Berries on a Cloud

Two Carolines Berries on a Cloud 1.JPG

There was a brief and lovely Two Carolines reunion over the weekend (with most of the rest of the family) and of course—there had to be a dessert party. I wanted something that would feed the whole crew and that could be prepared ahead of time. I dug back into the family archives and found this dessert that came from family on my mom’s side. It’s almost like a Pavlova, but with some extra ingredients that add to the texture and flavor. It is one of those desserts that all the kids and adults were devouring and wanting seconds and thirds. It takes some time to make it, but each step is pretty easy and it’s totally worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temp.
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups small marshmallows
  • 1 pint cream, whipped
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag of frozen berries, thawed

Instructions:

  1. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy. Add the salt and sugar; whip 10-15 minutes in stand mixer.
  2. Spread in an 11×15 inch greased pan. Bake one hour at 250-275 degrees. Turn off oven and leave in overnight.
  3. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and the vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add the marshmallows and mix until incorporated. Gently fold in whipped cream until mixture is uniform. Spread evenly on meringue layer. Cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Chill 8-10 hours.
  5. To serve, cut into squares and top with spoonful of thawed mixed berries.

 

-CK 1.0

 

Dad’s favorite Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Dad's Favorite Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake by Two Carolines

This version is without almond extract or slivered almonds due to my stepson’s tree nut allergies. It’s really great either way.

It’s a King family tradition for birthdays and celebrations that the person of honor gets to pick their favorite meals for the day. That means a favorite breakfast, dinner and dessert. We all had our different favorites and go-tos, but this coffee cake was probably the most requested by all of us, especially my dad. It’s best when made the night before, or if it has hours to cool to room temperature, ’cause the cream cheese can fall a bit if it’s too warm. But let’s be honest; a pool of creamy, jammy goodness can’t be a bad thing, can it? Also, Creamy Jammy Goodness sounds like a 70’s cover band, amiright?

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 cup sour cream (or substitute with plain greek yogurt)
1 egg
1 t. almond extract
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/2 cup sliced almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of 9 or 10 inch spring-form pan. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Using pastry blender or fork, cut butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture.
  2. To remaining crumb mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, 1 egg and almond extract. Blend well. Spread batter over bottom and two inches up sides of prepared pan. (Batter should be about 1/4 inch thick on sides)
  3. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar and 1 egg; blend well. Pour over batter in pan. Carefully spoon preserves evenly over cream cheese filling.
  4. In small bowl, combine 1 cup reserved crumb mixture and sliced almonds. Sprinkle over top.
  5. Bake at 350 for 45- 55 minutes or until cream cheese filling is set and crust is deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Serve warm or cool, cut into wedges.

-CK 1.0

King Butterscotch Brownies

TwoCarolines_ButterscotchBrownies

Care King v1.0 posted this brilliant butterscotch brownie when she was living in Berlin year before last.  You guys need to know- these have no chocolate- they appear to because of the dark brown sugar, but they are all butterscotchy goodness! 

In CK 1.0’s words:  This is a recipe that was a favorite of my Aunt’s and my Grandpa’s. This was a common request from both of them, so I thought it was only fitting. I decided to change up the type of brown sugar I used—a combination of half light and half dark brown for a bit of a Christmas vibe. Also, I browned the butter and added a pinch of salt to the brownie batter and the frosting, because I’m like that. And ooooweeee, it was good! These changes added a bit more depth and flavor to an already over-the-top-scrumptious dessert. So, be like a King and get yours! 
BUTTERSCOTCH BROWNIE BATTER:
1 cup flour
1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup browned butter
1 t. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional—I eliminated this for texture reasons) 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brown butter in small saucepan. Whisk the rest dry ingredients together; add eggs and vanilla to butter and whisk until combined. Mix butter mixture into dry ingredients until combined well. If you choose to add nuts, stir them in at this point. Pour into greased 8×8-inch baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Spread hot cake with the following:

FROSTING:
1 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
3 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Combine brown sugar and butter; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add milk and boil slowly for 3 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar until well-combined and somewhat thick. Spread on hot cake and cool. Once completely cooled, slice up brownies and try to eat only one at a time, you gluttons! 

Does this look like candy? Cause it tastes like it!

TwoCarolines_ButterscotchBrownies2

Pfeffernüsse

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Every Christmas growing up, my mom would painstakingly make cookies that we called Peppernuts. They were a household favorite, but the only thing we didn’t like about these cookies is that they have to “age”—it’s pretty much the only cookie that gets better with time. So we would have to wait a week, while looking at that pastel pink glass dish, waiting for the time that we could dig in, but oooooh was it worth it!

Little did I know that years later, I’d be living in Germany, supposedly the home of the Peppernuts, or more accurately, Pfeffernüsse. I have scoured Christmas markets two years in a row now, looking for a freshly baked, truly German Pfeffernüsse cookie to no avail. I’ve quizzed many a German about this and they said they’ve never had a homemade one and they have only seen them in stores. I bought a bag and was sorely disappointed. So, this year I have taken matters in my own hands to make a traditional German cookie that a lot of Germans have never had—funny how things work sometimes.

I did make some adjustments, I added cardamom, since it seems to be such a traditional holiday spice around these parts. The sauce that was always the really hard part was going to be too difficult for me to make with my lo-fi kitchen, so I went with what I saw in every other recipe and did a powdered sugar coating, rather than a divinity glaze like my mom would make. Additionally, these are her favorite cookies in the world, so that is the best endorsement you could ask for! – CK 1.0

Pfeffernüsse cookie batter:
2 ½ cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon  cardamom
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (it’s hard to find pecans, so used almonds)
Powdered sugar for dipping

Sift flour with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, pepper, and baking soda. In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat 2 eggs and brown sugar until light and somewhat glossy, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat in flour mixture and nuts until well combined. Dough will be a bit sticky.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with baking paper. With wet hands, pinch off dough by tablespoonfuls. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes, until the tops are just barely cracking. Remove to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. In two batches, place cookies and a good amount of powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Roll cookies around until well coated then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks and try to let them age a few days before gobbling them up!

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***IF you want to be ambitious and make the divinity glaze, you will want a stand mixer that you can leave on for 10-15 minutes.

Divinity Glaze:
1 cup water
3 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream tartar
2 egg whites

In large saucepan, combine sugar, and 1 cup water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, 5 minutes, or until mixture forms a 2-inch thread when dropped from spoon or to 235 degrees on candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Pour syrup in continuous stream slowly into egg whites beating constantly. Beat until mixture thickens slightly and starts to lose shine, 6-8 minutes. Drop cookies a few at a time into glaze; with fork, turn to coat all over. Lift out and, using two forks, place on wire rack (with cookie sheet beneath to catch drips) until dry. Store in tightly covered container at least one week before eating.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce

Two Carolines Pumpkin Bread Pudding.JPG

The blessed Season of the Pumpkin is upon us! There are spiced drinks, teas, cookies, etc. But have you had a Pumpkin Bread Pudding? Have you had one that has been drizzled lovingly with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce? Have you had your mind blown yet? Well, we Two Carolines are here for you—here for your pumpkin addiction needs, here to support you cozying up to all things spiced up for fall. Basically, we are here to Spice up Your Life like some other friends of yours from the 90’s.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 1-lb loaf pumpkin bread (recipe below), cubed and dried out for at least one day

Butter a 3 quart baking dish. Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. Add milk, sugar, cream, and vanilla. Whisk to blend well. Add bread chunks and set sit covered, in the refrigerator, for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Scoop coated bread chunks into prepared baking dish, push down the bread crumbs, compacting the mixture. Add a little extra custard on top, and press down some more. Toss any extra custard. Fill a 9×13 pan filled halfway with water and place on the bottom rack, place the bread pudding on the middle rack. Cook for 1 hour, 30 minutes, or until it is set (maybe another 15 minutes). Before serving, dribble some cinnamon caramel sauce over the top. Freak out.

Cinnamon Caramel Sauce recipe:

  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 cube butter
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 1 t. cinnamon

Stir brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add cream and cinnamon and bring to simmer. simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

two-carolines-cinnamon-caramel-sauce

Pumpkin Bread recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 14 oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. cloves
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (350 for high altitude) and grease one large loaf pan; set aside. Mix dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and oil. Beat with until well blended. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in for 1 1/4 hours to 1 1/2 hours. Put toothpick in center to see if bread is done. Let cool before slicing. Recipe can be doubled easily, and so delicious when adding chocolate chips or a streusel!

-CK 1.0

 

Chewy Crispy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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You guys, my mama is in town and it’s the best. I wanted to make a little treat for her arrival and I know that Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are her very favorite. I have been on the hunt for a recipe for a while, looking for something that would stand out and impress my mom’s superb palate. I wanted to have a hint of cinnamon, a chewy yet crispy (the most important part!) texture, and the right balance of ingredients. I adapted this recipe from Sarabeth’s Bakery and I’m so pleased with it! Most importantly though—my mom asked for the recipe—so I know this one is a winner!
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
1 1/2 cups seedless raisins
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and wheat germ into a bowl, then add the oats and stir well to combine.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add both sugars, then vanilla. Beat, occasionally scrapping the bottom and sides of the bowl, until the mixture is pale yellow and very light-textured, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In thirds, beat the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, beating just until each addition is incorporated. Mix in the raisins and slivered almonds. Do not over mix.

Using a 2-inch-diameter ice-cream scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared pans, placing the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake, switching the position of the pans from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking, until the cookies are light golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Cookies should be golden on the edges and slightly under-baked in the middle. Cool completely on the pans. (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days. They even get better with age!)

 

-CK 1.0

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Panko Cookies

TwoCarolines_OatmealChocolateChipPankoCookies

Of all the sweet treats in the world—of which I love SO many—I think the chocolate chip cookie is my Number One choice. There’s something about it that is so comforting and just the perfect morsel of goodness. They are sweet with a little bit of salt, they have incredible texture, and are easy to make and even easier to eat (maybe too easy). I love experimenting with different combinations of ingredients for the basic chocolate chip cookie. Typically, I tend to like the addition of oats, and another one I like to add is wheat germ. With this recipe, I tried panko crumbs. People have talked about pretzels or potato chips in their cookies, but I though panko would add just the right amount of saltiness and sandiness to the texture. You know what? I was right. SO RIGHT. These are one of my favorite cookies of all time, now. And legit the best cookie dough you’ll ever have. Don’t believe me? I dare you to try it and find out!

1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (1 1/2 cups if you like a flatter, chewier cookie)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup panko crumbs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with silpats or baking paper.
Whisk flour, baking powder, wheat germ, flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
In another bowl, beat butter until soft and creamy. Add sugars at medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats, panko, and chocolate, and mix until well incorporated.
After sampling the best cookie dough you’ll ever have in your life, roll the dough into three equal sized logs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Once properly chilled, cut off pieces that are about 1/2″ thick and round the dough. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart, 8-12 per sheet—they will still spread a lot.
Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Let cool completely before gently moving cookies to wire rack. They will be fragile, especially on the edges.

*Bonus, the dough freezes really well, too.
-CK 1.0