Cut the strawberries in half or quarters, depending on size, and mash roughly with a potato masher in a large bowl. You should have about 2 cups mashed berries. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to break down the berries slightly. Stir once or twice while they sit to dissolve the sugar.
Pour the strawberries and their natural syrup into a blender and blend for 1 minute, until a smooth purée forms. Pour into a high-sided pan or Dutch oven (the wider the better, to help the liquid evaporate evenly) and bring to a low boil over medium heat.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often. Visual cues are your best friend when you’re cooking fruit: the liquid will foam, then clarify as the bubbles slow and the purée thickens. At the final stage, the purée will be consistently thick and almost opaque, and it will “mound” slightly instead of immediately seeping back when pushed across the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
Preheat the oven to 175°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.
Divide the cooked fruit between the baking sheet and use an offset or silicone spatula to spread evenly into as thin and wide a rectangle as possible. The jam should be no more than 1/8 inch thick but still as evenly opaque as you can manage; thinner, more translucent spots will harden into brittle.
Heat in the oven for 5 to 6 hours, or until the fruit feels slightly tacky but no longer sticky. The timing will depend on the humidity level; a rainy day makes for a longer set.
Transfer the parchment or Silpats to wire racks and cool completely then transfer the fruit leather to sheets of waxed paper large enough to leave overhang on all sides. Use kitchen shears to cut the fruit leather from each pan into 6 (5 by 5-inch) squares. Fold the extra waxed paper over the edges before rolling so they won’t fuse. Store the Roll-Ups at room temperature in an airtight container for up a week.
- Cheese Curls
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow cornmeal
- 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
- Cheese Coating
- 2 tablespoons Cheddar cheese powder
- 1/2 teaspoon buttermilk powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Make the cheese curls: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, salt, and garlic powder at medium-low speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, cornmeal, and shredded cheese. Stir together at low speed until a firm dough forms. Shape into a disc and place on a large sheet of plastic wrap; wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.
Pinch off small pieces of the chilled dough and gently roll between your palms and fingers to form lumpy logs roughly 2 to 2 1/2 inches long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch across. Place on the prepared baking sheets—you can space them fairly close together because they won’t puff up while baking.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the pieces are no longer shiny and are just beginning to brown around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Add the coating: Place the cheese powder, buttermilk powder, salt, and cornstarch in a spice grinder or mini food processor and whir for 10 to 15 seconds to blend evenly.
Transfer to a large zip-top bag. Add the cooled Cheetos, seal, and shake gently to coat evenly. Store the coated cheese curls at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.
- 16-ounce box golden pound cake mix
- 4 egg whites, beaten until stiff
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 teaspoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 drops lemon extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Beat cake mix, whipped egg whites, and water on medium speed until completely blended, about 2 minutes. Carefully fill the foil tubes, leaving 3/4-inch headspace. Bake about 30 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cakes cool, then remove foil. Use a toothpick to make 3 holes along the length of each cake. Wiggle the toothpick around the center to make room for the filling, taking care not to poke through to the other side.
Filling: Cream shortening and butter together in a medium bowl. With mixer running on medium speed, add powdered sugar and granulated sugar, a little at a time, until smooth. Add vanilla and evaporated milk, and lemon extract. Continue mixing until fluffy.
Spoon filling into a pastry bag with a No. 5 tip. Inject filling into each of the 3 holes in each faux twinkie cake and place hole-side-down on a serving platter or store in a covered container.
canola or vegetable oil for frying
1 package corn tortillas
1/2 cup cheddar cheese powder
1 tablespoon butermilk powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder, kosher salt, granulated sugar, and cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon citric acid
1 pinch cayenne pepper
heat a least 2 inches of oil to 350F in a n electric deep fryer or large, high sided pot. line a baking sheet with paper towels and an upside down wire colling rack.
cut each tortilla into 8 triangles.
grind all the remaining ingredients together in a spice grinder or mini food processor. pour the powdered mixture into a gallon size zip loc bag.
fry the chips in batches until golden brown. should not take up to 4-5 minutees per batch. transfer to the lined baking sheet with heat proof tongs or a metal skimmer or mesh strainer to cool completely.
once all the chips are cool, place in the zip loc bag and shake to coat lightly with the seasoning powder. remove chips from he bag and return to he wire rack, shaking gently to remove excess powder if necessary.
2 cups unbleached, all – purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder and vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground mace and ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
whisk the flour, baking powder, mace, allspice, and ginger together in a medium bowl; set aside.
in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attatchment, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar together on medium speed for 3 minutes. add the egg and vanilla and stir on low speed. gradually add the flour and spice mixture until fully incorporated into a soft dough.
pat the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. chill for at least an hour.
preheat the oven to 350 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
divide the chilled dough into 4 pieces. on a floured surface, gently roll one of the pieces to a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. use floured cookie cutters to stamp out shapes and carefully transfer the cookies to a prepared baking sheet. using a spatula or turner if necessary. save the scraps for re – rolling.
bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are puffy and golden brown at the edges. transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. repeat with the remaining dough. scraps can be re-rolled once to make additional cookies.
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon cheddar cheese powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup whole or reduced fat milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
MAKE THE DOUGH
stir the cheese, flours, cheddar powder, salt, baking powder, and onion powder together in a large bowl until the cheese is evenly distributed and coated. add the milk and vegetable oil and continue to stir with a spatula, then knead in the bowl with your hands until a cohesive dough forms. it will be crumbly at first, but continue to press and knead he dough until any dry bits are incorperated. transfer the dough to your work surface, cover with the upside down bowl, and let rest for 10 minutes.
MAKE THE CRACKERS
preheat the oven to 375 f. line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.divide the dough into 2 pieces, refrigerate one piece while you roll the second piece as thin as humanly possible, no more than 1/8 inch thick.
stamp out cracker shapes with your cookie cutter of choice. bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the crackers are crispy and just turning golden at the edges. the timing will vary according to the size and shape of the crackers.
- 85 grams almond flour or finely ground almonds
- 150 grams powdered sugar
- 90 grams egg whites (from about 3 large eggs), room temperature
- 55 grams superfine or granulated sugar
For Cookie Dough Filling:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoon heavy cream (or as needed)
- 1.5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely grated using a vegetable peeler (about 1/4 cup grated)
- In a food processor, combine almond flour and powdered sugar; pulse for 20 to 30 seconds until evenly distributed. Sift at least once through a fine mesh sieve, discarding any larger particles.
- Place egg whites in a clean metal mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until frothy, then slowly add superfine sugar, a little bit at a time with the mixer on medium speed, scraping down the side of the bowl periodically. When all the sugar has been added, increase speed to medium high and whip until meringue is firm and glossy and forms medium-stiff peaks.
- Pour half of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and stir, folding and scraping a few times until no dry flour remains. Add the remaining flour and mix, folding and spreading the batter against the sides of the bowl about 15 to 20 times or just until the meringue and flour are incorporated and the batter falls off the spatula in thick ribbons. Do not overmix.
- Transfer the batter to a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip, twisting the end of the bag to prevent the batter from leaking. Pipe small circles onto a parchment or silicone-mat-lined baking sheet, leaving about 1-inch of space between them.
- Rap the baking sheet firmly on the counter, then smack the bottom of the baking sheet multiple times with your hand to remove any remaining air bubbles. If any pointy ‘tips’ still remain, you can gently press them down with a lightly moistened fingertip. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs (if using), and set aside to dry.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. When macarons are dry (you should be able to just barely touch the surface of the cookies with a dry finger without them sticking), stack the baking sheet on top of another empty baking sheet (this will help them bake more evenly). Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, keeping an eye on them to make sure they do not brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack, then gently remove from baking sheets.
- To prepare filling, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix in flour, salt, vanilla, and almond extract on low speed until incorporated. Add cream and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes, adding more cream if necessary to acheive desired consistency. Stir in grated chocolate. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Gently pipe about a teaspoon of filling onto underside of half of the cooled cookies, then top with remaining cookies.
- Cookies will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to three days.
3 ounces good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon tapioca starch* or cornstarch
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles, for serving
Place chopped chocolate in a medium, heat-proof bowl and set aside.
In a saucepan, whisk together starch and milk powder. Slowly pour in milk, whisking until smooth and no lumps remain. Heat over medium heat until mixture just starts to steam. Pour over white chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth and melted.
Return mixture to saucepan and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Divide among mugs, top with whipped cream and sprinkles, and serve.
*Look for tapioca starch (not to be confused with the granules/pearls or pudding) in the baking isle of specialty grocers (I used the Let’s Do Organic brand from Whole Foods), online, or at asian food stores. I liked it because it thickens just as effectively as cornstarch but with a creamier texture and no starchy aftertaste.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted and divided
For the Cookie Dough:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
For the Marshmallows:
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Butter an 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two sides; generously butter parchment. Liberally dust pan with 1/3 cup powdered sugar, making sure sides and corners are coated as well.
To prepare cookie dough, combine butter and sugars in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt, vanilla, and milk; mix well. Add flour and mix until incorporated. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.
Place 1/3 cup cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over top and set aside to soften for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. When mixture begins to boil, stop stirring. Cover and allow to boil for 2 minutes. Remove cover and continue to boil, without stirring, until mixture reaches 238°F, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Fit stand mixer with a whisk attachment and turn to low speed. Carefully pour hot (very hot!) sugar mixture into bowl with gelatin. Pour slowly down the side of the bowl to prevent splattering. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until mixture is thick, shiny, and lukewarm to the touch, about 13 to 15 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
Drop dollops of soft cookie dough onto marshmallow mixture, and fold until dough is swirled evenly throughout, but not fully incorporated.
Pour marshmallow into prepared pan, smoothing top with a lightly buttered spatula. You may also use your hands if you find it easier; simply wet them with water and press the marshmallow into the pan. It is sticky stuff; don’t worry if you can’t get it all out of the bowl. Lightly dust top with remaining powdered sugar and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Allow marshmallows to set, uncovered, for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until firm.
To serve, lift marshmallows out of pan and onto a cutting board. Carefully peel down sides of parchment. Cut into bite-size cubes using a pizza cutter that has been lightly buttered and dusted with powdered sugar so it won’t stick. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.