Rosie's Country Baking

Sharing Old Fashioned Desserts and Comfort Food, come on over to see what's baking!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fresh Ricotta Salad with Tomatoes and Pesto

I came home with some farm fresh ricotta amongst the treasures from my local farmer's market this weekend.  I wanted to use it to make something good, but did not feel like cooking after much Easter baking.  So I found this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis at The Food Network for a Whipped Ricotta Salad - no cooking required.  I adapted it just a bit and it turned out to be such a fresh, bright and delicious appetizer at our Easter table.  We served it alongside a basket of thinly sliced Italian bread for spreading on (also acquired at the Farmer's Market) and really enjoyed it!
1 1/4 cups fresh ricotta cheese or whole milk ricotta
2 tsps. olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 1/2 Tbsps pine nuts, toasted
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsps olive oil, plus 1 tsp
1 cup diced ripe tomatoes
First whip the ricotta in a food processor fitted with a metal blade with the olive oil and salt, until light and smooth, about 30 seconds.  Spoon out and set aside.  Then put the basil, pine nuts, vinegars, salt and pepper and olive oil in the food processor and process until desired consistency - pesto like consistency.  Toss the pesto mixture with the tomatoes.  Spread the ricotta onto a small serving platter, then top with tomato/pesto mixture.  Serve alongside sliced Italian bread to use as a dip or spread.

Fresh Ricotta from Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton:
All the fresh farmer's market goodies found at The Riverhead Farmers Market:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

SAMOA Brownies

It's Girl Scout Cookie time ~ what's your favorite kind?  Mine is the Samoa: vanilla cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with chocolate stripes, so so good!  I thought they'd be so good baked into a rich chocolate brownie too.  So I used a box of Samoa cookies and crumbled them in a food processor and topped the brownies halfway through the cooking process ~ then they just became one, deliciously one 

From Wikipedia:  Boxes of the two most popular Girl Scout cookies: Samoas (left) and Thin Mints (right)

Sprinkle Samoa cookie crumbs over brownie batter 1/2 way through the baking time, and gently press in, continue baking remainder of time
You can use your favorite brownie recipe or a store bought mix or this great recipe adapted  from "Baked-New Frontiers in Baking"
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsps dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
8 oz unsalted butter
1 tsp instant espresso gransules
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temp
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
1 box of Samoa cookies, crumbled in a food processor, until desired size
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 x 13 " pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.  In a med bowl whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.  Put the chocolate, butter and espresso in a large heat safe metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  Stir occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.  Turn the heat off, but keep bowl over water and add the sugars.  Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan.  The mixture should be just about at room temp.  Add 3 eggs to the mixture and whisk until combined.  Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined.  Add the vanilla and stir.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture, using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until no flour is visible.  Pout the batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake in center of oven for 15 mins, then remove from the oven and sprinkle crumbled Samoa cookies evenly over top, gently press in.  Rotate pan and return to oven and continue baking 15 more minutes.  Remove from oven and let completely cool on rack, then lift out of pan and cut into squares.