Cherry Tart

I did manage to make something fabulous with our cherries before we froze and dehydrated all that we hadn’t eaten fresh.  It’s a new recipe, and most definitely a keeper.  It wasn’t difficult to make but had great flavor.  It was gone so quickly that I only got a picture of the last slice!

Fresh Cherry Tart (adapted from a Southern Living recipe) 2 cups graham cracker crumbs 4 Tb. sugar 1/2 cup plus 1 Tb. melted butter 3 1/4 cups fresh cherries, pitted 1/2 cup sugar 4 1/2 Tb. corn starch 4 1/2 Tb. water 2/3 cup orange marmalade, divided 2 Tb. butter 8 oz cream cheese, softened 1/3 cup sugar For the crust:

Crush graham crackers into crumbs until crumbs measure 2 cups.  Add sugar and stir.  Melt butter in separate bowl and pour into graham cracker mixture.  Mix until combined.  Press into 10 inch round tart pan and bake at 375 for 6 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

In heavy sauce pan, combine cherries, 1/2 cup sugar, corn starch and water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1/3 cup orange marmalade and 2 Tb. butter.  Cover and chill for 2 hours.

While cherries chill and crust cools, mix cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and remaining 1/3 cup orange marmalade together in medium bowl.

To assemble tart, spread cream cheese mixture on bottom of tart crust.  Cover with cherry mixture.  Chill if desired or serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Heart Shaped English Toffee

It’s becoming a tradition for me to make a batch of English toffee for my husband every Valentine’s Day.  He loves English toffee, but I don’t make it very often so it’s a thoughtful gift.  This year I wanted to try something other than broken shards of toffee in a bag or tin, so I sprayed some non-stick spray in some heart shaped metal pans and poured the hot toffee in them.

I then sprinkled the hot toffee with chocolate chips, let them melt a little, then spread the chocolate and pressed chopped pistachios into the cooling chocolate.  I worried that the toffee might be difficult to release from the pans, but they came out very easily and none of them broke.

I don’t think my husband cares what shape the toffee comes in, but I enjoyed trying something new.   Sometimes the best treats are common things in a new shape.

If you’re wondering, this is the toffee recipe I use:

English Toffee
2 cups butter 2 cups sugar 1/4 tsp. salt 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup finely chopped nuts (I used pistachios) In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine butter, sugar and salt.  Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted.  Allow to come to a boil, and cook until mixture becomes a dark amber color and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F.  (My recipe says to stir occasionally, but I’ve found that if I don’t stir pretty frequently the bottom sometimes burns.)

Line baking pan with aluminum foil or spray with non-stick spray.

When toffee reaches proper temperature, pour onto prepared pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and let set a minute or two to soften.  Spread chocolate into thin even layer.  Sprinkle nuts over chocolate and press in slightly.

Place toffee in refrigerator, if desired, to speed setting.  Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.


Hopeful Homemaker

Cranberry Florentines

I found this cookie recipe in Matthew Mead’s Christmas publication and intended to make it but didn’t get to it until January.  These cookies are amazing!  They’re different, not overly sweet, chewy and have great flavor.

The method of preparation is unlike any cookie I’ve made, which intrigued me.   It might intrigue you, too.


1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup granulated sugar 4 Tb. butter, divided 1 cup sliced almonds 1/2 cup dried cranberries 2 Tb. chopped candied orange peel (optional) 1/3 cup flour 1/4 cup chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, combine the cream, sugar and 3 Tb. butter.  Bring to a boil.  Add almonds, cranberries, orange peel and flour.  Stir to combine.  Remove from heat.

Drop cookies by the teaspoon at least 2-3 inches apart on baking sheet.  These cookies spread during baking, so space them well.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are brown and crisp.  Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling racks.

Melt chocolate chips with remaining 1 Tb. butter.  Drizzle chocolate over cookies.  Serve and enjoy!

A few notes:

I’ve made this recipe twice, once with candied orange peel and once without.  I was the only person who could taste a difference.  It doesn’t make or break the recipe.

I dropped my batter by the tablespoon.  I got 2 1/2 dozen cookies by this measure.

The first time I made them I drizzled chocolate on them.  The second time I didn’t.  They’re delicious both ways.  I liked them so much that I skipped the chocolate on the second batch.

I’m happy to add this recipe to my cookie recipe file.  It’s unlike any other cookie I’ve tried.  I hope you try them!


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