Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Apple Crisp

Autumn in New England means apples. On a crisp October afternoon there isn’t a much better way to spend your time than picking apples at a local orchard. And once you’ve eaten your fill of fresh apples, it’s time to start cooking. Here’s a simple, delicious recipe that always draws raves. Serve it warm or could, by itself, topped with whipped cream or alongside vanilla ice cream. Great with coffee too.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Servings:  10 servings


  • 10 cups apples, peeled and sliced (that’s about 15-18 medium sized apples)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp white flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
  2. Peel and slice apples.
  3. Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Dribble water evenly over all.
  4. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The original recipe for these as I got it online stated it makes four dozen cookies. The problem was that at that size the cookies had a tendency to dry out when baking. So I increased the size of the cookies and included forming them into a ball. That resulted in the larger, thicker, moister cookie. I also double the amount of raisins to make them extra chewy.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Baking Time: 8-10 minutes
  • Servings: 30 cookies


3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
2 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
  3. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture.
  4. Stir in oats and raisins.
  5. Dampen your hands with water. Then make cookies by rolling them into a ball in your hands. Diameter should be about 2 inches or 25% larger than a golf ball. Placed onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Preparation/Cooking Notes

Keep a close eye on these when baking so that the bottoms don’t over brown. Transfer to cooling rack after removing from the oven.


Cook’s Illustrated White Layer Cake

Buttercup Golden Layer Cake - ButtercupSome years ago I wanted to make a white layer cake for my wife’s birthday. I came across this recipe and found it excellent. The cake is light and moist, and has a delicious nutty, almond flavor.

Note that this recipe is for the cake only–not icing.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Baking Time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling Time (before icing): 90 minutes
  • Servings: 12


  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool


  1. Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
  3. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
  4. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
  5. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
  6. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops.
  7. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
  8. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preparation/Baking Notes

  • If you have forgotten to bring the milk and egg white mixture to room temperature, set the bottom of the glass measure containing it in a sink of hot water and stir until the mixture feels cool rather than cold, around 65 degrees.
  • Cake layers can be wrapped and stored for one day.
  • Once assembled, the cake should be covered with an inverted bowl or cake cover and refrigerated.