Tag: Dessert

Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting

Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting | Serious CrustGraham Cracker Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting | Serious Crust

I know, it’s fall. Or basically winter. It’s cold and blustery here in Portland. The gray and rain have settled in, and I personally am loving it. There’s lots of tea and squash in my life and that’s just my favorite. And yes, probably most blogs are (sensibly) posting all those rich fall recipes that you’ll make for Thanksgiving. This is not one of those recipes. It could be, I suppose, but then your family might get mad that there’s not apple pie AND pumpkin pie AND pecan pie. But they wouldn’t be too mad, because they’d be eating these graham cracker cupcakes. With lime buttercream frosting. How could you be mad?

My friend Mac’s birthday was on Monday, and when I asked him what kind of birthday treat he wanted, he gave me three options: coffee, peanut butter, or lime. What with all the rich, sweet treats that around this time of year, I wanted to go with something bright, something that got me excited about all the winter citrus that my grocery store will soon be carrying. So after a little digging around, these are what I made. You should think about making them too.

Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting

Makes 12-14 cupcakes | Adapted from Bon Appetit + My Recipes

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 graham crackers, pulsed in a food processor), plus 2-3 Tbsp for dusting
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lime
3/4 cup whole milk

Lime Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp lime zest (or the zest of one lime)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 16 oz package of powdered sugar
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1-2 Tbsp whole milk

Instructions

Graham Cracker Cupcakes

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a small bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and lime zest, mix to combine. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk (which you’ll add in two additions), mixing to combine after each addition.

Put roughly 1/4 cup batter in each cupcake liner. Bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, rotating halfway through. Allow to cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish.

Lime Buttercream Frosting

While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, lime zest, vanilla, and salt until creamy. Alternate adding the powdered sugar and lime juice in three additions (so you’ll add roughly 1/3 of the box of powdered sugar, mix to combine, then add a tablespoon of lime juice, mix to combine, x3). Then add 1 Tbsp of milk and mix to combine. If the frosting is still too thick, add milk a teaspoon at a time, beating after each addition, until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Frost your cupcakes, and sprinkle with the remaining graham cracker crumbs.

Italian Plum Galette

Italian Plum Galette | Serious Crust
Italian Plum Galette | Serious Crust
Italian Plum Galette | Serious Crust
Italian Plum Galette | Serious Crust

There is a tree outside of our house. Technically it’s in our neighbor’s yard, but much of it hangs over the winding pathway that leads to our front door. It’s a plum tree. Or a prune tree. You see, I’m not totally sure what the difference is. I think all prunes are plums, but not all plums are prunes. So maybe they’re prune plums. Right?

It’s funny actually, because when I was growing up outside of Seattle, my neighbors had a plum tree. And they told us we could pick as many plums as we wanted, I think mostly because they felt bad that the plums would fall and rot in our driveway. But my sisters and I used to go out in the driveway and fill up bowls and bowls of plums. We’d snack on them, bake with them, and make plum chutney. So I think I have a soft spot for plum trees in neighbors’ yards.

Either way, there’s a plum tree, and the plums are small and oblong, and when you cut them open, they still look kind of green even when they’re ripe. And all summer, I waited. I waited until their skins turned from green to purple, for their flesh to soften. And then I waited for Jonah to be home so that he (and his 6’6″ self) could pick them for me. I don’t do ladders.

I planned a plum galette. Simple, rustic, pretty even. I made a whole wheat crust, I ground almonds to spread in the bottom, and I even spread the plum slices in those lovely concentric circles. It was nice. It was summery. And it tasted pretty darn good.

Italian Plum Galette

Ingredients

Galette Dough

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
4 tbsp vegetable shortening, preferably cold, cut into chunks
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/4 cup ice water (plus more if needed)

Plum Filling

1/4 cup almonds (or 1/4 cup ground almonds)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp AP flour
14-18 Italian plums OR 6-7 regular plums cut into 1/2 inch slices
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions

Galette Dough

To make the dough, mix the AP flour, whole wheat pastry flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and shortening, and mix until the biggest pieces of butter are no larger than a pea. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of ice water. Drizzle this mixture over the flour and butter mixture by the tablespoon. Mix until combined and the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry and doesn’t come together, add more ice water by the tablespoon. Collect the dough, form it into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to two days.

Plum Filling

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet, preferably rimmed, with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine the almonds, granulated sugar, and AP flour and process until you’ve got a coarse meal. If you’re using ground almonds, simply combine it with the granulated sugar and flour in a bowl. Set almond mixture aside.

In a bowl, combine the sliced plums, lemon zest, and brown sugar, tossing to coat evenly. Set aside.

Remove your dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to a 14-16 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the rolled out dough to the parchment lined baking sheet. Spread almond mixture in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch edge all the way around. Pile your plums and their juices on top of the almond mixture (or gently arrange them in concentric circles), and then gently fold up the edge of the dough over the plums. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the plum filling is bubbling and the edges of the galette crust are golden brown.

Allow to cool for at least an hour before digging in. I recommend topping with ice cream (I think cardamom would be good if you can get your hands on it) or fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!

Restaurant Review: Eb & Bean

Review: Eb & Bean | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Review: Eb & Bean | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Review: Eb & Bean | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Portland is into dessert. This has been made exceedingly clear with the success of places like Salt & StrawThe Sugar CubeMaurice, and Pix Patisserie. A few years ago, when Jonah and I lived in Sellwood, we occasionally visited a frozen yogurt spot called Nectar, a local “by the ounce” chain with flavors like red velvet, coconut, and peach. I was always surprised when we moved farther north that there weren’t really any frozen yogurt bars in Portland.

I remember the first time I went to a DIY frozen yogurt place, in Tucson with my cousin Lia. My sisters and I were in awe at all the flavors (taro root?!), that it was all right there to taste, and that we could design our own creations – fudge sauce, gummy bears, strawberries, sprinkles…the list goes on and on. At a certain point though, those cups piled high with sweetness became excessive, and I’d always wish I’d had a little more restraint and been satisfied with two toppings instead of seven.

Enter Eb & Bean, the best of both worlds: the frozen yogurt that I crave, but a more delicious, natural option, perfect for conscious Portland eaters and farm-to-table followers. It’s also not self-serve and it’s priced per topping, which is probably for the best – it keeps you from going too crazy! Flavors include the standard tart, chocolate, and vanilla, with three rotating flavors, one of which is always dairy-free (when I visited there was a super creamy delicious cashew rocky road). Owner Elizabeth Nathan studied dessert and pastry in Paris, and her knowledge of ingredients and flavor shows in her creatively curated toppings selection. Some of the most intriguing and tempting toppings included Fleur de Lis cinnamon sugar donuts, Pinkleton’s salted vanilla caramel corn, and Bakeshop marshmallow sauce.

After a picnic at a friend’s house last week, on a perfect 80 degree day, I convinced Jonah to stop at Eb & Bean for some dessert. It was on the way home, I swear. We decided to go a fairly traditional route for our first visit: vanilla frozen yogurt with hot fudge, Bakeshop peanut butter cookie, and toasted coconut. It was so perfectly sweet and refreshing, and felt that much more perfect because the sun was beating down outside.

I highly recommend a stop into Eb & Bean for a warm-weather treat. You’ll find the shop on NE Broadway at 1425, open from noon to 9:30 on weekdays, 10 on weekends.

Tillamookies are Here!

Tillamookies are here! | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

My friend from college, Dylan, has a house on the Oregon coast (or rather, his family does). At various times throughout the school year, a bunch of friends would drive out to the house where we would spend the weekend playing bocce on the beach, cooking good food, drinking, playing games, and singing by the campfire.

But always one of the highlights of these trips was going to the Tillamook Cheese factory. Sometimes we’d stop on the way out to the house, sometimes we’d make a day trip, and sometimes we’d visit on our way back to Portland. We would head to the observation deck and watch them make and package those tasty bricks of cheese, then make a couple trips through the cheese tasting line, and end with a scoop of ice cream. I always really liked their flavors – they seem like the kind of flavors they might have at the neighborhood ice cream parlor I dreamed of having nearby growing up: Mudslide, Java Chip, Berry Cheesecake, and more.

Tillamookies are here! | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

So when Soda Pop PR contacted me about Tillamook’s new ice cream sandwiches, called Tillamookies (the cutest name ever), it certainly tugged at my heart strings. And made my mouth water. I like ice cream sandwiches, but what I like about these is the cookie part. Rather than a dense cookie that, when frozen, is hard to bite through, these sandwiches have a circle of crispy, thin waffle cone, coated with dark chocolate on one side. It lends the sensation of eating a waffle cone filled with sweet creamy dessert. I love it.

And now you can try them yourself. They’ll be available in stores soon, but you can also enter below (there are a few different ways) to win some Tillamookies of your own! Enter before next Friday for a chance to enjoy these sweet treats!

a Rafflecopter giveaway