Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A pie, a cupcake, and a turnover

Lately I have been cooking/baking again. You know, the good stuff. Not gluten-free, dairy-free stuff, but real (fake) food. And it hasn't been for me. Ha!

A few special occasions (new baby, birthday, graduation) have re-ignited my looove for cooking/baking and it has been so fun. Oh I miss making beautiful, tasty, terrible food. HAHA. 

Anyways, here are a few of the latest recipes I have tried and enjoyed.

Butternut Squash Turnovers

This recipe is from Food&Wine magazine and turned out really good. Instead of puff pasty I used crescent rolls I made in the shape of a turnover. I think when I make these again I will just roll the crescent roll in it's normal shape so it stays prettier than the triangle shape. Or use actual puff pastry.

Recipe Ingredients:
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, cut into 1-inch dice
2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated, and caps sliced 1/4 inch thick (see cooking notes)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
One small 1 1/2-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
14 ounces all-butter puff pastry, thawed if frozen (see cooking notes)
2-3 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil the parchment. On the sheet, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Discard used parchment and reline pan with a fresh piece.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 T olive oil. Add the diced leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the shiitake and cook, stirring often, until their liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the thyme and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the roasted squash to the leeks and mushrooms and toss.

On a lightly floured work surface, gently roll out the puff pastry to eliminate any seams. Cut the pastry into equal squares depending on your desired size for turnover. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the shiitake-squash mixture onto each square and top with 2 tablespoons of the goat cheese. Lightly brush the edge of the squares with some of the beaten egg. Fold the squares over to form triangles and crimp the edges decoratively with a fork.

Arrange the turnovers on the prepared baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Brush the tops of the turnovers with the remaining beaten egg. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cooking notes
Shiitake mushrooms provide a unique earthy and woodsy flavor that cannot be achieved by using white button mushrooms. The are most often found dried in the produce section of the store. Re-hydrate them by soaking in warm water for 20-30 minutes.

I used one package of Peppridge Farm Puff Pastry sheets and gently rolled out each to make four equal squares per sheet for a total of 8 large turnovers to serve as a main course. If you want smaller, bite-size turnovers as an hors d'oeuvre, cut them further, into eighths and adjust the amount of filling per turnover accordingly.

Frozen Strawberry Pie
I remember my mom making this when I lived at home many moons ago and I just made it for myself for the first time. It's a great, cold, low calorie summer dessert.

Recipe ingredients:

2 containers (8 oz. each) strawberry yogurt
1 container (8 oz) Cool Whip
2 cups sweetened, pureed strawberries
1 9 inch graham cracker crumb crust


Fold yogurt into whipped topping, blending well.  Fold in strawberries.  Spoon into crust.  Freeze until firm, 4 hours or overnight.  Remove from freezer 30 minutes before serving and keep chilled in refrigerator.  Garnish with additional strawberries.

Oreo Cupcakes

Thanks to Pinterest, I made these incredibly yummy cupcakes this Sunday. OMG are they so sweet and addictive! I did not include the marshmellow filling included in the recipe because I'm not really into cream fillings. I also just used store-bought icing instead of making from scratch (to be cheaper) and mixed in the crushed oreos. 

Recipe Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines White Cake Mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup water
3 eggs
24 whole Oreos

Filling (optional):
13 oz jar Marshmallow Creme
1 stick salted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

4 sticks salted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 cups powdered sugar
15 Oreos, crushed VERY FINELY


Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with liners. Place an Oreo in the bottom of each liner.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, melted butter, and water. Mix on low speed for one minute. Increase speed to high and beat for a minute more. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.

While cupcakes are baking, make your filling.

In a large bowl, beat Marshmallow Creme, butter, heavy cream and vanilla on medium low until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and increase speed to medium high and beat for about a minute. Refrigerate filling until cupcakes are done baking and cooled.

Once cupcakes are cooled completely, remove filling from the refrigerator and fill the cupcakes. You can do this by cutting a small hole in the top of the cupcake and spooning the filling in, or putting the filling in a pastry bag with a bismarck tip and piping it in through the top of the cupcake.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, cream, and vanilla on medium-low until smooth and well-combined. Slowly add powdered sugar. Once powdered sugar is barely mixed in, increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Fold in crushed Oreos.

Generously frost or pipe frosting on cupcakes and top with a mini Oreo if desired.

I am sooo craving all things fall and can't wait for the weather to change so I can bust out coats, cider, and fall recipes! 

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