Archive | February, 2012

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

8 Feb

I promised you a yummy dessert recipe yesterday. So, here it is!

I love lemon, anything that has REAL lemon in it (not that fake stuff) is the bomb.com in my opinion. I love lemon desserts in the spring and summer especially, when you’d rather have something fresh and bright tasting rather than something super decadent and rich. Even though it is not quite springtime, I have been craving something like this for the past few weeks. It made me feel like it was summer time, until 4 seconds later when I remembered that is rained here non stop from September up until like 2 days ago.

I’ve already showed you that I love playing around with cupcake flavors and what better way to showcase delicious and sweet Meyer lemons!

If you’ve never tried a Meyer lemon, you must try one ASAP. It’s very important that you do because if you don’t, well then you’re just missing out on something delicious. They are much sweeter than a regular lemon and are delicious if you substitute them for regular lemons in your favorite lemon dessert. Just make sure that you use a little less sugar as they are fairly sweet on their own.

These cupcakes are a little more involved than a regular cupcake just because of the lemon curd filling, but trust me, they’re worth the extra time and effort.

Ignore my freaky hand. Why do hands look so weird in food photos?

Yum.

Modified from my Fluffy Vanilla Cupcake recipe.

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes:
Makes 12 cupcakes

for the cupcakes:
1/2 cup room temperature Butter
2/3 cup Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Zest of one Meyer lemon
1 1/2 cup Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Milk
2 tbsp Meyer lemon juice

for the Lemon Curd:

Zest and Juice of 3 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter

for the frosting:
1 cup (two sticks) butter at room temperature
2 tbsp Meyer lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup milk

for the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cups.

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light, gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla and lemon zest. Beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a measuring cup, mix together the milk and lemon juice, set aside for 3-5 minutes.

With the mixture on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk/lemon mixture. Mix until just combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners and bake the cupcakes for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove to cool on a wire rack to cool completely.

for the Lemon Curd:

In a double boiler or metal bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, sugar and eggs. Add the butter and heat until melted, whisking constantly.  Cook until thickened and thermometer reads 160 degrees. Remove and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled.

for the frosting:

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the lemon juice and mix until combined. On medium speed using the whisk attachment, alternate adding the sugar and cream until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and turn the mixer to high. Mix for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

to assemble the cupcakes:

Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled. Using a small serrated knife cut out about 3/4 inch round piece of cake from the center of the cupcake. Using the knife, dig out the cake from the hole that you cut, making sure to leave about an inch of cake at the bottom (aka don’t dig all the way through.)

With a small spoon, scoop about a teaspoon of the lemon curd at a time, into the holes in the cupcakes until filled. Repeat with all the cupcakes. Once filled, frost the cupcakes using a knife or piping bag.
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Creamy Cranberry Chicken Pockets

6 Feb

How’s everyone feeling after all the Super Bowl celebrations?

I pretty much woke up yesterday and did not stop eating the.entire.day. Which to me, is a great day. Other than hockey (Go Canucks!) I am not much of a sports fan, so I ended up napping through the first half of the game. Luckily Mr. Delish woke me up just in time for the half time show.

Last week I asked a few of my friends for recipe ideas since I planned on cooking all day Saturday. One of my girl friends from work requested that I figure out a recipe for chicken wrapped in puff pastry, so this is what I came up with.

These would be perfect to make ahead of time and freeze. Then when you need a quick dinner, all you have to do is pop them in the oven and you have a delicious dinner in about half an hour.

First you will start by seasoning some chicken breasts and browning them off for about 5 minutes on each side until almost completely cooked through and nice and brown on both sides.

Next you will need a a sheet of puff pastry. The grocery store that I shop at has an excellent all butter puff pastry. You’d be seriously insane to make this stuff yourself.

Lay out the sheet on a floured work surface. Sprinkle some more flour all over the top of the pastry as well and roll the pastry out slightly. Just until its about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut the pastry into 4 equal rectangles.

Next grab some cream cheese and some cranberry sauce. You can make your own cranberry sauce but I know the vast majority of people really wouldn’t have time for that.

Now spread some cream cheese along the center of each rectangle.


Follow with the cranberry sauce.

Now add your cooked chicken breast.

Now just fold in the ends of your dough to create a little sealed packet. Make sure to pinch the seals so they are nice and securely closed.

Now you’ll wanna flip them over and place them seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

And coat them with egg wash….which I forgot to take a picture of, cause well, I’m a ditz.

Bake them for about 25 minutes until browned and crisp!

And I’m going to use the ditz excuse again. I forgot to take a picture of the little guys cut open so you could see the filling. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was really hungry at this point. Or maybe it was because Mr. Delish was really hungry and was pulling on my hoodie and asking how much longer till dinner.

Just joking, he didn’t do that on this particular evening.

Creamy Cranberry Chicken Pockets:
Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
1 sheet of puff pastry (half a package)
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
1 egg, beaten

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and make sure the oven rack is in the center position. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Season your chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large saute pan over medium high heat melt the butter until bubbly. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes until nice and browned on the first side. Flip them over and cook for another 5 minutes or so. They will be nice and browned and almost cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and cover and refrigerate for 15 – 20 mins until cooled.

Sprinkle a clean work surface with a little more than half of the flour and lay down the puff pastry sheet. Sprinkle the top of the pastry with the rest of the flour and roll out the dough just slightly, until its about 1/8 inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 4 equal sized rectangles.

Spread each of the rectangles with equal amounts of the cream cheese and then do the same with the cranberry sauce.

Fold in the short ends of the pastry and then fold in the sides and pinch the seams to make sure they’re securely closed.

Place them seam side down on the baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed and golden.

Allow to cool slightly before eating as the insides are going to be smoking hot!

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BBQ Chicken Stromboli

2 Feb

Okay so is anyone else confused by this whole Groundhog thing? In Canada, our two veteran Groundhogs both came out of the ground and DID NOT see their shadows, hence we will have an early spring. YAY?

No, not quite. In the US, the resident Groundhog from Pennsylvania came out of the ground and promptly saw his shadow and is predicting 6 more weeks of winter.

What the what? I’m not sure which furry friend to believe.

On one hand my fellow Canadian Groundhogs Shubencadie Sam and and Wiarton Willie are telling me it’s almost flip flop season. Meanwhile Punxsutawney Phil, who seems like an equally trusted source, is saying that I’m going to have to keep wearing my boots for another 6 weeks.

Okay so on a non-groundhog related note, the other day I told you guys about that Stromboli that Lauren made which basically blew my mind. I posted my step by step pictures of the exact one that Lauren made and now, as promised, I will show you my spin on the recipe.

This recipe would be excellent for this weekends Super Bowl! Your friends and family will scarf it all down so make sure you make a few. You can easily play around with the flavors and just use your favorite pizza toppings. 

Start by rolling out your dough on a 9 x 13 baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spread your favorite BBQ sauce on just over half of the dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the whole thing.

Now if you’re smart and organized, you would add half of the cheese at this point, but I’m silly and I forgot. Don’t be like me.

I added the chicken first and then the cheese, and it seemed to work out just fine.

Now toss on the caramelized onions.

Mmm…Caramelized…

Now add the cilantro and the rest of the cheese.

Okay, now its time to roll. Start by folding in the short ends.

Now grab and egg and beat it. Using a pastry brush, brush the open edge with some egg wash.

Now roll it up as tightly as possible.

Look at this cutie.

Now cut some diagonal slices into the top of the roll, and brush the whole thing with more egg wash.

Sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some chopped fresh parsley.

I think it looks pretty good already!

Bake for 8-10 minutes until crisp and browned on the outside and freaking molten lava hot on the inside.

I strongly suggest waiting about 3-4 minutes for the cheese to cool before you cut into this to avoid potential third degree burns to your taste buds.

Mmmm cheesy.

This just in! The groundhog from Syracuse, Charlie G. Hogg, has decided that Spring will come early this year! I say 3 against 1. In your face, Punxsutawney Phil.

BBQ Chicken Stromboli:
Serves 4 as a meal or about 8 as an appetizer or snack

1/2 lb pizza dough (use your favorite store bought dough or you can use my easy recipe)
2 cups BBQ sauce
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 cups freshly grated mozzarella
1/4 cup caramelized onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 egg beaten
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and place the rack in the center position.

In a medium bowl toss the chicken with about half of the BBQ sauce and set aside.

Roll out your pizza dough on a 9×13 baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spread the remaining BBQ sauce on just a little more than half of of the dough, leaving about a 1 inch border around the whole thing.

Sprinkle on half of the mozzarella, followed by the chopped BBQ chicken.

Add the caramelized onions, cilantro and the rest of the mozzarella.

Fold in the short ends slightly and then brush the open long side with egg wash.

Roll the whole thing up lengthwise into a tight roll and place it with the seam side facing down. Using a sharp knife, slice into the top of the roll diagonally about 5-6 times. Brush the whole roll with egg wash and then sprinkle with the Parmesan and parsley.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until browned and crisp on the outside. Warning, the cheese is going to be freaking hot, so let it rest for 3-4 minutes before slicing into pieces.

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