Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chocolate Eclair Pie

This week, we'll honor Brent's Grandmother with one of her family classics, the Chocolate Éclair Pie.  The recipe is found on page 121, although, you'll need to refer to page 117 for the pastry cream recipe.  Pie is great any time of year!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bake or No Bake? You Made Your Decision!

This week, our Beekman Bakers had a choice of a baking recipe or a no-bake recipe.  Let's see what they decided...

Liz from CA
"I was excited to try olive oil poundcake and make good use of an impulse purchase - Tunisian olive oil from Trader Joe's.  My oven is having some trouble, and the cake ended up a little brown.  I had reservations about photographing the cake and posting it, but then drew inspiration from Julia Child and decided to "never apologize!"  I trimmed the sides and ends off the cake, iced it, and served it up.  Oh, the no-bake cookies were simple and fun." 

Missy from MA
"My olive oil pound cake may not be the prettiest thing but it was delicious!  The citrus combination was perfect and the cake's texture is quite light and airy compared to a typical butter pound cake.  This recipe FILLED my loaf pan and nearly oozed over while baking but I think I stopped short of whipping the egg portion of the mix enough.  It deflated once I removed it from the oven.  Also, I had to bake my cake around 12 minutes longer than the recipe suggests.  The tart and sweet glaze was the perfect topping.  We took it to a dinner party last night and everyone love it!"

Reynaul from VA
"These cookies were so easy to make, my 2 1/2 year old loved helping me stir these up.  I didn't have crunchy peanut butter on hand, but they came out yummy all the same!  They don't make a whole lot which is great and you can make so may different variations with the nuts, dried fruits, adding chocolate chips, etc.  This will definitely stay in the rotation!" 

Maria from IL
"The AITC No-Bake Cookies were SUPER EASY!  I even had my daughter help.  She loved it!  We used Peanut Butter and Company's Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter instead of the crunchy peanut butter and we also added about 1/3 of a cup of chocolate chips.  They came out great!  We scooped the cookies and formed them into balls for easier consumption.  I put them in the fridge to have them set a bit more solid.  Definitely making these on a regular basis!" 

Maria from IL
Note:  Maria was super ambitious this week and made both selections!  Good for you, Maria! 
"The Olive Oil Pound Cake was super easy too!  I decided to do what I did with the lemon-Toasted Poppy Seed Cake and bake these into mini-loaves for easier sharing.  I was able to mostly fill about 3/4 full 10 loaves and 6 half full loaves.  Suffice to say, the 3/4 loaves were the way to go!  They baked for about 29 minutes with the less filled pound cakes being a bit browner than the others.  The icing came out a bit thick and I needed more to spread them on the rest of the mini loaves.  They turned out great!"

Sue from NJ
"I was so happy that my selection, the Olive Oil Pound Cake was one of the selections this week.  I actually had attempted this cake in the fall.. a huge disaster back then.  I am so happy I was able to be successful this time... how flavorful and moist!  I did extend the amount of time the eggs and sugar were mixed this time and the cake could have used a couple more minutes for the center/top to fully bake (so close!), but overall, a moist cake!  My husband mentioned it would be awesome to grill the slices and add fresh fruit in the spring/summer.  As always, I'm enjoying my baking experiences with the Beekman's!  Thanks!"

Monday, March 24, 2014

To Bake or Not to Bake.. That is the Question...

There are so many great recipes to choose from, and at the suggestion of some of our more active members, we're offering up two choice this week.  If you're tired of baking, we've got you covered.  If you can't get enough cake.. there is a choice for you too!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Taste of Spring.. Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

When you think of spring, you can't help but think of lemons with their fresh clean taste on the ever warming days.  Here are the creations for the Lemon Poppy seed Cake..

Sue from NJ
"My house always smells fantastic when I Bake Like a Beekman --- spring is in the air (although it's still way too cold near me!)  Lemony fresh!"

Maria from IL
"I love lemons and poppy seeds!  While I have had my share of lemon poppy seed muffins, this was the first recipe for this yummy dessert that I have tried!  Let me say it was interesting to say the least!  Especially with the toasting of the poppy seeds and then the butter and greek yogurt.  Made for interesting mixing for sure!  Sadly, my kids are not fans of lemon, but they tried small pieces anyway.  I followed the recipe exactly, but with one change... I broke out the mini loaf pans and loaf liners to make mini cakes!  They turned out great and they are easy to share too!" 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Your Favorite Series: Tita Patty's Famous Filipino Fruit Salad

Maria from IL

My Tita (Aunt) would make this fruit salad for every Christmas Eve party and any other family gatherings we've had.  I loved it as a kid and I love it now! 

At Filipino gatherings, it is a 'requirement' for you to make WAY MORE food than you would as there is a term called 'baon' or 'leftovers' that most Filipinos expect after a gathering

You are expected to bring some food with you.. enough food for future meals for the next few days! 

Tita Patty's Famous Filipino Fruit Salad


1 30oz Can of Fruit Cocktail , drained
 3oz Cream Cheese
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 C Sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C Young coconut strings (macapuno)
1 Medium red apple, chopped (optional, I used Gala)

Mix all the above ingredients together and refrigerate

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Welcome Spring! Lemon-Toasted Poppy Seed Cake

It's time to usher in spring with the delicious taste of lemon and poppy seeds. 

Your Favorite Series: Lemon Bars or Tart, You Choose...

Bernie from GA

One of our favorite recipes is lemon bars, a recipe from my bubby Raleigh's grandmother Olive Batten. 

Raleigh's mom shared the recipe with us a few years ago and it's been my 'go-to' recipe whenever I need to whip up something really delicious quickly.  Over the years, the recipe has morphed into a tart.  It started when I could not find my brownie pan one day. 

It can be easily dressed up with some whipped cream and berries. 

Lemon Tart*

*tweaked from original recipe of lemon squares by Olive W. Batten (Raleigh's grandmother)

Preheat oven to 350 F

Pulse in food processor till combined:
1 cup flour
½ cup butter
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Press mixture into and up sides of an 8 ½ inch fluted tart pan* with removable bottom.
Bake for 15 minutes (till lightly browned)

Meanwhile, combine in a large bowl:
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup granulated sugar (brown or turbinado sugar can be used to bake “brown sugar lemon tart”)
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

When tart crust is ready, remove from oven, set aside and add to the sugar mixture:
2 eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
Whisk to combine fully (mixture will fizzle a little) and pour into hot crust.
Return to 350F oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes till set
Cool on wire rack till lukewarm. Remove from tart pan and cool completely on wire rack before slicing. Dust with powdered sugar and serve

*can be made in a regular square brownie pan

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Your Favorite Series: Nama's Old Fashioned Rolled Sugar Cookies

Anne from MI

When my seven nieces and nephews were growing up, our family tradition was spending the day together baking my grandmother's sugar cookies. 

I learned to bake from Nama when I was 4 years old and baked Christmas cookies  with her until I was married. 

I wanted to share Nama's sugar cookie recipe with you.. enjoy it and be sure to pass it on.  Good recipes are meant to be shared. 

Nama's Old Fashioned Rolled Sugar Cookies


1/2 C Unsalted butter
1C White sugar
1 Egg
1 Tbl Milk
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 C All-purpose flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp baking powder


Cream butter in mixing bowl.  Beat in sugar, egg, milk and vanilla.  Add flour, salt and baking powder.  Mix well.  Divide dough in half and wrap in waxed paper.  Chill in refrigerator at least one hour.   Use plenty of flour on the board, rolling pin and cookie cutters to prevent sticking.  Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.  Bake at 375 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet for 5-8 minutes. 

Nama's Cookie Frosting

Mix 2 Tbl of hot water to 1 cup powdered sugar.  Mix with a knife.  Tint with a drop or two of liquid food coloring.  Note:  Using hot water makes the frosting shiny.  Add hot water as needed to perfect consistency. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Your Favorite Series: Jewish Cookies (Mandelbrot)

Jo-Ann from RI

Back in the 60's, my mother baked all the time, and she loved to swap recipes with everyone.  Our neighbor, Ida Lipowsky, gave my mother this recipe over 40 years ago.  It has become one of our family favorites, and we always request it every holiday.  But, according to my mom, Ida never told her what the cookies were called, so because the Lipowskys were Jewish, my mother just called them 'Jewish cookies!'

About a year ago, I decided to research these cookies and found out that they really are traditional Jewish cookies called Mandelbrot, which when translated means 'Almond bread.'  They are actually a version of biscotti, and of course, everyone who makes them, has their own version of the recipe.


3 Eggs beaten
1/2C Vegetable oil plus 2 Tbl
3 1/2C All Purpose Flour
1C Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2C Raisins
1 Jar Marachino Cherries cut in half
1/2C Walnuts or any preferred nuts
Sugar and Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together dry ingredients.  Add the eggs and vegetable oil along with the cherries and walnuts.  Coat your hands with vegetable oil and mix together with your hands until combined.  Separate dough into  thirds.  On a baking sheet, pour 2 Tbl of oil and coat thoroughly.  Form three rectangular mounds of dough on the cookie sheet.  Sprinkle generously with sugar and cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes. 

Allow to cool and cut each rectangle into slices. 

Your Favorite Series: Grandma's Cannoli

John from MI

I tossed around whether or not to share this recipe because it is considered what we would call a 'family secret, ' but I live for the idea of sharing from my kitchen to yours.  Plus, I shared this recipe with Sandy Gluck a couple years ago; I was curious to see if it was going to end up in Martha Stewart Living or Everyday Food.

Being from a Sicilian family, I was never a stranger to good, comforting food.  The holidays were always big events with emphasis on the desserts!  Everyone always looked forward to Grandmas cannolis!  This has been in her family for generations, so I guess it could be considered an heirloom recipe.  Grandma taught my mother and her sisters how to make these delectable treats, and my mother taught me and my sister.  Each year, just before all the major holiday baking, we spend an entire day making hundreds of shells.  We make cannolis to serve during Thanksgiving and Christmas, when company comes over, when we go to visit friends and family we bring cannolis, as well as share them with co-workers.  We also freeze a couple dozen shells so we have them ready for Easter. 

Making the shells is just like making fresh pasta; as a matter of fact, we always use a pasta machine (the hand crank kind) to roll the dough, as it rolls the dough perfectly thin for the shells. 

The recipe does call for frying the shells in lard.  That is what my grandmother used, and insisted they be fried in the traditional manner!  We still use lard today.  Of course, one could use vegetable shortening, but Grandma wouldn't approve!!  The recipe makes about 2 dozen cannolis. 

Cannoli Shells: 

1 3/4 C All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbl Sugar
1  Egg slightly beaten
2 Tbl firm, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/4 C Dry white wine
1 Egg white, slightly beaten
Lard for deep frying
Cannoli forms (found in kitchen or baking supply stores)

Heat at least 3-4 inches of lard in a heavy pot or deep fryer to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, salt and sugar onto a large counter surface.  Make a well in the center;  In the well place eggs and butter.  With a fork, slowly work the egg into the flour, from center out, until all the flour is moistened.  Add wine, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough begins to cling and hold together.  You may not use all the wine.  Using your hands, form dough into a ball.  Cover with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll dough out to 1/16" thick.  Using a 3 1/2" round cutter, cut circles in the dough.  Wrap the dough circle, loosely, around a cannoli form, sealing the edge together with a little egg white. 

Fry the shells, 2 or 3 at a time, for about 1 minute or until lightly golden.  Using tongs, remove from the fat to drain on paper towels.  Cool 5-10 seconds then carefully slip the shell off of the form.  Repeat with the rest of the dough circles.  Cool completely before filling. 

Cannoli Filling:

The filling is very simple like making pudding.  It's more of a Sicilian style and does not contain Ricotta cheese or candied fruits which is more northern Italian style. 

1 quart Half and Half
1C Sugar
1/2C plus 1Tbl Cornstarch
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Hershey Bar chopped into tiny pieces

Combine all ingredients, except the vanilla in a heavy sauce pan.  Slowly heat until boiling, whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened.  Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla.  Transfer to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming.  Cool, then refrigerate until chilled. 

When chilled, remove the cinnamon stick, then pass the filling through a food mill use the disc with larger holes.  Alternately, you can beat the filling with a mixer.  Fold in the chopped chocolate.  Cover, and keep refrigerated until ready to fill the shells.  Fill the shells just prior to serving. 

To Fill and Serve Cannolis:

Place filling in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, or use a small spoon.  Fill the desired number of cannolis through each end.  Dips ends of cannoli in ground almonds to light coat the exposed filling.  Place on a large, rimmed baking sheet.  When the desired number of Cannoli are filled, lightly sift confectioners sugar over the top and serve. 

They are addicting!

Your Favorite Series: Cream Cheese Cookies with Confectioners Sugar Glaze

Sue from NJ

I would love to have a true heritage recipe; but my mom was an excellent cook and I had a grandmother who worked at a German bakery in New York.  Our tables were always filled with excellent sweets, but not always homemade.

I stumbled upon a cookie recipe many, many years ago.  After a little changing, it has become a 'go to' for me no matter what the holiday or celebration with just a change of the cookie cutter and decoration. 

Cream Cheese Cookies with Confectioners Sugar Glaze

Cookie Ingredients: 

1C Sugar
1C  Butter (2 sticks) softened
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Egg Yolk
2 1/4 C All Purpose Flour

Glaze Ingredients:

1C  Confectioners Sugar
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
2-3 T  Milk

Assorted colored sugars


Cream sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt and egg yolk until light.  Add flour, blending well.  Divide dough into two sections covering with plastic wrap.  Chill dough at least 1 hour. 

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using one section at a time, roll the dough to 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes and bake 7-10 minutes or until a light golden on the bottom of the cookie.  The size of the cookie will determine the baking time;  adjust accordingly.  Cool cookies on a rack. 

Once cookies are cooled, make the glaze.  Combine all ingredients together to desired consistency.  Brush over cooled cookies and add colored sugars as desired.   Enjoy!