Drinks and Desserts

How to create an artful masterpiece

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Warm weather is a time for dinner parties on the patio, or else with the windows open and music accompanying the breezes that tug at your table cloth. It’s not bad planning to have a few favorite meals in your repertoire for such celebrations, and we all have our go-to menus in case of an unexpected guest or six. Sometimes, though, the soup pot needs stirring. As flowers open up their summertime palettes, so, too, can your dinner table become a colorful arrangement of flavor. The perfect ending to the night? Drinks and desserts.

Uncertain about making a bit of art? Don’t be! One popular way to start planning a meal is with a theme. On the other hand, you could work backwards and maybe have a bit more fun: pick dessert first. After all, if you know where you’re going to end up, the rest of the meal practically plans itself. For a few ideas, here are some complementary colors to potentially fit your next dinner scheme.

Irish Coffee and Sticky Toffee Pudding

Bitter black coffee with a touch of brown sugar and Irish whiskey couldn’t go with anything better than a decadent pudding. Proof that they’re a match made in heaven: you can top them both with homemade whipped cream. This combination is as dark and homey as a classic pub poster.

Long Island Iced Tea and Peach Cobbler

Aunties-Peach-CobblerEven though there’s no actual tea in the classic Long Island, it’s refreshing and sweet enough to have on a front porch some summer evening with a scoop of homey peach cobbler. As peaceful as a still-life, but nowhere near boring.

Sambuca and Lemony Mascarpone Cake

Sambuca’s sweet, licorice flavor will complement the mellow mascarpone and the tart lemon and raspberries in this cake.  As an aperitif, Sambuca is fabulous on its own. Chilled and paired with dessert, it’s like a portrait turned into a scene in a ballet.

Sauternes Wine and Baked Brie

While considering sweet drinks to have with your dessert, Sauternes, chilled to near frostiness and golden in color, will take you straight to Paris when paired with a brie wrapped in pastry and baked until it’s warm and gooey. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit preserves, and you have potentially outdone the Impressionists.

Cuba Libre and Flan with Mandarins

If you’re planning a casual, fun night, this might be the combination to finish it right. Potentially underestimated, the rum and cola combination is acidic enough to work with the flan, spicy enough to add to it, and there’s just enough caramel in both of them to complete the harmony.  It’s like the Golden Mean, in dessert form.

Reposado Tequila and Dulce de Leche Ice Cream with Grilled Peaches

Dulce-Ice-Cream-with-PeachesBelieve it or not, tequila isn’t just meant for shots or margaritas. Instead, try sipping a mellow, aged reposado with orange and cinnamon alongside this creamy, sweet dish. It’s sugar, spice, and everything nice. Bonus: fry your ice cream, if you can, and you won’t need to go southwest to see a painted desert.

Whatever your favorite dishes are, there are ways to work them into an artistic dinner plan.  With enough practice, the canvas of your table will evolve into a gallery of flavors and textures.  Try combinations until what you’re tasting makes you happy, and remember: artists never got famous by playing it safe.  Either way, if all else fails, there’s always dessert!

 

Food Allergy Substitution Infographics

Bake the best allergy free desserts around!

Hardly a dinner party or cook out seems to pass without the concern of food allergies having to be considered. We have put together these food allergy substitution infographics to help out.

Butter, Milk, and Egg

It’s no secret that butter, milk and eggs are core ingredients to many of our favorite desserts. But just because someone you know has a food allergy, doesn’t mean they have to miss out! Check out this allergy substitution infographic to make your recipes allergy free.

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Gluten-Free Flour Mixtures

To ensure that your gluten-free desserts are absolutely delicious, make sure that you are using the right flour mixture. This infographic will help you decide which gluten-free flour mixture is best for your sweet treats.

gluten free flours

 

Gluten-Free Problems and Solutions

Sometimes baking gluten-free has its difficulties. Our infographic provides solutions to some of the most common gluten-free baking problems so that you can bake the perfect dessert every time.

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With the help of these food allergy substitution infographics, you can bake up just about any allergy free or gluten free recipe you want! And don’t forget to check out our allergy-free and gluten-free Pinterest boards for recipes, tips and tricks!

 

 

Quick Hamburger Buns

Sesame seed topped, golden brown quick hamburger buns.

By Jolene Ketzenberger

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to the summertime cook-out season, and plenty of folks will be kicking off summer by firing up the grill. In fact a recent survey by the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association showed that 80 percent of all U.S. households own some sort of grill, and yes, Memorial Day ranks as one of the most popular grilling holidays – just behind the Fourth of July and just ahead of Labor Day.

As for what we’ll all be grilling on Memorial Day, burgers typically top the list (followed closely by steak and hot dogs, of course). And for all those juicy burgers coming off the grill, you need a bun that can take the heat. These quick hamburger burger buns bake up beautifully, with a sturdy bottom that stands up to whatever you can pile on, but with an interior texture that’s surprisingly light.

They’re also quick and easy to make – no yeast and no rising time. Now, admittedly, the dough is sticky, and things can get a little messy when you scoop it out and plop it on the baking sheet. But just keep a bowl of water handy and wet your fingers before you scoop and shape the dough to make it easier to handle.

This recipe easily yields 6 to 8 large buns; you can also make them smaller if you’re serving sliders.

Baking Powder Hamburger Buns

Makes 6-8

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons Clabber Girl baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup buttermilk

2 eggs

Sesame seeds, optional

Cook’s note: The dough is sticky, so do keep a bowl of water handy to wet your hands before scooping out the dough for each bun and smoothing out the tops.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Measured ingredients, ready to be mixed.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda.

Eggs and buttermilk being added to already mixed dry ingredients.

Add buttermilk and eggs and beat on low speed 30 seconds until combined, then beat 1 minute on high speed.

Completely mixed wet and dry ingredients, the consistency of frosting.

Dough will be sticky and will have the appearance of frosting.

With wet hands, scoop out 6 to 8 even portions of dough and place them on prepared baking sheet, mounding the dough slightly into a bun shape.

Slightly mounded buns ready to be baked.

Re-wet fingers and smooth the tops and sides of each bun. If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Golden brown buns fresh from the oven.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Sliced buns, ready to be topped.

Allow to cool. Slice buns lengthwise.

Hamburger inside of bun on a plate with potato chips.

Serve with burgers, chicken, fish, veggies or whatever you like!

 

 

Mother’s Day Celebrations from Morning to Night

Making every moment of Mother’s Day count

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Time. Though a physicist might argue, our experience of Time begins with one person: Mom. It is only fitting, perhaps, that the state of motherhood is all about time. Being a mom is a 24/7, 365-day-per-year position. Moms bring us into this world, even those moms who haven’t physically given birth to us, because they introduce us to living life. Those moments Mom laughed when we were sure she would yell taught us joy. Those hours of conversation taught us about wisdom. Sleepless nights holding us through earaches taught us how to love. Moms put in more time just being moms than we often even realize.

Mother’s Day only lasts 24 hours. In the scope of a mother’s efforts, it’s just a blip. Why not make each of those hours count? For every minute of the meals we spent with Mom, we might want to take some time ourselves to appreciate what we owe. Of course, paying Mom back is something we can do every day of the year. For Mother’s Day, however, we can really focus on celebrating Mom from morning to night.

The bakers in the Clabber Girl kitchen have plenty of ideas, from traditional homemade meals to clever goody gifts, to get you started on making sure Mom will truly feel the love on her day.

Morning: Breakfast in Bed

Classic as a black-and-white movie, breakfast in bed is a surprise that can start Mom’s day right (although, if your mom is opposed to crumbs in the sheets, you can always set her up a lovely table). We think we have the perfect treat: blueberry almond breakfast scones. The blueberries tend to hold their shape, creating a burst of tart sweetness with every bite, while the crunch of the almonds grounds the scones with a touch of elegant earthiness.

Blueberry Almond Breakfast Scones

Ingredients:
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/3 c. butter (2.6 oz.)
1 c. fresh blueberries
1 c. sour cream
1 egg
2 tsp. almond flavoring
1 1/2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Sliced almonds for garnish
Instructions

Afternoon: Sugar Cookie Cards

Remember how Mom always had to pack snacks so you wouldn’t get grumpy on trips?  A touch of sugar is good for Mom, too. Get creative by combining the sweet treat with a sweet message. These crisp, yet cake-like Clabber Girl sugar cookies make your base, so you can mix up some savory strawberry icing to pipe a different heartfelt message on each one. Since these will be gone before you know it, you should probably still write her a note on a paper card, too.

Creative Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions

Evening: Spring into Dinner

Moms are people who nurture us and help us grow, seed to sky. It’s fitting that Mother’s Day happens in the heart of spring, so we can’t forget how many winters Mom has spent getting us ready to branch out into the sunshine. Set the dinner table with colorful tulips, open the windows to let in the warm breeze, and make Mom a delicious dinner filled with ripe, fresh spring vegetables. This pasta primavera recipe will bring a savory sophistication to your Mother’s Day celebration.

Pasta Primavera (Pasta with Spring Vegetables)

Ingredients:
1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia and chopped)
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh minced tarragon (or 1 tsp. dried)
1/2 c. olive oil
7 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes (optional)
2 14 oz. cans whole artichoke hearts (drained and quartered)
2 c. frozen peas
3/4 lb. linguine
1 tbsp. salt
1 1/4 c. minced fresh parsley leaves
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

Heat one large pot filled with water to the boiling point. While this is heating, in a separate skillet heat two tablespoons of the oil on medium heat and saute the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic for about 2 to 3 minutes.

At this point drop the pasta in the boiling water and stir to separate the noodles a few times during the first few minutes.

Add the vegetables (with the exception of spinach, if using) to the onion mixture and cook though for about 5 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and the chicken stock. Heat through and reduce the heat, keeping the sauce warm.

Undercook the pasta to the point where it is cooked, but you would probably let it boil for about another minute- at this point, immediately drain the pot. Toss the pasta back in the large pot, on medium heat, along with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, the warm sauce, the butter, the parsley and the spinach if using. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through, mix and toss the pasta and sauce thoroughly for about one minute-test the pasta to be sure it is cooked through and spoon the entire mixture into a large serving bowl.

Serve immediately with the freshly grated cheese on the side. Makes enough for 6 to 8 servings.

These delicious, homemade recipes from the Clabber Girl kitchen are just the beginning of the ways you can thank Mom for her time…especially THOSE times (you know the ones!). Moms come in all shapes and sizes, and each and every one deserves a day dedicated to showing our love. These treats can be a fantastic surprise or a wonderful way to bond with Mom as you make them together…just make sure part of the present is that you’re doing the dishes! We love you, Mom!

A Fiesta of Flavor

Perfect for Cinco de Mayo or any other day of the year!

 Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake

If you are inclined to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this week, the festivities center around Mexican culture, heritage and traditions. Bringing Hispanic baking traditions into your kitchen can be fun for young, old and everything in between. Hispanic baking brings us the flavors and feelings of a culture filled with vibrant colors and traditions rooted in history.

When you think of Hispanic foods, you immediately think of bold flavor. The sweet taste of dulce de leche adds rich, caramel flavor to traditional Hispanic desserts is made by slowly heating sweetened milk. The creamy texture to tres leche, a cake, or torta is soaked in three different kinds of milk: evaporate milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. Of course, there are also churros that are given an extra kick of flavor when dipped in Mexican chocolate sauce. These decadent desserts aren’t the only traditional Hispanic dishes bursting with flavor. Many Latin American dishes get their bold flavor and color from ingredients such as avocados and guava. These tropical fruits burst flavor throughout traditional dishes and drinks such as guava-pineapple sangrias, guacamole and chilled soups.

Celebrate a fiesta of flavors by trying out these mouth-watering recipes based on delicious and hearty Mexican staples.

Mexican Cheese Bread

Queso fresco, the most common cheese in traditional Mexican dishes, is thought to have been introduced to Latin America from the Spanish. Traditionally made from raw cow milk or combined with goat milk, queso fresco is milky and mild, making it the perfect balance for heavier dishes like enchiladas, huevos rancheros or Mexican bread.

Savory meets spicy in this soft, yet crisp, homemade Mexican cheese bread. Amazing as a side for a tomato-based chipotle soup or excellent as the base for a thick Cubano sandwich, this bread is packed full of south-of-the-border flavor.

Mexican Chocolate Cake

Don’t forget about dessert!  Hispanic celebrations just aren’t the same without some mouth-watering Mexican chocolate. Pre-European Mexico preferred chocolate, from the indigenous cacao tree, with a strong, sour taste, quite different from the chocolate we know and love today. Over time, Mexican chocolate has become sweeter, flavored with sugar or cinnamon that gives it a unique flavor, texture, and aroma. This Mexican chocolate cake mimics the flavors of Mexican chocolate without a need for specialty ingredients.

Heighten the flavor of any one of these cuisines with aguas frescas, non-alcoholic flavored water. By soaking fruits, flowers, and seeds in water, you get a fresh, crisp drink with a hint of sweetness. From hibiscus to guava, there is no limit to your creativity when it comes to Hispanic drinks and dishes. Then again, you can always have a margarita!