tart tree float

From decorations and music to food and drink, I get all sorts of sentimental feelings during the holiday season. You may remember last year when I shared one of my favorite tree-gazing beverages, the pink snow float. This year I put together a more tart beverage with pink grapefruit and lime, more for tree-rocking and sushi eating than lazy lights gazing. Adjust the amounts based on your taste. Begin with pink grapefruit juice, add gin if you wish, then drop in sweet scoops of lime sherbet (I used my melon baller for the little glasses). Top off the drink with club soda or another fizzy liquid and watch the bright green bubbles grow to the top of your glass.

Rocking around the Christmas tree, have a happy holiday! Everyone dancing merrily in the new old-fashioned way.”

honeycomb birthday brittle

You know those cozy hexagonal structures of wax made by bees to store their precious goods, including honey? How perfect that this honey brittle recipe also takes on the appearance of its former storage home: the honeycomb! Martha Stewart’s recipe for Honeycomb Brittle has been close to the top of my “I want to make this recipe” mountain since I spied it a few years ago.

All that time I had no idea that I was just four ingredients away from a little kitchen science and my new favorite brittle recipe.ย  The mixture explodes in the pot when baking soda is added at the last minute, which accounts for is delightful airiness. It’s also easy to break apart once it hardens; if you’d like a little more control over the shapes of the shards, just score the brittle with a knife beforehand.

Next time I will add walnuts or almonds to the honey candy, as it is a perfect mix for encasing extra goodies.ย  In part of this batch I set up candles in the brittle and broke them apart to make edible candle holders for plopping atop a honey lemon cake later this week (I will be 32!).ย  The honeycomb brittle was also a fun and sweet crunchy accompaniment to a mug of creamy Greek yogurt the other morning. There’s nothing wrong with pre-celebrating, is there?

Since it stores and travels well, I am taking bags of the light and golden candy to contribute to our family munchies this holiday. Warm (and sweet) Thanksgiving wishes to All.

P.S. Dreaming All Day included me in 50 Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas today – check out her yummy round-up!

november golden pear cake

“Because it was cozy, simple, and delicious,” she said.

I get giddy when people think of me when they discover a new recipe, so you can imagine my delight when my friend Jillian wrote to me about her experience in the kitchen making October Apple Cake. We agreed that the possibilities for variations on this recipe were ripe, and this is how the November Golden Pear Cake came to be.

I changed up the modest ingredient list to make my own perfectly sweet & gluten free autumnal cake with pears, substituting oat flour with rice flour and swapping out the chocolate chunks with cubes of buttery caramel. Can I describe a dessert cake as both delicate and hearty? I hope so, because this recipe seems to fit those descriptions, and when sliced in wedges, it radiates like the golden November sunshine.

Enjoy, serve, or gift the November Golden Pear Cake at any time of day. It’s amiable to eat with a fork and cup of tea at the breakfast table, as a handheld treat on a fall forest potluck picnic, or as appetizer pick-ed mini bites preceding a festive night’s cheese course. Happy Novembering.

Ingredients

1 cup rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
3 pears (I used D’Anjou)

optional: 1/2 cup caramel bits or 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Grease a pan with olive oil and dust with flour, set aside (I also lined the bottom with a circle of parchment paper).

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

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs for 10 minutes.

4. Peel the pears and chop them into chunks. Chop up caramel or chocolate into chunks.

5. Add the brown sugar and olive oil to the fluffy, fluffy eggs and continue to whip for another minute. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until combined.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then nestle the pear and caramel chunks until they are nice and snug in the batter.

7. Bake for about an hour, then if you can stand the wait, let it cool. Turn out the cake onto a plate and serve hot with drizzled caramel and sprinkled with sea salt, or cold with freshly whipped vanilla cream on top.

pocket-sized pie cookies



My niece and I warmed up a traditional sugar cookie dough recipe with pumpkin pie spice over the weekend. Inspired by the pumpkin pie fragrance, we decided to cut out little slices of dough in the shape of pocket-sized pie slices. Once the cookies were baked, we melted some butterscotch chips to spread on the cookies to look like pumpkin pie filling. Lastly, I made a fluffy meringue icing to pipe on for a whipped cream look on top. “Little pumpkin pies for my dollies,” my niece exclaimed! “Spicy butterscotch cookies are surprisingly tasty,” I thought.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cut-Out Cookies
Sift together:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cut in:
1/2 cup shortening

(In a separate bowl) beat together:
1 egg
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla

Add wet ingredients to the rest of the mix until combined. Roll out dough with flour. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 6 minutes. Cool on baking rack.

Melt 1/2 cup butterscotch chips with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or peanut butter. Stir until combined and glossy, then spread over the tops of the cookies.

Fluffy White Frosting from allrecipes.com
In a saucepan, stir together 1 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.

In a medium bowl, whip 2 egg whites and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes.