Citrus Polenta Cake

This cake is truly delightful! Not too sweet it can be dessert at any time of day ~ brunch, lunch, dinner, tea time!

We topped ours with peaches but any fruit medley would do! Oh, and maybe some whipped cream too!

Peach Polenta Cake

For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup butter, at room temp

1/4 cup Hibiscus Citrus Sugar

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temp

1/2 cup buttermilk

zest of one lemon

For peach topping:

4-5 peaches, sliced

2 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup Hibiscus Citrus Sugar

juice of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 350F. Generously coat a 9-inch round baking pan with shortening and lightly flour the pan.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.

With your stand mixer beat butter until it is light and airy. Add the sugars and continue to cream until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add buttermilk and lemon zest, mixing until smooth. Gradually stir in flour mixture until just incorporated, don’t over mix.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden and cooked through ~ 25 to 30 minutes ~ check it by sticking it with a toothpick, if it comes out clean you’re good to go. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Flip cake out onto the rack then flip it onto your serving plate to let cool completely.

At this point, you can make your topping! We used peaches but anything goes! Maybe some ice cream, or whipped cream.

For the peach topping melt the butter in a saucepan and then add all the other ingredients. Let them hangout together over medium heat until the juices thicken then they are good to go!

Stay sweet, friends!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Brainstorming

We do our best daydreaming, uh, I mean, brainstorming at the farmers markets.

One of us will say, You know what I want? Vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce and peaches and blueberries.

And the other person will say, Mmmm chocolate waffles with dark chocolate chunks…

And we’ll lapse into silence as we both get lost in thought but later we’ll bring it all together:

Chocolate Waffles

Stay cool, stay sweet, and keep daydreaming,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Waffles

 

Apple Toad Muffins

Apple Toad Muffins

Is there a better way to start the day than with coffee and homemade baked goods? I can think of few other morning rituals that can bring such delight as reading a book, sipping coffee, and munching on a little something sweet.

With the cool spring mornings we’ve been having I’ve been craving apple muffins. So I went in search of a recipe that would satiate my desire and found this one. I decided to call mine Toad Muffins because I ended up using less topping than the original recipe and they turned out warty and toad like in appearance, appetizing description, yes? I sort of followed the recipe, I recommend you read this recipe because the author is very detailed and describes at what speed you should blend the different ingredients.

When I get into the kitchen it’s more of a free for all and by the time I get half way through such a detailed recipe I think, well, it probably doesn’t matter now, I’ve got a general idea of what I’m supposed to do now… Sometimes this works out, other times it does matter and things don’t turn out well. But this recipe was a success, even with a disregard to the blending instructions, thus I’m sharing it with you.Apple Toad MuffinsHere’s what ya need:

For toady topping:

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon Poudre Douce (or Pie Spice or just plain ol’ cinnamon)

1/4 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

For muffins:

1/2 cup butter, at room temp

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temp

1/2 cup greek yogurt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups apple, peeled and chopped

In a small bowl assemble the topping: combine sugars, Poudre Douce, and butter. Stir in flour until all combined and crumbly. Put to the side.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line muffin tins with muffin/cupcake liners (makes about 15 standard size muffins (and yes, I used Halloween cupcake liners, who says you can’t celebrate Halloween in April?)).

In a mixer beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugars and beat on high until creamed. Add eggs, yogurt and vanilla. Beat until combined.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda, and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together with a whisk. Slowly pour in milk and blend until relatively smooth, then stir in apple chunks.

Pour into prepared muffin tins. Fill to the top and press some of the crumble topping on top. For once in my baking career, I erred on the side of caution with the topping. I tend to steer clear of overly sugar-coated muffins so I really didn’t use very much of the topping and had some left over.

Bake for 5 minutes at 425 F then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for 15 more minutes.

These will last about 3 to 5 days at room temp, but they do have a tendency to disappear when left in the open…Apple Toad Muffins

Enjoy,

Charleston Spice Co.

Creamy Dill Spread

Creamy Dill Spread

This spread is perfect for bagels, crackers, and bread. It’s also divine when spread on top of a steak or a burger!!

Here’s what you need:

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temp

1 heaping Tablespoon Dill Dip

1 Tablespoon cream style horseradish (if using pure horseradish, use 1/2 amount)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix them all together. Let sit overnight or use right away!

This is one way we’ve used it, creamy dill spread and lox toast with deviled eggs and avocado on the side:

Creamy Dill Spread

Hope you have a great weekend!

xoxo

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Covered Coconut Crispies

Coconut Crispies

How do you take a classic Rice Krispy Treat to the next level?

You add coconut and then smother, I mean, cover it with chocolate.

Coconut Crispies

 

Here’s what you need:

2 1/2 cups of crispy rice cereal

2 cups shaved coconut, toasted (and a wee bit more for topping (and eating))

2 1/2 Tablespoons butter (plus some for buttering your dish)

2 cups mini marshmallows

Chocolate of your choice for coating treats (I used semi sweet chocolate chips)

Butter the bottom and sides of an 8×8 dish.

Combine cereal and toasted coconut in a bowl. In small saucepan melt butter. Add marshmallows stirring until melted. Pour marshmallow mixture onto cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated.

Press into your buttered dish, let cool.

Cut cooled treats into bite sized nuggets. I got about 18 fun sized treats out of this recipe, but you might get more if you manage not to eat 6 or 7 in the process of cutting them… lay out a piece of parchment paper in preparation for chocolate covered treats.

Heat up your chocolate in a small double boiler. Take nuggets one at a time and dip/roll around to cover with chocolate. Move to parchment paper and decorate with toasted shaved coconut. Let cool before enjoying.

Coconut Crispies

 

 

Chewy Dreamy Oatmeal & Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yup, that’s a mouthful of a title, but just try these cookies and you’ll get it.Oatmeal Coconut Chewy Dreamy Cookie

Before you make these you should know that they are better the day after they are made.

Sure, you can eat them right after they come out of the oven, but they will not be great, and you may be incredibly disappointed in me.

SO JUST WAIT FOR IT.

Hide them away after you make them and the next morning treat yourself to one for breakfast (HOWEVER if you are still in elementary or middle school don’t tell your mom I said it was okay for you to eat cookies for breakfast. You should never have cookies for breakfast (unless it’s your birthday). Oh and please don’t drink coffee yet either, save it for later in life, okay?).Oatmeal Coconut Chewy Dreamy CookieHere’s what you’ll need:

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon Poudre Douce (or pie spice or cinnamon)

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups oats

2 OVERFLOWING cups shredded coconut, toasted

1/2 OVERFLOWING cup pecans, chopped

1 OVERFLOWING cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and beat well. Add combined flour, Poudre Douce, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Mix well. Slowly stir in oats, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.

Place about 2 tablespoons worth of dough a couple of inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 13 minutes, let cool on sheet for a couple of minutes then move to wire rack to continue cooling. Store in airtight container for at least 12 hours before enjoying.

Remember, some things are worth the wait,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.Oatmeal Coconut Chewy Dreamy Cookie

Asian pear butter

Asian pear butter

Asian pear butter    We’ll admit it, we’re completely biased about Asian pears, we love them. But we think it’s safe to say that this Asian pear butter is perfect for pancakes, waffles, biscuits, cheese plates, and so much more.

Here’s how to make it:

3 1/2 pounds Asian pears, pealed and cored

2 cups asian pear juice (if you don’t have a juicer you can substitute organic apple juice)

1/2 cup ginger sugar

1/2 cup cane sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon poudre douce

 

Asian pear butter

Quarter, peel, and core the pears. Cook the peels and cores in pear juice, covered for about 30 minutes. Strain the juice and discard the solids. Add the pears and all the remaining ingredients to the juice and let simmer, stirring often until the pears are very soft.

Pour about 2 cups at a time into a blender and puree. Helpful hint: Pureeing hot liquids is a tricky thing, so really only do 2 cups at a time, unless you would prefer to end up covered in hot pear juice. You can live and learn, or just take our advice, it’s up to you.

Asian pear butter

Put the pureed mixture into your crockpot and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until butter is the consistency you desire. We let ours cook about 5 hours. You can do this part on the stove as well, but you will need to be more vigilant than if you use your crockpot. Spoon into hot, sterile jars, leaving about 1/3 inch at top, and seal.

Makes about 12 quart jars.

Asian pear butter

 

 

The Honeysuckle

honeysuckle

We’d like to make a toast to sunny days and childhood memories. That’s what this drink tastes like to us.

It tastes like running around with no shoes in the slanting afternoon light searching for the honeysuckles with the sweetest nectar and pretending not to hear when your parents call you in for the night.

And all of this wild child taste is hidden by an elegant and sophisticated exterior that makes it perfect for any occasion.

honeysuckle

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

1.25 ounces Asian pear juice

1.25 ounces elderflower liqueur

Brut or champagne to fill flute

honey and ginger sugar to rim glass

Start by rimming your flute with honey and ginger sugar. Don’t be alarmed when the honey starts to drip down the glass, it will add a hauntingly gorgeous look to your cocktails and give your guests an excuse to lick their fingers.

Pour pear juice and the elderflower liqueur into flute, top off with bubbly and enjoy!

honeysuckle

 

Pimento Cheese

pretty darn good

Yup, this pimento cheese recipe is pretty darn good. We kept “testing” it after we mixed it up just to make sure it really was as good as we thought. And it was, every time.

Here’s how you can become an addict, uh, we mean, a great pimento cheese maker:

3 pounds cheddar cheese

3 ounces pimentos

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon adobo

pimento cheese

Combine all the ingredients on a plate and mash together with a fork until combined to your liking. And it’s as simple as that! Eat right away or put in the refrigerator for future use.

pimento cheese