Happy New Year Edible Art Painted Cookies

Happy New Year and Cheers from Food on Fifth. Thank you for reading, cooking and staying in touch in 2019…hope to see more of you in 2020.

Who says pretty, delicious cookies have to just be for Christmas? Shouldn’t we treat ourselves in these trying historical times with something nice and sweet any time of the year? Cookies to lift our spirits as we look to the future?These simple sugar cookies with a bit of cardamom added to the dough and cut out with 2 1/2 and 3″ square cookie cutters create miniature “canvases” for edible art cookies, each one painted and splashed randomly and casually to give then an energetic, fun, hopeful look in a toast to the holiday spirit in general, not in particular…cookies to take you into a New Year with hope.

I tinted royal icing  with food colors for my palette. Some of the colors I used are powdered edible luster colors, others more matte. Powdered colors can be ordered online from cake decorating sites such as Fondant Flowers on Etsy and gel colors from Wilton. Regular grocery store food colors work as well and can be mixed together to make a great variety of colors. I mixed red and yellow gel colors from the supermarket to make the vivid orange.

Three batches of dough made, cut-out, baked, cooled completely and then dipped in plain untinted royal icing for the base…sorta like coating a canvas with gesso before you start to paint! I let these dry overnight.

You will need parchment paper and cooling racks so any extra icing can drip off. I really like the wonderful glazed surfaces!

Day two I splashed, brushed, dripped, sprinkled and drizzled the surfaces with various colors and white sanding sugar. Little edible paintings.

I let these cookies air dry totally before packing up for gifting. I am sure each little nibble will make you feel more creative and artistic and hopeful….don’t you think so? They are also delicious with that hint of cardamom.

May you have a Happy New year with Peace, Love and Cookies.

[recipetitle=”Happy New Year Edible Art Painted Cookies” makes=”3-4dozen” time=”2hrsactive”]

Ingredients for one batch of cookie dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks/1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for one batch of royal icing:

  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder mixed with 4 tablespoons water (or two egg whites)
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar + extra if needed
  • Food colors – you can use powdered, liquid or gel colors. Food colors with sparkle, luster or plain.
  • Sanding sugar, clear or colors of your choice

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder and salt.
  2. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and beat until well mixed. Stop mixer and scrape down sides as needed.
  4. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in batches until well blended. Again stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl as you add flour mixture.
  5. Scrape dough out of mixer onto a sheet of plastic wrap, form into a disk and chill for 1-2 hours or overnight. If you chill overnight, remove from refrigerator and allow dough to sit for about 20 minutes before trying to roll out.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut using square cookie cutters. Re-roll scraps of dough and cut out until all dough is used. Space cookies 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheets. They do not spread very much. Bake each batch for about 13-15 minutes until a light golden brown on the edges.
  7. Let cookies cool for a few minutes on baking sheets, then place on racks to cool completely. If you are not decorating the same day store cookies in plastic boxes with tight fitting lids until ready to “paint”.
  8.  While cookies are baking make the royal icing by whisking the confectioner’s sugar into the egg white mixture until well blended and creamy. Add more water if needed.
  9. For making edible paint colors, mix a few tablespoons of the royal icing with various food colors. I chose a palate of pink, orange, dark red and copper. You can mix up your colors in small jars or bowls until you have the colors you like. For more opaque colors leave royal icing as is. For more water color shades add more water to the mix. Cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap until ready to use. Gather a few soft brushes and skewers, cooling racks and sheets of parchment.
  10. To “paint” cookies, lay 15 to 20 cookies out on a cooling rack set over a sheet of parchment paper and start to add your colors using brushes for swaths of color, skewers for drips and drizzles. Add a sprinkling of sanding sugar and you are done!
  11. Let cookies dry completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 10 days. Pack for gifting in small bags or boxes with cookies wrapped in parchment.

Recipe inspired by an article in The New York Times on holiday cookies. Dec. 2019

http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

[/recipe]

 

 

Cream Baked Cardamom-Vanilla Bean Pears

 

Pears in poetry, pears in art, pears in history, pears in life. Quintessentially feminine and delicious. Luscious when ripe and baked in cream, pears dusted with sugar, cardamom and vanilla. A simple plate of goodness.

Pears from our pear tree last summer. The tree is already heavy with young, thumb size fruit. The anticipation is dreamy.

Cut, cored and peeled. Baked.

Warm from the oven I can think of few things I like better than the first bite. Market pears will do until fall.

Cream-Baked Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Pears

Ingredients:

  • 4 small ripe, but firm pears, peeled, cut in half and cored
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, room temp, divided
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • beans scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Smear bottom of a pie dish with 2 Tablespoons of the butter. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoons raw sugar.
  3. Mix together in a small bowl the remaining raw sugar, the cardamom and vanilla beans.
  4. Place pear halves, cut side down, in the bottom of the pie dish.
  5. Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons butter and brush over the pears. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
  6. Gently pour heavy cream around the pears. Place dish in the oven.
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until pears are just tender and the cream has thickened.  Remove dish from oven to cool on a wire rack. Serve pears and cream warm or at room temperature.

Teresa Blackburn   www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

[/recipe}

 

 

Hooray…It’s National Cereal Day Orange Peel-Cardamom Gluten-Free Granola

DSC_0116

Hooray, March 7th is National Cereal Day and I celebrated this morning (really, most mornings!) with some Greek yogurt topped with my homemade “Orange Peel-Cardamom Gluten-Free Granola” and fresh blueberries.

Every time I make granola I tweak my basic recipe using whatever I happen to have in my pantry at the time. Recently I have ended up with quite a few nuts and flaked coconut leftover from photo shoots, as well as maple syrup and lots of oranges. One thing I noticed when looking back on previous granola posts is that each time I make it the mix gets simpler and simpler. Hopefully this translates into other parts of my life!

DSC_0045

Ingredients tossed together and spread out on parchment paper lined sheet pans ready for the oven…….

DSC_0055

… baked and finished off with additional ingredients.

DSC_0066

The candied orange peel (how-to candy orange peel here) and cardamom give this granola a wonderfully complex flavor that is both earthy and rich.

Here…..have a bite! Happy Cereal Day all month!

DSC_0119

Orange Peel Cardamom Gluten Free Granola

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

DSC_0117

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 cup pecan halves & pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or cherries, divided
  • 1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup slices almonds
  • 1/2 cup slivered orange peel, plain or candied

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl mix together the rolled oats, whole almonds, pecan halves and pieces, half of the dried cranberries and half of the coconut flakes. Toss ingredients together.
  3. Whisk together the cardamom and maple syrup. Drizzle over the oat mixture and toss to coat all ingredients well.
  4. Evenly divide mixture between the two sheet pans and spread out into even layers. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring often, until mixture is a light golden brown.
  5. Remove pans from the oven and evenly divide the remaining ingredients between the two pans – the second half of the dried cranberries and coconut flakes along with the sliced almonds and orange peel. Stir around to mix and return pans to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove pans from the oven and let granola cool completely. Store in airtight containers for up to 3 months. You can also store in the refrigerator. A jar of homemade granola makes a great gift!

Teresa Blackburn      www.teresablackburnfoodstying.com     http://www.foodonfifth.com

End-of-Summer (5 Ingredient) Refrigerator Plum Jam with Calvados

DSC_6291

DSC_6303

Plums have been plentiful this summer and when just ripe, but still firm, they make the best jam. Jam you will appreciate a few months from now when days are shorter, darker and summer flavors just a memory.

I love plums and have often shared recipes and plum stories with you here at Food on Fifth.  There have been Plum ClafoutisPlum Yum Almond Cake and Stone Fruit Skillet Cake with Maple Drizzle among others.

The plums you see in the photo below were ones left unused after a photo shoot. They had time to sit out on the studio counter ripening all week and went home with me at week’s end.

DSC_6245Three simple ingredients and two special ones, Calvados and Cardamom! Calvados is a good flavor-pairing with fruits when making cakes, pies or jams, due to it apple origins. It is a French apple brandy, starting out as apples, fermenting into a cider, aged in oak casks to become Calvados. Cardamom…I cannot say enough good things about this spice… with its strong spicy sweet taste adding seductive aromatics with just a pinch!

DSC_6257

Four pounds of plums with peels left on…making this recipe even easier!

DSC_6267

Sugar, ground cardamom…plums cooking down….Calvados & lemon zest added at the end of cooking time…

DSC_6269

Spooned into clean glass canning jars, topped off..ready to give away or refrigerate until ready to use. By the way…very yummy spooned over sponge cake or ice cream while still warm! And how about serving this with your roasted hen or turkey instead of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving? Nice!

DSC_6283

DSC_6290

Beautifully messy.

DSC_6307

From my summer travels: “Plums in Budapest” # 1 and #2 iphone images

IMG_7485 IMG_7539

Simple Summer (5 Ingredient) Refrigerator Plum Jam with Calvados

  • Servings: 8cups
  • Difficulty: easy-as-pie
  • Print

DSC_6291

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs plums, pitted, unpeeled and chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup Calvados
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Put chopped plums & sugar in a large non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken and plums break down.
  2. Stir in cardamom and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Stir often and skim any foam from the surface of the mixture.
  3. Add Calvados & lemon zest. Simmer another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place pan on a cooking rack so air can circulate around the pan to cool it down faster. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Spoon plum jam into sterilized glass canning jars. Wipe rims of jars clean, top with lids and allow to cool completely.
  5. Jam will keep in refrigerator for up to 1 month.  If you do not give some of this fine jam away to your friends (they will be forever grateful I promise) then freeze for later.

Note on freezing: If you plan to freeze some of these jars of jam then fill jars leaving a 1″ head space to allow for jam to expand when frozen. I did not do this many years ago and upon opening my freezer I found jars of jam exploding out of the top of the glass jars! The lids had been pushed completely off! Now I allow for that!

 

Teresa Blackburn        www.foodonfifth        www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Resources:

Red and White hand towel – http://www.ikea.com/

Canning jars – http://www.jarstore.com/Jelly-Mason-Salsa-Jars_c_41.html

Vintage glass canning funnel, silver spoons, Vintage Kobe Turquoise saucepan – my prop collection but check out Etsy or ebay for similar items

Blue enamel colander – World Market  http://www.worldmarket.com/category/dining-kitchen.do?nType=1

Travel Budapest – http://www.afar.com/travel-guides/hungary/budapest/guide

Cardamom Blueberry Butter & Seckel Pear Tart

A very fine “Cardamom Blueberry Butter & Seckel Pear Tart”

Recently a small package, neatly wrapped in brown paper arrived at my home. It was post-marked from Victoria, British Columbia. A bright red “fragile” sticker was prominently displayed on the front. I knew immediately that my “prize” had arrived. And indeed upon tearing open the box I found, nestled snuggly inside, cushioned with bright turquoise tissue paper, 3 beribboned jars of “Cardamom Blueberry Butter”. Two of favorite flavors melded into one knockout treat!

The lovely trio of jars was homemade using fresh Canadian Blueberries by another blogger-friend, Kristy Lynn, who has a great blog at: gastronomicalsovereignty@blogspot.com. I have been following and enjoying Kristy’s blog for a while now and recently she did a “giveaway” of three jars of her homemade blueberry butter & I was the lucky winner. British Columbia to Tennessee….a long trip for some little glass jars.

Lucky I was indeed! The first thing I did was grab a spoon, open a jar & eat it straight from the jar. Mmmmm. It was so delicious & unlike any fruit butter I’ve ever had.  Beautiful color & texture, a definite fresh blueberry taste with just a hint of the cardamom. I love thinking about how far these berries-turned-into-butter traveled….where they came from,  Kristy making the butter and canning them in her kitchen far, far away. Here I was in Nashville enjoying the flavor of British Columbia right in my own kitchen. Two degrees of delicious separation.

Next…a few days later, my toast test….slices of buttered toast with a smear of Kristy’s blueberry butter. Oh yes…the perfect venue. Kerrygold Butter & Blueberry Butter on hot toast…if it’s good on toast, then it’s good.

Not nice to hoard my treat not sharing with others…even though that thought went through my head. This week I used some of Kristy’s Cardamom Blueberry Butter as the main ingredient for a tart I developed. I had some sweet little ripe Seckel pears and a tub of Mascarpone cheese which seemed like a nice pairing with the butter along with a sweetened pastry crust.

For this recipe I used:

5 ripe Seckel pears, peeled & cored, cut in half lengthwise

1 (8oz) tub of Mascarpone cheese

4 generous tablespoons Cardamom Blueberry Butter (this recipe could be made with any really good homemade butter such as pumpkin butter)

1 pastry slightly sweetened

Raw or Turbinado sugar

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll pastry dough out  on floured board to about a 12 inch circle more or less. Fit into an 8 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

                                                                      

2. Use a knife to cut away any pastry that overlaps the edge of the pan.

3. Spread the container of Mascarpone cheese over the bottom of the crust evenly.

4.  Top with Cardamom Blueberry Butter.

5. Peel pears with a sharp knife. Cut pears in half longways. Carefully remove core. I used the sharp edge of a small table-spoon to remove core as pears were very ripe and small. Place pear halves face down on top of the blueberry butter.

6. Sprinkle pears with a bit of the raw sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly, crust is a deep golden brown & tops of pears are starting to brown. Remove from oven. Let cool on a rack for about 30 minutes to serve warm. This tart is also delicious served at room temp.

7. Serve cut into wedges with an additional sprinkling of sugar to add just a bit of crunch to each bite.

There were a few friends…the tart was cut, it was shared, it was eaten with Relish, it was enjoyed on a fall day at the end of October.

 A Small All Hallow’s Eve Gallery

adios October, hola November…..

“A Late August Four-Letter “F” Word To Savor!”

My favorite four letter “f” word in late August is “Figs”. Finally we have some figs to play with. I have been watching the trees in the neighborhood, snooping around the farmer’s markets, just waiting, thinking on simple recipes using tree ripened figs.

“Brown Turkey Figs”

Sitting with a group of food friends the other day we started talking about foods we really were not aware of when we were younger, foods that we now know and love. For most of us Southerners it seems fresh figs just didn’t make it onto our radars until adulthood. I am not sure why. Fig trees thrive around here so it seems that figs would have been a summer staple just like peaches & late summer pears. I think I will do a bit of research to figure out why I never ate fresh figs as a child. As an adult I relish the arrival of this little, lush four-letter word.

“Fresh Figs-Pine Nuts Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake” 

 The corn meal gives it a bit of a crunch as do the pine nuts. The caramelized fig topping drizzled with maple syrup is luscious.

Ingredients: 5 to 6 fresh figs, 2 to 3 cups self-rising white or yellow cornmeal (I used gluten-free); 1 tsp ground cardamom; 1 stick good butter (Kerry gold of course!); 1 cup brown sugar; (divided into two 1/2 cups; 1/4 cups toasted pine nuts; 2 eggs; milk; real maple syrup

Directions:  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a cast iron skillet, preferably, over medium high heat. Add in 1/2 cup brown sugar stirring until melted.

2. Wash & dry figs. Cut each one in half lengthwise. Place cut-side down in skillet in a circular pattern. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts over figs. Turn heat to low allowing the figs to caramelize somewhat for about 5-8 minutes.

3. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients..cornmeal, second 1/2 cup brown sugar & cardamom. Add eggs & enough milk to make a batter.

                                                                   

4. Pour/scrape batter into the hot skillet with the figs on top of the stove. Transfer skillet to the pre-heated oven. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until cake is golden brown and set in the middle. Remove skillet from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes.

5. Place a plate over the top of the skillet and “flip” plate & skillet upside-down. Scrape any caramel left in the pan over the top of the cake. While cake is still hot drizzle generously with real maple syrup. Cool cake for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve slices with additional maple syrup on side if desired.


Bonus Recipe: “Figgy Pancakes”

Ingredients: Same as for the cake recipe with a few extra figs quartered.

It was morning when I was baking the cake and had a bit of batter left over after filling the skillet. While the cake was baking I whipped up some pancakes for breakfast!

Directions: 1. Heat some butter in a small non-stick pan or griddle over high heat. Add a few quartered figs.

2. Pour in batter. When batter is set on bottom and bubbly on top flip pancake and  finish cooking til golden brown.

        

3. Serve immediately with real maple syrup. This was one good pancake recipe!

EXTRA, EXTRA BONUS RECIPE…SEE BELOW…THE EASIEST MOST DELICIOUS WAY TO EAT FRESH FIGS…….DON’T MISS THIS ONE!

“Sea Salt & Raw Sugar Dipped Figs”

Take some wonderful fresh figs. Cut them into quarters. Sprinkle some great sea salt & raw sugar on a saucer. Dip cut edges of figs in salt-sugar mixture and eat.

A sublime treat.

Doesn’t the word “fig” conjure up an image of Adam romping around in the Garden of Eden wearing a fig leaf?

I wondered what figs would be like after they were frozen?

 FYI. Mushy, but aren’t they pretty frozen?

Some “f” word music I like. A little bit different, fun and peppy to help you get figgy.

Album, “The Figs”,  The Figs, 2007 Valcour Records

Album, “What Keeps Me Up At Night”, The Figs 2008

Songs, “Jumbo” & “The Long Goodbye”, Marseille Figs, 2009 Figs of London

Eat good stuff.