Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, by Tika for Chew Wanna Eat?

     Bob loves Strawberry Rhubarb pie.  I think it’s his very favorite dessert.  I had some frozen Rhubarb and fresh Strawberries.  I thought about making him a pie.  I thought about it long and hard.  Then I decided NO pie.  I don’t like making crusts.  So, Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp it was.  Oh my heavens to Betsy.  It is so delicious.  Here’s how I did it:

FILLING:

3 ½ +/- cups Rhubarb, cut into 1/2” pieces (don’t peel)

3 ½ +/- cups fresh Strawberries, cut in half or quarters

3/4 cup Sugar

3 rounded TBSP quick-cook Tapioca

¼ tsp Nutmeg

½ cup Orange Juice

1 ½ tsp Orange Zest

FILLING PREPARATION:

     Toss the Rhubarb, Strawberries, Sugar, Tapioca, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Orange Juice in a large bowl.    

     Pour Filling in an ungreased 8” x 13” baking dish.  (Anything close to this size will work fine).

TOPPING:

1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar

¼ Cup Wheat Flour

¼ cup white Flour

¼ cup Butter, chopped

¾ – 1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Dashes of Salt

TOPPING PREPARATION:

     In the same bowl, use a pastry blender or two butter knives to chop topping ingredients until butter is in small pieces and mixture is crumbled.

     Sprinkle topping over Strawberry/Rhubarb mixture

     Bake at 375°  F for 45 – 50 min or until all that deliciousness is bubbling and Topping is browned.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Beignets (pronounced benyay) a New Orleans confection. Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated.

If you’ve never had a Beignet before you’re really missing out. A Beignet is deep fried pastry similar to a choux pastry. Personally, I’d say the taste is similar to a funnel cake, but more delicate in texture. They are barely crispy on the outside, and full of holes on the inside. A traditional New Orleans Beignet is dusted with Confectioner’s Sugar, but I did half of mine dusted with a Cinnamon Sugar mixture. They are not filled, so if you’d like a fruit jam to go with them, serve on the side. Grape, Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Strawberry Jams, or Lemon Curd would be delicious! The photos are mine, but the recipe belongs to Cook’s Illustrated. Don’t be afraid to try them. Not hard at all! You don’t even need a mixer. Just a bowl and either a wooden spoon or a whisk.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Blueberry Crumble Coffee Cake

      We were very happy with this cake.  It’s feathery light and tender.  You can adjust the blueberries with no issues, my husband likes lots of berries, me – not so much. I love being able to taste the cake, and this one is a keeper!  I used frozen berries, but thawed them first.  I believe you could substitute Raspberries, or chopped Apples.  I haven’t tried it yet, but planning on it.

CAKE INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 12 Servings

1 cup Butter (2 sticks), room temp

2 cups Sugar

4 large Eggs

¼ tsp Salt

1 TBSP Baking Powder

¼ cup Canola or Vegetable Oil

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

4 cups AP Flour

2 – 2 ½ cups Blueberries

CRUMBLE TOPPING:

½ cup Light Brown Sugar

5 TBSP Butter. cold

¼ cup + 1 TBSP AP Flour

1 tsp Cinnamon, ground

VANILLA GLAZE:

3/4 cup Confectionary Sugar, sifted

1 ½ – 2 TBSP Milk

½ tsp Vanilla Extract

OPTIONAL: ½ tsp Cinnamon, ground

 CAKE PREPARATION:

     In mixer bowl, cream Butter and Sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  (About 3 minutes.) 

     Add eggs and beat until well combined. 

     Add Salt, Baking Powder, Oil, and Vanilla, and mix until combined. 

     Add Flour in batches, giving it a quick mix with a spatula after each addition so it doesn’t fly all over your kitchen.

     Lightly fold in the Blueberries

     Pour into Buttered 9” x 13” baking dish. 

CINNAMON CRUMBLE PREPARATION:

     In a small bowl, add Brown Sugar, Butter, Flour, and Cinnamon.  Using a pastry blender, work it until you have a crumbled consistency.  Don’t over mix or you’ll end up with a very flat crumble.  You want it to be pea-sized.

     Using a large spoon, shake the Crumble on top of Cake Batter.

     Bake cake at 350° F for 40 minutes.  Use toothpick test by inserting toothpick into center of cake.  If it is clean when you pull it out, your cake is done.

GLAZE:

     Place a small strainer over a bowl, and sift the Confectionary Sugar by pressing with the back and edge of a spoon.  Add Milk and Vanilla.  (Add Cinnamon if using).  Mix well with spoon until no lumps remain.

     Test to see if it’s of drizzling consistency.  If it’s too thick, add a few extra drops of Milk.  If it’s too thin, add extra Confectionary Sugar.

     Let cake cool for 10 – 15 minutes, and then drizzle Glaze over cake.  

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Chocolate No-Bake Samoa Cake

If you love Samoa cookies, you’re going to love this no-bake cake!  This is my chocolate version.  Samoa cookies have chocolate on the bottom, right? I love the taste of Chocolate Graham Crackers with French Vanilla Pudding between the layers.  Then when you top it with Caramel ice cream syrup?  Oh my!  So good.  So easy.  

     If you are a coconut lover and someone else in the family doesn’t care for it, omit it on half of the cake.  You will only need ½ cup of coconut if you do this. And don’t forget to eyeball the exact middle, so you can make your coconut side a little bit bigger.  Ha ha.

     Here is how I make mine:

INGREDIENTS:   Yield 9” x 13” pan

2 small (3.4 oz) packages of Vanilla or French Vanilla Instant Pudding

2 ¾ cups milk

1/3 cup caramel ice cream syrup

8 oz. Cool Whip

Chocolate Graham Crackers (2 sleeves)

FROSTING:

3 TBSP butter

3 TBSP milk

4 TBSP cocoa powder

1 cup Confectioner’s Sugar

½ tsp vanilla

2 dashes salt

TOPPING:

1 cup toasted coconut

Extra Caramel Sauce to drizzle

PREPARATION:

     In mixer bowl, beat pudding and milk on low speed for a couple of minutes.  Add 1/3 cup caramel and mix until combined.  Add Cool Whip and beat only until thoroughly mixed in.  While you’re mixing, toast the coconut in your toaster oven. Keep your eye on it.  It browns quickly.

     9” x 13” pan, no need for greasing.  Layer graham crackers to cover bottom of pan.  You’ll have to cut a few in order to avoid any bare spots. 

    Pour half of pudding mixture on top of graham crackers.  Layer another layer of crackers and pour remaining pudding mixture on top.  Put it in the refrigerator while you make your frosting.

FROSTING PREPARATION:

     Put butter and milk in a small bowl and heat until butter is melted, stirring halfway through.  Add cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and confectioner’s sugar, beating with whisk until smooth and lump free.  Pour over cake and spread with an offset spatula or back of a spoon.  Don’t worry if some of the pudding mix combines with the Frosting.  This is normal.  Once you sprinkle on the coconut and drizzle extra Caramel Sauce on top, you won’t notice.

     Place toasted coconut on top and drizzle with caramel sauce.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a good four hours.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Cranberry, Orange, and White Chocolate Cookies

     Outstandingly delicious Cookies that are sure to please anyone.  I think they make a delicious cookie to serve at Holidays.  I can picture them being served at a fancy English Tea.  They aren’t overly sweet, the fresh Cranberries, Orange Zest, and White Chocolate Chips add a subtle background flavor without overpowering the Cookies. 

     I had some Cranberries in my freezer which I rinsed, put in a small food chopper, and then popped them in the toaster oven for a few minutes.  I wanted to make sure they would cook because 12 ½ minutes in the oven might not have done it.  If you decide to use them without cooking, let me know how it turned out. 

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 40 cookies

2 sticks Butter, room temp

½ cup Sugar

1 Egg Yolk (cook the white for your dog)

1 ½ tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Orange Zest, finely grated for a subtle flavor (Add more if you want it stronger)

2 dashes Salt

2 cups AP Flour

¾ cup Cranberries, chopped

1 cup White Chocolate Chips (Semi-Sweet would be delicious also)

PREPARATION:

     Preheat oven to 375° F.  These cookies are not meant to brown on the bottoms.  I find that Stoneware, or a baking sheet with a silicone sheet is best.

     In mixer bowl, cream Butter for 2 minutes on medium speed.  Add Sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

     Add Egg Yolk, Salt, Vanilla, and Orange Zest.  Beat until combined.  Add Flour and beat until well incorporated, but not over mixed.  Add Cranberries and Chocolate Chips.  Beat or stir in.

     With a 1” Cookie scoop, drop dough onto prepared baking sheet.  They don’t spread much, so about 1 ½” in between is fine.  Bake for 12 ½ to 13 minutes.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Apple Cinnamon Lasagna Cake

     I wanted cake.  I didn’t feel like a cake with gobs of frosting, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted.  I needed something lighter.  I quickly scanned my fridge and counter.  I had strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and 2 frozen bananas.  Nope.  I wasn’t salivating, so none of them were going to work.  I had one apple.  What to do; what to make. 

     Just like you see in the cartoons, a light bulb went off.  It nearly blinded me, but luckily I’m OK now. 

     I made a loaf cake and layered it with apples, dates, walnuts and a brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Of course you can skip the dates if you want, but I love them!   You could substitute Craisins instead of dates, or Raisins.  I’m sure any of them would be perfect with the apple/cinnamon/walnut flavors.  You don’t have to do any swirling, just layer the ingredients and you’ll end up with an absolutely delicious cake with a moist tender crumb.  No frosting needed.

     Sprinkling a little cinnamon sugar (the same as you’d put on toast) on top turned the exposed walnuts into candied nuts.  Oh my!!!  Ice cream with caramel sauce drizzled when serving?  Or ice cream with chocolate fudge sauce drizzled?  YES, please!

INGREDIENTS

1 rounded tsp cinnamon

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 stick salted butter

2 large eggs

¼ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp vanilla

1 ¾ tsp baking powder

1 ½ cups flour

½ cup milk

¾ cup chopped apple (1 medium apple)

5 or 6 dates, chopped (or chocolate chips, raisins, or craisins)

¼ cup chopped walnuts

Extra cinnamon and granulated sugar for sprinkling on top

Caramel sauce and Ice Cream are optional, but highly recommended

PREPARATION:

     In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and brown sugar with a fork, removing any lumps.  Set aside.

     In mixer bowl, beat sugar and butter for about 2 minutes at medium speed.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add Vanilla, salt, and baking powder.  Alternately add flour and milk, mixing until incorporated.

     In a standard 5” x 9” loaf pan, butter the sides and bottom.  Optional:  Sprinkle Cinnamon/Sugar mix on bottom and sides of pan.  Pour in approximately ¾” batter to cover the bottom of pan and sprinkle about 1/3 of the walnuts on top.  Add half of remaining batter, sprinkle half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, half the apples, and about 1/3 the walnuts on top.  Add remaining batter, remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, remaining apples, and the last of the walnuts.  Press lightly with your fingers or a fork to embed the toppings.  You don’t want them falling off later.

BAKE at 350°F for about 40-42 minutes.  Use toothpick test.  The top will be golden brown and if you used a glass loaf pan, you’ll be able to see that the sides are a nice rich brown.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Apple Fritters

I don’t ever remember having an Apple Fritter before.  Not because they weren’t available in doughnut shops, but because I always go for Boston Cream.  Bob, on the other hand is a huge fan of Apple Fritters.  Sometimes because he does so much for me, I’ll feel extremely generous and cook or bake something that I don’t care all that much for.  Lol  So . . . let me just say that Bob is no longer the only fan of Apple Fritters.  Oh myyyyyyy!  They were so good eaten while still warm with that lovely Apple Cider Glaze.  I glazed them after about 5 minutes of cooling time, then drizzled them again about 10 minutes later, and since there was still some Glaze left, had enough to drizzle a third time.  So don’t double the recipe ingredients.  I also had Fuji Apples, so that’s what I used.  They’re sweeter than Granny Smith, but worked perfectly.

     This recipe is not mine.  It is an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.  I made a few minor changes i.e. frying them in Crisco.  I have a vague memory of my grandma making doughnuts that way.  I added extra cinnamon because of my addiction to cinnamon.  I also used salted Butter and reduced the Salt they called for down to a good half tsp instead of a full tsp. 

     All in all, I have to say that these were very fun to make, super simple, and disappeared in a flash.  I’m happy that I shot pics before people dove into them!

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS ABOUT 15 FRITTERS

FRITTERS:

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼”pieces (I used Fuji) About 2 ½ – 2 ¾ cups

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup apple cider

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 cups peanut or vegetable oil (I used Crisco)

GLAZE:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup apple cider

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

PREPARATION:

       Make sure to cut the Apples in ¼” pieces.  The Fritters fry quickly, and you want to be sure that the Apples will cook.  Spread them in a single layer on paper towel–lined baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels.

         Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in large bowl. Whisk to combine.

     Whisk cider, eggs, and melted butter in medium bowl until combined. Stir apples into flour mixture. Stir in cider mixture until incorporated.

     Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat to 350 degrees. Use 1/3-cup measure to transfer 5 heaping portions of batter to oil. (I was more comfortable with 3 Fritters per batch.  Do them one at a time and immediately press the Batter with the back of a spoon to flatten.  Otherwise they rise too thickly and the centers won’t cook. Fry, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees, until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

     Transfer fritters to wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Check the temp between batches to make sure the oil stays close to 350 degrees.  Let fritters cool 5 minutes.      Meanwhile, whisk confectioners’ sugar, cider, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl until smooth. Top each fritter with 1 heaping tablespoon glaze. Let glaze set 10 minutes. Repeat with any leftover Glaze. 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Raspberry White Chocolate Cake

     We all loved the Orange White Chocolate Cake so much I decided to make a Raspberry one.  It would be a great cake for the holiday weekend!! 

INGREDIENTS:

White Cake Mix (3 egg whites, 1/3 cup Canola Oil, 1 ¼ cups Water)

One 4 Serving Size Box of Instant White Chocolate Pudding

2 cups Cold Milk

1 tsp Raspberry Extract

Optional:  2 drops Red Food Coloring

GANACHE:

1/4 cup Good White Chocolate Melting Disks or White Baking Chocolate

1 ½ TBSP heavy cream

PREPARATION:

     Butter the bottom of a 13” x 9” cake.  Bake cake according to package directions.  Let cool for 5 minutes. With a 5/8” * handle of a wooden spoon, randomly poke holes in the cake.  Brush off any crumbs.

     Mix Pudding with Milk, Extract, and Food Coloring.  Beat vigorously for about 90 seconds with a whisk.  Pour immediately over partially cooled Cake. Chill at least an hour.

Ganache Prep:  In a microwave-safe bowl, cook White Chocolate and Heavy Cream for 20 seconds.  Stir.  Heat another 5 seconds, stir, and it should be melted.  Let cool for a minute or two, and then drizzle over Pudding.  Let chill for a few hours.

My secrets for success:  You will find that a ½” or smaller handle will not make big enough holes for the Pudding to sink into them.  If you don’t have a 5/8” wooden spoon, look for a screw driver handle, a magic marker handle or something else that’s close to 5/8”.

Don’t over beat the Pudding or it will begin setting up, and again, will not sink properly into the holes.  Don’t let the Pudding sit too long after preparation or again, it will set up and won’t want to sink into the holes. Mix it and pour it immediately.  A few light bangs on the counter will also help settle the Pudding.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Chocolate Swirl Banana Cream Pie

     If you’ve been following Chew Wanna Eat? for any length of time and actually read my ramblings, you know that some of my best creations just pop into my head.  I’ll get a craving for something (today it was Banana Cream Pie), and then I’ll think to myself, Oooooh, what if I made a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust instead of a Regular Pie Crust?  Ooooooh, what if I add some sort of Chocolate to the Filling?  And there you have it.

     This Pie is SOOOOO good.  I always make my Cream-Style Pies with Homemade Filling.  It’s simple, takes less than ten minutes, and once you try it, you’ll never use Pudding again.  This is the first time I made this Pie.  The Crust and Filling are tried and true, but I’ve never added a Chocolate Crust to a Banana Cream Pie before, nor have I ever added a Chocolate Swirl.  Not gonna be the last time I make it; I’ll tell you what! 

Chocolate Graham Cracker Pie Crust Ingredients

1 sleeve (approx. 9 whole) Chocolate Graham Crackers

¼ cup Sugar

¼ cup Butter, melted

PREPARATION: 

     Place whole Graham Crackers in a ½ gallon plastic bag.  Close the bag with its zipper or use a twist tie.  You can either roll the crackers into crumbs with a rolling pin, or do what I do.  Take a nice heavy meat mallet and pretend you’re playing whack-a-mole.  That’s right.  Whack those suckers into crumbs.  It only takes about 30 seconds.  Flip the bag over here and there to make sure there are no large pieces left.  Open the bag and pour the crumbs into a small bowl.

     Add your Sugar and stir with a whisk.  Slowly drizzle in the melted Butter. 

     Using your fingers, the bottom of a glass, the bottom of a smooth measuring cup or something similar, press the mixture into a 9” pie plate.

     Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside until cooled.

PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS:  Yields one 9” Pie

1 cup Sugar

½ cup + 1 TBSP AP Flour

A couple dashes Salt

3 TBSP Butter

3 cups Milk

4 egg yolks (Use whites for Meringue, Omelets, or cook for the dogs)

1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

3 medium Bananas

¾ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

PREPARATION:

     Place the yolks in a small bowl and lightly whisk or beat with a fork.   Set aside.

     In a medium saucepan over medium heat add Sugar, Flour, and Salt.  Whisk to incorporate.  Add Butter and Milk.  Continue cooking and whisking constantly until mixture begins to boil.  Turn heat down a little and continue cooking and whisking for 2 more minutes.  DO NOT WALK AWAY!  You’ll end up with a scorched bottom if you do. 

     Remove from heat.  Bring the Yolk bowl close to your saucepan and begin adding a TBSP or so of the hot mixture into the Yolks, stirring after each addition.  Continue doing this until you have added about 1 cup of the mixture.  (You have just tempered your eggs!  Simple, right?)

     Return the saucepan to the stove and pour the Yolk mixture into the filling mixture.  Continue whisking.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the Vanilla and whisk in.

     Let your Filling cool for 15-20 minutes.  I like to Whisk it here and there to help it cool faster.  Now, the next fun part is to drop your Chocolate Chips into the cooling Filling.  I don’t throw them all in at once, I add a small handful at a time, and then stir a bit to create the swirl.  Keep adding and stirring lightly until you have a nice swirl.

     Place sliced Banana on top of the crust until it’s covered pretty well.  I usually use about 1 ½ of the Bananas in this step.  Pour about half of the Filling on top.  Do another layer of sliced Bananas, add the remainder of the Filling.  If you want to do the Meringue, make it now.  Personally, I like Whipped Cream on Banana Cream Pie, so I never make Meringue, but if you love it, make it.  I know where you’ll find 4 Egg Whites!  Lol

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Raspberry Apple Pie with Crisp Topping

     Today was one of those days.  A day where I wanted something sweet, but wasn’t sure what I wanted.  I wanted cookies, but didn’t feel like making them.  I kind of wanted Apple Crisp, I kind of wanted to figure out a way to make Raspberry Crisp.  I checked the freezer and only had a partial bag of Raspberries.  Time for my trouble-making, kitchen-destroying thinking cap.  Take a look at that dessert!  Is it not beautiful?  Wait until you make one.  Oh my!  It’s knock your socks off good!

INGREDIENTS:

One 9” Pie Shell, Unbaked

4 large Cooking Apples (Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Granny Smith, etc.)

1 ¼ cups Fresh Raspberries, or Frozen and Thawed

2-3 TBSP Cinnamon/Sugar mixture

1 TBSP Sugar

1-2 TBSP AP Flour

TOPPING:

¼ cup Wheat Flour

¼ cup AP Flour

½ cup Brown Sugar

¾ tsp Cinnamon

¼ cup Butter, chilled

PREPARATION:

     Thaw Raspberries if frozen and set aside.  Drain.  Stir in 1 TBSP of Sugar and taste an apple.  If too tart, add a little more Sugar.

     Peel and quarter Apples.  Feel free to use a mixture of Apple varieties.  Slice about 1/8” thick.  Place in large bowl.  With a large spoon, mix in enough of the Cinnamon/Sugar mixture to suit your taste.  I always taste the apples after adding Cinnamon/Sugar.  Depending on tartness of Apples, you may need to adjust. 

     Add the drained Raspberries and stir to incorporate with the Apples.  If you end up with a puddle of liquid at the bottom you will end up with a very juicy pie and possibly a soggy crust.  You may want to add 1 TBSP AP Flour, stir again and watch for a puddle to form at the bottom.  If still too much, add a bit more Flour.  Pour into Pie Shell.

     In the same bowl, make the Topping.  Mix the Flours, Brown Sugar, and Cinnamon.  Stir with a fork.  Cut the chilled Butter into chunks and mix with a Pastry Blender until crumbly.  Don’t over-mix.  You want some pea-sized pieces, not a smooth mixture.  (See photo).  Sprinkle mixture on top of Apple/Raspberry mixture.

     Bake at 375° F for 50-55 minutes.  You want the Apples to be tender.  You can poke with a fork to test.  The Topping should be browned.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019