Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fresh Fruit Tarts with a Cinnamon Cream Filling

This recipe was something I was not intending to make! I was attending a graduation party at my professor's luxurious house and decided to bring a treat for everyone. I had originally meant to make almost a cannoli-like dessert with fresh fruit, but things seem to go horribly awry when you don't have vanilla extract! How did I run out of that?!

So in order to improvise, I used those Cinnamon Chips I mentioned in my Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts recipe. You wouldn't believe how tasty these were. There wasn't a single one left!

These recipe has three components, but they are so easy it's almost a joke! Keep it our little secret, and all your friends will be blown away by your delicious baking talent!

2 packages Pillsbury pie dough
2 3/4 C milk (I used Almond Milk and Heavy Cream)
2/3 C white sugar
1/4 C cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
1/4 C cinnamon chips
Fresh fruit (I used bananas and strawberries, but you can use whatever you want)

1. Prep a mini cupcake pan by greasing and flouring it (or using a flour Pam spray). Set aside.

2. Roll out the pie dough onto a floured surface or a silpat baking sheet. Using a cookie cutter, rim of a small cup, or whatever creative you can think of to use, cut out round pieces of pie dough a little bit larger than your cupcake pan mold (I used a small glass cup).

3. Press the dough down into the cupcake molds gently so you don't rip the dough. Cut out small pieces of aluminum foil and press it down into the dough. This prevents it from puffing up while it's baking.

4. Place the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

5. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake the mini tarts for 10 minutes until it's a nice golden brown. If you need to bake past 10 minutes, remove the foil.

To Make the Cream Filling:
1. Add milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks to a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk until well mixed together. Microwave 6 minutes on HIGH, whisking after 3 minutes, then every minute after.

2. Add butter and cinnamon chips and whisk until smooth.

To Assemble:
Fill each tart shell with cream filling. Top with sliced fruit of your choice. Do not assemble until an hour before serving.

Cinnamon Chip Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Well, that's a mouthful! These were some of the best donuts I have ever eaten. I don't know about you lovely readers, but I love baked donuts (otherwise known as cake donuts) more than fried donuts. They weren't as greasy and sugary, and I was able to eat more! I got this beautiful recipe off of BakeYourDay, and I'm so very glad I made them.

** Here's a hint: You can find a store near you that sells these cinnamon chips by visiting this website:
Hershey's Product Locator - The category is Baking Products, and the item is Hershey's Cinnamon Chips 10 oz. In Oklahoma, you can find these at Homeland Stores.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup cinnamon chips** (See note above)
4 Tbs. butter, melted
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Liberally spray a 6-cavity donut pan (or muffin pan) with non-stick spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla together until blended. Gently pour into the dry ingredients mixing well just until combined. Fold in the cinnamon chips, stirring just until they are fully incorporated.

4. Divide the mixture evenly among the cavities in the donut (or muffin) pan. Bake in the oven for 10-11 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a donut comes out clean.

5. While the donuts cool, melt the butter in one bowl. In another bowl, combine the sugars and cinnamon and mix well. When the donuts have cooled in the pan for about 10 minutes, gently remove one, dip one side in the melted butter and then into the cinnamon/sugars mixture and place on a wire rack. Repeat with the others and serve warm.

Fresh Guacamole

Along with the recent post about homemade queso, I decided to also do a recipe for guacamole. Everyone has their own recipe for guacamole, but sometimes people don't. I know I've had homemade and store bought recipes that I just didn't enjoy too much. This recipe was really fresh, which is what I love about guacamole, and avocados are considered a super-fruit and have great benefits!

This recipe is in honor of Cinco de Mayo! I found it on All Recipes, and what's great about a recipe like this is that you can change some of the ingredients if you need to! Enjoy!

3 avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp salt
1/2 C diced onion
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.

Homemade Queso

I can openly admit that I have a problem. With cheese. I love cheese. Preferably queso with tortilla chips. I could and probably do eat chips and queso about 4 times a week. It's ridiculous, but I just love the tasty appetizer!

I got this recipe from Kitchen Simplicity and will probably make it frequently. It's better (in my opinion) to Velveeta or nacho cheese sauce. It's not as heavy, and it has the delicious creamy texture. It also take about 5 minutes to make! Perfect!

4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk, divided
2 tsp hot sauce
Pinch of salt

Toss together cheese and cornstarch, in a medium-sized saucepan, until evenly coated. Stir in 1 cup evaporated milk, the hot sauce and salt. Cook, stirring often, over medium-low heat until thickened, smooth and bubbly. Stir in additional evaporated milk, if needed, until desired consistency is reached.