Category Archives: Dessert

Coconut Almond Brownie Bites – California

We love almonds and so does California. The Golden State produces about 80 percent of the world’s almonds and the entire U.S. supply.

A combo of brownies and Almond JoysAlmonds are one of the highest sources of Vitamin D and magnesium and are a tasty way to pack in some protein post-workout.

This recipe definitely falls into the indulgent category but we love the combo of almonds with coconut and chocolate. For a bit of a flavor boost, toast the almonds on a dry skillet on medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, watching closely so that they do not burn.

Coconut Almond Brownie Bites

Coconut Almond Brownie Bites

  • Servings: 30
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
• Brownie mix
• 1 ¼ cups sweetened coconut
• 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
• 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
• 30 almonds, toasted

Instructions
In a medium sized bowl, prepare brownie mix according to directions on box. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine coconut, condensed milk and powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Add muffin liners to mini muffin trays. Add one teaspoon brownie batter, then two teaspoons coconut mixture. Add one almond and then top with one teaspoon brownie batter. Repeat to fill approximately 30 mini muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Let set for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on wire rack.

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Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze – Kentucky

Hey racing fans, do you have your fancy hat and cute dress ready? It’s Derby Week in Louisville. Quintessential foods include mint juleps (see our tip for pumping up the mint flavor), and Hot Browns

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze - Kentuckyhot turkey club sandwiches with bacon and Mornay sauce). For dessert, how about a slice of Chocolate Bourbon Bundt cake? Moist, delicious and fragrant with bourbon, this cake will be the hit of your Derby watch party.

If you have time for other activities in Louisville, check out the Ali Center, dedicated to the life, principles, and legacy of the champion boxer, Muhammed Ali.

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze - Kentucky

 

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans

 Instructions

In microwave or double boiler, heat unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Set aside until cool. In a large heat proof cup, add boiling water. Add cocoa powder and salt, whisk until dissolved. Add bourbon. Set aside until cool.

In the bowl of stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed, about 2 minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and then the cooled, melted chocolate. Beat until incorporated.

In a clean bowl, add flour and baking soda. With the mixer on low, add a third of the flour mixture, then a third of the bourbon/cocoa mixture, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Repeat 2 more times with a third of the flour mixture, then a third of the bourbon/cocoa mixture.

Grease a bundt pan, then flour the inside with cocoa powder. Pour batter into the pan, then smooth the surface. Bake in 325 degree oven for about 1 hour, checking at the 45 minute mark for doneness.

When cake is cool, invert onto a plate. To make glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar with bourbon (can thin with a bit of milk if the mixture is too stiff). Drizzle on cake, then top with toasted pecans.

Homemade Oatmeal Sandwiches – Tennessee

One of the country’s most iconic brands is Little Debbie snacks and one of its best- selling varieties is the Oatmeal Cream Pie. Founder O.D. McKee started his operation selling snack cakes out of the back

Oatmeal Sandwich cookie

 

of his car during the Depression. They later moved the operation into a bakery, but the business didn’t really take off until 1960 when they began selling family packs with the image of granddaughter Debbie on the box. Based in Collegedale, Tennessee, this family-run company has sold 157 billion snack cakes since that time.

This recipe is a super close recreation of their most famous variety of snack cake. There are quite a few ingredients but the cookies come together fairly quickly. Watch your baking time as you want the cookie to remain soft rather than crunchy.

Believe it or not, Nashville is home to a full-sized replica of Athens’ Parthenon. Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exhibition, the building now serves as Nashville’s art museum. Don’t miss 42-foot sculpture of Greek goddess Athena inside.

 

Homemade Oatmeal Sandwiches

  • Servings: 15 sandwiches
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, whizzed in food processor
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Marshmallow cream (for filling)

Instructions

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (oats through cinnamon). Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and then vanilla. Gradually add in dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Place about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie (for 30 cookies), leaving 2-3 inches of space between cookies to allow for spreading. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (do not over bake). Let sit for 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to completely cool.

To assemble into sandwiches, spread approximately 2 tablespoons marshmallow cream on one cookie. Place another cookie on top.

Maple Cinnamon Walnut Meringues – Vermont

Vermont leads the states in producing maple syrup and the Green Mountain State also has designated your favorite pancake topping

Maple Cinnamon Walnut Meringues - Vermontas the official state flavor. Early spring is sugaring time in the state; the warmer days and still-cool nights cause the maple sap to flow.

We loved the flavors of this meringue cookie. Because there is no flour, this recipe is ideal for those avoiding gluten but who still want Maple Cinnamon Walnut Meringue - Vermont something sweet after dinner. Don’t be intimated by the amount of time these take, most of it is hands off. You then leave the meringues in the oven overnight until they get crunchy.

 If you want to see how maple syrup gets made, check out the Open House Weekend, March 24-25, 2018, when sugarhouses across the state give tours, demos and samples.

Maple Cinnamon Walnut Meringues

  • Servings: 12-24
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Salt for topping
  • Cinnamon for topping

Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites, maple syrup, cream of tartar and salt. With the whisk attachment and on medium high speed, whip ingredients for 5-7 minutes or until meringue is firm and glossy and can hold its shape. With a wooden spoon, gently fold in cinnamon, taking care not to break up the egg whites.

On a two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, portion out the meringues (recipe will make 24 small or 12 large meringues). Top each meringue with chopped walnuts, then dust with additional cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours, rotating the baking sheets occasionally. At this point, the meringues will still be a bit soft. Turn off oven and let them remain inside, preferably overnight or until meringues are crunchy.

Irish Potato Candy – Pennsylvania

Break out your green sweater and practice your Irish step dance moves, it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day. And what better way to

Irish Potato Candy - Pennsylvaniacelebrate than by making these cute candies that look like mini potatoes but taste like coconut heaven.

If you live in the Philadelphia area, these candies start making an appearance at bakeries, candy shops and grocery stores around early March. Their origin is uncertain but some claim they were first made by Irish immigrant candy makers in the late 1800s or the early 1900s.

Irish Potato Candy - PennsylvaniaThis no-cook recipe that we found from The Kitchn couldn’t be easier. To help shape the candies, put the portioned candy batter in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the batter firms up. Then simply shape and dip in cinnamon. Slainte!

 The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia (only open for tours on the weekends) showcases the author and poet who is often called the Master of the Macabre.

Irish Potato Candy

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 2/3 cups sweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Instructions

Using a stand or handheld mixer, combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Beat for 3 minutes until mixture is smooth, occasionally stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar, again, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Add salt and coconut, mixing until incorporated.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, scoop out batter into tablespoon-sized mounds. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes or until candy is cold. Remove baking sheet.

Place cinnamon in a clean, small bowl. Shape each mound into a little potato. Toss each piece of candy in the cinnamon until completely coated.

Sopapillas – Texas

Texas is fortunate to have not one, but two official state pastries, strudel and sopapillas. While you may indulge in sopapillas at your favorite Mexican joint, they are surprisingly easy to make at home.

Sopapillas - TexasThe dough comes together easily and you don’t even need an electric mixer. We opted for a cinnamon sugar dusting for our sopapillas, but you can leave yours unadorned or top them with honey or chocolate sauce.

On the very western edge of Texas sits Big Bend National Park. A spectacular spot for bird watching, visitors can also hike, bike, fish, take river trips or stargaze.

Sopapillas

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • Canola oil (for frying)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add shortening and water. Knead dough with your hands until combined, making sure not to overmix dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or until well chilled.

Remove dough and place on clean work surface. Divide in half. Roll out one dough half into a circle, about 1/4 inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut circle into 8 equal pieces. Repeat with remaining dough half.

Heat canola oil in a large, heavy pot until 375 degrees. While oil is heating, combine sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Working in batches, fry sopapillas, about 2 minutes on each side or until light brown. Remove with spider or slotted spoon. Place in sugar/cinnamon mixture and toss on both sides until sopapilla is well coated. Let cool slightly before serving.

Black Bottom Pie – Alabama

We do love our pies here at StateEats, because, you know …. PIE!! The Black Bottom Pie is a Southern staple. This icebox pie is a very close cousin to the Mississippi Mud Pie, only without the nuts and

Black Bottom Pie - Alabama

liquor. Usually made with a graham cracker crust (or sometimes a gingersnap crust), the black bottom is a chocolate cream layer made with both cocoa powder and chocolate chips. The Gaines Ridge Dinner Club in Camden, Alabama, is said to have a superb Black Bottom Pie. If you can’t make it there, try to get yourself invited to a church potluck or Sunday supper anywhere in the south. Chances are, someone’s grandma made a Black Bottom Pie.

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, is the site where Dr. Martin Luther King planned and led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956 while he was pastor. Still a vibrant congregation, you can attend services or take a tour Tuesday through Saturday.

Black Bottom Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs (about one sleeve, blitzed in food processor)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter, melted in microwave
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt, a pinch

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Salt, pinch
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

For the topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon sugar
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

 Instructions

For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and pinch of salt. Press into bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until crust begins to slightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine cocoa powder, sugar, salt and cornstarch. In a slow stream, add milk and heat on medium, whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Add chocolate chips and stir until incorporated. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and butter. Whisk until smooth and glossy. Pour filling into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

For the topping:  In a medium bowl, add heavy cream and beat with electric mixer on high until mixture begins to thicken. Add sugar and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Add whipped cream on top of chocolate filling. Add chocolate shavings (a vegetable peeler on the edge of a chocolate bar works well) if desired.      

 

Road Trip to Racine for Kringle – Wisconsin

StateEats took a road trip this past week up to Racine, Wisconsin, self-proclaimed Kringle Capital of the World. What is kringle, you ask? Wisconsin’s state pastry (so designated in 2013) is oval shaped,

butter-layered, infused with various fillings and iced on top.

Originally made in Denmark and often served during the holidays,  kringle is the town’s most famous product. Racine (sometimes called Little Copenhagen) is host to four separate bakeries that churn out this wonderful concoction all year round. We sadly didn’t have time to visit all four, so we focused on the biggest operation, O&H Danish Bakery.

O&H Danish Bakery, Racine WI

Christian Olesen began O&H in 1949. Now in its fourth generation of bakers, O&H has five locations. It takes three days to make one

O&H Danish Bakery, Racine, WI

 

O&H Danish Bakery, Racine WI
This is the ancient symbol of the bakers’ guild in Denmark, it is often found on exterior bakery signs in Denmark.

kringle, due to the fact that the dough must rest. Each O&H kringle is comprised of 36 layers.

And the flavors? Just take your pick because it is almost overwhelming with 30-something “everyday” flavors like pecan, blueberry, and cream cheese, as well as seasonal flavors like pumpkin caramel, cranberry, or our choice, a Very Danish Christmas Kringle (pictured below) which is cherry/almond. Delish!Kringle

O&H Kringle, Racine, WI

Kringle is very time consuming and difficult to make. We know because we tried and failed miserably, so we are not posting a recipe. But the good news is that you can order kringle from here and they will ship it right to your house. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Besides picking up kringle, if you visit Racine, check out the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed SC Johnson Headquarters, which is free and open to the public.

Moravian Sugar Cake – North Carolina

Pennsylvania to North Carolina is a damn long walk. But 15 Moravians (German speaking Protestants who were followers of

Moravian Sugar Cake - North Carolina

Czech priest and philosopher Jan Hus) took this walk in 1753 to begin their settlement of Bethabara, located where present day Winston-Salem sits. The Moravian Church continues to thrive, and this cake, often made during Christmas and Easter, is a wonderful Moravian treat.

Moravian Sugar Cake - North CarolinaDewey’s Bakery in Winston-Salem has been around for over 85 years and they make one of the finest. The fun part is poking the indentations in the dough with your finger, all the better to catch that wonderful buttery-brown sugar topping.

History comes alive at Old Salem Museum and Gardens, which presents an authentic view of early Southern life with a special emphasis on Moravians.

Dewey’s Bakery Moravian Sugar Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For dough:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons mashed potatoes
  • 3 teaspoons powdered milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 4 packages dry yeast (1 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup warm water

For topping:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

For dough: In a small bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg, shortening, salt, milk, mashed potato and sugar. With paddle attachment, mix for 4 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, then add 2 types of flour. Continue mixing. Add yeast mixture and mix another 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

Grease a 12 x18 sheet cake pan with sides.  Punch dough down and roll it out so that it can fit into the pan. With a fork, poke holes into the dough. Shape into the pan, making sure the dough touches the sides of the pan.

For topping: In a small saucepan, combine, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Heat until boiling, then remove from heat. With a finger, poke indentations into the dough, making sure not to poke all the way through to the bottom of the pan. Pour the topping all over the dough, spreading with a brush, making sure it is evenly distributed. Let dough rise again, until doubled in height, about 30 minutes.

To finish cake: Bake in a 350 degree oven. At the 10 minute mark, check for bubbles. Pop any bubbles and continue baking for another 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Whoopie Pies – Maine

Whoopie pies are the state treat of Maine (not be confused with the state dessert which is blueberry pie). Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine, takes credit for inventing this confection way back in 1925.

Whoopie Pies - Maine

Whoopie pies come in various flavors combinations (both the cake and the filling), but in our humble opinion, the classic recipe is really the epitome of a perfect dessert. The outside is two soft chocolate cakes, that surround a fluffy, vanilla marshmallow-y filling. YUM! We have been making this recipe for years and years to much acclaim. No one can resist a whoopie pie. Why would you even want to?

Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor is the second most visited national park east of the Mississippi. Visitors who make the trek up Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the Eastern Seaboard, can claim to be the first people to see the sun rise, at least for part of the year.

Whoopie Pies

  • Servings: 12-15 pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For cakes:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar

For filling:

  • 2 cups marshmallow spread
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar

Instructions

For cakes:

In a medium bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg and oil. Mix well until well combined. Add sugar and continue mixing, until well combined. With the mixer running, alternate adding the flour-cocoa mixture, with the milk mixture. Mix until just combined and no flour pockets appear in the batter.

Drop tablespoons of batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This will yield between 24 and 30 cakes depending on the size. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until the tops spring up when touched. Let cool on wire rack.

For filling:

Combine marshmallow spread, confectioners sugar, butter and vanilla in a clean bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Filling should be light and fluffy. When cakes are completely cool, spread filling on half of the cakes. Put cakes together to form a sandwich.