It was the 1920’s. The place, Chicago, Illinois. Francois and Antoinette Pope made they mark on the culinary scene first with the Antoinette Pope School of Fancy Cookery. Then came the television show hosted by the couple. Finally, their cookbook, The Antoinette Pope School Cookbook. I would never have known about any of this had one of the Pope family members not presented me with a copy of the cookbook. The more I read about the Pope’s, (on line there are even blogs about the cooking duo with comments by the many people who graduated from their school or who have called the cookbook their “go-to” cooking bible), the more fascinated I became with their story. The Crunchy Top Butter Cake is one of the many delightful recipes from an American heritage cookbook that elevated the art of cooking to “Fancy Cookery.”
If you want to bake up a scrumptious Snickerdoodle cookie with that classic soft and chewy texture, there are a couple of tips to get you the best results. First, don’t skimp on the cream of tartar. That’s what gives the Snickerdoodle that twist of tanginess. (If you don’t have it, go buy a nice fresh bottle. You may be making these a lot!) Next, whisking the butter and sugar together for a long time is important because it whips air into the cookie dough, which helps make them soft and chewy. So whisk for at least 5 minutes until light and super fluffy. (Christina Tosi, cookbook author and owner of the award-winning Milk Bar Bakery says that under-whisking the butter and sugar is the biggest mistake home cooks make.) Then, don’t over bake the cookies. You want that chewy center. Finally, roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture twice. The topping here is just as important as the batter. So now, go gather up your room temperature butter, eggs and the rest of the ingredients, because, a day without a Snickerdoodle is just plain crummy!
I would never have thought of putting these two delectable treats together to create one memorable dessert. But that’s exactly what happens when you combine Greek Baklava with New York cheesecake. What you get is a delicious, creamy cheesecake filling in a sweet and crunchy phyllo dough cup. The individual servings can be made in a cupcake pan, but are much more suited for muffin tins. Got a special event coming up? The Baklava Cheesecake Cups, with their sweetened raspberries and sugared rosemary twig garnish will provide the wow factor on your dessert plate both in flavor and presentation!
Growing up Italian, homemade meatballs were a dinner staple enjoyed over pasta, in a sub roll or as savory appetizers before the main meal. But last week, while teaching a cooking class on Greek foods, I had to set my Italian roots aside and absolutely drool over Greek Meatballs known as Soutzoukakia. These morsels of magic have a wonderful combination of spices like cumin, cinnamon and oregano with a red sauce that completely enrobes them with even more flavor! Greek Meatballs are delicious with seasoned Orzo, rice or, dare I say, on a bed of Italian pasta?
There’s always room for another dessert with pumpkin spice around this time of the year, right? If you love pumpkin pie or tiramisu, this is a fun and delicious recipe to try! My favorite part of the process was making the lady fingers. (They’re also a tasty snack and great for dunking in your pumpkin-spiced latte!) If you’re looking to change up your tradition Thanksgiving feast or just want to celebrate the season, Pumpkin Tiramisu will be a fun way to spend time filling your kitchen with delicious aromas and flavors of fall!
Homemade fresh-out-of-the-oven apple pie ala mode. Pretty hard to beat. When I got a letter this week from Sun City resident Eva Meeks, it included a recipe for an award-winning apple pie that she had clipped from a magazine a few years ago. Here’s part of Eva’s letter:
“During the 4th of July holiday I hosted a pot luck for my family and decided to bake my favorite apple pie. I’ve been making it for several years now, and it’s always a big hit. Apparently this pie won some blue ribbons at state and county fairs. All I know is it wins hearts every time I make it for friends and family. It has a surprise filling that really adds a nice flavor. I thought you’d like to try it.”
Well, Eva, you thought right! I wasted no time peeling the Granny Smith apples and mixing up the “surprise” filling. I’m so happy Eva “blind bakes” (also known as pre-baking) her bottom crust. I’ve always done that as well because the bottom shell stays somewhat crispy after filling and baking. I’m also a fan of cooking my apples just to soften before filling the pie shell. Eva softens her apples in the microwave and then adds the rest of the ingredients. If you’re an apple pie lover, dish this one up with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’ll be in for a big surprise!