By Dennis Weaver, March 26, 2013,
Saturdays are fun. They are also busy. People drive out come to The Pantry on Saturday when they don’t have time during the week. And we cook and bake all day. Everyone gets a treat—sometimes more than one. We want to share what we made on Saturday.
Cookies and Adventures with Candied Ginger
We found some great ginger pieces. They were small diced and chewy without being hard and with just the right amount of sugar. We loved them and so we bought 100 pounds and headed to the test kitchen.
We got lost in cookie recipes, adding ginger pieces to dozens of batches in recipe after recipe. (We used from 1/3 to 2/3 cups in most recipes.) We concluded with three outstanding cookie mixes.
Ginger Pear Gourmet Cookies. These are classy cookies. Gingered pear cookies just seem sophisticated. The pears are very fruity and sweet and the ginger brings them to life. We served these a lot in the store.
Candied Gingersnaps. Think of these as improved gingersnaps. They are very traditional but I like them better with those little pieces of ginger.
Candied Ginger and Lemon Cream Gourmet Sugar Cookies. These are classy cookies, sugar cookies, that you can cut into shapes. The lemon is the dominant flavor—they’re lemon cookies—but the ginger seems to intensify the flavor of the lemons. They’re pretty incredible cookies.
We’re still tinkering with our candied ginger. We’re lining up gingerbread and spice cakes to try with our candied ginger.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast with Lemon Syrup
This stuffed French toast was a big hit on Saturday. The common way to make stuffed French toast is to spread filling between two slices of bread—make a sandwich—and then dip the sandwich in egg wash and cook it on the griddle. Simple. But in this case, we were using fresh strawberries and didn’t want to heat them. So this is how you can make this stuffed French toast.
- Wash and slice the strawberries. We used a strawberry slicer to get thin, even slices to fit in our sandwich. We sprinkled the strawberries with a teaspoon of sugar, no more.
- Cook the French toast in single slices, not as sandwiches as we usually do for stuffed French toast. Keep the toast warm in a 200 degree oven.
- Spread cream cheese pastry filling on half of the French toast slices. Add a layer of sliced fresh strawberries on the filling and top them with the other French toast slices.
- Serve the stuffed French toast with warm lemon syrup.
Our lemon syrup mix has a tone just like a lemon pie. Folks went nuts over the combination of strawberries, cream cheese, and lemon. This is a must try breakfast for a special occasion.
For much of Saturday, we made and gave away raspberry cupcakes. But we made all kinds of raspberry cupcakes. Look at your choices:
For the cupcakes, use either a dark chocolate cake mix or a white cake mix. Many of the cupcakes we made Saturday were made with a Raspberry Sour Cream Cake mix. They were very raspberry and very good.
For the fillings, use premade pastry fillings in Bavarian cream, raspberry, or chocolate.
Frost them with raspberry frosting, chocolate frosting, or vanilla frosting. We have a new raspberry cream cheese frosting mix that works very well with our new raspberry cake mix.
A Word about Lamingtons
Katie, my other daughter, is a foodie. So it shouldn’t surprise me that she knew about lamingtons. But I didn’t until last week. They are pieces of cake dipped in chocolate and then rolled in cocoa or candy pieces.. We used a Fudgy Baby Cakes Mix and cut the cake into 1 1/2-inch squares. We dipped them in melted chocolate, and covered them with candy bark. We used chocolate wafers for melting.
They were very good. Watch for a post with step-by-step images and recipe suggestions.
Boston cream pie cupcakes have long been favorites in our test kitchen. They are luscious—made with a white or a yellow cake mix, a Bavarian cream filling, and topped with chocolate ganache. Our Vanilla Bean Baby Cakes Mix is perfect. It’s easy to fill cupcakes with premade Bavarian Cream. But sometimes folks hesitate at making ganache. We wondered if we could use a frosting instead of ganache.
We have a chocolate fudge frosting that is very thick and ganache-like. We heated it until it was just spoonable, about 15 seconds in the microwave—and then dipped the tops of the cupcakes in the liquid ganache. They were perfect.
This frosting created a very glossy, attractive finish. For a thicker coating, simply double-dip the cupcake tops.
So you can make Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes with a mix, filled in a moment with a premade filling, and dipped in chocolate–the easiest luscious cupcakes we know.
We also made a pecan fudge cake on Saturday and coved it with this frosting for a very attractive, very fudgy finish.