Happy Bastille Day!

July 14, 2017 § Leave a comment

Today is our French National Celebration or Fete Nationale or Le Quatorze Juillet! We remember the French Revolution and how the people stormed the then-prison of la Bastille…Read more here.

So it is only appropriate to enjoy some Bleu Blanc Rouge (Blue White and Red, in the order of the French flag), some Paris landmarks and some cookies!

VIVE LA FRANCE!!

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Cream Cheese Pound Cake

July 13, 2017 § Leave a comment

When you husband’s name is Jeff, you have something in common with the Barefoot Contessa; when your husband’s birthday rolls around, some well-intentioned friends offer him her new book “Cooking for Jeffrey”; when he gets home, he pours over the mouth-watering recipes, marking every other page with a post-it and guess who has to get to work? ME!!! aka SWEETTABLESCAPES.

One of his first choices was this dense and delicious VANILLA CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE!! The recipe makes 2 loaves, so you can stash one in the freezer for the days when you DON’T want to indulge your hubby!

You’ll need: 

3 Tbsp demerara or turbinado sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

seeds scraped from a vanilla bean

3 cups sifted cake flour (measured after sifting)

1 tsp kosher salt

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 325F. Spray two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with baking spray and sprinkle insides with the demerara sugar, titling the pans to cover evenly.

Place butter, cream cheese and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and neat on medium speed for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, until light and creamy.

Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s well mixed. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl before adding the next egg. Mix in vanilla extract and vanilla seeds.

Combine cake flour and salt in a medium bowl. With mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture, scraping down the bowl and beatre with a rubber spatula. Mix the batter thoroughly with spatula and divide evenly between the two prepared loaf pans. Smooth the tops and bake in the center of the oven for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow cakes to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then carefully turn them out and let them cool completely on a rack.

 

Freeform Berry Tart

July 7, 2017 § Leave a comment

Haaa summer!! There is nothing like it, especially when you are a berry-lover! Any dessert with this “superfood” is a winner. It looks pretty, often patriotic and always delicious. This tart is an absolute delight for the eyes and the buds, so get the flour out!!! The recipe is from “Elle A Table”,May-June 2017

You’ll need:

Sweet Pate Brisee:

250g all-purpose flour

125 g butter

50g confectioner’s sugar

pinch of salt

1 egg

zest of half a lemon (optional) 2 to 6 Tbsp water or milk.

Preparation: Cut butter into small cubes. Mix flour, salt and confectioner’s sugar

Add butter and mix with your fingers (or in a food processor)until it reaches the consistency of cornmeal. Add the lemon zest if you wish. Add the egg and mix until the dough forms a ball. Add a little milk or water. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

To make the tart:

100g butter, softened

100g raw sugar

2 eggs

1 lemon

100g almond meal

20 g flour

3/4 pound mixed berries

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough in an imperfect circular shape and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Prepare frangipane: mix softened butter and sugar until smooth;

add eggs one at a time,

then the lemon zest. Add almond meal and flour.

Spread frangipane over the dough, leaving about an inch at the edge (it spreads a little as it bakes). Cover with berries. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F and another 30 minutes at 325F.

Let cool. Enjoy!

Carnival Birthday party…and its cookies!

July 6, 2017 § Leave a comment

Weather permitting, an early summer kid’s birthday should be celebrated outdoors. Add some carnival attractions, balloons and games, and you have a winner. But why stop there? Here at SWEETTABLESCAPES, we say “carry the theme all the way” and give your guests some carnival cookies too!!

That is just what our client did for her daughter’s 4th birthday!

Large cookies were : Popcorn, “snocones”, cotton candy and circus tents.

Mini cookies were number Four and her initial:

And of course, we needed clowns for the fear laugh factor!!! So cake pops did the trick!! Chocolate with a hat, vanilla without!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISABELLA!!

Chocolate and Caramel Chip Cookies

June 28, 2017 § Leave a comment

When I stumbled upon a bag of Caramel flavored chips by Ghirardelli, whose 60% cocoa chips are my “bread and butter” Haha! or my go-to chips if you prefer… I grabbed a bag and decided to make a quick batch of cookies.

Super basic recipe:

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

salt

baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1 cup each chocolate chips and caramel chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix softened butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla extract.

Add flour, salt, soda and mix slowly until blended.

Add chips and walnuts, mix.

 

Drop large spoonfuls onto baking sheets.

Bake at 375F for 12 to 15 minutes (depending how crunchy you want your cookies)

Enjoy!!

A sweet lady’s birthday…and some cookies

June 27, 2017 § Leave a comment

When my mother in law’s big 8-0 rolled around, we had a beautiful evening of dinner and magic show followed by brunch the next day. This was the perfect occasion to make some extra special cookies for a very sweet lady.

So SWEETTABLESCAPES got to work with some favors, big balloon cookies with a message AND a personalized set for the birthday girl with cookies showing her favorites things!!

Balloons are airbrushed, using the Cookie Countess’s stencils

Message is added

We added a miniature cookie with the large and packaging was done..

 

For her own special set, we created 8 cookies representing her 5 grand-daughters, the town she grew up in, her current building…

her favorite hotel.

her favorite restaurant,

her favorite pastime, 

her favorite department store. 

and her favorite clothing company!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUE!!

Neurologist Cookies

June 22, 2017 § Leave a comment

Med school is indeed the incredible challenge we hear about…and then comes time for your residency. This neurologist spent seven years doing his and we think he well deserved a cookie at the end! His family did too and ordered these fun treats for him and another doctor friend.  SWEETTABLESCAPES had a blast creating them!!

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