Tart That Feeds Four!

Sometimes you need a quick dessert that wows the audience. This “One” is going do just that!  You don’t need much to put it together.  We love anything made with puff pastry.  The quality of a ready-made butter pastry is perfect for this dessert. We make it early in the day, pop it into the freezer, then bake it while everyone is eating the main course.   Lets face it, a warm apple tart with a dollop of fresh cold whipping cream is always welcome.

 

Total prep time for this dessert is only 10 minutes once you have the ingredients on the work table, so lets make the “One” Tart!

apple desserts

Ingredients for our TwoFoodNuts “One” Tart:

  • 1 ready made puff pastry sheet about 12  inches square
  • 1 large Honey Crisp apple, peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 large pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp Demarera sugar or any course sugar to sprinkle over the tart.
  • 1 cup heavy cream for whipping
  • 1 Tbsp sugar to sweeten the cream

Now you see why we call this the “One” Tart!

"One" Tart

Begin by allowing the pastry to thaw.  Roll it out on a fresh sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and prick all over with a fork.  Place in the freezer while you peel the apple.  Peel the apple and cut in half or quarters.  Remove the core and slice the apple so it’s about 1/8th inch thick.  You want enough to cover the tart in a single layer.  Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter all over the tart.  It will solidify right away. That’s what you want!  Layer the apples in an interesting pattern to within 1/2 inch of the pastry edge. Drizzle the honey over the apples, sprinkle with the cinnamon, place the almonds on the apples and pinch the sugar over the top. Lightly run a butter knife around the edge of the crust about 1/2 in from the edge. This lets the crust puff a bit.

Now you can decide if you are baking it right away.  If you want it for later in the day pop it back in the freezer and the apples will stay nice and white till you’re ready.

It’s ready for the oven!  Bake for 10-15 minutes in a hot oven at 400F.  Puff Pastry does best when it’s cold before being placed in a hot oven. It causes the pastry to rise and become light and crispy.  When the “One” tart is baked, slice into 4 generous pieces and top with a heaping tablespoon of sweetened whipping cream.

French Apple tart

 

 

Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake

In German We Say “Kaffe and Kuchen”!

Coffee and cake, they’re just made for one another.  We’d like to share this recipe that has become a true favorite of ours.  It’s not too sweet but its rich in flavor and texture.  The pecan streusel filling is a perfect accent to the tender simple cake.

Pecan coffee cake

You will need a Bundt Pan for this recipe.

TwoFoodNuts Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake:

For the Pecan Streusel Filling:

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter cut into small chunks and chilled
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Place everything into a large bowl and with your fingers crush the chunks of butter into the flour and sugar until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350F

For the Cake:

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1  and 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1  cup apple sauce

Place dry ingredients into a bowl, make a well and add all the wet ingredients, stir to incorporate everything without mixing too much.  Spray a Bundt pan with a baking spray and add half the batter. this batter is quite stiff so you may need to smooth it by using the back of a spoon that is dipped in cold water. Now add the pecan streusel filling. Top with the remaining batter then finish with the pecan streusel.

cinnamon pecan coffee cake

This cake bakes for about one hour depending on your oven. Use a wooden skewer to test at the one hour mark. If the cake is very brown but still a bit wet inside you can turn off the oven and leave the cake in it to cool for another half hour. This will keep it from over browning.

sour cream coffee cake

Light Icing:

  • 2 Tbsp soft butter
  • 1/and 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp warm water

Blend everything in a small bowl using the back of a spoon. Drizzle over the cooled cake. Put the coffee on!

Pecan coffee cake

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Plum Pie

It’s As Easy As Pie!

We’ve been serving up a lot of veggies in the recent weeks, so maybe we should treat you to a wonderful dessert. This post was written a week ago while we were still at the cottage but its not too late to give Plum Pie a try!

Plum pie 101 It’s the time of year when Damson plums are in season so why not bake up a sweet juicy pie using them.  The cinnamon in the pie makes the whole house smell welcoming!  Since Harry’s the prep guy at our house, he had the job of pitting the plums and cutting them for the pie.

TwoFoodNuts Pie Filling:

  • 800 grams or 1 3/4 lb damson plums- pitted and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cold butter cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 1 egg beaten for glazing the crust
  • 1 full pie crust and 1/2 a crust for the decorations.

Cook’s Tip: Make clean-up really fast when rolling pastry.  Wipe the counter top with a wet paper towel and then lay cling film over it in two slightly overlapping rows.  I find two rows of cling film gives you enough surface areas to roll out a large pie crust. The water helps the cling film to stick to the counter and all the flour stays on top of the cling film.  Once the pastry is rolled out, just gather up the cling film. There’s no flour stuck to your counter!

Rolling Pie CrustNext line the pie plate with the pastry.

IMG_2529Notice I use the rolling pin to lift the pastry so it doesn’t tear. Let it roll over the pie plate.

Baker's TipPlace the plums in a large bowl and add the sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Stir well to cover the plums. Pour the filling into the pie shell and dot with the butter.  Fold the pie crust so it covers the outer inch and a half of the filling. Brush with the beaten egg using a pastry brush.

Damson Plum PieDecorate the pie by using cookie cutters to cut out pretty shapes from the pastry and add them to the edge. Brush the completed pie crust with a bit more egg wash and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour and 15 min but even up to 1 hour and 30 min at 375 F.

Damson Plum PieThe finished pie is jewel-colored from the juicy plums. The crust is light and flaky.

It’s time to get out the whipping cream and make some friends!  Enjoy the TwoFoodNuts version of Plum Pie, we know we will.

Elfie the FoodNut

 

Black Forest CupCakes

Chocolate and Cherries Topped with Whipped Cream. Sensational!

We love making these cupcakes for special occasions. A cupcake is the perfect dessert for a crowd since they come in their own little containers.  Just pop them on a pretty plate and you are the baking hero of the day.

Elfie is of German heritage so its little wonder that this recipe ended up on the blog. Cherries just happen to be one of her all-time favorite fruits.  And chocolate, what can I say? You never go wrong using chocolate in a dessert.   Just try to keep these treats away from her. I dare you!

We like to use real whipped cream in our recipes. It is not a lot of extra effort to use fresh ingredients and the end result, from our experience is just “Better”.

Black Forest cupcakesWhat you’ll need.

  • 1 package Devil’s Food Chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can of cherry Pie filling
  • 1 pint 8 oz of real whipping cream. (35% cream)
  • 2 tbsp sugar to sweeten the whipped cream
  • 1 package gelatin (this is in the baking section of the grocery store)
  • 2 Tbsp real chocolate chips melted to drizzle over whipping cream.

This recipe is made using a chocolate cake mix. The reason is that the texture of the cupcake is so light.  It’s hard to achieve that when baking from scratch. We’ve tried it but the truth is Duncan Hines has perfected the lightest chocolate cake you can produce and it makes the cupcakes perfect. One package of Devil’s Food cake mix is enough for 12 cupcakes. Bake using the directions provided.

While the cupcakes are baking:

Whip the cream  in a cold bowl using a hand or stand mixer.   Beat it just until the beater leave swirls in the cream. DO NOT OVER WHIP.

whipped creamIn a small bowl, pour 1/4 cup cool water over the gelatin powder and allow it to soften. After a few minutes add the 1/4 cup hot water to the gelatin and stir it well.

Knox gelatinMeasure half of the gelatin (1/4 cup)  to use in the whipped cream. DO NOT USE IT ALL.  With the mixer on the lowest setting gently pour the gelatin into the whipped cream and mix just to incorporate.

blending gelatinPlace it into a piping bag with a large star tip and chill for 1 hour.

piping bagCook’s Tip: Gelatin is simple to use and can help stabilize any liquid when making dessert.  It’s easy enough for a novice to use and adds no taste to what you are making.

Once the cupcakes are cool, use a melon-baller  or small ice cream scoop to remove the center of the cupcake.  Fill just to the top of the cupcake with the Cherry Pie filling.  Now pipe the chilled whipped cream over the cup cakes.

scooping out cupcakeFinally, place the chocolate chips into a sandwich bag and microwave for 30 seconds on half power just to melt the chocolate. ( you may need to do this a couple of times) Take care not to melt the bag. Cut the smallest tip off the sandwich bag and lightly drizzle the chocolate over the whipped cream. You’re all done!

Black Forest cupcakesLook how great these individual Black Forest Cupcakes turn out!  Your friends won’t believe you made them.  And just wait till they get a mouthful of the luscious whipped cream mixed into the tart cherries and enveloped in the lighter-than-air cake. Heaven.

We hope you give this recipe a try.  A beginner can produce these results just by following the directions!

 

Crepes Are An Outstanding Dessert.

Simple Crepes For Amazing Desserts!

We both love crepes!  Harry likes his with Bananas and Nutella. Blasphemy!  I like mine with lemon juice and sugar, the way they should be served!  But we both agree that filling them with a velvety cream cheese filling and topping them with fresh seasonal fruit is never wrong!

We love to make everything from scratch and share our recipes as you know,  but we do rely on the skills and knowledge of a few really great cooks.  For this recipe we like to use Martha Stewart’s Simple Crepe recipe.  It works beautifully and tastes great. What’s not to love? We can’t  improve on this one folks so trust us and try it for this or any other dish that calls for crepes.  The recipe makes 12 crepes. Our filling recipe is enough for all 12.

Martha Stewart's Simple CrepesHarry was manning the crepe pan and he stacked the completed crepes between sheets of parchment so they don’t stick.  You can let them cool, slide them into a zip-lock bag and freeze them at this point.  It makes it so easy to create a professional dessert in no time once the crepes have been made.

Cook’s Tip:  You can leave out the sugar in the crepe recipe if you want to stuff them with a savory filling such as Asparagus with cheese sauce or Chicken a la King.                            Harry used an actual  Crepe pan (a low sided non-stick pan) to make these but a good non-stick skillet about 10 inches in diameter can also be used.

We made a lovely cream cheese filling for the crepes.  It’s so easy we’re embarrassed to call it a recipe, but here goes.

Two Food Nuts Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 brick, 8 oz cream cheese.
  • The grated zest of one lemon
  • The juice of 1/2  of the lemon (reserve the juice from the other lemon)
  • 1 cup of icing sugar

Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature. Add all the other ingredients and beat until smooth.

Once the crepes are cooled follow our photos for filling them. We used a pastry bag without a tip to pipe the filling onto the crepes, then flatten the cream cheese with a spoon before drizzling a bit of the reserved lemon juice (from the second lemon half) and a bit of sugar on the crepes before folding and rolling the crepes.

Crepe recipe by Martha StewartFold the crepes from the outside to the center to enclose the filing and roll them up gently.

Martha Stewart Simple crepesWe said this dessert would look professional, didn’t we?  Your guests will just love them.

Crepes with Fresh FruitHere we used fresh raspberries and whipping cream with a dusting of icing sugar and a fresh mint sprig to complete our delicious dessert. Serve one or two crepes per person. If you have leftovers, go to the fridge at midnight and indulge your need, we certainly have!

Cupcake Liner Storage Tip

Everyday is a good day for Cupcakes!

When it comes to baking, Harry is the champ at our house!   I have an artistic edge that causes  me  to need the flexibility of tossing things together. Baking doesn’t work that way.  We often make cupcakes for events and we love baking with our two grandchildren so we have lots of liners on hand. As with most things in the kitchen, storage is vital.  We find that using a mason jar to store the cupcake liners not only keeps them clean, but helps keep their shape!

Cupcake liners

This image is courtesy Pinterest.

Watch for more cooking tips and tricks on our TwoFoodNuts.ca blog and Facebook page!

 

Rhubarb Custard Pie! Oh My.

Easy as Pie!

Rhubarb is best picked in the Spring.  Once the middle stalk bears flowers the fruit is no longer used. The window of opportunity is very short but the freezer can help extend the season for this highly under-rated fruit. We love to make this pie throughout the year so we harvest the rhubarb and freeze it in portions for a single pie. Simply wash the stalks and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Tuck into freezer bags and you have fruit throughout the year.

Rhubarb Custard pieWe use a standard pie crust for this recipe.  Either a lard or butter crust will do. You can even use a quality frozen pie shell if the need arises, but we always prefer homemade if time allows.

The ingredients are usually at hand, so here’s how Two Food Nuts make our

Rhubard Custard Pie:

  • Line the pie plate with the crust of your choice
  • Pour in 4 cups of cut up Rhubarb
  • Mix 3 large eggs with 1 & 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup all purpose flour.  Blend well.
  • Grate in 1/2 a nutmeg or use 1/2 teaspoon ready grated nutmeg. Fresh grated is best!
  • Pour the egg mixture over the fruit, create a nice edge for your pie with left over crust.
  • Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and brush it on the crust to glaze.

Bake at 400 F degrees for the first 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F for the remaining 40 -45 minutes.  The pie should still have a slight jiggle to it and the crust should be a rich golden brown.  Set on a rack to cool, then refrigerate before serving.

We do like a good topping of freshly whipped cream just to “Guild the lily”!

rhubarb custard pie

Rhubarb Custard pie

We made a braided edge and egg-washed it to the pie crust once it was filled.

Rhubarb Custard pieWe hope you enjoy our version of Rhubarb Custard Pie and that you share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Your comments are always appreciated so please use the handy form below!  Enjoy.

Sweet and Low!

Dessert under 300 Calories?  Yes!

Who does not love to enjoy something sweet after a meal, or as a treat all by itself?   The problem is the calorie count usually creates guilt.  We live in a world of plenty and that has gotten us into some trouble with our waistlines, but you are going to love this beautiful, sweet and low calorie dessert! angel food dessertNot only is this dessert delicious and low calorie, it’s so easy to make and its also versatile. We had a store-bought Angel-Food cake on hand. We also had a can of no sugar-added mandarin oranges some Greek yogurt (lemon flavor) and a few plump berries in the fridge. It took about 3 minutes to make the dessert.

By eliminating the sugar and substituting yogurt for whipping cream the result is sublime!

Assembly:

  • Tear cake slices into bite-size pieces, arrange on a plate (Use 1/12th of the store-bought cake per portion) calorie count for 1 slice of cake.
  • top with fruit of your choice
  • add a dollop of yogurt (any flavor you like)
  • decorate with a few berries or perhaps some Pecans!
  • drizzle with the tiniest bit of honey

Now sit back and savor ever morsel of this fresh-tasting, miracle of dessert! Its about the same calorie count as 20 potato chips, but so much more satisfying.

angel food dessert

You can substitute any soft  or juicy fruit. Strawberries are particularly good with Angel Food cake, but summer peaches would  be lovely topped with fresh blueberries too. Grate some lime peel on top of fresh mango.  Be a bit creative, use other yogurt flavors too.  Tell us what you did to create your own version of this dessert! We’d love to learn something new from you!

 

Maple Bacon Donuts

Who Does Not Love Bacon?

Ok, if you are vegetarian, this isn’t gonna fly, but for the rest of us, the combination of smokey, salty bacon and sweet maple syrup is great cause for celebration. The recipe we are about to present is from an article in Zoomers Magazine.  Caplansky’s Deli in Toronto is where we first tasted the Maple Beef-Bacon Donut. There were tears of joy and silence at the table. Caplansky’s also has a food truck in the city now, so if making them yourself is not something you’d attempt, just go down to College St and indulge the need.

Maple Bacon DonutsHarry has become quite the baker in the past year and when he said he was going to make these glorious little tributes to pig and tree I was in. First, let me say that pork is my favorite meat of all.  So to combine it with dessert is sheer genius in my books.

You might think that a deep fried ball of dough loaded with bacon would be a heavy object, but please allow me to say these are very light in texture and flavor. They are also very simple to make. The thing that we don’t like is the smell of the deep fryer, so we decided to make them Al Fresco.   I covered the patio table with newspaper and we fried outside. Clean up took less than 30 seconds, almost the time it took to eat three donuts!!!

The Recipe is as follows:

Thank-you to Caplansky’s Deli for generously posting their signature dessert for all to enjoy.

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (see Cook’s tip below)
  • 3/4 cup Bacon of your choice. Minced and lightly fried. Drain on paper towel.
  • Icing sugar to sprinkle on top
  • Real Maple syrup to pour over
  • Canola or peanut oil for frying.

Beat sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat to incorporate.

In a large bowl, measure the dry ingredients, then add in the sugar, butter and egg mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and add the bacon crumble. Mix well and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Heat oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer or a deep saucepan. Using a medium ice-cream scoop or two tablespoons, drop the batter into the hot oil and cook until they are a rich golden brown. Turn them in the oil as needed to brown both sides. They only take a few minutes. Cook only 6 donuts at a time to help keep the oil hot throughout the frying.

Makes about 30-40 donuts.

Cooks Tip:

To make Buttermilk, add 2 tsp. of lemon juice or white vinegar to milk and allow to thicken for 5 minutes. The addition of the acidic milk helps make the batter lighter.

Caution:

You can fry in as little as 3 inches of oil if you use a very deep pot. Never leave hot oil unattended. Set pan aside to cool completely before returning the oil back to the bottle.

maple bacon donutsThe batter took about 15 minutes to make. The frying takes just 3-4 minutes per batch. The pleasure lasts forever!

If you enjoy this recipe please be sure to share it with your Facebook and Twitter friends.