Archive for August 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Coconut Basmati Rice Pudding - *Gluten-Free!*

So this dairy-free situation has me all nutso.

It really does.

Every time I go for a piece of cheese or glass of milk, my brain goes into protective overdrive and literally makes my 'sensible' other hand smack the dairy-grabbing one up against the wall, wrestles it to the ground, and makes it surrender by screaming, 'Mercy'. Not the song, although that would be hilarious. But just know that I don't condone violence. Consider this a sibling rivalry situation.

I mean, I feel SO MUCH better sans dairy, like oodles better, but it's not like I had to go cold turkey, right? I can still have a small morsel of enjoyment, can't I? Cheese was my thing. My compadre. My go-to comfort food. Let's not discuss the macaroni and cheese I've been scratching my eyes out to have. I just know how bad I will feel afterwards if I do and I'm not ready to go back that far into the dark side. Just not yet anyway. 

This whole situation is like a bad romance.

But I need something. I miss it and I've been sooooo good. I figured if I'm going to make my digestive system go through all sorts of helter skelter for the next 12-24 hours, I should make it worthwhile.

So made some rice pudding. Why not? I suppose it's the lesser of the two evils.

But this is not just any rice pudding. Oh, no siree. If you love rice pudding or you think you do, this version takes it to a whole other level. Trust me.

I know it's about to get all Battlestar Galactica from the depths within.

But it's one mission I am willing to accept.

Coconut Basmati Rice Pudding

1 cup Basmati rice, uncooked
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups whole milk*
½ cup heavy cream*
½ cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cardamom or cinnamon or ¼ teaspoon of both
½ cup raisins, if desired
Toasted coconut for garnish

*This recipe can also be made dairy-free and vegan. You can substitute the whole milk and heavy cream with water, coconut water, rice milk, soy milk, or almond milk. Amounts may need to be slightly adjusted.

Thoroughly wash rice until water runs clear. Set aside.

Pour milk, coconut milk, and heavy cream into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar, vanilla seeds, nutmeg, and cardamom or cinnamon (or both). Bring to a rapid boil and add rice. Cover pan, reduce to low heat, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Yields: 4 servings.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Double Chocolate Malted Custard Tart

I was watching Food Network's, Chopped, the other night. Fascinating show.

I'm often intrigued by the mad skills the chefs that are featured, have. You see, I love to cook and I obviously love to bake, but I'm not much of a creative either, if you will. I'm definitely more adventurous when it comes to cooking, but baking is a whole other brioche. Mainly because it's a science. And science is very finicky. I should know. I've blown up, broken, and corroded my fair share of beakers and Bunsen burners in high school just to see what would happen when I mixed certain acids with Dr. Pepper. 

I have no problem duplicating a recipe, but if I had to come up with a dessert using 4 ingredients like Goji berries, rum, Limburger cheese, and Eye of Newt in under 30 minutes, you'd very likely find me in a corner, with the bottle of rum in hand, tucked into a fetal position, rocking myself, singing 'Soft Kitty'. (Can I get an AMEN Big Bang fans?)

You see, I'm more of what you'd call a tweaker. 

Unfortunately, by being a tweaker, one tends to have A LOT of kitchen disasters. More than one cares to admit. It's so disappointing because when a recipe goes belly up, especially when it was perfect to begin with, all I can think about is the time and ingredients I've just wasted. On a positive note, I guess it's very possible that one could conjure up enough smoke to set off the alarms to have the firefighters fire department come out and see what the commotion is all about. That could make one forget one's mishaps. Very quickly.

Thankfully, this was one of those desserts I tweaked that had neither smoke, tears, nor upset in the outcome. I'm not much of a malted milk kind of gal to begin with, but throw chocolate into it and we. have. got. ourselves. a. party. Heck, throw chocolate into anything and I guarantee a party somewhere.

Seriously folks, this is really good. Especially shared with a firefighter. Topless.

Him. Not you. But either way, I won't judge.

Recipe adapted, tweaked, and renamed from paper, plate, and plane

For the crust:
2½ cups Oreo Baking Crumbs or Famous Chocolate Wafers
⅓ cup butter, melted

For the custard filling:
3 cups whole milk
1½ cup malted milk powder, like Horlicks or Ovaltine
½ cup corn starch
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
8 ounces of good, quality chocolate, melted

1 bag Maltesers or Whoppers Malted Milk Ball Candies

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine crumb. Transfer crumbs into a small bowl and add melted butter. Mix together with a fork until incorporated. Place crumb mixture in a fluted 10-inch tart pan and using the back of a measuring cup, line sides and bottom. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk corn starch with 1 cup of milk until dissolved. In a large sauce pan, whisk malt powder in remaining milk until malt powder is dissolved. This will ensure there is minimal lumping. Turn heat to medium and add malted milk mixture, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk continuously and very quickly until the mixture boils and thickens, which should take approximately 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate and whisk thoroughly. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Pour custard into cookie base. Use an offset knife to smooth.

Let tart sit at room temperature until cool. Garnish with your favorite chocolate malt balls then place in refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results.

Keep refrigerated. 

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tiger Brownies

Hi there. Can we talk about a serious topic for a moment?

Garage Sales.

As I mentioned several posts back, I'm an avid garage saler. I have been since the age of nine. However lately, I have been coming across more and more of them where I ask myself why I even bothered to stop or go out at all. I really enjoy them and would be sad if it becomes a thing of the past because people don't get the fundamentals of having a garage sale.

Several years ago, I compiled a few of my garage sales pet peeves. It was done more for a laugh, but now I'm wondering if it was research in disguise for a new book.

So, I thought I would share. Feel free to comment below some of yours.

Please have a good look over the stuff you are planning to sell. If it's dusty, dirty or filthy, take a cloth to it and clean it up. Make me want to buy it.

Please don't sell anything that is broken, chipped, torn, or completely out of date. Nobody wants your duffel bag with the broken zipper, the shirt with the ripped sleeve that "can be fixed", or that 1980s Miami Vice-ish hotel print of a seascape with dusty rose matting and shiny, gold frame. Please put it out with the trash or take it to the dump.

I should not have to be the one to say hello to you first. Eyeing me up and down while you sip coffee out of your famous coffee chain travel mug does not constitute as a greeting. You're the one who put the ad in the paper and invited me to come and look at all your stuff. The least you could do is acknowledge that I'm standing on your driveway. Bonus points for eye contact and actually saying Hello or Good Morning.

Don't be ridiculous with your pricing. It is a garage sale, not an antiques auction.

Please have your stuff out on display. Don't make me dig through boxes. I don't know how long that stuff has been in there and I don't want to find that spiders have taken up residence, or God forbid, a small, furry creature with 8 babies.  

Please don't follow me around and comment on every item I pick up to have a look at, telling me how great it is. Also, passing on your pit-stained sweater as 'like new' or the Christmas dish with several noticeable fork scratches on it as 'never been used' is insulting my intelligence. I know the difference.

If I give you a dollar for something that you paid fifty dollars for over three years ago, I really don't want to hear about it. If you can "get more money for it on eBay", then by all means, go for it. I just don't understand why then you are selling it at a garage sale in the first place.

Don't expect to get more than a quarter for the following items: VHS or cassette tapes, mugs, glasses, especially if it's an incomplete set, paperback books with a published date before 1992, kitchen utensils, Matchbox cars, or half burned candles. In fact, the last one, just toss it out. 

Unless you are picking up a piece of furniture or large item, please don't block the driveway. It's disrespectful. I feel bad if I have to trudge on someone's lawn just because you're too inconsiderate to park a block away.

I'm sure this is a debatable issue, but it needs to be said. Please don't mumble under your breath or complain if I hand you a twenty dollar bill. Unfortunately, ATMs don't give out rolls of quarters at 8am on a Saturday morning. Be prepared.

If you have a dog, please keep them inside or tied up where they can't get to the garage salers. I love dogs as much as the next person, but not everyone does and some people are quite terrified of them. There is also nothing more inappropriate than having one's crotch sniffed while having a look at what you're selling.

Please don't smoke. If you need to have a fix, go around back, in the house, or throw a couple patches on your arm. Your junk is not worth my health. 

And finally, if you choose to sign post your garage sale around town, kindly take them after the sale. Not 6 weeks from the date. 

Anyway, onto the good stuff. 

Like these brownies. Worth more than their weight in gold. 

And definitely more than that 1980s geometric rug you have priced at $125. 



1 cup butter, unsalted and at room temperature
½ cups sugar
¾ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour

Chocolate Chip Cookies

cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, unsalted and at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups chocolate chips 

Recipe adapted and slightly modified from E. Guittard Chocolate 

6 tablespoons butter
2 cups chocolate wafers or chips
2 large eggs
½ cups sugar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  
¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt


½ cup melted chocolate
½ cup caramel sauce 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray or butter. Set aside.

To make shortbread:
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, salt and vanilla together until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add flour all at once and mix on low speed until dough is soft and starts to come together.

Press shortbread cookie dough evenly into the bottom of baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. 

To make chocolate chip cookies:

In bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt together; set aside. In another bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture into butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Add chocolate chips. Mix until combined.

With the cookie dough, create a stripe effect across the dish, leaving space in between. Set aside. 

To make brownies:

Using a double broiler method over low heat, melt butter and wafers or chips until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. 

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until pale and thick, about 2-3 minutes. Add chocolate on low speed, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in flour until combined. 

Pipe or spoon batter into the sections reserved. I found piping was much easier. 

Note: You will have cookie dough and brownie mix left over. 

Bake for 27-30 minutes at 350ºF. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool. Once cooled, cut into squares and drizzle with melted chocolate and caramel if desired.  

Yields: 24 Tiger Brownies.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Peach Cobbler Smoothie - *Gluten & Dairy Free!*

This will be a super quick post. I promise.

I just had to share this smoothie with you all. Notice how I didn't say, 'Y'all'. I'm from the North. I know my place. Unfortunately, I do know a few born-and-bred northerners who use that expression, thinking they're cute and witty, but it drives me bananas. Sorry folks, but it only sounds incredible when southerners say it.

As I had mentioned in a post a while back, I LOVE peaches. It's my favorite fruit by far. 

Well, this smoothie just upped the ante for me. It's not something I would normally blog about, but when a treat is this yummy, it should absolutely be shared. It really is like eating peach cobbler through a straw. Just better for you.

Even if you drink it all by yourself.

PEACH COBBLER SMOOTHIE - *Gluten & Dairy-free!* 
Recipe adapted and modified from The Food Network

2 cups original or vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground flax seeds - I used Bob's Red Mill
4 teaspoons gluten-free rolled oats - I used Bob's Red Mill
2¼ cups fresh or frozen peach slices
8-10 ice cubes

Place ingredients in a blender and pulse for about a minute or so. Pour into glasses, garnish with fresh fruit and enjoy.

Yields: About 4 cups.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Blackcurrant Cupcakes

Well the Olympics are officially over.

I'm pretty bummed about it actually. It was one of the best summer Olympics I've seen in a while. It was also nice to relax a bit more than I usually do. 16 days was pretty sweet - and I didn't feel guilty at all either. I considered it my patriotic duty.

I thought I would recap the events in my own words. Yes, these are my opinions. I have many.

Cue newsroom music.

There is no denying that London 2012 Olympics went all out in ALL forms of the word. The Olympics in itself never cease to teach me something new, but one thing remains constant. 


Like Miss America and Gracie Lou Freebush, I, too, want world peace. Life is complicated enough, why can't we all just get along? Celebrate people. Celebrate life. That's what it's all about.

But the athletes? The events?

Michael Phelps is a machine. That man can swim. He was born to swim. A six foot wing span is ridiculous. He's like a human pterodactyl. He deserved every medal he's ever earned. Most Celebrated Olympian is putting it lightly. Well done, Mr. Phelps. Well done. Missy Franklin is well on her way to being the female version of Michael. Watch this space.

Five words. Korea. China. Badminton. Utterly DISGRACEFUL. I'm glad both were disqualified in the end. People pay A LOT of money for tickets and don't always get to choose the events they want to go to. To have to sit and watch a farce like that? I would have been steamed. NOT. COOL.

Canada vs USA women's soccer match? Canada should have won that game. Period. Proud American right here (insert thumbs), but fair is fair. They should have won. 

I'm not into muscular physiques by any means, but the men's swim teams should absolutely be made to come out of the locker rooms to the intro of Hot Chocolate's, 'You Sexy Thing'. You know, 'Buuuum....bum, bum, bum, bum, buuuuum'? You can almost see the condensation dripping off the foreheads of women everywhere.

I am so proud of the USA girls gymnastics team. They were definitely a force to be reckoned with, no doubt, but can someone please teach McKayla Maroney what sportsmanlike conduct is? I can completely appreciate how disappointing it must be to set the bar so high for yourself and not reach it, but keep your emotions in check. There is no reason to act like a Diva. It was embarrassing.

The road cycling was hilarious to watch. Nothing like several hundred shirtless, hairy spectators, donning a beer belly and a can of lager, screaming and toasting the faces of the cyclists as they pedaled by to get one in the spirit. Seriously, where were the barriers or guard rails to keep the lager louts at bay?

I am so proud that trampolinist Rosie MacLennan won Canada's only gold medal of the games. I'm also a bit put off that Christine Sinclair held the flag in the closing ceremonies. I know the Canadian women's soccer team is very celebrated in Canada, but Rosie did win Gold. It should have been her moment.

I teared up when Canadian Paula Findlay crossed the finish line last in Triathlon. She was apologizing the whole time. It broke my heart.

Jessica Ennis was an absolute ROCK STAR. Sheer Brilliance. Britain should be so proud of her. I know I am. On a side note, did you see that girl's abs?

The Chinese are incredible in so many events, but they are incredible divers. Just incredible. I could watch them all day.

The rowing teams make me feel so bad for complaining when I have to carry 6 bags of shopping into the house that is like 20 feet away. My heart dropped when the New Zealand women's rowing team were flying through the competition, then suddenly, caught a crab. It was the look on their faces that did me in. I can't imagine training that hard for weeks upon weeks, only to lose it that fast.

I think some judges needed to have their eyes checked when it came to the synchronized swimmers. Can we say biased? Yeah. I said it. In fact, I've always been iffy about events that are judged. This is like basing something on one person's opinion. It's dodgy. It just doesn't seem right.

Best Sportswear: Japan.
Best Culturally Dressed at the Closing Ceremony: Ukraine.
Best Dressed at the Closing Ceremony: USA.
Worst Dressed at the Closing Ceremony: Canada. 

In closing, it just goes to show how wonderful the human body is. You can push it to do extraordinary things.

Like making these cupcakes.

And then trying to restrain yourself from eating the lot.

BLACKCURRANT CUPCAKES                                     
The cupcake recipe adapted and slightly modified from The Joy of Cooking

2 eggs, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, unsalted and at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
½ cup milk


1 jar Blackcurrant Jam, such as Hartley's - see photo. Outside the UK, this is usually found at a British shop or a specialty grocery store that carries British goods. If you can't find Blackcurrant, you can use Blackberry Jam. (You also won't use the entire jar!)

Blackcurrant Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons blackcurrant jam
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add vanilla paste/extract. Add flour mixture slowly and alternate with milk until everything is incorporated. If you use the paste, you get those gorgeous seeds in the batter. 

Fill cups about 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Mine took 18 minutes. 

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Fill cups about 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Mine took 18 minutes. 

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. When cool, hollow out middles of cupcakes and add jam. Use an apple corer. It's magic. 

To make frosting: 
Cream butter, sugar, cream, and vanilla until smooth. Add jam and blend until incorporated.

Pipe or spread frosting on top of cupcakes and finish with a candy or embellishment, if desired. 

Yields: 12 Blackcurrant Cupcakes.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Do you want fries with that? Burger Topped Cupcakes!

Wanna know how to make me cry my weight in tears? Keep reading.

A few weeks ago, I went to see a Naturopath. I haven't been feeling as good as I should be for quite sometime, even with all the exercise and fresh air I've been getting. I also don't sleep very well, so this was my excuse for why I'm not feeling super awesome. Sleep = Rejuvenation.

It's frustrating, because I've always been a pretty healthy and energetic person, but for some reason my body and mind have been fist fighting the past few years. And I had no idea why.

Until now.

What has two perfectly manicured thumbs and a full on dairy allergy?

This gal.

Nope, there is nothing wrong with yo eyes. You read this right. Full. On. Dairy. Allergy.

Milk, butter, cream, all cheeses; if it's got cow's milk in it, I'm to run for the hills like I'm on fire. Apparently, my body has been launching a full on war against it without my acknowledgement or consent, thus creating havoc on my system over the past few years. And here's me, blaming childbearing for all the changes my body has incurred. Oops.

When the Naturopath read me my test results, I would not have been more surprised or shocked if a unicorn wearing high heels and a set of pearls walked into the office and threw up rainbows in the shapes of hearts than I was at that moment.

When I flatly refused to accept it and told her the tests must be wrong, she asked me a series of questions that most dairy challenged folk would easily fail. When I couldn't deny the symptoms, I graciously raised the proverbial white flag and submitted to my fate. It was at that moment a single tear beaded down my cheek, like a bad 80s music video.

Oh, but I'm not done ladies and gentleman.

It turns out that I also have a small gluten intolerance to most grains, including the ancient, totally-good-for-you ones. Not as bad as the Mister, but I now have it. Apparently, 42% of the North American population have a gluten intolerance and just don't know it. I'm also apparently intolerant to cherries, (seriously?) grapes (what?), watermelon (You've GOT to be kidding me, right?), oranges, cucumbers,  onions, and garlic and brown rice and rice bran....this is ridiculous. If I can't have rice, what DO I eat? Great.

'Oh, sorry love, no cookies and milk for me, thank you. I'll just gnaw on some tree bark and coconut water.' Super fun.

So what do I do now?

Keep calm and do what I've been doing. Except not eat any of it. Yeah, good luck with that.

Sucks. Sucks. SUCKS!

Anyway, I retaliated and made these lush-full-o'-dairy-and-gluten cupcakes for a BBQ we were invited to. I'm not about to punish the rest of society for my faulty system. I figured that our friends should benefit from my baking. 

I mean, at least someone is. 


For the burgers:

1 cup shredded coconut
1 tub of white ready made icing (or you can use your own) 
1 package chocolate mint cookies, such as Keebler Grasshopper, Girl Scouts Thin Mints, or a store brand, such as Great Value
1 box vanilla cookies, such as Nilla wafers
1 cup sesame seeds
Agave nectar or honey
Red, yellow, and green food coloring

For the cupcakes:

1 box of yellow cake mix
4 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup whole milk

For the vanilla buttercream frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste 
¼ cup heavy cream

To make hamburgers:

In two small bowls, mix about a ½ cup frosting in one and a ½ cup in another, along with a few drops of red and yellow food coloring and blend until you get 'ketchup' and 'mustard'.

In a small ziploc bag, place coconut along with a few drops of green food coloring. Mash together until all pieces are tinted green. This is for the 'lettuce'. Pour into a small bowl. Place sesame seeds in a bowl for easier dipping. 

Lay out vanilla cookies in a row. On the top of each cookie, place a dot of honey or agave nectar. Smooth over with finger until the top of cookie is coated. Dip cookie into sesame seeds and dab until you get a nice coat of seeds. Allow to dry for a few minutes. 

On top of mint cookie, place a generous dollop of red or yellow frosting. Apply coconut to the top of that. On the underside of the seeded 'bun', place a dollop of frosting of the opposite color. This will ensure the 'lettuce', 'bun', and 'burger' all adhere well and give the effect of a burger. 

On the flat side of the bottom 'bun', place a generous dollop of red or yellow frosting. Finish off burger by sandwiching to the rest of the cookie. Apply slight pressure, but not too much or you'll end up with 'condiment' oozing out your burger. 

Allow to dry and set, at least several hours. Prepare and bake cupcakes, as well as frosting. Pipe buttercream onto cupcakes and place a burger on top. 

Yields: 24 burger topped cupcakes.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cherry Bakewell Tarts

It's Day 6 of the Olympics. Bring. it. on.

I am a SERIOUS Olympic junkie, especially Summer. I could sit and watch for hours if it was acceptable to do so - and if my children were old enough to at least make themselves, and me, a sandwich. And a cup of tea.

It's even more exciting, because this year, it's in London. I'm missing the UK more than one could imagine, so during some events, like bicycling, where they ride through the streets and small villages that attach to London, it is that much harder to watch. My heart pines for it. 

I am a nervous wreck when I watch any of the events. It's nail biting excitement for 3 weeks. To make matters worse, I'm an emotional eater. I always have been. When I'm tired, I eat. When I'm bored, I eat, but when nervous situations warrant it, like sports, dramatic movies, or the Real Housewives series, forget it. I'm like Henry the VIII at his last meal. Mind you, the RH's is popcorn mandatory, so it doesn't really count. And it certainly doesn't make me nervous. If anything, it's cat-fight deliciousness.

Speaking of popcorn, since the Olympics started, I have been stuffing my gob by the fistfuls, screaming at the TV like a banshee for the athletes to move their tails, getting all sorts of red in the face, while kernels fly through the air. My house looks like the aftermath of the Super Bowl party pretty much every night. However, I tow the line at the double can hat with built-in straw. That's just loutish.

Can I just say that if I was ever in the Olympics and won a medal, especially a gold, I would be an absolute mess on the podium. My composure would fly out the window and I would be sobbing like a toddler that just lost their balloon. Unless they add a cupcake eating contest, I won't be competing in one in my lifetime, so we won't need to see the blubbering fool I would turn into.

Of course, popcorn decorating the air isn't in proper British form. One should stop and enjoy a proper cup of tea with a delicious British confection.

Bakewell tarts are fabulous on their own, but brilliant with a cuppa. However, I tow the line with the pinky extended in the air.

Unless you attach a foam finger onto it. 

That's about as proper as I get.


For the crust:
Please see my Grandma's Rhubarb Tarts for instructions:

2¼ cups cake flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, COLD and cut into cubes
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

For the filling:

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup ground almonds
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda 
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract 
½ cup cherry or strawberry jam 

For the icing: 

1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk 
12 maraschino cherries 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with flour. Roll out and cut dough into 24 disks, a size slightly larger than the muffin cup. Form to shape the cup and set aside.  

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Blend in almond extract, ground almonds, flour, baking soda, and salt. 

Spoon about a tablespoon of jam into the bottom of cup. 

Spoon about a tablespoon of almond mixture on top. For some reason, these look really full, but they weren't.

Top with remaining disks. 

Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes and transfer to a rack.

To make the icing:

In a small bowl, combine sugar and milk until well blended.  Drizzle over top of tarts and immediately place a cherry on top. 

Yields: 12 Bakewell Tarts.

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