dessert

Satisfy that Sweet Tooth with the Northwest Chocolate Festival

If you love chocolate, this blog is for you – it’s all about chocolate! The Northwest Chocolate Festival is almost here! Taking place Saturday, September 29th and Sunday the 30th at the Washington State Convention Center, it is sure to be a d’lish time for all!

Make sure you check out this tasty event!

There’ll be two-days’ worth of demos, tastings and vendors abound each centered on the delectable treat – chocolate! Learn about where chocolate comes from, how it is made, the social issues surrounding its production – and even how the differences percentages of cacao (ka – cow) differ in taste.

Whether you’re a die-hard chocolate lover or a casual nibbler, make sure you buy your tickets in advanced. Yum!

And if you just can’t wait to get there  – try my recipe for Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake! I love to top it with a scoop of chocolate cherry ice cream, and drunken cherries. Chocolates and cherries are such a classic combo. And dried Northwest cherries are available in both dark sweet and tart red varieties. I like to use the tare ones in this cake to contrast with the richness of the chocolate. Check out the Chukar Cherry Company – they have been producing all-natural choice dried cherries since 1988!

I’d love to hear what some of your favorite chocolate recipes are. – Kathy

Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake à la mode with Drunken Tart Cherries
Makes 8 servings

Cake
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (regular, not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

Glaze
1/2 cup (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 cup heavy cream

Chocolate cherry ice cream or other ice cream of your choice
Drunken Tart Cherries (recipe follows)

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 5-by-9 1/4-inch nonstick loaf pan and set aside.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until very fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Beat in the vanilla.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, in three parts, to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until well combined; do not overmix.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, filling evenly. Rap the pan sharply on a counter several times to release any air bubbles, then smooth the surface of the batter.

Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 30 minutes of baking.

Unmold the cake and turn it right side up. Let cool thoroughly on a wire rack before glazing.

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan or in a microwave oven, gently heat the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is just melting. Remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate is thoroughly melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool to almost room temperature but still liquid. Pour over the cooled cake. Let the glaze set for 15 minutes before serving.

To serve, slice the cake into 16 slices and serve 2 slices, shingled, per serving. Top with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of cherries with their syrup.

Drunken Tart Cherries
Makes 1 cup

1 cup pitted dried tart cherries
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup boiling water

Mix the cherries, amaretto, and sugar in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cherries and stir well. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours before using. Store, refrigerated, for up to 2 months.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 20th, 2012  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert

Cheers to Blended Drinks!

Blended drinks — from daiquiris and margaritas to grown-up boozy ice cream milkshakes — blended drinks are always great for crowds and refreshing on hot summer days and nights.

For something really unique, try out my Blended Peach Whiskey Sour. It’s my take on the classic whiskey sour and perfect for the whiskey lover. Fresh, ripe summer peaches, a whole peeled lemon, apricot jam, bourbon and just the right amount of ice mingle together for a sophisticated sip.

My Cheaters Blended Margarita is a fun and a super easy spin on the margarita. Simply add a can of frozen limeade concentrate – (yes, I know that I’m cheating — but really, it’s good!) – then, measure in a can-full each of tequila and light beer. Add to the blender with ice, zoom till slushy, and you have an amazing margarita – no, really!

Got a grown-up sweet tooth? Then try this, my Spirited Chocolate Cherry Milkshake. Made with bourbon, chocolate-cherry ice cream and brownies, this is more than the ultimate sundae-inspired treat!

So chill out on the last days of summer with blended drinks! -Kathy

Blended Peach Whiskey Sour
The addition of apricot preserves in the recipe helps bump up the flavor of this cocktail – especially if using frozen peaches. Try making also with fresh nectarines or apricots if in season. To see a me whip up this cocktail and more visit www.liquidkitchen.tv.

Makes 2 cocktails

2 cups ice
4 ounces bourbon
1 lemon, skin cut off, quartered
1 cup peaches (you can also substitute frozen, defrosted peaches if fresh are not available)
1 1/2 oz simple syrup
2 – 3 bar spoons apricot jam

In a Vitamix blender cup, add the ice, bourbon, lemon, peaches, simple syrup and apricot jam. Blend until the consistency is smooth. Pour into two, chilled small daiquiri or large glasses. Garnish with fresh peach or edible flowers.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™

Cheaters Blended Margarita
Years ago, a friend made me a margarita using limeade concentrate, tequila, and beer . . . and it was crazy good! So, I’ve made up my own concoction here. What the heck, we’re all too busy sometimes! If you want to keep it on the down low, premix it (then hide the cans!) and put it in a pitcher, ready for blending.

Makes about 6 cups, enough for 4 to 6 servings

3/4 cup tequila

1/4 cup triple sec
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, defrosted
1/2 (12-ounce) bottle lager or light beer
4 cups ice
Garnish: Lime wheels

Measure the drink ingredients into a large blender cup. Blend until smooth. Serve in margarita or old-fashioned glasses. Garnish with lime wheels.

For fun variations, try adding one of the following into the blender cup:
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup blueberry juice
3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
3/4 cup cubed fresh mango

Tips: If you have a small blender, then process half batches. Serve in kosher-salt-rimmed glasses if desired. Sometimes, I like to do “half-salted” rims.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books

Spirited Chocolate Covered Cherry Milkshake
Boozy milkshakes are all the rage these days. Cherries, bourbon, ice cream and chocolate make for an indulgent milkshake treat, or for a sweet ending to your next dinner or cocktail party, serve in small tasting glasses. For a demo on how to make this drink, check out my cocktail show Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen!

Makes 2 shakes or 4-8 spirited dessert tasters

1/2 oz Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce or other high quality thick chocolate sauce
————————————————-
1 pint Ben & Jerry Cherry Garcia Ice Cream
3 oz bourbon
1/3 cup tart cherry pie filling
2 each petite brownie bites or 1 medium sized brownie
Garnish: Chocolate Whipped Cream (see recipe), Bourbon Soaked Maraschino Cherries**

Swirl the chocolate sauce inside a chilled milkshake glass.

Spoon the ice cream into the Vitamix blender cup. Pulse a few times until ice cream is broken up, then add bourbon, sour cherry pie filling and crumbled brownie.  Pulse again until just barely combined.

Serve in chocolate swirled glass, topped with a swirl of Chocolate Whipped Cream and a Bourbon Soaked Maraschino Cherry.

**To make Bourbon Soaked Maraschino Cherries: drain the liquid off of a jar of maraschino cherries. Then cover with bourbon. Let sit for at least 1 week before using.

Chocolate Whipped Cream
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 oz Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce or other high quality thick chocolate sauce

Stir together whipping cream and chocolate sauce. Pour into an iSi Whipper. Screw on top and then charge with 1 iSi Cream (N2O) charger. Lightly shake whipper. Store refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Note: you can also whip cream with a whisk and then pipe from a piping bag or use a spoon to dollop on top of milkshakes.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™

Lavender

Many people think of lavender as scenting soaps, spa treatments and perfumes. This flower is well-known for its calming and relaxing properties, but lavender has also enjoyed a long history in the culinary world. In fact, it is experiencing quite resurgence lately. Chefs, bakers and mixologists alike are using this member of the mint family to spruce up savory dishes, sweets, and cocktails.

Lavender is best used sparingly to let its fragrant flavour subtly shine – and not to overpower. When added to an herbaceous seasoning mix like Herbs De Provence, it gives a unique note to grilled proteins like chicken or pork.

Lavender
Close-up of lavender growing in my urban garden!

A sprinkle of lavender into your favorite sugar cookie recipe adds a delicious floral note, like in my Lemon & Lavender Shortbread Cookies.

For a super-refreshing drink, whip up my Lavender-Mint Lime Cooler – drink it over ice or with a splash of gin, vodka or silver rum for summertime sipping perfection!

If you appreciate lavender as much as I do, be sure to check out the Sequim Lavender Festival. It’s a lavender-lover’s dream with tours of the local lavender fields, delicious lavender-infused foods and drinks as well as tons of sweet-scented goods and wares. It runs from July 20th to the 22nd – don’t miss this fun festival!

Here’s to lavender! -Kathy

Lemon & Lavender Shortbread Cookies
A wonderful not-too-sweet cookie with big flavor.

Makes 12 cookies

1 stick butter, softened
2 tsp fresh lavender
1 Tbsp. lemon zest, finely minced
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. local honey

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter, lavender,  lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour and mix until just combined. Add the honey and then mix until dough just comes together.

With lightly floured hands roll dough into a 2” round cylinder and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice dough into 12 even slices with a sharp knife and place on a baking sheet pan.

Bake shortbread in middle of oven approx. 10 minutes or until bottom of cookies are pale golden. Remove from oven and remove cookies to a cooling rack.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Lavender-Mint Lime Cooler
Zesty lime syrup with fresh lavender and mint make for a refreshing drink, perfect for any patio party or sunny afternoon.

Makes 7 cups – serves 8 to 10

3 Tbsp. finely minced lime zest (with no white pith)*
8 – 10 large sprigs fresh lavender
8 large sprigs fresh mint
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
————————————
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed Paramount Citrus Lime juice
3 cups water (or substitute soda water if serving right away)
Garnish: lime wheels and fresh lavender sprigs

Combine the zest, lavender, mint, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the mint to steep and the syrup to cool.

Remove and discard mint from syrup. In a large pitcher, combine the cooled syrup, lime juice, and water. Serve over ice in a tall glass garnished with lime wheels and mint. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

* Zest is the outer peel of the fruit – with no white pith attached. You can remove the zest from the fruit with a fine zesting tool that makes long, very thin, pretty strands, or you can peel off the zest with an ordinary potato peeler, being careful not to get any white pith, and then finely mince it.

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™

· Liquid Kitchen

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 12th, 2012  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks, dessert

Pucker Up Rhubarb is Here!

Spring is definitely here when you see the vibrant stalks of rhubarb piled up at grocers and farmers markets.

Rhubarb stalks range in various colors from pale green, sometimes speckled with pink, to fully pink and bright red. The color depends on the variety and is not a guide to quality or degree of sourness. Be careful and make sure to discard rhubarb leaves right away as they are poisonous.

Rhubarb
Rhubarb ready to be made into a d’lish dish!
(Photo courtesy of
SteadyHealth.com)

Rhubarb is of course wonderful in classic pies. But for a little something different, try my recipe for Roasted Rhubarb and Honey Mousse for a unique, spring dessert. Sliced rhubarb is tossed with sugar and then slow-roasted to a tender syrupy goodness then chilled and folded with honey-sweetened whipped cream.

And though we love rhubarb in all things sweet – it’s not just for desserts. Try it in a new savory preparation such as in my Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette, it’s so tasty drizzled over spring’s other food star – fresh halibut. Yum!  

Don’t forget about the drinks! Quench your thirst and whip up a batch of my Rhubarb Myer Lemon Ade. This pretty, pink-hued beverage is a great party sipper or add a shot of vodka or gin for a refreshing spring cocktail.

So celebrate spring in a tart and tasty way with delicious rhubarb! -Kathy

Roasted Rhubarb Honey Mousse
Makes 6 servings

1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
1 cup sugar
———————
3 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss together rhubarb and sugar and place in a 9- x 13-inch glass baking pan. Roast, uncovered, in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until rhubarb is soft and syrup is slightly caramelized. Stir thoroughly and carefully after the first 20 minutes.

Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours, until completely cooled.

Whip cream cheese with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the honey in a mixer until very fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in chilled rhubarb mixture. Whip the cream with remaining tablespoon honey until firmly peaked. Stir about 1/3 of the whipping cream into the rhubarb-cream cheese mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipping cream.

Dish up into 6, pretty glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then top with a little plain whipped cream if desired and an edible, spring flower, such as a pansy, or petals of apple, pear or plum tree blossoms.

Note: If selecting edible flowers from your yard, be sure they are edible and have not been sprayed with pesticide or other chemicals. Rinse all blossoms thoroughly.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette
This tart and tangy vinaigrette is great drizzled over fresh halibut, grilled scallops or other white fish.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup canola oil

In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, vinegar, ginger and garlic, and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, salt, sambal, and chopped cilantro. Whisk in the cooled rhubarb mixture. Then gradually whisk in the canola oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Set aside at room temperature while you are preparing the fish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Rhubarb Meyer Lemon Ade
“Bee” sure to use regional honey whenever you can to add some delicious local flavor! For a sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktail, shake about 4 ounces in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve strained in a large martini glass and garnish with a long lemon twist.

Makes about 6 cups or 8 servings

2 large Meyer lemons (or substitute regular lemons)
1 cup local honey
4 cups water
4 cups diced fresh rhubarb
———————
water as needed
lemon wedge for garnishing

With a potato peeler remove only the yellow skin of the lemon, then with a sharp knife slice the zest into fine strips.

Cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a 4-cup or 8-cup measure. Do not strain juice — you want to keep all the pulp — just pick out any seeds. Add the lemon peel strips, cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, place honey, 4 cups of water, rhubarb and minced rosemary in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 4 – 5 minutes until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature until cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, letting the juice drip through. To keep the juice clear, do not press. (You can let this strain overnight, refrigerated, if you wish.)

Then add the juice to the measuring cup containing the lemon juice and peel. Stir, and add water to make 6 cups total. Pour into a decorative pitcher.

Serve about 6 ounces (3/4 cup) over ice in tall glasses with a lemon wedge.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 19th, 2012  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert

Easter Leftovers? No Problem!

With the Easter holiday fast approaching, it’s time to load up on all the goodies to fill up those delightful baskets: marshmallowy Peeps® (which now comes in chocolate!), brightly colored jellybeans, the classic chocolate bunny and of course, colorful and decorated hard-boiled eggs.

IMG03009-20110420-0940
Aren’t they just egging you on?

Once all the goodies have been found (we hope!) and eaten, what do you do with all of the extra Easter bounty? Turn them into other d’lish goodies!

Have extra Peeps on hand? Well, they’re perfect to melt into my Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps. I love to rip their heads and use them for “garnish!”

IMG03023-20110420-1045
Peep garnished Tweeps!

For the adults, grab a few of those chocolate bunnies and stir yourself up some Bunny’Licious Chocolate Mocha Fondue using a splash of your favorite liqueur or shot of espresso. Serve with an assortment of fruits for dipping or some of those leftover Peeps.

With all those extra eggs, how about an egg salad sandwiches? I like to add a little curry twist with my Springtime Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches. Then top it off with a tasty garnish of thinly sliced radish and cucumber – oh – so springy!

Grab those extra Easter goodies and cook up some springtime fun! -Kathy

Peep & Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps
Makes 30 treats

3 Tbsp. butter
6  packages yellow Peeps®  – 30 peeps(you can use bunnies too for pink treats)
6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
1 cup small jellybeans

Pull 30 of the peeps heads off and set aside for garnish.

In a large sauce pan heat butter over low heat melt the butter until melted. Then add peeps and stir over low heat until melted. Then stir in rice crispies and jellybeans. Stir until cereal is well coated and jellybeans are distributed.

Place mixture in a pan sprayed 8”x8” baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to compact the crispy treats. Let set for at least 15 minutes before serving. To serve cut (5×6) into 30 squares.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Bunny’licious Chocolate Mocha Fondue
Makes 4 servings

6 ounces of left-over chocolate bunnies
1/4 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
1 tablespoon liquor such as: Grand Marnier, ameretto or Frangelico  liqueur (optional)

For dipping: fresh fruit for dipping cut into chunks, such as: pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, apple wedges and oranges

Other fun things for dipping are: pound cake chunks, holiday cookies, small chocolate chip cookies, other candy such as Peeps® …..

Break up or cut bunnies in small pieces (chocolate chip size)  into a  glass or ceramic bowl and pour hot coffee over them. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If coffee is not hot enough to melt chocolate, then microwave  for 10 seconds. Stir in liqueur if desired.

Transfer mixture to a fondue pot or pretty bowl and serve warm with long forks and lots of goodies for dipping.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Springtime Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches
Makes 4 sandwiches

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled (see procedure)
2 Tbsp.very thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbsp.1/8-inch-diced red onion
2 Tbsp. 1/8-inch-diced celery
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise (regular or light)
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
Coarse ground black pepper

—————————————————

8 slices high-quality tender bread such as brioche, Macrina potato bread, or egg bread
butter lettuce leaves
16 very thin slices of peeled cucumber
4 red radishes, very, very thinly sliced

Chop hard-boiled eggs to nice 1/4-inch pieces, good for making the egg salad. In a bowl, mix chopped eggs with green onion, red onion, celery, and curry powder until evenly distributed. Mix in mayonnaise gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Divide and spread the egg salad evenly among 4 slices of the bread. Layer on the lettuce and cucumber and radish slices, dividing evenly, and close the sandwiches.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 29th, 2012  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks, dessert, salads, sides

D’Lish Cookies

Store-bought cookies just never taste as good as homemade. Isn’t this always true? Could it be that the extra dose of hands-on love makes homemade cookies that much more special?
I love cookies and have been making cookies most since I could stand. I still cherish my first Betty Crocker’s Cookie Book. Its colorful pages are to this day encrusted with pieces of dough, sugar, and other cookie ingredient goodies.

S'more Cookie
A Pile of my S’more Cookies available at my Dish D’Lish cafes!

Do you love cookies but never have enough time to whip up a batch? Then try out this baker’s trick. When you do have time, make up a few batches of your favorite cookie doughs then roll them each into logs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then label and freeze them. Now, whenever the cookie craving hits you or guests stop by, just pull out a roll, slice, and then bake. Voila! Instant cookies will be ready for that after school snack, cookie craving, special guest, or any fun occasion.

I love experimenting with cookie doughs and see how the flavors bake together. How about taking your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and adding hazelnuts, instead of walnuts? Next time, try adding lavender and lemon zest or even herbs in a shortbread cookie. What about a pinch of cayenne pepper to gingersnaps for a sassy twist? Add a splash color to white chocolate macadamia cookies by stirring in dried cherries to the dough.

At my Dish D’Lish® cafes the S’mores Cookies are the most popular cookie. Chocolate dough is studded with toffee bits and finished with a topping of marshmallows and graham crackers  – baked till gooey good!

Everyone has a favorite. Mine is my Mom’s Oatmeal Gumdrop Jewels. My mom has made these cookies ever since I can remember. One of my favorite memories is having the important job of cutting up the gumdrops…and taking a sneaky quick bite every so often!

So get that glass of milk or cup of coffee ready, it’s time to bake up these sweet delights! -Kathy

Dish D’Lish S’mores Cookies
These are the most popular cookie at my Dish D’Lish Cafes! The marshmallow graham cracker topping makes them gooey delicious!

Makes 10 jumbo cookies

Dough
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 8-ounce package toffee baking bits

Topping
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

To make the cookie dough, in a mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening, sugars, egg, and vanilla well. Sift the flour, cocoa, soda, and salt together in a small bowl. Mix into the butter mixture. Stir in the toffee bits.

In a large piece of plastic wrap, roll the dough into a 3-inch-diameter log with flat ends. Wrap well and refrigerate the dough to chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake, preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 4 or 5 baking sheets with baking parchment (see Chef’s Note, below).

While the oven is heating, make the topping. Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with a rubber spatula or spoon until the marshmallows are thoroughly coated. The mixture will be very sticky.

Cut the chilled dough into 10 equal slices. Place 2 or 3 slices on each prepared baking sheet. (When baked, these cookies spread to about a 5-inch diameter, so bake only 2 or 3 per pan.) In the center of each cookie, place about 1 heaping tablespoon of topping, using it all.

Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes, or until just done. Let cool on the baking parchment until totally cooled and easy to remove.

Chef’s Note: If you’re short of baking sheets, just lay out the dough slices on additional pieces of baking parchment. When a pan of cookies is done, remove the pan from the oven, slide the parchment with the baked cookies onto a rack, place the next parchment sheet of dough on the pan and bake.

Recipe © Dish D’Lish®

My Mom’s Oatmeal Gumdrop Jewels
To make this task a bit easier, try snipping them into pieces with clean, wet scissors.

Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies.

2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal (rolled oats)
1 pound spiced gumdrops, cut up into approximately 1/4-inch pieces}
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter, shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix in buttermilk. Sift together dry ingredients and blend in. Mix in oatmeal, gumdrops, walnuts and raisins. Chill 2 hours, then drop by tablespoonfuls on a greased baking sheet. Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 23rd, 2012  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert

Hearts a Flame Valentine Dessert

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so I thought I’d share a few loving ideas and tips.

These days a lot of people like to make “reservations” for their dinner, which can be a great idea. Everyone wants that 7:00 pm time so remember to get your reservations sorted out early!

IMG_3464
Sweets for your sweety!

If dining out isn’t your style, you can always make a SIMPLE dinner at home for your honey. Let me stress the easy – you want to spend time with each other, not glued to the stove!

Whether you’re headed out or eating in – try wowing your sweetheart at home with an AMAZING dessert, made with all your burning love – a Flaming Chocolate Cherry Heart!

Flaming Dessert
Flaming meringue!
(Photo from Living 2 Eat)

This can be made up to one day ahead and then finished off right before serving. Cut a  Devil’s Food Cake (you can buy it if you must) into a heart, top it with a dome of chocolate cherry ice cream and then cover in a fluffy meringue (special tip: you can freeze ahead at this point, if not preparing the day of).

When ready to serve, give the meringue a quick golden toasting in the oven. Once out of the oven, drizzle it with rum and carefully light it. Be sure to pay careful attention to the safety details here – AND don’t get too carried away with the flame.

Here’s to a d’lish Valentine’s Day with your honey! -Kathy

Flaming Chocolate Cherry Heart
This actually makes enough for four, so when serving for two, just freeze any leftovers for later nibbling. Also, cut cake into a heart or another cute design if desired.

1 8-inch high-quality Devil’s Food chocolate cake layer, homemade (recipe follows) or purchased, trimmed to a 5-inch heart (reserve cake trimmings for later snacks)
1 pint chocolate cherry ice cream (I like Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia)
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp 151 rum
High-quality chocolate sauce (optional)

Place trimmed cake on a large freezer-to-oven plate, pie pan turned upside down, or other metal bakeable tray or plate.

Soften ice cream slightly and cut away the container. Turn out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Drape the ice cream with another large piece of plastic wrap and mold the ice cream into a dome shape, 5 inches in diameter at the base. Place ice cream on the trimmed cake and immediately place in freezer while making the meringue. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 1 week in advance. Thoroughly wrap the cake and ice cream with plastic and keep frozen.)

To make the meringue: In a grease-free mixer bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until just barely getting peaky. Then beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff and glossy.

Remove the cake from the freezer, remove the plastic and place on baking tray. With clean hands, pile the meringue on the frozen cake, covering all surfaces and swirling and making cute peaks in the meringue with your fingertips. Immediately place the cake back in the freezer, uncovered, and keep frozen until ready to serve. (This step can be done up to 1 day in advance.)

Note: Be sure the cake is frozen for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.

Serve and flame the dessert: Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Place cake in the oven for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until meringue is nicely browned all over and meringue tips are golden browned.

Bring to the table immediately and place on a trivet. Flame immediately: place 151 rum in a metal ladle or large spoon and warm it over a candle. Then light the rum and carefully pour it over the cake. (Be careful not to dribble any 151; it is on fire!) When the flames go out, cut the cake in wedges and serve on plates drizzled or decorated with chocolate sauce.

Chef’s Note: The trick is to keep the whole thing really well frozen before baking the meringue in the oven. Leftover cake can be re-frozen. For serving 4 people, use the entire 8-inch cake layer and double the ice cream and meringue amounts.

Devil’s Food Cake
Makes 1 8-inch round or square cake layer

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsps (1/2 stick) salted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
6 Tbsps sour cream
2 Tbsps whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round or square cake pan. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking powder.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed, then turn mixer up to medium and mix until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of oven for about 25 – 30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick poked in cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the side of pan and turn cake out onto a rack to cool thoroughly.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 3rd, 2012  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert

Cozy Up with Cocoas!

Sipping hot cocoa brings up cozy, winter memories for me: Now that’s a hot cocoa! (Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®)my mom mixing up Hershey’s cocoa powder with warm milk and a dash of cinnamon (or vanilla) in her old copper-bottomed Reverewear pan. Ooh and my favorite part! The big fluffy marshmallow floating on top… yum!

I still love making My Mom’s “Old School” Cocoa when it’s freezing out. Kids of all ages love it when they need something to warm up with or to relax to.

Cocoa is the perfect vehicle for flavor experimenting from fragrant spices like cinnamon and cloves to the totally unexpected profiles like Indian curry and cardamom.

For the recipes, continue reading on Amazon’s Al Dente Blog.

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 27th, 2012  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Amazon, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks, dessert, other
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