Sweet Cornbread

I’m from Canada, not the Southern States, but I still appreciate some good, classic Southern recipes. Cornbread is one of those items. I first realized how much I liked cornbread when I worked for a Canadian restaurant chain years ago.

Cornbread was a staple for many of the dishes served at this restaurant, and because my mother had never made it when I was younger, I was unaware how awesome it is.

I know there is a debate between the sweet and savoury cornbread lovers, and I have to say, as controversial as this statement may be, I am firmly in the sweet cornbread camp. Corn pieces in my cornbread? I can take them or leave them. But give me sweet cornbread over savoury. If you have a savoury recipe that you prefer, please, let me know, and I’ll try it. I’m all for fair chances!

The cornbread recipe I used I found here, and it makes A LOT of cornbread – a full 9 x 13 pan, so make some Southern staples, like chili or ribs, and prepare to feast!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 x 13 pan

1 c. butter, melted
1 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. buttermilk (or milk with 1 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice)
½ tsp. vanilla
2 c. fine ground corn meal
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper or lightly grease with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs and mix well. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla, and combine until smooth.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture, and fold together until all flour is moistened (it’s okay if the batter is a bit lumpy).

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.

Let cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Store in an airtight container, and reheat for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.

**If you like your cornbread a little sweeter, you can add up to a ½ cup more of sugar. Any more than that, and the cornbread becomes more of a corn cake instead of cornbread.**

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Chewy Coconut Cookies

This is my second coconut cookie recipe on the blog! It is different than the one I posted previously, here. Those cookies were good, but a tad bit on the crunchy cookie side. Still they had a good coconut flavour.

These cookies are chewy all the way. Mine didn’t spread out as much as the original post, but they still yielded beautiful, tasty results.

I did change the recipe in two ways. First, I doubled the recipe. I made these cookies partly for Paul, and partly for a treat for my students and our play rehearsal. Those kids work hard, and I wanted to give them a treat!

Secondly, I ran out of brown sugar, and didn’t realize. I only had a little bit, so because I doubled the recipe, I used a little bit of brown sugar, and the rest of the brown sugar I swapped out for coconut sugar. I got the coconut sugar as a gift, and hadn’t been able to use it yet (out of sight, out of mind!), so when I was rooting around my pantry for a suitable substitution, and the coconut sugar landed in my hand, it was kismet! Perfect for coconut cookies.

I’ve reflected the change I made in the recipe below, but if you don’t have coconut sugar, just use brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar. It’s nice that they are similar enough that you can just use a direct swap, instead of changing ratios and measurements. Seriously, if you are a coconut fan, you need to try these cookies!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 2 dozen cookies

½ c. butter, softened
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/3 c. coconut sugar
¼ c. sugar
1 tbsp. honey
½ tsp. vanilla
1 egg, at room temperature
1 1/3 c. flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. sweetened shredded coconut
2 tsp. boiling water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking sheets.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter, sugars, and honey together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, and continue mixing.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat until almost combined.

Add in the coconut and the boiling water, and beat until evenly incorporated.

Drop tablespoonful sized dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the center of the cookies are beginning to set.

Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Tiramisu

Ahh, Tiramisu. The classic Italian dessert. Layers of ladyfinger cookies soaked in a coffee/alcohol mix, with layers of smooth mascarpone cream and a light dusting of cocoa powder on top. Beautiful!

I made this when Paul’s brother Riley came to visit. It had just recently been Riley’s birthday, and well, he said he likes Chocolate, Lemon, and Tiramisu. I figured I already have a recipe on the blog for Chocolate and Lemon cake, but no Tiramisu, so here we were!

I had never made Tiramisu before, and I have to say, having a beautiful layered dessert with minimal effort AND I didn’t have to turn on my oven? Amazing! I got the recipe here, and the only things I didn’t have on hand were espresso, ladyfinger biscuits, and mascarpone cheese. (Be warned: mascarpone cheese is a little on the pricey side, so this is a dessert I would make once in a while, not a regular rotation type dessert.)

Still, easy effort with a high-yield result. Perfect!

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Ingredients
Yield: 1 8×8 inch square pan

3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
½ c. caster or superfine sugar (I used icing sugar and it worked fine)
½ tsp. vanilla
8 oz. or 250 g. mascarpone cheese
1½ c. espresso coffee, brewed and strong
2-4 tbsp. liquor (I used Kahlua and amaretto, and 2 tbsp. of each)
24-30 ladyfinger cookies or savoiardi biscuits
Cocoa, for dusting

Put the yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and set whites aside for later.Add sugar to yolks, and beat on medium high speed until sugar is incorporated, and yolks turn white and thick. (This may take up to 12 minutes.)

Add vanilla and mascarpone, and beat until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to a bowl, and set aside.

Wash your mixer bowl and whisk thoroughly. Make sure there is no grease or yolk left in the bowl or the egg whites will not whip properly.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture to the egg whites, and fold until incorporated. Gradually fold in the rest of the mascarpone mixture, and mix until combined. Set aside.

Mix together the coffee and liquor. (If you don’t like Kahlua or amaretto, there are tons of different options. Brandy, Kahlua, amaretto, Frangelico, rum, Bailey’s, go with what you like!) Quickly soak the lady finger cookies, one at a time, in the coffee mixture, and line the bottom of an 8×8 inch square pan.

Spread half of the mascarpone cream over the soaked ladyfingers, then repeat the process of soaked ladyfingers over the cream layer, finished with the rest of the cream.

Do not put cocoa on until right before serving, or the cream will soak it all up.

When ready to serve, dust with cocoa powder, cut into slices, and enjoy!

Chewy Sugar Cookies

Wow, these cookies were awesome! So simple to make, and they were gone in about a day and a half. (Granted, I did give some away, but that’s a story for later in the post!)

I loved how simple this recipe was, and how it yielded some great results. All the ingredients are basic, pantry staples, and I couldn’t have been happier. It was the perfect recipe for a “Wake-up-and-randomly-decide-to-make-cookies” kind of day. I had everything I needed, and as I said before, the result was a soft, chewy cookie, so simple, and so tasty.

I found the original recipe here, and followed it to a tee. There were no changes that I made, because the recipe is so simple and straightforward. If you’re really being nitpicky, I did use a clear vanilla extract instead of the brown vanilla extract, but that was because I wanted the cookies to stay a beautiful pure white colour.

The reason that these cookies went so fast, was because I gave some away. The weekend I made these, I was taking care of a friend’s dogs. I went over to her house to walk the dogs before bed, and as I was leaving, it was very dark out, and I turned a little too sharply while backing out of her driveway. I ended up bottoming out the left side of my car in a massive snowdrift! I had to dig out my car, and I was wrestling with the snowdrift for probably half an hour, or more. My friend had some guests staying with her, and they got back to the house and helped me push my car free. Huzzah! So these cookies were “I-want-cookies” cookies, but also “Thank-you-for-pushing-my-car-out-of-a-huge-snowdrift-because-reversing-in-the-dark-is-much-more-difficult-in-unfamiliar-driveways” cookies. Yeah, you got tired reading that? Imagine how I felt. It was a hot mess! (Also, I promise I’m a good driver. The driveway is just unfamiliar, curved, and there were obstacles to avoid, hence the sharp turn.)

Either way, these cookies are absolutely wonderful. They will definitely become something I make more often, with how simple and easy they are, with such high results!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 3½ dozen cookies

1 c. butter, softened
1½ c. sugar
1 egg
2¼ c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ c. sugar, for garnishing

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or Silpat sheets.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and mix until well-combined.

Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until well-mixed and cohesive.

Scoop cookie dough by the teaspoonful and roll into a ball. Roll in the garnishing sugar.

Place cookie balls on a baking sheet, and flatten slightly with your hand.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks, and store in an airtight container.

Brown Sugar Peach Crumble Pie

It was Pi(e) Day last week! It kind of snuck up on me, and I didn’t realize that it was Pi(e) Day until the morning of!

I got home, and Paul was amazing and made dinner, so I figured I should contribute to dessert. I made this pie, and it was relatively easy to do. I just whipped up some pie crust, bought some beaches, and the crumble was extremely easy to make as well.

The pie does take some time to cool down and set, and Paul and I didn’t really wait, so the first few slices looked a little lackluster. I actually waited until the pie had completely cooled and set up before I took a picture of a slice. It was a really good pie, and quite simple to make.

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet (like this pie!) Go make it today!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8/9 inch pie (depending on pie plate)

For the pie:

1 recipe Flaky Butter Pie Crust
7-8 medium sized peaches, sliced thinly
½ c. brown sugar, packed
½ c. flour
2 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. cinnamon

For the crumble topping:

½ c. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ c. flour
1/3 c. butter, melted

Prepare the pie crust according to the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a pie plate with the prepared crust.

In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon until peaches are evenly coated. Spoon the peach filling into the crust.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and butter. Mix until the topping is thick and crumbly. Sprinkle over peaches.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn the oven temperature down to 375°F, and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. If the edges of the crust are starting to brown too much, put a pie shield or aluminum foil over the edges to prevent burning.

Allow pie to cool completely (for at least 3 hours) until filling is completely set. Serve with vanilla ice cream.