Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BLT Canapés

Here's another baby shower recipe. I had to look up the definition of canapé because I wasn't exactly sure what it meant. It's an appetizer consisting of a piece of bread or toast or a cracker topped with a savory spread. I copied this recipe from a cookbook I checked out from the library a long time ago, and decided to make it so I could use some cherry tomatoes from my garden. I loved these! I doubled the recipe and had a little bacon mayo left over so my husband and kids finished it off. You could also try it with baguette slices.

BLT Canapés
1 cup mayo
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 loosely packed cup chopped fresh parsley
Dash of cayenne pepper
8-12 slices sandwich bread
24 cherry tomatoes, halved OR 24 thin slices of plum tomato
Shredded lettuce

1. Combine the mayo, bacon, and parsley in a small bowl. Season with cayenne pepper. The bacon mayo can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven broiler. Using a small biscuit or round cookie cutter (mine is 2 inches in diameter), cut 24 rounds from the slices of bread. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and broil until lightly browned on one side, 1-2 minutes.
3. When ready to serve, arrange bread rounds on platter, browned side down. Spread 1-2 tsps of bacon mayo on each round, then top with tomato and lettuce. Serve at once. Makes 24.

I used white and wheat bread.

A pile of bacon mayo.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

I tried a bunch of new recipes this week because I helped make some food for a baby shower. I was very fortunate to have almost everything turn out fabulous. You never know quite what you'll get when you're trying new stuff. These cupcakes weren't totally new though. I took my white cupcake recipe and doubled it, adding a little pink lemonade mix, and a tiny bit of food coloring. Then I found a recipe for pink lemonade frosting. I was very happy with the results! One tip for the frosting: make sure you stir the frozen concentrated pink lemonade before measuring it out because it separates in the can.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 TBSPs sweetened powdered pink lemonade mix (like Country Time)
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 tsps vanilla extract
Pink food coloring (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and lemonade and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
4. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk and vanilla; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (I use a muffin scoop that holds about 1/4 a cup). Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing. Makes 24-28 cupcakes

Pink Lemonade Frosting
adapted from
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening
Zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 TBSPs milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 pound package or 7 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Pink food coloring (optional)

Cream butter, shortening, and lemon zest together. Add lemonade concentrate, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, mixing well until light and fluffy. Beat in the food coloring. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

I'll be posting a few more recipes soon.....

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gorgonzola Pear Toasts

I love these! I had this appetizer at a baby shower I attended, and I couldn't stop eating them. They look fancy, but are practically effortless! I bought a bag of candied pecans, which you can find on the baking aisle, but you can make your own too with this easy method here. You can find baguettes in the bakery section of the grocery store. They are super long and skinny. The original recipe calls for Gorgonzola, but I've made it with Feta and it's just as good.

Gorgonzola Pear Toasts
adapted from
1 baguette, thinly sliced
2 TBSPs olive oil
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz Gorgonzola or Feta cheese
1-2(15oz) cans of pear halves, drained and cut into small slices (you really need about 1 1/2 cans)
1/2 cup candied pecans, chopped
2 TBSPs parsley, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush them lightly with olive oil. Bake them for 5-7 minutes, just until they start to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Combine cream cheese and Gorgonzola OR Feta in mixer with paddle attachment. Beat them together until mixed well.
3. Spread a little bit of the cheese mixture on top of each of the toasts. Add a sliced pear and few candied pecan pieces, then sprinkle with fresh parsley. You might need to press a few of the pecans onto the cheese to make them stick if them fall off of the pear.
Serve immediately. Makes about 60 toasts.