Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #4

Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway

Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

White Macarons Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted).

I’ve never made a macaron in my life and the thought of having to bake one for this challenge made my heart pound. I’ve been dreading this week ever since I learned macarons were on Manuela’s hand-picked list of recipes for the challenge.  Making something so delicate and beautiful is very intimidating for my skill level, but despite my mixed emotions towards the macaron; I knew I had to overcome my anxiety and push myself for the sake of the challenge. I just kept telling myself, “relax, take it easy, you got this. Now just do it and bake like a master!” I feel a headache coming on! 

If you’re here for the first time and would like to join the challenge or check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream CakeRecipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake  and Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as the previous three weeks and are written below: 

Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Master or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and it’s also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the entire duration of the contest. 

*NOTE

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE

RECIPE #4

Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

White Macaron RecipeWhite Macarons with Chocolate Fudge: Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com‘s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted) 

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rules HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to each one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #4:

I would love it if they (that’s you) try my recipe for macarons, I know a lot of people have problems with macarons, but this recipe I never have gotten a complaint about! These macarons go straight in the oven, no need to rest before baking as many recipes ask for.

Manuela’s  inspiration for her macaron recipe is also accredited to the recent Royal Wedding of Megan Markle and Prince Harry. 

Manuela said, I wanted to make elegant macarons with a romantic touch, that would be perfect for a wedding! I have always loved the simple look when it comes to cakes, cupcakes, and cookies and always focus on taste first and by just adding a little chocolate hearth on top of the macarons, gave it a beautiful look.

Manuela’s macarons are beautifully “royal,” and the perfect bite for any wedding. 

In all honesty, I’m terrified to make Manuela’s beautiful recipe but I have high hopes it will go well based on my success with her other recipes in the baking challenge.  This recipe is straight forward and sounds easy enough to make. I especially like that it does not require any resting time for the batter.

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s White Macarons with Chocolate Fudge, here’s a photo of my rendition. 

Easy Macarons Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

This recipe had me sweating bullets and actually gave me a pounding headache. I was so focused on creating the perfect macaron that I didn’t drink or eat anything except macaroons all day as my anticipation had gotten the better of me.

My batter tasted delicious but the almonds were not fine enough to achieve Manuela’s perfectly smooth-white cookie. I over baked them AGAIN, leaving the bottoms browned and too crunchy for a perfect macaron. The filling is simple to make but I had issues during the frosting step as I managed to get chocolate finger prints all over my cookies. Thankfully, I had enough nice ones to take photos. 

Despite the errors, my family loved these sweet morsels. The cookie was chewy and flavorful, and the chocolate frosting more like caramel than chocolate. They definitely  went down easy!

I will make macarons again and go into the next bake with less panic and more knowledge. Like Manuela always says, “Practice, practice, practice!”  


Easy Macarons Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

What I Love About This Challenge

This week’s challenge was crazy-hard for me and my kitchen looked like bomb went off in there. I’m proud to have lived through my first attempt at making macarons and happy to add two more of Manuela’s recipes to my baking repertoire (Manuela’s White Macarons and Chocolate Fudge Frosting). The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe.

Manuela’s White Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Fudge

You will need the following items in order to “successfully” bake this recipe: 

  1. Macaron templates (find free downloadable templates HERE and HERE)
  2. 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  3. 1 -10 mm piping tip
  4. 1 Medium disposable piping bag
  5. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
  6. Chocolate candy hearts (optional)

I’ve added a few more notes in the recipe; however if you need step-by-step instructions after reading Manuela’s recipe, then please check out her helpful how to videos. (Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)

White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

  • Servings: 24 to 30 pieces
  • Difficulty: medium
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INGREDIENTS:

2/3 Cups (160 G) Egg Whites* (divided in two)

1 Cup (200 G) granulated sugar

⅓ CUP (80 ML) WATER

2 ⅓ CUPS (225 G) Powdered Sugar or confectioners’ sugar

 2 ⅓ CUPS (225 G) almond flour

1 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 

FILLING:
Milk chocolate fudge frosting. Recipe below

DECORATION:
Chocolate heart, optional

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 275F° (135 ºC). Use the convection setting for this recipe.
Prepare a piping bag with a (10mm) plain round decorating tip.
NOTE: Place macaron templates under 
Place 1/3 cup (80 g) egg whites in a standing mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment.
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring slowly until all the sugar is dissolved. Try to not get any sugar on the sides of the pan. (you can always brush it away with some water and a baking brush.)
When the mixture starts to boil, remove the spoon and attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan.
Once the sugar syrup temperature reaches 235F° (113ºC) begin whipping the egg whites on high-speed.
When the sugar syrup reaches 240F° (115ºC) and the egg whites are foamy, remove the syrup from the heat and slowly pour into the whipped egg whites.
Avoid pouring syrup onto the whisk.
Continue to beat the meringue for 5-8 minutes until cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and vanilla bean paste or seeds of a vanilla bean in a large bowl.
Add the remaining egg whites. Mix with a silicone spatula to evenly moisten all the ingredients.
Mix in a small amount of the cooled meringue into the almond mixture to loosen the batter
Then;fold in the rest of the meringue into the almond mixture until a smooth batter develops and flows like “lava”. Check mixture often to avoid over-folding.
Transfer mixture to the prepared piping bag and pipe out rounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake straight away for 12 minutes; (there is no need for you to wait until the piped cookies are dry to the touch, as many macarons recipes instruct, you may bake them as soon as they are piped.)
To check if the macarons are ready, touch the top of the macaron and try to wiggle it.
The cookies are done when the top is firm and does not wiggle.
Let cool completely on wire racks, before removing them from the baking matt/trays.
Make the milk chocolate fudge frosting, preferably while the macarons are in the oven.
Fill the cookies with milk chocolate fudge frosting (about a tsp for each sandwiched cookie.) and sandwich the cookies together.
The chocolate hearts I made with a silicon mold, see picture further down.
Make sure you use chocolate that is tempered, most chocolate bars at the supermarket are.
Add a little dot if melted chocolate on top of the macaron, place the chocolate hearth on the chocolate dot, press slightly and let dry so you are sure the chocolate hearth stays attached.  

MILK CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTING:
1/4 cup (25 gram) powdered sugar, optional
9 tbsp. (125 gram) butter cut into 1- inch pieces
1 1/8 cup (200 gram) milk chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. espresso coffee, strong in flavor, optional
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (150 ml) heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:
In a medium-size saucepan, add powdered sugar, heavy cream, butter, chocolate, salt, and coffee.
Warm it over medium heat, stir at all times, until the chocolate/butter is melted and there are no lumps, around 10 minutes.
Let it cool in the saucepan, once cool place the saucepan in the fridge from 30 minutes up to a 1 hour, all depending on how cold your fridge is.
Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, before you place it in the fridge.
Make sure at times to check the frosting if it is firm, I stir the mixture with a spatula (every 20 minutes) to prevent lumps.
Once the frosting is firm, spread it on top of your cake, or use it as a filling in your macarons.

Enjoy, it is so delicious. 

Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by August 15, 2018 Midnight CST

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CONTEST TIMELINE

June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post

June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)

July 1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)

July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)

August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)

August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)

September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST

September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6) 

September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST




Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #2

Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway

My bake along challenge began last week with Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake. You can find Manuela’s recipe and my recreation HERE. You can also view all the contestant submissions in the Woobox Gallery link at the bottom of this post.

The requirements for this week’s challenge are the same as Recipe #1; and are as follows: bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Masterpiece or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and is also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the duration of the contest. 

*NOTE

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for  ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE 

RECIPE #2

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) 

Manuela's Cream Cake

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) by Manuela Kjeilen. All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com, Lise Sternersen,and created by Manuela Kjelien (unless otherwise noted).

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rule HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to each of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #2:

The second recipe is a Bløtekake (Norwegian Cream Cake) typical of a cake you would see at bakeries in Norway! Contestants can just fill it with strawberries rather than all of the fruits that I used. This is how we do cakes in Norway and I love this cake.

Manuela you’re so right! Norwegians really know how to make a delicious cake! This  beautiful cake is filled will all my favorite things: pastry cream, mascarpone whipped cream, chopped walnuts, dark chocolate, and a mixture of fresh fruits.  This fabulous recipe is perfect for any summertime gathering, but would look great at your red, white, and blue 4th of July party. I love that the American and Norwegian flags share the same colors! 

Some Thoughts on My Second Bake 

I feel more accomplished as a baker after the first challenge last week. I’ve had less anxiety about making a traditional sponge for the Norwegian Cream Cake;  yet I worry about my lack of  technique  in the decorating department.  I’ve never made a layered cake that didn’t look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa;  plus I suffer from a lack of understanding when it comes to executing the perfect slice.  

The use of acetate or plastic cake collar is a new technique for me as well. If you don’t own acetate cake collars, you can substitute with heavy plastic wrap and use large spring form pans and outer clamping ring for the adjustable cake ring step. 

This is going to be a fun bake, and I hope  you all will bake along.

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  (NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) (see photo above), say hello to my rendition:

Cream Cake by Becka

My Rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE

You’ll notice my piping on the sides of the cake are too close together, jagged, and don’t look finished where the cake top meets the piped sides. You’ll also see that the top of my cake resembles a mosaic or road map  rather than the 6 perfect triangle slices on Manuela’s cake.  My rendition of the cake is pretty, but not correct if we’re trying to replicate Manuel’s recipe. My decoration looks more like a mosaic than Manuela’s 6 perfectly piped triangles 

Rebecka's Cream Cake2

My Rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE

Rebecka's Cream Cake Slice 1

Leaning Tower of  BLØTEKAKE  (NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) by Rebecka Evans

My slice is leaning to the side as it almost fell onto  the floor on its way from the cake to the plate.

Manuel’s recipe offers the option to use 8 or 9 inch springform pan or two – 3X8 – inch round baking tins, or 10 -inch springform pan. Recipes for both options are listed.  I opted to use a 10  inch springform pan to bake my sponge. I over baked the cake (again), so I had to use more orange juice on the slices to moisten them. I also used an additional 4 cups of heavy cream to make my whipped icing. Finally, I used Manuel’s Vanilla Frosting made with mascarpone. You can use your own favorite recipe for whipped icing, or you can find Manuela’s recipe HERE

I love the color and textures of this cake. The vanilla cream is the best I’ve ever made. I could eat an entire bowl of the luscious cream in one sitting. The decadent whipped cream tastes so fresh, and is the perfect cover for my mistakes despite my messy execution. My rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE isn’t a “masterpiece,” but it’s not bad for my second bake. 

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) NOTES

  1. You will need a 9-inch spring form pan, parchment paper, cooking spray, a metal and plastic cake collar, and acetate film. I found the metal adjustable collar and acetate cake collars at a local baking shop.  Acetate is sold per piece in large sheets. If you don’t care to spend money on a metal adjustable cake ring, you can use the clean, dry ring from a springform pan. (You can watch Manuela’s Video HERE to get a better idea of this technique)
  2. You will need medium disposable piping bags and a Wilton 1 M piping tip.
  3. When the recipe calls for chopped dark chocolate, I used my favorite dark chocolate bar which is 70% cocoa.
  4. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
  5. The recipe calls for 2 cups whipped cream to fill the cake. I made an additional 4 cups of whipped cream to decorate my cake using Manuela’s Mascarpone Whipped Frosting. You can find the recipe HERE
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS CHALLENGE

I have pushed myself to work outside my comfort zone and I’ve just added two more delicious recipes to my baking repertoire: Norwegian Sponge Cake and Vanilla Pastry Cream. The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe. 

 

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE)
Serves 8
BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) Photo is Rebecka's rendition of Manuela's recipe
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 9- INCH SPRINGFORM
  2. 1 RECIPE FOR SPONGECAKE
  3. 1/3 CUP ORANGE JUICE (I used about 1 cup)
  4. 1 CUP RASPBERRY JAM
  5. 1 RECIPE VANILLA CREAM
  6. 2 CUPS WHIPPED CREAM
  7. FRESH FRUIT, STRAWBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, MANGO, BANANA
  8. 1 CUP CHOPPED DARK CHOCOLATE
  9. 1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS (optional)
  10. FOR DECORATING
  11. 4 CUPS ADDITIONAL WHIPPED CREAM
  12. MORE FRESH FRUIT( OPTIONAL)
RECIPE FOR VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
  1. 2 CUPS (500 ML) WHOLE MILK
  2. 1- 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OR SEEDS OF ONE VANILLA POT
  3. ⅜ CUP (85 G) SUGAR
  4. 4 TABLESPOONS CORNSTARCH
  5. ¼ TEASPOON SALT
  6. 6 LARGE EGG YOLKS
  7. 3 TABLESPOONS (45 G) CHILLED UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO PIECES
RECIPE FOR SPONGECAKE
  1. 6 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  2. 1 1/4 CUPS (240 GRAM) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
  3. 1 TABLESPOON BUTTERMILK OR WATER
  4. 1 1/2 CUPS (180 GRAM) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  5. 1/2 CUPS (60 GRAM) CORN STARCH, OR POTATO STARCH, SIFTED
  6. 1 TEASPOON VANILLA BEAN PASTE
  7. NORWEGIAN SPONGE CAKE ( IF BAKED SEPARATE IN 3 X 8 -INCH BAKING ROUND BAKING TINS) OR IN A 10 INCH SPRINGFORM
  8. 8 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  9. 1 2/3 CUPS (325 GRAM) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
  10. 2 TABLESPOONS BUTTERMILK OR WATER
  11. 2 CUPS (240 GRAM) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  12. 2/3 CUPS (80 GRAM) CORN STARCH, OR POTATO STARCH, SIFTED
  13. 1-2 TEASPOON VANILLA BEAN PASTE
Instructions
  1. Start by making the vanilla cream some hours before and put it in the fridge
FOR VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and vanilla bean paste, stirring occasionally, until the milk is hot but not boiling
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  3. Whisk in yolks all at once until light and fluffy and batter reaches the ribbon stage.
  4. As you continue whisking, slowly add one-third of the hot milk to the yolk mixture to temper the egg yolks.
  5. Whisk in remaining milk into yolks and return entire mixture to saucepan.
  6. Place over medium heat and whisk frequently until the mixture begins to boil.
  7. Whisk the mixture vigorously for 2 minutes, while boiling, until the cornstarch dissolves completely.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat.
  9. Strain the vanilla cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
  10. Whisk in the butter.
  11. With a silicon, spatula spread the vanilla cream to a thin layer on a small baking sheet.
  12. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the vanilla cream.
  13. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours.
  14. When ready to use, loosen the cream with a spatula or whisk.
  15. Pastry cream should be refrigerated and used within 3 days of making.
FOR SPONGECAKE
  1. Make the sponge cake in a 24 cm or 25 cm ( 9-inch or 10-inch springform)
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the bottom of three 8– inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line with parchment paper; Or if you prefer you can use an 8-inch spring-form pan line bottom with parchment paper and spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cornstarch or if you use potato starch, and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on low-medium speed for 1 minute.
  5. Increase the speed to medium, and continue beating for 5 minutes.
  6. Add water or buttermilk and beat for another 1-5 minutes on medium-high speed.
  7. Add vanilla bean paste, and beat for one minute more.
  8. The batter should be very thick. When the whisk is lifted, the batter should ribbon from it back into the batter in the bowl.
  9. Pour the batter into a large wide bowl.
  10. Sift in half the flour mixture. Use a large silicone spatula to stir and fold until only a few streaks of flour are visible.
  11. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Make sure to maintain the batter’s volume while folding;
  12. it is important to not deflate the batter.
  13. Pour the batter into the prepared pan or pans using a spatula to distribute batter evenly.
BAKING TIME AND ASSEMBLE
  1. 20 minutes → 3 x 8-inch pans, always check with a cake tester
  2. 30 minutes for → One springform 9-inch (24cm), always check with a cake tester
  3. Bake the first two cakes on the middle rack of oven until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs
  4. Let the cakes cool in the pan on wire racks for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the cakes and carefully turn them onto wire racks. Peel off the parchment paper and let cool completely.
  6. Use a sharp knife and scrape away any dark crust on the sides, optional
  7. If you baked this cake in one springform, Cut the cake into 3 even layers.
  8. Place the first cake layer on a silicon mat or parchment paper and place it on a baking sheet that fits into a fridge!
  9. Drizzle the first cake layer with some orange juice, or milk.
  10. Add raspberry jam, use one with a good quality ( homemade = best) with an offset spatula just spread it all over the first cake layer.
  11. Add the vanilla cream, and spread it all out on the first layer.
  12. Add whipped cream, with an offset spatula spread it all over the cake layer.
  13. Add chopped dark chocolate and walnuts.
  14. And add fruit of your choice, I used mango, banana, strawberries, raspberries.
  15. Add a little more cream on top, so the next cake layer stays in place.
  16. Place the second layer on top, If you have packed your cake with loads of yumminess, it might come out on the side.
  17. If that happens just take your offset spatula and lift the cake layer and push it in the cake.
  18. Repeat the same thing as the first cake layer.
  19. Put a cake collar ( that´s a plastic film for assembling cakes used inside the cake ring, and place a cake ring around the cake.
  20. Add the last layer, leave it in the fridge some hours to firm up.
  21. Decorate the cake with some more whipped cream and if you wish to decorate the top with some more fresh fruit!
  22. Hope you are going to love it, with love from Norway.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece and post a photo of your completed dish to the Woobox link below by July 15, 2018 Midnight CST.

http://

For a list of 6 handpicked recipes and the Official Rules click HERE

CONTEST TIMELINE:
 
June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post
June 24, 2018 First recipe in the series (Recipe #1)
July  1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series (Recipe #2)
July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST
July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series (Recipe #3)
August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 5, 2018 Fourth recipe in the series (Recipe #4)
August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series (Recipe #5)
September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST
September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series (Recipe #6)
September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST



Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest & Giveaway – RECIPE #1

Welcome to my latest contest and giveaway. Are you a Master or a Disaster Baker? Let’s find out!

Self-proclaimed “Disaster Baker” Rebecka Evans hosts this bake along contest and giveaway. TV personality www.passionforbaking.com Manuela Kjeilen will handpick 6 recipes for the competition; the grand prize winner will walk away with a Ankarsrum USA stand mixer. Another lucky contestant will win a “Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela “The Baking Book”. Are you ready to take the challenge?

CONTEST STARTS TODAY 6/24/2018:

Today marks the beginning of our contest as we start with our first recipe in the series; Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake.

RECIPE #1

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake

Mocha Meringues Ice Cream Cake by Manuela Kjeilen  All photos curtesy of passionforbaking.com Lise Sternersen and created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted 

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rule HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #1:

The first recipe is a mocha meringues ice cream cake with a gooey almond crust, I want them [that’s you] to taste how we make our cakes in Norway, Almonds crust we use a lot. I think they will love this one! 

I think she is right! This ice cream cake has everything: mocha ice cream, coffee flavored meringues, and gooey almond crust; it’s absolutely delicious. 

The challenge begins today with my attempt to recreate Manuela’s baked masterpiece: Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake. I’ll post a photo of my rendition for the world to see. The contestants that choose to take the challenge will bake along with me and post a photo of their attempt to recreate Manuela’s beautiful recipes. 

The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and is also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the duration of the contest. 

*NOTE: In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for  ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE 

I am an award winning home-cook and a DISASTER baker. 

The fact is I want to create beautifully baked masterpieces and learn from the best. However as I get closer to recreating Manuela’s recipes for the series, I begin to experience some serious anxiety. The anxious feelings led to a few sleepless nights as I wondered  how I was going to feel about posting failed recipes. This has been brutal; and it even led me to call in a close friend Lisa Keys, owner of the Good Grief Cook  to seek council for my anxiety as I was melting down over my failed Mocca Meringues for this recipe.

Despite all of Lisa’s advice, my bad luck prevailed and the recipe didn’t turn out. I was well aware the fault was my own because I didn’t follow Manuela’s instruction to “add 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time,” so the meringue mixture lost its fluff.

Part of why baking is so difficult for me is due to the slow and tedious process of adhering to the recipe’s exact measurements. It’s a real struggle to stay attentive as your work you way through a recipe; especially when you have to add 2 cups of hot sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Here’s how my mind works as I begin my first bake:

The hot sugar comes out of the oven and I start to make the meringues. Checking and re-checking the directions I then pour the egg whites into my stunning Black Pearl Ankarsrum Mixer, and watch as they begin to transform. I stare mesmerized my mind wanders off: “I’m so blessed that Ankarsrum sponsored my contest with a mixer for the winner and so nice for them to send me one as well.”  A few more minutes pass and then I add more sugar. I admire how beautiful the egg whites look as they dance between the beaters when a question comes to mind: “Did I heat the sugar too long and is it cooling off too fast?”  I ponder for a moment, and I quickly reassure myself that everything is okay as I tell myself: “No. You followed the directions and they look fine.” I add more sugar and I hear thunder crack and I begin to worry about the weather, and another question comes to mind,  “Will the rain effect the barometric pressure and ruin my meringues?” Mind you, I’ve only added 1/2 a cup of hot sugar at this point and my blood pressure is rising. Then my mind screams at me, “Oh no, should I stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl or will that mess up my meringue?” My answers,”Yes, I’ll stop the mixer and scrape the sides. Dear Lord, that was a bad idea! The meringue looks weird, I should have left it alone.”

More sugar is added and I hear my favorite song on the radio,”Tennessee whisky, Tennessee whisky,” George Jones has such a beautiful voice, I love that song. I start singing along. George is done singing and I’m still standing there adding sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, I want to be done. After what seems like 30 minutes (in reality probably only 12) I think, “How in the world can it hurt to add more than 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time?” I knew the minute I threw in the rest of  the sugar my meringue had broken, what a disaster. 

Unfortunately since I didn’t follow the directions, the Mocca Meringues were wet and difficult to pipe, rendering them almost impossible to cook properly; they were undercooked and gooey on the inside regardless of my effort to cook them 20 minutes longer than the recipe calls for.

Even though the product didn’t turn out as hoped, I still tried to present my “disaster” beautifully in my photo. My attempt to disguise the ugliness of my creation failed, as it turned out to be more like trying to put lipstick on a pig than food styling!

On the bright side, the Mocca Meringues get crushed up and added to the ice cream cake and were so good that my husband even mentioned how much he liked the “chewy things” in the ice cream!

You see, we never know how it’s going to turn out unless we try! I promise from now on that I will follow the recipe and do as Manuela instructs because without her guidance it’s seemingly impossible for me to execute the recipe with perfection. 

failed mocca meringues

I know this makes absolutely no sense to “Master Bakers,”but for someone like me, baking recipes way outside my comfort zone makes me feel like crying. Therefore, being transparent about my failed recipes is difficult to say the least. As if my disaster attempt at the recipe wasn’t enough, I managed to finish my first day of baking by dropping my favorite glass mixing bowl onto the tile floor; shattering it into pieces! 

As Manuela says, “Practice, practice, practice! The more you bake the more you learn,” and intend to challenge myself  because I aspire to succeed in the same way Manuela excelled until she became the Master Baker she is today! 

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s Mocca Meringue Ice Cream Cake above, say hello to my rendition:

mocca meringue cake becks

Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans Recipe by Passion for Baking.comMocca Slice

Working to present the cake as best I could despite my set backs, the cake looks scrumptious. I even utilized my ugly mocca meringues to style the photo.

The almond crust was super easy to make once I got the hang of whipping egg whites and following the directions! I over baked the crust a bit and had some trouble keeping the cake frozen enough to get a good photo before the Texas heat began to creep in; and for a first attempt I think I did a pretty good job.  

My family loved the flavors of the cake, but especially loved the coffee ice-cream. It’s so rich and super easy to make. Plus, there is no need for an ice-cream machine! This cake is so delicious despite my failed Mocca Meringues. I plan to make the Meringues again to work on my technique.

What I Love About This Challenge:

I have pushed myself to operate outside my comfort zone and I’ve just added three delicious new recipes to my baking repertoire; almond cake, no churn mocca ice cream, and mocca meringues. I also feel more accomplished as a baker after my first bake, I hope you will too! 

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake Notes:
  1. You will need a 9-inch spring form pan, parchment paper, and cooking spray
  2. Invest in some vanilla bean paste for all of Manuela’s recipes. I use Cambie Confections Pure Vanilla Bean Paste 
  3. Don’t freak out over making the Mocca Meringues like I did.
  4. Follow the recipe! When Manuela says,  “Add 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time” listen!
  5. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
  6. Don’t over bake the almond cake. Make sure you watch your timer closely to make sure you get the perfect golden brown
  7. If you or your family suffer from nut allergies you can substitute crushed cookies when the recipe calls for ground almonds

I’ve added a few more notes in the recipe, however if you need step by step instruction after reading Manuela’s recipe then please check out her helpful how to videos.

(Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)

Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by July 1, 2018 Midnight CST.

Manuela's Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake
Serves 6
Photo is my version of Manuela's recipe for the Contest and Giveaway
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Almond Base
  1. 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  2. 2 cups (220 gram) powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, optional
  4. 2 cups (250 gram) ground almonds (Nut Allergy: substitute your favorite crushed cookie)
Mocha Ice Cream
  1. 2 1/2 cups ( 500 ml ) heavy cream, cold
  2. 5 oz(150 ml) sweetened condensed milk, cold ( see note below ↓)
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  4. 2-3 tablespoon strong espresso coffee, cold (I used Via Roma Espresso Instant Coffee)
  5. 12-15 Mocca meringues, crushed into small pieces (or crushed cookies)
MOCCA MERINGUES
  1. Makes ( 40 pieces)
  2. 2 cups (400-gram) superfine sugar or sugar
  3. 3/4 Cups (200-gram) egg whites
  4. seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod, optional
  5. 2 tbsp. espresso powder (I used Via Roma Espresso Instant Coffee)
  6. lemon juice for cleaning the bowl and whisk
  7. You will need...
  8. piping bag
  9. wilton 1M nozzle
Before you start
  1. Wipe a stainless-steel bowl and the whisk attachment, of a standing mixer, with a paper towel moistened with lemon juice.
  2. This step is done to eliminate any trace of grease, which would hinder the egg whites from stiffening.
Mocca Meringues
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C° / 392 F°
  2. Line two large baking trays with a silicone mat, or use parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Prepare the standing mixer, by wiping the standing mixer bowl and whisk with a paper towel moistened with a little lemon juice to eliminate any trace of grease.
  4. Line a medium baking tray with baking parchment, pour in the sugar and warm it in the oven for 7 minutes. ( use a timer)
  5. A soon as the sugar is in the oven, right away pour the egg whites into a mixer and whisk them slowly for some minutes, allowing small stabilizing bubbles to form, then increase the speed to medium so the meringues become stiff peaks.
  6. When you have 30 seconds left of the sugar being in the oven, turn your mixer up to high speed.
  7. Take the sugar out of the oven, and turn the oven down to 225 F° (100 C°)
  8. With your mixer on full speed, very slowly add one teaspoon of the hot sugar into the beaten egg whites, take your time when you do this, and don’t be tempted to add more than one teaspoon at a time. (She means it...don't lose your mind and start adding more sugar)
  9. Make sure the mixture comes back up to stiff peaks after each teaspoon of sugar
  10. Once you have added all the sugar, add the seeds of the vanilla bean pod, and continue to whisk on full speed until you have a smooth, stiff and glossy mixture and all of the sugar is incorporated.
  11. Add the espresso powder and continue to mix for one minutt more.
  12. You will need a disposable piping bag and a wilton 1M nozzle, place the nozzle in the bag and cut the tip-off.
  13. Spoon your meringues mixture into a large piping bag.
  14. If you are using parchment paper to pipe the meringues on, you will need to add some meringues mixture underneath the parchment paper below so it sticks to the baking tray.
  15. Pipe out your meringue swirls, ( watch the video https://youtu.be/ovia5m9JhEE)
  16. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the meringue bases come off the parchment paper clean.
  17. These mocca meringues keeps well for 2 weeks, in a container or wrapped in plastic wrap.
Directions for the Almond Base
  1. Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C). Line a 9-inch (24 cm) round springform pan with parchment paper, grease the sides and set aside.
  2. Combine one cup of the confectioners’ sugar with the ground almonds in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the egg whites into the bowl and beat on low speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form about 1 minute.
  4. Increase the speed to high then add the remaining powdered or confectioners’ sugar, one spoonful at a time.
  5. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy and thick.
  6. Add the vanilla and combine with a spatula.
  7. With a silicone spatula, fold in the ground almonds and powdered /confectioners’ sugar mixture.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan.
  9. Use your spatula to spread evenly and to eliminate any air bubbles.
  10. Bake on the middle rack of oven for 25-30 minutes.
  11. Do not over bake this cake! )Manuela bakes her cake base 25 minutes because she loves her almond cake gooey on the inside. I over baked mine but it still tasted great!)
  12. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, proceed to make the Mocha ice cream.
Directions for the Mocha Ice Cream
  1. Pour cold heavy cream into a bowl, whisk until fluffy, and cold sweet condensed milk and with a spatula combine.
  2. Add vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and with a spatula combine. (you can skip this step if you don’t have vanilla)
  3. Add the cold strong espresso coffee, followed by the crushed mocca meringues and blend together with a spatula.
  4. Have a taste if you feel you want more coffee flavor, add a spoonful cold espresso coffee, and with a spatula combine.
  5. Pour the mixture over the cooled almond crust, tap the pan on the counter a few times to make the ice-cream layer is even.
  6. Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight, covered well.
  7. This ice cream cake can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
  8. 20 minutes before serving, take the ice cream cake out of the fridge.
  9. Slice and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Sweet condensed milk usually comes in tins 14oz / 400g by weight, which equals 1 1/4 cups (10 oz / 300 ml by volume)
  2. Have a great day you all. Love Manuela xo
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

http://
CONTEST TIMELINE:
 
June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post
June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)
July  1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)
July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST
July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)
August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)
August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)
September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST
September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6) 
September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST
 
 
 
 



Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Winning Recipes

Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Winning Recipes

Food network Clash of the Grandmas RebecKa Evans Photo courtesy of Food Network

Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Rebecka Evans-Photo courtesy of Food Network

I’m happy to say that my Food Network debut went better that I could have ever expected. Four grandams battled it out on Food Networks new Holiday series “Clash of the Grandmas” and I took home the First Place win and 10K Grand Prize with my Mexican Biscochito Cookie with Cinnamon Tequila Ice cream Sandwich.

Hosted by Cameron Mathison, Holiday-Themed Cooking Battles
Begin Sunday, November 13th at 10pm ET/PT
NEW YORK – October 13, 2016 – Grannies with top-notch cooking skills kick off Food Network’s holiday season with the six-episode primetime competition series Clash of the Grandmas, premiering Sunday, November 13th at 10pm (all times ET/PT). In each episode, host Cameron Mathison welcomes four grandma super-cooks to the kitchen – but only one emerges as the $10,000 winner. From Thanksgiving stuffing transformations and savory hand-held mac and cheese creations to decadent desserts, these grandmas are reinventing dishes with masterful home-cooking skills.” 

Mexican Biscochito Cookie with Cinnamon Tequila Ice-cream Sandwich.

Mexican Biscochito Cookie with Cinnamon Tequila Ice Cream Sandwich. Recipe by Rebecka Evans. Photo Courtesy of Food Network

If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would be a competitor on Food Network’s “Clash of the Grandmas” I would have laughed. It’s been months since I filmed the show and even after winning, I’m still pinching myself in disbelief that it ever really happened.

You may be wondering what it takes for a grandma like me to be a part of Food Network and win 10K. The first hurdle is to make the conscious decision to put yourself out there and audition for the show.  Honestly, I think this is the most difficult decision in the entire process. So many thoughts run through your head as you think about your ability to compete under such stressful circumstances. “Do I have what it takes?” “Can I finish my recipes on time?” “What will I look like on TV?” After working through the anxiety, my competitive nature takes over and I jump headlong into the process.

The next step: Contestants are required to fill out a very long written application, send in head shots, photos and videos of their food, and family, all in hopes of being chosen. After that…the waiting begins. I was surprised when I got a phone call that evening from a talent scout at Triage Entertainment. She introduced herself as a representative from Food Network and told me she was submitting my application to the producers for Clash of the Grandmas! I was ecstatic of course, as I did a little happy dance and maybe even shed a few happy tears. Unfortunately, getting picked for the show doesn’t come that easy, this was just the first step in a very long process.

I spoke to several different producers over the next three weeks; they loved me, but every conversation ended with “You look too young to be on the show.” How am I  supposed to respond to that? I took the news as a compliment, but felt that my grandma status was being overshadowed by an old perception of what grandmas should look like. I guess I’m not your “typical” grandma, but I have a true grandmothers heart. I proudly earned grandma status six years ago with the birth of our first granddaughter, Amber. Since then, we’ve welcomed three more granddaughters: Alexis, Annalee, Norah. We have also welcomed one grandson, Owen into our lives.  They are all precious human beings, that I adore. After speaking to producers throughout the process, I thought my chances of being picked for Food Network’s “Clash of the Grandmas” we’re slim to none! 

My beautiful grand babies Alexis, Annalee, Amber, Norah, and Owen Photo by Rebecka Evans

After waiting several more weeks and going through more interviews, I finally got the coveted final-cut Skype interview! It was my moment to shine, so I prepared several of my favorite recipes for the producers that day. A few weeks later I got the call and they said yes!  The next step sign a contract with Food Network

Crunch time: After all that waiting and hoping, emails and phone calls started to roll in and didn’t slow down until my hotel reservations were booked, my flight was booked, and I was on my way to Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Did I mention my hubby got to travel with me? Food Network asked my husband to join me so they could interview him about my cooking skills during the filming of my episode. However, I had a suspicion they might use him for more than just an interview.

Food Network CLASH Rebecka Evans

Robin Daumit (Annapolis, Maryland), Rebecka Evans (Danville, CA) Cleo Johnson (Houston, Texas), Barbara Mayo (Colliersville, Tennessee) Photo courtesy of Food Network

After arriving at the studio, I met the other grandmas. Robin Daumit (Annapolis, Maryland), Cleo Johnson (Houston, Texas), Barbara Mayo (Colliersville, Tennessee). We all took a minute to size each other up while the crew got us into our granny aprons, fixed our makeup and fluffed our hair. It didn’t take long for us to realize how much fun it was going be together on the set the Clash of the Grandmas. These beautiful ladies were talented cooks with big personalities, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. Although we were all there to win, it was obvious that each grandmother wanted to represent their families and grandchildren in the best way possible and none of these grandmas we’re going to throw anyone under the bus. 

Finally, with a lot of tenacity and focus mixed with prayers and supplication, I walked into my first television competition without any knowledge of what to expect. It was nerve-racking, amazing, and wonderful.

Food Network’s Clash of the Grandmas

Cameron Mathison-food network

Cameron Mathison Emmy-nominated actor and television host is the co-anchor of the most-watched entertainment news program in the world, Entertainment Tonight. Photo courteous of Food Network

The Food Network made the experience shine with our host, Cameron Mathison.  His kindness and fun personality put us all at ease. Not to mention, he’s one good looking man. He treated us grannies with respect and dignity but he didn’t go easy on us when it came to the competition. 

First, the four grannies create handheld versions of mac and cheese to hold the family over until dinner.”

I was sure I’d be sent home the first round after I created and hand-held mac & cheese taco with tequila dipping sauce. I was struggling with the size of my pasta being too big to fit the taco shell just as my tequila sauce burned. I had to make another sauce without having the opportunity to taste it before Cameron announced the cooking time was up. Thank goodness the judges, Eddie Jackson, Brandi Milloy, and Jamika Pessoa liked my dish well enough to send me to the second round. It was great to have some positive feedback heading into the second round.

Next, they have only 30 minutes to make meatloaf for unexpected guests, with the help of unexpected sous chefs: the grandpas!”  FULL VIDEO HERE

Best sous chef EVER! Photo courteous of Food Network

I was happy to hear meatloaf dinner was our challenge for the next round and felt very confident until Cameron announced he had a surprise group of sous chefs waiting in the wings. Our husbands walked onto the set and there was my man wearing an apron! I suspected something like this might happen when Food Network asked that he travel with me to the show. By the looks on their faces, the other grandmas were really in shock, however due to the fact I know my husband’s picky palate and that we work well together, I was not as overwhelmed. I made my Blackberry Hoisin Meatloaf with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus.  I put Blake in charge of making the potatoes while I focused on the meatloaf. He was the perfect sous and assisted me so well, I made it to the final round. 

Then, the final two grandmas try to freeze out the competition by producing an ice cream sandwich worthy of the $10,000 prize using liquid nitrogen.”

Rocking the goggles using liquid nitrogen. Photo courteous of Food Network

Making it to the final round was beyond my comprehension. I was competing for $10,000 and I was also about to experience cooking with liquid nitrogen for the first time in my life. I was exhilarated about the opportunity to get my hands on the liquid nitrogen and found myself feeling like a kid in a candy store. Gloves check, goggles check, liquid nitrogen check! I was having so much fun with the liquid nitrogen, I got carried away and over froze my ice cream. I had to warm it up bit in the oven to release it from the sides of the mixing bowl. Despite that one set-back, my last recipe went off without a hitch and the judges loved it.

Rebecka Evans and Barbara Mayo The last two standing. Photo courteous of the Food Network

Clash of the Grandmas – the winner is…

The final decision with my competitor Barbara Mayo.  We both stood hopeful to be the top winner and yet thrilled for the other grandma if she wins. There’s nothing better than true camaraderie between competitors. Barbara created a delicious goat cheese and basil ice cream sandwich with lemon cookies. I got the chance to taste the ice cream before we went to the judging table. The flavors were delicious and creamy and by any account, a winning dish. I believed it would be her name they called in the final moment; yet however, with Gods good favor,  fate, or just plain good cooking, Cameron announced me as the winner. 

Food network Clash of the Grandmas

I WON!  Photo courtesy of Food Network

Mexican Sugar Cookies

Heirloom Mexican Sugar Cookie Recipe Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans

My winning recipe: Mexican Biscochito Ice cream Sandwiches with Cinnamon Infused Tequila Ice Cream made with liquid nitrogen!

Biscochitos -Mexican Sugar Cookies are a Holiday tradition in my family. The are a crispy butter or lard based cookie flavored with anise and cinnamon. It was developed by residents of New Mexico over the centuries from the first Spanish colonists of New Mexico.

The recipe for making the cookie has been greatly influenced not only by local and indigenous customs, but also by recipes brought to New Mexico by immigrants from other Hispanic countries. It is served during special celebrations, such as wedding receptions, baptisms, and religious holidays (especially during the Christmas season).  Source: Wikipedia

You can find my family recipe for Mexican Biscochito cookies posted on At Home with Rebecka  December 2010 HERE. Due to my contract with the network, I’m unable to share the full recipe for my winning ice cream sandwich. You can make your own version using store-bought ice cream as the filling. It may not be exactly the same as on the show but I can guarantee they will be delicious.

Clash of the Grandmas video links and memorable moments

REBECKA’S FLAMBE

GRANNIE’S 10 Rules for Great Cooking

Clash of the Grandmas Schedule and air dates

Unofficial full length youtube video Standard Youtube License.

Tune in for the final episode of Clash of the Grandmas and watch my friend Ally Phillips in “Grandmas World Tour” Sun, December 18, 10|9c Read more at:

A special thanks to Food Network, Producers, Staff, Cameron Mathison, and Judges: Eddie Jackson, Brandi Milloy, Jamika Pessoa




Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers: Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers are delicious, crispy French palmier cookies. They’re a cinch to make! This is the perfect cookie recipe for Fall!

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers: Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge

Simple Sesame Palmiers

Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge.” The challenge date has been set; the pans will be banging to see who becomes the winner of their first annual “Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge.” Where there are (almost) no rules, only originality and the pursuit of great taste!

 The top entry will be awarded $1,000.00; second place $500.00; and third place $250.00 and of course, bragging rights to friends and family.

Bonelli Fine Foods gifted 75 eligible bloggers free products for the competition. I took the challenge to create an original recipe with great taste using a choice of three Simply Sesame spreads: Vanilla Bites, Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom, and Pure Roasted Sesame Original flavor.

Simple Sesame vanilla-with-almond-bits Simple Sesame pure-roasted-sesame Simple Sesame Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom

I choose the pistachio and cardamom flavor, knowing it would be prefect for making French Palmiers. I just knew the subtly flavor of cardamom blended with holiday flavor of pumpkin purée and cinnamon sugar would make a delightfully crispy treat.

The result is perfectly crisp pumpkin pistachio palmiers, with a hint of delicious holiday pumpkin flavor.

A cinch to make! Frozen puff pastry takes all the hard work out of making this delicious cookie recipe. Not to mention, the flavor varieties of the Simply Sesame spreads offer a vast versatility in recipe creation. 

Simply Sesame states that all spreads are GMO free and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (and without additives, sugars, or colors), and will leave you with long-lasting high energy.

You can find Simply Sesame products directly from Bonelli Fine Foods on Amazon.com and local specialty stores in your area.

Follow Simply Sesame on  Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

 

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers
Yields 30
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 puff pastry sheet(s)
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  6. 1 10 ounce Container Simply Sesame Pistachio with a hint of Cardamom
  7. 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  8. ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  9. 2 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Thaw the puff pastry sheet according to the package instructions
  3. Roll pastry out on a floured surface to smooth and even out the edges
  4. Mix the sugar and spices spice together in a small bowl
  5. In another small mixing bowl combine, 1 simply sesame spread, pumpkin puree and
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar mixture
  7. Spread ½ the wet mixture in a thin layer over each puff pastry
  8. Sprinkle the flavored sugar evenly over each pastry. Reserve about 2 tablespoons for sprinkling over palmiers
  9. Roll one side of the pastry dough to the halfway mark, and repeat with the other side.
  10. Use a sharp knife to cut the cookies about 1/2 an inch thick, then place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  11. Sprinkle with any additional flavored sugar
  12. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until slightly puffy, and remove from the oven.
  13. Carefully flip all the cookies over, sprinkle with chopped pistachios and sesame seeds and return to the oven for 6-10 minutes, or until the center is cooked through and the edges are golden.
  14. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

Easy French Pumpkin Pistachio Palmier Cookies

 

If you enjoy pumpkin dessert recipes, check these out, too!

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds




Butterscotch Apple Pie Cookies ~ Creative Cookie Exchange APPLES

Butterscotch apple pie cookies bring the taste of apple pie to a homemade cookie recipe! Fresh apples are the star of this easy dessert recipe.

Butterscotch apple pie cookies bring the taste of apple pie to a homemade cookie recipe! Fresh apples are the star of this easy dessert recipe.

My friend Laura, from The Spiced Life and I, created this awesome monthly event, because, well, who doesn’t love cookies? Breakfast cookies, snack cookies, back to school cookies, Christmas cookies, you name it! If it can be served as a cookie, I’m there!

So, each month Laura and I will decide upon a different theme or ingredient, and then, along with some awesome blogger friends, bake up a big batch of cookies adhering to that theme or ingredient. You can join in by baking some cookies that qualify after we announce our theme every month, and then link up using our linky tool, which will be available at all of the participating bloggers’ sites, including this one.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! 

The Creative Cookie Exchange October 15 – November 18 2013 

Theme…APPLES!

 Creative Cookie Exchange

My offering for this round of the #CreativeCookieExchange

Butterscotch Apple Pie Cookies.

Made with just 5 (five) ingredients, I love the simplicity of this apple pie cookies recipe! Butterscotch topping drizzled over the cookies brings perfect balance of sweet and salty; the lattice top-crust give the impression that you spent all day in the kitchen baking! These charming little fruit pies are as lovely to look at, as they are to eat.

Recipe adapted from raininghotcoupons.com and Oh, Bite it

apple pie cookies with butterscotch

 

Butterscotch Apple Pie Cookies
Yields 12
Luscious and easy to make, fruit pies!
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package pre-made box pie crusts (Pillsbury)
  2. 1 14 ounce can apple pie filling
  3. 3 tablespoons butterscotch topping
  4. 1 egg
  5. 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  6. 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1 teaspoon butter
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Butter a cookie sheet and mix cinnamon with sugar in a small bowl, set aside
  3. Let pie crust rest at room temperature for 5 minutes, remove pie crust from package and place on a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll crust slightly for a larger surface
  4. Spread a thin layer of butterscotch over the pie crust
  5. Chop pie filling into very small dice, using 3/4 of a can, spread over crust evenly
  6. Place the other pie crust on a lightly floured surface, roll out slightly as you did with the other crust
  7. cut thin strips to make lattice, about 1/4 inch thick
  8. Start making the lattice by placing strips over the crust with apples, overlapping the strips in a over-under pattern
  9. Beat egg in a small bowl, dip a biscuit or round cookie cutter in egg wash
  10. Using a spatula place cookies on a cookie sheet
  11. Brush lattice with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  12. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown
  13. Drizzle butterscotch over cookie prior to serving
Notes
  1. This is a messy cookie to make but well worth the effort. After you cut the cookie rounds you will have leftover crust and filling, I used the remainder of apple pie filling, to make tucked ramekin apple pies. Add the remaining pie filling evenly to 2 small buttered ramekins, cover with leftover crust and filling, bake for 18 minutes. This is a nice way to salvage the yummy leftover bits
Adapted from Oh, Bite it, Raining Hot Coupons, Pillsbury
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Butterscotch Apple Pie Cookies - the best fall cookie recipe!

NOTES: On my first run making the butterscotch apple pie cookies, I cut my lattice strips too thick. Next time, I will cut the lattice 1/4 inch thick, creating a tighter weave and a prettier cookie.

making butterscotch apple pie cookies

lattice top to butterscotch apple pie cookies

 

Butterscotch apple pie cookies bring the taste of apple pie to a homemade cookie recipe! Fresh apples are the star of this easy dessert recipe.

You can participate in our Link Party by baking us a cookie with apples–and keep in mind you may use ANY ingredients made from apples. Raw apples, dried apples, apple jelly, apple brandy, etc… 

Please follow the steps below for the Linky Party: 

1. Write a blog post with recipe and original photo

We would like the recipe to be one you’re making for the first time

Creative Cookie Exchange

3. Make a good faith effort to visit and comment on the other cookies in the Linky Party. We all love cookie so that should be easy

4. Follow my blog At Home with Rebecka

5. Follow me on Twitter @athomewrebecka

6. Follow me on Twitter @thespicedlife

7. LIKE my Facebook Page At Home with Rebecka

8. LIKE The Creative Cookie Exchange 

9. LINK your blog post below

A link will be included below the list that will allow you to get the code for this list and put it on your blog. By doing this, the same list appears on every blog that includes the code so that people can “hop” from blog to blog. As other link up, their recipes will appear on your posts linky.

Please take a moment to visit all the Hosts in this months exchange.

I can’t wait to see your delicious APPLE cookie recipes! Thanks for joining the Creative Cookie Exchange!

Apple Pie Cookie

 



 




Holiday Recipe Exchange and Linky Party

To celebrate the Christmas season, At Home with Rebecka would like to invite you to share your favorite Holiday Recipes.

This is an anything goes Link up so, share your most delectable appetizers, entrees, side dish, desserts and festive cocktail recipes.

We’re pulling out all the stops to make this Linky Party Rock!!

I’ll start by sharing a few of my Holiday favorites!






Soft Sugar Cookies-The Quest Continues



My husband arrived home last night after a week away on business in the midst of the worst snow storm of the season.  He was scheduled to arrive on a late evening flight into Denver International Airport and I was his ride home. 

I live in the Rocky Mountains so I knew the the drive down the pass was going to be a real nail bitter.  I left home at 7 PM for my husbands 9 PM flight. It’s a good thing I did!  The snow was blowing sideways creating 2 foot drifts across the road, the ground was a sheet of ice, not to mention, extremely poor visibility! 

I tuned the radio to the weather station just as the report was being delivered. The announcer said, “There’s a chain law in effect for all high profile vehicles for highway 285 corridor!  Be advised that the worst of the storm is located between Morrison Road and Bailey Colorado.  We advise all motorists not to drive, if at all possible!”  

It was not comforting to know I was headed right smack dab between the two locations mentioned and I didn’t have a choice “not to drive” if my husband was going to make it home from the airport.   So, I said a little prayer and headed down the pass.

The good news… I’m an excellent driver and my Acura MDX is the bomb in the snow!  I made it to the airport just in time to greet my husband, white knuckles and all!  The snow had stopped falling for the ride home and we pulled into the driveway about midnight!  Whew!


After our icy ordeal last night, my husband opted to take my car to work this morning leaving me stranded at home. You see, his car is front wheel drive and a disaster in the snow.  Being stranded at home isn’t  a bad thing. However, my husband requested that I bake him some sugar cookies today and I have no butter or milk in the house!  

You were thinking I wasn’t going to get to the recipe, right?  Here’s where it all ties together.  

I’ve decided not to let this unfortunate turn of events, keep me from my quest to find the perfect sugar cookie recipe for my…

Christmas Cookie Exchange Linky Party
Click Picture to link your recipe!!


Despite my lack of ingredients, I decided to forge ahead with what I had in the refrigerator. The recipe is from a web site call Group Recipes.





I’m searching for a “soft” sugar cookie recipe so I decided to experimented with the size, shape and thickness of the dough to see if it would make a difference in the texture of the cookie.

The pressed cookie was formed from a tablespoon of batter rolled into a ball and gently press down with my fingers before baking. The balls were also formed by using a tablespoon of dough but left on the baking sheet in ball form. I also rolled some dough to 1/4 inch thickness and used a cookie cutter to form shapes. The cooking time varied from 18 minutes for the ball cookies, to 8 minutes for the rolled cookies.

I’m please to say that you don’t have to have exactly what a recipe calls for to achieve a great end result. The pressed cookies were soft with just a little crunch on the bottom and edges; just how I like them! The ball cookies were soft and puffy in the middle with a delicate moist texture. Surprisingly, the cutouts, although crisp, turned out light and tender with amazing flavor.

I’ll note my substitutions to the original recipe in red.
Ingredients



3/4 Cup butter flavored shortening
sub: 3/4 cup non flavored Crisco shortening
1 Cup white sugar
2
eggs
1 Tablespoon milk
sub: 1 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1 Teaspoon
vanilla extract
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
added: 1 Tablespoon Buttermilk Powder to enhance/replace butter flavor


In a large bowl, cream together: shortening and white sugar until smooth

Beat in eggs one at a time

Stir in milk and vanilla

Combine with flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. (sift dry ingredients for best result)

Cover & chill for at least an hour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. I reduced heat to 350 on convection oven setting

Lightly grease cookie sheet or use parchment paper

Roll out dough to 1/4 thickness on lightly floured surface

Cut desired shapes

Place cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart on cookie sheet

Bake 6 to 8 minutes – do not wait for them to brown … take them out with a very slight browning underneath or no brown at all

Let cookies rest on cookie sheet for 2 minutes

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Soft Sugar Cookies and Louisiana Pecan Balls

Icing

2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
food coloring
In a medium mixing bowl combine whipping cream (1-2 tablespoons at a time) until desired consistancy.


This may very well be the perfect Sugar Cookie Recipe!!

I also decided to make a batch of Santa Hot Chocolate to go with these delicious cookies.  This is a magical and highly classified recipe…shhh, click… Santa Hot Chocolate for the recipe.




Christmas Cookie Exchange-Linky Party

Welcome to my 2011 Christmas Cookie Exchange-Linky Party!

I’m looking for your best cookie recipes this Holiday season! 

Link as many of your favorite recipes and photos on the linky below…

Drop Cookies, Cookie Bars, Cutout Cookies, Sliced or Shaped Cookies or any special holiday confection you want to share.

The only requirement for this linky party is to share a link back to my site in a blog post for your recipe.  Write a new post or feel free to share recipes from your archive. 

Tis the season to be baking cookies….tell your friends to stop by and link up too!

This year I’m on a quest to find the perfect sugar cookie.   I found my first experimental recipe of the season in one of my collector cook books; Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, 1963 Edition. 

The flavor of the cookie was right on the button with a crunchy cookie texture.   The dough was easy to handle but the finished product was a bit rough which made decorating a bit sketchy.  I enjoyed this recipe but would like to find a more tender dough.

Ethel’s Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Method:

Mix shortening, sugar, eggs and flavoring thoroughly. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, blend together.  Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.  Cut shapes with cookie cutter or press 1 tablespoon dough with tines of fork, sprinkle with sugar. Bake 6-8 minutes or until cookies are delicate golden color
makes about 4 dozen




Creme Date Bars

 
IMG_6971
 
My mother has been making this Date Bar recipe for holidays for many years.  These delicious date bars have all of the components of the perfect bite!  Salty, sweet, crispy Oates paired with creamy sweet dates deliver a deliciously decadent dessert/snaking experience. 
 
This is one of my Kraft Video Cooking Creme recipes that unfortunately, never made it into the challenge; instead it ended up on the editing floor.  My Chile Rellenos con Camarones never made it into the challenge either.  Ugh! Both videos were editing nightmares!  Many hours of hard work rendered useless by my less than stellar video editing abilities.  But, as luck would have it, the recipe is absolutely delicious with the addition of the Kraft Original Flavor Cooking Creme! 
 
Preheat oven 375 degrees
 
Crumb Topping
 
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups vegetable shortening or oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
 
In a large mixing bowl, crumble all ingredients together and set aside
 
Date Filling
 
2 pounds dates
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 10 ounce tub Kraft Original Cooking Creme
 
Pit dates by mashing with a large knife, mix with water, sugar and Kraft Original Flavor Cooking Creme until well blended, spread 1/2 the crumb mixture into a square sided baking pan, spread date filling over crumbs, cover dates with remaining crumb mixture, bake for 30 minutes.
 
Makes 32-36, 2 inch square bars.
 
 
 



Biscochitos-Mexican Sugar Cookies

Biscochitos -Mexican Sugar Cookies are a Holiday tradition in my family.  

The are  a crispy butter or lard based cookie flavored with anise and cinnamon. It was developed by residents of New Mexico over the centuries from the first Spanish colonists of New Mexico. The recipe for making the cookie has been greatly influenced not only by local and indigenous customs, but also by recipes brought to New Mexico by immigrants from other Hispanic countries. It is served during special celebrations, such as wedding receptions, baptisms, and religious holidays (especially during the Christmas season). It is usually eaten with morning coffee or milk, after lunch in the early afternoon, or dinner late at night. The cookie is seldom known outside its various territories.

State cookie

In 1989, the U.S. State of New Mexico adopted the bizcochito as its official state cookie. This act made New Mexico the first state to have an official cookie. It was chosen to help maintain traditional home-baked cookery. Source: Wikipedia

I serve my Biscochitos with Santa Hot Chocolate which is a recipe I’ve been making ever since my children were born.  Christmas Eve is the night we break out the special sipping cups and I make delicious hot chocolate from scratch and serve these delicate cookies.  The combination is delightful!

 

Rebecka’s Biscochitos

Ingredients

1 cup Lard or butter (vegetable oil can also be used but the cookie won’t be as crisp and flaky)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup Tequila or warm water

1 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Cinnamon Sugar

1/2 cup Sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions

In a stand mixer cream together, sugar and lard, add eggs one at a time until mix is light and creamy.  Add tequila, vanilla and anise seeds, mix thoroughly, add flour and baking powder and mix on slow speed until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Add a little more tequila if dough is dry.  Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

On a lightly floured surface roll dough to 1/2 think and cut out with shaped cookie cutters, bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes until edges are slightly browned.  Remove from oven and quickly roll in cinnamon sugar while they are still hot from the oven.

Makes about 30 cookies

Before Santa and Mrs Clause……

After…

Don’t forget the Santa Hot Chocolate…recipe will be posted next week!!

I’m linking this post to Foodie Fridays




Molasses Ginger Sugar Cookies

YUM! Molasses Ginger Sugar Cookies are one of my all time favorite family Christmas cookie recipes.

Rich, spicy flavor with a little crunch and chewy center, these cookies are sure to please.   Once you’ve tasted these charming treats you will need to have another, and another and another…and by the looks of my ever-growing mid section, I have followed suit and indulged entirely too much.

This year I used organic Molasses and unbleached flour and the result was perfection!  These cookies are easy to make and will be a wonderful addition to your families Christmas cookie collection.

Recipe:
3/4 cup shortening or vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup organic molasses
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Mace or Allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together shortening, sugar, molasses, egg until shiny, add spices and baking soda and mix thoroughly, add flour and mix until the dough forms into a ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30-minutes to 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees, roll dough into 1 inch balls, flatten with the tins of a folk and sprinkle with sugar, bake for 8-10 minutes

I bet you can’t eat just one…