Cherry Amaretto Cobbler with Molasses Ginger Ice Cream

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Some people like cobbler with a pie-style crust, and some people like a biscuit kind of crust and then others go for cake-y thing happening over the top. One of the Luscious husbands said he wanted cobbler made with “flat bread over the top. Like the way my mom made it.” We don’t know what the hell that’s supposed to mean but we pray that Wonderbread was not involved. (There’s a possibility.)  Anyway, the Luscious gals love to make all different kinds, just depends on our mood. This cobbler has a cake batter topping, and it’s the based on the familiar kind of recipe where you put the fruit on the top and then during baking the batter magically rises to the top. How does it happencherries for cobbler? Uh, we’ll get back to you on that.

Luscious can’t remember when we first came across the recipe that morphed into this cherry cobbler, but Anne-Charlotte thinks she got it from the Pentecostal lady that used to live behind her. The sinner and the saved might not have been in agreement on drinking, dancing, and hem length, but they did agree that Jesus loves dessert. Luscious worked in some Amaretto (don’t tell the neighbor lady) and almond milk to get a little cherry-almond thing going, and also whipped up some super yum molasses ice cream to go on top. You make it like this:

Cherry Amaretto Cobbler with Molasses Ice Cream

cherry cobbler with molasses ice cream

 

Have ready a 8 x 10 or similar size glass baking dish and preheat oven to 360º

For the cobbler:
2 lbs fresh cherries, pitted
1/2 cup amaretto
1/2 cup rum (if you do all amaretto it’s a little too sweet)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch

then:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup almond milk

Put the pitted cherries in a mixing bowl (we recommend glass here) and pour the liquors over. Let rest for at 30 minutes, then toss with sugar and cornstarch. Let the fruit rest again while you prepare the batter.

cherry cobbler before bakingMelt the butter and pour into the baking dish, or melt it in the dish in the microwave. In a mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, taking care to break up any little brown sugar clumps. Stir in the almond milk until the mixture is smooth, then add 3 tablespoons of soaking liquid from the cherries.

Pour the batter evenly over the melted butter in the baking dish. Give the cherries one more good stir and then use a slotted spoon to transfer the fruit to the baking dish on top of the batter. You can sprinkle with a bit more of the remaining liquid, but you’ll have a fair amount left over. If that concerns you, mix it with some other liquor and something fizzy, pour it over ice then give a hipster name and you can charge $15 for it.

Bake the cobbler for 45 minutes. Serve warm with Molasses Ginger Ice Cream.

molasses ginger ice creamMolasses Ginger Ice Cream

3/4 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup molassess
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp nutmeg

Whisk all together ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved, pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturers directions. It will probably need at least 30 minutes in the ice cream maker and then a good 2-3 hours in your freezer, so plan ahead.

 

Rosewater Angel Food Cake with Fresh Strawberries

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The good thing about custards, golden cakes, and cream pies that use tons of egg yolks is, they are 1. fabulously delicious and  2. will help fatten you up, which is very good because you might get trapped in a cave or something without food. (If it can happen to the Hardy Boys, it can happen to you.) The bad thing is, you wind up with a ton of leftover egg whites. What to do? You could make a lovely meringue for your lovely pie, and Luscious would totally support you in that. Or you could make a healthy egg white omelet, and Luscious would not be so supportive, but whatever. However, if you’re not quite ready to use the egg whites, don’t throw them away! Jennifer knows when food is being wasted somewhere and suffers a small stroke. Please don’t give Jennifer a stroke—save your egg whites in a container in the fridge, they keep for weeks. When you’ve got a dozen or so, it’s time  to make an angel food cake!

Many times, angel food cake is that sad dessert that was hurriedly picked up at the grocery store on the way the potluck and anonymously plopped down by the jello salad. It sits lonely, dry, and unwanted, still in its unopened plastic packaging. A homemade angel food cake, on the other hand, can be the bell of the ball! Thanks to all those fluffy exact whites, the texture is, truly, heavenly. However, egg whites and sugar on their own are not exactly a flavor powerhouse. Don’t you know Luscious has just the thing for that. Try to guess, but you won’t be able to. so we will just tell you, but don’t freak out. ROSEWATER. The flavor is unusual and exotic by western standards, but it’s common in middle eastern sweets. Just a little splash gives the cake a lovely depth of flavor.  It’s easy to find in middle eastern specialty stores, and is inexpensive, and it keeps forevah in the fridge. And if you spill it on yourself, you will smell really good.

Last but not least, serve a little fruit with that gorgeous cake. Angel food and strawberries are a classic, why mess with that? It’s such a healthy dessert, it’s almost makes us panic. After we make it we have to compensate by driving the Trans Am over the speed limit while listening to Whitesnake. Okay, away you go:

angel_food

Cake
1 cup cake flour, (sift then measure, or measure and shake down the measuring cup and add a bit more to make a cup)
1 1/4 cups sugar
½ tsp salt
12 large egg whites (if you’ve been keeping them in an airtight container, measure out 1 ½ cups)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons rosewater

strawberriesBerries
1 lb fresh strawberries. Get organic if you can, it makes a big difference in flavor.
3 tablespoons sugar… more or less. Taste your berries to decide how much you need.
2 tablespoons lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tsp rosewater

Pre-heat oven to 350º. Have ready a bundt or tube pan, but do NOT grease or flour– the cake won’t be able to “climb” the pan sides. Sift together the cake flour, ½ cup of sugar, and salt.

Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, water, lime juice, and rosewater with a handmixer on low speed for about 60 seconds.  Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat mixture until soft peaks barely form. Very gradually beat in the remaining ¾ sugar. Continue beating until glossy, soft (not stiff) peaks form. Sift about 1/8 of the flour mixture evenly over the egg white mixture, and fold in gently with a rubber spatula just until incorporated. Continue gently folding in small amounts of the flour mixture until no flour remains.

Pour batter into pan and smooth with spatula until level. Bake for 35-40 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. After removing cake from oven, cool by inverting pan and place over the neck of a bottle, or setting it on drinking glasses. Sounds weird, but air needs be able to circulate under the cake while cooling.

Allow cake to cool for 1-2 hours, then turn cake pan over and release cake by sliding a thin knife around all edges.

Wash, hull, and slice strawberries (not thinly sliced, they’ll get mushy pretty quick.) Toss with sugar, zest, lime juice and rosewater. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes before serving, so they can macerate a bit. To serve, slice the cake and arrange the slices around the big bowl of berries. So pretty, you should probably get that baby on Pinterest!

Vegan Shortbread Cookies with Chai Glaze

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“How was your day at school, sweetie?”
“Not too good. The band director threw my instrument down the hall.”
“What??? How is that even possible? She’s only 5’2” and you play the TUBA.
“Well, she threw it pretty far.”
“Oh dear lord. I guess I better make her some brownies.”

tubaParenting is hard, y’all.  If your offspring’s behavior/lack of musical talent enrages an instructor to the extent that a 70lb brass instrument becomes airborne, there are several things you could do. You could give your child a good talkin’-to. You could request a parent-teacher conference. At the very least, you could ask what the hell happened right before the tuba took flight, but you know what, the Luscious mamas don’t always want to be burdened with the details.  Some situations are more quickly settled with food bribery.

Here’s what transpires next. Luscious goes into a culinary commando damage control mode that would intimidate a Navy Seal. An extremely decadent brownie recipe is carefully concocted. It is executed with military precision (like, Anne-Charlotte actually measured everything). The delicious treats are delicately frosted and boxed up attractively, no… irresistibly.  The final strike is set for after school a few days later:

“Hi honey, here’s the brownies. Quick, run these in to your band director before she leaves for the day!”
“I can’t.”
“What?? Why? TAKE HER THESE BROWNIES RIGHT NOW.”
“Today she was talking about how she’s a… a….”
“She’s a what ? What??”
“A… vegan.”

Motherfu…grrrrr! Why does everything have to be so freaking complicated?  How can Luscious manipulate you with baked goods if you insist on being vegan, band teacher lady?

SONY DSCFine, Luscious can deal. Time for Plan B. (Okay, actually Plan C, Plan B was “just give her the brownies say they’re vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, whatever she wants to hear” but unfortunately, the Luscious children prefer to tell the truth. It’s annoying.)  Even though the brownies were basically vegan if you didn’t count the butter, eggs, and cream, Luscious Pastry got back to the kitchen and got creative. The result: vegan shortbread cookies made with organic coconut oil and drizzled with a chai spice & almond milk glaze. And it is not easy to milk an almond, y’all.

Luscious has rabid butter loyalty, so this is really hard for us to say: These vegan cookies totally and awesomely rock. The kiddo said his band director was delighted to receive the cookies. She thought they were DELICIOUS! Heh heh heh, our plan is working…

The next week, after school on chair test day:
“How’d it go, honey?”
“Not good, mom. I’m still last chair.”

DAMN. Vegans are apparently quite principled, which is admirable yet irritating as fuck if you need to bribe one.  We’ll just have to try a little harder next time, Ms. Vegan Band Director… you can’t resist us forever.

vegan shortbread cookies

Vegan Bribery Shortbread Cookies with Chai Glaze

For the cookies:
½ cup organic coconut oil (solid but soft)
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tablespoons sweetened vanilla almond milk

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons Luscious Chai mix  (you can order it here)
1 tablespoon sweetened vanilla almond milk

or (if, tragically, you have no Luscious Chai)

1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 ground ginger
pinch cardamom
pinch ground cloves
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons sweetened vanilla almond milk
½ tsp coconut oil
¼ tsp cornstarch

Line an 11 x 7” glass baking dish with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325º

Using a handmixer, cream together coconut oil and sugar. Mix in salt. Sift flour over the coconut oil mixture and use your hands or a wooden spoon or both to blend together. Sprinkle with almond milk and continue kneading with hands until the dough is smooth.

SONY DSCPress dough into pan in one even layer extending to the edges. Prick all over in a decorative fashion to prevent bubbling.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.

Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. When cookies have cooled completely, remove from pan and place on a platter or cookie sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with the chai glaze, and place in the fridge for about an hour. Once the glaze has hardened a bit, store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

 

Póg mo Thóin Irish Coffee Brownies

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poison2Luscious has been taking a lot of those online quizzes lately, because it’s important to know which city we should live in, or which 80’s pop star we should be, or which communicable disease we should contract. It’s mostly been a miserable experience. Apparently all the people we know on Facebook are either Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence, but we are Tara Reid. Everybody else is Sonic Youth and The Decemberists and we’re Poison. That’s so unfair– big hair and age-inappropriate use of eyeliner does not put a person on par with Brett Michaels.

And we have no idea which particular combination of answers earned us Monster Truck Racing for Which Winter Olympic Sport Are You?.  We were insulted — we KNOW monster trucks are not part of the winter Olympics. That’s a summer Olympics thing.

At first the Luscious girls planned to drive the TransAm up to the Buzzfeed office in New York City and bitchslap the person who created the quiz entitled Which Exotic Vacation Would You Be? Because Shreveport, Louisiana shouldn’t even be a possible result for that quiz.  But when they couldn’t find enough change under the couch cushions for gas money, Anne-Charlotte and Jennifer decided that mature, refined women of the world like themselves should simply boycott internet quizzes.

Okay, JUST ONE MORE. And apparently, if you take the quiz Which is Your Holiday, the answers “whiskey-soaked”, “bar fight” and “Kiss Me, I’m White Trash” will surprisingly result in St. Patrick’s Day. Hmmm, Luscious can live with that.  You can be St. Patrick’s Day, too, all you need are these slightly drunken brownies:

Irish Coffee Brownies

Irish coffee brownie

Brownies:
2 tsp instant coffee
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 oz semisweet chocolate (or ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips)
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons butter
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp sea salt
6 eggs
2 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

SONY DSCPre-heat over to 350º. Line an 11 x 17 inch baking dish with parchment paper, and butter the paper and sides of dish. Dissolve the instant coffee into the whiskey. Insert your own joke here about pouring a little whiskey to enjoy while baking. Maybe it’s not a joke. Finely chop chocolates, cut butter into 1 tablespoon pieces, and combine in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir constantly until chocolate and butter until melted and smooth. Seriously, do not walk away to watch a few minutes of the Jerry Springer show unless you love the taste of burnt chocolate.  Remove from heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in sugar, salt, and the coffee-whiskey mixture. Then thoroughly mix in the eggs a couple at a time.  Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. When done, the edges should start to crack a little and the center should be slightly yielding to the touch (but not gooey.) Allow brownies to cool while you make the ganache. Use a knife to release the brownies from the sides and use the parchment to help lift the brownies from the pan. Remove to serving platter or cutting board.

Ganache frosting
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 oz heavy cream
2 tablespoons to ¼ cup Irish whiskey
1 tsp instant coffee
pinch of salt

SONY DSCPut the chopped chocolate in a glass bowl. Boil the cream over medium heat (this is another “don’t walk away” scenario) and pour over the chocolate. Stir like crazy until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. If the chocolate is not completely melted before the mixture cools, pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, then continue to stir. Stir in whiskey and coffee.  If the whiskey taste is too subtle for you, you can splash in a bit more. If the whiskey taste is still too subtle, maybe you should just have a shot of whiskey. Spread ganache evenly over brownies.

SONY DSCCinnamon Whipped Cream
Whip 8 oz very cold heavy cream with 2 tsp cinnamon until thick.

Slice brownies into squares. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm, topped with the whipped cream.

Aside

Sweetheart Jam Cookies

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heart cookies

Luscious knows you want to tell your Valentine that they’re the hot fudge on your Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait, the triple axle in your ice skating routine, and the mosh pit of your thrash metal show. Say it with homemade cookies. These pretty treats are an easy Valentine’s gift for your sweetheart,  and so delicious, of course. The cream cheese makes a flavorful, manageable dough that you can roll and cut at lightening speed. You’ll need a pair of heart-shaped cookie cutters (two sizes) to make a traditional valentine’s cookie. If you are not traditional, then user any shape cookie cutter you like– star, bunny, Slayer logo — whatever you think says Be My Valentine.

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 egg
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla or orange extract
2 1/2 cups flour

Orange or raspberry liquer
clear sugar sprinkles
raspberry jam

Beat together butter, cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy. Beat in orange zest, egg, baking powder, salt, and extract until well mixed. Stir in flour.

Divide dough into 2 or 3 large balls, flatten each into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Breaking the dough into sections makes the size more manageable for rolling, and also you can keep dough sections cool in the fridge while you work with one section at a time. Place dough disks in the fridge for 30 minutes so that the dough is firm enough to cut. You can refrigerate the dough for up to a week, just place on the counter for a few minutes before rolling so that it’s pliable (but still cool and firm).

SONY DSCPreheat oven to 350º and grease cookie sheets. Roll out dough on a floured surface to a thickness of about 3/8″.  Cut with the larger heart cutter, re-roll scraps and continue cutting. Then use the smaller cutter to cut windows in the center of half of your hearts. Place all hearts, large and small on the cookie sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 9-10 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool. Brush the window-cut large hearts and half of the small hearts lightly with liqueur, and sprinkle with white sparkling sugar. Go with black sparkling sugar if making Slayer cookies.

raspberry jamSpread about a tsp of raspberry jam on the unsprinkled cookies. Place a sprinkled cookie on top, sprinkles up, to make a pretty sandwich cookie. Repeat with the small hearts. Use any flavor jam or preserves you prefer, but we’d suggest red plum for the Slayer version because it looks EXACTLY like freshly congealed blood. Don’t ask how we know that.

 

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Marathon Day Ham & Jalapeño Bread Pudding

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It’s gettin’ to be marathon time in fit and healthy Austin, Texas. The area in which Jennifer and Anne-Charlotte reside is a major section of the Austin marathon, so pretty much the whole damn neighborhood gets shut down and cut off from the rest of the world for a few hours on a Sunday. This is a drag if you’re completely out of food or need to go to the hospital because you’ve sliced off your thumb (just put a band-aid on it until afternoon) but awesome if you like to look at masochistic people running by your house. In fact, watching parties abound on the blocks along the racecourse.

collapsed runner

This is Luscious after running two miles.

Luscious Pastry holds a deep, abiding admiration and respect for these marathon athletes, because they provide us with an excuse to start drinking before 9am. The party continues until well after noon, when the close to death but brave stragglers drag past. These persevering souls tend to receive the most uninhibited, if somewhat slurred, cheering of the day.

We attend a yearly marathon-watching soiree at a friend’s house, and Luscious never shows up empty-handed. After all, marathon watchers need a hearty breakfast to help them meet the physically demanding, grueling challenge of drinking bloody marys all morning while shouting and waving at total strangers. This crazy delicious breakfast casserole is the perfect padding for all that vodka, and is also super easy to make the night before. It’s not low-fat or healthy, but anybody who’s really worried about that is probably running sprints right now, not reading the Luscious Pastry blog. Some slightly white trash store-bought rolls are the foundation of the dish and speed preparation. Time is of the essence when you have to get up early the next day to  stand along the marathon route holding a sign that says “DON’T YOU THINK YOU’VE ALREADY RUN FAR ENOUGH?”

Ham & Jalapeño Bread Pudding

18 King’s Hawaiian Rolls. Yeah, we know, real classy. (But all that sugar or corn syrup or whatever it is in the rolls balances beautifully with the salty ham.)
2 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar
6 oz good ham, chopped. (The better the ham, the better this will be, so we’re not talkin’ lunch meat here)
5 large eggs
1 cup milk and ¾ cup cream.
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
2 large fresh jalapeños, seeds removed, sliced.
2 Tbsp butter, in pieces

use good eggs and ham, SamIam

use good eggs and ham, SamIam

This is so fast… on your mark, get set, go!  Butter a 9 x 13 pan. Tear the rolls into roughly 2” pieces. Place half the bread pieces in the bottom of the pan, cover with the chopped ham and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Cover with remaining bread pieces. Beat the eggs with the milk, cream, onion powder, salt and pepper, and pour over the bread mixture. Top with an additional ½ cup cheese and jalapeño slices. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the casserole so the eggs mixture permeates the bread, and the wrap touches the top of the casserole. Refrigerate overnight–– or for at least 6 hours. Even if you get home from the honytonk at 2am, you should still be good.

The next morning, preheat oven to 360º. Remove plastic wrap and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then uncover. Top with butter pieces and remaining cheese, and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes more.  Pin a paper number to your shirt and give yourself a medal, it’s bloody mary time.

jalapeno and ham breading pudding

(Y’all we can’t talk about marathons without our thoughts turning to last year’s tragedy in Boston. We were shocked and saddened for the victims, and incredibly impressed by the spirt of the city of Boston.)
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