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Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

Ingredients

Pastry Dough
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp Kosher salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup ice water
Strawberry Filling
1 lb fresh strawberries, stems removed and quartered
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 pinch Kosher salt
For Assembly
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
¼ tsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp strawberry filling for each pop tart
Vanilla Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
34 tbsp milk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
food coloring and sprinkles if desired

Directions

Pastry Dough

Place the flour salt and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and water. Pulse until just combined. At this point you should be able to pinch the dough together with your fingers. If it’s too crumbly add the tiniest bits of ice water until the dough just sticks together. Transfer the dough to a large, clean work area. Divide dough into two portions and press into flat disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to two days.

Strawberry Filling

In a medium saucepan combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon until the strawberries start to sizzle. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook and mix for 10-15 minutes, until the berries release their juices and become saucy. Transfer the strawberries to a heat proof container and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, place in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Assemble the Pop Tarts

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Remove the dough one disk at a time from the fridge. Remove the plastic wrap and let the dough sit out a few minutes on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim the dough to 4 X 2 1/2 inch rectangles. Save any scraps and continue to roll until you don’t have enough dough left to continue. Do the same process with the second disk. You should end up with 22 rectangles.

Make the egg wash: whisk together the egg with the milk and salt.

Spread one tablespoon of the strawberry filling onto the center of eleven rectangles. Brush some egg wash on the edges of the dough. Place the other eleven pieces of dough over the ones with the filling. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal the tarts. Using a paring knife, cut three small slits or “X’s” in the top of each pop tart. This will ensure that the pop tarts don’t explode while baking. Place the filled pop tarts onto the baking sheets with and inch in between each tart.

Brush the egg wash on the tops of each pop tart. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Frosting the Pop Tarts

While the pop tarts are cooling make the frosting. Whisk together the powdered sugar with milk and vanilla. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Drizzle the frosting over the pop tarts and add sprinkles while the frosting is still runny. Let the frosting set for a few minutes. Serve at room temperature.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy within 3 days.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast

Recipe: Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast

Ingredients

3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 cups chopped apples (1/2 inch pieces)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 lb brioche or sourdough bread, cut into cubes
8 oz (1 package) full fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
12 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups half and half
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
cup pure maple syrup
½ cup raisins
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp Kosher salt
½ cup chopped pecans

Directions

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and cook about 5 minutes until fragrant and slightly softened. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Continue cooking until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool.

Butter or spray a 9X13 casserole dish. Place 1/2 of the bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish in an even layer. Top with 1/2 of the apple mixture and cream cheese cubes. Layer again with the rest of the bread cubes and then the rest of the apple mixture & cream cheese.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, orange juice, maple syrup, raisins, vanilla, rest of the cinnamon and salt. Pour over the apple/bread mixture. Cover the casserole, set in the fridge and let soak for at least 2 hours to overnight.

Remove the casserole from the fridge 30 minutes before baking. Top with the pecans.

Pre-heat the oven to 350˚ F with the rack in the middle. Bake the casserole covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is cooked through.

Serve immediately with more maple syrup and whipped cream.

~ Marla Meridith

Cranberry Hand Pies

Cranberry Hand Pies

Ingredients

For the Pastry
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
20 tbsp cold unsalted butter, preferably a high-fat, European-style butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4-6 tbsp ice cold water
Filling and Assembly
1 lb fresh cranberries
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp corn starch or instant tapioca
1 egg, beaten
coarse sanding sugar for topping

Directions

For the Crust

Pie crust: In a food processor, briefly pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until mixture forms chickpea-size pieces (3 to 5 one-second pulses). Be sure the butter is cold at this step. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until mixture is just moist enough to hold together. You should be able to pinch it & it stays together.

Form dough into two balls, wrap with plastic and flatten into disks. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to 24 hours before rolling out and baking.

For the filling

Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, vanilla and starch in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Cook another 6 minutes, some cranberries will burst and mixture will start to thicken. Transfer the cranberries to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools. DO AHEAD: You can make this filling up to 5 days ahead of when you want to use it.

Assembly

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the racks in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator & let it sit out a few minutes until just pliable. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough disk into 1/8 inch thickness. Punch out heart or round shapes I used a 4 inch heart cookie cutter.

Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the cranberry mixture onto the middle of a dough heart. Wet the rim of the disk with some egg wash Place another heart on top. Crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling. Place shapes on 2 cookie sheets. Refrigerate pies for 45 minutes.
You will likely have filling left over, it’s great on pancakes or mixed into oatmeal.

Remove pastry With a sharp knife, make a X on the top to vent. Brush on egg wash and dust with some sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Skillet Banana Bread with Double-Crumb Topping

Recipe: Skillet Banana Bread with Double-Crumb Topping

Ingredients

Banana Bread
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
3 medium sized very ripe bananas, mashed (to equal 1 1/4 cups)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
Double-Crumble Topping
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚ with the rack in the middle.
Grease a 10″ cast iron skillet (or any heatproof skillet) with butter or vegetable oil.

For the Banana Bread

Melt the butter and let it cool to room temperature. Mix the cooled butter with the brown sugar in a large bowl. Mix in the egg, mashed banana and vanilla.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in another bowl.

Add the banana mixture into the flour mixture, combining well. Do not over mix.

Transfer the batter into the prepared skillet, smooth with top with the back of a spoon or spatula. Top with the crumble, pressing the crumble gently down into the batter with your fingers. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out virtually crumb free. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

For the Double-Crumble Topping

Combine the sugars, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add the flour and stir with a rubber spatula until mostly combine. Using clean fingers, mix until everything is well combined.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Skillet Brown Sugar Blueberry Cobbler

Recipe: Skillet Brown Sugar Blueberry Cobbler

Ingredients

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup whole milk
1 cup + 1 tbsp light brown sugar
juice from 1 lemon
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries
Serve with
freshly whipped cream
vanilla ice cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Melt the butter in the oven in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Remove from the oven when it’s melted.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl: the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl combine the milk, vanilla, lemon juice and 1 cup of the brown sugar. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until smooth. Toss the blueberries with 1 tbsp of brown sugar. Pour the batter into the buttered skillet. Top with the blueberries.

Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool a few minutes then serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Lemon Coconut Ricotta Pancakes

Recipe: Lemon Coconut Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
unsalted butter for skillet or griddle
Serve with
pure maple syrup
whipped cream
fresh berries

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, coconut, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs. Mix in the milk, ricotta cheese and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix quickly to combine. Mix in the lemon juice and zest. Do not over mix the batter.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Melt some butter in the skillet. Using a measuring cup, pour 1/3 cup portions of batter onto the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes until the tops are bubbling and the edges start to turn golden brown. Gently flip the pancakes and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add more butter to the skillet as needed. Repeat with all of the batter. Serve warm with maple syrup, whipped cream and berries.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts

Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts

Ingredients

Pastry Dough
3 ¼ cups AP unbleached flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp Kosher salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
8 oz unsalted butter
½ cup corn syrup
Fruit Filling
850 g fresh, frozen, chunks, sliced fruit
cup (75 g) light brown sugar or granulated sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon or ginger
1 pinch Kosher salt
2 tbsp (25 g) cornstarch
Egg Wash
1 large egg
2 tsp water
Glaze / Royal Icing
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
34 tbsp milk
tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp any extract flavor (vanilla, lemon, orange, etc)
of color if desired

Directions

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the sifted dry ingredients. Add the butter and mix until it combines with the dry ingredients. Add the corn syrup and mix until a ball is formed. Let the dough rest for 2 hours in a cool place.

Make the filling while the dough rests. In a saucepot, bring the fruit to a boil. Combine the dry ingredients. Once the fruit has released its juices and has come to a boil, add the dry ingredients. While whisking, bring the mixture to a boil and hold at a boil for 3 minutes. Let cool.

Roll the dough onto a floured surface until it is 3 mm thick. Cut the rolled dough in half. Cut one half of the dough into the 3 x 5 inch rectangles. Cut the second half of the dough into 3¼ inch x 5¼ inch rectangles – these slightly larger rectangles will be the top of the pop tarts. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bottom pop tart dough rectangles on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. With a pastry brush, paint the egg wash around the outside edge of the dough. Put the cooled pop tart filling inside of the egg wash rectangle. Add the larger rectangle dough on top of the filling. On one side of the rectangle, press the two pieces of the dough together, fastening them with a fork. Brush the top of the pop tart with egg wash.

Combine the egg and water with a fork or a whisk.

Bake until a light golden brown 15-20 minutes. Let cool. Using a spoon, knife, brush, palette knife or hands, spread or dip the cooled pop tart. Let dry and enjoy.

~ Marla Meridith

Cran Raspberry Mimosas

Celebrate the New Year or enjoy for brunch these Cranberry Raspberry Mimosas are absolutely delicious! A festive cocktail recipe that will add JOY to any occasion.

6 cocktails

1 cup sweetened cranberry raspberry juice
1 bottle dry Champagne or sparkling wine (Prosecco or cava)
fresh raspberries
fresh mint

Pour 1/4 cup (2 ounces) crane raspberry juice into each Champagne flute. Top with Champagne, a few raspberries and fresh mint.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Pumpkin Dutch Baby with Caramelized Apples

Taste the beautiful days of fall with this Cast Iron Skillet Pumpkin Dutch Baby with Caramelized Apples recipe. Delicious and so easy to prepare! Great for breakfast, brunch or any time at all!

4 servings

–for the Dutch Baby
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
5 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
pinch of kosher salt
–for the caramelized apples
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cinnamon
2-3 pink lady honey crisp apples, cut into thin wedges
powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425° with the rack in the middle.
Place a 10″ cast-iron skillet on the rack and heat while you make the batter.
Make the Dutch Baby: Combine the eggs, flour, coconut milk, pumpkin purée, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Remove the skillet from the oven and add 2 tablespoons butter, swirl to melt it.
Pour the batter in the hot pan and put the skillet back in the oven. Bake until the pancake is puffy and golden brown, 21 to 24 minutes.
While the pancake is baking, make the Caramelized Apples: Heat a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, add the maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, become fragrant and the sauce thickens. 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat but keep warm.
Serve the Dutch baby with powdered sugar, homemade whipped cream, topped with the apples and any juices left in the skillet.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Rhubarb Applesauce

Instead of a heavy dessert try this Healthy and delicious Vegan Maple Rhubarb Applesauce recipe. Great for breakfast, brunch, back to school and snacks.

6 cups

5 Gala, Honey Crisp or Pink Lady apples
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or more to taste
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup water

Place all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 35-40 minutes. Partially cover with a lid during the simmer.
Remove from the heat and let cool a bit. Place 1/2 the mixture into a blender and puree on a sauce setting. Repeat with the other half. Serve warm or cold.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Italian Tortellini Salad

Looking for the perfect dish to serve hungry guests this summer? Look no further than this Delicious, quick and easy Italian Tortellini Salad recipe with homemade dressing. Ready in just 20 minutes!

8-10 servings

20 ounces three cheese Tortellini (ie: Buitoni)
8 ounces uncured sliced Genoa salami, cut into thin pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, chopped into small pieces
8 ounces mozzarella pearls, drained
2 (2.25) ounces sliced black olives, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh italian basil
–Italian Vinaigrette
3/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup finely freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp of EACH dried parsley, drained oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp EACH black pepper, paprika
1/2-1 tsp agave or honey, or add more to taste

–Tortellini Salad
Cook the tortellini to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta is cool.
Place tortellini in a large serving bowl and toss with all the other ingredients.
Toss the salad with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature.
–Italian Vinaigrette
While the tortellini is cooking make the dressing. Add all ingredients into a mason jar, tighten the lid and shake until well combined. You can also add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
Store in an airtight container up to two weeks. Shake or whisk each time before use. If the oil becomes a solid in the fridge, just lettuce dressing sit out a few minutes for it to become room temperature.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Maple Vanilla Roasted Strawberries

Add these Maple Vanilla Roasted Strawberries to your pancakes, waffles or yogurt parfaits. Or enjoy over cakes, whipped cream or ice cream! This recipe is so simple and delicious!

2-4 servings

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and pat dry
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the middle.
Trim ends off strawberries and discard. Cut strawberries in half, quarters if they are huge.
Place on a baking sheet and toss with maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Arrange berries in a single layer.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and scrape from the pan with a spoon. Enjoy hot, room temperature or cold.

Adjust maple syrup to taste, to go sweeter simple add more!

~ Marla Meridith